Tag Archives: indie publishing

How to sell your writing

Almost all writers are curious about this one. If you are one of these writers, read on. Waterman Words shares some good advice:

I have to share this beautiful anecdote by Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Kiyosaki is a self-made millionaire who began studying how to be rich as a child of nine years old. He was lucky: the father of his best friend was a businessman who was amassing an empire out of nothing.

When Robert and his best friend asked this man to teach them how to make money, they got even luckier. “Rich Dad” didn’t just laugh them off and tell them that they could come back when they grew up. Instead, he decided to teach the two kids about money, using real world experience as his teaching tool.

Kiyosaki learned well. He went on to to master the process of acquiring wealth with minimal investment. His philosophy is that no one should have to “work hard” for money. Instead, it’s much better to “work smart.” Do your research. Crunch the numbers. Look for opportunities. Once you get good at making money, he suggests, you can make tens of thousands of dollars with only a few hours’ work.

So what does this have to do with writing?

Well, Kiyosaki met an aspiring novelist in Singapore in 1995, when he was there on a speaking assignment alongside Zig Ziglar.

He didn’t know that this woman was a novelist at first. She was scheduled to meet him to do a interview for the newspaper for which she worked. Kiyosaki was impressed with her articles, so, when she told him that she dreamed of being a best-selling author like him, he asked her what was stopping her.

Apparently, she’d written a few well-received novels, but they weren’t enough to pay the bills. So she continued to work as a reporter, hoping her big break would come someday.

She asked Kiyosaki if he had any suggestions.

By pure chance, he did. A friend ran sales-training courses right there in Singapore for many major corporations. Attending one of those courses could help her improve book sales and turn her material into best- sellers.

But the writer didn’t react the way Kiyosaki thought she would.

Instead of thanking him for the tip, she stiffened.

“Are you saying I should go to school to learn to sell? … I have a master’s degree in English Literature. Why would I go to school to learn to be a salesperson? … I hate salespeople. All they want is money.” (Rich Dad Poor Dad, p.132)

The reporter began packing her briefcase to leave.

Kiyosaki felt bad for offending her and tried to make amends. He pointed out that he may be a best-selling author, but that didn’t mean he was a great writer. There’s a huge difference between being an excellent writer and selling lots of books.

And if even a bad writer could sell a lot of books, just think what she could do if she had both the talent to write and the talent to sell her writing!

Saying that only made things worse. She retorted angrily:

“I’ll never stoop so low as to learn how to sell. People like you have no business writing…. It’s not fair.”

And she stomped away.


You can’t teach someone who doesn’t want to learn.

In this day and age, it’s naive to expect great writing to sell itself. After all, one of the least publishable genres is literary fiction, not because the quality is lacking but because it doesn’t often appeal to the masses.

There are a number of online programs designed to teach writers how to sell their writing, sell their brand, and sell themselves. Mark Joyner, author of The Rise of the Author, suggests that we’re living at a very exciting time in the world, where the power of the internet is effecting a massive transformation in the publishing industry. Technologies like Print on Demand are allowing the author to wrestle back some of the power hitherto given to the publisher.

But that power is only useful to you if you learn how to use it.

You cannot afford to make the same mistake as that reporter fifteen years ago. Don’t turn down any opportunity to learn how to market yourself and your writing.

As Robert Kiyosaki concluded:

“The world is filled with smart, talented, educated, and gifted people. We meet them every day. They are all around us…. The sad truth is, great talent is not enough.”

You know you’re going to be rich. I can say I knew you when. (Evin – www.mrgurupublishing,.com)

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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


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How to choose YOUR genre

Authors become known for their genres. Don’t believe me? Stephen King. What did you think about when I mentioned that name? Thought so. How do you pick one? What resonates with you? Where does your knowledge lie?


Here’s a fun quiz (created by Taryn – That Girl With The Green Pen) that might help you to choose YOUR genre!

1) You are on a walk by a park where a girls’ soccer game is going on. One teen looks extremely worried. Why?

A. This game determines if an otherwise needy senior will get an athletic scholarship to the college of her dreams
B. Her sister disappeared last night, and the kidnapper was the serial rapist/murderer in the area.
C. Her sister disappeared last night, and the kidnappers were faeries needing a Changeling.
D. She’s never played, let alone heard of, soccer before because she is from a world of wizards and dragons and quests.
E. The government is watching her.

2) Two young women walk by you. One holds an intricate golden ring in her hand, and they both are staring at it with apprehension. Why?

A. They’re trying to decide whether to accept the the first girl’s boyfriend’s proposal. It’s a beautiful, sentimental, valuable ring, but he cheated on her once last year.
B. They’re being blackmailed, and this ring, stolen years ago from a visiting dignitary thus nearly sparking a war, is the source. Is turning themselves in safer?
C. They’ve been told its wearer becomes immortal.
D. It is the One Ring, of course! Instead of Lord of the Rings, it shall be Lady of the Rings . . . 
E. It’s a forbidden relic from a time long past, and they’ll be killed if seen with it. Frankly, you’re surprised they’re still alive since government surveillance is everywhere.

3) It’s 8 PM, and you’re herding your family toward the exit at Disneyland. There’s a teenage girl standing against a wall, obviously near tears. Why?

A. Her family left her.
B. She just escaped from a kidnapper and she’s panicked he’ll find her again.
C. Her vampire/angel/weremickey boyfriend dumped her.
D. Disneyland? I only know Middle-Earth.
E. The government found out she’s been dating an Other and cut off her credits, so she can’t catch a bus home.

4) Your flight home was delayed. Why?

A. An old man had a heart attack and, stand back! You’re the only one who knows CPR!
B. Terrorists!
C. The engines will mysteriously no longer work. Probably a golem in the gears. (*Bonus pts to whoever gets what title/author I just referenced.*)
D. Darn dragon needs to eat again.
E. Someone tried to cross the border. Again. Don’t they know no one has immigrated in a century?

5) You crashed your dad’s car. What’s gonna happen to you?

A. He’ll take away your laptop and your cell phone and make you get a JOB! Then you’ll have to hang out with the cute but weird guy at the theatre. 
B. As soon as he realizes you crashed trying to get away from a couple assassins, he’ll understand!
C. You’ll have your wizard boyfriend whip up another one, and he’ll never find out.
D. If car means horse, you’ll have to capture another one from the wild river horses southwest, probably getting yourself killed in the process.
E. Forget Dad! What about the government? Accidents are an Offense!

6) Your sister broke her ankle in the middle of nowhere. What do you do?

A. Give her a piggyback and start walking. Maybe this will prove you’re more than ordinary.
B. Pull her up a tree to hide from the man following you and hope your best friend will figure out your coded message in time.
C. Darn. You’ll have to unmask your secret telepathic skills to summon EMS. Oh well. She’s worth it.
D. Stick her on the back of the wagon and pull it yourself. Good thing the hours plowing Dad’s field paid off.
E. Activate the emergency signal embedded in your palm at birth.

7) Your enemy gets something you really wanted. What was it and why are you so pissed?

A. A part in the school play. She’ll ruin it! She’ll make the whole show about her!
B. He kidnapped my mother! How can I not be pissed? I HAVE TO GET HER BACK!!!
C. She’s dating the new boy in school, who may or may not be a weremickey, and if she’s with him, I can’t snoop to find out the truth because she’ll think I’m jealous which I totally am not, because that boy gives me the heebiejeebies even though he’s way hot.
D. He has the Ring of Doom! In his hands, we will all perish!
E. She has proof that I’m a Rebel, and if the government finds out, I’ll Disappear!

8) A person of the opposite gender whom you barely know saves your life. What’s going to happen next? 

A. S/he’ll transfer to your school and cause you to rethink everything you’ve ever thought about your clique’s bullying/vanity/inferiority complex.
B. S/he’ll try to murder you b/c you’re getting too close to finding out the illegal truth about his/her past/drug ring/family.
C. You’ll find out s/he’s a vampire/angel/weremickey, and the two of you will fall in love.
D. You’ll embark on an epic quest to defeat the villain, rescue the Very Important Thing, and battle your inner demons.
E. You will realize something about the too-powerful government and decide it must be overthrown.

Mostly A’s: You are a contemporary writer! There’s something to be said for real life and shoes the readers can easily fill.
Mostly B’s: You are a thriller writer! This genre is underrepresented in YA, so good luck filling that void!
Mostly C’s: You are a paranormal romance writer! Some people may say your MS is just another Twilight, but you know better.
Mostly D’s: You are an epic fantasy writer! Your world-building astounds us, and we love getting lost in your magic. 
Mostly E’s: You are a dystopian writer! Ignore the nay-sayers who think there are too many–there’s always room for a great novel that makes us stay up too late wondering will that be our future.


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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Is fiction ever really 100% fiction?

I’ve been pondering. Again. During this current pondering event, I find myself wondering…is fiction ever really 100% fiction? Aren’t there always certain aspects of nonfiction thrown in? Maybe it’s within the development of a character. Maybe you are writing about Mrs. Johnson and her physical appearance is described as that of your grandmother. Or maybe the town of Maintown U.S.A. has characteristics of your hometown. See where I’m going with this?



Writers need to most definitely use caution when creating fictional characters based on real people. We all have (or have had) a friend that lives a life that’s probably far better than anything we could ever make up but really…is it an invasion of privacy? While conducting some research on this subject, I stumbled upon a blog ( that had some useful information:

“Assuming you’re a capable writer who can cherry-pick real-life events and string them into a story, should you presume to make money and your reputation by, in effect, ratting out your friends? It really is an invasion of privacy; we normally deal with one another off the record, and we resent it when a shared confidence becomes public gossip. More people would sue the authors of autobiographical fiction, if not for the fact that a lawsuit would only publicize the breach of confidence.

For what it’s worth, here’s my solution: Of course the events of our lives inspire us to write fiction, and in a sense all fiction is autobiographical. Even my fantasy novels are set in terrain I know (the Canadian Rockies and western Alberta), and the characters share traits with me and people I know.

But I try to abstract the issues from the events. As an anxious father of daughters, I may write about harm done to young women, but the young women are not much like my actual daughters. I also change the circumstances—not to conceal “what really happened” but to enhance the point I’m trying to make. Once freed of the need to be factually accurate, I can design a setting that makes (for example) harm done to young women a truly appalling event.

So in the case my correspondent wants to write about, I’d pull way back from the true details and try to find a pattern. Then I’d design my characters and setting to bring out that pattern. It might still be set in my own home town, or I might find that some other city makes a better background. (When we set a story in a particular place, we are in effect saying that place is itself a character in the story, which couldn’t have turned out the same if set anywhere else.)

The main character might be somewhat like the real person who inspired my story, but I’d try to develop the personality and motives to highlight the points I want to make: the heroine might be more aggressive, the hero more passive, than in reality, if those traits made it easier to develop scenes and a plot to illustrate my theme.”

So really, it all falls back on WWYD (What Would You Do?) – Think about it (Evin Wilkins –


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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


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What is REALLY the main differences between traditional and self-publishing?

We all know that the traditional publishing route generally involves an agent, manuscript submissions and the like. We also know that self-publishing typically gives authors more freedom and rights to their works however, there are other perks and downsides to both. Perks and downsides you may not realize. The Writer’s Digest Shop really breaks it down:


Traditional Publishing

Traditional book publishing is when a publisher offers the author a contract and, in turn, prints, publishes, and sells your book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher essentially buys the right to publish your book and pays you royalties from the sales.

If you want to publish a book traditionally, most writers need to find an agent. In order to find one, you must identify the right category for your writing. If you are or want to be a non-fiction writer, you will need to submit a book proposal with three sample chapters, and a synopsis of each chapter. If you are writing fiction, you must have your manuscript complete.

Once these steps are accomplished, you’re ready to write a query letter. This letter is what you will send to potential agents. It’s important to mention the different parts that make up a query letter. You should be sure to mention the synopsis of your book, the chapter summary, the market or audience your book is meant for, and a description of yourself.




how to self publish a book| self publishing

There are a variety of different publishing models, including print-on-demand, vanity, subsidy, and self-publishing.


Print-on-demand (POD) publishers accept all submissions &emdash; anyone who is willing to pay is published. POD publishing uses printing technology to produce books one at a time through a company at a cost-effective price. The books are printed individually as orders come in. Therefore, you can adjust the book’s supply to meet the reader’s demand.

POD cuts back on costs and eliminates the need for space to store unsold copies. Typically editing, proofreading, or marketing is offered at an additional cost and you make money off of royalties from sales. In terms of rights, some can go to the POD publisher for a set amount of time but this varies depending on the publisher.

vanity publisher, also known as a book manufacturer, publishes any anyone’s work provided they have the money to pay for their services. The manufacturer prints and binds a book on the author’s dime and does not offer editing, marketing, or promotional assistance. However, the author owns the printed books and retains all profit from sales.

A subsidy publisher is similar to a vanity publisher in that the author has to pay for the printing and binding process of the book. However, this type of publisher contributes a portion of the cost to editing, distribution, warehousing, and marketing. In this case, the publisher owns the books until they are sold and the author makes money from royalties.

Self-publishing requires the author to invest their own money to produce, market, distribute, and warehouse the book. While this can be a huge time commitment, the process can be more cost-effective than vanity or subsidy publishing.


What’s the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing?


In traditional publishing, the publisher handles the marketing, distribution, and warehousing for your book. This is the traditional method to book publishing because there is no expense to the author—mainstream publishers make a profit from the book’s sales.

Whereas in self-publishing, depending on which type of publisher or platform you choose, the majority of the work falls on your shoulders and you pay for all expenses. The main advantages of self-publishing are that you control when the book is published, you retain all rights to your book, and you receive 100 percent of the profits.

In both cases, you have the option to choose what format your book will be published in—printed book, e-book, audio book, cd, dvd, and many more. If you pick an e-book, which is essentially a book published in digital form and available on e-Readers and other electronic devices, it can be downloaded instantly, has the ability to be translated into different languages, and can never go out of print. However, the as e-book formats and file types develop and change over time, many may need to be converted to a new file or format.


How do I know which one is right for me?


If seeing your work in print is to fulfill a personal goal you have or you view yourself as a hobbyist, choose vanity publishing.

If you’re writing a family history, memoir or book of poetry that has a limited audience, and don’t want your book stocked at bookstores, using POD is probably to your advantage. They are often nonreturnable, not sold at a discount, and you won’t have to store any unsold books.

Printing in bulk via self-publishing may be your best bet if you have a visible platform established to reach your audience, both online and offline (such as a website, Twitter handle, and Facebook fan page), have credibility with your readers in your genre/category and are prepared to dedicate your time to marketing and promoting your work.

Self-publishing is also a good option if you have a time-sensitive manuscript, as a commercial publishing company can take up to 18 months to get your book from manuscript to final production.

On the flip side, here are a few things to consider. If you don’t know how to find or reach your readers, don’t have an online presence, don’t have the time to spend online or dislike social media, want to be in a brick-and-mortar type of bookstore and have a publisher handle the marketing for you, the traditional publishing route may be the best option.

Ultimately it is up to you to decide!


How to self publish a book.


If you want to self publish a book you must choose a platform or provider. Abbott Press, a division of Writer’s Digest, offers publishing packages fit for any author. Plus, you retain the rights to your book and have the freedom to publish your book on your own time.

First, set a goal. Do you aspire to see your name in print? Do you want to achieve commercial success? Or perhaps you want to supplement your speaking career or business. Having a goal in mind before you start the self-publishing process will not only help keep you focused, it will help determine the right publishing package and services you need in order to help you reach that goal.

Second, choose one of Abbott Press’s five publishing packages that meet your publishing needs and will help you achieve your goal for your book. If your book needs polishing, you can also select additional marketing, editing and design services from its services store. Whenever you select and purchase the publishing package that is right for you, you are ready to take the next step.

Submit your manuscript and other materials for your book. An Abbot Press Check-In Coordinator will help you through the submission process and ensure that the details of your submitted materials are in order and ready for the book production process.

Once you’re ready for the book production process, Abbott Press will create your book’s interior and cover and send you electronic proofs for your review and approval. They strive to ensure that your distinct voice comes through and that you receive a book that you are happy with. Plus, you can take advantage of their expertise and experience while staying in control each step of the way.

Lastly, publish and promote your book! Once you’ve approved your book for publication, Abbott Press will send it to their printer and distributor, making your book available for purchase on a variety of major retail sites, including You will receive the first printed copy of your book as well.


How do I publish my book, traditionally?


how to publish a book

Once you a ready to find an agent, do your research. Check out websites such as and Writers Digest magazine. Contact agents by sending them your query letter. The best case scenario is for one of them to accept your proposal and offer you a contract.

You got it. (Evin Wilkins –

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Posted by on January 11, 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 REALLY get published

No, I am not talking about a “get rich quick” scheme. No, I am not going to try to sell you an ebook that will ensure that your book will be published tomorrow. I’m going to go along with the New Year’s Resolution theme. We all tend to make them. Right? Do we always stick with them all? Probably not. What if you were to make a resolution that would help you to get published? Not quite ready to be published yet? Well, how about something that would help your writing? The secret is…..

ATTITUDE! Yes, your attitude. I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking to yourselves, “Seriously? Now how often have I heard that one?” See? If you are thinking that, there goes your attitude. If I had a dollar for every author that I have spoken with, who has told me, “I really don’t think this will ever be published because I know it’s not good enough” or something along those lines, I’d be rich. Seriously. Look at this: “Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.” – Frederick Langbridge

Before I go any further, I want to have you do this (if you have a Facebook account). I want you to click here: and go “Like” this page. You will have access to a plethora of quotes to keep your attitude positive.

Our attitude can determine so much in every aspect of our lives, including your writing. If you think you’ll never get published, you won’t. If you think you can’t finish your novel/writing, etc., you won’t. It’s that simple. If Anne Rice or Stephen King felt they’d never get published, do you think they’d be where they are today? No.

It’s not too late to make one final New Year’s Resolution and that, is to resolve to have a positive attitude about writing and publishing in 2013. If you think you can, you can and you will!

Just my .02,

Evin (aka Mr. Guru

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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


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How to find time to write over the holidays

For some, the holidays provide a great opportunity for some good writing. Nothing like being home, wrapped up in front of a nice, crackling fire…away from work and the cares of the world. Then again, the kids and spouse/partner are home, the in-laws are in for a visit and the kitchen is bustling with activity as the turkey bakes in the oven. How, amongst the hustle and bustle will you ever find time to write?

Wonder no more my friend, because Brandi-Ann Uyemura from The Writer Magazine has shared the trick!

Prioritize. If you want to write during the holidays but think you don’t have the time, remember: You do. You just need to plan for it. “Think about writing as a good habit, like daily exercise, brushing teeth,” says Rochelle Melander, a writing coach and author of Write-A-Thon. Prioritize your time by scheduling writing sessions in your calendar and start committing to that schedule now.

Set deadlines. Some writers need deadlines to get things done. If you don’t have a project deadline, create your own and ask a buddy to hold you accountable.

Delegate. Melander suggests setting boundaries and delegating tasks to others. This year bring the side dishes and offer to help clean up after the Thanksgiving party. This will eliminate hours of prep time and save you extra minutes to write.

Disconnect. From the Internet, that is. Consider unplugging for a while and you’ll find oodles of time you didn’t know you had.

Look for hidden moments. “Over the years, I have discovered that there are hidden moments during the holiday season when no one is expecting me to be anywhere or do anything,” Melander says. You may find time waiting in line at the grocery store or bank or in between buying holiday gifts. Plan to have a notebook with you for those unexpected precious moments. Or follow Melander’s lead by writing in the early morning before the kids are up.

Photo by Sheri Inman

It requires some extra effort to write during the holidays, but a shift in perspective might help. Instead of perceiving your writing as an additional task to check off your to-do list, think of it as a rare opportunity to pen that perfect character, juicy scene, or dynamic drama inspired by your real life. In fact, why not let the winter trimmings, joyful songs, holiday festivities and even your obnoxious relatives become characters in your next writing project?

But what if you still can’t find the time to write? Don’t beat yourself up about it. You may not be able to get to all of your projects this season. “Writers do more than just write,” Melander says. “They also need to develop ideas for new projects.” Sometimes being productive means taking a break. Read that novel you’ve always wanted to get to, watch that holiday play. Seeking activities that tickle your senses and experiencing the magic you felt as a kid will do wonders for your writing.

I’ve found that engaging in a bit of winter whimsy lifts the doldrums of daily writing. I’ve never regretted it, and my writing has yet to take a hit from my simply being and enjoying life. Try it yourself and see if it doesn’t lift your spirits, inspire a breakthrough, and energize you so that come next year you’ll be refreshed and ready to write.

– Hoping Santa brings me something good this year  –  Evin Wilkins (www.mrgurupublishing)

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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


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