Tag Archives: publishing

Book Release: “The Adventures of the Gween Gwob: There’s No Place Like Home”

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The Adventures of the Gween Gwob: There’s No Place Like Home is now available on Amazon and Createspace! Buy the paperback and/or eBook now!

If you’d like to see how I published this children’s book, I’ll put my short how-to clip here:

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Know what these literary terms mean?

Disclaimer: Each of these words might mean something slightly different to each person, but in general these are the easiest ways to describe them!

Premise

“An assumption that something is true” is a broad definition, but in literature, one can describe a premise as a teaser. Ask a friend about a book, and they will tease you with exciting elements of the characters, plot, and/or the setting. Same with a movie trailer. If you see fast cars and explosions throughout the clip, you’ll assume that the movie will be an action/thriller. The premise of this movie is that it is an action movie with lots of cars and explosions.

Trope

My definition of trope, or the most interesting definition of a trope, comes from an essay by Rigoberto Gonzalez. A trope is “an anchor that can keep the narration coherent and even helps the writer find a way into and out of the narrative.” Although “trope” covers a range of figurative language, such as irony, metaphor, and allegory, this one is most interesting because it defines a technique that most people use, but don’t know what to call. Until now.

Say you want to write about an event, maybe a very important museum trip, but you don’t know how to start or finish your narrative. At this event, however, you remember that there was a dog always present. Start here. Go from the dog to the museum trip and then back to the dog. The dog becomes a trope for your story – something to refer to at the beginning, maybe middle, and the end of your story so that you stay organized and focused. It prevents you from going on tangents. The dog could even have parallel meaning with a theme or message that you’re trying to create.

Motif

A motif is something that keeps reappearing in your story, like a color, shape, weather, phrase, etc. The motif symbolizes progression in the story and has metaphoric value. If the dog in my pervious explanation for a trope just so happens to represent the eternal life struggle, then it’s also considered a motif. Not only does the dog have symbolism, but it also reappears throughout the story.

Here’s another motif: every time you see the color red in the movie The Sixth Sense, you know a ghost is about to appear. Red symbolized a ghost, but it also appears throughout the movie, giving hints to what’s about to happen next.

Idiom

Idioms are those neat phrases that you only understand a handful of. You know, like:

  • raining cats and dogs
  • keep the ball rolling
  • busy as a bee

Idioms are used in our language every day, but unless you know the background context from which these phrases originated from, you’re going to have trouble understanding what the other person is trying to tell you.

Idioms have to originate from somewhere. For example: “don’t jump the shark” derived from the show Happy Days when the character Fonzie jumps over a literal shark to increase television ratings. However, that episode marked the first of many where the script took an unexpected, unwelcomed turn. Saying “jumping the shark” means don’t draw attention to something in an unwarranted way.

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

 

“Feed” by Brista Drake: Flash Non-Fiction Essay

My father wanted to try raising pigs while I was in high school. Raising an animal was popular if you were in 4-H, which I joined when I was fourteen. And my mom wanted nothing to do with farm living, even though she did indeed live on a farm.

But anyway, we got the pigs and Mom found every little excuse to get rid of them. Who’s going to feed them, Bryan? I’m going to have to go out there and feed them or they’re going to starve. My dad was a simple man, and he believed that pigs and all livestock had an instruction manual, and he read books and listened at 4-H meetings to know the healthy rations to give my pigs. Yet, Mom would still claim that my father was neglecting them and she’d go out and fill their feeders full each morning, afternoon, and night. It really made keeping track of their expenses tedious, to the point that I decided to add up all the bags of feed right before fair time and I’d guess the dates that we bought them. I also figured that my pig’s net value was going to be in the negatives. Maybe she did that on purpose.

But my mom did love the pigs. We had a sow (female pig with babies) and a boar (male pig), which neither could reproduce because they got too big (Mom overfed them), and twelve or so piglets. My brother and I each chose one to take to the fair when they were a few weeks old, when their shape started to show. Mom walked them two to three times every day, usually when my brother and I were at school. When we got home, Mom was already out in the field with them usually. We never got a chance to pick up a routine, or even get to know our pigs for that matter.

Mom didn’t usually come to 4-H meetings. That was always Dad. But she did watch our final presentation. We held up the board that Mom had hostilely built with us, since neither we nor she knew the facts that were supposed to go on it, and we took turns reciting from the handbook the information on how to raise a healthy pig.

Four three more years until my senior year, we bought two little piglets, they were almost always at maximum weight during check-in, and they never stayed by our sides in the fair’s showmanship arena. And every year, for some reason, Mom bawled as they were herded onto the truck, saying she was going to miss them so, so much. I am still confused about it too this day.

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

WHAT IS LINE EDITNG, COPYEDITING, AND PROOFREADING?

So you’re no longer confused, and to prevent editor-to-author miscommunication, I’m here to explain the different types of edits: line, copy, and proof.

Line-editing

First, you want a line edit, the most important in my opinion. Whenever a friend reads a section from your book and gives you feedback, this is considered a very minor form of line editing. A line editor’s job is to tell you where there are plot holes and offer ideas on how to fix them. They’re most likely to tell you that eight of your chapters are unnecessary and that you should discard them. In other words, if you find a good line editor, they’ll get your plot in shape so no reader will want to put your book down. For good results, a moderate to intense line edit is needed while your book is in its early draft state.

Copy-editing

Second, you want a copy edit. Once your plot is the best it can be, you’ll want someone to check your sentence structures, a.k.a. your syntax, your grammar, spelling, etc., which is a copy editor’s job. There’s no minor, moderate, or intense form of copy editing, unless you count the instances where an editor points out a problem, such as the way you use the word there, once and never again. They’ll say something like, “I see that you use ‘there’ incorrectly many times in this chapter. Since there are so many, I wanted to make sure you were aware, but I don’t want to point all of them out.” This might be a moderate to minor copy edit if they do this for a lot of mistakes.

Proof-reading

Lastly, you want a proofread. Sometimes referred to as a proof editor, a proofreader reads the final stage of your draft to make sure everything sounds right. They are not expected to do hard editing of any kind. They’re basically beta readers, so don’t spend a ton of money on them when you can get fans or friends to read your manuscript for free.

Thanks for reading. I’ve wanted to make this kind of post for so long, but I never really knew the differences myself until recently.

Hope this helped,

WritingMime

Record Your Own Audiobook!

First off, I made this post to celebrate my audiobook for Remedy for Memory, coming soon to ACX, Audible, and iTunes!

The general things we’re going to go over here: how I record and edit, with a few helpful tips thrown in.

First step: PLANNING

You want to make two different types of schedules before you start your audiobook. The first is more like an agenda for each chapter you record. For example, my agenda looks like this: record, adjust spacings and repeated phrases, convert, remove noise, sound effects, convert, finalize. By doing this, you create a checklist for yourself so each chapter comes out the same.

The second is probably the most important, which is a recording schedule. You have to figure out how many pages you have to get through each day to finish it on time. Don’t stress if you’re falling behind, though, because that can backfire!

  • Tip: If this is your book and you just finished it, leave it alone for a bit before recording. You know how some people say, “Before editing, give your book some space?” The same goes for recording.

If your average per day is supposed to be 34 pages, but the chapters don’t fit exactly, choose one less or one more chapter to be as close as possible. You want to record full chapters at a time. Stop in the middle of a line and continuing the next day is counterproductive.

  • Tip: I’d record more than one chapter a day because 1. the audiobook gets done faster, and 2. your voice is not the same each day. It’d be ideal to record the whole audiobook in one day, but no one has time for that nonsense.

Second step: RECORDING

You can use whatever you want to record. Typically people use mics to create the most professional sound. I personally use my camera because I think it has a pretty good microphone installed in it. Of course, I might be doing more converting than the alternative.

  • Tip: Make sure the card you’re recording on is big enough to hold hours of footage. I use 4 gigabytes.
  • Tip: Make sure your camera or mic has enough power to run for a long period of time.
  • Tip: Place camera or microphone in the same location each time you record. Also, make sure you are in the same place every time.
  • Tip: Turn off fans, speakers that hum, close windows, put animals out, etc. Minimize extra noise in the room as much as possible. Maybe even sound proof the room, if you can.
  • Tip: Stop the recording after every chapter so that each chapter is its own file. Don’t record multiple chapters in one giant recording because that can be dislocating and strenuous during editing.
  • Tip: Repeat sentences. Say them in different ways so that you can choose your favorite during editing.
  • Tip: Use hand motions while recording to add umph to you acting abilities. (I know they won’t see it, but it helps, I swear!)

Third step: EDITING

Use as many programs to edit your sound files that you want. I personally use Adobe Premiere for the first edit, because I’m familiar with it. I eventually take it over to Audacity for sound removal. Audacity in general is a great editing tool and could possibly be the only thing you need.

Editing is essentially adjusting pauses between phrases and deleting repeated phrases or mistakes. Noise removal is also important (YouTube search “noise removal” if you’re not sure how), because it gets rid of any white noise that doesn’t need to be in the file. That doesn’t mean it will get rid of all clicks. Remove those manually!

  • Tip: Some companies, like ACX (the distributer that I’m going to use), have certain file requirements. For example: at the end and start of each chapter, there needs to be a two to five second pause. Check the requirements before uploading!

In some cases, you might have to rerecord phrases because you missed a word or you said it in an awkward way. These rerecordings are sometimes very hard to match up to the original recordings, so do your best to set yourself and the mic/camera up the same way you did the first time!

I love having creative freedom with my audiobook. As a personal touch, I put royalty free music and sound effects into my chapters. I make sure at least two are in each. It’s so fun to listen to, so I don’t know why it’s not common among audiobooks!

Fourth step: FINALIZE

Only after I’m completely satisfied with the sound file will I finalize/export it. Again, make sure you’re converting the file to the correct format that the distributer requires.

  • Tip: Listen to the file with headphones and on a computer speaker before uploading. Readers use both to listen to an audiobook.

EXTRA!

A solid ten page chapter could take 20 minutes to an hour to record. I recorded an eleven page chapter in an hour and 20 minutes the other day!

Editing usually takes three times as long, so a ten page chapter could take three hours to edit, bringing your total to about four hours. If you’re recording more than one chapter a day, be prepared to do nothing else that day.

Update your progress! Find a social media site, like Goodreads or Twitter, to update your followers on how far you are! They’ll really appreciate it if you do.

Thanks so much for reading, guys. Hope it helped.

WritingMime

Pen Names: What Are They and How To Use Them

This blog was written by me, but inspired by my fans’ comments on my YouTube video, NaNoWriMo Publishing Edition: Day 24.

So what is a pen name? If you’re curious what a pen name is, or sometimes referred to as a pseudonym, they’re names on works that hide identities, organize works into groups, used as a marketing strategy – they’re used for all sorts of things!

Maybe your genre doesn’t match with what name you’re writing under. Rainbow Rowell wouldn’t be found on a horror novel. Maybe R. Rowell would be preferred. This is a marketing strategy. The author still wants to put their books under the same name, but they switch around how they spell out or initial their name on the cover to better fit the genre.

Some people want privacy. Maybe Rainbow Rowell isn’t her name at all. Maybe she’s writing horrors and romances under this fake name so her family doesn’t know her secret fascination with fictional characters. This is still a nice strategy, even when matching names with genres – because you can still change from using initials to full names. It’s just not your real name.

There’s something about being unable to sign your real name on the book cover that is so heartbreaking for some. But deciding on your name is something I would consider at the beginning of your career, before you release anything. Once you start on a path, like using your real name, it’s hard to use anything else. You can, but it’s like starting over, because you’re basically being labeled as a new author.

One of my published fans told me he wrote in pen names. He used totally different names for different genres and got less revenue from that because fans didn’t know the books were written by the same person, so there was a marketing rift.

One fan said she could never use her real name, afraid her family might find out. But from what I can gather, she is still publishing under that name and has made a decent amount of success from it. She was consistent in using the same name, even if it wasn’t her real one.

A few other reasons you might want to use a pen name is because your name is too long, or your name is hard to pronounce, or it reads wrong in translation. I met a waiter once who called himself Erin, because people couldn’t pronounce his real name, Eran with a squiggle over the “a.”

So consider your situation, what you’re writing, and what you’re comfortable with. You never have to use your real name. You don’t have to use your real name or always use your fake name. But you can if that is what you’d rather do. You can use abbreviations or initials.

What I can gather from the comments is that “your name is your brand,” and to build your brand, you should try to keep your name(s) as consistent as possible. The route I’m going to take with my books is to use my real name and mess around with initials when I write a completely different genre. Mainly, I’m going to look at the cover and ask, “Will they take my book seriously with that name on there?” If I think it’s fine, I’ll leave it. It all comes down to the cover for me.

Thanks for reading guys!

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Making an Audiobook! (ACX)

ACX is a great way to get an audiobook out for your book! Although there are negative aspects to it, it offers more than any other company. They’re planning to catch up with their other platforms soon so that the author can make even more money.

Positives:

ACX will distribute your audiobook through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, which are the leading providers for audio! Not convinced yet? Let me keep going.

ACX also allows you to distribute through other platforms besides the ones I listed above. You will, however, no longer be “exclusive” with ACX if you distribute through other platforms besides Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, and will get a smaller royalty payout. Exclusive receives 40% of their royalties, whereas nonexclusive gets 25%. My advice is if you are confident enough in other platforms besides the top distributors, then definitely go nonexclusive!

You can give 25 promo codes away for free to anyone who wants your audiobook!

Professional narrators will make your story sound crisp and follow the necessary guidelines to sell on ACX. You can choose your payment plan with them at the start of the project. If you decide to split the royalty rate with your narrator, you have to go exclusive so both of you get at least 20%. But if you want to keep all 40%, just do it yourself!

Negatives:

ACX does NOT provide CD distributions. (If you go nonexclusive, you can find someone else who will make the CDs!)

ACX does NOT distribute to libraries or schools, not even digital copies (again, you can go nonexclusive for this option).

ACX controls the price of your product. Below is the chart they use to price your audiobook:

  •  under 1 hour: under $7
  •  1 – 3 hours: $7 – $10
  •  3 – 5 hours: $10 – $20
  • 5 – 10 hours: $15 – $25
  • 10 – 20 hours: $20 – $30
  • over 20 hours: $25 – 35

I’ve personally found more benefits behind going non-exclusive. You’d still be part of the biggest distributors and have easy access to narrators. Since I’m voicing my own, I have to make the decision of choosing between going through the leading distributors without libraries, CDs, or schools, or go through leading distributors along with other distributers with CDs, libraries, and school, but lose 15% royalties from all leading platforms.

If my audiobook ends up being ten hours long, selling at $20 on leading sites, 15% can make a difference of $3. So I have to be confident that the schools, libraries, CD sales, and other smaller distributors will match the difference. Which it could be possible.

Thanks for reading,
WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

KindleScout for the win!

For most of you who already know my self-publishing situation, you already know just about how much I’ve made this week from my debut novel, Remedy for Memory.

For those of you who do not, here’s the lowdown:

I have around 600 subscribers on YouTube and 50 followers on my blog. People are still buying my eBooks and paperbacks, but for the first week since it’s been out, I’ve sold 8 eBooks and 7 paperbacks. All together, I’ve made about $50.

So of course it’s natural to think ahead to my future career as an author. I plan to have over a thousand subscribers by the end of the year after I partner with NaNoWriMo next month part-time. If I release a new book within the next year, and I have double the amount of followers, looking at my current results, in the first week of publishing, I’ll make over $100 on my second book. WOO!

THIS IS GREAT! Because I want to try something called KindleScout. If you think you’d be making more than $1000 from your book in the first week, I wouldn’t consider it. However, I’m still small, AND I’m driven by my fans. SO I want to discuss what I’m doing for my next book.

KindleScout is “reader powered publishing!” Without fans, it’d be almost impossible to use. Online readers preview the first 30 pages or so, nominate, or upvote, their three favorites, and at the end of a 30 day trial, the winners get traditionally published through Kindle Press.

Here’s the bonus – if you get all your fans to vote for you and you win, they all get free eBook copies of your book and you get a $1500 advance. You get your 70% royalties on paperbacks, but there is a catch: you get 50% of eBook royalties from sales thereafter, unlike the regular 70%. It’s still better than normal traditional routes! If you decided that you can make more money from it without the publisher after 5 years, you can drop out of Kindle Press. I assume I’d be really big by that point, so I might do that.

From other books published through Kindle Press, I see they authors already had a large following, and they had very successful results after KindleScout. I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to repay my die-hard fans with a free eBook and also make more money than what I would have! Sadly, if your fans want a paperback, your followers would still have to buy it, but I think they still would’ve in the end – they’re just getting a free eBook on top of it! And you know how loving I am toward Kindle Matchbook.

Thanks for reading!

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Remedy for Memory by Brista Drake

tear-front_1

Synopsis: “After some time, I could talk to people, but I couldn’t say your name. I couldn’t put your name next to how I was feeling. There was something broken, and I just . . . didn’t think anyone could believe me.
So I wrote it down instead. I wrote this all for me . . . For you.”

If Trisha could summarize in one word her entire past relationship with Aaron, “The Baron,” it’d be a long, sarcastic “thanks.” For most of his life, Aaron Madison glorified being the butt of every joke, but after meeting Trisha four years ago, everything had changed.

If there was a time to speak, it was now.

Trailer: 

First Chapter Sample: 

Available now on Amazon on Kindle and paperback. Outside of the USA print is available on CreateSpace.

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

My BOOK TRAILER!! Remedy for Memory

Remedy for Memory’s synopsis:

After some time, I could talk to people, but I couldn’t say your name. I couldn’t put your name next to how I was feeling. There was something broken, and I just . . . didn’t think anyone could believe me.

So I wrote it down instead. I wrote this all for me . . . For you.”

If Trisha could summarize in one word her entire past relationship with Aaron, “The Baron,” it’d be a long, sarcastic “thanks.” For most of his life, Aaron Madison glorified being the butt of every joke, but after meeting Trisha four years ago, everything had changed.

If there was a time to speak, it was now.

Come watch my progress in publishing on my YouTube channel, where I’m uploading a four minute update video each day!! Remedy for Memory is coming out mid-May, before my birthday! NO, WAIT, IT’S OUT NOW: http://www.amazon.com/Remedy-Memory-Brista-Drake/dp/148396017X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433606695&sr=8-1&keywords=brista+drake

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime