Author Interviews

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This week marks the beginning of a series of interviews I’ll be doing with self-published authors on my podcast. If you’re interested in what the journey into self-publishing is like, feel free to tune in to Tee’s Talk Time on Spotify this Saturday. My podcast is visual on Spotify and audio only on all other major platforms such as Apple, Amazon, Audible, etc. This is a new dimension for me to be going in front of the camera, instead of behind it. So wish me luck.

The first author I’ll be interviewing is Mr. Stephen Murray. He hails from Nevada and he writes books in multiple genres. I highly recommend his book, Discovering the Christmas Spirit, after reading it last month myself. His development of the characters and subplots in this book is amazing. Check out his website, authorstephenmurray.com, when you have time.

In weeks to come, I’ll be interviewing a children’s book author, a mystery writer, and a self-help author. If you’re an avid reader or are interested in becoming an author, you’ll get some valuable tips and information from these episodes. I hope you give a listen, and leave a comment, or a rating. In addition, you can talk to me directly on the Wisdom app now. The Wisdom app is available in the App store.

Although I’m booking guests through a fairly new service called PodMatch right now, you can contact me through this blog’s comment section if you are an author who would like to be interviewed. So, take good care til next time and stay safe.

My New Novella

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Writing entails deep thought, mind travels, and lots of patience. You see, I’ve been on a mental journey for the last several months while deciding whether or not I should delve into a different genre as a self published author. My other choice was to give up writing books altogether and just concentrate on building my app developer skills. When I suddenly ran into a roadblock while trying to publish my most current game app on Google Play Store, I was approached by a company interested in me publishing my next book. I felt this was sign I should dust off my writing journal and complete a book I’d previously started. By the way, I published a podcast episode about my app developing delimma on my other new blog entitled, “Tee’s Talk Time” also on WordPress. There you can click the links and listen to my podcast on Spotify. My podcast can also be found on Anchor Podcasts, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts and many other platforms. I digress.

Previously, I had only authored and published three childrens books. The titles of these books are: Corrie Cocker Spaniel, Blue, and Why Do Heroes Wear Masks? In case you’re interested, all of my books can be found on Amazon.com. I felt writing childrens books was my forte because I’m a retired elementary school teacher, who loved reading to my students and to my son when he was much younger. Writing for children just came naturally to me.

However, I’d aways wrote in other genres as a college student. Back then, I penned poems, plays, and short stories. And I was a hopeless romantic throuhout my adult life. I’d even started a romance novel back then. I wrote in a red leather bound journal trimmed in gold and black that I still keep to this day. I’d always planned to finish the romance novel and publish my poetry someday. Someday never came though. With this new opportunity, I knew I should complete the novel and establish myself as a romance novel writer. Only now, I would have to have a new pen name and a new author site for my new audience.

I decided to go for it! I completed the manuscript, copyrighted it, and self published the book. Afterwards, I created a new site with my second pen name. Now, I’m the proud author of books in two genres. The title of my new book is, Neighbor Needed: Only the Exceptional Need Apply, sold on Amazon.com. Check it out if you’re interested.

In addition to my new opportunity to complete my novel, I was approached by a publishing company interested in promoting my new book. I’m still on the fence about making that decision. I’m doing my research before signing any contracts. For right now, I’m just seeing if my new book will find an audience on its own. Wish me luck!

Podcasts or Apple iBook Store Options?

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Today I was thinking about how I could further build my brand and expand my distribution beyond Amazon. Amazon is an amazing powerhouse at selling books worldwide, but I’d like to see my book on different platforms. Apple is a whole different world! Most people I know own Apple products, so they would like to have books on their iBook shelves. However, if I go for it, I may not use the same kindle cover according to representatives at Amazon. So in retrospect, I’m leaving that idea behind for now. I also wanted to do an audible book, but changing covers may cause my book buyers confusion. What do you think? Leave a comment if you have any advice for me on this topic.

On the other hand, doing a podcast about my experiences after retirement can also help me gain more exposure as an author. Podcasting is like radio broadcasting in the good old days. I can see myself sitting in jeans and and a t-shirt once a month broadcasting my thoughts on a wide range of topics to the world. And just think I can do all this for free!

Today, I set up my icon and intro music. Now I have to find a nice quiet place and time to record. Wish me luck!

Paperback

Here is the cover of my paperback book.

Three of the five paperback books I ordered arrived yesterday evening, and I’m quite impressed. The cover was way more impactful than the first edition. The story was deeper and more insightful than the first. All the tinkering and tweaking I’ve done really paid off. This time my dream of writing and publishing a book was more real than surreal. I can envision this product being sold in a bookstore, sitting on a shelf in a library, and then selected by a child eagerly waiting to read my book. Yes, I said it my book.

I thought of all the books I read as a child and all the books I read as an adult. I could see in my mind the many libraries I’d been to throughout my life and imagine what others would think when picking up my book from a shelf to read. Wow! What an amazing feeling! It’s a feeling of pride in one’s work I’m experiencing this time around. I wish I could share this feeling with the world!

Now it’s your turn to live your dream and develop your passions. Go for it!

Here is the cover of my Kindle ebook.

Leave comments below about how you think I can advertise my book for free outside of placing it on Amazon for sale.

Promotion and Advertising

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Now that I have finished making revisions on my children’s book; I want to promote and advertise it. So I have to decide how much to spend on promotions. Promoting the book for free is also an option. Right now I will start tiny and just give out some bookmarks I designed. Since the book is for younger children, I know younger children will use bookmarks. Later, I can expand my promotion by creating an ad about the book. On the bookmark, I’ll include a link to my Author Central site. The author’s site has links to Amazon, where my book is on sale.

I am also working on my second children’s book. So I will place polls on my blog to get feedback about the children’s books in demand. I took a while last night to figure out just how to add a poll to my blog. I edited my last post just so I could try to include a poll on the page. However, I took much longer than I thought it would. So I will place the same poll under this blog post again today. Answer the questions as I will monitor your answers for feedback. I’ll use the feedback data when starting my third children’s book this summer. Thanks again to those who like and follow my blog.

Published!

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I did it! I finally published the revised second edition of my children’s book. My Author Central page is up and running, too. If you’d like to look at it, click on the link below. Wish me luck!

Click this image of my book cover to see my Author Central page.

At of this moment I don’t have my copy in my hands. I’ll have it soon, though. I’ve learned so much more about writing and publishing a book this time around. I know my next book will be easier to publish because of the knowledge I’ve gained. Remember my goal was to publish at least two books in 2019, so I’m well on my way to achieving my goal.

Book Proof

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My proof arrived in the mail just two business days after I purchased it. I quickly opened the envelope to find my treasure, I thought, wrapped in bubble wrap. My first impression was, Wow! How professional this book looks! Then I looked inside the book and found the spacing was not right. So I quickly closed the cover and examined every inch. I took a photo of it and sent it to one of my friends who agreed the old cover was more appealing to children. However, I wanted the cover to look more professional than the first edition’s cover. I could easily fix these two items, I thought. Well, one day’s work quickly turned into 3-4 days of work.

About four days later after editing my spacing and reinserting new illustrations into the text, I searched for a photo that would bring my book cover to a new level. Ironically, I already had it in my photo files. So I uploaded the picture, changed the layout and Voila: I had the perfect professional looking cover I dreamed of. Next, I uploaded all the files I edited and previewed everything in the previewers before saving them. So I was ready to publish my book again. 

Days later, I created my author’s page and saw the icons for paperback and eBook on Amazon. I was so excited. Then I looked for a way to make an audible book. After much research I decided I’d rehearse and try narrating the book myself. After my first rehearsal, I flipped over my book and found a letter missing from a word in the book summary on the back of the book. So I went back to the book cover online and added the letter to the word. While doing this, I found I needed to edit my author’s photo. I quickly edited it and uploaded the edited photo to complete the cover. Now, the book is ready for the world to see. I sure hope it’s ready! Writing is hard work!