Aging Tech

Writers, Make Your Web Surfing Count

The World Wide Web is an ingenious tool.

Both mind numbing and mind boggling, by one click of the mouse, you can find out anything about any person, place or thing. And while I appreciate this convenience much more than old school library research using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, I gotta admit, I was intimidated and overwhelmed when I first began bumping around the Internet trying to learn about self publishing my first novel, Address: House of Corrections.

There was just so damn much information!

Which self publishing company should I use? How do I get an agent? How much should I charge for my book? What font should I use for novel’s text? Do I need an agent? How do I market and sell my novel once I’ve written it? Should I even self publish?

It seemed the more I searched for and found information, the more convinced I became to abandon my dream altogether.

If you’re reading this right now and that’s you, let me offer you this…Breathe.

O.K. now that you’re no longer freaking out and oxygen is making its way back up to your brain, reach out and grab hold of this lifeline I’m tossing to you. Here are a few website links that got me through. Prayerfully, they’ll do the same for you…

1. Promote Your Book Online For Free: A great resource providing info on how to think out of the box and promote your novel online at no cost. I, like many of you I suspect, had no funds to market and promote my baby after I slaved over it for a year. I used ( and am still using) many of these tips to get the word out about my book.

2. Seth Godin’s Blog: The genius behind the bestselling, “Tribes,” which lays out how to build and capitalize on a “tribe” of like-minded individuals who believe in you, instead exhausting yourself trying to woo those who could give a damn. Both unconventional and infuriating to those wanting more substance, this book was short and repetitively to the point. Just what I needed.

3. Learn the Elements of a Novel: O.K. I admit it, I said I didn’t read any books on writing books. But I never said I didn’t browse through a few websites. This one provided me good, straightforward information. A nice refresher course.

4. Oprah’s Book Club: Full disclosure – at first I was just going to the site and visualizing me sitting on Oprah’s couch being interviewed about my novel. But then I started to pay attention. Oprah’s folks actually offer some good information here. If for nothing else, you’ll learn what Lady O is reading, what her audience is reading, can read excerpts of best-selling books and connect with future readers of your books. :)

5. The Michigan Literary Network: Yes, I’m biased. But Sylvia Hubbard of the Motown Writer’s Network really does a fabulous job of posting tons of new, relevant info every single day. An author, herself, I don’t know when she has time to keep up with everything. It’s mostly Michigan based info, but she always post links to national and even international authors and events. Don’t sleep on this.

6.Book Cover Design Rules, Tips & Tricks and CafePress.com & Publishing Learning Center: Don’t let ’em fool ya. Oh no…Might even tryta school ya. Oh, yeah….Sorry was channeling Eddie Murphy in his classic 1987 comedy concert film, “Raw,” for a second. I’m back now. What I was going to say is — Don’t let them fool ya — A picture is worth a thousand words. Before you design your cover or finish self publishing your book for that matter, I implore you to check out these two websites. The information is absolutely invaluable.

7. Lulu.com: The most popular full-service self-publishing company, with distribution on major book sites. No upfront set up free. Sells ISBNs. Free forums, newsletters, etc. Print on Demand.

8.Createspace.com: Amazon’s self-publishing company, for books, films, and music. Free services: feedback community, cover design, articles for authors. Print on demand. No upfront fee. I was going to go with the more popular Lulu at first, but ultimately chose Createspace. Why? Amazon.com is one reason and copyright ownership is another. But check out the following link to decide on your own. That’s how I made my decision…

9. Indie Author: The popular blog by author, speaker and blogger April L. Hamilton really breaks down the minute differences between LuLu and CreateSpace. She offers priceless, expert advice. Don’t decide what to do until you read this!

Whew! Alright, I’m going to wrap it up here. There’s so much more to share…In fact, I only now realized that I forgot to mention the Bible to market and promote your novel through social networking, “Plug Your Book Online,” in my last blog entry…. Wow. I’m getting burnt out just thinking about it all again. LOL!

To keep your eyes from crossing, I promise to dole out information a little bit at a time.

Until I feel like posting something again…Hope this helps.:)