Friday, July 26, 2013

Review - Self Publishing Books 101


Self Publishing Books 101
Helping You Get Published And Noticed!

Author: Shelley Hitz
ISBN #978-1-47510459-2

Shelly Hitz is a self-published author, and founder of She writes and teaches from her own personal experience. While one might say that a small book like this (48 pages) is simply a come-on to go visit her site, that is not a bad thing. This book is filled with usable information, and Shelley’s site is filled with free resources to help individuals (1) get published, and (2) get noticed! These resources take the form of book templates, articles, a newsletter, tele-classes, special reports, e-books, webinars, podcasts, videos and more.

Whether writing or speaking, Shelley has a style that is clear, concise, and that one can easily relate to. She writes and speaks with a purpose, from her own experience. She doesn’t wander aimlessly around. How do I know this? Because I am self-published also … I have taken the same journey that Shelley took into researching self-publishing. In the end, we made the same choices: Create Space for POD books, and Kindle for e-books.    

In a few short pages, Shelley cover a myriad of publication details: what self publishing is all about, prospective costs (and the questions we need to ask ourselves), cover design, software options, self-publishing companies and what they offer, Create Space and what it offers, background on obtaining and ISBN # (and what an ISBN # really is and does for a book), and obtaining a copyright (this is an option, not a necessity).

The information is clear, and offers the reader options. At the end of the book there is a listing of other resources available through Shelley and her site. My advice – this book is a great starter, then head on over to her site! There is no excuse for not getting your material out there!

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction prohibited in any venue without the written permission of the author.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

As writers, we look for very specialized help. I recently met an individual that offers many of these services. I met her in her capacity as a writer, but her chops as a mentor to writers are astounding! Her name is Jamie Morris, and her site is What does she offer? 

In a word - support. Support for writers. She offers support to writers of all levels of experience,  through writing workshops, intermediate/advanced critique groups, weekend writing intensives, and specialized presentations on the craft and process of writing. Jamie offers creative inspiration for writers that is grounded in the principles of the craft.

She offers individualized support, through coaching, editing, and literary critique services. Her aim is to help you move your project forward, and to help provide direction and insight. On her site you will find a listing of AWA (Amherst Writers and Artists) workshops, book writer's workshops (great for those with a WIP), book writer's critique group, and more.

Jamie also offers a newsletter that you can sign up  for on her site, along with a multitude of testimonials, and a clear vision of her credentials and coaching style.

 If you are looking for help in any of the above areas, check Jamie out. She is easy to talk to, highly creative, and wants to see those around her succeed!

(c) 2000 - 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any cenue prohibited without written permission of the author.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Patricia Kelly Designs

This week I am going to be talking about quite an interesting lady that I met on Facebook. Her name is Patricia Kelly, and she is a graphic designer. This is a good lady for any author to know! As we all find out sooner or later, we are the ones who have to promote our own work (especially those of us that are Indies). Aside from editors, proof readers, and beta readers, we need people in out network that can help us with the visuals for promoting our work. (I am most definitely NOT artistic in any way, shape, or form!

Patricia is based in Palm Beach, Florida. She is a graphic artist, production assistant, and does photo retouching.  She has experience in ad layout and design, and has strong skills in Adobe Photoshop. She also works with press releases ... that could very well come in handy for an author! Patricia works with both Mac and PC. 

There is quite an interesting portfolio of her work up on her site. Wherever you are in your WIP, at some point you have to think about promotion. It might be a good idea to keep this lady in mind!

More information can be found on Patricia Kelly's site. Those who know me will understand why her landing page brings a smile to my face!

(c) 2000 - 2013 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction in any venue is prohibited without written permission from the author.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Outline For A Mystery Novel

I tend to work from outlines, even with my fiction writing. It flows, but I need to have some kind of foundation to get a grip on what I am writing, In the first chapter I look at introducing the main character, and setting the tone for the story – I am working on a mystery, so I set the plot for the mystery itself, and what needs to be solved. The time and place of the mystery itself needs to be clearly set. This can get tricky, because often a mystery that occurs in the present is based on actions in the past.

In the second chapter, I start setting out clues … some of which may be real, some of which may be false. There needs to be a few twists and turns in this story, after all! Secondary characters may also start appearing as soon as the second chapter. A little “back story” on my characters – I do a complete identity sketch on each of my characters: their name, where they are from, what their physical characteristics are, what they do for a living, where they live, what they wear, what their beliefs are, what their goals are. This helps me to keep things straight, and to keep each character and their relationship with the other characters authentic.

In the third chapter I want my characters to start following leads. To start trying to solve the mystery. Odd facts start popping up, some leads end up nowhere, other leads bring out information that sheds new light on people and events. This is the chapter that I introduce a sub-plot … something for the reader to follow that has nothing to do with the mystery being solved. The sub-plot for me has to be two things: interesting and relevant.

In the fourth chapter the plot thickens! Clues start coming together, and suspects start revealing themselves. Clues may disappear, or people may disappear. Suddenly there is more of a sense of urgency to get this mystery solved, before something else happens, or someone else gets hurt.

In the fifth chapter evidence that is coming out of the investigation starts to point at a specific suspect, or group of suspects. A solution begins to reveal itself … although this may not be the right solution, or at least not the complete solution.

In the sixth chapter the sub-plot takes precedence. This generally has to do with the main character, and addresses what makes them tick, what drives them, that little something in their own background that has them taking the actions that they have taken.

In the seventh chapter  things start to get a nit sticky. Hidden motives, and hidden relationships start to reveal themselves.

In the eighth chapter the main character in some way reveals the results of their investigation. I try to put things together in a way that makes sense, but that does not reveal the solution to the mystery.

In the ninth chapter my main character is going over their actions, the clues that they have revealed, and the information they have gathered. Basically, they are looking to see what they may have missed. At this point, I will bring out critical evidence that has somehow been missed up until now.

In the tenth chapter I bring things together, and the mystery is solved. I love dramatic resolution, and I love justice for all!

This is my basic outline for mystery writing. Things can be adjusted, more chapters can be added, but the basic ingredients need to be there: there needs to be a crime, the crime needs to be investigated,  there has to be tension and drama, and my primary character needs to be deeply involved.

Here’s to a good mystery!

© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited in any venue without the written permission of the author.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Holiday Promotions

Barely into July, and I am already thinking about promoting my work for the holidays! Not really all that unusual ... I have to decide how I am going to promote, where I am going to promote, and then find out how much it is going to cost. And I want the promotion to start soon after the beginning of November, so that people have the time to order my books, get them, then send them out as presents. 

I am going to be doing half-page ads in  the October edition of Attune Magazine, a quarterly devoted to personal growth, poetry, and metaphysical themes. I am also going to be doing videos for my site pages and to pout up on You Tube. Okay ... I am not going to do them myself, I am going to have them done by Mary Nale, the founder/editor for Attune Magazine.

Here is a link to an awesome video that Mary did for co-author Brad Tesh and my self for our book  "Seek Joy ... Toss Confetti". If you want to see more of Mary's portfolio, click here.

I will also be promoting through my Twitter, Facebook, and Google + accounts. If I get terribly brave, I might even chance trying to set up a Google + Hangout! That is still in the "iffy" stages! ;-)

And yes, I still have to WIP's ongoing: an e-book on decision making, and another e-book ... the first in what I hope will be a series of mysteries. I am looking at an issue here, though. I want to self-publish, and Create Space wants bucks per page after an author hits the 110 page mark. That will one heck of a short mystery! ;-) Do it in parts, perhaps? ;-)

Accepting The Challenge: Sharing Books

I was very pleased to be challenged on Face Book by fellow author Ruth Stefanowitz to post books that I value over a seven day period. ...