Announcement: My books are now available in the Google Play Store!
3 December 2023 | 3:03 pm

Hello everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have recently added the Google Play Store to my list of distributors. Six of my books are already available for purchase there: I will add more books to the store in the coming months. In the meantime, click the button below to access all the retailers that carry my books and/or that can order them for you. Thank you for reading!

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Publishing books as an indie author
2 December 2023 | 11:16 pm

Over the years, many readers have asked me to talk about my experience as an indie author. Here is my answer. I tried to keep the post as short as possible so as not to overwhelm you with too many details. Step 1 – Writing Writing is a complex process that may require a lot of research and numerous drafts. None of my books have been sent to an editor and/or proofreader without going through at least six drafts. Time involved per project: two months – a year. Step 2 – Editing and proofreading Editing involves “correction, condensation, organisation, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete piece of work.” (Source: Wikipedia). There are at least five different types—developmental, structural, copy, line, and mechanical. Proofreading is all about taking care of grammatical errors and typos. I tend to put myself in my readers’ shoes a lot during the writing and revision processes. My beta readers also know that I expect honesty from them. All that helps make the editing / proofreading process cost-effective. When my editor and my proofreader receive the manuscript, much of the work has been done. Time involved per project: two weeks – a month. Step 3 – Cover design As a professional photographer, I have a large archive of images I can use for my covers, which I design myself. But that archive did not fall in my lap. I have spent hundreds of hours taking photos in numerous places—and processing them afterwards. The gear I have also cost money. I create my book covers with Canva Pro, which requires an annual subscription. Time involved per cover: 5-10 hours. Step 4 – Video trailer(s) I love creating video trailers! I used Animoto for years, until Canva became a more affordable and useful option for me. Time involved per trailer: 5-10 hours. Step 5 – Uploading the manuscript to my distributor Draft2Digital makes the distribution process very straightforward. For an ebook, the step is completed in a matter of hours. Things take a little longer for print books. That is because you have to order a proof copy of your book to check if everything looks right before launching distribution. Time involved per project: 5-10 hours. Step 6 – Strategy and marketing I create a strategy for every book release. One of my tactics is to have as much fun as possible. Unfortunately, no matter how enjoyable I try to make it for myself, time and money are vital for success. For example, virtual book tours have become an essential marketing tool these days, but they can be very pricey. And the quality of services varies widely. Time involved: about two hours a day. Overall costs Thanks to the skills I have acquired over the years, I take care of many of the steps in the publishing process myself: cover design, video trailers, strategy, and marketing. I also practice bartering when necessary, offering my services in exchange for other people’s. All that has allowed me to keep my expenses around $300-$500 per project. Finally, I tend to stay away from print books, unless enough readers ask for them. If I had to hire a professional for each step of the publishing process, the overall costs per book project would be at least 5x the amount mentioned above. So, $1,500-$2,500 minimum. Overall time involved: 6-14 months. How much I am paid per copy So, for an ebook listed at $4.99 or a print book listed at $10.99, I will take home $2.50-$2.99 per copy. To break even on my expenses, I will need to sell a certain number of them. For example, 130-135 copies for a $400 project. For a trade book released via Blurb and listed at $50, I will earn an average of $2 per copy. I will need to sell 200 copies before I recoup costs ($400 project). While this number may seem easy to achieve, some genres are harder to market than others. Poetry is a good example. It is very rare for a poetry book to sell more than a few hundred copies in its lifetime. I hope that you found this information useful. If you are interested in learning about what goes on behind the scenes for other indie authors, check out this great roundup.

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A beginner’s journey into watercolor painting (17)
2 December 2023 | 5:15 pm

Welcome to another instalment in my series! Today, I have 10 new watercolors to share with you. Watercolor paintings by Cendrine Marrouat I painted today’s watercolors in April 2023. That’s it for now. See you next time for more paintings from yours truly.

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