$0 Raised

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Click here to buy Tyler’s books on KOBO

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These past few weeks have been difficult on all of us. Millions are staying at home, hundreds of thousands of people are sick, and thousands have died. We’re all having to hunker down, and avoid spending time with those we love and care about as we hope it will stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, and we’re all trying to find ways to take care of each other, while also trying to avoid going crazy in our own homes.

I have followed federal and state orders as best as I can, but I can’t help but think that I could do more to help those that can’t help themselves. I wanted to go out and volunteer at a food bank, or administer supplies at a medical facility. But as we all know, doing something like that is risky and not advised. So, I kept wondering what I could do that allows me to stay out of everyone’s way, but also allows me to make a difference in this crisis.

The thought came to me in the shower, which is where most of my best creative ideas come to life. I asked myself, “What if I were to donate the money I earned through the sale of my books to a cause that responds to the corona virus in a multitude of ways?” Without giving it much more thought, I knew that is what I wanted to do, and I needed to act fast so the money could be used as quickly as possible.

After doing some research, I decided to direct all my raised proceeds to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, a nonprofit that provides funding for disasters across the globe. Right now, they have a fund specifically directed towards the corona virus pandemic. According to their website, they will “focus on supporting nonprofit organizations working directly to respond to the pandemic among the most vulnerable populations in order to help build their capacity for response. These will include social service organizations focused on supporting hourly wage earners, workers in the gig economy, immigrant/New American populations, older adults, people with disabilities and other communities vulnerable to the physical health, mental health and economic impacts of the pandemic.”

I couldn’t have chosen a better cause to direct my support to. Just in case there needs to be some clarification, until the COVID-19 pandemic has been defeated, I plan to donate 100% of the proceeds I receive from the sale of my books toward this organization. For upwards of $10, you can enjoy a multitude of stories, as well as donate to a worthy cause.

At the top of this post, I have included links to all online retailers that you can purchase my books from. Of course, if you have a local retailer that will supply you a copy of my books, support them (I receive a portion of that sale as well). Also, at the top, I have included a section where I will regularly update the amount of money raised by my campaign. Let it be a reminder of how much more you can help help by being a part of that number.

Finally, let me conclude by asking you for your support in spreading the word about my campaign to make a difference around the globe. This venture cannot be done by me alone, and I hope you will consider purchasing my books, gifting them to someone you love, or sharing this post on all your social media accounts. Like with fighting COVID-19, we all have to stand together if we want our efforts to be worthwhile.

Thank you for your time, and let’s make a lasting impact for our friends, family and loved ones!

20915209_653423028200914_8418561264010930747_n.jpgYes, my home, Franklin, NC, my place of work, Southwestern Community College, and my alma mater, Western Carolina University, was in the path of totality during yesterday’s Great American Eclipse.  You’ve probably heard about it already, or experienced it yourself, but if not, here is my experience.

While my family hiked up one of the tallest peaks of Franklin to get a 360 degree view of the event, I spend the first half of the day working at SCC.  I preferred it this way, because when stuff like this happens, I feed off of hype, and there was ton of it at SCC.  We combined our Welcome Back, our Fall Festival and our Solar Eclipse events all in one.  It was welcome to the public, staff, faculty and students, and I think it’s safe to say that fun was had by all.

I hung out with some of my good co-workers, handing out solar glasses, and as the time passed, I noticed a slow but surely drop in temperature and a dim in lighting.  This was my favorite part.  It was both exciting and scary at the same time.  I didn’t know how the totality would affect me, my pets or those who were driving.

But, that two minutes of totality was worth every second leading up to it.  It was something you would see on Harry Potter, Star Wars or Batman.  It was magical, scientific and uncertain, all at once.  I feared of taking off my glasses, fearing if I left my classes off for a second, I could burn my eyes out.  Fortunately, I remembered I was told when I saw the diamond ring, to put the glasses back on.  I did so, and as soon as it happened, the event ended.  The temperature went back up, and the light started to shine again.

The unfortunate downside was the traffic.  I didn’t have to endure it too long, but for other who were trying to leave, they were bumper to bumper for 30 miles or more.  It shows how many people were in Franklin/Clayton during the event, but it doesn’t say how much of our economy was boosted.  I hope it was a lot.

It was an experience I will always treasure.  I may never see one again, but at least I can say I saw one at one point in my life.  Do you have an experience you want to share?  Feel free to post it in the comments below.  In the meantime, visit my books on Amazon, where they’ll be on sale for $2.99 per Kindle copy.



The One

003(93)Yesterday, I got a bad review.  No, it wasn’t my first one, and it sure won’t be my last.  But this particular one questioned my whole being an author, which affected me deep in my core.  I knew there would be criticism, and I knew there would be those who wouldn’t like the type of genre I write, but never did I think I would want to put my pen down and say “That’s it.”

The review I’m referring to is regarding my second novel, Aluria.  I paid for this review, which I certainly won’t do again.  The site is http://www.onlinebookclub.org, and I’ve seen good reviews come out of it, like Eva McCall’s Murder on Haint Branch.  But little did I realize that anyone is offered to take on the review, and there is no level of expertise when they give their opinion.  The person who volunteered to take on my book was 16 years old, and had I known someone that young would be reviewing it for the whole world to see, I would have asked for my money back.

Anyways, some of the things he/she said shocked me, some I downright disagreed with.  I have included some of the things they said, and I’ll provide my thoughts on it.

One of the first things that I noticed about this book were the descriptions. Or rather, the lack of. Setting the scene and creating an atmosphere is crucial to a good novel, but I felt that the majority of the text was dialogue or Jason’s internal thoughts…I was not able to visualise the world that the author had created and as a result, my interest levels slowly decreased as I progressed.

First off, let me point out the misspelled word in that batch of the review.  Next, I had an issue with what they said as a lack of description.  Yes, throughout the entire production of the book, I questioned whether I put too many, or not enough description.  So, I did what I expect all the books I read to include:  Enough description for me to get an idea, but leave the rest to my imagination.  Everyone I’ve spoken to has said I provided more than enough description in Aluria.  Maybe this reviewer likes to read Moby Dick in their spare time.

The language, unfortunately, was also a disappointment. There were some uses of terribly basic vocabulary such as describing Tessa as having “white skin” and “white teeth”. This example is perhaps the worst but nevertheless fairly representative of other instances in the book.

Let’s be clear, they’re not referring to any cursing or anything like that.  They’re saying I dumbed it down to the most basic words.  And maybe I did.  However, I did include more different words such as “pearly teeth”, and I was told doing that made my characters more inanimate than making my writing sounding more creative.  I guessing that’s also the PR person in me, trying to make things as simple and concise as possible.

Another main aspect of the book that did not meet my expectations were the characters.  They came across to me as very one-dimensional: they did not have distinct personalities and voices and almost seemed robotic as a result.

This was the biggest issue I had with the whole review.  I just don’t see how that is possible, or how it could be corrected.  Each individual character in the book seem to be different, in my opinion, and they each go through the overall story-line differently.  If you have any insight on this one, please let me know, especially those who have read the book thus far.

I believe that the length of this book has resulted in issues that could have been solved had the author written a longer book. Aluria is simple – too simple, in fact – and it is this lack of complexity that meant that the novel did not have important detail, well-shaped characters or realism…250 pages meant that the book should have been a quick read but, for me, it was not. I found it difficult to continue because it was not gripping and I often put it down to do other things.

By the time I got to this part, I was looking for something to fight with the reviewer about.  First, they got the page number wrong.  It’s well over 250 pages, and even though it doesn’t exceed 300, the reviewer made it sound like they had better things to do to begin with.  But at 16, I wouldn’t expect them to sit down an review a book for someone, either.

So why did I post this?  A couple of reasons.  One, I needed to vent.  I had this on my mind for too long.  And two, I want to ask those who have read Aluria to give their honest opinion about the book, good or bad.  If the thoughts are negative, I want to know so I can fix the errors.  My characters mean everything to me, and I want to do right by them.

Will this stop my writing?  No, but it certainly has killed my motivation for awhile.  But what gets me through is knowing that so many talented authors, musicians, and directors get plagued with negative reviews every day, and that doesn’t stop them.  They continue to press on through and overcome the challenges thrown their way.  I may not be the most talented writer in the world, but as long as it makes me happy, then it’s worth it.

So, for those who have written or performed something, and gotten bad reviews about it, how did it affect you?  Post your comments below, along with those who leave an honest review of Aluria.

13392153_10154296042790842_5771897236973107543_o.jpgYesterday, in the hot summer weather, I decided to take a long dip in the pool, and enjoy Delta Goodtrem’s new album, Wings of the Wild, in a peaceful environment.  I knew what to expect, because I had listened to the album in it’s entirety a dozen times before that.  However, floating in the water, just existing for that one hour to listen to the songs, I was able to fully appreciate it.  I stopped doing reviews after I shut down my prior blog, Tyler’s World, but I felt that this album deserved my full attention.

So, for those that do not know her, Delta Goodrem is one of the most well respected musicians in Australia.  If any of my USA readers recognize her name, it’s because of her brief visit in the USA in 2008 to promote her USA debut album, Delta.  Since then, she has released two albums, several record breaking singles, and went through several publicized relationships and breakups.  I have never stopped being a fan of Delta ever since I discovered her in late 2007, and I am so thrilled that she has released new content in the USA.  So without further ado…my full review of Wings of the Wild.

Feline:  I’ve started noticing a pattern with Delta’s albums.  The last three of her albums have included a fully orchestrated song to lead the album.  And I love her for it.  The title immediately caught my attention, because cats are my spirit animal.  I really think this should have been the theme for Catwoman with Hallie Berry.  And it drives me wild when she does the Arabian sound towards the middle of the song.   Delta says that this song was the driving force behind WOTW, and I would have to agree.  And obviously, it gave some inspiration for the album cover.

Wings:  Ah, Wings.  I have been singing to this song for over a year, and I still don’t get tired of it.  While it can now be disputed that Only Human was the lead single for this album, Wings is what really kicked off the release of her fifth album.  The strings, the piano, the voice, all of it comes together in perfect harmony.  It’s catchy, it’s bold, and there’s no wonder why it reached #1 on the ARIA charts.

Dear Life:  When Delta announced the release of Dear Life, nearly a year after releasing Wings, I knew that the new album wasn’t far behind.  This was also the start of Delta releasing new content into the USA.  It’s an anthem of strength, questions and just a love of life.  My mom thinks this is her best song to date.  I can’t agree or disagree with her, because each of her songs have a special place in my heart, but I do have to agree that it’s a song that everyone can relate to.

Just Call:  I always imagine Delta singing this song in the Amazon jungle.  It’s certainly unique.  I’m curious what inspired Delta to write it.  Was it a love interest, past or present?  Or was it for a friend?  No matter who it was meant for, it’s a great, positive song, that I know many will enjoy, myself included.

In the Name of Love:  It’s definitely a noteworthy song on this album.  It’s raw, it’s powerful, and I love every minute of it.  Delta has admitted to including songs written from her Child of the Universe era, and I think this song was among the collection.   It kinda sounds like an addition to her song War on Love.  I don’t care, I’m glad that she released it.  I wish she would release a lot more songs, a lot faster!

Enough (Feat. Gizzle): Delta really went out of the box with this song.  When I heard a rapper would be included in the song, I started to get worried.  But after one listen, I knew that she made the right decision.  It’s a powerful song of overcoming the odds.  Gizzle’s part is very inspiration, and combined with Delta’s part, makes the song pure epicness.  I honestly think it is one of Delta’s best songs.  Good job!

Heavy:  Delta always knows how to rip my heart out and step on it.  And this song is no exception.  The piano is absolutely wonderful, and I think the unidentified male voice adds to the song.  I love it when she says, “I made a wish on a satellite that I mistook for a star.”  I would have never thought of saying something like that.  That key change is amazing!  Delta, you’ll always have my heart.

Only Human:  Heavy and Only Human kinda go hand in hand, which I guess is why Delta put the two songs back to back.  I loved it when she released it, before we knew it was going to be on the album.  If anyone gets tired of feeling like people take advantage of you, or keep breaking your heart, like I’ve felt, then this song is the best one to belt out.

The River:  I really hope Delta releases this song as a single, just so I can get the music video.  I can only imagine what it would be like.  I think it would include Delta talking to a priest right before they execute her for the murder of her boyfriend/husband/lover and his mistress.  It think it’s safe to say that she wrote this song as a result of one of her breakups.

I’m Not Giving Up:  Delta went with a more acoustic vibe with this song, and I’m fine with that.  If In the Name of Love isn’t the second part of War on Love, then this song is it.  I know I’ll be belting out this song when I’m feeling blue.

Encore:  Oh my gosh, I love this song.  I think everyone can relate to it.  This is her version of Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus.  I personally think it’s better.  Not much more to say on the matter, other than it’s perfect.

Hold On:  The only thing bad about this song is that it’s an indicator that the album is almost over.  Other than that, it sends me chills.  Probably one of the best songs on the album.  I fully expect this to be the fourth single, not that I would be disappointed with any of the other songs.  I think it’s the background vocals/choir that makes me want to raise my hand and say “Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!”

I Believe in a Thing Called Love:  One of the few songs that has not been written by Delta since she has been releasing music.  She sang it at her brother’s wedding, and I suppose that she fell in love with it.  I fell in love with it too.  A perfect ending to a perfect album.

So do I really have to give this album a rating?  I guess not, but I’m going to anyway.  I’m going to rate it a 5/5.  Shocking, I know.  If I had to say anything bad about the album, I guess it would have to be that she only included 13 songs on this album.  I had really hoped that she would have released You and You Alone and Morse Code on it.  I guess she didn’t find them a good fit for the album, and I’ll have to respect that.

WOTW is everything I hoped it would be.  It was a long wait, but like people say about my books, good things take time to produce.  I thank Delta for giving us this wonderful give, and I ask her that she provide us with more gifts in the near future.  If you’ve liked what you read, go onto iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, or wherever you shop for music, and go buy this album!  You won’t regret it.

Click here to buy your copy of Wings of the Wild by Delta Goodrem.

Click here to buy my latest novel, Aluria.


13483335_468804693329416_5743240008529508993_o.jpgI am absolutely give out.  There, I said it.  This week has been crazy!  And in two day’s time, I have been in four different states.  The beginning of the week, I attended the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA) New Aid Officer Workshop, which was located at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, which I had so much fun attending.  Then, I drove back to North Carolina, driving through Georgia along the way, and rested for an afternoon before driving to Knoxville, Tennessee for the Fanboy Expo.

The hardest part about being an author is trying to find the right place to promote and seller your book.  As you remember, my trip to the Science Fiction Summer Convention in Atlanta was a bust, but I didn’t let it discourage me, because I knew that Fanboy Expo was going to be a different experience.

It wasn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, if I was a customer of the event, I would have had a blast.  People dressing up like their favorite character, merchants trying to sell a specific type of merchandise, and celebrities making appearances for their fans.  And for those people that try to sell an established product, character or idea, they do pretty well.  But for rookie authors, like me, you have a harder time.

Like the prior con, I’m in the hole for this trip, but a lot more than last time.  I took my sister with me (Thank you for all that you did, Miranda!) to help with the “large crowds.”  There was a large crowd alright, thousands of people, but only three people bought my book.

I know what people are going to say.  “You may have only just sold 3 books, but you got a lot more connections and networked with new people.”  True, I did that.  But for the first three hours, not one person looked at my table, which I paid $150 for.  After lunch, and several Mountain Dews, I worked up the courage to signing my name on the back of hundreds of my business cards and handing out “Free autographed cards.”  They probably aren’t worth much, but hey, it’s an autograph.  That attempt worked, and I sold a book out of it, but I risked appearing conceited and being laughed at.  I don’t know what people thought about me when they weren’t around me, but there were a few people that laughed at me.

After a $200 stay at the hotel across the street, my sister and I tried it again this morning.  I didn’t want to attempt the autograph maneuver again, and  tried bribing people to come to my table with candy.  Didn’t work so well.  We got tired of it quick and left several hours early before the event was supposed to start.  That’s because the trip home was several hours, we were give out from the first day, and we have to get ready for work tomorrow.  I don’t think I missed out on any sales.

I gave this whole con thing another shot, and I am once again disappointed.  It’s fun to attend as a regular person, but as a vendor/author, it is a ton of work.  For the same price, I could do ads online and maybe get a better result.  And it’s also like my great-aunt, Eva McCall says, books are better sold in a book store.  I don’t know if I’ll do another event, but if I do, I’m taking less books with me.  I just wish I could write and let the books sell themselves…

Click here to view the photo album on Tyler’s Facebook page.

Click here to order Aluria.


Last weekend, I attended the Sci-Fi Summer Con, located in Atlanta, Georgia.  This would be the first time I attending a convention/festival for my own books, so I didn’t know what to expect or how many books I would sell.  I also didn’t know how I would do by myself, since I can count the number of times I’ve traveled by myself on my hand.  But I took a risk, and went down to Hotlanta to see how I would do.

Everybody at the Con was so nice!  I got to meet some fellow writers, such as D.J. Colwell, Jamie MarchantLouis Puster, Jevocas Green, and Kase Palmer.  I also got to meet some other great talents, such as Kevin Nichols and Bill Pacer.  We spent a lot of time talking about each other’s experiences, gave each other advice on how to expand our readership, and traded books with one another.  It’s always good to meet with other authors around the country, because they may provide some information the could be crucial in getting your book to sell even more.  I, myself, learned about RaffleCopter, Lulu.com, and Vistaprint memberships, and I’ve already looked into those options.

I also learned something about myself during this event.  Up until this point, I had not needed, nor had I created an elevator pitch for my new novel, Aluria.  Everybody before either bought the book because it was me who wrote it, or they already had an idea what the story entailed.  So I didn’t have to “sell” them on the book a lot.  I quickly realized when walking into the Con that I had prepared myself in every aspect except figuring out how to seduce potential readers.  It was a valuable lesson, and I have some work to do for my upcoming events.

When it comes to the actual reason I went to the event, selling of my books, I didn’t do so great.  Out of the hundred books I took, I sold three.  At least I didn’t come home without selling anything.  That, and I know not many people made more sales than I did.  But like I said, it was a great experience, and I enjoyed talking to everyone and getting new ideas for the journey ahead.  Now, on to the Fanboy Expo…

Click here to buy your copy of Aluria!

A few months ago, I met with a local writing group who had a real interest in learning how to publish independently.  Now remember, I am published through Moonshine Press, but the company uses the independent author process as it’s publishing model.  Anyways, many published, unpublished, and aspiring authors said they found the following guide useful.

Please note that I was not paid in any way to endorse the companies that I list below.  They are just companies that I have used during my own publishing ventures, and I find them to be very helpful and produce great quality products.

So, shall we begin?

I understand completely that the idea of publishing independently can be scary, and at times, frustrating.  All you want to do is share your story(s) with the world.  If you are able to effectively execute an independent publishing venture, you can get your books out quicker, and you receive 50% more of the profits.  In this guide, I will present the direction I have advised several authors to go down in order to create a cost-effective, presentable and profitable book.  I wish you the best of luck in your venture.

The Most Important Thing to Start Your Journey

No author can begin looking at publishing without a completed manuscript.  If you’re like me, I like to put the cart in front of the horse and try to begin some of the later steps before I have a manuscript completed.  It’s good to look ahead, but don’t let it get in the way of finishing your story.


Upon finishing your manuscript, you’ll need to look into finding an editor.  Everybody does things different, but some authors recommend putting the project away for a day or two, let the feeling of completion subside, before diving into the next phase of your plan.  I recommend taking your story and looking over it yourself before sending it to an editor.  You’ll want to make sure that everything flows right.  If you’re good at catching grammatical/sentence structure errors, then you’ll be able to send your editor a manuscript that needs less work.

Then, send the book to an editor.  There are many out there, and their fee ranges greatly.  Don’t be like me, and try to do it all yourself to avoid that expense.  You become too attached to your work, and that will affect how you can catch mistakes.  I have found that paying for an editor is money well spent.  The hard part is finding someone that can do a great job, at a low price.  I will be recommending them a lot throughout this guide, but Createspace is probably the cheapest professional venture for editing.  They charge per 10,000 words, and they do not give discounts if you try to have them do the whole story at once.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  There are some award-winning editors out there, but their services cost thousands of dollars.  If you know someone that has editing experience, then that’s great.  If not, expect editing to be your most expensive cost.


At this point, the editing is done, and you can safely say that you are ready to proceed with formatting the book to get it ready for print.  Should you try to format the book yourself?  That’s your decision.  I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure that there’s a way that you can format your book through Microsoft Word, or another word processing program.  I recommend that you contact your desired book printer (Createspace, eBook Launch, The Book Patch, etc.) to find out what their guidelines are for formatting.  I format my books through Adobe InDesign, and it makes the books look professional and readable.  If neither Word nor InDesign is a channel you want to pursue, then I would recommend have one of the companies listed above format the book for you.


Making a cover can also be a costly expense.  The more custom you want to make it, the greater the expense.  Createspace does offer free cover templates, and I encourage you to view what they have to get an idea of what you are looking for in your book’s cover.  Remember, we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but we know that the cover may be the difference between the reader picking up the book, and not.  Both Createspace and eBook Launch offer custom cover designs.  I’ve used eBook Launch in the past, and they blew my mind away.  Not only do you need a design for the front, but also the back and the spine.  The front and back cannot be combined with the spine until you know how many formatted pages you have in the book.


You’re almost there!  At this point, you need to know who you want your printer to be, and how you want your books distributed.  There are a lot of printers out there, but only a handful help you distribute your book.  As a frequent user of Createspace, I would recommend them.  They provide the cheapest printing I have seen, the best quality of book I have seen, and they also distribute to the big bookstores, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  They also provide an option where they will distribute to the local bookstores, for a chunk of your royalties.

So, let’s say that you choose to use Createspace.  Below are the steps, in graphic form, to show you how to get your book to the reviewing stage.  For the purpose of this example, I’ll use the information for my book, Aluria.

Order Calculator.jpg

Createspace provides an awesome tool that allows you to estimate how much your book will cost to print before you send it to the printers.  This allows you to properly price your book and figure how much will be taken out of your royalties.  Notice in the Createspace calculator that it doesn’t tell you that you have to order a certain amount of books to get a certain price.  That is because Createspace prints your books at bottom-dollar costs, regardless of how many books you order.  The calculator is available to non-Createspace members.


The next step is to assign an ISBN number to your book.  All books have to have an ISBN number.  With Createspace, you can either receive a free ISBN number, you can pay for one, or you can provide your own ISBN number that you purchased from another site.  However, using Createspace’s free ISBN allows you additional distribution channels.


This step is fairly simple.  Here, you have to select whether you want the interior to be printed in Black and White or Color, and if you want the Paper color to be White or Cream.  Unless you have images in your book that absolutely have to be in color, keep your selection Black and White.  Selecting Color will make the cost of your book significantly higher.  You can see the drastic change in price by using the Createspace Order Calculator.  You may change the trim size, if you got it wrong in the beginning.  And then you can either select to upload your completed/formatted interior file.  If not, this is where you can find quotes for premium services.


This is where you select your cover options.  The type of cover finish is up to you.  I personally like the Glossy covers.  Then, you can either upload your completed cover, build a cover, using their custom templates, or select to use their design service.


And you’re done!  The page above shows your final setup page.  This page is a good example, because nothing is finished.  It will not allow you to submit your book for approval until after your submit the required documents.  Once everything has been submitted, you will be prompted to click “Submit for Review.”  You’ll be notified up to 24 hours later on whether or not your book meets Createspace’s requirements.  If it does, you can either do a digital proof, or you can order a physical proof.  In my experience, I always order a physical proof the first time around.  After that, depending on your case, you might be able to get by with just using the digital proof.


Now, for the good stuff.  Once you have approved your book, you have to select the way your want your book distributed, and how much you want to charge.  All channels listed under “Standard Distribution” give you 70% royalties.  “Expanded Distribution” gives you 40%.  See the drastic change in royalty amounts?  Let me explain.  Let’s say a customer orders a book through our local bookstore, Books Unlimited.  They order the book at wholesale price, so when they sell it at retail value, they get 40% of the profits.  Then, because you selected expanded distribution, Createspace takes 20%, because they are the ones to put the book into additional channels.  It may seems like you’re losing a lot of money, but in reality, you don’t.

Think about it for a second.  If you bought the book at printing cost, including shipping, then drove it over to the bookstore, you’ve lost the same amount, and done more work.  And most times, booksellers that take books from authors only sell them on consignment, which means that you don’t get the money until the bookstore sells the book.  That means that they can ask you to pick it up at any time.  At least with expanded distribution, the bookstore has already bought the book, you get the money, and you are free of the hassle, even if the book doesn’t sell.


In today’s society, printing physical copies of your book is only half of the journey.  With eBooks, your stories can be distributed quicker, cheaper, and you get more money.  However, like the interior formatting and cover design for your physical book, eBook formatting can be another added expense.  And cutting corners can potentially lower the quality of your book to readers.

I strongly encourage the paid services of Createspace and eBook Launch when it comes to eBook formatting.  Because Kindle has a massive amount of readers, I believe that Createspace (Owned by Amazon) can create a digital copy of your book that will look good on their Kindle devices, and impress readers.  eBook Launch, while also utilizing the distribution site, Smashwords, can distribute your book to the other popular readers such as iBooks, Barnes and Noble NOOK and KOBO.

You are probably already aware of this, but remember not to price your eBook the same as your physical book.  Because you don’t have the same amount of production costs in your eBook as you do in your physical book, online stores and customers expect your eBook to be cheaper than your physical copy.  I recommend you price your eBook below $9.99 for any physical book that ranges between $12.99 and $19.99 in price.

The Journey Continues…

The book is finally complete.  And if you are among the majority of authors that want your book out there for public consumption, then the real work begins.  Because you don’t have a publisher, you also won’t have their marketing team to back you.  Which means that all marketing/advertising falls on your shoulders.  And in some cases, that will mean putting your face, and your name, out there in the public so customers can potentially hear about you and inquire about your story(s).  The road may be long, and frustrating, but know that there are independent authors out there that have made millions on their own.  You and I could one day be among them!

I hope this brief guide helps you on your road to publishing your book.  Remember, independent publishing is just one way to get your story out there.  If you think your story has what it takes to impress publishers, certainly try to sell it to them first.  But know that there are other options are out there if you find that the conventional way of publication to be long, and time consuming.

I hope you found this post helpful!  If you have any questions, please comment below or email me.

Click here to purchase your copy of Aluria!

politics.jpegFor those that don’t know me personally, I am a political junkie.  Watching the primary results and debates are like my Superbowl.  I love it!  I don’t know where I get it from though, because my parents don’t pay any attention to it, and my grandfather hasn’t voted since Jimmy Carter was in office.

I guess I anticipate the candidate’s moves, like a spectator in a ball stand would.  I wait to see who takes the first swing, and then see who gets knocked out.  Overall, it’s just like a game, the players hoping to get the best record, and to take home the big prize.  Except in this game, there is a lot more at state…the people’s freedom.

This election cycle, I’ve really been disappointed.  I mean, I’ll admit, I had hoped that Hillary Clinton (#Imwithher) would run since before she even entertained the thought.  So I knew that there wouldn’t be a good show on the Democratic end.  And then on the Republican side, I anticipated that the candidates would change their strategy to have a better chance of winning.  But now, with the dirtied reputations of both presumptive nominees, I don’t see how anyone could come out of this election looking like a winner.

I won’t go into the whole Donald Trump debate with you, but I will quickly say that I think Trump being our next president would be detrimental to the republic as we know it.  There, I’m done.

I do, however, have been very intrigued with the local politics.  I knew from the get go that there wasn’t a thing that Senator Jim Davis could do or say that would make me vote for him.  But, when I met Jane Hipps, my mind changed from just watching things happen on the sidelines to wanting to be a active participant in the election.

I never will forget it.  I went to Greening up the Mountain with my family, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw her.  I got excited, because to me, politicians, or those running for public office, are like celebrities, unreachable.  But that wasn’t the case for Jane.  No, I walked right up to her, shook her hand, and told her that we had to make change in North Carolina this time around.  I think my family and I spent twenty minutes talking to her, and the passion that she expressed for wanting to make change moved me to the point that I didn’t just want to vote for her, I wanted to get the word out about her.  Since then, she has been to my first book signing for Aluria, and I attending her Spring Kickoff in Waynesville, the first political rally I have ever been to.

(Just in case I need to come right out and say it, I hope you will vote for Jane Hipps this November, if you live in the NC 50th District.)

Anyways, back to the overall political environment, things have got to change, and fast.  I don’t care if you think it’s on the federal level, the state level, or the local level.  There’s blame and room to improve to go around.  That’s why we must take a stand on what we hold dear and true.  I don’t care if we agree on political ideologies or not, you need to get out and do your civic duty and vote for what you think is right.

Click here to buy my latest novel, Aluria.

003(93)First of all, let me thank you all for your wonderful comments about Aluria thus far.  Everyone has been so supportive, and apparently, are already eager for the sequel.  I can promise you that a sequel is already in the works, and if my schedule permits it, I’ll have it finished by the end of the summer.

On this Memorial Day weekend, between sleeping, eating and playing on my PS4, I juggled between writing the sequel to Aluria, and trying to promote Aluria.  The writing part is easy, because you have complete control over it.  And if you’re not happy with the result, you can change it so it meets your creative plan.  But with advertising and promoting, it can either have a good effect, minimal effect, or no effect at all.

When you put money, time and effort into a promotional campaign, no matter how planned out it was, and it doesn’t increase the sale of your books, it can get discouraging.  And that’s how I’ve felt this weekend.  I didn’t do any paid advertising, but I gave discounts on my books, up to $5, and still no one would touch it.

So, if you were hoping for me to give you ideas on how to make your promotions work in this blog, you came to the wrong place.  The truth is that I don’t have any solutions.  I have tried a bunch of ideas.  They would include giving books away at a discount, throwing ads into Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads, doing live chats on Facebook and Periscope, sending out email newsletters, putting links in my forum signatures.  And most of the time, little or nothing came out of those ventures.

Just when I thought of giving up on promoting, my great-aunt and fellow author, Eva McCall, who didn’t even know that I had been trying to push these books over the weekend, said, “You just have to keep getting the word out.”

And you know what, she’s right.  Becoming a successful author doesn’t happen over night.  I knew that, but I kept telling myself that I could be the exception.  But I’m not, a rarely does it happen where an independent author strikes it big fast.  For the rest of us, we have to continue to work hard, attend every festival, speak at every conference, pass out business cards to anyone that will take them, and keep posting worthy content on social media channels.  One day, our hard work will pay off, and someone will have our books in their hands.

But until then, keep chugging along, and I’ll be doing the same.

Click here to purchase your copy of Tyler’s new novel, Aluria!

003(93)Cook to Release Second Novel

Franklin, NC—Tyler Cook, Franklin native and Western Carolina University alumnus, will release his second novel, ‘Aluria’, at a special release party on May 7 at 11 a.m. at the Macon County Public Library.

“Aluria is by far my favorite book I’ve written to date,” said Cook.  “I brought out my best creativity, and I think the readers will agree.”

In order to save his teenage crush, Jason Conner allows an extra-terrestrial spirit, named Aluria, to inhabit his body. At that moment, Jason vowed to protect the innocent and hunt down the guilty, avenging those that were tragically taken from him.  But while Jason thought that his first enemy, Raiz, was long deceased, the evil sorcerer returns to Canton to obtain what Jason robbed him of: A magical item that grants anyone who possesses, it infinite power.  Aluria is the first in a series that tells a story about heroism, love and hope.

In 2014, Cook released ‘A Guide to Historic Dillsboro’, now an award-winning book that celebrates the historic town of Dillsboro, as well as raising money for the Appalachian Women’s Museum.  Later that year, he wrote ‘The One’ which was released in early 2015.

Cook says that ‘Aluria’ is the first in a series, and writing for the sequel has already begun.

“I have so much more planned for the characters that have come to life for me,” Cook said.  “In the meantime, I hope the readers will fall in love with them the same way that I have.”

Books Unlimited will provide copies of Cook’s books at the event on May 7.  Reservations can be made by calling 828-369-7942.

For more information, contact Tyler Cook at 828-371-8519 or moonshinepressnc@gmail.com.

Click here to order your copy of Aluria!