Tag Archives: indie author

Indie Author of the Week

TGIF, my loyal readers. Hope you have some awesome weekend plans in the works. If you’re like me, you are planning on getting out and enjoying some sunshine. At least I think the sun is going to shine in Oregon this weekend. Regardless, it’s the weekend so who cares?

Notice how I alternate between Indie Author of the week and Indie Book of the week? Indie “book” simply means that they have at least one book that rocks. Indie “author” means that I personally feel the author has some serious potential to make it big.

So without further adieu, my Indie Author of the Week is Mason McCann Smith. This guy rocks. Trust me when I tell you to purchase one or all of his books because you’ll be glad you did. I had the pleasure of discussing books and writing over a cup of coffee with Mason last week. He’s not only an amazing author, but a very interesting, cool guy. I started reading, “The Stained Glass Virgin” last night and let me say that I’m enjoying it.

I do want to add that he’s had a book published by Random House, so he’s familiar with the process of traditional publishing.

You can buy his books and find out more about him here: He also offers services for writers, so add him to your list.

Have a great weekend! (Evin –

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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Is it possible to write a book when you also have a full-time job?

This is a BIG reason people give for not writing. Most of the time it is legit, which is why I choose to use the word “reason” rather than the word “excuse.” I’ll be the first to admit that yes, it’s very difficult to find the time to write (or can be) when you also hold down a full-time job. Throw family into the mix and you’re left with very little time. 


Steve Thompson with Yahoo Voices offers some helpful tips on exactly how to juggle your writing around your full-time job:

1. Put Aside Blocks of Time

While it is possible to write a book on the fly-fifteen minutes on the subway, five minutes between meetings-you’ll accomplish far more if you set aside time every day to work on your book. While you’re at work, realize that your full-time job deserves your complete attention. Wait to work on your book when you’re at home and free from distractions.

2. Get Excited About Writing

Writing a book when you have a full-time job requires a certain level of motivation. Unless you’re excited to sit down and work every evening or in the morning when you wake up, you won’t do it. So on the drive home from work or while you’re eating lunch at your desk, brainstorm ideas in your mind. Think about the next exciting scene or research you want to conduct, and you’ll create the motivation needed to work.

3. Talk to Your Family About It

Believe me, I know how difficult it can be to get your family to leave you alone for a couple of hours to work on your book. Your spouse and children want to spend time with you, so you’ll have to learn how to compartmentalize. Talk with your family about your desire to write a book and let them know how important it is. This will give them reasons to give you time to work after you come home from your full-time job.

4. Don’t Write Every Day

I know that I’ve probably just committed the seventh deadly sin for writers, but honestly, you can’t hope to write every day if you’re also juggling a full-time job. Your mind and body need a chance to recuperate from the stress of both work and writing. Choose one day every week when you don’t write at all-preferably not even an e-mail-to give yourself a chance to relax.

5. Write About What You Know

How many times have you heard that tid-bit of advice? This is especially crucial when you’re writing a book and working a full-time job. Writing about what you know will cut down on the research required to write a book. When you’re spending less time on the Internet or in the stacks at the library, you’ll get far more accomplished.

6. Give Up the Non-Essentials

This is probably not something you want to hear, but if you want to write a book when you have a full-time job, you’re going to have to give up a few things. If you’re used to spending Saturday morning at the breakfast table with the newspaper, you might want to give up that ritual and use that time to write. The same goes for long shopping excursions, sports night with the guys or spa day with the girls. Prioritize, and you’ll have far more time to write.

7. Set Realistic goals

You don’t have to write your entire first novel in two weeks, and if the idea of writing a full-length book fills you with dread, break it down. Decide that you’re going to write two chapters every two weeks, and the entire project will seem more manageable. When you have a full-time job, writing a book isn’t something you can do in a few hours or even a few weeks.

8. Don’t Take Too Much Time Off

We all know that full-time jobs are time-consuming, but you can’t allow yourself to quit writing for several days. I said earlier that you should take at least one day off each week, but don’t let that one day turn into five or six. It’s much harder to go back to the computer keyboard after a week than it is after just a day or two.

You get the picture (Evin Wilkins – – the most awesome independent publisher!)


Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Where indie authors find resources

Happy New Year! Hope it has started off great for everyone. I’m going to jump right into 2013 and get this party started. Many indie and brand new authors are lost, yes…LOST when it comes to writing or even starting to write.

The information I am about to share primarily has resources for those who wish to take the self-publishing route however, those hoping to take the traditional publishing route should also find some of the resources helpful as well. So I did a search and came across Ingrid Ricks and her free ebook, “A Resource Guide for Indie Authors.”

Without further adieu: A-Resource-Guide-for-Indie-Authors2.

Ingrid RicksIngrid Ricks


Just another day in Paradise (Evin Wilkins –


Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized


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How to pick a literary agent

Thinking on taking the traditional publishing route? You’ll probably need an agent. Let me say this first…you do not always need an agent however, if you are planning on submitting to the publishing house giants such as Bantam, Penguin, etc., then you will need one. In fact, most of the large publishing houses will only accept submissions from agents. 

That being said, how do you pick the right literary agent? Jeremie Kubicek ( shares how:

Choosing an agent to represent you in your publishing strategy can be overwhelming. Barnes and Noble and Amazon will sell you reference books with list after list of agents. The process can feel like job hunting if you are not careful.

Based on that I want to share with you how I chose my agent forLeadership is Dead and why I did. If you are writing a book this post could save you hours of headaches and provide clarity for your publishing plans.

1. Get your act together – organize your thoughts, clarify what you want before you talk to an agent. You won’t get much time to tell someone who you are, what you want and how you plan to change the world. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

2. Make a list of things you want in an agent. Most of you may not know, so let me share what I wanted.

a. My agent needed to get me and believe in me.
b. I wanted an aggressive team who could open many doors.
c. An agent needed to play in the world I am most comfortable in – business and leadership.
d. Noted success helps. Who they have worked for before gives me confidence.
e. Marketing is key. I needed someone who was adept in promotion, publicity and marketing because that is not the core strength of most publishers.
f. Available. While I am not high maintenance, I definitely needed some one to help me through the first time author process.

3. Ask other authors who they work with. There is nothing better than a reference. To cold call is to waste time. Find a credible author and ask them or find out who they use.

4. Interview face-to-face. Invest in a flight to meet with them and interview them as much as they interview you.

5. Ask them to walk you through the entire process. One, you will learn. Two, you will hear their philosophy. If there is no connection, move on. Hopefully a few phone calls before this meeting will sniff out any issues.

6. Have the right expectations. Realize that agents make money on advances and royalties. While the good agents will serve the whole process, their main focus is on the right author with the right content and distribution at the right time. Always remember how agents are motivated.

I called 4 agents or agent groups. Three of them were referred to me and one approached me. I eliminated one group because they were too closely aligned with other partners. I needed space and fresh ideas. Another agent was eliminated because they were too slick for me. The last two were hard for me because I really liked both of them. I felt one of them was better at the publishing process and the other better with marketing.

Based on all of this I chose to go with Dupree Miller and Shannon Marven as the lead agent. She is amazing. We have a close relationship and I try to help them as much as they help me. I was introduced to her through a business partner, Dr. Henry Cloud, who had great things to say. Their track record was strong, but more than that I felt they knew my market best out of any and specifically Shannon knows who I am and believes in my mission.

There are many other outstanding literary agents. While I didn’t choose them I would recommend Chip Shuneman, the former publisher of Time Life books, and Chris Ferebee of Yates and Yates. While I have never worked with Robert Wolgemuth I have heard great things about him as well.

I hope this gives you a bit more insight and helps you in your pursuit. Good luck and happy writing!

Just another blog post by Mr. Guru (aka Evin Wilkins at:

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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized


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A Training Budget

How often have you overspent on a “deal” that was guaranteed to help increase your income, but left you broke instead? How many times have you lacked the funds necessary to buy that eBook that could teach you ways to improve your marketing strategy? If you’re like most Independent Authors, myself included, the times for either scenario are many. So what can you do to safe-guard against those ups and downs in your finances and take control of your spending? Budget.

If your primary goal is to continue to improve yourself, whether that means your writing or how you market your product, having money allocated specifically to continued education assures you that the money is there when you need it without having to ask the dragon (aka credit cards) to fit the bill. Using a budget for those funds also forces us to think before we buy.

Michael Martine of RemarkaBlogger suggests in his post “The Most Important Question You Need to Stop Asking Yourself“* that you first set training goals, something specific like learning how to take advantage of social media to market your book, and then take a look at how you spent your “training” money in the past year. (If you’ve read The Money Book you’re a step ahead already.)

From there he tells us to set our quarterly budget by taking the amount we’re comfortable with spending over a year and dividing it by four. As Michael says setting a training budget helps us decide between what is a good buy and what would make us “the victim of others for their gain.”

What I really like about this approach is that, while we’re setting a spending limit, it’s based on past experience. As Simple Life in France puts it in “How to budget for inspiration not deprivation” by building a budget at the end of the month, or in this case upon last year’s spending, “your budget is just an honest friend here to tell you the truth about the way you spend your money. You’re making observations, not judgments.” As my mentor, FlyLady Marla Cilley, says, in order to improve ourselves we need to get rid of the “stinkin’ thinkin’.” That means not beating ourselves up each time we overspend, but rather making an effort to do better this month.

If you want to budget for your continued training, basing it upon last year’s spending and reviewing it at the end of each month can be a real stress reliever, especially when you can congratulate yourself for staying within your limits on The Road to Writing.

– Virginia Ripple (

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


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