It’s Al-i-i-i-i-i-ve!

It’s official: In the Fool’s Footsteps is now available on in paperback and Kindle formats.

Now, please excuse me while I get back to doing backflips…

Cover art by Matthew Marigold

Click here to purchase.

How Did the E-Author Sign Her E-Books?

When I first announced my upcoming book launch, a common question I’ve had has been whether or not hard copies will be available (yes) because people want a signed copy, and how on earth would I be able to sign an ebook? I pondered it and initially came up with nothing.

There are clever digital signature programs out there but I hesitate to rely on technology on the spot while people wait in line. Then I ventured into the scary and intimidating world of Twitter. There I saw something wonderful – a lightbulb moment, if you will. One of my favourite authors, Christopher Moore (@theauthorguy) was touring with his latest novel, Sacre Bleu, and a fan brought a handmade book jacket for an ereader that she asked Mr. Moore to sign. He took a picture and tweeted it.

I don’t know who the fan was, so I can’t give her credit, but I did steal her idea. Here is the result…

This is the template I used. I created a table in Word, sized the cells to the proper dimensions and inserted the picture.

The finished product after cutting, folding and gluing.

I think this lends a lovely tactility to an otherwise virtual experience. It’s a nod to the phenomenology of traditional books.

Drumroll please…

When I decided to self-publish my debut novel, In the Fool’s Footsteps, I challenged myself to spend as little money as possible on the venture. That’s partly because I have limited funds and partly because I love a challenge. I have publishing work experience and thus the skills to design and format the digital and hard copy versions. I also expect that my marketing and event planning work experience will come in handy.

Although I have an eye for and some training in page layout, I am smart enough to recognize my own limits. That’s why the cover art is the one area I decided to make a financial investment. I commissioned Matthew Marigold to photograph and design my cover. I just got the first mock-up yesterday and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Cover art by Matthew Marigold

In the Fool’s Footsteps will be available for purchase on Amazon on June 1, 2012.

Book Launch Party – June 1, 2012

There is no going back now. Today’s ‘to-do’ was to announce my book launch party and it got done. (Excuse me a minute, while I hyperventilate a little…)

I set up the Facebook page and sent emails to (almost) everyone in my contacts list. I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve just stepped off a cliff, but considering the book title and themes, it’s totally appropriate. I’m also feeling energized as I make my way through the self-publishing process. The hard copy is almost formatted, the ebook is ready for a final proof and my cover should be ready next week.

And then there’s planning a huge party and rehearsing the reading…

Somebody pinch me.

Author Headshots DIY

With my book launch fast approaching (6 weeks! gulp), I’ve been busy, busy, busy. I’ll spare you from my to-do list, and just tell you about a recent fun project.

Every writer needs a headshot. A recent one. I had a friend take a couple of shots, but it was sunny and windy that day, resulting in squinty eyes and very bad hair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to have an assortment of outfits and facial expressions? The problem is that my friends are as busy as I am and it’s a lot to ask someone to give up a whole afternoon for my ego. My goal is to spend as little as possible on this endeavour, so a professional photographer wasn’t an option.

So, I got all dolled up one day when I had the house to myself, and grabbed an armful of scarves, hats and sunglasses. I cleaned off the patio (BIG job) and set up the video camera. The idea was to model for the camera and take screen shots. I cannot tell you how foolish I felt, but it was also kind of fun.

When I thought I had enough material, I put everything away, washed off my makeup and put all the crap back onto the patio to hide any evidence that I had spent an afternoon behaving like a teenaged girl. (It was very cloak and dagger.) I got the videos off the camera and onto my laptop only to find that my head was completely cut off in the first video. The second one had some great poses, but I had taken the video in low resolution so that when I tried to enlarge the shots, I ended up with a blurry, pixelated mess.

What a time-sucking experience, except that it was kind of fun and I learned something, so not a total waste.

A few days later, I tried again. This time I used the digital camera, natural light, a tripod and mirror. I’m pretty pleased with the results – not bad for free, at any rate.

In The Fool’s Footsteps

You may or may not know that I have a book sitting in the drawer. It’s been there for a few years. I sent out 11 or 12 submissions, gave it to another half dozen people to read, and, despite excellent feedback from friends, acquaintances and three publishers, there it still sits.

…June 1, 2012!

That’s the day when my first novel, In the Fool’s Footsteps, will be available on Amazon.

That’s right, I finally got a book deal. And it’s a doozy. Sure, I have to do all the marketing and promotion myself and there’s no advance, but that’s standard these days. Without an agent, I was able to land a deal where I get 70% of the royalties rather than the usual 10%, I retain all copyrights and get full creative license. Pretty sweet.

In today’s publishing climate, where advances have evaporated and struggling traditional publishers can scarcely afford to take a chance on a new author (let alone devote resources to marketing), I took a deep breath and signed a book deal with myself.

The decision came out of a conversation with my old friend Shaun Proulx, who first challenged my notions about publishing (including how those notions related to my ego), then followed up a couple of days later with an email that linked to an article called Why Every Entrepreneur Should Self-Publish a Book. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and I have a book. So, I read it, did some research, and made my decision. I also subscribed to the Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing (WG2E), an excellent resource and cheerleader for indie authors.

So here I am with exciting news and a big job ahead of me. I had always assumed that someone else, i.e. a publisher or agent, would take care of the business around selling my book, but that was never realistic. Even less so now. Instead of waiting on “someone else” I’m diving in.

I’ve already hired an incredible artist, Matthew Marigold, to design the cover. The book is mostly formatted (typeset in the old lingo), and I have a logo under development. (Branding oneself is a fascinating process.)

You can check out a sample of the book here. I’d love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated on my progress as the calendar counts down to June 1. Fasten your seatbelts…