Author-y Stuff

Happy Friday to all!

WolfenI write to you today for a couple of reasons. The first is to give you an update on Wolfen. Which is that I am about ten chapters away from finishing my first self-edit. And that means after a final read-through to smooth rough edges (hopefully next week), the manuscript will be ready to be sent to my editor! I know it’s stretching long, but I take edits very seriously, as evidenced by a sea of red notes over my manuscript and the wide-eyed look of confused panic people give me when they see it. It’ll get there, I promise :) And it’ll be worth the wait.

The second is to continue my quest to help indie and self-marketing authors out there make a proper splash with their new releases. I want to introduce you all to a new source of background music–with a caveat. Jamendo is a fabulous site, with tons of professional, beautiful tracks, but each artist sets their own type of license for each track they place on the site. Always, always, be it on Jamendo, or any other website, for music, images, animations, etc., check the license to make sure you have permission to use the resource.

And last but not least, in my most recent post about marketing resources I mentioned a little program called Corel Video Studio, which is not free. I know that makes a lot of people wince–it did me, too. But I promised you I would not give you a resource I have not used myself, and to prove to you this program is well worth the investment,  here is a small example, made by me, of what you can do with it:

The ingredients for this came from the following places:

  • Music source: Jamendo (free for some songs)
  • Music editing software: Audacity (free)
  • Images source: FreeImages.com (free), Fotolia (paid)
  • Image editing software: GIMP (free)
  • Video animation source: GiveMeFreeArt.com (free)
  • Video editing software: Corel Video Studio (paid)

And in case you were wondering, The Beast Series is now available in eBook (as individual novellas or complete series) and print format (complete series) at all your favorite online retailers.

Until next time! :)

DIYDay Lesson 20: Author Websites

And we’re back! This time I thought I’d get into a little more detail of things like style, layout and content. Things every author should know and wield with impunity.

First thing’s first. DISCLAIMER: Everything that follows is totally subjective opinion content based on a few years experience trying to sort my own website into some kind of order, and browsing other authors’ websites and (more often than I care to say) cringing at what I found. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt.

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On Readers, Reading, and Literary Snobbery

As you might have noticed, a lot of my recent posts revolve around books and reading. It’s not so much because I am a writer and reader myself, but because I often encounter blogs and articles online featuring subjects that prod at my “This is not okay” meter, and I feel the need to rant. Thanks to this wonderful invention of a blog, I can do that, and you all are forced to hear me out. Muahahahah!

So let’s get to it, shall we? Today’s rant is about literary snobbery and should have an alternate title (which unfortunately did not fit into the title field):

You Are NOT What You Read! (unless you want to be)

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David vs. Goliath: From Where The Author Sits

This is the type of post I don’t like writing. Mainly because I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I am writing it now because this issue is something everyone should be paying attention to, readers, publishers, and authors alike. This morning I did my usual rounds of news-checking, which includes reading the Smashwords blog. If you get a chance, give this article on Amazon vs. Hachette a read. It’ll be an eye-opening experience.

A quick recap: Amazon is trying to lower the royalty rates it pays to Hachette publishing house. Hachette does not want to agree. The negotiations have led to some pretty nasty practices by Amazon to list Hachette titles as out of stock, advertising “similar books at lower prices”, etc. Basically, here’s what you need to know:

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DIYDay Lesson 19: Excerpt Graphics

Another late post (sorry!!) but I wanted to get this info out there ASAP.

If you’re on any form of social media and following an author, you’ve seen excerpt graphics before. They are basically pictures with text over them, sometimes info about release dates, the book cover, etc. Some are so great you look for the Buy link only to realize it’s still “coming soon!” And some you can barely read. In terms of marketing value, excerpt graphics are right up there with cover images. They make a huge first impression. I’ve done a fair number of these as well, and I’ve learned a trick or two from all the greats, the not so greats, and my own experiences. This is a quick guide on how to catch your audience’s eye.

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