My Stance on Writing for Free

There have been a lot of discussions about “free” lately, so I’d like to weigh in with some thoughts on the subject.

Most publishers within the book publishing industry are currently based on a business model that does not pay authors an annual salary to write an unlimited number of books. Typically, authors sign a contract that spells out how much they’ll make and what their rights (in terms of copyrights) are. Translation? Authors make a living based on the contract with the publisher, and the publisher stays in business by selling their books. The more books the publisher sells? The more likely the author will get picked up for another book or a series.

Now, ask me again what I think about writing for free.
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Promote Your Work with a Book Trailer

Hi, everyone. If you’ve been following my quest to learn how to create videos, you probably remember seeing my book trailer for Argentum. Well, I did another one recently. This time, I put together a fantasy book trailer for The Dragon Hunters by author Paul Genesse.

After working with Windows Movie Maker and a site that provides royalty-free images located at either http://www.istockphoto.com or http://www.sxc.hu, I used photo manipulation software to make the images the right size. (For these trailers, you can do an 800 x 600 pixel canvas.) From there, I ensured I had permission to use the music for the book trailer. You can also find royalty-free music online or you can use what are known as public domain songs as well. For more about the free video software, you can watch and learn how to use Windows Movie Maker online.

Below is my latest trailer. This time, I decided to keep it short and go with an “impression” style theme, where color was a focal point. This trailer is a bit different from the other two, because it doesn’t tell a story. It’s more of an “ad.” In my opinion, the book trailers I’ve liked the best have been short — especially if there isn’t any action in the vid. It is very hard to keep up the pace for five minutes or more if you have nothing but still frames appearing in your trailer.

Video can sometimes work great to promote your book, simply because it alludes to a mood rather than cover the entire back blurb. However, there is more than one way to put together a book trailer. This is just the start for me, and I’m finding I enjoy storyboarding and playing around with film.

Check out the book trailers I linked to above, or view this one for a horror anthology dubbed, “Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas.” Thanks for sticking with my blog, and I hope you share a link to your trailer, too!

Day 5 and Beyond: Being a Pescatarian Takes Planning

pack-of-vegetablesThese past, few weeks have been an education for me, because I’m learning it’s not easy to change your eating habits overnight. While I haven’t broken down and had any meat yet, it takes a certain amount of planning and discipline to keep up with this diet. Coupled with evening plans and the “convenience” of eating meat, one month is definitely not long enough to stick with a vegetarian plan.

Part of what started the hiccup for me is when we were given a freezer full of organic meat. I’ve had a hard time with processed meats before, and the rest of my family eats meat. While we tried to have a vegetarian meal here or there, we’ve been supplementing our diet with probably the most organic meat you can get.

In a way, falling off the vegetarian wagon has made me feel a bit guilty. I really want to make the choices for that healthier lifestyle, but time seems to be my enemy. In theory, it’s great if you can stick to a shopping list and have a clear cut schedule, but in these gorgeous summer days that seems to be a luxury for me.

In a way, I feel like the hiccup makes me more determined to get back to a better integration of fresh vegetables and tofu. Already, I’m trying to plan my meals this week now that I’ve been getting caught up on all the little things that seem to distract me from focusing on good eats.

Thank you to everyone who have supported my efforts to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet. Really appreciate your kind words as I move toward better (and healthier) eating habits with my crazy schedule.

Read my Guest Blog Post at Apex Books

The kind people over at Apex Books, a science fiction meets horror small press publishing company, had asked me to write a guest post about book marketing. After narrowing down a few choices, I ended up writing about Why Not Every Book Promotion Will Work For Your Book.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    Why Not Every Book Promotion Will Work For Your Book

    Marketing a book is not like marketing a carton of milk because books don’t have an expiration date stamped on their cover. A reader may buy your first book when it’s newly published, or they may discover your work after you’ve written your twentieth novel. Additionally, online media has enabled readers to establish a closer connection with the authors they admire. Because of these phenomena, book promotion is fairly complex because it often caters to multiple audiences while promoting both the author and the book at the same time.

    Book Promotion Takes Time

    If you’re considering a dip into the waters of book promotion, the good news is that there is plenty of information out there for you to read. From e-books extolling the “tried and true” methods of marketing your book to free tips offered by book marketers, there is no shortage of friendly advice on the subject. Before you hop online and take advantage of the free tips that many book marketers are offering, I want you to place your book in front of you. Take a good, long look at the cover and think about how many hours it took you to write and edit that work. Then, ask yourself this question: How much time are you willing to spend to promote your book? Read more…

To read the rest of the article, please visit my guest blog post for Apex Book Publishing. Be sure to let me know what you think!

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