Paperback and Progress

I feel like I have been playing catch-up lately, and it has been forever since I have done a general status update, so here is all the stuff that I have not shared since the holidays began!

Holidays

I spoke before about seeing family for the holidays, which was great. I also received some great gifts from everyone. One was a cool cover for my ReMarkable2 notepad that can support it in different positions. It makes me feel better knowing it has something to protect the screen when I’m not using it. I’m currently wearing a blanket/poncho thing my parents gave me. Big Cat enjoys it as well for his lap time. A third thing I’m excited about is my new minimalist wallet arriving in the mail this week. I purchased it with a gift card received to pick one I liked. 

After Christmas, I was cat-sitting for my parents during their visit with my brother and family in Florida. That mission was complicated by the week of snow we had in the area. They live within walking distance, so I made the trip every day. Footing became a bit treacherous on the ice and more effort than usual tromping through the snow, but the cat was not without company. 

Going without trash service for three weeks during that period due to snow and ice became a bit more daunting. We don’t usually have too much trash, but a mix-up on recycling dates a month earlier meant we were already two weeks behind on that pick-up. Boxes were piling up in the kitchen with recyclables. When the bin emptied this week, we immediately filled it again. Hopefully, this catches us up for good this time. 

Business

You may have noticed some picture changes on the website already. If you did, you may already suspect I had some professional pictures taken, and you would be correct. I contacted a photographer to take a handful of “casual, professional headshots” for my author materials. A couple of the pictures are on the website, I changed my Facebook profile photo, and one is on the back cover of my paperback. 

This one is on another page, but Big Cat wanted to make an appearance here too!

That’s right! Hidden Memory is also out in paperback as of this week! I ran through a couple of author proofs to make minor formatting adjustments, and my first few author copies are on their way—probably still in the printing stage—now! If you signed up for my newsletter, you should have seen it in your inbox earlier today, and it includes a chance to enter to win a signed paperback! If you did not sign up in time for this giveaway, do not lose hope. There will be more in the future, so go to the home page and sign up now so you don’t miss out!

With the paperback complete, I’m focused on finishing up the current draft of Hidden Promise. I will pass polished chapters to my alpha readers and then revise Hidden Sanctuary in preparation for beta readers. On the business side, I’m learning about advertising on Amazon and hoping it does not cost me too much for the education!

I will end on a celebratory note this week. It has been just over a month since the book was released. I had a relatively successful launch, thanks primarily to word of mouth through my friends and family network to their networks. My advertising has resulted in eight additional sales. I have five reviews on Amazon, and I have two preorders for the next-in-series! Thank you all for your support!

T-Minus 10 Days!

Hidden Memory Status Update!

As of today, December 4th, there are less than ten days until the official release of my first book. Also on today’s agenda is sending out a reminder to my ARC readers that they should be downloading their copy so they read it in time to get a review posted in that first week of release (hopefully).

For the last week, I have been looking into creating some social media images to post in advance and on the day of release. Right now, I am playing around with Canva’s free version. You can see some of the preliminary results as the cover image for this post as well as here:

Posted on Instagram with hashtags. One like from a random person? I call that a win!

I’m enjoying the program so far. It is easy to use and does a great job of providing a color palette that coordinates with any images I upload rather than making minor adjustments constantly until it is what I think looks good enough.

Paperback Version?

Yes, I am now also looking at the paperback version process, and it is just as complicated as I imagined it would be. As I don’t think I’m going wide distribution at this stage, I’m probably going to use the KDP cover creator to use my ebook cover and use a solid color for the spine and back. I might get fancy with a future release, but I have already spent a fair bit of money on this whole endeavor.

The other piece I waffled on was trim size. I usually bought mass-market paperbacks, so all of the books on my shelf were pretty small. If I went with that size, it would mean more pages and, therefore, more expensive to print while simultaneously appearing cheaper. Online guidelines are somewhat helpful, but this morning we went to the local bookstore (B&N) to see what fantasy authors are publishing trade paperbacks at these days for both trim size and price.

Based on my quick assessment, this is either 5”x8” or 5.5”x8.5” with a price range between $11.99-$21.99. The higher end of that range was for well-known or currently trending authors and series. I have decided to try 5.5”x8.5” and $12.99. We will see what the author test copy looks like once I put it all in the system and order one. I think I also need to purchase a barcode for this ISBN to put it on the cover, but that will be part of my final paperback research.

In Other News

We are going to have five weeks between the D&D game this week and our January session, so I’m in the process of setting up a little Jeopardy trivia game to play via Discord between sessions to keep info top of mind for everyone. I have set up the questions and the reward system. It is just for fun, but I’m hoping everyone finds it engaging and informative!

Our little tree is up. I wonder how long before one of the cats swipes the first ornament off.

We are hosting a little potluck for my immediate family in a couple of weeks. It is something we do every year to include my grandparents. We skipped it last year for obvious reasons. Everyone is protected now and being very careful, so we are moving forward with it for 2021. It will be good to have our little group together again.

Next week for the blog, I’m debating talking more about the imminent publication or sharing the next installment of my dream story. Time shall tell! I hope you are all having a great holiday season so far!