A guide to getting published: Conclusion

A guide to getting published…. The concluding conclusion

And so it was early 2016, I had organised a publication date for Open Evening and now I needed to find a cover artist!

cropped-boooks.jpgThe platform in which you can upload and self-publish books via amazon allows you to use their software to put together a cover. The offer a fairly limited amount of designs mainly of the plain persuasion but it all depends on what you want, sometimes plain can be effective. I’ve personally never used it and on advice I received I suggest you don’t either. Unless you have an elaborate idea of what you want or even a photo you have personally taken I would suggest using the services of a cover artist in which there are many out there on the world wide webisphere…

I’m telling you to do this because A) Getting a nice cover made should already be in your budget and, B) a cover is really important and just in case you didn’t know, people do judge a book by its cover. If you read the last post you can see at the very bottom how mine turned out, and yes it looks wonderful.

design-for-writers

After some research and even reading some self-help books I concluded that I wanted a company called Design for Writers to make my cover. Their Facebook page displayed a wonderful array of covers in which I imagined mine would be like. And like that I accepted their quote and waited until closer the publication day to begin working with them.

During this time and getting nearer to publication day I began to pen my next book Darke Blood in which I concluded drafting in June of 2016 (coming out this year!).

Editing and Cover stuff- Final putting together of the book

Nicky Fitzmaurice my editor had informed me she had began her work and it was August now! Time flies huh? It wasn’t long until I had back my manuscript which had been annotated throughout with changes/corrections.

After approving the changes things were really ready to move into publication.

Design for writers presented me with a link to an online basecamp where I could tell them what I wanted. They asked me a boat load of questions regarding tone, plot and characters just to get the idea of what I wanted and what they could do. After some weeks of work and back and forth (its okay to ask questions at any stage of a project, especially if you are not sure) soon enough we had a cover ready! They had even given me the choice of 3 completely different options.

The final cover proof was sent to Nicky who uploaded it to Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing along with the edited manuscript and we were ready for launch!

Book Launch and Marketing – This doesn’t have to be a frightening ordeal but this is what I did and learnt from it…

And so here it was, the moment I had been waiting for since that rainy Sunday afternoon with the windows 98 computer. Book release day.

Now my advice would be to publish and upload your book maybe a week or so before your actual publication date. This allows for you to make sure it’s OK and delivers out to people in one piece. By this time, you have maybe told a close group of friends and some of them have ordered copies. Now the buzz can really begin. Some of them may have even put up a first impression review!

Out of all my ideas to market Open Evening there was one movement which sold more books that I hadn’t accounted for. The Open Evening ‘SELFIE’. And trust me book selfies sell books, in fact they sell around 50 in the first week of release.

open evening clip collection

Selfies and cats sell books!

Even now I am still figuring out how to market my book and get sales which haven’t been remarkable but… slow and steady does eventually win the race. My amazon UK page has 6 reviews so far and all of them are good.

Goodreads would be something I suggest you get into and they offer an awesome giveaway service which will get an abundance of eyes on your book. I have also tried the Amazon US giveaway scheme which can actually get you more twitter follows.

If you would like to read on about more of my book marketing advice and adventures then check back with my resources section soon.

 

Now finally the conclusion via a list of stuff you need to be like me and published…

 

  1. The willingness to write and get better at it
  2. Dedication
  3. A book idea that’s good
  4. A completed manuscript which you have edited multiple times. Trust me this is important and the amount of people who have unfinished work is more frequent than it sounds. Get to writing you can do it!
  5. An online presence – Facebook/ Twitter and Blog. Get out there and engage with people!
  6. Money! You can do this on a budget but I would say you need at least £800 to get everything you want, this also includes marketing such as Facebook adverts!
  7. An editor and or publisher who wants to publish your work.
  8. A cover artist. Plenty of good ones out there, research research research!
  9. A thick skin and a lot of patience (mainly because stuff doesn’t ever happen quickly)
  10. The ability to ask questions…. Because although it looks like I know everything, I don’t.
  11. A plan to market and sell books. How are you going to do it?
  12. A good group of friends to help you launch the book with selfies and those important first reviews.
  13. A realistic approach and of course its all subjective. Success as an author is in the eye of the beholder so set realistic and gradual goals!
  14. Just keep going and never look back!

 

Final thought

Its been rather nice re-living the story I lived over the past few years and I must thank you all for the wonderful response I have received so far. Thank you all for the likes, follows and re-tweets.

This has been my journey to publication and of course we all know it has only just begun…..

 

 

 

 

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My Big Book Giveaway Competition

The world is just days away from the official launch of my first book OPEN EVENING! 

copy-of-cover

It’s time you embraced the unexpected and joined me on this incredible journey to publication in just under a weeks time!

So in my attempts to get as many eyes on the product as possible I am running a book give away competition.

I, Lee Hall have two freshly printed paperback copies to give away. They will be signed and addressed to the two lucky winners who will be notified on the 28th of September 2016 (the day before the book is officially released).

How to enter

All you have to do is the following….

  1. Like my Facebook page
  2. Click attending on my official ‘Open Evening launch event’ on Facebook 
  3. Share the Open Evening launch event

Optionally and I will take this into account, you could even use the hashtag #openevening whilst sharing the event. Also feel free to share the event on other social media sites. The more you do the more chance I will choose you (don’t work too hard though)!

Good luck and I very much look forward to signing the books!

My Book Cover….Revealed!!!

It’s time to embrace the unexpected because the moment is finally here. After a year of hard work not only from me but some other wonderful people I can show you the visual representation of what my dream looks like!

Ladies and Gentlemen introducing the cover of my first book Open Evening!

copy-of-cover

This is actually happening!

At the end of this month I shall ask you all to join me on my journey of publication as the destination is finally reached.

Open Evening hits the amazon shelves via satin publishing in the form of an e-book, but do not despair those who love the smell of real pages. The print version will follow soon so why not see if you like it by checking out the online version! #Hardselling

Save the date of the 29th and let’s help a new author make their mark in the literary world!

So what did the process of making the cover entail? Well it all started when I discovered design for writer’s work and checked them out on the Facebook. After agreeing a quotation, the project was initiated at the beginning of August and I was invited to an online project base camp. An online tool to collect as much information as possible about Open Evening and what I want it to represent as a cover. After some back and forth questions on both sides the cover is finally here and its awesome!

Originally there were three versions of a cover that I was given a choice from. To begin with a very hard decision, but after some consultation with my cover artist and some close friends the above product was chosen and how great does it look.

I don’t expect huge sales within the first few weeks or months of publication but this sort of thing takes time and people, decent people who like decent story telling like you! So come the 29th it will be time for you to survive Open Evening!

2016 is my #YearOfWriting and its happening now!!

 

(Cover design by designforwriters.com)(Open Evening copyright by Lee Hall 2016 Published by Satin Publishing 2016)

 

Time to leave Europe?

It’s politics season yet again, well that’s how it feels and in the past few weeks there have been local elections that nobody cared about and of course the European union debate continues on.

By elections that nobody cares about, I mean Sky news did. Even when news is slow they find something to cover, to death. I digress. My agenda for this current blog entry is to discuss that merging of two words that nobody seems to approve of and though gritted teeth we all say Brexit. Like a shitty version of a celebrity marriage, except divorce is very much on the cards.

Soon enough the voting public of the UK will go out to the poles and decide whether or not we should continue to be a part of the European union. Firstly here’s the fact about that, especially as people seem to believe any scare mongering crap they read online.

If you have previously been registered to vote in the UK, you do not have to register to vote for the European vote. If you are unsure then just go to gov.uk and read it for yourself.

Onwards with the main narrative, this weekend just gone we had the Eurovision song contest! Although in recent years the quality of acts has got better and better, even leaving nations like us behind. But also with that quality comes the political undertone that dominates the whole farce. A farce is a fair word to describe the contest which sees Australia (nothing against them but why?) entered for the second time in two consecutive years and a new voting system that even the judges had no clue about thus making it that much clearer to me that the whole thing is probably rigged.

I talk about Eurovision because it reflects to me what ‘Europe’ really think of the UK. Its watched by the people. Well they don’t think of us in all honesty, just look at where we finished. And by Europe, how many of the finalist countries are actually big time players in the EU? Really this contest is the only proper way to see how our mainland neighbours actually perceive us if you take away any quality a song we produce it relies on.

Political undertones if there were any in this contest are normally aimed at Vladimir Putin and the gang. And yes the Ukraine’s entry aimed their message at him. They won. Therefore, confirming the fact that Europe don’t actually know that we are about to consider leaving their ‘club’. I mean to really confirm that we would need a Brexit themed song (imagine that!) to stand up against the Ukraine to really know but I get this feeling the whole ‘please don’t leave us gang’ is actually an illusion. I think Europeans are more worried about what Russia are going to do as opposed to what we might do.

Leaving Europe is a serious consideration and well looking around nobody has given me a decent argument for either case. Stay or leave? Who the frig knows? Do the EU care? Probably not.

Maybe we should just quietly divorce and move on. We have it our way mostly, especially with our much stronger currency. Maybe we should just go old skool like the days of the empire and politely say ‘fu** them!’ Or is that too offensive for the offended police?

Either way if you can vote. Do vote. It’s your duty as a resident of a democratic nation, the right to change through voting is all we sometimes have as voice. Much like Eurovision, if it isn’t rigged. Above all this is just my opinion. What do you think about the UK leaving the EU? Answers on a postcard?

 

Time to change: More like it’s about time we changed

Never before has society of the free world ever been so aware of mental health. We know so much more about the human brain that we used to but still there is a rather taboo stigmatism towards the whole subject.

If we look back some years, let’s say 1950. A time where cars were on the road (although fewer than today) but the concept has been left unchanged since. You fill up with fuel, you fight traffic, get new tyres, avoid costly maintenance bills and repeat. But recently the electric car has begun to emerge, we have hybrids and more people opt to cycle. Research and development is happening and the world is very much aware of the pollution most standard vehicle causes. People are beginning to think and want to do something about it.

The car is a luxury but the human mind isn’t. After years of medical research we can pretty much diagnose and tell when somebody’s mental health is not so good. But why is our approach so bad?

I don’t want to start a war between two perfectly viable contingents (that being the whole green issue vs mental health). But they seem to care about the long term effects of the planet and not what is happening now in society, that being the wrong perception of mental health. Whether that is depression or any other condition somebody has, back in 1950 you were locked away for the most treatable conditions.

Look how far that has come on.

Having never suffered from any mental health issues I am outside looking in. But I have been mistreated and discriminated at some level. We all have. That’s a part of life and that’s what is happening to people with mental health issues. I have close friends who do suffer with depression, but I have found it’s handled better if you just talk about it. Even asking them about what they are going through helps.

It isn’t difficult to say something nice and if you haven’t got anything nice to say, treat people with a level of respect that you wished to be treated with. That shouldn’t be any different towards people who have mental health issues in any degree. They are people just like us.

The Hall of information is open to anyone and everyone, that includes people who thinks it’s time to change.

There is a campaign currently running for a better work capability assessment. Rethink Mental Illness, the National Autistic Society and Mind are all working in association with each other. Courts have ruled that the WCA is unfair and puts people with mental health issues, autism and learning disabilities at a ‘substantial disadvantage’. So check it out and help change happen.

You can treat and pioneer in medical care as much as possible. But my philosophy as of recent is simply to have the right attitude. If that changes then everything else will follow!

time to change