Tag Archives: starlighting

Introducing…The Griffins of Castle Cary

I have AMAZING news! All my life I’ve wanted to write fiction, especially fiction for children. I can’t think of a time when I didn’t want to write books. My desire to become an author was strong by age four. … Continue reading

Posted in Agents and publishing, What I'm Reading, Parenting with Renegade Rules, Good Reads, Books for Kids | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Introducing…The Griffins of Castle Cary

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Indie Publishing Done Right

The number of books published each year is boggling. Last year 200,000 new books were released. And that’s only counting traditional publishers. 400,000 self-published books were launched, too. We talk about self-published and traditionally published, but I think there’s a … Continue reading

Posted in Agents and publishing, Starlighting Honor Roll | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

17 Responses to Indie Publishing Done Right

  1. Rachel says:

    Thanks for this candid and helpful list of tips. Good luck with book sales, Cari!

  2. Laurie says:

    Heather – This is a wonderful list that deserves a wide audience. I’m going to Tweet, Google+, Scoop.it!, Digg, and Reddit it!

    Bravo Cari – my hat is off to YOU!

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Wonderful, Laurie. My publishing team VASTLY improved my book. I’ve been giving that a lot of thought since self-published authors need a team, too. Glad you liked the list!

  3. Cari Noga says:

    Thanks, Heather, Rachel and Laurie. Nice to have more allies in my corner. As far as other quality self-published books, right here in our community we have Chickadees at Night, an illustrated children’s book by Bill Smith and Charles Murphy. It has had incredible success – one local indie bookstore posted it has sold more than 1,100 copies in the year since it came out! It’s on my nightstand as inspiration.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Yes, quality, quality. No matter how we publish the focus has to be on quality.

  4. Great tips, and good luck to Cari! I strongly agree that editing and having a writing group is imperative. I’ve been looking into self-publishing a lot lately (so far I’ve been told by agents that my idea is great but need a bigger blog following and to contact them again in a year’s time = if I’m doing all the marketing anyway then why give the bulk of my profits away?!), so I joined a writer’s group, am looking for a cover designer, and am cultivating people to do test readings. I anticipate a long revision process, but I think it’ll be worth it.

    A book that I’ve actually found really helpful is APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, it’s really good for breaking down the process of self-pub’ing done right, as well as marketing your book, before and after it’s published.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Danielle, thanks for sharing that great book tip. I’m sure many people will find it helpful. I think you’ll find that whichever publishing route you go having a good blog following will be enormously helpful. Best of luck on your book endeavor!

  5. That’s a darn good checklist for self-pubbing, Heather. The only thing I’d add is for the author to look deep inside herself and ask: Is this book the absolute best I can make it? If the honest answer is yes, send it out to the world. If not, keep revising and editing.

    Most of us know the true answer to that question (the gut feeling we get when we’re alone with our thoughts), but some of us lie to ourselves because the dream of being “a published author” overwhelms our ability to objectively evaluate our book.

    Congratulations to Cari for doing it right and helping to legitimize self-publishing. I’ll pass this blog post along to my social media connections as well.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      I hear you. We often know the answer and need to listen to that voice. Sometimes all writers get stuck and can’t make it better on our own. That’s when it’s time to seek outside input. Outside critiquers, readers and experts can often inject a new level of excellence and then the revision soars.

  6. Cari Noga says:

    Danielle, I am adding Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur to my reading list. Chris, I agree that honest soul-searching is important, with one caveat: Don’t let your fear of the risk color your assessment. It’s scary to put your work out there, and even more so in the absence of a traditional publisher’s imprimatur. That fear, I think, can sometimes keep us stuck when we should be moving forward. With something as big as a novel — or a nonfiction book — striving to make it the “absolute best” is nearly impossible. Almost everything could be improved with more time spent. Revise, rework, listen to beta readers, (repeat) for sure. But don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good, or, as Heather puts it, the “done right.” Because ultimately, you aren’t the judge — the readers are.

  7. Kate says:

    Heather, I am currently reading your book and enjoying it thoroughly !!!

    I wish there was a way to connect with other like minded parents in my area (SE MI) so that I could afford my child the opportunities you describe in your book outside of a formal setting.

    I relish the idea of being considered a “renegade” parent !!

    Thanks so much for the great tips!!


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Thanks, Kate! So glad it resonates with you. Yes, rather fun to be a “renegade.”

      Not sure where you live in SE Michigan, but I am coming to Ann Arbor to speak in May. Send your friends and maybe we can meet. The event is Tuesday, May 21 at the Ann Arbor library, Pittsfield branch. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find like-minded parents there. They’re out there.

      Thanks for stopping by – and happy reading.

      • Kate says:

        I would enjoy hearing you speak, but unless it’s a child friendly event I have a very hard time finding sitters in my area 🙁

        • Heather Shumaker says:

          Kids have come to some of my talks before – you’re welcome to if you think it will work out with bedtimes and all. I have no problem with young folks in the audience!

  8. deidra says:

    The cover of the book is absolutely gorgeous. Great tips for folks who write!

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Isn’t it great? Beautiful cover — and designed by a woman with autism, too – very fitting.

Delicious Downtime

I was told by my wonderful blog mentors, that an active blog should appear at least once a week.  Well, I just violated that — on purpose.  It was the holidays and time for some downtime. Our family spent part … Continue reading

Posted in Starlighting Tips, Parenting with Renegade Rules | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Delicious Downtime

  1. Laurie Buchanan says:

    Heather – “…thoughts need space to wander.” Yes, Yes, YES!

  2. It follows that allowing kids to be kids (giving them plenty of playtime) is valid advice for adults, as well. Glad you took time to recharge your batteries, Heather.

    I suspect that many people who are constantly busy, constantly socializing, constantly doing something, anything, do so because they are afraid to spend time alone to get to know themselves. Or they’ve done that, and don’t like what they discover.

    We could use about six more inches of snow here in southern MN so I can get out and uncover a great story idea while cross-country skiing, too. 🙂

Time-creating tip: the “Morning Light”

I started writing a novel last year.  Of course, with two young kids and a day job writing nonfiction, I had no time.  If I was going to get up extra early to write, that precious ‘starlighting’ time in the … Continue reading

Posted in Starlighting Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Time-creating tip: the “Morning Light”

  1. Brilliant – simply brilliant!

  2. What a good idea. You’re very resourceful, Heather. Luckily for my writing, I don’t have distractions like little children who need my attention. Plus, I can’t put a coherent thought together before 9 am, so I’d never try writing then anyway. 🙂 I can certainly write at 10 PM, however.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Finding the right time of day is crucial. Glad you’ve found that night hours work for you!