Category Archives: Writing

Steps to Self-Publishing

Deciding to self-publish your work can seem like a daunting task. In reality it isn’t hard as long as you take it step-by-step and find the correct people to help you along the way.

Use the steps below to guide you through the self-publishing process:

  1. Finish writing your manuscript.
    Duh, right?  Quite a few authors try to start the process without having their manuscript completed. By completed I mean, your manuscript should already be edited by yourself and at least read through by someone else and all rewrites are done. It needs to be as done as you can make it yourself.
  2. Hire an editor.grammar-389907
    Find an editor that fits you. You want an  editor that listens to what you need. This editor will be looking at your manuscript and giving you feedback. Editors tell you what needs to be rewritten,  taken out, and in general cleans up your manuscript so it reads cohesively without losing the original voice.
  3. Make all the necessary changes to your manuscript based on the editor’s feedback.
  4. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
    Hire a proofreader. A fresh pair of eyes find a lot more mistakes than the pair that has looked at the same words for over a year or so. Over time our minds fill in the gaps because it knows what we meant to say.
  5. Hire a formatter.hand-set-705674
    The same person can sometimes format for print and eBooks. The person you hire will need to know where you intend to sell your books so they can format your manuscript to specific specs. This conversation should also include how many ISBN’s you will need and where to acquire them. The print formatter will need to know what size you would like your book to be. For an explanation of ISBN’s click on the links below.
  6. Hire a graphic designer.
    If you are self-publishing in print and online you will need two covers. One for your print book and one for online. Both require different formatting. Once again the graphic designer will need to know where you are intending to sell your books so they can apply the correct specs to your covers. The graphic designer will also need to know the size of your book and how many pages your print book is when the print formatter is done formatting so they can design your cover correctly. General cover formatting for print and eBooks is linked below.
  7. Send or upload files to be printed.
    Send your formatted manuscript and cover file to the printer or upload them to a POD site.
  8. Upload your eBook files.
    Create the necessary accounts and upload your formatted eBook manuscript and cover file to an eBook distributor.
  9. Market your books. board-1097118
  10. Start writing your next book!

    Links to other blogs relating to self-publishing, ISBN’s, ISBN vs. ASIN, Book Covers.

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Tighten Your Writing By Editing

Editing your own work can be tricky sometimes. The list below is from the World of Horror blog. It’s a good list of several editing tips to help you tighten your writing.

1. Develop a thick skin.Or at least to pretend to. It’s not easy. But we writers need to listen to our editors—even if that means listening to ourselves! 2. Avoid throat-clearing. This is a literary term for a story or chapter that finally begins after a page or two of scene setting and background. Get […]

via The Ultimate Checklist for Editing Your Own Book — World of Horror

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Twin Cities Book Festival 2016

Exhibitor-ad-2.6-x-2.6-squareThe Twin Cities Book Festival is scheduled for October 15, 2016 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. There are over 100 exhibitors along with author readings, book signings, book sales, forums, and events for kids, tweens, teens, and adults. The best part is admission is FREE!

Barefoot Editing will have an exhibit table at this year’s festival and I am excited to offer two book signings in the afternoon at my table. Author’s Sarah Solmonson and Karen Stockwell will both be signing books. I would love for you to meet both talented authors and have your book signed.TCBF Book Signings Flyer
***Today’s Book Signing is scheduled for October 15, 2016 at the Twin Cities Book Festival.

Click on the link for a full list of Twin Cities Book Festival scheduled events.

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What Lies Within

Pink Daisy Flower by Simon Howden ID-10059998 - Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote

What lies within us is very powerful. Use it to your advantage and let your characters write themselves. Your past shapes who you are and it’s where our actions and reactions to every day happenings come from. If you use what lies within you, your characters will have depth because their actions and reactions will be believable.

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Banned Books Week – 2014

Imported Photos 00715

I took this picture at the Bebelplatz Square monument for the 20,000 burned books in Berlin, Germany.

It’s always shocking to me when books are banned. I don’t understand the purpose of banning a book. It goes to argue that if something is banned people flock to it to see what the hoopla is all about, right? I guess that makes free publicity for the author.

In my opinion, books are a form of art. I’m sure someone could argue that point with me too, but I’m not going there now. For the purpose of this post…books are art. Art is an expression from an individual. That expression is left to the interpretation of others. Sometimes people interpret art differently than the artist intended. Books are intended to transport a reader to another world. This world may be completely different from their normal environment and there is nothing wrong with that. Depending on the book it can give you an insight into a culture that could be impossible for you to experience. The artist (writer) shares their culture or beliefs through their books.

Just because I don’t agree with something that is written doesn’t mean it should be banned. It means I should put the book down and not read it anymore. It means I should start a dialogue with others to see if other people are interpreting the book the same way I am. It means that book is not right for me so I should move on. It means I won’t recommend it to friends and family to read.  Simple, right?

This week is Banned Books Week and I wondered what books made the list of challenged books this past year. I was surprised at the books that made the top 10 list for 2013. The Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey is number 1 on the list for the 2nd year in a row! Books by John Green and Toni Morrison made the list too. Most surprising to me was the presence of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James at number 4 and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins at number 5!  These are mainstream titles being challenged that people want banned.

I will admit Captain Underpants is not my thing but it does get kids reading and I think getting kids to read is important. I will also admit I didn’t like Fifty Shades of Grey. Gasp!  I couldn’t get through the first chapter because of how it was written, but that doesn’t mean the book should be banned because I didn’t like it. That series got millions of people reading that may not have otherwise read a book. There are so many reasons why people don’t like certain books and they are all valid reasons for that person. That doesn’t give anyone the right to then make their reason the governing one for everyone else.

I will admit I’m a book nerd. I love books. I went to the monument of the 20,000 books that were banned and burned on May 10, 1933 in Berlin, Germany. Through this window in the ground, in Bebelplatz Square, people can see the empty bookshelves that have enough room to hold 20,000 books. As I was standing there my heart sank. People burned 20,000 books that would never be read again. I stood there and wondered what book was burned that I would never experience or know I liked. I was never given the opportunity to decide for myself and it made me a little mad on top of the sadness.

What is right for you, may not be for me and vice versa. That is the whole purpose of art.

So I ask you, is banning a book really the answer? Would simply putting the book you don’t like down be a better answer so someone else can make the judgement of liking it or not?

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