Success–what exactly is it?

I need to say before I start, that at the last minute tonight, we decided to run off to the mountains to dig for rocks for a couple days. So any comments I will respond to when I get back. Hopefully we come back with cool rocks.


I’ve been talking about self-publishing for awhile, and now I want to wrap that up with a discussion of success. How do you know if your book is successful? How do you know if your career is successful?

Here’s the truth: there’s no single target that you’re trying to hit, all the targets move, and only you know what they look like.

Let’s start with that third one, because the other two will become clear in that discussion. Only you know if you’ve succeeded because only you determine the metrics of success. Is it to be published by one of the Big […]

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Self-publishing Part 4

For the last couple of months I’ve been talking about self-publishing my first indie title. At the bottom of this post, I’ll put links to the other three parts in case you missed them and want to go back and have a look.

The Incubus Job released a little over a week ago and I want to talk about a couple of miscellaneous issues that I ran into in the process. Things I learned, as it were.

First, where to upload to and setting up accounts. The most major outlet is hands-down Amazon. If you aren’t selling there, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Typically you make 70% if you price above $2.99 and 30% if you price below. You can go into the KDP Select program, which potentially will pay more and pays according to how much of your work is read. To join that program, you cannot […]

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Self-publishing Part 3

In the previous posts, I’ve talked a lot about getting the book ready for publication. Today I want to talk about the cover. Let’s first start with this old chestnut: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Probably good advice, but most of us absolutely judge books by their covers. Some of us (like many of us) won’t even pick up if the cover doesn’t signal to us that we might like the book.

Which brings me to my first point. The book has to talk to your target audience. A lot of publishers wonder ‘how they will position’ a particular book that doesn’t quite fall into a particular category. Or you’ll hear people say that a book ‘hasn’t found its audience.” The cover is the key to solving both those issues. Different covers signal different things. Take for instance, romance:

So here is a random sample of some […]

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Self-publishing Part 2

Last time I talked about starting the process of self-publishing. For me, anyhow. This week I want to dig into the nitty-gritty a little bit. Before I begin, however, I want to mention that I’ll be talking only about the e-book stage. I’ve not yet embarked on developing the print version, but when I do, I’ll talk about that process. Frankly I’m a tiny bit terrified of it, but then I’ve been terrified of the self-pubbing process from the get-go. I’m not entirely sure why, except maybe that I’ve always imagined this mysterious and complicated process behind the scenes. It’s somewhat complicated, but once you break down the steps and also hire out parts of it, it turns out that it’s not so scary.

Let me remind you of the list of steps I gave in my last post:

get the book beta-read and edited (I did this in two […]

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Self-publishing Part 1

As I mentioned last time, I’m working on publishing my first self-pubbed book (I was going to write self-pubbed publication–I need caffeine, obviously). I’ve wanted to publish something myself for some time, but I’ve had no time to write outside of my contracts for . . . well, a long time. Luckily, my contracts allow for me to publish independently. But that’s more of a business topic for later, or better yet, our intrepid Money Mondays duo might take it up for me. Hey Faith and John! 😀

All right, so I wanted to self-pub. You might as why. Go ahead. Ask. Well, I’ll tell you. There are several reasons. The obvious one is that I’d make a lot more money per sale doing it myself than going through a publisher. Always a nice thing. Plus the money comes in more frequently, which is to say, every month rather than […]

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And So I’m Back From Outer Space

Hello Everyone!!! I’m so excited to be back blogging on Magical Words this year. I’ve missed you. I’ll be posting on Thursdays opposite to the fabulous Misty. There are a few things I want to post about right away. The first thing I *was* going to post about is my first self-pubbed title and what that process has been like, since I’m in the middle of it and have learned a ton of stuff. But then I got sideswiped with this other thought and so that’s where I am today. Next time I’ll start talking about the self-pub project.

As some of you know, I’ve been writing a series called the Diamond City Magic books. It’s an urban fantasy set in an alternate Colorado. I’ve recently turned in the revisions on the third book, Whisper of Shadows, and that means I have to start book four. Now I know what […]

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Diamonds, Magic, and Mystery

Whenever I get sick–like the flu or something like it–I watch TV. And not just any TV; when I’m sick, I watch fairly specific kinds of shows. I look for documentaries first. Even though I normally like regular hour-long dramas and comedies and movies and HGTV, I always head for documentaries. If I can’t find anything I like there, I will go to the shopping networks. I know. The two together don’t make any sense, and I don’t go to the shopping networks at any other time. Ever.

The last time I was sick enough to do that was several years ago. In that session, I learned a number of things that have found their way into my writing. (I believe I also bought some blankets and sheets and called my husband at work about a vacuum cleaner, which I did not buy). In particular, I watched a documentary on […]

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