Sunday, June 12, 2011

Social Media aka Internet Time Suck

So I did it.  I signed up for Facebook against my better judgment and friended most everyone I could think of off the top of my head, without opening it up to the entire universe.  Unfortunately I said I liked Lady Gaga and now I have fifteen posts on my wall with that horrible album cover…I gotta get that off there.  I also have numerous messages about FB games I don’t want to play.  The whole experience left me somewhat uneasy without really knowing why.  It’s just so…surreal.  I guess I find myself longing for the simple human connection of plain old e-mail.  Some of you may remember me sending you real, handwritten letters years ago; that’s what e-mail is to me-personal. 

I also went back to Twitter, which I’m actually enjoying more than FB.  It’s kinda fun, like haiku, like sending out tiny messages in a bottle to see what comes back.  There’s some pearls there.

And then there’s Youtube –ugh.  Suzann, who’s working on the book trailer for me, said it would be easiest if I got a Youtube account so she can upload it there and I can view it in draft.  So I go to Youtube and try to set up an account, but it says I have to have a Google account too.  When I try to set that up, nothing happens.  It’s really frustrating for a non-techie, lemme tell ya.  As Scarlet always said, I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Despite all that, I’ve had a lot of fun with the trailer ideas, hunting down the photos, the music, etc.  I’m really excited to see how it turns out. The only real downside to all this is the amazing amount of time I seem to be spending online – the reason I’ve always avoided this stuff in the past.  Very little actual writing is getting done right now.  I console myself with the notion that this is “work” that will pay off in time.  My current work in progress is now a complete first draft and I’m letting it sit for awhile, so it’s all good, right?  When the edits come back on Storyteller, I’ll get right on it.  I promise.

And to answer Chris’ question about Smashwords in a nutshell, it’s cheap and easy, or at least it appears to be.  I looked at Lulu once, but the price scared me off.  Amazon confused me.  Smashwords makes sense to me.  They take your file, translate it into multiple types of e-reader files and distribute those files to multiple sales outlets for free.  They take a small percentage of each sale in exchange, much less than a traditional publisher.  This article explains it better than I can  Of course, I’m not committed yet, so if you know of something better, I’m all ears.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Taking the Plunge

After much thoughtful deliberation, unproductive querying and well-intentioned nudging from my parents, I’ve decided to give e-publishing a try.  I’ve been writing stories for what seems like eons now and I’ve reached the point where I’d like to share them with more than just my critique partners.  It used to be self-publishing meant spending a ton of one’s own money to print the books and then driving all over the countryside promoting those books, selling them yourself, one by one -a really tough, daunting row to hoe.  Now, with the creation of the tablet, a manuscript can easily become an eBook, which can be distributed with a few clicks all over the world.  A self-publisher can reach markets never dreamed of before.

So, with this in mind, I’ve decided to take the plunge and e-publish the first book in my middle grade, fantasy series STORYTELLER.  I’m not sure just how many kids are out there reading books on iPads, but if my daughter is any indication, they’re out there and their numbers are growing by the day.

I’ve done my research on (an eBook distributor) and I know that marketing will be the key.  Without a traditional publisher to help market my work, it’s all up to me (and you) to get the word out.  In e-publishing, that means twitter, facebook and blogs.  (Oh, how I cringe at the idea of facebook!)  In the coming weeks, the look and content of this blog may change.  I’m even working on a book trailer with a friend - youtube-style – very exciting!  I’ll post it here when it’s done.

Right now, the manuscript is undergoing the last round of edits and being formatted for smashwords, which takes a bit of work to get it right.  I’ll let you know when it goes live.  Wish me luck!