Direction for Newbie Indie Authors from other Indies

One thing that has changed everything in the Publishing Industry  is the willingness of self-published authors to share with others the ins and out, the experience learned by hands on doing, and the pitfalls to be wary of in publishing. With such a giving group, late comers to the Indie book scene can benefit from the generosity of other writers who have blazed the path to self-publishing.

Not too long ago self-publishing was frowned upon, as if it meant the same thing as vanity press. Things have changed dramatically, and today the Indie book shelves are filled not only with newbie authors but also with books written by seasoned authors who chose to leave traditional publishing companies and venture the Indie path in order to make money. Today vanity press is traditional publishing!

Why should anyone work for free? The  hours of hard work authors put into their books should never be taken for granted. Most authors have a better chance to earn money from their efforts with self-publishing than they do with traditional.

If you want to join the excitement of the Indie Book Publishing World but don’t know where, or how to start, then you’re in luck.

Here is a list of some helpful places to start . . . but I warn you, there’s lots of reading involved and many things to learn. So get settled in for the long haul and make the choice to take your writing work seriously.

Step up to the new world of self-publishing, learn more about being Indie here:

Killing The Sacred Cows of Publishing by Dean Wesley Smith

Alliance of Independent Authors 

JA Konrath – A Newbies Guide to Publishing

How To Publish A book 101 via The Creative Penn

The Kindlepreneur, Dave Chesson  

Let’s Get Digital with David Gaughran

EZ Indie Publishing Info Begin Here

  Keep reading – Keep Writing!


New Release – Seeking Redemption

Join Elisabeth Zguta in celebrating her newest book’s release

Seeking Redemption is now available at Amazon in eBook and paperback format


seeking-redemption-cover-2016-compSeeking Redemption

Book Three Curses & Secrets Serial

Robert de Gourgues had done horrible things in the past, even to his own family. Now he wants forgiveness but things are complicated. He’s hounded by an evil group—the Black Wolf Society. Once Robert had sought to be part of that elite group, but now he deplores their very existence.
Approached by an FBI agent who is leading a special task force, Robert is coerced to infiltrate the terrorist group in exchange for his freedom.

Check it out!

Share this post with other readers who enjoy reading suspense thrillers with supernatural and horror plots like stories from these famous authors: Joe Hill, Kay Hooper, and yes Stephen King and Dean Koontz

Interested in reviewing this book? Send an email to ask for a copy in exchange for an honest review. Email address:




New Release-The Kite by Sridhar Shankar

The Kite eBookCoverThumbnail


It’s always wonderful to celebrate a new story, as it rises from the ashes of the hours spent working the words into some semblance of the image we see and hear in our mind’s eye. Some stories touch our hearts, and we can see, touch and feel, as if we were there.

Sridhar Shankar has written a beautiful tale that will touch your heart.sri

The Kite is a wonderful tale of a boyhood experience. Suman faces new challenges when he visits his grandparents in India. He attempts to make friends and learns tough lessons about being bullied. This story isn’t for children. The Kite is for all people, who empathize with the need of companionship. It’s a story for those who have had to reach out for help from other people to survive. A story for people who have struggled with the difficult task of sorting out new and confusing things in our lives.

The Kite is an uplifting story that crosses all borders and leaves a message felt by all people.

Available now at Amazon

The Kite by Sridhar Shankar

Story Preview here:

The Kite eBookCoverThumbnail


Indie Author Platform: Begin Yours Now

Hello fellow readers and authors

Sridhar Shankarthis is a quick post to welcome the newest writer venturing into the independent publishing world. Please check out the new author page for Sridhar Shankar. Sri has been writing for years, honing his craft, and working with editors. I first met Sri at our local Memphis critique group a few years back. On Saturday afternoons we shared our work and gave each other feedback. Now, Sridhar Shankar is ready to begin the process of  building his platform and releasing some of his work. I was fortunate enough to have read some of his stories and readers are in for a treat. Stay tuned for his first release, coming soon.

Happy reading!

Building a platform:

A Definition of Author Platform by Jane Friedman

How to Build an Author Platform | Write To Done

Build Your Author Platform | The Write Life


Understanding Copyright (Clear measures to follow)

Copyright is not a black & white issue, but has layers of gray matter –

(see various links below with helpful copyright information)

MWC1There are many ongoing discussions on this topic in various writer websites, blogs and columns. There was a great conversation at Indies Unlimited and another on LinkedIn. Some say “keep it simple and mail yourself the manuscript.” The truth is you don’t even have to do that –  As an author of a work you automatically have the copyright, whether you are a writer or student,  at least according to the newest law.

In 1998 they updated the  Copyright Act of 1976. You have the rights to your work for life plus seventy years!

There are some issues though, that crop up from time to time, when you may need more than your copyright of author. If you truly want to be protected, in a case of plagiarism for example, the courts will be more in your favor to award your injury if you have the copyright registered.

Lucky for us all, it is easy to do and fairly inexpensive. Just go on-line and register and pay the $35 fee, that’s it.  thCAIPPIK2

The gray area of copyright law comes into play more often when we choose to sell our rights, or license the rights. This is also very important to know about, if you ever quote someone, or use parts of other people’s work in any novel, instructional material or classwork.

Free-Public-Domain-Watching-EyeFor example, in copyright law there is an exception 110-1 which states some works can be quoted and used for educational purposes. Like any exception, you need to understand when and where it applies. Most teachers use this exception in their classroom when they show a film, or pass out enrichment materials. Most don’t give it a second thought, however as authors, we need to be sure that any content we use to support our own work, is licensed for that use, before we use it. The intent of the redistribution is also very important.

There are some places where it is easier to find the public work we can use and reference in our writing, let’s say for our own blog. We can visit the Public Domain and see what is there open for the public. Just make sure you understand what can be used, and how. Also, there is work listed as Creative Commons, again with various licenses controlling how the work can be used. So read and understand the license attached to the work you want to quote.

The same kind of protection follows musicians. There have been cases where one songwriter will sue another – most famous that comes to my mind is when George Harrison was sued by the Chiffons for his ‘My Sweet Lord’ recording. On that note – here is a sample of the famous two songs – Judge for yourself.

Useful Links:    copyr Gov      cc


Digital Millennium Copyright Act   WIPO


Five questions


Writing Teams with Editing – Honing Our Craft

The Writing Craft: Editing & Honing Is a Life Learning Experience

Telling a story well is not easy to accomplish. For centuries people have been seeking out the best format and sentence structure to utilize in our prose. It is a never ending journey, evolving with the changing world as the language and methods used to tell a fascinating tale change too.Fashion book circa 1800's

From the early days of Cuneiform script etched on clay tablets using reed as a stylus –

to the scrolls stacked in the Library of Alexandria –

to the artful books scribed by pious monks –

then flash forward to the halls and racks in the Library of Congress, filled with over 36 million books (also other materials)

mankind strives to write the best story possible.



 Historical styles used in the writing craft:

The classic Chinese poetry of Book of Songs or Shijing  comprising of 305 poems dating back to the 7th centuries BCE, was considered to be folk songs for the people yet each poem displayed a literary polish, and used the style of a meter with a four-character line structure.

Sangam literature, one of the first societies discovered that dealt with human feelings regarding love, war, government and loss, in the poems composed by Tamil men and women of all professions and classes back in 300 BCE.

Centuries later the Greeks wrote tales and literary works still read today – The Iliad and The Odyssey were composed with vivid depictions of travel, war, honor and loss, love and hatred – all mixed into wonderful stories still held in high regard for their literary essence.

A written road traveled from Sanskrit, Medieval, Persian, Jewish, Japanese, Renaissance, Baroque, Early Modern….

up to today’s Post Modern and now we are here – the 21st century literature.

A new push is upon us, liberating many new authors who in the past had no hope to be heard. Self-publishing has made it possible for anyone with a story to reach out to readers. Responsibility comes with this privilege.

Whether we are a novice author or have been published for years, there is common ground for us all. The writing process is a continual learning adventure. We need to be open to new ideas and willing to learn.Honing by EZguta

When we write, the editor within us learns by trying out new phrases, replacing words in search of that exquisitely, well built, beautifully articulated sentence.

Each decade as our language evolves we strive to reach the public ear, while pursuing for good writing structure. All authors need to stay current with the times and connected to the readers to remain relevant.

There are many ways to edit for the final work to shine.

Many have written books on style and form. For a list check out HERE.  The trick is to use them all, but always keep your target market in mind. We write for them, so they need to understand our underlying message. The average person may not have the vocabulary range of a literary connoisseur.

It is important for our writing to sound true for the reader intended.

catcher-in-the-ryeThis comes down to the style you want to use.

All writing can be good writing. Even the colloquial can be done well. Not many will disagree that The Catcher in the Rye written in 1951 by J. D. Salinger used the language of the youth in those days, some swearing (okay – a lot of swearing) and a very down to earth manner, yet it was of great literary relevance.

As we write and edit remember our audience, as well as the rules of good writing.

For me there is ONE RULE –

write the very best you can with your current ability.Leaves of Grass

Let’s face facts. Once a work is completed and time passes, surely that same writer can go back to the very same piece and edit again, even more brilliantly than done the first time.

Another literary giant, Walt Whitman revised Song of Myself five times.

Who am I to argue?

WHY is this so? Because we continually hone our craft, as we write and read, and we never will be truly ‘accomplished’. Down underneath it all we have much in common – novice and mufti-published authors –

We are all life learners, honing our craft.


More Info –

2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival

Copyright Office

Open Culture   The best free cultural & educational media on the web

Selfpublishers Need To Know About US Copyright

Do You Need To Copyright Your Work?

thCAU11803There have been a lot of discussions about this topic all over blogger web sites like Indies Unlimited and social channels like LinkedIn group discussions.

The most common advice out there in the Indie world is to mail yourself a copy of your work, because once you have that time stamp by the US post office, it’s official.

The only concern is – Would this stand up in court?

Ask yourself these questions –

  • Are you concerned about your work being stolen or plagiarized?
  • Will you be using multiple distribution channels including overseas?

To ensure your rights are protected here in the US, go to the website and apply. It’s that simple.

It is an easy process. The website is

First you will have to register.

Second you will have to fill in the information about your work and send or attach copies.

Don’t be intimidated, just read the instructions and make sure you understand what they are asking.

The fee is low, your peace of mind for $35 – A deal for these days.My Library of Congress Copyright

Once you open the claim it will take a while for it to process. My experience was a long wait, but they had been going through a major site construction at the time. When they needed physical copies, I was contacted by an employee via email and she was very professional, courteous and helpful.



My Registration Number is TX7-809-694 effective (retro) date May 22, 2013 

Everything is up and running smoothly now. Here is the list for the new fees just announced yesterday.

 freeDo not confuse the copyright registered with the Library of Congress with DRM – that is an entire different matter we can discuss at another time. Also don’t assume that US laws mean anything anywhere else, some countries acknowledge US rights, some do not. So you see there is still more you can research before you make your decision – just learn about it and make an informed decision.

Here is a quick FUN video on US Copyright & Use


Another Video on copyright law history & facts