Being in the Driver’s Seat in ‘Self’ or ‘Indie’ Publishing by a Techie Lame-o! Oh my!



Hi! I’ve had a few friends curious about self-publishing ask me what it’s like to publish a book independently, so I’d like to share some of my experiences with you today. 

Around September, 2012, I was fortunate enough to have a manuscript, The King’s Vampire, published with a small press, Soul Mate Publishing, which is growing by leaps and bounds since that time. It’s a great organization with a wonderful publisher, editors, and writers. They are all incredible people always willing to share their experiences and expertise. Many authors have popped over and taken a few minutes to talk about their latest releases on my webpage, or they let me share my information on their blogs. When I published via a small press, they took care of the book cover, the editing of the book, and all publishing aspects at their cost, not mine. It was like I was driving and the GPS was on, and mom or dad was paying for the gas.

My book was published in March, 2013, and, as anybody who knows me realizes, this was my dream come true. For those who check out the e-books on Kindle or Nook, competition is fierce! But still, for me it is so worth it when somebody reads my book and tells me how much they enjoyed it. Writers want to tell stories and love when readers ‘get’ what the story is really about. The experiences and expertise of those other authors really came into play once I was published.


In January, 2014, I decided I would take my book, Tenth Degree to the Paranormal, and publish it as an ‘indie’ or an independently published book because it is clearly not a romance, but rather a paranormal suspense with romantic elements. I chose not to submit to Soul Mate Publishing because I felt it wasn’t the right fit for them. I researched several self-publishing companies out there, and there are a lot! After talking to the different companies, I decided on Amazon’s own Create-A-Space. Then came the hard part. When the money is coming out of your own pocket, you are paying for the gas, and the GPS is off, getting in that driver’s seat is really a tough decision to make.

I felt I just had to make the commitment because this book took a long time to come to fruition, and I wanted it published, even though it isn’t an easy fit for the romance genre. This next part of my article is difficult for me to discuss because, as a child, I was taught it’s incredibly rude to discuss money matters, mine or anyone else’s. But to me, this is the crux of indie publishing and what anyone who has ever considered it is wondering about.

All right, deep breath, and here goes.

Now we get to the techie lame-o part, because for those people out there with a reasonable grasp of technology, they would not have to spend as much money as I did. The biggest cost is the editing. I do  happen to know a few people on F.B. who would never need this service, and they probably conjugate verbs in their sleep, but that isn’t me. The editing cost me $1923, and that was actually a great price in comparison to other editing services I had looked at. I loved this editor and he totally seemed to ‘get’ what I wanted to do with the book. I have to admit, I self-edit about twenty times beforehand so my copy is pretty clean, but I still need an outside voice to tell me when I’ve gone astray and someone who will polish up my grammar. Next biggest cost was the cover, which was $699. This is where a techie person might have been able to do their own cover, but once again, not me. I did get to provide the concept for my cover and loved how it turned out. The other publishing stuff involved interior format, market copy, E-book format, and Library of Congress number. All these things probably could have been done by a more techie person who would have saved a chunk of money, but I needed to rely on the technical expertise of Create-a-Space. The softbound copy is print-on-demand, which means that anyone could go into a Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or even a library, and they could order the book. It would probably take two to three days to receive an ordered book. That part amazes me, because the quality of the books are quite good.

Total cost of creating the book was about $3,330. It would have been cheaper if I’d just had it published only in e-book form, but I wanted both e-book and softcover. Yikes! It adds up. Also, I ‘ve done some promo activities that have crept into the cost, making it closer to $4,000. Holy, moly guacamole! That’s one expensive vacation I didn’t go on. I like to pretend we went to Las Vegas for a week! But in spite of the cost, I have to say that I received a professional-looking product from Create-a-Space, and I’m very proud of the high quality of Tenth Degree of the Paranormal, both inside and out. Being a techie lame-o, I found the publishing team extremely helpful when I got confused. All I had to do was click on the message center that I wanted them to call me, and they were right there on the phone. Am I glad that I self-published Tenth Degree of the Paranormal? Yes, I am, and I appreciate the professional quality of the book.

There are so many things to learn about indie publishing, and I’m sort of creeping up to it on baby cat-like feet. Awesomegang is a group that connects readers and writers, and they have some very useful tips on getting your work ‘out there’. http://www.bookdaily.com/ is another site where people can read samples of books that are out there, as well as giving writers the opportunity to present sample chapters of their books. Another great site is Book Buzz, http://bookbuzz.net/blog/paranormal-suspense-tenth-degree-of-the-paranormal/ where several of you were kind enough to pop over and respond to my book. There are so many ways out there for indie writers and book lovers to make connections and support one another, and I’m just starting to figure it all out.

At this moment some of you may be asking me, are you insane, why are you doing this??? The only answer I can give you is that I’m a writer, and that’s who I am. Below is a post from a friend of mine, Nancee, who had just read my book, and this type of comment is one of the main reasons why I write. It is the reaction from readers that every writer loves to get. Thank you, Nan! After I read her statement, I truly felt in the driver’s seat with my book. 


And then there’s also that wonderful moment when my husband bought me two dozen roses and a bottle of wine to celebrate my having two books now out in softbound, as well as my e-books. I would not have been brave enough to put my work out there, without his supportive love. With all these wonderful people like my husband Steve, my daughter Tiff, and my friends Nancee and Linda encouraging and supporting me in my efforts, it makes me want to keep writing. While self-publishing may not be for everybody, it was worthwhile for me to get a book out there that was important to me, and especially, at a quality level I could be proud of.

I’d just like to also say thank you to all those other friends and family who have been so kind and willing to give a shout-out for me when I’ve needed it, and I do appreciate it. May you all have happiness and joy to the tenth degree! I hope that if you are thinking about indie publishing, my post has made some aspects of doing it yourself a little clearer. One thing for certain, there’s a lot to learn about self-publishing.


I hope this explains some of what’s involved in self-publishing and what makes writing so important a part of my life. This was a deeply personal article for me to post, but I hope you enjoyed it and it clarified some questions you may have had. Thanks for stopping by. Below is my buy link and my contact information if you’d like to stop by.


Buy Link:  Amazon  http://amzn.to/1sBlyyu

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrendaStinnett

Web Page:  http://brendastinnett.com

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/brendastinnett

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17883146-the-king-s-vampire?from_search=true







Fab author,Collette Cameron, is here today to give a snippet from her awesome book, The Earl’s Enticement!


The Earl's Enticement

Title: The Earl’s Enticement

Genre: Regency-Scottish

Heat Level: Sensual

Buy Link:  http://amzn.com/B00KLO64

Thanks for stopping by today, Collette and sharing a bit from your latest release.

The Earl’s Enticement Cover Blurb:

She won’t be tamed.

A fiery, unconventional Scot, Adaira Ferguson wears breeches, swears, and has no more desire to marry than she does to follow society’s dictates of appropriate behavior. She trusts no man with the secret she desperately protects.


He can’t forget.

Haunted by his past, Roark, The Earl of Clarendon, rigidly adheres to propriety, holding himself and those around him to the highest standards, no matter the cost. Betrayed once, he’s guarded and leery of all women.


Mistaking Roark for a known spy, Adaira imprisons him. Infuriated, he vows vengeance. Realizing her error, she’s appalled and releases him, but he’s not satisfied with his freedom. Roark is determined to transform Adaira from an ill-mannered hoyden to a lady of refinement.

He succeeds only to discover, he preferred the free-spirited Scottish lass who first captured his heart.



“Halloo,” he hollered. “Is anyone there? I’m the Earl of Clarendon. I’m being held prisoner.”

She shook her head, sending him a contemptuous scowl. “Stop shouting, you dolt. It’s but a weasel or a stoat, perhaps even a squirrel. They come in through the drains or gaps where a stone’s gone missing in the wall.”

She motioned with the pistol for him to move away from the door once more. “I’m surprised none have paid you a visit as yet. As for Ewan, he’s away in London, just now.”

With what could only be described as a derisive grunt, Marquardt obliged her and sauntered away from the door. He rested against the far wall, ankles crossed, crunching on the apple.

A muffled thud, as if someone had bumped into something, echoed through the lower chambers.

He perked up. “That was no pest.”

Adaira whirled to peer into the gloom.

“I say, can you hear me? I’m locked in a cell.”

She spun back around.

He’d moved to the door, his hands fisted around the bars. Drat it. She was losing control of the situation. His presence mustn’t be known to anyone other than Brayan yet.

She bent to retrieve the sack. No doubt Brayan had come looking for her at one of her parents’ behest. Marquardt absolutely must not see him. Brayan would boast he’d helped lock the man up. From the sound of the crashing about, he’d sampled the flask a good deal more and was utterly bosky.

“Blast and da—” She stopped as Marquardt’s eyebrows flew to his hairline in obvious disapproval.

Lowering her voice, she hurried on. “Ewan’s expected back any day. When he returns, I’ll tell him I apprehended you. He can do with you what he wants. I’m quite sure it will involve the authorities.”

“Apprehended?” He shook his head. “You’re still sticking to the absurd notion that I’m Edgar?”

He tossed the apple core between the bars. It bounced before rolling to a stop barely three feet beyond her. A rat promptly appeared, scrambling to snatch the core in his pointed, yellow teeth. The little beast raced down the passageway with two other rodents squeaking their outrage in its wake.

Marquardt had done that on purpose, the lout.


 Connect with Collette:



http://twitter.com/Collette Author

Thanks so much for stopping by.



May those who fought and died for our country always be remembered!



On May 26th we will celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial Day started as Decoration Day in memory of those who died in the Civil War. The Civil War claimed more lives than any conflict in US history. Today, on Memorial Day, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday in memory of all veterans who gave their lives for our country. The day changed to the fourth Monday in May.


Above, MacArthur is observing the signing of the peace treaty by the Japanese on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri, ending W.W.II. The other picture is of MacArthur landing on the shores of the Philippines completing his promise, “I Shall Return”… We were extremely fortunate to have those brave men and women willing to fight for the freedom of ourselves, as well as for others.

Our men and women who have fought for our country are people who stepped up when they were needed. They were the ones who made the ‘harder choice.’ Some of them survived, but many did not. They might have been afraid, and I’m sure they all feared death, but they made the choice to fight for our freedom. I’m sure we’re all grateful that they were brave enough to make that decision. And I am grateful that there are still men and women willing to step up when they are needed. Thank you so much for your service!


Thank you to all the men and women who fought and died for our country in order that free people may not perish from this earth. I have a young grandson who sort of has one of those Vienna Choir boys’ voices and I get really teary-eyed when I play this patriotic CD in the car and he sings ‘God Bless America’ or sings the verse ‘the land of the free, and the home of the brave’ from ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’

I just hope and pray that his patriotism and love of country stays with him his entire life. And all I have left to say, is God bless America! I hope you all have a wonderful, safe Memorial Day weekend.


Thanks for stopping by.







On Thursday Threads I have fabulous author, Jessica Jefferson, sharing about her novel, Taming Miss Tisdale. Awesome!



Today I’m pleased to have author, Jessica Jefferson here talking about her novel, Taming Miss Tisdale.

Title: Taming Miss Tisdale

Author: Jessica Jefferson

Series: 2nd in the Regency Blooms Series from Soul Mate Publishing

Heat Level: Sensual


A bit about the book –

Miss Tamsin Tisdale believes herself to be completely unsuitable for London life. After a myriad of social mishaps, and the potential ruination of her family name, she’s shipped away to her cousin’s northern estate. Only after she accepts the type of existence Society dictates she must follow will she be welcomed home.

Marcus Winston, the Duke of Grayson, has a lackluster reputation. The last in rank with privilege, but encumbered by isolation. After a brief encounter with rebellion, he learns the devastating consequences of his carelessness and willingly accepts living life from inside his gilded cage.

However, a chance meeting with the brazen Miss Tisdale gives Marc the opportunity to reinvent himself into the man he’s always dreamed of being. But when his deception comes to light, and ghosts from both their pasts threaten to unravel the intimacy they’ve come to cherish, will either of them set their fears aside long enough to embrace love? Or will Miss Tisdale’s stubbornness divide them?


A little bit of the book ­

Marc watched the faint outline come across the dense morning fog, becoming more discernible as it approached. The tall, thin figure was riding along at a perilous speed, given the morning’s lack of visibility. He thought perhaps it was some gangly young man misguided in the fog. It wouldn’t be the first time someone accidentally stumbled upon the vast property that made up his family’s immodest estate.

Then the fog parted in an almost biblical manner, revealing his gross inaccuracy.

Were those … breasts?

Marc closed his eyes and thought for a moment. Typically, women didn’t ride alone at such an hour and they certainly didn’t wander unexpectedly across his property. It’d been quite a while, his last birthday to be exact, since his last intimate encounter with a woman—a gift, compliments of St. Regis—so there was always the possibility that perhaps his half­drunk, sex­starved mind had conjured up the sensual image.

He shook his head, opened his eyes, and looked back again toward the horizon.

Yes, those were most certainly breasts.

And she was most definitely not a young man. The woman’s riding habit pulled taut against her body as she raced toward him. Her hair was blowing behind her—various hues of auburn and gold, like wild flames curling about in the wind. Then a decidedly feminine voice burst through the morning’s silence, interrupting his self ­doubt.

“Oh, thank goodness I found you!”

This was no mirage. She was indeed very real.

And very loud.


A bit about the author –

Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago.  She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping historical romance novels, ­but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy.  She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.


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Thanks so much for stopping by.


Join me and win a prize! I’m chatting about my latest release, Tenth Degree of the Paranormal!


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Thanks so much for stopping by. To enter the contest, you’ll need to make a comment on this webpage so I can contact you and mail your prize to you. I’ll write the names from the comments and draw for the prize winners. The necklace and earrings are designed by J. Vamm in Historical Charleston. Other prizes are a $50 Amazon gift certificate, Tenth Degree T-shirts and cups, as well as other cool stuff like my books! The contest starts today, Saturday, May 17th, and will run until Sunday midnight, May 18th. You’ll be notified if you’re a winner via e-mail. The contest is officially over. Congrats to: Kim, Sarah K., Karenna C., Gina G., Sarah, Robin, Mel, and Rosemarie. Thanks to all of you who stopped by and made comments!

Tenth Degree of the Paranormal is a paranormal suspense with romantic elements. It’s actually a book that means a lot to me because I actually started it when my own daughter was twelve, which is the same age as the young girl in the book. It has morphed over time, with multi-layered themes, dealing with mother/daughter relationships, forgiveness, and the age-old battle of good against evil. I love when people read it and get what’s between the lines. It’s now out in both Kindle and hard copy!

Blurb from Tenth Degree of the Paranormal: Paranormal suspense

We thought the Cold War was over, but apparently not for Barbara and Tiffany Stevens in Tenth Degree of the Paranormal, it could be a battle to the death.

Whether a hunch, intuition, or something more sinister, Barbara knew she had no choice. Self-deception was no longer an option—comfortable but not an option. She knew each denial she’d ever made left a scar on her soul, each more painful than the last.

An epic battle between good and evil pits a mother who struggles to deny her paranormal powers against a megalomaniac intent on world destruction.

Barbara Stevens has always struggled with her inexplicable powers. Her unwillingness to acknowledge her pent-up abilities has not stopped her young daughter Tiffany from exercising her own powers.

Recruited by a group intent on honing and harvesting these paranormal powers to create a super race, Barbara and Tiffany are soon kidnapped and held on an island off the coast of Russia.

Suspicion soon grows that Tiffany may, in fact, manifest the ten highest paranormal abilities of astral projection, aura reading, bio-energy transference, levitation, past life regression, precognition, spontaneous healing, telekinesis, and telepathy.

If proven true, Tiffany’s abilities will trigger an opening to the gates of hell. But can this descent into evil be stopped in time?

Excerpt from Tenth Degree of the Paranormal:

The roar of surf pounded in Barbara’s ears, and the freezing salt spray stung her face. Rain poured down in solid sheets as she raced across the beach. Drenched, she felt a chill ice over her heart. A nameless evil lurked on the beach, insidious and powerful, and there was no doubt Tiffany was its prey.

Above her head, a thumping roar that sounded like a frightened heartbeat drowned out the surf. She paused in midflight to watch a helicopter appear out of nowhere. It seemed ready to crash on the beach. She held her breath until the rotors started up again, and sand blasted her face. The prop wash left her blinded by grit and rain.

The helicopter landed, and Barbara ran away from it. Lightning ripped the sky, while the thunder blended with the whirring of blades. She paused, trying to get her bearings.

Tiffany shouted, and Barbara looked around, praying she’d spot her daughter. They were angry. Were they mad because she’d used her powers? This crazy puzzle must fit together somehow.

She needed to think. Again, she heard Tiffany’s voice, but this time, her daughter cried out a clear warning. Before Barbara reacted, someone grabbed her, and she tumbled into the sand. Too late, she screamed.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from my book and good luck in the contest. The contest ends midnight, tomorrow, so make those comments now so I’ll be able to contact you when you win. Tenth Degree of the Paranormal was truly a labor of love for me, so I certainly hope you enjoy it. The King’s Vampire is now in hardcopy as well at Amazon. Both books can be ordered from Barnes & Noble.

Your support for my writing means a lot to me. Thanks for stopping by.


Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrendaStinnett

Amazon:      http://amzn.to/1sBlyyu

Web Page:  http://brendastinnett.com

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/brendastinnett

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17883146-the-king-s-vampire?from_search=true


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