Guest Post & Giveaway: The Road to Self-Publishing by L.A. Starkey, Author of Deceived (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted January 28th, 2015 in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 27 comments

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Road to Self-Publishing by L.A. Starkey, Author of Deceived (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Road to Self-Publishing by L.A. Starkey, Author of Deceived (Blog Tour & Giveaway)Deceived by L.A. Starkey
Series: Soul Keeper Series #1
Publisher: Self-Published on August 28, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 505
Source: Blog Tour
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principle, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principle states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what’s to come.

Welcome to the Deceived Blog Tour. The concept of soul mates always fascinated me, and I would love to see how L.A. Starkey handled it in Deceived. If you would too, check out the giveaway below after reading her guest post on self-publishing.

 Guest Post

The Road to Self-Publishing

by L.A. Starkey

I decided to pick the topic of Self-Publishing for my guest post namely because it was a steep climb and yet the view from the top (top being completion) is beautiful, trilling and quite rewarding. I actually wrote my novel five years ago in 2010 on a whim. The thought was that I’d been a reader so long and enjoyed so many authors’ work that perhaps it was time to give back to future readers by creating an experience myself. I found a great community of people to review my chapters using a quid pro quo type system – I review yours, you review mine. It was called critique circle.

After many, many rejection letters to various publishers and agents, even attending a few events and trying to grab someone’s attention, I finally threw the manuscript into a drawer and said forget it. Several of my friends decided to go ahead and self-publish, several of them making a solid name for themselves. They pushed over the years and finally, with Amazon’s Createspace and Kindle’s easy access to publish I decided to do it.

I will tell you this – self-publishing is hard work. Having to be and do all for your book is a big deal and no easy feat, but just like any mountain that you might scale, (and I believe you’re capable of scaling ANY) you just need clear expectations, a goal in mind and the proper tools/people to get you there.

First stop on the map: You need a great story that has a solid plot, good characterization, issues and resolutions, a few surprises and depth. It’s hard writing a trilogy or series because you need that first book to set everything up, but it’s a balance of giving information, throwing in plot points and movement and developing a larger story and the characters in it. After writing that story you need to find yourself a good editor to line edit and content edit your manuscript.

Second stop on the map: After that first edit is complete, and this is SO WORTH the money you’ll spend getting it done if you find the right person to do it, you need to find some Beta readers. A beta reader is someone who will take the 1st draft (post-edit) and read it for content, their feedback being directed by questions you might ask. It’s smart to gather 4-6 beta readers around you and ask them pointed questions about your story instead of “did you like it?” That doesn’t help, but “Did you think Ken was overbearing and too clique for the football hottie or was he spot on? If he was overbearing, what do you think I could change in the novel or descriptions that might change that for the story?”

Third stop on the map: While your beta readers are reading, start working on your cover art. Some people are crafty enough to get away with doing their own cover, but I will tell you that the cover is crazy important. It’s like going to a restaurant and ordering something that comes out and looks like crap. Could be the best tasting stuff ever, but I’m not eating it. Are you? If your cover looks silly or unprofessional, most people will skim right over it. Pay for a good cover and if you need some recommendations for good cover artists just shoot me a note. I’ve worked with a handful at this point.

Fourth stop on the map: Edit your manuscript once more for feedback that you agree with from your beta readers and shoot it back off to your editor one more time for a last review on the changes. If 2-3 of your beta readers all mention the same thing, take heart, it’s important for you to address however you see fit.

Fifth stop on the map: Putting it all together. I used Createspace and Kindle – both Amazon for my products. Their system will tell you everything you need to format the document and put your cover art in the proper sizes. Follow the instructions carefully and you can’t go wrong.

Sixth stop on the map: Promotions. This is never ending I do believe and takes a lot of finesse and authenticity. I hear a lot about how to do this and how not to, but I’ll tell you that for me I’ve chosen twitter and FB as my go-to tools and I use my website, my friends and my blog occasionally to help spread the word. Just remember that the more you write and produce, the more your name will become prevalent in the sea of great reads.

Hope that helps. If you have any specific questions just ask below and I’ll give you my thoughts/experience.



About L.A. Starkey

Laurie Starkey is the author of the upcoming Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Jacob and three beautiful kiddos.

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can’t help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn’t seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.


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27 Responses to “Guest Post & Giveaway: The Road to Self-Publishing by L.A. Starkey, Author of Deceived (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”

    • Laurie

      Thanks. My cover designer was from and he was incredible.

      Thanks for stopping by Jennifer’s blog. 🙂


  1. Laurie

    Hi Jennifer!

    Thank you so much for hosting me today.

    I just send Descent, Soul Keeper III to my editor Mon night. It’s due out on Feb 28th.

    I’d love for you or any of your blog visitors to sign up for my weekly mail on new things to come, contests and special excerpts for my fans. 🙂


  2. Melliane

    It must be so difficult to publish a book, I can’t imagine. I didn’t know about yours but thank you for making me discover it.

    • Laurie

      It’s not too bad. Just lots of pushing through the hard parts in hopes of finding someone who will love what you’ve created. Once you do that – it’s all worth it.

      Thanks for stopping by Jennifer’s blog. 🙂


  3. kindlemom1

    This does have a great cover!
    I can’t even imagine all the work that goes into publishing and promoting. I admire you authors for all the work you do to get your books out there!

      • Laurie

        Jennifer –

        If you ever need help/advice, I’m happy to be a sounding board for you. I struggled through it on my own and it’s been fun, but thank GOD for my published friends. Good luck to you!!


  4. Jaclyn Canada

    This is wonderful! The steps are laid out so well, and all very true parts. Editing and cover art is incredibly important so I’m glad those points are touched on. Thanks so much for sharing 😀

  5. Nikki J.

    I love this cover and the font used. The book is on my ever growing TBR list too. I think I’m into paranormal way too much LOL!!! Thanks for the giveaway too.

  6. Olivia

    Self publishing is a difficult way to go actually! I admire her for choosing it and continuing to strive in that direction. As for Deceived, it looks good so it is going on my TBR!

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