Publishing

My Book is My Business Card

The following are the words of Agnes Bellegris, Archway Publishing author of “Animal Encounters.” For more on Agnes, check out her website, Instagram and Facebook pageDownload the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

Measuring Success

When taking the path to self-publishing, measuring success can be complex. Do you measure based on sales? Of course, that is always a definitive measure. But, as writers and artists, we need to look beyond this. As a picture book writer, I have the privilege of attending primary schools to discuss the things I love the most: the importance of literacy, creating literature, and now, with Animal Encounters, painting and drawing. When children tell me how much they enjoy my book because it’s “funny” and because “the pictures are amazing,” then I have succeeded. If parents tell me that my books are their go-to stories at bedtime, then I have succeeded. When teachers tell me that they love the richness of the language and that it allows them to introduce concepts from other areas of study in the classroom, then I know one hundred percent I have done something right.

Animal Encounters

Animal Encounters is my fourth picture book, but for me, it is also a first. It is the first book I published through Archway and it is the first book I was brave enough to illustrate. I created the images that coincide with each carefully crafted word. This has opened doors for me that I wasn’t ready to go through. It is always difficult to make a choice to put the work you hold so dear and personal, out into the world. I’m so glad I did and I’m glad that Archway was there to listen to my vision every step of the way. My book is now my business card. I use it to promote myself, my art and my intense love of the animals that surround our world. It has also been used as a fundraiser to promote literacy initiatives.

Finding the Validation

I visit schools, I have a website and I now sell my paintings. Would I love a traditional publishing experience one day? Of course, who wouldn’t? But right now, I’m content with creating a solid online and public presence, promoting my work, meeting my young readers, their teachers and their parents. To self-publish, you must be brave. No one has validated that your work is good enough, other than friends and family. If you find the validation in other ways, like I have, then you have succeeded.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.

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Author Feature

Following Your Dreams

The following are the words of Christine Lourenco, Archway Publishing author of “For the Love of the Ocean” and “Commuter Bob.” For more about Christine, check out her website, Facebook, and TwitterDownload the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

Realizing My Childhood Dream

Writing was something I did throughout my childhood. It started with a passion for reading when I was young. I read one book a day and often visited the library to take out more books. Fiction was my preferred genre, to escape to another world. I had always kept diaries and journals and enjoyed writing poetry. Different characters and stories would often pop up in my daydreams. I would think how great it would be to put those thoughts into a story or even a movie. It never crossed my mind though at the time that this was something I wanted to pursue. Later in life, I was reminded that storytelling was something in my heart. It was a dream of mine.

Writing Down My Daydreams

As I grew older and had a family, I realized more and more that the daydreaming that I had always done could possibly be written down. On a family vacation in Portugal, we spent some time at a beautiful, vibrant beach area called Algarve. As usual, I would daydream as I stared out into the ocean and was reminded once again of stories that would pop into my head. It was in that moment that I decided to finally put the pen to paper and start writing. I had a specific story in my head and once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. I had written over twenty thousand words in just a day or two and I realized that my whole life, this had been my true passion.

Self-publishing Through Archway

Once my story was complete, I wondered how I could bring it to life though to share with others. After mailing out query letters to hundreds of agents and publishers, I saw how difficult the journey could be without connections. Instead of letting it stop me, I started to research self-publishing options and came across Archway Publishing. I felt that Archway offered the benefits of self-publishing to get my work out there to the masses. They also had the resources of a professional publishing company for cover art, printing and editing expertise. Archway offered the best of both worlds and I anxiously submitted my work and took the step to making my dream become a reality.

Pursue Your Dreams

Now, through Archway Publishing, I have two books already and am working on a third book right now. Everyone’s journey to publishing or even just writing is different. I have learned that if you have a dream in your heart, you should pursue it with all you can. Life is short and you should never have regrets to not trying something. Even if my books don’t end up on a best-seller list, it’s an accomplishment that I can be proud of and will still passionately pursue. I hope that people will read these stories that have been in my dreams and in my heart, and enjoy them. My best advice to people who want to write or publish is to take a chance on yourself and follow your dreams. You never know where they will take you.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.

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Author Feature

Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integration

The following are the words of  Teressa V Staten Ph.D., Archway Publishing author of “Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integration.” Learn more about Teressa from her website and Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

Continuing the Legacy

For several years after my husband passed, I considered finishing a draft of a book that he had begun about the life of my son. Of course, I procrastinated for many years. However, one of my Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integrationclose friends suggested an idea that began my self-publishing journey. She was the one friend who always planned our interesting trips. This time she suggested we come together and write. Each of us came up with a broad writing goal. I decided to write a memoir about my husband who had been one of the first African Americans to integrate the Marine Corps, and the Huntsville, Alabama Police Department.

Focusing on Writing

We started a writing club in the fall of 2014. My home was the meeting place. We would each write toward our individual goals over a day and then share what each had written gathering reactions and feedback from each other. Over the course of a year, we did this about three times. Between our meetings, we were to continue writing, but that did happen…most of the time. The book began to take shape and decided to focus on not only my late husband’s life but also about my growing up and that of our son who took his own life.

I decided to get serious after feedback from the group of friends was very positive so. I joined the Atlanta Book Club Association where I began to interact with a few members and received information about steps to take toward getting your book published. After registering, I attended the Atlanta Book Festival over the Memorial Weekend in 2015. I submitted my query letter to three publisher’s teams and I received positive feedback. These were face-to-face one on one meetings that lasted 15 minutes.

My Publishing Journey

One publishing company requested that I send them the first chapters as the issues proposed in my book related to areas of special interest to her company. I ended Back From the South: A Couples Transitions From Segregation to Integrationup sending them the chapters and an improved query letter. After about six weeks the agent emailed me to arrange a conference call with two others in her company.

The team went over a few minor changes and indicated that once I sent them a revised version, I would receive a contingency contract. I was on cloud nine. At the close of the phone conversation, one of the individuals added I should redraft the three chapters only in my voice. Mind you this was one of two teams who had complimented me on the way I had written in my husband’s voice. I listened and indicated that I would respond within two weeks as I had other obligations.

I did think about the request and discussed it with two of my writing team members. Both thought the style of the book was unique and that I should proceed as I had begun using my husband’s voice until after we got married. I informed the editor of my decision by email without room for further discussion. I also sent out query letters to three additional publishers and got some feedback. However, their requests did not fit with the direction my book was going.

Finding Archway

I knew I was going to finish the book regardless and learned about self-publishing through the Atlanta Book Club. I began to research self-publishers and went as far as having conversations and review of their options. After receiving a special offer from Archway Publishing and since it was associated with Simon and Schuster, I decided to work with them. I was assigned to a concierge who was probably young enough to be a grandchild. She was very patient and responded quickly to any concerns that I had. Others in the organization were most helpful and open to allow me to be satisfied with my book. The development team was excellent especially with my cover, which I changed several times.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.

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Writing

Using Research to Craft a Better Book

Research is a must for self-published authors because it shows that you are informed and knowledgeable on a topic, and it gives you instant credibility with potential readers. Don’t think that research is only necessary for nonfiction authors; fiction writers can benefit from doing their homework, too!Magnifying glass

The good news is that when you are writing about a subject that you’re passionate about, researching can be fun and rewarding. Today we present a six-step guide to getting that research done!

1. Read

It’s a cliché that good readers make good writers, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Immersing yourself in your topic (or genre) will inspire you to write your own book. Plus, surveying what books are out there can help you write a book that fills (not falls into) the gaps in the marketplace. Continue reading

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Author Feature

Concierge Service Explained with Author Yashalina Blair

The following are the words of Yashalina Blair, Archway Publishing author of “Dr. Romy’s Dance.” Learn more about Yashalina by visiting her author website, twitter, or Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services

Publishing Dr. Romy

My name is Yashalina Blair. I have recently published my first book with Archway titled, Dr. Romy’s Dance. The novel is a romance about Jerome, a young man attending school for medicine. When Jerome’s father suddenly dies leaving the family in financial hardship his mother makes a life altering request: quit school, come home, and take a job with the degree he has. Determined to become a doctor, Jerome decides to stay in school and moonlight as a male exotic dancer.

Working with Archway has been a great pleasure. I chose to work with Archway because I loved the feeling of closeness I got when speaking with the crew. They made me feel as though I was a priority through the entire process and that was priceless. I secondarily chose Archway due to their variety of publishing packages. There were many packages to choose from, depending on your need and budget. I chose a package in the middle but in retrospect, I should have chosen one with marketing included. Marketing is part of two premium packages, which is much needed for a new author unknown to the world.

Concierge Services

The best part of my Archway experience was having a personal concierge. She was definitely worth her weight in gold! Her focus was on submitting forms and paperwork – being a liaison. Her role is far more concentrated, but this is my best summary. An Archway concierge sets up ISBN’s, submits forms, and deals with copyrighting. This allows authors to focus on their manuscripts and forgo the politics. My concierge always knew exactly what needed to be done next, and usually gave me a time frame to expect its completion. As a sidebar, I’d like to note, it was usually completed sooner than estimated.

I believe I will publish with Archway once again, and definitely with the wonderful assistance of a concierge!

 

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 or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature

Words with a Young Writer

The following are the words of Karina Williams, author of “Live, Laugh, Love Like a Teenager.” Learn more about Karina on her author website kwilliamsbooks. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

It Began with a Poem

In my freshman year of high school, I won an Karina WilliamsHonorable Mention in a poetry contest for my school’s literary magazine. Back then, it was terrifying to meet the fiercely intelligent AP Literature teacher assigned to help me edit my first poem to be published. I was only fourteen. Three years later, I found myself sitting in her class getting ready to graduate from high school. That day she asked us all to reflect on one thing: What do you want? I answered her with the first and only thing I could think of…“I want to be a writer.”

Months before publishing my poetry anthology and taking what I believed was the first step to everything I was reaching for, she replied with the one answer I needed to hear. “You already are.”

What “Writer” Means to Me

Being a writer is like being on a journey that never ends. Once a chapter is finished, the next one begins. We live our lives through the worlds we create on paper, all the while hoping that someone else finds as much life in them as we do. Creativity is beautiful thing; I believe it’s a way to create something so honest that you write the words someone else needs to read in that particular moment. That is what writing is about.

Dreams New and Old

Now I’m a freshman in collegeLive, Laugh, Love Like a Teenager pursuing my science degree. Things have have certainly changed a lot since high school graduation. Yet, if someone asked me today what I wanted to be my answer remains the same- I want to be a writer. As demanding as the study schedule is here at Cal Poly, I am still finding ways to chase my dreams. Soon enough, I will be adding an English minor to my degree plans while keeping up with a blog I started as an effort to publicize my book.

Over the publishing process for my book, a friend asked me how I could put so much time and effort into something that might not work out in the end. But I don’t write for things to “work out in the end” … I write because it is everything I am. From the months it took to compile my manuscript, to the day I held the first printed copy in my hands, it was all worth it. It is indescribable to hold a book with my name on the cover in my hands.

What Comes Next

I became a published author as a freshly graduated high school student, and Live, Laugh, Love Like a Teenager is just the beginning. From the hardship of friendship to the adversity of growing up, each poem in the compilation has been inspired by experiences that make me who I am. My book tells the story of youth, vibrancy, and life. I hope to continue telling the story within my next book focusing on the experience of being a young-adult.

In the end, it is all about the story— either telling the truth or the sweetest kind of fiction— and this is everything my heart reaches for in the future. No matter where I end up in the next ten years, if you ask me who I am, I will only have one answer; for it will never change. I am a writer.

 

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 or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Publishing Expert Tips

Six Tips to Successful Publishing

You know your writing process is your own process. You know that while all of your writing friends have a process, your process is probably yours, alone. And that’s fine. But have you looked at the similarities between your process and theirs?

publishing

Archway Publishing has found six common tasks that almost every writer has to combine in order to bring a book to market and make some sales. Continue reading

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Publishing

Inspiration Behind My Book and Self-Publishing with Archway Publishing

The following are the words of Lawrence Bodner, author of IBS is BS. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

What key drivers inspired me to write my book?

The first driver must be your burning desire to get your story or message out to the general public. Writing is an art that is usually innate and therefore difficult to cultivate. Writing is usually stimulated by one’s desire to get their story out in order to entertain, educate, influence and or effect social change in the reading public. Continue reading

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self-publishing tips

From Mock Copy to Self-Published

The following are the words of Donna Fantacone, author of Officer Tony Says, “Be Careful.”  Check out her website here for more info about the author and her book. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

There is nothing more satisfying than holding the completed and published book in your hands.  However, the road to publishing is not an easy one.  It started out that I had a promise or a great interest of a publishing company, one that was in constant contact with me, expressing interest in my idea.  They told me it was a go; I then had to produce the “mock copy” of the book.  The “Mock Up” is an entire work, with a number of complete illustrations in the exact format of the book. Continue reading

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Writing

Four Ways to Manage Your Writing Schedule

Rumor has it J.K. Rowling worked for five years, building the world of Harry Potter and plotting all seven books before she began writing anything. Jack Kerouac reportedly wrote the draft of On the Road in less than a month. How long will it take you to write or finish your book?

The right answer is up to you.

The one thing you will absolutely need is some kind of plan. It doesn’t matter whether your writing plan is a month long or a year long. The time is less important than the plan.

In the post-Four Ways to Manage Your Writing Schedule, Archway Publishing offers 4 easy tips you can use to help you keep to your writing plan, whatever it is.

Click here to read more >>

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