It’s all fruit: Traditional versus Self Publication

Good Day, lovelies! Since I mentioned the aforementioned title in my previous post, I thought I would proceed with my thoughts on why I chose self publication over traditional. For the newbs out there who are interested in the joys of writing; apples or oranges, it really is all fruit. what I mean is both paths are going to take a great deal of work on your behalf. There is no easy path.

Be prepared for the awful misconceptions out there. First, you are a writer the very day that you start gliding that pen across paper or tapping away at that keyboard. The instant you step into the world inside your head and transcribe it for the rest of us to see, you are a f*cking writer. DO NOT let anyone tell you otherwise. Being established does not mean that you have to have a book ready to purchase in order to gain the title. You are what you have always been. Own it!

Second, you do not have to be traditionally published in order for you to have validity or credibility as an author. Thanks to technology, we now have the opportunity to have our works published faster, and the ability to reach more readers in a matter of minutes.

Okay. Now that we’ve cleared that up… On with the show.

Like many Indie Authors, I hungrily researched others down their paths to publication and beyond. I read articles, watch videos, read books, et cetera. I have weighed the pros and cons and went full speed at self publication. The biggest reason? I wanted complete control over my manuscript and creative rights. Now, that’s not to say that when you traditionally publish, you don’t have a say-so in anything. That isn’t true. But, like with most things, your publishing house is investing in your work and like all investors, they want to have their hand at steering the ship. My story was 20 years in the making and I would be having none of that, sir.

The positive side to traditional publishing, though, is that you have someone else putting in the time and money on the finished product. Someone else does the marketing for you. They setup interviews, book signings, book conventions, and anything else that promotes your book. But you do have to do some dirty work yourself. Writing query letters and sending out your manuscript, your baby, to people who know nothing about you or has any care on how hard you worked to make it just right. You have to be able to deal with criticisms and rejections.

Alternately, with self publication, a ll of that time, effort, and money is coming from you. If you’re someone like me, money isn’t easy to come by and this stuff is not cheap at all. Thank goodness for CreateSpace, as I would still be scratching my head on how to get Charlee out on the shelf. When you’re outsourcing the services (as you should) like editing or cover art, it all adds up. You’re employing someone and you have to pay for their time. By the way, I love my cover artist, Lyn at LV Book Design.

#shamelessplug #loveplug

Here are two ladies that I follow on YouTube religiously. These are collaboration videos with these two routes.

 

 

 

 

 

Publishing a book is not just an art, it’s a business. No joke… Tax forms and everything. You learn it very quickly and I won’t lie, it is a tad bit discouraging at first. Don’t let it stop you from pushing that book baby from your literary vagina brain and sharing it with the rest of us. Go ahead. gestate that novel, post pics of it online like it’s the best thing you’ve ever done with your life (because it probably is), you stand atop that author platform you’ve built, holding up your pure paper creation by the spine, and make us roll our eyes at you wallowing in your accomplishment and smile with pride!

Strange things happen when writers congregate…

Nora Chat

Having writing buddies is incredibly important for us writers/authors. These are the people who will get your ass in gear more than an editor, but they’ll do so with love and coffee. Emphasis on that last part. They motivate you and need motivation. They groan and complain the same way you do and understand the whys.

Creative people work at (mostly) night. It’s almost like the entire world sucks up the earth’s mojo during the day, and we (selfishly and selflessly) use it to slice open our wrists and rest them against the keyboard. The easiest part is writing. The hardest part is writing. Creative people understand this and are there for a shoulder cry over a fictional character at 3 a.m. It’s an entire underground support system that not many people understand.

I, for one, get excited when I find other writers. I flock to them like a proverbial leach and hope that I am not too weird. If you happen to be a writer, feel free to send me a message here or on my Facebook page. I will be incredibly happy to have new friends. Especially ones that are up this late. :S

Need more motivation? Here’s Jenna Moreci…

 

Brief Story: The Witness

Hey there! Happy Monday!

I figured I would give another brief story a try. The last one seemed to make some movement and I enjoy it when others enjoy my writing. Some of my stories stem from the haziness of falling asleep. I often have flashes of dream-like visions and they are a great kindling for a firestorm. The following is one of those visions:

I wasn’t a particular fan of the judge’s chambers, especially if it were Judge Calhoun. The musty smell of many cigars flavored the faux wood panel that barely hung on with its 30 year old glue. His small box felt like many of the interrogation rooms I’ve spent time in. Light only seeped through the small slithers peering through thick wooden blinds.

Yet, here I am; horrendously anxious and wiping my moist palms on the Armani fabric that’s slipped over my vibrating knees. I felt as if I were in the principal’s office, awaiting my parents to hear the news of my troubles. I’m a lawyer, I should be better at hiding nervousness with my trained stone face and relaxed demeanor. I just couldn’t. I was caught, I know it!

With the pressing eyes of the prosecutor, I knew she was certain of any damning evidence she had against me. What was I supposed to do? The already blood-soaked knife he so willingly pressed against my throat was enough for anyone to oblige to his commands, but I was doomed from the very start. I shouldn’t have taken that shortcut down a well-known terrible neighborhood. I shouldn’t have curiously glimpsed down that dark alley where the street light reflection of the mid-air knife caught my attention.

I had already doomed myself with being a celebrity attorney, plastering my name, my face, my family all over TV ads and billboards. The instant he glimpsed my face from my driver side window, I became a prize buck for an expert hunter.

“Hey, I know you! You’re that big time lawyer I seen on them park benches! Oh, just my lucky day! We gon eat good tuhday!”

I felt his breath and saliva spray behind my ear as he dragged me from my (painstakingly obvious) luxury sedan and into the unbiased street light above. While doing so, someone spotted his murderous creation in the alley way, screamed, and forced his ragged face to turn. He mistakenly revealed himself to the witness who captured his mug on a camera phone just before running.

A bundle of profane, racial slurs slipped over his tongue as he tightened his forearm around my neck. A midst his panic, his brain must’ve been scrambling to come up with an idea before he finally realized he had struck gold just minutes prior.

“You know, law man, I’ve seen them purdy pictures of ya family. You sure are proud, ain’tcha? Be a shame if sum’in were to happ’n to ’em! I bet dat li’l boy uh yours really looks up to ya. I might just go and string ’em up in a car wash som’ers and watch all the blood run to his head. See how much he bleeds then when I slice open his kidneys.”

After heavy tears and an abundance of pleading, I agreed to be his attorney in his murder trial. I couldn’t care less if my career went to shambles or if he had killed me that very night. There was no way in hell I would let him touch my family.

He let me drive off as the familiar police lights flashed in the distance. I looked back as I sped away, watching him lick  the crimson from the steel blade while pointing at me with his sharp index finger.

The months leading up to sitting in the Judge’s chambers had been far too easy. Everything was falling into place and it looked like the odds were in this murderer’s favor. The guilt was starting to seep through my pores and I would soon become just as much of a monster as he. I couldn’t let him kill them, but I was going to be the reason he would kill again. How would I know that he wouldn’t go after my family? I didn’t, but I couldn’t risk it.

The witness wasn’t anywhere to be found and the condemning photo hadn’t turned up. No matter how many stones I un-turned, doors I knocked on, or papers I’ve flipped through.

“Your Honor, new evidence has surfaced and we have reason to believe that the defendant’s counselor was there the night of the murder.”

Her eyes were dark as coal as a slight grin crept it’s way to a corner of her lacquered lips. My nemesis was out for me and this was her moment. I could tell she wanted to gloat. She wanted that cape of hers to flap in the wind as she stood, proudly righteous.

She handed the nicotine yellow folder to the tired hands of Judge Calhoun. When he opened it, he immediately furrowed his brows.

“Counselor Hammond, is this your license plate?”

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little fun one. The vision I had was of the nervous guy in a suit, sitting in a courtroom. I thought it would be a little more fun to play it out as an attorney, rather than someone on trial.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Relentless, none the less.

Hey! So, no matter how hard my other responsibilities in life try to take away my time, I still feel the need to strap myself to a desk with a computer and ferociously type away. I wish I could do this all the time. I wish, I wish, I wish.

Instead, you’re stuck here, waiting for my second book to make it’s debut in order to keep following the story of Charlee and her friends. I promise, it’s there, waiting for me to unveil it’s horrific events with underlying tales of love and friendship. I want to write it just as much as you want to read it, I swear. Can’t I just be a full time author, already? Who has the magical snapping fingers? Do you think Harry would possess such powers? No?

Here’s a little taste of the first chapter (written while publishing book one):

She lept to the dog, wrapping her arms around his neck, turning the gold collar. She heard the familiar rattle of the charms she attached to his tag hook as a child. She folded her legs before him and examined his beloved trinkets while he stood proudly (as if to show them off). While attentively listening, he admirably gazed at her.

 

“A princess and a frog, a dancing dog,” she recited her verse from memory, “And a happy Charlee to take along!”

 

Charlee rubbed wearily on the silver stick figure charm, realizing the last time she had recited those rhymes was during her final kiss goodbye to a suffering Robbie. She again grasped her childhood best friend and cried heavily onto his pelt.

Hopefully that left you clueless and curious without giving too much away! I’m pretty good at twisting events, as I’m sure you can tell. 🙂

Much love and keep reading!

Erika

XX

Moving on is hard to do.

While this blog is intended mostly for my books and writing, I’d like to take a step back and express the emotional hardship that I am enduring. 

My father unexpectedly passed away May 19th, 2014. He was 56 years young. 

I find myself still struggling and I don’t expect to get any better any time soon. One of the last things I told him about was my completion of BTC and how excited I was to move along with editing it. My parents always knew that I “should have been a writer” and it’s never a surprise anymore when I tell them I’ve completed some kind of work. In my early years, I would always conjure up some poem or short story and force them to listen as I read. I sought/craved their recognition that I had a talent and that I was actually good for something

This was something new, though. I am going to publish it and I wanted to make him proud. I want to make him proud. Even if this book is complete crap, I will have accomplished the act of putting it out there and exposing my heart and soul while I’m wincing behind my tired knuckles. 

Once my dad passed, motivation for a lot of things were lacking. I didn’t want to go through with it without him here and a part of me still doesn’t. A part of my heart is gone. How am I supposed to do this without one of my biggest supporters? Why did I wait so long to make meaning of any of it? Why couldn’t I have just accomplished one fantastic goal just so I could see that priceless, loving expression on his face? 

I feel like he left this realm before I could do so. I also feel like my free spirit slowed me down. I haven’t graduated college, I haven’t married and bought a house, I haven’t even given him my version of a grandchild. Yet, here I am, (somewhat) starving artist, pouring all my passion through the written word because it’s what I’m good at. That’s what I do. That’s the fantastic thing, though. I have, so far, lived my life exactly how my parents taught me; to not live within anyone’s expectations but your own. To make the most of your life the way you want to. 

But Daddy. Is not here. To see any of it. 

I come to you, ladies and gentlemen, in the wee hours of the morning because I cannot shut out these thoughts. I cannot stop these silly tears because I utterly and wholeheartedly miss my daddy.

Father’s Day photo montage