Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Indie Publishing Secrets Revealed #8-The Text to your Book.

This is a long post-but full of great info.

How is the editing going on your book? Have you either hired an editor or had multiple "people in the know" go over your work with a fine-toothed-comb? I cannot stress the importance of this! Do not skip this step.

Let's talk about formatting your print book.

You have a cover now, or at least the ability to create one, if you read my last post. Remember, you need a cover whether you are creating an ebook or print book. While you're in Createspace, go ahead and upload your interior file (the text in your book) to Createspace.
There are several ways to do this. First of all, make a second copy of your interior. Name it createspace interior file. Do not use your original to play around with.

I'm going to start from the beginning on Createspace.
Sign in. You will now be in your member dashboard. Click on "add a new title".  It will ask you to name your book. Type it in. I put in Watched. Do not use all caps.

Now you can put in a description of your book. (You can wait on this if you want) Think back blurb or the summary you read on the inside jacket of a book. This is what people will read on Amazon and the other sites you choose to send it to. It is what makes a person want to read your book. It sells it for you. You can change this a hundred times if you want to. I used the back blurb of my book. See it here.(scroll to "editorial review")

You can put a subtitle on your book if you want or just leave it blank. I used "Murder was just the beginning". Check out the link to see how they use it on your book page.

You can list a volume number if you like. I chose #1 because it was the first of a series.

Save and Continue

Now we are at the interior file (the text of your book) Whew!!

You can choose the paper color-white or cream. If you choose cream, you limit your choice of book size. I suggest white. But do what you like.

Trim size is your next decision. This is the size of your finished book. Choose a size the printer you are going to use, uses. If you are going to stick with Createspace, you can choose any of the sized they list. I chose 5.06 x 7.81 because I liked some books I had that were that size, but my local printer did not print a book that size, so I switched to 5 X 8, a size they do print. Not sure which to choose? Measure some books at your house and see what sizes you like or check with your local printers to see what sizes they print.

Save and Continue

Do not pick an ISBN yet! Click next at the top of the screen.

On the next page at the bottom you will see a link to file formatting. Click on that. It takes you to a disscussion board for file formatting.  You could read for hours about the pitfalls and problems associated with formatting. Look for a little bit, but then return to the previous page.

Now click on interior templates at the bottom of the page. Find the size book you chose and click on the Formatted template for that size book. Download it. Look over the file. It gives you an idea of how your book should look. Now delete that.

Now download the basic template. It will be blank. Paste your entire manscript into this template. Simply open your document and while holding down the control key, press A. This selects your whole manuscript. Then, while holding the control key, press C. This copies it.

Now go back to the basic template and right click on the mouse and choose paste. Your manuscript is now formatted for the book size you chose.

You may find some problems with the formatting. This is normal. Your page numbers may be off a bit or your chapters a bit off. Maybe your book has a lot more pages now. You can fix the problems for free by using the discussion boards. (We went there earlier. The link is on the page where you chose your book size.)

Go to the boards and ask away. Be patient. While you are waiting for an answer, search for the answer by scrolling through the interior formatting discussions.  If this drives you crazy, then hire createspace to do it for you. I don't think it's worth it. The cheapest option is $299. Maybe you have a friend who knows how to fix it. Don't get in a hurry.

Save this file in the mean time. I'll add a few tips about it on later posts.

You may be a lucky one who's manuscript pasted perfectly. Good for you. It took me a few weeks to get it all right.

Play around with it a little. You can always delete it if you mess it up. Just go back and re-paste into the basic template. No big deal. Play with it. Enjoy the journey.

Happy formatting!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Winner of the Watched Blog Blast for this Blog

Congratulations Rachel D.   You won a signed copy of Watched. Thanks for joining in the fun blog blast! Please email me your address so I can ship the book to you. cindymhogan at yahoo dot com

Everyone- Don't forget to visit cindy's blog to find out if you won the Grand Prize tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Celebrate The Release Of Watched With Us

And you could win lots of awesome prizes
                          and learn about             
        the hottest new teen novel,
       while making new friends.
Each of the following blogs is offering a different awesome prize!
(That's 14 prizes!) On this blog you could win a signed copy of Watched!
And the grand prize is a $25 dollar gift card to Amazon.

                  Quick, Fast Entry

Pick a blog, any blog to get started
(just click on the underlined name)
Better hurry! There's only 4 days to enter -Tues., June 21st-Friday, June 24th
 **(Need more details? More complete entry details at the bottom of the page)

1.   Follow Rachelle Writes and leave a comment.   Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Rachelle's blog. (If you do both you get 1 entry into Rachelle's contest and one into the Grand Prize contest-You Must do both to enter either)

2.   Follow A Writer's Reality and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Melissa's blog.

3.   Follow Day Dreamer and leave a comment.
Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Christine's blog.

4.  Follow The Queen of the Clan and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Danyelle's blog.

5.   Follow Jordan McCollum and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Jordan's blog.

6.  Follow The Crazy Daze of Motherhood and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Jane's blog.

7.  Follow I am a Pistachio and leave a comment.
Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Rebecca's blog.

8.   Follow Chasing Dreams and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Tamara's blog.

9.   Follow Ramblings of a Random Writer and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Betsy's blog.

10. Follow Matthew Tandy-The Working Writera nd leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Matthew's blog.

11 Follow Weaving a Tale or Two and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Donna's blog.

12. Follow Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M. Hogan and leave a comment about Tristi's blog.

13. Follow My Yellow Sandbox and leave a comment. Then follow  Cindy M Hogan and leave a comment about Abby's blog.

14. Follow Watched and leave a comment. Then follow Cindy M Hogan and leave a comment about that blog.

13. Enter all 14 contests and you get an extra 5 entries into the Grand Prize Giveaway. (19 entries)

14. That's not all! Get 6 extra entries by buying Watched here (print book) or here (e-book) and sending her a copy of your confirmation cindymhogan at yahoo dot com. Easy peasy.   Wow! That's 25 entries!

Have fun and good luck!

**More Details on how to enter
  • Click on the blog name
  • Follow that blog
  • Leave a comment that you were there 
  • Jump over to Cindy's blog
  • Leave a comment about what you liked about the other blog. 
Congrats! You've entered that blog's contest and earned one entry into the Grand Prize Drawing!

Enter one. Enter two or how ever many you like, but...

If you enter all the blogs' contests you get a bonus 5 entries into the Grand Prize Drawing.
That gives you a total of 19 entries to win the
Grand Prize- A $25 gift card to Amazon.

And don't forget to get your copy of Watched for a bonus 6 entries.
(25 total)

Remember- you only have 4 days to enter.
(Tues, June 21st-Friday, June 24th at midnight)  
and you must comment on both blogs for entry into each contest.

Individual blogs will award prizes on June 25th
The Grand Prize will be awarded on June 28th on Cindy's blog.

Check back to see if you won! You have 2 days to claim your prize.

A big thanks to my awesome friends for joining in on the fun.
Indie Publishing Secrets series will return next Tues

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Indie Publishing Secrets Revealed-Secret #7-Getting a Cover

Secret #7 Getting A Cover For Your Book

I hope you've had fun researching e-publishing. Now, let's get a cover for your book.

Go to Createspace.com and set up an account if you haven't already.

Now, follow the easy steps to Add a New Title. (Don't get an ISBN at this point. Just skip it) It doesn't need to be real. Just play around with everything. After a bit of snooping, go ahead and check out Cover Creator.

You have three choices:

1. Import a picture or drawing of your own into the creator using a template they provide (Easy and your own)  *just remember, if you don't format your own cover, you can only get a high-resolution thumbnail from Createspace of the front cover...perfect for ebooks.

I used my own picture and imported it into the template I had chosen in Cover-Creator. 

2. Use the pictures they provide for the templates (easiest, but not your own) Again, you will only get a high-rez. pic. of the front cover.

3. Format your own picture following their directions (difficult, but you have all the control) You'll have the whole cover to use as you please.

Before you decide which of the three to do, go ahead and look at all the templates.

Upload a picture and see how Cover Creator makes it into a book cover. Don't worry, nothing is permanent. You can change it a thousand times if you want.

Try different templates and different pictures/drawings and fill in the back copy. You can even upload your picture to go on the back cover if you want

Play around. Get familiar with how this works.

Just a side note.

If you already know what picture/drawing you want for your cover, you will need to somehow super-impose the price of your book on the back, right above the area where the barcode will go.

I used photoshop to do this. You can use whatever photo-altering program you want to use. 

Do this BEFORE you order your proof. Many bookstores will not carry your book without the price printed on it and Createspace does not do that and they don't tell you to do it.

Have fun playing around with Cover-Creator and keep editing.

Happy creating!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

More of "Watched" Launch at Barnes and Noble

So, here are some more pics. of the most fantastic launch ever! (others are here at my other blog) Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Getting set up

Hi Hollie!

Even boys love this book. Thanks Kyle.

A shout-out to Aubrie, Amanda, Sierra, Hannah,
Morgan, Kelsie and Sarah

My whole family(at least those in Utah) came out to support
little ole me. This is my mom...and mother in law..and there's my neighbor, Tammy, too.

Katie! So glad you came.

Marci and Tiffany. You're awesome.

Johnnie, Katie and Brenda-Wahoo!
How much fun was that?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Indie Publishing Secrets Revealed Step #6 People sell your books, duh!

Step #6

All right. It's time we had a heart to heart.

Have you thought about how you are going to market your book? Do you realize that marketing is HUGE. If you only remember one thing about marketing, you should remember this, 
                                      people sell your books.

What does this really mean? You need to get to know a lot of people before you even consider self-publishing-at least if you want to sell a lot of books. Here are a few things to help you do that.

  1. You should have a blog that you post regularly on.
  2. You should follow lots of blogs- ones that you like and actually read AND comment on because you like them. Use google.com/reader to make this a breeze. 
  3. Join writers' groups and participate regularly.
  4. Go to other author signings and talk to them about their books.
  5. Start using twitter.com
  6. Tell everyone you meet that your book is coming out soon. 
  7. Get in touch with bookstores and talk to them about signings.
  8. Get on Goodreads.com
  9. While you're at writers' conferences, talk to a lot of people and get their information. Make yourself known. Talk to the authors that are there. Be genuine with people-be yourself and make friends.

Your biggest obstacle in indie-publishing is getting the word out about your book.(and honestly, traditionally published authors have the same challenge.)You need to have a lot of people who care about your success in order to accomplish this. These initial people spread the word.

People sell your books through word of mouth. The more mouths you have telling people about your books the better.  Get on this right away. You do not have time to delay.

I hope you are already doing a lot of the things I listed and only need to up your participation in those activities. If not, pick one thing on the list and start doing it, today. Add something new each week and create habits that help make author-socializing easy and not burdensome.

For example, I spend 15-30 minutes in the morning going through emails, twitter, goodreads, google reader, etc. At noon, I spend another 10-15 mins catching anything new and before bed I give it another 10-15 min. If I don't, it gets overwhelming.

Some days, depending on what's going on, I could only spend 20 mins on social media, other days I need the full hour. Help yourself by being consistent and don't ever let yourself get sucked in to spending all your time reaching out and making friends and no time writing. Find your balance.

Happy networking!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Watched by Cindy M. Hogan has Hit the News

Just flipping through a google search and found an article about

Watched in the Deseret News.

I can't believe it! When Carma Wadley interviewed me, she said there'd be a little blurb about the book and my book launch in the Sunday Arts Section of the Deseret News.

This is more than a little blurb. Yay for Watched!
                         click here to see it
                                                                                                                                   Link to Amazon