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From Blank Page to Royalties in Six Steps

Several people in my circles of family and friends have expressed interest in writing and publishing a book. It's a common desire, one which often does not move beyond the "someday I'd like to" phase. However, since I've done it a few times and have a few years of experience, I thought it might be useful to provide a high-level overview of what it means to "publish a book" in the modern publishing environment. There are definitely people with more experience who can offer more details, success stories, etc., but sharing the experience I have could be useful for those just starting out. If you're reasonably serious about writing and publishing a book, read on!

Does This Guy Know What He's Talking About?

As I sat in the waiting room with my son during another medical appointment this morning, I considered blogging about that experience in relation to fitting in time for writing whenever possible. I've talked about that before, though, and I don't want to be repetitive. Instead, I decided to write a bit about my "credentials" when it comes to e-book publishing. I can't expect you to simply trust that I know what I'm talking about. Since my business, Crenel Publishing, provides e-book production services, it makes sense to ease any doubts you might have about my qualifications.

First Draft by Summer

Quite a few of my recent blog posts have been oriented around tips for writers or book lovers, but this blog was originally about my writings, so I thought I'd switch focus back to that for this week and briefly discuss — and announce the anticipated title of — a book on which I am nearing completion of the first draft. This book will be the sequel to Lesson One: Revolution!, and there is one more book planned to round out the series. Thus, the "sequel" is really book two of three, provided I can actually finish up the third which is maybe about halfway through the first draft.

One Vital Step to Profit From Your Writing

Before I go any further, I want you to order a paperback copy of Blue Sparrow: Tweets on Writing, Reading, and Other Creative Nonsense. When it arrives, skim through it and then keep it near your desk. Not only is the author doing some interesting things with her books, Blue Sparrow is a good motivator for you as a writer. By having a paperback copy it will be available when you need to step away from your desk, whether to take care of other things or just to get a break from a manuscript that you're struggling with. So, go order that. Done? OK. It's time to share with you the one vital step you need to take to profit from your writing.

Three Things You Should Avoid In Your Word Processor

Whether you use commercial software like Corel WordPerfect or free software like LibreOffice for your word processing needs, there are common features that are found in any full-featured word processor. Among those common features are some you should not use! This blog post will highlight three of them and explain why you should avoid using them.

One Easy Trick to Not Drive Your Cover Designer Crazy

Cover design is an exciting and sometimes scary part of publishing a book. We all know the old advice to not "judge a book by its cover" is more suitable as a metaphor for non-book things in life, and we know that people form their first impression of a book visually by its cover. Hey, no pressure, right? Heck yeah, there's a lot of pressure! You really need to get your book cover right! It can make a huge difference in the attention a book gets, which directly influences the number of copies you sell, the extent word-of-mouth will help build your audience, and more. Apart from those worries, cover design is a fun phase of preparing a book for publishing. Assuming you haven't landed a movie deal and the movie comes out before the book is even published, the cover is the first visual representation of the story. What was once just words in your head is now visible to others. It's exciting! But your excitement can be a bit of a problem for your cover designer; if you're (unwisely!) designing your own cover, the headaches you cause will be your own. This blog post will explain how to avoid driving your cover designer crazy when it comes to finalizing the cover for your print edition.

9 Things Indie Authors Need to Know About Bitcoin

At the end of 2013, I predicted that Bitcoin would really "hit the mainstream" in 2014 and that even non-geeks would start be aware of and understand that increasingly-popular crypto-currency. Just a few weeks into 2014, I heard my first ever reference to Bitcoin on the consumer-oriented news radio station that I listen to in the car. (Don't laugh, those of you who remember me and my loud music... my car stereo is weak, to put it mildly.) It's still a "Wild West" sort of thing, but if you're an indie author there are some things you should understand about Bitcoin so you can take advantage of it — or keep your distance, as you see fit. This blog post will highlight nine things you should know.

More Books Than You Can Read

With the flood gates opened by digital publishing, anybody who likes to read can be pretty much set for life without spending another penny, if they know where to look. But how do you find them? You can rapidly go from thinking "sitting here watching the clothes go 'round is the dullest way to spend my Friday night" to "that book was so great, I can't believe the author let me download it for free" but only if you know where to look, and how to open the book to read it. This admittedly-hasty, late-in-the-day blog post will help you do just that!

Fit Time in for Writing

"Fit time in for writing." That was part of my overall 2014 goal of exercising my creativity instead of always focusing on other responsibilities. As any active writer can tell you, though, this goal is a lot easier to make than accomplish if you're either not writing full time or attempting to write full time but not yet supporting yourself with your writing. Other aspects of life seem more "important" even though, in the long term, producing a book that sells well could easily be more important than resolving the day-to-day things that always come up. I have not set aside enough time for writing, and lately I feel like I've accomplished something if I get a mere hundred or so words written.

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My Books

(Click a cover for details)

[Cover of Assets, Budgets, and Credit]

[Cover of the novel Lesson One: Revolution!]

[Cover of the children's book Two Boys, Two Planets]

[Cover of the short story collection Journey to Yandol, and other stories]