Guest Blog Post: My Road to Getting Published by Geoffrey Simpson

The story of how author Geoffrey Simpson, who just released “The Three Hares,” got his first book published — in his own words…

Geoffrey Simpson, author of The Three Hares
Geoffrey Simpson, author of The Three Hares

On a gloomy January morning, the air was heavy and uninspired. I read an article about ancient symbols—a distraction from those about politics, rife with propaganda. One symbol, with three rabbits chasing one another in an infinite circle, struck a chord. A whirlwind flooded my conscience.

Although I’ve never written before, a few story ideas were tucked away for a rainy day. That same morning, I began to plot. That same gloomy day was the beginning of an adventurous journey to becoming an author. 

Three months later, manuscript in hand and an intent to self-publish, an author friend of the family strongly encouraged me to find an editor. I hadn’t planned on investing in this project, but I also never expected to write a novel. 

As an author, I’ve transitioned through two distinct phases. There was pre-Janet, and post-Janet. As you probably assumed, Janet Fix, owner of thewordverve inc., agreed to become my editor, mentor, and inspirer.

With a polished manuscript and newfound confidence, I changed course from self-publishing and sought an agent. A thrilling adventure began, but as the queries went out, the feedback was unanimous. “Unfortunately, I’m not the right agent for this project.” Not a single manuscript request came forth.

Discouraged and circling back toward self-publishing, I spoke to Janet the Inspirer. She, who wasn’t just an editor, was transitioning her business from hybrid to traditional publishing, asked me to join Team Verve.

Twelve months after that gloomy January morning, Janet became my publisher, and there’s no looking back. Today, Janet is editing the sequel to The Three Hares, and I am writing the third installment of this five-book YA adventure/mystery series. It is this partnership/friendship which has made all the difference.

Cover of Geoffrey Simpson's book, The Three Hares

I’ve got two novels I’m writing. What are your experiences with traditional publishing vs. self-publishing?

Guest Blog Post: “My Personal Path to Self-Publishing” by Lisa Kentgen, Ph.D.

When it comes to publishing, deciding which route to take can be a challenge.

For the traditional route, once an author writes a book, they sign on with an agent or publishing house. The author shares a hefty percentage of the sales, in exchange for the agent doing everything involved in getting attention and sales.

A self-publisher keeps all the money — but does everything, including possible hiring of an editor and book designer, buying advertising, etc.

New York City psychologist, Lisa Kentgen, Ph.D., debuted, “An Intentional Life: Five Foundations of Authenticity and Purpose,” June 2018. Here how she went about it…

Cover of, "An Intentional Life" by Lisa Kentgen

Turning down a book contract was a painful decision. My book emphasizes listening to your internal voice. My voice told me I wouldn’t be happy signing a contract that didn’t feel mutual. The morning after making this decision the idea for my next book came to me. I then knew self-publishing was the right path.

Two things were clear. 1) I would create a publishing imprint to house this and future books. 2) I would be intimately part of the process.

Creating a publishing imprint meant establishing an LLC. Its mission is broad enough to cover other professional activities, like public speaking, so that my writing will be an essential part of my professional life.

Photo of author Lisa Kentgen by Todd Estrin Photography
Photo of author Lisa Kentgen by Todd Estrin Photography

There are reputable companies, like Girl Friday Productions, that help authors from concept to final production. I believe they quoted me $16,000. I chose not to go with this sort of company because I had a manuscript that already was far along and, also, it means not taking the lead in creating my team. Establishing my team meant spending hours finding a top quality editor, cover designer, and interior designer.

I was fortunate enough to find a developmental editor who is the vice president of a publishing company. She had me reduce my manuscript by 30%. She told me that while I don’t like telling people what to do (I am a psychologist) – as a writer I needed to be more directive. After a major edit, I hired another editor to polish the final manuscript.

For book design, I chose Reedsy, an online company that has wonderful professionals for hire. Inexpensive cover designs cost around $500. For an experienced, artistic designer it is closer to $1000. My cover designer was so good that I persuaded him to do my interior design which cost about $2000.

I learned the hard way that what makes for a beautiful physical book creates complications for the ebook. (Suggestion: Make a copy of the interior before getting fancy!) Creating the ebook to look like the physical copy proved difficult. I had no way to assess the actual skill level of designers. The first person misrepresented their experience, and I paid $450 for something I couldn’t use. The next person charged $500 and what I wanted took more time than estimated–so we negotiated a higher price.

My experience creating the audiobook with Brickshop Audio in Brooklyn was a pleasure. The audiobook, with production help, costs $250 per finished hour. My 55,000-word book (on ACX) cost $1650.

I recommend my path to authors who enjoy creating a business and who have the time and desire to address countless creative details. It means a lot more work upfront, but having finished products closer to your vision. I am excited to take what I have learned to new ventures!

Quote by Lisa Kentgen: Living with intention you understand that your interests are intimately bound to the well-being of others.

Dear readers, share your experiences below with self-publishing vs. traditional publishing…

Guest Blog Post: “3 Tips on How to Expand Your Hobby into a Career,” in Julie Morris’ exact words

The first step toward a dream can be the hardest. Blogger Julie Morris is also a career and life coach. Here’s her advice for turning a passion into profit…

Photo of small plant being potted
Pixabay: rawpixel

Whether you want to start a side gig to earn extra money or want to start a full-fledged business, you need to know that not everyone is cut out to be their own boss. While it sounds like a great idea to set your hours, work for yourself and not answer to anyone else, starting a business is quite an undertaking. You need to be sure that you have the right characteristics for owning a business and that your products or services are marketable and can turn a profit. 

1. Ensure You Have What It Takes to Start a Business

Running your own business is anything but easy. You’ll face financial and professional challenges, make decisions at a moment’s notice, handle customer complaints and poor reviews and manage your taxes and expenses. To determine whether you’re cut out to start a business, Plexus has identified the several signs that you were born to be the boss. If you don’t have all those qualities, never fear. You just need to know where there may be gaps in what you’re capable of so that you can hire others to help fill them.

Photo of photographer
Pixabay: Tama66

3. Understand Your Tax Responsibilities

It can be so exhilarating to start your own business that you can forget your tax responsibilities. Plus, the government needs to see that your hobby counts as a legitimate business in order for it to be classified as such. The difference between a hobby and a business affects your taxes quite significantly, so make sure when you leap into business ownership that you have solid records and are doing all you can to fit the business mold.

photo of someone drawing a cartoon business plan
Pixabay: rawpixel

It’s take a lot to turn your hobby into a livelihood, but with the right planning and strategy it really is possible. With a little extra elbow grease and tenacity, you could change your life.

About the author of this post: Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts.

Chocolate’s Bitter Deception by da-AL

Vox: “So is chocolate good for your health? In a word: no.”

photo of chocolate bar
This photo was copied from related article at Vox’s website.

Before you continue reading:

– Breath deeply.

– Remember, I’m only the messenger.

Once read, this article can’t be un-read.

Many of us suspected that chocolate’s properties were exaggerated.

But to this extent?!

Since 1982, goliath candy manufacturer Mars Inc. has built its house of lies. Vox’s finding:

Graph of how it takes quite a lot of chocolate to get benefits from it

Now what?

Guest Blog Post: “Give a Donation,” in bowaleXO’s exact words

Blogger bowaleXO
Blogger bowaleXO

Hang on — surely you’re wrong about why I’m posting bowaleXO’s request. Read on, then visit the Nigerian blogger’s thoughtful site. Only then, comment below about what you think when bloggers request financial support from readers …

bowaleXO

So I realised blogging is not cheap even with a free wordpress.com website. Thought producing original content may be a free gift from God, but it still requires Internet to be edited and posted online.

Like most African countries Internet Service in Nigeria is expensive, and when you manged to afford it you don’t get face value of what you are purchasing. I started bowalexo.wordpress.com two (2) months ago and because I always want to create new and original contents for the readers of bowalexo.wordpress.com I am always online and as a result of that I have spent in two (2) months what I would have spent within six (6) month on purchasing Internet Service

I recently found my ability and desire to write when I lost my job two (2) and half months ago and I have been using my saving to fund bowalexo.wordpress.com ever since and I fear…

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