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Category: Guest Post (Page 1 of 2)
DISCLAIMER: This content has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS by Virtual Author Book Tours. No compensation was received. This information required by the Federal Trade Commission.
Judging a Book by the Cover: Myth or Reality?
By Andrea Waltz
So as not to have you waiting in anticipation for the answer here, it is no myth. It is reality. Books get judged all the time based on the cover and we all know it – we all do it.
We made the painful decision to change the book cover of our paranormal suspense series, Onyx Webb right after publishing book three in our ten book series. I say painful, not just because of the expense, which was significant in dollars and time, but because we knew that the story deserved better. Quite frankly, we deserved better because we didn’t love it! (And if we were honest, probably no one else loved it either – we never got one positive comment about it.) But, we had designed the cover at the beginning of creating the story and so when it came time to publish, it was what we went with.
However, as we continued to write and plot books for Onyx Webb, it no longer felt like it belonged to our story. We wanted something white and stark and this cover was dark. The images on the front no longer seemed as meaningful and come into the series so late. And under no circumstances did we want a ghost woman walking through a cemetery. Or a great looking guy with a concerned look on his face, cute girl hanging on his shoulder, looking equally as intense.
People, things… nothing made sense for our cover until we found the skull and the graphic edging for the cover. Luckily, we were able to keep the Onyx Webb logo which we both love for the web inside the ‘O’ in Onyx. It’s both creepy and feminine at once.
Is the new cover perfect? Well, we get a lot of wonderful comments. That’s new. And we truly love it. And that matters to us more than anything.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz are a married writing team. Most well known for their business fables, they’re professional speakers who teach audiences on how to overcome fear of failure and rejection. The Onyx Webb Series is their first serious dive into fiction.
Richard and Andrea have been in love with creating stories together since they met almost twenty years ago and even spent some time in Hollywood writing screenplays, being represented by the producer of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Their favorite genres are suspense, thriller, crime and anything of a paranormal nature which is how Onyx Webb turned into a mash-up of all their favorites!
Buy Onyx Webb, Book Two by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton
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Self Publishing Never Changes… Except it Changes All the Time
by Mark Levine author of The Fine Print of Self Publishing
When the first edition of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing came out in 2004, it was only available as a PDF because I had no idea how to get it into a format that could be published as an actual print book. I have come a long way in the past 11 years and so has the book. I’ve learned about all aspects of book creation, and using what I learned while researching the book, I started a publishing company that has helped thousands of authors publish, distribute, market, and sell their books. The Fine Print, too, has evolved over that period of time. The sixth edition will be released in February 2016, and will have the most up to date information possible about an industry that is evolving quickly. So much has changed since that first edition, that in some ways, it is a totally new book.
Writing a book about an industry that is transforming so fast is challenging. One of the ways I’ve kept it relevant is by focusing on the concepts that never change. While self-publishing service providers come and go, some things that always remain the same are; the language in the contract terms and what it means for authors, how excessive printing markups can affect a book’s ability to compete in the marketplace, and how the royalty percentages retained by some self publishing providers take money right out an author’s pocket. While I have always covered these items in all editions of the book, I previously did so with individual detailed reviews of each publisher’s service offerings. This format was problematic because it was difficult for a reader to get a feel for how one company’s printing markups, for example, compared to that of another.
Attempting to compare all of the services in one company’s publishing package to that of another company can also be like comparing apples and oranges. Because of this, when I wrote the fifth (and currently available edition) of The Fine Print, I took out many of those details. Instead, I included comparison charts of specific aspects of major self-publishing companies so it’s obvious how they stack against each other in areas where it’s easy to compare them head-to-head. I also focused more on the information that matters most to me as an author (and hopefully to other authors) by thoroughly explaining the following items:
- Printing Markups – given that most publishers use the exact same printer, you might like to know that some companies don’t mark up the printing at all while others mark it up in excess of 259%.
- Royalties – for the exact same book (price, page count, binding, etc.) it’s possible that one company pays an author a royalty of $.94 while others pay $3.00 or more.
- Return of Production Files – Some companies will return these to you for free while others won’t ever give them to you. Read my book to learn why having them matters.
Over the years, and through all editions of The Fine Print, I have noticed that what doesn’t change is how each company handles the crucial items mentioned above. Of all of the parts of the book that continually need updates based on a changing industry, printing markups, royalties, etc., have barely changed at all.
I not only try to keep The Fine Print relevant by updating information about publishers, in each edition I add new sections geared toward today’s author and market. For my upcoming edition, I decided to see how difficult (or easy) it was to submit my manuscript through some of the DIY providers like Createspace, Smashwords, and IngramSpark. I did it the same way many authors do, by just uploading a Word file and hoping for the best. The results were quite interesting to say the least. It would literally be a spoiler to give the results away, but it’ll be one of the most interesting parts of the sixth edition! So, stay tuned.
If you’re still reading this and you email at mark (at ) hillcrestmedia (dot) com with “I’d Love a Free Copy” in the subject line, I’ll mail you a copy of the fifth edition of The Fine Print for free. I have a few boxes left and I want the books to find a good home before the the sixth edition comes out. It’s like adopting a puppy, except way less work and totally different.
DISCLAIMER: The following has been provided to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS by Premiere Virtual Author Book Tours. No compensation has been received for this content. This disclaimer provided by requirement of the Federal Trade Commission.
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing (April 20, 2014)
Category: Mystery, Soft Science Fiction, Technothriller, Humor, Quirky
Tour Date: Oct/Nov, 2015
Available in: ebook, 166 Pages
Ben Harris’s sister died of cervical cancer more than three years ago… his best friend and her husband, Roger Keswick, disappeared the day before the funeral. For the next six months everyone from the local police to the Department of Defense searched for him but to no avail… it was as if he had simply fallen off the face of the planet only to reappear at work as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
Then by the purest of coincidences Ben finds himself pulled back into Roger’s life only to discover he has remarried… to Jessica… a woman the looks, sounds and acts just like his dead sister. To complicate things Roger is insistent his home, his car, his life is infested with tiny elf like creatures he calls the Katoy. He claims they run massive machines under his house and watch his every move… every move that is until Jessica is found bludgeoned to death in his living room and Roger is nowhere to be found . . . again.
Guest Post by Tegon Maus on THE POWER OF WORDS:
The Power of words… I had to think about this. How hard is this? Very, right ? “Go West young man !” “Remember the Alamo !” “We gotta sink the Bismarck !” “We have nothing to fear but fear itself !” All pretty powerful if you think about it… doubly so for “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
Think about it… an enemy that was taking over Europe… one that was openly trying to take over the world no less… that was killing thousands of people every day ! If that wasn’t enough they suddenly start to bomb the living hell out of you with a brand new technology that only existed in Sci-fi stories… V rockets. How terrifying would that be? Bombs falling relentlessly from the sky and you’re told “you have nothing to fear but fear itself.” And that, believe it or not, did the trick. I think words are not enough. I think it takes something to relate too.
Something beyond the ordinary, something that captures what people are thinking, what they’re feeling … or if we’re lucky something that grabs everyone’s imagination. Words… the right words… can change things. Sometimes it’s for the better sometimes not so much so. With the right words you can, bend the will of the people, gather them together and lead a nation.
With the power of words I can fly you to the far end of the Galaxy and back. I can tell you all about the strange and wonderful things to see… all the worlds and all the people who live on each. I can make you fall in love with the most homely man on the face of the world or hate the most beautiful of creatures… if I turn them just right, put them in just the right order I can make you believe I am the Sci-Fi writer you want to read for the rest of your life… just saying. I have no interest in leading nations… I’m a simple dream kind of a guy.
Praise for Machines Of the Little People by Tegon Maus:
“Tegon Maus is an author that I read when I need a wild and crazy ride! His characters are always so quirky and unique. I am pretty sure I’ve never encountered the type of characters that are in these books in any other books! They’re hilariously flawed and extremely well-developed. They could just walk off the page…though you wouldn’t want them to. I just absolutely recommend this science fictiony type of book to those of you who appreciate great, quirky characters and wild, conspiracy theory type plots. I am seriously glad that I was introduced to his writing.”-Christy Maurer, Christy’s Crazy Corners
“As the saying goes, it takes all sorts. This is certainly the case with the characters in this story. As this story unfolds the characters are all so amazing, from psychic elderly ladies, to nine ‘sisters’ and sinister spy like characters and agents. Then, if that is not exciting enough, add to the equation a blossoming love affair, secret research projects and deadly weapons and you soon come to realise that this book is captivating from the first page.
Oh, and don’t forget those little people – and their machines…”-Susan Keefe, Book Reviews by Susan Keefe
“The SF angle was pretty neat, but the mystery is what drives the story. The characters come alive, and the writing is fast-paced and exciting, keeping the reader turning the pages.”- Virginia E. Johnson, Amazon Reviewer
Tegon Maus was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends he could conjure. Not that he wasn’t friendly, he just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe he lived in his head way more than he should have, maybe not. He liked machines more than people, at least he did until I met his wife.
The first thing he can remember writing was for her. For the life of him he can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married him shortly after that. He spent a good number of years chasing other dreams before he got back to writing.
It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. His wife and himself had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.
He was thrilled. If there is one thing he enjoys it’s making people believe him and he likes to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mind you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not. When he writes, he always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, he guarantees you, nothing, makes him happier.
He has consistently placed in the top 3 in 189 writing contest in a variety of genres and has been featured in magazines a couple of times to raise money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Buy Machines Of the Little People by Tegon Maus:
Follow the Machines Of the Little People by Tegon Maus Tour:
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 6 Tour Kick Off & Giveaway
Fandom Monthly Magazine Oct 7 Review & Giveaway
INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS Oct 13 Guest Post
Lovely Little Reviews Oct 14 Review & Giveaway
Lisa’s Writopia Oct 15 Review & Guest Post
Cassandra M’s Place Oct 20 Excerpt & Giveaway
Father, Writer, Logistical Wizard Oct 23 Review
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 29 Review
What U Talking Bout Willis? Nov 4 Guest Post & Excerpt
Pomegranate Radio Nov 13 Review
Lady of Books Nov 16 Review & Interview
The Self-Taught Cook Nov 25 Excerpt & Giveaway
Deal Sharing Aunt Nov 27 Interview