What comes First?

What comes First?


Millions of people have written millions of books, some good, some bad. I have paid good money to buy books and I quit reading them after twenty pages, no big deal. These books were published by big names and big publishing companies and they were lousy. Your book is just as good or better!

I will guide you through three phases: Construction of a novel, writing a novel, and marketing a novel. Have fun.

So before I begin, I would like to set some ground rules. 

How long will it take me to write my novel?

Rome wasn’t built in a day…either will your novel. It probably will take a year or more. My first novel took five years to write.

How much time will it take to write my novel?

I wrote while employed and time was as scarce as hen’s teeth. No whining about how hard your life is. Set a schedule when and where to write. In the beginning, I recommend two hours a day and build it up until you are tired or unproductive.

How do I start writing my novel?

You don’t just start writing the great American novel. That is plain stupid. You need a map, a compass, and knowledge. I will show you how to map out your novel, head you in the right direction and impart some knowledge.

What must I have to be a novel writer?

You must have a passion to learn how to write a novel. It is a learning experience…enjoy it.

What will I cover in my blog?


The First Phase. The construction of a Novel

The first phase I will cover is the Construction Phase. A novel is constructed just like a house. A writer is like an architect…you must know the rules of designing. A writer is also a builder and cannot build without blueprints. A writer has to do both. I will cover Concept and Premise, Chapter construction, Scene construction, the Stages of a fiction novel, Plotting, the Logic of construction.

The Second Phase. The Writing of a Novel.

The second phase will cover, grammar, pronoun usage, dialogue, punctuation, showing versus telling, paragraph usage, editing, and much more.

The Third Phase will cover Marketing

Should I self publish? Cover selection? Editing? Formatting? Selecting the proper aggregator for self-publishing? How to market your paperback, ebook, or audiobook. Costs associated with self-publishing. marketing services available. Cost?


Cost of self-publishing $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

It takes money to write a novel. Sorry to have to tell you that, but it is true. So if you don’t have any money work and save some up. My first novel cost about $5,000. I will go into the costs in a later post.

Ego: Say No to being a Narcissist 

Keep your ego in check. Someone asked me with an excited voice…”How does it feel to be a published author? I said it felt just like mowing my five acres…tired, but content. Just like I felt after an infamous Marine Corp forced march of twenty miles in 3.5 hours, tired but glad I didn’t fall out. Be proud for a few seconds and get back to writing.

Learn to Love Criticism

Learn to take criticism…accept criticism…thank people who criticize you…smile and beg people to criticize you. if you don’t like criticism go do something else.

Life is unfair…get used to it!

I grew up in a tough atmosphere for a kid so I just smile when I hear people carry on how unfair life is…that may be true but you just have to learn to be the referee. You make the rules to live by…you chart out your course…you work harder than anyone around you…when you get knocked down smile and get back on your feet. Keep your faith in God above all else because truly you will never be alone. Never harden your heart…live a life that revolves around helping people. We are not really happy until we achieve and overcome events in life. That is how God made us.

Let’s get started and learn all we can. I’m far from an expert but I have learned much I will share with anybody who has a dream.

Feel free to contact me I will always answer back and help you. That’s just the way I am. gunnymac26@gmail.com

What Are the Costs to Self-Publish?

What Are the Costs to Self-Publish?

You are committed to writing a novel! That is outstanding.


Now you must be committed to spending money.



I’m not trying to sell you or up-sell you… just trying to help writers. I get nothing from anybody who is somebody.

I have published posts on at least thirty Facebook writing groups and have read thousands of posts by aspiring writers.

Through it all, I’m left with some qualms about my fellow writers, mostly the new writers who were like me. That is not

good. In my haste to become a writer, I fell hook, line, and sinker for all the information telling me you could do everything

on the cheap. I was like the wino who smiles when he sees a three-dollar bottle of wine. Though someone could get as

drunk on a three-dollar bottle of wine as a fifty-dollar bottle of wine; the same effects and economics do not work with


I’m sure there are very talented writers out there who can be experts at everything and write several novels at the same

time while drinking $$$$ wine, but I was not that person.

I struggled to learn the rules of my genre and the rules of novel writing.

I read, went to writers’ conferences, and wrote 1.3 million words to get my 89,000-word novel complete along with 55

edits. But enough about writing let’s talk about costs associated with self-publishing.

Ever notice most of the established rich authors have generic-looking covers? But their name is in large font and

emblazoned on the front cover. That is because any book Dean Koontz writes I will buy! The cover means nothing to me,

the name says it all.

You and I on the other hand need a great book cover to entice someone to pick it up and read a few lines. So my

advice is to pay for a great book cover.

This is an image of my logo which my book cover artist painted for me. It captures the essence of my black lab Rosebud. She is in dog heaven and I miss her every single day of my life. Noah got the colors right along with that beautiful glint in Rosebud’s eyes that I loved so much! My advice is don’t scrimp on money when it comes to your logo or book cover. In a few months, my new novel; Gunny Mac Private Detective  Trouble in Cleveland comes out. Of course designed by Noah. http://artstation.com

If you are looking for a developmental editor  I used a great one and got back 50 pages of pure gold. This by far was the best learning experience I have ever received. A BFA in Creative Writing for 1% of an undergraduate degree. Cost; $1,800.00 dollars. Bill who owns Greenleaf Literary Services did one heck of a job for me. http://grenleafliteraryservives.com

I used Jera Publishing for my formatting. Along with chapter images. Kimberly was a wonderful person to deal with and a real pro. She is patient and cares about her authors. I received my manuscript in every form imaginable for book and ebook formatting. She was wonderful. Cost: $150.00. http://self-pub.net

Editor.  Spend the money and get it done right. You won’t regret it. Make sure you get a sample ten-page edit to see if you are compatible with the editor. I had one “woke” editor who kept telling me how to write and what to write and that my writing made her feel uncomfortable. I guess that was not allowed. She was a professor at a University. I fired her. Make sure they have experience in your genre. Get testimonials. You need an excellent editor…don’t rely on your bright capable Notre Dame graduate. They know nothing about editing a novel.

Do you need an author website…? In my humble opinion yes you need an author website. Pay for a simple website to sell your book and to sell you. You can spend a lot of money on website design, but you can get it done for about $400-$450.00.  Especially if you want to sell your books on your website so people can download your ebooks and audiobooks.

The book trailer... not needed but I can direct you to someone on linked in that will do a great job for $100.00. Mine cost$40.00.

ISBN’s: you must do your own research on this issue…you can get free ISBNs but your publisher will be that company you got the free ISBN’s from. I bought ten ISBNS from Bowkers for $450.00. You will need an ISBN number for each book, ebook, and audiobook.

Writers conferences...go to one or two and learn. I went to the Larry Brooks conference in Columbus, Ohio. If I had known about Concept and Premise (which he taught me) I would have cut three years off my writing time. His website: http://Storyfix.com. The best fifty bucks I ever spent. (for the conference).

Writer’s podcasts: My opinion… a waste of time. All they try to do is upsell you and talk about everything except writing.

Writer’s on the Internet. They give you just enough information to try to upsell you on the real information. Waste of time. If you need additional help for free…no selling…just free information… contact me on my author website. I will be writing on marketing in the future. My email address:  gunnymac26@gmail.com

Steven Walker

Hard-boiled Private Detective author.

Gunny Mac Private Detective Trouble in Chinatown

Gunny Mac private Detective trouble in Cleveland is due out soon!.

The author is a retired Infantry officer, retired teacher, and author. It is a desire of his to assist new writers in any way possible.

His genre is Hard-boiled Private Detective fiction, You can reach him at…gunnymac26@gmail.com