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Let’s Talk Print

June 5, 2021 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , , , ,

Ingram Sparks for Prints

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. 

Discounts

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. 

Concerns

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. 

Comparisons

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. 

Bonus

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.

Tracy

The Good Girl Series

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

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THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

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THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

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THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois
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Quick Cover

February 5, 2021 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , ,
Author typing on an old typewriter | Tracy Read | A Slice of Orange
Author typing on an old typewriter | Tracy Read | A Slice of Orange

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
  

New Covers

   
See you next month.


Books by Tracy Reed

A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

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A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN

DESPERATE DESIRE

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DESPERATE DESIRE

FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

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FIRST ENCOUNTERS OF LOVE

GENERATIONAL CURSE

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GENERATIONAL CURSE

GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

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GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS
GOD’S BOMBSHELL: LIVING A BEAUTIFUL SINGLE LIFE

INTENTIONAL CURSE

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INTENTIONAL CURSE
LOVE NOTES

MISS MATCH

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MISS MATCH

UNEXPECTED LOVE

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UNEXPECTED LOVE

THE FIX UP

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THE FIX UP

THE FLING

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THE FLING

THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

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THE GOOD GIRL PART DEUX

THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

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THE GOOD GIRL PART ONE

THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

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THE GOOD GIRL Part Trois

WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

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WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW

WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

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WHAT MY FRIENDS NEED TO KNOW

THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

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THE NIGHT I FELL IN LOVE

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First Year Anniversary

December 10, 2015 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , , ,

Happy Holidays to everyone. It’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 it’s the time of year that I celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior and it’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, I’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, here’s the first chapter of my first published book.

GENERATIONAL CURSE

Chapter One
Kyla promised herself she would never be like the other women in her family, dating a married man and settling for the pennies he doled out.
  She’d always felt she was worth more. She met Eric at a fundraiser. He smiled, she smiled and after the cocktail hour, they found themselves seated next to each other. During dinner they talked and flirted and once the evening was over, he asked for her number. She declined and while getting ready for bed, she reached into her bag for her phone and noticed that she also had someone else’s phone.
  She called the last number dialed and a vaguely familiar voice said, “I’ve been waiting for your call. So what time do you want to meet for breakfast so I can get my phone?” They both laughed.
They agreed to meet the following morning for breakfast. Two days later, they met again and included an extra slot for “therapy.”
  Making love in the morning seemed so decadent. She didn’t think anything of it until she received her first black envelope a month later.
  Eric said, “I’m tired of hotels. Rent a place and fix it up for us and keep whatever is left.”
  “I’m not a hooker.”
  “I didn’t mean any disrespect. I want to keep seeing you, but my neighbors are nosey.”
  “Oh, you’re married.”
  “No, I’m not. I just like my privacy. I like being with you, but—”
  “I understand.” She dropped her head and quickly began getting dressed. “I don’t think this is–”
  He noticed the change in her behavior and rushed to reassure her. “I don’t want you to think I’m ashamed of you, but I also don’t want you to think I’m monopolizing your time. You need your space and so do I. When we get together, it should be on neutral, comfortable ground and not some cold hotel room or a place filled with memories of past lovers.”
  He wrapped his arms around her pulling her to him, gently stroking her hair, inhaling her neck and gently placing a kiss on her soft shoulder. She turned around trying to read the expression on his face.    Looking into his eyes, she wondered how many more love nests he had scattered around the city. She pulled his face close to hers and covering his mouth with hers, kissed him passionately. She slipped her hands inside the front of his pants while sliding her tongue inside his mouth, exciting him to the point of arousal.
  She pulled back and whispered, “Once more before we have to go?”
  He couldn’t resist her. The soft seductive tone of her voice and the gentle touch of her hand, made him weak and willing to do anything she asked. Kyla knew if there were anyone else, they would have a hard time competing with her.
  She got her education in how to manipulate a man by eavesdropping on her aunts’ conversations. They were all experts when it came to being with and manipulating married men. She learned how to kiss from her high school boyfriend. And her college boyfriend, her biology professor, schooled her in anatomy and how to physically please a man.
  Before getting involved with Eric, she had dated, but she only had two other semi serious relationships. Neither was fulfilling. The first was Thomas Smith. He was cute, but he lacked the drive to satisfy her physically. When they were together she found herself fantasizing about other men. Intellectually he was a genius, but no one really makes love to a person’s brain. It was the other part of his body that needed more educating and she knew she wasn’t a school teacher.
  Then there was Alister Humphrey. The name alone intrigued her. She had never met a black man with such a stuffy name. In the beginning he seemed like the complete package. Model good looks, intelligence and his skills in bed were unbelievable. The first time they made love, the intensity of his being inside her brought tears to her eyes. Not because it was painful, but because she had never felt such pleasure. Alister knew exactly how to read her body. A skill that was the result of his blindness. What he lacked in vision, he more than compensated for in his other senses. But, he was a man and as they all do, he began making demands and that’s when she called it quits. Mind blowing sex aside, Kyla was gone.
  Her aunts always said, “Don’t allow a man to make demands on you. You make the demands on him. Use what you have and any man can be controlled with the sway of your hips and the wink of your eye. And, showing a little cleavage wouldn’t hurt either.”
  If she were going to marry, it would be to Eric. He was everything she wanted. Handsome, well educated, focused, rich and eager to please in and out of bed. But she also learned from her aunts, the wife always got the leftovers and Kyla didn’t like leftovers or sloppy seconds. When Eric suggested the apartment, at first she thought, he was ashamed of her. But Eric’s response to her kiss and touch convinced her, she was his priority.
  She knew she was in charge. She eased her hand further down his pants pleading, “Baby, please make me sing again before sending me off to start the day.”
  She kissed his neck before dropping the sheet that was caressing her body and walked into the bathroom. He stood still contemplating the repercussions of being late to the office, when he heard the shower running. He looked at his watch and texted his assistant he would be late. He put his phone on the desk, striped, walked into the steam filled bathroom and opened the shower door to a wet and soapy Kyla, smiling.
  “Are you ready to sing?” he asked as he leaned her up against the slippery tiled wall. He pressed himself against her and filled his mouth with every inch of her. He lifted her from behind and rode her like a beautiful long legged mare. The harder he rode, the louder she sang. One last trot, and he sang out too. He rested his head on her chest and she had her answer, “no,” there was no one else, just her. She reached over and turned the hot water off. They both needed to cool down. “Baby, I’ll do whatever you want, just don’t leave me,” he begged.
  She smiled to herself and replied, “Whatever you say baby.”
  He pulled away and she turned the hot water back on and washed him like a newborn baby. Gently stroking every inch of him. He knew there wasn’t another woman like her. No woman ever treated him like this. He stood still and let her soft hands wash him clean.
  On his way to work, he called her. “You are an amazing woman.” She remained silent. “Can I see you tonight?”
  She thought for a moment before replying, “Only if you promise to repeat that shower scene.”
  “Your wish is my command.”
  Now more than three years later and countless showers and secret meetings, she’s still calling the shots.

______________________________

On the heels of celebrating the one year anniversary of my first published, book, I’m happy to announce the next installment of Generational Curse [currently titled “Intentional Curse], is scheduled for summer 2016…hopefully.

It’s been a fun 2015. I’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

Tracy

Tracy Reed
www.readtracyreed.com

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

Available at
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