Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Author Roy “Griff” Griffis on Your Book Your Brand Your Business

Please tune in at 5 PM Eastern on May 14 when I welcome the accomplished author Roy “Griff” Griffis to the show. In his own words:

I was born in Texas City, TX, the son of a career Air Force meteorologist. Attended a variety of schools at all of the hot spots of the nation, such as Abilene, Texas and Bellevue, Nebraska.

When I was ten, I was sent to my grandparent’s house in Tucson, Arizona because things were tough at home. I was pretty damn lost, as my grandparents were largely strangers to me. My older brother, a more taciturn type, refused to discuss what was going on. Fortunately, like so many kids before me, I was rescued by literature. Or, at least, by fiction. In a tiny used bookstore that was just one block up from a dirt road, I discovered that some good soul had unloaded his entire collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “John Carter of Mars” series in Ballantine Paperback. Because my father had already taught me the guy who created “Tarzan” was the self-same ERB, I spent my RC Cola money on the first book of the series, “A Princess of Mars.”

I think what struck me was how these books were possessed of magic: they were able to transport me far from this dusty land of relatives who I didn’t know and other relatives pretended not to know me to another dusty land of adventure, heroism, nobility, and even love. It was the first magic I’d encountered that wasn’t a patent fraud, and when I closed the stiff paperback with the lurid colors on the cover, I decided it was the kind of magic I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to mastering. And, thus, I was saved.

Since then, I’ve never looked back. I’ve written poems, short stories (twice runner-up in the Playboy college fiction contest), plays (winning some regional awards back East and a collegiate Historical Playwriting Award), screenplays, and novels. I’m a member of the WGAw, with one unproduced screenplay sold to Fox Television. I also had a moment or two of internet notoriety as co-creator of the web-comic “Truesbury.” Right before Trump’s election, I somehow was selected as a “Conservative Novelist” to be interviewed by a Swiss newspaper, which was pretty funny by itself since they found me by doing an internet search for Conservative Novelists and for some reason, I was about number three on the list. “We had a hard time finding conservative novelists.” No shit, I thought.

Along the way, I’ve done the usual starving artist jobs. Been a janitor, a waiter, a clerk in a bookstore. I was also the 61st Aviation Rescue Swimmer in the Coast Guard (all that Tarzan reading wasn’t wasted). I’m also not a bad cook, come to think of it.

Currently, I’m a husband, father, and cat-owner. I’m an avid bicyclist and former EMT. I live in a small town in Texas with my lovely wife (a college professor) where we are renovating a 130 year-old historic home for us, three rescue dogs, and two rescue cats. My friends call me “Griff,” my parents call me “Roy,”and my college-age son calls me “Dadman.” It’s a good life.

During the live interview, Griff and I  welcome your questions from the chat room.

Understanding the Independent Publishing Process

When I wrote and published my first book in 2008, I didn’t know what I didn’t know in terms of the mechanics of independent publishing. Yes, I knew how to write (though the evolution of my novel is a blog post unto itself) via my professional writing and editing experience, and I understood enough about the process to seek out a professional editor. Beyond that, however, the process of transforming my manuscript into a marketable offering on Amazon.com (and everywhere books are sold online) was a daunting task.

Oh my God, where can I find a talented book cover designer I can trust?

Hold on, I need to format my book…and not just for paperback, but for something called Kindle? 

Fast-forward to the present. I’m blessed to own a business that includes being an independent publishing consultant and offering all-inclusive packages designed to make the process of writing and publishing a book simple, efficient, and fun. I contract with interesting clients and a team of creative professionals who provide the services that are beyond my zone of genius — like cover design and formatting — and factored into the cost. The result is personalized service with everything you need to produce a quality book.

An example of professional Kindle formatting.

Are you ready to publish your book? Here are my six simple steps to independent publishing:

  1. Select a Publishing Package– Whatever your goal, I offer a package that meets your needs.
  2. Choose Your Publication Date – I require approval on the FINAL edits a minimum of two months prior.
  3. Commit to Your Project – My collaborative editing process requires a time commitment from both of us.
  4. Approve Final Edits – After a few rounds of editing, you, the author, must approve the final edits before the manuscript moves into formatting.
  5. Approve Formatting – Once you approve the final edits, your manuscript moves into the formatting stage. What is formatting? It pertains the interior style of the book including fonts, headers, chapter templates, and justification. When your manuscript makes it to the formatting part of the process, you can no longer add or remove paragraphs, rewrite sentences, delete content or add new content. When is the time to do that? At any point within Step 4. By the time you approve final edits, you’ve reviewed your document repeatedly. Take as long as you need before signing off because we will not make any further editing changes after it moves into formatting.
  6. Approve Proof Copy – Before your book goes live online, you must approve either a digital version or a paperback proof. If you’re a new author, I recommend the latter.

Aside from editing, formatting, and cover design, my publishing packages include an ISBN (International Book Standard Number) assignment, a keyword-rich back cover description, set-up on Amazon, and a free paperback proof copy, among other services. You retain 100% ownership and all rights to your book. For the full list, click here.

As your independent publishing consultant, I am just as vested as you in the outcome. Producing good books with original, compelling covers and stylish, readable formatting is my top priority. Making you look good is my goal. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your no-obligation coaching call to discuss your project, contact me.

And be sure to tune in every Monday at 5 PM Eastern for Your Book Your Brand Your Business.

January Jones-Writing 4 Pleasure & Profit-Kayleen Reusser

Kayleen Reusser
Kayleen Reusser (REE-sur) has written 14 children’s books with two publishers—Mitchell Lane and Purple Toad Publishing. She also self-published a book on World War II stories (Oak Creed Media) and writes on assignments for several publications.

Reusser focuses her writing for children on non-fiction topics. While working for six years in a public middle school library, Reusser developed valuable instincts about topics middle-grade readers liked to read—scary, weird and zany!

Reusser’s versatility as an author is evident in the topics she has covered with her books. Biographies on Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Big Time Rush and Leona Lewis have attracted the attention of many young readers, not just female!

Her three books on the Greek gods of Hermes, Hephaestus, and Hades have been wildly popular with middle schoolers interested in Greek mythology.

Reusser has written two cookbooks for children. Her ‘Recipe and Craft Guide to Indonesia’ (Mitchell Lane) includes 10 recipes and 10 crafts for children in grades 4-8. Reusser was aided in the research of this book by her daughter who teaches in Indonesia.