Monday, March 28, 2011

M. Proof Formating

I know that self-publishing isn’t the same as traditional publishing and the traditional route is a goal that I want to head down. However, the other day, we received our first proof copy of the book and all I can say is it was amazing.

There really aren’t words for the way that I felt when it was in my hands and I looked at the cover. Then when the pages were turned and the smell of fresh ink aroma poured into the air like perfume.

It isn’t as amazing as when your kids are born or other milestones in life, but it is definitely a milestone to hit.

Just like all of the rest of this process, we got right to work on it and came back with only a few small quick fixes. Word to the wise with anyone that does this, take their advice before your first print it will save you time.

Margins are extremely important and if you use their templates, at least for the specs that are needed, then you will save yourself time.

Things we missed:

• We had to add an extra blank page between the acknowledgement and first chapter so that it would open the CH 1 on a right page, personal preference.

• The page numbers had to be changed so that they would be alternating odd and even. Otherwise the odd ones are in the gutter of the binding and hard to read.

• Double check, triple check, and apparently quadruple check the table of contents, somehow I still missed one of the chapters and put it on the wrong page.

Friday, March 25, 2011

M. Social Networking

Social networking is such a spiderweb of tasks and a person can get easily distracted.  I know that I have work to do and writing to do, but there is so much interesting writing out there to read.  I just want to cut through all of it and read.

Then I catch up on the news and before I know it, I lost more time.  Then of course, there is networking, promoting, and eventually writing.  I am not using it as an excuse, but I feel like a lazy gardener.  If this blog were roses then it would be wilted.

I will attempt to get on a schedule of at least Monday and Friday blog posts and then work on getting the contest going ever other Wednesday.  I am still committed to making it work, I am just adjusting to some new responsibilities.

Thank you all for being patient and if you are interested, please stop by FB and become a fan of Tristen & The Magic Shop Fan Page.


Friday, March 18, 2011

M. Wild Ride

I have to say, if anything comes out of releasing a Kindle only Ebook, it's excitement.  I can feel adrenaline pumping coursing through my body as if I am working out in an intense workout, but all I am doing is promoting and typing.
I am completely exhausted from all of this and will say that it is definitely work.  Anybody who tells you otherwise is being dishonest.  I promise.

I haven't been on the other side of the spectrum yet, traditional publishing, but I would imagine this is sort of what a fifth of that feels like.  What a rush.

Just for an update, the Facebook page is set up, and we have 32 fans already of great friends and family spreading the word.  In our bracket on Amazon we are 47 out of a 100 overall and 7 out of 100 in new releases, again in our bracket.  The next frontier is Twitter a place that I have yet to travel.  I hope all is well with everyone out there as we pray for our friends in Japan.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Paperback        EBook

So here it is, Tristen and the Magic Shop.  In about 3 hours it will be available for download through the Amazon Ebook system for $2.99.

The cover still needs work, but the nice thing about Epublishing is being able to tweek the cover after the fact.

If you know any 9 to 15 year olds that like to read fantasy fiction this may be up their alley.  Here is a quick synopsis.


Eleven-year-old Tristen Parker's whole life is changing faster then he can keep up with. Within a matter of months his father was deployed overseas with the military and his mother moved him out of his beloved city and to the small town she grew up in. If those changes weren't enough, he had one other major one that came with them, he just found out he is a magical druid.

After discovering his abilities in a hidden magic shop, behind an alley, his life goes on a whirlwind of spell casting and potion brewing. Unfortunately, all of the magic in the world can't help if you’re being picked on, unless you use it.

With the help of the shop owner, Tristen casts a spell to stop the bullies that were picking on him, but he soon realizes it may have been a mistake. Will he be able to stop the curse that he started or will it spread through his school like a virus before he can get it under control?

M. Contest Wash

Well the first contest was a complete wash, but that is okay.  I am going to set up another one in a few days and we will try it again.  Possibly nobody liked the words I picked.

I realize I have to get the word out some more, but networking is more difficult than it looks.

On another note, our story, TRISTEN AND THE MAGIC SHOP is going through the Amazon Ebook process as we speak and yes, we really are going to self publish it.  I figure why not, what's the worst that will happen?  Anybody that tells you that self Epublishing is easy is full of it up to their eyeballs and you can quote me on it.

Thank you for your patients as I put together a second contest, maybe we will do more time this attempt, and think we are crazy or not, cross your fingers for us as we embark into the scary world of Kindle Ebook publishing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

M. Riddle Me This

Let me start by asking, am I crazy?
All of this talk about Amazon Ebooks and just going for it on the kindle for $1.99 a book has me thinking. I am probably going to upload the children's book that we did earlier last year, TRISTEN AND THE MAGIC SHOP. It received a few partial requests and maybe, just maybe, going for it would be worth it.
I am a half way decent artist and have always wanted to illustrate the cover myself, but haven't because I figured that a publisher would have their own cover artist. Maybe this way we would be able to do it all for ourselves.
Granted, the adult novel that we are working on is still going through the traditional channels and I have no inclination that ebooking it would be the best course of action for that project. But, maybe it would work for the middle grade story.
What do you think? Am I being crazy? I will let you know that I have no twinkles of grandeur over the process and I don't expect to sell that many. I just think it would be an all around cool project to do from the inside out. If anything our kids could look at it and say, "Wow my parents have a book on the Kindle." (Which they use in school.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

M. Winning (I had to go there)

How many rejections does it take to get to the center of your inner Charlie?

One, Two, Three...  Crunch.  The world may never know.

At what point in this whole writing adventure that we have embarked on do we say, da winning? Will all of this subjectivity and positive negativity in the form of a form rejection response finally get to us?
For me I am thinking that I will be alright. So far there haven't been any insane rants or craziness to speak of and I have no thoughts of throwing in the towel, but is there anybody out there that is about to channel some Sheen?
Of course I hope that we can all go through this and get what we want out of it. So basically, stay away from the self mind cleansing rehab, keep writing, and best of luck to all. At least if you are experiencing a lull of inspiration, you can watch as Charlie careens down the black tunnel of future institutionalism.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

M. A Guy Walked into a Bar...

I am not really sure when exactly it happened, but there used to be a story in some places that I went and now it seems to attack me at all angles.

Just the other night we went out to a pub that is around the corner from our home. This is an occurrence that I assure you doesn't happen often and hardly enough due to having children. However, that really is the story. What happened to me that night made me realize, I have become obsessed with storytelling.

Stupid observation, maybe, but I noticed myself looking around the room as I sipped on a cold Guinness and telling the stories of the others at the bar. It was really quiet pleasurable.

There was the guy, who was well out of his league, but trying to go to bat anyway. Then there was a set of girlfriends, who with each drink began to compete over the same guy, even though they were talking to three. One of the girls was obviously too cool to be there, but that didn't stop her from staying, because she was trying to get the girl she was with drunk.

Now granted, I didn't hear a single word that any of these people spoke and I didn't know a single one, but their stories played in my mind louder than the blaring background music of the bar. Which brings me to my point, despite the heightened decibels; I didn't hear a single note. I was present for my conversation and company on one side and creating characters on the other.
I am now obsessed, all is lost, and if I don't learn to type 10k words a minutes soon I fear the grey matter between my ears will begin to leak out onto the floor.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First Ever Contest!

Okay so here we go, this will be the first ever contest on the M.A. Leslie blog.  There is no prize other than that the winner will be posted on the main page and I will create a post that will catalog the winners and their winning stories.

Hopefully in the future we will be able to do prizes, but for now it will be mainly for practice.

Reason for these contests:

I really enjoy the ones that Janet Reid runs and basically I am taking her contest design.  Sorry Shark, I don't mean any disrespect.


1 entry per writer. 
Entries are to be posted directly in the comment section of the post.
Entry can not be longer then 100 words.
All 5 contest words must be used in the entry to qualify.
Since this is the first contest ever and the word isn't really out there, entries will be accepted until Monday 3/7/11 11:59 PM.  Entries can be entered as of now.

Contest Words:

Best of luck and please try to get the word out.  I would like to run one of these once a week if we can get enough interest.  Thank you all, I look forward to reading your stories.