Posts Tagged ‘Sunshine Boulevard’

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!!

 

Creating a Book Trailer

Yes, you CAN create a book trailer, a helpful promotional tool for your print or e-book. The photos and music in the video convey the feeling of your novel. The text intrigues the viewer by telling just enough of the story to make the viewer want to know more. So you must include the BUY link at the end of the video for more information AND to close the sale. Add your author website also especially if you have more than one book available. If your book release is in the future, your link will give the information the viewer will need.

Depending on your finances and your time, you may decide to pay a professional to make your trailer or you can do it yourself.  I have done a few vidoes just for the fun of it on the MS Movie Maker that is on my laptop. So I had minimal knowledge of how to deal with putting it altogether.  I have also experimented with the movie maker on Picasa. It is a simple one to use. I have seen some fantastic trailers as a result of using Animoto. I have not tried the service, so I have no first hand info on Animoto.

To create your trailer–

1. Write the text portion using your synopsis to guide you

2. Select the photos, clip art, and graphics and place them in a file which you can easily access to pull them into the movie maker. If you select photos from the Internet, be sure they are royalty free clips. Google free clip art to find some.

3. Music is fun to choose. You can listen to so many pieces trying to find just the right combination of notes for the background sound for the  mood of your story.  No, you cannot use your favorite tune from your favorite artist. It is probably copyrighted. Incompetech has a wide variety of free music for you and organized into genre themed songs. Kevin McLeod just requests you credit him for the music.

Now it’s time for you to put on your director and producer’s caps to create the perfect book trailer to sell your book. Have fun with it!

Here is the trailer for my mystery/horror e-book, Sunshine Boulevard.

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!

Christmas in July Promotion FREE Gifts

J Q Rose is a guest on Susanne Drazic’s blog celebrating Christmas in July. Email me for a FREE copy of the recipe collection and I’ll email it back to you wrapped up in a big red bow. Leave a comment to win a free copy of Sunshine Boulevard.

Fight World Hunger–Get a FREE Recipe Collection

Gloria Hart, the main character in Sunshine Boulevard, is fighting world hunger in her own way by releasing a FREE recipe collection to increase awareness about this worldwide crisis. Take a peek and find out how to get these delicious recipes and learn about the Foods Resource Bank. Locally you can help by donating to your community food pantry. Thank you.

Click on http://www.karencote.tv/?page_id=728 to see another one of Karen Cote’s amazing avatar talks.

J Q Rose
Released March 1–Sunshine Boulevard, mystery/light horror
www.jqrose.webs.com
www.jqroseauthor.blogspot.com

Tribute to My Mom

My publisher, Muse It Up Publishing, is dedicating their blog to moms and dads this month. Today is my birthday, so of course, I think of my mom. I hope you enjoy this post, History Repeats Itself.

I wish she were here to celebrate my birthday with me and to know her daughter is a published author. Somehow I take comfort in believing she does know it. God bless mothers!!

There is also information about the Double the Fun contest at my J Q Rose blog. Come on over and join in the double fun–two chances to win two books!  Roseanne Dowell’s mystery/romance Double the Trouble and my mystery/light horror Sunshine Boulevard.

Visit Me at Karen Cote’s Creative Website

I am a guest as J Q Rose on Karen’s Chaise Lounge today and all week. This amazing host is an author at Muse It Up Publishing who generously shares the spotlight by featuring Muse It Up authors. The clever idea is to animate an avatar who speaks about the author’s book. The avatar is supposed to be the author…but well, lots younger, hipper, and attractive…of course we are all that anyway, but she just exaggerates a bit? LOL

Please stop in and see this miracle Karen pulls off every week for the Musers and for your enjoyment. I hope you will get a giggle out of it.

Sunshine Boulevard now available at Muse It Up Publishing, amazon.com, bn.com and online booksellers.