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November 30, 2012

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A Facebook User

Okay, I tried to reply to you guys yesterday via Google and somehow couldn't. Trying now through Facebook... Anyway, Barbara here! Dawn, thanks for your lovely words about my cover. I was not able to use the original, as it was copyrighted, so I designed my own, using images from the Web and Photoshop. It took some time to find images that were free for use (not to be confused with royalty-free, which involves a one-time payment), but I had lots of fun with it. I'm not entirely satisfied with the look but I think it's not bad for my first attempt! My new favorite go-to website for free images is Photobucket.

Mark and Leigh, thanks for the info on providing ebooks for free. Very helpful!

I've read all three of the ladies' ebooks (good job all around!) and downloaded a Danger Boy yesterday. I think e-pubbing is an excellent way to pump life back into novels and novellas that had seemed to have died. Good luck to all of you!

D. August Baertlein

Congratulations, Barbara! It’s beautiful!

I also took the plunge and published my YA sci-fi novel, SYNAPSE, on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), and Smashwords (formats galore), also soon to be out in paperback on Amazon. The formatting was a fun challenge, a little different for each venue. It took me some time, but I was glad I did it myself as it gave me another in-depth look at my book. It’s different seeing it as a book rather than as just a manuscript, and I made some modifications in style during that process.

I wish I was a professional editor like you, but I relied on several beta readers to help me catch typos. I even did a couple of re-uploads when people caught things in the published versions. (This was not my plan, but you do what you must.) Dedicated readers even caught new things on their 3rd or 4th pass that they hadn’t noticed previously, which drives home how difficult editing can be.

Your cover is beautiful! I suppose you were able to use your old image, but I needed a new one for Synapse. Luckily, one of my SCBWI critique group pals is Siri Weber Feeney, professional illustrator extraordinaire. She offered to make me a cover, and I didn’t even have to beg. I keep hearing that people DO judge a book by its cover, so making it professional is important. Siri did that and more!

Thanks for sharing your journey, and best of success.

~D. August Baertlein (A.K.A. Dawn)

RachelAnneMarks

Great post, Barbara. The ePub world is an amazing thing these days! Especially for writers whose rights have reverted back to them. It's a really great avenue for shorter works, especially. I'm really excited how my own novella, "Winter Rose," is doing. It's wonderful to get positive reviews and feedback on a piece I was sure a few years ago would never see the light of day.

And "Winter Rose" is free today (Jan 27th) on Kindle, for anyone interested: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006C75V86

Mark Williams

Actually, Barbara, my first "Danger Boy" book is still free on Kindle (which I'm hoping will lead to an uptick in "sell-through" for the rest of the series).

What you do is make the book free on Nook, Smashwords, etc., then "report" to Amazon that the book is available at a lower price. Eventually, they will lower the price to "free."

interested folks can find it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Fire-Danger-Episode-ebook/dp/B005OCTLCM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1327695789&sr=8-2

And while this has worked wonders for brining new readers into the fold -- a few thousand (!) of the first book have been moved off virtual shelves -- the translation into sales for the later books, while discernible, hasn't quite been the torrent I'd hoped for. At least, not yet.

But keeping the first one free has allowed me to post links in places, on forums, etc., where I couldn't post if I was actually selling something.

so it does allow me to keep spreadin' the news, as they sang in "New York, New York." Which isn't, now that I think of it, a locale in any of the Danger Boy books!

Leigh Purtill

Barbara, thank you for posting this! I'm doing the same thing with my OOP titles, as well as some sequels and more standalones. So far I have one up on Amazon and B&N (Fat Girls in LA) and am getting more ready to go.

The biggest hurdle we all face as "self-pubbed" authors is marketing ourselves but where our traditional publishers may have been slow to respond to trends or news on the web, we can jump right on them and link our books, write blog posts, tweet, etc. The ability to respond quickly and timely is a big benefit over the Big 6.

Btw, there is a way to get your book listed for free on Amazon. It's a little tricky but you need to list it for free on another site like Smashwords then use the "report a lower price" link on your book's Amazon page. It has worked for many authors but it can take a long time to do so.

Good luck with the books!
~Leigh

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