Tag Archives: self-publishing assistance

Indie Book of the Week


Good morning, friends and a hearty TGIF to you all! I hope you all have some awesome weekend plans lying ahead of you, even if it’s absolutely nothing. Sometimes I find those are the most enjoyable.


So….if you have read my blog for any length of time you know that I always post the, “Indie Author of the Week” or “Indie Book of the Week” on Fridays. Well, today I’m posting a book that I think you, as an indie author might enjoy.


We’ve all heard of indie authors and if you are like me, you consider yourself one (doesn’t matter whether you are published at this point or not). I’m also fairly certain that you are curious as to what helps to make indie authors successful, no matter your definition of success. Here’s something that you should buy:


Learn how to succeed in indie publishing.


With interviews from 34 of the hottest names in self-publishing, “Interviews with Indie Authors” contains a unique view into the world of the indie writer. Each bestselling self-published author shares how they ensure their books are a hit, and what led them to indie publishing in the first place. You will also find out what they think the future of self-publishing will bring. Their first hand experience is invaluable for anyone planning to succeed with their own books.


Whatever your background, you will learn from these incredible interviews.


With diverse genres such as thrillers, young adult fiction, the paranormal, romance, comedy, fantasy, horror, science fiction, mystery and even non-fiction, whatever you are writing about, this book has it covered.


Contains interviews with indie authors such as: Michael McCloskey, Nick Russell, Connie Suttle, Michael Prescott, Terri Reid, Hugh Howey, Scott Nicholson, Kristen Ashley, Aaron Patterson, Carol Davis Luce, Claire Ridgway, Alexa Grace, Marie Force, Shadonna Richards, Colleen Hoover, Barbara Freethy, Joseph Lallo, Rebecca Forster, Caryn Moya Block, Denise Grover Swank, Mainak Dhar, Imogen Rose, CJ Lyons, Bella Andre, Maria Murnane, Theresa Ragan, Russell Blake, Linda Welch, Debra Holland, J. Thorn, James Somers, Karen Cantwell, Tracey Garvis Graves and Elena Greene.


Buy it on Amazon now:


Have a great weekend! (Evin –


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Why Do Famous Authors Write?

Why Do Famous Authors Write?

We all know the feelings of envy…envy of those authors who get paid not only to write full-time, but get paid an extremely large salary while doing it.

I’ve often imagined how it would feel to wake up every morning, grab my cup of coffee, sit outside on a large porch of a cabin, the mountains or a peaceful lake as my scenery…sitting down in front of my computer, ready to roll. I’m fairly certain that most famous authors would tell you that this is fairy tale thinking however I’m betting that a majority of writers have had similar thoughts at one time or the other.

So if this is fairy tale thinking, why do famous authors write? What inspires them? Here’s a link that you must click on. You won’t be sorry (just patiently sit through the ad at the beginning. It will be well worth the wait):—and-why-you-should/2013/03/15/8cb5df44-8b61-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_gallery.html#photo=1


Write, write, write! (Evin –


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Are You a Good Writer?

If you are like me, you will sometimes write a sentence, read back over it and ask yourself, “What in the heck was I thinking when I wrote that? A third grader could have done a better job!” Yeah, we’ve all been there.


Seriously though, are you good? How do you really know? Christopher Gronlund gives us some good insight in his blog (not to mention the fact that it’s just a darn good blog to follow!


More than a couple times, I’ve heard a newer writer say, “I just want to submit my stuff and have somebody tell me I suck.”


Aside from the masochistic urge of being knocked, if you know you suck, you’re wasting everybody’s time submitting.

Even more than “I just want to submit my stuff and have somebody tell me I suck,” I’ve heard people say, “I just want somebody to tell me I’m good.”


It’s Not About Being Validated

It feels good to hear, “You’re a good writer,” but if your worth as a person hinges on your writing being accepted, I have to think you’re in for some heartache.


If you have to ask if you’re a good enough writer to make it, you probably aren’t; you probably need to keep writing.

If you stay busy and do what you’re supposed to do as a writer, you’ll know you’re good without having to ask.


Here are five hints that you’re a good writer:

People Tell You You’re Good

I’m not talking about the people closest to you giving you a pep talk and saying you’re good — I’m talking about people in the know telling you you’re good.

•    Take a creative writing class; are you consistently one of the best writers in the class?

•    Has anything you’ve written advanced in a reputable contest?

•    Do writers you respect tell you that you’re good (but still point out how you can be an even stronger writer)?

If you hear you’re good from people who have no other reason to tell you that you’re good (i.e., they don’t have to live with you moping around the house if they say, “This is a bit weak…”), you’re on the right track.


Be Objective


Step back and look at your writing.

Really look at your writing.

If somebody handed what you write to you, would you say, “This is good.”?

Do you think everything you write is good? If you do, chances are you’re kidding yourself. (Or you’re a rare genius.)

Most writers know when they can make a scene stronger; they also know when they’re on to something a bit more.

If you can look at your writing with objective eyes and see the good and bad, if you’re not already a good writer, you’re at least moving in the right direction.




Compare your work to the writers you aspire to. Can you hold your own with them?

Does the mere thought of comparing what you’re written to the writers you revere make you cringe a little? If so, keep writing!

I’m not saying that when you compare your writing to the best writers out there that you leave them in the dirt (because you probably don’t), but you should feel confident enough in your writing to see it on a shelf in a bookstore alongside other writers doing similar work.

If you feel you still have a way to go before feeling that confidence, keep writing.




Put your writing in the hands of people buying short stories, articles, novels, screenplays — anything that pays. (Okay, so short stories rarely pay, but you know what I mean.)

If you get nothing but rejections over a period of years, you probably need to keep honing your skills.

While submitting your work is subjective, part of making it as a writer is seeking out the right places for your writing, and if you don’t see some occasional success over the years — while it doesn’t always mean you’re not good (publishing is full of great writers who faced wall after wall of rejections) — it could be a good indicator that you still need to figure out a few more things.


You Don’t Have to Ask


Unless you’re kidding yourself, you’ll reach a day when you know you’re good.

Even if you’ve faced nothing but rejections that run along the lines of, “You’re talented, but this isn’t my thing,” you know people are recognizing your abilities as a writer.

Not making it big isn’t always an indication of whether or not you’re good; some people just don’t make it, despite their abilities.

Of course, there’s always room for growth; I think most of us — even if we meet great success as writers — will die feeling that we could have been even better.

But if you’ve heard you’re good from the right people; if you can step back and see the good and bad in what you do; if you deserve a spot on a shelf next to the people you aspire to be like; if you’ve met some success when submitting your work…you don’t have to ask if you’re a good writer or not because you have the confidence to say without any doubt, “Yes, I’m a good writer.”


So…are you a good writer?


You know you are…(Evin –


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Brick and mortar stores

A recent experience has led me to post on the topic of brick and mortar stores. So I have a good dialogue going back and forth with a potential client. She’s self-published her book already and is looking for marketing services. We’re trading emails and she likes what I’m telling her so far and what I have to offer.

Suddenly she asks me a question and disappears. That question was, “Will you be able to get my book into chain stores?” I was honest. I advised her that although not impossible, the answer was probably going to be, no. I told her that we could most definitely get it into smaller, indie stores and such, but she’s looking for the big named brands. I then informed her that I could get them listed online with some of those larger stores she was referring to, but that wasn’t the answer she wanted to hear. I would assume she’s still unsuccessfully searching for someone that can give her the answer she wants to hear.

Let me say that when I said the answer was probably going to be no, I meant that. Getting your self-published book into the chains isn’t impossible. It’s difficult, but it has been done before. First, you need to have your marketing plan in place and you need to have been marketing that book for a good while. This includes marketing the book before the manuscript is even finished.

I’ve said it before on how it blows my mind that many authors see their books sitting on the shelf in Barnes and Noble as a gauge of their success. I can’t figure out why this is. I would personally gauge my success on how well I was marketing my books and getting them onto my reader’s shelves, and how much those readers were enjoying the book enough to suggest it to their friends. How do those things happen? With good marketing plans of course.

So maybe you do want to get your book into a chain brick and mortar store. Here are some tips I found on Wiki how (

  • Start promoting your book before contacting bookstores to show that you’re serious, and then continue promoting it and directing potential customers to the stores that are willing to stock your book.
    • Create a website or blog for the book.
    • Create a press kit. Describe the book and provide contact information. Include only the most influential or glowing reviews. Leave out irrelevant information such as your personal resume. You have about 60 seconds to make an impression with it, so make sure your strongest selling points are on the first page.
    • Send press releases to local newspapers and bookstores. It will be much more effective if you send these to individual contact people, so make some phone calls or do some research to find out the specific person who reviews books in each company.
    • Advertise in local publications. Let your bookstore contact person know that you’re marketing the book locally. Offer to put an “available at …” line in future ads if they will accept the book for sale.
    • Contact local TV and radio stations for interviews. Again, having the name of a contact person will make your efforts more productive. If you have mutual friends, ask them to recommend you to media people they know.
    • Offer to hold author readings at libraries and writing conferences to increase your visibility.
    • Create flyers containing information about your book. Include the ISBN and a brief synopsis. Leave the flyers on public bulletin boards to create local interest.
    • Enlist your network. Ask your friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers-to request the book at their local bookstores. Then resist the temptation to sell your book to those people yourself. Ask them to wait to buy it from the store so that there is a history of good sales.


  • Ask the store to order your book from their distributors. If your book is available through national distributors such as Ingram or Baker & Taylor, the bookstore can order directly from the distributor and may be willing to do so just from a phone call. Taking books one-at-a-time on consignment from the author, on the other hand, is much more time-consuming (and thus less profitable) for bookstores than going through an established distributor, which automates reordering, returns, and payments.
  • Identify the bookstore contact person. If you are distributing your book yourself, call the bookstore and ask who handles their “consignment” or “local author” books. Start with chain bookstores to get experience with the process; then approach independent bookstores, which are more likely to have a Local Authors section. If you are a local author, the bookstore will be more likely to accept your book as a community service than if you’re some distant author who will not be doing local promotion. Ask if you can make an appointment to come in and show them the book.
  • Be professional and respectful. At your meeting with the bookstore contact, distinguish yourself from pushy self-published authors by being easy to work with.
  • Although you may be a long-time customer of that bookstore, you are now the seller and they are the customer. It’s fine to say that you love the store (if you do), but don’t pressure them to take your book just because you’ve bought a lot of books from them in the past.
  • Be prepared to leave a copy of the book with the manager or buyer for evaluation. Let them know that you would be available for author signings and readings when the time comes (meaning “if the book sells”).
  • Ask the bookstore contact person if they would like a complimentary copy of the book, but don’t ask them to read it; they will read your book if they are interested in it.
  • It is naive to suggest that the store should put your book on their Staff Recommendations shelf, or that they display it at the front counter. Marketing decisions are made by the bookstore, and only amateurs ask to be placed on the store’s top-selling, most visible locations before there is a history of strong sales.
  • Do not presume to tell a bookstore that they will “sell a lot of copies.” That is out of your hands. Let your results speak for themselves.


  • Follow up. Check back periodically with the stores that have taken the book and ask if they need more copies. (Every 6-8 weeks is sufficient.)
  • Be as professional at the end as at the beginning. Don’t be grudging when the contract time is up and the store asks you to take back unsold copies. They took a chance, and if the book didn’t sell, it is largely because the author didn’t promote it or send people in to look at it. If you’re cheerful and respectful, the bookstore will be much more likely to accept your future work.
  • Respect staff time. If you’re in a busy bookstore, get in and out as quickly as you can. Once the store accepts the book, you no longer need to “sell” it by talking about yourself or the book. It’s actually counter-productive to monopolize staff time and doesn’t work to get the staff to hand-sell your book. Like every other reader, the bookstore contact person will take a quick look at the book and make their own buying/reading decisions.
  • Continue marketing. Once you’ve gotten your self-published book into bookstores, don’t stop working. Push the book as hard as you did before to encourage people to buy it. Your book will be restocked, especially by larger chain bookstores, only if sales are good.
  • Have a great Tuesday, my friends. (Evin –

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    Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Uncategorized


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    Marketing for Self-Published Authors

    *Drum roll*….it’s here. Something ALL self-published authors have been looking for. MARKETING. Notice I didn’t say marketing assistance or marketing advice. I said MARKETING.

    Guru Publishing has been evolving over the past year that we have been in business. We’ve been conducting ongoing research into the world of self-publishing and independent (indie) authors and after much work, we’ve found what self-published authors need the most and that’s a good marketing plan. If clients don’t know books exist, they won’t buy them and why? Because they don’t know they exist. It can become a vicious circle.

    I’m not saying that all self-published authors fall short in the marketing arena but let’s face it. What do authors do best? Write, not market. Another thing…many self-publishing companies offer packages that include marketing but really. What do these consist of? Posters? Some business cards? The shipping of a media kit to the author to take care of? That is NOT marketing. It’s offering marketing tools to the client, but it’s not actual marketing.

    Guru Publishing takes it a step further and offers to do the marketing for our clients. Period. No ifs, ands or buts. We will do the marketing for the author. I don’t mean that we will have a few posters printed. I mean we will do each and every part of marketing that is required to get the book and the face of the author out into the world. Check our site frequently as we begin to list our services: If you have questions or requests in the meantime, contact me via the contact avenues on my site and I’ll speak with you.

    Another perk of Guru Publishing? Yes, we are a self-publishing company but we are a self-publishing company that does not require any form of contract. We are also a self-publishing company that takes no percentage of your sales. Face it. We know what self-publishing really is and that is getting your book out there in print (including e-book format). It’s ensuring your work is professionally edited; it’s getting a great cover design, etc. It’s NOT using an ISBN that belongs to someone else, listing them as the publisher on your self-published book. It’s NOT watching huge percentages of your hard-earned sales go to someone else. It’s all about you having control of your own book.

    We have to keep the lights on so yeah, we charge for our services but, they are all for you, custom designed by you. YOU design your own publishing and marketing packages with us. We don’t offer pre-packaged deals that may or may not have what you need.

    Okay yeah. This post was one big advertisement but, I’m stoked! Check me out! (Evin –

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    Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


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    Do I need an ISBN?

    I’ve had writers ask me this question…A LOT. As a result, I figured I’d find some Q&A to assist my blog readers. One piece of advice…you will find POD and other publishing services that offer a free ISBN. Purchase and use your own if you truly wish to self-publish. If you decide to use their free one, THEY will be listed as the publisher of your book and NOT you.


    Now onto the ISBN Q&A (compliments of the ISBN User’s Manual):

    Q: Why should I use an ISBN?

    A: If you are a publisher or bookseller it may be in your own interest as you want to sell books. If your books cannot be ordered and distributed by ISBN and if they are not listed in Books in Print you may find that your books do not sell: People will assume your books do not exist, and if they know they may consider it too much of a bother to handle them in a traditional fashion.

    Q: In our country the book-trade works mostly without computers.

    A: You do not have to have computers to make use of ISBN. The 10 digit number saves you and other people the bother of copying bibliographic records. Also if you want to export your books, without ISBN they will not have a chance of being listed in Books in Print.

    Q: Our country still lacks an efficient infrastructure in the book-sector.

    A: Then ISBN is an ideal means of building the infrastructure and catch up with other countries!

    I sell books but also stationary, toys, and many other items. As the ISBN only identifies books what can I do about the rest?

    A: This material can be numbered by other numbering systems, like, e.g., EAN article numbers. Modern scanning equipment reads and processes the different kinds of bar-coded numbers.

    Q: The EAN organisation asked me to become a member. Is this mandatory?

    A: If you only want to use the ISBN in bar-coded form, you do not have to become a member. But as EAN and UCC provide other trade-related services, like electronic address numbers (location codes), EDI (electronic data interchange) formats etc., you may want to become a member. Check with your EAN organisation for information on their services.

    Q: Does a price change require a new ISBN?

    A: No.

    Q: Does a new title require a new ISBN?

    A: Yes, you need a new ISBN for a new title.

    Q: I am publishing a book in a foreign language. Should it have an ISBN of the country in whose language the book is written?

    A: No. It is the country where the publisher is based which determines the group identifier, and not the language of the text.

    Q: I am revising a book. Does it require a new ISBN?

    A: A (substantial) change of text requires a new ISBN, and if revisions have been made the back of the title page should state that the book is a revised edition, and the new ISBN should be printed there.

    Q: Does a reprint without change of text, or binding require a new ISBN?

    A: No. The original number must be retained.

    Q: I would like to issue a new ISBN for marketing reasons. Is this permissible?

    A: No. There is no change of text, format or binding which would justify a new ISBN.

    Q: I am reprinting a book with a price change. Is a new ISBN required?

    A: No. A price change does not require a new ISBN.

    Q: Do I need a new ISBN when I am reprinting a book with a new title?

    A: Yes, a new title requires a new ISBN.

    Q: What happens if I have used all the numbers under my prefix?

    A: An additional prefix can be assigned – allowing for a larger output if necessary. This is an additional prefix, and not a replacement.

    Q: Is it possible to reassign ISBNs when the books to which they were allocated are out of print?

    A: No. An ISBN identifies a given title, and its edition and binding for all time. Even if out of print it will still exist in some shops, and will certainly still exist in libraries.

    Q: I am publishing a work in several volumes. Will one ISBN suffice or will each volume need its own ISBN?

    A: The rules state that the set should have an ISBN, and that each volume should have its own, separate ISBN.

     I am taking over another firm, which already has an ISBN prefix. All future books will be published under my name. Can I renumber all the other firm’s titles?

    A: Not until reprinted under your own imprint, carrying your own name.

    Q: I am publishing a series of titles. Do I need an ISBN or an ISSN?

    A: The series should receive an ISSN while the individual items receive ISBNs.

    Q: I have a homepage on the Internet. Does it require an ISBN?

    A: As a homepage is not in any way similar to published monograph ISBN assignment is not recommended. Such publications are covered, however, by DOI and/or URN..

    Happy writing my friends. Happy writing….(Evin Wilkins –

    1 Comment

    Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


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    When should writers hire a life coach?

    “When should I….?” That seems to be the question writers are always asking because there are so many steps  involved in both the writing AND the publishing process.

    *Drum roll*….in walks the Life Coach for Writers!


    Yes, there seems to be a Life Coach for just about anything you can think of however, these people are eager to help others. **Just as a side note here…if you get one that seems concerned about nothing but how much you are going to pay him/her, steer clear. You want someone who is passionate about helping others.**

    According to Greg Clowminzer:

    “What are some benefits of hiring a coach?

    1. Coaches through encouragement and accountability get their players or clients to work harder for peak performance.
    2. Coaches enhance performance through more effective methods or skills they learned or figured out for themselves.
    3. Coaches offer realistic assessment of where you are and how to improve.
    4. Coaches help to identify personal strengths and weaknesses and help you focus on what you do best.
    5. Coaches help you brainstorm for ideas for needed changes and help you plan how to make the change.

    There are a variety of coaches for all areas of your life. There are life coachesorganizationalcoachesbusiness coachessport coachesexecutive coachescareer coaches; you name it and you can probably find a coach to suit your needs. The greatest commonality with all of these types are their goal is to help you reach the greatest potential in the area of focus.

    The most successful people today either have had a coach or a mentor in their life. Having someone to guide you in the direction of your goals and give guidance for success is one of the greatest decisions a person can do for self-improvement.

    With the abundance of coaches available today, some things to be aware of when searching for one:

    • Compatibility-when speaking and spending time with the coach you should feel comfortable and able to speak openly.
    • Professionalism-is the coach credible in the fact they are competent in the area of your focus and able to bring knowledge, skills, and good advice? Do they have references?
    • Listening skills-are they a good listener? If your first conversation, phone or in person, is one-sided and mainly from them you may want to consider interviewing others. It is the coach‘s job to help you find your inner wisdom while giving guidance and advice but they can only do this if they are listening effectively.

    Most coaches offer a free introductory session to alleviate the fear of taking the next step and working with them. Take advantage of the offer and seize the opportunity to see if you are ready to be coached to reaching your ultimate goals.”

    And there you have it! (Evin Wilkins –

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    Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


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