Journey of 1000 Miles

Interview with Jacqueline E Smith

I had the extreme pleasure of interviewing a new friend and fantastic author, Jacqueline E. Smith last night. I know most of you had things going on so you couldn’t watch it live. THANKFULLY, you have this handy-dandy link below so you can catch up. Please go and check her out, Subscribe, like, praise…in the form of glorious comments and I’ll catch you on the next one!

To see other authors I’ve managed to trap like Pokemon, please click HERE or go to the Interviews link in the bar above.

The Next 1000 Miles

So, You Want to Write a Book…

I think you should read this. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost in the Internet…. A Few Unfortunate Truths About Being an Author

A Time to Live, The Next 1000 Miles

I Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

Like TLC mentioned in their song, or the Rolling Stones before them or even possibly The Temptations, we all drop our dignity in lieu of the things we want. Hence my post today…

As an author, I have more thoughts than I have free time. My sequel is already complete. Yes, complete! The issue is, I just released my first novel only two months ago and those royalties / popularity / ratings are starting to ramp up, but slowly.

As an Indie, I rely on myself for everything and as much as I love being patient, I have an itch when it comes to getting things completed for people, especially fans!

So, I have started a crowd funding project to help get the major things covered get this ball rolling. My hope is to get funded for the amount in order to push a book out by February. I hope that if you have time to take a look and have an interest that you’ll help me keep living my dream.

Please feel free to check out the link below to find out more and the prizes that go along with them!

Indie Go-Go


The Next 1000 Miles

NOOK is a Four-Letter Word

Okay, so for my next few posts, you will see what I shall lovingly refer to as highlights and gag-reels. Highlights are pretty self explanatory. The gag-reel will refer to anything comical or absurdly stupid.

If you haven’t guessed it, the gag-reel for today’s post deals with Barnes & Noble. Don’t get me wrong, in the world of e-readers, they are high on the list. I personally wouldn’t know what sales are like on their author portal (Nook Press) because, well, I can’t submit my book!!

Over three weeks ago, I attempted submitting my project for sale. A glitch or instance or act of Internet-Gods prevented me from doing so. The option button to submit was not even there. After a few days and an email storm later, the button populates. Hooray, right?! Nope, all I ever get from this point on out is an error screen that states… Oops! Something went wrong.

Oops? You f**kin kidding me? The chat availability always leads me to one bottlenecked option. That my issue is being escalated and a representative will be in touch. That’d be fine except my rep sends me a generic email and I’m abandoned to wonder if anything is fixed. A week goes by, no word, no progress. Chat, escalate, email, nothing…repeat. Coming up on the fourth week and I’m about done with Nook for now. Amazon, thanks for not being an asshole in this instance.

Okie-dokie, highlight time… Personally, I can’t speak for every author, but I love seeing when someone is either reading or enjoying my book enough to actually post it on their own social media. And if you post a quote, you are like a step below ice cream in my favorites category (that’s pretty high btw).

More fun tomorrow…I’ll mention electronic autographs! (I know right??)

The Next 1000 Miles

After the Journey

I’ve crossed the tape and caught my breath. As I look back at my journey, I can faintly see the speck On the horizon where I began. Nearly ten months ago, I embarked on a trek to find my own determination and persistence to do what I have always said I wanted to do.

How many people see their goals and go for it? How many out of those reach them? Expectation versus reality always becomes the mantra at this stage. I didn’t expect to make it here honestly. I thought the challenges would encompass me like a tidal wave. Instead, each new resistance made me angry. Mostly at myself, for even thinking of turning back. That helped me go farther.

Now that I’m here, I have lots of knowledge from my travels and I’d love to share them as I embark on…you guessed it…the next 1,000 Mile Journey. Sequels are in, aren’t they?

What to look for this week:

Nook release (they are being super slow and some hiccup has my book processing forever)

Kobo release – this is actually available now if anyone would like to get this version. Click Here

Official paperback release is on Wednesday! A special post will come out that morning!!

Next week, I will post helpful ideas for new Indie authors looking to publish for the first time and hopefully get some questions!

A Time to Reap, Journey of 1000 Miles

Join Me at the Finish Line

That’s right! The days of waiting, wondering and pondering are at an end. A Time to Reap is officially a book and available this Friday. So, August 1st, what should you do with a portion of that paycheck? Um, entertain yourself for hours with my story for less than the price of a cup of coffee! Of course!!

I promise to put a link up on Friday once I have it. And even if you’re not sure, there is a small 3 chapter preview through Amazon! And if that wasn’t enough, I still have the first 5 chapters available on my site!! So, please, pretty please, share this post and let me know what you think.

My finish line is just days away!!

A Time to Reap, Journey of 1000 Miles

A Time to Reap

Pemberton Academy is not just a school, it’s a gathering place for the children of the future that are afflicted with Temporal Displacement and Telepathy; in short, time travelers and mind readers who have been diagnosed with this “disease.” The Academy is not all as it seems after an explosion nearly takes one of its classmates, but not before Carter Gabel rescues her by using an unknown symptom related to his described illness. An unsanctioned group called the Program begins taking notice as the two classmates exhibit stronger abilities when they are together. Carter’s sense of reality begins to unwind as he learns more about his estranged father’s involvement with it all.

Carter will have to overcome the past of his father leaving, the present of an unknown adversary hunting him down and a future that seems to change with each decision he makes. He will have to learn who to trust out of the people in his life if he wants to conquer the looming notion that the government may be hunting him down because of his developing abilities.

Journey of 1000 Miles

Launch Prep

If you are a published author, recall the time before you released your first book. Whether you self-published or went through a publishing house, there must have been energy surrounding you. I draw closer with each day to my lifelong goal of releasing a story for the world to share. It’s exciting and terrifying all the same. In one half of me, I deeply hope it will be well received, provide entertainment to whomever reads it and there are no cares if it becomes a top seller or even popular. Then that greedy half of me wants it to be passed around to as many people in as many areas as possible. I’d like a following.

I want it to be successful, not just for me but for anyone who has supported and believed in me along the way. I don’t want to let people down, it’s truly one of my few and only fears in this world. That  or no one will remember me or I don’t make a difference. Immortality rests within our family and the work we do. I would like mine to reflect the hard work and also the extreme fun I had creating this book I plan to release in late July.

Thank you all for taking the time to follow me this far on my journey. There’s so much more ground to travel and I look forward to you guys and gals everyday!

Journey of 1000 Miles

Quadriplegic Tour Guide

And over there you will notice… no over there… that way. This is how I feel describing some things in my blog. I really don’t know if this is coming across beneficially or not, but hey, I’m trying. Like today’s topic: Query Letter.

Ok, I am not comfortably close to submitting a query letter yet, but I figure  now is the time to at least start drafting one. As I have researched, it’s basically taking all of your elaborate efforts over the past months (years) and condensing them into one flavorful bite. Should be monumentally easy… And if you agree to that, I sincerely hate you right now.

Query letters are the wide-spread hope that your bite-sized, taste test of literary genius is worthy of a full meal. Myself, I thought more words were better, turns out that was mistake 1. I wanted a hefty novel that captured interest while getting my thoughts out, even paraphrasing the imaginarium on my topic, I was (and still am) resting above 137K words. Turns out most literary agents will not be thrilled to wade through hundreds of pages if your query letter is as bland as tofu. So, as I have come across, I will sum up what I’ve found out.

  1. Submit query letters to agents one at a time. Don’t send a copy to every literary agent within one agency. They will not appreciate it.
  2. Choose a literary agent in your genre. If you’re writing horror, don’t bother the children’s literature agent. Research what they do.
  3. Personalize a tad. Within your letter, briefly (key word briefly) mention a book that they may be the agent for that you associate work alongside. It will catch their eye more.
  4. Submit to more than one literary agency. There are over a 1,000 different agencies out there. Don’t just try 3. Pretend you are writing for acceptance into college. You want options to choose from, not settle for.
  5. The Letter… well, let’s save that for last… skip to rejection. Rejection letters or notifications will start piling up to epic proportions. Or at least be prepared for them to. Not everything you do is everyone’s taste or the direction they’re wanting to go (it’s not that you write crap). Pretend you are one of them. You get hundreds of query letters per week. Out of them, you get through 60% and your assistant handles the rest. Of those you see, you have to be in the right mood that day to accept what is in front of you. At the end of the week, your ‘yes’ pile and ‘no’ pile are equal. You can only take on 2-3 new authors in the next month, so you will have to weed the yes pile into ‘definite’ and ‘some other time’. After the query pile, you want more than a taste test, you want a couple of bites so you ask for the first chapter. You see where this is going? Because there is a next week…
  6. The LETTER:
    • First section – make it a once sentence line that sums up the intention of your entire story (pretend this is on the back cover of your book’s jacket)
    • Second section – elaborate that into a couple of short paragraphs including briefly what to expect when reading it (pretend this to be the synopsis inside of the jacket to your book)
    • Third section – Brief autobiography. Let them know a little about you.

Now, query letters are mainly submitted electronically through emails for the agency. However, if you are mailing them in and expect anything mailed back to you, include the self-addressed stamped envelope. Make their job easier, it’ll pay off.

If you do submit, make 100% positive that you are done. If they want to read the whole book, you don’t want an incomplete manuscript to be your answer. You will get tossed to the back of the line indefinitely.

And, for the love of God, make sure you spell check and grammar check your letter. This is your 15 seconds of attention, don’t make them dismiss you after 5 because you used the wrong form of ‘there’.

Keep in mind that I am just paraphrasing. I learn most of my accomplishments through painful idiocy. And since I haven’t tried yet, these are my guesstimates thus far. I am like a quadriplegic tour guide minus the wheelchair. So flop along with me and let’s see what rolls up next. As soon as I get my own template together, I’ll share a copy.

Journey of 1000 Miles

Enjoy My Tiddly-Bits

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.


William Ernest Henley said it best in the last line of Out of the Night That Covers Me. Since I’m foregoing the traditional path, I decided on looking into being self-published. Self-publishing is a new opportunity for every writer to become an author. You can write a 400 page novel saga about the differences of Coke and Pepsi and make it available to the world. Keep in mind, self-publishing does not equate to selling.

So, you’ve gotten to the point where no one is biting at your manuscript; or you just want to get your work out there and let it spread slowly throughout the world of literary media like a virus. Self-publishing is the way to go. Where to start though?

Well, first things first…

  1. Book finished? Check
  2. Book edited? Check
  3. Book edited by someone other than you? By at least three different people? A professional?

If that last one is a no, ease back before you just wildly post it on the Interwebs. I thought mine was good on the second round of edits. Then taking a week, stepping back and hearing from a couple of people on a few  flaws (by few I mean tons), it was obvious that I should take more time. Then after having a cursory edit from someone who edit for a living, I am certain that editing is key. Think about putting your work, your art, your passion out there and it contains simple typos, grammatical issues or a problem with flow.

First impressions happen once and you don’t want to be caught seeming like you are incompetent or don’t take pride in your craft. If you are setting out on your own, you want the first experience to be the best and kick-start the momentum from there. What I’ve found from my research so far on self-publishing is that it takes a motivated person with a clear plan to reach the heights they want to achieve.

Unlike being picked up by a literary agent, you will act as your marketing department, publicist, publisher, proof-reader, editor, legal consultant, accountant and artist for your cover art. Granted, you can hire out a majority of these functions, but how much would you like to sink into your novel before you get any return? Get that figure in your mind first. Then break it down to a time table that you’d like to see. First things first, before you submit an eBook or self-print, edit your book! Professionally. Then you’ll need cover art.

Cover art can be anything. There are websites out there to help guide you through some basic covers to get you started. *Note: Do not just pull images off of the internet and use them because “you found them for free so they must be free.” Artists can sue you for using their images without their consent, and it doesn’t have to be immediately. You can push out a book and it takes off and soars and reaches the top of Amazon. Then the artist whose cover art you pilfered from sees it and he wants his royalties. Do you want to be sued for up to $125,000? Take the time and buy the prints. Prints can cost from $20 and up, but then they are yours to play with and manipulate. C Your A.

How many people in your family or social groups would be willing to help in any occasion? Don’t expect the world to do your bidding, but trade services. If you know an artist that will do your cover art for helping them sheet rock their basement, do it! If you know an accountant that will give you advice for wine, barter and make it work.
Cover art done and editor lined up, so what next? Like any hopeful author should do in these circumstances, read up. Research your audience and get a clear idea of who you want to buy your book. I know we’d like everyone to buy it, but let’s face it everyone has a genre or niche they are appealing to. Then use that to find creative ways to market and get known.

Next in line, talk with an accountant. Seems presumptuous? No, seriously, if you are going to spend your money on a “business venture” such as writing, they will be able to help you find the right path to start on. First off, you are a business once you post your work for sale, so you need a Tax-ID or and EIN (Employee Identification Number). In my state, you have to register yourself as a company. Sounds silly when you are just hoping for a few sales at first, but trust me, when you start propelling and picking up speed, it’ll be a great investment. Plus, if you wind up getting signed by a literary agent, you’re eliminating steps they have to take. Who doesn’t want less work?? Your accountant should steer you towards any paperwork that you need to accomplish that. Oh, and yes, it will cost money to register yourself. On the plus side, it should be tax deductible.

In fact, keep receipts for anything you spend time or money on (this includes your writing time). You never know when something can be written off. Another perk on registering your name as a business is that write-offs for business expenses are possible. Check with an accountant on what those may be. However, your business registration will also allow you to set up back accounts (very handy for people using a pen name).

After your editor, cover art and your accountant, now… Refer to the C Your A comment above. Copyrights. DO NOT post a book or set of short stories or poetry without making sure that they can’t be picked up and sold by another. Unless you are wanting them to remain free to whomever wants it. Copyrighting can cost money but its a wise investment. Otherwise, the free way to copyright, albeit less formal and more work, is to seal your manuscript in a waterproof envelope and mail it to yourself. Keep in mind, don’t open it. You do that and it’s back to being a stack of paper up for the taking. Mailing it and keeping it in a safe or at least a secure place ensures it in case your story winds up in a publishing house somewhere or on TV. The government basically time-stamped and delivered your insurance policy.

Lastly, a great option an aspiring author should be looking into formatting your manuscript. Even though it looks great on Microsoft Word, e-Readers speak a different language altogether and your masterpiece might look like it was shuffled into a deck of hieroglyphics and empty space.

So, stew on those tidbits.

Self-Publishing Shopping List:

  • Finish Book
  • Edit, edit, eidt (sp) – {then hire a professional}
  • Social Media
  • Copyright
  • Editor
  • Formatting
  • Cover Art
  • Tax Preparedness
  • ISBN Registry – Not needed, but handy for referencing materials later
  • Marketing – Think of what you want to spend (publicity, flyers, social media boosts, shwag, QR Codes, domain-name purchases, website)
  • Get to know your local businesses, book stores, book clubs and writer groups


Well, I take my weekends to recharge from blogging and work on writing (on top of household projects. Please feel free to Like me on the Facebooks or let me know how I’m doing here.