Monday, August 15, 2011

Future Fans?

Blogging again for several reasons:

1 – I am addicted to my laptop.

2 – Testing new Amazon Author Central Page to see if my blogs post.

3 – Alerting followers to my twitter account: harmonygirlit.  I still only have one follower (me) despite the fact that I even told my mom about the blog.  Geez mom – sign up already!  Maybe twitter will be a different story – I do have one follower on Twitter, stephenkruiser, but he is following 139,051 other people so I can’t be that special. 
3 – Finished uploading to Smashwords and want to make a few comments about that while they are fresh in my head.  I’ve seen comments that you should format according to the Smashwords format guide first.  This is probably a good idea as it is the most thorough I’ve seen out there and very user friendly.  However, if you are going to publish through Amazon (Kindle) and B&N (Nook), there will be subtle differences in the formatting.  One thing mentioned on the Smashwords guide that I’d wish I’d done elsewhere (and still technically can, I guess), is include an author bio, website and picture at the end of the text.  Duh!  The reader just got done reading your amazing piece of work and wants to learn more about you and/or see your other works – this is a good way to do it.

Smashwords will publish to Kindle and Nook but I opted out of the .mobi format (which will prevent Smashwords from putting my work up on Kindle).  I did this because I’ve heard having your book up by two different mediums on Amazon may split your sales reports – not a huge deal but it is always best to simplify – and purchases on Amazon through Smashwords equals less payout for me rather than purchases directly through Amazon.  Please, someone correct me if I am wrong.

4 – A few important steps in the publishing process I failed to mention.  First, get an editor.  Wait – first, write a good book THEN get an editor.  Your spouse, best friend, coworker and child don’t count.  They probably like you too much to be honest, or they have no idea how to edit.  Besides, most of them (as I have found out) won’t even finish the book.  Don’t pay out the a$$ for an editor.  Put an ad on Craigslist describing the job.  You’ll get a hundred e-mails (make sure to take ad down after you get overwhelmed), pick 10 you liked and have them edit a sample chapter.  Choose from there.  I paid $150 for my 80,000 word novel.  It was one of the better deals but also one of the better editors.  I lucked out.  Hint – your editor can also help with your query letter, bio, book blurb, synopsis, etc.  2nd, or I think we are on 3rd – pay a graphic artist to do a cover.  I asked my editor for some referrals, but you could again do Craigslist.  You should only pay between $40 and $100 for this service.  Make sure you and the artist sign a release so you are legally able to use the cover art in advertising, for print, etc.  Send them format guidelines (i.e. dpi, pixels, etc.) so they know what to do, make sure they are willing to work with you until you are happy, and ensure they are willing to send revisions in regards to format even after the job is over.  Finally, ALWAYS acknowledge your editor, cover artist, and anyone who contributed professionally to your piece of work.  I did it on my copyright page.

5 – SALES UPDATE – I have 4 sales on Amazon and 2 at Barnes & Noble.  About half are family I can account for.  The other half – I don’t know.  Future fans, perhaps?  I am so excited!

OMG this is the longest blog I’ve EVER seen (I haven’t seen many).  Certainly the longest I’ve written…

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