Posts Tagged With: Publish

Tag surfin’! Tag-tag surfin’!

They should really call it “Tag Fishing” because it is like finding some that are whoppers, some that are minnows, and some old boots.

Here are my faves from today:

http://timzimmermann.com/2011/10/28/the-publishing-revolution-in-one-table/ I love the hard evidence, and I’m encouraged that though I am not making wads of money, the odds are in my favor. This one was short but fat with goodness.

Also there is a long one but interesting http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/are-successful-writers-just-lucky/ Maybe this one is an eel. I liked her progression through the book writing process to fame.

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Premium Distribution on Smashwords!

It’s a small achievement, but I finally tweaked my ebook version to qualify for premium distribution on Smashwords! As I’ve said before, they have a great formatting guide and have a lot of good advice and tips about good ebooks. Lets see if this increases my sales, as they claim it will…

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Making a Trailer!

Yes, I finally gave into the pressure to produce a trailer, worked out how I would do a trailer for my book, researched it, and am mostly done (translated “waiting for someone else to email me something”).

Here is my recipe for creating a trailer:

  • First, I downloaded Microsoft live Movie Maker for FREE. It’s part of Windows Live Essentials: http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials?lc=1033 It was disgustingly easy to use and dummy-friendly. It was fun, and you just plunk everything in there with the “Insert photo” button. You can add effects and text and everything right there and export it in multiple formats.
  • Then I spent hours and hours finding photos for my trailer. Literally. Hours and hours. These are the kind of hours and hours where you say, “Hey! How can it be 7:30 already?!!?” It is VERY important that you find royalty-free photos, unless you want to get sued or pay royalties.
  • I came up with three sites where I got my photos: http://www.sxc.hu/ Has a selection of free and paid photos. For the free photos you must check and see below the pic whether the photographer wants credit or permission to use their photos. I just picked ones that wanted neither. The paid photos on SXC redirect you to istockphoto (below).
  • http://www.dreamstime.com/ These are also paid and free photos, but the free ones are really free and don’t require that you check the photographer’s permissions. The paid photos are about the same price as istockphoto’s paid photos. Both sites require you to purchase points or a subscription to buy their photos. DON’T BE FOOLED. Each photo does NOT cost only one point.
  • and http://www.istockphoto.com/ This is only paid photos. Their subscription is (at the time I wrote this) $18.99 for 12 points, which bought me 2 medium-sized photos and one large. The pics do NOT cost one point each, and two that I did not buy cost 30 points!!! If you can find them free, use those. Totally.
  • I encountered a problem finding a picture of people fighting. All the stock photo of people fighting is cheesy ham shots of men in business suits punching at each other or boxers. I needed a brawl. http://ectopicleiron.blogspot.com/2011/01/fist-fight.html was where I found one, and after extensive searching with no clue as to where the pic came from, I decided to go for it. There were no other choices, really. If this is your blog and I’ve stolen your photo, please contact me for an apology and to let me know if I can use your photo for my trailer. When I tried to comment on the post and ask you that way, it said I wasn’t allowed.
  • For music, I just emailed my dad, the composer with a Masters in music. (You should do that too. It’s really easy and cheap.) But if your dad isn’t a composer, you can contact mine: cdbarker@comcast.net . It won’t necessarily be so cheap for you, I’m afraid. Sorry!
  • If you need free music immediately, you impatient thing, go to this beautiful site: http://www.seabreezecomputers.com/tips/freemusic.htm. I particularly liked their link, http://www.soundclick.com/business/license_list.cfm and found a song there in case Dad didn’t have anything. (But he did. Neener.) WARNING: there is a lot of kooky stuff on musopen. Don’t worry, though, your music isn’t one of the kooky ones, user of musopen who is reading this post. It’s all those other people’s music that is kooky.

And, really all the rest was tweaking the text and pictures and music and stuff (incredibly easy but time-consuming) with Movie Maker. As soon as it is ready, I’ll put it up here and you’ll see if you want to follow my recipe for a trailer or not…

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Goodreads is Good!

OK. I know I have posted 3 times today, but I have to tell you about GoodReads! They are a great resource for self-published authors. There are tons of resources and a whole new medium for self-promotion and marketing. They are fast too. They set my author site up right away. www.goodreads.com You have to sign up, even if you aren’t an author yet, or never will be and just love books. I feel embarrassed that I didn’t see this site sooner!

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Amazon is up! The Disenchanted Pet is in paperback!

Here is the link to The Disenchanted Pet in paperback on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1463750803?ie=UTF8&tag=httpkatepoliw-20&linkCode=shr&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=1463750803&redirect=true&ref_=sr_1_2&qid=1317684604&sr=8-2&creativeASIN=1463750803

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Self-publishing Resources Should Be Free!

I was looking up some marketing ideas, so I’ll post them here for you. There are tons of them, but here are some with good ideas/ideas I hadn’t heard of before:

http://askville.amazon.com/ways-advertise-market-self-published-book-online-neighborhood/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=5572327

http://holly-stacey.suite101.com/promoting-a-selfpublished-book-a122124

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/community/resources/marketing_your_work?view=blog

These are good lists of things to do for marketing a self-published book. Truthfully, some of these sound less pleasent than going to the dentist, but an author’s gotta do what an author’s gotta do.

And here are some more good links I found while cleaning up my “Favorites”!

How to self-publish well (good stuff!):

http://thespectacleblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/how-to-self-publish-well/

What is a virtual book tour? How do I do it?

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1008

Self-pub.net’s list, making this a list within a list:

http://www.self-pub.net/

All of these were good resources for me as a self-publisher. Marketing is so scary and this thing is so complicated that any filter you can get, such as a kind bloggers site with links, is wonderful. And it should all be free because we authors almost always start with nothing.

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The Disenchanted Pet in Paperback!

The Disenchanted Pet is now available on CreateSpace in Paperback form! https://www.createspace.com/3657962

It will also be availble on Amazon in 3-5 days, if you prefer that!

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Loving Amazon Associates!

I have to say that Amazon Associates ROCKS! I get paid to advertise my own book, something I would be doing anyway. Anybody selling their own stuff on Amazon NEEDS to sign up with Amazon Associates. (They already have all your info anyway.) https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/join/getstarted_eighth?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_t=501&ref_=amb_link_7464442_3&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=&pf_rd_s=assoc-center-10&pf_rd_r=&pf_rd_i=assoc_join_getstarted_seventh

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The Disenchanted Pet is “In Review” on Amazon!

I’ve posted the Kindle version of my book, The Disenchanted Pet and it will be up in 24 hours! Only 99 cents! I love and believe in the 99 cent ebook.
Links to follow as soon as they exist!

There was a lot of formatting work and messing around, partly because I didn’t know what I was doing. I downloaded the KindleGen converter and the Kindle Previewer, messed with those endlessly, and finally was happy with it. Then I discovered a button below the file upload section that said “preview submission”. DUR!

Now to screw up in the CreateSpace submission process…

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Contracts. EEK!

I know that they are necessary and good, but contracts scare me. There is so much in them and so much that could be hidden in there or left out when it is needed. Also your language could be less specific than it needs to be. Anyway I still do them because even though everybody is nice and reasonable, misunderstandings occur and contracts protect everybody.

When I wanted one for my cover artists so that we all could keep things clear, it was really really hard to find. I could find plenty of lawyer-ish blogs about how to write one, but I don’t know how to do that! I just wanted a sample form letter-type contract that I could adjust and print. I ended up finding one on another author’s site and re-writing it for my own purposes. http://www.vajraenterprises.com/artcontract1.htm Thank You, Brian King and Vajra Enterprises, for posting this for us, the unprepared and inexperienced. I took this (Copy, Paste) and pared it down, taking out his name and company name, removing the conditions that didn’t apply to me and my artists, and then putting in my own.

It is kind of amazing that it is SO hard to get a plain old hard copy of something. Email makes us lazy! Erik, one of the artist dynamic duo, came here to use our camera and we didn’t even remember about the contract. All the more reason to get together and grill!

 

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Getting Here In The First Place

I mentioned my “Think Tank” in a previous post, and I wanted to go a little more in-depth on what that has been for me. I simply emailed and Facebooked some friends and family off of whom I mercilessly bounced my ideas. Some bounced back, some did not, and some bounced back a whole lot. I have the scars to prove it! (Just kidding…) They were invaluable in pointing out problems and asking me questions about all the nonsense I wrote. For The Disenchanted Pet, I emailed the poor wretches every chapter as I finished it. In hindsight, that was super annoying. For How To Win Friends and Influence Magicians, I plan to email the whole chunk once it is done and then ask.

Either way, they helped me hammer out the gross, slimy lumps in my story, and I got the idea to do it from a useful article online, which I can’t now locate. Sorry! The article suggested 4 to 6 trusted people who like writing and reading and who enjoy reading things in the genre you are writing. (This last one is important if you want them to finish it! I chose a few family members who couldn’t finish it or didn’t have anything to say because they didn’t have any experience with those kinds of books.)

I will give you a link or two about book cover design as a consolation. I supplied these to my wonderful cover artists, Heidi and Erik Barnett, and they did an amazing job on my cover art!

The links are for AuthorHouse’s Resources on Book Marketing, specifically Book Covers:

http://www.authorhouse.com/AuthorResources/Design.aspx

 

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This is the way we write the book, write the book, write the book…

Writing is a newly acknowledged obsession in my life. Before I got my laptop, which makes it possible to organize my kookoo thought process, I wouldn’t have been able to finish a book. I NEVER said I wanted to be a writer when I was a kid and it was a complete surprise to me. I was generally a Jack-of-all-arts-and-crafts until I had too many kids to do most of them. The survivor of Kate’s Great Arts and Crafts Drought was the writing and it stuck. This is how I became a writer. It helps me to stay sane and distance myself for a time from the chaos. I have a love/hate relationship with each one of my ideas which helps me decide what to continue writing.

I wrote my Faq page and got a little nuts about how I write a story, but it got way too long so I summarized it there. This is the whole thing:

1.   Ideas I have an idea and I NEED to write it down as soon as possible. They end up as several sentences to several paragraphs in my Microsoft One Note “Writing Ideas” tab. (I am in love with One Note.) I can’t really count all of these. It goes down somehow in whatever detail my inspiration can endure. In my basement are around 15 notebooks and journals with snippets of my writing. I use journals when I need the tactile sensation of writing, but they all get transcribed onto my laptop now so they are safe from houshold hazards (my kids). At one time many of these were used for bible study notes or as actual journals (haw haw).

2.  Documents The ideas I love get attention and grow to several pages and more. They become a Word document. There are over 100. I switch around higgledy-piggledy as inspiration strikes, loving and hating them randomly. Some of these I still won’t even think of publishing for any number of reasons. I love to try to smash themt together to get a different story altogether. When I realized that I was a writer, I greedily searched for and gathered all of these snippets I could find all over my house and amassed them onto my computer. I felt like I was hoarding treasures (one man’s trash and all).

3.Developed Documents Ideas most interesting to me get further attention and get their own tab in my “Kate’s Stories” Notebook in One Note. Some of these also have a folder full of Word documents with revisions and re-writes. A few have several ideas that I mash together successfully to make a few stories. All of these, I plan to finish and publish. There are 12 right now. There is no rhyme or reason to this, just how I feel. When they reach several chapters with most of the story already planned out in my head, they get their own tab in Microsoft One Note. These guys are worthy of completion according to the Kate-o-meter. All of these have their own Word document and some have a folder. A few of my stories have been heavily revised or rewritten. Others are conglomerations of snippets that go well together and form their own story together.

4. Manuscripts Finally I choose a special one and write it from beginning to end (usually in the summer) and it gets combed over until I feel confident, then given to my “Think Tank”–friends who love reading who give me excellent feedback and some editing. I got the advice to do this from a website (http://jaynie2000.hubpages.com/hub/Publishing-Tips-for-First-Time-Authors)  and it is A+ advice. Facebook polls gave me a lot of good feedback. Based on those, the votes of my Think Tank, and my own estimation of what is publication-worthy at the moment (which means I don’t hate it today), I choose one to work on. Last summer and this summer I “pounded out” the story, getting all the bones put together and making sure the whole tale is all written out. This is hard because I am fickle and frequently get disgusted with a story and want to delete the whole thing. I don’t, because I know it would make me sad later, but I still want to.

5. Published Book I haven’t reached this stage yet, but as soon as my editor is done and my cover artists have finished their work, I will! This step has taken longer than I estimated, but then again usually when you hand something over to others you need patience. I am also a disgustingly positive person, and so one week didn’t seem like an impossible time frame for them to finish. Oddly enough, I have a solid practical side that only chuckles at my positive side and how naive it was to think this wouldn’t take all summer. So I blog and dream of the day when my editing and my cover jpg shows up in my email inbox and I can PUBLISH!

I am fully aware that this is complete TMI but I don’t care. This is my blog :P.

Nyah Nyah!

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting…

What do I do when I am waiting on other people? Research, publicize, network, encourage the people who have what you are waiting for, and write MORE STUFF,! I already have my next book in the works. There is no need to wait around cooling my heels since there is so much to do between now and PUBLISHING DAY! My new pen name email address is filling up with delicious traffic from all the research blogs to which I am subscribing. I am meeting new authors all the time and helping current author friends to all the juicy information I am finding.

Here is a tidbit for you! This one helped me figure out about pricing. I am a big proponent of the cheap ebook. Everybody should be able to read it and not think twice about the price since it is so small!

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2009/06/amazon-kindle-numbers.html

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Self-publishing Checklist

My chores list for self-publishing my book (X indicates finished):

  1. Write the book (this took 5 months but it was bare-bones)  X
  2. Get 6 or more friends to read the manuscript and give me feedback and work the book over (8 months) X
  3. Find an editor and give her the manuscript–I posted a request on Facebook and a social website and found several within a few hours! Thanks Kathleen and Kathryn! X
  4. Find a cover artist–my social website was full of these guys and I found two great artists who are working as a team on my cover. I can’t wait to see what you are cooking up Heidi and Erik! X
  5. Choose a pen name X
  6. Establish an email address, a WordPress site, a Facebook profile, and Twitter account for my pen name and a Facebook profile for my book.(3 days) X
  7. Sign up on CreateSpace with my pen name and new email. X
  8. Work with my cover artists to fine-tune the cover. X
  9. Once my editor has finished, implement her changes to my manuscript. X (This took a lot longer than I thought. I reccommend having a deadline whether or not you need your book quickly.)
  10. Finalize contracts with my editor and cover artists. X
  11. Publish my book on CreateSpace. CreateSpace provides an ISBN number for my book. X (Complicated and easy at the same time!)
  12. Register my copyright at http://copyright.gov/ . This can be done online and there is a small fee. X (Still have to mail in a copy.)
  13. Publicity, publicity, publicity. (This is what the WordPress site and Facebook profile are for!)
  14. Submit my book to popular book blogs for them to review.
  15. Possibly publish my book on additional publishing sites.
  16. Resarch appropriate websites and expand my web presence for publicity.

Here is a great checklist (simpler than mine) and a comprehensive website about self-publishing complete with extra services you can buy if any of this is too much for you.

http://www.self-publishing-coach.com/self-publishing-books.html

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Self Publishing: What now?

So once I decided to self-publish what did I do first? I researched a whole lot. There are countless blogs and websites all about self-publishing. There are even books published on self-publishing! Don’t worry, though. There are plenty of people out there who are more than willing to give you all that information (and opinion) for free.

Also I found a great suggestion from a blogger: get 6 “booky” friends/family to look over your book before you turn it loose on the public. I have a bunch of people that I bug all the time and forward endless revisions of my book. I call them my “Think Tank” because I love stupid labels. One of my Think Tank has even been inspired to start her own book!

An important bit of advice that I really appreciated was to have any book EDITED before it is ever seen in public. That means publishers also. Some people recommended that you find your own editor, rather than relying on one from whatever company you decide to publish with.

Finding an editor was insanely easy! I posted on Facebook and on another large community website I am part of, and I found two editors within 24 hours. One of them was a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a while. I now have the opportunity to employ and promote a friend while promoting my own work! I am working on this for my cover art also. These are two things that I am willing to spend money on, even at the beginning (and totally unprofitable) stage of my writing.

Here is my link for this post:

http://www.wikihow.com/Self-Publish-a-Book

See: everybody wants to give you free tips on how to self-publish–even Wiki-How. I am going to go the lowest-cost route with my first book. Even though I am aiming strictly for the web-publishing market, there are fantastic tips in every article I have found. Don’t miss them by focusing only on the ones that fit your intended market.

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , ,

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