Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Holiday Season

I'm taking a short leave during the holiday season. I hope, if you haven't already enjoyed my recent posts you'll check them out.

Please join me in the New Year, the first Monday in January, for some fun posts on trivia of all sorts. We'll have a great time!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

Happy Hanukkah!

May God grant you peace and happiness as you celebrate the birth of His Son, the New Year and Hanukkah.


Fran Shaff
Award-Winning Author

Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting Published, Part 5

I have yet to meet a writer who enjoys marketing. Most of us want only to sit at our computers and create more stories.

However, once our books are published it essential that we let people know the books are available.

There are many ways in this modern age in which we can tell the public about our books. A few Internet options available to us are:

1. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.

2. Yahoo and Google groups and other Internet groups

3. You Tube and sites like it

4. Forums such as Kindlebooks and other reader forums

5. Websites which specialize in catering to readers of your genre

In addition, we can send press releases to local media and any specialty media which would find the topic of our book relevant, solicit book reviews, use any contacts we have which may help the public become aware of our books.

One of the tools many writers have used effectively since the advent of e-books is the offering of a book free of charge. Writers have consistently found that by offering one book as a free download readers who enjoy the book will go on to purchase more books by the same author.

The more exposure your book has the better, but don't nag readers or beg them to read your books. If you're promoting on social networks or forums, talk about things other than your books. Readers enjoy getting to know a little about you. Mention the projects you're working on once in a while or give a link to an excerpt from time to time, but don't sell, sell, sell. That usually just turns off Internet acquaintances.

Best wishes and good luck with your writing career. I hope the direction you've chosen to take works out for you just the way you want it. And thanks for joining me for this series on getting published.


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author

Monday, November 7, 2011

Getting Published, Part 4

Covers and Other Things

We'll pick up this week where we left off last week, talking about covers. If you've chosen to publish your book traditionally, your publisher will provide your book cover. If, however, you're going to publish your book Independently, you'll be responsible for providing an attractive cover.


As I mentioned last week, if you're publishing an e-book, all you really need to make an acceptable cover is good photo editing software. Any program which allows you to work in layers and save your work as a jpeg file should be sufficient for producing e-book covers which will meet your publisher's requirements. You can find cover requirements in the publishers FAQs.

Paperback and Hardcover Books

If you're publishing a paperback or hardcover book, you have several options when it comes to making a cover or dust jacket.

1. Stock Covers

Some publishers available to Independent Authors offer cover templates which include a background photo authors can use, and areas on the cover where the writer can fill in the title, author's name, back cover blurb and other vital information.

2. Book Cover Software

If you want more options for making that perfect cover than what publishers have to offer through their templates, you may want to purchase software designed to let you make your book cover from scratch. With book cover software you can use your own photos and a host of fonts and special design techniques.

3. Hire a Cover Pro

If you'd rather stay out of the cover-making arena you can find a pro to create a cover for you through publishers. Most of them have a list of artists you can use.

In addition to uploading text and cover files to your publisher you will need to create a book page. Most publishers make this very easy. You'll need to create a book blurb which is limited to a certain number of characters, select a category for your book from among the publisher's options, and set a retail price for your book.

Once you've successfully completed all of the above steps, it's a good idea to review the copy of your book the publisher will be issuing to readers. Make sure it is error free. If you're publishing a paperback or hardcover book, you'll want to know that the cover looks as pretty in print as it does in its digital format.

Traditional or Independent Publishing?

Whether you choose to publish your book traditionally or independently you'll find there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

With traditional publishing your responsibilities include preparing a book which is acceptable to both you and your editor (This will include making rewrites the editor requests and approving the print-ready copy.), writing the cover blurb and a few other odds and ends. The publisher will provide the cover, list the book for sale through its distributors and set the retail and wholesale prices.

Independent Publishing requires the writer to do everything as described in this series to get the book to market.

With traditional publishing, the publisher has total control over the release date, the distribution channels, the price and virtually everything throughout the length of the publishing contract.

Independent Publishers release the book when they want, through whichever distribution channels they want and at whatever price they want.

Once your book is published

Whether you publish your book independently or traditionally you will have to do your own book marketing. And that's what we'll talk about next week.

See you then!


Fran Shaff, Award-Winning Author