There are three aspects to a successful author career: 1) writing good books; 2) publishing well; and 3) finding your audience. Most authors focus on the writing part, and those who have been doing this for a while tend to have it down. But all three are essential in a career. My consulting and concierge services are focused on publishing well and finding your audience. If your needs are in the writing part of your career I am happy to refer you to the right people who will help you create the best story or nonfiction book possible. Check out my partners below.

There are some services almost all authors choose not to do for themselves. It could require a skill they don’t have or take more time than they’re willing to spend. Even if you’re on a tight budget, paying to have these tasks handled by a professional can be a wise expenditure.

I offer an array of services, from one-on-one consulting to several things in the publishing process. I’ve chosen these based on the feedback I’ve received from so many of my author friends. They are services meant for career authors—those who have or plan to have several books in print and intend to make a good income on their products. These authors understand the need for effective marketing, for good SEO, and, most of all, the importance of quality in the presentation of their books to the world.

Consulting - $60 per hour
woman at her desk feeling the stress of work, taken from a birds eye view

This option is best used to answer a specific need rather than to discuss a long-term plan. In addition to the actual consultation hour, this can include up to 30 minutes of advance review of anything you believe is important for me to me to understand.

Examples:

  • Links to your website, social media, or other places where you want feedback.
  • Links to buy pages on specific vendors you want me to review.
  • Test out your book funnel and subsequent email copy associated with it.
  • Review your backlist and talk about other product opportunities.
  • Screenshots of marketing campaigns, including written copy and graphic samples.
  • Screenshots of advertising results that you want me to analyze.

If requested in advance, a video recording of our Zoom session will be made available to you for download following the consultation.

Typical One-Hour Consultation Requests

  • I don't even know where to start with the questions, can we just talk and see what happens?
  • I finished my book, what are my next steps?
  • I feel lost. I don’t know what to do next.
  • I need feedback on my website, social media, or book buy page(s).
  • I want help in setting up an email marketing funnel.
  • I'm contemplating paying for someone to do social media, marketing, advertising but I'm not sure it's right for me.
  • I can’t load my ebooks and print books to a specific vendor.
  • I have lots of books but few sales; I need ideas on what to do to improve.
  • I have lots of questions and just want a knowledgeable person to help me sort through them.

Formatting - $45 per book
open book with tranquil scene of grass, tree, sky, and a path

Do you find that formatting a book gives you hives? Creates anger issues? Stops you from getting your book published?

Open book with 3D scene of a tree, a pathway, greenery and a tranquil lakeIf so, I can help. Turn it over to me and return to that tranquil feeling, knowing when you open your newly formatted book it will be beautiful and you can upload it to any distribution entity you like.

I use a program called Vellum to do this. It is designed for MAC computers and it creates beautifully formatted books in both ebook and print. There are limitations to what you can do, but because I know this program well I can turn your book(s) around quickly and at a very reasonable price.

Pricing

$45 for a single title up to 400 pages of narrative text (like fiction or narrative non-fiction) formatted for ebook and print. This assumes a single set of back matter for all vendors.

NOTE: If you have a book that contains more than ten tables and/or 10 images as nonfiction often has, I will quote separately.

EBOOK includes completed files for Nook, Kobo, Apple, Google Play, and Amazon Kindle. It also includes a generic EPUB file that can be loaded to aggregators such as Draft2Digital, Smashwords, Publish Drive, and others.

NOTE: Linking to additional books in back matter. Some authors like to link to specific vendors in their back matter (e.g., to Amazon books in the Kindle file, to Nook books in that file, etc.). The $40 pricing assumes all file linking is the same (e.g., to a UBL or The Buy Page on your website). IF you do want each vendor-specific file to be linked differently the charge is $10 additional per file.

PRINT file is provided in the appropriate PDF format and can be loaded to KDP Print and Ingram Spark without problems. Let me know if you want the print file formatted so all chapters begin on the recto (right hand page) which may generate a blank page in between chapters. OR, if you prefer that only the first chapter begin on the recto and others can follow directly without blank pages. The majority of authors are choosing not to do the blank page recto formatting for all chapters in order to save printing costs. However, both options are available and, in shorter titles (e.g., novellas or novelettes), some authors like the recto formatting to make the book have a few more pages and feel larger.

BOXSETS $10 for up to four vellum files.If I have created the vellum files for the individual books that need to go into the boxset the additional price is only $10 to create the boxset, even if I created those files for you a year or more ago. The price increases in increments of $10 for the next 3-4 books. For example, if you have a seven book boxset, the cost would be $20 assuming I already have those seven files for you done previously.

If I have NOT created the individual book files in Vellum for you, then you need to pay for the creation of the formatted files for each individual book AND the boxset price. For example, for a trilogy that would mean $45 x 3 books + $10 for boxset = $145

Not familiar with Vellum? Here are links to a few examples I've created for other authors. This is a template based program which does mean there are certain things I can't change. However, I can still create some unique pieces for your book in the overall look and feel of the layout.

A Mystery/Suspense, An Unholy Fellowship by Tom McConnell uses a full page map at the beginning and unique scene breaks, but maintains a clean, stark narrative look.

Romance, Motorcycle Club series, Show Me the Honey by Cathryn Cade, with a consistent chapter header and scene breaks, yet a romantic feel with italicized drop caps.

A Women's Fiction book with an example of a dual-page full image, Last Week at the Palace by Janis Williams

A nonfiction example with tables, screenshots, subtitles and other typical things found in nonfiction. A chapter from Secrets Every Author Should Know by Maggie Lynch

Load a Book to Vendors and/or Aggregators – $25 per vendor or aggregator.

I will load your book to any of the following vendors and aggregators. This assumes you have accounts set up at each one.

Vendors Aggregators
Amazon Draft2Digital (D2D)
Apple Smashwords
Nook Publish Drive
Google Play StreetLib
Kobo

 

 

Book Load Package Deal – $95 for loading to all five vendors and Draft2Digital for ebook, then print book to Amazon Print and Ingram Spark.

 

Vendors Aggregator
Amazon Draft2Digital (D2D)
Apple
Nook
Google Play
Kobo

 

Looking for Something Not Here?

Looking for Something Not Here?

In general, I’d rather teach someone to do things for themselves than to charge lots of one-off services. But I do understand that not all authors are comfortable with technology or basic graphics. I am open to taking on other tasks that go beyond a one time need. Below is a sampling of some of the things I’ve done for other clients:

  • Developing one-sheets or an entire printable catalog of one sheets for all your books. These are used for marketing to retailers or libraries.
  • Creating promotional graphics that feature your book in various formats (print, ebook, audiobook, in a person’s hands or on their desk, etc.)
  • Doing SEO research for your ads–this includes competition analysis, keywords, writing or evaluating your ad copy.
  • Analyzing your buy pages at various vendors or on your website and making suggestions as to how to improve the covers, blurbs, calls-to-action, and adding other things to increase discoverability.
  • Doing one-on-one training to help you use a specific piece of software more effectively.

I’m open to other requests. The above as well as any requests not include here are all priced after I understand what you really need and can determine my schedule and how many hours I think it will take.

What I am not interested in doing as a concierge service

There are ongoing tasks that most authors need weekly or monthly that I am not interested in taking on. However, I can refer you to other reliable people, Virtual Assistants, who can do this for you.

  • Running all of your social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.).
  • Creating and doing your newsletters every month.
  • Handling direct sales fulfillment in either ebook or print.
  • Running launch campaigns for you.

A virtual assistant (VA) or personal assistant would do these tasks for you weekly and likely charge a monthly fee. There are a number of talented VAs I can recommend if you have an ongoing need for these services.

Alternatively, I’m happy to teach you to do it yourself. I have several courses that I teach to small group classes (3 to 7 participants) live via Zoom. All of the topics are covered in those courses and each person in the class gets time with me to set up those plans, along with step-by-step worksheets and campaign ideas. Alternatively, we could handle those topics one-on-one through the hourly consulting service I provide at the top of this page.

PARTNERSHIPS

It is rare that an author handles everything in her business on her own. In fact, I would say it is unwise to do things you have neither the time nor the talent to do well. There are three things I consistently hire out and have from the beginning of my independent career: 1) accounting/taxes; 2) cover design and other complicated graphics; and 3) editing.

Am I capable of doing all these things? Yes, I’ve done them all competently. But I need better than that level to compete well and position myself for maximum profit. I’ve learned that just because I can doesn’t mean I should do it.

Website Design, Re-design, and Maintenance

Design Works NW logo

If you need a new website, or a redesign on your current one, I can confidently refer you to Rick Cano of DESIGNWORKS NW. He and his team are WordPress specialists. They come with excellent design credentials, yet their prices are quite reasonable. I interviewed over 15 designers before I chose them for my own author site. Their business model is to help small businesses. Customer service is excellent. Here are some highlights of DESIGNWORKS NW services:

  • Web Design and Development, including FREE hosting for 12 months – Monthly payment options available
  • Web Maintenance and Security, including content updates – Monthly payment options available
  • On Page SEO – SEO Audit and Health report for free if you sign up for monthly On Page SEO service. (The audit can be purchased separately as well)

 

Editing

Even though I have over 26 books published, I still use a professional developmental editor for my fiction. I also use a line editor/proofreader for both fiction and nonfiction. By the time I’ve drafted and self-edited my books I can no longer see the problems. Here are two editors I can recommend. They are both excellent and reasonably priced.

red circle ink logo

Red Circle Ink – Jessa Slade aka Elsa Jade is a USA Today Bestselling author in Science-Fiction Romance. She has published traditionally with series at Harlequin and Signet, and has also self-published extensively. With over 60 titles to date, she knows the struggles writers have with story, craft, and launching every book. She has also won the RWA editing award twice, so that tells you something about the quality of her work. Jessa has been my developmental editor for several years. Her attention to story has been key in keeping me delivering those reader cookies so my fans keep coming back. Jessa limits her editing to the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, and thriller

Gilded Heart Publishing Services logo

Gilded Hearts Publishing Services – Christy Carlyle is a USA Today Bestselling author in Historical Romance. She has published several series with Avon and also has multiple titles self-published. She is a former English teacher and has been freelance editing for both small publishers and individual authors for nearly a decade. She really knows her stuff, can breakdown a story quickly, and is very good at articulating where changes need to be made. She takes on most fiction and nonfiction genres.

Cover Design

This job really takes a professional, in particular someone who understands your genre and what’s popular today. Make sure to choose someone who keeps up with changes in Photoshop and delivers on time and within budget regularly. I have two designers I continue to work with. However, only one of them is taking on new clients.

Gilded Hearts Publishing Services – Gilded Hearts Publishing has done most of my book covers over the past four to five years. The exception has been when I’m part of a group project and the group has selected a single designer to do all covers in the project. Christy offers some premade covers in historical romance that may delight writers in that genre.However, I’ve always used her for her custom covers so that she can capture what’s unique about your book or series. Whenever I’m starting a series, Christy and I work together to decide the look for the entire series and I’ll contract her for all the books. What I like about Christy’s design sense is her use of color, shading, and light. She is a true Photoshop professional. She’s also very aware of the current market and will provide her professional advice about what works and what doesn’t competitively. Here are three contemporary fantasy covers she designed for my Forest People series. The first one in the series has received more compliments than any cover across my 26 titles. All three covers required her to combine two or more images and blend them so they seemed like they always belonged together.

cover images for the Forest People Series by Maggie Lynch