Guest Post: Important Tips to Consider When Self-Publishing! by Cassie Phillips

It’s our first guest post, folks, brought to us by Cassie Phillips from Secure Thoughts! Enjoy!


 Self-publishing is a great way for new and up-and-coming authors to get their work seen and bought. It’s given the power back to the hands of the writer and negated the need to deal with big-name publishing houses and other middlemen.

However, just because you’ve chosen to self-publish doesn’t guarantee you’ll have automatic success. These tips will help aspiring authors get the most out of their online book releases.


Weekend Update: A Lot To Come! a.k.a. Busy Week Ahead!

Just a quick Weekend Update here and a bit of Book News too!

Apparently all roads seem to converge on the week ahead.  A certain proof for The Songstress Murders will arrive around Wednesday, stands for the banners should be here then too, and a pile of stock for the conventions ahead as well!  Expect plenty of pictures to come.

Once the proof comes in and I approve it, I’ll be posting up a cover reveal, along with information about pre-ordering.  While my last experience with the pre-order process wasn’t fabulous, I’m going to give it another go this time now that I’m familiar with the experience.  Plus it’s the best way to guarantee my release date of May 27, 2016 works as I will be at Mobicon then.

Much fun, yes.  Also, I’ll be moving ahead with the next cycle of The Push Chronicles as well as the next Vela Redmane Mystery in the weeks ahead.  The next book of Three Seconds To Legend, while written, is at the mercy of my publisher for actual release.  One thing I will say for self-publishing … you are the master of your schedule!

So strap in and wait for plenty of news to come in the week ahead!

Book News: Incorruptible should be out …

… tomorrow!

Well, give or take 8 to 24 hours.

If you remember back from my first and only attempt at coordinating a preorder release, I discovered that Amazon, Smashwords, and what not all release at a different ‘midnight’, not to mention each having their own wrinkles to the ‘preorder’ and ‘release on a schedule’ thing.  For that reason, for the rest of my books, I’m just uploading and running the usual approval process.

So, yes, Incorruptible, the last book in The Push Chronicles (for now, at least), will likely be available tomorrow later in the day, but most definitely by Wednesday, featuring another beautiful piece of cover art by Felipe de Barros, as show below:

Incorruptible Cover

Also, expect the next Starving Review by mid-week!  Enjoy and have a good day!

Book News: Rewriteasaurus Rex!

Armed with the great insights from Sally Sue Ember (from this post), I have made significant rewrites of the first four chapters of Indomitable and smaller revisions in later chapters.  Minimal actual plot events changed but the voice and the writing style were corrected to fit the vision and style of the rest of the book and the series.  I would expect a published update to the book to come by next week, an event that will also see my experiment of moving Indomitable from free to pay (with a sizable free preview).  Keep peeled here for more news about this!

In other related news, the final polish and formatting for Incorruptible is about finished.  Ideally, this last book of The Push Chronicles will be out this coming Tuesday.  Again, keep your ear to the ground for more coming announcements!

Expect a fresh Starving Review tomorrow and more writing articles to come!

Book News: New Reviews, Continual Self-Improvement and a Shout-Out

A bit of news for tonight, folks.

First, some more reviews for Indomitable and Indefatigable!  Check them out here and here!

Second, it’s looking like we will be go for publishing Incorruptible by the end of the coming week.  I’m just waiting for a final round of input from my beta readers then we are all go.

Third, I received some incredibly insightful feedback on the start of Indomitable which is definitely my roughest start of any of my books.  I always knew there was something off about it but I could never figure it out to my satisfaction.  However, Sally Ember figured it out and now, now, I think I can finally make it perfect!  Or close to!

For that fact alone, she deserves a shout-out.  A bit ‘thank you’ is in order for you, Sally!  Anyone who is looking for editing help and writing insights should definitely drop her a line.  She’s worth the time and the money!

So, that’s that.  I am going to do a rewrite of the early chapters of Indomitable along with another full edit and, when that’s ready, I’ll use that as a point to shift it from free to paid.  I’ll be doing the same with The Opening Bell, with more edit and less rewriting, sometime shortly thereafter.

Expect a Starving Review in a day or two!  Until then, good luck and good writing!

Book News: Free or Not to Free? That is the question!

For those of you who have hung around here a while, you probably know that I have made the first book of each of my two book series free, at least with every outlet I can do so.  Now, the obvious intent of this was to stick my foot in the door, to provide a free sample to entice readers and lure them in to read the rest of each series.  It certainly does seem to have spread interest a fair bit and I’m seeing a slow trickle from the free books to the pay books.

Also, you probably know I am very close to wrapping these initial trilogies (a term I am loathe to use because I fully intend to revisit both of these fictional worlds down the road).  What I wonder is if I should continue to keep those first books free?  At least after perhaps a month or so of the series completion.

Putting a window on the free books might create a rush of activity, a sense of urgency to get a toe in the door, pushed on by the knowledge that, YES, this series IS complete.  At the same time, would the good will generated by that openly free book be crushed by suddenly cutting off the tap?  I admit that I don’t have the marketing skills to really gauge the risk factor here.

So, any of you writers, editors, publishers, literary folk, do you have any insights on this?  Is it better to keep that gateway open for impulse readers to grab a free book and get hooked?  Or decide that it’s time to cut off the free lunch line?

Book News: Beta readers. I need ’em and you want to be one! Right?

No writer can work in an echo chamber or in a ‘yes’ factory.  So, to that end, I have always tried to work with a core of beta readers and editors: people who like the project but are more than willing to tell me ‘that, that is stupid’ or ‘what the heck’ or many more colorful exclamations when I make a major misstep.  I am eternally indebted to each and every one of them.

However, several of my top beta readers are out of action for the near future.  Major personal obligations or familial emergencies have taken up their time and, despite any objections from them, I have given them my full support to ignore the reading and just take care of business.  Their problems and futures are far more important than a few books.

So, long story still kind of long, I have a need for beta readers.  I need people who aren’t afraid to be critical to help turn my last two books (for the short term) into masterpieces and, heck, I’m not afraid to publish new editions of old works if the input is sound enough.  I need people who want to stick their arms elbow-deep into the creative process and turn good material into the best of end results.

Oh, you get free books!  All three books of whichever series you wish to beta read … or both, if you want to read both.  Also, obviously, you’ll get the last two books before their release and get every update along the way.

Interested?  Send me an e-mail at and let’s talk.

Book News: Another manuscript in the can, on with the editing!

I think it was in Frankenstein that Mary Shelley made the connection between the act of creation and the act of childbirth on an emotional level (thanks to Beth for reminding me of this).  Both upraising and draining, gleeful and stressful.  So yeah, I’m tired as hell and riding high on the hog at the same time as I finished off the final chapter of Incorruptible, the last of the initial story arc of The Push Chronicles.  It’s been a wild ride with an emotional finale, but I’m happy to be where I am.

There’s a certain sense of closure and final completion to finish out not just a book, but an entire series (or arc in a series, I don’t think this is the end of stories told in that world).  I’m not sure I can match it up with any other feeling I’ve had in my life.

Of course, there’s still plenty of editing and revision to come.  Still, it remains what it is: an act completed.

Tomorrow, expect either a Starving Review or some more writing articles.  Good luck and good writing!

P.S. If you’re interested, there’s still room for more beta readers in my pack!  Get your hands on all the books of a series for free and get new volumes ahead of time.  It’s your chance to get in elbow-deep in books in the making and leave your mark.  Just send me an e-mail at if you’re interested.

Hey! Books! Physical ones!


Yes, my camera photo skills are horrible!

But the good news is that I got my first stock of books from CreateSpace earlier than expected.  This is especially good news for the Kickstarter folks expecting books, as I should be able to ship this out before my out-of-town trip to see my mother next week.

I don’t know what it is, but it’s still hard to beat physical books.