Reviews, Views and Adventures in Content Creation

Monday, May 27, 2013

Even Authors Have Tech Specs

On YouTube and elsewhere, techies often share their gear specs - computers, accessories, specific software, cameras, audio equipment - everything.  I thought I would jump in on the game and share with you the tech specs related to the task of writing "My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain."

1 - Hardware: 64gb iPad 2 (With some completion work on 32 gb 3.4 Ghz iMac 27")
2 - Apple Bluetooth Keyboard
3 - Arkon Portable Fold-Up Stand for iPad
4 - Software: Apple Pages (both iPad and Mac versions, synced via icloud), and some finishing work on Microsoft Word (so that I could work predictably with my copy editor)
5 - Primary Location: Starbucks, Valencia, California.  Secondary locations included Metrolink Train traveling from Valencia to Downtown Los Angeles, and my home in Valencia
6 - Primary Drink: Coffee (Pike Place Roast)

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Adventure Begins: My Book in the Real World

With the arrival of a box of promo copies of my book, this long journey is about to reach a climactic moment - not THE climactic moment, but the end of one stage and the beginning of the most exciting stage in the life of "My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain."  I'm busily sending out copies to all of those promised, after which we'll selectively begin offering copies for review.  
The ebook is in full release, and the paperback is about to become available across the Amazon universe (actually, once I approved the final proof a week ago, it immediately appeared on Amazon sites in the UK and Europe, but the Amazonian powers-that-be are taking their time to make it live across the pond).  The discussion groups seem to indicate the book will show up in four to six working days - so I'm expecting a surprise any day now...

Comments and reviews are beginning to appear, and I'm - dare I say it? - overjoyed at the response (and no, they're not all from family!).  It's a promising beginning, but now the greatest challenge awaits: helping it find an audience.

For an indie author like myself, word of mouth - grass-roots support - is going to be critical - and I'm hoping that readers will be inspired enough to help spread the word.  Reviews on Amazon and elsewhere are incredibly important to someone without a publishing conglomerate behind him.  As I hope for reviews to begin appearing (three five star reviews are on Amazon as of this writing), I realize that I rarely - if ever - leave reviews on Amazon myself.  I don't think most people do.  One thing is certain - I have a stronger appreciation of their worth!  Check out some quotes on my author side,

I'm also hoping that readers witll use social media to promote the book - not only retweeting my book news and giveaways - but perhaps writing reviews or creating YouTube videos reviews (Zac Ward created this one for his "Keeper of the Mountain" YouTube channel).

Finally, while this book, it seems, is turning out to have cross-over appeal to adults as well, I'm hoping that kids and teens who like that book will share with their friends and through social media (and tell me about it). 

My friend Lynette Privatsky told me that I should think of the process of building an audience as a "slow burn," as I and my readers slowly spread awareness.  Whatever happens, the most exciting part of this adventure just may lie straight ahead!