Friday, March 06, 2015

Speaking Out: Writer Services


 Review:  "London is back with an edgy thriller that's sharp and taut. Cyd and Ewan are very complex individuals with loads of baggage, and tension is rife in this gripping read." Romantic Times Magazine
When Ewan Lochlain returns to Fairy Cove on Lake Michigan, his plans clash with fiery Cyd Callahan’s. Determined to stake his claim on what’s his, including flame-haired Cyd, Ewan is haunted by his parents’ deaths— which are somehow linked to Cyd’s terrifying, hidden memories, and to deadly secrets.
Now people are dying in Fairy Cove and a killer is stalking the night…

Like many traditionally published who are heading for Indie publishing, I am struggling with time for writing, time for promotion (big Essential here), and leading a flesh and blood life.

With a number of reverted books in my pocket, I’ve learned bits about graphics and promotion. REPEAT: Bits. Graphic artists already have a jump in the cover business, but as an Indie publisher, like the covers I create, either in ideas for a graphic artist, or buying premades.

A writer may not always be happy with their traditional/legacy publisher covers, and if you’re lucky there, you can have cover input. “Input” only means you can share ideas with traditional, which may use or not use them, or adapt as they see fit. If you’re lucky, you get a great cover, and well, flip that over…

Time management is critical, and many writers simply do not have time, and/or to create their own covers and handle the social media required. Highlight SOCIAL MEDIA TIME.

Tips abound out there to share posts and many businesses charge for the services. And this is where value comes in…

It’s like every other business. Value for product.

Through my Indie publishing time, a few years now, (my publishers at HQ and HarperCollins have my books, too) I have tried freelance editors, formatters, graphic artists, etc. and have settled into what works for me. This landscape is changing, with more developments upping the competition while making Indie publishing easier.

If you read my earlier blogs, you’ll see that I firmly believe writers need a “cold eye” on their work, or beta readers, or some reference, other than themselves. Few writers can see the holes in their work or catch every copyedit error. Many writers trade services to help what could be a significant $ editing charge.

Here’s an example in which contracted services was not up to par:
I tried a recommended “editor,” who charged high and whose work was less than mine, a long-term career writer. We settled her charges and she apologized. She had a number of excuses. I have no idea if she is still representing herself as an editor or not. It was quite the discussion. :)

There are lots of services representing themselves as professional—they are either not qualified, or qualified but doing shoddy work. This is a Buyer Beware situation where even recommended services are not up to sales-competition par.

Some Indies have one big plus: Skilled family members/friends who chip in to help. Repeat: Skilled/and or Trained.

On the other hand, you might like friend Joe, and he may say he will edit/create graphics/format/publish/promote, but is he does he lay down an effective product for you?

If you are an Indie, you have advantages in moving to better services easily. But if you are truly dissatisfied, try to either work with the service, or to get your $ back, or in some proportion.

Be sure to read this article on Vanity Publishers.

If you hire of service of any kind, it’s tricky until the Proof is in the Pudding and you actually experience what you get: You get what you agree to pay for, what is specifically included in your contract with the service. Be very careful as you mine through the contract points.

Just 2.99 for a Limited Time. 

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