I got the proof!

I’m SO excited! Today I got the proof!

The proof print, physical book, that is…for my newest book on marriage, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife. 

This is the 12th book I’ve written and this time I’m testing Create Space as the POD (print on demand) printer to self-publish my book. I wanted to make sure their books don’t have inferior quality to the company I’ve been using.

Stained Glass & Marriage book

So what’s the verdict?

The book’s glossy cover of the stained glass window is beautiful, just like I thought it would be. If you’re choosing between a matte finish and glossy, I’d encourage you to get the glossy. It looks and feels so much prettier and smoother. I love the cover!

However, some authors (or their readers) prefer the matte finish. There’s actually quite a bit of controversy over matte vs. glossy. Some people think glossy screams “self-published.”

buy my book

I disagree and I LOVE the glossy cover. It’s in your court; you decide what you and your readers like best. I’ve always lived by this maxim: IT’S YOUR BOOK. Why write and publish a book that you don’t even LIKE? 

man with caption

As far as the interior quality of the book (the pages, margins, text, pictures, etc.), I think the ink seems a little faded on the words in the text. It’s not as dark black as I’d like it to be. But it’s acceptable and it’s not going to stop me from using Create Space from now on.

The formatting inside the book is fine, which was one of my concerns. You want to make sure the formatting looks professional in both your print books and your eBooks.

If this is not your area of expertise (and it’s not mine), then I highly recommend you OUTSOURCE the formatting.

Keep in mind formatting for a print book is very different than for eBooks. Also, formatting for the Kindle is different than for the Nook at Barnes and Noble. You can find out more here.

When I was first starting as a writer, I didn’t have one of my books professionally formatted inside, and you can really tell a difference! (It didn’t look professional. I won’t tell you which book, though!)

Live and learn! Now I’m sure to hire professionals with each book I write and publish. I focus on my areas of strength and anointing from God: speaking and writing, and I outsource the rest!

woman on laptop

PUBLISHING TIP: Hire a professional formatter, editor, and graphic designer if you self-publish! You want your book to look as professional as possible.

A poorly written, formatted, designed eBook or book can get bad reviews and/or much less sales. 

Also as Christian believers, we want all we do to be done with excellence, because we are representatives of Christ.

I hired a formatter at Fiverr to format it specifically for print at Create Space, and a graphic designer at Fiverr to design the front cover, spine, and back cover specifically for Create Space. 

Some book snobs would sneer at me using Create Space and Fiverr. They compare Create Space to be the “Walmart” or “Dollar Store” of POD companies. But since this is saving my husband Ray hundreds of dollars, he’s not sneering at all.

Do I prefer to use my previous graphic designer, formatter, editor, and POD? YES! I love them and I want to use their wonderful, excellent services! But this time I’m going a different route…and this way will make a dream I’ve had for three years now come true.

dream big

If this printed book had looked absolutely horrible and unprofessional, I wouldn’t do it. You just have to make sure you have the right people helping you at Fiverr! Hire people with high ratings and reviews!

Research all you can about Create Space. Talk to your author friends who have used them before. Ask questions. Create Space also has great customer service. They were very helpful and fast when I emailed them.

I’m VERY excited about this, as now it will be more financially feasible for me to get all 12 of the books I’ve written in PRINT–physical copies of my books that I can HOLD in my hands (like a baby!) and sell on the back table when I speak!

Jesus at wedding picture

After I wrote this book on marriage, at Amazon I saw a stained glass picture of Jesus doing the miracle at the wedding in Cana, turning water into wine, and ordered it. It arrived today, when my marriage book arrived. I didn’t think that was a coincidence, but very significant–like a confirming sign, a little nod, from God about this book and His purposes for it. 

The picture is beautiful, although it’s much smaller than I thought it was. I believe it is a prophetic picture for my own marriage, that God is going to do a miracle of healing and restoration for us.

Stained Glass & Marriage cover

You can read the story about Ray’s and my very painful, almost 23-year marriage in the eBook for your Kindle at Amazon, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife, by clicking here

I’m going to hang the picture in our dining room. Today I’ve been doing the happy dance because now I can pursue a dream I’ve had for three years: getting all 12 of my books in print, physical books. Yay!

I’m working on proofing the print book, finishing the process at Create Space this week, and then I will let you know when it’s available for sale. 


The land of mastering

This week I’ve been attending Chandler Bolt’s online Self Publishing Success Summit, with 37 speakers on the topics of writing, marketing, and publishing your book. It has been excellent training, and I’m learning so much. I have only been able to catch a few of the replays, but the ones I’ve watched are so inspiring.

Some takeaways I’ve had with self-publishing your book/eBook on Kindle for Amazon (some of these I already knew):

  • Know your audience and what they really want-you can find this out by asking your subscribers in your ezine, through a survey, or by studying Facebook analytics;
  • Offer value, such as a permafree ebook or your reader lead (freebie at your website in exchange for their name and email address) and valuable content with your ezine;
  • Create a series on Amazon, because series do great and Amazon begins promoting them for you if the book does well;
  • What are your competitors offering on Amazon and at what price;
  • Make all you do align with your mission;
  • Have a specific, laid out marketing plan;
  • Get beta readers for reviews before your book launches (reviews and endorsements from influencers are great);
  • Think outside the box and offer something unique;
  • Create Facebook targeted ads (even $5 a day ads) to get the word out and to build your subscriber list;
  • Repurpose your content into videos, podcasts, webinars, teleseminars, self-study courses-think beyond the book (It’s a business, not a book!);
  • Make your larger eBook into smaller Kindle eBooks;
  • Love what you do;
  • and much more.

I believe that we should be life-long learners, learning something new every day. I personally find learning FUN. Some of the guests that Chandler has interviewed have included speakers/authors/entrepreneurs I already follow, such as Best Selling Author Jeff Goins, Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn (I don’t read her fiction books, but she has a lot of wisdom about being a successful author), and Entrepreneur on Fire podcaster John Lee Dumas.

Storm Tossed ecover Copyright 2015 Beth Jones www.BethJones.net
Storm Tossed ecover
Copyright 2015 Beth Jones www.BethJones.net

The summit is timely, as I just released my first ever fiction book, Storm Tossed, which became an Amazon Best Seller the first day in its category and sub-categories. I’ve been surprised and so encouraged to see 5-star and 4-star reviews about it. You can check it out for your Kindle at Amazon here.  The price right now is just $2.99.

Our daughter Leah and I are reading a great book right now called Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters by Jon Acuff. In today’s reading, Jon shares about starting out his public speaking career by speaking to only 12 people at a rehab center (not, as Jon says, the place someone typically aspires to speak at, to those who are in one of the worst seasons of their lives, and having to speak for free), and by joining finance whiz Dave Ramsey‘s team versus being on his own.

Why did he speak at the rehab center? Why does he want to learn from Dave Ramsey?

“Because I want to be led. I want to learn from a master. I want to admit time and time again, “I don’t know the best way to do this. Will you teach me?”

Jon encourages you and me: “Be led. Be taught. Remain a learner.”

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I desire for God to lead me in this exciting, and unpredictable and challenging, journey called life. I want Jesus and other smart, successful people to teach me what I need to know. I want to learn new things. 

What about you? What are you learning lately? Leave your comments below.





Shelley Hitz’s Author Audience Academy is open!

This year I joined my writing/business coach Shelley Hitz‘s writers’ training course, Author Audience Academy. Shelley is an amazing coach and instructor. The other students and I in the class are learning SO much from her.

My writing/business coach, Shelley Hitz
My writing/business coach, Shelley Hitz

I’m blown away by the amount of valuable content she’s offering through this course! Her own Amazon eBooks’ success, as well as the great achievements in her personal life such as completing the Pike’s Peak Ascent, inspires me.

The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes Design by Christine Dupre Copyright 2015 Beth Jones www.BethJones.net
The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes
Design by Christine Dupre
Copyright 2015 Beth Jones www.BethJones.net

In just 2 1/2 weeks with Shelley’s coaching and instruction, I got my book idea, wrote the book, and published the eBook on Amazon. It became an Amazon Best Seller the first day! It is only $2.99 You can find out more and buy it at Amazon by clicking here.

You can do this, too!

I am part of the beta test group for Shelley’s training, Author Audience Academy. It is now open to the public! I want to strongly encourage you to enroll. You will get more than your money’s worth just from the first month of training, and the price will be going up. 

Seating is limited to just 50 people, so I wouldn’t wait!

Just click on the graphic below to find out more info and to save your spot.

(This is an affiliate link. I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and/or highly recommend.)

Author Audience Academy