Posts Tagged With: Self-Publish

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

Blog tours

I’m still figuring out what blog tours are and how to use them. To help jumpstart my education, I’ve signed up for Novel Publishing Group’s Blog Tour hosting program. http://www.novelpublicity.com/tour/apply/ I met one of their authors who also does book PR, Emlyn Chand, on BookBlogs and thought it would be a good idea to jump into this. I can see that my book publicity is lacking and I need to see some well-done book promos to see how I can improve!

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The Real Reason

So, the real reason I am blogging is to promote my writing, make it pay for itself at least, and help all you guys out there who are in the same position as me or not as far along. The thing is, that all my reasearch and blogging and developing a market for my books is taking time away from…guess what? Writing books. So today I am reminding myself and you to stop putting off your writing with endless blogging and research and WRITE! So there.

Categories: Self-Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Marketing on Amazon by Brian Kittrell

I just breezed through the short but sweet ebook Marketing on Amazon by Brian Kittrell. Most of it is stuff I have already read before and posted here, but there were two good nuggets in there I haven’t heard of before.

The first is Tagging on Amazon. Here is the link about that and how to do it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=16238571&qid=1318963174&sr=1-1 Writers will want all their friends to tag their books.

The second is yet another place to get your book reviewed, but this one looks like a biggie: http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ “The Midwest Book Review is an organization of volunteers committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing.” You can also ask them to add your website to their site network.

If you want to read the book yourself, go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/37429

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tag Surfing! Posts I liked:

I use the Tag surfer to connect with other bloggers on WordPress, and it works pretty well!

I liked:

I read lots of others and commented too, but these have new information I haven’t posted and fit what I am discussing in my blog: writing and self-publishing.

Categories: Self-Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

BookBlogs

I’ve been accepted in to http://bookblogs.ning.com/ and I’m just starting to learn what it’s about. There is a great format for requesting book reviews. You can post your book info and reviewers can comb through it themselves and contact you. We’ll see if this produces any results. Otherwise, bookblogs seems like a Facebook for readers and writers to share about books. It isn’t as upscale as Goodreads but it seems to be less complicated. You also have to request membership and be accepted, rather than just sign up and go. My acceptance took 2 days to go through.

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

More Promotions!

A Promotional Tote for The Disenchanted Pet

Canvas Tote

Promotions!
This is a bag I made for the first person to post a review on Amazon for me! (Thanks again Allison!) The iron-on transfer didn’t work perfectly on canvas. I’m going to try to fill in the little gaps in the design and that should help. Those iron-on transfers aren’t as simple as the directions would lead you to believe.
T-shirt

I Heart My SaSa Tee

The Tee worked much better and cleaner. It seems this type of transfer was made for cotton tees. This was my alternate idea for the bags but my reviewer wanted the tote anyway.

Bookmark
Bookmark

 

Last is a bookmark I made with white ribbon and one of the test bits I printed to fill up the transfer sheet. It transferred fine but it affected the shape of the ribbon. I think I would like it better with bigger text and a vertical design. I will mess around with that later because this thing is a pain in the butt and took several hours. I think I bent my ironing board too.

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More Advice That Is Priceless and Free

Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords and owner of Dovetail Public Relations has a free ebook on marketing for self-published authors. Surprisingly, it is called Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. Go figure!

Definitely, this is an excellent read  full of meaty, juice information for po’ little authors like me.  http://www.smashwords.com/books/download/305/1/latest/0/0/smashwords-book-marketing-guide.pdf

He pointed out an important fact: Your webpage shows up in searches based on its links to other sites and other sites’ links to it, as well as how many people travel there. One big goal is to increase traffic and therefore increase visibility in an exponential way.

Here is my new list of things to do after reading his guide:

  1. Update my email signature to include my web addresses (His reasoning is that we all send lots of emails and replies and should use that to our advantage. He suggests your blog site, any sites where your book is sold, and a webpage if you have one.)
  2. Add the community pages I use to include my web addresses
  3. Updste myTtwitter profile to include my web addresses
  4. Update my Smashwords profile to include my Twitter address (There is a special list on Smashwords of Twitter users with increased visibility)
  5. Write a press release (Scary!)
  6. Participate in HARO (Help a Reporter Online) with my particular expertise (Aliens in the future…yeah…)
  7. Hold a limited coupon promotion on one or more sites: on Smashwords (garnered 200 buys in his example), on the blog, on http://kindleboards.com, or other promotion sites.
  8. Include the promotion on these sites (good links!) www.freeonlinenovels.com , http://online-novels.blogspot.com , www.getfreebooks.com , http://blog.booksontheknob.org , http://ereader.freebies.blogspot.com , www.bookbarista.com

Thank you, Mark for your fabulous advice, since I can’t use your promotion services! I’m passing it on because marketing tips to authors (poor) should be free!

Oh. Now I have to DO all these. Gah!

Categories: Resources, Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Advertizing My Book

I got some great ideas the other day from Penguin’s author guide to publicity. Reading it has made me glad (again) that I decided to self-publish to start because if I had tried to submit to publishers and was successful, I would lose rights to my book AND be forced to promote my own book just as I am doing now anyway. I can see now why traditional publishing is losing to self-publishing.

Anyway! One of them was to advertize on craigslist, and I finally published a cragslist ad! http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bks/2644389960.html

I thought about the Wikipedia and actually pulled up the page, but the formatting class you have to go through was too overwhelming for today. There is etiquitte and formatting tricks and a whole scary tutorial about how to do it right. I will, but not today. I have to build up my courage first.

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

Ideas from Penguin Author’s Guide

I am in the middle of Penguin’s Author’s Guide to Marketing. http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pdf/misc/penguin_authors_guide_to_online_marketing_summer_2008.pdf

Here is the meat I got from it so far:
1. You need a web presence preferably before you release your book. (check!)
2. You can advertize your book on Craigslist.
3. You can place yourself on Wikipedia (Cool/Intimidating!)

Also, some techie advice from my techie husband: You can’t use the same information on all your submissions and profiles or you will be marked online and disqualified from notice. You can re-use your stuff but don’t make it just the same. Profile info should be a bit different for each profile unless they specifically ask that it be the same as your book. If you’re blogging, refer to one blog in the other, but don’t copy wword-for-word. Summarize and link to the original. Shoot, I have some work to do now.

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

A Wealth of Information on SPR

My continuing search for resources for marketing brought me to SPR today! http://selfpublishingresources.com/ It is chock-full of self-publishing, writing, and marketing advice for self-publishing authors! I haven’t yet combed it thoroughly, but I can tell that it is going to be a huge help! Check it out!

Also–if you are a blogger with your own self-publishing story or site filled with advice, I’d love to link to your site. I will actually read your site and decide for myself whether it is link material or not, but I can’t link you if I don’t know you exist! You know you wanna comment…

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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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Learning from Smashwords

I just published through Smashwords and I love their style guide! http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52 Even if you aren’t planning on publishing through them, I’d recommend going through this guide if you plan on publishing ebooks. (Once I’m sure I have it right through Smashwords, I’m going to update my Kindle book with my Smashwords submission.) The guide is full of great tips about what makes a good ebook and why, so you don’t feel like you’re beating up your manuscript for nothing. It looks so professional and cool when you’re done! It’s like a detailing job for your ebook. Good stuff!

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