Indie Publishing

Building An Author Platform Pt. 9: Check Online Details

Introduction

I recently attended a conference workshop about building an author website. I came away with a few things to do that need to be addressed but which haven’t come up for me previously. I list them for your consideration also. I know I’ll act on these immediately but will as I can.

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Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Clip Art Image Copyright by Microsoft. Clip Art Used by Permission of Microsoft

Check your alternate domain usage

There are a variety of alternate domains that you may want to register even if you don’t use them since you don’t want someone using them parallel to your brand. Honestly, there can be so many different domain suffixes (.net, .org, etc.) that it may be cost prohibitive for you. However, it’s worth consideration just so you don’t end up with something close to your address that is offensive. Just keep your budget in mind when purchasing multiple domains.

To find all the different domains you can use any site that searches domains for registration like GoDaddy.com – the domain search is at the top of the home page. It will provide alternate variations to consider buying as well. You’ll at least know if something is taken and plan for your budget otherwise.

Check your social media name usage

There are a large number of social media channels on the internet these days. You may not use them all or even plan to but you may want to take the name for your brand regardless so it isn’t used otherwise. It can take some time so you may want to do this piecemeal.

When you do this use Namecheckr to find all of them – and there are a lot of social media channels. You can take as many of these as you want – or all – you don’t have to use them but it keeps someone from impersonating your brand, or even taking the name honestly.

Idea PiecesDon’t stop tweaking your platform – it’s a work in progress

Even if you don’t take all the name spaces for your domain or in the world of social media it’s worth to keep these in mind as you publish and become more widely known. As your reach grows so will your need to control your brand and then you may find you need to own all the domain variations and have accounts for all social media channels even if you won’t use them. The better known you become the more likely someone will take something you haven’t and use them in some whether malicious or not. It’s just one detail to keep in mind as your author platform grows

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events (and there’s some big news this month). Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Street Team to share upcoming links. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. You’ll also receive a free coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag, as well as July’s free e-book: Recommended Reading for Authors!

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Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - Copy        blackbag-img

 

Scrivener Quick Tip – Changing Formatted Content

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

Scriv Button 2Here’s a quick-tip for Scrivener a Monday morning. Need to change types of text in your document? Are the type of quotes you’ve used inconsistent or incorrect? Well, there’s a rather quick fix to these kinds of issues.

Just click on Format, slide down to Convert and you’ll see a number of choices displayed on the resulting fly-out menu:

Scriv Convert Menu

Highlight all of your document or the affected text to make the following changes:

  • Go from smart quotes to straight quotes after highlighting your document.
  • Do the opposite if you need smart quotes instead of straight ones.
  • Need to change case? Just use one of the first three commands.
  • Here’s a good one – do you have multiple spaces in your document but don’t want to change them one by one? Just use the Multiple Space to Space command.
  • Need to send some annotations, etc to meta-data or vice versa? Use the last four commands as appropriate.

As always before making mass changes to a document, use the Snapshot for an easy backup. That’s all for today. Look for another quick tip next Monday!

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events (and there’s some big news this month). Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Street Team to share upcoming links. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. You’ll also receive a free coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag, as well as July’s free e-book: Recommended Reading for Authors!

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Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor.

 

 

Complete DIY Self-Publishing Pt. 4: The Cover

This is the fourth part of a series about self-publishing a short e-book as a completely DIY project. Part 1 introduced why you should consider trying to self-publish on your own at least once. Part 2 dealt with some of the tools you will need to gather at some point to accomplish the project. Part 3 addressed the importance of formatting and using the tool of a style guide.

ToolboxVisual Affect and the Cover

The cover of a book may be one of the most important elements in the digital world. A weak cover can dull sales. However, with a smaller project the cover presents some difficulty since the project may not have the budget for a top-end cover. It’s at this point you may consider spending some money on a photo which you can use to develop into a cover. Personally, I went with a photo from iStockPhoto.com but I’ve also written about more sites too (this post was about using free photos for blog posts but these sites should have terms for buying photos for re-use as a cover).

Making the Cover

Once you’ve chosen a suitable photo as the basis of your cover, you’re ready to being working it. Here’s how my process went for The Black Bag.

1. I got in my toolbox and pulled out PowerPoint and created a slide with the photo.

2. Next I create text boxes and added my Title, by-line and additional information.

3. Save the file as a PowerPoint file (.pptx file extension).

4. Next re-save it with “Save As” and choose the .jpg (IMPORTANT: when prompt whether to save all slides or just the current one, choose just the current one).

That’s it for the basic cover.

HammerThe Final Touch

At this point, I had cover ready. However, my original was the incorrect size to up load so it needed some work. This required some photo editing to change the size of the photo. To handle this job, I went to another tool to handle the photo-editing: Gimp. I’m not an expert on this task so this article better explains how to re-size a photo using Gimp. It’s not a very hard process and when you’ve completed this your cover is ready unless you need to make some changes to the cover such as text size (make sure you can see this in thumbnail view of the file on your computer).

More Cover Resources

Need a little more information about covers before tackling this part of the project?

Rayne Hall discusses best practices with covers in her book: Why Does My Book Not Sell?

Here’s an article that shows in detail the process of using PowerPoint to create a cover.

Don’t have PowerPoint and want to use only free software for making your cover? This article shows how to use Gimp exclusively.

Not interested in using Gimp? Try free online Photoshop and watch this video.

My own cover is just below.

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Available at Amazon, Smashwords and All Major E-Book Vendors!

Have you tried making your own cover? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events (and there’s some big news this month). Want to be listed in The Bow of Destiny credits? Join the Street Team to share upcoming links. Either way, you’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. You’ll also receive a free coupon to download my e-book short story, The Black Bag, as well as July’s free e-book: Recommended Reading for Authors!

Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.