New Year, GoFundMe, Vellum and Scrivener

So, I’m finally getting around to posting again. The holidays were a crazy time and I for one am glad that they are finally over with. And I’ve got lots to fill my readers in on.

First, Happy New Year! Yeah, I know, it’s a couple of weeks delayed, but better late than never. Lots of people ring in the new year with empty promises they make to themselves about losing weight or making more money, but I’m not doing any of that. Instead, I’m setting up some goals for myself as a self-published author that my be a little more realistic than losing 50 pounds (even though it probably would do me some good to try for that too).

12487114_10205749512679466_6466695106591509491_oOn the roster this year, are at least four book publications, if not five. I’m still working on “The Enigma” and have decided to give y’all a sneak peek at the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous! I’ve completed the rework of that one and I’m in the middle of “Becoming the Enigma”, which is its sequel. After that, both manuscripts will be going back to SolaFide Publishing for a second round of edits and I’ll be ready to release those to the public.

But while I’m waiting for that to finish, I’ll be returning to “Passions” and finishing that up within a few months, hopefully. Then it’ll go to editing and get published. After that will be “The Rose”, but that’s going to take a lot more time and effort since I’ll be reworking it as well. Then, and only then, after those projects are out on Amazon, I’ll turn my attention to “The Beast Within”, which is the third book in my Loup-Garou series that started with “The Enigma”. Very excited for this chain of stories and I hope you all will be too. I’ll post a segment of a chapter once I find the time.

Apart from manuscript work, I’ve been doing a lot of side projects to improve my career as an author. The biggest thing was that I jumped on the “GoFundMe” bandwagon and started a campaign to fund my writing hobby/career. Yes, I do earn royalties from the books that I sell, but most readers don’t realize how much time and money goes into being a self-published, independent author. Everything that the publishing companies normally take care of are the responsibility of the author now and they are the ones that foot the bill. Covers, editing, software, all of it costs a pretty penny and until sales stop scraping the floor, I need you (the readers) to help. If you love my work or just have a generous heart to give, I strongly request that you take the time and donate even a little to my campaign. Here’s the link: Sheritta’s GoFundMe Campaign To Becoming a Best Seller
Every little bit counts and thank you in advance.

Now that all of that is out of the way, I can fangirl over a couple of new programs I discovered! vellum-preview-2-100223829-large

The first, and dearest to me, is Vellum. This sexy beast of software was created for writers to produce professional and beautifully formatted ebooks to publish on Kindle, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, etc. The process to create a book is so simple that I was able to upload one of my novels, cover, chapter breaks and all, within less than ten minutes. It normally took me hours using a free website based converter and even then, they didn’t look half as good as the templates Vellum provides. It does cost a bit to generate an ebook, but if you make the investment to have unlimited downloads ($199), then you can create as many ebooks as you need. It’s already paid for itself in the time and frustration I’ve saved by using it rather than the other alternative.

Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself! Vellum Ebook Creator

Another program I have come to love is Scrivener. Part of my winner goodies from National Novel Writing Month was a discount on this program that simplified my writing workspace into one interface.

13281942-nano2013-2screens-lgBefore, I had each book separated into folders on my hard drive, which then contained a Word document for each chapter, the plot outline and a folder for the character pictures. With Scrivener, I was able to combine all of that into easy to use platform where everything is accessible without having a ton of windows open. What I loved most is that they have a feature that helps me to convert all of my chapter files and front book matter (copyright, dedication page, etc) for a print book into one file that is formatted to the book size and font styles I need. Again, I used to spend hours on Word trying to make sure the page breaks, page numbers, headers, footers, fonts, and page alignment was absolutely perfect before uploading it to CreateSpace for publishing. Now, I spend maybe half an hour at most on Scrivener before compiling it into one file that works perfect for a print book.

Not only that, but when you’re writing in Scrivener, you can make the page blow up full screen to keep you from getting distracted from other websites. It’ll even allow you to make a background photo to help inspire your writing. I think Word can do this also, but there are so many more ways to customize with Scrivener that it almost makes Word obsolete. My only problem is that in Word, I’m used to right-clicking on any given word and choosing an synonym to replace it. With Scrivener, you have to highlight the word, go to a separate window for the Thesaurus, and even when you find the one you want, you have to manually type it into the document. This is just a feature I’ve grown to like through Word, but Scrivener, just like Vellum, pays for itself with how easy it is to use.

Check out this video on the basics and see if it’s something you want to look into (if you’re a writer that is). I highly recommend it as a useful tool.

 

Well, that’s all I have for now. As soon as I can find the time to breath through all this editing, I’ll post a sneak peek into “The Enigma” and create a page on my blog for it, as well as the whole Loup-Garou series I mentioned before. This is going to be a long journey, but I hope that you’ll follow me through it and see what great things come from my books. Until then, happy reading and Happy New Year!

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