Check out my latest interview with Fiona Mcvie.

Thank you authorsinterviews. I really enjoyed your questions.

E. A. Barker

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Author Truths for Beginners (Part 4)

This is a pay-to-play game.

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It is theoretically possible to publish your book without paying out for services, but you would be a fool to try.

  • Yes, you can write your own blurb, but it probably won’t help a reader reach a buying decision.
  • Yes, you might be able to edit, but you will miss mistakes in your own work.
  • Yes, you might be able to create a cover, but it probably won’t attract readers.
  • Yes, you could learn how to format the interior, but there is a huge time investment required.
  • Yes, you could learn to upload your book, but accuracy is crucial if your book is to be found in searches.
  • Yes, you could attempt free promotion of your book on social media, but the time investment to cultivate readers is staggering.

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.

Where ever there are newbies, there will be exploitation.

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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:

“What if there was a way to get authors to pay us instead of the old-fashioned way of doing things where we pay them?”

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.

The digital e-book has brought about a resurgence in vanity publishing by making the author dream affordable to all but the poorest among us.

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.

At an absolute minimum, publishing an e-book will require the following:

  • Editing. If you think you don’t need this, think again. Any editor worth their salt will charge at least $300.00 for a single pass.
  • A cover. If you spend $100.00 or less using modified stock images you did well. Avoid anything too cheap unless you want to lose sleep at night over rights infringements. Paying anything less than $250.00 is a good price for original art work and graphic design.
  • Interior formatting. Anything around the $500.00 mark is a score. $975.00 is the most you should pay a top professional.
  • File conversion should run you at least $40.00
  • Copyrights begin at $80.00 and climb by country.
  • A single ISBN is $125.00 but you can get ten for $250.00 so you will have to make the call based on how many books you plan to publish.

$1145.00 is what a SEMI-PRO first offering e-book will cost to publish, and we haven’t even talked about thorough editing, printed books, distribution or marketing yet.

Do not be seduced by predators.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surfers are book lovers too.

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It has been a long time since I have been out to the left coast, and now that I think about it, a return to a surfer filled beach is long overdue.

I  am a frost bitten Canadian boy from Ontario who spent most of his youth as a water-skier because we just do not have access to big waves here. However, I would take what I knew from slalom skiing and apply what I could to trying new things like downhill snow skiing, and surfing when I made my pilgrimage to SoCal each year. It turns out that athleticism is somewhat transferable. After a few initial clumsy and sometimes spectacular fails, I can safely say that I did not look like a beginner at either of these new sports.

Calling yourself a skier or surfer brings with it an identity, because you will spend far more time waiting for conditions than you will actually riding a board. It is in the waiting where we bond with others who share this common interest. These sports are now remembered more for the friends made, who gathered around beach fires, than the few truly great runs you still visit occasionally in your dreams. There seems to be a semi-conscious universal spiritual connect between us which keeps putting us together with others of our kind. Why else would Shelby Londyn-Heath, Author of The Twilight Tsunami, get in touch to ask if I would like to have my book profiled on her site? It is the will of the surfer gods. I could easily debunk this theory of mine, but why would I? It is perfect just as it is.

So please visit:

Surf’s Up Writers Bookshelves—Reviews and Book Talk

to see what the left coast cool people are reading.

http://www.surfsupbookshelves.com/

My book is profiled there today.

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It’s a BIG book—literally and literarily!

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Librarians, and people considering publishing a paper book, this one is for you!

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.

Denial.

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.

Light bulb.

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.

Big 8” x 10” large print books are expensive to produce.

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:

  • I have read enough books in my genre to know I was producing an original work; ergo, I was PEERLESS, and as such did not have to worry about “competitors”.
  • Additionally, my book is a legitimate reference / textbook whose competition is priced in the stratosphere by comparison. Most of those authors have PHDs and have many titles. Does anyone really care?
  • Lastly, I have purchased many large books over the years, sometimes for as much as three times the price that would be assigned to Ms. Creant. I ASS-U-ME-D all book buyers were just like me, in that they buy books based on the VALUE of the content rather than PRICE. It’s the words that count, right?

Yeah . . . turns out I was WRONG about all that stuff.

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.

So, I have that going for me.

BIG news!

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.

I have those.

Excerpts from 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.”

5 STARS – Savannah Morgan – Amazon.com

 

“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!”

5 STARS – Shelby Kent-Stewart – Amazon.com

 

“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!!!”

5 STARS – Ebony Arrington – McMillan – Amazon.com

 

“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.”

5 STARS – Vicki Goodwin –  Amazon.com

 

“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!”

5 STARS – Leah Negron –  Amazon.com

 

“ . . . it’s an original work in a sea of similitude.”

Patricia Annette – Massive Book Hog Blog

 

” . . . a fascinating fun read for both sexes.”

Eldon Taylor – Author and host of the Provocative Enlightenment radio show

 

“Yes – it is a great book. It certainly opens up dialog.”

Ravinder Taylor – Co-host on the Provocative Enlightenment radio show

 

“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.”

5 STARS – Amazon.com customer

 

“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.”

5 STARS – Roadie Notes Book Blog – Becky Narron

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“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!”

5 STARS – Amazon.com customer

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“. . . 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!”

5 STARS – Denise – Amazon.ca

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“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!”

5 STARS – James Longmore – Amazon.com

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“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”

5 STARS – Xtina Marie – Amazon.com & Goodreads

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“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.”

5 STARS  – Ms. D. Breault – Amazon.com & Goodreads

 

To see the full reviews follow these links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Goodreads.com

 

Thanks for reading.

E. A.