Category: Blogs @ How to Self Publish


CorinneTippett_Author_When_No_One_Else_Would_Fly

This was the summer I spent at Llangollen Farm with my grandfather, Colonel C. J. Tippett and Liz Whitney Tippett. These were her prize-winning carriage horses. They were biters.

Congratulations to American Pharoah, winning the Triple Crown for the first time in decades! I’ve been watching the Belmont Stakes for so many years in a row in the hopes of seeing a Triple Crown winner, and today is the day.

Col. C. J. Tippett and Liz Whitney Tippett were all about racing. Liz was a racehorse owner, with high profile horses in the USA and Australia, including “Igloo” in the 1970’s. She bred, trained, and raced horses from her own stable at Llangollen, Virginia, under her own colors – the purple and fuchsia.

As I wrote the biography of Colonel C. J. Tippett, “When No One Else Would Fly”, I was immersed in Liz’s world as well. Her story blends with Tip’s near the end of the book as he left civil aviation and entered joined Liz in the business of thoroughbred racing.

And I went with him – visiting him at the farms and ranches in California and Virginia and spending part of a summer at Llangollen. I joined Liz and Tip at the racecourse and picked a winner. I sat in on an after-dinner foal naming session and contributed a name. I rode as groom with the carriage team to a lawn party and held the bridles as the team snacked on my knuckles.

One day, I’ll write Liz’s story. It is a story of thoroughbred racing history just as Tip’s is a story of aviation history.

Col. C. J. Tippett and Liz Whitney Tippett would have loved the 2015 Belmont stakes and the winning of the Triple Crown for the first time since their own heyday in the racing world.

Email me at talktotheauthor@thewestchesterpress.com with “Liz Book” in the subject, to be added to my Liz book update list.

Check out the book review of "When No One Else Would Fly" in the AAHS Flightline Newsletter, 2nd quarter 2014, No. 187, page 8

Check out the book review of “When No One Else Would Fly” in the AAHS Flightline Newsletter, 2nd quarter 2014, No. 187, page 8

This month’s edition of the Flightline newsletter published by the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) carries a book review of “When No One Else Would Fly” and I am delighted.

Hayden Hamilton has written a thoughtful and detailed review that highlights what is most important about the book – that it describes the important but little known contribution Col. C. J. Tippett made to aviation during his lifetime.

The review also gives a candid assessment of an aviation expert’s opinion of the way I wrote the book, by interspersing Tip’s own writing with my historical summaries… which he did not hate!

Mr. Hamilton declared the book “an excellent read and reference for those interested in the development of civil aviation in both the U.S. and South America during the 1940s and 1950s.”

The review, and the whole newsletter, are a ten-course meal for aviation enthusiasts – as is the AAHS website, www.aahs-online.org.

Click here to read the review, and I encourage you to click around on the AAHS website as well – it is a rich resource for american aviation history.

The quarterly newsletter is available to anyone clicking through to the site. The organization’s magazine, a full-color beautifully written resource of aviation articles, goes to members. Membership is not expensive and well worth it.

The review appears on page 8 of the 2014 second quarter AAHS newsletter, No. 187.

My thanks to the AAHS!

Buff Polish Chick with Book

Writing a book is a commitment. I can’t chicken out a year later!

It is a major commitment to write and self publish a book. More than just the time of writing it, there is the commitment of living with it, working with it, talking about it, marketing it,  – up to my elbows in the subject matter of it – for years.

So it’s important to choose the right book from all the books I have within me to write.

Because unless I stay committed to it, or unless I become a blockbuster author-personality whose fan-base will read everything I pen, it won’t continue to sell unless I continue to engage with it.

Is it a subject matter that I will want to stay committed to? Is my own engagement with the story enough to keep my own interest for years to come?

For my first and second books, it was an easy choice. My first was the story of my own family’s homesteading and chicken raising adventures in rural New Mexico. It was a magical time, and continuing to live that book keeps that time close instead of letting it slip away into the past.

My second book was the story of my grandfather’s aviation pioneering life – and I could talk about that all day any day. The story of a man’s life, aviation’s history, world history – endlessly fascinating.

As a self publisher, I retain my ability to write anything I want – answerable only to my own pocketbook to determine the marketability of my manifestos. No contracts drive my choices. I am free to succeed or fail – earn or not. I want to write a book that will sell, but I also need to write a book that I can continue to support. Or better yet, turn into a series that I can continue to expand.

Writing is an art, publishing is a business. My upcoming How To Self Publish Step by Step series gives me a way to move artistically through the business of self publishing – and it is a project that I can support for as long as I am publishing. 

I need the book I am writing. I am using it to write the book I am writing. I’ll be immersed in my series for as long as I am writing any series – or any book.

That’s how I know when I’ve chosen the right book to self publish.

 

Self Publishing a Book is like planting a garden

Spring is a Good Time to Learn New Software

It is time to take the plunge, make the commitment, and Learn. Advanced. Scrivener. I’ve trialed and tested and dabbled in Scrivener.. and now I’ve purchased.

Because I absolutely have to be faster and more efficient in my writing.

Today, new software is so much more. Software is a skill, skills enhance ability – on the job or in my own projects. It is a new community, introduction to a new industry, and often a new way of thinking about the project that brought me to the software in the first place. It brings change in more ways than just my goal to Write. Publish. Repeat.

Scrivener

The Scrivener Website

Scrivener Tutorials

The Scrivener Blog

The Scrivener Forum

The Scrivener Knowledgebase

Scrivener Twitter

Scrivener Facebook

Books on Scrivener

Search YouTube for Scrivener How To Videos

Search Google for How To Use Scrivener

Scrivener Google+ Group

Scrivener LinedIn Group

 

 

The Free Rooster is alive and well

Commitment.

I recently listened to a back episode, Episode 36, of the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast by Simon Whistler where he was interviewing Beverly Kendall about her writing, publishing, and the survey she had done on what self publishers are earning.

Beverly said that she had purposefully targeted places where “committed self publishers and writers” gathered in order to get the best responses for her survey – responses which completely trashed the popular idea that self publishers were earning nothing.

It was this distinction of “committed” that was the real key. That caught my attention.

What was the difference between a self-publishing dabbler and a committed self publisher?  Well, for one thing, the income.

I had been serious about my self publishing and certainly had the time commitment dialed in, but I started to think… and read… and listen… and follow… and like… and pin… and subscribe… about what I could do to really commit to my writing and self publishing. About what that would mean.

I took a simple first step. I went (online) to the places where “committed self publishers and writers” gathered (twitter, hashtag #selfpublish, find and follow the industry gurus)- and I listened.

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of voices were saying the same thing – which made it astonishingly easy to hear amidst the crazy babble that is twitter.

Engage: with readers, with industry gurus, with other self publishers, with my local community. Maybe writing is an activity that an introvert can successfully do all alone in a garrett – but publishing requires connecting with this huge peopled world. And self publishing means personally connecting.

Publish Great Content Constantly: blogging, tweeting, pinning… my content has to be out there and it has to be valuable, interesting and preferably accurate. If I can’t do “constantly” I can do AFAP (as frequently as possible.)

Pick a Genre and Stick With It: because readers do not generally leave their favorite genre to follow you, the author, to your next book. I muffed that one already. My aviation history biography is mysteriously not as interesting as I thought it would be to the fans of my family memoir chicken-raising homestead adventure. Aviation history fans love it – but chicken moms are meh. The income lies in an excellent and riveting series within a single genre.

Do All That While Still Writing All The Time: ah, jeez. (screeching tires on pavement sound.)

The unspoken, “and don’t quit your day job” was not as prevalent in these streams because many of the authors had actually quit their day jobs. These were the full-timers, the mid-listers and more who were making enough or more at self publishing for it to be their day job. So I was going to have to improvise in order to do all this while nurturing my day job.

My biggest challenge was going to be managing the time it takes me to write and self publish my books. The two I already have on Amazon, which sell even though I still need to market them, each took over a year to produce, and that’s too slow for where I want to be as an author – and what I want to earn.

I needed to find out How To Get More Efficient In My Writing And Self Publishing, and that answer was out there in the twitter stream as well.

Which brings us to SCRIVENER, and my next post.

The Horned Lizard of Self Publishing demands a book proposal on each of her own books before she will consider publishing herself.

The Horned Lizard of Self Publishing demands a book proposal on each of her own books before she will consider publishing herself.

I’m in the book proposal stage of my book proposal chapter of my Step-by-Step How To Self Publish A Book series.

I’m whining about it.

“Why do I have to do a book proposal?”

“Because I’m your publisher and I need the book proposal,”

“But I’m a self publisher. I’m not going to submit this around  because it’s How To Self Publish – though that would be kind of ironic,”

“And as yourself, your publisher, I insist on the book proposal. I need the information you will find and summarize in it,”

“Then why don’t you do it, and let me get back to writing?”

“No way, I’m too busy doing Self Everything Else in your life,”

…. My previous blog post says it even better than I can….

Beautiful Hybrid

Beautiful Hybrid

When I started with self publishing in 2009, I did it because I had a book I knew would sell if I could get it to market quickly. And it did, because I did.

There were a lot of traditionally published authors at that time telling us aspiring authors that self publishing was a “kiss of death” action. Do it and risk never being taken seriously by the traditional world.

I did it anyway, largely because I couldn’t get the attention of the traditional publishing world and again, I really believed in my book.

I had hoped that my book sales would later attract a traditional publisher, as has happened for some self-published authors. What I didn’t expect was for many of the traditionally-published authors to start coming over to self publishing, attracted by not only the book sales some self publishers are scoring, but also by the money.

Hear for yourself what these authors are saying – and what exactly the new word “Hybrid Author” means to them on the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast by Simon Whistler. Episode 36 is particularly interesting as Beverly Kendall talks about the survey she completed last year studying what self publishers are earning.

We need new language for this new world of self publishing.

For one thing, we need to figure out if it is self publishing or self-publishing. I say it needs a hyphen when it describes, and otherwise should stand as two words.

There needs to be a different word for an author who owns her own ISBN and does it herself versus someone who accepts the ISBN from the upload site (do not accept the ISBN from the upload site), versus someone who buys a package from a “vanity” press site.

There are indie publishers, (independent publisher) which my kind of self-publishing business actually is, but if I don’t intend to publish work by other authors, I don’t feel that indie publisher is a fit – though I’ll use it anyway.

And I’d like a nice, encouraging piece of language to describe authors who are truly self published, and own their ISBN and have print and ebooks available – but aren’t yet doing it full-time because it isn’t yet earning full-time. Not a penalizing piece of language – an “on the way there” piece of language.

My wish list wouldn’t be complete with wanting a piece of language – preferably colorful – for the kind of author who self publishes crap – and another similar word for traditional publishers who publish crap. And a place to apply for a refund.

 

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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