February 24, 2012

Keeping on keeping on: publishing my novel Where the HeArt is as an ebook (5): Letting people know

The log I am keeping of my efforts to let people who might be interested know about Where the HeArt is is impressively long. However, many of the items are to record contacts I have made that have not, so far, produced any results. I am told, on some of the how-to-sell-your ebook sites I look at, that a slow build is the most likely scenario. Others suggest all sort of things to do, such as emailing your entire address list several times over a couple of weeks, which I regard as spamming and have no intention of doing.

If you look at the top right corner of this blog you will see the cover of Where the HeArt is and links to Smashwords and Kindle below it. These will remain at that spot on the screen regardless of what else I post, and I just checked both those links and they work. (In case they don’t work for you, googling my name or the book title will find them.)

Any day now, I’ll do a blog entry about what I’m reading.

February 12, 2012

Self-publishing my novel as an ebook (4) Details details details

Getting to grips with the marketing thing means letting people know the book is available, how to get it, and encouraging them to buy and read it. I tend to focus on the first two, and have a ‘handout’ in both electronic and printout form that I am distributing. Here it is:

Where the HeArt is by Pat Rosier
Published: Jan. 22, 2012 Price: 4.95USD
Will travel fix Ann's broken life? Suddenly bereft of both partner and job, Ann needs to find a new direction. Connecting frayed threads of family and finding herself in what she calls "art events" in America is rewarding, but no preparation for the totally unexpected—in more ways than one—things that happen in London. Ann returns home to New Zealand both shaken and stirred.
Extended description
It was her mother's idea that forty-year-old Ann should go traveling. Ann's parter has walked out and she's been made redundant from a university job she enjoys, teaching the Romantic poets. She can combine her love of art museums with visits to family members in Washington DC, New York and London, mending frayed connections. A final few family-free days in Paris will round off her trip. Travel will give her a break from well-meaning advice and a chance to think about future directions for her fractured life. After all, she has a willing father to take care of the sale of her once-shared house, and the dog was always more her partner's.
Unexpected "art events" begin in New York, where her experience of the art works she admires take on a whole new dimension. In London, Ann finds that her cousin's competent wife could actually use some help with two-year-old twins, so she extends her stay and her knowledge of young children. A decidedly non-familial encounter with a dynamic librarian in London and an impetuous mistake in Paris mean that Ann returns to New Zealand and her future both shaken and stirred.
For sale for 4.95 US Dollars as an ebook on both the smashwords site and the kindle site. The URLs are:
This is the Smashwords site, where you can get versions for all different kinds of readers, (including Kindle) including a pdf for your computer if you want. One purchase gets all versions.
This is the Kindle site itself. You can buy it here, but only the Kindle version.

I’m keeping a log of what I am doing to get the news out about the book, both to avoid repeating myself and for future reference should I do this again. I trawl around the internet looking for likely places to announce it. Each place I approach, usually by email, wants something different and has a different way of doing things. It can take a LOT of time with, I suspect, little return.

I have discovered that (in New Zealand) you can get ISBN numbers for self-published ebooks from the National Library, just as you do for print books. They issued me with separate numbers for pdf, mobi and epub versions. It costs nothing and makes books findable. They also operate legal deposit for ebooks, so have sent mine in.

Nielson book data is another place to make books findable, and I am awaiting a reply from them regarding whether they list ebooks.

I’m not writing anything new while all this is filling my mind.

February 2, 2012

Self-publishing my novel as an ebook (3) It’s Done!

It's done. Now you can buy my ebook Where the HeArt is from Smashwords:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/125647 Or just go to smashwords.com and search on either my name or the book title.

You can get the KIndle version from the Smashwords site, or go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073O5DVC
to buy it from the Kindle store (4.95USD).

One advantage of buying it from Smashwords is that you can, with one purchase (4.95USD) download a whole range of versions for different ereaders. For example, you can download a Kindle version and an ibooks (epub) version for your ipad. And a pdf version for your computer. And so on.

Here’s the blurb:
Will travel fix Ann’s broken life? Suddenly bereft of both partner and job, Ann needs to find a new direction. Connecting with frayed threads of family and finding herself in what she calls “art events” in the United States is rewarding, but no preparation for the totally unexpected—in more ways than one—things that happen in London. Ann returns to New Zealand both shaken and stirred.

Where the HeArt is will also be available soon from ebook retailers like the apple store and Barnes and Noble in the UK and all the major ebook retailers and distributors except Amazon (hence the separate Kindle version). This is a distribution service provided (free to authors) by Smashwords and is one of the reasons for using them.

Now I need to let potential readers know Where the HeArt is is out there. This is the worst bit for me. This blog will link to facebook, so that's covered. I’ll blog about the whole promotion thing from time to time. I read on sites like Goodreads that lots of self-publishers find this part the hardest, it’s not just me.

If you read my book and want to be helpful, a good way is to make a comment about it (often called a “review” but it isn’t really), or a rating, on the website you bought it from. Or anywhere else, for that matter. (I sit and stare at this paragraph, wanting to delete it—what a nerve, asking readers to promote my book, I think. I suppose it could be seen as a variation of the venerable “word of mouth.” Maybe it’s the asking that seems wrong.)

I’ve checked out the look of it, as far as I can with the resources I have, in various the formats for various ebooks, and it seems to be working all right. If anyone gets a version with something awful, like squashed headings or links that don’t work, please let me know. (If you don’t have an email address for me, leave a comment on this blog.)

So here we go, off into the ebook ether.