Saturday, April 15, 2017

by E.A.Peterson

HAPPY EASTER

Finally, a long weekend. For this occasion, I wanted to introduce you to CUDDLES.

YES, I have a polished MS for early readers about a pet rabbit named Cuddles.

The first draft was slightly over 10K words. The story was too long according to my editor for the age group. I cut out everything regarding Amie that wanted a pet rabbit and ended up with 6K words. It was tough because I loved my original story - obviously.

Now I have Amie and her grandparents as sidekicks and Cuddles as the main character/heroine.

The original book burb was:

Cuddles, a rabbit, has recently been adopted by a little girl, Amie. When Amie goes back to school, she has no time left to dedicate to her rabbit. Cuddles feels lonely as she looks through the wire mesh at wild rabbits running around in the field. She decides to escape from the hutch in search of friendship. She must adapt to her new environment and the dangers it presents. Will Cuddles manage to make friends in the wilderness? Will she survive? How will Amie react to the fact that her pet rabbit ran away?
Now for the revised edition of Cuddles:
A pet rabbit is determined to be free and manages to escape twice. Venturing into the wild in search of friendship she meets wild rabbits, Hopper and his family. Cuddles learns to adapt to her new environment and the dangers it presents. With a sly fox on their tracks, Cuddles regrets leaving her cozy hutch, but becomes a heroine when real danger threatens.

Which book blurb intrigues you the most? Instead of an early reader, could it be a MG fiction? What if I decided on publishing the original version?

I have submitted to various agents, and hope to find a home for my book. I think it’s only a question of time and patience. In case it takes too long to publish my book and before my hair turns gray, I may consider self-publishing. I have a mock-up for the cover and a few rough sketches for the interior. Although I would prefer finding an agent or publisher because self-publishing is a lot of work but not impossible.
Cover

Hopper and Cuddles at the pond




The sly fox.

Grandma rabbit waiting for Hopper and Cuddles to return.




This is it folks, just a quick note to wish you Happy Easter. Have a great weekend.


P.S. If you are writing a MG book and need some tips from the experts, try the Children’s Book Academy.  Click here.
OR check out the ChapterBook Writing Blueprints with Laura Backes and Alice Kuipers
I've taken both courses and I am enthusiastic. Both offer a lot of information and tips, with webinars, FB groups, mini critiques on your pitch etc. Look them up. There is always something new to learn.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Women's International Day

By E.A.Peterson

I thought I would write a few lines for Women s Day. We deserve to be respected but we must also respect the weaker sex. Yeswomen are no longer the weaker sex. Some women are stronger than some men, even in a relationship. I cant see why they call women the weaker sex - not in the 21st century.

Here is a list of aspects that make us the stronger sex (sometimes):

-          We are versatile.

-          We go to work every morning, BUT, the first rush hour takes place at home. In an hour, we have fed everyone in the house breakfast, prepared their lunch and loaded the dishwasher andand, you know how it is.

-          Our husband has already gone out the door and we get to drive the kids to school.

-          We rush through the traffic to get to work on time, otherwise, the weaker sex could find something to bring us down if were late. We dont want to use the excuse that we had to drive the kids to school and there was traffic etc. No excuses girls. Not if we want to be as efficient as our male colleagues. RIGHT?

-          After a hard days work, we rush out and do the groceries, pick up the kids, rush home and prepare dinner. All the while we listen to our childrens problems, help them with homework, etc.

What happens when HE comes home? Is dinner ready, I had a bad day today. Of course, dinner is ready, and the kids are all sitting at the kitchen table waiting for him to sit down so they can dig into the food. After dinner, the men usually go sit in front of the TV to relax while we clean up the kitchen. Then we give the kids their bath and tug them in for the night.

This was the routine when my kids were still living with us. Now they are grownups.

On the other hand, if women want to be regarded as equal partners to men, they must work harder and not complain. Which is not fair. I know its tough.

We own a family business and I help any way I can.  What do I do? Just anything. I work in the plant. I stand in front of a CNC, in other words, a numerically controlled lathe all day or I work at the industrial band saw. I take care of the accounting and deliver and pick up goods. OhI also clean the office and the plant. Its a lot of work for a woman but if you like your job and especially if you are your own boss its worth it.

I believe that if both parents work all day, both parents or couple must help each other. He can load the washing machine and iron. She can cut the grass. I hate it when I hear my girlfriends say, I dont cut the grass or prune the trees, its a mans job. Then, they complain they are not equal partners to men. Well sorry.

The couple can take turns at various jobs around the house. Wouldnt it be nice if we got home and he prepared dinner, while we put up our feet and watched TV? Some men are better cooks than women and they enjoy it. Let them do it for goodness sake, even if it means you clean up the kitchen afterward. All a couple must do to get along when both have careers is set up the rules in the household. Who does what and when thats it. 
For example, some men may have more time on hand and dont mind bringing the kids to school or washing the dishes. Let him do it.

Its just a question of communication
.

HAPPY WOMENS DAY

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Read your manuscript out loud

As suggested by many authors,  and editors - to pinpoint if your story is working out or not, you should try reading it out loud. What I did was record it. I then listened to my recording the following day. Half way through there was a long pause.
There was noise in the background, I had forgotten to pause the recording.

I gathered from the background noise that I had gotten up from my desk to check the minestrone, (Italian soup).  Oh dear, I had burnt it, and it was stuck to the bottom of the pot. I tried to save it by pouring it into another pot hoping that my husband wouldn’t notice the burnt taste.

I went on listening to the recording hoping to have the time to get to the end before he came home for dinner. He was late that night so I did manage to listen to the whole recording.

 Don’t ever ask me to narrate an audio book. There were so many pauses and sighs in between, no kid would want to listen.

Listening further to the recording I heard myself saying Ah…oh… I burnt it. It was funny, you should try it. The pots and pans were clanging and I kept on sighing. Why?

 Because being authors is a tough job. Most authors have day jobs. I now realize how difficult it is to have a full-time job and try to write at the same time and give my family the attention they deserve.

 This said, I know I can’t do miracles, I am a multitasking mom, grandma, and wife, struggling to get those words down on paper no matter what. I am lucky to have such a patient husband.

Unfortunately, that evening I served the soup to my husband. He didn’t complain too much, he just said, ‘Ah… you burnt the minestrone… again.’

Oh…guess what’s for dinner tonight…minestrone. This time round I put the timer on.

This said, dear authors, don’t get discouraged, we will make it in the long run, all we need is patience and perseverance.  I hope you get a best seller out there one day.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Try to relax during the holiday season and stay with your family. We have all of 2017 to finish our drafts and get our books out there.



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Are you an unknown self-published author struggling to market your book?

Do you feel overwhelmed by the marketing process? 

I’ve been there and I know exactly what you are going through right now.

  I have found the answer. If you're impatient and pressed for time you can click here and find out right away. Otherwise, keep on reading.

As a new author, I was enthusiastic about publishing my first novella and overlooked a few important facts I should have considered before publishing my book.

I suggest the following:
  •  Finish your draft and let it sit in the drawer for a month then go back to it.
  • When you read it again, you will probably spot quite a few typos and  realize that your story  is not quite working out, am I right?
  • Re-write it and put it back in the drawer. Work on another book in the meantime and then go back to your MS. Read, read, read, and edit, edit, edit.
  •  When you’ve polished your prose and you feel satisfied with it, send it to an editor, not any editor, but a professional editor for line content, and proof reading. The editor will spot most of your errors, discrepancies in your plot, scenes, etc.

This is necessary if you want to have the best book possible on the market. It must meet the traditional publishing standards, even if you don't go the traditional way.

Now that you have your clean copy of your manuscript what do you do with it?

 If you are self-publishing, be patient because there’s a lot of work ahead and you’ll have to setup a budget for marketing your book, and find a cover and interior designer. Your book must attract your readers. You don’t want to create a cheap homemade book cover. You worked months, perhaps years on your manuscript why risk losing sales when you can invest now and have a chance to compete with other books on the shelves.

What about marketing your book, have you thought about it?

 I think this is the worst part of being a self-published author. I went nuts surfing the web on how to market my books, and lost a lot of writing time by doing so. I found loads of information some good and some misleading. I got on Twitter, Pinterest, and I created a Facebook account etc.

I attended many Webinars and took lessons on marketing and on how to create a platform. Without mentioning the books I bought on the subject. 

Then I read ‘How I sold 80,000 Books’ by Alinka Rutkowska.


It was a free copy at the time so I went for it. I read it in a few days taking notes as I went along. It answered all the questions I had been asking myself for the past two years.

 Should I terminate my contract with my publisher? I wasn’t going anywhere with my books. They were all in the wrong categories and there was too much competition.

 I like to have control and with that publisher I had my hands tied. I couldn’t monitor my sales, I couldn’t offer free books, I had no control over my book website etc. It was very frustrating to say the least. There was no return on investment whatsoever.

Let me put it this way, I am self—employed and I help run our family business, I manage the business, I am the book keeper and negotiate with the banks for the best interest rates and so on.

 I am in other words an Entrepreneur

That’s when I asked myself a question - why not do the same for my books? It’s tough, I know, and not everyone will be ready to commit to such an endeavor, but after reading ‘How I Sold 80,000 Books… I had finally found the answers I was looking for. I not only read the book , I joined AuthorRemake created by the same author. Author Remake is a series of video lessons that you can follow at your own leisure. It is jammed packed with all the information you need to successfully sell your books.

 Alinka holds you by the hand with a systematic method on how to market your books and make more sales. You can e-mail her and she will answer any questions you may have, and to me that's an asset.

 Did you ever hear about the Reader’s Magnet everyone is talking about? This is only the beginning. 

In her book you will also find where to get reviews for your books before you publish, with ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies) and how to get in the top ranks on Amazon. The book is packed with a lot of information.

I highly suggest you grab a copy of her book, and judge for yourself.

 I  got rid of the middlemen and will now be able to earn more royalties. After all, I did the hard work, I spent the money and time in marketing my books, why should I share my royalties. I have nothing against traditional publishers, but this time I want to try out this innovative marketing system.

There are a lot of possibilities out there for self-publishers, get out there and do it.

Let me know if this was useful.

Have a great week.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

There is no turning back.



Dear readers,  I have officially terminated my contract with my publisher.

Scary, now I’m on my own.

There is so much work needed in order to self or traditionally publish. The lack of time doesn't help much. I envy authors that can write full-time. 

So here is the last update. 

I would like to advise my readers, that my books will no longer be available on the major distribution channels. (Amazon, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Bowker Books-in Print, etc.) Some copies may still be available, but for a short time due to the relationship my publisher has with various printers and book distributors.
ISBN 9781504941457 – 9781504941464 Born to Please
ISBN 9781504991001 – 9781504991018 Gloria and Mrs. Tinkelbaum.



The second edition of my books will be available in 2017.

The publishing quest has begun once again. 


The next challenge will consist in updating my author platforms. 

Whoever said that from now on, everything is down hill, was WRONG. To reach the top you have to work hard.



  Have a great week. 

All pics in this post are from Pixabay. Click on the Pixabay link for more information about the crowdfunding for their App.





Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve been pretty busy editing my last children’s book.

 I am working on the illustrations at the moment. I have a few mock ups ready but still can’t decide what medium to use.

 I am still debating whether I should hire a designer for the book cover or go for a DIY.

There are so many steps that a self-published author must follow before publishing a book. I felt the whole process was too overwhelming for me to handle on my own until I met Alinka.


 I had the honour of personally speaking with Alinka Rutkowska. She is an award winning author, and coach. She is a marketing guru, young, intelligent and very determined. I was lucky to get a free copy of her How I Sold 80,000 Books


It recently won a Bronze Medal in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards in the Non-Fiction  Business/Finance category.

I highly suggest you get a copy. Alinka has a lot to offer. Check out her Blog.

I must get back to work.

Have a nice week.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Write from the heart, be authentic, and don’t follow the crowd.



I last posted a month ago.

During this lapse of time I took a very important decision regarding my writing career.

START FROM SCRATCH


It's time for change.
 
I will terminate my contract with my publisher and self-publish on Amazon, Create Space and Ingram Spark.
I have had too many unanswered questions and issues that I shall not discuss here.


As most writers know, it’s a tough world out there.

From trial and error, I have learned the hard way a very important fact about being an author in this competitive world. 

Don’t be led astray by listening or believing in people that claim they are experts in their field, especially about self-publishing. There is a vast amount of conflicting information on the web, and sadly, many scam victims as well.

 Do your research beforehand. 


Get references before you accept or sign any contracts to self- publish your book with a company you have never heard of. Many promise the moon, but the only thing you will be left with is an empty wallet.




Check out Writers Beware, or Predators and Editors (warnings) before hanging yourself and feeling sorry for it later.

As for our writing, I believe we must write from the heart and not write what agents, editors or publishers say they are looking for or because it’s what’s selling on the market right now.

I invent my stories from scratch, perhaps something that caught my eye, like a roof rat robbing my chicken eggs for example. It seemed strange to me that the day before there were two eggs in the nest and the next they had disappeared.

I borrowed my brother in laws camera and filmed the thief. The rat robbed the food and eggs during the night. Incredible stuntman, as soon as I figure out how to capture the whole scene and download it on the computer I’ll let you have a peak.


With this said, read many books in your niche, but don’t copy their ideas. Even if you feel that your idea for a story is ridiculous, put it down on paper, get that first draft finished and then put it aside for a while. 

Go back to it a month later and you may be amazed by the results. Then get friends, family, beta-readers to read your work. I have learned that feedback is very important. 

Perseverance and determination will help you reach your goals. You must be patient.

Concluding, I’ll be very busy this summer. I have to manage to get rid of my publisher hoping my books won’t be sold worldwide or worst, offered free on many websites for which I don’t get a penny in royalties.

When I send my publisher the termination letter, it should take Amazon one month to take them offline. As for all the other retailers, it could take up to a year and even so, there’s a good chance I will still see my books listed somewhere.

If I don’t post every week, now you know why, I have a lot of work to do this summer, and this time won’t s***w up.

I will keep you posted. Wish me luck.
Have a wonderful summer.


All pictures in this post are from Pixabay.