Self Publishing Glossary of Terms

Read on to learn all about terms and words you’ll come across when you venture into self publishing. This dictionary of self publishing terms defines everything from acronyms to publishing platforms, writing terms, and marketing speak. If you have a term to add, or a better definition to share, please comment.

Self Publishing Dictionary


ACX – Audiobook Creation Exchange, where authors can create an audiobook.

Aggregator – A publishing aggregator publishes your book to more than one outlet. is an aggregator that can get you on Kobo, Amazon, Nook, and more.

Also Boughts – The list of other books shown on your book page that readers have bought. It can give you a good insight into what your readers like outside of your book.

Amazon – The biggest ebook and print book publisher on the internet, they sell print and ebooks.

Amazon Author Central – An Amazon site that allows you to claim your author profile on Amazon, write a bio, sync your blog and manage your books. You should sign up as soon as you publish a book on Amazon.

AMS – Short for Amazon Marketing Services. Used by authors for book ads that show on Amazon. AMS ads can boost the visibility of your book on Amazon.

Amazon Prime – A program that gives you lots of perks, like free shipping, video and the ability to borrow a book from the KOLL. The features vary depending on what country you’re in.

ARC – Stands for Advanced Reader Copy. Free book copies are given to reviewers, bloggers, etc in exchange for a fair ARC review. Some authors put together an ARC Team of readers, usually interested readers/fans from their mailing list.

Author Central – See Amazon Author Central.

Author copies – Copies of your book you purchase at a discount. These copies are useful for selling in person at events.


Back Matter – Material found at the back of a book, like acknowledgements, a teaser for the next book etc.

Barnes and Noble – A US-based bookstore that sells print and ebooks. Their ebooks are for their ereader, the Nook. Also seen as BN or B&N.

Beta Reader – A person who reads a draft of your book and offers comments. Beta reading usually happens earlier in the process than ARC reading.

Big Five – The five biggest US publishers – Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillian Publishers, Penguin Random House and Simon and Schuster. This chart breaks down all of their subsidiary publishing imprints.

BKnights – A Fiverr company that endeavors to get sales for your book.

Blog tour – A virtual book tour. The author goes from blog to blog, providing guest content, announcements, cover reveals etc. Book tours can be organized by book tour companies for a fee.

Blurb – The summary of your book that appears on Amazon, Kobo etc. You might drive yourself crazy trying to write one.

Bookbub – Provides daily emails featuring discounted and free ebooks. Authors pay to feature their book.

Bookfunnel – A website that allows you to upload copies of your book and to give them out in various formats to anyone you wish. It is a pay service.

Book Report – An online service that lets you analyze your sales information from Amazon.

Book trailer – A video with music, images, text and sometimes even actors that give readers a taste of what your book is about.

Box set – A collection that contains more than one book. Can be more than one book from one author (ie, all books in a series) or books from multiple authors.


Calibre – A free program for managing ebooks. Calibre also features ebook creation, conversion and editing tools.

Click farm – A place where reviews and buys/borrows for books are created to inflate a book’s ranking on Amazon and other sites. Seen as extremely unethical.

Copyediting – A copyeditor checks for mistakes, inconsistencies, checks grammar, spelling and punctuation, pays attention to continuity errors, fact checking, and more.

Cover reveal – An event where an author will have an online announcement, blog post, Facebook party etc to reveal their book cover to their readers.

Cream paper – Off-white coloured paper used in printing soft and hardcover books. Amazon/KDP Print cream paper (55lb) tends to be darker than Lulu cream paper (60lb).

Createspace – An Amazon owned print book publishing platform that puts your print book on Amazon.

Cross Promotion – When two or more authors get together to promote their work to each others’ readers. Can be done with Instafreebie promotions, mailing list offerings etc. Usually done within the same genre.


Draft 2 Digital (D2D) – A publishing aggregator that gets your ebook to Kobo, Nook, Apple and more. Often referred to as D2D.

DRM – Digital Rights Management. This is a form of protection put on an ebook file so it can’t be shared. DRM is very easy to break, so many self published authors don’t enable DRM when they publish.


epub – An ebook file format that allows the ebook to be read on a compatible reader or tablet. Most non-Kindle readers use epub files.


Fiverr – A site where you can get almost anything (from graphics to cover design) done for five dollars (or more depending on add-ons). There are often lots of promos available via Fiverr, not all of them legit.

Front Matter – Material that appear before the book begins, such as the copyright page, title page, dedication, introduction etc.


Goodreads – A site for readers to keep track of their books, their reading habits and to review and rate books. Amazon owns the site. Authors can claim their author profile.

Goodreads Giveaway – A free (aside from the cost of the book(s) you offer) program run by Goodreads. You can giveaway your print books here to readers, who enter for a chance to win. You can choose how many copies and how long the giveaway runs. Goodreads picks the winner and you’re responsible for shipping the physical book to them.


HEA – Happily Ever After. The type of ending that is required in romance novels. Novels with romance elements without a HEA are better termed love stories.

Hybrid author – An author that both self publishes and is traditionally published as well.


IngramSpark – A pay service to self publish your book.

Instafreebie – A site that allows you to offer a free sample or book to readers. They have a free account where you can just offer a free copy, but paid accounts can collect email addresses for your mailing lists. The books are searchable and discoverable on the Instafreebie site.

ISBN – The International Standard Book Number. This is the 10 or 13 digit number that identifies a specific book. An ISBN is mapped to that specific format – so a hardcover and paperback have different ISBNs.

ITIN – The Individual Tax Payer Identification Number used to be required for non-US people to submit a W8-BEN, as this was similar to a US Social Security Number. .



KBoards – A message board for Kindle owners. There is a Writer’s Cafe section for authors with publishing information.

KDP Select – A Kindle Direct Publishing program that allows authors to list their ebook for inclusion in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. You must be exclusive to Amazon (ebook only available there). You are paid for pages read by borrowers. Enrollment is on a 3-month at a time basis. You also get days to offer your book for free and days to offer it as a discount.

KENP – Acronym for Kindle Edition Normalized Pages. This is a page count Amazon gives your ebook so when it’s in the KDP Select program, they can calculate how many pages of it were read.

Keywords – Words used to describe your book. Choosing the right keywords and keyword combos, especially on Amazon, can get you into more categories and visible in more searches. Often a trial and error process.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) – This is the platform for authors to publish ebooks and print with Amazon. It is free to use (Amazon takes a cut of any book you sell). They began a print program, KDP Print, in 2016.

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) – Similar to KU, this program is part of Amazon Prime in the US. Prime users get access to the KOLL with their membership, allowing them to borrow 1 book per month to read. Content is the same as the KU store.

Kindle Press – Amazon’s indie publishing imprint, they publish Kindle Scout novels.

Kindle Scout – An Amazon program that allows readers to determine whether a book gets published. Chosen books get their work published by Kindle Press.

Kindle Unlimited (KU) – For $9.99 per month, subscribers get access to Kindle Unlimited books, and can read up to 10 books per month for free. As an author, you can get your book in this program by enrolling in KDP Select.

Kirkus Review – A site where you can request a review of your book. Prices start at $425.

Kobo – An ereader and bookstore by Rakuten Kobo, it’s largest market is Canada.

Kobo Plus – A program you can enroll your book in if you publish via Kobo Writer’s Life. It’s similar to KDP Select, and pays you for page reads.

Kobo Writer’s Life – The platform to publish your ebook on Kobo.


Lightning Source – A pay service to self publish your book.

Line edit – A line edit goes over the manuscript line by line, and looks for extraneous words, run-on sentences, strange phrasing, and passages that need clarification or punching up etc.

Look Inside – A free program by Amazon that allows people to see a free sample of your book, and turns on 1-click ordering.

Loss Leader – Pricing your first book in a series lower or free to encourage people to read and buy the rest. It may sell well but net you little to no royalties. – A free aggregator publishing platform that publishes print and ebooks to Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Apple, Barnes and Noble and more. They take a cut of your royalty as a fee.


Mailchimp – A mailing list website that allows you up to 2000 free mailing list members without paying. Let’s you design, send and maintain an email list for free.

Mailerlite – Similar to Mailchimp, but only 1000 free members.

Mailing List – A newsletter sent out every so often by an author to announce new books, deals, events etc. Building a mailing list is seen as a common step to take when building your author platform.

Mass market paperback – A book that is pocket sized – usually around 4×7 or so. They are not very common in self publishing.

MilSF – Military Science Fiction.

Mobi – An ebook file format. Mobi files can be loaded on a Kindle.


NA – Stands for New Adult. Books about characters in their early to mid-20s, just starting out in life. Geared to that same age group, but popular with readers of all ages.

NCX – Navigation Control XML File. It’s a file in your epub that tells an ereader how to display your book, and is usually generated automatically by the epub creation program.

Netgalley – A service that promotes upcoming books, usually by getting them reviews by bloggers, journalists, booksellers etc. It is not cheap to get your book on Netgalley.

Nook – The ereader sold by Barnes and Noble which is exclusive to them. Not common outside of the US.


Organic – Used to refer to mailing list subscribers that were not gained through a promotion.

Overdrive – The ebook distribution system that libraries use.


PA – Post-Apocalyptic

Page Flip – A Kindle feature that lets a reader “pin” their current page and flip ahead to another page.

Page reads – Refers to how many pages a reader will read in a KU/KOLL book. Payments are based on pages read.

Permafree – Selling a book for free permanently. The thought is if you have a series, the first book being free will encourage people to read it and hopefully continue on to purchase the rest of the series.

Platform – A publishing platform is a company that provides the means necessary to put a print or ebook out for sale to the public. You can be on one platform (for instance, KDP) or multiple ones.

PNR – Stands for Paranormal Romance.

Point five books – .5 books are usually shorter novellas or short stories that fall between the main novels in a series. Amazon doesn’t include .5 books in the series pages sadly.

Prawn – A term coined on Kboards referring to writers that don’t earn a lot of money each month.

2 figures/month: plankton
3 figures/month: prawn (500+= lobster)
4 figures/month: trout (5000+= rainbow trout)
5 figures/month: salmon
5 figures/month over 50k: dolphin

Pre-order – To order a book before it’s on sale. You receive the book on its release day.

Premade – Short for a premade book cover. They sell for less than a custom made cover, but there is usually no customization allowed outside of title/name.

Price match – When a platform (usually Amazon) matches the price of your book to a (usually) lower price found on another platform. Commonly sought by authors when they price their book free at some platforms in hopes Amazon will price match it to free there as well – Amazon doesn’t allow you to set your book to free on your own.

Promoted Post – A paid Facebook option to boost the visibility of a post.

Pronoun – A newer service for self publishing your book.

Proofreading – A proofreader checks the printed book against the official edited manuscript to make sure everything is correct.



Rafflecopter – A site that helps you run an online giveaway but automating a lot of the process.

Rank – How your book ranks against others in sales and page reads.

Reader magnet – An offering to attract a reader to your books – usually a free book, like a prequel or book 1 in a series, or a starter library.

Royalties – The money you make from the sale of your book. Most publishing programs take a small cut of each ebook or print book sale to cover their costs, and you receive the rest. This is your royalty.


Scrivener – A writing program that allows for lots of planning and plotting and exports to epub.

SF – Stands for Science Fiction

Sigil – A free program that allows you to create and edit epub files.

Smashwords -An ebook only self publishing platform. It doesn’t publish to Amazon.

Standalone – A novel that is not part of a series.

Starter library – Some authors offer a collection of their ebooks to people who subscribe to their newsletters, that usually includes the first books in their series or related short stories or novellas.

Steamy – Term for romances with more sex, but that doesn’t fall into erotica territory. It may run close to erotic romance.

Street team – A team of people put together by an author, usually from mailing list members, who will be ARC readers, and sometimes assist with getting the word out about a new release on social media etc.

Sweet/clean – Terms used for romance books that are not racy and don’t contain sex. The preferred term is sweet.


TOC – Table of Contents. All ebooks must have a Table of Contents so readers can navigate within the book with their ereader.

Trade paperback – A book that is larger than a mass market (pocket) size. They vary between 5×8 and 6×9. Traditionally they were softcover versions of the hardcover book, and the same size as the hardcover (usually 6×9).

Traditionally Published – An author published by a publishing house or indie press.


UF – Urban Fantasy.


Vanity Press – A company that will charge an author money to publish their book.

Vellum – A Mac-based program which allows you to create ebooks.

Verified Purchase – A designation used on Amazon to show that a reviewer actually bought the book in question. KU/KOLL borrows do NOT show as verified purchases.


W-8BEN – A tax form for non-US authors to fill out and send to the platform that informs the publishing platform how much in royalties to withhold for US taxes – your country’s treaty may indicate there be no withholding or a percentage less than the standard 30%.

Wide – A term used by authors to indicate they aren’t exclusive to Amazon and sell their ebooks elsewhere as well. Also seen as “going wide” when an author says they may take their books out of KDP Select to sell on other platforms.

Withholding – Money that a publishing program withholds from the author to pay US taxes. If you are non-US, and your country has a tax treaty with the US that covers royalties, your withholding may be less than the 30% the US takes. In order to stop the withholding, there are US tax forms to send in or an online tax interview to fill out. See W-8BEN.

WordPress – A blogging/website platform. Two versions exist, the free .com site and the self-hosted .org.

Wraparound – A print book cover that is one file – a front, spine, and back cover.

Write to market – When an author researches popular genres and what’s selling, and then writes a book in that genre or sub-genre. Other authors may write what they like and worry about how to market it after (um, hi lol).



YA – Stands for Young Adult. Books aimed at teenaged readers. They often feature teenaged characters.


Comment if you have anything to add!


Brookline University series free to read on Amazon

Free Books?!

Amazon Prime US and Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the entire Brookline University book series for FREE on Amazon!

The series follows three best friends as they leave foster care in Seattle to start college across the country. Set in 1990s Boston, you can follow identical twins Joy and Libby and their best friend Angel through all four years of university. The girls rush sororities, deal with dorm life and awful roommates, and navigate their way through complicated romances.

Brookline University Free on Amazon

Will I Like It?

This Young Adult/New Adult series is right up your alley if you like Degrassi, Sweet Valley High/Sweet Valley University or the TV series Greek. The series is perfect for a new grad or someone heading off to college in the fall. If you’re interested in sorority recruitment, this series will give you an inside look!

Where Can I Find It?

Amazon Prime US members can access the books in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, where you can read 1 book for free a month. Kindle Unlimited subscribers everywhere can find the books in the KU section of Amazon. Or you can visit my Brookline University page to find direct links to the books on Amazon.

But I Don’t Have Prime or KU!

If you don’t have Prime or Kindle Unlimited you can still get the first book for FREE by joining my mailing list –

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon once you’ve finished each book!

New Covers for Brookline University

Brookline University has new covers! Check out Amazon, or this website, and you’ll see the awesome new covers for this YA/NA series.

Brookline University new covers

Brookline University’s previous covers have been in use since their debut. It was time to update, despite the great photography featured on the previous covers. The new covers fit the genre much better.

Cassidy Grant designed these covers.

Updated Kindle Copies Available

Print and digital versions are up at Amazon now, and I’ve asked Amazon to send updates to people who have purchased previous copies on their Kindle, so if you visit Manage Your Content and Devices you’ll be able to sync and get the newest versions with the updated covers.

You can read Brookline University: Freshman Year for FREE if you join my newsletter!



Piece of Work – FREE prequel to Sin City

Free Prequel Ebook

Piece of Work, a free prequel to the Sin City series, is available for FREE at Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Nook and other retailers.

Currently the book is sitting at number 2 on the free Kindle Short Reads for Mystery, Thriller and Suspense.

Piece of Work free prequel on Amazon
Tim Kelly has never been a fan of the Chicago Mob, and in 1965 Las Vegas, they’re the only game in town.

Tim’s latest venture has caught the attention of Sam Wyatt, a Fremont Street mobster with two casinos. Unfortunately, he’s also caught the attention of the Chicago Outfit’s most ruthless enforcer. Now Tim has a choice to make – play ball or stake his own claim – and his decision could have lasting effects.

Download the book for free at the following retailers:

Amazon Kindle US
Amazon Kindle Canada
Amazon Kindle UK
Amazon Kindle Australia
Amazon Kindle France ePub
Apple iBookstore

For more information visit the Piece of Work page here.



All About the Story Bible

A story bible is used in writing, especially in film and television, to keep track of all of the little details that appear. They are useful for writers and help keep track of everything from character birth dates to mentioned events and more.

While I was writing Brookline University, I began to forget details as the series went on. You don’t think you’ll forget if a minor character is Sonia or Sonya, but you will. Here’s the TV Tropes entry on the story bible … okay, bye, see you in 12 hours!

As I’m in a re-write/edit of the sequel to Sin City, I realized I was in desperate need of a story bible, as I was having to look up pertinent details all the time. My notes were scattered between dozens of notebooks and stopping to look things up and search for notes was really hampering my ability to work on the book. In the last two weeks I’ve put together an 81-page story bible (which will keep growing, I’m sure!). Here’s a little look at it. (Note: The pics are small since I include spoilery stuff in my notes sometimes)

The Note Tote

The Story Bible - Note Tote

Hilroy Note Tote binders from 1989/1990 or so (aka the Canadian version of a Trapper Keeper) are the best ever. The present-day ones are shiny and awful (Hilroy! Make them like the old school ones again!), so I use ones from when I was in high school. They have great pocket dividers.

I determined early on I needed a ring binder, because I move stuff around a lot. It’s nice to be able to redo a page if you mess something up and have to print it again. You may prefer a nice leather notebook, looseleaf in a folder or a spiral bound book. Whatever works!

Character Profiles

Story Bible - Character ProfilesUsually the first page or two is just lists of the characters with major details. Name, birth date, birth place, hair colour, eye colour, blood type, MBTI and astrological sign. I list all the characters like that on one or two pages.

After that, I do more in depth profiles where I’ll list the character’s full name and stats, then do point form lists of major things that appear in the book.

Story Bible - In Depth Character Profile

For example, in Sin City, I mention that Ruby has a horse named Bella, is a trick rider, dated Lewis in Abilene, drinks coffee (but I never said how she took it), etc. Notes can be added as the series goes on, and I don’t usually have to add personality info because I know it, but I do add little things like “always wears a ring on the third finger on the right hand” so I don’t accidentally say left hand.

Location Profiles

Story Bible - Location Profiles

In Sin City I have point form descriptions of all of the locations I’ve created (see above), then the same for fictional casinos, real casinos that existed at the time on Fremont and the Strip, and other businesses that existed in Las Vegas at the time.

Maps are really useful, especially for a historical series. Street names and entire areas changed in Las Vegas, so it’s been helpful to have historic maps.

Story Bible - Maps


Other Profiles/Miscellaneous

You may need profiles for things that are really specific to your book. In Brookline I had pages of information on sorority rush, lists of names of girls in each pledge class, school schedules etc. Sin City has lists of horses that Rett owns, types of guns that have shown up, etc.

Including historical weather info (like when Las Vegas gets a big flood, like they did in July 1975, which left cars floating in the Caesars Palace parking lot), tidbits about the city (when the first female card dealer began working on the Strip, etc) and things like that help me keep things realistic. Maybe you’ll find you need a list of words in your created fantasy language, a diagram of what a character’s house looks like, or a collection of info on how evidence is processed in a murder.


A point form timeline of when everything occurs in the book keeps me on track. Included are dates in my books, both to orient the reader in the time period and to keep things organized for me. Since I use “real time” to track everything, I need to make sure things work out (right day, right date etc).

My Sin City timeline is very basic. It looks like this:

Tue Mar 13 – Tim gets out of jail. Ruby training for rodeo.
Wed Mar 14 – Rett throws a huge party at the bar.

Basically I just outline when things happened. I may make note of a birthday (especially if it’s something a POV character might comment on) or if there was a major weather event or something major happened in the news.

With Brookline, I printed out monthly calendars where I included all event info and when things happened. The series is set in the early 90s, so the calendar in that form reminded me of an actual sorority event calendar. I included all sorority events, when school breaks would be, if/when characters met, major holidays and birthdays etc.


Pictures that look like how I envision a character, or it’s the right model of car etc really help me visualize. Things I find online go into my Pinterest account – either the public board for each book, or a private one that will eventually become public (especially if it’s for an upcoming book). Any pictures I find in magazines I cut out and keep in the pockets of the Note Tote. It’s handy to be able to refer to a photo to describe something.

Handwritten? Typed? Digital? Analog?

All of the above! Typing it up and uploading to Google Docs allows me to share it with my editor and co-writer. A printed copy goes in the Note Tote. Having the majority type helps, especially with my terrible handwriting.

Additional info will be added by hand. If I’m away from home I can access digital versions and keep those updated as well.

For me, I really needed a physical copy to leaf through. It helps me organize what notes are actually important and I want to use vs doing general research before I settle on something.

You may want to do it all by hand, online only or just in Word. If you like having it available online, check out Google Docs, Evernote and Microsoft One Note for accessing it on multiple devices. Dropbox is also a great way to backup/access the file from other places.

In closing …

A story bible can contain whatever you most need it to. Include anything from a descriptions of each person’s pets to detailed instructions on how to take an engine apart.

I highly recommend series writers create a story bible to help keep continuity. Hopefully you’ve had a little bit of fun peeking into my 1990s throwback style one =)










Sin City Promos Roundup

I had some great Sin City promos since the release, and I’m playing catch-up on the blog after a few busy weeks. Here’s a breakdown of some websites that featured Sin City over the last month.

Sin City Promos


Oct 24 – ARC reviewer On Two Feet reviewed the book on their blog and at Goodreads. Thanks so much!

Nov 1 – I did a guest blog post at Urban Book Reviews on Research in Las Vegas and preparing to write Sin City. Thanks to Urban Book Reviews for the opportunity – I really enjoyed writing the article. Any chance to talk about Las Vegas!

Nov 7Sin City was reviewed by the Genre Minx. The reviews also appear on Goodreads, Amazon and LibraryThing. Thanks so much for your review!

Nov 7Sin City was a Weekly Featured read at Quiet Fury Books. We really appreciate it!

Dec 2 – I did an interview with The Writing Greyhound. Thank you for the interview.

Sin City also has a page on TVTropes. There are no plot spoilers visible. Also, sorry, you’re about to lose hours of your time on that site lol.

I have a few more things in the works, and I’ll post about them as soon as I can. Thanks to everyone who has purchase Sin City and reviewed it. If you have your copy, please think about leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads.


Sin City available now in print and ebook

Sin City Available Now!

Find it on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iTunes and more

Sin City available for purchase

Sin City available now in print and ebook, so check below for links to purchase or visit the Sin City book page.

Digital Versions:

Amazon Kindle US

Lulu epub
Apple iBookstore

Digital versions sell for $4.99 USD, and prices are converted from US dollars for other locations, but Canadians can get the book for $4.99 CAD at Amazon and Kobo.

Print Versions:

Amazon Paperback ($14.95 USD)

Lulu Trade Paperback ($14.95 USD)
Lulu Hardcover ($23.95 USD)

Canadians can buy via Lulu, as Amazon’s KDP Print program does not yet publish to There are often great coupon codes on Lulu for free shipping or discounts on books, so don’t hesitate to contact me for the latest coupon code.




Sin City Blurb

Read the Sin City blurb here!

Sin City is being released November 1st, I’ve shared the cover, and now it’s time for the “back of the book” blurb.

Las Vegas, 1966.

There are parts of Sin City the neon lights don’t reach, and only the desperate and dangerous venture into the city’s seedy backstreets, where gangsters rule, the floating poker games never stop, and people disappear without a trace.

Ruby Gordon is desperate. She has nowhere else to go when her brother opens his home to her. He runs an off-the-books juke joint, and she is fascinated by the most dangerous – and handsome – of his clientele.

Tim Kelly is dangerous. His father never achieved notoriety with the Chicago Outfit, but Tim has aspirations to strike out on his own. He has plans, and they don’t include a naive newcomer.

Jake Wheeler is both. The Airman-turned-rodeo-rider is as gorgeous as he is foul-tempered, and he’s Tim’s not-so-friendly rival. When he notices Tim’s interest in Ruby, he’s determined to derail Tim’s plans.

The three of them are on a collision course, but there’s only one rule in Vegas: The house always wins.


This crime/love story novel will be for sale in print and ebook format everywhere. Print ($14.95 USD) and ebook ($4.99 USD).






Review: Jinhao X450 Fountain Pen

The Jinhao X450 is an entry-level fountain pen from a Chinese manufacturer. These are well-made pens with metallic bodies, plastic grips, and solid snap caps. I started using fountain pens when writing Sin City, and I love the ranges of ink colours as well as the fact my hand doesn’t tire as easily.

Jinhao X450 blue marble

The pattern pictures is my X450 in blue marble. Jinhao pens all come with M nibs. Stock nibs can be hit or miss – I’ve had some amazingly smooth ones and some scratchy, misaligned ones.

Because you might end up with a bad nib, it’s worth it to invest in a higher quality nib. The Jinhao X450 (and the X750) take #6 size nibs, which are a common size. Goulet Pens sells their own Jowo nibs in EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm and 1.5mm stub. They come in three finishes – black, gold, and silver. The nibs are all steel and are easy to swap out as they are friction fit. Using one in the Jinhao gives you a really solid writer, so I highly recommend a third party nib if you get a bad stock one.

My favourite detail on the X450 are finger grips. Slightly indented areas on the grip help you orient the pen correctly. Some people hate these features (the Lamy Safari/Al-Star also have finger grips), but I love them. If you aren’t a fan of the finger grips, the Jinhao X750 is very similar to this pen in style, but doesn’t have the finger grip section.

Another great feature of the Jinhao X450 is the colour range. From black to white, red, green, blue, and patterns like this marble, there are a good range of pen styles to suit everyone. They are also incredibly affordable – you can order these for under $10 – and many are on eBay for under $5 with free shipping worldwide.

I’ve owned 4 of these pens, and only got rid of some due to needing to pare down my collection. I highly recommend them for fountain pen newbies. The strong construction makes them a better option than many cheap plastic pens.

The Verdict

In conclusion, the Jinhao is a great beginner pen for someone that wants a metal pen that is still affordable. I highly recommend it as an entry-level pen.





Sin City Release Announcement and Cover Reveal

The Sin City release is coming soon!

Release Date

I shared this information with my newsletter a little while ago, so now it’s time to share with everyone else. Sin City will be released on November 1st, 2016!

It will be available in print and ebook format. The book is already listed on Goodreads, so please add it as a To Read.

Cover Reveal

Sin City Release

The cover was designed by J Caleb Design. It captures the feeling of the 1960s and Las Vegas.

My excitement is growing for everyone to read it. For more exclusive info on releases, discount codes and freebies, as well as contest announcements, join my mailing list. If you sign up now, you’ll receive a FREE ebook copy of Brookline University: Freshman Year.