It's that time again when writers around the blogosphere come together to share hopes and fears. Click on the pic above to get to HQ at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog and feel free to join us on the first Wednesday of every month.
Let's talk about choices. Writers have SO many choices nowadays that it can be overwhelming. Should we go traditional or indie? Submit to a small press on our own or find an agent? Go with our original plan for a story or change it like our critique partner suggested?
Part of maturing as a writer is understanding all of our choices and making the one that is best for each of us. Each project has its own path, and knowing the value and risks behind each choice will save us a giant headache in the end.
If we do decide to go indie and self-publish, we have even more choices ahead of us. We are in control of everything from covers to editing to formatting. Sometimes it's scary out there because we want quality work without breaking the bank, and unfortunately in the world of freelance, not everyone is as qualified as they make themselves out to be.
For instance, I paid for a proofreader with Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc.--one that has a great rep in the indie world. Her turn around time was awesome, but what I didn't realize is that she has a team of proofreaders and the person who proofed mine was someone who worked for her, not the editor herself. That in and of itself is no big deal, but the team member who proofed mine did not do an impressive job. I found many typos later AFTER I'd published the story, which made me have to re-upload and that is not good for rankings.
Point being, take the time to know EXACTLY what you're getting into. Ask for referrals, look for testimonials and even email the person to get recommendations. Ask around.
Getting started in the indie world is expensive. I won't sugar coat it. And quality work is an absolute must or we don't get respect as an authentic author.
If you ever have questions or concerns on your own choices in the indie world, feel free to email me anytime and I'll give you my best advice... not that I'm an expert by any means, but if I can save you money or a headache waiting to happen, I most certainly will.
Don't feel like you're bothering a fellow author when it comes to making wise choices. It's always better to ask someone you trust than to make a huge and costly mistake. Most authors in the indie world (and trad) are more than willing to share experiences and advice.
We should feel confident in our choices.
Many of you know my indie covers are made by Jaycee DeLorenzo at Sweet-N-Spicy Designs. She's awesome to work with and I highly recommend her. She also did my website for me and I love it.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Brinda Berry for my ebook formatting, and she is just a gem. Efficient and excellent quality of work. She's an author too, but she's also just started her own ebook formatting side company, and I highly recommend her.
If you're in the market for a formatter, definitely check her out. I was so happy with her work that I decided to ask her a few questions and share them with you today so you can learn more about her service. No joke, she is wicked-fast with turn around times.
Brinda Berry at Sweet Biscuit Publishing
PK: Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Brinda: I’m a New Adult and Young Adult author with several releases out this year. My recent release is Chasing Luck, a New Adult romantic suspense novel. I spend my days working in higher education administration and my nights making up stories.
PK: . Are you self-published? Trad-pubbed? Hybrid? Tell us why you chose the path or paths you have.
Brinda: My first young adult novels were published by a small press. I self-pubbed this year, because I felt that it was the best fit for my novel. I’ve learned a lot over the years and could make an informed leap into self-publishing.
PK: You format all your own ebooks, as well as some others (like mine,) what made you decide to start your own side biz?
Brinda: I have a degree in Learning Systems Technology and love messing around with software. It’s very satisfying to be able to tweak things in my own ebooks. I like the control and cost-savings. Also, it’s nice to be able to format ARCs and even make last-minute corrections (if necessary).
I like helping other authors at an affordable cost.
PK: What program do you use for formatting, and how long, on average, does it take to format a standard sized novel of 50K-90K words?
Brinda: I own a software program called Vellum. The length of the novel really doesn’t matter. A 50K novel could possibly take longer than a 90K. The program intuitively recognizes many of the formatted elements. Occasionally I’ll have to do a manual check for correct scene breaks and other things. This increases the length of time it takes me to generate the files. Also, I may have to ask the author for things they forgot to send to me in the manuscript file.
PK: You’re EXTREMELY efficient. I know because you’ve turned my work around for me within a twelve hour period. Is this something you’ve had to become proficient at or do you have some secret sauce for making it happen? Did you take a class or self-taught?
Brinda: Secret sauce. Just kidding! Like I said, my background is in technology. Before I got my MSE degree in technology, I worked for an IT company. I catch on pretty quickly to the shortcuts and best practices in using software.
Writing a novel in a word processing app is one thing, but there’s nothing quite like seeing it as a book. I’m no longer bound to paper (pun intended), so I’m just as thrilled as the author to see it magically transform into an ebook.
PK: Many authors are learning to format on their own nowadays, what are some of benefits of having someone like you format their work instead?
Brinda: If you can format your own (without pulling your hair out), then you should. I love the idea of authors controlling everything about their own books. On the other hand, not everyone has the time and patience for that. Also, I hear about authors who have trouble with a specific vendor not taking the formatted file. I haven’t had trouble with the files I create.
PK: Indie authors do have choices when it comes to hiring freelancers, as there are quite a few out there. I’ve been thrilled with your work. Tell us why an indie author should consider you over someone else.
Brinda: I’m so glad you’ve been happy with your files! I guess the biggest advantages would be my turnaround time and the professional look to your formatted file. Also, I can easily generate files for you with specific store links for your other books.
Thanks, Brinda! Great info. Again, her work is amazing and super fast. If you have any questions for her, feel free to ask in the comments and we'll get them answered. And next time you need something formatted, keep Brinda in mind.
Thanks so much to Brinda for taking the time to share this info with us. I really love how authors can come together to help each other, which is what this community is all about.
Again, feel free to email me anytime if you ever need a question answered. I may not know the answer but I'll know how to find out.
Oh by the way .....
Looks what's officially out:
Book 2 is here! AMAZON
Add it to GoodReads.
There's also a giveaway happening for the next few days so be sure to enter HERE at the bottom of the page for some groovy Doctor Who pocket watch necklaces and a Butterman swag pack.
How do you feel about the choices we have as writers? Do you like making them on your own, or do you prefer to have guidance? Any tips you'd like to share for making good choices? Please share ...