Posts Tagged ‘Painted Black’

I met with my publisher at New Libri yesterday and we talked about a few  minor edits for Painted Black to look at which they will send me soon.  And we talked about cover image suggestions.  And we talked about promotion and marketing ideas to get started on. And we set the release date for this fall.

And…I am getting SO excited that this is actually going to happen.  I’m still a little (read “a lot”) fuzzy on this whole marketing thing, especially the web/social media presence.  But the great thing about working with a small press who is just starting out is that marketing me and my novel is essential to marketing New Libri as well. So I feel more supported than I might have at a larger house, or even a well established small press which has more important, market-tested authors to spend their time and budget on.

New Libri encourages their authors to get to know one another and set up a support network.  So we are going to touch base soon and brainstorm what we can do as a unit to make sure we are all successful.  There are plans to upgrade the New Libri website and I will be making a few changes to my blogs to establish a more professional, authorial presence.  (Yeah, will see how that works–right now I feel more stumbling geek.)

I’ll keep you informed on changes I’m making as they happen, but here’s an overview of what I’m planning to do:

  • Create an author website and link my blogs to it
  • Change my email signature (see below for example)
  • Set up a new email address specifically for the novel
  • Start posting comments on the New Libri Facebook page
  • Continue to be a presence on Facebook and Twitter
  • Print professional business cards

You can expect this blog to start focusing more on self promotion and marketing, but I am planning on doing some self-publishing experimentation when I have time, so will continue to muse on the self e-pubbing journey I started out on.  One idea I might try is epubbing some of my short stories for free to generate a buzz for the upcoming novel.  Other authors I’ve been communicating with have tried that and it seems to have a certain degree of success.

I am enjoying this publishing journey I’m launched on and hope you are looking forward to Painted Black’s release as much as I am.

Debra R. Borys
Author of Painted Black to be released fall 2011 by New Libri Press

Facebook Pages are important for a few reasons. They’ve been showing up high in search engine positions. Also, you can get unlimited “fans” for your Facebook Page, unlike the limit of 5,000 friends that your regular Facebook Profile is capped at. They’re visible to search engines and visitors, too. It’s almost like a social networking mailing list that you can reach out to at any time!

via How to Create A Facebook Page.

Next week I am going to be meeting with my publisher to talk about the cover for Painted Black (Yay!) and also how we want to promote on Facebook.  I’m hoping he knows a lot more about that than I do.  I did figure out how to create a Facebook page for my book, but then I looked at it and said “what now?”

The Squidoo article quoted above does a great job telling you how to create a Facebook page.  It also gives some tips as to how to promote your page and other info on how Facebook pages work.  But basically, if I’m reading correctly, what you do with the page once you’ve created it, is–you guessed it–post stuff.

So like, what’s the big deal about that?  Isn’t that what a web page is for, or a blog like the one I created for my novel And what the heck am I supposed to post on it anyway?

I guess the idea is that the more places you promote your book the better, even if they seem repetitive or redundant.  After all, there are people on Facebook who may never see my webpage.  And people who find my webpage might not be Facebook members.  (Oh, you can close your mouth now.  I don’t think Facebook has quite taken control of the universe yet.)

So my biggest question is what kind of things should I be posting on these various sites–Facebook, blog, webpage?  What works?  Only a publicist knows for sure. Or maybe a publisher.  I guess I’ll find out next week after I meet with New Libri Press.  Then I pass the skinny on to you guys.

Painted Black

Posted: May 27, 2011 in Marketing
Tags: ,

I changed the look of my novel website. What do you guys think, do you like this better than the old one, or should I change it back?

Marketing is all about image after all. I want to make sure I’m putting the right look up front.

Or Not

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Self Publishing, Small Presses

I started this blog with one idea.  To experiment with whether or not should self e-publish my suspense novel Painted Black.  The reason for that is I spent years writing, marketing, rewriting, marketing again and rewriting again that same novel.  It was time to get past the writer’s block that was me writing the same book over and over.

Where am I at four and a half months after I started this experiment?  Would you believe I am editing the manuscript once again?  Will I never learn?  But no, it’s not like that, really.

The truth is, instead of self e-publishing Painted Black, I signed a contract with a publishing company that is going to do that for me.  New Libri is an independent publishing company just drying out its wings here in Seattle.  I found out about it from someone I met at a University of Washington writing class a few years ago.  He is one of the principals starting up this new enterprise and remembers excerpts from Painted Black as it was undergoing its (what I thought was going to be) final rewrite before I retired it and committed myself to the next novel.

They will also eventually be offering, wait for it….. printed copies of Painted, courtesy of the POD (Print On Demand) services offered by Lightning Source, a division of Ingram Distributors. So my friends and family can choose to view the spawn of my twisted imagination by way of the medium of their choice: ebook or paperback.  Or not.

Which brings us to the title of this blog posting.  It turns out the answer to my Blog title  “To Self Publish or Not to Self Publish, That is the Question” is Or Not.  Because I will not be “self” epublishing Paint It Black after all.  I have, however, epublished two short stories, Peeling the Onion, and Red Light, Green Light, both of which are available in several ebook formats.

That means I have even more reason to research ways to market my work and myself.  So as soon as I get these last few edits done and turn in Painted Black for New Libri to start their epublishing moves, expect more posts about marketing and the brave new world of epublishing.

My intention this week had been to investigate the option a little more thoroughly, and I did start doing that.  But my heart wasn’t really into it.  Epublishing with Amazon looks so easy and free, it feels like I should just start converting and uploading my manuscript using the steps I outlined last week and report how things work from there.  And I might have done just that this week, except for an unexpected opportunity that recently presented itself.

A guy I met at a writing class at the University of Washington (hi, Stasa!) who is also a Facebook friend recently posted a request for people to “like” a page he created for his new publishing company called New Libri. I did that, because it’s a great idea.  New Libri’s intent is to be an independent publisher that not only puts its imprint on quality printed books but can offer writers just about any publishing option they want.  They offer everything from traditional publishing (they pay costs, you get royalties, but you’ve got to meet their standards) to collaborative publishing (shared costs, but bigger royalty to the writer and you still have to meet the quality guidelines), to self publishing help (for a fee they offer several services to get your work printed or ebooked under your own imprint).

Stasa and I started exchanging emails and I told him about this blog and my interest in possibly ebooking it myself, and he remembered excerpts of Painted Black that I had brought to class where we first met.  The long and short of it is, he asked if he could look at Painted Black for consideration under their traditional publishing model and I thought why the heck not and sent it off earlier this weekend.  So until I hear back from them, I really don’t know what direction fate might take me to make Black a sellable, published commodity.  Which means it really doesn’t make sense to even try uploading it to Amazon for the sake of experimentation.

Still, I’ve done all this darned research so far, and I have a blog to get out, and there’s this whole extra day in my life thanks to the President’s Day holiday.  So I started thinking about my first Jo Sullivan novel, written so many years ago it should be called a prequel to Painted Black. The style is a bit different and maybe even not quite as good, but when I pulled Teach Your Children Well up to take a look at it again, I started remembering how much I really like it.  I tried hard to publish this way back when and wrote and rewrote it so many times it’s a little confusing to even figure out which file is the most recent one on  my computer.

I decided to read it completely through to see if the whole sounded as promising as the beginning, and as I did so, started wishing I could read it on my phone so I don’t have to sit all afternoon at this computer.  My first thought was I could upload it to Amazon DTP just like I considered doing to Black, but that looked like too much work just so I could read it while relaxing in bed tonight.  Then I remembered how easy is supposed to be.  Create an account, my earlier research had said, then upload a pdf and tada! epublishing accomplished.

It took a little more than that before I was satisfied, but it truly was that easy at first.  I didn’t even have to create an account or put it in pdf format.  Scribd let me sign in with my Facebook account and upload a Word document directly off my hard drive.  It happened so quickly I wasn’t expecting it and had to quickly make it a private document because it is not yet ready for public consumption.  Yet even in that short time, somehow I see that two of my Facebook friends found me and “Followed Me”  (Not sure how that happened, Carey and Charles.  If you read this, let me know.)

So I played a bit more, creating a cover, changing fonts, and then pdfing it so it would keep the fonts I picked instead of converting it into something more standard and boring.  Then I tried sending it to my mobile.  I had the option of downloading it to several eReader devices, but since I don’t have a device, just an Android smart phone, I tried sending to myself via text messaging. …….Nothing, even though I tried several ways of entering my phone number.  Then I emailed it to myself.  That did work, but it only let me send it as a text file and boy was that a mess.  No formatting whatsoever.  Paragraph and page breaks gone, header and page numbers mixed in with the text.

So, since I have the Kindle app on my phone, I thought I would see what would happen if I tried sending it as if I did have a Kindle device.  That did work, but the option I chose was to email it to myself again.  At least it let me choose to email it as a pdf so when I got it on my phone and opened the attachment, my formatting is there, fonts, cover image, headers and page numbers.  It won’t flow my text if I zoom my screen, though, so I have to swipe side to side it I want to increase the font size.  And it’s a little slow to refresh the screen as I move from page to page.  I bet if I had more time, I could experiment with sending it to my Amazon Kindle account and see if that would actually let me download it with my app and act like a normal Kindle ebook for reading.  Maybe I’ll play with that next time and let you know what happens.

For now, this is all the ebook news you’re going to get this post, so I hope you’re not bored or disappointed.  I’ll keep you informed how the New Libri thing works out, and maybe post a new page to let you take a peak at the first chapter of Teach Your Children Well.  Who knows, if I get through proofreading the manuscript and decide I like it well enough, I might even let you buy it off Scirbd or figure out how to publish Kindle and Nook versions.  We’ll see, anything is possible given enough time and caffeine.