For many of you who followed my blog on Facebook entitled The Morning Talk, you probably remembered me referencing Kontrol Magazine a lot. I visit the site on a daily basis to get the latest in entertainment, interviews, beauty tips, etc.! So imagine the excitement to finally be featured on the site! Check out my interview with Kontrol Mag by clicking the Kontrol logo! Happy Reading!
Tune in to Conversations LIVE! Radio on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 8:30pm EST as I discuss The Diamond Collection and much more! To listen in, simply visit www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive. You can also call in at 347-426-3645.
Although I am crazy busy, I had to take the time to celebrate another year of life with friends, family, sorors, co-workers, etc. Tomorrow is not promised so cherish every second why you have it. Thank you to everyone who called, sent me a text message, tweet, Facebook post, and/or showed up to help me celebrate at Amber Buffet and Hibachi. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and watching Tyler Perry’s Temptation!
Today, join me and other fellow readers and authors in a discussion on good and bad book reviews. In a post, entitled “Book Reviews: The Good and the Bad Apples,” I discuss one of the good and bad sides of being an author. Simply click the banner to visit the site! Also, remember to enter the giveaway for a free autographed copy of The Ace of Diamonds!
“Sometimes you don’t need to respond, just let your work speak for you.”
Authors, it is time for us to band together for a common issue. At the current moment, buyers on Amazon.com are allowed to purchase, read, and then return E-books within 7 days of purchase. What does this mean for us? It means we are losing money while someone has read our E-book free of charge. In addition, we do not receive a reason for the return.
Even if you have not had a returned E-book, you may have one in the future. You also want to sign this if you are looking forward to publishing on Kindle. This Amazon policy affects all authors and publishers. A petition regarding this issue has been started on change.org. Please add your signature to further bring light to this issue and to show your support by clicking the link below. In addition, please share with your friends, family, and encourage them to sign.
The purpose of this blog is just to give a heads up to aspiring authors! Keep writing and keep working towards your goal!
Once my book is published, I’m going to hit it big!
While there are some authors who publish their first novel and hit it big, the majority of authors are nowhere near the level where they would like to be. Success takes a lot of grind and a lot of behind the scenes work that hardly anyone sees (or if they see it, it’s only a portion). Though it may seem that some authors put out a novel and hit it big, there was probably a whole lot of hard work that we didn’t see that contributed to their success.
Maintaining a website, Facebook and Twitter account will ensure that everyone knows about my work.
It is only a start. I can name about five people right now who have a Facebook account, but do not check it. There are also individuals who do not have internet access or have never even heard of Facebook and don’t dare mention Twitter! How do they find out about my work? This is where book signings and word of mouth comes in. Though I did not have a lot of book signings in the past because I couldn’t financially afford to travel or pay the fees, I have now discovered a more economical outlet that will allow me to reach more people beyond social media and help get my book out there (stay tuned for details!)
With an independent publisher, I will receive 15% in royalties based off the retail price of my book.
This thought was absolutely ludicrous. The royalty that is received is a small percentage of the amount that is left over after the print charge of the book is deducted and after the distribution channel takes their cut. For example, if a book is priced at $15, has a print charge of $6.12, Amazon along with other distributors may get a cut of 2.30, which will leave, 6.58. The author may receive 15% of that, which is .98. The rest goes to the publisher. If you only sell 34 books a month then you’ve made 33.32. The life of the rich and famous, right? As an independent author, I have received more in royalties for The Ace of Diamonds (AOD) then I made last year for Diamonds in the Rough and Diamonds are Forever.
Book Festivals are probably affordable and if I save, I will be able to attend them.
This thought was a result of not doing proper research. The most affordable book festival I have discovered thus far is the one I am attending in April, hosted by Butterfly Editorial and the African American Author’s Expo. I wanted to attend For Sisters Only in Charlotte; however, the cost of a table is $500. I wanted to attend the SC Book Festival; however the cost of a table is $310. I heard that the Decatur Book Festival is one of the festivals that has the best sales so when I got the vendor information, I was ecstatic until I saw that the price of a table is $465. This is just the table fees. This does not include hotel, food, gas, marketing materials, or the books I have to pre-purchase to sell. I am not aware of everyone’s financial situation, but I cannot afford this. Even if I save, I will not have enough money to attend all of these festivals. The money is just not there. If you do have the money and want to donate it, comment or send me an email, lol. For right now, I am trying another approach.
Book Festivals are where people come to buy books. I’m guaranteed to sell out!
The only time I’ve sold out at a book event was at my book release party. When I went to a book fair in ATL, I sold 1 book, which was purchased by another author. When I attended the SC Book Festival, I sold 1 book as well throughout the entire 2 day event. However, when I attended the CLT Literary Festival, I sold 4 books out of the 6 that I brought. Of course, these are only examples and do not reflect every book event I attended. It also does not reflect an author’s success as a whole. My point is; do not fool yourself into thinking that you are going to sell out like I did. If you do, great, but if you don’t, at least you put your book out there!
One author suggested that authors who are not selling at events should look to see what other authors are doing that is selling. Out of every event I attended, with the exception of my book release party, I have been with other authors who ARE selling, but are doing the same thing I am- sitting there, greeting customers, being friendly, and talking about their books. There is nothing extra or special that they are doing that I am not. Some readers you win over, some you don’t.
Paying for interviews guarantees me a spot versus sending an email requesting for a free interview.
I thought this only because when I was sending emails requesting for a free interview or to participate in a blog series, the majority of the time, I would never get a response back. However, with the interviews I paid for, I got a quick response. I thought this to be true until recently when I paid for an interview and never received a word back from the host. I sent two follow-up emails, no response. I called the customer service number for the business and discovered that the number was disconnected. I have since filed a claim with PayPal regarding the issue and am hoping to receive some sort of response by the end of the month. Now, I believe that nothing is guaranteed.
If I send a request for a book review, I should get a response in 24-48 hours.
While this would be nice, it could take a week or two before a response is given. In one night, I sent emails to 10 book reviewers seeking reviews for my book, AOD. The next day, I received responses from 2. In a week, I had received responses from 3 more and maybe one more within the following week. What I’ve learned is that this is all a numbers game. If I want 20 book clubs or sites to review my book then I probably need to contact 60. Of course, this takes a lot of time and research, but it can be done throughout the year until I reach my goal.
I don’t care about sales; I only want to put a book out there for people to read.
Well, guess what, if the book isn’t selling then people aren’t reading (or they’re reading someone else’s copy). Now, I honestly believe that no one should let sales stop them from writing. If you let sales stop you from writing then you’re going to lose the readers who have supported you. Sometimes, we are so busy giving light to the negative that we forget about the positive. Keep your head up, keep writing, and keep being productive. At the end of the day, you will be happy just knowing that you did your best!
The Ace of Diamonds is currently available in ebook on the Kindle/ Nook and in paperback. Please visit http://www.crownjewelzpub.com, Amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com to order a copy.
The Diamond Life Giveaway
In celebration of the release of The Ace of Diamonds, two copies of the novel will be given away at random with a little extra!
You could win 1 of 2 options:
1) A free autographed copy of The Ace of Diamonds and a $15 Target Gift Card
2) A free autographed copy of The Ace of Diamonds and a $15 Wal-Mart Gift Card
To enter, visit the Giveaways page on crownjewelzpub.com!
Yep, you read the title of the post correctly! I will not be making any New Year’s Resolutions. Why? Well, I didn’t keep a lot of ’em that I made last year. This year, I am going to go with the flow and let God lead me! I wish you all a prosperous New Year and I hope 2013 is filled with blessings, love, and every good thing that the Lord above can put in the pot!
Well, to answer that question, a couple of places. The books are in listings for Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Booksamillion.com. All you have to do is a search for “Diamonds in the Rough by Vogue” and/or “Diamonds are Forever by Vogue.” Diamonds in the Rough can also be found on the Kindle while Diamonds are Forever is on the Kindle as well as the Nook.
So today, randomly, I decided to check amazon.com just to see if there were any new reviews that had posted for any of my books. Lo and behold, I spotted a new one from OOSA Book Club for Diamonds are Forever. Check out what the reviewer had to say:
“Diamonds are Forever” tells the story about several characters from book one,
“Diamonds in the Rough.” I did not read book one but I was still able to follow
some of the events of what happened.
Carmen went to prison for stealing a
diamond. She gets her sentence reduced and she is able to go come home to a
multi-million dollar enterprise and more drama than she knows what to do
Kane, Carmen’s husband, works as an undercover agent who gets his
wife’s sentence reduced because he was responsible for her being in prison in
the first place. Kane was trying to take down Carmen’s long time love, Jay
Santiago, and she got caught up in the rival.
Jay is the king of the
streets. He is trying to rebuild his empire but doesn’t realize that what he has
been longing for is in his path.
Vogue’s “Diamonds are Forever” was very
enticing. It will draw the reader in and keep their attention from the very
beginning. I think it was very well written with plenty of drama and lots of
twists and turns. I would recommend this book to anyone as this author did a
great job at telling this story.
I had mentioned previously that the next post on Behind the Book would feature Kristian Kane, but I’ve decided to postpone Behind the Book so that I can concentrate on learning more about the publishing industry and finalizing The Ace of Diamonds. Right now, the book has been placed with an editor and I am looking forward to a February 2013 release date. I would’ve much preferred January, but to make sure the book is available to you all in the necessary formats (Amazon/ Kindle, Nook, etc.), it is best to be on the safe side and give it a February 2013 release date rather than one in January. This part of the process is completely out of my hands since it can take 2-6 weeks for the book to get into the necessary catalogs.
I want to say thank you to everyone who has inquired about the book, sent me words of encouragement, voted on covers, etc. I appreciate it all and in the words of Lil’ Wayne, Sorry 4 The Wait!
MRSOE! is coming to Rock Hill on Thursday, October 11th at 9pm at Firewater 110, formerly known as The Money, located at 110 South Cherry Road, Rock Hill, SC. If you want to purchase tickets, you can reserve them at www.mrsoe.com or you can purchase tix at the door via cash or credit. Cost is $10.00.
Here’s a little bit more info about MRSOE! and this info is taken directly from the official website.
MRSOE! delivers a unique stand-up comedy show that is FUNNY and EDGY, yet lets us laugh at our differences and tackle ethnic stereotypes, while educating audiences about diversity and multiculturalism. It is comedy with a PURPOSE. Our aim is to bring all people together through laughter.
Each comedian is given 10 to 12 minutes to deliver the NO-HOLDS-BARRED material of their choice and while not every joke is about race, each comedian will showcase their best material offering a FAST-PACED show of filler-free comedy. MRSOE! is for everyone – FUNNY IS FUNNY no matter what culture, creed or color you are.
If you would like more information, please visit the official website!
Cause I keep looking forward
Can’t look back
Keep my eyes on the prize
I can do it like that
I can’t give up
Not the woman in me
Try to knock me down
I’ll just keep standing
A quick haiku I wrote on Saturday during my presentation on Poetry and Music:
Love is a cracked glass
A glass that was once perfect
Now several pieces
I have started writing this blog post several times only to delete it and push it aside. However, after several conversations with individuals who are seeking to join the publishing industry, my readers, friends, as well as other authors, I decided to move forward with the post.
When you tell people that you are a published author, more than 90% of them are instantly amazed and want to know how you got your book published. You share this knowledge and the conversation usually ends with them commending you on your achievement. The person then walks away, but if you’re like me, you may feel like you didn’t give them the complete truth of the ins and outs of the publishing industry.
Welcome to the other side of the game.
To me, the other side of the game represents the part of the publishing industry that people don’t see. Believe me when I say that writing the book is the fun part. However, after you write the book, the hard part begins. This is the part where you try to decide which route you’re going to take to being published.
You can self-publish, sign with an independent publisher, or get a literary agent and try to sign with a major. In the beginning, my first choice was to self-publish. However, there was one problem with this plan: I couldn’t financially afford it. To be honest, there are probably tons of writers out there now who are in the same situation. When you self-publish, you are your own bank. You fund everything, from the editing to the publishing of the book and marketing.
Now, most of us are aware of how much discretionary income we’ll have after bills are paid. I usually put gas, food, and hair services in this category since this is where my discretionary income generally goes. With the job that I had from 2007-2010, I was lucky if I had between 60-80 bucks left after bills were paid. Let me add that I got paid every 2 weeks.
To me, the idea of self-publishing seemed to be at the end of the tunnel. I knew that after I finished my book, the next step was finding an editor. The first editor I contacted had a very reasonable rate, but I just didn’t have enough discretionary income to pay for the editing. Yes, I could save, but it would take me forever and would create a financial strain.
To further illustrate, let’s do some basic math. A novel may be 227 pages single-spaced or 295 pages spaced at 1.5 lines, but most editors require the manuscript to be double-spaced. This takes the page count up to 440 pages. If an editor charges, $3.00 per page for copyediting then you are looking at shelving out 1320.00 in editing. Generally, half of this you will pay for upfront and the rest you will pay at the completion of the project.
Personally, I believe that the bulk of the money that you spend if you choose to self-publish should go towards your editing. However, spending $1320 in editing does not seem feasible for a person who only has 60 or 80 bucks in discretionary income. If I was still at this job and tried to save 30 bucks out of every paycheck (and let’s say that I had 80 bucks left in discretionary income), it would take me almost two years to be able to pay for the editing. I also would only have $50 left to go towards gas, food, etc. Speaking realistically, how many people would be able to survive on this? So far, most people have told me none.
If you are self-publishing, you have to think about more than the editing. If you are able to come up with the funds to pay an editor for your book then you also have to think of the funds associated with getting it published. Since I have some graphic design skills, I don’t have to pay for anyone to design my book cover or format my book. I save $$ in that area and just have to worry about the fees associated with getting it published and marketing.
Marketing does not just apply to self-published authors, but to everyone who is publishing a book. However, if you are a self-published author, all of the marketing is coming from you since you don’t have a publisher backing you. Now you have what I call free marketing which is: word of mouth, social networking, and the web. You then have the marketing that costs: virtual book tours (the ones I’ve found range from $50 – $150), advertising on sites (can be as little as $5 to in the thousands), reviews (some people do charge for book reviews while others do them for free like many book clubs, however this is considered as a charge because you have to send a free copy of your book which will not be returned), and of course book signing events.
You have to be financially prepared to handle all of this if you want your book to be successful. If you’re not financially prepared then you have to do the best that you can, which some people will not understand. Published authors generally know what to do to market their books because there is a wealth of knowledge on the internet with tips, but we don’t always have the financial means to do them. I say this for all people who have low discretionary incomes.
Here’s another example: You can write down a list of every book festival that you want to attend, but you also have to think about the cost of the table, how you are going to get there, gas, and if you need to get a hotel room. There are some ways to cut the costs like sharing a table and room, but it is still pricey depending on how far you’re going.
Now here come a couple of suggestions that I usually hear after this rant…
-Why don’t you get an English student to copyedit your book for way cheaper?
-Stop eating out, buying clothes/shoes, going to the movies, etc. to save more money
– Why don’t you take out a loan or ask for financial help from family and friends?
To the first, I will say that this is an option, which may work for some people. I, personally, would like a more trained eye, but this may work for some writers to cut costs. Next, when it comes to the luxuries of life, these will be the first things I would cut back on. However, there is only so much cutting you can do. There are still some things that you have to pay for just to keep up your physical appearance. For example, do not wear shoes with holes in them just because you’re trying to save for a book- by all means, buy a new pair!!!!! Last, in terms of a loan from friends and family, yes, you can do it, but I would be very skeptical to do so. I mean, I’m not asking for money to pay my rent or to keep my lights on, but to go towards a book. I put wanting to be a “published” author into the category of a want and not a need. Now if you know someone who wants to be in the publishing industry then teaming up with this person is beneficial. On the other hand, you may just know someone who just wants to help. To this particular point, I say, to each his own.
In the end, I want to share a very important phrase that I learned from singer Kelis, “scared money don’t make none.” What this means is that in order to see success we’re going to have to spend money and make sacrifices. Nevertheless, you still have to take care of home first. Yes, you may have a book that you’re trying to promote, but you still need a place to lay your head. If it takes you a little longer to put out a book then so be it. At the end of the day, you’ll get there and that is the greatest accomplishment.
I am planning on self-publishing my third novel and am feeling every effects of the financial part of this industry. Still, I am going to keep my head high, save my dollars until I have what I need to put out The Ace of Diamonds. I encourage all of you struggling authors to do the same!
Finally, I am getting around to see how I’m working on my goals….I posted this earlier this year!
So, I mentioned to my co-workers that we should have made a list of New Year’s Resolutions, but some frowned upon the idea. I know, I know, the fear of making resolutions that you can’t keep. Well, I’m going to make some and I’m going to try my best to keep them. Matter of fact, I’m picking a day just to revisit this post to see how I’m doing.
I choose April 13th because it’s the easiest day to remember (its my birthday).- Definitely did not revisit this then!
Here are my resolutions:
•Lose 30lbs- my goal was 80 and I lost 50 in 2011.- My weigh-in is tomorrow morning! Hopefully I’ve lost a pound, lol!
•Go to church every Sunday- I need the Word to stay prevalent in my life – This one I failed. I didn’t go to church on Mother’s Day.
•Move into a new apt- I can’t do this until August because of my lease, but it made the list.- I will be moving on August 1st!
•Finish and have published, The Ace of Diamonds, the third book in the Diamond Collection series. I’m ready and I know my readers are ready to learn what happens next to their favorite characters in Brookstone.- The plan is to submit the novel to an editor in August with a release date later this year!
•Write a new collection of songs- I did this so much in college that I slacked off when I graduated. Time to pour out those feelings again!- I haven’t written anything!
Ok, so far that its! Check back in on April 13th to see what I’ve done! Also, feel free to comment with your New Year’s Resolutions.
Love Heist by Jackie D.- PURCHASED!!!!!!!!
A Moth To A Flame by Ashley Antoinette
Softly and Tenderly by Lisa Binion
Dollhouse by Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe Kardashian
Inner Circle: The Wives Association by Evelyn Lozada
Urban Web Tales by Gregory JT Simpson
The Prada Plan 2: Leah’s Story by Ashley Antoinette- PURCHASED
The Mind & Soul of Tiffani Real by Tiffani Real-PURCHASED!!!!
A Diamond in the Rough by Jacqueline McDuffie-PURCHASED!!!!
The Dirty Divorce by Miss KP
Leveled Mind Confused Heart by Angelique
Onyx and Eggshell by Wyatt Bryson- PURCHASED!!!!!
The Dopeman’s Wife by Jaquavis Coleman- PURCHASED!!!!
After the Party by Harvis Mathis
Prince’s Donor by Sindee Lynn
When A Tattered Past Catches You by Tasha Wright
Black Diamond 2: Nicety by Brittani Williams
Livin’ Ain’t Easy by Peron F. Long
Memoirs of a Creole Crime Cartel by Red Snapper- EXCHANGED COPY OF DITR FOR THIS BOOK- YIPPEEE!
Get N’ Serious by Rory Sheriff
Get N’ Serious 2: My Addiction by Rory Sheriff
Perfectly Addicted by Chermean Taylor Gregory