Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pre-marketing Romancing the Million $$$ Ghost: Setting up the cover reveal

First of all, it's Father's Day today so Happy Father's Day to all you guys out there that fathered babies and stepped up to the plate to raise them!

The book's publishing plan and marketing campaign is moving along swiftly I'm so happy to report.  I've already thought ahead to how I want to market this and of course the first thing that popped into my head was doing a virtual book tour and not only that but making it one of the longest virtual book tours in history.  Sure it's going to be a lot of work but I think I can do it.

Why so long?  Here's my theory and it's really easy to figure out.  In our case, it'll be ebook at first and of course we're going to be solely promoting online.  The best strategy to use when your book is solely online is to promote online, right? When your book first comes out, actually way before your book comes out, you need to come up with a game plan.  Most authors who have never embarked on a virtual book tour are still out there finding bloggers willing to interview them or review their book, etc.  With a virtual book tour, it's all organized.  You take out a sheet of paper, a document, a notebook, whatever you want, and note which months you want your book promoted.  At this point, we're doing a month long cover reveal in September and beginning the blog tour the first week of October and running it until the end of March unless we decide to go further.  That's the perks of being a book promoter, a self-publisher (woot!) and access to over 500 bloggers.

On that same piece of paper, I put the name of the event at the top and the month.  I have separate pieces of paper for each month.  Then a line gets drawn down the left side and across the page for as many dates there are in the month.  Then, I start filling in.  I used to do this on a doc but I found it too cumbersome to keep having to pull the doc up so I bought some hard paper at Walmart (what they use for photos) and I'm set.  It's only about $5 a bundle and lasts forever (I use them for my clients as well).  I opt for hard paper because they are easier to handle.

So I have a game plan going for the cover reveal and the blog tour right in front of me.  When I find a new host (blogger), I add them in the slot we have both agreed on.

What I am finding great is a new program (or at least new for me) called SignUpGenius.  You can find out all about it at  I have already set up a call for bloggers for the cover reveal at  If you'd like to sign up, go right ahead we'd love to have you!  Not all bloggers are listed there as I started early finding stops for this which was before I found SignUpGenius.  You can see who I have lined up so far at

So I have that all in place and I just wait for bloggers to email me (having a huge email list is priceless).

The next thing I did was make a countdown widget at  I can't remember how much this costs but we opted for the premium plan.

Why I want this is so that I can enlist bloggers to post this in their sidebar.  It looks like this:

Cool, eh?

Here's the code if you'd like to post it in your sidebar to help us spread the word about the cover reveal coming up:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script><script type="text/javascript">if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('c12f9645-816f-489d-9b93-ff24e831d120');</script>
<noscript>Get the <a href="">Countdown Creator Pro</a> widget and many other <a href="">great free widgets</a> at <a href="">Widgetbox</a>! Not seeing a widget? (<a href="">More info</a>)</noscript>

Bloggers have already starting adding it to their blogs (THANK YOU).  When I get an email from SignUpGenius that a new blogger has requested to join the cover reveal campaign, I email them back thanking them profusely and giving them the option to post this in their sidebar.

The next step is to get the word out about the cover reveal.  No one really knows what it'll take to bring awareness of your book and then have it sell, but the secret is to get your book noticed on as many blogs and websites as you can and don't forget the social networks.

I'll be talking about setting up the blog tour in a future post, but this gives you an idea of how we're going to promote this book and we'll see if it makes a difference in the long run.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Know your characters: a control freak's opinion on editors

I have to admit it and give credit where credit is due but I am in love with our editor.  Being a control freak, this is a complete turnaround to my opinion when I got edits back for the first time.  How dare she say what I wrote wasn't right?  That's the mind of a control freak of course and not the way you should handle someone's professional opinion of your work especially when you are paying them.  Okay, okay, I'm learning to lessen up the reins and take constructive criticism to heart for the sake of making our book the best it can be.  Sure, not everything I could agree on, but I would say 98% I did and I made those changes and it got easier as I went along.

Being a control freak has its advantages and disadvantages but sometimes the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.  You can't put on blinders.  Sure after countless re-readings and proofings and all that, you are sure this is the best it can be, then...a full page of edits on each page comes into your email box.


But I'm going over each line and I can see where the book is tightening up.  And I didn't realize how often I use exclamation points that were totally unnecessary.

But the one thing that I learned today is to really know your characters before you publish your book.  So today, my editor (her name is Cheryl Malandrinos look her up she is terrific) told me that I should add some kind of description to a flamboyant makeup artist named Renaldo that's in the first chapter. 

Rodger Hawthorne, one of the main characters in the book, is in his dressing room at the Unusual Propositions show in New York.  In walks his makeup artist and Cheryl made me realize that just "saying" he was flamboyant might not be enough.  When you picture someone "flamboyant," you automatically picture this gay dude with loads of makeup and hands flying as he is talking, right?  So now I've got to go in and add a description and wouldn't it have been helpful if I already knew what he looked like?  Holy Mary of Jesus, that's a big no no not to know your characters - all of them even the minor ones.

So...I thought I'd do a search in Google to see if an image would pop up that would give me an idea on how to put this.  Okay, here's a good one:

THAT'S IT!  Prince!!!  So he's a young black dude with loads of makeup and I Dream of Jeannie clothes, mainly purple. 

Okay back to the drawing board, or writing board, and create a description for Renaldo.

But you see how this could have saved time if you already knew what your characters looked like? 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Do we need an ISBN at Kindle Direct Publishing?

This self-publishing thing is getting a little too interesting.  I was in one of my favorite groups at LinkedIn - the one that talks about nothing but publishing ebooks, that sort of thing, when someone asked a question that I found right up my alley.  He wanted to know if he needed an ISBN using Kindle Direct Publishing.  I didn't think you needed one but I did have a question about imprints.  You know - when you don't want KDP to be in the publisher's slot and you want to come up with your own publisher's name? 

So, I asked and here were two responses which really helped:

Update on Book Cover from Hell

So he finally gets in touch with me.  He said he had computer problems. Okay, I understand that; we all have been there at some point or another.  Here's the new cover:

Let's see if you can guess what's wrong?

Jiminy crickets.  He is such a talent but I think life is throwing him curve balls.