To Belong-A look into what makes it onto bookstore shelves by author John Abraham-Watne

 

What belongs on the shelves of a bookstore? Sure, there is fiction and non-fiction, but what about the spaces among those overly broad areas? I happen to be “in charge” of part of the Fiction area in my bookstore, but each day is a constant struggle over what should go on the shelves, due to space limitations. Most goes to the “big name” authors who have established careers with the largest publishing houses, but what about the many abundant smaller, independent presses?
Both of my novels, one of which was honored to be read by Marie on the Indie Beginning Podcast, were published by a small independent press here in Minnesota. North Star Press has been cranking out books from Minnesota authors for over forty years, and yet customers will very rarely see their books on our shelves 

(definitely not mine). There is only so much space.

I want to compare and contrast my book with Marie’s and see how they shake out. As I said, mine was put out with the support of a local independent press: they handled the editing, distribution, cover art, and ensuring I had books for my events. Marie’s was made through CreateSpace, which is owned by Amazon (as is GoodReads). She had an artist friend of hers create the cover, and she told me she’s never had an issue getting the book into stores and libraries in the New York area. This is a part of the country in which I thought it would be hardest to break into the literary scene, but perhaps it is not.

51NaprcFwFL._SY346_Here we have two different options for authors just starting out, and I’m not going to tell you which one to choose. All I can do is describe the process for each and let you decide. I had to send NSP the first thirty pages of my manuscript. Once they decided based it was worth publishing, I worked with their editor to get the book into shape. This meant some back and forth over the galleys and the cover art. Once it was ready to go, they were able to place it into every bookstore that I traveled to, whether that was in Minneapolis, Buffalo, or Stillwater. But it still came down to me to flog the book and get it into people’s’ hands, and that meant doing events and reading in front of the few people who would show up to them.

 

I’m going to let Marie tell you in her own words about CreateSpace:

SL“The process is simple-you upload the edited final of your manuscript, or for a price they’ll edit (I use my own editor) that is after you choose the book size, print size, page color, etc. etc.  You then can either upload your own cover work or you can go through their library of cover art, or for another price, work with one of the Create Space specialists (graphic designers) who customize a complete cover for you.  After everything is loaded you can digitally view the book (not the cover), make sure the pages look right, there is not weird cut-offs, no haphazard pages, blanks, anything you can think of. Then you adjust the original file and go through it again.  You then order a proof of the book before CS will allow you to click the market and go live button. You have to look at the entire thing in your hands, cover to cover, adjust if needed or go to marking. Marketing puts you on Amazon, B&N, makes your book available to schools and libraries, puts it on Kobo, Indie Bound, Google Play, and about 10 other wholesale booksellers.  You set up your Kindle, three clicks and boom you’re done.”

She also adds: “CS also emphasizes they are not your agent, or publisher-they are solely your printing company so they are not to be named anywhere on your book-hence ACNBooks being born as an actual business entity.”

Sounds simple enough, right? I have to admit I when I was looking at publishing my first novel I turned my nose downward on an option like this, but Marie has since convinced me that this outlet has made strides in what they can accomplish for authors.
51kz-jrVBJLThis brings me back to my original topic: do independent/small press books belong on the shelf next to those published by the “big” houses (Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and those in Minneapolis like Graywolf)? It is my opinion that they do. In fact, the way the “big” publishing industry works is so bizarre and insular I sometimes wonder why authors even go that way at all. A lot of the books I see come into my used book store were popular for about six months, and then no one seemed to care anymore. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people walk in stacks of old Pattersons and Roberts, which again once they’ve traveled their life from hardcover to soft do nothing but lose value. Is this what you are looking for as a writer? I would hope not. As writers, our goal should be to produce stories that last, that shape the literary world, that affect people. While you can do this with a larger press, it isn’t mandatory.

So how do we get our books put up there with the “big names?” I’m not sure, but I would like to explore this topic more from this column.

You can find John’s books on: North Star Press’s Book Store , Amazon, and  B&N

 

***PLEASE NOTE*** since this article was written a statement from CreateSpace has come out stating that they will soon be merging with KDP, becoming a KDP service.  For more information please read this article from KDP detailing the merge and changes

 

If you are an author, reader, or person in the industry and would like to contribute a feature piece to ACNBooks please submit your topic idea to: mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com

 

 

 

A Moment with Author John Abraham-Watne

 

Abraham-WatneJohn Abraham-Watne is a published author and freelance journalist located in the Twin Cities, where he lives with his wife Mary and their cats Marble and Morrison.

John has conducted freelance journalism on local government issues for the news/entertainment website MinnyApple and local newspaper the Hill & Lake Press.

His debut novel, Our Senior Year, was published in 2014 by North Star Press. His second novel, Last Man on Campus, was published in 2015 by NSP.

51kz-jrVBJL

Next week, John will be discussing what makes it onto bookstore shelves, a more in depth look into the worlds of small presses and self-publishing.

You can follow John on his website , or social media.

 

Who Couldn’t Use A Step-By-Step Guide?

28377611_1689300727800938_4579988130821354517_n(4)Our incredibly talented friend Carmilla Voiez has taken her website into the realms of ‘how to’ with blog posts about the steps to writing a novel.  We at ACN adore everything the author of the Starblood Trilogy, Broken Mirror, and other erotic horrors so why wouldn’t we hook you up with links to her thoughts on content, writer’s block, finding an ending, and editing?

 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part One – Introduction

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part Two – The Blank Page

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part Three – Content and Themes

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part Four – Style

 

With each article release we will place them here together for quick reference, if you have any questions or additions by all means leave a comment!

Ravage: Apocalypse of Wolves and Audiobook Introduction

This week Benjamin Franke narrates the beginning of Ravage: Apocalypse of Wolves by MacCraw. A dark spirit unleashed an un-killable army of werewolves on the world, reinforced by an eternal solar eclipse that will keep its army transformed.

This week’s episode is brought to you by Shirts by Sarah. Head over to shirtsbysarah.com to find the shirt that that transforms your soul. Remember to subscribe to the podcast to keep up to date with the stories and the discussions. And now, get those headphones on tight and don’t worry about that presence you sense just over your shoulder as I introduce you to Ravage: Apocalypse of Wolves.

Ravage: Apocalypse of Wolves is available on Amazon. Remember to leave a review for this story and all stories you read when you finish. Any review left for this story below in the comments of this page will be featured on next week’s episode. You can also help the Indie Beginning Podcast by leaving a 5 star review on ApplePodcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to your shows. Reviews are so important for any project. They promote the show and help us bring you the best content possible. Tune in next week when we talk to indie author MacCraw about his story, keeping popular themes fresh, and more. Indie Beginning is an ACNBooks production. All readings in this episode were performed by Benjamin Franke with permission from the author. Production and editing of the podcast was also done by Ben. Thanks for listening.

Not Letting Your Disability Get in the Way-A Moment With Author LS Beadle

 

 

It all began when I moved to Manchester with my husband Len.  I had gotten a job on the ICU at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where I worked for a year before moving on to the High Dependency Unit. 

51-Ay3zFWjL._SX307_BO1,204,203,200_It was around this same time that I decided to learn to drive; I booked a lesson but the instructor wouldn’t let me get behind the wheel until she was satisfied that my eyesight was up to standard.  It wasn’t.  I couldn’t see the number plate from the required distance. 

From there I had my eyes tested at Boots, where I was referred to the Manchester eye hospital.  I underwent a number of tests and after two years I was diagnosed with Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy, this is an inherited optic nerve disorder.

GARD (Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center) explains that Autosomal Dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) is an inherited optic nerve disorder characterized by degeneration of the optic nerves. Affected people usually develop moderate visual loss and color vision defects. The severity varies and visual acuity can range from normal to legal blindness. There is currently no way to prevent or cure ADOA.

By the time I was diagnosed I had moved onto the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

Six years after qualifying I remained a D grade while all my friends where going up to C and B and completing their IV course so they could administer medications intravenously. I knew, by this time, that I would never be able to pass the IV course because I couldn’t see the writing on the IV vials.

I am now on the partially sighted register and have been for 12 years. I have a retired Guide Dog called Ceris who I qualified with in August 2009. My current Guide Dog, Roxy, is a 2 year old golden retriever and is full of energy. I qualified with her in August 2017.

As for being an author and being partially sighted. Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy hasn’t really stopped me from writing books. 

It has stopped me from reading some books with small print. I then require my strong magnifier; but it’s not a long term solution. Eventually it gives me a headache and I feel nauseous. I sometimes find this while I am researching the art of writing or marketing and promoting. If it’s a paperback book, the writing is sometimes far too small to read.

I normally find that when I wake up in the morning, I like to read for an hour, so I will use my Kindle because I can increase the font size. At the moment I have about 100 books waiting to be read. After reading I sit down and do my research on marketing and promoting often following the advice of an author.

In writing, I will handwrite my first and second draft of a book, then the third draft is where I add and take away things and develop the story by describing places and characters. I normally find that in a typical day I can write from 5000 to 10000 words.

I am one of those authors who feels the need to get their manuscripts edited lots of times. I can’t always tell if I’ve made a spelling mistake. When I read through what I’ve written, even though there may be a wavy line under a word, I can’t always see it.

41Kj2Ut59kL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_When creating characters for my book, I try to make sure they don’t have abnormalities. I escape my problem through my characters. Also my two main characters in my two recent releases are based on my children and I am hoping and praying that they don’t become afflicted with ADOA, although there is a 50% chance if this occurring

To answer how has ADOA affected my writing career?  Well, I have three books out there which I managed to self-publish.  As long as I can increase the font size on the computer screen then I haven’t encountered any problems so far.

For anybody out there reading this post who thinks ‘I can’t be an author, my disability would make it impossible’. Please take stock, because I’m telling you, anything is possible. If you really want to achieve something then just go for it.  I write for the love of it, and if I manage to earn money from my writing then that’s just a bonus.

You can find Leanne’s books on Amazon and B&N .

 

If you are an author, reader, or person in the industry and would like to contribute a feature piece to ACNBooks please submit your topic idea to: mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com

A Moment With Author Leanne Sally Beadle

IMG_-vuabhjLeanne Sally Beadle is a 43 year old stay at home mum and aspiring author. She lives in Keyingham, a small village near Hull in the UK with her husband Len, her two children, William 14 and Sophia 11 and a small menagerie of animals; Ceris, her 11 year old retired Guide Dog and Roxy her two year old current Guide Dog, also Mittens and Whiskers their two adorable black cats.

Leanne studied the Higher Diploma of Nursing (child) at the University of Leeds and upon qualifying she interviewed for a post on the ICU at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital which she got.  She worked on ICU for a year, moving on to High Dependency, then the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. Eventually, she interviewed for ward six at Booth Hall Children’s Hospital which was orthopedics and trauma.

In 2001 Leanna received a huge blow when she was diagnosed with Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy.  She was registered as partially sighted and eventually had to give up working as a nurse.

51iExLxbrkL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_She wrote her first book ‘My Naughty Little Guide Dog’ in February 2016. Nine books sold mostly to friends and family. Her second book ‘William’s Wonderful World of Gaming’ was inspired by her son’s love of Gaming in particular Xbox and PC. Her third and current offering ‘ Sophia’s Wonderful World of Gymnastics was inspired by her daughter’s love of gymnastics. She is currently working on ‘Jet and the Great Snoozy Heist’

 

Next week we will take a look into Leanne’s world; one where she doesn’t let Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy hinder or discourage her from a career in writing.  In fact, in speaking to her she never gave it a chance to hold her back in any way.

Leanne Sally Beadle can be contacted on email at: leannebeadle@sky.com. Her author page can be viewed on her author page

 

 

If you are an author, reader, or person in the industry and would like to contribute a feature piece to ACNBooks please submit your topic idea to: mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com