Author Feature

Q&A with Nigel Leader, Author of Miami Stretch

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Nigel Leader, author of “Miami Stretch”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

1. Tell us a little bit about your book. What inspired you to write it?

My book is basically about my entire life from the day I was born, up until present time which was actually too long for one single book so I write the entire story in a two volume series. Miami Stretch covers the very interesting interactions that I have had over my more than two decade career experiences as a limousine chauffeur in South Florida with the four different limousine companies that I have worked for in that two decade expanse of time. I believe the many life stories that I share in my book are very interesting and worthy of telling as well as somewhat unbelievable. I am not a fiction writer however, my imagination is not that good although my memory is.

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My inspiration to write this book only came during the time of both during, as well as after my very bitter divorce and at a time when I could not afford an attorney to draw up a custody agreement for my three minor children. The family court had not issued a child custody agreement with the forced divorce decree and had also granted my ex-wife a baseless civil (non-criminal) restraining order. With these two court orders in place, I went about a year and a half without spending any time with my three children and only seeing them during the short time before they got on their school bus after school. During this time I spent the majority of my time and energy writing Miami Stretch because I knew I had to do something better for them as I had absolutely no intention of ever raising them like this when I had decided to get married some eleven years earlier. My stories and this book would be what I eventually figured out would give me the best shot for them to potentially have a better life with me fully involved in their day to day growth.

2. What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?  

The one message that I would like to convey to readers is that ….God is always in control and will always have your best interest at heart if only you acknowledge him and have faith that he can and will do such great things for you. The stories that I share in Miami Stretch, time and time again prove that things are not over when you think they are. God has come through for me on multiple occasions and long after I thought the story was over. I am certainly glad that I have such a great memory to recall my life stories and how God had eventually come through for me and now I can certainly use those stories as a testimony…both the good and the bad.

author photo3. What are 5 things you’ve learned about self-publishing?

1) You have the freedom to say what you want. I believe in the power of free speech and self-publishing is the ultimate form of that expression without having a publisher with “special interests” breathing down your neck.

2) It’s really not that expensive. Looking back, for what I got out of that little investment to self-publish…the payoff is tenfold when I can actually say that I am now a published author! I also now have the business cards to prove it as well as my book being available to be purchased literally worldwide! Well worth it!!

3) It is a very easy process with everything being done from my laptop and my WiFi connection. No running around to downtown offices to do meetings and signings and the business end of book selling as I thought it would be. That freedom alone to me makes it all worth it.

4) Everything is done at your pace…no high pressure anything from self-publishing companies. I had a near two month delay in payment due to my financial situation and I never once heard anything about it except for “let us know when you have the remainder of the funds available.” I certainly thought I would have eventually received a chewing out for not fulfilling the signed contract in a timely manner but that never came and the book was finally released.

5) I have heard other well known authors praise the self-publishing route over the traditional publishing route and I have also heard one best selling author as she had sworn to always take the self publishing route simply because she has had more control in the putting out “her own product” and the simplicity of the self published pay scale versus the pay scale of a full publishing house. Miami Stretch has only recently been released and I am yet to receive pay from the proceeds but I soon hope that I can say the same thing.

4. What do you love most about self-publishing and would you recommend it to other authors?

What I love most about self-publishing is definitely the freedom that it brings, from freedom of speech, to freedom of time, and freedom of expression and choices in your very own product that you yourself are pushing out to the public. Your product is your product…every word, picture, or comma. I can honestly say that with the final release of Miami Stretch. I would highly recommend self-publishing to anyone who has a voice and wants to use that voice to ultimately exercise and express their God given freedoms.

5. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

My advice to other potential authors would be to drop the excuses. Since my friends and family only recently found out about my writing skills (I mostly kept it a secret right up to the point of the actual book release) I have heard on numerous occasions… “I always wanted to write a book …BUT…” If you have to put a “but” behind that sentence you are not ready. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time to write consistently (it took me three years to get out volume one) so if there are any excuses as to why you can’t write. Focus first on finishing up the “but” so you can commit to pushing out your final product. Your readers will appreciate the time you have spent to put your heart and soul into your writing and making reading your book an extreme pleasure and joy…they will surely know the difference.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page. 

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Author Feature

My Side of the Story by Jessica Stafford

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Jessica Stafford, author of “My Side of the Story”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

blog picMy name is Jessica Stafford and I am a twenty-one year old brain tumor survivor. At seven years old I was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor that could have easily ended my life. At age sixteen, my doctors found two more tumors, this time it wasn’t only in my brain. It’s been a long, hard road leading up to this point in my life, but Gods been with me through it all. His healing powers have brought me safely out of the storm, but daily I face the remains that cancer and its harsh treatments have left with me.

SKU-000985928I knew that God had spared my life for a reason; I just had to figure out what that reason was. My purpose in life, I decided was to share my story with others so that they could understand that God can help them fight their daily battles too. No matter how big or small the battle, nothing is too big for my God.

I wrote my story into a book, taking memories from old diary entries and spiritual versus from the Bible. I searched for a publishing company and found Archway Publishing, I was excited to self publish my book titled “My Side of the Story”. Something I found really exciting was the fact that I will always own the copyright to my book. Self-publishing my book was an amazing experience. From the beginning point of submitting and editing information until the end when my book finally went onto the market, the staff of Archway Publishing were extremely helpful and friendly.  I even got to design the cover of my book. The most exciting part of the self publishing experience was actually being able to hold my book in my hands for the first time. Just knowing that you are a published author is a truly amazing feeling.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Publishing Expert Tips

People DO Judge Books By Their Covers…

Mom told us not to, but we do it, because…science!
Check out the FREE Archway Publishing webinar “Four Tips to a Killer Book Cover Design,” to help draw readers to your book.

By Kevin A. Gray

Mom always insisted “don’t judge a book by its cover.” In doing so, we might miss on meeting some great people, embarking on new adventures, or even worse, reading some great books. Now we’re not one to question mom (that never ends well), but the fact is people DO judge books by their covers.

The good news is, if you’re in the process of self-publishing a book, Archway Publishing has some free help for you when it comes to designing your book cover. More on that later.

Simon and Schuster is letting fans submit cover ideas for its upcoming "T-Swift" fan book. We knew including the photo from the contest page would help this post get more views, because people are visual creatures.

Simon & Schuster is letting fans submit cover ideas for its upcoming Taylor Swift fan book.
We think it’s a cool idea, and we knew including the contest’s promotion picture would drive more views to this post. Why? Because we’re all visual people and we all think “T-Swif”t is awesome.

First, let’s talk science. The smart people at Psychology Today, have written extensively about the psychology of “judging a book by it cover” — in both the metaphorical and literal sense. One easy read for us laymen is this great column, “Judging a Book By Its Cover: How wrappers affect our expectations about lies inside them,” by Dr. Alex Lickerman.

In it, Dr. Lickerman writes that we’re predominantly visual creatures, because the visual area — at the back of our brains — comprises 30 percent of our brain’s cortex. That sounds pretty important, even to those of us who aren’t brain scientists. In short, despite mom’s admonitions, we WILL judge people, products, and (most importantly for our purposes) books by their appearance. Because that’s how are brains are wired.

So, what does this mean for authors?

Generally speaking, traditionally published authors  will have some input on their covers; but ultimately, the publisher who owns the right to the author’s work has the final say. For these authors, that means letting go and allowing others to create the tangible visual manifestation of the authors’ personal vision. For creative folks, like authors, that’s got to be tough.

Self-published authors, including those who work with publishing services providers, like Archway Publishing, can have as little or as much input in their covers as they so choose. That’s a lot of pressure, especially if an author isn’t a “design person.” But it can ultimately be a fulfilling and exhilarating creative process (and successful, if you listen to input of the cover experts

Jason Heuer, associate art director at Simon & Schuster, laid out 4 Keys to a Killer Book Cover Design in a free  webinar hosted by Archway. We think it’s the best 33 minutes you’ll spend this week, especially if you’re writing a book, considering writing a book, like books or just want to learn more about “killer design” (we assume that’s an industry term).

Visit http://tinyurl.com/Archway-Publishing-Heuer, enter your email address, and download the webinar. Once you’ve listened to it, come back here and let us know in the comments what you learned from Jason. We look forward to having a conversation.

If you’d like to learn more about Archway Publishing supported self-publishing services, grab a copy of the free Archway Publishing publishing guide.

– AWP –

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Author Feature

Tambo: An Elephant Adventure by Melanie Kordsmeier

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Melanie Kordsmeier, author of “Tambo: An Elephant Adventure.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

724869_XLTambo: An Elephant Adventure by Melanie Kordsmeier is the story of a young elephant who wanders too far from her herd in search of a beautiful butterfly. Two young children find her in a poachers trap and with the help of the local villagers they free her and return her to her herd. The story was written for my grandchildren and to hopefully make aware the dangers animals face in the wild from poaching. I have always loved elephants and this is a great story of love and caring for our wildlife and how helping others can be accomplished if we work together.
As a first time author I had a lot to learn. Archway was great in walking me through the process from the first person I introduced the idea to, to the marketing staff. I knew nothing about how the publishing process worked. I was first asked about my hopes and dreams for the book and then gave them an overview of what the book was about.
Images_724869_09-14-20150006Once I sent it in, the ball began rolling! I had lots of choices and decisions to make. The publishing team was awesome in answering my questions and walking me through the process. The first step was deciding where the page breaks would be. I gave them my thoughts and they gave me theirs. We agreed and then moved on to illustrations. I explained the pictures I wanted on each page down to the clothes I wanted the children to wear. We went through several drafts in black and white then finally to the color illustrations. The cover (front and back) was then decided and then I wrote a brief
overview of the story for the back cover. A synopsis was then written for advertising
purposes.
It was such a rewarding experience and the first time I saw my book for sale on the Internet it was overwhelming! The staff made my first time publishing experience a learning journey that was enjoyable to go on. I am looking forward to writing the next Tambo adventure and working with Archway again to make it come to life!

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page. 

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