Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Bookmark - Learning about Advertising at the Beginner's Level

A little behind the eight ball, but with any possible success comes a time to buckle down and push the marketing. Most people start months before the book is release. Those "shout outs" are a big important step. Whether it's your first self-published book, or an article you are about to submit to a magazine, writing demands a lot of dedication and a whole bunch of luck.

What does the novice writer do if the money is not there? Marketing costs can add up to big bucks. If you don't mind a post of the blind leading the blind, I can only share the little I have learned.

Bookmarks or business cards, some people have both. Personally, I think having at least one of them is a must. Making copies online or in an office supply store can save money once the image is made. Bookmarks are handy, who doesn't read a print book once in a while? Business cards are easy to carry with the small size, but they can get lost or thrown away.

Some like postcards, but mailing cost can certainly add too. With the internet so widely used, very few businesses are not online. Displaying my book cover and selling information, I have created my own ad to email to libraries and independent book sellers. Creating a contact list can be very helpful. For self-publishers, contacting potential buyers in each state can be a huge undertaking. It may be best to put aside some time and dabble with it as you can.

Many authors do pay for sponsor ads. I occasionally count up the unspent pennies and run a weekend advertisement on Facebook. Other online sites do this too. Joining sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn can give you a big boost when used regularly. Choosing groups to follow on Facebook can be very beneficial for any writer. It is a place to learn from more experience writers and share your thoughts.

Let's discuss book reviews, which is nearly as painful as a tooth extraction. Talking from experience, this comes from the suffering of not receiving them. How do you know if a book is good or bad? Commenting on a book gives great insight into the material. On the other hand, before the book is published, a good editor or proof reader can spot those small errors a author can read over and not see. Regardless, we all need book review to help advertise our book. From what I am picking up through the grapevine, joining a group of book reviewers may be an inexpensive way to go. Comments should always be honest, but never hurtful in any way. Some writers participate in contests and book give-a-ways, but I haven't crossed that bridge yet.
When building a following, don't forget to create a blog or website to display your work. You deserve it! We as writers pour our sweat into a project, now don't be shy and not show it to the world! Sometimes, we must hire someone to assist us in reaching our goals. I am still learning myself. If possible, try to join a local writing group in your area. Multiple, live feedback can be priceless.

As long as your feet as moving forward, a new writer may discover that path to success.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Considering the Next Book - Making it Personal

With the ink barely dried on the pages from my last book, It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack, there's no better time but to think about creating another. Often for the emerging writer, thoughts easily cloud the brain when too many ideas float inside the head. For a writer, they must be released. What topic should the next book be about? Should I look for what's trending, or write something that interests me? For most starting on this journey, it's best to write about something you know. My advice is to keep a notebook within reach. You never know when inspiration will hit. I jot down story ideas and chapter outlines to revisit later on.

What will my next book be? Honestly, it's a three way split. I've been told, "Nancy, You have too many projects going on!" Many authors feel more can be accomplished if only one book is worked on at a time. Others may have two. I had over a dozen manuscripts in various unfinished stages. The more experience authors were right, I wasn't going anywhere. Now I have two books, the other, Christmas at the Claus House - Saving Clara Deer.  This book once self-published in 2009 was withdrawn and recently revised.

Today, I only work on two or three manuscripts at any one time. Since trying to yo-yo wasn't working, when a manuscript is submitted, another can begin. Currently, I am putting together a deluxe word search book for kids, a story book, and another quirky wildlife book. Trying to sharpen my photography skills, many pictures were taken at the zoo. Some animals display many of the same behaviors as humans. A visit to the zoo can be entertaining, and an educational experience for the whole family.          

I do not know where my writing will take me; I only know there are places my work must go.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Photography - A Learning Process

Late one evening, I spotted a small bunny chewing on some grass. It perked up as he heard me, so I did my best to remain perfectly quiet. I remembered my camera was on the kitchen table, and had to go back inside. Happily, my luck held out. The rabbit was still there when I returned.

Fairly new to photography and not yet taken a class, I consider myself very much in the learning mode. With my fondness for wildlife, the rabbit would make a good test subject. Nighttime photos would also be a challenge. The rabbit continued to nibble until it saw my movements, but after two quick clicks from the camera, the animal was gone.

The photo's were somewhat dark like I expected, but experimenting with colors can also be fun. My first step is to always make a copy, so the original image is never destroyed.  Discovering through trial & error, I adjusted the exposure and color by going to the Window's Photo Gallery and clicking on Fix. I also opened with Paint and inverted the color after going to Image. Not all computers are the same. I find changing colors look well with flower photos and such.

To create an image with multiple colors takes an overlapping process. Using my limited expertise, once I had my preferred number of colors, it was a matter of cut & paste sections  in rows over the one basic photo. Note* Lining up the patterns does take some practice. The cute bunny rabbit in the photograph now has a interesting look.

Consider: It's All About the Chirp, Snap and Quack.
Mixing wildlife and photography in a book with quirky appeal.  Print $11.99 eBook $1.99, but read free on Kindle Unlimited.