Showing posts with label Elysabeth Eldering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elysabeth Eldering. Show all posts

Creating 3D covers in Microsoft Publisher

Over the last week or so, I've been exploring my Microsoft Publisher program (it's part of the Microsoft Office group) to try to get some covers made up for my compilation and one other cover that I needed made up.  For a boxed set, a 3D cover makes sense.  It feels you are getting a box with four to six to even ten books, which you are, even if the stories are short stories. 

I've created two separate covers for my boxed set since iBooks doesn't accept 3D covers.  I don't like the flat cover for a boxed set because the titles just have to be placed randomly on the front and it doesn't look like you have several stories in there. 

So how do you go about creating covers?  It took several hours for me to figure out what I was doing but I've got it down to a small science now. 

First, open your publisher program (this is only for Microsoft Publisher as I don't know much about the other cover designer programs); open a new blank document.  It almost looks like a Word document but it's not.  Publisher was designed to be a picture tool.  If you have a picture you already are wanting to use for your cover, open it.  Once opened, you can stretch it to fit the page or make it whatever size you want it to be.  Add your text boxes (there is a tool on the home page that says "draw text box"; play around with your fonts, sizes, colors, until you get the look you want.  After you are satisfied with your text boxes, click off to the side of the page so no one particular item is highlighted.  Go to you home page and click on select (the drop down will ask if you want to select all objects or another choice); click on select all objects and then the box to the left of where the select button has a group, ungroup selection.  Click on group.  What this does is fuse all the items to make it one picture.  Right click on your picture and click on the line that says "save as picture".  Name your picture and go to the drop down menu below and save it as a JPEG file or whatever type is accepted where you are publishing your books.  Usually JPEG files are the most accepted, so it's pretty safe to save them all as JPEG files.

Now, open a new blank document.  Insert a template for a 3D book.  These are the two I've used for the covers I've created:



The boxed set obviously because I had four stories I combined into one.  The other because I was just playing around with single story covers.

After you pull up your template, then go back to insert and recall the picture you created of the cover.  Stretch it so that it matches the bottom and one or two of the "page" side corners.  Go to picture effects and scroll to the 3D section, play around to see which fits the angle of the book.  For the single story book, the perspective left works well.  Once it slants to the 3D look, adjust your picture until all the edges and corners line up.  Again, go to the select all objects and group them together and then save that file as your 3D cover.

Once you play around with your Publisher program and have the templates, you can do any cover you already have on file as a 3D cover. 

The boxed set is a bit different in that you have to do text boxes and turn them so they are like the spine and this was my first attempt at the 3D covers and it took me a few hours to get what I wanted.

My final 3D cover for the boxed set: 


But because iBooks doesn't like 3D Covers, I had to go with this:



For my Zombies story, again - no 3D for iBooks so everyone but kindle has a flat cover and kindle gets the 3D cover.


Same picture just added to the book template to give it that 3D look.

After I created these two covers, I then decided to take my previously created covers and came up with the following: 




That is how to use publisher to create your own 3D Covers.  Hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions, please leave a comment and I'll try to answer them as best as I can.

--------------------------
Elysabeth Eldering
Elysabeth's Blog
Elysabeth's email

To Serialize or Not To Serialize?

About a month ago, my friend, Lana Voynich, shared a link with me from the KBoards where an author shared his KDP sales graph, showing that he had spiked to over 1000 sales in one day. He'd been averaging 400-600 sales a day, across multiple genres and serials as he calls them.

I went to his blog but really wasn't find much information on actually creating a series, but a helpful article on writing serials was posted on the same forum, which I believe was more helpful than the answers I was getting from the author of said 1000+ sales in one day.

There are many benefits to serializing your stories and just as many downfalls. If you would like an overview of serializing (this is geared specifically to romance, but there are other genres that you can serialize), check out the posting here.

The debate is whether or not serializing is right for you.  If you are a writer and love writing the shorter stories, then serializing your stories may be the better way for you to go. If you really enjoy the longer novels and you do well with what is published, then maybe serializing isn't for you.

If you are serializing your books, the best way to think of them is as 30-minute to 1-hour TV shows. Each episode follows a complete storyline; your characters recur from episode to episode and sometimes you introduce new characters and sometimes you don't use all the characters; you leave your reader hanging, wanting more and they can't wait for the next episode to come out.

The genres that seem to work best as serials are romance, sci-fi, horror, to name a few.  There are probably more genres that would work as a serial but I'm at a loss right now to come up with them.

The one thing I did notice from several postings is the difference between a "series" and a "serial".  A serial is like the 30-minute TV show; a series is novel length books (over 50 or 60,000 words) where you carry your characters forward.  Most series won't leave you hanging, in the case of mysteries, and most serials will rely on reading in order of being written/published.  Serials are short; series are longer and probably involve fewer stories.  You can have a 3-book series; and however long you want to make the serial stories.  Serials have a minimum of three stories and usually expand out a lot longer than a series does. 

If you are considering writing a serial or several serials, be prepared to put a new story out at least once a month.  This seems to be the average timeframe from all sources with information on writing serials.  Research and follow other authors' examples. 

Good luck, if this is the route you are deciding to take. See you all in the postings.

Elysabeth Eldering, Author
FINALLY HOME, a Kelly Watson, YA, paranormal mystery
Elysabeth's Blog


NYTs Best Seller's List or Book Club?

In this profession, they say you've made it when you are on the NYTs Best Seller's list, or at least in the top 100 on that list.  But what if you were to get your book or books as part of a book club discussion?  Do you think that is "making it"? 

I recently attended a "Reluctant YA Readers" book club (a group of adults who don't want to admit they read YA but do anyway - lol) at the local library.  I really enjoyed the discussion, even though I hadn't read the selected read for the month.  After the group left, I spent some time talking with the librarian who heads up the reading clubs.  My book, FINALLY HOME, will be either the book selected for the October reading or I may end up on a different day just to have my own book event with the ability of being able to sell my book.  The hope is that the second story in the series, THE TIES OF TIME, will be completed and published, so I can sell both books at the same time.

To me, it's not necessarily the NYTs best seller's list, but it means I have finally made it.  I'm making a name for myself, starting locally and building a readership and hopefully that will lead to word of mouth sales, which in turn will eventually lead to NYTs Best Seller's list, not that that has really been goal since publishing my first story.  It's a nice little perk.

Eight years from the first story being published online after taking a shared 2nd place to the present, putting my book out there for the librarian to put my books out in the face of the public.  I've not pushed my books in the last couple of years as much as I did when I first got published, but now I feel it is time to really step it up and put more effort into getting my stories completed and published and maybe shoot for the stars - the NYTs Best Seller's List.

This is an encouragement note, as Heidi's was a couple of days ago.  It doesn't matter the route you take to get there, just keep at it and persevere and you will get there.  Reach for the top rung!!

Elysabeth Eldering
Author
Finally Home (A Kelly Watson, YA, paranormal mystery) - available in print, ebook, and as an audiobook
The Ties of Time (A Kelly Watson, YA, paranormal mystery - coming soon)
Elysabeth's Writing Blog

Story Pricing

My friend, Lana Voynich, and I were having a discussion the other night about the price of ebooks, specifically short stories. I've put all my short stories on Kindle (for now, and had them enrolled in the KDP select program) at 99 cents each. The story length varies from just under 1800 to just under 5000 words. So, the question is, "Is 99 cents too much to pay for a story that is under 5000 words?"

If I tried to price them lower than 99 cents, I can't make any royalties, so anything below 99 cents is not eligible for any type of royalty payment. She suggested that I compile the similar stories and put them up at $1.99 for the one combination of stories (3 or 4). Looking at my short stories and some started stories I probably could flesh out, I could combine four of the ones I already have published coming in at just about 12,000 words (the four romance stories), but by the same token, by doing this, I would only make 70 cents for the combined stories as opposed to 35 cents for each one that sells at 99 cents (not that any of them are selling well anyway). If I price the compilation at $2.99, I would make 70% royalties, roughly $2.10 for each copy sold, but with only 12,000 words, I wouldn't feel right about doing so.  What are your suggestions on this pricing dilemma?

She has priced her novels or novellas (roughly the same length as FINALLY HOME, mine being 56,000 words; hers being 51,000 and about 58,000 (I think that is what she told me)) at $3.99 and $4.99 and I've priced FINALLY HOME at $2.99. What do you all think of pricing of ebooks? Do you mind paying 99 cents for short stories and a bit more for longer stories or do you think 99 cents is too much to pay for a short story?

 Remember, no matter how the writer sells her stories, she still has to make royalties in order to make it worthwhile. The big name writers don't count here since we are all struggling to make a little piece of the pie in order to survive in the writing world, what with the market being saturated with everything since it is so easy to self-publish these days and most of the time, self-pubbed can be done at much lower costs than even five or ten years ago. I'd love to hear some of your comments on how to price stories and still be able to make a small amount of money from my writing.

 Leave a comment and be entered in the drawing for an "earth day"(* - see note below) bookworm bookmark. Conserving trees all around the world, one bookworm bookmark at a time.

Elysabeth Eldering
Author
FINALLY HOME (A Kelly Watson, YA, paranormal mystery)
coming soon THE TIES OF TIME (A Kelly Watson, YA, paranormal mystery) http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com

*Earth day bookworms are essentially available in over 20 colors, not just the "earthy colors" any more, and can be mailed anywhere, not just in the United States. For choices and pictures of colors, please stop over and visit my blog, http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com

Six Degrees of Separation

What do you do when you are at a loss of what to post about or even at a loss in your life? Write something. Anything. Yesterday was the 12th Anniversary of the bombing of the Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon, which affected many people, not only in the United States but around the world. Everyone who can remember that fateful day will probably be able to tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when the news came about. This writer wasn't even a writer at the time of the bombings. She was working on the computer when her mother called asking if she had seen the news. It was early morning because the kids had gone to school and I was gearing up my computer to get my work done. I think my oldest is probably the one that remembers it the most considering my other two children were 8 and 6 at the time. The oldest was in high school and they probably pulled the TVs in the homerooms to run the news of this tragedy. This was a major loss to everyone. If you don't believe in the 6 degrees of separation just think about the events that occurred on 9-11 (2001). The bombers/terrorists were from another country; the workers in the Trade Center hailed from all parts of the country as well as some foreign countries and everyone, including folks in foreign countries, sat glued to their TV sets for hours, dumbfounded at the unfolding events. I had another incident that came to mind about the 6 degrees of separation; unfortunately, it has been a long week with loss of several things and remembrances of those whose lives were taken from us that it has slipped my mind. Please remember all those who survived, who lost their lives and those who willingly gave of themselves to help out. We are all in this together and only separated by 6 degrees. - E :) -------------------- Elysabeth Eldering Author of FINALLY HOME, a Kelly Watson, YA paranormal mystery http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com http://eeldering.weebly.com

Back to School

It's time to think about going back to school. Authors, have you considered doing school visits? Have you considered doing PTA presentations or librarian presentations? Now is the time to make those connections with the school librarians, public librarians and the PTA members who have the ability to schedule special presentations, especially authors. As authors, we have stories to tell and we are hired to entertain. School-aged kids love when a local author visits and always have tons of questions. If you are an illustrator, they really get into demonstrations of how an illustrated story comes to life. What's your passion and what do you have to offer the children? I encourage all of you to go out and set up those author visits, presentaions and workshops. ---------------- Elysabeth Eldering Author of FINALLY HOME, a Kelly Watson paranormal YA mystery http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com http://eeldering.weebly.com

Story Ideas

As a writer, we are expected to always have ideas to jumpstart our stories.  Sometimes the muse just isn't there and we have to look other places for those story ideas.  Last year when I was thinking of possibly writing another in the Kelly Watson mysteries, I printed out a bunch of the mysterynet.net stories from contests they held for kids to write as well as some other mystery writers advice and story starters.  One of the pages I printed out was "Mystery Story Starter Ideas - DIY Guide for Children and Adults" by Marillisa Sachteleben.  She states there are 25 story starters but apparently I only found 10 on the first page. 

Here are her starters:
THE WISHING WELL HORROR:  I hated drawing water from the dank, bug-infested well house to begin with.  When the bucket came up heavier and more slowly than usual, I sensed that something was wrong.  But I was totally unprepared for the horror that followed.

THE BOOK SELLER'S ENIGMA:  I hadn't remembered the musty old book shop on that street before, but the old peddler beckoned me.  When I returned the next day with my brother, shop and shopkeeper had gone.  We asked an old-timer passing by, "That shop?" he declared, "why it ain't been around for 50 years."

THE SMELL IN THE CELLAR:  We kept the cellar locked.  No one went down ther.  One day when I went by I smelled an odd, familiar smell, like something I hadn't smelled since I was little.  The odor got stronger, until finally I opened the door and went down the rickety steps.

THE MISSING PHOTO:  I loved to look through our old family photos.  One day, I noticed that a certain picture had been removed.  I asked the whole family and no one seemed to have taken it.  Was someone hiding something?

THE SECRET ROOM:  Tearing down a wall to build an addition to our home, I discovered a small narrow room hidden between the walls for decades and what was in it gave me the shock of my life.

THE THING IN THE POND:  For years, I've visited a pond in the woods near our house.  Recently, I saw something more than sand, rocks and a few fish and turtles.  Something much, much more.

THE PRANK CALLER:  We thought the odd phone calls were just pranks by some local kids.  Until the caller asked me something really scary.  "Did anybody ever find where you buried the body?"

THE LETTER FROM YESTERDAY:  The envelope that came in the mail looked really elegant and I was hoping that it was an invitation to a party.  It was an invitation.  For a party dated July 30, 1927.

THE SILENT BOY:  We were all playing in our fort by the creek.  A tall thin boy with dark eyes and long hair appeared silently from the woods.  He came out every day for two weeks but he never said a word.  Until one day...

THE CREATURE:  My cat likes to bring home an odd assortment of creatures.  Not that he kills them.  I think they are his friends.  One day, the cat brought home something I have never seen before in my life and I doubt that I ever will again.

I've looked at this page many times over the past 6 months but nothing really jumped off the page or screamed "new Kelly adventure/mystery"  A couple of weeks back, I looked over the sheet again and decided that the Book Seller's Enigma would work.  I started a new Kelly Watson story - but have only written a page and a half, which amounts to about an incomplete scene or could be a full scene.  I feel there is something I need to write before this particular scene, perhaps filling in what has happened in Kelly's life during  the 6 months from finding out the house she investigated was her father's to the time she finds this missing bookstore or mysterious bookshoppe.  One of my editor writer friends said forget the Prologue and just write the story.  If I had a direction to take the story, I think I would have written more than a page and a half, although there have been some niggles about the bookstore and the present given to Kelly.  Maybe ther eis a story, I just wish it would hurry up and get out so I can get a second Kelly story under my belt.

What about you, how do you jumpstart your stories?  What if the muse isn't being cooperative and you really feel the need to write a story?  What all do you do to get the muse to cooperate and how do you keep the ideas flowing?  Leave a message with your ideas and thoughts and be entered for a an ebook copy of Finally Home the first of Kelly's mysteries.  E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a Kelly Watson middle grade/YA mystery
http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com
http://eeldering.weebly.com

ACX Update and a n audible.com Tutorial

The last known activity on both books - State of Successes and Finally Home - was that the books were submitted as finalized by me on June 4.  The note you get from ACX is that they have to validate the books.  I searched the site, al the FAQs and every place I could think of to search for the answer to the question, how long does it take to validate and go live with projects?, to no avail.  I finally emailed support and was given the answer of it takes 10 to 20 days to validate.  Suffice it to say, the process can be longer on their part than on the author's part once all the edits and revisions are made. 

Overall, if you are planning on going the audio book route with any or all of your books, expect the process from finding a narrator to approving and validation by ACX to take up to 3 months or longer, depending on the length of the book, the amount of editing/revisions needed, and of course the time you have to dedicate to get the book out there in another format. 

I did email my narrator for the state book to let her know that I had posted on my blog about the books, et cetera and she did get back to me stating that she has told all her friends and family, a good many of them who are teachers, and the responses so far has been that everyone is anxiously awaiting hearing/reading the books in the series.  I've also posted in several places about the books going live soon.  I hope this will generate some interest and that the series will start picking up.

I will start the process for another state book once the first one goes live, so hopefully before the end of June, State of Wilderness will be on its way to the narrator and by end  of August or the first part of September should go live barring any complications on my end. 

I know once the books go live they will be available on amazon.com, audible.com, and itunes.  Audible will set the retail price and the price will vary from all three depending on whether discounts are offered to members or if each site decides to price differently.  Remember that there is a good bit of work that goes into producing an audio book and that is why the price can be a lot more than print or ebooks.  The coolest thing about the audio books is that if you have a kindle (and this is true for all of them, not just the newer ones out) you can buy the ebook and the audio book and listen and read while the book is actually being narrated.  So for those of you who like both sensory stimuli, you can as long as the books are available in ebooks.  In the case of my state books, they are only available as print books and soon to be audio books for now.  Maybe when I get a sponsor or have more books out in the series, I will consider putting them up as ebooks.

How audible.com works:  Audible.com is a subscription service.  Basically, you sign up, start an account, pay the monthly fee (when I registered and started, my fee was $7.49 for the first 3 months and then will go up to $14.95 thereafter) and earn credits that are good towards the books available.  What I've seen so far in searching for various books in various genres is that no matter what the retail cost of the book you can get the books for 1 credit (which is basically your month's credit).  I picked up The Help which is an 18-hour+ recording for 1 credit while it retails for $26.60 and is available to members without credits for $18.62. As you can see, I got a $27 retail book for $7.49 or my 1 credit for the month of April.  Audible.com also runs specials like in April it was purchase qualifying books for $4.99 (I think you had to buy 4 during the 2-week period) and receive extra coupon monies (I don't remember what I purchased during that special deal but I have available to me 2 credits (May and June monthly member payments) as well as a $10.00 coupon.  I don't know if once my books go live that they will be automatically put in my library or if I have to "purchase" them or what, but once I know that, I will let you all know.

I hope my little bit of insight into the overall process of producing audio books has been helpful to all you authors out there who are thinking of going this route.  E :)

EARN TWO CHANCES FOR THE CROCHETED RED/WHITE/BLUE AFGHAN DRAWING:  For everyone who comments on this posting or any posting on either of my blogs (see below for links) between now and the end of June, you will receive 2 entries in the afghan drawing which will be done December 1, after all my events are completed for the year.  The chances normally sell for 2/$1 or buy a book and receive 5 chances, but I will put everyone's name who comments in the drawing.  Please make sure you provide me with an email address to be able to contact you for information on where to send your chances and/or afghan if you are the lucky winner.  Good luck to all.  E :)

--------------------
Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a middle grade/YA myster
Elysabeth's Blog
Elysabeth's website

Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series
Where will the adventure take you next?
JGDS blog
JGDS website

ACX - Narrator Sienna Beckman - Guest Blogger

Guest Post by Sienna Beckman
Posted by Elysabeth Eldering

Since I've been posting my progress with the audio book side of things, I thought I'd let my narrator for Finally Home show you her side of things.  I have received the files but haven't had a chance to go through it yet as work has been rather hectic.  I'm shooting to go through the audio files this weekend and possibly the first part of next week.  For the release of the audio book, I've put Finally Home back in the KDP select program.  I'm offering it as a free download Monday and Tuesday, so if you haven't already purchased a copy or would like to gift a young girl who enjoys Nancy Drew mysteries my book (which is similar to a Nancy Drew mystery), next week will be the time to do so.

GUEST POSTING - SIENNA BECKMAN

My name is Sienna Beckman and I’m an actor based in Los Angeles, California. I’ve been recording audio books for about 4 months and have loved all the learning experiences. Both of my parents read aloud to my brother and me when we were growing up, so telling stories has always been a big part of my life. I studied music (piano and trumpet) and played soccer growing up and was very focused on those activities. When I was required to be a part of my 8th grade operetta, Guys and Dolls, I discovered my love for being on stage. I was in several plays in high school and my passion only increased. I attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts.


Becoming a narrator through ACX was very easy. They make all of the audition files and contracts very accessible and straightforward. When I’m looking for a new project, I will search through available titles for books that fit my voice type. It’s especially exciting when I find one that requires an accent, because I love accents and it always adds an extra challenge for me. Then I will record an audition file and send it in to the author via the ACX website.  (Audition files are submitted by the author and are usually a few pages or a chapter to get a feel how the narrator will read the characters and the story itself.)

(Of note, Sienna does read the books first before she starts recording.)  When I hunker down with each new book I’m going to record, the process is always slightly different. Depending on the amount of time I have, how long the book is, and how many characters, my process always begins with notes. I make a list of all of the major characters, some minor ones too, and decide how I’m going to shape their voice. Because audio books have no visual aid, it is up to me to create a very distinct line between characters, so the listeners don’t get confused as to who is talking. In my notes I also make notes of pronunciation questions I might have. My voice is best suited for young adult fiction and some fantasy novels.  If there are unusual names or countries or worlds that I don’t know how to pronounce. I always like to check with the author beforehand, if I have any questions.

When I actually get to recording, the chapter breaks are perfect break markers for me. I will record each chapter and then be able to take a break and rest my voice for a few minutes before continuing. There are several techniques to recording audio books, but my method is as follows: if I misspeak or make a mistake, I allow the software to keep recording and simply back up to the beginning of the sentence, or to the last logical point where I can easily make an editing cut, and begin again. This way I can keep my rhythm and continue along with telling the story. If I were to stop the recording and delete the outtake right then, I would lose momentum and the story telling would suffer.

After all of the tracks are recorded, then comes the editing and mastering process. This is the most time consuming part of being an ACX narrator by far. As the narrator, I am also the producer and editor, and must be responsible for making the completed files sound professional and ready to be sold online. I have to go back, listen to all of the tracks, and delete all of the outtakes. Or if I say a sentence or a phrase two different ways, I have to decide which way I like best. Then I have to go through the tracks and take out any background noise there might be, soften any speech plosives or mouth sounds I might have inadvertently made, and make it all sound seamless. Then I export the files as mp3s, and they are ready to be uploaded to ACX.

Along with audio books, I also write, produce, and record my own audio podcast, called “At the Beep.” It is a passion project that I began in the New Year that is about environmental and social awareness. Each week I highlight a different individual who has dedicated his or her life to making the world a better place. There is so much negativity and selfishness and greed corrupting the world in this time, and the premise of my podcast is that, on the flip side of that, there is also so much love, conscientiousness, and dedication to peace, health, and happiness. There are so many people out there who are so passionate about finding innovative, intelligent, and accessible ways for the general public to learn to live a green, healthy, clean, and un-wasteful life. A few of my highlights have been the Straus Family of Straus Family Dairy and Creamery, Medea Benjamin of the women’s anti-war organization Code Pink, Father Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries, and Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms.

Please subscribe to my podcast by searching “At the Beep” on iTunes. I aim to spread happiness, helpfulness, and awareness in the most accessible way possible.

Please visit my website for more information or if you would like to contact me.  You can also follow me on Twitter @siennagrace89

---------------
Posted by Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a middle grade/YA mystery
blog
website


ACX Update

Last month I posted about the process of turning your print/ebook into an audio book using ACX.  I've now contracted a narrator or producer as they are actually called and she is perfect for the reading.  I've checked out her website and she looks exactly how I pictured Kelly looking so her voice and looks actually are a perfect fit for Finally Home.  I posted on my blog this past Sunday a bit about my narrator and links to her website and twitter as she has a podcast going and would like some followers. 

I will tell you  this, if you are considering putting your book(s) up as audios, the process is not a fast one because the narrators actually get offers during times they are working on projects.  If you plan on going this route, remember that the word of the day is PATIENCE.  If you don't get any auditions in the first couple of days, persevere and listen to more sample files and contact several narrators.  When contacting them asking them to audition for your book, mention what caught your attention on their sample files, tell them a little about your book and what you are looking for for the final book. 

Several folks have commented that the process has gone rather quickly for me, but in reality, I started looking for a narrator right after hearing Nina Bruhns from Entangled Publishing mention it at our local Sisters in Crime meeting, the 7th of February.  I listened to over 50 samples and contacted my top 3 choices (including the one I've actually contracted), and after getting their auditions, listened to a few more voice samples and contacted about 3 or 4 more before I actually got the audition from the producer I settled with.  By that time, I had already made a contract.  Before narrowing my choices down by genre, gender, payment type, the options were over 10,000 narrators.  When I narrowed it down by genre (teens), gender (female for obvious reasons - a male wouldn't be able to do Kelly and Emma Louise justice), and payment type (royalty split opposed to upfront payments),  I ended up with  79 voice files to listen to, but two of those were actually male (and how they slipped in there with me specifying female, I'll never know).  Of those 79, there were several samples by the same person or people, so I didn't really have 79 files to listen to.  Once I listened to the files and if something piqued my interest, I would then go to the narrator's page and check out  their other sample files and their credentials and all the other things in their profile.  Then I made contact if I liked what I saw and heard. 

I think this is a great route to go and if you  are not in the United States or probably  in North America (I think Canadians are included in the ACX process), I hope there are other platforms out there for you to get your books out as audios. 

For the release of the audiobook I've taken Finally Home off smashwords and Nook and put it in the KDP select program.  I will be offering the kindle version as a freebie on April 15 and 16 and again the end of May/first part of June (May 31-June 2).  I hope to have the audio released about the same time as my first freebie offering and hopefully more projects will be in the works by then.  I hope to get back to my state stories soon, trying to raise money via a funding campaign on IndieGoGo, to pay my illustrator so we can get the series completed in the near future, and maybe look into doing more of a series with my characters from Finally Home so there are a lot of pokers in the fire, I just need to get myself in gear and get to work.  I'm still looking for some story ideas to turn my character-driven story into a series, so if anyone would like to brainstorm some ideas for the characters, I'm open and can be reached at eeldering (@) gmail (dot) com. 

See you all in the postings - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home,  a middle grade/YA mystery very much like a Nancy Drew mystery
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series - Where will the adventure take you next?

http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com
http://eeldering.weebly.com
http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com
http://jgdsseries.weebly.com

-----------------------------
Ms. Eldering is the award-winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series.  Her stories "Train of Clues" (available in print and as an ebook on kindle), "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests).  Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review.  She also has written several other short stories for contests including the second place winning story, "Zombies Amuck", and "La Cave".  Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet.  When she's not busy with grown children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events and festivals promoting her writing.

ACX - Audiobook Creation Exchange

As a member of Sisters in Crime and havig a fairly close local chapter, we have guest speakers each month, alternating mystery authors and "professionals".  This month our guest speaker was Nina Bruhns, Sr. Editor of the Entangled Suspense line.  Entangled Publishing (previously Dead Sexy) offers a variety of ways to get books with a romantic element in them, ranging from 20 to 80% romance to suspense/mystery/thriller/whatever line you choose, published digitally (they aren't doing print books because they believe that the print books and brick and mortar stores are going by the wayside).  Nina really only looks at suspense or thrillers but there are editors for each of their lines and publicists that go along with that.  While Nina was talking about publishing through entangled, she also mentioned audio books.  She said she listens to audio books all the time when she is traveling.  Of course Amazon is the forerunner in this area as they have bought out audible.com which is the leader in selling audiobooks.  I know several places audiobooks are used- the state libraries use them for the blind patrons but they are still using bulky cassette machines with the books being on tape.  Audible.com will now sell audiobooks on amazon.com and itunes.com as well as on their main site audible.com. 

I wasn't really thinking of doing audiobooks at this moment but I need some sales and I figure - adding audiobooks can't hurt.  So I went to the website and decided to see if it was a simple process, like the KDP is, or how much time it would take to get an audiobook produced.

So far, the process isn't that difficult but there are a few things you must do before actually set up  your profile and start putting your book out there for auditions and a finished product.

When you sign onto the website, the first thing you will see is a big search box kind of in the middle of the purple colored box.  You need to search for your book by title and if there is more than one book with your title, find your book.  Claim your book as your book (I own this book or This is my book - something to that affect).  Once you have claimed your book, you will be asked to sign in to your amazon account, which most of us alreadyh have established as we have posted books on the KDP program or we have made purchases on amazon.com.  After you sign in, you will be asked to set up the book's profile and to upload your sample for auditions.  I would recommend loading the first chapter, or if it is fairly short,  the first two chapters.  I uploaded the second chapter of Finally Home and the auditions I've asked for and gotten back I realized that my chapter 2 wasn't the exact chapter from the book (apparently I had used Chapter 2 for a workshop or reading of some sort prior to really completing the book).  It's okay  that this isn't the completed chapter as you are just giving them a sample to read from to see how they handle the content of your book.

Once you have  completed the profile and uploaded your sample for auditions, then the fun begins.  This can be a very time consuming part of  the production of the audiobook process unless you narrow your search down.  When you get to the "auditions page", you are informed that there are something like 10,930 narrator files to search from.  There are options to narrow the field down.  So for my book, I opted to narrow down to genre, gender and payment type - genre - teens - this is my target audience; gender - female (since my characters are basically female and are teenaged girls); and payment type - royalty split.  The payment type should be indicated when you set up your book's profile and you have 2 options - you can pay the narrator a straight fee (this is based on hours to produce the book and can range from $50 per produced hour on up the gamut to over $1000 per produced hour.  The second option is a 50-50 split royalty on every book sold through audible.com, itunes. com and amazon.com - Audible will set the retail price (there is a formula based on number of hours the book takes to produce to get the price).  Since I don't personally have over several hundred dollars to pay someone to narrate the book, I opted for the royalty split option.  To me this works out best.  Anyway, after narrowing down what or who I would like to narrate the book, I dropped from 10,930 to 79 options. The next thing to do is listen to the  sample narrations that are available.  I found four or five within the first 3 pages of samples (there are usually 12 per page and I only 7 pages to go through), and basically within the first couple of pages that I was impressed with. 

After listening to the sample narrations, then I started checking the profiles of the ones I liked and sent them each a message indicatig that I was looking for a narrator for my book, Finally Home, and if they would be interested in auditioning for me.  At the time of this writing, I had requested auditions from four ladies and had received two back.  The first one I received, she wasn't too bad but she read the main text very quickly - I almost felt like she was on a speeding bullet.  She did get Emma Louise's personality in her reading rather well, so that was a good thing.  The second one I received, I really liked how she got the gist of Kelly's character but she seemed a bit too southern (yes, I know Emma Louise is southern and all but she's not quite that southern).  Basically  I have two good readings of my sample text but neither are quite right.

After I get the other two back, I'll either search for more readings, maybe narrow it down to only females and payment type as opposed to genre and see what I come up with.  It may actually take the longest to find the right narrartor for the book than anything else.  I'll probably update the status on my blog as I get closer to getting an audiobook produced of Finally Home

That's my experience so far with ACX and creating an audiobook to sell and hopefully start seeing some profits on my book sales. 

Since it is almost Valentine's day and this is the last of the "giving holiday season", how about give your loved ones a good book to read or listen to.  Pick an ebook or audiobook or even a signed copy of one of the authors from this group and show them you love them.  I have one Melonberry bookworm left and can't find that yarn at any of our local Walmarts, so in honor of Valentine's day, I will do a drawing from the comments on this posting for that particular bookworm.  All you have to do  is comment and leave your email address in the coment (in the format of email addy (at) whatever (dot) com if you don't want to be spammed) and I'll do a random drawing on Friday, the 15th for the bookworm.  Don't worry if  you  live outside the United States as you a re eligible also since the cost of sending overseas isn't really that high.  Good luck to all and see you in the postings - E :) 

-------------------
Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home, a middle grade/YA mystery

Ms. Eldering is the award-winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series.  Her stories "Train of Clues" (available in print and as an ebook on kindle), "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests).  Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review.  She also has written several other short stories for contests including the second place winning story, "Zombies Amuck", and "La Cave".  Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet.  When she's not busy with grown children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events and festivals promoting her writing.

You can find more information about the JGDS series on the JGDS website or follow the JGDS blog.

You can find out more about Elysabeth and her other writings on her website or follow her blog.

Twelve-Twelve-Twelve

As I write this posting, I realize I'm scheduled to post on a significant date or supposedly a significant date - 12/12/12.  According to the Mayan calendar, it will be a day of rebirth or the end of times as we know it.  The world will not end this day or this month, but the collective of society will go through a transformation, or being reborn.  Many religions around the world are also prophecizing this same thought pattern. 

On that note, this past week or so, I've been trying to recreate stories featuring my protagonist, Kelly Watson, and really make her a series like the Nancy Drew series.  I've printed out the winners of the MysteryNet's contests from all the months they actually held the contests; I've printed out several postings of tips on writing mysteries; and I've printed out a few "mystery story prompts/starters" to help me along the way.

The biggest problem I'm up against is having set my first tory, Finally Home, in a small town, population of under 1000, in South Carolina, which is even smaller than the town I live in which has a population of around 3500, and that my girls are only 13 or 14 - upper middle school, about to enter high school aged.  They aren't driving age and therefore can't zip over to the big town to "solve mysteries" and there probably isn't much in the way of things happening in the town to be a mystery.

So, I'm looking to my readers to give me some suggestions on how to bring Kelly and Emma out in several mysteries - shoot me some ideas by way of comment and if I use your idea, I'll send you an ebook copy of Finally Home for Nook or Kindle along with an authorgraph.

See you all in the postings - E :)

----------------
Ms. Eldering is the award-winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series. Her stories "Train of Clues" (available in print and as an ebook on kindle), "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests). Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review. She also has written several other short stories for contests including the second place winning story, "Zombies Amuck", and "La Cave". Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet. When she's not busy with grown children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events and festivals promoting her writing.
For more information about the JGDS series, please visit the  JGDS blog or the JGDS website.

For more information about Elysabeth's other writings, please visit her general writing blog or her author website

Veteran's Day 2012

Yesterday was Veteran's Day but today there will be many celebrations across the nation due to the fact that Veteran's Day fell on a Sunday.  I'd like to take a moment to honor those who have served, given their life or survived one thing after another on this day.

My father is a veteran; he served his 20+ years and retired without having had to go to war.  Both my brothers are veterans.  My uncle is a veteran.  I probably can trace veterans back a good ways in my family.  So I pay homage to all those who have served, are still serving or who gave their lives for our freedoms. 

To the veterans in our lives - E :)

Conferences as Exhibitors

Conferences as Exhibitors
by Elysabeth Eldering

As an author promoting oneself, we are told to "think outside the box" and promotion is all about finding new ways to get your books out there. We are also encouraged to attend conferences for the information to help us better our craft. But what about attending conferences as an exhibitor or vendor? How many of you put that extra into attending conferences as an exhibitor? What kind of conferences do you think your books are best suited for as a vendor?

Since I'm writing an educational series meant to supplement the social studies curriculum, not overtake it by any means, my goal is to exhibit at as many school related type conferences as possible. The attendees may not have buying power but if I can put an order form in their hands, it is more likely that somewhere down the line that those orders will show up.

Here is a list of some conferences I hope to attend as an exhibitor or vendor over the next few years, in addition to the ones I've already attended and plan on going back to:

- South Carolina School Librarians Association conference
- Georgia COMO (this was a combined school librarians and other librarian associations conference, which led me to four book distributors to get my books in the schools)
- Geofest (South Carolina)
- South Carolina Council for Socila Studies
- Georgia Geofest
- Georgia Council for Social Studies
- North Carolina Council for Social Studies
- any state Social Studies conference as my books start supporting me since I want to travel to all 50 states and do school visits, et cetera
- Any state librarian or school librarian association conference
- homeschool conferences (I've attended and hope to find several more and attend more in the future)

I know this list seems limited but for the moment, my funds are limited and until my books are supporting me and I'm able to quit my full-time job and just travel, these are fairly close to home and within driving range. The possibility is endless. Even some writer's conferences allow authors to come in and be exhibitors. The biggest factor is just finding the right conferences to attend that are within your budget in order to make the most of it. I encourage all authors to attend at least their state librarian conference as an exhibitor or the school librarian conference because you never know who you will meet or connect with that will lead to bigger and better things. For me, it's the opportunity to gain the exposure I need to get my books out in the nation and to the schools where they need to be. So don't limit yourself, invest in your books and find those conferences that will allow you to be an exhibitor and promote yourself like crazy.

------------
Ms. Eldering is the award winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series. Her stories "Train of Clues", "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests). Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review. Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet. When she's not busy with teenaged children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events promoting her writing. For more information on the JGDS series, stop by the JGDS blog or the JGDS website. For more on Elysabeth's other writings, please come over to her blog or her website.

Book-in-a-Week Challenge

Last Thursday I posted on my blog about the book-in-a-week challenge. This is a monthly occurrence and is similar to writing during NaNo (national novel writing month) except the goals are different. The goal for BIW is to write at least 10 pages on a story, articles or whatever it is you are working on at the time during the week. You set your goal and then write during the week to meet that goal. The minimum is 10 pages and I believe they have drawings for those participants who meet the goals of the challenge (posting your goals, keeping track of your progress and posting that at least three times a week, et cetera). Although the challenge started this past Monday, I believe you can still participate if you are interested.

So whether you really want to write a lot or a little, this is the perfect challenge for every writer. I've set a goal of 20 pages/week for the next 10 weeks (my weeks are starting on Sunday and ending Saturday) to work on my story, Imogene: Innocense Lost. I honestly don't believe I'll have a completed story by the end of the 10 weeks, but should be pretty close.

If you want to check out the book-in-a-week challenge, you can find more information on their website, and maybe you will take the challenge starting next month.

I'll be keeping tabs of my progress throughout the next 10 weeks during my regular Sunday This and That postings, so stop on over and offer a word of encouragement or congratulations during the next few weeks. I'll need every little bit of feedback that I can get to keep me going.

See you all in the postings, and if you are participating in book-in-a-week, let us know what your goals are for the week and how much writing you get accomplished during the week. E :)

-------------
Ms. Eldering is the award winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series. Her stories "Train of Clues", "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests). Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review. Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet. When she's not busy with teenaged children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events promoting her writing.

For more information about the JGDS series, please visit the JGDS blog or the JGDS website.

For more information about Elysabeth's other writings, please visit her general writing and family blog at or her website.

The Olympics and Writing

The Olympics and Writing
by Elysabeth Eldering

What do the Olympics and writing have to do with each other? I subscribe to a newsletter from Writer's Relief and this came in my email the other day, some inspiration on how the Olympics can help you in your writing career. The Olympics are about to wrap up for this year. The next Olympics will be the winter Olympics of 2014. Set your eye on the goal, focus and persevere and maybe by 2014 you will have reached gold (publication or the next chapter in your writing).

10 Things Olympians Can Teach Creative Writers

1. Focus is everything. (stay focused on the end goal and with all your hard work, you will achieve it)

2. When you hit a wall, push off it and get some new momentum. (this really says something about writer's block; find a different way to get whatever you are writing written)

3. The writing life is like the balance beam; you WILL fall off. Olympians get back up again (and again, and again, and again). (Writers don't fall off per se but we do have to keep reinventing the box or think outside the box)

4. You can’t get to the big leagues without putting in your time. Practice, train, get confident; then trust your talent and all your hard work to carry you through. (in other words, learn your craft, believe in yourself and work hard to get to the end goal)

5. When you’re competing at a high level, even the little things matter.

6. Listen to coaches you trust: Criticism isn’t personal when it’s productive.

7. Be so dedicated that dedication becomes habit, and the habit becomes who you are. Write regularly, read regularly, SUBMIT regularly.

8. Healthy competition will help you be the best you can be.

9. If you’re going to jump, jump as high as you can. If you’re going to swim, swim as hard as you can. If you’re going to write, write as hard and as intensely as you can.

10. Olympians don’t hesitate. They do not hoard their personal courage or save it for a rainy day. Every day, they give everything they have to give. Writers can too.

Whether you are writing for contests or for publication, remember that hard work, focus and perseverance will get you where you want to be with your writing. Don't give up on yourself. Hoping you all achieve your end goals and that you never give up. Keep reaching for the stars.

-------------
Ms. Eldering is the award winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series. Her stories "Train of Clues", "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests). Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review. Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet. When she's not busy with teenaged children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events promoting her writing.

You can find out more from Elysabeth and her writing/JGDS series at the following places:
Elysabeth's Writing Emporium blog
Elysabeth's author website
JGDS series blog
JGDS series website

If It Ain't Broke

Whatever happened to the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."? It seems these days everyone is trying to fix things or improve them only to the detriment of the users of said things.

Take for example Google and Gmail, earlier this year Google and Gmail (part of the Google family) revamped everything. The new look on Gmail was very stark and difficult to read; one had to change backgrounds or themes in order to tell where the email box started and ended. If that wasn't enough, blogger dashboards changed, again making it difficult to navigate and really read. Our eyes deteriorate over time and with all this starkness and inability to see where one line ends or begins it makes life a little more difficult. The idea behind any of these updates or improvements is to make life easier, or at least that is my understanding.

I've adapted to a couple of those changes but then Yahoo has to jump on board making changes and making things more difficult. If you belong to any of the Yahoo forums and have signed up for the daily digest as opposed to individual emails to be kept updated on what is happening in the group, you may be aware of the change in the look of the digest. Again, this change has not made things easier but more difficult. My generation has enough difficulties without adding more to the mix. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I wonder who will be the next on board to make changes that supposed to make things easier but only complicate or worsen things. If you don't like the changes Yahoo has made to their digest, let them know. Maybe they will go back to the old version. Not much can be done to change Google's blogger dashboard or email back to the old version but it never hurts to try. Let them know that everything was fine the old way and you want it kept that way.

In writing, it is the same. If you have ways that work for you and someone suggests a new and improved way that is supposed to make it easier for you but doesn't, then you don't have to fix what you are already doing to appease someone else. If whatever you are doing is working for you and it's not broken and doesn't need fixing, then don't fix it. If on the other hand, the suggested change really does make a difference, makes things easier on you or fixes the problem areas you are having, then by all means, definitely embrace the change and make the most of it. Only make changes that are really fixes to broken ways or that will really make things easier on you.

SPECIAL DEALS: I've got some specials running through the month of July, all of which can be found over on my blog - ebooks, afghans and crocheted kindle or nook sleeves and/or tablet sleeves, pluse I've decided to reduce the cost of the chances for the red, white and blue afghan drawing to $1 each. This will be a permanent change and will be posted on both my main website and the JGDS blog soon.

See you all in the postings - E :)

-------------
Elysabeth Eldering
Author of FINALLY HOME, a middle grade/YA paranormal mystery (written like a Nancy Drew mystery)
http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com
http://eeldering.weebly.com

Carpe Diem

Last Monday morning (June 4) when I was about to get out of bed and hit the day running, the words "carpe diem; seize the day" kept flashing in my mind or in my face. I was probably in that last bit of sleep state so can't really tell you if I was dreaming the phrases or why my mind kept repeating these phrases.

Monday was a pretty casual day, nothing to really seize. Tuesday was my birthday and I took full advantage of seizing the day by kind of rebelling against working, only to make up for it Wednesday.

I had been thinking of my story, Imogene and now wonder if this phrase "carpe diem" or "seize the day" was meant for my main character, Sarah Beth. She is definitely on a quest and every moment is crucial to finding her daughter, Imogene, so maybe she needs to seize a certain day in her quest and make the absolute most of it.

When you here the term 'carpe diem', what do you think of? Do you seize the moment or day and make the most of every minute? Do you kind of not think about it? Is this is a familiar phrase or had you not heard of it before today? Leave a comment and let me know how you tend to carpe diem.

As part of my 50-day birthday giveaway blitz, I will give one lucky person a signed copy of my first ever written story, "Train of Clues" (a mystery destination story). Just leave a comment and a valid emaiil or some way to for me to contact you if you are the winner. See you all in the postings. E :)

-----------------

Deadlines

When you are published through a publisher, you are given deadlines in order to get your book out in a reasonable time frame. You have initial submission deadlines, editing deadlines, revision deadlines and final copy proof deadlines. What if you are self-published? Do you have the same deadlines? Only if you impose them on yourself and probably the deadlines you put on yourself will be quicker than the publisher's deadlines. After all, you want to publish as many books as you can within the calendar year.

When you put deadlines on yourself, sometimes it is harder to stick to them. This is probably true in that you don't feel as pressured if you miss a deadline. You just re-evaluate and say something on the lines of "Okay, I'll just shoot to have that book published by such-and-such date or written or ..." whatever it is you are needing to accomplish at that time.

This writer has set several deadlines for herself and yet hasn't met a good many of them. I'm struggling to really stay on task and keep interest in my writing projects. I don't know if it is just life in general, I've written one novel and am basically satisfied with that, or what, but I need a serious kick in the pants. I need to get back on track as I have several state books in my JGDS series to write; I've got some short stories to put out and have this new novel I thought would be interesting, although after realizing how much research is needed the novel may not be a pressing matter. Four months ago when I stumbled upon the interactive creative writing prompt site, I was inspired by several of the pictures on the site that I wrote out three pages without a problem. Then I had to think about who my characters really are, what their ties to China were, and why they had originally gone to China for a vacation in a time when the US-Chinese relations were not at their best.

I thought when I first started that I could probably write the story and then go back and do all the research and what not but because my story is dated, I found it hard to really write much after the first three pages. I've written a couple of scenes and a prologue, which will probably disappear once the story is completed, but at the time, it was necessary to write it to hopefully lead me in the right direction.

I had set a deadline to have the story written and revised by November so that I could hopefully publish it the first part of 2013. Will I meet this deadline? Probably not. I've got a lot going on and haven't written anything on the story since March.

I also set a deadline to put three more state stories out this year, but again, I've not even written them so I'll have to take the bull by the horns and immerse myself in the writing of the stories. Not meeting deadlines only confirms that I am not disciplined enough to work for myself.

So what is the solution?
- Write everything down on a calendar or some place visible so you are reminded every day.
- Keep a daily to-do list. Cross things off once they are accomplished.
- Start small and don't try to do everything at once.
- Limit your bigger projects to one a week or every couple of weeks or whatever time it takes you to complete the task at hand.
- Break said bigger projects into smaller ones so you do feel like you are acomplishing something.
- Do everything you can to meet your deadlines. If you have a setback, try to regroup and work that much harder to make the next imposed deadline.
- Set your priorities.

What are you doing to keep your self-imposed deadlines?

---------------
Ms. Eldering is the award winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series. Her stories "Train of Clues", "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests). Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review. Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet. When she's not busy with teenaged children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events promoting her writing.

For more information about the JGDS series, please visit the JGDS blog or the JGDS website

For more information about Elysabeth's other writings, please visit her general writing and family blog or her website

Earth Day 2012

We've been celebrating earth day for quite a while now. The motto has always been reduce, reuse, and recycle. All very good advice. In honor of earth day 2012, I kept thinking to myself, how could I reduce using trees in my book marketing endeavors, and the idea came to me. Instead of passing out paper bookmarks (which I still do, but my bookmarks are multi-factorial in that they serve as my business card as well as a bookmark) for giveaways on my blog or anywhere else I am a member, why not use yarn bookmarks (my bookworm bookmarks are perfect for this).

I know I'm not recycling the yarn but they are reusable and do reduce the paper floating out around there.


So, in honor of earth day, I decided to do a drawing between now and 22nd, the actual date of earth day, both on this blog and my blog. The drawings will be an Earthworm (Woodsy) bookworm bookmark.

How to be entered in the drawings: (possibly between 17 and 20 bookworms to be given away)

1. Leave a comment on this blog from the 12th through the 22nd to be entered in the drawing. There are 11 scheduled blog postings between the 12th and 22nd, so that will be 11 drawings from comments on this blog. Each day's comments one winner will be randomly picked.
2. Leave a comment on my blog on any of the scheduled postings between the 122th and 22nd and you will be placed in the drawing. There are six scheduled posting plus a possible 2 or 3 unscheduled postings during that time frame. This means you need to stop by my blog every day to see if a new posting is up and leave a comment.
3. Leave you email addy in the comment in the format of eeldering (at) gmail (dot) com so if you are the winner you can be contacted so I can send out your bookworm.

Winners will be announced in the comment section after the winner has been contacted.


Simple to be entered, and remember if you don't win that day's drawing, there is always the next day or the day after that through the 22nd. If you are interested in the bookworms for gifts or if you don't win one, they are available on both my personal author website and my JGDS series website under the gifts tab. They are only $1.50 each plus shipping (anywhere in the United States). See you all in the postings - E :)

Include Diversity in Your Characters

Using Your Author Platform for Change Contributed by Margot Conor Authors have a powerful platform to challenge established role models and ...