Category Archives: Marketing and promotion
My graphic artist Michael Lenehan has been busy the last month working on a trailer for my second book Three Stones of Destiny. It has been his first venture into creating a animated trailer, which he has created in a cartoon style rather than a more painstaking method. Overall, I am quite pleased with it, as it captures the drama of a key point in the book when my erfin character Mirrortac faces his antagonist Yidu for the first time. My YouTube link for the trailer is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i98tLcgUu4Q&feature=em-upload_owner
The links for Michael and the book are:
- You will find his art at Deviant Art on http://mick2006.deviantart.com
- POD publisher Equilibrium Books’ link to my book for print and ebook is http://www.equilibriumbooks.com/threestones.htm
- The direct Amazon order page is http://www.amazon.com/Three-Stones-of-Destiny-ebook/dp/B00B57ULHO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361069942&sr=8-1&keywords=Paul+Vander+loos
Book Editing. Book Covers, and Research
So many writers keep asking me how to self-publish books that I wanted to share Four Steps that will helping new writers out there. I had interest in my book from a great literary agent. I decided to self-publish when I thought about the things I could on my own since I had a background in marketing.
These are the Four Detailed Steps I did, including the costs, to self-publish my book:
Step 1 Hire a Book Editor
After writing my book the first thing I spent money on was hiring a professional book editor. Ann Kempner Fisher was my editor. She is absolutely the best! She’s located in the U.S. It cost $1,300 and was well worth the money. Most good and experienced editors charge $4.00- $6.00 per page. If you’re located in the U.K. join a well-known writers group and get referrals from writers in the group. Spending money on editing is a necessity and not an option. Some self-published writers havn’t done this and say publicly that paying for a book editor is too expensive. They post on blogs that they wanted to publish books quickly on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Then I read complaints on Amazon reader forums and Good Reads forums, readers having to struggle to read books with bad grammar, misspellings, etc. You only have one time to impress readers and won’t get another chance. Stephen King, James Patterson, and other professional writers always use editors. Self-published writers have to do the same thing to compete.
Step 2 Format Book for Publication
I formatted my book for Kindle. This was difficult to do myself so I went on Fiverr.com to find someone to format my book per KDP requirements: set up the margins, table of contents, etc. This cost around $25. The people that do book formatting charge by the number of pages. Fiverr is a wonderful marketplace to find all sorts of inexpensive services for your book project including: website updates, social media marketing, book promotions, logo/ad design, graphics, etc. Just look for the highest rated vendor in the appropriate category and place your order via Paypal.
Step 3 Design Book Cover
I used 99 Designs to get a distinctive and low cost book cover illustration and design (for $299). This was a very good price since good illustration can cost around $500-$1,000. I heard about 99 designs from fellow writer Tim Ferriss. He’s written several best sellers: The Four Hour Work Week, The Four Hour Body, The Four Hour Chef. He really knows how to market books! 99 Designs is a crowd sourced marketplace where several designers and illustrators submit work based on your specifications. You set the price and choose the winner.
A book cover is an important tool in attracting and selling your book to readers, especially for my genre which is paranormal mystery. I have seen some outstanding book cover artwork for established paranormal writers. Then I have seen some poorly designed book covers in the market place from self-published authors. If you want to compete with mainstream published authors you can’t look like an amateur!
Please note: Illustration is different than design. (My cover is an illustration).I have many artists friends and know a lot about different mediums of art. Without getting too technical, an illustrator typically does art by hand. A designer typically assembles pre-existing graphics, photos, vectors, etc. An illustrator can design, but not all designers can illustrate. For new writers, you probably should illustrate your book if it is: children’s, horror, paranormal, fantasy, or sci-fi.
Step 4 Research the Book Marketplace
I researched my genre to see what types of books were in the market place. I checked Amazon bestsellers lists, Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists, and went to Barnes and Noble bookstore. This helped me prepare my market campaign for when I started promoting my book. I will discuss this in another post about book marketing. Questions to ask yourself are: How many books out there are like your book? Are you writing a niche topic?
I am offering my colleagues in fantasy and blog followers THE WIZARD’S SWORD for free for a limited time only, until January 1, 2013. Just go to my Smashwords book page at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66762 and enter the coupon code RJ34F when purchasing. This is in anticipation of Book 2 THREE STONES OF DESTINY which is now available as a preorder for print or Amazon Kindle ebook at this link http://www.equilibriumbooks.com/threestones.htm
SOUNDS like a grammar mistake, doesn’t it. But it isn’t. I’m talking about my second novel in the Nine Worlds series entitled Three Stones of Destiny. Maybe, I should have put some quote marks around ‘Stones’ but I left it to tease you, or perhaps irk. Anyway, enough of that. I have engaged talented UK graphic cover designer Michael Lenehan to work on the cover for ‘Stones’. And I may even let him have at redesigning the cover of book 1, which was the work of a local and also talented graphic designer, Heidi Counsel. Heidi’s work is excellent but I am now looking for a different ‘look’ that I hope will appeal to fantasy readers.
If I had to sum up this second book (which I will for promotions), it continues the journey of main character Mirrortac who is sent on a second mission of equal importance to his first. This time his own people are being misled by a demi-god man who poses as their god and wants to use three stones of power to enslave the peoples of three planets. It is such a difficult task that Mirrortac’s own children, the triplets Ezof, Treetam and Mitac, are engaged to help him after he loses all his memory after being sent to through a portal to another planet governed by vicious warriors and rent by volcanoes and earthquakes.
Once the cover art is ready, and I’m satisfied with the draft, it will be published with Create Space as an ebook and print book. If you haven’t already read book one, The Wizard’s Sword, grab it now at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66762 . I hope Three Stones of Destiny will be out before Christmas.