Writing career – where I want to be by December 2014

By FebruaryFalls December 18, 2013

When you self- publish, you are totally responsible for marketing/promoting your work. My e-book, THE LEAD DANCER ALWAYS GETS FLOWERS is ranked 952,837 on Amazon. I’m not concerned about being #1 in the charts or even getting an agent. My concern is working hard and getting the work out there.

I’m currently writing my second Novella, FLAT 32, which I hope to publish by February 2014.

The following is where I want to be by December 2014:-
• Two more Novellas published
• Have ten reviews for my first Novella, THE LEAD DANCER ALWAYS GETS FLOWERS as well as for
FLAT 32

THE LEAD DANCER ALWAYS GETS FLOWERS is available to download world-wide from Amazon. The following are the links:- http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FYZ66IG – UK store, http://amzn.com/B00FYZ66IG – US store

Please leave a comment in the section below. Have you written a book? What do you hope to accomplish by the end of 2014?

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Reviews – do you need them?

By FebruaryFalls December 10, 2013

On my writing journey, I came across many articles suggesting the importance of getting your book reviewed, especially if you decide to go the self-publishing route. For a long time I was on the fence as to what I should do. When I published the e-book, THE LEAD DANCER ALWAYS GETS FLOWERS, I decided to get it reviewed. I found it very frustrating, time-consuming, very hard work and I was unable to find anyone who who reviewed e-books in my genre i.e African American fiction/Women’s Contemporary fiction.

Even though they say their open to ANY genre, it wasn’t the case. A lot of them, I felt, just wanted to receive a free e-book. A lot of the reviewers have over 1000 books to read and there was no guarantee that the book would even be reviewed. And just when I thought I finally found someone to review my e-book, they sent me an e-mail stating that they only reviewed paperbacks – this helped me make the decision to change my plans.

My goal is to put my energy and focus into getting my work out there i.e. I’m writing my next book called, Flat 32. I’m happy enough to be helped with promoting my book by Amazon’s algorithms when the second book is published. I have also decided to pay someone to promote the books.

You can also find your own luck by directly asking the reader for a review i.e I put the following at the end of the e-book:-

REVIEW REQUEST

Dear Reader,

wordpressphoto

Thank you for purchasing this e-book.

I hope you enjoyed reading it. THE LEAD DANCER ALWAYS GETS FLOWERS is my first book. I am an indie author, so I will be MOST GRATEFUL if you could please leave a review on my Amazon page at the following link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FYZ66IG – UK site http://amzn.com/B00FYZ66IG – US site.

Thank you in advance for your support.

FebruaryFalls

If you decide to get your book reviewed, Google has lots of review sites. At Amazon, you can “gift” the book to them, send them a copy of the manuscript or send them a MOBI file.

To send a MOBI file:-

Select the check box next to the book, click on the ACTIONS drop-down menu on the top and choose EDIT BOOK DETAILS

Scroll down to the end of the YOUR BOOK section and click on DOWNLOAD BOOK PREVIEW FILE.

Once download is complete, you will receive a MOBI file – save it on your computer

You can now send the MOBI file to your reviewer.

If you also distribute your e-book with Smashwords, give the reviewer a coupon. Check out their website to get further details.

Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

How to create a Book cover for CreateSpace with Windows Paint and Microsoft word

By FebruaryFalls on December 3, 2013

Kindle Direct Publishing is the venue used to publish e-books and CreateSpace is the venue to publish the actual book. In the beginning I was going to use both venues, but I later decided to just publish the e-book, THE LEAD DANCER ALWAYS GETS FLOWERS.

I didn’t like the book designs CreateSpace had to offer, except one, which allowed you to put your own design onto the template. When it comes to anything creative and artistic, I like to work with raw materials, instead of buying a book cover design.

I have lots of colorful hair accessories, so I choose the ones I wanted for the book cover design. I placed the hair accessories onto a cement slab outside, and I took a few photos for the back of the book and a few photos of the front cover. I used my camcorder to take the photos.
I downloaded the photos to my laptop. I used Windows paint to type the blurb on the back cover, as well as the title and my name on the front cover:-

newcolorfulbookcover2012

I then uploaded the front and back covers to CreateSpace, but the resolution didn’t meet their guidelines. I posted a question about the resolution to the Createspace community and I was informed to download a free software called Irfanview. It took a lot of fiddling around, but I finally worked out the resolution and uploaded the covers to CreateSpace.

Kindle Direct Publishing only requires you to upload the front book cover, but the shape is not that appealing to me:-

upgradebookcover

Only release your best work to the world. Shortly after, I was glad when I came upon article on how to design a book cover in Microsoft Windows. I really wanted my book cover to look like an actual book, so this is what I had to do.

• Open up MS Word.
• Go to “File” “New” and then hit “Create” on the right side – you should have a blank
document
• Adjust the size to 6”x9”, so go to “Page Layout” and hit “Size.” Scroll down to “More
Paper Sizes” and type in 6” and then 9” in the relevant input boxes.

bookchart

We also don’t need the margins so big, so click again on “Page Layout”, select “Margins” and then set them to “Narrow” or .5” all around.
• Now insert the book cover that you designed i.e. when the picture is dropped in, it will
automatically stretch the margins

I wanted to “tweak” my book cover so I clicked on the photo and clicked “color.” NOW I have the book cover I want:-

smashwordskindlebookcover2013

THE LEAD DANCER ALWAYS GETS FLOWERS is available to download at Amazon worldwide:-
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FYZ66IG – UK STORE
http://amzn.com/B00FYZ66IG – US STORE

Please leave a comment below. What software program did you use to create your book cover?