The Book Publisher’s Toolkit: 10 Practical Pointers for Independent and Self Publishers by Independent Book Publishers Association
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What every self publisher want to know, and no longer have to hunt for: an eBook on practical book promotion tips straight from the IBPA(Independent Book Publishers Association).
If you’re like me, then you may have found helpful websites here and there to help you along your self publishing journey. But to have a gem in your hand that you can refer to for helpful tips is already here. Sure, it has tips we have all heard before like, “Get a Twitter account!”, “Be social” “Get involved in online conversations”
The real tokens were the advice of how other readers will perceive us and how to tap into the real magic of Twitter.
For example, “we have to watch what others tweet about”(11). Just posting tweets will no longer do. We have to watch what others are saying so we can jump in with our valuable advice. This goes for blogs, Facebook, and other social networking sites.
Librarians. Now these are a picky folk. Why? Libraries are run on budgeted dollars, so they will choose only what they would want to read and what patrons wouldn’t pick up as well. Some things librarians look for before they decide on your book:
•Blogs: What do bloggers have to say about your book?
•Patron Requests: Are people reaching out to have your book in the catalog?
•Cover Art: Is the cover art dynamic, unique, and pertains to the story?
Other advice in the book explained the importance of knowing your rights as an independent publisher and how to build your platform to enhance your brand or begin your brand.
Overall, it’s a neat little 57 page book filled with some items and advice we may have never thought of. Some tips we can even expand on.
*Book received for free for my unbiased review from Netgalley
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
A letter to my Muse:
Just thought I’d let you know that I am grateful for the many, may images, dreams, and small inputs during my writing exercises which formed into these little pillows, usable for publishing. You warned me that its not if everyone likes it- only that I write it. The fragments, like pieces of bone have finally knit together. Adam’s rib, snatched from Eve made her woman. The sinews, the muscle and skin have fully formed and you told me: “Don’t worry. That is the easy part.”
You never told me what the hard part was. I just assume its the part about everyone liking my stuff. But who worries over that? I write to purge and entertain equally, but who am I lying to? I do care about the downloads, the purchaes, the social media, comments, and reviews. You never taught me marketing, I had to go to school or speak with my husband about that.
Writing is so much harder than I thought. Imagining is great. Dreaming- wonderful. But creating from beginning to end, and choosing whether to know the ending or not is merciless to my soul.
I can say this though. Even if I don’t know, I have files, and files saved of stories from my head. They brim over my skull cap and I can’t see during the day as I walk to the library, shop, as I read a book. You throw these heroines in my head who have dazzling hair, or poor dispositions, and then thrust them into possible impossible situations and then I am left wondering: When? I can’t get them down fast enough.
Listen. I like you and I thank you for what you have done for me and will continue to do. Just one suggestion?
Stop pouring all the stories in at once and please if you love me- get some marketing skills and psychic ability!
Just kidding, I’m okay.
Microsoft Office Image
After one project is complete, another is always or have already been underway. In this case, the seemingly old question btaking over online systems is: Is it possible for books to have too much overt Christian themes? Back in February I wrote post on “Christian Romance and Crossing Lines” which explained what readers truly look for in a book. One of those elements are the bonds that tie human souls.
I doubt if my post this time will help others learn that telling a good story should be the utmost important in any genre, but I’ll have to explain why my new novel will more than likely be hard to classify.
First, the book will have the major plot and a couple of subplots that may be explored later- or not. The main idea is that a woman finds herself lost in more ways than one and she now has to live with a family member and start over. This family member tries to tell the girl that no one is more evil than the other. As humans we all have the capacity to love very much or hate very much and unfortunately some carry out that hate and can become truly evil.
The protagonist, however made some mistakes and those past mistakes are coming to bite her in the butt. In the meantime, a new event will take place in her life where she will discover her purpose during her downfall… could it be her downfall is really her just being human?
I am unsure how to categorize this one. Its not a supernatural, urban fiction but simply a fictional story with some romance in it. The idea of forgiveness and redemption is laced through the story, but for now I’ve been worrying over telling the story clearly.
Here’s my advice on letting the story spill:
- Let the character’s motivations speak to you, jot down those notes before you write if you have to.
- If you have a main idea/theme in mind, what is it? What are some ways to show more than tell?
- Plots and subplots will natural emerge, although some books advise outlining those early(and I agree that for some stories its sufficient)
- When it comes to swearing are there “safe” swear words to convey a character’s emotion? The term Hell seems to be used by anyone, Christian or non-Christian. Other terms I am not so sure. Even inspirational romance has some boundaries.
- When it comes to sexuality/sensuality in a book, how far is too far? Depicting actual sexual acts like painting splashed over the bed may not be the way to go, but one author, Vanessa Davis Griggs does not show too much sensuality almost none and even when there is a sexual act, she handles it by skipping the entire scene and entering the “Morning After”.
- One way I weave sensual scenes is by allowing the kiss to the face, mouth, and even the neck. I allow some description of physique without being to risqué.
- As far as the actual act….Pray for me.
Some Helpful Books…
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
Cover Design by E. J. Smith| Cover Image of Enceladus from Nasa.org
One thing writers should realize in the present economical and digital age, is that providing literature has gotten more creative and cost effective. We talk about the ways in which the internet allowed for anyone to self publish and have more freedom, but what about the benefits to those readers who purchase our words?
Here’s a rule…never charge for a short story. Let people save their pennies for something else like foods, clothes, or to donate to organizations. After releasing my book free for Prime members on Amazon Kindle only, I began to think : “Why am I charging even 99 cents for this to others! It’s only thirty odd pages, gosh!”*
So, Good News: “Mark of Fortune” is free. Forever. It is only nice to provide stories for people to download conveniently(and it received 50 downloads its first night!) I don’t brag at all, but it is nice to see some downloads but that only tells half the story.
Another thing writers should realize, is that writing may be a solo effort but collaboration takes place between their audience as well. Expecting feedback from an honest reader/reviewer can be healthy. If the review is overly critical or insane I ignore it.
Otherwise it is something in which we all share in.
I’m waiting for the feedback.
Now here is my Smashwords Edition of Mark of Fortune, click the link. Read and you can visit my Connect With E.J. Page to send your review as well as review on Smashwords.*
*I will be posting snippets from the book exclusively on Google+
*’Mark of Fortune was 30 pages and is now reduced to 23 after edits
*Tell me, are you working on a short story? Would you charge for it? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Authors(self pubbed or traditionally published, or not pubbed at all), have one thing in common: They write.
What they write is what lives on in our hearts for along time. So here are some descriptions of what stories really are…
- A heart that beats once and is resounding…
- A person’s memoir fresh with an old tale
- A dream expanded across the screen
- Conversations explored
- The right to listen to the voices
- Access to Muse files
- Playing God across the page
- Illusions of grandeur tapping the reader’s brain
- Telling lies we pay for
- A murmur of romance, speeding up hearts and fueling passion
- Scrapping bits and piece of trash and treasures, tossed from life and neatly regrouping…
*Any more descriptions for writing? I’d love to see them
United States Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang / public domain
I remember a time when time was not an enemy. It was a neutral friend and it held my physique together better than gravity and food…food knew where to go and not sit and develop into something else.
I remember a time when I thought myself immortal and will remain Venus forever under the daystar and night..
I remember a time when I fancied if I sang loud enough to the moon from my bunkbed and ask to be whisked away to it and enter another world, that it would happen-rather than by me going mentally insane or joining NASA.
Then time left me.
It left gravity to me as an ornery asociate, leaving my backside bigger than it was years ago, and each food I crave and eat, ultimately makes a spot ANYWHERE. I am not immortal. Each year brings me closer to a higher twenty something and now I am at the last cargo called 20. Singing loud and praying hard enough did not alleviate pains and frugal living.
However I do have something and it is more powerful than any diet or dreams of running the world.
I have imagination and can live a thousand times in my books.
Do you write stories?
For a review about the last story in this collection please head over to http://www.examiner.com/christian-fiction-in-norfolk/the-perfect-holiday-e-book-doesn-t-cost-a-dime-review.
Now, there were four great stories in the book, written by talented, intelligent authors who wanted to warm our hearts this holiday with intrique and unique characters and I must say I was not disappointed. However when it comes to short story collections there is always at least one or two that leaves more of an imprint than others.
In A Dead Guy in a Pear Tree by Leslie Kelly , Holly Cavanaugh finds a body wrapped in a christmas tree she just purchased and with the sudden discovery, her ex boyfriend, and reporter Zach suddenly shows up and old feelings springs up. Very steamy very hot and became one of my favorites.
Seduced by the Season by Merline Lovelace was about a waitress in Dublin, Ireland and an investigator teaming up to catch a thief with a taste for artifacts. This story had to be short and was evident by the scant histories of Stonehenge and other historical places thrown in for good measure and the quick atttraction between the protagonists and then a sweet conclusion. Not one of my ABSOLUTE favs but was a promising story nonetheless.
Now, we get to Evidence of Desire by Debra Web, a woman is hired to be a forensic scientist to a company but someone is out to kill her. Six days before christmas at that! Meanwhile her coworker(the one who looks hot) seems to be ignoring her but remaining a gentlemen when she needs his help, but this time she really need him. I enjoyed this one a lot. Suspense!
The last story was Season of Wonder by Marta Perry, seems obviosuly to be a Christian Fiction piece or at least inspirational and was very endearing. For more about my thoughts on this see link at the beginning of this post.
Alright…on to more reading. My husband fed my reading addiction by purchasing another e-book and it will remain a secret until I review it.
Some Amazon reviewers said that ‘The Christmas Singing’ by Cindy Woodsmall is predictable, pure drivel, and quite cheesy. However I reviewed this book before reading those comments and they are basically right and wrong. Here’s a snippet and who knows? Maybe you’ll decided to buy and see for yourself!
After Gideon coldly breaks Mattie’s Eash’s heart, can she find the strength and the courage to hope again and finally have true love?
Mattie Eash has had her fill of Gideon Beiler’s lies and cheating and so she moves onward to Ohio where she has her own cake decorating business called Mattie Cakes and now she has a new beau, Sol who has just the right touch of fidelity and anything else Gideon has denied her.
The book begins as most of Woodsmall’s and other Amish fiction writers books…at a good, casual pace but it really picks up around page fifty-seven or so when we all learn the truth as to why Gideon behaved so cold towards Mattie three years ago, and for the reader it is shocking and it is devastating, and the scenes described in the book are one full of ice-cold snow, however marred by dirty tracks and are bitter metaphors for how Mattie feels when she has to return home to Apple Ridge for the holidays-and face Gideon. (Continue reading on Examiner.com)
Out of a Far Country by The Yuans
Christopher Yuan was a son who was lost as his mother tried desperately to cling to a hope that appears it isn’t there. The challenge is that Christopher Yuan’s gay and his mother seems to have lost hope in a marriage which has lost its life. Who can they turn to now?
Before choosing this book I had to really look inside myself. Why will I read this book? How does it pertain to my life? Earlier this year I reviewed Mark Yarhouse’s book Homosexuality and the Christian and even that was an eyeopener for me. Even as a heterosexual there is brokeness and sin in everyone. So while reading Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God. A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope.‘Out of a Far Country’ I especially wanted to cry as Angela Yuan told her side of the story in subsequent chapters full of tears and hope for her marriage and for her youngest son Christopher Yuan. They are Chinese American and live in Chicago while her husband practices dentistry in his own offices she runs the business to keep it smooth and flowing. Christopher on the other hand is working on getting his dentist license however, his feelings of lust for other men grew and he fell in love with another idol…Ecstasy.
I suppose you’re wondering: What in the world happened with them? Well read Luke 15:22 in your Holy Bible and be prayerful while you do that and as you read this amazing book.
There is one warning though- as with any memoir, a testimony has glitter and grit. This book has not held back the reins of truth. Christopher’s experience with other men, jail, and his mother’s own dark past comes up and it was all while my heart broke from them. But if you know God, you know he can saves all no matter the sin or fault.
*This book was recieved from WaterBrook Multnomah for my unbiased opinion.