How Do You Know When Your Novel is Finished? Best Selling Authors Share Their Tips.

Very helpful. *Comments disabled here*

fabricating fiction

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Writing The Sister took me 18 months. During that period I rewrote multiple times, changing the point of view, the tense, and even the genre. When I couldn’t write any more I paid for a professional critique, got feedback from beta readers, and still I wasn’t happy enough to submit it. After weeks of more tinkering there was absolutely nothing left I could do but I still hesitated in submitting it, was it ready? How do we ever know?

Writing The Gift has been a completely different experience. Writing to a deadline means I have not had time to go through the same process that I went through with The Sister. A process that involved putting in a drawer and coming back to it after a month with fresh eyes. Now I am coming to the end of my copy edits it is time for me to let go…

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Email List – Book Promotions


I really wanted our Throwback Jam to be my last post of the day, but I couldn’t (not) tell you this.

I mentioned once before that I am starting to promote books in my email newsletters or email list. After drafting tomorrow’s 31st Issue (which I am very excited for you to receive in your inboxes. It is literally LOADED with the information you WON’T find on this blog!), I thought I should go ahead and spread the good news. My emails go out on the 18th of every month and I didn’t want you to be left out!

If you’re an Indie Author and you’d like a little bit more exposure for your books that you don’t have to pay for, I have added a Book Promo section to my emails. It includes the author’s Book Cover, Link, Blurb, and a brief endorsement from yours truly. Now, for me to properly endorse your book, of course, I must have read it. For this reason, promoted books are books I’ve reviewed.

However, I am willing to make an exception for those who’d just like more eyeballs on their work. All you should do is send me your book cover, link, and blurb. Of course, you’d have to also sign up for my email list if you want to see how your book is displayed because it will otherwise kind of defeat the purpose (Subscribers receive a free copy of Beyond The Colored Line, the most famous of the Stella books. Though Book Two, it can be read as a standalone and its yours free).

Books I’ve reviewed I will be able to pretty much brag about whereas books I have not reviewed I can only go so far. For this reason, please ensure your book cover art is decent enough for me to have something to promote if I have not read your book. No, my covers aren’t all that, but they are decent. That’s all I ask. I’m being picky about the covers because everything I represent is, at the day’s end, a reflection on me. I am asking that you give me something that won’t embarrass us both and that will increase the chances of your book cover being clicked on and your book, bought. Excellence is a priority.

You’re probably wondering what I can do for your book?? I’m pretty open about the method to my madness and I can tell you no, it is not a guarantee that people will click on your book cover and purchase your book (is it ever?). However, I will say for now that my email list is modest. This means that I can guarantee you that your book will not get lost. I can guarantee you that your work will be seen and that my readers are pretty darn supportive of what I recommend, many of them asking me what’s next on my reading list (I love them!). While there’s no guarantee, visibility is always a good thing.

I’m doing this because I know how hard it is for Indie Authors and I want to do my part. That’s why it’s free. In return, I only ask that you subscribe to my list. (Real partnerships benefit both parties). It will also help you to benefit from the promotion if you can receive the emails as well.

  • If you’d like me to promote your book to my list, please subscribe to my email list Here. And send your book cover, blurb, and link to
  • If you’d like to take it a step further and have me to review and promote your book, please register your work Here. I will review your book info and inform you on whether or not I agree to review the book.

Disclaimer: Please read through my Guidelines carefully before subscribing to my email list specifically for Book Promotion. While I’d love your support of my email list, I don’t want anyone to feel some kind of way if I have to decline your book. It will do us both a disservice for me to review books of which I am not truly invested.

Note that registers from this point will go into the 2017 year since I am already backed up. Usually, reviews post to this blog every Friday but I’ve had to push them back a bit because my family is planning a camping trip and we won’t be home next week. BUT, for those of you who signed up, I’m good on my promises and I will get them out (I’m going to push to publish one next week before we leave, time permitting. I have at least a few to get out before this year ends). Basically, if I agreed to review your book, I will do so, period. Word is bond.

5 Ways Books Can Help You Publish Your Book (Besides Just Reading Them)


I’ve been re-reading a lot of books, specifically literary classics. As I think about my next project, I’ve also thought about my previous works, noticing the things I did wrong and that I’d like to improve on this time around. That’s what I like about Self-Publishing, with every new book there is something different that I discover (for better and for worse). This time around, I’ve been paying more attention to the interior layout and formatting of my books; how to do so properly for eBook and for the paperback.

I stood in front of my bookshelf and stared at the books. I went to another book shelf and stared at it. I went back to my bedroom (since my favorites are in the bedroom) and took a handful of books and scattered them on the bed. It hit me: Here is all the research I need to help properly format my books. I discovered in that moment that books can help Indie Authors in more ways than one. Obviously, reading them. Here are five more:

  1. Book Cover Design

Probably the most obvious is Book Cover Design. Reading books can help Indie Authors to study the graphics of Best Selling books and how the design help to interpret what the story is about. Because I am not a graphic designer, I may not understand typography and all the important elements that should go into a Book Cover. True, I can pay someone to do this for me. However, if I am on a budget and therefore purchasing a premade cover, I need to understand how the colors and text all come together. Premades aren’t as easy to choose as they may seem since the author must choose one that will accurately represent the book.

  1. Front Matter

One of the primary things I’ve been paying attention to is the front matter. This is the first few pages of the book before the first Chapter (or before the Prologue). It’s the title page, copyright page, dedication page, acknowledgment, forward, preface, introduction, and so forth. Looking at how professional-quality books format their Front Matters has helped me to understand the foundation of how it is to be done. I can see where the ISBN Number is, how the wording of the Copyright Notice is set up, and the credits to the editor, co-author, or illustrator. I can also notice that the Front Matter is not numbered or is numbered differently than the book Chapters. Either there are no page numbers or there are Roman Numerals instead.

  1. Paragraph Structure

Another huge aspect of formatting for me with this next book is improving my paragraph structure. If you would take the time to browse the books on your shelf you’ll see how the paragraphs are lined up. Further, they are different for the kind of book. Young Adult books for very young adults (starting at maybe pre-teen) have text that is larger than general adult fiction books. They also have more space between them. This makes it easier to read. On the other hand, books that are harder to read or are for older audiences have text that has less space and is closer together. How does this help the author? We want our books to be appropriate for the grade level to which it is meant for. A children’s book is going to have the big text and lots of space but as we go up in grade level or age, then the text becomes smaller and less space.

  1. Page Numbers

Another tidbit we can pick up from looking over the books we already own is the page numbering. While I add page numbers to my books ChronologicallyI’ve noticed that some books (most of the ones that are Traditionally Published and that I grew up with), are numbered in a certain order: The “even” numbered page is on the left-hand page and the “odd-numbered page is on the right-hand page. I don’t know why as this style of page numbering isn’t very important to me, but it can come in handy for those who’d like to mimic this style.

  1. Back Matter

Finally, books can help Self-Publishers to see how to properly format the back cover of their books. Maybe you’d like your picture in the corner with a brief bio or maybe you want it all blurb. If you don’t have a professional Book Cover Designer already, you can easily mimic a professional-looking back book cover layout for your print books just by taking the time to browse your bookshelves. This can even be done on the Spine. Have a Publishing Company behind your books? Maybe you can add your logo to the spine or on the back so it looks like “Your Awesome Publishing Company Name Inc.”

And now for my 2 cents….Be Inspired

What I find so inspirational about Malcolm X, is that he was what I like to call an uneducated smart man. He didn’t start as what people considered smart or expert, but a criminal, someone who robbed banks and snorted coke. The point is that he wasn’t someone you looked up to or came to for knowledge on a skill aside from running numbers. Yet, he became someone who spoke to and inspired millions of people. What I’m saying is that it is not who he was, it is who he became. By reading books and studying history his voice alone commanded the attention of thousands. I believe Indie Authors can do the same. Don’t underestimate yourself. Anyone can follow a trend or rehash the same kind of advice but until you’re willing to step outside the box and be different, until your are willing to do something beyond what you’ve never mastered, you will never grow.