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:

 Pieces_of_Me__A_Coll_Cover_for_Kindle

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 copyright.gov 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,

Elle

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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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NaNoWriMo-Day 14 Have you crashed yet?

 

courtesy of nanowrimo.org

                  Courtesy of nanowrimo.org

For all the non writer types NaNoWriMo is contest based in the month of November to celebrate writer National November Writers Month visit NaNoWriMo.org. Each year writers from all walks of life come together with the trusty MacBookPro and an attempt to write a novel of 50,000 in 30 days. A daring task some my say and yet many of my friends have won every year.  This contest is about self-assurance and the drive you have to get your work out to the public masses. Last year was my first year I admitted that I wasn’t prepared for the contest and I didn’t utilize many the resources the site provided to me. There are many types of writers. Here are a few I have met. I personally I have done quite better this year than the latter and I owe that all to making friends and utilizing the tools to help me success. It’s day fourteen now and my word count is 11,774 it’s a number that I am proud of because it’s double than what I started and ended with last year and I plan on finishing NaNo with a complete novel that I love. I writing something that I have passion about, so at times I fall into the three categories: The Frantic, The Overachiever and The Floater The Frantic typer is the one person trying to make that unreachable word for the day. But he will stay up all night high on caffeine and lack of sleep to make it to 10k words to reach the reach milestone.

The frantic typer

 The Frantic typer

The Overacheiver she has reached her word count for the day, so she posts all over Facebook and Instagram to rub it in your face.  You laugh and this person because you know that their lives truly suck.

The Overachiever writer

The Overachiever writer

The Floater is the hare in the race the one you never would expect to when because he’s to bust goofing around not taking the competition as serious you are and his word count 987! He doesn’t care about limitations only writing with the words find him.

200-3

This is my NaNo update for now. I will be on the 20th when the winning starts!

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Happy Writing,

Elle

Photo Courtesy of NaNoWritMo.org

NaNoWriMo-Orlando 2014

Are you ready Orlando Novelist?

I can honestly say this year being my second year I am more equipped than the previous. Last year I was stressed, nervous and unprepared. I didn’t understand that National Novel Writing Month or “NaNoWriMo” for short is all about writing and that’s it. This competition is about finishing your rough draft and worrying about the revision of your story later. Here’s a few tips that I learned to help with from burning out.

-Outline your story, trust me it helps with time management!

-Set a daily word count that you can achieve (50,000 is a lot in 30 days) and increase as you go.

-Utilize the NaNo forum there’s ton of information and many writers feeling the same anxiety.

-Again just write…this contest is celebrating your inner writer, remember that.

-Find a writing buddy (Add me AvidReader81), get to know people in your region and participate in the write in’s.

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You and Your Writing Buddy

If you are in the Orlando region the first write in is:

Saturday, November 1st,

12am – Sun, November 2, 12am Starbucks,

6075 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, FL 34747

I will be there that Saturday afternoon from 10am-5pm, you can’t miss me. I’ll be the one hovering over the Macbook in braids in red glasses. Remember just grab a pen and write, don’t stress about the critics. When it’s all said and done someone will love it.

Happy Writing,

Elle

Follow me on twitter @AvidWriterElle

Like my Facebook page at Facebook.com/AuthorElleHenry

Avid Writer Elle

I’ve always had the urge to be a writer. Reading and creating stories has always been the pleasure against my pain. Leaving the profession (steady paycheck) world behind and deciding to write full time was brave. Why might one ask? Well in writing, you’re throwing yourself to wolves for a critique. Open to judgment and thick-skinned you must become, because it’s not for the faint hearted. I myself had to do some deep soul searching to make sure I was up for the challenge. Whether this was something of a fad or a trend or was I really ready to immerse myself fully in my silent passion and that answer was yes. I was ready to share my private writing and thoughts with the world and also educate myself in all forms of creative writing. Writing was always an outlet for me as a way to express feelings, and I wanted to write professionally because doing it made me the happiest. It didn’t matter if I sold 50 million copies, or a number one on the New York Times bestsellers list. All that sounds nice; However, If my writings touched or inspired one soul than then my mission was successful. I know some may deem that a lie, but it was the words from Sylvia Plath’s “Ariel” that I read back I’m high school, which made me believe this silent pastime could be my reality. So, yes I believe small gestures can turn into big dreams and I dream big. This is one dream that I am glad that I shared, because it’s now my reality as “Avid Writer Elle” and this is my life as a writer.

Writing became a form of coping for me during a time in which I thought the rug was being pulled from over me. I was under a great deal of stress that caused my health to decline. Two surgeries later, I was very complacent needing an outlet. I began to journal again it was a big release. It became a way to escape into to my imagination. For the first time in years I had a voice again, my creative mind was finding it’s way to paper again. But, I wasn’t ready to share, that was the end of 2011. It would be another year before I would find the courage to believe in myself and fight for my work.

As I headed into 2013, I began to see things clearly and I realized that life was too short. Yes, I was in fact a dreamer; I had yet to achieve my goal. I decided that my destiny and my decisions are not determined by others. Writing was the passion that gave me joy and happiness. In mid July 2013 that passion became my career fulltime with my backing of my husband. Soon thereafter I started on the manuscript to my book titled “Epiphany”.

I remember that day last July like it was yesterday. My mind is always busy; however that day everything was calm. Although, the weather was arguably different, it was raining. I was at my mom’s house, sometimes I would go over just to set on the porch and watch nature do its work. I love rainy summer days and this day didn’t disappoint. I remember the bronze clouds roaring across the pages in the sky. The water pouring down musically droplets on the green earth and I thought I should capture this moment with words. Taking out my journal that never left my side. I began to write about a woman desperate in her life and lonely for love. That day I envisioned Allison Jacobs the main character in my story. It was almost as if the day I created Allison Jacobs was in was the day I started my rebirth as a full time writer. Thinking back about it now, it was my “Ahh Ha” moment of clarity. The voice of suppressed was no longer it had begun to soar.

It’s my true belief that anyone can become a writer if you have the voice. That’s why I always advocate for independent authors, we have a voice and we deserve a chance.  Additionally, I would like to inspire others to seek the impossible. I’m still editing that manuscript, but throughout that journey I self-published a book of poems and stories titled “Pieces of Me” now that’s not a plug. It’s a testament that you can do anything if you have determination and a dream.

That’s me…Elle