Posted in Author 101, Writing

Author 101: Warnings

I don’t know why I’ve been asked to review so many books lately that contain explicit sexual violence or suicide but I have noticed a pattern with the requests… no warnings! It would be great to provide warnings for people like me who suffer from PTSD/sexual trauma. I know the majority won’t mind reading scenes like that, I don’t when warned. That is why, even if the author does not, I will give a warning on top of my review posts.

Posted in Author 101, Writing

Author 101: Takeovers

This is something I recently posted in our group as we are quickly approaching our series first takeover. Hope it helps! 

We are doing a Founder’s Day event on the Peace page which means TAKEOVERS! Whoop whoop! For new authors a takeover is a way to introduce yourself and your book. We really want everyone to sign up for a slot and pimp yourself out. In a good way… y’all know what I mean! So what can I do during a takeover, you may ask? Great question! I for one, will be creating a Facebook page for Lynn, and she will be doing a Q&A, You can also post funny pictures, ask people to caption them, post your media kit into, talk about what Peace means to you and talk about your Facebook page to draw in new likes/readers! So think about it, and when the sign up sheet gets posted I hope that everyone will sign up (even if you have post ahead of time/schedule the posts). If you need more ideas check out takeovers your invited to get ideas or ask here, we can all help each other. Okay, shutting up now. Hope all the mom’s had a great Mother’s Day!

Posted in Author 101, Book, Reviews, Self Pub

Author 101: Reviews

So as I am sitting here feeling like I am being torn into two and waiting for my oldest spawn to get the hell out of the bathroom (sorry, if TMI) I for some reason remembered that I have been meaning to write about review requests and how to help the reader out, if you will.

I, myself, have been writing this type of email a lot lately:

Dear Author,

Thank you for asking me to review your book {insert title here}, however I find myself asking if this is an unedited ARC or something already available to the public instead of being able to focus on the words.

Okay, I’m not that formal, but you get the idea. Currently I AM in the situation above and no matter how much I really want to enjoy this book, I am unable to due to the amount of typos and other grammatical errors that I am encountering. So I will be emailing the author today asking if it is an ARC and if another version is available. If it is the published product (and due to my own review policy) I will not be able to review it. I will give the author my honest opinion and hopefully they will take the time to fix what needs to be fixed and put out a revision. If not… will I tried, right?

And I’m sure there are some readers of this blog that want to cry foul and point out my own grammatical errors. If that is the case, I refer you to an earlier blog post about my condition and how I never promised perfection.

Well, at least, not here. =)


Posted in Author 101, Personal, Update

Catching Up

I spent Sunday determined to clean up, reply to and organize all my email accounts. All you may ask? Well, yeah… I have one for my writing, one for this blog, a personal account, a junk mail account and now I need to check in on at least two more. I really need to get rid of some of these accounts now that I’m listed them wow.

Anyway, so Sunday was dedicated to email clean up and I did it! I got my writing account clean! So if you have sent any type of request to my gmail account, then you have heard from me. If you have sent anything to my account, I will be with you shortly as I am dedicating a good chunk of Monday to get that done. Hope everyone has a fun and productive weekend and be on the look out for interviews and more reviews!

Posted in Author 101, Did I Do That?, Self Pub

I can’t believe I did that

Now that I have finished Dangerous Turns and have a couple weeks to work on the formatting while the beta’s have at it, I realized that I DID NOT put a copyright page in Riders of Sins Eternal’s book form. I did it in the e-reader format but not the book.


I know things have been rough, but wow. I have never done that before and can’t believe I did it now. And yes, it is a big deal, without that page I have basically said ‘Hey you, go ahead and copy this word for word and call it your own book!’

Please do not do what I did. If you are self-publishing here is a great link I found that shows both long and short examples of a copyright page. And coming soon to Lisa A Writes and Reads will be a template for both book format and e-reader format for you to download and use for free. And yes, I will most definitely be including a copyright example, lol.

Oh, and if anyone out there gets the bright idea of ordering my book real quick and trying to copy it, too late, already fixed!

Til next time angels,


I’ll be trying different ways of signing off during the next few posts. It will more than likely include the word ‘angel’ since my reading/discussion group is called Arrington’s Angels. Interested in joining? Must have Facebook, be over 18 and fill out the form below (will not sign you up for anything other than the reading/discussion group).

Posted in Author 101, Promotion, Self Pub

Its too expensive too self publish

I’ve been seeing this statement more and more lately, and yes, while the costs add up and it’s easier to get your name out there with a traditional/small publisher; self publishing can be done within a small budget. Trust me cause I did it!

Find an editor on Facebook or UpWork (formerly Elance)
Talk to our author friends about who they used. A lot of first time publishers can’t afford an established editor and editors know this so they try to keep their prices low. I went through Upwork and was lucky enough to find someone for cheap. Still not feeling spending $100-150? Hunt down those English major friends from college!

Learn how to format your own work
I’m not going to lie, this was HARD. There are several formats out there and it seemed like each platform needed it’s own format. It took a lot of reading, a lot of crying, a lot of cussing but I finally got it.

Another thing that I learned to do on my own (eventually). Before I did this though, I purchased pre-made book overs from They are inexpensive and beautifully and the owner is willing to work with you on design elements.

Join a photo club
Not sure if that is the right word, but check out shutterstock, dollar photo club,. etc. These are inexpensive alternatives to purchasing photos to use for teasers, bookmarks, covers, just about anything. Still not sure about creating your own covers/promo material? Hunt down that graphic artist/artsy friend from high school or ask other authors what they are using.

Promotional Material
A lot of new authors worry about things such as business cards, rack cards and brochures. And they should! Once your book is published you’ll want to have something to give out so people don’t forget about you. Using one of the photo clubs listed find a graphic you like, hire someone for $5 on Upwork or by searching facebook (or talking to authors) you can probably find someone to create a logo (aka brand) for you for cheap. Once that’s done, go to handy dandy Vistaprint and go crazy! Check out GroupOn occasionally as they sometimes run a Vistaprint deal (recent one I used was $27 for $70 worth for stuff — Score!).

Join Author Groups
Yep back to good ol’ Facebook. Join pages where authors are helping other authors, promotion groups, reader groups, beta groups, any and every (well… not EVERY) group you can find that you believe will help you. Beware any group that has low membership/inactive members.

While still on that note, also be careful about how many groups you sign up to. You don’t want to open Facebook one day and see nothing but ‘buy my book’ posts.

Ask for help
This is probably one of the hardest things to do, but ask your friends and family to talk about your book with their friends and co-workers. See if a blog will post your book for free (most will), create a Facebook author page and get a following by posting your work and silly/fun stuff. Once royalties start coming in then contact a promotion company and see what you can set up. Some companies will do a blitz for as little as $25.

Well, there are a few of my ideas on how to publish on the cheap side!

Posted in Book Bible

How to Create a Story or Series Binder (Part 2)

Okay when we left off, I had talked about Plot Points, Timelines and Character Development. For the second part and final entry of How to Create a Story or Series Binder I will be addressing Series Artwork, Setting Development, Playlists and Scene Development. So just to recap the you will need:


Tab dividers
Sheet protectors

And time, lol. Lots and lots of time for typing/thinking.
To see part one if you missed it, click here.

Series Artwork**

With sites such as Pinterest this section is totally up to you. Myself, when I’m in the writing zone I know better than to stop and open up the internet to double check what something looked like because then I will go off and start checking Facebook, my emails, play Candy Crush, you get the picture. I personally didn’t use this for the Quake series, but my friend Ava used it for her series and pasted pictures of her main character’s tattoo’s and where they were placed, what type of motorcycle he owned, what type of car the other main character drives so she can quickly reference the page.
**There is no template for this.

Updated: Ava shot me an email (thank you for being my guinea pig!) telling me that she ended up placing symbols into the Character Development sheet

Setting Development

Setting Development I wanted to kept as simple as possible. This is where and when your story is taking place, how your characters react to their surroundings. For example, you may have a kid that hates school, so they may describe it as a desolate island that smells of musty old paper. This is one thing that I still need to work on as I usually just start writing and let the setting develop as I write, but one that I seriously need to sit down and focus on. I think it will help add a bit of depth to my writing.

Scene Development

This is definitely one that I need to work on. This is for the types of writers that can sit down and write out how they want their book to go. I on the other hand, just write and see where the story takes me. I will try to do this with Magnitude, but no promises!


This is a fun activity! Have you ever been writing and think ‘Oh my gosh, [song title here] would go so perfectly with this spot?  If so, write it down! Go to Spotify and start a new playlist! You can share it with your friends, fans, even put the link in your book if you wish to do so. And another nifty trick of Spotify? If you get stuck and not quite sure what else goes with the ‘mood’ of your book you can click on a song you’ve already placed into your playlist and click on “Start Radio”. This will start a radio channel of songs similar to the one you have already chosen.


So here it is. My Series Binder. You can also add items like Dream Cast, Character Interviews, whatever YOU need to be organized and successful. Oh and one more must have. Since we aren’t always near our laptops or have a printer at the ready, make sure you have paper included. You never know when you’ll want to jot down an idea or something you missed and want to keep it all in the same place.  Please remember to download and save to your computer!

Also, I did the majority of this AFTER writing Quake and AfterShock. I brought together all of my notes and jumbled ideas together into one place and yes, I really did type them all out and then print them all out and stick it into the binder so I can grab it off the shelf instead of trying to click through multiple folders trying to remember where I placed something or go through several notebooks.

Once again, I would like to thank several Pinterest boards for the idea of how to pull this together. Now stayed tuned for me to finally finish my book signing tips for Author 101. I WILL get this down. LOL.

Have this been helpful? Please let me know in the comments!

Until next time,