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: The Millennials by Helen Werner Cox

Long Beach is an unsung Los Angeles County gem. Along with beaches and the Queen Mary, it’s home to excellent museums, numerous multicultural events, and a neighborhood filled with art-friendly businesses. For instance, Utopia Restaurant goes out of its way to be artist-friendly. Helen Werner Cox talks about her current display there…

Darwin Grey by Helen Werner Cox
Darwin Grey by Helen Werner Cox

I love this age group, and because my daughter is a millennial, I have watched many of them grow and develop into the thoughtful, sensitive generation they are. The diversity of the millennials is part of what excites me about them. I am not interested in stereotypes or extremes; these are regular, interesting people whom I care about.

A collaboration with each model determined composition and color palette. I began to ask them to bring in objects of significance to themselves. We worked together to discover poses that were natural to the person. Often, we discovered the best pose during the breaks when the model was relaxing. This made the positions easier to hold than anything artificial I might have constructed.

Steven by Helen Werner Cox
Steven by Helen Werner Cox

Each work has its own special emphasis. The painting of Steven contrasts the harsh, stark geometry of the background against the fish-like curve of the figure. As the painting evolved, the environment took on a symbolic meaning, representing the stresses that press in on people today, over which they have no control.

Darwin appears in several images, as we have worked together extensively in the past year. It was the first time I worked in-depth with one model, and the relationship will become a template for future collaborations. Through these works, Darwin and I explored his interest in the “fin de siècle,” (late 1800’s and early 1900’s), his identification with both his male and female aspects, and his love for the theatrical. Darwin’s enthusiasms aligned nicely with my attraction to the work of the Post Impressionists.

If you would like to see more work, please click here or or contact me for a studio visit.

The Millennials, featuring intimate portraits of young people, is on exhibit at Utopia Restaurant in Long Beach from July 14 to September 8, 2018.

1. Ever been told…? by da-AL

Photo of da-AL in Spain with caption: Ever been told 'you write like a man' supposedly as a compliment?

Ever been told ‘you write like a man’ as if you’re supposed to take it as a compliment?

Guest Blog Post: 1st Date by Charlie

Charlie & new friend!

Discovery and joy, tension and delight — falling into friendship can be as heady for me as falling in love.

How is new friendship for you?

“Minutes of talking to her makes me feel happy. Then, later on, we’re friends,” shares blogger/photographer/graphic designer Charlie of the Philippines…

Interesting World

Do you still remember your first date? Do you still remember your first impression to him or her? Do you still remember the feelings?

January 19, I met this girl at not too far away land. She is a vendor of pastries in our town. Minutes of talking to her makes me feel happy. Then later on, we’re friends.

Meet Abby. She is so energetic and full of stories. Yes, she is younger than me. She is working at the bakery in our town.

Today January 24, is our first date ever. I took her at Onyang and Fiorgelato.

She able finish it all. She is so happy and very satiafied to our first date. For only 3$ you can have this all.

She said “I want to bring my sister here. It has big serving yet the price too cheap. Unlike other big restaurant out there. Too expensive but…

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Words Delight Our Senses by da-AL

Photo of woman looking at books on shelves
Courtesy Pixabay.com

Reading and writing are more than marks to on a page — they’re sensual!
My ears taught me what writing was. As my father would drive, my mother beside him, me squished in the back seat between two older brothers, they all would holler, “Yield!” and “Stop!” and “Hollywood and Vine!”
My father was in charge of money, handyman stuff, and ‘babysat.’ My mother cleaned, cooked, and tended the kids. Outside of the home, she also worked as a secretary.
Homemaking, mothering, and working didn’t interest me — but her secretarial accouterments enthralled me. That’s because they had to do with reading and writing!

Photo of old typewriter
Photo: Pixabay.com

Her spiral-bound green steno pads and click pens defined scholarly elegance.  Her dication machine, a table-top reel-to-reel tape recorder, was a whispery spooler and a boisterous reader. Pencils and ballpoint pens smelled of wood and plastic.
And paper! Bonded sheets for business letters were fabric-thick and textured to accommodate the erasure of typewriter mistakes. Tissue-thin onionskin paper was for international letters, to economize on postage.
Her typewriter, all ten ‘portable’ pounds of it, made music! There was the clacking of alphabet keys, the errp-errp-errp of sheets rolling in and out of the cylindrical platen, and the slap-ding of carriage returns. When I was allowed to hammer at the smooth plastic buttons, my fingers would twitch percussion in my dreams.
The process of my mother leaning into her typing with her brows knit, produced more wonders — a cigar box full of erasers: rectangular Pink Pearls that were worn oblong, round gritty pumic-hard wheels that featured jabby tangles of red bristles, blue and pink sweet-scented putties that were kneaded into gray wads. Hopeless typos called for alcohol scented white paint.

Photo of library and students
Photo by Tamás Mészáros from Pexels

Before I learned to read, my father would take me with him to the library. The front doors were a tall as a bank’s. Sun streamed into rooms as hushed as churches that were filled with readers, their heads bowed over their books.

What’s your first memory of reading and writing?

Guest Blog Post: “An Accomplishment” by Robert

Man and Dogs Playing Cards by Ryan McGuire of Gratisography
Thanks much, Ryan McGuire of Gratisography.com

Too many days, I lie awake at night worrying that I didn’t get enough done. How about you? If you’re like me, RobertLovesPi is here to reassure us that it’s all good…

RobertLovesPi.net

accomplishment

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Happiness Between Tails is Now on facebook! Check it out!

Screenshot of facebook page for Happiness Between Tails

Hey everyone — check out the new facebook page for Happiness Between Tails! Please like, follow, share and comment on it.

When you look at the Happiness Between Tails page, any facebook wisdom you can pass along would be much appreciated. For instance, how can I get a link for Happiness Between Tails onto my personal facebook page — not just in the ‘about’ tab, but on the left hand side of the home personal page, where photos of friends are featured?

How do you maximize your blog’s facebook page?

Cheers!