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An Author’s Investment

If you knew that you had to invest your money into stocks, presuming this could be a relatively daunting task, you probably would perform some level of due diligence to make sure your hard-earned dollars were resting safely.

Would you take a look at the penny stocks or the quickie investments where the financial advisor informs of you of the rapid growth? Perhaps your eyes trend upwards with the sharp uptick on the chart and your heart skips a beat when you hear of the lack of guarantees and the potential for an equally sharpResearch your investment plummet in which you could stand to lose all that you invested?  Perhaps you would turn to the longer termed growth funds where your money would mature. The words are softer, the pace is slower, but the feeling is perhaps kinder than the roller coaster offered by the rapid growth. Perhaps you would seek the counsel of an advisor who is a subject matter expert in the area that you are looking into?

Any investment requires research. As author’s,  particularly those of us who are considering self-publishing, editors are our best counsel.

As an author so many options exist to getting your content published. Self publishing in and of itself is easier than signing up for that free checking account offered by the local bank. With so many options what is an author to do.

While no recipe for success exists for being published, be sure to follow some of the basics that help to manufacture a solid foundation:

  1. Have your work reviewed by a professional editor. As authors we are too familiar with our own work to scrutinize the content of our own work. Granted revising the work before submitting it to the editor is recommended. The work should be in a condition that the author believes to be final before sending it to the editing desk.
  2. Have an open mind when the work comes back from the editing desk. Be prepared to make changes in areas.
  3. Engage a Graphic designer for your cover art. Granted if you are creating an ebook, your artwork may only appear the size of a thumbnail, but you want it to represent your content and be eye-catching all at the same time.
  4. If you are self-publishing, purchase an ISBN number specifically for your ebook. (If you use product like Createspace – Amazon will only assign it an ASIN which is Make a Listnot industry standard.) Using tools like Createspace or PubIt! will get you an eBook quickly, but if you are looking longer termed may be more difficult to market in readers sites or with other distribution sites. An ISBN is recognized everywhere with every distribution means and it is required for other distribution sites like Apple and borders.com who do not provide the quick self-publishing tools.
  5. Have a professional company convert your ebook into the industry standard formats. You can market your own book on your site offering the 9 formats that are available for varying eReaders. Today the standard is quickly becoming ePub, but there are older formats that you may want to market to.
  6. Get ready to market. The job is not over once the final product has been uploaded to the distribution sites. Nothing will happen until you put your best foot forward and tell the world what an awesome job you did.

In the upcoming week, I’ll be blogging about each of these points. Discussing tips and tricks from the industry’s SMEs… how they have helped me… how they can help you.

Are you plugged in, turned on, and connected?

Have you ever found yourself talking to thin air? More specifically, the conversation may have started with someone on the other end of the telephone but then you realize the connection has dropped.

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me. Too many times to count on one hand, that’s for sure.

My point being, that if we don’t understand our connections, we can never be sure that someone is listening.

With so many avenues for social media, and mediums to reach people, as an author or anyone trying to market themselves for that matter, there has to be a way to understand what to blog about and how to reach those types of individuals.

Understanding the demographics.

Who is my reader? What do I know about this type of person? How do I relate to this person? And, how should I market to this person?

I don’t know that I have figured out the answer to any of these questions for my own purposes, but it seems like a work in process.

My book crosses some genres. “A Blood Moon” has romance, action and adventure, light mystery, and is definitely fantasy.

So who reads that type of book? Well apparently anyone who is interested in the above listed categories could… and I am interested in learning about who does.

These days reporting definitely tells all and is available to most. If you have a website, the hosting company can provide reporting that tells you how many unique visitors the site has had on a monthly basis. You’ll see which pages are hit in their order of frequency. This is a beautiful thing as you have instant validation that someone is reading your content.

I think most authors wonder about who will read their latest book, whether or not it will be accepted. After all no recipe dictates what will make the best seller’s list.

I love the picture to the left. It reminds me of the matrix and certainly reflects my opinion of some of the dynamics of being an author even though it may be a tad risqué.

In my mind an author needs to be plugged in to understand the climate of the industry. Changes in publishing appear to happen on a daily basis. Understanding changing principles, rights, and the availability of new technology or advancements is paramount to a self-published author’s survival.

The author must also be in an ‘always-on’ condition, armed and ready at anytime to meet a new reader and market their product. As a self-published author the job never ends. The product must be marketed after it is written.

How do you know when you will bump into a reader?

For me, I don’t and have to pitch to everyone I meet to test the waters. After all the science fiction and fantasy reader could be dressed in a suit, a uniform, or some ensemble in between. I can only realize a potential reader when I’m out and about after I initiate a conversation and connect with the individual.

I did meet a lovely lady on my way to London. Seizing the opportunity before we landed I noted that she was reading a book on travel. So I grabbed one of my flyers for “A Blood Moon” and asked if she liked to read and we began a wonderful conversation. I was thankful that I was presentable in my attire to be able to talk to the lady. I was also quite pleased that I had remembered to always keep a stack of flyers in my purse as the basis for conversation and distribution.

(Note: I would love to give credit for the pictures on this blog but couldn’t find the link to do so.)

Just in the Nick of Time

If you could give someone you know days or hours of pleasure with lasting memories, would you do so? Of course you would. We all would.

Christmas is right around the corner; bringing hours if not days of pleasure, eBooks are the perfect gift. With the latest updates from Amazon “A Blood Moon” can be gifted to anyone with an email address.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/19/you-can-now-gift-anyone-with-an-e-mail-address-a-kindle-book/

Where are the lady killers?

I couldn’t help but browse through the variety of polls on the vampire and note that most of them were deeply rooted in the male Vampire.

Don’t get me wrong many of them were quite sexy as the vampire has come a long way.

I don’t know if I would think that Nosferatu was sexy, perhaps icky comes to mind. And Cruise when he played LeStat? Well, no matter if you like Tom Cruise or not; he had a certain allure when he played LeStat – he captured that crazed logic quite well.

And Blade – who wouldn’t mind bumping into him. Or for that matter…

I digress.

So where are these lady killers? Who is your favourite female vamp?

Akasha was awesome and fierce played  by the beautiful often thought of and well missed Aaliyah. She was mighty and feared. Akasha knew nothing of our world as to her we all existed in hers.

I don’t know who could forget Lilly Munster. I think that

she could almost be considered the icon of female vampires.

Who wouldn’t want their mothers to be as cool as Lilly Munster was. I don’t know that Lilly ever was thought of as sexy or alluring but many flocked to see her I’m sure.

Speaking of sexy. My next thought for a sexy female vamp had some pretty slick moves.

Using all of her powers of seduction this mistress of the night drew in quite the crowd.

These next two are a little more coy and mainstream. Certainly less hardcore as Buffy catered to a younger age group.

But Sonja and Selene they were as tough as you could imagine. Warriors of the night fighting tooth and nail for survival. Understanding that even being at the top of the food chain meant fighting the fight.

So if you  had to be a vampire who would you be and why?

Did I miss anyone noteworthy? and who?

The Halloween Vampire

Browsing the web might take you to All Things Halloween http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Halloween/Monsters/Halloween-Vampires.html. Here you can see the progression of the vampire.

From pre-“Dracula” to “Nosferatu” through to the “Queen of the Damned”. We can all imagine where our favourite Vampire movies fit in.

The vampire has become so versatile and the culture like many others has extremes. From the sexy racy beautiful clique depicted in movies and shows like “True Blood” or “Interview with a Vampire” to the monstrous nature of the blood sucking undead shown in movies like “30 Days of Night” or even “The Lost Boys” as a go between.

Image from people.com

No matter which side you tend to believe the vampire exists on, you can be sure that they’ll be about on Halloween. With fangs that slide into place to display the pointy incisors that we are all accustomed to seeing. Ready to rival the werewolf for territory and status. Vampiric powers lure and bind all that fall to the call. Abilities vary from mental control, the ability to change forms, and bind people/animal alike for their bidding. With little to no areas of weakness, the vampire doesn’t have much to fear.

If you had to be a vampire what kind would you be?