MY WRITING TOOLS

As I learn more and more about self-publishing, more and more options come up. So after a steep learning curve, I settled on the following strategy: 

 

  • Buy your own ISBNs through Bowker so that you own and control them.
  • Take the time and effort to register your own copyright. Own your work!
  • Get your work edited professionally. If it was worth writing, it is worth editing.
  • To Self-Publish, you need a good partner for print and eBook.
    • For print books, using a POD (print on demand) publisher is a must. I have settled on BookLocker for price, quality and ease of publishing.
    • For eBooks, my strategy is producing my own eBooks in SCRIVENER and publish as follows:
      • Use KDP to sell direct to Amazon.
      • Use KWL to sell direct to Kobo
      • Use D2D to aggregate all other eBook sellers.
  • Like it or not- marketing and promoting your own work is necessary.
  • Join the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).
  • Network with authors’ groups locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Promote your work by entering it in a Book Contest.
Unlike writers, who still write with paper and pen or pencil, I am grounded in the digital world that makes eBook publishing readily accessible. The digital revolution has leveled the playing field and now spares me the pain of having to submit to publishers and/or agents to get my work published.
 
Scrivener

I use SCRIVENER. I love I use SCRIVENER. I could not live without I use SCRIVENER. Why? I work ‘split screen’ with my research on the left and my writing window on the right. I find I can jam all the research I have done into SCRIVENER and use SCRIVENER in conjunction with PAPERS 2 (available from iTunes apps). With it, I am able to provide citations as I write with two clicks. These two applications enable me to create, organize and write freely and productively.  More importantly, SCRIVENER enables me to export my work directly as an eBook in either .mobi (Kindle) format or .epub (for Kobo eReaders, Apple iPad & iPhones, Kobo eReaders, Barnes & Noble NOOKS and Windows phone or Nokia Lumia’s Freda App).Like Andy Ihnatko, the tech journalist from the Chicago Sun Times said in his review of SCRIVENER for MacWorld, Andy “I’ve dumped Microsoft Word in favour of a hit cult app called Scrivener… Scrivener is a shrewd collection of tools that everyone will appreciate equally, but exploit differently. It’s the perfect word processor for people like me, who write weekly and monthly columns for a variety of publications and websites. To a pal of mine, it’s the perfect word processor for writing a very complicated science-fiction novel in which a large cast engages in complicated schedules and agendas that all have to be tracked and coordinated with each other through the story. To another, it’s the perfect tool for writing comic-book scripts. You see, Scrivener isn’t an oddball niche ‘alternative’ product. It’s poised to start a genuine revolution.”I do all my proof reading on my iPad by exporting a .mobi file that I email to myself and open with Kindle to read my work as it appears as an eBook.  I keep my iPad on my desk next to my iMac 27” Retina with 1 TB Flash Storage.For creating my own book covers, I use Adobe Photoshop CS6 create layered images and text which I usually finish in FX Photo Studio CK to add antique effects.

Seanchaí Books

Having researched how self-published authors approach self-publishing, I have decided to publish my eBooks as ‘doing business as’ DBA- Seanchaí Books, as I strive to be like traditional Irish storytellers, the seanchaí. Storytelling was one of the main forms of fireside entertainment among ordinary Irish folk and the storyteller was held in high esteem by the ordinary Irish who revered and cultivated story and song as their principal means of artistic expression.

 

THE PRIZE

Today, as my prize for having won the 2017 Writers; League of Texas Manuscript Contest for Nonfiction, I met with Andy Ross. Andy is from the West Coast and represents authors who write books in a wide range of subjects including narrative non-fiction, science, journalism, history, current affairs, contemporary culture, religion, children’s books and commercial and literary fiction. He was also the nonfiction judge in the 2017 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest.

My prize for winning was 10 minutes with Andy. To put things in context, I was scheduled to meet Andy at the 2017 Agents & Editors Conference here in Austin, Texas. This conference enables members of the Writers’ League of Texas to meet with agents to pitch their book projects and/or to meet with editors that might help edit their work. Any member can schedule a session with an agent or an editor by paying for it up front. I think 10-minute sessions are around $20 each.

Andy was entirely charming and honest. We hit it off  with the realization that my work would never be picked up by an agent or a publisher because it has little market value. The work is a biography of John Cotton, the 17th-century puritan patriarch of New England who left Boston, England and helped establish Boston, Massachusetts. Andy said that normally an academic publisher might be interested but only if I were to have “academic credentials”, which is to say a member of academia with Ph.D. I already knew this but it was good to hear Andy say, “Your work is written very well.” Like most wanna-be writers, I need as much encouragement as I can get. My time with Andy wrapped up with us agreeing that the best route for me is to self-publish. So stay tuned, as I continue down that path.

FIRST SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK

I selected SMASHWORDS to publish my first eBook, a book of poems, titled green.

green beckons us.
green evokes life.
green is a sanctuary.

Carbon manifests itself in green and humanity is a manifestation of carbon’s innate desire to organize itself at higher and higher levels of complexity.

The story of green is interwoven in our DNA. We should listen to it. Especially now that so much green has been slashed and burnt by the poor struggling to grow enough food to stay alive. Ultimately, our addiction to cheap fossil fuels could turn green to grey. green is a collection of simple reflections about things that seize me like the forests, trees, lakes, rivers, mountains, and canyons in Colorado where I grew up and in Japan where I fell in love.

A love of mystics permeates the collection along with quotes from Meister Eckhart, Hesse, Dogen Zenji, Socrates, LaoTzu, Kazantzakis, Socrates, Tagore, Buddha, Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rilke, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Anais Nin, T.S. Elliot, Teilhard de Chardin, Keats, Simone Weil, Pascal, Thoreau, Thomas Merton, St. Teresa, Wittgenstein, etc.

SEE:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/572386

While working on a biography of my 7th great grandfather, John Cotton, who helped found Boston, it has taken me about a year to get all the “tools” needed together. For writing, I use SCRIVENER and absolutely love it.

SEE: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

Scrivener enables me to organize my research and write all in the same window using split screen. Best of all, it enables publishing eBooks in .epub (for iBooks and other readers) and in .mobi (for Amazon Kindle). Little effort was required to self-publish green, as I had written these poems over a lifetime so all I needed to do was to collect them in SCRIVENER and export in .mobi and .epub formats.

green copy