Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beyond the Bookstore

One of the great things about Second Wind Publishing is that the company also owns a brick-and-mortor store, Barnhill's Books. This means that all authors published by SW have a readymade shelf awaiting their works, and a staff eager to push them. The store itself is really neat -- it's in an old house on a cool street in Winston-Salem. Hardwood floors and comfy furniture (plus wine tastings from many regional wineries) make it a welcoming space. There's also a children's section, and the staff schedules readings and events for readers of all ages weekly. I'm so pleased to be part of this group!

But I know I'll have to do a lot more than rest in one of those comfy chairs at a signing, waiting for my adoring fans to beat a path to the door. No, I'll have to take my book to the streets ... and papers ... and blogs... and magazines, etc. In other words, everywhere beyond the bookstore.

Since I have a few weeks prior to the launch of The Pirate's Bastard, I've been working ahead in the marketing area. This includes preparing media kit pieces, letters and lists. The media kit is self-explanatory. The letters are for bloggers who might be interested in mentioning the book to their readers. I've written several follow-up letters in that series, too. The lists are filled with various associations, companies, shops, media outlets, bookstores, galleries, and anywhere else I could think of -- places where my book might be a good fit to at least mention of have out on display. Hunting down contact information is easy in the digital age, but there are no guarantees that anyone will actually be interested.

Kinda like this blog. As of today, I've had no visitors. And I'm okay with that. I'm just learning about this marketing tool -- this mode of communication. Next week, I start posting on Second Wind's blog. Each author in the Second Wind family gets a day to post. And since cross-pollination of marketing can often result in a good thing, I might as well have something for others to read here. Besides, it's fun cataloging the steps I'm taking to get my work "out there" -- who knows? It may actually help someone else do it for themselves some day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New website coming soon

I'm not a website developer, I'll admit it. But I did manage to create a new website for my book (and future works) using my dear husband's Mac and program I-Web. Very intuitive, very easy.

Today, I've spent more time setting up hosting accounts with a host service that will remain nameless for one simple reason: it took me longer to set up the hosting account and email account (and getting that account to jive with Outlook) than it did for me to build the entire website!

The good news is it's all done. Well, nearly. I still have to upload the site files through FTP - which may be a trick, given my husband's Mac has the files, and I'm working on a PC. Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book Cover is Done

I am so excited to see the book cover finally finished. The innards of the book are still in progress, with a publication date of August 15. Here's the preview:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Photos and book jackets

Robert Batey, professional photographer (trained architect, artist, and all-around good guy) has agreed to take my photo for the book's jacket! Here's his link: . We'll be snapping away next week. Robert and his family come to the Southern Highlands Craft Fair in Asheville twice a year to shoot artists' works. Their daughter is our son's age, and they get along famously. Seriously nice people.

The book's cover has been an interesting exercise in design, decisions, and pondering. Since many people judge a book by its cover, how does one make that ultimate decision of what it should look like? The designer with Second Wind Publishing has been most patient with me as I dither about this design draft or that (we're up to #9), but I think we're getting really close to perfect now. I'll post it as soon as the cover is ready.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Getting to Picture Perfect

The draft cover didn't look wonderful with the So. African photographer's work after all. Sigh. We're going to try it again, and the publisher's designer assures me that it's okay. Another author's book cover was tweaked 80 times before the perfect cover came to life. Hearing that made me feel better. The designer sent two more drafts using different photos, and plans a few more for the weekend. I have to say, "WOW" to that kind of treatment!