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Category: Writing

These are Matt’s musing on writing.

Sunday $.99 Book Sale!

Perhaps you were looking at my book and saying, “Nah. I’ll wait for the price to drop.”


THIS Sunday, April 22nd the Kindle version of my book will only be only $.99. Less than a dollar. Do you have a measly, tiny, eetsy, beetsy dollar? Please? Just one? Think of the puppies.

The book is enrolled in the Kindle Countdown program, so each day you delay will cost you an extra buck buck BUCK:

Monday: $1.99
Tuesday: $2.99
Wednesday: $3.99
Thursday: $4.99 (Which is still a savings of 50%!)

For those of you reading around the world, the book will also be on sale in the UK Amazon store!

Image template from Covervault and FreePik

Book One FULLY Launched!

This is it, ladies and germs. It has been a long time coming, but book #1 is fully published on Amazon. Now I got things figured out for a smooth launch of book two (this summer). First, the paperback was listed, then the eBook as a lone entity, now we have the complete package on one page.

I’ve made an easy URL to goes straight to the listing:


And I say again, sir.


Book Launched… Kinda

I’m glad this was my first time publishing a book. They say, “If at first you succeed, then try something harder.” I think I set a good goal, because I failed a lot.

Last time we met, I told you that launch was delayed because it took 3-5 business days to move from CreateSpace to Amazon. In reality, it’s closer to 7 business days. Luckily, I guessed that last week when I missed my first launch day.

The next hurdle was the eBook version. Was that created automatically after the paperback goes live? Nope. Here it is on launch day. The paperback version is live. Where is the eBook? Oh. I guess I get to make that up. I pushed hard to get it published… And now we wait. Amazon needs another 3 days to get it live. And then I know that there will be two listings… One for the paperback and one for the eBook. Amazon customer service can combine them, but that takes another day.

Le Sigh. We’ll make it better next time.

Lastly, this is an Amazon exclusive. They pay you more if you agree to only sell on Amazon. It’s 30% vs. 70% as an exclusive. It’s a good thing that Amazon controls the biggest marketplace.

Check out my book online!

If you want a crack at the Kindle version, join my mailing list. I give everybody there a free copy of the eBook. I’ll also let them know when the Kindle version is available for purchase 🙂

LAUNCH DELAY: Friday, February 9th

Doesn’t that just take the cake? I’ve been keeping everything on track (barely). I can see now that I need to get things out to my beta readers earlier in the process. It would also be better to print them off a copy that is all ready to print from CreateSpace. Since this process will take 2 days to complete, it would be good to get this out of the way. Also, a printed proof from them will be cheaper than a local print shop.

I reviewed the copy I had sent off to print and was horrified that it had no page numbers! That’s kinda important, especially when you get up there in numbers. You don’t want to be looking for page 400 in a novel without page numbers.

I looked back to the PDF I had submitted to CreateSpace for printing. Yup, no page numbers. It wasn’t them, it was me. They were doing their job right. I was the cotton-headed ninny muggings (gasp!). My heart was in my throat as I created a new PDF file from Word. And then I realized that my new version had some extra pages. 48, to be exact. That means the cover dimensions change (the spine is wider), so I re-ma-jiggered (technical term) the cover to resubmit to CreateSpace. That means they need another 24 hours to review it for submission.

And THEN it goes off to Amazon and appears just in time for tomorrow, right? No, that’s where we hit the final detail. Books will appear on Amazon for purchase in 3 to 5 Business Days. My balloon deflated. I have missed my window.

Life is a learning process, eh? Word to the other wanna-be-writer-folk out there:

  • Hit CreateSpace way in advance of launch. We’re talking two months ahead of launch. You will get access to cheap printing and make sure your bugs are ironed out. You can catch stupid mistakes and unsure your beta readers will see exactly what will be printed.
  • Review before approving. CreateSpace recommends looking over your proof three times. I caught my bug in the first pass. You might need all three. Do it. This is your baby.
  • Approve to publish one week in advance. If it takes 3 -5 business days, make sure there are at least 5 business days between you and launch. You may need to contact support for a day, so I’d make sure you have a 7 business days buffer.

Image based on template from

Printing Woes


I decided to publish my book through They take a 10% cut, but it seemed worth it to have them publish to all of the assorted stores for me–including libraries.

And then the cracks started to form in the service as I went into the actual process of publishing.

I won’t list the problems out here, because I don’t want to tarnish their livelihood. Would I use them again? No, not at all. I ended up with a superior product when I published directly through CreateSpace.

Now it is a done deal. I don’t want to switch horses this close to launch. I will be publishing my next three books through Draft2Digital. Maybe they will improve their service in years to come.

Starting with book 4, I will go direct to CreateSpace/Amazon and not bother with this silly stuff. But that is next year. This is all a learning process, right?

To make a very long story short, I will not have a printed copy of the book. I’m going all-in on the digital version. It is what it is.


So, I got kinda sorta excited. Scratch that, I got very excited. I finally, finally, FINALLY finished the book after years and years of work. I glanced at the calendar and said, “Hey! The first of next month is a nice, round number…”

Bad idea. Very bad idea. But, hey, this is all a learning experience, right! I get an A+ in “Bad Decisions 101” for the day.

Why is that a bad decision?

  • Printing Woes. You might have difficulty sending the thing to print. You should have a few extra days to do it right. If this is your first book, you’ll need extra time to learn the system.
  • Beta Reader Time. If you plan to use beta readers, you need time to print it out, ship it out, have them read it, ship it back to you, and make the final edit. Oh, and you’ll need about $100 to make that magic happen.

So, when you finally type “The End” on that manuscript, look at the calendar and add two months. You’re welcome. Nobody wants to be in a rush… like I am.


Beta Copies Printed!

There is a HUGE stack of paper!

I just got done printing FIVE copies of my book for my beta readers! Book launch in FIFTEEN DAYS!

Many thanks to my current beta readers. If you asked to be a beta reader, they are in today’s mail. I have TWO ONE NO spots left. Let me know if you would like to be a beta reader.

Beta reader benefits:

  • Early access to my writing.
  • A FREE book.

Beta reader requirements:

  • A fast reader — you can tear through a book lickety-split
  • English mastery — this is an unreleased manuscript. As such, it probably contains typos, grammar problems, and plot problems. Beware!

Seeing this monster printed out is a huge accomplishment. HUGE!

It Is Finished!

As a present to myself on my 44th birthday, I threw 10 hours into finally finishing off this beast!

I launch on Amazon February 1st! That will be enough time to get copies out to beta readers and reviewers. Then I’ll have time for one last pass before it all goes live.

Pray for me!

Le Gasp. Le Pant.

It has been a doozy of a few days. I have hit the editing hard. I now know that I can produce one book every three months. That is a break-neck pace, but it’s doable. I know how I just said that I would be doing six edit passes for every book. Nah nah nah. I’ll be doing about six, at two weeks per pass. We have a tight schedule. I will lean heavily on my beta readers to find additional problems. And with print-on-demand and the Kindle version, I can upload a new edit at any time.

Additionally, I have finally finally finally finished numbering all the chapters. Some were too long and others were too short. Now the average length is twenty-seven pages. There are nineteen chapters. Whew! It was a hard push. Now I can see the goalpost.

I can cover about one and a third chapters per day. Sometimes I can cover more. Nineteen divided by one point three is fourteen (and change). That means every edit will take about two weeks.

I have read that a typical book goes through fifteen revisions and takes years to complete. Years? If the average book brings in between $100 and $200 per month, that just sounds like a phenomenal waste of time. That won’t fit into my plan.

And now the end is in sight! I’m on seventeen of nineteen. That means in one to two days, I’ll be finished! Next, it’s off to beta readers! Then, I will do a tombstone edit integrating all of their changes, run the thing through Hemingway and Grammarly, and then publish!

January’s shaping up to be pretty cool. Praise to God!

Eight-Pass Editing Marathon

It was Mr. Smarty-pants himself, Albert Einstein, who said it:

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
-Albert Einstein

This is true of many, many things. The more I know, the more things this applies to.

It is for this reason that I try to keep an open mind about almost everything. If I learn about a better way to do things, I change up my behavior.

This is true of editing. I self-edit all of my manuscripts, along with a little help from my friends (Beta Readers and Team Typo).

This is in EIGHT passes. I am documenting my passes here for any writers who want some learnin’ on editing. Take it or leave it.

  1. Clean-up. This is my first pass after my rough draft is finished. Since I dictate my manuscript (using Dragon), there are lots of silly mistakes that make it through. I also notice other silly mistakes when my words are in print. This is a shallow edit. This is an edit that a developmental editor would create. I can change character identities, plot points, or muck about with story. If my book were a clay sculpture, I would have lots of mud under my nails at this point.
  2. JK Rowling. An early reviewer said that I was a combination of JK Rowling, HG Wells, and CS Lewis. This is very high praise. I have embraced this review as an easy way to describe what my writing is like. Additionally, I have seized upon these authors as phases in my editing. In my JK Rowling pass, I am concentrating on adding magic, adventure, and wonder.
  3. HG Wells. In this pass, I am focused on adding high-technology.
  4. CS Lewis. During this edit, I am adding religious themes and symbolism.
  5. Hemingway. I was recently directed to the Hemingway application
    online. Although there is a paid version, I currently use the free version. That might change when I start making some real money with my writing. This app makes sure you are using short sentences and active writing. These keeps you from being too wordy or using big words.
  6. Grammarly. My next destination is the Grammarly application. This looks at spelling and grammar (as the name implies). This performs better than what you will find in Word or other word-processors. You could use this app earlier in the editing process, but the other steps might call for major changes to the manuscript.
  7. Beta Readers, Reviewers, and Team Typo. At this point, the manuscript is pretty close to launch. It can be distributed to Beta Readers, Team Typo, and Review Ravagers. If I get important feedback at this stage, I put it into the manuscript.
  8. Tombstone Edit. I have been away from the story for a couple weeks now. I can go back into it with fresh eyes. This is my last pass before prime time. At this point, I will see if the submitted changes are working with the manuscript as a whole.

Team Typo

Consider joining Team Typo. I have a special soft place in my heart for our legion of elves. These folks receive a free early edition of my next book in exchange for a Typo Report. This can be a marked-up paper copy (I’ll pay the postage!). For those reading on Kindle, the easiest way to mark typos is to bookmark each location and highlight the typo.

More information can be found on the Team Typo page!