But my daughter-in-law and good friend, Samantha is. Damn, that girl is good. She’s taking over the social media/ marketing role and is designing a poster, postcards, and bookmarks for my book signing event for Anthra’s Moon.
“You need a Facebook page,” she says. I nod and change my baby granddaughter’s diaper while Samantha happily types away on her laptop, setting up my author’s page on Facebook and Goodreads. After that, she links my various author’s sites together: Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and my website.
Next on her list is connecting me with QR codes, bar codes that can be displayed on posters, bookmarks, etc. that give people with smartphones instant access to my book on Amazon. I’m amazed by all this linkage. I thought I was computer savvy, but my skills are like drawing in the sand with a stick compared to Sam’s expertise.
These are words I never thought I’d write. I toiled through writing a synopsis for my first novel, begrudging the effort. It was more work on top of the work of writing my novel. But it was a useful exercise and helped me spot holes in the narrative, boring moments (not that there were any, nope, not at all), and places where I could ramp up the action, all things I couldn’t see when I was inside my work.
It wasn’t until I completed my second book, Anthra’s Moon, that I realized a synopsis could do much, much more.
I put it to work. I sent the longer, more formal synopsis to agents and publishers and used it to pitch my story at a writer’s conference. I cut the synopsis down a bit and posted the shorter version on my personal website to describe my book. I reduced it further, to a couple of paragraphs for my various author’s pages (Facebook, Goodreads, etc) and the back cover of my book. Finally, I condensed it to a few sentences for a press release announcing the publication of my book.
I now have different versions to pop into any situation. I’m grateful for this hardworking piece of writing.
Or I better be one soon. My ideas to market Anthra’s Moon pretty much consisted of sending out a massive email alert when it went live on Amazon, creating an author’s page in Goodreads and Facebook, and throwing a book launch party an art gallery near my house.
All this is fine, but I need to do more to promote my book. And I need to do it effectively and without being distracted from writing the next volume of Ysabel and her friends and their journey across a frozen ocean to find an island and a tree with leaves of pure gold.
I let her fly yesterday. Anthra’s Moon is on Amazon as a paperback and Kindle ebook. What a long journey this has been! Writing the book was only the first step. But I’ve learned the process of publishing it and next time, as god is my witness, next time will be easier.
For the paperback, I used CreateSpace. The process was fairly easy, though a little confusing at times, but their very responsive support team helped me through the rough parts.
I initially tried Scrivener to compile the manuscript for paperback and ebook and found it too complicated for my simple needs and switched to Jutoh, which I discovered while watching another great video by India Drummond: How to Format .epug and .mobi Ebook Files (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3lvhRpJrIg).
This is a great app! The ms was compiled in no time and uploaded to Amazon.
On to book two of Ysabel the Summoner. She’s waiting. She’s saying, quit worrying about whether nor not people will like or even read your book and write me into life again.
I’ve put aside compiling an ebook with Scrivener until I can resolve a few issues and instead am creating a print book first through CreateSpace.
I watched a great video, “Formatting Documents for CreateSpace,” by India Drummond, which clearly explains the process of making a good looking print book. I write in Word, she uses Word, so I was confident that this part, at least, I could do. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FzvtxK686c
But first I had to update my software because I’m running the 2004 version of Word that doesn’t have the useful features that India uses in her video tutorial. So I bought the 2011 version today and tried to install it.
And it doesn’t work. Not because there’s anything wrong with the disc, but because the disc player in my older laptop has suddenly stopped working.
So that needs to get fixed.
I’m not sure what gnashing one’s teeth feels like, but I think that’s what I did yesterday as I listened to my dead disc player whirr and stop, whirr and stop, etc. Not a good time for the dog to come trotting out of the guest room with a chewed up and very wet ball of my new yarn hanging from his teeth.
Update: The solution to the broken disc player is to use an external dvd drive. They’re inexpensive and I don’t have to pour more money into the old laptop.