Shitty First Drafts – Shitty First Titles

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The shitty first draft – the foundation of the story.  The bare bones.  There is something beautiful within those ten poorly written, jumbled, barely legible pages.

I have mastered the shitty first draft.  Now, it’s the title – this one drove me insane.

James and I have bickered endlessly over a title for our new short story (as shown in the picture above).  Generating this title has been exhausting and frustrating, but I think we have come to a decision:

“Television’s Prescription for Ratings”

Ah!  There it is.  Constructing this title was more difficult than writing the actual short story.

Stay tuned – Dr. Tyler Wright and his “death committee” are coming soon…

That Feeling… That Print Feeling!

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I just received the print copies of our anthology, The Dystopian Nation of City State.  And yes, even though this first publication isn’t perfect, it’s here.  It’s real.

One of my author friends asked, “Feels better than digital, right?”

I thought about his question and answered, “Why yes, it does.  I feel even more accomplished.”

Keep writing.  Don’t give up.  The process will get easier.

The first step is always the most difficult.  Take that step, and in City-State, aim for Olympus – the floating city in the sky.

“How to Kill Your Senator” Will Be FREE Next Week!

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Mark your calendars!  Add this to your Amazon wish list!  Charge your Kindle!  Download the Kindle app!  James and I have your perfect Valentines Day treat – get ready to download this short story (about 3,000 words) for free… Free!  Free!

“How to Kill Your Senator” will be FREE starting Monday, February 9th and ending Friday, February 13th.

Read the reviews, and discover this little sic-fi gem:

http://www.amazon.com/Dystopian-Nation-City-State-Kill-Senator-ebook/dp/B00S37N67G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1423314905&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Dystopian+Nation+of+City-State

James and I also have our other work, The Dystopian Nation of City-State: An Anthology available on Amazon in print and electronic format:

http://www.amazon.com/Dystopian-Nation-City-State-Anthology-Corruption-ebook/dp/B00PYHAPT0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423315337&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Dystopian+Nation+of+City-State

Have a wonderful day!  :)

Self-Publishing Reflections: The PRINT Version

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It’s HERE!  It’s LIVE!  James and I finally announce the release of The Dystopian Nation of City-State: An Anthology in PRINT!  The paperback version is available via Amazon for $9.99:

http://www.amazon.com/Dystopian-Nation-City-State-Anthology-Corruption-ebook/dp/B00PYHAPT0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422662911&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Dystopian+Nation+of+City-State

And, as always, James and I want to share our pitfalls and peaks while storming through the rough seas of self-publishing.  Moreover, James would like to share his words of wisdom – he was the one who worked with Create Space for the anthology.  Here are the top three lessons (he) learned:

1. We have said this before – SET RELEASE DATES AND PLAN ACCORDINGLY.  With this anthology, we said, “Let’s just publish on the fly!”  Yeah, this was stressful because people were asking for the book, and we didn’t know when the hard copy would be available (because we were unaware that the cover would be a constant issue).  Always set release dates, and take your time when working with Create Space and/or Kindle Direct Publishing.

2. Use decent photo edit software – James had problems with the cover art and transforming it into the actual cover.  Using good photo edit software worked well.  Plus, for our next novel, StarChild, we will have our artist design the ENTIRE cover, not just the front picture.  Our plan is to have the picture/scene/art (whatever it will be) wrap around both the front, the spine, and the back.

3. ALWAYS ORDER A HARD COPY PROOF – Yes, spend the money and get the hard copy.  You need to see what the buyer/reader will see.  James mended and fixed about three proofs.  And with this, you can perform another handwritten edit within the novel itself.  :)

James and I always love to provide our personal reflections and lessons learned to help other writers who self-publish.  We hope they are helpful!  If you have any other questions, let us know!  Indie writers need to support each other!  :)

AND – if you like the anthology, check out our stand alone short story (about 3,000 words), “How to Kill Your Senator”:

http://www.amazon.com/Dystopian-Nation-City-State-Kill-Senator-ebook/dp/B00S37N67G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1422663620&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Dystopian+Nation+of+City-State

And, as always, there’s more to come from City-State!

Updates from City-State – A Deadly (Rough) Reality Show and Create Space

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What’s going on in City-State?  There’s more in the works!  Here’s an update…

James and I are working on a new duel-to-the-death reality show short story!  The working title is “The Blade’s Edge: Family Edition” (don’t worry – this will change).  It’s going to be intense, somewhat relatable, and a little bloody.  Well, this piece could turn into a bloodbath since City-State’s government controls every aspect of entertainment (see the red highlighted text in the shitty rough draft below).  It is still in its rough stages, and we do not have an expected release date.

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James drew the rough cover art (above).  Don’t worry – we have already contacted our cover artist, Jamie, to turn this rough into a masterpiece!

The hard copy of The Dystopian Nation of City-State: An Anthology is on its way!  James has had problems with the formatting and cover on Create Space, but he is working through it.  I understand that some readers (including myself) love a traditional, hard copy book.  I promise, it is coming!  If you steadily read our blog, it is mainly about the pitfalls and the peaks of self-publishing.  This hard copy – a pitfall… but it is almost at its peak.  Oh, the self-publishing woes of Create Space.  More on that later…

Create Space has become a valuable learning lesson for our upcoming trilogy, StarChild.

Discover our current writings available on Kindle and the Kindle app via Amazon: “How to Kill Your Senator” and The Dystopian Nation of City-State: An Anthology.

Check out the reviews and our work on Amazon and Goodreads:

The Dystopian Nation of City-State – “How to Kill Your Senator” (short story – about 3,000 words)

A great, quick read for $.99 –

The Dystopian Nation of City-State: An Anthology (a collection of short stories that outline and provide the foundation for this dystopian paradise) priced at $1.99 –

Stay tuned!  :)

Need a Quick Read? BUY THIS! AND… Support Indie Authors!

Buy Here     jinn cover complete

Don’t have time to read a full-length novel or book right now?  Short stories are the new trend!  The Dystopian Nation of City-State has a plethora of shorts to capture your attention and keep you moving through your busy day!

Check out the reviews and our work on Amazon and Goodreads.  They are written by complete strangers during the writing, editing and publishing process:

The Dystopian Nation of City-State – “How to Kill Your Senator” (short story – about 3,000 words)

A great, quick read for $.99 –

The Dystopian Nation of City-State: An Anthology (a collection of short stories that outline and provide the foundation for this dystopian paradise) priced at $1.99 –

*The hard copy of the anthology is coming soon… oh, the joys of Create Space!  Stay tuned for that blog post.

A Writer’s Time to Reflect – How to “Kill Your Senator” and Get Reader Reviews

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In the intimidating, overwhelming, scary world of self-publishing, obtaining honest, yet critical reviews for potential readers is crucial, right?  Yes, reviews – honest reviews – are vital to marketing your work.

James and I have two publications that are live, and we are constantly learning about the realm of self-publishing (we have full-time jobs, so writing is our part-time gig right now).  And learning about getting reviews is the focus of our new short story, “How to Kill Your Senator”.

For this short narrative (around 3,000 words), I scheduled reviews for the release date, and it worked!  I have had a number of self-published writers ask about getting reviews, and I just say, “Make an ‘all call’ for readers and reviewers.”  Post a blog, Facebook your reader friends, tweet, and use other online platforms.

For our first publication, The Dystopian Nation of City-State: An Anthology, James and I were unaware of the importance of reviews (although we have gotten some great ones for this piece – and we hope to keep that ball rolling).  And the lesson learned was… set a release date and schedule reviews before that date (I am sure this is not a foreign concept, but for James and me, it was).

So… that’s what I did.  I called for reviewers for the new short – these readers were complete strangers, and I DID NOT PAY for their service.  This group of people simply wanted to read and review.  I did not charge the reviewers for the story in exchange for an HONEST review on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, etc. (whatever the platform the reviewer was most comfortable with).  James and I were (are) fully aware that these readers could post a horrible review, but the point is, James and I want to circulate our writings.  And again, we did not prompt any of our reviewers on what to feel, think, or write.  They were (are) free to write what they wish about our new piece.

This worked very well, and I want to graciously thank all of these readers (and all those other betas and reviewers in any genre) for the time taken to read and review our new short story.  More reviews are trickling in, and we love reading the positive and negative comments.  The self-publishing world would not be a glorious, creative place without you.  You all are a GREAT support for us – the indie writers!

If you desire, check out the reviews and our work on Amazon and Goodreads:

The Dystopian Nation of City-State – “How to Kill Your Senator” (short story – about 3,000 words)

A great, quick read for $.99 -

http://www.amazon.com/Dystopian-Nation-City-State-Kill-Senator-ebook/dp/B00S37N67G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1421588701&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Dystopian+Nation+of+City-State

The Dystopian Nation of City-State: An Anthology (a collection of short stories that outline and provide the foundation for this dystopian paradise) priced at $1.99 -

http://www.amazon.com/Dystopian-Nation-City-State-Anthology-Corruption-ebook/dp/B00PYHAPT0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421588701&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Dystopian+Nation+of+City-State

James and I hope this little piece of advice helps! :)