Candidly Elle

I'm just a girl in love with words and sentences.
Common Self-Publishing Mistakes

Common Self-Publishing Mistakes

When I published my first book Pieces of Me. I thought, “Man this is going to be easy!” Boy, was I wrong. Self-Publishing means exactly what it is, you are the publisher responsible for writing, editing and marketing your release. You are writing at your own expense. You are the backer verses a traditional publisher would handles everything in house. Yes, there are sites that assist you in the process. Like CreateSpace through Amazon KDP, this is a self-publishing site there to help you from concept to creation. I utilized this site for both of my books. However, my upcoming release and my first are completely different.

Self Made Cover:


I cut a few corners with my first book. It was the inexperience that I lacked eventually learning an easier way. For instance, I didn’t want to purchase an expensive cover. So, I used CreateSpace’s build your own cover tool. Now mind you that I am no cover artist, this could have turned into a complete disaster. Any writer should know that a good cover will turn a profit. Luckily, I chose a fairly easy theme and cover for that book. I knew I would never do that again. For my next book, More Than Words…I outsourced my cover from a very talented artist who turned out to be fairly reasonable with her pricing. I plan to use her again.

Purchased Cover:

Courtesy of Author Elle Henry.

How many times have you wandered in Barnes and Noble spotting a book with a really neat cover? I have several times. One recent book was The Girl on The Train was a book I didn’t care for particularly; however the cover was subtle and striking. Here’s another confession (keep it between us!) I read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy based on the cover art. Don’t judge me readers. I’m just saying even though the story plots were questionable, the cover work was stunning.

Another thing I failed at was the editing and formatting portion. Okay, yes I am an English major; however I can tell you it is very hard to edit your own work. Also, the formatting for your paperback and e-book template has to match. I spent the first night of my launch last year crying in my friend Sylvia’s inbox because my e-book format was off in the margins. Once I resolved that issue I knew this was another mistake I wouldn’t repeat again.

Photo Writers Life

Photo Writers Life

We are all subject to error in ours lives, we are human. If you want to publish work you are proud of it’s very easy to do and it won’t break your budget.

Here are a few tips that helped me out the second time around:

  1. Copyright your material-If you don’t want to pay the fee to take a copy of your manuscript, email to yourself with the title For Copyright Purposes Only. This is a considered “A Poor Mans Copyright” this is a cheaper way to establish ownership until you register.
  2. Set out a realistic budget for your cover art, editing and formatting fees.
  3. Work with your cover artist to design a cover to fit your genre.
  4. Don’t settle for the first publishing site you find. There are plenty of sites that offer different promotions to fit your budget and your needs.
  5. Set a realistic goal for writing and editing. This isn’t NaNoWriMo you don’t need to stress out over creating a novel in a month. My novel took a year to complete from the original conception.
  6. Check out some of the writing groups on Facebook. There’s a group of every genre. Amazon has a group dedicated to promoting your work.
  7. Use Beta readers to critique your work. I’ll explain how that works in a later blog.
  8. Network! Use social medium to drive your work. I have met some amazing writers, publishers and editors here in Orlando and across the country.
  9. Believe in your goals. Writing requires an idea along with a ton of dedication.
  10. Good luck and happy writing! Remember you have all the tools you need to be successful.


This simple tips helped me out a ton. I hope you can take some inspiration for me as I did my writing friends.

Always Candid,


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(Cover photo’s courtesy of Author Elle Henry, A Girl & Her Books Publishings)


You’ve written your novel…now what?

You’ve written your novel…now what?

Creating and publishing a piece of work is considered to be a huge accomplishment. The last year has been an emotional event for me. My first novel titled More Than Words… It focuses on a sixteen year old named Ansley Stevenson with a severe panic disorder from a kidnapping by a drug-abusing aunt when she was a child. Ansley just wants normalcy in a world full of over-bearing parents, psychiatrist and medication. She doesn’t want to be know as “that girl” anymore. I think the hardest part in finishing this novel was the revision of my years as a teenager who just wanted to read books and work in a library. People thought I was weird, because I loved to read so much. Part of me understood the angst this character was dealing with. In this novel I was able to tap into a place of writing that I wasn’t even aware existed. I learned a lot about cognitive therapy and the many way child psychologist effectively treat children with behavioral disorders.

When I decided to pursue this career professionally, I never imagined that I would be in a situation in which I able to publish not one, but two books in the span of 15 months. Now mind you my first release was a series of poems and short stories that allowed more freedom of expression. Working on this new novel has placed me in a situation where I am no longer writing just for my personal gain. I’m writing to gain a following within a specific genre. That’s mainly why I haven’t been blogging as much, this novel has taken up a wonderfully huge amount of my time!

I wanted to create something with a lasting impression I could be truly proud of. Writing I assert is something not easy given, no must truly love this art form. A talent sent from a higher power and its something that takes a ton of research and dedication. Now that I’m in the editing phase of the process, the roller coaster ride that’s become of this journey is winding down. Writing takes on many hats in the creative process, but what do you do once you’ve finished writing? Am I supposed to cheer and celebrate or continue writing. Do I take time out to catch up on current events? Maybe I could read the pile of books that I’ve purchased in the recent months from Barnes and Noble. Maybe I should start that YouTube page that many have suggested? I have to admit that’s a funny idea me writing and rambling online all day!

What am I do? Yes, I eventually would like to write a sequel to this novel. It touches on teenage angst, loss of innocence and the emotional coping of love for the first time. My friends think I should take a break to recharge, but what if I lose time that could be focused on another project. Usually around this time of the year I would be outlining my National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo manuscript. Now I ask myself what is next? Yes, of course there is the process of marketing and promoting this novel. I’m a self-published novelist this huge big business task of publishing relies solely on my shoulders. Whatever I decide to do it will include blogging more. I miss my rants and raving on pop culture and taking to the wonderful people in Orlando!

P.s. my new novel More Than Words… will be available next month via Amazon, Barnes and Nobel and iBook’s. Here’s a peek at the wrap of the cover, I’ll keep you posted on the book release!

Courtesy of Author Elle Henry.

Courtesy of Author Elle Henry.

Forever candid,

Elle <3


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