Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Reminder For Potential Reviewers...

If you're part of Goodreads, and a member of the Lovers of Paranormal group, there are still 7 slots open for reviewing "THE BRIDGE".  You will receive a free e-copy or PDF of the book that will be yours to keep when you sign up.   Remember, I have Epub, Mobe, PDF versions to cover Kindle, Nook, Sony, Apple, and others.
Here's the link:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Bit About Marketing and Distribution...

Okay, as you all know my first book is out.  "The Bridge" is available on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, I-Tunes, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, Createspace, and a bunch of other places.  How did I do it?  And how are the sales coming so far?  Are probably what you are asking at this point.    Well, I'll be honest, the sales are going slowly.  The book has only been out maybe 2 weeks and during that time it took over a week for it to appear on a number of those sites.  But that's no excuse.  It is definitely out there, so why aren't more people buying it right away?  The answer is simple, "They don't know it's out there!"

Now here's where we get into today's discussion.  I'll briefly answer the first question "How did I get it in so many places?"  Then we'll address how I'm going about to correct the problem of getting the word out.

Now I published my novel both in e-book form and trade paperback for those who prefer being able to hold a book in their hands and turn the pages.  I did this by going to Smashwords for all the e-book formats that are NOT Kindle readers (Ibooks, Sony readers, Nook, Kobo and others).   Smashwords gave me the option of where to distribute their formats and I chose all those I mentioned, plus they also made it available to libraries and e-book form.

Then I went to Createspace to make it ready and available for Kindle (which automatically got it on Amazon) and also for Print-On-Demand to have the Trade Paperback version available.  Now, I also paid an extra $25.00 for the Expanded Distribution which is how I got the book to be available on-line with Barnes and Noble and other bookstores, even overseas.  So, that part was actually pretty easy.  Amazon also offers a KDP Select program which I did not opt for because the book was already out in Smashwords and I would have to make it unavailable for 90 days while KDP Select had the exclusive distribution rights.  I could make it available again in Smashwords and their distributers afterwards, but that didn't feel right to me on this occasion.  I might try it next time

But, getting back to "Getting The Word Out..."  This is the harder part folks and I strongly recommend you get a good marketing plan in mind and underway BEFORE your book comes out.  First, networking on the internet.  Use the social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Pinterest, etc. to establish your presence and let people know who you are.  Don't just talk about yourself though.  Be active in discussions and participate in other's promotions or questions.  This way the other participants get to know you and what you're like.  Help promote their works and books and they will be happy to do the same in return when yours comes out.

Create a blog and get yourself known to more people that way too.  Write about something you're interested in (reading, cover art, hobbies you have) something to let people get to know you and become more intrigued by you.

Also, if you're like me and have no history of writing, maybe you can write some articles for your local newspaper (I've not done this yet, but it's been suggested to me and I'm looking into it).

Get yourself on, review other peoples books and set up a presence there.  And when you're book is ready to come out check out free advertising or promoting groups on the internet.  I'm trying a new one called to help promote my book.  There's dozens of ways of getting the word out over the internet.  But you can't stop there.  You can do more locally to get the word out.

This coming week I'm going to be contacting local radio stations to see who does interviews with authors, I'll be sending out press releases to the newspapers and TV news stations in my area.  I'm going to be talking to the local libraries about getting my book on their shelves and maybe giving talks.  I also plan on getting business cards with my info and where people can find my books online.  There are local independent bookstores I'll be approaching to see if they are interested in carrying my novel by ordering some through Createspace or on consignment.

You also need to get reviews done on your book.  Goodreads is a good way to do it, or you can offer free downloads to select people who promise to write reviews of your book in return over the internet.

There's probably a bunch of other ways I haven't even thought of yet.  If you know of some or have suggestions, please leave them in comments section below.  We all want to get our work out there and by pooling and sharing our info, we can help each other make it as authors with good followings.  But you have to get the word out first, for without that "How can anyone even know you have a book out?"

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.  Keep writing everyone.

Friday, January 18, 2013

"THE BRIDGE" Is Now Available In Many Forms...

Just wanted to share a few things about my new novel "The Bridge" with all of you.  I've been getting a lot of questions and I'm hoping to answer most, if not all of them, here.  The novel is a strange blend of horror, paranormal mystery, and science fiction set in modern day.  I have psychics, police, ghosts and a mystery that initially dates back some 300 years and then beyond that.

It is now available as both an e-book and in print.  For those who want print follow the Createspace or Amazon links provided below.  OR, if you are interested in getting a signed copy please e-mail me.  The price for a signed copy is the same as at Createspace or Amazon ($15.99) and that will include the shipping price as well.  I'll provide my e-mail address below along with the links.

As for the e-book formats I have Kindle, Epub (which is good for IPad/IBooks, Sony readers, Nook, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), PDF, Palm Doc (PDB).  The price for the e-book versions are $3.99





If you have any questions please leave a comment here or e-mail me at the address above.  Thanks so much for taking time out and reading my blogs.  I hope to continue entertaining and informing you for a very long time to come.  There is still so much for us to explore together.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Bit About Smashwords and Createspace...

Okay, so I've had my debut on Smashwords and learned a lot from just going through the process.  Today I'd like to share a bit of my experience of working in Smashwords with you all.  First up, it wasn't all that hard and I say this as someone who is NOT "Tech-Savvy".  Luckily I do know MS Word.

Now I want to say, simply follow their directions.  Make a back up copy of your work and then totally do the conversion on the back-up copy NOT the original.  This is because all that lovely formatting you did originally to your piece is about to got out the window and be undone.  Why?  Because Smashwords is helping you re-format your work so it can operate in the e-book program world and will look nice and readable.  Remember, if you're going this route you want to present a beautiful product for your audience.  Plus, your work deserves to be presented in the best fashion possible.  You're not doing this just for your readers, it's also for you and you deserve it!

Now don't be too intimidated.  Following their instructions is easy.  Plus if you need a visual there are videos on YouTube showing you exactly what they're talking about.  Simply look up "formatting for Smashwords" and you'll find some good videos there that may help explain what you're supposed to be doing.

I want to take a moment to say this too, in some ways formatting for Smashwords was easier than CreateSpace (which I'm going to talk about in another post).   This is not to say one is better than the other.  I simply mean there is a HUGE difference between the two.  Createspace is teaching you how to format NOT just for Kindle e-books but to also ready your work to be "Print-On-Demand", which means paperback books.  That's right, an actual paperback copy of your book that you can hold in your hands.  See below:

So the demands for each one are quite a bit different.  However!  With Smashwords once you finish the formatting and are satisfied that everything is in order, the moment you hit submit and approve your book... IT IS UP AND FOR SALE!  It's a very quick process, so be sure you get it right.  And then start marketing the daylights out of it.  Facebook, Twitter, whatever other social network you have on or off the internet.  I'll go more into that another day.  But your book's success or failure, rests solely on you.  Make sure you get the word out.

And if you're not sure what devices work with Smashwords published e-books here's a list:
Apple, Sony, Barnes and Noble's Nook, Kobo, Diesel E-book store.  And the formats your book will be available in are: Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm doc, and Plain Text.  I mention these because sometimes I was asked about the specific formats rather than what devices.

I hope this helps.  If you'd like to take a sample peak at my novel on Smashwords follow this link:

Until next time, take care and keep writing everyone.

Friday, January 11, 2013

"THE BRIDGE" Is Finally Here...

"THE BRIDGE" is finally here!  My debut horror/paranormal mystery/sci-fi novel is available on Smashwords starting TODAY!  The e-book formats are Nook, Apple, Sony.  Kindle and traditional Trade Paperback will be available shortly.  In the meantime you can go to Smashwords for a sample of the book as well as purchase the novel.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Debut Novel "THE BRIDGE" Is Coming to Smashwords This Friday...

My debut novel "The Bridge" is a unique blend of horror/mystery/science fiction and it will be available on Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, Sony, Nook this Friday.  

The novel will also be available in Kindle and Trade Paperback shortly.

Here's a the book jacket blurb"

Alex Hill buried his psychic talents for eighteen years. But with the scream of tires and twisting metal all this changes.

When his girlfriend, Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, is nearly run down by two teens he becomes concerned. But upon learning that both the driver and passenger had both been dead for almost twelve hours before the crash, he knows what he must do...


Note: Books 2 and 3 are already under way.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

About Book Covers...

A quick Vlog entry about book covers and what to watch for in making your own from scratch.  I don't recommend necessarily doing one yourself, unless you are an artist.  It's fine to maybe make a rough sketch and get an artist friend or even hire someone to do it for you.  There are plenty of artists who specialize in doing book covers and you can find them all over the internet, or through friends on FB.  In my case, I am an artist, but also my cash flow is very tight.  So I basically HAD to go this route.  So this vlog entry is about the thoughts I put into the image and how it would appear to the casual reader going through a bookstore, or skimming through Amazon or Barnes and Nobles' websites.

I would also point out that there are a number of very good book cover programs available on the internet, including through Createspace, Smashwords, Lulu and the others.  The nice thing about those is that they are already formatted to fit whatever standard industry size you want your book to appear in.  Again, in my case, I'm using a formatted book cover from Createspace that allows you to insert your own image.  Now after I'm all done with making my book ready for Createspace and have submitted it, I have to do the same thing for Smashwords.  Which means I have to do all this formatting and whatnot all over again.  But at least I'll already have the experience and a rough idea of what to expect.