Posts Tagged ‘Self Publishing’

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Here, in New Zealand, media coverage of children’s books is poor. I was particularly interested when a fellow Kiwi author shared this online conversation about the topic of the under-representation of children’s literature in the media.

This was the original “call-to-action:” ‘#CoverKidsBooks invites you to join in a public conversation about children’s books.  Leave a comment, write a blog of your own, or tweet about it using the hashtag.  Tell us why children’s books matter to you, and what you’d like to see the media do to #CoverKidsBooks!’

The research by #CoverKidsBooks showed that children’s books ‘typically got 3% of newspaper review space, despite accounting for over 30% of the market.’

This is a subject close to my heart. *grabs soapbox*

I’ve never been able to understand why children’s books are so greatly undervalued. To me, children’s literature is as important as any other genre. Wake up, world, to the increasing rather than decreasing value of books for our kids! Wake up to the importance  of time spent reading for our children!


When I was growing up, we were given books as prized gifts on birthdays and Christmases. I can remember poring over each and every tome. They were treasured. The first book I ever received was at seven years old. ‘The Legend of Siegfried’ gripped me so completely, that it started off a lifelong passion for mythology and legendary storytelling.

In the original post, Laura Jackson Warburton commented, ‘I think there is still a massive amount of snobbery about children’s books. Not about one children’s book over another, but people tending to dismiss anything from YA down as ‘only silly stories’.’

Exactly. Why is that? What is this snobbery based on?


I’ve always been guided by the words of famous author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, in 1853, Children are now the only representatives of the men and women of that happy era (the golden age) and therefore it is that we must raise the intellect and fancy to the level of childhood, in order to recreate the original myths

The part of the CoverKidsBooks conversation to really spark my interest however, was when, in the original post, Emma Perry was asked whether children’s books were important.

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Emma Perry: I think especially in the world today, where we’re bombarded by information and interruption, your relationship with a book is so important. I’d like to encourage my children to have that long-form thought and long-form imagination.

This was the key, I thought.

We, the parents of today’s children, worry greatly about the future awaiting them. We see our kids with their heads buried in their digital games, or, staring at mobile phones. We wonder how they will ever concentrate long enough to hold down a steady job or relationship.

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Maybe that’s why children need to read books these days more than ever before in our history? Because reading helps our modern kids focus their easily-scattered attention for longer periods. Something has to happen to redress the effects of the continuous short-term gratification of playing digital games. Books may just be the cure. Huzzah!

*steps off soapbox*

It’s been proven that reviews and media coverage do sell books. Our children need good quality books, and not just in digital format.

With that in mind, what can we do to raise the profile and image of Children’s Literature?

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Out of all the answers given in the original blog post, I liked the comment by Laura Jackson Warburton.

LJW: Daily book reviews in newspapers, not only of new releases from bestselling authors, but of debut authors and archive titles. A children’s book channel like MTV but with books, grabbing kids’ attention and helping books get into the right hands.  Top 10’s, book bloggers’ reviews, celebrities talking about books, book trailers etc would get kids thinking about books, talking about books in the playground and using pester power to get parents to buy the books!


Yes. These ideas are great!

Leave a comment, write a blog of your own, or tweet about it using the hashtag.  Tell us why children’s books matter to you, and what you’d like to see the media do!

#CoverKidsBooks – The Facts

#CoverKidsBooks – Booksellers

#CoverKidsBooks – Librarians

#CoverKidsBooks – Teachers


Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol


Any book that helps a child to form the habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. ~ Maya Angelou


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“If I were to write a play I’d write it any damn way I pleased and it would come out all right.” ~ Charles Bukowski. ~ “It makes me nervous to read those articles on playwriting, ‘A play must have a premise’ and so forth. I am afraid that the problems of our playwrights … is they are TOLD the proper way to do a thing.”

My thoughts exactly, Charles! Yes, folks, once again we get to visit one of my pet peeves, upon which I’m going to bestow a grand name – #WhySoManyRules?


Story is not born of convention or following the rules. Yes, we writers must be neat and tidy and write within the lines. To a point. Award-winning kiwi author, Kate de Goldi, put it this way. “I don’t care about the classifications of what constitutes children’s literature. I want to write articulate, textural, demanding fiction. I think current stories are lacking in complex structure, and nuance. Kids need more than a limited diction.”

Kate is my writing hero and I admire her attitude fiercely. She’s how brave I aim to be when I grow up.



You see, I feel stifled a lot of times by the laundry list of modern do’s and do-not’s for writing fiction. The “was police” won’t allow a single use of the word. Using gerunds is never allowed under any circumstances. Descriptive passages are an absolute “no-no.” Flashbacks should be avoided, the same goes for prologues and epilogues. The new one I hear is don’t include maps. And so on, and so forth.

Sometimes, I feel reduced to a kindergartner, unable to make a single coherent decision unassisted.


I’m immersed in the happy process at present, of refining the original vision of my book, ‘The Sasori Empire’ i.e. making presentable fiction through the steady process of attrition: the edit-critique-rewrite-critque-edit cycle.

The polishing is necessary but what I question is, do we really have to take out every ‘was, were, had?’ Can’t I use ‘ing’ once, or twice, or maybe thrice?

Why are there so many should’s and should-nots these days?


When I read classic bedtime stories to the kids, I realize how comforting the old style of writing was for the reader. The boys and I are currently reading Paddington. We all agree how much we’re enjoying the story.

Here’s a sample of the text (italics, mine):

‘The Browns were there to meet their daughter Judy, who was coming home from school for the holidays. It was a warm summer day and the station was crowded with people on their way to the seaside.’

This is a perfect example because a passage like this from Paddington would never get past an editor or critique reader today. You’d have to take all of the italicized words out. This is the sort of constrictive thinking I’m talking about for a writer in these times.


It was Maya Angelou who said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” This is the truth. Any creative person will know this deeply. The wellspring within must find its outlet.

What do we do when the walls and structures of modern fiction hem us in, watering down our work? Diluting our inspiration?

We compromise. I do take out a lot of was words and gerunds and description in the editing process. But I don’t take them all out. I pick what goes and what stays by how it feels to me, and how important it is to the telling of my story.

As my dear friend, James Preller said when I wondered whether to quit early on editing my first book, “It’s your name on the spine.”

We need to seek that particular middle ground which will serve the spirit of this project.

A delicate balance can be found, I believe, between the popular expectations, and respect for the muse and our own writer’s voice.

We respect that our name will be on the spine of a book which may outlive us.


Chuck Wendig said, “Writing involves a series of stylistic choices. Sometimes these choices mean breaking rules. It’s okay to make these choices as an author. It’s okay to not like these choices as a reader. The end.”

When I started blogging, author and film-maker, PJ Reece responded to my first post. “The writing world needs more unedited truth. I can see it all now… fans showing up to hear ever more about the king with no clothes on. Is there not far too much conventional thinking in the wannabe writing world? Your site could be the antidote. I`m in! And all the best!

I don’t know about ‘unedited truth’ however, I can visit and re-visit the heck out of my pet peeves.


Do we need so many rules for our fiction? Agree or disagree?


Keep Creating!

Yvette K. Carol


Don’t tell me what I’m doing, I don’t want to know. ~ Federico Fellini


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The concept of the internet being “the wild, wild west,” as I have mentioned in previous posts, still holds true. Have you heard of the “Scamazon” posts in circulation on the net at the moment? There is tell of bloggers sharing tactics for how to scam the Kindle Unlimited system.


A lot of us felt encouraged to join up with the KDP select program. I did. The numbers are enticing.

In the latest Kindle Direct newsletter, the “team” had this to say:

The KDP Select Global Fund for February is $14 million. February’s KDP Select Global will be paid out under Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC) v2.0 as previously announced ( We will again award “KDP Select All-Stars” for February to the most-read authors and most-read titles in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. For more information on All-Stars, you can go here:


They’re not the only ones, some bloggers support this view. As Chris McMullen said recently on his blog, ‘The KENP pages read rate rose up to $0.00479 per page in February, 2016 up from $0.00411 per page in January, 2016.’

Yet, Amazon is still taking a hit at present in social media forums. Kindle Unlimited was begun rather quickly, and then along the way, ‘Amazon changed the way it pays authors enrolled in KDP Select. Amazon changed that payment method from “per borrow” to “pages read.” Not pages written, mind you – but how many pages a reader actually reads.’ ~ Selena Kitt

This is where the real problems began. As the good old highway robbers and bandits found a way to scam the “pages read” system. Then Amazon jumped to try and staunch the blood loss.

The Internet has been buzzing lately with news relating to the placement of our Table of Contents. Specifically, Amazon is now requesting that we place it at the beginning, not the end of our ebooks. ~ Nicholas C. Rossis

David Gaughran

Author, David Gaughran blogged that ‘Amazon is claiming that having a TOC in the end-matter instead of the front-matter is a breach of the (ever-changing, 100+ pages) Kindle Publishing Guidelines (PDF).’ Gaughran wrote of knowing authors ‘who had their titles actually removed from the Kindle Store without notice.’

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m newly published and I found myself a bit intimidated. I felt the need to circle the wagons. Luckily, my book doesn’t have a table of contents. I had only joined up with KDP Select last month, however I decided the best thing for me was to take my book off the KDP Select shelf, at least for the time being. It felt safer to me in these uncertain times to have my debut release, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta’ available on Kindle Direct only. One platform. One format. No possibility of scammers doing weird stuff.

I went to KDP Select and I couldn’t figure out how to quit the program. Immediately, I went to Amazon via “contact us” and voiced my concerns.

They replied the next day. This is what some people may not know. It came as a surprise to me to find that when I joined the KDP Select program, a box for “automatic renewal” had been ticked. So, if I had not taken these steps to find out the details of the fine print, then my book could have stayed on the program indefinitely.


Perhaps you were smart enough to figure out you needed to uncheck the box. However what a lot of authors may not know is that you can follow the steps to “uncheck the box,” yet there is only a short three day period at the end of each month in which your book rolls off the program. If you haven’t unchecked the box by then, your book automatically gets renewed again under KDP Select for another month.

Here is the step-by-step advice the response team gave me for how to KDP “De-Select:”

Go to your Bookshelf and click on the ellipsis button (“…”) under the Book Actions menu next to your book, then select “KDP Select Info.”

Then, click “Manage KDP Select Enrollment” and uncheck the box next to “Automatically renew this book’s enrollment in KDP Select for another 90 days.”

Customers who have already borrowed your book can still read it until it’s finished, returned, or their Kindle Unlimited subscription expires. As a result, you may see new Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) read appear in your reports until then. 

That’s it. You’re out.

Has the “Scamazon” situation with TOC effected you? Are you with KDP Select?

Self-portrait, pencil sketch, age 25

Keep Creating!

Yvette K. Carol


Sometimes we stare in wonder at your multiplying glories, basking in the power you’ve given us. Other times we regard you with alien horror, and we whisper to one another, I think they make Kindles out of little dead girls. We know you do amazing things. And we’re also really worried about the things you might do. ~ Chuck Wendig


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Marketing is a hot topic for writers because everyone wants to know the magic bullet. How do we tweak our approach to nab the most readers?

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One of my favourite writers and bloggers, Chuck Wendig had these sage words to say on the topic of marketing for writers, ‘Self-promotion is a seduction, not a kick in the crotch. It’s a conversation in a smoky bar, not a soapbox-and-a-bullhorn. You wrote a book? Congratulations, but nobody gives a hot cup of shit. Everybody writes books now.’

Working authors know that marketing is one of the gnarliest parts of the business. I read at least a couple of articles on marketing a day. I think for those of us who wish to learn about non-offensive self-promotion for our art, we seek information from trustworthy sources. I’m always seeking the right advisors as I try to develop a marketing model that fits me.

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When I first ventured onto social media, about five years ago, I remember a conversation I had with some other writers over on LinkedIn. In a public forum, a fellow writer commented that he wouldn’t be getting involved with ‘the sales’ of his books. He was ‘the talent,’ and the marketing ‘was the publisher’s job.’

In the past, I believe the authors could leave ‘the sales’ up to the publishing house. Nowadays, a small tier of top authors may exist in the rarefied realm of being “the talent,” however, the number of first-time authors who receive this sort of royal treatment would likely be nil. These days, if you’re an Indie author and self-publish, you will do 100% of the marketing. If you’re published by someone else, be they big or small, you’ll do 95% of the marketing. Either way, the buck stops with you.

Jane Friedman

Teacher and digital media advisor, Jane Friedman advises, ‘Before pub day, every author must consider his or her marketing model. What approach builds on the assets you already have, or complements your strengths and is feasible for the readers you currently reach?’

Rather than chasing the magical formula for instant success, Jane gives guidance on how to take the long term approach, here’s a link to the post, ‘Long Term Marketing Models for Self Published Authors,’ by Jane guest posting over on Publishers Weekly:  (Thanks to friend and critique partner, Robyn Campbell, who sent it through).


Marketing for today’s author gets harder by the day, as competition for the reader’s dollar increases. And the “marketplace” is constantly evolving, too, which makes it even more of a challenge to keep up, especially for oldies, like me. There’s no more hiding out in caves or towers for creative types these days. We have to keep our finger on the pulse. ‘It took web-based Goodreads seven years to reach 25 million people. It took mobile-based “whatsapp” three years to hit 200 million users and another two years to reach 500 million,’ said Elizabeth Dimarco

Author, Curtis Sittenfeld, said, ‘By not being active on social media, you’re probably shooting yourself in the foot. That said, faking fluency with or interest in forms of social media that don’t do it for you is much harder than making up dialogue for imaginary characters.’

You can’t fake “fluency” which is why I’ve written numerous posts in the past about following your heart where social media is concerned. You have to do what feels right for you in order to create an authentic Marketing Model that will work for you.

What is your Marketing Model?


Teacher and author, Bob Mayer relates, ‘I market using . . .Slideshare, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc, all from home. I used to not be a fan of book trailers, and while I don’t think they do much direct selling, they increase your digital footprint. And they’re cool.’

Personally, my preferred forms of contact with the world would be via Facebook, my blog, Newsletter, Twitter and Pinterest.


Social media expert, Kristen Lamb, says in her new book, Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World , ‘Give a writer a marketing gimmick and he’ll sell a few books today. Give a writer the keys to connect to her digital community, and she’ll sell books for life.’

That’s so true. It’s all about making friends as you go; otherwise it’s going to be a tough, lonely journey. I like Kristen’s advice re building community. Whichever way you choose, my belief is you need to stick to doing the things you most enjoy so that you can maintain them long-term.

Here’s my leg-up. I want to share my own humble marketing plan.

I’m sure there are others out there far more extensive. However, I have young boys at home. I haven’t got time to muck around. So if you’re up for a simple Marketing Model, this is the list I made prior to publishing my debut novel, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta’ last year.

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*Ask for reviews on the inside rear cover of my book

*Book Launch

*Announce launch on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Google+/Pinterest/Goodreads

*Blog tour

*Line up guest posts on other blogs (think, “Adjacent fans”)

*Media page on website

*Make announcement with buy links to mailing list, via newsletter

*Author Page on Goodreads, add my book

*Author Page on Facebook

*Author Page on Amazon

*Launch Page on Slideshare

*Request reviews from reviewers

*Post reviews on website

*Pay for a promotion on BookBub, Beezeebooks, and ShelfLife

*Enrol in KDP Select

The list of possibilities can be endless.

Have you started wrestling with the beast of self-promotion? Any tips to share? Had any horror stories en route to finding your best Marketing Model?

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Talk to you later.

Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol


‘Focus on craft; not marketing and promotion. You can’t promote crap. The best marketing is a good story; better marketing is more good stories.’ ~ Bob Mayer

‘Treat writing like a hobby and you will receive nothing but the fruits of a hobby. It’s a vocation. Honor it as such.’ ~ Owen Egerton


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Being the parent of a special needs child, I really appreciate it when folks do something to help. This is an opportunity to donate your picture books, and gain a review in return. It’s a “win-win” situation!

Source: Calling All Children’s Books Authors – Special Needs Children Need Your Books!

This is reblogged from The Story Reading Ape’s site, because anyone who knows TSRA will know his blog is a fantastic active hub for writers. As my adopted grandfather at Toastmasters, Bruce, said this week, ‘as long as you’re sincere and supportive,’ it’s all good with him (as it is with me).


Posted on February 5, 2016 by The Story Reading Ape Someone has entered this old ape’s blog into this competition!It’s under The Best Resource Site Category.Chris the Story Reading ApeIf you’d like to vote for YOUR favourite SiteClick on the link or image below:iuea-2015-voting-best-review-site-promotion-site-and-resource-site-for-writers/

Source: IUEA 2015 Voting: Best Review Site, Promotion Site, and Resource Site for Writers…

In the last issue of my Newsletter, I said I’d been asked to do the cover art for an anthology of children’s stories called, Kissed By An Angel. This wonderful book, which my friends and I are working on, is due out soon. It has been put together to benefit the Sturge-weber Foundation.


I didn’t know if I could still draw or paint. On my journey to picking up the paintbrushes again, after a ten year absence, I took photos of every step along the way. The resulting photo essay went into my Newsletter.

KBAA cover, 200 dpi

One of my good friends suggested I share the essay here. I was going to do just that. However, a week has gone by, as it often does between blog posts, and I’ve done a second illustration since then. So, my idea is to use the same format with new imagery. Everyone wins!

The story I have in the Kissed By An Angel, anthology is called, ‘Grandpa & Loor.’ My main character’s evocative name was chosen by author, Robyn Campbell’s son, Christopher, who lives with Sturge-weber syndrome.

A Photo Essay for ‘Grandpa & Loor’…

A few years back, I tried using computer software to “draw” but I didn’t take to it. I simply prefer pencils, erasers, pens, colour pencils, and paints. I’m old school. So, bear with me. For some people, this might be a trip down memory lane.


First, I had to work up a sketch I liked. I borrowed the man’s expression from an old photo of my boys’ father and aged him by adding wrinkles, I borrowed the idea for the hair out of a Santa book from the ’70’s. I was seeking with this illustration to express how we caregivers and parents of special children feel about them, and how they feel toward us. Once I was happy with it on a feeling level, I had a pencil template.

Grandpa & Loor

I painted the background over with a pale wash of pink.

First wash, G&L

Next, I applied the first coat of watercolour. At this stage, I made a timeline of the process, by taking this snap when I started.

I gave each area a slightly different shade, in order to alter the end look. The lesson I’ve taken from training in oil portraiture is to build layers. That’s where you get your depth.

At that stage, I added the second layer to the characters, according to what I thought the colours might be later.

second wash, G&L0003
As I got onto the third coat, I started to use three or more variations of the shades and add areas of light and dark.

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The fourth layer always makes the tones more solid and real.

At that point, I switched from water colour to gouache, and started using the fine tipped brushes.


I made the shadows more convincing.

And, just like that, in the twinkling of a back-breaking eye, I had finally crossed the finish line, thirteen hours later!

Since then, I’ve had three hours sleep.

And yet, I feel victorious. Art is magical, isn’t it?

What sort of art do you do in your life? What’s important to you creatively? Tell me in the comments….


Keep Creating!

Talk soon,

Yvette K. Carol


“Rainer Maria Rilke saw artists as bees gathering experience from the material world and then returning with it to “the great golden hive of the Invisible.” ~ PJ Reece

A long time ago, in a land far away, I liked to sketch and paint. In this land, I illustrated my own children’s stories. You can see some of these paintings on the side panel. However, sketching and painting take time. As life moves on and brings more responsibilities, it becomes harder to indulge one’s creative sides.


When I started writing The Chronicles of Aden Weaver, in 2005, I attended a writing workshop taught by award-winning author, Kate de Goldi. I showed her one of my hand-illustrated manuscripts.

Kate was blunt. “You need to choose whether you want to be an illustrator, or a writer, and really focus on that.”

I wanted to be a writer. Letting go of illustrating freed up my time, which was at a premium with children underfoot and in my hair. Here I am, with my first book in The Chronicles of Aden Weaver, series coming up for release.


At the same time, another amazing project is coming to fruition.

A year ago exactly, some of my writer friends and I, gathered together to support our dear friend and colleague, author, Robyn Campbell, in her on-going efforts to raise awareness about Sturge-Weber Syndrome. We decided to write an anthology of short stories. Our concept was to write about gifted children. The book is called, Kissed By An Angel, and the proceeds will go to benefit the Sturge-Weber Foundation.

The launch date for Kissed By An Angel, is set for mid-September (TBC). Catherine, another contributor, also wrote about it in her post, Anthology Illustration.

Some of the writers in the group asked me if I would do the cover. I thought, Can I? I didn’t know. I hadn’t touched a pencil or paintbrush in years and besides, I might have gotten rusty. Nevertheless, I brought out all my art materials. I literally had to dust them off!


I made four sketches and the KBAA collective of writers chose one, which most importantly also got the seal of approval from Christopher, Robyn’s son, who has Sturge-Weber.

Doing artwork however, as previously stated, takes time! Back in the day, I sat down and worked for hours on end. Move on a decade, and the sketch for the cover lay among the tissues on the kitchen table for days while the kids had flu. I’d draw one stroke, then dash away to blow someone’s nose, come back to the piece, draw a line, then race off to take someone a drink, come back, do another line, etc.

In the background, I still hadn’t finished putting in the edits to my own book. I got overwhelmed.

Friends suggested wisely, that you need to prioritise at times like these.

I made two things the top priorities: to finish putting the proof-reader’s edits into my novel, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta,’ and to do the cover for the Kissed By An Angel, anthology.

I sat down at my computer with the proof-reader’s notes and stayed at my post until the pile whittled down to nil at eleven o’clock last night. Then, I posted the manuscript to a friend, who’s going to make the final check for typos.

Yes! The satisfaction of ticking off that box!


Although it was late and I was tired, I looked at the art supplies on the bench, and the template for the KBAA cover, and I felt this real wave of enthusiasm to get started. I applied the first background wash of watercolour. I didn’t go to bed till 1.30 a.m. yet I sprang up at six this morning! I’ll paint the next layers with water colour and add the bright gouache today.

This is what I have so far for the cover of KBAA.

KBAA, cover art, 2015

Getting to do something different creatively, to draw and paint, I realized is like taking a vacation.

It’s an artistic absence that is good for the soul. I’ve had about five hours sleep, and yet I feel utterly refreshed, energised and alive. I have a new skip in my step.

There is energy to be found in doing what you love.

There is definite wisdom in Kate’s advice, to focus on mastering one talent at a time. And there’s also something to be said for taking a break from focus and mastery, and allowing oneself to play and have fun!

One needs to be replenished in order to be fruitful.


The whole anthology has such poignancy and meaning for all of us. It’s an honour to be involved. And when you’re busy putting out your own book, it’s nice to put your attention on someone else for a change.

Each writer contributing to the KBAA collection was invited to do an illustration or send a photo to accompany their piece. I can see an ink sketch in my mind’s eye. But I’m saving that for third on my list of priorities, once the cover is complete.

With the anthology and my debut novel due for release in the next four to five weeks, things are hotting up. If I occasionally fail to show up here, please mark it down to artistic absence. Either that or I’ve run away to be an artist!

How about you? Have you another creative outlet that gives you joy? Are you doing what replenishes your soul and restores you to fruitfulness?


*Watch this space: release dates for, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta,’ and, Kissed By An Angel, to be announced soon!*

From Chaos Central…

Yvette K. Carol

Keep Creating!


After traditionally publishing a few, I switched and won’t go back. I love the control over my book’s destiny. Every choice is an act of love.  ~ D. Wallace Peach


The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins. ~ Bob Moawad



In the beginning there was a dream, shared by budding writers everywhere, of being discovered by a traditional publisher and getting a book published. A real book!

I forget exactly when it happened, but it was ‘about’ two years ago that I surrendered to quitting.

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Until then, I’d managed to ignore the self-publishing phenomena taking grip of the writing world. For the four or five years prior, in which I’d navigated social media, I had skipped the articles on promotion because I had no intention of going the Indie route. I wanted a big fat gatekeeper, smoking a cigar, to slap me on the back, cross my palm with money, and welcome me into the rarefied realms of the chosen.


Someone else could do the work of printing and marketing, I was the writer.

But after thirty years, I finally gave in. I realised that if a story of mine was going to see the light of day, I’d have to publish it myself.


Everyone says going Indie is the smart route because while you do all the work, all the money is also yours, as well as the rights, and the possibilities. This advice is coming from people I admire in the business like Bob Mayer and Jane Friedman and Kristen Lamb.


Even so, I hadn’t truly seen the positive side of having the whole project on my shoulders. I took it on, yes, but it felt like a weight. A problem needing to be solved.

I also was sad. Instead of being clapped on the back, I’d been given more jobs, and was looking at the prospect of only ever seeing my work in digital form.

Aren’t books going the same way as cash? Into the ether. We’re soon to be a cashless, and a bookless society.  

As I got to the point with this debut where I sent the manuscript out to beta readers for checking, I regarded the road ahead, of marketing myself, with trepidation.


I had accrued enough understanding of the subject to write an article about it called, ‘The Melee of Marketing for the Modern Writer’ included in the IWSG book, Guide to Publishing and Beyond. I knew enough to be jaded. I asked myself, ‘Does any of this stuff work?’

A couple of months ago, at Ma’s service, I gave a speech in which I thanked her for support through the early years of my career.

I told the congregation the story of how I had worked on this book, ‘The Or’in of Tane Mahuta’, the last decade, and that bereavement had provoked me to recall the manuscript from the beta readers. I had sent it to a professional editor the day before the funeral. I had accelerated efforts towards getting it published.

Outside the church, I was surprised when I was approached by various members of my father’s community, who asked when my book was coming out as they would like to buy a copy. I realised that there are a lot of folks who would like to read a book, including myself, in solid form.

It doesn’t matter if the material is aimed at the young reader. I recall a quote, Kate de Goldi, shared with us, that children’s books are for everyone: “There is no such thing as a children’s book. There are simply books of many kinds and some of them children read.” ~ PL Travers


I thought, why not ‘put my money where my mouth is’, as my father would say, and invest in my own intellectual property?

I asked myself, wouldn’t it be nice to offer good folks like my dad’s community and family & friends the chance to buy this book as a paperback, as well as in digital form? Wouldn’t it be fun to celebrate the moment, and have a book launch and a party? 

I decided to organize a small print run of 150 copies. 

This week, I had a meeting with Steve, a local printer, (Book Print) to talk about it. We discussed format and design and laying this novel out to my specifications. I can’t even tell you! It was ‘pinch-me’ material.

In essence, I had given myself permission to have fun and make the most of this moment.

I had decided to make part of the original dream come true. No trad. publisher, but at least a book in hand.

That’s the thing about wearing all the hats; you get to make every teeny-weeny decision from cover, to blurb, to content, and the big decisions too.

Now that I’ve stopped being a big baby about it, I truly see the value of going Indie. This is why the movers and shakers in this business extol the virtues. 

It’s about something much deeper than money.

It’s about creative control. Purity of vision.

I can tell you it feels good. Empowering. Rewarding. Amazing.


It’s also exhausting.

My mind is running at light speed. I wake up during the night with ideas.

No one’s denying it’s hard yakka and the options in the line of promotion are seemingly endless. But it’s worth it, and never fear, intrepid fellow Indies, I’m making a plan-of-action. When it’s complete, I’ll include it in another blog post. 

Someone said once, that there is more voltage in ideas than electricity. A pure vision is a powerful thing. This is the liberating satisfaction of taking your genesis project from seed to plant to harvest.

The fruit is truly your contribution to the world.

“Intellectual Property has real value. Your ideas are the most important thing, you have to take ownership of it.” ~ Martin Baynton



More to come…

Yvette K. Carol


 “Write as if no one will read it.” ~ Unknown. “And then publish it as if everyone will.” ~ Yvette Carol