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Monday, October 31, 2011

Telling a book by its cover

Ever wish you had two heads and four hands? Lately, that is how it has been for me. I am simultaneously trying to promote my novel, Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row, and write a new one for young adults. To promote the current one, I have had designed new covers to use at online vendors like Amazon and Barnes and Noble with their ebook versions. The hard copy version will retain its original cover that shows Attman's Deli's storefront. Marc Attman helped me a great deal with the launching of the novel with a book signing party at his deli. I believe I owe him that much. However, the existing cover does not show well when displayed at the postage stamp size used by the book sellers websites. Ergo, the new designs. They are more readable and use colors that attract the eye. Unless an author already has a large following, he/she needs visibility when their product pops up in an online search. Writers that already have a large fan base will only need name recognition for potential buyers to look at whatever it is they have written. Unknowns have to do anything they can to draw the prospect's eye. That includes changing the book's cover if necessary.
On my website, http://jamesbattee.books.officelive.com, I am doing a survey of several new cover options and have added sample chapters to read. A random respondent will receive a signed copy of the book. All will receive the author's gratitude.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Too long since my last post

Wow! Where has the time gone? I have been so wrapped up in trying to promote my book with book talks, book signings and such, and with craft fairs, promoting my handmade jewelry, and that I have not taken the time to keep up with my blog. Sorry about that. The experts tell me that blogging is a good way to promote the books that I write, but sometimes it just becomes a chore. I do a lot of my promoting on facebook, so the blog has suffered. The new book I started is for young adults, and I am eight chapters into it. The writing is not going as fast as I would like because I keep making changes in the plot. I guess this is not unusual for most writers even if, like me, they have a prepared outline to follow. It seems, every time I make a change I have to go back and make changes elsewhere. This, of course, means a lot of time spent on rewriting. It is making the going slower, but, hopefully, a better end product.
While looking for something altogether different on the Internet, I found something that makes writing e-books much easier. It is an extension to Openoffice.org's Writer. It is called Writer2ePub. Since I have not had a chance to fully assess it, I shall have to await doing so before making any comments as to its efficacy. On the surface, it appears to have all of the elements required to produce a finished ePub product. My first book, Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row, is done in several electronic versions including ePub. Since electronic publishing is rapidly gaining ground, and printed books are losing it, it makes sense to make sure that anything you write goes into electronic formats, ePub and Adobe's .pdf being the most popular. ePub is the format used on the Apple iPad, Sony, and many other popular readers. Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com both have proprietary formats, which the writer is compelled to use. With the proliferation of e-readers, it only makes sense to make your product available to this wide audience. Many people still value the printed page, but with the use of e-Readers, Smart Phones, the Kindle, and the Nook that can download a book from the Internet to be read while traveling on an airplane, waiting in line at a doctor's office or for an appointment with a client, this option is being used more frequently. My advice, do whatever it takes to get your writing into the hands of the largest audience possible, and it looks to me like electronic publishing should not be overlooked. I will experiment with Writer2ePub and will report my findings later.