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Mornin! Why Burning Embers

I know it is late February when the Fireside Chat Theme is nearly over, but before it disappears completely, I wanted to share with you how the initial idea for Burning Embers came about.

First, there is something you need to know about me. I have suffered from hydrophobia my entire life, and if there is one thing I have learned about myself during my fight with my phobia is that I NEVER want my fears to define me. Not now, not ever.

So, this is me tell ing you about the creation of Burning Embers in the most scary way I know how, but recording myself on a YouTube video.

Piracy and what to do about it…

Piracy sucks and hurts all of us. Yes, even you.

Piracy in any form can hurt businesses.

Piracy to any indie or traditionally published author it is a total P.I.T.A. (pain in the butt*) when you find your book is listed on a site that is obviously a nefarious ne’er-do-well front.

As a side note… I’m totally cool with people sharing my books. I’m not okay with people passing my stuff off as their own and making money off of my work.

As of late there has been an increase of pirate sites that are supposedly selling stolen eBooks for a low low price.

So, $0.99 is too much to pay on Amazon but a person is willing to buy the book off of some sleezy site for $0.01??

Um. Wow. Okay then….

Let’s talk costs and why piracy hurts

It’s bad enough that the cost of publishing a book can be rather high ($200 if you’re lucky and all the way up to over $3000) but on top of that amount there’s the need to advertise.

Advertisement is necessary to hopefully getting some of your investment back and making sure that your book doesn’t fall into the pit of no return. No book ever should go there but sadly… they do.

However, let’s break down the costs of publishing…

  1. Writing a book (the time spent to write it) – $60 for writing app & lost time with friends & family priceless
    • Late nights / Early morning = sacrificing time with your family and friends
    • Cost of the writing software – sure you can use the free stuff
  2. Editing – Can be as low as $200 all the way up to $3000 (or more)
    • Editing software (either of these)
      • Grammarly – $30 / month
      • AutoCrit – $30 / month
      • Consistency Checker $0 / month
      • Draft Free?? – Don’t know… never used it
      • Hemingway App – $0
      • Master Writer – $10 / month
      • ProWriting Aid – $70 / year
      • Smart Edit – Free*
      • Beta Readers – Some will do this for free but don’t abuse their good will and they won’t catch everything
      • Professional Editor – Depending on the type of edit from concept all the way to proofreading the cost will vary. The more intense the edit then the higher the cost. Timeline also affects the cost too. Don’t expect this to be cheap.
  3. Book Covers – $100+ (you can get a cheap one… if you’re lucky)
  4. Formatting – $50 a book and for each variations (paperback + ebook = $100 … does not include updates later on)
  5. Proof copies of your paperback – As low as $5 and I’ve heard some pay as much $100

What’s the total?

If you’re lucky then you might be able to squeak on by with paying only $180 if you chose to go with a free writing app, AutoCrit for grammar checking, one ebook cover, formatting for one ebook and skipping the paperback edition.

However, you’re out of $180 bucks unless you sell your book to a lot of people.

How do you do that? Advertisement, my friend.

Yup, you need to advertise your book otherwise it will never see the light of day.

So you put aside a $20 / month budget (b/c that’s all you can afford) to advertise your book.

Even if you do everything right eventually you’ll run into issues.

Like your book being pirated and either being given away or sold for a super low cost.

Should you throw your hands up in the air and give up?


Instead, do what Nate Hoffelder explains in his article eBook Piracy – How to Respond If Someone Steals Your eBook Online.

He suggests that you tell google about the DMCA infringement. Google will delist that site in a heartbeat.

Next contact the domain providers and hosting company about the a-holes. They’ll rip that site out like a bad weed.

Yet, here’s the sad part…

Your book is going to be pirated again… and again… and again.

It never stops.

The bright side of piracy

If and only if the site that is supposedly selling your book or giving it away for free is doing well then take that as free advertisment.

The more people who get their hands on your book will eventually lead to a review. Reviews can be tricky to get and so extra eyes on your stuff helps in the long run.

Also take a glance at Joanna Penn has 3 reasons why Authors shouldn’t worry about Piracy.

In conclusion…

Yes, piracy sucks. It’s a bad bad bad thing that all indie and traditional published authors have to endure…

But, there is the flip side that more people will see your stuff and you might be the next diamond in the rough.

Until next time…

Keep on rising above the ashes of obscurity!

Are Retellings Of Stories Still Hot Or Not?

Seriously, are retelling of stories still absolutely one hundred percent still hot on the market?

Cinderella Reimagined

If you’re just getting started and want to write in this retellings genre but are just aching to know if it’s worth your time then I gotta tell ya…

Yes, they’re still hot.

But not so burnie burnie hot hot.

If you look at the market then you’ll notice a pattern throughout the year on what genres become inflamed and which ones get ice cold.

Though if you’re brand spanking new then I bet no one told you to look for these patterns.

Well, I am.

Look for Patterns

Look for the patterns and you’ll start to see when it’s a good time to release certain genres and when it is not.

Though if you would simply prefer to skip all that homework and shell out some money then I would recommend K-Lytics (no, not an affiliate link… I happen to like their reports and find them intriguing & helpful)

What I have seen is that story retellings are HOT during April and slow down around June. But that’s my observation. You might have seen a different pattern.

The same for Academy books, which we’ll discuss later, has a pattern. They were HUGE last year and they’re still around this year…

… though someone asked me if they’re on the decline… maybe or maybe not. We’ll talk about that in another post.

What is a retelling?

A retelling is a retell of an existing story but with a twist.

I’m sure you’ve already seen them. There are tons of Little Red Riding Hood story retellings out there and lots of Cinderella.

Fairy tales Are Great For Retellings

Pick up a copy of Andersons or the Brothers Grimm fairy tales and select a story.

Read that story and when you finish it you need to ask, “What if?”


So you can put a spin on the story and come up with your own retelling of it.

Retellings are popular on Wattpad and a great way to get your feet wet to see if you want to try your hand at writing.

Not to mention that you can grow an audience over at Wattpad with your small retellings until you’re ready to do a grand retelling or an entirely new story world of your own.

Your fan base will follow you.

A Challenge for You…

Though whether or not retellings are still hot you should give it a shot on wattpad.

Wattpad is a great place to get feedback and to connect with fans and fellow authors.

Until next time…

Keep on rising above the ashes of obscurity

Price my book for free? Or not to be free?

That is the ultimate question that many authors are asking today, “Should it be free?”

should it be free or the low cost of $0.99?

Sure, like all people, especially Americans (USA), we’ve come accustomed to getting the best deal possible.

And when it comes to reading then we expect to get it free or next to nothing. Cause words come easy and it only takes a second to read stuff.

In the mindset of some readers the thought of effort that goes into stories, journal and even articles never crosses their mind. For the few minutes of entertainment the thought of paying for such reading material is unheard of…

Or so you would think…

I won’t lump you into that group. It would be unfair for me to say that you’d be one of the ones that would prefer to get all stories free–even Twilight.

No, you’re one of the good ones that knows how much blood, sweat and tears goes into stories and articles.

However, I get it that a $0.99 priced story or a tale for free can help those attain quality entertainment on a budget. Yet, I’m scratching my head trying to understand if authors are resetting everyone’s expectations on what is a fair price.

Pricing is a double edged sword

It goes with ALL industries. Trust me, it does.

When you’re new to the venue you charge lower prices so that you can break into an already saturated market. Then over time you raise your prices to what your work is truly worth.

However, the indie industry in the book publishing world does have a problem. There’s a TON of us and we’re all vying for YOUR attention.

All new authors do it…

So, what’s the first thing that new authors do to get you to read their story? They start out with free content or low-cost stories at $0.99 to hopefully get you to buy into their story realm.

If you like their stuff then you’re bound to stick around and ride the increasing cost for the next story. However, if you didn’t like it then it’s no loss to you at all.

But, this is where practically all people in the market for books, stories and articles is getting comfortable. With a plethora of stuff available for free on the internet they scoff at needing to pay more than a dollar to read the next bestseller.

Compromised thinking??

After reading this article, Have authors been compromised?, shared by my fellow author friends on whether or not we’ve been compromised.

I am going to half-agree that we indie authors have been short sighted on our goals.


We see other authors offering stuff for free and hear how much attention they’re getting so we want to do the same thing.

Rarely do new authors take a moment to ask, “Is this right for me? Should I be giving my stuff for free? Is this what my audience wants?”

It’s all about getting paid…

Freebies and low priced books is a good way of attracting a crowd but one needs to ask if it’s right for them and their author identity. Yet, we live in a society where we have to pay for things. No author wants to continue giving stuff away for free because producing a story costs moo-lah.

Yep, the same stuff that mortgage companies, student loans, utility bills and grocery stores ask for when you want something from them. They want money. And authors need to start asking for the same stuff for no reputable company is going to let you get nothing for free.

Limit the freebies to one or two titles…

Then charge for the rest.

Series are the best way to work the price point up until the books help pay the bills instead of vice versa.

What say you?

Considering that on average indie publishing can cost at least $300 (up to $4000)…

Does the cost of your morning latte seem like a worthy exchange?

For the hours of entertainment that the story or articles have entailed for you?

Curious authors want to know…. especially me ^^

Until next time…

Keep on rising above the ashes of obscurity!