THE SEQUEL

When I started the second book (which is actually in editing right now) I had to really give it some thought. Did I research anything about trilogies or the second book after the first is done? No. Why not? Okay, cause I’m just thinking of that right now.

At the end of the first book there’s a hook to draw the reader into wanting to know where the story is headed. It made sense to do that, however the hook does not end with my hero, but rather on the villain.  I didn’t want to have Chapter 1 be about the bad guy and I knew that the first opening to any book needed to draw the reader into the story. I examined a chapter or two I had removed during the first re-write of book 1 to see if any of those would work. They didn’t fit right. I wanted to start with something jarring or at least alarming enough for the reader to want to find out what was taking place.

I returned to a small booklet, written by Aaron D. Gansky about first line hooks. In this book he talks about writing a perfect first line. This could also be a whole paragraph, but it sets the tone and often determines if someone is going to read your book.

Gansky  refers to five things from Professor Steve Heller, that an opening line should do:

1. Capture the Reader’s attention without sensationalizing the subject

2. Create a feeling of movement (establish conflict)

3. Establish tone, mood, and/or situation

4. Create an initial impression of a character

5. Establish the story’s voice

After reading this book, I returned to the first book and re-wrote the opening paragraph. It also helped me on beginning my second book which starts this way:

 Antonio growled. It was a low, cautionary growl that woke me—clear headed. Hyper-vigilant, I listened in the dark. My heartbeat quickened and I shuddered. Antonio Banderas, my large Scooby Doo type dog, had been sleeping on the end of my bed, facing the French doors. I could make out his head, his ears raised. Moonlight flowed through the curtains and I lifted the light blanket off as I sat up— ready to run if I had to.

Here’s a link to another site of first lines that further illustrates examples of memorable first lines that makes the reader take notice. http://thewritepractice.com/first-line

MARKETING: Mental Preparation

The marketing process has begun. A good number of writers, authors trying to let you know about their new book and wanting to share the information or story, dread having to market. But today, even following a traditional publishing route, as an author – you have to market your wares. It sounds like so much work! Here’s a drop in the bucket dive into it.

There are a large number of ways to do this. It starts with just letting your friends and family know- maybe through e-mails or Facebook. Some of us use Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram. Others use Goodreads.

Everyone wants to get popular on Amazon and just having your book in hardbound or paperback isn’t enough. Today you MUST have an e-book version. While Amazon is so large and has so many means to help you find fans, you can also use Barnes & Noble,  i-tunes, and Google books.

Someone is bound to suggest Oprah or Ellen. Marketing and Consulting Services like Social Suite and Hoot Suite offer to do all the work for you, bundle your posts so that they go not just on a blog or Facebook, but on every social media outlet you choose. You can even schedule days and which post you want to have deployed in advance. You can set it up on a provided calendar.

Doing a reading is popular, though recently we learned that Barnes & Noble is ending that offering. Book fairs and festivals provide an inside or open air experience for selling your book yourself and signing. Even a military venue might be possible.

You could go on a cruise, teach a class of some kind and sell your books there. Your local newspapers, even the throw-a-ways offer publicity and often an article about you, the author.

Enter a contest or more than one. A sticker or slogan touting your work can go far to sell your book.

More on this in depth coming up, meanwhile feel free to offer your ideas and suggestions and any hints, suggestions or even warnings. This is a great way to share.

Published!

There’s a wonderful feeling holding your own book in your hands for the first time. I immediately looked it over from cover to cover. Then I took a picture of it and e-mailed it to a few people I knew would be happy to see the  finished product. Then I sat down and read the whole book like I was a reader reading it for the first time. I looked for errors- there may be a misplaced comma, an extra space where there shouldn’t be-no matter how much editing has been done. I found nothing that disturbed the flow of the story. more importantly, I found myself involved with the whole story and the characters which was exciting for me because I really hope others are, too.

A word about costs. When you self-publish you have choices of publishers. I referred to this in an earlier post here. Other than Create Space you are going to spend a substantial amount of money to have a publisher take your e-mailed, attached manuscript. Dog Ear has five different plans ranging fro $1,100 to well over $3,000.depending on how many other benefits you want, like building you a website, adding e-book preparation, providing an audio book or a trailer for your website. You may pay more up front with this publisher, but reap more residuals after the sale. All the information you need is laid out in an easy to understand manner on the site. You know ahead of time your cost for each book ad what the profit will be ultimately. I learned that having a longer book, more pages, costs more. My first book was half the price of this novel.

Now the arduous task of digging into the marketing process in earnest begins.I did an initial marketing plan and set some things in motion, but the real work becomes more fine tuned now. I have not set up book signings yet or readings. I have met with key people in Advertising locally and am working on my over-all social media presence- a must today. Most articles mention that you don’t usually make much money on your book itself. It often is used as a tool for people who read the book  to buy more costly after-products. This is done with non-fiction books the most. I need to get Hollywood interested.

I notice that with a trilogy- it takes longer for people to get on board as the second and third book may not be written yet. Book number two in DIMENSION NORRAENA  is written and is being edited currently. It’s another 12 weeks before it will be published. I have begun writing the third book already as well. I want all three to be available as soon as possible.

It’s an interesting , exciting and occasionally tiresome process after the fun part (writing) is done.