WRITERS – BEWARE OF SCAMS by Author Florence Osmund

Tricia Drammeh:

This post needs to be reblogged everywhere. A must read for EVERY writer.

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:

The self-publishing industry has become one of the fastest growing industries of the century. According to R. R. Bowker, the self-publishing industry has grown 287% since 2006, with close to 150,000 self-published books released in 2011, an astounding 43% of all new books released.

Unfortunately, this self-publishing growth spurt has also created a haven for scam artists to take advantage of aspiring authors—authors who have decided to self-publish as opposed to taking the traditional publishing route, authors who are anxious to get published and naïve about the seamier side of the industry.

You must be an informed consumer when it comes to purchasing publishing services. Here are some things to watch out for before you choose a service to help publish, promote and sell your book.

mice3

PUBLISHING HOUSES

Letʾs start with some definitions.

Self-publishing has been around for a long time, but until recently, most authors looked to traditional

View original 1,181 more words

This week’s Summer Reads guest is…me!

Tricia Drammeh:

It’s week eight of the Summer Reads Blog Tour. Find out which books Kay Kauffman recommends for your summer reading fun.

Originally posted on Suddenly they all died. The end.:

This week, it’s my turn! I hope you’ve enjoyed everyone’s recommendations so far – this has been a whole lot of fun, and I’m tickled to share my summer book picks with you. Read on to find out what they are, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post! There’s lots of awesome prizes, including a copy of my poetry collection, Tuesday Daydreams!

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Eight

Kay Kauffman

Tick tock, tick tock, it’s week eight in our Summer Reads Blog Tour and I’ve come to welcome Kay Kauffman to our madness!  Kay is another lovely online friend from Authonomy who I’ve been chatting with now for a number of years.  She’s fun, has a gentle spirit that I simply adore, and will be the first to gather her popcorn bucket when Sam and I start our online battles!  Let’s hear it…

View original 517 more words

Better than Perfect by Tricia Drammeh- Book Review Thursday

Tricia Drammeh:

Warning: Shameless Self Promotion Ahead. I’m sort of overdosing on self promotion this week, and for that, I apologize. But, holy cow! I just have to share this. Maegan Provan just reviewed Better than Perfect on her Book Review Thursday feature! If you’re not familiar with Book Review Thursday, Maegan has found a very creative way to review books. She vlogs about them. Yes, vlogs. She does written reviews as well, but I happen to find her video reviews to be a lot of fun. Check it out.

Originally posted on Maegan Provan, Author:

View original

Throwback Thursday: Fear of Formatting

It’s Throwback Thursday again, and today’s recycled post goes back to May 2013. As I endeavor to format and publish a new book (wish me luck), I’ve been thinking about those self-publishing fears that prevent some of us authors from going it alone. Don’t let your fear of formatting keep you from achieving your dreams. If you choose to sign on with a traditional publisher or small press, more power to you. But don’t make any publishing decisions out of fear. Every aspect of self-publishing is do-able. If you’re a technophobe, it might not be easy, but I promise you can do it. Take your time. Do your research. And find people who will help you.

Read on…

Fear of Formatting

babe ruth“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” ~ Babe Ruth

If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve read this quote. If you’ve ever seen A Cinderella Story staring Hillary Duff you will remember this quote from the movie. It’s a great quote–and we’re going to use a variation of this for today’s post.

Never let the fear of formatting keep you from publishing your book.

Any author who has considered self-publishing has suffered from the fear of having to do a whole bunch of stuff they’re not accustomed to doing–marketing, editing, commissioning a cover, formatting. For some authors, this fear propels them to do crazy things–like sign with a small publisher with an unproven track record. I understand this fear. Some authors let these fears prevent them from ever publishing at all. When fear is in the driver’s seat, you’re going to make bad decisions.

Let’s expel some of our self-publishing fears:

Marketing: This is a normal fear, but unless your name is Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, or Nora Roberts, prepare to do lots of your own marketing regardless of which publishing method you choose. If you can write a book, you can tell other people about it. That’s all marketing really is–telling other people about your book. (I know – easier said than done.)

Editing: You’ll need to outsource. You can hire someone, but if you can’t afford to do so, enlist some trusted beta readers to help you out.

Cover Art: You’ll have to have a  cover. Your book will look silly without one. Commissioning a cover isn’t as scary as it sounds. It doesn’t have to be super expensive. A good cover artist will help you come up with a concept, and once you’re caught up in the excitement of your cover art, the scary feelings will go away.

Formatting: This is by far the easiest part of your publishing journey. Seriously, if you can write a whole book, you can do this. There are free guides available to help you through this. Formatting and uploading to Kindle and Createspace is free. If you can afford to do so, you can hire someone to format for you, but it really is something you can do for yourself–for free. When I self-published The Fifth Circle, I had a deep-seated fear of formatting, but after giving it a try, I found out it’s not only doable, but one of the easier aspects of publishing.

Here are some formatting tips and tricks I hope will help you:

  • Give yourself a day. Find a kid-free, cat-free zone and prepare to spend lots of time formatting. If you try to format thirty-minutes before you have to rush out to pick up kids from school, you’ll end up frustrated and angry. Plan a day. Brew a pot of coffee (or send the hubby out for Starbucks). Prepare for several hours in front of the computer. Formatting is way less frustrating if you aren’t dashing out to pick up kids from school or extracting attention-seeking cats from your keyboard.
  • Format directly from Microsoft Word if possible. For a standard novel without lots of pictures, there’s no reason to invest in a complicated program for Kindle formatting. KDP is very user friendly. So is Createspace. These programs are designed for self-publishing authors just like you and me.
  • Don’t get frustrated if your first try doesn’t work. On Kindle, you have an option to view your file before publishing. On KDP, you have the option to view your book on the screen using different Kindle versions. You also have the option to download a mobi file which you can upload to your Kindle. I highly recommend doing this because it’s very helpful to look over your book on your own Kindle. And, you’ll have a mobi file you can send to reviewers later on. My first Kindle attempt wasn’t entirely successful. I didn’t like the way the Chapter headings looked. So, I made a few adjustments to my Word doc, re-uploaded to KDP, and all was right with the world.
  • Createspace templates are your friends. Createspace has templates for the interior and exterior for your book. Use them. My Microsoft Word skills aren’t the best. I get upset and frustrated over margins and tabs and such. I used the pre-formatted template and I’m glad I did.
  • Order the proof. Createspace lets you order a proof. A real live book to hold in your hands! It’s very inexpensive. With shipping, I paid about seven dollars for my proof. You can even order more than one! Though you can preview your book online, I recommend ordering the hard-copy proof to have and to hold. After all, don’t you want to be the first to hold your printed book in your hands?
  • If you publish with Createspace, you have the option to let them format your Kindle file and upload to KDP. I didn’t use this option, and from what I’ve read, it’s not recommended. Format your own Kindle file for a regret-free experience and let Createspace do what they do best – your paperback.
  • Ask for help. KDP and Createspace both have forums where you can ask questions. It’s likely those who came before you have already asked the same questions, so you can read those threads and find the answer you’re looking for. Self-published authors are notoriously helpful people. Ask your author friends. They’ll be happy to help you.
  • Kindle and Createspace aren’t the only games in town. I’ve signed up for KDP Select, which means I can’t publish in any other ebook format for ninety days. For some people, KDP Select is the way to go. With the option to have five free promotional days per ninety-day period, KDP Select can be a great marketing tool. I’ve decided to publish on Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords after my ninety-days have expired. Whether or not you decide to sign up for KDP Select is a decision only you can make. If you don’t want to use Createspace, you can consider other companies such as Lulu. I have friends who have been very happy with Lulu. Consider all your options before publishing. Many of the same options available to publishers are also available to self-publishers.
  • Note: Since the original publication of this article, I’ve branched out a bit. Formatting for Nook was super easy. Smashwords, not so much. Smashwords has a free formatting guide and I highly recommend you make use of it. Basically, on Smashwords, you’ll want to save your document as a new Word 1997-2003 document, erase ALL formatting, and rebuild from scratch. It’s the only way. Trust me.

We all must choose our own paths on our publishing journeys. Self-publishing isn’t the right path for everyone. If you’re seriously considering self-publishing, don’t let the fear of formatting hold you back. If fear is the only thing standing between you and your dream, read on…

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” ~ Vincent van Gogh

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” ~ George Burns

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~ Confucius

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ~ Michael Jordan

Why I don’t like kick-ass heroines

Tricia Drammeh:

Here’s another thought-provoking article on heroines in literature, particularly fantasy and paranormal lead characters. A couple of days ago, I reblogged a post from Maegan Provan regarding the flood of weepy, clingy young heroines who are dependent upon the male lead character for their self-esteem. Today’s reblog explores the flip side of this – the kick-ass heroines. Have we gone too far in our quest to present strong female characters? When is violence in literature justified? What is strong character? And why do we call female characters kick-ass and feisty when we would never use those terms to describe a male character? Food for thought. Please hop over to Jane’s blog to join the conversation.

Originally posted on Jane Dougherty Writes:

There was a time not so long ago when girls in fiction got a pretty raw deal. Raw in the sense that if they stepped out of line, didn’t conform to social norms and expectations they got severely put down. Often in a permanent fashion. Think of Emma Bovary, Cathy Earnshaw, Jo in Little Women (the idea of her being yoked to that old German gave me gooseflesh when I was a kid), Katy of What Katy Did. They might have kicked against the traces, but they all ended up dead, crippled or married to a fate worse than death.

Women were allowed to dream but God help them if they got what they dreamed for.

Women were allowed to dream but God help them if they got what they dreamed for.

Recently we have seen the rise of the ‘kick-ass’ heroine. Women, if they are to feature in the number one slot of a novel are advised to conform to a different model. It helps…

View original 1,703 more words

Meet the Author: Tricia Drammeh

Tricia Drammeh:

Thank you, Susan, for featuring me in your Meet the Author series.

Originally posted on Susan Finlay Writes:

I’d like to introduce you to the ninetieth interviewee in my ‘Meet the Author’ series. She is Tricia Drammeh.

Tricia Drammeh

Hi, Tricia! Welcome to Susan Finlay Writes blog site. Can you tell us a bit about your background as a writer?

I began writing about four years ago. The resulting book was published in 2012 by a small press, and since then, I’ve self-published three books in various genres.

Your latest New Adult novel, Better Than Perfect, was released on May 27, 2014. Can you tell us about the book? What is the ‘New Adult’ genre?

Better than Perfect is a contemporary romance/chick-lit novel about a young woman who is coming out of a long depression following the death of her parents. Karlie is ready for adventure, but change is hard for her. She meets the guy of her dreams, but their relationship faces challenges very early on when she…

View original 1,824 more words

The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues

Tricia Drammeh:

Great advice by Kristen Lamb!

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, via Mikko Luntiala

Image via Flikr Creative Commons, via Mikko Luntiala

To prologue or not to prologue? That is the question. The problem with the prologue is it has kind of gotten a bad rap over the years, especially with agents. They generally hate them. Why? In my opinion, it is because far too many writers don’t use prologues properly and that, in itself, has created its own problem.

Because of the steady misuse of prologues, most readers skip them. Thus, the question of whether or not the prologue is even considered the beginning of your novel can become a gray area if the reader just thumbs pages until she sees Chapter One.

So without further ado…

The 7 Deadly Sins of Prologues

Sin #1 If your prologue is really just a vehicle for massive information dump…

This is one of the reasons I recommend writing detailed backgrounds of all main characters before…

View original 1,619 more words

You are Good Enough!!

Tricia Drammeh:

This article by Maegan Provan is sure to ruffle a few feathers, but she’s right. There IS a disturbing trend in a literature. Maegan mentions Twilight and the Bella/Mary Sue type characters who tell our girls that true love is giving up everything for a man. Even more disturbing (to me) is 50 Shades type books where women swoon over Christian Grey because he’s rich, attractive, and masterful in the bedroom. Never mind that he’s abusive, controlling, and a stalker. That’s okay as long as he showers the heroine with gifts. Friends have told me 50 Shades is romantic and that I have to read to the end in order to “get it.” I don’t want to read past the first book. Christian is a seriously disturbed, abusive individual in Book One. To me, that’s a bit like telling a loved one to stay in an abusive relationship because it might get better later on.

Well, enough about me and my opinions. Let’s hear what Maegan has to say…

Originally posted on Maegan Provan, Author:

An increasingly disturbing trend is rippling through the literary world. It can be seen in both self published novels and traditionally published novels alike. It has the ability to change the way that people all over the world view themselves and others… and not for the better.

I can first remember hearing about “girl power” in the 90’s when the world was introduced to the Spice Girls. Of course, as early as the 1920’s, most of us alive today can recount when we first heard about women’s equality and why females deserve to be treated with respect as opposed to servants who are there for a good lay (trying to keep my cursing down for this post) and to cook a hot meal when the man commands it. Women’s liberation has been a force that’s gained a lot of forward momentum over the years. There are still a few bumps…

View original 693 more words

Dear Indie Author

Dear Indie Author,

Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment. You’ve written a book, which is an incredible achievement. I’m so proud of you!

Unfortunately, I was not able to review your book. I know how important reviews are, so I really hate that I can’t give you that glowing, five-star review you were looking for. I enjoy our interaction on Facebook and I think you’re a really nice person. Rather than embarrass you by leaving a two-star review, I decided to contact you in private instead. I hope we can still be friends.

When I downloaded your book during its Kindle Free weekend, I had every intention of reading it. I really did. Your cover is gorgeous and the blurb is very intriguing. I couldn’t wait to dive right in. I’m sorry, but the story didn’t grab me. There were so many errors, it became distracting. Whether was confused with weather. There, their, and they’re are used interchangeably. The lack of, or overuse of punctuation made the book almost unreadable. And when you switched tenses from past to present and back again, it was so confusing, I had to stop reading.

Maybe you asked your friends to read your book before you published and they gave you good feedback. Maybe you even had a friend edit for you. Maybe, to you, the book is perfect. But it isn’t.

Not all of us have perfect grammar. I understand that. But if you want to be a writer, this is a skill you MUST master. You can’t rely on editors. You can’t hope the readers won’t notice. Readers will notice. Most of them won’t bother to review. They won’t even bother to download your book, because when they use the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon, they’ll realize your book is nowhere near ready for publication.

If you want to be a writer, you need to read. A lot. You need to understand more than how to construct a sentence. You need to learn how to construct a novel. The best way to do that is to read. Read books in your chosen genre. Read classics. Read critically acclaimed books. Read indie books. Read everything you can get your hands on. Which books appeal to you? Which books left you cold? Why? Make notes and incorporate this into your own writing.

I know you’re hurting right now. You gave away thousands of free books and no one has left a review. Not even your friends. Trust me, you’ll get some reviews. Some of your friends will cave in to your desperate pleas on Facebook and they’ll give you a five-star review that says, “This was a really great story with lots of action and drama.” Strangers will review it, but they won’t be as nice. Their one-star reviews will mention the excessive grammatical errors and lack of plot. You’ll feel the truth somewhere deep in your heart, but you’ll tell yourself that some people are only jealous, and that a couple of one-star reviews won’t really matter.

Some authors won’t agree with my approach to reviews. Some will think I shouldn’t review at all because it’s a conflict of interest. Others will say I should leave an honest review no matter what. Still others will claim I’m not really your friend and say I should give you five stars in order to show support for the indie community. If you’re serious about your writing career, you won’t want hollow five-star reviews. You won’t want something you haven’t earned. As a writer with integrity, you value honesty and constructive criticism.

I hope you’ll keep writing. I hope you won’t promote this book for months or even years, wondering why your sales aren’t increasing. I hope you won’t become bitter and jealous of other writers who find success. I hope you’ll accept the fact that an author’s writing skills are always a work in progress. There is always room to grow and improve. As you continue to learn and continue to write, you will become a better writer. You will craft a novel that will deserve glowing five-star reviews. But only if you commit yourself to being the best writer you can be.

Respectfully,

An Indie Author, Reader, and Friend.

*****

7/11/14 Note: The above letter is NOT intended for all indies, nor is it intended to be sarcastic (though it’s obvious I missed the mark). I apologize to those I’ve offended. I should have taken some of my own advice and reviewed this post more carefully before posting it. As someone who claims to be a writer, I should be able to express myself clearly. I don’t think it’s fair for me to alter the letter since people have already commented and shared it, so the original will remain.

This is what I really wanted to say to new indie authors who are in a rush to publish: Take your time. Put your best work forward by seeking editors, critique partners, and beta readers. Trust your intuition, and if you feel there is something not quite right about your manuscript, give it another editing pass. The more you write, the better your writing will be. If marketing and promoting is leaving you feeling frustrated and bitter, you should get back to doing what you love–writing your next book. Not everyone will like your book (some reviewers can even be cruel), but if you truly believe in your dream, never give up. Any author who has written an entire book HAS accomplished something most people only dream of. It IS an amazing achievement and no one should take that away from you.

I apologize to anyone I’ve hurt or offended. It was never my intention to belittle the accomplishments of any indie. I appreciate all the comments, whether you agree with me or not. If I haven’t had time to respond to your comment, I’m sorry. I’m not ignoring you. I just timed this post really badly.

Here is my interview with Tricia Drammeh

Tricia Drammeh:

I love a lovely cyber-chat with Fiona of Authors Interviews. Fiona has interviewed over 1000 authors. Please stop by and meet some of the authors who have appeared on this incredible blog.

Originally posted on authorsinterviews:

Name – Tricia Drammeh
Age – 43
Where are you from – I was born in Ohio, but lived in Georgia, California and Missouri. I’m currently living in New Hampshire.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc – I’m a wife, a mother of four, and work part time in accounting. I live with my husband, my three youngest children, and two cats who keep me constantly entertained.


Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Tricia: I just released Better than Perfect, a contemporary romance/chick-lit novel about a young woman who is coming out of a long depression following the death of her parents. Karlie is ready for adventure, but change is hard for her. She meets the guy of her dreams, but their relationship faces challenges very early on when she takes on temporary responsibility for twin teenage boys while their grandmother is in the hospital.

View original 1,236 more words