Don't rush to publish
One of my big problem is rushing to publish my books, and everything else I write. I also trust that my editor and formatter have done their job right. I learned my lesson over this last week.
My darling husband has never expressed an interest in reading my books at all. This week after a run of very good sales he asked to read the first book in the Green Lady Inn series, Broken Branches. He didn't find much wrong with book one in the series. Of course it was my first novel and I had three editors go over it before I published it.
Happy with the results of book one, I had him read book two, Whispers in time. that was a total revelation. The formatting was all over the place and there were several spelling and typo errors. Part of it was my fault. I added some reviews at the front of the book and threw all the formatting off. It took me a couple days to set it right and correcting all the spelling errors.
By that time he had read book three, Hidden Asset, I had republished book two. The formatting didn't get so messed in book three up but there were several spelling errors. I had spelled a persons name one way in the first two books and another way in the third. I'm a little surprised my editor didn't catch it.
I'm really embarrassed that I have been selling inferior books to readers, even though the reviews have been great.
Now fingers crossed, I've fixed all the errors we found on the Green Lady Inn series. I hope my readers stay with me and I do apologize for rushing to have these books published. It does give self-published authors a bad name. That's the last thing I want to do.
My husband is now reading Blood Orange. Again he is finding spelling mistakes my editor should have caught. When he finishes I'll make all the corrections.
I think I'm looking for a new editor. I've learned that you get what you pay for. I don't have a lot of money for editor and formatters. I'll have my husband read the proof copy before I approve and publish in the future.
This is a warning to every author out there, edit, edit and edit again.
If anyone out there has done something silly like this I'd love to hear from you.
We all make mistakes the honor is in owning up to them.
Thanks for reading my little rant and please leave a comment or ask a question.
Why going to events matter
Events matter to an author and I'll tell you why. Since the evolution of self-publishing more and more you will see independent authors like myself, and some traditionally published, at all kinds of events. I'll basically go anywhere they will have me from a church fete to a large book fair.
The big traditional publishers do very little to promote an author's book. A friends of mine I travel with occasionally is traditionally published and he is working his butt off to get noticed and find readers to buy his books.
Recently I went to two that I did really well at. I went to the S.W. Heritage Festival in Sarasota in February and Pioneer Days in Arcadia this past weekend. I love these events. I meet some wonderful people and have a great time.
I did well at these two because two of my adult mysteries. They are set in the area of Myakka and Arcadia. But my children's books also sold well there too.
You do have to think of your customer base when choosing which events to go to. I'm lucky down here as I get visitors from up north as well. I have a paranormal mystery series set in Salem Ma. that attracts the northern Snow Birds. The Green Lady Inn series now has three books and I'm working on the fourth. The first book in the series won an award in the Fall of 2017.
After the event you would be surprised at how many eBooks I sell. For a couple weeks I'll have a few sales here and there which is great.
Since I go to so many events I meet the same readers at the next event. Quite often if they have bought one and enjoyed it they will buy the next one.
I have used Vista print to make post cards the readers can take away with them. The cards have the front cover of the book and the back has the synopsis and where they can buy the book. I also include my website and a call to action. What is a call to action? I ask the reader to ask for my book at the local library. Some people would prefer to get a book for free from the library and will ask me "Is the book in the library". I do have my books in a couple library systems.
One of my children's books, Sailing Away to Nod, has been bought by the Sarasota Library System. If a requested book is not in their system the library will try and get it for the customer. It's still a sale for me.
I'm off to Venice FL on March 24 for the Venice Reading Festival. So far the weather looks perfect. There will be about seventy tents down there full of authors with books of all genre. Just being with that many authors is exciting.
Please leave a comment or ask a question. I'd love to hear from you.
Exploring Audio books
It's been a while since I've written here. Please forgive me and I'll try and do better. As some of you know I belong to a couple non-profit organizations here in Florida. For two years I was the president of the Sarasota branch of the National League of American Pen Women and I've spent the last six years as the president of ABC Books for Children & Adults. What with organizing, fund-raising and such there has not been much time left for me.
Surprisingly enough I did manage to crank out a new children's book and book three in the Green Lady Inn series last year.
I also helped a couple new authors publish their books and I'm consulting for another publisher in Sarasota.
So why am i exploring Audio books? I believe they are the coming thing and authors need to keep up with technology.
I have my first Audio book coming out in March 2018. I used ACX which is part of Amazon. I'm using Broken Branches for my first venture into this new area. If this comes out well I can have the next books on audio as well.
It's really an easy thing to accomplish as ACX walks you through it all in easy to follow directions. If you like audio books watch for Broken Branches on Audible in the next couple weeks.
From the active mind of Brenda M. Spalding