Writing and Publishing a Polished Book on a Budget

I’ve seen a lot of guides on how to publish and market books from successful authors out there. A few of them are my friends, and they give objectively good advice. There is some subjectivity to publishing, but there are some core points that generally apply no matter what — things like making sure your book is properly edited and formatted, that good cover art will help your sales, and that it’s helpful to have some kind of marketing plan.

The only trouble is that most of these guides require you to have a decent chunk of money set aside for your project. You need editors, you need cover artists, you need software, you need to run ad campaigns and buy ARCs to distribute. A lot of the marketing strategies I’ve learned involve having hundreds if not thousands of dollars for ad campaigns alone, and while someday I hope to have that kind of budget, at this point I absolutely don’t.

Even if you don’t have a lot of money to work with, you can still put out a quality, polished book. With that in mind, here are some of the most important parts of publishing a book. Most of this is geared toward self-publishing, but you may find some helpful tips in here if you’re looking at pitching to agents as well.

Continue reading “Writing and Publishing a Polished Book on a Budget”


Some Language Is Worth Fighting For

I was in a debate on Facebook the other day about words and the way they should be used, and it got pretty intense. People were getting blocked and everything. I never seem to get anything like this on a discussion about actual politics. I’ve been yelled at for posting a picture of doughnuts and been blocked over my opinions on the Oxford comma, but never anything about politics. I need to up my game apparently. Anyway.

The crux of the argument came down to two conflicting points:

  • We shouldn’t stop using perfectly legitimate language just because some people with ill intent are out there trying to ruin it.
  • If you want to be understood and convincing, you’ll change your language to fit what has been agreed on by the majority, not what is technically correct.

Continue reading “Some Language Is Worth Fighting For”

20 Questions Book Tag

I saw this floating around some of my book circles, and while I wasn’t directly tagged, there were a few kind souls who tagged “whoever wants to do this” for all of us unpopular folks, so bless your kind souls and all-inclusive tags. Before you get the bottom, my tag is the same. If you feel like talking about books and want something to go off of, consider yourself tagged. (These are some great questions, too.)

1. How many books is too many books in a book series?

This really depends on the series. There are a few that I would read no matter how many were published, and I don’t necessarily consider them outliers, but the world needs to be set up right for it to happen. In a lot of cases it’s hard to push five books without starting to look like the author is reaching hard to find new things to write about, so I think that would have to be my safe answer.

Continue reading “20 Questions Book Tag”

Is Listening To Audiobooks Reading? Does It Matter?

The topic of the moment for the reading and writing sphere is audiobooks and whether or not listening to an audiobook is considered “reading.” It’s much more of a multifaceted issue than one might think at first; while initially easy to dismiss with a simple, “No, it’s listening,” there’s a lot to unpack in a discussion like this.

First we should consider that the current definition of reading typically involves something with “written or printed matter” and “characters or symbols.” We should be equally aware going into this that definitions change with time and that definitions are descriptive, not prescriptive.

The reason this definition is important is because people love to draw lines and then make judgments based on those lines. It was hard enough getting ebooks accepted as a valid form of reading, because apparently words on a screen are completely different than the same words on a page.

Continue reading “Is Listening To Audiobooks Reading? Does It Matter?”

I Want To See Your Charity

You’ve probably seen it somewhere in the comments of a YouTube video where someone is doing a good deed: some variation of, “If you actually wanted to help, you wouldn’t have made a video about it; you just want attention.”

“You can tell I’m a good person because I judge everyone else for the way they do good things.” (Source)

This shows up in all sorts of sayings, like the one that goes, “Good deeds should be done with intention, not for attention.” There are even a few Bible verses on it, like the first few of Matthew 6. There’s even one that says that a good deed dies when it is spoken about. That is, if you really want to be charitable, and if you want to prove that you’re doing it for the sake of others and not to draw attention to yourself to be lauded for it, you’ll do it quietly.

Which is all really quite stupid. Continue reading “I Want To See Your Charity”

Introducing Ghost Walk

“By all accounts I know of ghosts – and let me tell you, I’m speaking
from experience here – they shouldn’t exist.”

What is Ghost Walk? If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, your justifiably sardonic reaction is probably something like, “I’m about fifty percent sure it’s a book, but apart from that I have no clue.” Looking back on my old blogs, I saw that I assured everyone I was still writing — I just never really went into detail.

So today I’d like to talk a little about Ghost Walk, and I’m equally excited to say that it will be coming out this Tuesday on Halloween. This will be my sixth book, and hopefully representative of my continued growth as a writer and my interest in trying new things. Continue reading “Introducing Ghost Walk”

College: Esteemed Institute or Indoctrination Factory?

There was a big hullabaloo about a month ago when a Pew survey came out revealing that almost 60 percent of Republicans (and Republican-leaning Independents) believed that higher education has a negative effect on the way things are going in this country. Immediately, it should be noted that this does not mean Republicans think college is dumb and learning is bad, but that didn’t stop many outlets from interpreting it that way.

If you’ve been following politics at all, though, you’re probably more aware of where some of this dismal view on higher education comes from. Think of safe spaces, discrimination against conservatives, snowflakes protesting every minor infraction, you know the drill. The issue, as I’ve seen many conservatives explain, isn’t that knowledge is bad. It’s the environment of the institution: campuses practically infested with liberals, where conservatives students are just too afraid to voice their opinions because they’ll get shouted down, and where freedom of speech is in its death throes. Continue reading “College: Esteemed Institute or Indoctrination Factory?”