Great news about the paperback version of Duilleog! I have redesigned my CreateSpace paperback and by reducing the font size down I have reduced the total number of pages by almost 100! This means the price has dropped to $8.50 USD. This is a much better price and the pages read better. You’re welcome! Buy my book at Amazon.com!
In other news, I am working on the second novel, Craobh over the holidays. I am really enjoying the time I have to devote to the novel. I have not enjoyed being so busy with work that I was unable to focus my attention to it. Writing is such a fun thing to do. I am happy to report that I am now up to 42K words. I am aiming for a Spring 2016 release. Real life may change that date, but I promise to try really hard!
I should report on Can-Con: Sadly, it was disappointing for me. In short, no publisher is interested in a series that was started by self-publishing and I should have known that going in. It just highlights my amateur status in this field of being an author. In any case, the feedback was very gracious and sincere and I appreciated the feedback, but it was hard for me to hear. All this means is that I continue to self-publish The New Druids Series and that is fine. The good news is that I pitched my science-fiction story and had interest from one of the publishing companies. I just need to finish it and send it along!
Marketing your book is a daunting task. I’ve reached out to a few sources, new and old, for advice and some of it is exactly what you would expect and some is not what I expected. So I have only just self-published my first novel so it’s not like I have a ton of experience here, but I will share what I have learned so far.
Facebook: I think it is a must that you create an author page. So many people use FB that you can’t have a reason not to. I simply copy and paste my blog posts here into my FB and carry on. Simple enough to do.
Twitter: I have a twitter account and it is important as a social media tool. Create one using your author handle and start hashtagging.
Kobo, Smashwords and Amazon Kindle: All of these sites will create an author page for you. It’s important to make sure you maintain the same message and reach out to your readers. It only takes a few minutes and your readers are hopefully going to be your fans. So take the time to get this right.
Goodreads: You can link your book to your account. This will allow you to access some aspects of Goodreads that will promote your book so this is a must. Goodreads has a HUGE following and ties into peoples’ Amazon accounts. Remember that!
Facebook Ads: I have not heard anything good about this. I spent some money here and have yet to see any correlation with sales. I hate FB ads and so probably everyone else is either ignoring the ads or they are suppressing them (Adblock). Looks like money wasted to me. From comments from other authors this seems to be the case for them as well.
Writing Groups: I joined the Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers in America (FSFWA) and they seem like pretty decent folks. They have offered quick and meaningful advice and I think I truly like these people. I need to find more like this.
Kindle Ads: FSFWA warned me against using Kindle Ads…so I am staying away from it.
BooksGoSocial: This is a FB group and a website. They will push your book on all social sites repeatedly. This gets the word out and gets people flocking to your book sales site. Mine kicks off any day now and I have my fingers crossed.
thekindlebookreview.net: These folks will give you honest reviews on your Kindle publication. This is important because reviews = sales. I am still waiting on my reviews and it is nail biting.
ISBN Canada, over at Library and Archives Canada (government), provides a free ISBN service to Canadian artists. Did anyone know that? I didn’t. I was slogging through Smashwords and reading some details on self-publishing with them and then wondered if they provided free ISBNs like Amazon does. Well they linked me to ISBN Canada. And now I am sitting here stunned.
For those of you who do not know (or thought you knew): An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies each specific edition of a book or book-like product. You need a unique code for your eBook, for your hardcover or softcover, etc. etc. In the United States, as an artist, you need to go to a company like Bowkers and purchase a number of ISBNs for your use. How much? It costs $125 USD for one ISBN or $275 USD for tenISBNs. I thought that was normal. Note: you don’t actually need an ISBN, but it helps on many levels should your book do well. It doesn’t protect your book from being stolen, for example, but you can prove that the book is registered to you under the ISBN registration. Like a fingerprint. All book databases use the ISBN to track books. ISBNs are how readers and buyers find your books. They are essential for sales to bookstores, for online sales, and for listing in databases and directories such as Books in Print.
See why am I so stunned right now? ISBN Canada just asks me how many I want and then they assign them to me. For free. That is amazing. I need to wait 10 days though…blast it! Government bureaucracy!
You’ll notice I mentioned that Amazon will provide an ISBN for free. You’ll be wondering, so what’s the problem? Well, that ISBN can only be used on the Amazon version of the book and only on CreateSpace – not for Kindle Direct Publishing. It also identifies Amazon as the publisher even though I am self-publishing. It’s just a bit oily if you know what I mean.
Duilleog is back with the editor. Nikki Rae over at Metamorphosis Editing Services did an excellent job at cleaning up the typos, syntax and formatting errors and helped me identify some really serious point of view issues I had failed to recognise. I’m such a noob. It only goes to show that writing takes practice and without it you suffer.
If I am lucky I will have the second look-over completed in a couple of weeks, made the last corrections, and then I will be able to publish for the Kindle. This will be followed by the Nook, Smashwords and Kobo versions. eBooks are extremely easy to create and having a program like Scrivener makes it more so.
For those wanting an actual paperback of the story, I’m sorry, but you will need to wait a little bit as I sort out the formatting. When you self-publish the author has to do all the work for formatting the book and creating the cover. You could pay for someone to do that for you but that is just more money. And, anyway, I consider my designing skills to be “not too bad” and I am proud of my designed covers. Formatting for Amazon CreateSpace is a simple process but it takes time, attention to all the little details, and it is all online and you won’t really know if you got it right until you get your hands on the author copy to verify the product before letting it go to print. All this takes time, time, and more time (and the delays due to snail mail). So maybe mid-July for the paperback version?