Learning the Ropes by Jen Smith

Learning the ropes as a new Indie author is not easy. There is endless information on the web to sort through and countless people and companies offering a wide variety of services for a broad range of prices. I feel compelled to tell folks about an unpleasant experience (to say the least) I had with a company that I overpaid to format my book for Kindle, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble in hopes to save someone from making the same mistake I did. After the blood sweat and tears of actually completing my book and the good fortune of having a close friend that is an amazing editor I made the soul searching decision to publish independently. I’m pretty tech savvy and thought that I might be able to figure out the formatting myself but wanted to make sure it was done correctly so I hired a company out west. The women that ran this company did speaking engagements about the ebook industry and had written a few books herself about writing books to develop your brand. Her website was equally impressive. I went ahead and paid her what I know now is way beyond the going rate for formatting. Continue reading “Learning the Ropes by Jen Smith”

Is Truth in Non-Fiction Really Just Perception? by Jen Smith

What is truth? Is truth a fact? I can look at my car and say there are four tires. That is a fact. I can look at my car and say it’s red. That is a fact. Or is it? Another person could look at my car and say that it is burgundy. Is burgundy red? Some would say yes and some would say no. So then, what is the true color of my car?

Truth really is a grey area. Recently I attended a writer’s workshop at Grub Street Boston about breaking the rules in non-fiction and a great discussion formed around this topic. At one point the instructor gave us an example of an author that took the liberty to change the number of heart attacks that happened during a particular time, in a particular state, and also the name of a bar in a journalistic piece. The author’s reasoning was that the number four sounded better than eight and Bucket of Blood, as a bar name, was cooler than the actual name of the bar.

Interestingly there was a student in the class that was fine with the number change but thought changing the name of the bar was outright wrong. I felt the opposite. Changing the name of the bar was fine to me but changing a statistical number was appalling to me. I found our contradicting views fascinating. Neither one of us was right nor wrong, we just had different perspectives based on our experiences with the world. Continue reading “Is Truth in Non-Fiction Really Just Perception? by Jen Smith”

When is an author really an author? by Jen Smith

Just because I’ve written a book and it’s available on Amazon.com, does that mean I’m an author? I’ve labeled myself many things before, student, groupie, investment analyst, felon (not convicted), space shot, mom, but never author. In my social network obsessive plight I’ve begun interacting with other authors in forums where I am supposedly an author as well.

Recently I discovered a Facebook family called Book Junkies. I read about it some where in some article in somebody’s blog. I wish I could quote where from for you but I was so intrigued I instantly Googled Book Junkies and found the page and the option to join, swiftly leaving the blog source in the dust in classic A.D.D. style. Book Junkies is a place for Indie Authors to meet, learn about each other and support each other. Continue reading “When is an author really an author? by Jen Smith”

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