Fiverr Spotlight: Andrea Coventry

Last honorable mention went to the great okomota! This time I’m highlighting an awesome gig any Indie Author utilizing Fiverr should purchase. You can check the gig below:

https://www.fiverr.com/andreacoventry/promote-your-young-adult-book?funnel=c2d56cf0-a435-447c-94d3-2c549725f9c5

Five dollars got me a spot on both her Young Adult Blog here and her other book blog here. (Be advised that she does note at the bottom of the page that the post was commissioned through Fiverr). On top of that, she tweeted my book numerous times, generating a great amount of likes and retweets, as well as a Facebook post with awesome engagement. She’s a wonderful example of a Fiverr NON-hustler that goes above and beyond. Great value! I would most certainly use again! 😀

~Tael

RAWR Moments: KDP

Indie Authors inevitably do a hell of a lot of bumbling. Choosing a platform to self-publish with is one of the many first steps. There are a slew of reasons to choose Amazon, including the fact that many online promotion sites exclusively use their affiliate links and their reach is massive. I’m already an avid Primer; I order everything off Amazon from jeans to birthday gifts to kitty litter. It’s my go-to site whenever I’m looking to purchase something online; I’ll even find it somewhere on the Internet first, then search the exact product title on Amazon to see if I can get it there. I have their credit card, so I try to rack up loyalty points. Why isn’t everything on their streaming service free to Primers damn it?? Anyway, it’s a great way to go for self-publishing, but with no one to hold your hand through the process, there can be some hair-tearing moments.

First, with the advent of ebooks, KDP is largely focused on just that. Paperbacks take a backseat in this day and age even though some of us diehards who prefer to feel those pages still exist. Amazon has two options for printing paperbacks: CreateSpace and KDP. The problem is that even though they’re both under the Amazon umbrella, they’re still separate. KDP is the newer “beta” printing version that lists your stats alongside your ebook stats all on one page together. Nifty concept, but KDP has glitches that give CreateSpace the bigger fanbase. Only thing is, when you’re setting up the whole KDP thing initially, there isn’t a big “CLICK HERE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN KDP OR CREATESPACE FOR YOUR PRINT VERSION” button. You go with what’s there because it’s a print option available on the same platform as your ebook. I didn’t immediately find it clear that there was another option I could have chosen during setup, or that there was a clear reason to look into the other option, for that matter. That may be the trap for those who chose to self-publish after KDP printing was rolled out last year. You assume they’re all melded together somehow, but once you choose KDP, apparently you cannot switch over to CreateSpace. You’re now locked in.

Some people hate that you can’t order free/discounted author copies with KDP, but I don’t mind paying for my own book. But a lot of formatters don’t know how to work with KDP, only CreateSpace, and apparently formatting between the two varies to a high degree for whatever reason. Then there’s the glitchy uploading process. Loading the Print Previewer takes fooooooorrrrrreeeeeeverrrrrrr and often times out. If it’s still attempting to load after 10 minutes, I cancel and try to restart because I know it’s stalled. Then, once it does load, it can be veeeeerrryyyyy finicky. It may throw up an error that your image isn’t 300 DPI when it is. It may show you an older version of your manuscript even though if you open the file on your desktop, it’s already revised. It might tell you that your cover image doesn’t meet the trim requirements, then NOT throw that error if you re-upload the exact same file. Sometimes it just drops your cover altogether even if you didn’t touch it, and you have to re-upload it all over again, and then the cover upload stalls because it just wants to misbehave right now and you should try back in a few hours, even though IT WAS JUST WORKING.

Their rather antiquated beta templates for your trim sizes seem to be the best headache-free way to go, unless you hand over your manuscript to an editor for revisions and they screw over your margins and gutter formatting. I’m currently uploading a Word Document, because I like the freedom of being able to jump in and make a quick correction if pointed out to me, and then re-upload. I also prefer Eccentric Simplicity.

But the fact is, the print uploader for KDP can make the whole process a head-banging challenge (and no, not the party hard rock music kind). Even just little changes or quick revisions can become a nightmare. For days I’ve been trying to get my manuscript updated because I thought it would be cute to have chapter headers at the top of each page. I enlisted the aid of Fiverr and was met by hustlers. “Oh you want the headers CENTERED? That’ll be an extra gig because you didn’t say that originally and it will take more time.” Even with unlinked chapters, I centered them in 10 minutes. :/ “Oh, I moved the blank page before the Table of Contents and didn’t charge extra for that.” Well, I wouldn’t have expected you to anyway for moving a page over, but thanks for informing me of your overflowing generosity. I moved the project to another Fiverr who did a much better job, for a much higher price, but resulted in the template formatting being lost (he specializes in CreateSpace formatting). :/ He did give me options for revising the Kindle version though so it wasn’t a complete loss.

After stress-eating chocolate cake all morning and driving my nails into my temples, my boss offered to help and completed the header formatting the Fiverr’s could not complete to my liking in the past 2 days in 20 minutes. She is Dumbledore. And now I solemnly swear that I will not make any more changes so I don’t have to go through this again. No more trying to be cute. I’ll stick with Eccentric Simplicity. Lord knows I’m super-picky when it comes to EVERYTHING. I don’t need my self-publishing platform to be like me. -.-‘

~Tael

Author Q+A: Tael of “Chaos (un)Controlled”

Lucky Pineapple Films

What inspired you on this book?

So…many…things. The top 3 inspirations? My love of gaming, a couple of poignant dreams that stuck with me, and a determination to create a fictional world by incorporating truthful elements I’ve experienced!

Why did you want to become a writer?

I’ve devoured books since I was young. Reading was like my top hobby as a child, next to video games. I adored chapter books from a very young age, and my elementary school had an Author’s Club where we could create our own stories and craft our own books. But those were little children’s picture books. Once I realized that was supremely different from an actual novel, I grew discouraged. I thought I would never be able to write a 200 page novel about a completely made up concept! Chaos (un)Controlled is proof that I could.

What was the hardest part of creating…

View original post 871 more words

Lurker For Life

I think Goodreads is an amazing site, but I don’t participate in the forums.

Because mods.

I used to love forums until they became heavily trafficked by moderators. Which is fine, but they can be mean and power-hungry and I’m sensitive and having to read an introductory post on how to participate and what is and isn’t allowed in an online forum kind of takes the “casual-ness” out of the whole thing. The honor code doesn’t exist anymore for popular forums. I suppose there’s always 4chan, but as far as I know, there’s no honor there.

I used to participate in the Smashboards forums, but the mods were notoriously strict, and let’s face it; the internet has become way more jerkier since the millennium. The know-it-alls, snooty knowledge-slingers and trolls far outnumber the genuine people there just to share information and help others out. It’s just not as fun as the 90s.

So I lurk.

Just last week, a Facebook group I was a member of called out all the lurkers for not being more active in the group, and said maybe the group wasn’t for us. A sweet girl tried to stand up for us introverts, bless her, addressing our ninja mentality of striking when the time is right. But the group leader didn’t seem to approve.

So I left.

#LurkerNation. Unite!

(The ninja code of honor is strong.)

~Tael

The Exiles

Time for another Indie Immersion! This time it’s The Exiles by E. Leo Foster. It’s a short novel, about 140 pages, but this one seemed to capture exactly what I was looking for in an indie book: something different and uniquely creative without reading like a high school writing assignment. Ever read “Shoplifting from American Apparel” by Tao Lin? I really wanted to like that one, but I found it a very dry read with very little reader connection. The pacing flowed like a robot chanting an abstract grocery list.

For some reason, after reading the book blurb for The Exiles, I expected to read about a society of lawless vagrants who lived on the outskirts of town in a secret location like the Court of Miracles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. You don’t encounter this; instead, it focuses on one family in particular, and they aren’t even hiding from the world; just hiding secrets. Obviously the title is meant to be metaphoric.

TheExilesTwo main things that stood out to me.

A. The author created characters I didn’t really like, but could still connect with through human emotion. And I believe that’s a great skill.

B. I absolutely loved the smart style of storytelling he chose to use; the choppy flow of the short chapters that led into flashbacks building up to interesting reveals, and the witty, somewhat philosophical lines of #TruthTrebles sprinkled about that blended seamlessly with the storyline. This is a book that makes you think. So much so, that it prompted me to leave an Amazon review, which I can only do if I’m actually impressed or mentally impacted.

Doesn’t look like he used an editor; I came across some typos and grammatical incorrections (yes, I make up words that kind of make sense), but hey, I didn’t hire an editor either, and they weren’t littered throughout to take away from the overall story for me. Real readers aren’t picky. This one’s a winner. Cue the Super Mario RPG battle win music.

~Tael

I’m Impressed by David

And those who know me know I’m not easily impressed. I’m talking about AskDavid.com (no relation to Jeeves). Has it gotten me more sales? Not really sure. Nothing notable to immediately go “AHA!” But their setup and value impresses me. When I initially came across them in one of the many book promotion lists online, I passed them over because it mentioned a membership and I hate joining things. The commitment… >.>

But I finally returned and decided to give it a shot because it’s only $15 for a 6-month membership, and other services I’ve swam through so far charge you far more than that for just a day’s/week’s worth of promotion and little return.

Check out this nifty page they executed for me: http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/science-fantasy/14550

It has an old-school fan-page feel that my humble self admires. THIS looks like effort! Far more than the Fiverr gig I recently bought that offered to tweet my link for 3 days and literally tweeted only the link with the hashtag I gave them (I mean, most gigs like this include SOME sort of wording, and the guy proclaimed he was a goddamned ARTIST). The next day was a RETWEET of his original tweet. That’s #2, I guess. :/ Today, who knows. And that was a $10 gig.

But David…David shows my book cover in brilliant size, prodded me to give a description that differed from my book blurb to connect with readers, linked to my website, Twitter, and the Amazon page, threw my face up in there as well as my meager Amazon reviews, gave an option for people to talk and engage with me…David also gives you access to set up tweets from his Twitter account, AND gives you random little promotion pop-ups on his site. For $15 over 6 months, this is pretty good stuff, and not a price you’ll look back on like it wasn’t worth it. He’s making this fun and I can’t wait to do more interacting with it. I’ll even be able to farm for more indies to read and support here. It’s like a one-stop shop, where you find those rare RPG towns where they sell the items and weapons in the same place instead of making you run to different buildings.

It feels good to be impressed.

~Tael

In Close Quarters

A couple of years ago, I wrote a subway poem in a tweet that I never forgot:

All this space…

Why are you so close to me?

Why are you so close to me?

Whyareyousoclosetome?

Whyareourarmstouching?

I visualized it making it to one of the Poetry In Motion billboards on the train, so that riders who were unknowingly committing this crime would see it, magically be enlightened, and correct the offending behavior. Ahh, those New York dreams…

~Tael