Archive for the ‘Real Self-Publishing’ Category

The No Bull Method to Publishing: Step by Step Guide to Self-Publishing, Marketing and Promoting Your Fiction

Finally!!!!!!! The No Bull Method to Publishing is finally available.

Everything you need to know about writing, publishing, marketing and promoting your fiction and urban fiction titles. Sometimes the hardest part of recognizing your dreams is knowing where to go or what to do. This small ebook is filled with resources and actual steps on starting your writing journey

The No Bull Method to Publishing eliminates the fluff other how to gurus seem to specialize in. Only real information, real links and real steps to every part of your writing journey.

Your characters have a story to tell and there is a large audience of readers waiting to read and enjoy your story.  Now you don’t have to wonder about what to do next because it’s all in one place. All of your questions answered within the pages of this little E book. Happy writing and remember Now is the Time to have your voice heard! To reach your Full Potential and to share Your Greatness with the World!

Follow the links below to get your own copy! Or visit


Very happy to report the coming of my new Ebook “The No Bull Method To Publishing” A step by step guide to self-publishing and marketing fiction. Throughout all of my research on the topic of self-publishing and marketing I have learned that most of the information provided is filled with fluff. A bunch of fancy yet redundant words designed to walk the reader in circles.

Tons of information on publishing is floating around that really doesn’t tell you anything. It leaves you more confused or just as uninformed as you were before. I am a true writer who seriously enjoys informing the masses on doing what they love writing! “The No Bull Method To Publishing” is a straight to the point guide that shows you each step of the publishing process and then transitions into the second phase which is effective marketing.

You get all of what you want, which is actual DIY information with exact websites and steps to follow to see your dream come to pass. You can now join the world of people actually ‘doing’ and no longer talking about their dreams.

The hardest part in the writing and publishing process is actually getting started. When given quality information with actual steps to follow anyone can be successful. “The No Bull Method to Publishing” is filled with information from the best self publishers of fiction, editors, printers, distributors and the exact marketing methods to maximize your exposure. Lists of services are provided with links to visit their websites. Just like my blog the ebook provides an extensive list of services with the exact steps to follow. No fluff, no beating around the bush only real information at your fingertips.

Please look out for my Ebook Launch Party taking place in a few weeks where free giveaways and contests will be going on for the entire day.

I have been debating whether or not I would like to self-publish my book and then I ran across another option that is making me giddy with excitement. I have known about ebooks for quite some time but being old-fashioned I have always enjoyed the feeling of cozying up with a good book. The smell of the paper, flipping each page with anticipation and having a tangible copy of a good read feels familiar. However, I realized the power of the Internet and modern technology that is allowing self-published authors to reach a larger audience. According to my research Ebooks are taking the publishing world by storm and in the process creating best sellers. Hope you guys enjoy the information listed below. Happy Learning!!!

All about Ebooks

I thought it fitting that this first paragraph be dedicated to explaining the ebook. Don’t worry I won’t be to technical just enough info to give us all a clue. Ebooks are digital books. There you have it and it wasn’t that hard to swallow. It is no different from paperback or hardcovers except that it can be read through the use of an iPad, Nook, Kindle and other digital technology methods. Ebooks still require copyright information, ISBN’s and a book cover, which means it is still a book.

Ebook Benefits

I have some great news for you soon to be self-published authors working with a tight budget. Ebooks are cheaper to publish! Sites like Lulu allows you to publish an ebook for free. (This should not be attempted if you are not familiar with proper formatting) You want to avoid your book looking like something your first grader cooked up. Remember to edit your work or have a professional do it for you. I can’t stress how important editing is for new authors. Now on to the benefits!

Ebooks are cheaper and more cost efficient than going the traditional trade paperback route. The cost of a book cover can range from $99 to $300, the cost of your copyright is $35 (if done electronically) the cost of your ISBN # is $125 and a bar code is $25. We are looking at around $284 to $485 to prepare the ebook and the fee for creating the ebook, which can be free.

Other benefits include more money in your pocket. You don’t have to worry about printing or storage cost, which means pure profit. You have the ability to charge what you’d like for your ebooks and only pay a small distributor fee. New authors should price low ranging from $1.99 to $4.99 for new titles. This is because readers feel better about spending that amount for an unknown author. Once you have a readership you can adjust your pricing.

More of your budget can be spent on marketing, which means you can find more avenues to get the word out and increase your sales. Do a little research on authors in your genre to see who is reviewing their ebooks. Reach out to them to see if they would be willing to review yours. It will be easy as pie to email a link to your ebook for reviews. (Look how much we saved on postage!!!)

Getting Started

My research on Ebooks have led me to a website that is very exciting called BookRix. It allows any author whether you are new or seasoned to submit your ebook to their community for free or for sale. Their reach is 450,000 people which is a big deal. If you want it for sale they walk you through the ebook format and will also help distribute it with large retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more so worth checking it out. They charge 39.00 for each book though.

Another really cool website to visit is they offer affordable websites for authors with the option of setting up your ebook conversion for a fee starting around $99. They distribute to all major book retailers as well which is a bonus.

Happy Publishing!!!


Self publishing has changed the game taking ‘unknown’ writers straight to the top of the New York Times best sellers list. Most of the stigma that was associated with self-publishing no longer exists and many traditional publishers are finding their world threatened with this growing industry. Writers have decided to take their fate into their own hands and are yielding much success. With all good things comes both the pros and the cons and I came up with a bit of information on them both. Neither traditional or self publishing is a cake walk and one requires more work but yields more financially. Taking the “I have good news and bad news” approach I’ve decided to start with the Cons.

  • More Work: Real self publishing means you must do all of your own leg work. Before you are able to start the actual printing process you have to first copyright your work. Next you must apply for your ISBN number and bar codes. This is a bit tricky simply because each book may require more than one ISBN depending on your options. Hardcover, softcover and ebooks all require their own ISBN #. You will also need to apply for a Library of Congress number if you want your book to be cataloged by libraries. All of these steps must be done before your book is actually ready to go to a printer. Next you are required to create your own book covers. I primary work on urban fiction so any of the book cover designers I provided in my previous blog would be great. However, if you are writing in a different genre you may have to do a little research because your book cover sells books. Many writers aren’t aware of typesetting for their work. Typesetting is needed if you want your book to be perfectly aligned and to flow naturally. It makes sure you use the correct fonts throughout your story and that chapters are all done perfectly it may also provide your chapters and headings with a little personality.
  • Upfront Cost: If you are self-publishing you will be responsible for all of the upfront cost of publishing. This is generally handled by a traditional publisher. Though you may be excited about publishing please take into account the actual cost of publishing and marketing of your work. Being unprepared will cause your project to stall and may cause lots of wasted expenses. With today’s economy no one has money to just throw into the trash(If you do please let me know where you keep your trash)
  • Extended Timeframes: Authors who are published traditionally don’t see how much work actually goes into creating their work. Self publishing may take a bit more time to complete because of the learning curve. My personal opinion is to begin working on your self publishing project as you are writing your story. This is the best method because you will have most of your project complete when you are done. The only thing you will need to wait on will be the copyright because you have to submit your finished work to the U.S Copyright Office.
  • Editing: Many writers are not the best English students. Editing is the most important part of your story. It can prevent people from reading your work or getting to the good part of your plot. When I finished my first book the first thing I did was hire a professional editing services. It cost a few hundred dollars but was priceless. Self publishing has already gotten a bad rep primarily because it’s authors do not take this necessary step. traditional publishers generally edit their writers work for them but self publishing means you are your own publisher love your craft enough not to disrespect it with a poorly done finished product.

The Good News: Self Publishing Pros

  • More Control: Where there is control there is power. When you self publish you own the rights to your content. This means if you want to sell your story to Hollywood to create a movie you can. No asking your publisher for permission because you are your own publisher. You also have the ability to brand your story by adding character related products to sell. Your book can turn into a profitable business. You can control the price of your book, which means it won’t be overpriced, which generally turns away buyers who can buy well-known titles for much less. You can also control what your cover looks like. This step will determine if your book will actually sell so its important and only you know how you want your book to look.
  • Higher Earnings: Self publishers make more money in the long run. They don’t have to share their profits with a publisher and an agent. After the cost of printing is subtracted per book traditional publishers take their cut. Then the cut of the agent is subtracted leaving the writer with change per book sold. Self publishers are able to keep more of their profits. More profits means more time for the things you want to do,

like vacationing on a sunny beach. Or sipping margaritas with friends and family all from your creativity. what could be better than that? Self publishing is definitely not for the faint of heart but it can yield substantial income if done correctly. I don’t know about you but I’m ready to make it big!!

Writing an urban fiction is the easy part getting it published is the real challenge. The genre is relatively new and many street-lit authors are finding much better success self-publishing their work. This being said, the work that needs to go into self-publishing is what will make or break a title. The wrong book cover can cause an author, any author to lose a potential buyer. To avoid this from happening the book cover MUST! catch your reader’s eye. Doing your own publishing means you can either trust the creativity of a vanity press (who is not versed) on urban fiction to design your book cover. This option is highly frowned upon, simply because they will only give you a few revisions and then you are literally stuck with the finished product whether you like it or not. Another reason you shouldn’t leave your book cover up to the vanity press is because they really don’t sell books. They get paid from you the author to publish and print your work and also when you sell it. Another option is to hire your own urban book cover designer who understands the genre and can deliver hot covers each time. I have done a bit of research (hours, days, weeks and months) to come up with a list of urban fiction book cover designers who are at the top of the game. Some of them are even very affordable.

Davida Baldwin

Davida Baldwin is both the designer and Ceo of Oddball Dsgn. She has designed covers for urban fiction publishers like Life Changing Books, The Cartel Publications and her work has even appeared in top magazines including Essence magazine, Don Diva magazine and Vibe. When going through her website you get a real sense of a true urban fiction professional. The covers scream for attention and literally jump at you with vivid colors and lots of glitz and glam. Her book cover design price starts at $450.00 but she also provides a discount if you plan on doing multiple covers. This is the best option if you’re planning on a sequel or trilogy. Other services include poster design, fliers and postcards as well as website design. Prices are listed on her services page, which can be downloaded also.

Keith Saunders

Keith Saunders is the founder of Marion Designs and has been creating book covers that has also made it to the top of the Essence best sellers list. His covers have also received recognition from Black Expression book club and traditional publishers like Simon & Schuster. What I liked most is that the designer continues to work with its clients until satisfaction is obtained. This is important for authors because your ability to sell depends on their finished product. The website doesn’t list any prices so you must use the contact pages to request a quote. It is important that you be specific about your product so they can give you accurate pricing information. For more information visit their website

Patti Hultstrand

Patti Hultstrand is one of the Publisher and Ceo for A publisher of fiction and increasingly urban fiction novels. Patti Hultstrand designs covers for urban fiction writers for a fraction of the cost. For $250.00 you can get your cover designed for print and ebook publication. This is extremely affordable and can mean publishing possibilities for new up and coming writers. Her work has won her awards in urban fiction cover design. On a professional side note some of her covers need to be polished if it wants to compete with the above mention cover designers. Good bargain for the money but need additional work to get it to a competitive urban fiction edge. Pricing information can be found here

Hot Book Covers

I was unable to find any one person’s name to list as a contact for the website. However, their work looks fantastic. They have designed for urban fiction greats like Wahida Clark, Triple Crown Publications and G Street Chronicles. All major players in the urban fiction game. Authors are able to get a book cover design starting at $250.00 with options to add bookmarks, posters and fliers as well. They also provide book trailers(which are great advertising tools) To check out their work visit them at

How important is a book cover when shopping around for your next read?

Ideally a traditional publisher is the way to go when considering upfront cost. Most traditional publishers pay advances on possible sales of  your titles however, they don’t pay royalties on the back-end until refunded. However, if you are like the other self-publishers tired of waiting for your talent to be “discovered” then you can join the rest of us paving our own path. During your search you will be faced with lots of decisions so here is a bit of help. I have a list of the most expensive self-publishing companies in the business. Prices are based on maximum services including “free” author copies.

Xlibris $15,249

Xlibris offers the platinum package which they nicknamed the Rolls-Royce of publishing. Authors get paperback, hardback and ebook formatting. Unlimited changes to the front cover design, 2 leather-bound copies, 120 paperback copies and 45 hardback. One of the big benefits of this package is they have a 100% royalty program (sounds good except your book may have to be listed at a higher than competitive price) The marketing campaign offers a few nice goodies like press release distribution to 1000 publications, personalized web design and a book trailer with audio. Pretty impressive services not to mention the book posters, fliers, postcards, bookmarks and business cards but is it all really worth it? Well, that’s for you to decide

Trafford Publishing $10,999

Welcome to the big boys! If you are looking for every service rolled into one expensive bundle you’ve found it. Trafford offers its writers an all-inclusive package that will provide you with not only your ISBN# but copyright registration, Library of Congress # also. You also get an option of both paperback and hardback printing and copyediting services. With a price tag like that you will see some other luxury services that include 75 paperback copies of your book, 35 hardback copies and over 110  book stubs. Worldwide book distribution is included as well as a stand alone book trailer and a hollywood audition. Some unnecessary services are unlimited data entry services and an author learning center. Trafford should be selected for authors who have already gone through the publishing process and are looking to go big or go home the second time around.

Authorhouse $11,298

Authorhouse is the creme de la creme of self-publishing. They provide you with a variety of services including registering your copyright, obtaining your ISBN and the library of congress number. However, that hefty price tag includes a full color cover design, back cover sales copy, online distribution and also 20 paperback copies, 5 hardcover and 30 book stubs. The package also includes unnecessary services like professional marketing consultation. Generally speaking this is a one hour telephone conference telling you of different marketing methods. For authors looking to get an edge on the competition there is the ability to get an infomercial with book trailer with an incredible price tag of $8,999. For unknown authors just starting out this is a big waste of money.

The upside is that you get quality, professional looking books that can compete against the traditional publishing houses. Authorhouse book covers are colorful and look amazing.

Many of these self-publishing packages are filled with tons of services that can be done by YOU the self-publisher for much LESS. By doing it yourself it will save you tons of money and the most expensive thing you will invest is your time.

I recently decided to self-publish my second book which is an urban fiction novel. That decision has led me to tons of information that was both overwhelming and eye-opening. I always thought self-publishing meant I paid a company to not only print my books but also apply for my copyright registration, ISBN and library of congress number. With so many publishers posing as self-publishing companies they have “would be” writers believing they are really self-published authors with all of these add ons like being available to major retailers like and Barnes & Noble as well as ebook availability. Then I discovered a few things that blew my mind

Who Owns Your ISBN

ISBN is short for International Standard Book Number. This number is important to authors because it identifies your books and allows it to be sold to retailers or even in libraries. In simpliest terms its like a social security number for your books. It also sets you apart from a writer who is not published vs. those that are. The person applying for the ISBN number is the actual publisher of the work. Hence going to any “self-publishing company” that offers an ISBN included in their publishing package leaves you as a published author but not a self-published author. Print on demand and vanity presses are companies that apply for your ISBN number and allow you to use or borrow it. What that means to you? They control the number. He who controls the number has all the power.

Real Self-Publishing

To become a true self-published author you need to apply for your own ISBN number. Writers interested in publishing multiple books will need to apply for a block of ISBN’s. This makes you the publisher. As a passionate writer I thought that was extremely incredible information. I would be a publisher simply from applying for my own ISBN. That makes me in control of my work and it can’t be taken from me by any unauthorized parties. Going the real self-publishing route can be a bit more work but in the end it is worth it. It’s no secret that self-publishing is much more lucrative than going the traditional route. Primarily because you set the price of your book, you also don’t have to share your profits with a publishing company.

How to Apply for your ISBN

Applying for your ISBN is actually not that difficult. Each country has a designated agency that is allowed to issue ISBN #’s. In the United States that is Bowker. If your reader you should be familiar with the name. When applying online it does require the use of a credit or debit card. One ISBN number cost $125.00 while getting a block of ten is a bit more cost-effective at $250.00. I prefer buying a block simply because I can publish more titles later and don’t have to go through the hassle when they are ready for print. You can reference this link for Bowker They also sell bar codes that can match your ISBN as well.