Don’t be a fool! Use this tool!

That’s the header for a new review for How to Self-publish and Market a Book.

Here is the full review:

Hank Quense has done a very thorough job with this book, “How to Self-Publish and Market a Book.” He has made it simple to follow and not overwhelming for the average self-publisher. Don’t know how to start with Twitter? He breaks it down. Don’t know the difference between a packager and publisher? Don’t know what the average costs are? Quense knows that too.

It’s clear from reading this book that Quense knows what he’s talking about from personal experience, and the things he’s figured out along the way. Perfect for the newbie who isn’t looking to reinvent the wheel.

I recently read a self-published book by an acquaintance and am now wondering if she really checked all these boxes. Could she have had better results selling her book if she’d taken the time to put the books in hands of actual beta readers and not friends? Did she try to speed up the timeline? Did she tick all of the marketing boxes? Did she weigh the pros and cons of ebooks and hard copy?

If I ever get around to finishing the manuscript I have, I will be following the steps Quense outlines with a six-month timeline, to ensure the work is worth the effort.

I loved the information about how to get an ISBN, something I’ve never really understood. I also loved how he talked about websites and setting up blog tours to really get the most out of your book launch.


You can grab a copy at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Kobo

And all ebook seller web sites

Booklife Assessment: How to Self-publish and Market a Book

Booklife (part of Publishers Weekly) provided an assessment of my new book How to Self-publish and Market a Book.

Idea: Quense’s pitch with this book — an author who has self-published many books writing a guide to authors looking to self-publish their own — is sharply honed, and the resulting book offers exactly what its audience would be seeking. Quense anticipates the pitfalls and mistakes first-time self-publishers face, and he offers clear, concrete advice for avoiding them, bolstered by strong examples from his own career.

Prose: Quense’s prose is unfussy and direct, just what is needed for such a volume. He’s also to-the-point, never wandering off topic or attempting to pad the manuscript. Quense emphasizes  the urgency of working on a manuscript with editors and sensitivity readers, and it’s clear on each polished page that he practices what he preaches.

Originality: There are certainly other how-to books surveying the same field, but what’s most original and helpful in Quense’s volume is its dedication to offering writers a clear step-by-step guide to their self-publishing journey. Quense organizes the volume chronologically, describing the tasks an author should attend to five months before publication, then four months before publication, and so forth. This approach is unique and helps prevent the task at hand from being overwhelming. Another factor separating Quense’s guide from other how-to books: Quense is frank about costs, and he makes no unrealistic promises about outcomes.

Execution: Quense is strong in explaining what self-published authors need to do and also demonstrating why these steps matter. Even authors averse to, say, establishing a social-media presence, are likely to find the advice here persuasive and manageable. Making it all “manageable” could be the book’s greatest strength — and it could only be improved in that regard with a more thorough table of contents or topic-driven index. The structure makes the book somewhat less accessible than it might be to authors who just want advice on one topic, like the difference between a publisher and packager or how to find an artist to design a cover.

Blurb: Concise and bursting with practical advice, How to Self-Publish and Market a Book delivers exactly what its title promises, with clear eyes and little fat.

Score:

  • Plot/Idea: 10
  • Originality: 9
  • Prose: 9
  • Character/Execution: 9
  • Overall: 9.25

The ebook is available from:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

And other book sellers

 

Bad Mind

My friend and fellow author, Karen Cavalli, has a new book!

Called Bad Mind, this non-fiction book explores unusual phenomena.  Here is the book blurb:

Quantum physics, black holes, astronomy… we often ponder and deliberate these topics across all social stratums, our workplaces, places of worship, and on social media. We are confident that a discussion of these subjects will not produce a round of derision from our peers. But what if we asked our co-workers about their encounters with otherworldly beings? What if we asked our friends if they have ever had contact with an alien?

In Bad Mind, Karen Cavalli explores the possibility of extraterrestrial beings and what that means for us in this world. As she details examples from her life and others she has encountered, she lays out for the reader what it means to have an encounter with spirit and how it can guide us to a deeper understanding of our reality.

You can get a copy on Amazon

Self-publishing Starter Kit

If you are unfamiliar with self-publishing, the Starter Kit will get you going in the right direction.

There are four lectures in the Kit:

  1. Self-publishing Mini-course: a discussion of issues on self-publishing
  2. Converting a Manuscript to an Ebook:  a manuscript must undergo significant revisions before it is ready to become an ebook
  3. Strategic Marketing Plans: all book marketing starts with a strategic plan
  4. Scams: the internet has many scam artists searching for inexperienced authors.  Learn some of their tricks

These four lectures have been developed and presented over the last few years and bundled together for the first time to address issues that are important to new self-publishers.

You can view the course by following this link: https://bit.ly/2OVOgjp

Not Guilty Excerpt

Today, I welcome fellow author C.Lee McKenzie to my website.

She’s the author of Not Guilty, a novel about a teen-age protagonist who is found guilty of an assault he didn’t do.  He is sentenced to time in a juvenile detention center and learns to struggle with and survive his situation.

At the moment, Not Guilty has a 4.9 star average reviews on Amazon and that’s not bad.  The ebook is available from:

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

Smashwords

 

You can also find it on Goodreads.


Here is an except:

Chapter Two

 

That next morning, the radio alarm woke Devon, blasting news about an assault on Sugar Cove Beach yesterday afternoon. Without opening his eyes, he fumbled for the sleep button. He didn’t want to think about yesterday afternoon. He didn’t want to think about Sugar Cove. He didn’t want to think about anything. He pulled the covers over his head and fell back to sleep. 

When he finally got out of bed, it was too late to shower or eat breakfast. He barely made it to class in time for first bell.

The rest of that day came special delivery from hell. Kristen still wouldn’t believe him. She’d double-checked with Briana about his car and Briana was positive. He lost his temper, said something about Briana that he shouldn’t have, and Kristen stomped away. Every time he tried to corner her at school, she dodged him. He texted her. She didn’t text back. He called her. She hung up twice, and then she stopped answering. 

At dinner that night, his parents were super-pissed about the ticket and tossed around the idea of mothballing his car, his dad’s Navy vocabulary, until the end of term. His sister saved his bacon when she started in on the assault at Sugar Cove. He tuned it out, glad that his ticket wasn’t the big news anymore. He owed Mia, but he’d never cop to that.

The Tsunamis played okay the rest of the week, but without his head in the game, they weren’t the stars they’d been last Saturday. When Coach put Simon in, Devon hated to admit it, but Simon The Scowl played a better game than he did.

By Sunday afternoon, he was looking for a long vegging-out day with popcorn and a marathon of TV basketball.

His parents were at a movie and Mia was at a friend’s house. Finally, he had the TV room to himself. Except for Buddy, but all his dog needed was his spot on the couch and a rawhide bone. He never hogged the remote.

He’d poured extra butter over the steamy bowl of fluffy white corn and had a handful of napkins to sop up the grease when the doorbell rang.

Buddy pranced ahead of Devon on his way down the hall. Cramming some popcorn into his mouth, Devon opened the door. Two men stood outside.

“Devon Carlyle?” The man on the porch wore a tan shirt and pants with a sheriff’s badge pinned on his jacket.

Because his mouth was still full, Devon nodded.

He recognized the man behind the sheriff as the one who’d given him the speeding ticket.

“We have a search warrant.” The sheriff held out an official-looking paper. “Are your folks home?”

He swallowed. “Uh. No.”

“Then show us your room, please.” The sheriff stepped forward.

“What are––”

“Your room? Which one is it?” the sheriff asked.

Buddy stayed close to his side, whining as Devon led them upstairs. He stood in the doorway, watching the two men open his desk drawers, shuffle through his closet, and search under his bed. Buddy paced, nudging Devon’s hand. He’d picked up on stress signals from his kid.

With each drawer they opened in his room, Devon flinched. He felt stripped, exposed. “What are you after? Tell me!” 

The sheriff straightened from examining behind the dresser. “Anything?” he asked the deputy. The deputy shook his head.

“We’re looking for a wallet.”

Before the thought what that might mean, Devon pulled his out. 

The sheriff glanced at it, shook his head. “We’d like you to come to the sheriff’s office.”

“What’s––”

“Hold on. Before you say anything, you’re not a suspect.”

 

Falstaff’s Big Gamble Freebie!

My novel about Hamlet and Othello is free for a limited time.

Described as “Shakespeare’s worst nightmare” it changes his two greatest tragedies into comedies.  The story takes place in a fantasy land called Gundarland where Hamlet is a dwarf and Othello is a dark elf.

The ebook is a free download at:

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

 

Video Lectures Available

Two new video lectures are now available at Udemy.

One is called Story Design.  It’s for people who wish to master the craft of fiction writing.  Story Design covers character development, building a plot, story setting, scenes and much more.  The trailer will provide more information.  You can watch here.  The course is located here.


The second lecture is called Self-publishing Starter Kit.  It contains four short lectures covering the following topics:

  • Self-publishing overview
  • Formatting a manuscript for an ebook
  • Strategic Marketing Plan
  • Scams

You can watch the trailer here. The Starter Kit course is located here.