Sunday Scoopful and #ROW80

On Saturday, November 9th, we had another speaker for our NH Chapter of Romance Writers. We meet in Bow, NH the second Saturday of the month from September to June. Each month we have a speaker to give us tidbits on what they found worked best for them as in writing or promoting.

So yesterday, we had a visit from none other than – wait for it – wait – Marie Force. That’s right. She was our speaker.

What she brought to us was tidbits on being a hybrid author. You see, she is not only traditionally published but she is a self-pubbing author as well. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak in person than take it, she has a lot of insight into what comes into factor for being a hybrid author.

She spoke mostly about the importing things a self-published author needs to know before hitting the mighty publish button.

  1. Write a book that is not just good – but great. Make sure your plots are sound and your characters are likeable.
  2. Have your book professionally edited. It is costly but well worth the money spent. That is copy-edited for the most part. They are the ones who pick up on a lot of grammar problems and spelling problems, maybe a proofreading error or two.
  3. Use a professional designer to make your book covers. Book covers do have a huge impact on whether your book is going to attract a reader.
  4. Make sure your manuscript is properly formatted. If you can’t figure out how to format your book then pay someone to do it for you. Lots of times sites like Smashwords will tell you to try again if the formatting is not correct. But if it takes you more than five tries and you still don’t get it or all your hair has been pulled from the top of your head then you really need to seek out a formatting service to take care of your manuscript properly for you.
  5. Even eBooks do need front matter. This is where you put the name of the book followed by author name then published by and so on. Smashwords has good examples of this in their style guide that is free for everyone to read and use.
  6. Every book needs an ISBN. Or should read, every different format of you book needs its own ISBN. That means that an eBook needs its own for ePub and Mobi, PDF and so on. Right down to making sure that you have a separate one for you paperback. You can’t use the same ISBN for all the books under that same title. Each one has to have its own.
  7. You need to distribute your book. This can be done by setting up an account with the various venues like Amazon Kindle Direct, Barnes & Noble Nook Press, Kobo Writing Life and so on. Or you can do the one shoe fits all and use Smash words for you distribution needs. (Note: you still need a separate account for Amazon Kindle Direct when using Smashwords unless you are a bestselling author, otherwise, if you are not a bestseller, Amazon will not open their distribution gate for your Smashwords file. So it is best to work with amazon direct in the beginning.)
  8. Promoting your book. Marie found that Facebook was the best social media avenue when it came to promoting your book. This is without posting multiple posts about your book. Just engage with your readers and treat them the way you would love to be treated and word of mouth about your book and how nice you are really makes a difference in how well your book sells. Readers love to say my friend – so and so – Facebook link – wrote a book that I loved. This is so good for you and your reader. Let them have at it. Friends are some of your best readers. Believe me; everyone wants to be someone’s friend.
  9. If your book is not selling, revisit it and take a peak to see why. If the cover needs to be improved than change it. If your formatting is not good enough than fix it. Update your books periodically so they can keep pace with the ever changing face of technology.

If you need help with your self-published book Marie has a solution for this as well. She runs a service called
Formatting Fairies
. They do everything from formatting to copy editing and book cover design. She also has a self-pub loop at

ROW80 Update: My NaNo Work in Progress

It has been a couple of weeks since I last checked in or maybe just over a week. I’ve been working on a Nano project for this month. It will be interesting to see how far I can get with this WIP. I missed two days this week and fell short on word count on one day too. As of yesterday my word count sits at 7k words. I might be done after the first of the year. (LOL)

I have to keep telling myself that the best I have done is writing a first draft in 90 days. That is still not too bad. So if I don’t make the NaNo deadline I will not beat myself up over it.

Next weekend Sunday Scoop: Monadnock Writers’ Group

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Monadnock Writers’ Group Meeting Minute and #ROW80 Check-in

It is the third Saturday of the month and time once again to let you all know how my monthly Monadnock Writers’ Group happened to be. Our speaker for today was Hilary Weisman Graham. I met her a few months ago when she spoke at our NHRWA meeting in Bow, NH. That time she had told us all about the marketing things one should not do. This time she spoke about her other form of writing that she feels she loves even more than writing fiction. She is a screenwriter at heart.

Hilary wrote a YA Contemporary a year ago called Reunited. I still have yet to read it. Winter is coming. There should be plenty of time to read then.

Her explanation of what she had to go through to pitch a screenplay for TV Shows, explained how difficult that kind of writing tends to be. It is a never ending battle to come up with the right story line, the right characters, and what they are looking for in a screenplay during that actual moment. Many screenplays are tossed in the file after file to become lost in time.

She was asked about the difference between managers and agents. Hilary said that the managers are more personal, and she can cry on her manager’s shoulder about things easier than crying on an agents shoulder. The relationship tends to be closer.

All in all, I found her screenplay presentation much more enjoyable and funny. Thanks Hilary. Hope to see you again soon and good luck on your screenplays.

Other News:

Along Came Neil is up on Smashwords – finally.

I don’t believe I will bother taking part ever again in the Kindle Select program, especially now that Smashwords has come out with the prerelease feature. I really do like Smashwords so much more than any other venue. The meat grinder was my nemesis in the past, but I do believe I may have conquered that. Now I just need to wait for them to approve the file for their catalogue. In the meantime I have a little treat for my readers. I have a coupon code to share with all of you and if you want you are free to share this code with your friends and your friends’ friends, and their connections too. So please pass it around. I am hoping to get some ratings and reviews if possible in exchange for this code.

For your Free eBook in your choice of format. Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: MH37M – Not Case Sensitive
Expires: November 19, 2013

ROW80 Check-In:

I missed my check in for Wednesday. So much for my goal of not missing a post, but I won’t give up on that goal just yet. I plan on trying again and again until I finally meet that goal without having to force myself to make the posts.

What I do have to report: I started working on the next Orgarlan Book. The first 1k words are done. I will give it a shot again tomorrow and see what kind of word count I can get before noon time. I know that 3k would be too much to ask for, but then again, that can be about the same length of a chapter, so one never knows.

How’s your writing going this week? I would love to hear from you. Do you attend writing groups? Who have your speakers been?

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