September 3, 2013

New book published – Articles for the Mind

Posted in Books, Publishing, Self-Publishing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

I have good news this week too. I compiled a book of all of the articles I have written and published it. It is called Articles for the Mind. It consists of 58 short articles that are informative and sometimes advising, on the subjects of beauty, health, careers, education, family, pets, financial planning, frugal living, money, food, holidays, home, psychology, self-help, values, and writing. The book is grouped into chapters with those subjects as the chapter titles, so the book is easy to navigate and easy to find what you need. There is also a foreword, an afterword, and an about the author page. The cover is below:

Articles for the Mind - CreateSpace

It is published on Amazon (Kindle) and Smashwords. Eventually it will be available at Barnes & Noble (Nook), iBookstore, Sony, and Kobo. It will also eventually be published in print and available as a paperback at Amazon. I’m really happy that all of the valuable information in this book is available to the public. I hope the advice and information helps people.

Thank you for your support. It is because of you that I enjoy publishing books.

August 12, 2013

Publishing Accomplishments

Posted in Editing, Freelance Career, Publishing, Self-Publishing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

I titled this post “Publishing Accomplishments,” not because I want to share mine, but because I want to help you with yours. Are you a writer? Do you dream of getting your book published? If so, my freelance business, “Christine Rice Publishing Services,” can help you get published, whether your goals are to be traditionally published or self-published. The services I offer will help you during every step of the publishing process. If your goal is to get your book out to the world through the self-publishing medium, I can help you by editing and proofreading your book, formatting your book for print or digital publishing, and designing your book cover. Or, if you’re dying to get a publishing contract with a traditional publisher, I will edit your manuscript so that it will be in tip-top shape; write you a stunning query letter, synopsis, and/or book proposal; and format your manuscript how agents want them (I will even tailor the materials for the agents you wish to submit to since their submission guidelines vary – but you don’t need to worry about that, because I’ll do it all for you!).

Visit Christine Rice Publishing Services to view my resume, review my portfolio, learn what services I offer, and read my client testimonials. You will see that I am the best answer for all your publishing needs. Leave me a message on the “contact me” form on my website and I’ll get back to you right away.

Looking forward to helping you accomplish your publishing goals!

Christine

June 26, 2013

Interview with Carla Woody

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Carla WoodyCarla Woody has been mentoring people toward conscious living for more than twenty years. In 1999 she established Kenosis LLC to serve human potential and support the vision: “One tribe, one world.” In 2007, she founded Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to help preserve indigenous wisdom ways. Carla is the author of Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness. She also writes articles related to personal growth, natural healing and advocacy of Native traditions, and is a fine artist. She makes her home near Prescott, Arizona.

Christine: How long have you been a writer?

Carla: I’ve been writing off and on since childhood. The first story I can remember writing was called The Empty-Treed Forest. Looking back, this was an environmental piece somewhat strange for a seven-year-old to produce. As a teenager I wrote bad protest poetry, and then set creative writing aside for a long time in favor of the academic reports and theses necessary to acquire degrees. In the early 1990s I picked up the pen again to start writing articles and books in earnest.

Christine: What types of writing do you do?

Carla: The themes have to do with spiritual evolution, natural healing, indigenous cultures, and advocacy related to Native wisdom traditions in danger of decimation. I cover these subjects in journal and magazine articles, as well as narrative nonfiction and fiction books.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Carla: I view my books and articles as vehicles for my lifework, a way folks can be introduced or as an adjunct to my programs. For more than twenty years I’ve been mentoring people toward conscious living. In 1999 I founded Kenosis LLC to support human potential through travel journeys working with Native spiritual leaders and healers in Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and the USA, and mentoring programs integrating Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and sacred world traditions. Then in 2007 I established Kenosis Spirit Keepers, its 501(c)3 nonprofit extension, to help preserve indigenous lifeways through various projects.

Christine: What is your writing experience?

Carla: I have a passion for expression. That’s why I find it so important to, as much as possible, integrate some form of it into my everyday life and live through deeply held values. There were too many years I didn’t do that and felt cut off, which—of course—is how I came to do the work I do with others. In particular, writing and artwork are how I work things out internally and keep the creative juices flowing.

Christine: What have you published recently?

Portals to the Vision SerpentCarla: Portals to the Vision Serpent was just released on June 17, 2013. It’s a coming-of-age novel—a Hero’s Journey—that takes the reader into the realms of shamanism and the Maya world as a young man searches for his lineage and missing father. Interwoven are the struggles of indigenous peoples to preserve their way of life and tragedies that often come from misunderstandings. It’s basically a book about spiritual healing. Readers are likely to see themselves in various ways, the same as reported to me from readers of my nonfiction books Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage (2004) and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness (2000).

My article The Last Spirit Keeper was published in Sacred Fire Magazine in November 2012, Issue 16, about the last Lacandón Maya elder in the rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico still maintaining his traditions against great pressure. My article Acts of Creation was just accepted by Stone Voices, a spiritually oriented, literary arts journal, no date on publication yet.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

Carla: I’m definitely a morning person and have a ritual that sets my day. I usually get up before dawn, feed the cats, have a cup of coffee, and meditate for 20-30 minutes. I’ve been doing it, in that order, for nearly thirty years. Then I start writing if I have a project, or other work. Several years ago I put Joseph Campbell’s writing practice in place: at least three hours a day. It became automatic, and often the time extends itself without me noticing.

Christine: What interests you about writing fiction?

Carla: I’m most interested in teaching stories. The reader learns or resolves something themselves through identifying with different characters, in the course of being entertained. As the writer, the same is true for me. The process is magical to me. It’s like a movie unfolds in front of me, and I just write it down. It’s particularly surprising when a new character appears to take me somewhere I hadn’t imagined.

Christine: How do you come up with an idea for a new novel?

Carla: The ideas present themselves. It may be something I want to explore myself, or a point I want to get across. Right now I’ve got two different ideas vying for my attention, both well developed. I’m not yet sure which one will win out to focus on first. It would be great to be able to split myself in two!

Christine: Are you traditionally published or self-published? Why did you choose that path?

Carla: I’ve published articles through professional journals and magazines since the early 1990s. When it came to my books, I specifically chose to self-publish through Kenosis Press, my own small press, for these important reasons: 1) they never go out of print; 2) the publishing process is truncated; 3) I have control over the content. Since my books are vehicles for my work, I continue to feel this is important.

Christine: Where can we find your books and websites?

Carla: Find Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark, and Calling Our Spirits Home on Amazon, or order through local bookstores.

Please note that I donate 10% of profits from book sales to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the 501(c)3 nonprofit I founded to help us with our projects to preserve Native traditions.

You’re invited to visit Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers to learn more about offerings and sign up for free material and the Kenosis Inspirations ezine. Follow my blog The Lifepath Dialogues.

Christine: Thanks so much for joining us today, Carla. Your work and your books sound so interesting. Best of luck with your articles and books.

October 9, 2012

Interview with J M Leitch

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , at 7:08 am by Christine Rice

I first met J M Leitch when I reviewed her book, The Zul Enigma. She contacted me on Goodreads and asked if I would review her book. After checking out her book, I was thrilled and said yes. I reviewed her book in August, and you can read the review here. We have stayed in touch since through email. Here is a little about her:

When Mum picked me up after my first day of primary school I was in tears. ‘Whatever’s the matter?’ she asked. I spat out my words between heaving staccato sobs. They were an accusing finger. ‘YOU said they’d teach me to read!’ It took much longer than I expected… but they did teach me and I’ve not stopped since. They also taught me to write and I published my first novel in 2011, The Zul Enigma (www.thezulenigma.com). As to my background? Well, I was born just outside London, England, and moved to Asia where I’ve lived half my life. I now spend my time between Singapore, Assam in North East India, Bali in Indonesia and the UK.

Now, let’s start the interview.

Christine: How, and when, did you decide to become a novelist?

J M: I have enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. I used to love writing essays at school and when I was 17, in my GCSE ‘O’ Level exam for Greek Literature in Translation, I wrote about Orpheus visiting the Underworld when he tried to bring his beloved wife, Eurydice, back from the dead. I described how Orpheus, after using his beautiful music to soften the heart of Hades, King of the Underworld, persuaded him to agree to let Eurydice leave, and how Hades insisted on one condition: that Orpheus must walk in front of her and not look back until they both had re-entered the world of the living. But Orpheus, scared that Hades would break the agreement, on reaching the upper world turned to check that Eurydice was still behind him. She was, but because she hadn’t yet entered the world of the living Orpheus was the one who broke the agreement. Anyhow, by the time I got to describing the agony Orpheus experienced at loosing his wife a second time… this time forever… I was crying and my tears dropped onto the paper splodging the ink. Fortunately, they didn’t make the paper illegible and I ended up getting an ‘A’!

So I always thought I’d end up writing. In fact, I’ve started three books over the years, the first in my mid twenties, but I never got any further than the first few chapters because I either ran out of steam or I let other things get in the way.

Christine: What types of writing do you do?

J M: Throughout my working life I’ve done many different types of writing including reports, technical manuals, training proposals, training courses, business profiles, resumes, articles for magazines, content for websites – all kinds of things. But until The Zul Enigma, I’d never before written anything creative. Now I also write a blog, which I enjoy.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

J M: When I wrote my novel I spent every free moment sitting at my computer writing – usually eating breakfast and lunch there, too. For a while I used a laptop, which was good, because it meant I could move around the house and garden as I fancied.

I don’t have a set routine like some people, to write for so many hours, to finish so many words in a day, or to work from this time to that time. I just stick at it for as long as I’ve got. I don’t need a special place or surroundings or music. My special place is in my head and I can get there anywhere, any time.

Christine: Where did you get the inspiration for The Zul Enigma?

J M: I was in Bali lying on a deckchair watching my daughter swim while thinking about a recent BBC documentary a friend had told me about. It was about several reports from different scientific disciplines – ice core samples, marine temperature studies, marine life studies, climate change studies – to name a few – and how the data quoted in all of them showed our planet’s oceans were cooling. The result of this phenomenon is the slowing down or, in the future, the possible stopping of the conveyor or North Atlantic Drift that traditionally brings warm water from the south to the north Atlantic, keeping the east coast of North America and the west coast of Europe warm. In other words it’s feasible that North America and Europe are heading for a mini Ice Age.

Oh no! I thought. My poor Mum… she lives in England.

Then I started fantasising how wonderful it would be if a bunch of friendly aliens appeared and relocated us onto an identical planet with a stable climate! And that’s where the original idea came from, although it’s now changed beyond recognition.

Christine: Why did you choose to self-publish and not go down the conventional publishing track?

J M: When I first started writing I planned that the main action would take place in 2020. Then I began reading about the end of the Mayan calendar on 21 December 2012 and how different groups of people believed this would be a special time for many different reasons – the occurrence of cataclysmic events perhaps, or a time of spiritual enlightenment. It piqued my interest and I thought it would be fun to build my book’s plot around that date.

The problem was I hadn’t taken into consideration how long it would take me to finish the book. I thought a couple of years, tops… then 3… then 4… until last year I realised that if I didn’t publish it soon I’d miss the boat completely! I knew it could take years to find a traditional publisher, so I decided, oh well… I’ll have to go ahead and do it myself.

Christine: What marketing techniques do you use to promote yourself as a novelist and your novels?

J M: The most effective marketing tool for me has been the KDP Select programme that allows authors to offer their eBooks free on Amazon for 5 days every 3 months as long as the title is exclusively available there. In addition, I have a website for the book, book and author Facebook pages, I write a blog once every couple of weeks or so, and I also Tweet. I am learning that successful marketing is the combination of many different initiatives and I would love more exposure in the way of interviews on the Internet or in print and press. The key is to get your name and the name of your books out there. It sounds so easy, but the reality is that it takes a huge amount of work.

Christine: If people want to purchase your book, how do they go about it?

J M: It’s probably easiest to buy the paperback from Amazon or The Book Depository. It costs a couple of US Dollars more at The Book Depository but they will ship it anywhere in the world for free.

Amazon UK Paperback Edition – www.amazon.co.uk/dp/9810703252
Amazon UK Kindle Edition – www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0073M876M
Amazon US Paperback Edition – www.amazon.com/dp/9810703252
Amazon US Kindle Edition – www.amazon.com/dp/B0073M876M
Waterstones UK – http://bit.ly/WcJOIM

September 14, 2012

Blog Tour Progress

Posted in Blog Tours, Books, Publishing, Self-Publishing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:49 am by Christine Rice

Good morning, everyone!

I hope your day is going well so far. I just want to take a moment to update you on my blog tour.

My interview on Jess Resides Here went well. I also enjoyed writing the guest post on From the Boothell Cotton Patch, which is an author bio and an excerpt from chapter 8 of Freelance Writing Guide! Chapter 8 is about blogs and websites, so if you’re looking for tips on how to design a blog or website, put up great content in the right places, and make it successful and profitable, you should check out this post!

Today, I am at RD Meyer Writes where there is an honest and thoughtful review of my book and an interview. In the interview, I talk about freelance writing, my book, my works-in-progress, my take on the change of the publishing industry, and more! You should check it out!

The next few days involve a book review on Honesty…in writing, an interview on Karen Elizabeth Brown, and a review on Theresa Leschmann, Author. There will be many more blog stops after that. In fact, for the remainder of the tour – until September 25th – there will be a stop every day! Join me in on the fun, and don’t forget to come back here on the last day of the tour for a special treat for all of you!

Have a great weekend!

Christine

August 17, 2012

“Freelance Writing Guide” is Now Published!

Posted in Books, Lulu, Self-Publishing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:05 pm by Christine Rice

Hi everyone,

I’ve been so busy with the publishing and release of Freelance Writing Guide that I haven’t had the chance to blog! Let me backtrack to the last few days, so that I can share with you my publishing experiences. Late at night on August 13th, I finished the final edits on my book. I planned on taking the next day off to relax and enjoy the fact that I had finished my book. During the night of the 14th, however, I got bored. So I started reading up in the Lulu community about how to format for self-publishing with Lulu (i.e. cover image size, interior pages, etc.). Then I decided I would make the adjustments on my documents as I read about them so that I wouldn’t forget the next day what I had learned that night. I ended up publishing an ebook with Lulu, and after that I was driven to continue publishing in the different book formats with the different companies I publish with. I stayed up all night and the next day publishing my book everywhere!

The only significant problem I had was trying to increase the resolution of my front and back cover images to be compatible with CreateSpace’s requirements. I almost couldn’t figure it out and almost gave up, but then I had an idea to try opening the images in the Paint.net program (I had recently downloaded it but had trouble with it, so I had forgotten about it), which was referred to me from a cover designer, so I thought that maybe I’d be able to adjust the resolution with that program. Success! I felt so relieved. If I couldn’t get the resolution right, I wouldn’t have been able to use the cover I created; I would have had to use one of CreateSpace’s cover designs, which I didn’t want to do, because I thought an original cover would be better. So now I have the cover and back cover exactly how I want it. Yay!

The interior pages were pretty easy to do; I just had to follow the publishers’ manuals. It was time-consuming and a bit repetitive, because I had to take my standard book interior and format it each time for each book type and company. Since I published three different book types with Lulu, one with Kindle Direct Publishing, and one with Smashwords, I ended up with five different versions of my book! It was strenuous at the end, because I did everything all at once and was tired from being overworked.

I am happy with how the interior came out, and the process went smoother than in January when I published second editions of my other books. Ebooks are especially difficult, because the companies have different formats for what will upload correctly. For example, some require an active table of contents (there are two different versions), some say no table of contents at all, some allow hyperlinks (must include the http:// to work), some don’t have the capability of functioning hyperlinks, some want page breaks and some do not, they all want the title and copyright page formatted differently, and so on. The interior is what I always say takes a long time, because all the companies want it differently, and I want my book to come out right for my readers. And as far as I know it has :)

Okay, so here is my book information. Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer is available in paperback (Lulu), ebook format (Lulu epub, Lulu pdf, and Smashwords ebook), and kindle format (Amazon). Have a look! Soon it will be available in paperback on CreateSpace and Amazon, as well as epub at Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and more! There is now a page for Freelance Writing Guide on the right side of this blog. I hope you will check out my book and let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend!

August 7, 2012

Interview with Yamina Collins

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , at 3:22 pm by Christine Rice

Right now I’ll be hosting my first interview on this blog. Our guest is Yamina Collins. She is a self-published author and a blogger. There is a lot we can learn from her experiences. Without further ado, we will begin the interview.

Thanks for joining us today, Yamina. Your new book, The Blueberry Miller Files, is out now and it’s a short story collection. Why write short stories? Do they sell well?

You know, I am so grateful that the indie writer no longer has to worry about sales. Don’t get me wrong. I know authors want to make a living just as much as the next person; and if you’re an indie author who is being published by a small press other than the company you yourself created, well, ok, that could prove to be a concern.

But, for the indie and self-published author who is truly their own boss, like I am, you’re no longer in danger of being “dropped” just because your groovy little story collection only sold 50 copies.

Besides, there is no doubt in my mind that there’s an audience for shorter works. Yes, it’s true that we live in a post-MTV twitter generation. And, yes, people have short attention spans. But I say, a good, short read should be just up their alley!

So what are the stories in your book about?

Oh, there is no one theme that runs through the book, except to say that it’s a look at the human condition in all of its humor, awkwardness and tragedy. I think maybe I’m fascinated by sin, and how it affects us and those around us.

I had a blast writing it, though, because I got to play with different styles, ideas and subject matters, all in the same book, without fear of what some publisher might think.

So publishing via your own company gave you a lot of room for creative expression?

Oh, yes. Publishing my book through my own company gave me the freedom to be a black writer who writes about white characters (sometimes), a Christian author who refuses to use cursing in any of my stories, even though it might not “sound realistic” to some people (ah, well…), a humor writer who gets to explore the mind of a black Anglophile that adores Shakespeare a little too much, and a “southern” observer who does something I never saw done in Gone with the Wind: let the slave holders speak with as much of a jacked-up dialect as the slaves themselves spoke with. Ha ha.

Does running your own book blog help you with your marketing platform?

Oh, absolutely! My book was released three weeks ago, while my blog, Yaminatoday.com, has been around for about a year and a half. I already have a built-in-audience of 12,000 readers to my site per month and around 130,000 hits per month.

And yet, I haven’t sold that many books. Marketing takes time. My goal is to now hire a PR firm to help me get my name out there. But the blog definitely helps.

So back to the book – any favorite characters in the collection?

I love this character named Madam Adams. She’s a loony doll; an African-American Anglophile with a Shakespeare complex. Her parents raised her in Harlem, but she tells people she was raised in England by a group of thespians. She is a loveable nutcase with a fondness for bad writing, wine, and crumpets. I think she would make a great movie character, but I can’t think of any famous actresses who would play her. She’s rather unique, in my opinion. Then again, that’s what actresses do, don’t they? They inhabit people who are nothing like them!

Who are some of your favorite short story authors?

Edgar Allan Poe, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Henry James and Washington Irving, though not all of these people wrote only short stories. And, in fact, Henry James was known for the nouvelle rather than the typical short story, but ultimately, these guys were masters. Of course, few people have ever heard of Jessie Redmon Fauset.

Who was she?

Mrs. Fauset has been credited with being the midwife of the Harlem Renaissance, giving “birth” to such formidable writers as Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen. Most everyone has heard of great black female writers like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston, of course, but few people are familiar with Jessie.

Any advice to would-be writers out there?

Yes. If you’re an indie author, treat your book with some respect. Give it the same treatment you would want a publishing house to give it. Hire an editor; get your book cover done professionally. Write and re-write, and then re-write some more. You want to compete with the big boys, don’t you? Of course you do! So don’t think sloppy editing and generic book covers will cut it when there are literally hundreds of thousands of books out there vying for the public’s attention.

With that in mind, remember that your book or e-book now has the potential to live a very long “shelf” life. The days are ending (and for the e-book have already ended), when you have a limited time to see your book displayed on a shelf in a book store somewhere. Your book now lives forever on the internet.

So the money you invest in it now has the potential to reap rewards years and years down the line. That being said, make it the best book you can.

Thanks for joining us, Yamina.

It’s been my pleasure!

July 30, 2012

Book Blogs and Publication

Posted in Books, Editing, Lulu, Publishing, Reading, Self-Publishing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:00 pm by Christine Rice

I recently joined Book Blogs – an interactive, lively community for bloggers and authors. On the website, bloggers get the benefit of promoting their blogs, gaining followers to their blogs, and finding authors to host on their blogs. Mostly, the bloggers have “book blogs,” which means they publish book reviews, giveaways, and author interviews on their blogs. While, authors can promote their books and find bloggers to host them. During my short time there so far, I have been using the website for both purposes, since my blog is part book blog and I’m an author.

I have also been organizing my blog tour. Getting a blog tour together is a lot of work! I have found a few people that will be reviewing my book (thank you!); plus others that will be reviewing my other books, which is wonderful. I am still waiting to hear back from other bloggers I have contacted about my September blog tour, so I’m hoping for more opportunities. If you would like to host me on your blog in September, I can provide a complementary ebook copy of my book, Freelance Writing Guide, for a review or an interview. I’m really looking forward to the blog tour and the publication of my book.

In fact, I will be starting the second (and final) revision this week. It looks like mid-August is when I’ll be creating the cover and formatting the book for publication in various formats. It will be available in paperback and ebook from Lulu, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, and Smashwords (who also distributes to various retailers). The ebook will be available before the paperback, since I have to approve the paperback’s proof copy, which Lulu will be sending to me to review (and as you may know, shipping a product takes some time compared to electronic transactions).

It may sound easy to self-publish a book, but it’s very time consuming. The last time I self-published (in January of this year), I came out with second editions of three books, and I worked on the publication for days. Hopefully, this time will be a little easier, because I will only be publishing one book and I’ll be familiar with the formatting guidelines for the different publishers from last time (I will have to create multiple versions of my book, one for each publisher, because each publisher has their own formatting guidelines).

But, that is still weeks away! For now I will be taking care of blog tour communications and reading, as well as my other normal online activities. Starting  Thursday, I will be focusing on reading, editing, and posting updates on my progress. Lots to do!

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