Monday, May 27, 2013

Get ready, set, publish your ebook!

The self-publishing world is ever expanding. The once coveted novelist that was chosen exclusively by the likes of Simon and Schuster is able to throw caution to the wind and self-publish her own works. It's as easy as diving in, writing and publish. TA DA!

Yes, it is a faster way to get your book out there but alot of work goes into the sef-publishing angle. Authors must not only write the book, they must take the time to edit, format, create, and choose the way a book will be acknowledged out in cyberworld. After a book is written it must be formatted in one of the following file extensions, .epub, .mobi , .azw and most recent epub3.  These file formats allow a book to be published on Nook, Kindle, Ibooks, or any other book readers available:

.Epub, or electronic publication is a popular, standard format for ebooks. With the exception of Amazon/Kindle (unless it has been changed recently), it is the format utilized by major retailers.

Mobipocket or .Mobi is an ebook format that makes room for blank pages at any point in the text for images, notes etc.

Kindle or .azw is the format chosen by Amazon with digital rights management protections.

And finally, ePub3. This format allows video, audio snippets, interactivity, global language support, multi-column layout, Embedded Fonts (a big high five for graphic designers!) improved accessibility and more.

Once your book file has either been converted to a file format listed above (contact BookBaby for conversion help) the task continues. Choose the self publisher you want to work with, Lightning Source is a great place to go! I've heard good and bad things about AuthorHouse but it depends on your $pocketbook.

Cover art can be worked up by an in-house self-publishing artist or you can have more control and have an independent designer (like Designs) do it for you to create what YOU need and want on the cover of your book.

Final tweeks by an editor and you are ready to publish, price and follow sales. This takes time and work so don't think your job is done! You've just begun to manage your promotions, marketing and distribution of your ebook!

Now, get, ready, set, GO publish your ebook!

Fly in for Book Cover Design: Designs


Monday, May 13, 2013

Today's Meet The Author: Diane Tegarden

Diane and I have been networking for many years online. She is extremely energetic, thoughtful and creative!
I am happy to have interviewed Diane, here is what she has to say about herself, writing and publishing today.

Thank you for taking time to answer my questions Diane - I'm looking forward to working with you again in the future!

Tell us about all about you…as the non- author first then about you as author.

My name is Diane Tegarden, a freelance writer living in Pasadena, with my husband and furkids.  My hobbies include: planting flowers, trees, vegetables and herbs (whatever I fancy for the season). I love to write letters and compose cards to friends and family, and do crossword puzzles to relax. My husband and I watch lots of movies; we have a large collection and are constantly adding to it.

I've been a print journalist since 1992, writing on a wide range of subjects including; renewable energy, environmental concerns, holistic health, women’s issues, and Native Spirituality. My work has been found in: The Pasadena Star News, Security Sales Magazine, The Pasadena Weekly, The Solar Flare, The Feral Forest, Earth Luvyrs Calendar, The Daily Sundial, the West Coast Well Being, Yahoo Content and Health Breakthroughs.

My publishing company, FireWalker Publications, was formed in 2004 to promote my passionate, original written works, ideas and creations. Since 2005, I’ve written for two online content producers, Yahoo Content and The 

In April 2004, I published my first book, “How to Escape a Bad Marriage– A Self Help Divorce Book For Women,” which provides step by step instructions on how to achieve financial and emotional independence in preparation for a divorce. 

I released my first poetry e-book, "Light Through Shuttered Window" in December 2007; it’s a compendium of my poetry about life, love and the creative process.

In February 2008 I completed my third book, “Anti-Vigilante and The Rips in Time”, a science fiction novel set in the distant future, involving Senselles,
MagicoMathematicians and the MOB. One of the scientific highlights features OTEC, a renewable energy that dynamically changes the face of the planet.

My second self help book “Budgeting on a Dime: 10 Steps to Financial Independence” was completed in October 2012, and is available both in paperback and ebooks formats.

How long have you been writing? 

I’ve been writing creatively all my life, and remember creating verses to cards for my family’s birthdays and holidays.
Professionally, I’ve been writing since 1992, writing for various newspapers and magazines.

What inspires you to write in the style that you do? (what genre do you write in? does it vary?)

I write in several genres, from newspapers and magazines, to blogs and online social media. I’ve also written, produced, published and promote four full length books; 2 self help books, a poetry collection and a full length science-fiction novel.

How many words per day do you like to write? Is that a daily goal or weekly goal?

When I’m writing a book, I write every day, but don’t set a word or page goal.

What is the name of your first book? How long ago was it printed? Where did you market it and did you have a good sale number?

My first book was titled “Getting Out of Limbo- A Self Help Divorce Book for Women”, which was released in 2004 and is now in its second printing with a new title “How to Escape a Bad Marriage: A Self Help Divorce Book for Women”. It’s for sale at, Barnes and, CreateSpace, available in libraries and is listed on the Ingram Book List so that brick and mortar bookstores can stock it.  Thus far it’s my best selling book.

How do you feel about online book reading? Do you have a book that you’ve written for a digital shelf like ibooks or kindle?

All my books are available as ebooks, because I want to give my readers as many options as possible to access my books.

Do you think it’s worth it to ask buyers to purchase a digital novel for the same amount of $ as a print novel?  

No, digital readers expect to pay less for their books, and as the cost of producing ebooks is less than print. I agree with that thinking.

How do you think the change in the publishing industry affects authors today?

Authors must now be more than just writers, they must be savvy about the marketing and distribution of their books and have a hand in the decision making process for their business as well as the creative process.

If you could give a budding author advice what would it be? Be prepared to be involved in the marketing of your book, and educate yourself on the process of producing your own books.

Can you recommend our readers a publisher that you like to work with? 

I publish my own books, so I’m not knowledgeable about using the big publishing houses.

If you could be a famous author, who would it be and why?

I want to BE the famous author in question! I dream about having one of my books on the New York Times Best Seller list!!

Tell us where we can find your book(s) and provide a link!

My new book “Budgeting on a Dime- 10 Steps to Financial Independence”, which was published October 2012 and is available on at:
or Barnes and at:

Thank you for including me in your article Kristine!

Thursday, May 02, 2013


Writing a novel takes a lot of discipline, research, passion and TIME! The same goes for the cover art that don’s the store shelf or kindle view. I’d like to offer some advice on how to create a book cover yourself but then offer even more important advice, HAVE A PROFESSIONAL create one for you.

To start, you (the author) should have a “blurb” from your novel that epitomizes what your novel is about. The “blurb” you choose should be descriptive of characters or places. It should capture the essence of the story without giving away the ending! It should make your reader want to know more. You can find these blurbs usually on the back cover of a book. It is what makes the reader interested in reading more. The cover design is based on this blurb and is used to bring the eyes of potential readers to read that “blurb” and see what they’ve just read on the cover.

For example, I will use The Dark Ship by L.M. Sherwin and create a new cover to show a new perspective of a paranormal feeling. I utilized the “blurb” on the back cover.

“Lyra has always felt too plain and uninteresting to be a part of her parents’ social sphere, the upper class of Juneau One. Now, they expect her to act like a proper lady at one of the moon’s most prestigious girls’ schools: St. Xavier’s. On the voyage to the dreaded school, Lyra discovers an enchanted mirror in the lower decks of the ship. Whenever she looks at it, her reflection appears beautiful, mysterious, and otherworldly. Something about the glass draws her in; time, thought, and emotion fly past when she gazes into its depths. Could there be something dangerous about this simple golden mirror? Does some sinister force lurk within, drawing her into its clutches? Find out in this thrilling novella by L.M. Sherwin!”

Say you’d like to use a photo (a hand drawn illustration will be another article!). Begin your cover by finding an appropriate image or images. Try Big Stock Photo or upscale Getty Photography Archive.  Let’s open up Photoshop! (Do you have Photoshop? Most professional designers do!) Take the image you would like to work with: you have choices to make. To simplify ask yourself if you want to use the image as is or do you want to alter it? Photoshop is a powerful tool that can change image, color, shape or even take pieces of an image to create a new image altogether.  Be sure you understand the printing process too all these settings are important for a perfection in actual printing.


Ok – I found an image, I altered it to give an eerie feeling. The same feeling I get from The Dark Ships author “blurb”.

After I find, alter and take the image to the point of desire, I move the image into Adobe Indesign. (do you have Adobe Indesign? Most professional designers do!) Know your spine width, font(s), and don’t forget your barcode if you self publish! Do you own your barcode? You will need to purchase one if not.

The title of the book should also be shown on the spine of the book. And don’t forget the publisher icon. It is placed on the spine and back cover.  It’s all in the details for printed covers! Kindle cover layouts differ in that the front cover image is all you will need. For Kindle cover art, specifications are necessary to be followed. Again, research what you need – it’s all the details that make it happen! Or call a professional graphic designer – they know the ropes!

Taking on cover design may seem easy at first, but your imagery is just as important as your “blurb”. So sit back and let a professional design your cover. It is the only way to ensure you have proper settings, imagery and finished product to impress your potential audience. It will make or break your book sales!