Promoting Your Book – and More

Hello Friends!! I’m so freakin’ excited – John and I are finally out apartment hunting! Yay! We’ll be moving soon, so today I’m sharing more links and posts that might be helpful for you. Some might be helpful only if you’re self-publishing or thinking about doing so. Others will be helpful for any writer. Enjoy!

A great article by agent Rachelle Gardner about using Goodreads: “Goodreads: 8 Things Writers Should Know”

A story that many writers dream will be their own story one day: A Modern Day Fairy Tale by Jennifer Probst

This looks like it’s a Christian epublisher: BelieversPress

Another article from John Locke about how he created his success: “An Army of Authors and Friends”

This is a helpful article on figuring out what you need to spend in your self-publishing venture:”Epubbing on a Budget” on WG2E (The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing)

And here’s a great article on making your book cover: “The Making of a Bestselling eBook Cover” on WG2E by Jen Talty of Who Dares Wins Publishing

Another cool – and free – educational tidbit I like to partake of is the Booklist webinar. They have all different kinds of topics. Next month, they have one called Picture These: What’s New with Graphic Novels. You can register here. Booklist webinars are at a set time and you dial in via a “meeting” site. You listen to the speakers and watch their slideshow presentation. You can take notes, but later you’ll get an email with a link to the archives where you can watch the video of the whole thing again. Here is a listing of all their upcoming webinars. You can sign up to get an email letting you know about new webinars. That’s what I do.

Remember when iBooks Author software ¬†came out and there was a big hubbub about the terms and conditions? It read like you couldn’t put your book on any retail site except for iBooks. I spoke to an Apple Store employee who said that the “upgrade” to iBooks Author is only a change to the terms and conditions to better explain what you are and aren’t allowed to do. If I understood correctly, what the terms and conditions were trying to convey is that the software only creates a file that uploads to iBooks. To upload your books to other sites, you simply have to use other software. Apparently, that’s all it was saying. I’m going to download the software and check out the T&C. I’ll try to remember to let you know what I find out. Let us know here in the comments if you’ve already checked!

Another interesting article on self-publishinig sales from author Gemma Halliday.

Read more about how The Hunger Games did their social media promotion. It might give you some ideas for promoting your own books.

I haven’t watched this yet, but I love the Pixar story team, and this is a TED talk by Andrew Stanton from Pixar on crafting great stories.

Interested in Amazon’s KDP Select program? Here is one self-published author’s explanation on how it worked for her. Or more to the point, how it didn’t work.

And finally, three suggestions from my friend Kathleen, co-author of Dog Daze, book one of The S.A.V.E. Squad. She and I both use Scrivener, and here are some useful¬†templates from Mel Corbett. Kathleen put a QR (Quick Response) code on her business card, which I thought was totally cool! Here is an article by Athena Grayson explaining QR codes and how you can use them. Just in case you don’t visit this site very often, here is a reminder to bookmark it. Daily Cheap Reads is a site with all kinds of books listed to highlight some of the many potentially good ebooks selling for under $5. I’m pretty sure there is always at least one free ebook listed as well.

A New Routine – Schedules and Budgets

Since I’m going to self-publish my novel Little Miss Lovesick next month, I’m doing a lot of reading and research on all the things that need to be done. In Zoe Winters’ book, Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author, she suggests that authors remember they are running a business.

My little business school heart sang when I read that. She’s so right, but often creative people ignore the business side of things. What we all need to remember is that it doesn’t need to be difficult. A little bit of planning and organization is better than none at all.

For instance, the first quick budget only took me about half an hour (after I did the research, maybe two to three hours altogether). Looks like I’ll be able to publish the ebook version of my book for under $600. I’ll create a 2012 budget that will include the costs of contacting an attorney to decide about the form of business I want to use, forming an LLC, buying ISBNS, and the expenses involved in self-publishing two or more additional books.

The production schedule seemed more difficult for me. (Isn’t figuring out how long it will take us to write the next book difficult for lots of writers?) So I broke it down into parts. The first part includes just getting Little Miss Lovesick up for sale. I broke that down into a list of what all needs to get done for the book to be ready to publish. I figured out when I’ll need to decide for certain on the cover art, when I’ll need the completed cover, when I’ll need the final polish and copy edits done, etc. My production schedule will be tweaked as I use it, which will make the schedule for the next book more accurate.

For the second section of the production schedule, I have a rough idea of what needs to be done when for the next book to be completed. I have an idea for the covers in a series of related books, and I’ve planned a photo shoot with some friends to create the photo art for all the books over a weekend. I’ll revise this schedule based on how I do with Little Miss Lovesick, see if I have a good idea of how long things will take.

And of course, since John is almost done with Happy Feet 2, I have to plan the time it takes to pack and move into that schedule. We don’t know yet if John’s next job will be in Australia, New Zealand or back in America, but I know how long it’s taken in the past to make an intercontinental move so I’ll use that for now.

Why a production schedule when I don’t have a contract from an outside company forcing me to complete my work on time? Because it’s part of creating a successful business. And that’s what I want. It’s not necessary for every writer; we all have different goals for our writing. But if you’re serious about turning your writing into your paying day job, it’s something you need.