Tag Archives: self-publishing

Self-Publishing Speaking Engagement for Tiffany Turner

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ebookmarketTiffany Turner will be speaking on the self-publishing panel at the AODSF conference at the Santa Clara Convention Center on Sunday, March 19 at 10am-11am Live Event Rm 4.

Come find out the exact steps you’ll need for self-publishing you’re own book. From your beginning ideas to pushing the button to self publish, Tiffany Turner will join in a panel to walk you through the process. Ask questions and find out all the publishing platforms, how to hire you’re own editors, formatters, cover designers, and start that important step to building your author platform. Ask questions and get started from the information you’ll receive from this talk.

AODSF Conference Schedule/Website

http://aodsf.org/events/list/

Tiffany Turner Appearance at Tartan Day April 2 in Fremont, CA

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TartanDayTiffany Turner will be making an appearance at the Tartan Day Day celebration at Ardenwood Farm Park in Fremont, CA on April 2, 2016. She’ll be set up in a booth to meet everyone and sign books. Also available will be the opportunity to enter a drawing for a crystal pendant or a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Mrs. Turner has been very involved in the Scottish Heritage community in Northern California for 10 years. She has played the First Lady in Waiting to Mary, Queen of the Scots in the Royal Court of St. Gyles Acting Guild. She was a founding member of the guild, St. Ida’s of Cill Ida. Recently, she has been playing her Gaelic Harp for the parade group Danse Macabre.  Mrs. Turner proudly has Scottish and Irish heritage.

She will be signing books, giving out Tartan favors she has made from tartan purchased in Scotland, and visiting with her fans. All three Crystal Keeper books will be on sale. Plus, ask her about the current last installment of the series she is writing, The Lost Secret of Time. Also, stop by and sign up to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or crystal pendant.

Also appearing with her will be the author of The Lost Celt, A. E. Conran. Ms. Conran is a children’s book author, freelance editor, and children’s book specialist at Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA. She’ll be on hand to sign copies of her new release, and talk about Celtic heritage. Her website is at: www.aeconran.com.

Come by and spend the whole day with the family learning about Scottish and Irish heritage.

Update: The Lost Secret of Time is Coming!

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Tiffany Turner in the hospital ICU Dec. 2014

Tiffany Turner in the hospital ICU Dec. 2014

Greetings Crystal Keeper Fans! I’ve been rejuvenating my efforts to get back into the swing of writing. As always, life has thrown some curves at me. And they were some pretty big curves. There were a lot of changes in education, namely the Common Core, that has made it difficult for me to keep up with all my writing and still give all my efforts in teaching. Transitions are really hard in education, and this has been the worst and most difficult that I’ve seen in my career.

Then, I got blindsided by illness in December 2014. I got pneumonia and ended up in the hospital. While there, I went into Code Blue and cardiac arrest. Basically, I almost died, and the doctors were trying everything to help me pull through. I also had the complication of septic shock and the discovery of a heart blood clot. So, it was discovered that I have cardiomyopathy, a heart failure condition where my heart isn’t pumping enough blood to the rest of my body.

My monitors in the hospital.

My monitors in the hospital.

This has made it difficult for me to do much else but get better. I’ve been on medical leave from teaching, and I’m taking a year of absence to get my health back. The bonus of all the health issues is that as I start to feel better, I can start writing again.

So, over the next year, I’ll be working on The LOST SECRET OF TIME and finishing the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. I’ve always intended on doing so. But sometimes life just throws you a curve ball, and you have to adapt, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep going.

Resting in my hospital bed Dec. 2014.

Resting in my hospital bed Dec. 2014.

All the encouragement is always helpful and appreciated. I’ve got a start on THE LOST SECRET OF TIME, and signed up for Camp NANO in April to make progress on the book. Things are underway, and I’ll be sure to give you updates as I move through the process. As for now, I’ll be continuing with featuring more Indie Authors once a month, and will try to get back into doing Indie writing posts to help out other authors.

So, hug your parents, kids, and pets. Positive thoughts can do so much. You just never know what path will lay before you. And with writing, everyone is on a different writing journey. I’m glad to be sharing mine with you.

Take care!-Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

2104: A Brave New World Dawning For Self-Publishing

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A brave new world is appearing in 2014 for self-published authors.

A brave new world is appearing in 2014 for self-published authors.

I’ve always liked being a rebel. I’m a bit of a control freak. Being a teacher suits me as well as self-publishing, because I’m in control. I’ve been self-publishing since 2007 with my release of “The Lost Secret of Fairies”. I’ve sat at the back table of writing conferences working on craft, and networking ideas with other authors. Most of the time, I hear lectures of the old traditional process of the publishing industry. The old school of making a book is preached again and again.

The thing that kept me going is the fact I don’t give up, and a fabulous community of self-published authors on at the Writer’s Cafe message board at Kboards.com. I run to my self-publishing brethren that punches each others arms, post writing threads to beat out 1K a day, and marketing tips and algorithm discussions about the Big A (Amazon).

But something is happening this year. The winds of change are starting to surface. I think the world of publishing is starting to take notice of the little bohemian group of writers that are making self-publishing work.

Thankfully, I’ve been taking notes, and trying out some of the ideas. Back when the free book backdoor idea surfaced, I gave it a try. I had over 9,000 downloads in a month. From 10 downloads a month, this was a big difference. So, some things have worked. This last year, I tried marketing locally to bookstores and started writing in a new genre. Write more, write more, start a new pen name and build the love of your readers. OK, pushed the button on that. Now what?

I would suggest starting with a book called Write. Publish. Repeat by Sean Platt and John B. Truant. The ideas I recognize from discussions on Kboards.com and at the back tables of conferences. It was developed from Sean’s and John’s Podcast show on self-publishing. The information is amazingly fresh and forward. Ideas like keep writing, funnel your readers, and be in it for the long term give me hope. I made a right choice over 5 years ago. The more I write, the more I’ll make over the long term.

But wait, there’s more. Today, the overlord and general hero of the community bohemia of The Writer’s Cafe on Kboards.com published a blog post about what he’d do if he was the CEO of HarperCollins. His name is Hugh Howey. Hugh has impressed me before. I’ve written about him in other blog posts on self-publishing, because he champions self-publishing. There’s been a year of screaming from the mount that this way of publishing works. But this time, it’s coming from someone that has proven it.

Hugh wrote Wool as a serial that took off. Of course, it is a good book. Add a traditional publishing deal, movie in the making with an European book tour and you get an idea of what I’m talking about. He’s making self-publishing work for him, and this is just in the last year.

Thankfully, he’s still coming back and visiting on the board. He’s a bit of a celebrity regular now, but he is still modest. No really. Plus, a couple of things have stuck with me for what’s he’s mentioned in posts on the board. The fabulous thing is that he’s still giving advice and even started a project in which a lot of regulars on the board are creating an anthology for charity. But the good ideas haven’t stopped there.

Hugh created a list of ideas that might shake the foundations of publishing. If you’d like to see his original post, here is the link to: Don’t Anyone Put Me In Charge. I’ve listed some of the highlights that I think are going to blow the traditional publishing community out of the water.

He starts with several suggestions to help give a foundation of artist community to authors. “1. The first thing I would do would be the most important, and that would be to form a community among my stable of HarperCollins authors.” So true. I agree, I have watched the magic of creativity form on the Writer’s Cafe board for several years now. I’ve been affected and benefited by the artistic community it creates. Plus, show monthly sales and pay royalties monthly is suggested. Most self-publishers love this freedom. I know how many books I sell and take home 35% or 70% depending on the price point of my book through Amazon. Not to mention being addicted to checking sales daily. There is nothing like seeing your book selling in Japan.

“Like the editors. We’re going to save the editors (and hire more) and get rid of the sales reps.” Really, I agree with Hugh here. Get rid of the huge overhead so publishing houses can keep up with the speed of change that the 21st century can allow for innovative ideas. The brave new world of self-publishing will create a bigger bookstore on-line not to distributors for books. Yes, in 10 years, books will mostly be in the hands of the older generation. I see the eagerness of young people ready for ebooks. It will happen.

Hugh suggests moving the publishing house to Houston out of New York. “Business will be conducted much as it already is: by email.” Really, who wants to live in New York right now? Florida? California? No snow? Houston? Lower costs will help everyone.

These are just a few ideas I gleaned in the dawn of this new age of publishing. I am excited to be on the ground floor to witness the innovation at hand. Hopefully, with effort, hard work, and a little luck, I might be able to eventually retire. But until then, I’m ok with waiting 10 years and writing those good books to earn royalities after decades of service teaching children. After all, the biggest thing I’ve learned as a self-published author is to be patient and keep writing. There is hope in the distance, and it’s called the digital age with self-publishing the key to a writer’s success.

No Limit Writing Part II: Setting A Commitment

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IndieLife7I am a little late with my monthyly Indelibles post. But I am writing on the US West Coast. So, technically it’s still Wednesday here. Plus, it was my first day back to work for the day job. Factor in the fact I had a good friend die in a horrible, water skiing accident. Really, I’m not kidding. I wish I could be kidding. I’ve been upset the last two days. Add the fact that my birthday is next week, and that I’ve just watched Reality Bites(1994). I did the math and that movie is over 18 years old. Tonight, I’m really in a reviewing the situation moment.

Sometimes, you have to factor in real life into your writing equation. But that is what happens to writers. We balance real life with paying the mortgage jobs, promotion and marketing, editing, revision, and first draft writing.

I’ve been toggling between projects, and reworking my schedule as I return to the day job. I’m working on several projects and organizing a blog tour for the beginning of school. Yes, I’ve been busy this summer. But the weird thing about all the things that have happened over the last month is the reflection on how to keep the writing flowing. I don’t want the creative process that has happened this summer to stop.

So, I’ve established a no limit writing plan, with a schedule of writing once a day for an hour. This ranges from first draft, to revision, to blog writing. Yes this post counts right now. And I have to say, it has done wonders just to make sure I sit down once a day for an hour. I’ve been participating on a writing board thread that basically is a whole bunch of writers reporting on how much they write. Really, I’m finding with an hour a day at least I can get a lot done.

So, no matter what is happening in my day, I’ve committed to that. I also read through a friend’s story and gave her feedback. That counted. This way, I’m not limiting or giving excuses for not writing. I’m allowing for what work needs to be done to flow on that day. The thing about self publishing is that you can schedule your projects to fit your life’s schedule.

I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten a novelette through two revisions, and I’ve scheduled it to go to my editor by September. I’ve been organizing a Back to School Blog Tour, but will mostly work on it on the weekend now. But I’m keeping my sanity by allowing a time for it to be scheduled. And I’ll be happy on Saturday to let the thought process flow. For now, just an hour a day on something writing related keeps my commitment to myself.

Most of all, don’t limit what you can do. If I thought I can’t write romance novels, I wouldn’t have a novelette series in the works and a Time Travel novel half through it’s first draft. We’ll have to see how it all turns out. But my biggest phrase is to just keep writing. You never know what project will turn into the bestseller.

Setting a commitment of one hour might allow me to find the next good book. Hopefully, it will be that bestseller. And even if it’s not and I sell some copies, it will lead me to the next book. That good book may take 20 other books before it. All I need is eventually that one to hit it big. And committing to writing one hour a day will help we keep writing until I get there.

**This post is part of the monthly
“Indie Life” posts linked on the Indelibles Blog.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

***Tiffany Turner has just released her third book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, in her Crystal Keeper series. She continues to teach fourth graders in California while writing fantasy adventure middle grade novels. She is working on other writing projects in her No Limits Writing practices. She actively plays the Gaelic Harp at Renaissance festivals throughout Northern California.

Back to School Blog Tour-Sept. 2-6

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Back to School Blog Tour Sept. 2-6  Check back for more details!

Back to School Blog Tour Sept. 2-6
Check back for more details!

At this time of year, life gets busy for me. It’s time for me to get back to work. Yes, true confession, I am a teacher. Which can come in pretty handy since I love to write books. But to make things extra fun, besides the fact I just bought a disco ball for my room, I’m planning a Back to School Blog Tour for the week of Sept. 2-6.

Come meet some authors, find out what it’s like to write as an Indie, and learn a few things. There will be all sorts of books from animals, fantasy, and even a humorous look at teaching. It will be a true exciting start to the school year. I should know. This is the start of my 17th year of teaching.

No Limits: How To Write That Good Book

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IndieLife7If anyone could pull a book out of their butt, they would. That’s why writing a book is hard. Harder still is writing that good book that will sell to the top of bestseller lists. Everyone wants that. What is the formula?

Well, I can’t say that I’ve got a book on the Top Bestseller list, yet. I’ve had my books pop up on the smaller bestseller Amazon lists for different categories with a different genre. They helped spur my sales for a few days. But that could be another blog post in the future. Plus, my other books are Middle Grade novels. I love writing children’s books, but they just don’t sell as well as adult books. So, I’ve been waiting for the right recipe. Something to gel.

What I’m going to share today is how to write a good book to get on those lists. You can get people to buy your book with a good cover or write up. What will get them to tell others to buy your book? The secret is write a good book at the start. The secret of writing the “good book” is every writer’s dream. I’ll share what I’ve learned so far, and let you pull what you need.

My current project is a Time Travel Romance. I’m feeling a need to share this since making the magic of a book click together is so difficult. I should know. I’ve tried for almost 3 years to write Young Adult or even New Adult. They are bigger markets, and really are the areas that are doing well in self published ebooks.

I’ve also heard that sometimes books do write themselves. I never knew until over the last few weeks, I’ve started to churn out not one, but two Romance Novels. How? I let myself “Just Write”. I stopped telling myself that the book had to be with a certain character, setting or plot. I’m just letting the book be. Here is the process I am using to write them.

Recently, I pulled a Romance Novel introduction out of my butt. I woke up, grabbed my laptop, and wrote the intro to what seemed to be a Romance Novel. It felt good to just have the scene roll from my mind to my fingers typing. When I was done, I thought to myself, “Well, it’s not crap.”

But the day went forward, and the next day, I kept writing. The day after, I finished Chapter 2 and kept writing. Wooh. This was unusual. I’d tried so hard to write a YA or something for the adult market that might sell a bit better than Middle Grade novels. After a failed YA about Mary, Queen of the Scots, this Time Travel Romance novel was just flowing from my fingers. Why was it working this time? Why was it gelling?

I do write Middle Grade Novels. In fact, I’ve now written three MG novels in a fantasy/adventure series. I’ve got a system down for writing a book. I have a freelance editor, a support group of friends and family, and I hang out a lot on Kboads.com/writerscafe which is essentially my writer’s group online. I also joined a children’s writing organization (SCBWI) when I wanted to learn the genre. Note these four things: 1) Family and Friends 2) Join a Writers Organization for Your Genre 3) Find an Editor 3) Writer’s Group. These are the first four steps to gain a stable writing environment that will drive you to write the good book.

The first step you may already have. But I recommend not showing your first draft to anyone until it is done. Sit butt in chair and finish the book. It could be absolute crap, but it needs to be done to be a book. Remember, you can always change the ending, add plot devices, or as the phrase says, flesh it out. You need the bare bones of the first draft.

To get that done, I’ve promised myself to write for at least one hour a day. Just get the butt in the chair and do it. The rest is just details. Then, I read back as I’m writing and fine tune as I go. A good first draft should be reread at least twice before letting others see it. At least, that’s how I feel. Some people might enjoy more feedback as they are writing. I do ask people questions and research things that come up. But in the end, it’s better to keep one cook in the kitchen, and get it done.

Step Two is find a writer’s organization that can help you with the genre. If you have been writing already for awhile or belong to a group, I’ve gone the option of just studying the new genre. I found out that the type of Romance I am writing is Time Travel. I also started a new project a few days ago that is clearly a Paranormal Romance. I’ve been downloading examples and getting advice from other Romance novelists on what books to look at from my writer’s board. It’s almost like researching for a term paper. But a lot more fun.

Step three is finding a good editor. There are great freelancers out there. I think the best thing to do is go to a place you know people could recommend a good, reputable editor. I found mine on my writer’s board by simply posting, “I need an editor” and explained the project. But I asked for a sample edit first. This is crucial. You want to see if their style of writing/editing will work with yours. It is usually just a few pages.

I had one editor that was recommended through my writing group that wanted to charge $250 for a sample edit. I ended up going with the editor willing to work to see if we fit before shelling out cash. So, find out if they have done previous work in your genre and if they can work for you. I loved chosing my own editor. I think it was a better fit that way.

Step Four: Get that writing support you need by joining a writing board or writing online group. Really. This is crucial. Writer’s are lone creatures, but very delicate. If you have a problem with your draft, questions, or a shoulder to cry on from bad reviews, this is the place you need to post to feel safe and vent. I go to kboards.com in the Writers’ Cafe. It’s great to post if you are an Indie Writer starting out, a hybrid author self-publishing older manuscripts, or what ever might be writing related. It’s kept me from throwing the computer through the window several times.

After these steps are in place, give yourself no limits. I recently had my third MG novel, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, win an honorable mention in the children’s category at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival. At the ceremony, the winning overall book was called The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton. The whole premise of the book is that when you have a stupid idea, and you got all these reasons maybe not to do it; that’s the time you should follow through. Don’t put up a wall or limit yourself because it sounds stupid. That probably means it’s the best idea in the world.

So, the last and final step is don’t limit yourself. If it’s stupid, but it’s working, do it. There will be a reason why you’re writing it later. Get it out of your system and figure how it fits in later. In the end, it might be your best writing of all. It could be the good book that becomes a bestseller. Remember, no limits, and keep writing.

**This post is part of the monthly
“Indie Life” posts linked on the Indelibles Blog.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

***Tiffany Turner has just released her third book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, in her Crystal Keeper series. She continues to teach fourth graders in California while writing fantasy adventure middle grade novels. She actively plays the Gaelic Harp at Renaissance festivals throughout Northern California.

The Dos of Promoting Your New Indie Children’s Book

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IndieLife7The self publishing road is never easy. In the past, I noticed a note of distain in some people if I happened to mention my book was self published. At many writing conferences, mentioning you were self published would be the first step before getting a traditional publisher.

But these days, the rules are changing. What matters is that you published a good book that people want to read. The hard part is getting the word out about your book. It’s all a new frontier. Since the rules are being rewritten, I’m keeping track of my round three try at promotion, and seeing what sticks. It all could be new additions to the rulebook.

I’ve been self-publishing my books since 2005. I’ve learned a lot of dos and don’ts, and really put together a well thought out third book with a freelance editor and illustrator. With my previous book, I’d learned a lot of how to promote and where not to promote. This time around, I’m following as many dos as possible, and picking up a few new dos along the way.

Excepting the Honorable Mention Award for Children's Books at the San Francisco Book Festival 2013

Accepting the Honorable Mention Award for Children’s Books at the San Francisco Book Festival 2013

My second book didn’t win awards or get as much notice as I would like. It might have been because I was still learning. It got reviews, some mentions on reader blogs, and helped some people to continue with the fantasy series I’ve created. I think of it as a bridge to understanding in many ways. It helped lead to a greater understanding of where to promote for my next book.

With the release of my third book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, I decided to try some new areas to promote, awards, and target areas that welcomed self published books. I talked to local bookstores, and found a very receptive owner that immediately welcomed me into her Indie community. I felt that this new approach was starting to finally be my niche.

I entered the deadlines for Indie awards in the spring using a fellow blogger award list. I won honorable mention in the San Francisco Book Festival. In mid May, I drove to San Francisco for the weekend, and accepted my first literature award. I am since working with the promotional company to get the word out about my win, and of course, have a seal to affix to my third book.
While having a conversation with Bruce Haring, the marketing manager of the SF Book Festival, he pointed out, “Ahh, you’re the author that plays the harp.” Immediately I realized that just being an author or a teacher wasn’t making me stand out as an author. It was that I played the Gaelic Harp that was making me stand out from the crowd.

Lead into my first book signing for the third book at Booksmart in Morgan Hill, CA. I had already plastered the flyers with the fact I would play the harp, read from my new book, and answer some Q and A about the Crystal Keeper series. I was greeted by the owner warmly when I entered, with a table and all my books set up. There was a regular crowd, some of my diehard fans, and those people that had come in from the heat for ice cream.

Tiffany Turner signing her third book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, at Booksmart in Morgan Hill, CA.

Tiffany Turner signing her third book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, at Booksmart in Morgan Hill, CA.

I started with playing the harp including walking around the store to let people know about the talk going on. I did mention about how I play at Renaissance Festivals, which helped me make a connection with people that had attended.

Now, most of the people I was speaking for were children and their parents. So, I preceeded into a prior knowledge questioning strategy before my read aloud, and then read a part of the new book that fit that audience. Yes, it was a very teacher thing to do, but I find using some teaching strategies during book talks works very well during my author talks to my readers, usually ages 8-12.

The turn out sold 22 books at last count. This is considered a good turn out, and I had a lot of fun. I even had one parent ask about speaking at their school and trying to get kids interested in books. Of course, this is my middle name, wanting to get kids interested in books. I gave her my card, and said we’ll talk about how I can help with that, explaining that I was mostly available for talks in the evening.

So, what has this Indie author learned about promoting her book in this round 3 event? Pretty much, the best way to promote a book is to start with yourself. What can you give to a signing or event? You also have to start with a good book. Get that editor and illustrator to help. Then, when it comes time for promotion, don’t think in terms of just your book, but yourself as an author. Promote yourself with your new book.

The one thing I had trouble realizing was that it wasn’t the book but the author that needed promotion. You will write more books. If you get a following for yourself, then the readers will come. But they come back for you and your new book.

Plus, don’t go down the roads that deny self-published books. If you book is a good book, you will be read and accepted as the good book it is. A lot of websites or awards will specialize in self-published books. There is a community forming on the new frontier, the internet. Figure something to promote yourself, some tie in or skill you might have to go with your book, you’ll get noticed out of the tidal wave of new books released. Getting yourself noticed is hard, but having the tools and reliance in yourself will get the work done for you. Remember, if you’re self published, there is the Indie book store and self published community that has grown over the years to help. Come find us. We’ll play!

Here are some links to start:

Groups for Independent Authors

1)Association of Independent Authors-Authors Group
http://www.independent-authors.org/

2)Indie ReCon-Great Online Resource and Writing Conference
http://www.indierecon.org/

Indie Award Links

3) Independent Publisher Book Awards (Ippy Awards)
https://secure.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php

4) Indie Excellence Awards
http://www.indieexcellence.com/

5) San Francisco Book Festival
http://www.sanfranciscobookfestival.com/

In the end, there is a lot out there to promote with, awards, book reviewers, and book bloggers. But targeting to specific reviewers and awards that except Indie and self published books has really helped set myself apart. Plus, just getting to know how I can help sell myself as an author has made all the difference.

I’m still working on getting books out for review, but now I have editors I know from review sites already. I’m targeting my review copies to them. Plus, getting ideas from my writing boards, such as kboards.com, always is a way to get new ideas. I might have to add “To Be Continued” for this part of the story. Round 3 will continue.

**This post is part of the monthly
“Indie Life” posts linked on the Indelibles Blog.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

***Tiffany Turner has just released her third book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, in her Crystal Keeper series. She continues to teach fourth graders in California while writing fantasy adventure middle grade novels. She actively plays the Gaelic Harp at Renaissance festivals throughout Northern California.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire Wins Honorable Mention In The San Francisco Book Festival

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The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I am happy to announce that The Lost Secret of Dragonfire has won honorable mention in The San Francisco Book Festival on May 18. I was privileged to go to the awards ceremony and accept the award. It was my first walk up to a podium. After over 7 years of trying, I’ve finally gotten recognized for creating a great work of fiction. There can only be more.

I enjoyed meeting everyone at the book festival during the day. I met Patti Ptak Kogutek, the author of “A Change of Habit”. She has an outgoing personality, and I wanted to find out the story of her journey from Sister Mary Kateri to Sister Mary Vodka. So, I bought and enjoyed reading her book.

Accepting the Honorable Mention Award for Children's Books at the San Francisco Book Festival 2013

Accepting the Honorable Mention Award for Children’s Books at the San Francisco Book Festival 2013


I also enjoyed listening to the informative panels of authors through out the day. There was a panel on marketing and promotions, children’s authors, and ebooks. I even met up with an author, Lloyd Lofthouse, that is on one of my yahoo writing groups. It was awesome to finally meet one of the people I’ve talked to through the internet for so long.

Plus, I learned that having some way for you to get noticed helps to break free from the crowd. I finally got to meet Bruce Haring, managing director of the SF Book Festival. One of the first things he mentioned was, “Hey, you’re the author that plays the harp.” For some reason, I’m guessing not many authors may pluck and write in their spare time as I do. So, pretty much, I’ve discovered a marketing break through. My harp playing as a hook. Really, so many legends connect harps and fairies. Harps are supposedly the way to call fairies to you. Combined with my new award win and harp playing, I feel the carving of a niche in the Indie book world.

Overall, it was a great experience for any writer. I accepted an award, met and exchanged information from others in publishing, and had a great time. Truly, there is something to be said about entering as many awards as possible. You might win one of them. So, keep trying, keep writing.

Why is Self-Publishing Working?

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IndieLife7There is a revolution going on in publishing right now. Self-publishing is taking off in different directions. At the forefront of this revolution are the innovative authors that share their ideas, articles, and experiences at a certain writing board that is popular for the Bohemians of this revolution. The writing board, KBoards.com, known before as Kindleboards.com, is a gathering place for a lot of the cutting edge Indie authors with ebooks listed on Amazon.com. Many problems are solved, innovations discussed, and ideas abound in a modern day Bohemian life search for getting ones book out and noticed. Four years ago, another self published author directed me to this board to get advice. And it has been a blessing in disguise. I am grateful for this writing board’s help and attention, and I’d like to share some of the advice I’ve found there, and how I’ve made self-publishing work for me.

As usual, there are voices always out there trying to share experiences of self-publishing. One such voice has been humbly sharing all of his processes including his recent signing with Simon & Schuster. His name is Hugh Howey. His book, Wool, is currently on the new release table at Barnes and Noble. His book, Wool(Omnibus edition) was voted runner up in the 2012 Goodreads Book of the Year for the Best Sci-Fiction category. Basically, he started with a good book and self-published. In the end, he’s kept his digital rights pioneering a new frontier for all authors. But then I digress. This is what happened this last week.

Hugh, being tired of seeing such negative comments about self-published authors, presented an article to Salon.com using the Kboard.com thread to research his article, Self Publishing is the Future-And Great for Writers. Basically, he wanted to point out that there are people out there making a living at self-publishing, mostly what would be considered mid-list authors. His basic point was that there are people making a living, or paying the basics such as rent, bills, and other critical things that help you launch as a writer.

There were the normal, negative comments. But there was a surprising amount of support from other self-published authors. Really, it proved to me that there is an underground community, a sense of realness and artist survival shared by many. There were many other stories shared, or even just income per month, on the success of being an Indie Author. It made me think; you just can’t sit around and wait at the drugstore counter to be discovered like everyone else. You have to go out and make self-publishing work for you.

Why is it working for many of us? It has to do with the royalty percentage. Ebooks are still relatively new. Most royalty percentage for self-published companies are 50-60%. My current publisher, Trafford Publishing, gives 50% of the ebook net sales. I have no agent to share this percentage. My average sales is about 10 ebooks a month. Now, this is not terribly impressive compared to some of the other numbers I’ve seen. I also know that children’s ebooks sales are slowly growing. Plus, I am selling books. This is better than collecting dust on a shelf. Most of the 5-6 figures of income of self-publishing authors are Romance and Mystery. Throw in sometimes Sci-Fi, and it is working for many people. It is working better than some people can imagine.

There are some advantages to self-publishing my book. In 2007, I published my first book, The Lost Secret of Fairies. In 2009, I published the second book in the series, The Lost Secret of the Green Man. As the third book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, releases this spring, all my previous books are available on the virtual shelf. Readers can go back and buy the earlier books at a listing price of $1.99 or $2.99. But that leads to the next point.

Being successful also depends on your selling price of the book. I saw indie author experiments with pricing influence the price of books. I tried my own with my Amazon Price Matching Experiment last year, and posted on my blog about it. In October 2012, Amazon had a settlement with the US State Attorney to reimburse customers for price fixing with three different publishers. Prices were no longer fixed at $9.99 for ebooks.

In fact, the price points started to drop, you guessed it, to $0.99 to $3.99. In April 2012, Mike Coker did a post on his blog showing what price points worked on his website, Smashwords.com, $0.99 and $3.99. He had all the Indie Author data of experimentation to back him up. That’s when others started to listen. Data is starting to show self-publishing can work. It’s not hard to connect the dots that self-publishing is not only working, but having it’s data and experiences used by other publishers.

Being tuned into all of this uprising is like a front row seat to some of the biggest change happening in publishing. Those of us who have nothing to loose, no overhead, and no corporate structure to answer to can try new things on a whim. I tried the Amazon price matching idea and watched my first book, The Lost Secret of Fairies, be downloaded for free over 9,000 times to build a whole new reader base. Three months later, Amazon switched to two separate buying lists so free downloads wouldn’t top their best seller lists. But it worked for me, because I was an indie author that had control of my pricing and distribution. This is a whole new concept for authors, and exciting to be at the forefront.

To add to this, I know where my ebooks have sold. I can log on and see how many sales I’ve had in the US, UK, and Canada. I’ve even had a few books sell in Japan. This is using listings for Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords.com. Smashwords distributes to Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, and several other ebook retailers. These are just the ones that I use. Other avenues are available too.

In a way, I’ve been trying to make self-publishing work for me. My new book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, took three years to write. I spent the last year editing with a fabulous freelance editor named Shelley Holloway. I’ve hired an artist, Rich Wallace, to do the cover and inside illustrations for the last three books. In the end, I learned it really doesn’t matter to your reader how your book gets to them, but that it does. Whether your book is self published or traditionally published, a reader will want your book if they like it. So, the most important thing is to write a good book. That is what any successful author does. Write a good book that people will want. If your book is good and available, people will want it, no matter how it is published.

**This post is part of the monthly
“Indie Life” posts linked on the Indelibles Blog.

dragonfiretbnailjpgTiffany Turner is a self-published author the children’s fantasy adventure series called The Crystal Keeper Chronicles. Her current release, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, is the third book in the series. She has been an elementary teacher in California for 16 years.