Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Generating an On-line Presence - Social Media

When I first started out to create my on-line presence, and generate some interest in my book, I honestly didn’t know where to begin. The task seemed huge and very daunting. After all, I’m just small little me in a giant sea of other indie authors all trying to do the same thing. In this day and age of social networking, there are so many sites out there than can potentially help you get noticed.

Firstly, I knew I needed my own website but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to get someone to do this for me. I’m a graphic designer, so I knew I could put together something not too complicated. I bought my domain name and paid the extra for DNS hosting, then chose Blogger as my platform. I could have simply used a free Blogger web address, but I wanted to have my own domain, hence the DNS hosting. Blogger is very user friendly and extremely easy to customise with your own colours and backgrounds. Once that was set up, I needed a way to tell people about my blog.

Out of curiosity I Googled social networking sites and found this from Wikipedia. I almost fell off my chair! Who knew there were so many sites that are actually active? This statement in the article further added to my shock “Please note the list is not exhaustive, and is limited to notable, well-known sites.”

Well then, where was I to go from here? Admittedly, most of these sites I had never heard of before, so that immediately ruled them out. I also knew I didn’t want to spend all my time networking; I want time to write, so I decided to go with the major two that everyone knows about and have a huge amount of users – Facebook and Twitter.

I already have my pool of established friends on Facebook, so I set up an author page for myself and sent out invites to my network, asking them to please pass it on. I don’t have a huge fan base on my page yet, but with time and a combination of other things, which I’ll get to, it will come. And I am extremely grateful for the likes I do have.

Next, I moved on to Twitter. I had an old account sitting there from my graphic design business, but I was never active on it unless Facebook sent an automatic tweet. So I’d never really learnt how to use it properly. In the past week or so since I set up my Twitter account and have started actually using it, I’ve made some great connections and found some fantastic resources.

The other site I’ve signed up with is Goodreads. This is another great networking site where you can share what you’re reading, post reviews and ratings, and interact with other fellow like minded people. I love books, so this seemed like a perfect match. I can spend hours on there looking through the catalogue and checking out what others are reading. The iPhone app even has a scanner so you can scan all your own books instead of searching for them. Genius!

I then moved on to trying to find some blog sites to review my book before it goes live in the hope that I’ll have some positive feedback to go along with the launch. One lovely blogger was extremely helpful and suggested I do a blog tour. I had heard of these, and thought I could organise one myself, but when I looked into it, there is a lot of work involved. Like I said before, I would like more time to write, so I’ve decided to enlist some help with the promotional side of the equation. I ended up finding a few book blog tour companies that other authors in my genre have used. I did some more research and have chosen to sign up with Bewitching Book Tours. Organisation is in the early stages, but I’ll let you know once the schedule is up and running.

So, to re-cap, I think with the combination of Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and a book blog tour, I’ll be able to get the word out there.

What social networking sites do you prefer, and why? 

K x

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How To Market Your Book – Creating Your Press Kit

I still remember the day I first sat down and said, “I want to write a book.” It seems so long ago, and back then I had no idea how much was involved in taking my idea and bringing it to life.

Writing the novel was the easy part.

After you’ve typed the last line, read over your work, re-read it a hundred times, put it in a drawer for a few months, pulled it out and read it again, got someone else to read it, edited it, chopped bits up, put bits in, put it back in the drawer, pulled it out and edited again and… you’re finally happy with it, then what?

You have to figure out a way to sell your baby.

One of the items you need to market yourself is the Press Kit, or Media Kit. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on mine. A few weeks before that I didn’t even know I needed one! So, I had to do some research to find out what a Press Kit involved, and how I would go about putting one together.

I found out that a basic kit includes:
  • Author Bio
  • Author Photo
  • Book information – including a synopsis and sell sheet
  • Book Cover
  • Press Release
  • Promotional material – such as book marks or postcards
So far I’ve managed to get the basics for the first three items on the list sorted. Thankfully, most of the information is already there from when I was making submissions. Now all I need to do is go back through it and spruce it up a little.

I've had a bit of a go at writing my own press release. It’s not quite there, but I’m hoping it will be soon. But, that opens an avenue for a whole different blog post!

As for the Author Photo, I have a wonderful friend who is great behind the camera. She took some lovely shots of me and this is the final product. Let me know what you think.

The next step… opening my media room and getting it all on line!

I found some very helpful links here:
The Book Designer
Bohemion Griot Publishing
The Savy Book Marketer

K x

Friday, November 02, 2012

Drum Roll Please...

Ok, I am just way too excited not to share this. The barcode for my cover arrived today, so I've just put the finishing touches on the design. I'm hoping this is it! Let me know what you think...

The back cover blurb reads:

“Angels aren’t supposed to fall in love, especially with each other. But for the record, you were worth it.”

Grace Tate is a Protection Angel and Vampire Hunter, and she has always followed the rules. But some rules are made to be broken…

Until now the fight against evil has been simple, and falling in love was never part of the plan. So what happens when it’s beyond Grace’s control, and when she least expects it she falls for the wrong person?

All hell breaks loose, that’s what.

At Hopetown Valley High, not everything is as it seems, and the one person Grace thought was her enemy becomes her most important ally.

Blood will be shed, lives will be lost and friendships will be tested. It all comes down to one decision, and when Grace tries to save all those dear to her, she realises not everyone can be—or wants to be—saved.

There has been lots of happy dancing and smiling going on here today!

K x

A TO DO List as Long as My Arm

If someone told me when I first set out to self-publish my book how much work was involved, maybe I would have thought twice. Just kidding! There is no way I would have done that, but it is a lot of very hard work.

Today I’ve managed to get through half my second (and hopefully final) round of edits since type setting the book, order the barcode for the cover and apply for my CIP data – and it’s only lunch time.

But… there is still so much to do.

Yesterday I produced my first video, which I’m very excited about, so I hope to put the finishing touches on that this afternoon and get it up on You Tube and the website, so stay tuned for that!

Then I’ll be sending some book marks off to the printers, and the cover reveal will be happening soon as well.

I. Am. Excited!!!

K x

Thursday, November 01, 2012

National Novel Writing Month – Eeeeek!

What is NaNoWriMo? – Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!

For me it’s a good kick in the behind to get my creative juices flowing and put some words on paper. It’s quite amazing what a deadline can do!

November 1st is the day we start freaking out. Well, I do anyway. I’m one of those people that don’t prepare for NaNoWriMo and pretty much just fly by the seat of my pants. I do know what I want to write about, but I don’t do any pre-planning or plotting. It’s all just floating around in my head waiting to come out, which is probably why I have such a splitting head ache today.

This will be my second year of casting everything else aside for thirty days and simply concentrating on writing. Minimal eating and sleeping, millions of cups of tea, and the occasional five minute break for the necessities and to make sure the kids are still alive.

Last year I started two weeks late and I still managed to finish, so I’m already feeling in front today, even though I haven’t typed a single word. I have every confidence in myself that I will finish again, and I hope to come out with something good.

To all of you out there participating this year, I wish you the best of luck in striving for and reaching your personal goals. Now let’s see if I end up with an obsessive compulsion to update my word count every five minutes...