Posts Tagged ‘EBooks’

Learning to Publish

June 28th, 2013 • by Karen A. Chase • No Comments

The panel of authors at the James River Writers Show. (Left to right) Julie Geen, me, Deb Dudley, and Meg Medina.

The panel of authors at the James River Writers Show. (Left to right) Julie Geen, me, Deb Dudley, and Meg Medina.


The tables have turned a bit with my writing, and I’ve recently been asked to speak at writing workshops. The first show was at the Roanoke Regional Writing Conference Series (see pics here), talking about taking a blog to book. My second was here in Richmond at the James River Writers Show on a panel about building an author platform. In both cases, I discovered that although I had been asked to come share my expertise since I published my first book, I still have so much to learn.

The publishing industry is changing rapidly, so that the old models about publishing are not the same. It used to be that there was traditional publishing (book deal, advance, royalties) or there was self-publishing. But now… there are more and more groups springing up in between, and so many more options for authors to craft their career path, instead of waiting to be picked up by agents and publishers.

The most important thing I’ve learned from preparing for and doing these talks is that I must continually study the industry. I have to be curious. I have to read–mostly online, because it’s changing too fast to put it into print. I need real-time data. I thought I would share a few tidbits and resources.

The best general info to get the gist on standard things in publishing.

Read Writers Digest and Poets and Writers

Embrace Google and search for:
• Tips for writing conferences
• Developmental editing vs copyediting
• Author Platform
• Author Blogs
• Why authors tweet
• Social media for authors
• Why book trailers
• Createspace versus Lightning source
• Book publishing royalties
• Non-traditional publishers
• (and whatever baffles you about publishing)

So, what does baffle you about the industry?

Bonjour Self-Publishing

April 12th, 2013 • by Karen A. Chase • No Comments

Where can you learn about self-publishing? How about the library?

KarenChase_RPL_ 5-3-13R

Friends of the Richmond Public Library have invited me to host their May author event to chat about all things self-publishing.

Friday, May 3 ~ 7:00 p.m.
Main Library ~ 101 East Franklin Street
Davenport Special Collections Room

When I first launched Bonjour 40, the blog, I had not intended to write a book based on it. However, once the publishing notion came along, I thought perhaps I would use this book, my first, as an experiment. By navigating self-publishing for both the e-book and print versions, I’ve learned a few things. I wish I had someone over a year ago who knew what I know now.

You can. We’ll chat about:

• Tips for blogging
• Going from blog to book
• E-book versus print
• Amazon, online retailers, and bookstores
• Self versus traditional publishing
• Self-promotion for self-publishers

I hope you’ll join us. Reward? Self-publishing know-how from a been-there, done-that author. Plus, two attendees receive a free signed copy of the book, and one of my Paris photographs.

Bookmaking Part One: Editing

June 8th, 2012 • by Karen A. Chase • 1 Comment

Kristen Weber, Editor, and her loyal assistant, Sampson. It's a dog-eat-dog world for writers without editors, and I'm pretty grateful for the "leg up" they give me.

Since Bonjour 40 was released, I’ve had some inquiries about the process of taking my story from blog to EBook. Aside from writing it, the process included working with two editors. Why two, you ask? Editors do different things.

The first editor I worked with, Kristen Weber, is a developmental editor. As Kristen says, she “addresses the overall structure and organization of a manuscript.” She ensures the story is going somewhere and all the author’s decisions are getting it there. Kristen helped me keep Bonjour 40 both personal and insightful about Paris, without sounding like a travel guide.

The other editor, April Michelle Davis of Editorial Inspirations, was my copy editor. She looked at the grammar, spelling, appropriate use of writing standards, and formatted it for publication.

Now I know t0 bring in Kristen when I have a partial manuscript. I wrote a whole manuscript a few years ago, and with issues on page ten, overhauling it became too daunting. It resides on a shelf in my office, crying. Also, April’s copy editing comes after the work with Kristen, so I don’t pay for it twice.

Many writers fear the editor, afraid their story will be changed rather than bettered. That’s not how editors work, and changes are ultimately the author’s decision. In the end, I feel I’ve become a better writer because of what I’ve learned from them, and isn’t that an end to which writers aspire? Yes (exclamation point)!