Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Indie Publishing Secret #12- Revisiting the Cover

Indie Secret #12-Your Cover....
Go check out Why Not? Because I Said So TODAY! 

And write a review of Watched in the comment section of my blog to be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Yahoo!

I've had a lot of emails asking about Createspace's cover designer. I thought I'd go into a bit more detail.

  1. Not all templates allow you to upload your own photo. If it doesn't give you the option to upload your own-then you can't use that one with your own design/picture. It will only the allow the background you see on the template. Only a few are like this.
  2. One template is made for you to put your professionally done cover in. When you click on it, it lets you know it is that one
  3. When you choose a template, you can use your picture or choose one from their gallery if you'd like.
  4. You can not change the placement of the title, author name, author picture, and back blurb because it is a template. However, you can unclick "visible" for several of these and not have to worry about them. For example, I put my picture on the last page of my book instead of the back cover by unclicking the "visible" box. You could unclick the visible for the back blurb-but I don't suggest that. You want that.
  5. If your picture doesn't work just right-you can edit it with free software like Picasa or use Photoshop or some other editing software to make it work. Just edit and reload until you get it right. 
  6. The most important thing about your cover picture is that you remember the picture has to be high resolution. If it isn't it will send you a message telling you it may be blurry when they print your cover. Make sure you heed that warning-even if you love how it looks on the screen.
  7. The spine does not show until you submit your cover. You submit by pushing the submit button at the bottom of the screen. This does NOT lock you into that cover. It only creates the entire cover for you. It takes a few minutes-but you could change it however many times you want. Just re-submit when you think you have it how you want it. 
  8. Keep in mind as you look at the picture without the spine, that the ISBN is on the back of the book. So, check out it's placement to kinda know where everything is on the page. If it's too hard to understand that concept, simply press submit and get the whole view. No harm, no foul. You can do that as many times as you like.
  9. Also, remember, you need to add your price on the back of the book somewhere. I used Photoshop. You can do it for free in Picasa or use a different edititing program. You can't, however, use Word. If you do, you end up with a Word document and you can't upload those for your cover.
I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Happy Covering!! And get to reviewing my book, Watched, so you can win the $10 Amazon gift card. Just put your review in the comments of either of my blogs to enter.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Indie Publishing Secret #11 ....and a Contest?

So, remember in Secret #6 I talked about people selling your book? Some amazing bloggers are doing that this week for me.  Lucky me and lucky YOU!  Several are holding contests (including me) and you could easily win! (Check out the end of the post for details or go to cindymhogan.blogspot.com for the contest, recipes and more)

What's Secret #11? Hold contests the week your book comes out and regularly for a while.

This may seem like a jump forward from what we've been discussing, but you need to be thinking about it now and asking people to be a part of the chaos when you do publish. Start getting things lined up several months before you actually print or publish the ebook. This is a good way to get the word out.

Just change the contests up. Hold a launch blog tour/blast contest. Have your blogger friends have giveaways of your book on their site. Have a review contest. Give books away on Goodreads. Have your friends and others do interviews. Have people feature you on their blogs and talk about you on Twitter and Facebook....Reach out. Ask for help. Be methodical about it and keep track about who offers to do what and when. Be creative. Think of fun ways to get people to know you and be interested in your book.

Give your book to people who help you out. You've got to give the book to your reviewers for sure, and they need the book a couple months in advance. You can feature them on your site, too. Reward them for helping you out.

Make sure that you are still offering good content on your blog while the contests are going on. Don't stop blogging your regular stuff-remember, this is what brought people to you in the first place.

I'll go into more detail later about doing all of this. I just wanted to bring it to your attention and get you thinking about it now so you can start planning.

Happy contest planning- see below for the contest

YAHOO! I'm so excited! It's review week for Watched!

All week long you'll get to read reviews of Watched on some fun blogs and have chances to win prizes. Some of the blogs are even giving away signed copies of Watched. Go visit the blogs on the list below and find out what the buzz is all about.

You could also win a $10 Amazon gift card just for writing your own review of Watched in the comment section of this blog or emailing it to cindymhogan at yahoo dot com before August 12th.

That gives you plenty of time to read it and review it. Buy an ebook (only 2.99 right now)here for Kindle or here for Nook or print books here.

Earn 5 bonus points by posting your review with a link to buy Watched, on your own blog before August 12th. Make sure you comment with a link to your site so I can give you the 5 bonus points.

Check out these fun blogs on these days and you just might win something super fun!
Monday, July 18th       Lisa Ann Turner  -fun stuff about me.                     And   Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Tuesday, July 19th           Canda's Inkblast
Wednesday, July 20th      Teen Book Guide and
                                 LDS Women's Book Review

Thursday, July 21st          Fire and Ice
Friday, July 22nd             Star Crossed Book Reviews
Monday, July 25th           Ink Drop Interviews- more fun stuff
Tuesday, July 26th      Why Not Because I Said So

If you visit all the blogs and read all the reviews and interviews just leave me a comment here that you did by Wed. July 27th for the 5 bonus points to win the $10 gift card.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Indie Publishing Secret #10 Mobi Pocket

Indie Secret #10

Did you figure out which ISBN route to take? I hope I gave you enough information to navigate your way through it without a lot of headache.

Onward and upward to Mobipocket. Now you need to change your book into .HTML. If you already know how to do that, you can skip this post.

Mobipocket is a free way to convert your book into HTML for uploading to the Kindle. You can upload a word doc. but you are bound to have issues with how it is formated once in the Kindle system. This step takes those issues away. (Amazon owns this site...big surprise, right?)
  1.  Go to Mobipocket.com
  2. In Mobipocket Creator-Select create an ebook
  3. Download the program. You also want to download Mobipocket reader, so you can read the book once uploaded and converted. Do this now.
  4. Select import word document (If that's how you created and saved your book)
  5. Browse and find your book then import it
  6. Add your cover picture. Simply browse and once you find it, add it. This is the high resolution thumbnail image you requested from Createspace by calling and having them send you the thumbnail. Tell them you need this for promotional flyers-which you do. Of course, if you didn't use Cover Creator in Createspace you should have your own file/thumbnail with your cover.
  7. Select your cover and click update
  8. Select Build from the Menu
When it is finished. It will say, Build finished.
  1. Click on "Preview your book with Mobipocket Reader for PC" (Your book is now in .prc format) Pretty cool huh?
  2. Exit and Save
  3. Click "Open" at the top of the page. Your book will come up in  "My docs/publications folder" automatically. This is what you upload to Kindle when you're ready. (I'll go over this next week)
Have fun with Mobipocket! It is an awesome resource.

Happy Mobipocketing!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Secrets to Indie Publishing Revealed #9-Choosing an ISBN

Secret #9

How's it going with your cover? What have you discovered? What about formatting your file? Did that go well?

It's time to choose your ISBN.

Go to Createspace and sign in.

Click on your book title and look for the "set up" tab. Click on ISBN.

You have four choices-each with pros and cons

  1. Free. If you only intend to sell through Createspace channels, you may want to choose this. It will list Createspace as the publisher.YOu can not take this ISBN with you to another printer/distributor. If you want your books in stores, do not choose this option. Createspace says it will be available for stores to purchase because it will be in the Ingram catalogue, but bookstores do not order POD books (Createspace is a POD distributor/printer) Bookstores insist on the ability to return your book at any time up to 99 years from purchase. POD is a final sale-no returns.
  2. 10 buck option- If you only intend to sell through Createspace channels, you many want to choose this. Why the $10 fee? It give you the ability to "imprint" the book as the publisher. You can use your name or make up a publishing company like "Sunshine Publishing" to be the publisher. This keeps Createspace off your book info. (all the info about taking it with you from option #1 holds true with this option)
  3. Custom-If you want to take your book and get it onto bookstore shelves as well as Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and others-you may want to choose this option. Sure, $99 seems like a lot of money for your own ISBN when you can get one for free, but remember, If you choose option 1 or 2, you have no control over where your book goes. You can not take it to another distributor. (Createspace is a printer and distributor) using their ISBN. This option lets you take it where ever you want to have it printed or distributed.
  4. Custom Universal-this allows you to buy your ISBN somewhere else and put it on your book. If you intend to write several books and self-publish them, this is what you will want to do. You can go to Bowker.com and buy "packs" of ISBN's for less than $99 a pop. If you buy ten, it's around $500. Most authors who self-publish go this route. You can take your book to any printer and/or distributor you choose.
Now, remember, even if you use option #3 or #4, Createspace does not imprint the price into the barcode they create. Most bookstores require this. If you only intend to sell through online channels, don't worry about this.

Go to a barcode generator online and pay a few bucks to have one made that includes the price if you are selling it outside Createspace distribution.

Take some time to decide which route to go. Once you choose an ISBN, you are stuck with it for that book. You can re-publish with a different ISBN, but that means you start all over and it can be a headache. I had to do this and it is no fun.

Happy ISBNing!