Happy June. Let’s get right to it. Let’s talk about print.
I finally took the plunge with Ingram Sparks. I have been reading a lot of things on blogs and Facebook groups, plus a few YouTube videos about the service. I have to be honest, the main reason I hadn’t tried Ingram was the set up price. Let me preface this by saying, I dipped my toe in the Ingram water with a personal project and one for my lingerie business. I liked the results, but they were mostly 4-color images. These were my fiction babies and I would be sending them out to strangers who had no problem criticizing their print quality.
The other reason I finally took the plunge with my fiction is because I was a little disappointed in my last proofs from KDP. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not a fan of that black bar wrapped around the cover. I wanted to see what a reader would see. I also didn’t like the new order process. Unless I did something wrong, I didn’t like not being able to order author copies until the book was live. What if I wanted to make changes, what if I didn’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, I love selling books via Amazon, I just don’t like the proof policy.
I had used my Ingram NANO discount for my other projects and when I was ready to do these proofs it had expired. A friend told me to check the Ingram Facebook group and other author groups for a discount code. I went hunting and found a code. Hallelujah.
I never would have said searching for a discount would be easier than reformatting my books. Take that back. It would have been easy if I hadn’t wanted to add fancy chapter titles, but it was so worth it. Even with the fancy titles, it still didn’t take me as long as it had in the past to format a book. I am so grateful for the template I got from Kitty Bucholtz. Now I use it for projects that require a lot more graphics and odd size books. But for fiction, I’m a Vellum girl. By the way, Kitty turned me on to Vellum.
The thing that really had me concerned were the covers. I was prepared to have to do at least two or three proofs. Why so many? My covers have African Americans and it’s a little tricky getting the skin tones just right even with me submitting CMYK files.
I triple checked the interior files and was pleased with the digital proof. Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the set up process with book one. I accidentally selected white paper instead of cream. I also had an additional page in books two and three and one typo. I was so upset with myself. However, I was elated with the finished product. These books are so pretty. Believe the hype. Ingram is amazing. I love my covers. The colors are perfect. I only had to do one cover test.
I compared the Ingram books against my KDP books and there is a definite difference in the quality. My books look very professional. I know I sound like a novice first author, but it’s the truth. I love my proofs. I have a few things to clean up before ordering author proofs and making the books available for sale.
A bonus to working with Ingram is more exposure. I’m pretty sure I knew this, but it didn’t click until recently. Using Ingram Spark means my books are available to small and independent book stores. Which means I’ve just opened myself up to another revenue stream.
A con against Ingram, due to COVID, their phone lines are down. Customer service is via email. They’re pretty good about responding in twenty-four hours. One other con, shipping. I thought since I was ordering three proofs at the same time, they were shipping from the same location. In my mind that would have been one shipping fee and one handling fee. Nope. The books arrived the same day, but from different locations. Con/Pro, I paid the same amount for one beautiful proof as I did for the multiple proofs form KDP.
The next thing I’ll be trying is a hardcover book. It’s safe to say I’m hooked on Ingram Spark for my print books.
See you next month.
This has been a challenging last couple of weeks. I don’t know where the time went. I’m going to keep this short. First, I want to thank Jann Ryan for the nice interview a couple of days ago. The timing is perfect. Her post summed up what I wanted to write about.
When Jann approached me about the interview, I was working on The Good Girl Part Trois. I was a little behind and didn’t finish it until a little later. Once I finished, a major problem occurred… an unexpected additional book in the series.
News of another book should be a good thing, and it is. But when you don’t have a cover, it becomes a problem.
When I wrote The Good Girl Part One, I quickly found a cover image I liked. While looking for a cover for The Good Girl Part Deux, I came up with this idea to use the other half of her face for book two. When placed side by side, you saw her entire face. Then another book happened. But I had a problem. I was writing another book and didn’t have a cover.
I tried not to panic at the thought of not having a cover. I figured it would all work itself out, because book four wasn’t coming out until summer. I forgot Jann was going to need the cover for her post. Oh crap! I was on borrowed time. My immediate response was to wait until I released book four and change the covers for the first three books in the series. I figured I’d do a special promotion centered around the new covers. I had a plan. I didn’t say it was a good one, but it was a plan. I knew what I needed to do… redesign the series.
I found a new set of images and created a new set of covers. The new covers were nice, but I could never get the skin tone right. I submitted the new covers to one of my Facebook groups for feedback. I implemented the changes, but I couldn’t get the skin coloring right. These new covers were quickly becoming too much work. I reached out to a couple of my author friends, and they gave me some very good feedback. One even sent me a photo suggestion. I used it to troll depositphotos.com searching for similar images. Within a few hours, I had images I liked, which could easily be tweaked.
This may not sound like a big deal for most authors, but it is for me. I haven’t committed to custom images yet, so I try to find images I can tweak to look like African Americans or AA images that haven’t been overused.
The new covers for The Good Girl Series are very contemporary, which I love. They change the entire feel of the series. As much as I didn’t want to change the covers, I knew it was for the better.
What do you think?
Old Covers – These were the first updates from 2018
See you next month.
Happy Holidays to everyone. Itâ€™s that time of the year when we get a little confused as to how to greet people or be sociable.
The month of December is special to me for a couple of reasons. One itâ€™s the time of year that I celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior and itâ€™s the anniversary of my novel writing career. I say novel, because the first things I had published where a couple of short shorties. Those were toe dabblers. But my official writing career began with my book, GENERATIONAL CURSE, last December.
In this first year of adding author to my resume, Iâ€™ve had a few firsts:
1st full-length book GENERATIONAL CURSE
1st novella THE GOOD GIRL
1st box set FLING NEW ADULT FICTION BOX SET [w/THE GOOD GIRL]
1st novelette THE ALEX CHRONICLES: GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS
1st book signing at THE LOS ANGELES TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS
In honor of my first anniversary, hereâ€™s the first chapter of my first published book.
On the heels of celebrating the one year anniversary of my first published, book, Iâ€™m happy to announce the next installment of Generational Curse [currently titled â€œIntentional Curse], is scheduled for summer 2016â€¦hopefully.
Itâ€™s been a fun 2015. Iâ€™m excited to see what happens in 2016. I pray everyone has a blessed and prosperous 2016 packed with great stories to share.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
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