19 December 2015

12 December 2015

Self Publishing and Marketing Go Hand-in-hand


 
If you plan to self-publish your book rather than go down the traditional publishing path, you will need to give some thought to marketing. Without it, your prospective “best seller” could languish on the shelf forever. This is because your potential readers can’t find it.
 
Of course, there are many writers who loath the thought of having to put on this extra hat because, let’s face it, it’s time consuming and depending on where you advertise, it can be expensive.
 
Having said that, if you’re willing to set aside a bit of time, you’ll find that there is advertising available out there to suit most budgets.
 
Many of them are listed on the following link:-
 
 
You'll find that it’s a long list and some of the sites, perhaps all, may be unfamiliar to you so I’m going to list below, the sites that I have used and can recommend:-
 
Bargain Booksy
Free Booksy
eBook Bargains UK
EReader News Today
Free Kindle Books & Tips
Fussy Librarian
Kindle Book Review
Kindle Nation Daily
 

2 December 2015

BOOK LAUNCH - DEC 4TH

Deadly Investment (Book #5 A Fitzjohn Mystery)
It was an accepted fact that Beatrice Maybrick, owner and operator of the Maybrick Literary Agency, accidentally fell to her death. Or did she? Esme Timmons thought not, her suspicions fuelled by a letter she received from Beatrice following the tragic incident. Faced with this dilemma, Esme takes steps to find the killer.

Meanwhile, Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn commences his investigation into the suspicious death of entrepreneur, Preston Alexander. With robbery ruled out as the motive, Fitzjohn is drawn to Preston’s investment portfolio and the Maybrick Literary Agency.

Finding an antiquated establishment where uncertainty prevails following the demise of its owner, Beatrice Maybrick, Fitzjohn asks himself two questions. Why did the high flying investor, Preston Alexander, invest in such a business, and did it lead to his death?

 


23 October 2015

Cataloguing-in-Publication CIP


Cataloguing-in-Publication is a free service for publishers and self-publishers to include their title information into the Catalogue-in-Publication programme. The record is added to the national bibliography where it can alert libraries and booksellers to the publication’s forthcoming release.
 
On application, the following information is needed:-

Author
Title
Subject
Publisher
Project’s date of publication
ISBN
Price

When your application is accepted, you will receive a copy of your CIP entry which you can include on the publication details page of your ebook/printed book.

Please consult your particular country’s national library for CIP information on how to apply.

Australia
Australian National Library
http://www.nla.gov.au/cip

United States
Library of Congress
http://www.loc.gov/publish/cip/

United Kingdom
The British Library
http://www.bl.uk/bibliographic/cip.html
http://www.dayabook.com/help/british-library-s-cataloguing-in-publication-cip-programme

Canada
Library and Archives Canada
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/cip/Pages/cip.aspx

New Zealand
National Library of New Zealand
http://natlib.govt.nz/publishers-and-authors/cataloguing-in-publication

Please also note that although the CIP programme is not mandatory, the Legal Deposit of your printed publication is a legal requirement.

12 October 2015

FITZJOHN NEW RELEASE


DEADLY INVESTMENT
RELEASE DATE 4th December 2015

 
 
It was an accepted fact that Beatrice Maybrick, owner and operator of the Maybrick Literary Agency, accidentally fell to her death. Or did she? Esme Timmons thought not, her suspicions fuelled by a letter she received from Beatrice following the tragic incident. Faced with this dilemma, Esme takes steps to find the killer.
 
Meanwhile, Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn commences his investigation into the suspicious death of entrepreneur, Preston Alexander. With robbery ruled out as the motive, Fitzjohn is drawn to Preston’s investment portfolio and the Maybrick Literary Agency.

Finding an antiquated establishment where uncertainty prevails following the demise of its owner, Beatrice Maybrick, Fitzjohn asks himself two questions. Why did the high flying investor, Preston Alexander, invest in such a business, and did it lead to his death?
 
Available for pre-order from Amazon.

 

7 October 2015

OUTLINING A NOVEL

Take Off Your Pants-
Outline your books for faster better writing
by Libbie Hawker

Some writers like to write by the seat of their pants while others prefer to be guided through the writing process by using an outline. For me, it’s been the former but that doesn’t mean to say that I haven’t thought about creating an outline to begin with. Having some idea of how I’m going to get from the beginning, across that dark canyon called the middle, to the end would be great.

This led me on a search for books on the subject and I'd like to share with you the book I have found to be the most helpful. As you can see, it's by Libbie Hawker.

Libbie is a writer of historical and literary fiction but in her non-fiction book, 'Take Off Your Pants', she's also skilful in explaining the process of outlining a novel in a systematic way. Consequently, with the outlining method explained in this book, I think that the story you have running around in your head will be unlocked and you'll have a solid base on which to work.

It's an excellent guide for not only experienced writers who want to give outlining a try, but also to those writers just starting out.

Related posts:- Writing A Book-Are you an outliner or a pantster?
 

12 September 2015

MARKETING - BOOK PROMOTION SITES

If you are a self-published author, you might think that having published your ebook you can now sit back and watch your sales climb each day. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case because as your book is one of millions, it will be invisible to readers unless you do some marketing. In other words, advertise.

The following are just a few of the many web sites where you can promote your e-book. I have used each of them at one time or another. Their prices range from the inexpensive to the expensive.

World Literary Cafe
http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/

The eReader Cafe
http://theereadercafe.com/promote-your-books/

 Book Goodies
http://bookgoodies.com/

Kindle Book Review
https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/

Bargain Booksy
http://www.bargainbooksy.com/

Free Booksy
http://www.freebooksy.com/

Fussy Librarian
http://www.thefussylibrarian.com/for-authors/

BookBub
https://partners.bookbub.com/

Ereader News Today
http://ereadernewstoday.com/authors-promote-your-kindle-books-here/

DVW Books
dvwbks@gmail.com

eBook Booster
http://www.ebookbooster.com/

 

1 June 2015

FITZJOHN'S ORCHIDS

If you have read any of the Fitzjohn mysteries, you will know how much this detective, of the old guard, loves tending the orchids in his greenhouse. Not only do they help to give him a sense of peace after the death of his dear wife, Edith, they also help to dispel the images that he has witnessed through his day solving crime.

Since starting the Fitzjohn series, I have become increasingly interested in orchids and recently, was privileged to visit the National Orchid Gardens and Mist House at the Botanical Gardens in Singapore. I took advantage of the situation and kept my camera rolling. Here you will find some of the orchids I captured with my camera.



Did you know that orchids are the largest in the flowering plant families with more than 25,000 documented species.


Orchid seeds are the smallest seeds in the world, comparable to a particle of dust.




The flat leafed vanilla plant is a species of orchid.


Orchids have a symmetry similar to the human face.













Although orchids are thought to be tropical plants, they grow on every continent in the world except  the Antartic.





The tall orchids to the left here are grafted onto bamboo so have a tall effect.
No wonder Fitzjohn loves his orchids!

28 March 2015

Non-US Writers-It's Tax Time Again

If you live outside the U.S., are a writer and have sold books in the U.S. during the 2014-15 financial year, you will no doubt have received a Form 1042-S 2014 (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding) from Amazon or whomever you sell your books through.

If so, you will need to complete Form 1040NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return), attach Form 1042-S, and lodge it with the Internal Revenue Service.

Instructions for filling out this form can be downloaded at:-

and mailed to:-

Department of Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215
USA

22 January 2015

The Lane's End Book Trailer And Its Creator-Kathy Golden





Today, I’m fortunate to have a guest on The Perfect Plot. She is Kathy Golden, a multi-talented person who writes fiction, non-fiction articles, poems and reviews. She is also a composer and recording artist of Christian music as well as being the creator of book trailers.
 
I was lucky enough to meet Kathy on Marla Madison’s blog Reading and Writing are Fattening featuring Kathy’s post, Book Trailers and Reasons to Have One. After reading the article, I employed Kathy to make a book trailer for my latest release, Lane’s End, and I’m delighted with the results.


For more information on Kathy Golden’s work, please visit her website at

http://www.kathysnotes.com/kathys-notes1.html or email her at Kathy@theomissionshortstory.com.


And now here is Kathy to talk about removing black borders from around your images.


Kathy Golden



Remove Black Borders From Around Your Images

First of all, my thanks to Jill for this chance to connect with everyone here on her blog.  Both she and Marla have been great in helping me to share my new book trailer service.  Jill has posted the link on Marla’s blog to my article about reasons to have a book trailer. There’s some good information in it that can help you make a decision about having a trailer for your book.

What I want to offer, today, is a quick solution on how to rescue your trailer from one of the most common energy-drainers that I see. I’ve seen this issue in trailers created by individuals and in those purchased for hundreds of dollars. This problem is those large black borders that often swallow up an image in a frame.  You might ask: why even be concerned about these?  The answer is simple and yet major within its own right. Those borders are taking up serious space that is much better used to enhance the influence of your video upon readers. 

The most common place this problem occurs is in frames containing book covers.  The reason for this is that the frame in HD videos is widescreen with a width and length of 1280 x 720 pixels (pxs).  About the widest you can resize a book image and not have it look like an audiobook  or wallpaper is around 500 pxs. Consequently the remaining 780 pxs are going to be blackness.  

While it’s true that most people might be used to this, the question is whether or not you want to give people what they are used to or keep them as focused and into your story as possible. Bear in mind: a book trailer is a visual experience, and with all that blackness, what are you visually feeding viewers?  An inciting peek into your book or blackness? 

I’ve seen trailers that have created some great momentum with their images and music up until the finale or final image, which is a book cover unable to impact readers because it looks so small centered in that void. The effect is like being snapped out of the story back into the reality of “Oh, I’m just watching a video.” An inherent letdown and disconnect follow that could keep the viewer from ever finding out more about the book. If nothing else, you want to include some writing in that frame.  

The quickest and easiest DIY solution to eliminating those borders is to overlay the image on a matching or compatible backdrop.   The example I’m going to show, using one of Jill’s book covers, can be used with practically any image. At the bottom of this article, there’s a link to my website to the place where you can find lots of free images and also a place where you can buy XXL images with 300 dpi resolution for $1 each. 
You want to select an image that can be resized to 1280 by 720 without creating distortion.  Most images state their resolution somewhere on the page featuring the image by itself. Also be sure to check the attribution license. Some images require that you provide a reference to them somewhere in your project.

Next—and this is important—resize the book cover to about 500 x720. You can experiment with the width to see how wide you feel comfortable with making the cover. But make the height 720, so it matches the height of the frame. When searching for a good picture, consider the colors and images in your cover and then find a good match for a background. 

In image One, Once Upon A Lie competes with all that nothingness. 
 

To find the backdrop for Image Two, I did a couple of different queries, but one for “dark ocean” yielded a workable image. 


Few can deny that there is a totally different feel between the two frames and that there is a much better sense of connection to the book in Image Two.

Next, here’s an example using something other than a book cover. Jill sent Image Three to me to include in her trailer. 


Image Four is the modified version of this picture to fit the time of day in her story, but for our purposes, this scene isn’t large enough to fill the screen.


 After locating a compatible backdrop, we get Image Five


Again, you have a background that blends right in with the scene as opposed to one contrasting with and possibly detracting from its influence on viewers. The lighter backdrop also adds more light to the scene while still allowing it to retain the nighttime look. 

These examples pretty much conclude this tutorial. 

It’s good if all your images are large enough that they can be resized to fit the screen, but that isn’t always the case. Plus, experimenting with different backgrounds can lead to the addition of some unexpected but awesome atmosphere.  

The quickest way to combine your images is using Microsoft Paint, and I’ve included a link to a YouTube video that shows you how to do this.  You can search YouTube for more videos on how to do this. 

In addition, Book Trailer Services will create these images for you to use in your own products. 

This final image, Image Six, 


contains the three pictures I combined to create the opening frame of Jill’s trailer, featuring her book cover. 

The book-cover image in the trailer is one of the more complex ways of creating backdrops and involves layering, blending, and coloring using software like Paint.net or Photoshop or Gimp. The frame also includes a motion clip that brings the clouds to life. So take a look at the trailer and see what you think of the finished product.

One final note: If you are having your trailer created, let the creator know that you don’t want frames with images squashed between those borders.

Thanks for reading this article. I hope you gained some helpful information from it. If you have any questions about this tutorial, just post them.

Links:
Sources for free- or for-purchased-images:

YouTube on using Microsoft Paint to combine images: http://youtu.be/sD-z-Tug56o

Book Trailer Services:  http://www.booktrailerservices.com/