I am so pleased to announce that Ms. Creant has been listed by the good people at Mindstrim.com
Newbies who try to DIY their book ultimately fail because they will never get any of the above six points exactly right. All these errors compound to create a book that will never have a chance at success.
Somewhere in one of the Big Five publishing houses, there is a wealthy person sitting in a corner office who got there by asking the following:
Self-publishing has been around just about as long as the printing press. A press was expensive and the owners of them needed to keep them running as many hours a day as possible. They quickly figured out they could make money from wealthy people who thought they were writers. The Vanity Press was born.
Let’s look at who will make money from you if you choose to self-publish. We will assume you do not possess any of the skills required, and have nothing to barter with. We will also assume a 50,000-word novel.
PAY NOTHING TO ANYONE until you have checked out a number of their references.
Negotiate a deal to pay 50% up front with 50% upon completion by a set date you can both live with.
Hire on a trial basis whenever possible. It is better to pay a new editor for one chapter, to find out if you like their work, than it is to pay them to edit your entire book only to discover too late you do not like their changes.
Be exceedingly cautious if you choose to package all of this in what is now termed an Author Services company. In my experience, they either underperform or gouge for their services.
When I began writing Ms. Creant a number of years ago, I found myself reaching for my reading glasses more and more often as I researched the book. The decision to purchase them was based on my rationalization that due to the ridiculous amount of safety warnings being printed on labels these days, the font sizes were being decreased so much that only a very few people could read them. It had nothing to do with being in my forties.
As a single guy in this age group, you cling to your youth amidst a mostly unacknowledged mid-life crisis, which means you wage war on the gray hairs more and more frequently until it is just a part of your unconscious daily routine. You have to attempt to look younger than you actually are in order to have any shot with women still in their child-bearing years—or so you have convinced yourself. Part of maintaining a youthful appearance in public requires that we can read a book without the apparent need of reading glasses; something I can do easily with a twelve-point font size.
I would produce a book that people over forty can read at the beach without glasses. As it turned out there are both upsides and downsides to this decision for a self-published author.
It seems that by choosing this size—after literally measuring bookshelves in libraries and bookstores—Ms. Creant would fall into Ingram’s “custom” category; something outside of their standard size offerings. I would go on to make the executive decision to proceed with this ideally sized book regardless of the fact that my book would be about five bucks higher in price than so-called “competitive” books coming out of the mainstream traditional publishers. Here is how I rationalized it at the time:
Always one to look on the bright side, it turns out that libraries actually like big paperbacks vs. the more expensive hardcover option; especially when taking on a book from a relatively unknown first-time author.
As a thank you for their support and to embrace, however reluctantly, the new wave of e-book options available in libraries, I have dramatically reduced the price of Ms. Creant in all the specialty library e-book platforms available from Smashwords. What more could they want? Oh yeah, reviews.
“Although, there is plenty of scientific, medical, and technical references laced throughout to draw from, Mr. Barker has managed to write the perfect self-awareness, self-help, self-insight book in a manner that is entertaining, witty, intelligent and informative without being dry and judgmental.” “It isn’t often that I say an author has thoroughly done their research, but in E. A. Barker’s case I can.” “5 stars across the board for writing, research, execution, and editing; a rarity for this reviewer.”
“Well, damn, I loved it. A wonderfully-written foray into the male psyche and too rarely plumbed ‘she done him wrong’ kerfuffle.” “Penned with wisdom, humor and a keen insight into the battle of the sexes and exes, this book kept me laughing, frowning, and on more than one occasion, prompted introspection.” “Brilliant book!”
“I LOVED this book!!! I LOVED being able to get a sneak peek into the mind of men. This book was both funny and insightful!!” “…I am so glad that I picked it up!!!”
“I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from this book. What I got, was humor, insight, and some riveting stories about relationships, good and bad. Each story shone a beacon on flaws in character, strengths of character, and wit.” “I enjoyed meeting the people in the book.” “I gave it five stars because it is truly a manual that both men and women can sink their teeth into.” “Excellently written and surprisingly fun.”
“As a woman and a lesbian I was a little unsure about reading this book. Especially with it being from a man’s perspective.” “You will get a better understanding of the dynamics of relationships, of life and the do’s and don’ts. I highly recommend this book for everyone to read. You may learn things about yourself that you never knew before.” “Truly amazing read, you won’t be sorry!”
“ . . . it’s an original work in a sea of similitude.”
” . . . a fascinating fun read for both sexes.”
“Yes – it is a great book. It certainly opens up dialog.”
“I am a woman in my middle sixties happily married for 45 years with children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.” “This book should be read by men and women in their early stages of adulthood. The author was quite informative but had a good sense humor as well. Read this book with an open mind and I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. Keep writing E. A. Barker, you are a very gifted author.”
“Personally I think that everyone that has ever been in a relationship or will ever be in a relationship should read this book. It is insightful, funny at times and not for children.” “I would give this book a 5 star review out of 5 possible stars. This is one you don’t want to miss. Try something different you won’t be sorry.” “Amazing.”
“As a woman who has spent a lot of time trying to figure out how men see these types of things, this book was a breath of fresh air! Humorous and informative, I will definitely be recommending this book to others!” “Absolutely loved it!”
“. . . Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers! is far from boring, not my typical nonfiction read and not what I was expecting.” “I highly recommend this book for men and women, as well as young adults (teenagers).” “Bravo Mr. E. A. Barker!”
“I approached this book with an open mind, and had to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it!” “I honestly can’t say if Ms. Creant will change the world, but it certainly altered my perception of it! Totally recommended – read this book, people!”
“Wow, I read this book relatively fast, and actually went back to read it again. There is so much information packed into the pages, it definitely warrants more than one read.” “I absolutely LOVE Barker’s writing voice.” “I highly recommend this book to everyone.” “5 Life Altering Stars”
“If you can read this with an open mind, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did and gain some very useful knowledge. I have a 22 year old son, and I’ll be getting him a copy to read. I hope he heeds the advice given, because I believe he’ll be a better man because of it.” “A definite must read.”
Thanks for reading.
In the land of Auth, we spend too much of our time on social media instead of writing or editing which would better serve our readers. That being said, every once in a while something truly interesting blows up in our news-feeds and this is my take on the latest of those.
K Webster’s: The Wild has made a big noise of late because (if I have my third party facts straight) Amazon and now apparently Smashwords have refused to sell her latest book due its content. It should be noted, I do not read most of the genres that my social media “friends” write in. My information has come from a couple of blogger friends whose opinions I trust, even though I challenge those opinions when they get too far from center.
Here is what I have found out about Ms. Webster:
So WHY did this seemingly nice lady do this?
The 99.97% of humans who have never written a book, and who never will, cannot possibly understand what it feels like to complete a work which has taken months or even years to finish. We are absolutely elated. I can best describe it as the feeling you have after great sex, only it is your brain that had the orgasm and not your body. The afterglow lasts for weeks instead of minutes and I swear it is a hormonal response, but I have zero supporting science to back this theory up. Our brain had a baby and our hormones are all messed up.
Postpartum Elation excuses aside, (I own this. © 2017 :D) Ms. Webster made some mistakes:
Good writing is an intellectual exercise. Great writing adds in an emotional investment component from the writer to the intellectual exercise.
This brings us to my opinion of what I have seen on social media:
My PG13 (ish) book has the following on the website:
Ms. Creant was written by a man, from a man’s perspective, for men, and those soon to become men. Yes, many women have embraced the book as well, but it is doubtful any young female teenagers are likely to be handed a copy. It is difficult to state the exact age a young man should begin to explore the realities which lay ahead for him, so my first thought was to say age thirteen—the sooner the better. HOWEVER, I recommend we err on the side of caution. The book contains adult situations and sarcasm that the youngest readers may not comprehend without adult guidance to give them some clarification. This could cause an important message to be lost on them, or worse, they may embrace the poor behaviors illustrated. There are both young men and boys in the age range between thirteen and fifteen with significant variations in maturity levels found throughout the group. We can safely state that a young man is ready for Ms. Creant when he has experienced any of the following life events:
On July 13, 2017, I was the featured guest on a West coast syndicated radio show. I thought I was there to talk about my book with the host, but a technical problem would create an unforgettable moment which I really cannot remember.
I was originally scheduled to be on this show on May 4th, but due to unforeseen circumstances for the hosts, we had to reschedule. I had prepared notes for the show at that time, including some amusing Star Wars Day themed quips. but it was not to be.
I did little to prepare for the show the second time around, thinking that it would only increase my nervousness about being on a nationally syndicated radio program. All the show notes, made back in May, lay in a pile on my desk. I told myself it would all come back to me once I settled into the conversation with the host.
Just prior to the show, the co-host called to do a sound check and to clue me in as to how the show would unfold. The producer would call a few minutes before the show was scheduled to begin. There would be a preamble from the host, my intro, and then the interview with a break at the bottom of the hour. Her accent was intoxicating, causing me to pay more attention to how she sounded than what she was saying.
The butterflies began when the producer called and placed me on hold. In my head I was saying to myself: Relax, be yourself, and try not to sound like a moron.
The show began pretty much as anticipated. However, I definitely felt as though the host was most interested in the more controversial “irreverent” passages from my book. I had hoped we would be discussing the more serious underlying themes of: awareness, equality, education, parenting, behaviors etc. but this was his show, and I had to play by his rules.
We authors are sensitive and can become defensive when we perceive criticism of our hard work or character. I was glad for the break; a chance to breathe and compose myself for round two. I was counted in and awaited something from my host.
The producer came on the line; hurriedly he said: “We have lost their feed, JUST KEEP TALKING.” So much for the aforementioned composure. My mouth went dry. My mind raced. I was struggling to find a coherent thought when I realized my mouth was already speaking words.
I think I opened with: “Hello America”, then said something about the technical problem, something about my book, and something flattering about the host.
My brain had turned to mush and my mouth was on auto-pilot. I was just able to perceive that noises were emanating from my mouth. I hoped they were intelligible, and not just grunts, squeals, and moans. This state lasted until the feed to the host station was restored and I again heard the host’s voice. It seemed like forever, but it was probably just a few minutes that I was left alone on the American airwaves.
Next time, I will read my show notes.
The edited show for rebroadcast & YouTube does not tell this story in its entirety, but you will get some sense of it when you listen.