Tag Archives: young adult

The Broke Author’s Secret Weapon – A Guest Post By Yecheilyah Ysrayl

Thank you to Yecheilyah Ysrayl for the below guest post:

Can we be real?

Self-Publishing has opened the door for writers to finally make their dreams come true. Dreams that were hindered by way of jobs that got in the way of writing, Traditional Publishing rejections, children that parents needed to raise first, a school that needed to be finished first and a slew of other reasons that has stopped the passionate writer from producing a book.

Not only all of this but finances also play a part.

Self-Publishing has allowed people who have always wanted to write books an easy way to do so. With the industry changing and demanding more in the way of excellence and professionalism for the Indie Author (stigmas are fading and authors can no longer afford to produce mediocre work), it is no secret that financial strain is what stops many writers from either finishing a book or publishing it.

With advice after advice on how we should invest in our careers, many authors feel that they simply cannot afford to do so and produce something professional at the same time.

For instance, I recently came across professional website building at $800. We know how important it is for authors to have professionally designed websites but let’s be real, who can afford to pay that much for a website unless they are already established enough to afford it?

Unless you were given a loan, grant, or someone blessed you with the money, $800 is as much as some people pay for rent and simply not the kind of money many Indie Authors can afford to invest in one website. A website that may not even bring them a return.

So, what does an author do? What is the broke author’s secret weapon to successfully and professionally producing books? TIME.

Simple, right?

The secret weapon is time. What you can’t afford in money you make up in time.

Although you may not get paid for hours put in the same way you would your hourly job (wouldn’t that be nice!) you will see a difference in the kind of material you put out.

How many hours a day do you spend working toward your books? By “working on” I mean either writing, blogging, promoting, networking, social media (real social media work not lollygagging), research, online classes, webinars, video tutorials, email list building, reading, email marketing, etc. So, how many hours?

On a good day, I spend anywhere between 8 – 12 hours on my work. I am a writer full time and have spent many nights in the office putting in the time long before my wonderful husband gets home from a job that actually pays him for hours put in.

The thing is, a return on time for an author is reflected in his work. Authors who put little to no work in their books (rushing to get them out) is bound to produce mediocrity. On the other hand, authors who invest time not only in the books they write but also in other aspects of the business (blogging, promoting) is bound to receive a much better turnout.

Let’s take a look:

30 Day List Building Challenge – After investing 30 days in a List Building Challenge I increased my list of email list subscribers by 40%. This took me passed my 100-subscriber mark (the first 100 subscribers are the hardest to get!)

Free Webinars— I can’t afford to pay for a writer’s conference. I know, I know, they are valuable but that’s not a realistic goal for me financially right now. I am not that cheap. I would love to invest that kind of money into my education. I would also love to take a publishing course at a University. Again, this just isn’t the reality for me right now. Instead, I take free webinars.

You know, those emails you get about a free webinar on some aspect of publishing that we skip through? STOP IT! I didn’t mean to yell, it’s just, they are soooo helpful!

I learn a lot from free webinars. Just last week I took a Leadpages Interactive Training and the week before that a training on building the Author Media Kit. The result is pages of notes and a head filled with ideas I can use to make my media kit better and ideas I can implement into my email list to help nurture it. (Growing a list is only half the battle. Now you gotta be sure people are interested enough to stick around)

In fact, the idea for this article came while listening to a webinar. They were offering something at the end that I could not afford, that is when I thought about time. I can now take this idea, turn it into an article and Guest Post on someone’s blog. That’s increased exposure for me, my blog, and my content and it only costs me two hours.

Guest Blog Posts / Author Interviews – Speaking of guest posting, we may as well go here next.

Time spent writing articles has resulted in over twenty articles that I’ve posted on someone else’s blog, author interviews, guest blog features, and a radio show appearance. This is free publicity for me and my content and all I had to spend was time.

Time drafting the email of inquiry (your emails should always be professional even when you are seeking to guest post on someone’s blog), writing the articles, and time answering the questions.

My radio show feature with Annette Rochel Aben only took 30 minutes as a matter of fact. It will forever be part of my author portfolio and it only costs me 30 minutes of my time.

Images / Promotional Ads – A few hours a day using Canva and PosterMyWall allows me to create my own professional images and Ads.

A few hours a day and you can never tell if I hired a professional or not. Using free mock-up templates from places like covervault allows me to create images for my books in Photoshop.

Just a $10/mo investment and I can purchase the cheapest package in photoshop CC to get this done.

Before I even had that, I used a free 3D image creator for creating 3D images of my books. It only costs me my time.

Book Cover Design – I have a Book Cover Design dream. My Book Cover Design Dream is to purchase a professional custom Book Cover from one of my favorite book cover designers. Thing is, he’s too expensive for me right now so I can’t support him like I’d want to just yet. I do however have time (time means you can support others too! Though I can’t afford him, I know others can. I follow him on social media and always like and share his work).

With the time I had on hand, I was able to research cheap custom book cover designers. The cover to The Aftermath, my first novel costs me less than $200. The cover of Book Three in The Stella Trilogy (The Road to Freedom – Joseph’s Story) costs less than $100. For the second book in The Stella Trilogy (Beyond the Colored Line) I paid less than $30. It just cost me the price of the stock photo (Winter Woman).

The rest I did from a free MS Word template offered by Derrick Murphy.

Broke Author…

But, we’re talking about the broke author so let’s take it all the way back.

My first poetry book cover cost $0.

I published with Lulu and used one of the templates they already had. You can do the same with Createspace. Sure, there are some hideous ones out there but we’re talking about investing time. If you’re not lazy and cheap with your time, then you can produce a nice cover from one of the free cover design templates or whichever POD you’re using whether that is Createspace, Lulu, or Lightening Source (IngramSpark), or whatever you use to publish your paperbacks.

Premades – If you’re looking for something more professional than a free one (or couldn’t find one you liked), you still don’t have to spend a lot of money. If you don’t have the money for a custom designed cover, you can purchase a pre-made.

Premade book covers are pre-designed book covers by professional graphic designers and sold at a lower cost than a custom made. The only drawback is that designers sometimes use the same stock photos across premade sites.

However, with a little time, this can be overcome by choosing a unique look. They are out there, you just need the time to find them. Don’t just pick the first pre-made you see that looks nice. Think about whether or not it speaks to what your book is about. (And don’t choose a pre-made cover that uses a stock photo you’ve seen lots of times.)

Websites – Hours a day spent building a website using Squarespace, WIX, Website.com or any less expensive option can result in a decent author website for those who don’t have the money to purchase an expensive one. If you don’t have money at all, you can create a website here on WordPress for free.

It will only cost you time.

Editing – Editing is expensive for the broke author. The thing is, editing should be expensive. I review books for free and it takes a lot of time. I can only imagine having to make corrections too.

However, there are different kinds of editing and not all of them are expensive. If you are willing to put off the release of your book a while, you can get your manuscript Beta-read first. Your Beta’s can help you with the overall story so you know if something is confusing or if there are major plot holes. Then, you can pay a copyeditor to help with those grammatical mistakes.

Over time you will need to invest in an editor but we’re talking baby steps. If in the beginning, you don’t have the funds, you can still have your work looked at by someone more knowledgeable than you.

There are tons of services out there to help those low on finances, you just have to take the time to look. You may also need to put off the release of your book. This means you can’t rush through it just to get something out there. You will have to take your time.

Offline Events – What if you want to run a book signing or offline event? Surely, you need money to do this.

Hosting a Book Signing is free at places like Libraries but your books are not.

Crowdfunding is a great way to raise money that you do not have, even if it means to purchase bulk copies of your book.

I did not have the money to host a book signing in Atlanta last year. The library wasn’t charging but I still needed money for books and promotional products. Instead of giving up, I set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for what I needed. I did have to invest time in setting it up and promoting it but that’s all it costs me.

We can go on and on. You can even discover editing services that are cheaper than most if you are willing to look for it.

The point here is time. If you are willing to invest time into your work, then not having the money is not a reason not to publish a book. Baby steps are key.

Should you invest finances in your writing? Of course, you should but that doesn’t have to mean right now. You don’t have the money right now. What you do have is what you woke up with this morning: Time.

Sometimes, all you need is the internet and books! There are tons of free webinars, blogs, and how-to books out there to assist in your education of the Industry. What are they? Where are they? That’s for you to find! It only costs you your time, the most valuable commodity out there and the broke author’s secret weapon.



Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the Historical Fiction author of Young Adult Black American Literature and Poetry. The author of nine books she attended Chicago State University, Robert Morris College, and Everest College. Yecheilyah is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story”. Book One is due for release July 15, 2017.

Yecheilyah will also be in attendance at The Tampa Indie Author Book Convention in Tampa Florida. Yecheilyah is a Blogger and Book Reviewer.

Originally from Chicago, IL, she now resides in Shreveport, LA with her husband where she writes full time. She is currently working on her memoir and BREATHE: Letters of Inspiration to Keep You Inspired, Motivated, and Writing.

Author Website





Reading Aloud: An Almost Magical Entry Point for Kids in the World of Books

Books are one delight that all children should be introduced to as early as possible in their lives. For a parent there is no feeling quite like the first time you read to your son or daughter. You are opening the door onto the huge world of literature. There is a book available for every type of reader, whether factual or fiction. Reading to your child will open their eyes to the world around them and the possibilities available to them; providing they are willing to let their imaginations run wild.


Reading aloud to kids – a memorable gift

Reading aloud to a child is possibly one of the most amazing gifts that can be given to anyone. It is actually the gift of time and of sharing this time together. Reading aloud to your child will create a lasting memory and a bond between you that will be incredibly difficult to break. In fact, many adults describe being read to as a child as one of their most cherished memories. This gift allows your child to explore strange new worlds while wrapped in the security and safety of a parent’s arms.

The impact of today’s technology on reading

It is far more difficult in today’s modern age of electronics to obtain and sustain the attention of your child. Televisions are commonplace with a multitude of channels available to tempt anyone away from productive activities. Computers and the internet call out, desperate to tell you about the latest, incredibly important video release. Quite possibly this is concerning sleeping cats or hapless children. Society is gradually moving towards the completely electronic age and books will potentially become a forgotten form of media. This makes it even more important to read to your children for as long as you can hold their attention. If you do not make this attempt many children will never experience the joy of reading or the pleasure of time spent with a parent.


Reading aloud creates a visionary perspective

Reading aloud allows you to portray the characters in a far superior way to simply reading the book. You are able to paint a picture and enthrall your children with the story. Their imaginations will know no limit as they immerse themselves into the story and become the hero, or even the villain of the piece.

The storyline does not matter when it comes to your child learning from reading. They will listen to you, your pronunciation of the words and the meaning of them and learn this for themselves. Reading aloud to a child is one of the most effective ways to improve their language skills and broaden their vocabulary. Reading aloud to your child will also educate them in using their imagination and compiling these thoughts into a usable chain of events. Equally it will confirm to them that there is always time for reading.

Making the time to read to your kids

It can seem difficult to find time to read aloud to your child but it is not as difficult as you think. If you were to monitor the amount of times in one day you check your phone for an email, message or social media update you would quickly realize that you easily waster more than the twenty minutes of reading time recommended for children. By simply restructuring your day you may well gain more than twenty minutes. You will certainly gain a better relationship with your child.


Reading skills

Research shows that children who are read to will grow up with a love of books and will want to learn to read, simply to pursue this love. Reading is an excellent way of learning and a vital skill – even if the majority of what you read is on the web. Taking the time to read to your child will ensure they want to learn this skill and they will be grateful for this as they grow older.

As a parent, it should concern you that kids nowadays prefer tablets and Smartphone over books. Start reading to them from an early age, and you may instill a passion for reading. Do it periodically and make sure you read aloud; this way the story will become much more compelling.

By Paul Trevino and LoveReading.co.uk!


Interview With Author Paul G. Day

Thank you to author Paul G. Day for the below interview.

Disclosure: I will receive 5 of Paul’s ebooks free as thanks for having interviewed him.



Interview With Author Paul G. Day



  1. At what age did you begin to write?

I wrote a bit at school, but nothing too serious. I really didn’t begin writing until I was thirty. I was always good at stories and had a fair bit to do with young people, so I combined those two passions into writing. But, it wasn’t until I went to university in 1996 that my love for writing really took off. I studied Fiction for Young Readers, Classic Literature, Shakespeare and Writing for Young People while I was majoring in English and Drama. It was a combination of all this learning that started me on my journey to develop my own craft, my own style and the genres I wanted to write in. In 2012 I published my first book and since then I have published seventeen more books for children and young adults.

  1. Do you write full-time or do you have a job other than writing?

I am a Teacher and was working full time up until two years ago. I decided to resign and do relief teaching part time due to health, but it freed up a lot of time to work on writing. I don’t write books every day, but I do practice some form of writing every day, even if it is simply to update my blog. When I am not doing that I am writing poetry. I don’t think writers should feel locked in to having to write. I write when I am inspired to do so, but once I do start it is difficult to stop. More important than writing regularly is finishing projects and that is something I challenged myself to do early on.

  1. When does your writing take place? (I.E. morning, afternoon or evening).

It varies. I write mainly when my wife is at work or late at night. I have been known to keep writing on occasions until dawn. Lol. Like I said, once I start, I find it difficult to stop.

  1. Do you plan your books or write off the cuff?

A bit of both. Some of my books started out as poems that people enjoyed. Sometimes my writing is straight from the heart and although I have an idea of the direction I want to go, I let the story tell itself. You would be amazed where the journey can take you if you open yourself up to all possibilities. However, lately, especially with writing for a more mature audience, I find I am forced to plan and research more thoroughly to get it exactly right.

  1. Can you provide a summary of your books (I.E. their subject matter).

My latest book, Children of Mars is a science fiction novel aimed mainly at young people aged 14 and older. It is a story about a group of children who find themselves at the mercy of Mars in the absence of their parents, who went missing on an apparently routine mission. It is a story of survival, of resilience and of a coming of age. But it is also a story of self sacrifice, courage and love. The book deals with loss and death with sensitivity and follows different characters at different stages in the story, shifting perspective between them so that the reader has a better sense of their personal and shared struggle. Thrown into the mix, as you would expect given the genre, is a strange set of supernatural events, culminating in a finale that I hope will leave the reader breathless.

  1. Have any other authors influenced you and, if so how?

I am greatly influenced by writers such as Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, but I also love the work of some of the classic writers such as Charles Dickens, who I believe was one of the greatest writers of his era. I have also read H. G. Wells, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austin and a number of other authors’ works. I believe Dickens understood the children of his generation better than any writer before or since. He often wrote of the squalor, the appalling poverty and the terrible waste and death that children of the time were exposed to. His stories speak to the heart and must have had a tremendous impact on the rich and poor of the day.

  1. If you only had space for one book what would it be and why?

It would be The Black Fairy & The Dragonfly. Even though it is a fairy tale and the main character is female, I feel more attuned to the themes, the rhythm, the narrative voice and the journey of the main character than anything else I have written. There is more of me and my personality in this series than in any other book and I have to say it is just as much my favorite as it is others.

As far as other books are concerned, well, I would have to say the Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare if I could fit them both on the shelf. But I would still make room for my little book too. Lol.

  1. How do you react to negative and/or bad reviews?

Not very well I’m afraid, not in the first instance at least. I tend to be offended and then after thinking about it, I try to look at it objectively and draw something positive from it. I have had one very bad review which absolutely annihilated Children of Mars, but when I looked into who wrote it and saw a sample of her own work, which in mu humble opinion is just terrible in every way, I felt a lot better. This person was more concerned with editing my book than critiquing its merit. So, I swallowed my pride and moved on. After all, the vast majority of readers love my books. 94 reviews (on Amazon alone) with an average of 4.5 stars isn’t bad really. Lol.

  1. Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and/or fellow authors?

I would like to say thank you to my readers, some of whom have read many of my books. If not for them, this whole publishing gig would not be worth it. When I read a review like I did recently which said the story touched them deeply and personally, this is all I need to keep writing. So, thank you to all those people who believed in me, bought and reviewed my books and keep in touch even today. Your comments, responses, messages of support, plus the fact you own at least one of my books, will be cherished always. To my fellow authors I say this: Nothing worthwhile comes easily or without sacrifice and a whole heap of effort and even some pain. If it’s worth writing and you hunger to have it finished, do not let anyone or anything stop you from telling the stories only you can.

  1. Is there anything not covered in the above questions which you would like to add?

I would like to say that anyone who buys one of my books is in for a special, unique and interesting journey. I pour a little of myself into every paragraph, every chapter of every book. Even the children’s books I have written are imbued with my personality. If you want to know what makes me tick and learn about me as a person, read my work. It’s all there, warts and all. I guarantee you will be inspired, you will respond with emotion, you will remember these stories. If you do read one of my books and find yourself so moved, please make sure you visit my sites and leave a message. You will be making my day.

Also, thank you Kevin for taking the time to write this interview. It is very much appreciated and I have enjoyed writing my responses to your thoughtful questions.





Guest Post: Why I Started My Blog By Inspired By A Book

Many thanks to Inspired By A Book for her great post. Its wonderful to know that there exist young people out there who are passionate about reading. Please do check out Inspired By A Book’s website together with her Instorgram. You can find Inspired By A Book’s blog here (https://inspiredbyabook.wordpress.com/).



I was so honoured when Kevin Morris asked me to do a guest post for ‘newauthoronline’; I jumped at the chance of getting the name ‘inspiredbyabook’ out there, giving it the opportunity to reach a wider audience, and hopefully get me the recognition I’ve always hoped for.

I chose to write a piece on why I started my blog, in hope for it to give other people the confidence to follow their dreams and if they’re wanting to, start their own blog.

Firstly at 17 I never had the idea of wanting to start my own blog, until one day I was in a English lesson and me and my friend were joking about starting blogs, which at that point I realised ‘’oh I’d quite like to have a go on that and see how it goes’’. When I got home that night I created a new email account ‘bookreviewss@hotmail.com’, and asked my mum and dad what their opinions were, both was up for me doing it but they didn’t think I’d last at it! How wrong were they? I made the decision to use a cover name, instead of my own because I didn’t have the confidence for all my friends knowing I was starting blog. I wanted it to be a personal experience ‘my own little world’’

I’ve always loved reading, so I put two and two together and created an instagram about books, originally it was called ‘review_that_book’, but eventually I felt this didn’t represent me as a person, or been able to post a wide variety of things on my instagram. Eventually this lead to the birth of ‘inspiredbyabook’, and new found ideas of creating my own website! Which I did less than a month ago, and already I’ve got 500+ followers which mean the world to me!

With the new name and website, I finally could share something I’m passionate about and thoroughly enjoy! Having a website helped me reach a wider audience and share my own thoughts and opinions, instead of writing a thousand mile long explanation on instagram! Sharing my opinion is how I got the opportunity to write this guest post, because Kevin liked ‘eBooks or paperback’ which expresses my opinion very well. I’m defiantly hoping to achieve my dreams from doing this, and my main goal is to get in contact with some publishers, and start requesting and receiving ARC copies of books to review! I refuse to stop, until I’ve got where I want to be.

Finally I’d just like to say, if any of you have dreams but are afraid, no matter what age you are, just go out and grab them! There is no one there stopping you, and you have full control! In the end you will be so proud of yourself, every struggle, down days or when you feel like giving up only make you stronger, and so keep at it! At 17, I’ve achieved so far in the space of around 3 month, more than i could have ever dreamed, if I can do it, around college and work life you can to!

Happy reading J

Ring Around Rosie By Emily Pattullo Book Review

It isn’t often that I read a book in one day but, in the case of Ring Around Rosie by Emily Pattullo, this is what I did, all 299 pages!

Ring Around Rosie deals with the issue of child trafficking and is aimed at the young adult market, however Pattullo’s novel can be read by all ages (12-13 upwards). Rosie, a rebellious 14-year-old leaves London with her parents and brother Ted to escape the temptations of the capital. Following a group of men she finds they are engaged in criminal activity but before Rosie can slip away she is captured and finds herself on the way to London in a truck full of children.

Rosie is drawn into a world of child prostitution, one in which “respectable” men pay for sex with trafficked children in their homes or in exclusive member’s only clubs. Pattullo deals sensitively with rape. The reader is aware that abuse of children is taking place, however the writing isn’t graphic, many abuse scenes being hinted at (not described in graphic detail) which makes the book suitable for the young adult market.

Pattullo shows how victims can become dependent on their captors and even bond with them in a perverse manner.

Rosie’s brother Ted is distraught at the plight of his sister and goes to London to rescue her. Will he succeed before Rosie is lost to him and their parents forever? The ending is not what the reader is expecting.

Ring Around Rosie can be purchased as a Kindle download for £1.99 at Amazon, http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009T5W4TC/ref=pe_364691_36330161_M1T1DP