Cover to Launch!

Friends,

Welcome to a new a week! Have you set goals for yourself this week? Have you thought of how you’ll go about accomplishing those goals? I think that is just one way (of many possible ways) to start out the week in the best way possible – for if you know what needs to be done and how you’ll get it done, then your chances of success are much greater! And the great things is, that idea can be applied to anything, so it’s not just a piece of advice coming from a writer. So if you haven’t yet gotten your to-do list together for this week, get to it! Speaking of getting to it, let’s get to this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Connection

I will be contacting my cover designer this week to finally get that process moving. It is exciting to be at that point to see a new cover materialize, and to see how the final product compares to the vision I had for it from the start. I will keep you updated here and on social media throughout the process!

Editing is continuing on Imminent, and I’m eagerly awaiting the first revision from my editor on the material I’ve given him so far. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll have some things on my plate that will take up some of my time, but I intend to use the spare time during the weeks ahead to continue writing and editing. The tentative release date is now moved to later in the fall, but I’ll include more details about that when I release the cover.

The Short Story Collection

I haven’t talked about this for some time, but I wanted to address it. I put this project on hold for a while so I could focus on my Faces project. After I finish Imminent, I’ll put some time in to work on Volume 2. My goal is to primarily focus on my WWII project until it’s completed, because I really want to finish that and not let it slip into the “I’ll get to it later” pile. But I am excited to get that project up and running again, but when the time is right!

If you’d like to check out my first short story ebook, Volume 1, you can find it here.

YouTube

In the coming weeks and months, I aim to add little things here and there to my vlogs with the intent to spice them up a bit. I think I’ll keep them geared toward a mix of my personal life and writing life, but I feel like there’s something missing that might give the videos a better quality. I’m not entirely sure yet what I’ll be doing, but you can expect small changes and/or additions as autumn approaches.

If you missed last week’s vlog (on editing and news about Imminent‘s book cover), you can find it here.

That’s all I have for you in terms of news, but it’s all been part of an exciting process that will ultimately lead to the publication of another book. I am extremely grateful for those who have supported me in my writing, my vlogging, and my overall passion that has been a part of my life for the past couple of years. It really means a lot to me!

Until next time,

-Eli

Unguarded: Reflection

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and on the way to achieving your weekly goals! I wanted to reflect on the experience from beginning to end, as well as inform you of some things, so let’s get down to business.

This past weekend, Unguarded released in print and on the Kindle. It has been a wonderful seven months since beginning the writing process in June. Throughout the early summer, I planned the book in skeleton form, getting the main plot ideas down before moving forward. From June to September, I spent quite a bit of time writing, applying tips and tricks I’d learned along the way. One thing I also tried to incorporate this time around is extending the length of manuscript. This was a common suggestion in the reviews from Resistant, so I wanted to listen to that and act on it.

After completing the first draft, I gave the manuscript to two of my friends. They acted as my beta readers and editors, one of them actually being my editor on the first book. While I awaited their feedback, I contacted my cover designer and got that process moving. Knowing what I wanted this time around, I received the final cover less than a week from when I placed the order for it. If you are interested, check out BookFuel for their author services. Soon after that, my editors/readers each gave me some great feedback, helping me shape my story into the second draft. It was in that draft that much of the story kept its form, remaining that way all the way until publication.

The third and final draft (in terms of major changes to the manuscript) was finished around Thanksgiving. I rested my writing mind during the holidays, which is a good piece of advice for aspiring writers. Taking breaks is not a bad thing! I then read through the third draft two more times before the middle of December arrived, tweaking and amending parts of the story that needed it. The biggest aspect I tried to pay attention to was the dialogue. This has been an ever-changing aspect of writing for me in the sense that I have been putting much effort into trying to make it the best it can be.

I then gave the manuscript to my editor for three weeks (December into January). He sent me really helpful feedback and answered a few questions after I went through his changes. With the manuscript very close to being complete, I did one final read-through. Again, I focused on dialogue, as well as keeping an eye out for grammar and spelling one last time. I finished this item on the checklist the day before I needed to submit the manuscript to Amazon (for the pre-order).

After submitting the formatted ebook manuscript to KDP (.mobi files for Kindle, by the way), I formatted the print document. Createspace provides templates that make formatting easier on the indie publisher. You can check them out here. I wanted to streamline the look of my books, especially those in the Faces of the War collection, so I simply made the formatting for one book and saved the same document as different files for each of the books. This may take you some time, but it will help improve the image of your books, which improves the quality of your brand.

When the time came to submit the print version to Createspace, I did that with much excitement. The next morning, I received an email from Createspace stating they found no formatting errors and that the book’s publication awaited my “O.K.” I gave the final submission through my profile on Createspace on Friday evening of last week. Even though the prompt then said it would take 3-5 business days to process, the book still went live Monday morning. Sometimes is just works out for the better in that way.

Overall, I was very happy with my writing, editing, and publishing experience this time around. Writing has given me such joy, and I hope that the content I distribute does the same for my readers. I am very excited for the possibilities in store for me in 2015, and I can’t wait to get moving on the next project.

One final thing is this: if you are a new or somewhat new writer, and find yourself discouraged or unmotivated, please do not lose heart. All it takes it just to work a little here and a little there to get into a rhythm. And if you’re not feeling the writing vibe at the moment, then do some reading. Anything you can do to stimulate your creative mind will help you out. Don’t ever tell yourself you can’t do something just because it’s 45,000 words away. You can do it!

I hope you will check out my books, especially Unguarded, and tell me what you think in a review!

Until next time,

-Eli

Countdown to Unguarded

Friends,

As I began today working out (as part of a modest goal I set for myself), I thought of what you all might be doing to help improve your lives in the new year, if that is something you’re aiming to do. For some time I have wanted to get back into the shape I was in during my early college years, so that is what I am focusing on for the next handful of months. I wish you luck and would like to encourage you to persevere through whatever it is that you want to accomplish! Now, on to the blog post…

The Faces of the War Collection

This week marks the time of “zero hour” for the Kindle version of Unguarded. By this, I mean that I have to submit the final version of the manuscript to Amazon by Wednesday so that the book will be ready to launch when the pre-order finishes on January 24th (the release date). I will spend today and tomorrow doing one final read-through of the MS, in which I’ll simply look for grammatical errors and other minor things like that. Nothing in the story can change at this point.

My aim for funneling readers (current and potential) to my books is to do it through my website so they can see my other content, but this link will send you directly to the Amazon page. I am getting very excited to launch this book, the second in my WWII collection. If you haven’t yet read my first book, Resistant, I encourage you to check it out. Remember that you don’t have to read the first book in order to understand the second one, as they are separate stories.

Cover_front      Cover - Round 2

Covers for Resistant and Unguarded

I wrote a post in December about my writing process, and in that post I mentioned that I want to write a post on my self-publishing experiences so far. I am thinking, at least at this point, that that post will be written sometime in the weeks immediately following Unguarded‘s launch. I want to devote time to finishing that project, and then I can spend time pouring out some information about my experience. Another reason I’d like to wait until then is because part of that post will include more details on the editing/refining part of the publishing process, and I’d like to include some things about Unguarded‘s editing/refining process in there. You can probably expect that post to come sometime in February.

Again, the release date for Unguarded is Saturday, January 24, so be sure to pre-order the Kindle version in order to save a buck. The print version’s release should coincide with that of the Kindle. I’ll post another big reminder in next week’s blog post.

Thank you for all your encouragement and support as I trek through the journey of writing and self-publishing. I truly enjoy it, and I want to help others who have a passion for it to enjoy it as well in their own way. If you are a fellow author, feel free to contact me whenever you please – I always enjoy networking with other authors!

Until next time,

-Eli

Unguarded Details

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and ready to face a new week! The main bit of news I have for you today is related to the publication and release of Unguarded, my upcoming WWII book, so let’s dive right in…

The Faces of the War Collection

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, the release date for Unguarded has been pushed back to its original tentative date of early January. Though I don’t yet have a specific date set for sure, I can tell you that the end of the editing process shouldn’t make publication go much later into January than the third week. That is the hope, at least. This being the first time I’ve used a professional editor, I can’t say with 100% confidence whether or not I can release the book by any given date. That is all I can give you on that aspect of things at this time.

With regard to the writing process, I have read through the entire manuscript twice thus far. When I wrote Resistant, I read through the manuscript a total of five times. I may or may not do that this time around…it just depends on how I feel about the book and the timeline of things. I am going to try and focus on polishing up the dialogue in this book, as that has been something of a common issue in feedback comments.

If you are relatively new to writing and self-publishing, let me lend you a bit of advice. In my experience, I have found that the best way to work through the writing/publishing process is to remain flexible in your mind. By this, I mean flexible in your timelines, flexible in your openness to change, and flexible in your creativity. Having taught in a classroom, I can tell you that planning ahead too far and too specifically is a waste of time and energy. Writing and self-publishing are very similar, especially if you employ the services of professional cover designers, editors, etc. You can’t expect everything to fall within your desired timeline, so you must be flexible if you want your work to come out successful on the other end.

As for being open to change, I stress this because I have a slight fear of complacency. With storytelling, especially in a series or collection like what I am producing, you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) expect to capture a reader’s attention over and over if you write in the same way, use the same methods, or revert to what you know every time an obstacle appears in your writing path. Embrace challenge and use those obstacles to explore the writing ability within yourself. Sure, you may want to keep some aspects similar for the sake of continuity and commonality, especially in a series or collection, but changing up other aspects of your writing lends itself to better engaging your readers.

This leads to what I mentioned about being flexible in creativity. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I’ll reiterate it: good writers are good readers. All that means is that as a writer, it will help expand your creative side if you read works by other writers, especially ones in your genre. For example, in my writing (mostly historical fiction) I couch my plot in historical fact, using accurate facts and known truths to support my characters and what they experience. So to accomplish that, I read historical non-fiction works from credible authors in order to give an authentic feel to my stories. It works differently for different authors in different genres, but you get the idea.

Now I’m not saying that I know everything about writing, because I don’t, but I am saying that those three aspects of the writing and publishing process are important things to consider…so I encourage you to do so!

Regarding my other projects, I can tell you that I’ve taken a small break from my Short Story collection in order to focus on delivering Unguarded to you. On the plus side, brainstorming and planning for other books and projects are underway!

If you are new to this blog, I encourage you to join my mailing list so you can receive in-depth updates directly from me regarding my projects. There is more information included there than here, so it’d be the best way to get the inside scoop on what I’m doing. And lastly, I encourage you to tell a friend about my work. One of the most powerful marketing tools for authors is word of mouth. To those who have been following along with me for some time, I thank you for all the support and encouragement you’ve given. It is truly appreciated!

Until next time,

-Eli

Decisions, Decisions

Friends,

Something has been weighing on me for the past handful of days, and I want to use this space to get it off my shoulders. I have received the preliminary edits from two of my editors, and one of the main issues that sticks out is that my characters’ dialogue comes across as inorganic and stiff at times. I received similar feedback from a few readers about this same issue after the release of my first book. So in thinking about where my weaknesses lie in terms of writing, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that dialogue is one of those areas.

So here is my dilemma…how to go about editing Unguarded to bring it to publication. The turnaround time for the professional editor is 2-3 weeks, which I originally thought would be the time span from early November until Thanksgiving. It would be at that time that I would begin fixing the editing suggestions in the text, which could take up to 1-2 weeks. After finalizing the manuscript and converting it, the date would be roughly around December 10-12, at which time I would submit my manuscript to Amazon for formatting review before it would be available for purchase.

However, I want to make sure that this book is a step further than the last in terms of writing progression and development. I don’t want to become complacent and end up with a handful of books with stale stories when it’s all said and done. I think I would rather put in some extra time polishing the dialogue and anything other things that might need tending to, than put out a bad book too soon.

So here is what I am considering and will hopefully decide on by the end of the week: I will use the time from now until Thanksgiving (or maybe all of November for that matter) to tweak the dialogue and other issues, and then submit my manuscript for editing in early December. I would then hopefully get it back around Christmas or so, which would then put the final manuscript up for final submission around the first week of January. I don’t feel as bad in this thinking because my original tentative release date was January 12. So it all comes back to quality versus quick release, for me at least.

As I ponder this thought throughout the week, I welcome any comment or suggestion (and even encouragement) from you, my readers, that may help guide me through the mire that is tough decision-making.

As for general news that usually occurs in my blogs, here are some small points:

– the cover for Unguarded is complete and will be revealed at a later date

– there is a development regarding Resistant (related to an updated edition) that I will discuss further in the coming weeks

Again, I thank you all for your support and the fact that you follow along with me on the journey through the world of self-publishing. It truly means a lot, and I don’t say that lightly.

Until next time,

-Eli

Resistant on Sale!

Friends,

Today is the start to a new week. I truly hope you are accomplishing something on your to-do list today. It always feels great when that happens! I have some interesting news for you today, so let’s jump on in…

The Faces of the War Collection

Cover_front

First off, I would like to announce that my debut book Resistant will be going on sale this week into next week, October 21-28, on Amazon. This is another promotional tool I am using in the buildup to the release of my next book in this collection, further explained below. I’ll include a direct link here for your convenience! The print version is also live again, with the distribution issues finally resolved. In case you missed what all went on regarding why Resistant wasn’t in print for some time, you can read the article here. If you haven’t read my book yet, I do encourage you to check it out. Maybe it’ll be something you’d like!

Now on to news related to Unguarded.

Unguarded_sneakpeak

This week should be an interesting one for me, mostly because it is the last full week of October. By that, I mean that it is the last full week I have before the next step in the publishing process for Unguarded takes place: designing my cover on the 1st of November! Unguarded, the second book in the “Faces of the War” collection, will continue to be put through the editing process for about another month or so. At that time I hope to have the cover finalized and the final manuscript ready for conversion, which I am doing on my own for this book.

I am excited that the draft manuscript is going through changes. Despite the satisfaction of completing the writing part rather quickly, I knew I would want to go back through and rework the text where appropriate. It feels good and right to go back and make some changes and additions; that is something crucial in making a good story, I believe. This time around, I worked with the editor of my first book (my friend Angela), but also picked up another editor. The primary reason for this was simply scheduling conflicts and lack of time on the schedules of all involved. The manuscript will go through a third editor, one who works for the author resources company BookFuel (who helped with my first book), in November. I am really looking forward to this change-up in routine from my last book, ready to experience something a little different and new this time.

As these next 4-6 weeks come and go, I will be releasing more details related the release of Unguarded, both on this blog as well as through my newsletter. If you have not joined my mailing list–where you receive VIP details and updates before the general public–I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s very easy! I’ll include the link here. The process for subscribing is pretty straightforward. Once you’re a part of the Eli Kale community, you’ll receive a bi-weekly newsletter with details and behind-the-scenes information on what I am doing, especially Unguarded. It’s really a great way for me to connect with you, my readers!

The Short Story Collection

Volume 1 of my short story collection has been available for the Kindle for a few weeks now, and so far I’ve heard from a few readers that they like the material. I am trying to provide my readership with different story material that they can easily read through between the publication of my larger projects. The first volume went live in September, and the second volume should go live sometime shortly after the New Year. You can find more information on the collection here.

Volume 1 - Cover

That is basically all the big news I have for you right now. I look forward to releasing more details in the coming weeks, and I do hope you’ll keep up with me as the release of Unguarded approaches! Remember to check out Resistant on sale this week!

Until next time,

-Eli