Monday, May 13, 2019


May 13, 2019

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I had a fabulous time spending mine with my mother in Orange Beach, Alabama and will continue to for a couple of more days. My mother, Helen V. Ray, is the beautiful woman who graces the cover of my book Never Stop Running. The picture of her was taken in 1954. It was one of my ways to honor my mother because at 85 she was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, which is now in remission, and then later breast cancer, which is also in remission. I can praise God for His healing mercy on her and granting this special weekend for us. Today, my sister Robby will be joining us to add to the fun. 


I have assisted hundreds of authors over the years in publishing their books. When I say publish, I mean I edit the rough drafts, walk them through the beta reader process, help them get their covers created, design the interiors of their books, assign them their ISBN's from Absolute Author Publishing House and so much more. Because of this, I have seen the mistakes they make, albeit, most came on the heels of lack of experience on their part with the publication process or due to their overzealous nature wanting to get the book published as quickly as possible which either makes the process more difficult than it needs to be or the end product, their book, isn't in the shape it needs to before it is published. Below I am going to go over some of the top mistakes I see new authors make when publishing their books.

1. Write your book in the correct format. To me writing the book is the easy part; editing it is the most difficult. I often receive manuscripts to Absolute Author Publishing House for consideration for us to publish their book. When I receive them, I make an assessment of whether the book is ready. I look at the book's cover, the copyright page, the interior formatting first to determine if the book is formatted correctly. Nine out of ten, they are not and do not meet industry standards. Here is the mistake. An author will write the manuscript in Word and will not set the page margins, sizes, headers etc. They give me a copy in the size of a letter, 8.5 by 11 inches. Hold the horses! Wait! When you write, write in the format and size you want for the final book that way you get used to looking at it as a book. Otherwise, it appears as a senior creative writing project.

2. Not editing their manuscripts or allowing friends, family, and peers edit. I am here to tell you that I have yet to receive a book manuscript that is edited professionally sent to me. Yes, I am a professional editor too, so that could be the reason, however, I get a lot of books people send me to review or want to be advertised. The first thing I do is go to Amazon and read the reviews and open the Look Inside feature and read what I can so that I can get a good feel for the book. Wow! I find typos, grammatical mistakes, poorly constructed sentences and more. These books are published that way which tells me the author did not edit the book or have it edited by a professional. No matter how good of a writer you are, you need a professional editor. I am working with an author at the moment that had his book edited three times before he sent it to me. He couldn't believe the mistakes the other editors missed. When I asked him, who the other three were, he informed me one was a friend, one was a colleague and one was a relative. I am here to tell you unless one of those three is a professional editor, you are wasting your time. They do not understand industry standards and are not as likely to be honest with you about your book. A book will not sell if it is poorly edited or poorly written.

3. Not using Beta Readers or Focus Group Members. Authors like to bypass this phase because to them, they have written the perfect book and want to get the book published as quickly as possible. This is a huge mistake. A book's publication process cannot be rushed. Slow down and give your book time to breath. My new book, A.D.A.M. that is in the pre-sale stage took six months to edit although it only took me six weeks to write it. Then, after the Focus group sessions, which I use four rounds of four different people each, I let the book simmer before I re-read it and made the changes suggested by them. Their input and insight are valuable.

 A.D.A.M. could have been published last December, that is if I wanted to rush the process. I finished writing it, I had my copy and line editors proofread it, and my focus groups were done. However, I sat on it because I wanted time between my rereads to make sure it was perfect. I also took the time and began the audiobook narration process so that both could come out around the same time.


4. Publishing, self-publishing, with a Free ISBN. This is a serious mistake for authors because when a publishing platform issues you the Free ISBN your book is not eligible for the most part to become on the USA Today's or New York Times Best-seller list. They don't take self-published books. Also, when you do that the world knows. Trust, I made that mistake and found out the hard way. Also, there are what I call ISBN issue fast lane places that will sell you an ISBN, with their imprint because they purchased the ISBNs in bulk. They can sell them to you fairly cheap. However, with those, they don't have credibility or a publishing company behind them and it gives an impression of being unprofessional. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional author and not a writer, purchase your ISBN through a publishing company. I use Absolute Author Publishing House because I get the best of both worlds. I get published under a publishing company, but I maintain all of my copyrights and I am free to distribute my book on any format I want. Better still, Absolute Author Publishing House doesn't take any royalties from the author and they help to promote their authors. It is a win, win situation.

5. Rushing the design of the book before it is edited. This is a huge mistake and a waste of money for new authors. Avoid your final interior design until your book is completely edited. Once an interior designer gets your book, if it is not edited, it is difficult to make changes and it is likely to cost you more money. Don't rush the process.

Isabella Skyy

Today I am introducing to my readers a new author, Isabella Skyy, who has two books, "Pleasing Sarah: Sexy Adult Stories Of Explicit Oral Pleasure" (SteamyRomance Novel) and "The Forbidden Affairs Of Eva: What would you do if your one-night stand turned out to be your boss?" which are available on

Isabella Skye has been an avid romance reader since the age of ten. Even then, she knew she wanted to pen her own romantic stories; becoming an author soon jumped to the top of her bucket list. Her vivid imagination and voracious reading habits have led to the release of her first novel 'Pleasing Sarah" and having her dreams come true. As she checks “romance author” off her list, she hopes her stories bring as much enjoyment to her readers as other writers have always done for her. When she isn’t spinning erotica stories, she can be found traveling, going on nature walks and, of course, reading. Keep an eye out for more romance titles by Isabella Skye—she’s just getting started.

Her books are perfect for those hot steamy nights in the summer because they are hot and steamy filled with fantasy that some might call with a tinge of erotica. So, readers, be warned that we are talking about adult content. Let's get to know Isabella Sky and her books. Here is her interview below.

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

Hello, everyone, my name is Isabella Skye, and I grew up in NYC and still live there. I love to travel, and I love going on nature's walk.

What was the very first romance novel you read?

I was ten year's old when I started to read a romance book, so my memory of my favorite book is blurry.

What inspired you to author this book?

I wanted to write books for so long and I, when I decided to be celibate, let's say instead of a man, I had too much sexual idea's. I don't think I was meant to be celibate.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I placed myself in my reader’s position and asked, “What if I were them, would I stop and look at the book’s cover or would I skip over it?” I also asked my kids what they thought about them.

Who has been the biggest influence on you personally and as a writer?

As a first time writer, I love romance and self-help books, but my favorite writer is Dean Koontz.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Overcoming my self-doubt and fear. I was tired of doubting my self and decided to take a chance and jumped.

Tell your readers about your book.

My First book is called “Pleasing Sarah: Sexy Adult Stories Of Oral Pleasure (SteamyRomanceNovel). This book is about Andrew who had a bad sexual experience with his ex-girlfriend. He couldn't please her orally, and he's left with low confidence and not sure if he could please his new girlfriend. After having a conversation with Sarah, his new girlfriend, he told her his pain of not fulfilling his ex-girlfriend orally. Sarah listened and decided to teach him how to please her. My readers will go through the sexual pleasure of Sarah and Andrew until the end.


My next book is called The Forbidden Affairs Of Eva.” Eva, a pretty, hardworking woman is out to give dating a second chance after discovering her long-time boyfriend is cheating on her with another woman. Eva Tatum finds shelter in the hustle and bustle of her prestigious job at a renowned tech development company. In spite of her mother and best friend Jessica's constant attempts, she refuses to give dating another chance. Eva thinks she is content succeeding in her work life, but on a very silent and quiet night, her beliefs are put to the test when she meets a pair of mysterious handsome looking men at a Christmas party. After spending a steamy night full of fun with both, she is certain they will never see each other again – but will the many twists and turns of life prove her wrong? What will you do if your one night romance eventually turns out to be your boss? If you are looking for a romantic thriller that will keep you spellbound, then look no further: you have just found it. The Forbidden Affairs of Eva will hold you enthralled until you get to the end of the story.


When you tell your family members and friends that you write erotica stories, what are their reactions?

For now, I only told my kids and I will tell my family later. I think why I haven't told them yet is because I want to enjoy my books for now and unfortunately, some will judge, but nothing will stop me from doing what I love.

What’s the best part about writing erotica?

The best part is having your fantasy written down for people to read. How great is that?

How do you find your focus group or beta group members for erotica romance?

I haven't done that yet.

Who is your target audience and why?

My target audience is for anyone who's not afraid of their sexuality or their fantasy. 

If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?

My book is about the liberation of your sexuality. It's about what most people have in their mind sexually. My readers can download and show their boyfriend or girlfriend what they desire in the bedroom. 

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

Besides my kid’s, I would say finally having the guts to upload my book.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

What set me apart I think is this is my fantasy some sexual things I went through; however, I won't tell you which is real or not. Lol

How do you overcome writer’s block?

I go outside for a walk and take a break.

What one piece of advice do you have for new authors?

I have to say if you think that you can write a book and relax and think the readers are going to buy your books without marketing,  they are in for a surprise. If you don't market, then nothing is going to happen with your book. Also, have patience because Rome wasn't built in a day.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

Don't be afraid to take a chance in life because time goes by very quickly. Do it now.