Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

KDP–Kindle Direct Publishing–I Tried It for Self-Publishing

Yes, I tried it. I published my short story, The Good Neighbors, on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) using my pen name, J.Q. Rose. I am not a guru when it comes to formatting, so I was really nervous about getting it right. I learned a LOT about formatting. I think the short story, 4000 words, was a good one for the first (and last?) project because there were no chapter headings to worry about formatting or any need to add hyperlinks to them.

The most difficult problem for me was to come up with a book cover. I am not satisfied with this one…pretty amateurish, but I wanted to clue readers into the idea that it is a funny, holiday story. And hey, selling a book for 99 cents doesn’t leave any cash to pay an artist to design a book cover. Since the same characters are in this story as in my e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, I wanted to connect the two stories.  I did that by choosing a flamingo. Two flamingos are on the cover of Sunshine.

 

Actually the process is very simple for a short story anyway. After I pubbed it, I discovered a ridiculous, obvious error, so I re-pubbed it with no problem after fixing the error. I was also amazed the story showed up within 24 hours for sale on amazon.

The story features characters, Jim and Gloria Hart, from my mystery e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, published in March from Muse It Up Publishing. I hope to use it as a promotional tool to garner interest in Sunshine Boulevard.  I am donating the royalties from the story to local food pantries. The story is only 99 cents, so not much income for donations, but I’ll just throw the change into the pot to add to my monthly donation to our  local food pantry.

Check out my humorous story, The Good Neighbors on amazon. While you’re there, discover Sunshine Boulevard on amazon or at the Muse It Up Publishing bookstore and major online booksellers.

Let me know about your experience with self-pubbing on KDP.

Happy New Year 2012!!

 

Promotion and Marketing a Book–Which One for You?

Since Muse It Up Publishing published my e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, in March this year, and even before the release date, I have furiously promoted the book and myself as J Q Rose. Or have I marketed or promoted the book? Which do you use to explain this absolutely exhausting experience after writing a book and then signing a contract?

In dictionary.com promotion is defined as encouraging the sale of a product by advertising or securing financial support. Marketing is defined as the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.

I don’t know why we always say promtion and marketing when they actually mean about the same thing. Either way an author has to do most of it unless you are a big name like Stephen King and we won’t even go there for J K Rowling.  The usual methods of promotion is an author website, blog connected to website or not, blogs for your book’s characters or book cover, join yahoo groups such as coffee time romance or your genre’s groups, your publisher’s author group and readers group if available, Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Good Reads or Shelfari….  I’m exhausted just looking at all the places to connect. This list does not include advertising in online or print magazines. Some ads are within my price range. But as in most promotion, the author has no idea if all the time and money, even reaped a sale. I also did not include press releases to your local hometown paper. Of course, an author can always rely on Aunt Fanny or you mom and family and friends to advertise for you by talking up your “fantastic” book.

Book trailers are very popular and are becoming more sophisticated in their production. I actually enjoyed creating mine.  Check out the Sunshine Boulevard trailer.

I tried an “e-signing” with two local authors who had print books for sale. They sold their books, but so many people do not understand e-books or the idea of how to order one. (Oh yes, I helped a neighbor download my e-book on the Internet. When we were in the middle of the process, she told me she couldn’t wait till the book came in the mail. I was flabbergasted. She had no concept, like so many others, of this new technology.)

The visitors at the signing who said they had a Kindle, etc took my business cards and post cards from the table, but I’ll never know how many actually ordered the e-book. I did have coupons from my publisher so that if someone wanted to purchase it that minute while I sat at the table, I could take her money and give her a code to use when ordering the book online at the publisher’s bookstore.  Ummm, yes very complicated and almost impossible for folks to understand in this setting, so I quit trying to explain it, especially if they already had an online account with an e-book retailer already established.

I am very excited that I have had the opportunity to publish a book and to go through all the steps needed to write, query, get the contract, and to experience the release date. In fact through the promotion I have met so many wonderful folks by being a guest on fellow authors’ blogs and to host authors on my blog.

I write this blog post as a cautionary tale. When sitting alone writing your book, I do not think the writer realizes the amount of work left to be done once the contract is signed and the book is published. To get your work into the reader’s hands, you must promote/market it. So be prepared for that extra duty.

After all is said and done, I know such a cliche, I would do it all again. Writing, publishing and selling my book has been a learning experience and a thrill enriching another chapter in my life.

Promotion takes a LOT of time especially when the book is launched. Once caveat I have learned too late is that most reviewers want to review the new releases. Once the book is over two months old, there are not many reviewers interested in talking about the book.

In fact, since March I have let all my works in progress (WIP) slack off. I have just begun to pick up and write again on a story and do research. (BTW the next mystery involves finding the church music director dead in the basement of the church.)

Speaking of Promotion–Here’s MORE shameless promotion!!  LOL

My e-book is available at Muse It Up Publishing Bookstore http://tinyurl.com/2c53noz

and Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/4czwr6h

and bn.com http://tinyurl.com/4442b94

 and major online booksellers.

J Q Rose Website http://www.jqrose.webs.com

J Q Rose Blog  http://www.jqroseauthor.blogspot.com

I always keep this info handy so it is easy to find. You should too when your book launches. Best wishes on your writing journey!

What are Agents, Editors, and Publishers Looking For?

The title of this post is borrowed from an informative article I read on the Muse It Up Publishing Blog. What DO Publishers and Editors and Agents want from a writer? If I could discover the secret to that mystery, I would be a rich person! The post on my publisher’s blog is informative and offers points for you, the writer, to look for when writing and then submitting. 

One point the author may have overlooked is luck. Yes, luck. Oprah defines luck as opportunity meeting preparation..something like that. When an email arrives saying a pub is looking for a certain kind of story, you may have the exact one they’ll want. You will be prepared to submit it because it’s been discussed with a critique partner, edited for grammar errors and spelling, and written in the format the publisher lays out in their guidelines. So that may be regarded as luck or as being in the right place at the right time.

I still believe in luck and a few prayers too….

http://museituppublishing.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-are-editorsagentspublishers.html?showComment=1300722694568#c3788388586645698614

What Makes a Great Publishing House?

How do you know what publishing house you should submit your work to? You have worked diligently to submit your best story you can write, so you need a publisher who cares about the author and is enthusiastic about the book business. You want someone who is experienced and connected to a publishing network.  You need a cheerleader on your side with editors who will gently shepherd your manuscript into a book with easy-to-read sentences/paragraphs, distinct point of view, correct grammar, and no spelling errors.

That sounds like a lot of points to check out before submitting, doesn’t it?  How do you, the author, find out about a publisher? If you find a book you like to read that is the same genre you write, try to contact the author and ask what her experience was with that publisher.  Talk to authors and  join forums such as the Writers Chatroom to see what the buzz is about a particular publisher. Preditors and Editors is a site with information on publishers.

Go to the publisher’s webpage and see the tone of the site. Cordial, friendly, or snarky and demanding? As a writer you will be able to get the feel of this publisher by checking through the site. Look at the cover art and decide if you would like your book cover to appear in their bookstore.

I believe publisher, editor, author Lea Schizas of Muse It Up Publishing sums up what a publishing house needs for a winning combination:

  •  a good writer’s voice/storyteller
  • an editor to partner with the writer
  • a cover artist who understands each book
  • readers who share in our glee and cheer us on

All the best wishes for success in submitting to a publisher. Oh yes, it’s a process with many rejections, re-writes, and lots of hope. Keep at it. Don’t give up.

I have been happy with the publishing process at Muse It Up. My mystery/horror ebook, Sunshine Boulevard, will be released March 1.

Damnation Books Purchases Fantasy Magazine, Realms of Fantasy

Warren Lapine, publisher of Realms of Fantasy Magazine and Kim Richards Gilchrist, CEO and co-owner of Damnation Books LLC announce the sale of Realms of Fantasy Magazine to Damnation Books LLC.

Fans of the largest fantasy magazine in the world will be pleased to know the December 2010 issue will go to print with the new ownership publishing the February 2011 issue. All subscriptions already paid for will be honored.

Future plans include continuing to produce the same quality fiction magazine in print and to expand digital editions for ebook and desktop readers. The April 2011 issue will be themed ‘dark fantasy’ to coincide with World Horror Convention 2011 where Damnation Books will be hosting a party, and a booth in the dealer’s area.

The June 2011 issue is the 100th issue of Realms of Fantasy Magazine. Plans for a larger ‘birthday bash’ issue are already in place to celebrate this milestone.

Effective immediately, the magazine is reopening to submissions. Information for submitting stories and art can be found on the Realms of Fantasy website   Advertising inquiries can also find information on the website or by writing to Realms of Fantasy.

The new mailing address is Realms of Fantasy; P.O. Box 1208; Santa Rosa, California 95402

For more information visit the press release

Do You Want to Self-Publish Your Book?

There are so many pros and cons when deciding to self-publish. Perhaps you are sick of querying publishers and getting rejections only.  Or you think why share the money with a publisher when I can have it all? Maybe you just want to publish something for your family and friends. If you have a niche market, you may have an audience who will buy your books.

Here is what I have learned:

If you want to self-publish fiction, I would suggest you exhaust all the list of publishers before making this decision. First be sure  your query letter is perfect! No spelling errors, punctuation problems, grammar goofs. Read the letter out loud to help determine if your sentence structure is awkward or lengthy. Target the correct publisher. If you have a sweet, romantic story, you do not want to query a publisher of dark horror.

Then when or if the rejection arrives, go over the letter and the story (you probably sent in the first three chapters) and work on improving every word and structure. If the rejection note makes suggestions, and most of them are impersonal, then re-write and re-send the story. The rejections can truly make you write a much better book.  BTW there are a ton of small presses now, not self-publishing companies, but ones that do not charge you a dime to publish your novel. Query the ones in your genre.

The reasons for going with a traditional publisher are many–no cost to the author, work with professional editors experienced in publlishing, support and help with promotion  from fellow authors, promotion/marketing to some degree, and distribution to so many more outlets than you can do on your own.

I understand how satisfying it would be to keep all the money from the sales of the book for yourself. But there are upfront costs for editing (which is mandatory), cover art (the real sales tool), ISBN number, formatting, etc. If you contract each one of these out to a professional, you will spend a lot of time working with the contractor, but even more time if you try and do it yourself.  You can sign up with a company that will do this for you, but you will definitely pay for the services. The author will have to sell a whole lotta books before being in the black. Sit down and study to get an idea of how much it will cost you.

If you spend $3000 to publish a book and it sells for $10.00 each, you will need to sell at least 300 just to pay for the services, not to mention the cost of the printing which should be between $2.00-$4.00 for black and white plus shipping and warehouse storage if you do not go with the more expensive print-on-demand (POD) book.

If you want to publish your book for family and friends, bless you for your generosity.

If you speak with groups or schools or attract readers with an online presence, you already have an audience for sales. This makes the most sense for deciding to self -publish. In fact many bloggers are turning their informative blogs focused on one topic into books.

The best advice is to do your homework. Check many, many self-publishing companies and compare their services. Take time to read a contract thoroughly. Know what you are signing.  Get out the pencil and paper (calculator) and scratch out the actual final total cost including everything. Self-publishing costs do add up.

Once you colect the information, make your decision to self-publish or go traditional. Best wishes for success!

The Future of the Book

 The possibilities of the future of books boggles my mind. What an exciting time to be a writer, publisher, reader. Click on this video to explore these concepts. Thanks to Nathan Bransford’s blog for opening my eyes to the fantastic, interactive future of the book.

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.