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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Why Self-Publish?’
A Guest Post By J. Frank James

‘Meet The Authors’ this time, would like to say Hi! and a very big welcome, to J. Frank James, author of the popular ‘Lou Malloy’ series and the new kid on the block ‘Indigo Marsh’, who makes his debut in Voodoo Moon Rising.

J. Frank James, is a relatively new to me author and I have only just begun my acquaintance with ‘Lou Malloy’, having recently joined him in his first case, Dead Money Run, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

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DEAD MONEY RUN – (Lou Malloy Crime Series Book 1)

Lou Malloy has just maxed out on a fifteen year prison sentence for the theft of $15 million and just before leaving prison he learns that his sister is brutally killed. As he is leaving prison, he’s told to keep his nose clean or he would soon be back. As far as Malloy is concerned all bets were off until he finds his sister’s killer. In the meantime, he has to fight off predators trying to get their hands on the money he stole and keep from being sent back to prison trying to protect those dear to him.
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He catches a break when he meets up with Hilary Kelly, a private investigator with an agenda of her own, She has been hired by the insurance company that paid on the theft claim of the money stolen from the casino by Malloy. In the course of events, Malloy and Kelly become more than just friends and Kelly decides to throw in with Malloy. Together they work to uncover exactly what happened to Malloy’s sister and why.
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Check out the first few lines of the book here ..
A few more teaser lines to whet the appetite here ..
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Whilst I gather my thoughts into the final review of Dead Money Run, I invite you to enjoy this insightful and well considered guest post, by J Frank James.

Hi! My Name Is –  J. FRANK JAMES

Photo Image Of Contemporary Author J. Frank JamesI am the author of crime thriller novels, with a passion for writing, communicating with readers and introducing new readers to my characters.

I am a graduate of the University of Florida School of Journalism and Advertising, where I obtained a degree in Journalism and one in Advertising, later going on to attend law school, where I was a member of the law review. I even went on to pass the state bar and started my own law practice which specialized in complex litigation.

My experience and extensive background in law, I hope helps lend credibility and authenticity to my crime fiction books, creating believable situations that have the readers wanting to find out what happens next, just like they would in any crime situation.

I have also traveled extensively worldwide, gaining new experiences from observing other cultures, which has not only given me much of the inspiration for my crime thriller novels, but has also helped me to infuse new life into my books and develop believable characters and situations, that readers can identify with and relate to.

My books have hard and soft elements simultaneously, to really capture the life of the hardened criminal who is still very human and struggles with the same human emotions as the rest of society. At the same time, to give the reader perspectives, I introduce private investigators to balance out the story.

There is even a hint of romance, when my characters come to care for each other as more than just friends. Then, crime and love mixes to create a dynamic atmosphere that is even more complicated than ever before, since characters care not only for each other but for their other family members as well.

Home for my wife and myself, is Atlanta, with a second home on the coast of Georgia that we shuttle back and forth to, along with our 90 pound boxer, named Jake. Six children and 13 grandchildren complete the family line-up, so, to say the least, life never has a dull moment.

Keep up to date with all the latest news at my website

Follow me on Twitter

Like my Facebook page

Photo Image Of Contemporary Author J. Frank James

WHY SELF-PUBLISH?

As an author, the decision to self-publish from my standpoint, is simply one of self-confidence. As early as five years ago, the concept of being a self-published author was a bit foreign. The access to readers was controlled by a few of the publishers on top making the opportunities to become a published writer difficult at best.

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I began writing about ten years ago as a lark. My wife had some health problems and I had decided to stay at home as much as I could. In the process of that decision, I began to write. Being a graduate of the College of Journalism and Advertising from the University of Florida, I figured I might as well use my degree for something other than taking up wall space. As I cranked out story ideas, my wife got control of her health and I kept on writing. Eventually I decided to take a shot at getting an agent. To be honest, I would have had better luck trying to shoot a duck out of the sky at night. Then one day I was ordering a book from Amazon and I saw an article on being a publisher on Amazon and the rest was history.

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One of the things that I learned early on was to be sure I understood the process. Being a self-published author requires that you wear a lot of hats and you have to be ready for it. Fortunately for me I have the time to learn the Amazon process. Trust me, it is not easy and I have been doing it now for almost two years and I am still learning and will probably never stop.

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As a provider of tools for the self-published, you have to be ready to be disappointed at times. Not everything works like it should the first time out. The good news is that when you self-publish on Amazon you can earn up to 70% of the royalties and maintain control over the content of your book.

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Now you have just finished writing your first book and you are ready to tackle the 500 pound Gorilla, Amazon Books. Be advised to stand in the box and take your swings. There is no other way to learn than to be prepared to make mistakes. Everyone who has self-published has made them more than once.
Now that the manuscript is complete and the book has made its way into the Amazon system, what’s next? Write the next book. To date I have written nine books and I self-published my first one in August of 2013. Unless you keep writing, all your effort will have been wasted.

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In addition to writing my books, I am also a sold artist which basically means that someone somewhere has purchased one of my paintings. However, the best part of being an artist is being able to do my own book covers. It is not hard. If you are just starting out, don’t get wrapped up in the perfect book cover gambit. Furthermore, KDP Select has formats for book covers and I would suggest that you simply stick with those. Besides being very useful, they are free.

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When I first started to publish my own books I engaged a proofreader who had a background proofing textbooks and manuals. That was a mistake. I learned the hard way that all proofreaders are not created equal. I now have secured the services of a professional who has experience proofing fiction in the genre that I write in. She is also an editor and has been a very big help in keeping me on the straight and narrow.

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Last, but not least is the decision to hire a publicist. The answer is a simple one. You can’t afford not to. This is your connection to the world of reviews. No reviews, no sales. Reason being you’re an unknown writer. A good publicist can and should be able to change all that. Remember, being successful as a writer is nothing more than how you are perceived by the readers you seek for your books.

Photo Image Of Contemporary Author J. Frank James
I hope my words of wisdom will be of some use.

J. FRANK JAMES

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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8 comments
  • Many thanks for such an interesting post. I’m fascinated by the debates that seem to be raging about self-publishing so was especially pleased to read this authors thoughts on the matter.

    Hoping you have a good weekend Yvonne even if like here it isn’t looking too promising at the moment.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I too thought that this was a particularly insightful and interesting guest post, especially as the author was honest enough to admit that his decision to self-publish, was predominantly a matter of self-confidence, as I suspect it is with many new authors.

      It sounds as though the self-publishing route can be quite successful and lucrative, but only so long as you do your homework and use the help out there when you need it.

      We had some rain here earlier this afternoon, but the rest of the weekend doesn’t look too bad. They say that next week there is going to be something of a mini heatwave, although not being a big sun lover, this isn’t brilliant news from where I’m sitting. Glastonbury is just down the road from us, so the rain has produced the usual mud bath, although the die-hard fans don’t seem to mind too much 🙂

      Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • An excellent guest post with a great deal of useful information! It seems self-publishing has suffered from a great deal of stigma in the past, so I’m glad it’s becoming respectable now. I’ll admit, I’ve read a number of good, quality novels that were self-published, so I have no problems accepting the practice.

    Love Jake! He looks like a real cutie. 🙂

    • Hi Kelly,

      This is one of the best posts I have come across about self-publishing, in a long time. It is clear, concise, well-considered and easy to understand.

      It sounds as though Jim knew that self-publishing had to work for him, however he was determined to know all the facts and pit-falls before he started and to use the assets available to their best advantage.

      It was interesting though that despite all that, Jim realized that there was just some help that needed to be professional and therefore an investment which had to be paid for.

      I don’t ever mind reading novels which have been self-published, however I very much mind when the editing and proof reading has been badly done and obviously rushed, as it has been in several cases. I do try to be constructive, whilst letting the authors know that the finished novel isn’t the best it might be because of poor editing, however you would be amazed at the number of authors who take exception to be critiqued in any way and can’t see the problem with a few errors in a finished manuscript!

      I’m not sure that at that size I would call Jake ‘cute’, but he does look kind of proud and handsome, doesn’t he? I’m not sure that I could deal with all the drooling which seems to occur with the boxers and other similar breeds, I have come across. In fact let’s be honest, I know I couldn’t, as lovely as the dog may be!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend 🙂

      • It amazes me how often I run across errors in books. My thought is always, “that’s what editors and proof readers are for”!

        I’m a sucker for big dogs. 🙂 Out of our nine, five of them are at least 50 pounds or more (including our two inside girlies). Though we don’t have one at the moment, our favorite breed is the Rottweiler, having had three in the past. Wonderful dogs!

        • I know that if we were to ever own a dog, it would have to be a relatively big dog – what hubbie would call a proper dog. A small dog would be a definite no! and certainly something he would never be seen out walking!

          I too get fed up with errors and omissions in books and this is not always down to self-published authors either!

          I used to think I was being helpful by pointing out any serious errors to the author who had contacted me, however I have given up wasting my breath, as it often seems to fall on deaf ears.

          People seem quite happy to have their second rate work on sale for all to read, so I just let it go and politely decline any further review copies from that author.

          I quite often wish that I had the appropriate qualifications to sell my services as a proof reader, I think that could be a job I might quite enjoy 🙂

  • Interesting post and great advice on self publishing. It’s pretty incredible how self-publishing has changed the literary world so much. I have found some fantastic self published authors, and some, well not so great. It all depends.
    Best of luck to Mr James and happy reading Yvonne 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      I don’t really discriminate between self-published and third party published books, when considering review requests.

      Over the years, I have found both good and not so good, books and authors, from both sectors.

      For me personally, the quality of the proof reading and editing, is equally, if not more important, than the publishing function. A book can look as good as can be, but if it is full of spelling and grammatical errors, I am still going to be pretty annoyed!

      I was very impressed with Jim’s carefully considered views on the subject and like yourself, would like to wish him every success with his chosen path in the publishing quagmire.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your interesting comments, I always appreciate them 🙂

Written by Yvonne

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