Editorial Assistance

eBooks Cost Less than Fast Food

Does it ever bother you that books seem so...devalued? They're either so cheap that they might as well be free or they're outright free. At first, I didn't really have a problem with this. For a long time, I couldn't afford anything, let alone books (I was in high school and didn't have a job). That turned me into just the type of person creators dislike. You know, the type of person who dedicates hours of their lives to finding websites where they can illegally get stuff for free.

The main reason I became a book reviewer two years ago was because I knew it was the only way I could legally get books.  Of course, once I got past the "Wow, free books!" phase, reviewing became a passion. I do it now because I like to help authors and readers. Plus, when I upload a review, my opinion at least temporarily matters to someone. That's a good feeling.

Now I get so many books for free that I don't know what to do with all of them beside give them away in large giveaways or sell them.

It's gotten to the point where, whenever I discover a new legal website that gives away hundreds of books or I browse through Amazon's free section, I feel disappointed. I talk to many authors. I'm writing my own books. I know how much work and time goes into writing, publishing, and promoting a book. I'll need to raise thousands of dollars to prepare my books for publication and promotion, yet people will expect me to sell it for less than a dollar.

Whenever I see a book that I knew took a lot of work, I respect the author. I can buy a crappy McDonald's burger for a buck. Something about only spending a buck on something I respect seems...insulting.

How do you feel about the pricing of eBooks? Does it ever bother you, even if you're not an author? 

POV Concerns, Contemporary Fiction and Kickstarter Fears

Okay, so this has nothing to do with anything I plan on discussing in this blog post, but I want to share it anyway because I think it's cool.

Gotta love pirate language. I first tried this out last year. Now that I'm back at it, FB is pretty cool. I love how poking someone is actually shooting a cannon. That's the best part. 

Putting up a blog post at Rambles isn't on my horrendously long to-do list, but that's perfectly fine. Sometimes it's best to say "Screw you!" to your list and do something else. Right now, that something else I feel like doing is blogging. I don't know how many people really read or care about my posts here, but it's not a big deal. As long as I get my thoughts and concerns out, you know?

POV Concerns

In a recent post, I said that I wanted to change Savior of the Damned to third person. All previous six or seven drafts beforehand were in first person. However, I like the story being in first person when Alecia is narrating. Would it be a bad idea to have all chapters told in Alecia's POV, which will be most chapters, in first person and all chapters told in other character's POV in the third person? I saw this format effectively used in River Bottom Blues by Ricky Bush, the book I reviewed over at Reader's Den. 

Contemporary Fiction

I want to have certain books traditionally published and other books self-published. I know for certain that I will most likely self-publish all of my nonfiction books - 15 Unconventional Methods of Promotion and Networking will be my first nonfiction book - and the Savior of the Damned series. However, I do have some contemporary fiction ideas, and I'd prefer those to be traditionally published - preferably by Rhemalda Publishing. 

As it so happens, contemporary fiction is a genre I don't fully understand. I know contemporary fiction is supposed to be fiction told in the present time, but I don't really know what the subgenres are. I know there's women contemporary fiction, but that's about all. Of course, I'm sure I'll probably easily get my answer by searching on Google. Still, your thoughts on contemporary fiction would be much appreciated.

Kickstarter Fears

Next month will be all about raising funds for 15 Unconventional Methods of Promotion and Networking, just like how this month is all about finishing the damn book. I'm exactly 1/3rd of the way through. Anyway, next month I'll be asking for $1500. That's not a whole lot considering how much money others have asked for when it comes to self-publishing, but, for me, a small budget is better than no budget. Plus, I know about plenty of cheap alternatives and DIY methods of promotion and formatting.

Still, I'm terrified that very few will donate to me and that I won't get the money at all. Without that $1500, I'll only have maybe $250 to pay for editing, cover art, formatting, and promotion. That's....ridiculous. I'm already spending $150 on cover art. That's why I'm making sure that I'll have prizes for people who only donate $1 and those who can only donate $5. I'll have to figure out which methods are best when it comes to promoting Kickstarter projects, but I'll figure something out. I always do.

I hope you share your thoughts in the comments section! Here are two songs I really like. The first one is very bass heavy and involves screaming, so, uh, you may wanna turn your volume down or steer clear of that if you hate chaotic nonsense. Me, I love chaotic nonsense (apparently). The second song is so much calmer and more relaxed that if you listen to both back-to-back, you will get whiplash. 

Rude Drivers and Back-to-Back Reviews

Okay, so I don't mean to start this blog post by ranting, but I just have to. Here I am, coming out of a lot to get on the street, when the lady behind me speeds up, almost scratches the side of my dad's car trying to get in front of me in a small lane, and forces me to go to the side so she could get to wherever she had to go at least two seconds faster.

Really? I don't even have my license yet (I'll probably get it next week) and I wouldn't do something that immature and reckless. She was much older too! I'm supposed to be the hotheaded teenager, jeez.

Moving on, moving on...

This will be a busy day. Scratch that, this will be a busy week. My boyfriend graduates tomorrow. Father's day is this Sunday. I have three books to read and review this week. Today I'm reviewing The Fifth Device by Gunther Boccius for Self-Publishing Review. I want this review to be one of my best reviews yet for two reasons in particular:

1.) This is the first book I've been asked to review for Self-Publishing Review. As far as I can tell, Self-Publishing Review isn't a print magazine, but it is an online magazine. I haven't written anything for a magazine since Suspense Magazine in 2010. I want Henry Baum, the man in charge, to feel confident that consistently giving me books to review is a great idea. Plus, I like the idea of getting paid to sporadically write reviews for a magazine. The extra monetary help is much needed. Seriously, this is how I'm planning to pay my cell phone bill. -_-
2.) The Fifth Device, a 462-page book with a large cast of characters and many thoughts on sexuality, politics, corporations, etc., won't be easy to review. There is a lot going on, a lot I want to address. This isn't a book I could have successfully reviewed when I first started writing reviews as a senior in high school. Because I know it's more complicating than the books I usually review, this is a test of my 'skill.' I like tests as long as I'm the one grading myself.

Tomorrow I'm reviewing River Bottom Blues by Ricky Bush. As soon as I turn in the review for The Fifth Device, I'll need to go to Walgreens to get a Father's Day gift and my boyfriend's graduation gift. Then I'll come back home and start reading River Bottom Blues. It's only 186 pages, so I should finish today, even if I get distracted by today's tasks and have to stay up way late to finish it. Of course, Matthew's graduation is tomorrow, so I'm not sure exactly when I'll get to finish the review. However, I know for sure that I will at some point...even if I have to stay up way late. Ah, the life of a freelancer!

Wednesday I'm reading Zombie Candy for a Novel Publicity Whirlwind Tour. I'll be reviewing that Thursday. I love love love being a participant in Novel Publicity's tours. Emlyn Chand, the lady in charge, really gives her all to make sure the tours are fun and full of prizes. Writing for Self-Publishing Review makes me try hard to make sure my reviews are magazine worthy; writing for a Whirlwind Tour makes me try hard to be more creative. You see, those who write the best/most creative review wins $100. From what I've gathered so far, creative entries have a higher chance of winning.

I'll have to start making loan payments June 16th (even though I'll stop making loan payments in August when college starts). Fortunately, I have money put aside for any and all college expenses. It's not much, but it will at least get me through these first few loan payments and the first semester, as far as books go and whatever the loan doesn't cover. I'm hoping I'll have a part-time job at some point so that I won't be struggling too much when that 1000 I set aside for college runs out. Trust me, messing around with college, it will run out very soon.

Of course, I also plan to have my nonfiction novel Unconventional Methods of Promotion and Networking finished and in the hands of some beta readers by June 15th. I would really like to interview some authors about their unique promotional methods, but I'm having a hard time finding authors to interview.

Lately, I've been writing a lot of nonfiction. I can't wait to get back to fiction, though. When college starts, and I put the business on hold, I plan on writing fiction in-between classes and other work. I would love to finish Stepford Smiler (tentative title) or some other contemporary fiction book. I know contemporary fiction would be perfect for Rhemalda. Yeah, I've been making a big deal out of self-publishing lately, but I still very much want to be traditionally published, and starting with Rhemalda would be a dream come true for me.

Speaking of Rhemalda and contemporary fiction, here is a really cool Kickstarter they're doing:

SotD, Self-Help Books, and Reviews

Savior of the Damned

The idea for Savior of the Damned came to me in the 8th grade. I started writing it my freshman year of high school. All throughout high school and the start of college, I struggled with completely getting this story together. You see, Savior of the Damned deals with heavy topics: rape, abuse, prostitution, escapism, unrequited love, growing up, fighting inner demons...No wonder I had such a hard time. One can't expect a wide-eyed fourteen year old with all types of silly notions about what life has to offer to properly handle a book on that scale. This is the type of story that grew with me. It wasn't until I learned something about myself that I could learn something about Alecia, Augustine, and Levistradimus.

Now that I'll be twenty (lolwut?) in three months, I finally think I understand. It's a wonderful feeling. Here are the notes I frantically wrote yesterday while the boyfriend was working on Sylvana, his very awesome RPG:

It's time to take Savior of the Damned up a notch. I finally feel like I've matured enough to take on the heavy topics introduced. I do feel like I need to fully understand all the characters, their relationships with the other characters, and their ambitions and fears. Figuring this out will lead to a richer story overall. Every year, I learn something new about all my characters. I need to get it all written down. I want them all to be multifaceted. I want SotD to go way deeper than just Alecia's issues with escapism. 

My biggest problem was the end. I couldn't figure out a reason why Alecia should want to become the Savior, and the middle of the story can be a bit soupy too. I need to do a better job establishing that fixing Alecia's Mind Realm and getting rid of her supernatural naivety is a main concern in book one. She can't move forward otherwise.

The story will be told in third person, mostly to accommodate the fact that book two and book three require POV switches. Sure, for book one, I'd like to have an early chapter in Levi's POV and later I'd like to show what Doceon did in Hell's Carnivale when he got separated from Alecia, but I don't think switching POVs is too important for book one. SotD really is focused more on Alecia. I considered going into Augustine's POV, since he spends the majority of the story in Mexico with his father, but that would just throw the story off course. I may have a chapter in Officer Clayton's POV when she's leading the chase, but I'm not certain how to effectively pull it off.

Here are the characters I need to further develop immediately:
  • Alecia Crawford
  • Levistradimus Haze
  • Augustine Haze
  • Isaiah Jameson
  • Aezra
  • Doceon
  • Hayner
  • Caitlyn
  • Nero
  • Officer Clayton
I'd like to go more into the dynamics of relationships:
  • Alecia x Levi (SPOILER; current story)
  • Alecia x Danny (teenager; SPOILER)
  • Alecia x Speed (teenager; SPOILER)
  • Alecia x Augustine
  • Levi x Caitlyn
  • Aezra x Isaiah
  • Isaiah x Annabelle
  • Isaiah x Brandi
  • Augustine x Vivica 
I really want the end, where Alecia gets her own ARC, to go out with a bang. I can't show my notes for this section. I mean, MAJOR things happen in the end. However, there will be ghosts, murder, a police chase, time travel courtesy of the Dimension Witch, and an actual meeting amongst all the characters. 


For the longest time, I've been wavering between whether I'd like to have SotD traditionally published or self-published. My mind is made up. It needs to be self-published. Why? I have huge things in store for this story, so huge that the publication will involve Kickstarter, Indigogo, artists, web designers, and game creators.

I've been writing this book for damn near a decade. I refuse to NOT give it the biggest, most unconventional publishing and promotion campaign that I can come up with.

Speaking of unconventional....

Self-Help Book

Okay, so I've just realized something. I start college in two months. I planned to have two self-help books and a course and an interactive website completed by August 20th.

If you're not laughing with me, laugh with me. That's crazy.

However, I am going to publish a book on promotion. It'll be called Unconventional Methods of Promotion and it'll summarize all the odd or different ways I or others have promoted stuff. I planned to have The DIY Guide to Book Promotion: Before Publication done by June 15th. That date is still the same. However, now I plan to have Unconventional Methods of Promotion done by the 15th. Really, it'll be a fun and interesting book to write. It shouldn't take me really long if I keep at it.

What are the best things about this change? First, Unconventional Methods won't require me to ask for 5k at Kickstarter. I won't need to worry about paying for materials to create a course or publishing two books back-to-back. I'll only ask for 1.5k. 1000 will be for editing, cover art, formatting, and a limited amount of print copies for giveaways and close family/friends. The remaining 500 will be for promotion.

This day will be dedicated entirely to working diligently on Unconventional Methods.


At Reader's Den, I review and promote 1-2 books a week. This month alone I'm reading and reviewing eight books, or 2229 pages. By September I will have read and reviewed 50+ books. It's partly why, after September, I'll only do reviews here and there for Novel Publicity book tours, magazines (such as Self-Publishing Review), and Litstack. Reader's Den will instead be dedicated to literary news and comedy. When college starts, there's no way I can read and review two or three books a week anymore. 

So no, I'm not completely giving up as a reviewer. It's something I'm actually good at, and that makes me immensely happy. I'm just slowing my roll, is all.

If you read this whole post, I love you. I know it's a lot, definitely since I haven't updated in ages, so I appreciate your attention in spite of that. Here's music (I wish I could express how inspirational the Legend of Korra music is) and a funny video (warning, there is a lot of cursing):