Monday, June 18, 2018


Should You Or Shouldn't You Self-Publish? l Lydia & Santina Casablanca @TDawsons #vbt #fantasy #romance #puyb


Every writer that has a dream to be published think about what they’re going to do and how they’re going to go about it, when their manuscript is complete. They think about how they want to publish and who they want to publish with. Now we thought about it for years, wondering how it would happen and what would happen once it was done. We somehow always knew that we were going to need money to fulfil our dreams, even before we decided to sign up with a self-publishing company. We wanted to work with a mainstreaming publisher. Of course we did, but we always had concerns when it came to giving the rights to our work to a publisher. We were worried that they would change everything, like the name of the book, the characters names, their features, personalities, the places they went to, the powers they possessed. We were worried that so much would be changed and we refused to let that happen. It wasn’t an option because we loved everything just the way it was.

Finally, when the manuscript for The Dawsons was almost complete and we were thinking about which option we would go with, either it be the mainstreaming route or the self-publishing one, our best friend tagged us in a post on Facebook where Xlibris Publishing was advertising their company and what they offer. We took it as a sign that self-publishing was the way to go. We filled out a form on Xlibris’s website and the next day we got a call. Of course we were really excited, and new nothing when it came to the publishing industry. We spoke to them for hours, sussing them out and finding out what was involved. At the end of the conversation we told them that we would think about it. Our story is precious to us and we wanted to make sure that it was in safe hands so we did our research. We did see some bad reviews about the company but we decided not to think much of them at the time because we were impatient, we really wanted to publish our book and we saw it as every company has bad reviews. Other than the reviews everything seemed good. Xlibris gave us a call the next day and we decided to go ahead with them. Xlibris was also offering discounted prices with publishing packages and we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity, so the pressure was on. Self-publishing companies offer you deals and marketing options at a high price when you can find the same options somewhere else that are a lot cheaper. You can even do some of the stuff yourself for nothing. Unfortunately we didn’t know this at the time.

Since then we have spent over $27.000 on The Dawsons and continue to do so today because the success of our book means so much to us. But that is how these companies suck you in. They know how badly you want it. From word go Xlibris has continued to ask us for money. We think that they even added an error in the final draft of our manuscript just so we would pay more money to get it fixed. We didn’t. We are still signed up with Xlibris but refuse to give them any more money. This has been our mistake.

We were told recently by an award winning author that if you publish with a mainstreaming publisher they are unlikely to make many changes. They just make suggestions to improve your work and make it make sense. If we had been told this earlier we probably would have gone down another route. We were in the dark when we decided to self-publish. We have since then learnt so much. Every dream is hard and takes great dedication. With self-publishing you need to make all the decisions and do all the hard work. So much more than if you were to publish with a mainstreaming publisher. The only hard part would be getting awareness for our book. But it’s hard enough getting the attention of people when you self-publish, definitely so much more expensive. If we went the other way and got picked up by a mainstreaming publisher we would have spent hardly anything, if anything at all.

We are sending cover letters to mainstreaming publishers anyway, hoping to catch a break. Save yourself a lot of time and just get an agent who will only get paid when you do. Keep sending cover letters to mainstreaming publishers and if you’re manuscript is good and you’ve worked hard for it you’re bound to be noticed and get signed. Don’t waste your time and money on self-publishing. They are all scam artists. Do it the old fashioned way. It’s got to be worth it in the end.

If you self-publish your work you get to keep all the rights but you spend a hell of a lot of money and time on the marketing of your book. You barely get time to write which is what you really want to be doing. If you go with a mainstreaming publisher they might change a few things but it will still be your story, your work. And the great part is they do mostly everything for you. You get better marketing and you don’t have to pay for anything. So, should you or shouldn’t you self-publish? We wouldn’t, if we had known what we know now. If you don’t want any surprises learn the game before you enter into it. You want to know what you’re getting involved in. If you do know everything that is involved and you decide to self-publish we admire you tremendously. It is a lot, and I mean a lot of hard work and time. We’ll let you know if it’s worth it in the end. If it is your dream to be a successfully published author then never give up. We know we won’t, not even after all this hard work. Thank you for reading! We hope it helps. God bless. Love from Lydia and Santina Casablanca. The authors of The Dawsons.


Lydia and Santina Casablanca are twin sisters who were born in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. They grew up mostly in New South Wales, moving around all the time and never staying in one place for more than three years. Growing up, Lydia and Santina were left at home a lot with nothing to do while their mother worked to provide for them. The twins had wild imaginations and would often play make believe where they lived in this world where only the supernatural inhabited it. They made up all kinds of characters and story lines, and in doing so they did not realize that they were creating magic.

When Lydia and Santina were 14 years old they noticed they were starting to forget the stories, the characters and the families they had made up and they didn’t want to forget, they wanted to always remember the adventures they went on when they played, pretending they were witches who lived in a magical place. The twins decided to put down all their adventures they had had, all the characters and the families they had made up on paper so they would always remember them.
While writing their book they were suddenly aware that they had a passion for it, and realized they didn’t want their stories to be hidden, to just be shared between themselves. They wanted to share the families they had created, the adventures, the characters with the world. The twins wanted to share their love of writing, their magic and write for a living.

Lydia and Santina worked on their first novel (The Dawsons) for ten years, adding to the story, maturing and professionalizing it, editing it and trying their best to make it as perfect as a manuscript can be before they approached the self-publishing company Xlibris in October 2016. The twins knew that self-publishing a book is not cheap so they saved up for years, working at Gloss Cosmetics, Coles, etc. to earn the money that would help them to publish their first novel.

Lydia and Santina’s book The Dawsons was finally self-published with Xlibris Publishing in April 2017. The twins went through a crazy, exhilarating ride making their book a reality, and haven’t regretted taking all the nerve-racking risks in the hopes of being successful. They have been trying to get as many people as possible to know about their book, contacting radio and television stations, bookstores, newspapers and social media in the hopes that their dreams will come true.
The twins are now 24 years old and are living on the Central Coast, New South Wales. Lydia is currently working on the second installment to The Dawsons. She is also working on the first novel by contacting anyone she can to popularize their book. Santina helps Lydia with the marketing of The Dawsons whenever she can.



About the Book:

Author: Lydia and Santina Casablanca
Publisher: Xlibris
Pages: 432
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Witnessing the horrific demise of everyone he knew and loved has made Derrick Dawson strong, but it has also made him cold and broken. Tormented by his past and fears for the future, Derrick drowns himself in alcohol and drugs to dull the pain he can’t seem to escape. When Rose, the granddaughter of his sworn enemy, suddenly appears in his life, his world turns upside down. The wall he has built to protect his heart is crumbling. Will Derrick ignore what he feels or will he let the wall fall?
Francesco has felt alone and miserable all his life. The loss of his family and the harshness he receives from his constantly intoxicated older brother has left a void inside him that he thought he would never fill. Until a young princess named Rosa stumbles into him and changes his life forever. There’s only one thing that stands in his way—King Antonio has forbidden Rosa to have anything to do with a Dawson.


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