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Monday, December 27, 2010

Seeing The Light Of Day

What all authors want is for their writing to see the light of the day! Starting January 2nd (New Year's Day IS a holiday, in my book!) I will be finishing the opus that I began for NaNoWriMo 2010, editing it, rewriting it, editing again, rewriting, editing, then sending it off to a professional editor. After which I will independently publish it.

Publishing will be the first step in the process of actually doing something with my work - getting it seen by someone other than a close friend. I do have books out there, but they are compendiums of reviews and interviews that I have done in the Tarot world. Getting to the actual published product requires feedback of some kind. One way to do this is to join a critique group. I have not taken that step yet, and don't intend to with this book. I will have my book professionally edited, and will act on the editors suggestions. I have an idea that my voice will become stronger and more focused with the help of a good editor!

What else can I do to get feed back? I have been thinking about entering different levels of contests in my genre (mystery), just to have my work out there. I had not even considered that I would be getting some good feedback for my efforts. I will definitely be doing this!

The other thing that I have to start doing is to pay attention to the "how" of other writers. How are they writing? How are their presenting their characters POV? What is currently popular in my genre? How is the writing world changing? My aim is to be able to change with it in a very smooth fashion.

The year 2011 will see many changes for me - not the least of which will be having my first book published. (In the field of Tarot.) May each of my writer friends embrace their new year with passion and intent!

(c) December 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers who celebrate Christmas, as I do. Happy Holidays to all of my readers that celebrate other holiday traditions. This post is my way of giving back to the writing world. I am gong to share some links here that I found of value, and that you may also. Waitng for Mercury retrograde to finish writing my NaNoWriMo book, and then to begin editing/rewriting it.

http://http//www.blogaid.net/resources This is a link to video tutorials for Word Press Text Editor, and for Working With Images On Web Resizer.

http://http://www.publaw.com/ This is a link to the Publishing Law Center.

http://http://www.grammarbook.com/english_rules.asp This is a link to a site on grammer and punctuation rules.

http://http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/ This is a link to an excellent blog on writing.

http://http://circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com/2010/12/marketing-tip-library-love.html This is a linnk to an excellent article on marketing tips.

http://http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/how-to-write-the-first-draft-writing-tips-from-writers/ This is a link on how to write a first draft.

http://http://www.write-thing.com/2010/05/12/making-a-writing-bible-an-essential-tool-for-story-writers/ This is a link to writing a Bible for your book.

I hope that you enjoy these links, and fnd them as useful as I did. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, and a Joyous Holiday Season!

(c) December 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

RIP NaNoWriMo

I want to begin by congratulating all of my fellow writers that made their 50,000 words or greater for NaNoWriMo. You have accomplished a tremendous goal, and I hope that many of you choose to publish your work.

I was sitting here this morning (very early morning!), looking at a 42,600 word count, and less than 24 hours to make it to 50,000. Willie Nelson came to my rescue - "Know When To Hold 'em, Know When To Fold 'em". I am folding, hopefully in a graceful manner. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it. On the days that I could write, my characters took over the story and ran with it. They are to be applauded!

There were many more days when I distracted myself in any and all possible ways so that I did not have time to write. For keeping me sane, I want to thank my friend Ali. She posted this link, and I played the video over, and over, and over again. http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SUoY-bfweg&feature=player_embedded.

I am going to finish this book, and publish it (Create Space, here I come!) The first thing I am going to do is to take the time to go back over what is already written, and tighten it up. Then I will finish the story. Then I will do at least two edits/rewrites. Then I will outsource it to an editor that does this kind of thing for a living. Then I will get my baby out there.

One thing I know - writing full length fiction is much harder than full length non-fiction! Another thing I know is that I am glad t hat I started writing a Bible from the very beginning. There are too many details about characters, as well as settings, to keep straight in my mind. And time lines ... it is not easy to keep them straight. It just is not.

Will I do NaNoWriMo again next year? Yes, I will. Maybe I will even finish!

(c) November 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Monday, November 15, 2010

Still In Shock!

Today NaNoWriMo reached it's half-way point. Looking around in shock ... I have more than half of the words necessary to "win", at 28,012. Do they make any sense? Some of them do, while others will need "a little help". I still don't have a crime (this is a mystery cozy), and my perpetrator refused to comply - he would rather be a "good guy". Another character wanted to be his wife, rather than his victim. The good thing is - they fit well into the story. ;-)

There will have to be a good deal of "after the fact" research, as I am placing my story in and around San Francisco, and I have never been to San Francisco. Much of the action will be taking place in a luxury spa - again, no first hand experience. I am making notes, so that before writing the sequel (this is meant to be the first in a series) I can experience what I am writing about. (Make note - need to win the lottery to foot this bill!)

Mentally, I am moving forward to putting this book in front of the public. By necessity it will be sent to a professional editor. And I will act on his/her suggestions. I am going to put this in the hands of professionals for submission in both print and e-book format to ... heck, to whoever will accept it!

Video trailer on my professional site (which will soon move to Word Press), with separate video trailer on You Tube. Research Internet radio shows to guest on, research blogs to wander through (wander through with intent!), send out promo copies for review.

Deep breathe - I can do this!

(c) November 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 1 - NaNoWriMo

Big announcement – I have just survived my first week of NaNoWriMo! So proud of myself! Relatively close to my intended word count (ideally, I would be at 14,000 words, in reality I am at 12,306), with my characters behaving reasonably well. They do have their own minds, but the pieces are coming together nicely.

I am so happy that I decided to do character profiles, rather than just “jumping in”. I do find that I have to refer to my profiles (which I printed out for easy reference) in order to keep them “in character” with dress, mannerisms and speech. I also found the literal backdrop of what their houses etc looked like as I placed them in the story settings. I am having to do a bit of quick research as I go along, because I choose to place them in luxury settings, and upscale professions. None of which this middle American knows anything about!

I am going to do more work tonight on the plot, although it seems to be flowing relatively well so far. This is a cozy mystery … I have the backdrop for the mystery, but have not decided what the mystery is yet. The character that I had intended to be the villain wanted an entirely different place in the story – and he wanted a wife! I thought the character that turned out to be the wife would be the mystery – someone who disappeared long ago, presumed dead. Not so, Sherlock! I have a pretty good feeling that this character will lead me to the real mystery.

An elite, private, international style spy organization has popped up too. I never expected that one! Completely blindsided me. I may have to write a chapbook about the process of writing this book!

More next week!

© November 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Friday, October 29, 2010

Changing Plot Theme for NaNoWriMo

In the process of defining my characters, a bolt of lightening came down and smacked me! The characters that I was defining were based on the plot - not the other way around. Maybe that would work, maybe not. What wasn't going to work was that the plot was for a very involved story that was light years away from a cozy mystery - and this book, my very first NaNoWriMo book, is meant to be the first in a series of cozy mysteries!

Toss that plot, not a problem. I do have several more at the ready, and I went straight to one that I have been developing in my head for some time now. It involves an elite spa, a stunningly unique Tarot deck that was painted in the early 1980's, and a group of people that were in and out of each other's lives during that time.

The deck was unique in that it was drawn by hand, presented at a small gathering of Tarot afficianados, and then disappeared, along with the artist. The figures on the deck were people that were prominent in the Tarot world at that time, and the scenes were taken from the area in which they lived.

Is the deck resurfacing, and, if so, is the artist also resurfacing? Why did he disappear? Why are certain people very nervous at the thought that he may be reappearing?

Off to develop a new cast of characters!

(c) October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Importance Of SEO

We all nod our head that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important. As writers, we want our work to be found, and to be read. Unless we wear two hats - writer and techie - we are probably a bit (or more than a bit!) haphazard with our SEO work. The importance of SEO was brought home to me this past week, when I was contacted by an individual that was looking specifically for information that was contained in an article that I had just written. It was a two part article (with the second part going up this weekend), and she was looking for the second part to use in work that she is going to be doing int he coming week. I was thrilled that she found my article, and even more thrilled that she was searching out Part 2!

Here are some things that should be taken into consideration in optimizing your site:

1. Is your content relevant?
2. Are you linked to other sites?
3. Is your site frequently updated?
4. Is your header relevant to your content?
5. Are your keywords repeated?
6. Does your content provide something of value to your site visitors"
7. Are your site pages linked in a logical manner?
8. Is your content clear, concise, and does it offer value?
9. Do you have a clear picture of who your site visitors are?
10. Do you have a clear idea of what is currently important/of interest in your market?

Note: SEO as I am addressing it here is for unpaid, or algorhythmic search results. If you are looking for paid results for your site, you would need to take different steps towards optimizaiton.

One last note - I just came across Google's Website Organizer, whic is a free service that checks your site for . While i have not used it yet, I am going to run my site through it, and see how bad a shape I am in! To try this on your site, go to .

(c) October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Defining Your Characters

This is my first time writing for NaNoWriMo - no pressure at all! I am takng the next few days to define my characters, after which I will be working on defining theme and plot. I have five characters in mind so far:

1. My protagonist.
2. An oriental gentleman that moves the story along, appearing and disappearing at will.
3. The (allegedly) deceased father of my protagonist.
4. A mysterious woman who is connected to the allegedly deceased father.
5. A close friend of the allegedly deceased father, who has taken on the role of mentor since the father's alleged death.

The areas that I am going to use to define them are:

1. Age
2. Physical characteristics
3. Career/work environment
4. Home environment
5. Family/cultural background
6. Friends
7. Schooling

This should give me a fairly good idea of what drives my characters, and how they will act/react in any given situation. That's the plan, anyway! I am quite sure that in the end they will take over the keyboard, and I will end up as the editor, and not the author!

(c) October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Sunday, October 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Moving Forward

This is my first year participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I am incredibly excited about this whole thing! I want to be very ready to begin writing at 12:01 am on November 1st, 2010. To that end, I am doing two things: defining my characters, and defining my plot. (The theme is set - the book will be the first in a series of cozy mysteries with a female lead character.) Throw in a few felines, some esotericism, and loads of independent thinking ... and you have my book!

A few notes about what I need to do to define my characters:

1. Visualize their physical characteristics.
2. Visualize where they live.
3. Visualize where they work.
4. Visualize who they socialize with.
5. Create their back story.
6. Visualize their strengths and weaknesses.

A few notes about defining my plot:

1. Why is my lead character involved in the story at all?
2. How are the secondary characters involved in the plot?
3. How can I best create false trails of evidence?
4. How close do current events do I want to tie the storyline?
5. What kind of ending do I want?
6. How can this plot lead to the the next plot in what I envision as a series of mysteries?

(c) October 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – I have been following NaNoWriMo for several years now – starting when my good friend Winter Wren took part in it. Last year it was all over Twitter, so this year I decided that it was my time to “test the waters”.

Every November this contest is held. The objective is to write a novel (50,000 words) in one months time. Whew! That is close to 2,000 words a day! I am perhaps luckier than most writers, because I only have myself and my cats to take care of, so I have the time to devote to this. I have a job that pays the bills, of course, but in the main my time is my own.

I have already gone into the site - http://www.nanowrimo.org - set up an account, named my novel (The Rosenwald Papers), and set the genre (Mystery, Thriller, Suspense). During the next month I will develop a probable plot, flesh out a couple of the characters, write a synthesis of my story to place online, and put together a chapter outline.

I also went into “Regions” online and picked three regions that were close to me, defininf one of them as my home region.

I plan to hit the ground running on this one, and come out with, at the least, 50,000+ words that are good enough to form the basis for the first in a series of mystery novels that I have had running around in my brain for a long time.

I hope to see many of my on line friends doing NaNoWriMo also! See you there!

© September 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Developing Characters

I have had a cozy mystery series in mind for several years now. I know that the lead character will be female, that there will be cats involved, and a touch of esotericism and magick. Where I am right now is in the process of defining my lead character. I have given her a name many times – only to let it go, as not the “right” name. So I decided to define her character first – what makes her tick, what her back story is, why I would ant to know her, what she has to tell me. In doing this, I know that she will tell me her name, which is how it should have been all along!

Once I have my lead character defined, I will know what type of secondary character she would surround herself with – sometimes intentionally, sometimes incidentally. Life happen, you know! I am sure that one or more of the “support cast” will want a larger role. My hope is that they will be satisfied with a recurring role.

I also know that the plots will often revolve around my characters back story – what she has gone through will be more important that what she is currently going through. What got her where she is has greater relevance than where she is.

Out of this murky past will come both the victims and the villains – all painted in shades of gray. Bright colors cast into the shadow of their deepest, darkest secrets.

Is every ending going to be a happy one? Every ending will be an ending, but it will also act as a beginning for the next book. This is a series, after all!

How long are my books going to be? I will start writing, and stop writing when the story is over. If I go through a publisher, I may need to cut down words, or add words. If I self publish, I get to be as wordy as I want to be – within reason! If I self-publish, I will avail myself of the services of en independent editor, who hopefully has the guts to tell me where my story needs tightening up, what I need to let go of, and what I need to expand.

Life is good!

© September 2010 Bonnie Cehvovet

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Soul Purpose

I just finished reading a very interesting article on identifying and living your soul purpose. Why do author’s need to know about this? Does it just give us ammo for a new storyline, or perhaps justification (i.e. a “reason”, or “purpose”) for becoming a writer? Writing is an extension of who we are – it allows us to express our beliefs, our way of being, in many different formats. We don’t need a reason, or justification of any kind, to do this.

Soul purpose goes to the core of who we are as individuals, it speaks to what we are here for in this lifetime – our very reason for being here. When we are aligned with our soul purpose, life has a very nice flow to it – things go smoothly, what we need comes to us in a timely fashion, with very little effort, and with no strings attached.

There are some easy “tells” that will let you know that you are not aligned well with your soul purpose:

1. You are not happy with your work/career – you no longer find it fulfilling.
2. Long-term relationships are falling away, and you don’t understand why. 3. You want to relocate, but are not sure where you want to go.
4. Your career life, personal life (or both) seem to have come to a standstill.
5. Your health is not what it once was, or what you would like it to be.

Yes’s to one or more of the above indicate to me that a little “time out’ is necessary. You cannot envision your big dream, much less achieve it, when your life is not functioning!

I don’t have a stock answer as to how we discover our soul purpose. From my own experience, I can say that, generally speaking, what I am fighting in my life is what I need to pay attention to. If I am drawn to something, t hat is whee my focus and intent need to go.

The Internet has many resources, as does your public library. Take the time to identify your soul purpose, and your life as an author will thank you!

© September 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New e-Book Information

New and interesting information coming my way in regard to e-book publishing. In a review done by her local newspaper, writer Terri Main discusses her upcoming book, “Dark Side of the Moon”, which has been accepted for publication by Canadian e-book publisher MuseItUp Publishing. She also has two short stories that are due to be published by MuseItUp Publishing next summer.

What really grabbed me about the interview was the mention of the e-venues that her book will be available in, including e-readers Kindle and Nook, various smartphone applications and websites http://smashwords.com , http://fictionwise.com , and http://ereader.com .

I checked out MuseItUp Publishing, and they publish in multiple genres (including cozy mystery – the genre that I would love to break into!). They give precise information about submitting your work, including dates and formatting. I may do NaNoWriMo (hope I got that right!) this year – using that opportunity to move into the first draft of my first cozy.

I still have to go into my Kindle account and edit my book – it did not upload well format wise. In fact, it is so bad that I might delete it (if I can), and start the process over again. I can edit html, but that is one heck of a lot of pages of editing!

This week I start on my second Tarot book. I have the outline done, and I think there are places that I can go with it that don’t include the trash! ;-)

© August 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Sky Is Falling!

Incredible learning curve on book publishing! Sent my manuscript in, thought all was well with the Western world. Wrong! Oh, the manuscript is okay – waiting to be looked at after the spring books are put in place. This was to be expected. What was not expected was the little e-mail telling me that I was expected to have the graphic images handed in with my work, as I was primary on the contract.

This is a book (mine) and deck (someone else’s) venture. I am happy to be associated with this deck – the author/illustrator is a lovely lady, and the deck is phenomenal. I made the ultimate faux pas in assuming that we would hand things in separately. That “assume” word came back to bite me. It appears that all is (or soon will be) well. Our editor will send a template to the artist, she will get the deck scans in order, send them to me, and I will send them to our editor. Hopefully all of this works out. I am aging rapidly here!

I do have the outline for my next book done, so I will begin work on that book within the next week or so – if only to take my mind off the first book!

I had an interesting post in my e-mail this am, from author Joanna Penn (http://TheCreativePenn.com). It seems that Seth Grodin, best selling author of business oriented books, has made the decision to move away from print publishing to go directly to his reader public via his blog, videos, e-books and other digital media. This is a thought that I have been contemplating for a while now (as I am sure have many authors).

Joanna has a great video up explaining her thoughts on Grodin’s action. It can be seen here: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2010/08/24/seth-godin-gives-up-on-traditional-publishing/.

Lots to think about here! Wishing you all a great writing week!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blogging As A Promotional Tool

I have been blogging (here, on Word Press and on Live Journal - each blog with a different, specific purpose)for some time now. As I define new directions in both my private and professional lives, the effort behind my blogging will be ramped up. Therein lies the problem. I have been spending a lot of time researching what constitutes a good blog, how to attract traffic, how and when to guest blog, and blog rankings, amongst other things. My head is spinning!

I do not want to be a professional blogger! I want to continue to enjoy writing my blogs, providing content, personal opinion (I do have a few of those!)and access to the availability of purchasing my books. (I promise to be very gentle with your checkbook/credit card!)

What I am trying very hard not to do is to get lost in the process - to take my attention away from my professional work and make the blog itself too high a priority. Quite frankly, right now I am standing here, hands on hips, fuming about how to bring traffic to my blogs without making the blog itself my priority. Hello blogs - you are a promotional tool, not the be all, end all of my promotions! Can we reach a truce here?

As in all things, my Cappie personality rushes to the fore. Like Mr. Sinatra, I will do things my way! ;-)

(c) August 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Saturday, August 7, 2010

End Notes

I finished proofreading my WIP Thursday, and coded it yesterday (Friday). For the most part I am happy with it - I think it says what I want it to say. Now I have to take today to write up the promo material, and next week I will get it sent off to my editor.

One thing that I am very happy about - the reference books that I needed to keep available have now been replaced in their proper locations. That certainly frees up some energy! I love my books, but they were taking up space!

Where do I go from here? Several directions - at the same time! ;-) I will be focusing on how to promote this project (my book, an artist friend's deck), and a promotion schedule. I know that the mss will be coming back from my editor with "suggestions" that will need to be acted on. I am thinking about the topic for my next Tarot book, about e-books on personal empowerment, about where to place my flash fiction, and firming up thoughts on a cozy mystery series.

I am coming to a better understanding of how artists and authors can be so into a specific porject, but when that project is done, one moves on to the next. We promote the first project, we don't forget it, but we move on to new thngs. It is not good to become all too attached to what we are doing/have done/will be doing.

Life is for the living - and we need to dream, and live, to our fullest potential.

(c) August 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Proofreadng, Submitting, Promoting

In a very good place with my current project – it is written, put together in order (don’t ask!), and ready for proofreading. Then I have to code it and get it out to my editor. I am really, really pleased with the way that this is turning out. Everything is coming together, there are no loose threads, and I think it will stand on its own. Whew!

Now my partner and I (I wrote the book, she is both artist and author for the Tarot deck that accompanies it) are looking at promotional venues. I am looking at blogging, and getting a professional Face Book page up, as the book/deck set will not be available until fall 2011. I think I may also get some articles out there on the subject, linking back to my blog and my site, as well as my Face Book page.

I want to have my author Twitter site feed into my author Face Book page, and possibly my author site. (Coding and I do not tend to get along too well!)

A great source of information for both getting your work up, and promoting it, is Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s site - http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com/. Carolyn offers both books and services related to writing and promoting books. She helped me get my last Tarot book up on http://Amazon.com, for which I will forever be grateful! She can be found on Face book, and on Twitter (@frugalbookpromo.

Off to plan out the rest of my Sunday!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's All In The Process

I am on the home stretch in finishing my first book that is actually going to a brick and mortar publisher (Schiffer Books). I started out with a firm idea of what I wanted to say, and that has not flagged. Content and chapter organization were not a problem. However, I did hit a stretch of time where I was not writing – thinking that I had “plenty of time” to get this book out.

Needless to say, now I have to push to get it done in time! I still have the time to do that, and the writing is going well, so I’m not all that concerned. What I have found is that at one point I had to take out a section that would have repeated itself in all twelve chapters, and give it separate space (to hit a somewhat limited word count), Then a couple of chapters later I found that I wanted to add a small section on to bring each chapter to a more definitive close.

I am also working with a collaborator (my book will be coming out with an accompanying Tarot deck that, while it is part of the set, is completely separate project wise) to set up a specific marketing tool on her site. This caused me momentary angst (I am not a techie, the marketing tool is relatively high tech), but my collaborator volunteered to place it on her site, and her techies are working with it. It is now up and looks great, than heavens! (Not quite ready to go public, though.)

My mind is wandering (with intent, but still wandering) into the area of promotion and marketing. The book/deck set will not be available until fall 2011, but, as a Cappie (Capricorn), I like to plan ahead … way ahead! I am looking at blogs , Podcasts and Internet radio at this time. Not even thinking about in store appearances (I am not a public person – the thought of in store appearances gives me ulers!).

I also have to think about how I want the page for this book on my site to look. It needs more than a photo of the cover, a few clever wrds and a couple of purchasing links. I am thinking about releasing a template for working with the material in this book (Tarot Birth Cards), as well as one chapter.

So much to do … so little time!

© July 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Finding Your Voice

Help! I need to find my voice! Fortunately, that is a problem that I have never had as a writer –whether I am writing articles, reviews, or stories, I always hear the voice that is mine. If I step back, it comes forward and shapes the words for me. While the foundation is the same, my voice will vary, depending on what I am writing – but it always stays true to who I am.

How do we define this voice that we write with? It is how we say what we want to say. If we are not true to who we are, to the “how” of writing, our words not only will not flow, they will sound forced and “not true”. We need to be able to articulate our feelings, to put our emotional sense about an issue on paper. We need to be able to write with transparency, and feel comfortable doing so.

Our voice consists of the words that we use, the punctuation that we use, how we develop our characters, how we present the dialogue

Go back and reread the writers that you admire. What about their sense of writing feels comfortable to you? Try writing in the different styles that you are attracted to until you find the ones that you feel best express who you are as a person. Our writing is out there for the world to see – knowing this, we need to be able to look in the mirror and feel proud of the person staring back at us!

Write – above all, write. Keep a journal, write a blog, write stories, write books, do writing exercises – keep writing! As you explore different voices, you will begin to recognize that inner feeling of “This is it!” And this will very naturally differ from project to project. Allow the project to help determine the voice, and you will do well.

Another key is to reread several different projects that you have done. A true voice will carry from project to project – it may be presented in a slightly different manner, but the sense of who you are will carry through in all of your work. This, above all, is the importance of voice.

Step out of your own way, and let the writing begin!

© July 2910 Bonnie Cehovet

Thursday, July 1, 2010

e-Books and e-Boook Readers

e-Books and e-Book Readers

Six months ago I was still in a state on indecision about e-books, and whether they were going to be part of my writer’s life or not. With the release of the iPad ( hugely successful!), one stumbling block has been removed – the price of the e-book readers! Kindle (Amazon.com) has gone from $259 to $189. The Kindle reader is now marketed through Target stores. There is also a free Kindle application for computers, the iPhone and the Blackberry. I have used it on my laptop, and it works well.

Barnes and Noble has a wi-fi Nook e-book reader for $149. The price of the 3G compatible Nook has dropped from $259 to $199.

Sony has an e-reader that comes in three versions, ranging from $349.99 to $169.99.

What this means for us as writer’s is that the affordability (and availability) of the reading devices makes it easier for us to reach a larger audience – and make more sales! The upside is that e-books are relatively easy to format and put in place. The downside – the formatting is not the same for the various e-book readers.

Create Space (http://createspace.com) formats material for print books for Amazon.com, and for e-books through Kindle. I have one project out through this format, and I found it very easy to do, with my book up on the site almost immediately.

Smashwords (http://smashwords.com) utilizes software that formats material for several different e-formats, including those compatible with Kindle, iPad, Nook and Sony. To reach a larger audience, wit the least amount of work possible, I am seriously contemplating working with Smashwords on my next e-books. A free Smashwords Style Guideline e-book can be downloaded here -http://www.smashwords.com/books/download/52/1/latest/0/0/smashwords-style-guide.pdf. An excellent interview on how Smashwords works can be seen here - http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com/book_marketing_maven/2010/04/how-to-make-your-books-available-in-multiple-ebook-formats-interview-with-mark-coker-of-smashwords.html. A big take-away for me from this interview were two things – Smashwords services are free, and their “take” from the sales is only 15%.

From my point of view, e-books are something that as authors we can get out in minimal time, get decent exposure, and get our names known. I love print books – they will always be a part of my life, but e-books have a solid (and growing) base.

Here’s to the future!

© July 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A World In Transition

The publishing world is in transition. E-books and self-published books are no longer only for niche markets, they are recognized as legitimate ways for authors to get their material out to the public. Does this mean that publishing has suddenly become easy? Well, not exactly. Any path that an author takes to publish their work has a certain amount of responsibility to it.

Edit your work, for a start. Punctuation, spelling, flow of thought – once you have gone through and made your changes, have someone else edit it. Bit the bullet, and have it professionally edited. It is not hard to hit Google and find someone to work with here. This is excellent use of time and funds – as authors, we are too close to our work, and can easily miss significant errors/

Format your work for the venue that it is going into. E-book, POD, self-publishing sites like Create Space – they all have a specific format hat they want material submitted in. Follow their format, and you won’t have as many problems. Not being a techie, my learning curve may be greater than most people’s. However, I do get there in the end. And when I do, I can look back and see that if I had read the formatting requirements closely the first time, I would not have had any problems. If all else fails … read the directions!

Fine tune your bio, and the blurb that goes on the back cover. These two things may make the difference between your book selling, and your book not selling. Oh, and that front cover … pay attention to color, font size and type, and imagery. Your cover needs to reflect the tone of your book – it should attract the type of reader that can use the material that you are offering, whether it is technical advice or the next number one fiction best seller.

Understand that marketing is your responsibility, and that you need to think about how you are going to market your material at the same time your are creating it – and not after the fact. Look to your own strengths, and then research how you can use these strengths in a marketing campaign. And those uber important social networking sites? Please treat them with respect! Build a following by providing content, and continue to provide content, making your followers feel that they are a part of the process of creating your product, whatever it is. Under no circumstances do you want to spam them with a thousand messages to go buy your book! Treat your list as you wish to be treated. See how your favorite authors are handling their promotions, then model yourself after them.

We all have stories to tell – it is time to tell yours!

© June 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Self-Publishing

On June 3rd, the WSJ (Wall Street Journal) ran a wonderful article on “Vanity Press” – authors that choose to publish outside of the traditional publishing house structure. While the big publishing houses are taking note of this phenomenon, they don’t necessarily give it credence. According to the WSJ, things that the big publishing houses take into consideration are the fact that self-published titles tend to “disappear”, due, in part, to poor editing and lack of reviews. (Note to self: Start researching possible review venues!)

On-line self-publishing is starting to look like an entirely different story. There are resources being offered for hiring a publicist, or a marketing specialist, finding a freelance editor and even distribution venues. It takes a little money, but could make the difference between a book making an impact or not.

As digital self-publishing becomes more popular, the process, and the rewards, are being fine-tuned. One of these rewards, of course, would be the percentage of the sale that goes to the author. Bottom line for most of us. Several different self-publishing venues were highlighted in this article:

Amazon.com CEO for Amazon.com is Jeff Bezos. The product offered is Kindle Digital Text Platform, which offers the opportunity for both authors and publishers to upload e-books for sale on Amazon.com. The main reader for this venue is the Kindle e-reader. According to the WSJ, later this month (June, 2010) 70% of the price of the book will go to authors.

Barnes & Noble CEO for Barnes & Noble is William Lynch. According to this article, later this summer (2010) authors and publishers will be able to upload books to Barnes & Nobles e-bookstore through a venue entitled Publit. The main reader for this venue is Nook. To date, no revenue share terms have been announced.

Apple CEO for Apple is Steve Jobs. Authors can upload and distribute their work through the Apple iBookstore. The main reader for this venue is the iPad (with the iPhone soon to follow, according to this article). Authors receive 70% of the price of the e-book.

LuLu CEO for Lulu is Bob Young. Lulu is both a print and digital self-publishing company. There is no charge for publishing, but the company does offer a range of services that are charged for. It is up to the author to decide what they want to work with. Lulu.com takes 20% of the revenue from each sale.

Smashwords Mark Coker is founder of Smashwords. This site offers a digital distribution platform which supports a variety of e-bookstores, including Sony, Apple and Barnes & Noble. Authors receive 85% of the net proceeds from the sale of their e-books.

FastPencil CEO of FastPencil is Steve Wilson. FastPencil offers social networking features for authors to simplify the process of writing and creating books. The site also offers services for publishing in both print and e-book format.

Scribd CEO for Scribd is Trip Adler. Scribd offers publiscation of documents that can be read online or on a range of mobile devices.Authors can give their e-books away for free, or sell them on the site. Authors get an 80% share of revenue.

Author Solutions CEO for Author Solutions is Kevin Weiss. There are several imprints for this site, including AuthorHouse, iUniverse and Xlibirs. Authors are charged for preparing, marketing and selling their work.

My personal POV is that digital publishing has come into its own. I see it as having a solid, legitimate place in the future. Getting our work out there in the most economical manner possible is what we all want to do. We have choices to make, as authors – choices that now offer a wide landscape of possibilities.

May we all make our voices known!

(c) June 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Create Space

I had heard of Create Space, and had friends publish there, but I wasn't sure if it was for me or not. As part of my reinventing my author "self", I created a Twitter identity for my work as an author (@bonniecehovet). In a conversation there with the amazing Carolyn Howard-Johnson, I found that I had some misconceptions about Create Space - the biggest one being how much it would cost me to get a book up.

I could do the basic prep work myself - format, add the page numbers, convert to PDF etc. This allowed me to put my book up (with ISBN number!) free! That's right - it did not cost me a penny! I chose to put it up on Amazon.com as a print book, and on Kindle as an e-book. In this way, I feel that it will reach a fairly large audience. It is a nich book (Tarot interviews), so the audience will be somewhat limited.

I just ordered a preview copy, and am hoping that I do not have to make any chnages. I used the site template for the book cover and back, and am very, very pleased with the result. I chose cream colored pages (which you can do if all that you have is text), which I think will make a "statement" presentation.

That I could get this out while working on a contracted book (for Schiffer Books) is to me absolutely amazing! The good word for the day - as authors, we can make things happen!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Knee Deep In ...

Knee deep in setting up my author page for Twitter (@BonnieCehovet) – have a fair start with publishers and marketers, now I need to add some authors!. I just realized that I should set up a separate author’s page for Face Book too – not sure that I want to do that, but I probably should. I choose to procrastinate on that!

I am actively promoting my first Tarot e-book, so that is a start. I was pleased to see some sales from the original promotion – now I need to build on that.

I am doing some flash writing for World Tarot Day, and I may do some flash writing for this blog, as well as look for flash writing contests in the mystery genre.

Writing continues on my Tarot print book – I am incredibly excited about this – my first print book! (I have been in Tarot anthologies before, but never a solo book.)

© May 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What A Day!

I absolutely cannot believe this! I tried to sign in to post a new blog - and my blog no longer existed! I had to set the whole darn thing up over again! The lovely template that I had been using no longer existed - not real happy about that. But, oh well, I am here again!

I have a Tarot e-book out - available from my site, http://bonniecehovet.com. It is entitle "Women In Tarot", and is a series of nterviews that I have done over the years with women in the Tarot field that are making an impact.

I have an upcoming POD book ready to go that will include most of the interviews that I have done over the year with Tarot artists and authors. I have to get the funding together for that, at which time it will go on Createspace.

I have also inked a contract with Schiffer Books for a Tarot/Empowerment crossover book that will be coming out in the fall of 2011. It is based on Tarot Birth Cards, using the two card system. I will be writing more here about that as time goes on.

I have a second book in mind to submit to Schiffer Books after the first one is in - not quite ready to talk about the content here, other than to say that it will be based on the Major Arcana.

I am still looking at the mystery fiction market - more than likely stories at first, and then full ut novels.

Stay tuned!