Steps I Took To Self-Publish My Book + An Important Announcement about Wording Well)

Ebook Cover - Risky Issues by Lorraine Reguly

If you have not yet self-published a book but want to, there are certain steps you could take to do so. Most new authors do things haphazardly, however, because they are uninformed of what to do first.

Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. Other times, you can listen to someone who has self-published a book and has “been there, done that.”

Self-publishing my book took me a long time only because I procrastinated a lot. In actuality, I could have gotten that darn thing out there a lot sooner than I did. (And yes, I know I shouldn’t call my book “that darn thing” but it’s my book, and I can call it whatever I want!) 😀

Steps I Followed to self-publish (which you should, too)

Here are the steps I followed to self-publish my book.

This link will bring you to my author site… which brings me to my announcement.

An Important Announcement about the future of Wording Well

Dear Reader, I really enjoyed my vacation, and it’s good to be back. 🙂 The time off from blogging allowed me to figure out a few things that have been weighing on my mind.
I have decided that I’m going to refrain from posting information about self-publishing on Wording Well and am going to post it on Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There instead. I’m also going to be posting all future book reviews on my author site as well.

I want Wording Well to focus on offering freelancing tips, writing tips, and blogging tips.

I want my author website to offer book reviews, and tips on self-publishing, and personal stories about me (something previously found on Lorraine Reguly’s Life – the name of this blog before it became Wording Well – but which are still found here on Wording Well, in the archives).

I also need to focus more on my freelance writing and editing business. It’s time that I make these important changes now, especially since my Amazon Author Central page is linked to the blog on my author website. (This page also displays my latest Tweet!)

Originally, when I started blogging, I had no direction. I was still learning what blogging was all about. Granted, I know there are still things to learn (there always is!), but I’ve come a long way since my early blogging days, as I’m now earning money from writing and editing (which I love). 🙂

It’s going to take some time to get both Wording Well and Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There to a point where they are clearly defined and where I want these sites to be, but I know that I can do it. I have diligence. 🙂 Juggling more than one blog is tough, but I know it will get easier with time.

Many bloggers have multiple blogs, depending on their niche.

Although both of my sites pertain to writing, their niches are actually very different (or they will be, soon)!  Wording Well is going to have an emphasis on freelancing and blogging, with the niche for Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There having an emphasis on books (whether they are written by me or not!), book reviews, and self-publishing (and all that self-publishing entails, which is a lot).

Furthermore, I’m writing posts about different blogging tips for Dear Blogger at a rate of one per month. I strongly urge you to read them. Often, they begin as posts I’d publish here! However, because I get paid to guest post there, and have a contract to produce posts at this rate, I am not going to publish them here when I can make money publishing them there! (You would do the same thing, if you were me.) But because I know all of you don’t follow that blog,  I generally try to write two posts dealing with the same issue, and with my post on Wording Well linking to my posts on Dear Blogger, because the post on Dear Blogger offers more information. It has to; Greg doesn’t pay me for nothing! 😉

What this all means for you

Depending on your particular interests, you might have to follow both of my sites! You might want to follow one or the other. That choice is yours. I can’t make you do something you don’t want to do. What I will promise you is that, regardless of when and where I post, I will be completely forthright, honest, and provide you with as much information as I can, in a clear manner.

Also, if one post relates to another, I will link to it. I don’t want you to miss out on important info!

 

An Invitation for you

Now that I’ve explained what my new site will contain, and when I will be posting things there, I’d like to invite you to visit and follow my new author site, Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There. You might even want to sign up for my author newsletter. 🙂

And please do me a favour and share this post. It’s best if we’re all on the same page. Pun intended. 😉

Thank you.

~Lorraine

Why Does Sexual Identity have to be SO Confusing?

girl hugging a handsome guy

Let me tell you a bit about me.

I have an open mind, and I don’t judge people. I’m not racist or prejudiced in any way.

And I think love can occur between members of the same sex.

Gender Variations

What I don’t fully understand is all of the variations that have arisen in recent years to define the gender/sex of some people.

Years ago, there used to be only two: male or female.

Then came another four options: lesbian, gay,  bisexual, and transgender.

Still pretty easy to understand, and known more commonly as LGBT.

But then the sexual-identity waters get muddied.

Along came a few more labels to make things confusing: asexual, and pansexual, androsexual/androphilic, and gynesexual/gynephilic, to name a few.

Sigh. It’s hard to keep up!

Why does sexual identity have to be SO confusing?

depressed and confused guy

To make things even more confusing, up pop even more labels for identifying one’s sexual identity: genderqueer, androgynous, intersex, intergender, skoliosexual, transsexual, transitioning, and questioning.

Questioning? Really? That’s a “gender” now? Wow.

Times have certainly changed!

While I don’t necessarily understand each and every term, what I do understand is that some people are confused about their sexuality, for whatever reasons(s).

And I’m one of them. And I thought it’s because I’ve always been overweight.

Let me explain.

When I was in grade school, I always found myself looking at girls. But not just any girls — girls who were petite, who had curves in all the right places. I always thought that it was because I wanted my body to like theirs. Never did it occur to me that I might be gay or bisexual.

Then again, those terms weren’t around in the 1970s or 80s… (I was a teen in the mid 1980s, and by the time the term LGBT was in use, I was an adult, as LGBT began to be used in the 1990s.)

Hm.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that I’m bisexual, with the split about 5% towards females and 95% towards guys.

Settle down. I’m still me, regardless of who I am attracted to!

one girl kissing another girl

Would you love me if I was a girl who wanted to be a guy? Would you still read my posts… knowing as much as you know about me already, o faithful reader? I’m a bit unsure.

An Introduction to A Genderqueer Author

And so, to test the waters, so to speak, I’m writing about this today, not because I want to be a guy (although I think I do have penis envy to a certain extent) but because I want to introduce you to an author who doesn’t quite fit the norm. On Friday, you will meet her when I do a book review for her. And no, I’m not telling you her name just yet. I want it to be a surprise.

UPDATE: The book review post has been published. Her name is Connie. 😉

To clear things up, if you are wondering… I’m quite happy with who and what I am.

But not everyone is.

Are you?

And do you know why someone’s sexual identity has to be SO confusing?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so don’t be shy. Speak up. Enlighten me. Let’s talk about this.

image that advocates equality between people
Image 1 courtesy of imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image 2 courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image 3 courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image 4 courtesy of nongpimmy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Being an Author Is Depressing (+ I desperately need your help)

 

i want to kill myself

Who said being an author is glamorous?

Who said becoming an author would make me happy?

I’d like to know who said this, because that person flat-out LIED.

An author’s life is not filled with glamour. Rather, it’s kind of depressing, even though there are moments of excitement.

Why I think being an author is depressing

I will admit that I might be suffering from fatigue. I mean, I’ve had a  busy two months. June and July were filled with readying my book for publication and creating all of my new author pages and profiles. While the latter are actually simple tasks, they are very time-consuming when you are doing everything yourself, like I am!!! UGH!!

But what’s even worse is that my little book is only one of many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many,many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many books being sold on Amazon. Um, yeah, you’re probably thinking that I put one to “manys” in there, but, trust me, I really DIDN’T.

Here’s why.

 

(Yes, I’m ending the post here. My plea for help actually comes from my other blog. Please take a look at what I need, and why I’m so depressed… Trust me, it’s not a pretty sight at all.)

Go find out what’s going on, and see if you can help.

 

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My  “Jo Ann Plante Chat” – Inspiration for #indie #authors

 

Everyone Evelon Cover

 

It amazes me when a reader of mine tells me I have helped make a difference in his or her life. It makes me happy and gives me warm fuzzies inside.

When I got an email one day from this lovely lady, I was floored. She published her book before I did! (Although I was a bit envious, I’m super-thrilled for her!)

How did she get published so fast?

I asked her this, plus a few other questions. We decided to put our conversation together into a blog post, to give her some exposure for her book – even though I have not read it yet – and to share our personal successes with you.

Chances are, if you have been following my posts for a while, you’ll recognize her name and her face.

Yes, it’s Ms. Write4Yu2 herself : Jo Ann Plante!

She is the proud indie author of Everyone Evelon, an e-book published in May 2014. (YAY, Jo Ann!)

Jo Ann has been a reader and a follower of my blog practically from Day 1 and has guest posted before (her true story of her health problems with Lupus). She’s been wanting to publish a book for a while, and claims that I have been a huge help to her, offering her the inspiration she needed to complete it! (She makes me blush.) 🙂

Her book is a work of fiction with a sub-category of Christian and romance.

Let’s dive in!

My “Jo Ann Plante Chat”

Tell me something about your background and how you came to be a writer.

I’ve always liked to write. I live in Rhode Island and my Dad used to work in Connecticut. He got up very early and came home later than most Dads, so I didn’t get to see him much during the week. I used to write little notes or poems and put them in his lunch box, so he could read them during his break.

My Mom had her second heart attack when I was 9 years old. There was a lot of responsibility put on me and by the time I was 12, frankly, I was getting hard to handle. It was suggested that I go away to boarding school for a few years to get back to being a young girl. I had matured very quickly. The boarding school was run by the nuns and was very strict and quite honestly, it was the best thing for me at that time. I used to write home every weekend so I got a lot of practice writing letters.

I went to college and majored in French and German, so there were a lot of grammar and writing classes. Believe it or not, this reinforced my English grammar and made me a better writer. The summer of my junior year I decided to take a Short Story course at the local community college. I thought it would be an easy course to take. It was, but the catch was, for our final exam, we had to write a short story.

For the first few weeks, I couldn’t think of what to write about, and then, while I was sitting under a huge tree in my yard, I decided to write a story through the eyes of that tree. I got an A+ and was told to pursue a career in writing. I should have taken the professor’s advice.

Instead I went on to work as an administrative assistant, but I took advantage of every opportunity to write. I wrote training manuals, product descriptions, and customer correspondence.

While working at the local hospital, I was asked to write an essay about how the hospital was a great place for women to work. I wrote the essay and the hospital won the Spotlight Award from the Rhode Island Commission on Women.

In my next job, I worked for an internet gaming company. They created gambling websites for European countries. My job was to write “test scripts” and test the components of the website. In other words, all day every day, I had to keep playing the game to make sure that everything worked and I had to document not only the player components, but the behind-the-scenes activity of the game. Here I learned to do some technical writing.

Finally, in 2005, I decided to try a writing career, so I took a course in freelance writing. I became certified and then started writing a few articles for my local newspaper. I continued to write for anyone every chance I had.

In 2009, I joined the International Association of Administrative Professionals – Providence Chapter  and wrote press releases and articles about the events and activities of the chapter. These articles were also published on the IAAP website and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce website.

During this time I worked as a temp. Sometimes temps are not included with the permanent employees, so I spent many lunch hours with a notebook and pen in hand. It is here that I created Everyone Evelon, a story about 2 people falling in love, the choices they make, their wishes and dreams, and how they actually achieved what they wanted. It came to them in another way.

Because I lack self-confidence, I just put the notebook aside for a few years. Finally, I decided to try and get my novel published. I couldn’t find a literary agent that wanted to work with me, so I took matters into my own hands.

I have to stop here and say that reading your posts and newsletters actually got me to the point where I said to myself, “You know, I can do this.”

I had been writing a blog for my virtual assistant business and I enjoyed writing about different ideas and getting feedback from my readers. I wanted that same feeling as a true author, so I started a second blog post and website for my author work.

 what  the jo ann plante website looks like

Wow. You sure have done a lot, Jo Ann! Thanks for your kind words, too. 🙂

Next question: What prompted you to write this kind of story?

This story contains snippets from my own life and from others around me that have inspired me. Some of it’s just plain creative work and I’m not going to tell you which parts are which. Aside from the creative aspect of writing, I pulled ideas from people I’ve met that have impressed me and I used names I heard or saw that intrigued me.

I try to be as real as possible with my characters, because life is real. There’s a time and place for other genres, but most readers want to read about reality and how to get around problems and obstacles. Once I started writing, the ideas just flowed and I just went from one scene to the next.

 

Now, I know you self-published Everyone Evelon, but I’d like to know which service did you choose to publish your e-book, and why?

I started to research various book offers. Print books are great, but I don’t have that kind of money to shell out and where would I put all of them? I checked out e-books. This was affordable and doable, but which company to choose?

Again, research, calling them, asking questions, comparing notes led me to select BookBaby. I’m not saying this is the best, but…it is the best option for me. I had no confidence in myself, so I needed someone to hold my hand.

BookBaby always answered my calls by the third ring and an actual person spoke to me. If I emailed them, I would have an answer by the next morning. They let authors choose which services they want instead of one-plan-fits-all.

  • I chose the Premium Package for $249.00, because I wanted to make money from this e-book and with this package, BookBaby doesn’t take any fees. I charge $1.99 for my e-book.
  • I chose the Basic eBook Cover Design for $149.00. Next time I will make my own. I will have the book cover created from Fiverr or another website.
  • I selected BookBaby to get the ISBN number for me for $19.00.

The total came to $417.00, but they only charged me $407.00.

  • I was nervous about converting my document myself, so they did that for me as well. I gave it to them in .doc form and they converted it to .mobi and then sent it to me to review and approve. 
  • They set up a dashboard, so I can keep track of how many e-books are sold and how much money is coming to me. I have my money direct deposited, so I don’t have to worry about check-cashing fees. 
  • They walked me through the process and I was on my way. They asked me the date I wanted my e-book to go live and they sent me a proof to show me what it will look like on an e-reader. I called several times and they were always happy to talk to me and assure me or advise me on my questions. They really made me calm down and enjoy the process.

It sounds like you’ve had a positive experience with BookBaby. That’s great! Now tell me, what do you want your readers to take away from your e-book?

First of all, let me say that it is classified as Christian fiction, because I mention God. It’s not “Amen, Alleluia” on every page, but it does mention Divine intervention from time to time in the story. I disagree with the genre and category, but that’s where it falls. It is listed as Christian fiction, sub-category – romance. 

I prefer to think of it as just a darn good story. It is life, and problems, and give-and-take in a relationship. It is hopes and dreams, and seeing two sides of a problem. I’ve been criticized for the ending, but I may make a sequel, so I wanted to leave the door open. 

I want to give my readers a good story to show them that they’re not alone. Life is full of problems and issues, and faith in yourself, others, maybe even God, can give you the strength to persevere and finally have your dream fulfilled. This is a feel-good story, so realistic, you think you know these people. The story takes place in Canada, in the province of Quebec, but it could be anywhere in the world.

 

What advice do you have for future authors?

Write something every day. I write a weekly diary where I take every day and say what I did or what happened on that day. I do that to make sure that I write something every day. I email this diary once a week to all my friends and pen friends throughout the world. It’s a great way to keep in touch.

I also have 2 blogs. One is for my virtual assistant business. This comes out once a week and it discusses my services, problem-solving solutions, and other current information in that industry.

I just started a new site – “A Good Read, Indeed!” – which focuses on me as an author and my e-book. In my blog, I discuss certain aspects of the book, like where that town is actually located in Quebec and how I arrived at some of the character names.

Read anything and everything. Reading not only introduces you to new words and phrases, it also helps improve your memory and helps you to read faster, so you can get more done in a day. 

Have Faith, Hope, and Love. Have Faith in yourself that you have a message to bring to readers and you are the only one that can do it your way in your time. Hope that you will be successful. Notice I said “successful” not “famous.” Success is reaching your readers and making a difference in their lives. “Famous” is all about recognition and making money, but not necessarily about giving back to those who’ve supported you. Love yourself enough to want the best for you and that best is your writing. Push yourself. Give yourself “tough love,” but keep on loving yourself, even if you seem to be alone. Your day will come and when it does, all the love and support you gave yourself will make it that much sweeter! 

Always have another story written. If someone asks you what you’ve been doing since your e-book was published, you can start talking about your next book!

 

That’s good advice, Jo Ann. I agree with all of it, too. 🙂  There’s not much of a segue here, but: Who are your favorite authors?

I really don’t have favorites, because I enjoy any story that’s well-written with memorable characters, a page turner, and has a good ending. If I’m forced to name some, they are Cathy Pelletier, Sarah Rayner, and Joanna Trollope.

 

Do you have any regrets about anything?

Yes, that I didn’t take that professor’s advice sooner in life.

 

What are your future plans?


The best thing about being an author is that there is no age limit, so I have several ideas for other novels. I hope to write and publish one a year for as long as I can.

 

 

I wish you much success, Jo Ann, thank you for your complete openness and honesty, and wish you much success! I think I might even have to read your book, too, as soon as my reading schedule opens up again! 😉

Everyone Evelon Cover

 

Places where you can buy Everyone Evelon:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Scribd

Kobo

Your eBook Portal/e-sentral

Before I end, my dear readers, please don’t forget to thank Joanne with a Tweet!

Thank Jo Ann for sharing her experience!

And feel free to ask more questions and share your own self-publishing fears in the comment section!

How do you Take a Vacation from Blogging (or Freelancing)?

beach

Today’s post will explain how you can take a break from both blogging and freelancing. I will also explain why I can only do one and not both right now.

Before I give you some useful information, I want you to know that I feel like I need a vacation. Badly.

I’ve been working my butt off trying to attain some of my personal writing and publishing goals.

And, in addition to being an author, I’m also a blogger AND a freelance writer and editor. (But you knew that, right?) 😉 I have a lot of responsibilities to many people. Fortunately, I don’t have a lot of clients to deal with. Some have been one-timers, some are occasional repeaters, and one is long-term. Because my freelancing business is on the smaller side right now, I’m able to effectively take a break from freelancing. Plus, one of the upsides to freelancing is setting your own hours. (I love that part!)

However, I really wanted to take a vacation from blogging, but I cannot. At least, I can’t right now. I have too many responsibilities to others that I need to fulfil.

It’s no secret WHY I want a break – it’s SUMMER!

Aside from the obvious reason of rejuvenation, I wanted to take a vacation from blogging because summer has finally arrived. In the great city where I live, it only lasts for about two month  – if that – and so I need to make the most of the nice weather while it’s here.

I have posts planned already and duties to fulfil to authors who’ve taken me up on my offer. Plus, I’ve recently released an ebook (my very first one – YAY!) and have started another blog on my new author website.

I wanted to do this last month, but the weather here has been pretty bleak. Hopefully the rainy days will go away soon and allow me to do things I want to do – like go swimming outdoors!

How to Take a Break from Freelancing

Taking a break from freelancing requires planning. You have to clear your schedule if you want to really enjoy your time off. To do this, you should:

  • inform your clients of the days you won’t be available, giving them a lot of notice so that they can adjust their schedules accordingly
  • do extra work beforehand so that you do not leave them in the lurch
  • remind your clients of the great work you do for them in order to get them to be more agreeable to your terms and not cause friction in the relationship
  • offer to do something nice for them as a bonus
  • remind them of what it says in your contract regarding vacation time

If you have never taken a freelancing break, some clients may become upset with you and feel like you are abandoning them. They may even become difficult to work with or threaten to fire you, especially if they feel slighted or if you have not taken time off since you began working with them. If any of these scenarios occur and you cannot resolve your differences, then it may be time to re-evaluate your entire relationship and potentially end your contract altogether.

How YOU can take a blogging break – and not feel guilty about it

For those of you who are not freelancers (yet), but who are bloggers, then this is the section for you!

I’m sure most of you have thought about going on vacation, but DIDN’T, for whatever reason.

If you are wondering how you can 1. take a break and 2. not feel guilty about it, I’d suggest reading How to Take a Summer Break from Blogging (without Feeling Guilty).

It’s a pretty darn good article. Great, actually, if I do say so myself. (Yes, I wrote it!)

😀 Plus, it includes some personal pictures of my brother’s pool and my sister’s little guy. 🙂

It actually started out as a post for this blog, but I deemed it so good that I offered to sell it. (I’m a freelancer, after all, and if I can earn money for my writing, I will.) Because it’s available for all the world to see, you can pop over to Dear Blogger and pick up a few blogging tips. (Or should I say “blogging break” tips?) 😉

I know when you read it, you’ll be a bit confused. But don’t forget, I’m writing for two different audiences, who overlap but are different. Greg’s audience consists of people wanting blogging tips. My audience consists of people who want blogging, freelancing, writing, and publishing tips.

See the difference? Thought so. 😀

Now it’s your turn…

Are you going to take a vacation this summer – or did you already? 

Share in the comments here, or on Dear Blogger. I”ll be responding to everyone on both sites. 😀

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Introductory photo image courtesy of samuiblue/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net