Smorgasbord Media Training for Authors – Advertising – Covers, Titles and Key Words by Sally Cronin


I am continuing the series on media training and marketing for authors which is adapted from my media training course for small businesses and charities. Authors are small businesses with a product that needs marketing to obtain sales. Once you start thinking of yourself as a business it tends to focus your mind differently.

One of the jobs that gave me some perspective on marketing and promotion, was the several years I spent as advertising sales manager for a free paper in London and then a holiday publication company.

Part of my job was writing copy for clients who could not afford to spend a fortune with an agency. This was quite an interesting challenge because most companies, whatever their product wanted to put their name in large letters front and centre. So for example:

Great name, but what does the person who is looking for a new car see when they are skimming the adverts for cars?  Steve Smith and Sons.. but that is not the product for sale and is not going to grab the attention of the person looking to buy a car. If you are looking for a car, you are more likely to be interested in reading the same advert, but arranged very differently.

Using key words effectively will significantly increase your chances of reaching your customers.

Unfortunately this is also a mistake that we tend to make when we market our books.  Unless we are J.K Rowling or any other bestselling author who has a dedicated following, putting our names in very large print on our book covers is not going to achieve sales.

For an author trying to sell a first book and even others that follow, it is almost impossible to stand out from the other millions of books on sale on the primary online bookseller Amazon.. or even on the bookshelf of your local bookstore.

If you look in the average bookstore, novels are shelved alphabetically, not usually by genre, there are no reviews and they rely heavily on cover and back blurb to encourage you to buy. Non-fiction books do have an advantage as they will normally be listed by subject matter which does narrow the field somewhat.

Both however need to have a cover that reflects the contents of the book fiction or non-fiction or, is so visually stunning, that it invites readers to explore further. And very importantly, books need a title that screams out to the reader “buy me, I am the most informative, entertaining, interesting, relevant, novel, self-help book, inspiring story you will ever read” and also find away to convey all that is between the covers!

This is not easy since most titles are only usually between 1 and 5 words.

Finding a book title that sells your book.

There are millions of books available today digitally. This is why it is so important that your title leap out from the page and grab potential reader’s attention. Novels are tough as most of the words used to describe each genre are well used. For romance novelists it must be a nightmare since the words love, destiny, fate, romance, desire etc have to be used in a title in the most imaginative way.

With non-fiction it is not easy but it is simpler – providing you get your USP (unique selling point) in the title….remember that there could be thousands of books that are cover your particular subject matter and you want the reader to buy your book.

So what is your unique angle that makes your book different from all the other books on a particular subject that can be  incorporated in your title? This is where using MY comes in handy.. for who is more unique than you? Instead of A Lonely Childhood.. My Lonely Childhood etc.

Finding an original title for a novel can be tough since there are only so many words within each genre that you can use to convey the subject of your book.

Obviously the genre is a starting point – SF – thriller – comedy – Romance – Humour, Children’s etc, and my suggestion is that you take a good long look at other newish books in that genre so that you are not duplicating – write several down and still see if you can get something unique into your own title – try it out on all your friends and family and when you have your title, it is also important to Google it to see if anyone else has a book by that title.

You may find one or two but if you play around with the wording you can usually find one that is not already in use.

Remember – this is your advertising headline for your book – it has to grab the attention of your potential readers and also those that can help you promote the book.

Using Key Words as Taglines.

Your book cover and the wording are your advertisment and whilst it is not a good idea to crowd the cover with text, having a tag line can help.

This is a recent release by Jane Harper: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Harper/e/B001KI8MCE

If the book had just been the image and the title, the book would have had no identity. The fact that it is written by Jane Harper would have attracted her fans; but what about a reader who is browsing to find a murder mystery or thriller, who had not read any of her books prevously?  But because of the key words and endorsements, the moment you look at this advertisement for the book you know exactly what is between the pages.

Here is another example of a non-fiction book that uses key words to attract the attention of readers. This is written by Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings, who is a best-selling author, historian and journalist who can use his name as key words as can J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and other established best-selling authors. As you can see the use of any form of testimonial is important as is the use of specific words to identify that you are going to be reading about Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939 – 1945.

Book available: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Max-Hastings/e/B00MWZQP4G

Here are some more examples that show you how tag lines can provide you with that USP that makes your book stand out from the crowd.

“Your genetic makeup – Your grandmother’s legacy……..”. “Training a deaf dog – The hand signal manual”. “The Passion and the Anquish”…..Horror Stories from Beyond the Grave. “Murder at the Fair……. Do you dare ride the Ghost Train?”

If you have already received an editorial or advance reader review then you can certainly put a few words on the front cover with the name of the reviewer that are appropriate. It may not be The Guardian or The Sunday Times but it is still a recommendation to buy.

Note: If you convert your print books to Ebook after you have received reviews.. make sure to mention one or two on your Ebook cover.

Note Two: If you are publishing with Kindle rather than as an independent self publisher you will find that there are restrictions on some wording that you put on the front cover. Check that out before completing your cover design.

So this is effectively your car advertisement, and when you are designing your cover, you do need to think about those select few key words you are going to include in addition to the title and your name to attract readers to buy your book.

Book Blurb.

Amazon offers you the chance to put our back blurb on the selling page so that readers can find out more about the book. This is also part of your advertisement and whilst you should not writer a chapter on the book, you should let a reader know what they can expect.

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes.. If you were looking for a book to read, what would make you click the buy button.

Genre – basic story plot – main characters and importantly work your key words into the blurb as well. Add in some teasers too..

“Can Sally get to the chocolate before the cookie monster eats it all?”

You can also put some headline reviews from any advance readers here, especially if there was not room on the front cover.

“Fantastic edge of the seat read” – T.Jones – “Couldn’t put this thriller down until I had finished” – B. Smith  –  you get my drift.

Authors Page.

This is a headliner and a place where not only can a reader find your books but also something about you the author. A photo does help.. it makes you relateable.  Then something that gives a reader some confidence in your writing ability before they buy your book. This does not necessarily mean listing everything you have ever written, but by the way your write your biography.  This is an example of your work and if you don’t interest the reader or impress with your style of writing they may not feel like buying the book.

Check out the bios of succesful authors and find a style and content that you like and use that as a formula.

Categories and key words on Amazon as part of your advertisement tool box.

On Amazon you do have a number of different options to choose when you upload your book in addition to your cover and blurb. These include the option to choose a number of relevant categories, and very important key words that a potential reader might search for to find their next book.

Back to the example of the advertisement for cars!

If readers do not know your name, they are not going search for it and find you. So you have to be in the right place in the bookstore so that they at least might catch sight of your title and cover.  This requires you to be very specific with your chosen book categories and key words.

On Amazon you can use up to 5 – 7 key words for your book but you may find more impact by combining multiple key words together which is useful. Two or three together have more impact than just one. For example Rapid Healthy Weightloss is more specific than just weightloss Give up Smoking, Cooking with microwaves, Lancaster in 1960.

For fictionMurderer for Hire, Romantic short stories, Love Poetry, Thrilling Flash Fiction, Historical Romance etc.

NB.I suggest that you take a look at any older books that you have on Amazon, as they have introduced more options  for categories in the last couple of years. Here is a link also to a post that might help you with key words. Also check the blurb and  see if that might need a little TLC.

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/A2EZES9JAJ6H02

Having established a place on the bookstore where the casual reader can find you, you now need to reach out and let specific fans of your genre or non-fiction book know how to find you there.

Next time… joining the right waterholes to find your potential readers for both print and ebooks.

Here are the previous posts on Press Releases, preparing for radio and television interviews: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/media-training-for-authors/

 

Smorgasbord Media Training for Authors – Getting a foot in the door – Press Releases and door knocking.


Despite the fact that it is very difficult to get the attention of the mainstream media, I still believe that you should make every effort to get your book noticed.  If you have done everything right – well written, edited, formatted and produced either in print, E-book or both, then it deserves your best shot.

This includes sending out press releases.

There are certainly a couple of things to consider.  Most self-publishing companies are not going to do your marketing for you.  You can pay quite a bit of money to a PR firm to compose and send out press releases to their contacts, and if you feel you will get a return on your money, then it is probably the most effective way to go.  They will compose your release and then direct it to specific contacts in the media who would be most interested in your genre or books in general. And, because they are a recognised PR firm they are likely to get it as far as the journalist in question.

Unfortunately today, unless you have a high profile name – either author or celebrity, your press release about your book, that you send in your own name, is unlikely to get past first base.  Short of changing your name by deed poll to J.K. Rowling, you are going to have to make sure that both the subject line of your email and the title of your book intrigues.

How can they find out more about you?

Also it is a good idea to have created some form of digital footprint so that if you peak someone in the media’s interest, they have access to information about you and your book before they consider contacting you.

I suggest that you use the usual social media – including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as well as your own website or webpage.  You notice that I put LinkedIn first as I use this one primarily for work and business related posts and my profile is geared towards my professional career rather than the more personal one on Facebook.

It is very important that you have an Amazon author page.. with a well thought out biography that is relevant to your profession which is a writer. Even if at this stage you only have one book… there will be others and if you do not have a website or blog this is a point of reference that someone searching for information is going to be checking.

You can also expect to be Googled.. This is where having an online presence, blog, social media and also interviews that you have done on other authors websites will be picked up.

Do make use of your contacts, it is a good idea to set up a page on Facebook for your new book and ask your contacts to like it.  You can put a lot of information on the page that can be accessed by anyone doing a search on you.  Never, be afraid to ask your contacts on any of your social media sites for help.  Your contacts, particularly if you have a few hundred on LinkedIn may in turn have someone they are connected to who might be able to help get your book noticed.  There are also groups on both Facebook and LinkedIn that may be interested in the subject or the genre of your book.  There are also groups of self-published authors and those who will promote your book for free.

You are reading this on a blog that has several ways that you can promote your books and also be interviewed.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

Press releases and door knocking.

With any press release I suggest that you start locally, as I mentioned before the nationals will pick up on good stories that have attracted attention at a local level. However, if you decide to go for the nationals at the same time make sure you have researched the individual journalists or columnists who would be appropriate for your book subject.

You can find most of the information regarding local and national journalists online at the contact page for the publication or radio station (always include) and you can then send a personalised release.

If you are sending your press release out en masse, then make sure you bcc the email addresses, it is very annoying to find your email address plastered all over an general email.  Also your server may block multiple emails as spam and I usually keep emails to four or five addressees at a time. I also like to track response to those I send out and then tweak my press release if needed.

Also do not send an attachment as this can be bounced.  Instead include everything in the body of your email. You can create in a word document with your book cover pasted in and the body of your press release.  Remember this is a sales message however, that requires a call to action, so first and foremost you need to have a an attention grabbing headline for the subject box.

Think about what might make this journalist who receives hundreds if not thousands of emails per week to open yours.  Is there a topical link to current news – what is the Unique selling point of your book and your title. Dogs are loved the world over so to use as an example this press release is for Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story.

Make it easy for them to find information out about you and your book and to contact you if they wish to.  Keep the body of the press release to fewer than 500 words. You can expand on this if you put together a CV version to send out with books by post or in person. (mine below).

Press releases are usually written in the third person.

The body of the press release expands on the Who- Why – What – When- Where and How of your book. Front cover, back blurb – emphasise any unique points that makes your book different from anyone else.  Remember that editors and presenters are likely to see hundreds of emails and if you want yours to stand out it needs to be as interesting as possible.

Repeat details about yourself with links to websites include the exact URL and if you have a web page or blog then link to that too.

Make sure that you have all the relevant contact details so that you can be reached to take the issue further.

Press Release:  Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story by Sally Cronin – A book for all dog lovers – New on the shelves – 16th September, 2017

About Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story

The true story of Sam, a rough collie, written from his perspective. A tribute to a true friend and a genuine family member. Millions of families around the world believe that their pet, dog or cat, is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right.

Sam shares his life, from three weeks old when he is chosen by his new mistress, through his early years living in rural Ireland with his best friend Henry, a feral and very smelly old cat. Then he tells the story of his adventure crossing Europe, driving two thousand kilometres to his new home in the mountains of Spain, where he discovers new friends and adventures.

He describes his life articulately, and with wry humour, and on occasion deigns to speak; emphasising his need for cheese and hard boiled eggs.

 

One of the early reviews for the book (ask someone you trust to do an editorial review for the book so you can use on publication for marketing purposes until you  have received other reviews)

Delightful Read  on January 3, 2015

Meet Sam and you’ll know why a dog is man’s best friend. Being the owner of a dog for the first time in my life I greatly appreciated Sam’s viewpoint on different aspects of a dog’s life ranging from dog language, going to the vet, car trips, walks, friends, love at first sight, scents, food and, most importantly, being head of security.

The book reads like a personal memoir with photos of the author, her homes in Ireland and Spain, the beaches and, of course, beautiful Sam . It is a pleasant, gentle read that warmed my heart. As far as the type of books where dogs are the protagonist Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story is a delightful read.

(Buy links for where the book is available in print and E-versionsAmazon Author Page, Barnes & Nobel, Smashwords etc. You can use a universal link but sometimes that can be a click too far for some journalists. They are more likely to click through to Amazon.)

Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story is available from all online bookstores including Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Shaggy-Story-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00GM0HPQE

Review copy available on request.

Also by Sally Cronin

Available Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

About the author Sally Georgina Cronin –   Wexford, Ireland

Sally Cronin is an effective communicator, project manager and coach with over thirty-five years’ experience at a senior level within key industries in Ireland, UK and Spain, including: Hospitality, Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Nutrition and Multi- Media broadcasting. Published author since 2001 with 11 titles in print and E books. Blogger of health and lifestyle topics which receives 200,000 views a year and an established presence on key social media sites of over 30,000 followers.

Availability for interview by Skype, landline or locally in person.

Contact details.
Email: Sally.cronin@moyhill.com
Mobile Telephone: XXXXXXXXXX
Landline: XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Any further information please contact or refer to the following websites. N.B. If you have a Facebook Author Page, then by all means add that, however you might want to hold off on sharing your personal FB or any other site where you might have shared photographs of you enjoying yourself a little too much on a night out!

Blog/Website: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58

Press Release End.

Once you have prepared in word, check and double check.  Spelling, grammar, contact details etc.  Then get other people to read it.  Did it interest them?  Did it read well?

Do not be disappointed if you do not get a call back or a response.  You are competing with many other press releases on every subject. Quite a few will be from other authors with requests for interviews or even a mention. This is another reason to start locally as there are less likely to be as many authors promoting their books at the same time. Also whilst there is an accepted format for press releases the purpose is to attract some attention and thinking outside the box may just do that. Images of yourself and your book cover should always be included but remember not to attach.. always insert into the email in the body of the press release.

I have used PrWeb for Press Releases in previous years as a third party which can get you through more doors.. but they have got quite expensive.. However here is a useful link with recommended Free press release distribution sites and also some that are very reasonably priced.

http://bookpublicityservices.com/list-press-release-distribution-websites/

I also have a list of the Book Reviewers and Editors for most of the nationals in the UK.. it is time consuming to compile as I also source the editors of the online media, including editors of Women’s magazines. However, that list is then yours for any following books.

Dropping in with your book and your CV.

I did mention yesterday that you can get some real traction locally if you drop a copy of your latest book (and if you have more, then add two of your most popular) personally to your local media.  Your local community radio stations are often delighted to get an interview with an author on their doorstep, especially if it is a local story that you have written about. It has worked for me twice…and now we are back in Ireland I am about to try my luck with my next book.  I will be dropping the latest book and some of my others with a covering letter to two radio stations along the coast.. and also my broadcast CV as I would love to get back into radio part-time.

This is your chance to tell them more about you at the local level.  Are you involved in local charities, organisations, sports clubs.. Anything that shows that you are an active part of the community.  Something about your work background and interests.

Here is my Writing and Broadcast CV as an example.

Sally Georgina Cronin
Email Sally.cronin@moyhill.com – Wexford, Ireland

Mobile Telephone: XXXXXXXXXX
Landline: XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sally Cronin is an effective communicator, project manager and coach with over thirty-five years’ experience at a senior level within key industries in Ireland, UK and Spain including: Hospitality, Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Nutrition and Multi- Media broadcasting. Published author since 2001 with 11 titles in print and E books. Blogger of health and lifestyle topics which receives 200,000 views a year and an established presence on key social media sites of over 30,000 followers.

BROADCAST EXPERIENCE 2004 – 2012

Director Moyhill Productions a freelance production company offering cost effective video options to businesses, authors, musicians, schools and colleges. December 2011 – April 2013.

Station Director of start-up Internet television Station. June 2010 – November 2011 Unpaid consultancy position -News Editor and presenter. Programme development and production. Staff selection and training. Newsreader, Current Affairs editor – Chat show host.

Radio Presenter. Expressfm 93.7 June 2008-October 2010 – voted Best Female Presenter 2010 The Sunday Morning Show – The Thursday Afternoon Health Show – DriveTime.

Radio Presenter, Ondacero International Radio, Marbella, Spain, 2004–2008 – Guest-presenter of The Morning Show and The Main Ingredient, and producer and narrator for three Short Story series.

WRITING AND PUBLISHING

All my books are available through the publishing website http://www.moyhill.com, and Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2 also on Goodreads and Smashwords. Full details of the books with reviews can be found on https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

My first book was based on my journal recording my loss of 70kilos at age 42. Size Matters, Especially when you weigh 330lbs received both local and national media coverage at the time and in 2014 was converted into an E book that is now selling to a much wider audience. http://www.moyhill.com/sm

Just An Odd Job Girl was a light-hearted look at marriage, divorce and the aftermath for a woman who is 50 and traded in for a younger model. In both print and E book. http://www.moyhill.com/jaojg

Just Food For Health began life as a workshop manual for my clients and provides a comprehensive guide to the body, major organs and the foods that provide the essential nutrients needed to be fit and healthy. Only in print currently due to the length and the illustrations. http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story is the memoir of an articulate collie that pretty much changed our lives from the moment he arrived into our home aged 8 weeks. A book for all ages and written from Sam’s perspective which was usually a humorous one. http://www.moyhill.com/sam

Turning Back The Clock is an anti-aging guide which looks at the strategies we can all put into place to slow down the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the aging process. We are as young as we feel so being fit and healthy is important but so is the right attitude. http://www.moyhill.com/tbtc/

Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot is a men’s health manual which covers the specific issues that face men, particularly in middle-age. This includes sexual dysfunction, heart disease and other lifestyle related medical conditions. http://www.moyhill.com/FTV

Media Training the Manual was based on my experience in advertising sales management, retail management, broadcasting and publishing. It focuses on the development of a relationship with local media to assist in promoting organisations such as charities and small businesses but also individuals such as authors and artists. http://www.moyhill.com/mttm

As well as non-fiction books and novels, I published my first collection of short stories, Flights of Fancy which included the novella The Sewing Circle in 2014. http://www.moyhill.com/fof/

This was  followed in December 2015 by Tales of the Garden a collection of fairy stories that brings to life statues and areas of the garden with magic and sorcery. http://www.moyhill.com/tales.

Two more collections have been released in 2017. What’s in a Name? Volume one and two in eBooks, with a combined print version to be released in September 2017.

My current work in progress is Tales from the Irish Garden with illustrations by Donata Zawadzka – Fairy Tales for all ages. Also in 2018 – The Village Square – following the lives of villagers at war from 1939 to 1945.

BLOGGING

I have been blogging since September 2013 and cover subjects which include health, music, publishing and humour but there is a strong focus on the promotion of other writers. I have several long running author promotional series which are based around the virtual Cafe and Bookstore. I also promote other bloggers in the Blogger Daily.

Current series including Smorgasbord Laughter Academy, Cook from Scratch, Smorgasbord Health – Top to Toe and Odd Jobs and characters. Guest writers who contribute regularly include Jazz Singer, composer and musician William Price King, Carol Taylor, Julie Lawford and fantasy author Paul Andruss who is Writer in Residence.

My aim is to create an online magazine approach with wide ranging topics and genres of fiction.

Further details can be found at this link for my About Me page on https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/

SOCIAL MEDIA

I have spent the last four years building up my presence on social media, particularly Twitter which is the second largest referrer to my blog. It is also vital as an author promoter, even in as a free service, to have a viable platform which provides a substantial potential readership.

Social Media connections.
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
https://twitter.com/sgc58
https://plus.google.com/+SallyCronin/about

A final few words

I am looking to get back into radio part-time so I have included my experience in that field. It is important that you too include any experience you have had as a public speaker or previous radio or television interviews.

Do not forget about local online news sites – I expect your area has one or two that are very popular and would be delighted to do an interview or publish and article about you.

Tomorrow – preparing for an interview on radio –Your press release or personal approach has been noticed and you get the call. 

Part one of this series: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/media-training-for-authors-introduction-dont-be-shy/

I hope this has been useful and of course look forward to your feedback.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Open House – Australian Author Toni Pike – The Magus Covenant


Smorgasbord Open House

My guest today is Australian author Toni Pike who grew up in a suburb of Sydney. She studied Veterinary Science at Sydney University and following her marriage to an Air Force officer she travelled around both Australia and overseas to postings in London and Washington D.C. Toni taught high school as her family grew up and later went on to work in public office; including some time as a contract writer for the NSW Department of Agriculture, writing guide books for farmers. Now permanently settled in the national capital Canberra with her husband, Toni has launched her career as a novelist.

Apart from her writing; family, taking long walks and catching up with friends over coffee are important elements in her life. We will take a closer look at Toni’s debut novel and will find out more about her second book in the series at the end of her interview.

About The Magus Covenant

 COVER_Magus Covenant

The Reverend Jotham Fletcher is in Rome to give a lecture on his PhD thesis about Simon Magus at the church where he fell to his death beside the Roman Forum. Magus was a cult leader mentioned in the Bible and his libertine sect disappeared by 400 AD. But did it really die out?

A robed man is pushed from the belltower of the church at midnight and Jotham becomes the prime suspect. His lover Antonella, an expert on ancient documents, has a shocking secret. Rumours fly about a papyrus scroll that mentions Magus. A ruthless Catholic Brotherhood will stop at nothing in their hunt for the Simonian Sect. And a reclusive billionaire has the chance of a lifetime to get his revenge.

Jotham is kidnapped, tortured and on the run. He races from Italy to England to Sweden. But the body count continues to rise and so does the heat in this non-stop thriller that will leave you breathless.

One of the recent reviews for The Magus Covenant

A real page turner. By sarah hardy on 9 Jan. 2016 Format: Kindle Edition

The Magus Covenant is the ideal read for fans that love books like The Da Vinci Code.

With short chapters and quite a fast paced storyline, I flew through this book in no time at all.

I don’t read many books like The Magus Covenant and to be honest I really don’t know why as the whole church and religion storyline really fascinates me. The Roman Catholic Church for one has always been steeped in history with rumours and secrets that will always be something that intrigues many of us.

Jotham is on the run and you can really feel the adrenalin that is coursing through him and the constant mixture of emotions that he is experiencing. I enjoyed the closeness and relationship that he has with Antonella.

The Magus Covenant is a story steeped with lies and secrets. It’s one of those stories where you become a bit like the main character and trust no one. There are certainly some twists that I didn’t see coming that makes the novel even more enjoyable.

Buy The Magus Covenant

Amazon:

USA     UK       Aus       Canada      France       Germany

Smashwords       Barnes and Noble       Kobo

Toni the blogger

Apart from her own blog posts with articles on travel, writing and motivation, Toni also has written some guest posts including one for the Story Reading Ape earlier this year. The article is a guide to writers on how to include that adrenaline rush correctly and effectively when your characters are faced with flight or fight response situations.

‘This is a simple guide to adrenaline and its effects on the human body. An adrenaline rush is often referred to as the flight or fight response. You, the writer, put your characters into the most incredible situations and then decide if they will confront the enemy or run away – or do something completely unexpected. But what really happens when a person confronts an assailant or has a panic attack’?  Adrenaline – A Simple Guide for writers

It is clear from this next post that not only has Toni a love of travel, but that food in the various countries she has visited is also enjoyed. We take pizza rather for granted with huge variations in the crust and toppings depending on where you live. Here is a master class on Pizza when in Rome!

‘Pizza has become a favourite meal around the world, one that has been popular for decades. Australians love to go to an Italian restaurant with family and friends, choose several different varieties laden with all sorts of toppings and then share slices around the table. And they usually eat it with a knife and fork.

The method of eating pizza in Rome is very different. You may like to try the traditional approach and see how you enjoy it. It will certainly make you feel like a local.’ Eat Pizza the Roman Way

Now it is time to hand over the blog to Toni who has chosen her selection of questions about her family history, favourite television series, what she believes is the next big thing in the publishing industry and five experiences she feels we should all enjoy.

IMG_Toni3

If you have looked into your family history have your found any surprises that you can talk about!

 I grew up in a leafy suburb of Sydney, at a time when it was not considered respectable to have a convict in your family background. But now it is generally regarded as a badge of honour. Delving into the past, I have found more than one fascinating surprise.

The First Fleet arrived in Australia in 1788. Fourteen years ago, I was delighted to discover that I could trace my descent all the way back to a marine on the Friendship, one of the convict transport ships. Private Thomas Williams had a relationship with Anne Davis, who arrived soon afterwards on the Lady Juliana, a ship transporting female convicts. It was nicknamed “The Floating Brothel” for reasons better left to the imagination. Before too long, their son Thomas Williams II was born and the rest, as they say, is history.

My great-great-great grandfather Richard Hunt arrived on a convict ship in 1816. His father worked at the Worshipful Company of Saddlers in London, where young Richard was tempted to steal some silverware. Transported to Australia, he soon became a respectable citizen: a farmer and lay preacher with a wife and five children. After his first wife died, he re-married and had five more children. Unfortunately, Richard was living in the town of Gundagai, where the early settlers had unwittingly built their settlement along the flood plain. In 1852, there was a raging one-hundred-year flood and the waters quickly rose. Everyone climbed onto their rooftops, but all the houses were swept away. More than 90 citizens were killed, including Richard Hunt and his second family.

Now I live in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. The hero of my thriller The Magus Covenant is in Rome to give a talk, but he is an Anglican Minister and rector of the oldest church in Canberra. It was built in 1845 and surrounded by a small graveyard, reminiscent of a church in an English village.

What is your favourite all time television series?

 The 1995 adaption of Pride and Prejudice, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, remains my favourite television series. Everything about it combined into a perfect synthesis almost as splendid as Jane Austen’s novel. The scenery and locations were the ideal backdrop, with a range of historic houses so well suited to the different characters who resided there. Through each episode, snippets of everyday life were revealed like a sumptuous visual feast for Jane Austen fans.

The series was recorded on film for a more painterly effect that enhanced the visual impact. Who could forget the luscious but refined Elizabeth Bennett, the dashing Mr Darcy and the incredible range of actors who all seemed to ideally suited to their roles. Most important of all, the screenplay remained true to the novel. It is the perfect story, where everything goes from bad to worse until finally all is resolved.

 What do think will be the next big development in the publishing industry?

I am certain that the next ten years will bring unparalleled changes to the publishing industry. Printed books will gradually be phased out and replaced by ebooks as an ever-increasing number of people adapt to using an electronic device for reading. The only exceptions will be printed books for young children and lavish coffee table books. The editorial process to produce an ebook will be reduced and the marketing process will increasingly become the sole responsibility of the writer.

The traditional publishing industry will slowly shrink until it finds creative alternatives to the traditional methods of publication. As digital publishing takes over, alternative forms of writing will increase their market share, including shorts stories, novellas and a range of non-fiction.

Online publishers are introducing more methods to ensure that published ebooks do not contain too many errors. At the same time, they are trying to ensure that all reviews posted are honest and unbiased. The standard of indie publishing is already high, and I believe that in the next ten years, the overall standard will improve and social media will become fully integrated into the world of publishing.

What are the top five experiences or activities that you feel that everyone should complete in their lifetime?

I love to travel the world, and my favourite mode of transport is to take a cruise. I never anticipated that I would be able to visit so many extraordinary places. I drew on some of those experiences in The Magus Covenant, as Jotham Fletcher races from Italy to England to Sweden.

There are five special travel activities that I recommend for inclusion on any bucket list. You will remember them for a lifetime, but none involve climbing a mountain or sailing white water rapids. I love to put my hero in great peril, but prefer safe activities for myself.

  1. Visit Petra in Jordan to feel like Indiana Jones as you walk down the winding sandstone canyon and then emerge into the vast archaeological site that was carved out of red stone.
  2. Sail along the Panama Canal, one of the world’s greatest engineering marvels. It takes an entire day to pass through six massive locks, Miraflores Lake and the enormous Gatun Lake that is dotted with small islands.
  3. Explore the ruins of the Temple of Delphi in Greece. It is one of the most beautiful sights in the world, set on the side of a hill and with views all the way to the coast.
  4. Wander around Taormina in Sicily, a wonderful old hilltop town that has the remains of a Roman amphitheatre and vistas of Mt Etna.
  5. Cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage in early May, when ice is still floating in the water. See the spectacular sight of whales and orcas, mountains, fjords and glaciers.

Tell us about your work in progress, plans for your blog in the next year and any special events that are coming up that are very special to you.

I am currently working on the second book in the Magus series. The Rock of Magus should be released by the middle of 2016. Once again, Jotham Fletcher is the hero and this time there is a problem in the Vatican. He will be travelling from England to America, Spain and Rome in his search for the truth.

You can read more about me on my website www.tonipike.com or visit my Goodreads page Goodreads. I write occasional articles about travel, writing and motivation. This year I’ll be visiting Brisbane and Melbourne to spend time with my grown children and hope to spend some time in Britain and take a cruise to see the Norwegian Fjords for the first time.

Link to Toni on her website and social media.

My website www.tonipike.com
My author page on Goodreads
Twitter: https://twitter.com/piketoni1

My thanks to Toni for such an interesting response to her chosen questions and we would of course be delighted to receive your feedback.

Thank you for dropping by and please feel free to reblog and share.  Sally

Formatting your own Ebook – Q & A with David Cronin


We have now reached the end of this series that David posted on formatting and publishing your Ebook professionally. It is now time for the Q & A and if you have not read all the posts or specific ones of interest to you perhaps you might like to take the time this week  and then if you still have any questions make a note of them in the comment section.. David will then answer those here so that everyone who might have a similar query gets the answer too.

You should find most of what you need here but if not then you will find an email address at the end of the links. Thanks very much to those of you who have shared and commented on this series and glad that you found it interesting and helpful.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-ebook-doctor-making-your-own-ebooks-by-david-cronin-part-one/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-ebook-doctor-part-two-which-ereaders-for-format-your-books-for19394/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/the-ebook-doctor-part-three-anatomy-of-an-ebook/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/the-ebook-doctor-anatomy-of-an-ebook-continued/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/writing-your-own-ebook-part-four-what-ebook-format-should-i-use/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/making-your-own-ebooks-part-five-what-can-you-do-with-your-word-processor-to-make-your-ebooks-better/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/writing-your-own-ebook-part-six-creating-the-ebook-framework/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/making-your-own-ebook-part-seven-finishing-the-framework-for-the-book/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/making-your-own-ebook-part-eight-how-to-clean-the-formatting-in-your-word-file/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/making-your-own-ebook-part-nine-making-a-fresh-start/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/making-your-own-ebook-part-ten-metadata-your-digital-book-cover/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/making-your-own-ebook-part-eleven-fonts/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/writing-your-own-ebook-part-twelve-finaleimages-and-useful-links/
Mailbag
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/the-ebook-doctor-mailbag-epub-and-pdf-the-differences/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/mainstream-vs-self-publishing-2014-the-numbers-are-looking-very-interesting/

David Cronin

After over 30 years as a senior executive across the cable, telecommunications and cable television industries, David Cronin founded the Indie Publishing company Moyhill in 2004. Already involved with computers since the mid 1970s he quickly made the transition to book designer and publisher and the first book that Moyhill published in 2004, The Red Tailed Hawk, in Spanish won best digital print book in the UK that year.

If after reading these posts and the Q&A you feel you need more assistance to give your book a final polished format then you can contact him direct on TheEbookDoctor@gmail.com

Making your Own Ebook Part Seven – Finishing the Framework for the book


Now that you know how to set up the basics we can go through setting up the rest of the framework for the main pages so that you have a complete basic template to use for your E-books. Once you have a template all you will need to do is to replace the text and save under a different name and you are nearly ready to go.

Last time, we put in place one Chapter header and a Table of Contents. The TOC was set to display anything formatted with the Heading 1 Style. The next step is to put in place a few more chapters and then we can put in the “Front Matter” of Titles, Copyright page, etc. and do some final formatting before creating the Ebook.

If you are planning to do a number of books then you can save the final “blank” document as a template and use it as the basis for more books.

Adding new chapters

You can use Ctrl-Alt-Shift (combined) + “S” key to make the Styles list appear on the right of the page.

Now that we have the chapter style set up (Heading 1) it is easy to create new chapters. Simply type the chapter name in a new paragraph at the end of the previous chapter and click on the “Heading 1” style to format the title. Remember to keep the cursor in the same line as the chapter title, or you can always highlight the title with the cursor before clicking on Heading 1” This will format the heading and force it to start on a new page.

In my test file I have created 4 chapters and before I format the headings it looks like this…

Word 12 - Adding New Chapters 1Then I click the mouse in the first of the new chapter headings…

Word 13 - Adding New Chapters 2

 I then complete the rest of the Chapter headings and can update the table of contents. Before updating I have:

Word 14 - Adding New Chapters 3

Update the Table of content

Now we can update the Table of Contents

Word 15 - Update TOC

Add the rest of the pages

Now we can add the Title page, Copyright page and Acknowledgements page to complete the basic framework. As you probably don’t want these page headings to appear in your Table of contents it is best to set up a couple of additional styles. And remember that you can always add these manually to the TOC later if you change your mind.

The first thing I want is the Title page and in this example we will put in the Title, a Subtitle and the Author’s name:

There are built-in styles in Word for “Title” and “Subtitle” but if you don’t like these it is easy to modify these to create a style to suit YOUR taste – but stick to the basic font types and only mess with the size and spacing. In my test file I have modified “Title” and “Subtitle” and have added a new Style, “Author”.

Lets’s look at the process for setting up The Main Title. You can use the same process to set up the other styles once you know the routine.

Open your word file and go to the first page. Type in your “Title, Subtitle and Author’s name so that they appear as three separate lines. In case they have appeared in another style, and you need to reset them, use the mouse to highlight the three lines and click on “Clear all” at the top of your styles list. This will set them all to “Normal”.

Word 16 - Clear All

 Left click in the title of the book than Right click on the style “Title” and click on “Modify”. The built-in “Title” style in Word has an underline and is “Left Aligned”. Also, it has little space above & below so I went into “Modify/Format/Paragraph” set the Alignment to Centered and the spacing to 30 above and 30 below.

Word 19 - Modify Title Style 1

 I don’t want the underline so I went into “Modify/Format/Borders” and clicked on “None” to remove the border. Then Click on OK, and again to exit the dialogue box. We now have the title in a reasonable format.

If you have a subtitle for the book you can use the built-in style also and then modify it. I used 16pt Arial, Centered, with 30 pt space below.

We don’t have a built in style for “Author” so I created a new style called “Author” and another called “Centered”.

To set up a new style, click on the first of the icons at the bottom of the styles list: If you hover the mouse pointer over the icon it will show “New Style”.

Word 17 - New style

 When you click on “New Style” you get the usual “Modify” dialogue and can alter as needed. For “Author” I made it 16pt, centred, with 30 pt above in the paragraph spacing.

Word 21 - Settings for Author style

Using the same technique I created another style called “centered” and the only change I made on that was to center the text. This is a useful style to have in the body of the book for things like quotes etc.. In this case I used it to center the “by” line on the title page. If you have been following along you should now have something that looks like this:

Word 22 - Title page

 You may want to add other info on the title page, such as the Publisher identity, so just use the same approach to create what you need. Don’t be concerned about trying to put the publisher name at the bottom of the page as that will not work. Just put some spacing above it using the “paragraph spacing” settings in the modify dialogue.

If you look at my example above you will see that all the “Formatting Marks” are shown and there are no Paragraph marks between the lines. ALL the spacing is achieved inside the style.

If the text does not look the way you want it to be you can always change it. Right-click the name in the Style gallery and choose “Modify”. Make your changes and click OK. All text formatted with that style will change automatically to match the new settings.

Note: One point to note here is that we have NOT used Heading styles on the Title Page. This is deliberate. If we used Heading styles for some of the lines these might appear in the Table of contents (TOC) and we don’t really want that. I recommend using Heading Styles only for items that you want to see in the TOC.

Copyright page

You can now use the same techniques to create a new page for the Copyright info. When you create the page it looks better to have it appear as a separate page so you need to edit the Paragraph style, Line & Page breaks, for the top line to tell it to start on a new page.

Contents Page Formatting

The same approach goes for the Contents page, Just format the top line to get it to start on a new page and make the Table of Contents Title “Bold”. At this stage it is best to leave the rest of the contents alone as the E-reader will format it to show the list as hyperlinks.

Acknowledgements and / or dedication, Foreword, Preface, Prologue

Same process here and if you want the item to appear in the TOC format the header for the page as “Header 1”.

You should now have a series of pages like this:

Word 23 - Testfile

Indents

When it comes to the body of the text in the manuscript, there are generally only two options that are used to indicate the start of a new paragraph.

  1. Indent the first line OR
  2. Don’t indent, but leave a space between paragraphs.

There is a tendency today to both indent AND create extra space between paragraphs and this can cause some confusion when paragraph spacing is used to indicate the beginning of a new train of thought, e.g. The best option is to choose either 1. or 2., but not both. Number 1. is the more traditional approach, and still works well so that is the approach I usually recommend.

To add to the confusion, the default behavior is different for Kindle and EPUB. The Kindle automatically indents each paragraph, and must be told when not to, and the EPUB default is leave space between paragraphs.

So how do you create a solution that works for both?

What I do is to set the “Normal” style to have an indent and create a new style, based on “Normal” called “No Indent” and simply set the indent to zero. Then at the beginnings of chapters and where there is a “Scene change” in the text I apply the “No Indent” Style.

If you plan to indent paragraphs this HAS to be done in the style definition, NOT WITH TABS or SPACES! Just go into the “Normal” style and modify it:

Next time

We will go through what has to be done if you have already written and formatted your text and need to fix it!

©DavidCronin 2015 The Ebook Doctor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-ebook-doctor-making-your-own-ebooks-by-david-cronin-part-one/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-ebook-doctor-part-two-which-ereaders-for-format-your-books-for19394/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/the-ebook-doctor-part-three-anatomy-of-an-ebook/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/the-ebook-doctor-anatomy-of-an-ebook-continued/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/writing-your-own-ebook-part-four-what-ebook-format-should-i-use/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/making-your-own-ebooks-part-five-what-can-you-do-with-your-word-processor-to-make-your-ebooks-better/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/writing-your-own-ebook-part-six-creating-the-ebook-framework/
Mailbag
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/the-ebook-doctor-mailbag-epub-and-pdf-the-differences/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/mainstream-vs-self-publishing-2014-the-numbers-are-looking-very-interesting/