Monday, April 30, 2012

Formatting your e-book!

I wanted to post this blog today in response to a bad review we had recently received. Did I want to lash out and act just as badly to the person who wrote the review? Yes, I did. In the end though I decided to take a negative and try and turn it into a positive in some way.

 Recently I received a bad review regarding our book. It states we were sloppy in the formatting department and also in the punctuation area as well. I have read this bad review over and over until I pretty much know it by heart. First of all, let me say in my own defense, I did put in what I thought was the proper formatting in my paragraphs and indents in the word doc. When I read a book, I do not want to see a big one paragraph chapter. I noticed when I was able to look at the preview that it took out all indents and spacing between my paragraphs. Had I formatted this correctly for e-book? The sad and unfortunate answer is no. It was correct for CreateSpace's paperback books, but not for e-books.

The review kept bugging me and bugging me. So I started to ask questions. I talked to a  friend Raymond Frazee, who has been instrumental in helping me learn some new tricks with Word 2010. There are others on Facebook pages such as MasterKoda and Buggie 4 Books that are very proficient with word 2007 and 2003. I wanted to learn how to do it properly and since I have gotten that bad review I am learning the proper way to put them in so they will stay. I have been informed though that some Kindle and e-book formatters will take out all spacing’s and indents no matter how much you want them in there. I discovered if your Kindle is on your desk top it will more than likely take them out.

One thing I learned is that if someone tells you it was formatted badly, maybe you should find out what you can do to make it better. Ask around in the chat rooms. If you have uploaded it to Kindle Direct Publishing or Smashwords, they have community boards where a lot of answers can be found.  Technology is changing all the time and with it we must change too. We must learn the newer ways an adapt.  I learned that if you go to paragraph in Word you can set up your paragraphs to have indents on the first line and you can set it up to have spacing between your paragraphs too.

As for the poor punctuation in the first chapter, the only thing I can say about that is this. We have Microsoft office word for this very reason. It helps you catch bad punctuation or lagging sentences. Is it perfect? No. It is much better at catching things of this nature then I am. We still go through it and read it over and over. We hired someone to edit the story also. I feel very confident in the punctuation part in the first 70 some pages.  That is where we had to stop with her helping on the editing due to conflicting writing styles. The rest is Microsoft office and what we were able to find and correct between 3 people.

The reviewer also said the book was dull. I think that is a personal opinion and not one I can help her with. I have found books that were exceedingly boring for me to read, while other people raved about them. The book is geared towards Young Adult Fantasy, preferably grades 5th through 8th grade. We have had a lot of good compliments on our book.  I like books of this age group as do many other “grown adults.”

You may ask how did I take a bad review and turn it into something positive. I worked on what I could. I learned that there are ways to properly insert indents and spacing for paragraphs. I learned that while this works on most e-book readers, it doesn’t work on all of them. Some will still take out all of your indents and spacing between paragraphs.

So if you get a bad review, as long as there are specifics as to what is wrong such as bad grammar, bad punctuation, no spacing or indents in your paragraphs. Listen to what they are saying. Research and find out if you have done it wrong. Make sure you can back up what you have done with the correct information.  These are our books, our babies that we are putting out there for others to judge. Even though it will hurt to have them judged harshly, learn from it and improve it. The nice thing about e-books is they can be changed and updated so they will read better and look nicer.

 As for reviewers who have a personal dislike for indie authors. The only thing I can say to that is this. Don’t give them a bad book!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Siggy asked me to write a short topic for her blog. I looked back through what I had and didn’t see anything that really struck my chimes. Basically it was like a timeline of our journey to becoming a writer. It showed our beginning by posting some bits of stories we had written to what we were trying to do to help get our name out there. It seemed the further I tried to talk about us the less people noticed. I tried to follow a writer who made the newspapers and a million in her first year of indie publishing. In other words, I was trying to be someone I was not. I am not Amanda Hocking. Trying to follow in her footsteps is fruitless. I can use some of her ideas but I have to make my own way, just as every other writer has had to do. We can learn from others and improve ourselves but in the end, we have to make our own way to becoming published authors.
We have found that we are good at customer service type jobs. Helping other people helps us. We found a place where that is personified tenfold in a woman named Kim Mutch Emerson. She created a group on MasterKoda where others are drawn in and love to help each other as well as make themselves known. Each and every person there has helped others without asking for anything in return as well as been helped from time to time.

Mellisa Neal is another person like Kim who created Buggie 4 books. She helps too is a kind and giving person who loves to help others even though she has her own troubles that could weigh anyone down to a level where they would only think of themselves. But they don’t they think of others and help others.

“Why do we do it?” I have been asked by those outside of the internet. Why would you help others if there isn’t any money in it for you? Why did I interview all those new and indie authors without asking for anything in return? These are some questions I have been asked. One gentleman was truly perplexed as to why we did it. I just thought to myself. I don’t know if he would understand how I feel when I help others. I like it! It helps them get the word out about their book and their name as well as help get our blog out there too! It was a definite win/win situation. MasterKoda also has the same ideas and the same beliefs. Help each other and not ask for anything in return.

Does that mean we work at jobs for free? No. None of us have a direct pipeline to fort Knox. We work; we look for work while we help others. All of us know how it is to be broke and need help or want to achieve a dream. That is why we help each other. We have a desire to help others succeed as well as ourselves.

I am adding this to the blog as another chapter to keep looking forward and learning more each and every day. Things change, times change and so must we. Learn to adapt or be left behind as some have said. At MasterKoda and groups like it, we help each other learn and keep up with new technology and our own writings.

To sum it all up, why we help each other is because we want to see indie authors become better than what has been portrayed. We want to help each other and show that we are not as cut throat as our time has shown time and time again. There is still good in humanity, there are still good people willing to help others without asking for anything in return. We are not lost as the news has us portayed. So hang in there everyone! We will make it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Author Tonya Kappes: Let Your Subscriber Count Soar

Author Tonya Kappes: Let Your Subscriber Count Soar: I have over 200 subscribers to my site and I know I can do more. This blog has been up for six month and 200 isn't bad. Now the hits the b...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Writing from the heart.

A friend of mine recently told me I should write a blog and write from the heart. I have always been a very private person, not letting anyone get too close to me. I have kept people at arms length if  not more. I can relate to a lot of people's pain whether it be from abuse or a painful past or even surgeries. I don't talk about my own much but am willing to talk to others and help them with theirs. I let them know that I have been there too so can understand. I used to talk when I was young but found no one really cared. One person even said, "the further in time you get from the incident the less people care." So I stopped talking about it.
Now flash forward a life time with kids and getting them raised and again I find myself talking about something I never figured anyone would want to hear about. My son, Charlie who has learning difficulties while in school, people want to know about! Charlie has dyslexia and cross modalities. Together we have written a book called "Kai's Journey". We are indie authors and have come a long way. I found that people wanted to know more about Charlie's struggles and how he overcame them and still graduated high school. When we were querying agents I was told by an ISU professor to not share too much. Less is more. So I stopped telling the agents about Charlie and his struggles to become an author. Now that we have joined the MasterKoda site on facebook and gone onto a few of their parties and talked, People want to know about him!
The local school has contacted us asking if we would talk to a student about how to become an author. The AEA is wanting to talk to us also to maybe help set up a new way of teaching for kids who don't learn in the "normal" way. As the principal Mr. Kozak stated, "teach outside the box" by incorporating their pasion with the lessons needed to be taught. To go along with that, I have also contacted the guidance councelor to talk about doing presentations to schools concerning some of the perils to watch out for when walking the road to getting published. I have found that here in Iowa,even authors who have been published for a long time really dont' want to impart much information as for the ways of getting published. I want to let those kids know that while it is something to strive for to be careful out there and question everything!
I am by far an expert on any one thing in regards to getting published, but I am learning everyday new things and new ideas. I hope to pass that knowledge on to new and upcoming authors from Iowa. We may not have Chicago, or New York here but I am here and all it takes is one snow flake to start an avalance! I am quoting a friend there. Just because we are out in the boonies doesn't mean we can't help others find their way. While we don't know how this will all come about we are pro actively reaching out to others to possibly help out aspiring authors and poets to realize their dreams. I realized long ago, no one is going to come knocking on my door asking for my knowledge or to ask us to speak. I am taking the initiative and going out to our local school and using them as a pilot to see how it goes and how we could improve if needed. We are still working on stories but also trying to start other venues in our area too.
Our journey to getting published wasnt' just us writing a story, it was a group effort. Our local school helped us, friends helped us. Our local newspaper took an interest in us and helped us. Our local library was a great resource for information we were looking for. No matter how outlandish it sounded. Even our local vet helped us too! We hope to repay all those people who have helped us by paying it forward and helping others who are also looking to reach their dreams. So to sum all this up. You never know who does want to hear your life's story, good or bad. You never know who you can help until you try. Most important of all, if you have a dream, never give up!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sian's Blog On Writing: Breaking that childhood mold!

Sian's Blog On Writing: Breaking that childhood mold!: Hmmm.....this in NO way a rant or a angry vent!! I was born 2-3 months early and had some sorry HAVE some developmental issues! But I never...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our Book is available in both paperback and e-book!

Are you tired of the same old Hollywood werewolves and Dragons? Tired of seeing the werewolves as blood thirsty crazed killers? Well, why not give our book a read! Our book portrays Werewolves as the good guys and so are the dragons! Check it out!

Kai's Journey (The New World Chronicles)

Can be found on Amazon and also Barnes and Nobles

Kai's Journey

Both books are available in paperback and e-book on both sites!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Creating Dystopia and other Dark Places: Book trailers on Youtube

Creating Dystopia and other Dark Places: Book trailers on Youtube: I created 2 book trailers for my books.  The first is for Survival of the Fittest - The Last Hope for the Human Race:

A tiny taste of whats to come in book two of Kai's Journey!

Now please remember this is the rough draft, it hasn't been edited or anything yet, but I just wanted to let people know we are working on book 2 of Kai's Journey. So without further delay, here it is:

He’s waking, Kai is waking!” A voice said close by.

A man lay on a bed bandaged, battered and bruised. Groggily he felt as if every part of his body was either sore or stiff. Gingerly he tried moving his arms and legs. He felt that his left leg was bound in some sort of splint. His head ached as if he had drunk way to much liquor the night before. Smells came to him strong and sure. He smelled her before he even opened his eyes. She had a scent of earth, musky and loamy with a subtle hint of a spring shower in wild flower field. He could also smell something like the smell you get when striking a match. The smell wasn’t quite as strong but there none the less.

Something is wrong, He doesn’t know.” Again he heard the voice. Through dry cracked lips he asked,

“What’s wrong? Who doesn’t know what?” The man on the bed opened his eyes and looked around at the strange surroundings.

Marilyn Monroes Other Story Authors KR Hughes TL Burns 04/11 by ReadersRockinRadio | Blog Talk Radio

Marilyn Monroes Other Story Authors KR Hughes TL Burns 04/11 by ReadersRockinRadio | Blog Talk Radio

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Best books: 2000 likes mega giveaway!!

Best books: 2000 likes mega giveaway!!: OMG can you believe it!! Best books on Facebook have reached 2000 likes and we just celebrated our 1 year birthday. So I’m now going to do a...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ann Cory: Hoppy Easter Blog Hop - Prizes Galore

Ann Cory: Hoppy Easter Blog Hop - Prizes Galore: Welcome to the Hoppy Easter Blog Hop! This funtastic blog hop will take place from April 6th to April 8th. Best of all, there are tons of ...

Author Tonya Kappes: Personal or Public. . .Which Facebook Page Should ...

Author Tonya Kappes: Personal or Public. . .Which Facebook Page Should ...: If I had to do it all over. . . would I have made my Facebook page a Fan Page? I joined Facebook in 2008. At that time you could have a pe...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Creatura Lovers: Welcome...and be patient!

Creatura Lovers: Welcome...and be patient!:     Hello, kids! My name is Irina, but people call me 'Kyky' and my blog mate is Oana, and we are two wonderers and a half! It all started w...