Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sandy by Dion & the Belmonts Not Mother Nature

Only 60,000,000 million people will be affected by this storm.  They're already being told on Long Island to expect power will be out for 7-10 days.  Luckily I don't have much in the freezer.

After Hurricane Irene, my pal sent me a nice business laptop that had gone off business lease so I have that and 2 batteries.  Still it will be a mess.

Maybe I can get a pair of socks knitted for the winter.

Monday, October 22, 2012

CreateSpace as Time Suck

I'm sorry.  I wasted hours and hours of my life on a 72 page book so I'm not giving the process high marks.
It kept telling me the images inside weren't 300 DPI.  According to Photoshop they were, so who do I believe?  Photoshop.  I wound up deleting the image instead of rebuilding it a 3rd time.
It was unhappy with my fonts, they wanted them embedded.  I tried.  According to Word they were.
I went back and forth between Word and Open Office a number of times, just like every time I try to format anything for print.

Word is good in some ways and luckily in the ways that Word crashes and burns, Open Office makes it easy.
The final version was uploaded from Open Office because you can export into PDF and embed fonts that way.

Apparently this is worth it for some writers but it's not for me.

The cover took about 6 hours.  So if you pay someone to do this for you, hundreds of dollars is understandable.

If you super super want/need to see your work in print format, by all means satisfy the longing deep inside and do it.  If you have the money to spare, have someone do it for you. 

Otherwise it's a huge time suck and spending more time on sharpening up your Kindle offerings seems to be more practical.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


This was originally titled Will the Real Renie Lake Please Stand Up.  It was when that title made sense.  Now, of course, it really doesn't, so I changed it.  I did an extensive rewrite which it needed because I'm smarter now than I was then.   The original cover I liked then but don't any longer.  It was Renie standing in front of a window turned slightly to look at the audience and we can see her reflection in the glass--a girly girl, instead of the street-wise chick she's become.  It makes sense and obviously the artist read the book because he understood Renie's inability to determine who the new her was.  That confusion is fairly normal. 

I think it was always more about communication, though, since Jan is deaf and can "hear"/communicate and Renie is hearing and can't.  Maybe I titled it wrong!  The movie was called "Tough Girl" so that's completely in the wrong direction.  Unheard is the right title.

And now it has a new cover.  That has nothing to do with hearing, communication or toughness but the girl is really pretty!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Things To Do When You're Stuck

You play around with Photoshop.

What some of us might realize is that digital publishing is growing and changing very rapidly.  What worked in 2009 doesn't work now.  We've gone through some incredible phases incredibly fast.  Even when Amanda Hocking first published her books, no one had ever made a million dollars on ebooks.  Now quite a few people have. 

Readers were so excited by digital books, they were glad to have them.  Now they're not so excited.

Now we have people trying to game the system,  Sock puppets and writing your own reviews.  Something about Harriet Klausner reviewing books before they're even available.  People copying Wikipedia articles and publishing them  If there's a quick buck to be made, someone will find a way to do it.

We'll get through this phase too. 

Keep writing.  Use spellcheck.  Be serious about your work.  Get the best covers you can.  Learn how to write a good blurb.  This is important.  It's not a plot summary, it's a sales tool.  Learn how to write a sharp, succinct
100 words or less hook about your book.

Great cover--makes people stop and click to your page.
Great blurb--intrigues and makes people read the sample
Great sample--makes people want to read the whole thing.

Do that and you'll be ready for the next phase. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cover Art

There is no way of minimizing the import of cover art.  It's the consumer's introduction to you.
(Should they be called readers?  What does Amazon call them?  Probably customers.)  If you have a cover that is visually intriguing then people will stop scrolling and look.

The blurb is where you get them to read the sample or buy.

The difficulty of finding the right image that represents the sensibility of your novel is so difficult unless you are straight-line genre.

At some point some stock photo site will actively court the needs of ebooks.  It hasn't happened yet although it's possible to find many lovely and usable photos and sometimes vector art.  If I had to give advice on this, I'd say use something close until you can find something you love.  Unless you can afford to hire an artist and I mean an artist who will produce something specifically for your book, not a designer who just buys something at bigstockphoto and plops it on a template.  Make them read the book first.  It should be a deal breaker if they're uninterested in reading it.  You're paying top dollar for a design, it should include understanding what the book says.

Monday, October 8, 2012


I remade the covers for Ari & the Doctor and Inhibitions.  I spent a day running around looking for pipe for the heater before winter sets in and all kinds of other things pulling me in opposite directions.

Call it 2 years ago vampires were the most popular topic I could think of for ebooks.  Paranormal still sells really well.  Erotica has taken the lead and from the couple bits I've read it's not the old-style erotica, this is really graphic material.

A couple years ago I was researching erotica/girlie magazines/porn and up until the 1970's it was pleasant, gentle and not very graphic.  The girls in Playboy would tease but not be nude.  They were cute.  Then everything changed and became very gynecologic.  I suppose if that's what you grew up with, that's what you like and anything less seems tame.  It doesn't appeal to me and I have to wonder what's the next level.

If it's BDSM now, then does it become like Dune, where the bad guy had to have sex with the young slave with his heart plug removed?

Not my thing.  At all.

Flowers are always good.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Writers and Readers

Of course I can very easily say I never had so much contact with readers until ebooks.  Once in a while I used to get a fan letter but that was it.

Now I can see their reviews and get emails.  They know where to find me.  Obviously I'm here.  We're supposed to be able to be found because it's good visibility.  Social media, blogging and standing on the street corner wearing nothing but a sandwich sign--all ploys to get you out there.

I got a review last week complaining about Dream Horse and all the many grammatical and spelling errors.  "I would reccomend this book, though" she finished.  Well, I recommend you use spell check, babe, I do.

About two weeks ago I was accused of being a "wannabe writer".  Trust me, there are days when I don't wannabe.

But there are books to write.  On to the Christmas season!