Guest Blog by Cheryllyn Dyess – Self-publishing Company VS Self-Publishing (totally yourself)


Self-publishing Company VS Self-Publishing (totally yourself)

                 Author Cheryllynn DyessAbout a year ago I started out with a book – as many authors do! Well, what does an author do from there…ok, so I have this book now how to get it out into the world to share. I had never written a book, much less try to market it. What do I need to do? Who do I talk to? How long does it take? How much money is involved? Will it be successful (of course that definition is determined by each individual)? Does it need more work?  Nerves will unravel quickly. My best answers are NETWORK and ASK everyone.  Social media is our friend when we use it wisely!!! Personally, I use Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Goodreads, Amazon, and LinkedIn.

                 Here is my journey…. First, let me say this is frightening, so many things to consider that almost immediately you feel your stomach knot. I started out by researching several self-publishing companies. Wow, there are hundreds and hundreds – consider pricing; packages;  budget;  what you want done as far as hard cover, soft cover, e-book; copyrights; marketing considerations and the list can go on forever. So after about a month of researching and not feeling secure enough to do this without the help of professionals I chose my publishing company.  I felt confident my choice was good. Their package offered what I was looking for and within my budget.  I got the copyright to the book and all rights even if I canceled my contract with them. I was paid quarterly with a detailed report. Their company reviews were good, as well.

                I signed a contract for three years with the company and began my journey. They were attentive, professional, and timely. They did a great job with putting my book into a look I was pleased with and quickly getting it into the market. But with all the money spent and the very minimal marketing done I was not making enough from the sales to cover my costs. Whoa!!! My budget was spent and very little money was coming in… Time to re-evaluate.  So I did!!!

                Recently (as in the last two months), I canceled the contract with the company and maintained all rights to my work. Okay great…now what. Well, I chose to give a facelift to my work – I wanted more! If I was going to go solo it was going to shine with my creativity and passion. So I started looking around at other authors covers and started asking for advice or direction on where to get a great cover done that would not break the bank. Networking has proven to be my best friend in this stage of the journey.  Use every social media you are a part of and ask all those whose work and material you like – that way you are getting advice in a direction you already like. I can say with great joy that I found an amazing woman on Facebook through a mutual author friend who is currently creating my new cover for Calastan (originally called Jein’s Journey Calastan).  I purchased two photos from, sent them to her, and now she is doing her magic to create the vision I described to her.

                Calastan is being edited to help correct errors I missed previously, added some extras in the book and at the end, and the cover of course will draw you in and the words will not let you go! I will be re-publishing Calastan soon on Amazon through CreateASpace – this go round my expenses are minimal and the profit will be seen quickly (I just know it)! This is only part of my journey I still have so much further to go ~ thank you for joining along. I hope my experience and advice can help someone out there…Happy Writing!!! Oh, my last piece of advice…NEVER GIVE UP!!!

 Come visit me at the following links – I would love to have you there

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Feeding the Muses – Guest Post on Fiction By Phoenix

Fiction By Phoenix

Fiction By Phoenix

Guest post for Fiction By Phoenix – Phoenix aka Lee Jordan is an author who loves helping other authors by posting tips on her blog.  My guest post – “Feeding the Muses”

Vroom, vroom – start your engines. Oh shoot wrong vocation. How about a cooking analogy? Get your creative juices from dripping to flowing or is that plumbing? No, no, we’re talking about writing. It never fails… when you can’t write (i.e. while you’re driving) you get little ideas starting to swirl and coalesce into something bigger and then, when you finally sit down at your writing media of choice… nada, nothing, zip, zero, fpht… blank.

I believe that each of us tackles this problem in our own way, but here is my advice to you, in case you’re stuck. As always my advice is free, so you are getting what you pay for. If you like it, then use it. If you don’t then please do ignore me. I won’t take it personally – I promise!

Care and feeding of your muses is a delicate business. I always carry a journal with me so that I can write down random bits and pieces. When I really can’t think of a darned thing to say – yeah, it does happen once in a while – then I go for a walk, talk to another author, look at pictures, listen to music, watch a movie or read a book. Sometimes I pull out an old idea and discuss it with my family or friends. It’s amazing what can happen when we share ideas!
As writers, I believe that it is very important to immerse ourselves in the culture of writing. Attend a workshop or class on an element of the writing process to get yourself revved up again. You might even consider teaching a bit of writing to kids. Talk about recharging your batteries! As a teacher, I can tell you that we love volunteers to come into our classrooms – especially if they are an expert at something. If appropriate you can even plug your book. Helping another author can give you that same kind of emotional boost that you get from seeing your work turn on a light bulb for kids and that really gets the ideas popping.
If you have ever seen a photo or painting that moved you, then you know what I’m talking about when I say that looking at pictures helps. I have clippings from magazines and downloaded pictures of celebrities that I use to visualize my characters. I use them for locations as well. Sometimes images almost speak to me. I have written many scenes by looking at a picture or while listening to a song. I nearly always listen to music when I sit at my computer to write.

Ask yourself what moves you and then try that. Most of all have some fun because if it isn’t fun, maybe it isn’t what you should be doing! Now, go get ‘em! I believe in you!

Five Steps to Promote Your YA Novel on Laura M. Talley’s Website and Blog


Laura TalleyLaura M. Talley

 – Arkansas Ghostwriter, Speechwriter, Copywriter

5 Steps to Promote your YA Novel by Lauren Klever

Reposted from

Today’s post is from talented YA writer Lauren Klever. Lauren is the author of Visions, the first in a series about a teen named Owen who discovers he possesses a special ability (I won’t spoil it for you). Lauren shares her advice on marketing YA novels.

Let’s start with this… I’m a huge expert!  Listen to me!  (I see you rolling on the floor laughing – STOP that!  Okay – you’re right, I’m new and I don’t know a lot but I’m happy to share what I do know and never forget that you get what you pay for!)  We all have to start somewhere, so here is my advice to you.

Step One:

You have family and friends, right?  (If not, go right to step 2.)  No, really – use these people, they already love you.  How do you do that?  Well, I’m gonna tell ‘ya!  Ask nicely, be willing to take a ‘no’ and be willing to return the favor.  Have them be Beta readers (early readers) of your work.  Be open-minded enough to listen to their advice.  I didn’t say you had to use it.  Just listen and think about it.  If they love your work, ask them to share it.  Specifically, have them share on every social media platform that you can think of!  (Facebook and Twitter are big right now but don’t forget Goodreads, MySpace, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumbler and others.)  PS: you should be sharing in all those places too!  Also have them ‘LIKE’ everything and post reviews everywhere they can.  (Is your work available on Barnes and Noble or Amazon?  Have them rate your book and post a review on those sites as well!)

Step Two:

Know where you potential fans hang out.  Most of mine seem to be on Facebook and Twitter but that may not be true for you.  Check it out.  Would a well placed flyer near a skate park catch the eye of your audience?  How about getting an invitation to a Literacy Night at your local school?  Or even an invitation from a language arts teacher to talk to her class about writing?  Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

Step Three:

Build a website about YOU the author.  On that site you can talk about your book, but the thing you really need to market is Y-O-U.  When I started writing my first book, I knew nothing about SEO, backlinks, website design or Twitter.  I was barely a Facebook user.  (I can hear you laughing across cyberspace, but look at me now.  An expert… not even close – a little smarter… you bet.)  There are lots of choices out there so do some research and figure out what will work for you.  I currently use Word Press.  I like them a lot and find they’re user friendly but they’re not the only fish in the ocean and you may know a lot more about websites than I do.

Step Four:

Remember that you are now a brand.  Keep continuity among all your social media and your website as much as you can.  You are the brand so you want it to all feel the same.  (We all recognize the Nike swoosh and McDonald’s golden arches, right?)  How do you want people to know you?  I once heard that if you aren’t willing to shout something into a megaphone across a football field then don’t post it.  None of us are perfect but I do try to keep my sites clean.  Since I write young adult, I expect young adults to look at my sites, hence and therefore; I keep them pretty much PG.  I can’t think of even one PG-13 item, but I won’t promise you will never see it.  I write for kids from twelve to one hundred and twelve – so there you go!

Step Five:

Now that you are a little more comfortable with what you’re doing keep researching and trying to improve yourself.  Look for new ideas and recycle old ones you like.  Start to follow some big names and see what they have to offer.  I don’t know what your budget is, but mine was pretty much non-existent to start.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to people.  Being connected makes a big difference. Be sure to check out some awesome experts like… Kristen Lamb, Stacey Myers and Melissa Foster.  These are three ladies I follow and read their tips and advice! I am still a work in progress.  How about you?

Step Six:

My last thought… Be yourself but be your kindest self!  Be sure to say please and thank you.  Promote other authors and if someone does you a favor be willing to do one for them.  As I like to say… We can all be better together!  Just remember, in addition to your target audience, you should be thinking about those of us who write… bloggers and authors.  As far as I can tell every single one of us is a big reader, too!

Big hugs and happy promotion of your book!

Lauren Klever is the author of The Secret Watcher series and a teacher.  Please join her on her website and blog:, on Twitter @LaurenKlever and on Facebook.  Her author page is found at and The Secret Watchers Fan Page at 

Thank you Cheryllynn Dyess for the great author interview on your blog!


Reposted from

Cheryllynn Dyess, authorPlease join me on the blog of Cheryllynn Dyess, author of Jein’s Journey for my latest interview!