Saturday, March 3, 2012

ARC copies. Do You Need Them?

ARC copy of Protected
Indie publishing secrets revealed.

The first ARC I received was
The Hourglass Door (The Hourglass Door Trilogy) (Hourglass Door (Quality))
by Lisa Mangum and she signed it and everything. So fun. Since then I get most of my ARC copies as eARCs because I love reading on my Nook so much!
I have 8 others sitting on my desk of honor. I love them.

One of the hardest things for an indie author is to get ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of your books out. But they are so important and readers love them, just like I do. They are a must.

ARCs are uncorrected proofs of your novel. They are usually made just after copy editing, but before the book is completely vetted for errors. Sometimes big mistakes remain, while other times, there are hardly any errors left. So, they aren't perfect books, but they are rare, not many are made, which is partly why people are so excited to get them.

Another reason people love to get ARC's is because they get to read the book before anyone else.  I was so thrilled when I was chosen to get an ARC of Hallowed by Cynthia Hand.
 I wanted that book pretty badly and I loved being able to read it a few months before anyone else. However, these books are not made for casual readers, friends and family. They are made to get the word out, build a buzz with reviewers and book bloggers. 

Publicity, baby! 

They are also sent to librarians so that they can check it out before ordering it. Booksellers get a preview of the book to help them decide if it will be a hit in their store (by the way, Barnes and Noble is notoriously slow in this arena. They need the book 12 weeks in advance to ensure your book will be available in their stores on your launch date, so get them out early)
As an indie author, the money to produce these ARCs comes out of your pocket and it's not cheap. This is a small run of 100 or so books and printing only 100 books is expensive.

One of the great things about the internet and ereaders is that indie authors can get their books to reviewers and book bloggers for free.  IF the readers and bloggers have ereaders. Smashwords lets authors create coupons that authors can give to people so that the book is free to them. Awesome, right?

Many bloggers/reviewers, however, do not have ereaders. Are they crazy? I love my NOOK. So handy! Don't get me wrong, I still love a good print book. So, you do need to have some printed ARCs on hand to get out to the public, but try to focus on eARCs. If a reviewer won't accept an eARC, move on, there are plenty who will and it really is the wave of the future. Save money wherever you can.
Createspace is a nice place to create your printed ARCs whether you choose to do 10 or 100.  You can even send them directly to the people from Createspace. Yes, you do have to pay shipping. Boo! But it is handy. It is also nice to give some ARCs to bloggers and reviewers to give away when they review your book.
I used Smashwords and Createspace to get out ARC copies of Protected. It worked out well. Also, there is something about a printed copy that makes it easier to spot errors. It is nice to have a print copy to mark up and do final editing on. It's also fun to keep that original book as a keepsake.

So, bite the bullet and get your print ARCs and eARCs out to reviewers, bloggers, librarians and booksellers at least 2 1/2 months before your release date. It is a must! Do not miss this step.

Do you own any ARCs? Do you love them? Did you buy the finished book when it came out?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

PCN: Why you Want One

Indie Publishing Secrets Series

On the title page of books published traditionally, you will see something like this-

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012932337
Hogan, Cindy M.
Protected/Cindy M. Hogan.-1st ed.
p. cm.
Summary: When terrorists find Christy, she must enter the Witness Protection Program and become someone totally new while abandoning everything she has ever known.

You want this in your book, too and you can!

A PCN is a preassigned control number for print books only. The book must also be printed in the US and you must get the number before it is printed for the first time.

What is it exactly?

A Library of Congress catalog control number is a unique identification number that the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book in its cataloged collections. Librarians use it to locate a specific Library of Congress catalog record in the national databases and to order catalog cards from the Library of Congress or from commercial suppliers. 

Why do you want one?

The purpose of the Preassigned Control Number (PCN) program is to enable the Library of Congress to assign control numbers in advance of publication to those titles that may be added to the Library's collections. The publisher prints the control number in the book and thereby facilitates cataloging and other book processing activities. The PCN links the book to any record which the Library of Congress, other libraries, bibliographic utilitites, or book vendors may create.

Are you eligible?

Only U.S. book publishers are eligible to participate in the PCN program. These publishers must list a U.S. place of publication on the title page or copyright page of their books and maintain an editorial office in the U.S. capable of answering substantive bibliographic questions.
When you get a PCN, you are assigned a particular person to take care of your needs. Find yours under Liaisons
How to get yours
It is a two-step process.
First you must complete an application to participate here.
 **Note-You must be a publisher to get this number. You are the publisher of your book if you are an indie publisher. You should get a license (doing business as license) and make it official.
Next, when the application has been approved, you, as the publisher, will be sent an account number and password. Then you can log-in and fill out the Preassigned Control Number Application Form to get your number.
Then you print it on the title page of your book.
Easy Peasy! Go get yours today! Don't let your title page be bare.
Are you convinced? Are you going to get a PCN for your awesome book?

I'm so excited to share it with you. Release date: March 24th. Yahoo!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ISBN's: Why you Need Them

If you are planning to publish your manuscript, you will want to be found.
Barcode art from Japan
The best way to be found is to get an ISBN. Also, you MUST have an ISBN if you have a print book. You can get away without one for Ebooks sold certain places, but without one, you will be excluded from certain sites.

Check out this cool barcode with the ISBN underneath. Fun, huh?

I was just going through the process of getting some new ISBNs for Protected and future books and thought I'd share the fun with you.

When getting an ISBN, it is best to go to Createspace offers them for free, but then you are always tied to them. To get what they call a universal ISBN, one that you can take with you wherever you sell your book, you have to pay a lot of money.

Click on create an account and fill out the form.
Remember, you are the CEO of your own writing business.

Click on publisher services.
Click on the big ISBN on the right hand side.
Click on get your ISBN now and choose how many ISBNs you want.

If you only intend on publishing one book you will need 2 ISBN's. One for your print version and one for your E-version. It's true that not all sites require an ISBN for your eBook, but Apple does require it, and they are a huge force in the Ebook world, so get one. If you aren't doing a print version, you will only need one. It is cheaper to buy 100. Seems like a lot to pay at once,  but at only $5.70 a pop, it is much more affordable than 100+  bucks for one or $26 each if you buy 10. You'll save money in the long run. If you are a true author, you will use them all, right? *Big smiles*

After you buy them, you can find them in MYACCOUNT in your Bowker Account. You will need to go to MY ACCOUNT and then Manage ISBN's to assign them to each book you publish.

You will have to fill out all the information on each book and it is a lot. It will take some time. You need to upload your manuscript in PDF form, upload your cover in jpeg as well as a ton of other stuff. Be prepared.

Also, you will need a barcode to go with your ISBN if you have a print book. There are a lot of barcode creators online. Way cheaper than what Bowker offers. You need to know your price when you create one. My printer puts my barcodes on my books.

Here's another fun ISBN from Japan. What do you think of it?
Barcode art from Japan

Do you think it's fair that we have to pay for ISBN's when we have to have them to sell our books?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Indie Publishing Secrets revealed - The Process of Publishing

I am blogging on iWriteNetwork about this very thing. 
Thepost will help you see the big picture of the process of traditional publishing vs indie publishing. Go check it out here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Indie Publishing Secrets Revealed - Copy Edits

Is there such a thing as an error free first edition?

I've never seen it.

With that being said, I can't stress how important it is to get a great copy editor. In fact, you might need two. For Protected, I'm actually using three.

Well, I'm not very good at editing-especially when I've made a thousand changes during plot editing. I get to a point where I can't see the problems. I'm too focused on the story itself.

So, after I get all my plot edits done, I give it to a couple of English geniuses to help me fix the copy errors they see. After I fix those things, I send it to a paid copy editor. Yes, it costs money, but it is worth it.

Because she finds so many errors (especially commas. I love them and use them way too often), after I fix all the mistakes she finds, I send it to another English wiz to catch anything my copy-editor missed.  It's easy to miss things when there is a sea of mistakes.

I'm happy to say, that she didn't find many this go around. Yay!

Then, after it's published, I wait for my fans to tell me about errors that still remain. Yep. After all that, some mistakes still linger.

You might be thinking that I don't have a good editor. Well, it simply isn't true. In fact, there isn't one author I've talked to about editing who hasn't told me their editors, no matter how amazing or how expensive, miss things. It happens. So be prepared.

I happen to know some awesome copy-editors that are honest and very competitively priced. Check them out.
1. Tristi Pinkston  
In fact, you could win a 250 page evaluation from Tristi by signing up to attend a cool workshop THIS coming Saturday, January 21st. No joke. Sign up here. That'll save you a lot of dough!

2. Precision Editing Group

Have you ever read a book that had no errors? Not a single one? If so, what was it?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fantasy Lovers Dream

Do you love YA fantasy? This is your chance to win lots of YA fantasy books and fantasy swag.

For Christmas one year, I may have been 8 or so, my big brother, Matt, gave me my first fantasy book.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks.
The Sword of Shannara (Shannara, #1)
That book began my love of fantasy. Talk about a genius. That is one great series. Love! Love! Love!

What book started your love of Fantasy?

Here you can win a copy of either The Sword of Shannara or a fantasy book of your choice.

Easy Entry- less than 1 minute to do all. Yahoo
1. Follow this blog -mandatory
2. Like my Watched Facebook page extra +1
3. Like my Watched Amazon page extra +1
**Leave me a comment about which of the three you did and which book you'd like me to send to you.

On Monday, The Indelibles is launching their blog. You won't want to miss it. I will be hosting a great giveawy here and you'll be able to enter to win a Kindle Fire- No joke. As you know, I'm partial to the Nook-but, there is something to be said for 2nd best. Hee Hee.

See ya on Monday. Make sure you enter all the fun giveaways below and tell me about your love of fantasy in my comments.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Debutante Ball staring "Watched"

Welcome to the Debutante Ball, 
A Feast of Debut Authors Blog Tour.

The party Ends today with me. So cool!

We're all giving away our books and some awesome swag. So, enter each day on each blog below on or before December 31st to win.

Announcing Watched, a contemporary suspense Novel by Cindy M. Hogan.
Released June 6, 2011.
What readers are saying about Watched:

"Fantastic read, full of suspense and excitement."
-Bullard GMTA

"One of those books you don't want to put down."
-S. Hill

"Well written and suspenseful."
-A. Brown

"Usually I'm prone to murder mysteries by James Patterson, and this kept me just as enthralled as his books."
-S. McClure

"This is my new favorite book."
-A. Ahlstrom 

Just for this contest and to thank everyone who has made Watched a success and spread the word even more, Watched is only .99 cents for all e-readers.  
Yahoo! Go get yours today
all other e-formats also available. Get it at your favorite spot.

All you have to do to enter is comment and tell others about the fun Each time you comment, Tweet, Facebook or blog about the ball during the rest of December, you get an entry. Just leave a comment with the link to what you did. Easy!

Have fun and go find out about all these authors. 
                  One a day. 
                              Enter their contests and win.

Have fun and enjoy the books and swag!

12 Elizabeth Mueller

17 Pendragon Innmen 

19 Alex J. Cavanaugh

21 Fiauna Lund

22 Anastasia V. Pergakis

27 Patti Larsen

28 Red Tash

29 Annetta Ribken

Leave me some love and comment!