Friday, April 8, 2011

What I Did This Week - April 8

This weeks was devoted to research and playing around.

I came across some worthwhile blogs which you should check out:

Write To Publish by Robin Sullivan

The Writings and Opinions of Dean Wesley Smith

I found a nifty royalty-free stock photography and illustration site with pricing about a third of what Veer and iStockphoto charge. Deposit Photos has a free trial with downloads, very reasonable pricing, and a decent selection. The search function seems comparable with other sites.

I mocked up dozens of covers in Paint in preparation to do the real thing using PhotoShop and Illustrator, and found that I was better at it than I thought. Once I've done the real thing, I'll post a gallery and you can see what someone who is relatively talentless can do in a short time.

Today I"m installing the new software: Adobe InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Acrobat Pro. I'll report back as I start learning the basics.

I made a List for publishing projects that numbers 25, with another 25 ideas on a second page. For the first year, I plan to publish 2 full-length horror/thriller novels (Running Red and Dead of Winter), Susan and my first two Maddie Pryce mystery series novels (Darker by Degree and Director's Cut), and then I plan to have three more books up within the year, (the third Maddie Pryce novel, Curtain Call; the first installment in a lighter paranormal mystery series that's been on my back burner for years and is yet unnamed; and a collection of 9 short stories). Whew! I may not make all of that happen, but I know that by the end of the year I'll have at least five books up and running.

I learned how to use Google Docs, which allows real-time collaborative writing or editing. Great if you're writing with a partner or going over proofing or editing with someone else.

Lastly, I have the first step of my plan finalized. I'm going to publish four short stories via Kindle. (Lots of people who know best strongly suggest you put up a short story or two to learn the formatting and uploading procedures.) I'm going to give two short stories away free and put the other two up for 99 cents a piece, just as an experiment. And at the end of each of the short stories, I'm going to include the cover for Running Red, a brief blurb and the first chapter and tell readers to watch for it coming in July of 2011. Later on I'm going to take the short stories down for inclusion in a compendium, but for now I'm just using them for advertising purposes and to learn the ropes.  So I'm working on covers and descriptions and formatting and hope to have something to show for it before the end of the month.

Wheeeeeee! As they say down here in New Orleans, where you at?


  1. Note to Keri and Susan: I'm pokin' at Kindle formatting now. It looks like Smashwords' demands for a non-illustrated .docx file such as we would use for fiction will produce a viable Kindle file. All the crap that makes Kindle choke from Word APPEARS to be the stuff Smashwords gives you detailed instructions on how to remove. More information after I test it this afternoon, but this whole thing could have just gotten much, much easier. Pray for me! I hear Baal gets four star customer reviews.

  2. Yay! I'll have my fingers crossed, metaphorically at least. Having them actually crossed make it hard to type.

  3. Girlfriend, I have a Sweet Dreams .mobi file that I have run through the Kindle Windows Viewer and it looks dandy. Hyperlinks even work. Made with Word 2007 and the Amazon provided Kindlegen. Took only the slightest adjustments from the Smashwords version.

    I will now do a little dance. Ooh! Ah! Chicka chicka boo!

    ONLY problem: It does not have a cover image. I don't have the cover art anyway, but I'm pretty sure I can fix one single problem.