Sunday, 30 November 2014

A Steep Learning Curve

I can’t believe that it’s been a month since I last blogged. And I know it is because ‘A Suitable Young Man’ is due for release on Monday, 1st December. Pre-orders have been a little on the disappointing side but then I always knew that the novel would do better as a paperback (more on that later). A couple of people who’ve bought it have promised to do a review about it and I’m on tenterhooks about that. Suppose they think it’s rubbish? Hopefully, they’ll find something good and positive about it, even if it’s for the historical accuracy. If I had fingernails, I’d be biting them but I cut them recently!
So what have I been doing since my last blog? Self-promotion and more self-promotion, not something that comes easily to me. I joined Twitter a couple of weeks ago but, if I’m honest, I find the constant stream of ‘buy my books’ tweets boring and unnecessary. I’ve done it a few times, of course, one has to, but I prefer the more human side of interaction with only the occasional mention of a book for sale. My friend and fellow Indie author, Lizzie Lamb, has had some brilliant posters done incorporating the cover of her books. She uses the services of Gary Walker of Look4Books so I investigated. For a very reasonable yearly subscription, he does three such posters, lists you on his website and tweets every few days. Well worth it, I’d say, and one I’ve quickly taken advantage of. The image I’ve used is one of the posters he’s done for me.

As I said earlier, I’d always planned to issue my book as a paperback, simply because I think it will sell better. I plan to offer talks to groups and take some copies with me. In fact, I’ve already got one booked for next August to speak at a Horwich Heritage meeting. As my book is set in my hometown of Horwich, I hope to sell a few copies there. But for that I need to physically have some books to offer. To do this, I’m using the services of Createspace. To that end, I bought a copy of a book by Tim C Taylor called ‘Format Your Book With Createspace’ from Amazon. For anyone thinking of following the Createspace path, this is absolutely invaluable. Originally, I bought the Kindle version but soon realised that if I was going to follow his advice, I was going to have to have the print copy, to be able to flick back and forth as required. I can honestly say that it has been a steep learning curve. I’m a touch typist, trained as a secretary, but for Createspace, I had to learn how to do things differently, from setting margins for books, using section breaks instead of page breaks, first line indentations instead of tabs, page numbering from the start of the book. I found the process of uploading the book to Createspace relatively easy though I had to search for the pdf cover template. Even as I write, Berni Stevens, my cover artist, is working on the complete cover so that I can finalise the procedure. Then, I will order a proof copy to check carefully. This can take a few weeks as it has to come from the United States.

Whilst I’m waiting for my proof copy to come, I plan to go back to my follow-on novel, ‘Bittersweet Fellowship,’ which I haven’t touched for months. I’m looking forward to tackling that because it was very much a first draft and I need to study the comments made by my New Writers Scheme (Romantic Novelists Association) reader a couple of years ago. So, some challenging times ahead. I can’t wait!

No comments:

Post a Comment