My Time to Write – Guest Post by Cheryl Campbell

In an email, Cheryl mentioned her writing schedule, and pointed out that she keeps it flexible. I asked her to tell us more about it.

flexible scheduleMy writing routine typically works out that I am at the computer for a couple hours on Thursdays, hopefully an hour or so on Saturdays, and a few hours on Sundays. I spend several hours twice a week traveling and bouncing between airports. Couple this with long work days when I’m on the road and I do not sit down to write. Being out of town much of the week, my weekends are busy catching up with things around the house, doing errands, and prepping to fly out again on Monday.
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The Language of Young Adult Fiction (Guest Post by Cheryl Campbell)

Say hello again to Cheryl Campbell, YA author with an unusual perspective I admire.

Burnt Mountain The Monster Within was born from an idea that I wanted to try to write a story that my niece (at the time 5 years old) and nephew (at the time 3 years old) might enjoy as teenagers. I figured this would give me plenty of time to come up with something, and plenty of time to figure out how to get it done. I had never written a book before and had zero clue about how to do it. So I sat down, jotted some notes, typed a few pages, and kept chipping away at it. Many revisions later it started to take on some shape.

As I kept going, the shape became more recognizable as a story. I was watching movies and reading a lot to figure out what made the stories that I loved so great. Lord of the Rings, both the books and the movies were key factors in my research. Star Wars also ranked at the top. What I loved so much about them was the way they crossed all age groups. Anyone, any age could get in to see Star Wars. No profanity. No sex. No graphic violence. Both franchises had movies with some violence, but none of them were rated R.

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Fifteen Thousand Words: Self-Publishing 101 Q&A

Fifteen thousand words about self-publishing. That’s the conversation I’ve had with Cheryl Campbell, answering her questions about self-publishing. Being a newbie, her questions were basic. Being a smarty, her questions were insightful and clear.

Fifteen thousand words. I’ve written books shorter than that. While most of this content will make it into Getting Your Book Our of the “Someday” Box, 2nd Edition you can read it all here absolutely free.

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Print-on-Demand Using CreateSpace: Some Beginning Questions

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 3:09 PM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com> wrote:CreateSpace is cooking my brain. Not sure if I need to use this service or not.

I was going to list the ebook on Amazon KDB, and I thought I would do the POD print book here (please jump in if you have a different suggestion). But the pricing is looking really funky for a soft back book. A minimum price of $11.09 seems very steep to me.

And what is the Createspace eStore? How does this differ from Smashwords?

And down on the left side of the menu there is an option for Publish on Kindle...haven’t even gotten there. But if I was doing it on KDB, I wouldn’t need this extra piece, would I?

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Blogging 101, the Short Version for Authors

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 6:42 PM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com> wrote:Hi Joel,

I know you’ve been writing and blogging way longer than me, but when you work on topics to blog about, do you just write what you want? write based on others’ questions? have a theme/series in mind for topics? Or all of the above? Or maybe this goes back to your evil plot and you have a different tactic altogether? :)

What I’ve been trying to do is do short blogs about indie publishing and posting tidbits, links, books, etc, I found especially useful/helpful…including helpful people like you.

Your coaching is on getting the story out of “someday” mode and into real mode. And I have writer friends who were just like me and they play with writing on the side here and there. I had only finally cracked down a couple of years ago and decided I would go for it all. Turns out, I kinda have a passion for writing that I didn’t really know was there until I stopped dabbling with it and got serious.

So that’s a bit of babble to say that with my blogs, given I have friends in the same boat and knowing they’d be just as lost as I was starting out on this, I have been trying to post helpful info in case they do ever get their own stories out of the someday box too. Seems like a good place to start for me as a completely green blogger….I’m certainly learning a lot on the fly.

Thoughts? Any suggestions on how to make blogs more effective? Or is it more about who you’re trying to reach as a target audience and writing with them in mind?

Cheryl

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Working Through the Details with Larry Brooks of StoryFix

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 7:07 AM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Joel,Attached is the document I sent to Larry, which he returned with comments in red. I sent it back this AM with my additions in blue….I don’t know if he’ll respond again since I’m not sure if the continued back and forth is part of the $35 deal or not. But hoping to hear back some more. I feel like I have the pieces to the story that are needed, but I didn’t convey that well when answering the questionnaire. This makes me feel better about having independent eyes on it to an extent and getting validating feedback that the concept is there and the story is not 90k+ words of hooey.
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9 Sentences: Planning Your Story Without the Dread of Outlining

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 3:27 PM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Joel,I have signed up for KDP (not KDP select) and Smashwords. I have the book up on Smashwords and pending Premium Status approval. I was pretty OCD about following the Smashwords formatting guideline so I’m not expecting any issues there. I have the book loaded in draft form on KDP right now. I’m waiting for a few final sketches from the guy that also did the cover art to consider incorporating into the book before posting it there.

I know on Smashwords I can upload updated versions of the book. Does KDP offer this same service as seamlessly as Smashwords? I didn’t see or read anything yet on KDP about uploading new versions.

I’m a little baffled about getting the book to print. Createspace is a part of Amazon…do I have that correct? And they are print on demand service and post the print book thru Amazon? Before I signed up for a Createspace account I wanted to see if you had more info on them and any pros/cons to using them or another service.

There is a local publisher, well local to Maine, in Rockland, Maine Authors Publishing, and I would love to use them but they are really pricey. I want to use them because they’re Maine based and they offer good services, but the cost for the services is a bit crazy. They offer an editorial reading for $145 with some feedback on the overall book…not like “wow this is a great fantasy” but more like feedback on story flow, character development, etc. My beta readers thus far, one is fantastic. My other two I have yet to hear from. So I’m leaning toward getting a set of independent, non-friend, eyes on it. Is $145 reasonable for this service? Or is this also overpriced?

As always, thank you for your time.

Cheryl

… more … “9 Sentences: Planning Your Story Without the Dread of Outlining”

Barcodes: To Buy Or Not To Buy

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 10:09 AM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Joel,When you purchase your ISBNs, do you also purchase your bar codes at the same time, or just get the bar codes when you need them?

I’m looking at the bulk 10 ISBNs deal from Bowker.

If I have 2 books and do them both in soft and hard cover, that’s 4 ISBNs right there. And I can’t imagine my writing will cease and desist after these 2 books.

I’m thinking I’ll use CreateSpace for the soft cover POD, and another printer for just hard backs more for use as gifts than anything else since I know hard backs are more expensive to produce than soft.

What are your thoughts on this plan?
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Blog Posts to Facebook: Jetpack Almost Does It

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation from yesterday with author Cheryl Campbell

On Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 5:00 PM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com> wrote:
I know you have your website/blog. Do you have your blog posts automatically go to your facebook page?I have a personal FB account but I was interested in having a separate account for the books where they are directly tied to each other.

Further, I was thinking of having the book website I created directly auto update the book FB page when I posted blogs from the website.

Part of me thinks having the website AND FB for the books is silly and redundant.

Part of me thinks I would rather keep my personal FB page out it entirely and limited to friends/family which was the reason for the book FB page.

Personally, I can’t stand FB and only just set up a personal account about a month ago. Part of the reason for the breakdown was I knew I was getting close to going to print with the first book. But I do appreciate that I am a minority in that opinion and understand that social media is ridiculously powerful in spreading news and marketing.

Where I’m on the decision see-saw and cannot figure out what I want to do with website only, website + pers FB, or website + book FB…I figured I could ask the man that loves questions. :)

Thanks!
Cheryl

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Newbies: All Good Questions Do Fine

I tell every writer I meet they can ask me all the questions they want. A handful ask a couple questions, and I always learn something new from the answers I have to come up with.

Cheryl Campbell
Cheryl Campbell

Once in a while I meet someone with the childlike sponge of curiosity, and it makes my day. Er, week. Perhaps month, depending on how long Cheryl Campbell keeps coming up with these questions.

Cheryl introduced herself on Linked In a few weeks ago, and we’ve chatted so often that I have over 10,000 words of Q&A stored up. And the questions are so universal to neophytes in modern publishing that I’ll be spending all week sharing her questions and my answers with you. And in an uncharacteristic twist, rather than burning hours reformatting everything, I’m going to just paste the emails in her, raw and essentially unedited.
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