Cover Design! – The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

 

38 Weeks Until Publication

“So never judge a book by its cover
Or who you’re going to love by your lover
Love put me wise to her love in disguise
She had the body of a venus
Lord imagine my surprise…” – “Dude Looks Like a Lady”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,

I’m not much of a man by the light of day,

But by night I’m one hell of  a lover.” – “Sweet Transvestite”

 

Quotes about book covers and drag queens – what could be more perfect for my quest for a great book cover for my novel, QUEEN HENRY?

We all know by now that people DO judge a book by its cover, and that’s why it’s so important to get it right. Lately I’ve been trying to read everything I can find about what makes a great book cover and how to get one.

Right now I’m working on a series of upcoming articles about getting a cover for your self-published book. I’m planning to write an article on how to hire a designer for your cover, and I’m also working on an article for people who want to design their own cover.

As for me, I’ve already hired a designer for my book cover. I gave him a few ideas, and I’m very excited to see what he comes up with!

 That’s all I can report for now because it’s been a crazy busy week. Take it easy and keep writing!

– Linda Fausnet

And Now a Word from Mackelmore…The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

 39 Weeks Until Publication

I’ve contacted as many LGBT activists and organizations as I could think of to try to get some endorsements for my book, and now I’m just waiting on their responses. I got this very nice response from “the Mackelmore Team”:

Mackelmore Response

The print may be too small here to read, but it says “Thank you so much for writing in to us. Your novel is great. It is a great lesson on acceptance and equality. The boys are away on tour right now, but I will set aside your work so they can read it.  – The Mackelmore Team”.

What a sweet response! I always figured, if nothing else, that I would get some interesting responses even if they were all “no”. I guess, technically, this was a “maybe”.

The next step for Queen Henry is the cover. I’ve already been in contact with a few designers, and it’s exciting to think about what the cover might look like! I’m also working on some articles on what I learn about cover design for WannabePride so that other authors can learn, too.

Happy Weekend, Everybody!

– Linda Fausnet

Reason for Optimism

Please welcome Guest Blogger, Author T. Allen Diaz! You can find more information on T. Allen Diaz at the following links: GoodreadsAmazon, Amazon Author Page, and follow him on Twitter: @Proceenawriter.

 

“I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost three hundred games.  Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”

Most of you might recognize this Michael Jordan quote.  It’s come to be one of my favorites, not only because it’s about one of our most iconic athletes sharing his human fallibility, but also because of the simple truth in those words.  I’m new to the writing business and can see where people would get frustrated with the constant work that seems so slow to pay dividends, but I knew that writing was a career steeped in disappointment and aggravation when I set out on this path tried to prepare myself for it.

I’ve always enjoyed the creative process.  I spent my childhood daydreaming.  I suppose I spend my adulthood daydreaming, too.  I just put it in writing and spend hours refining it into a finished product.  I could have written the full Proceena Trilogy, never published and enjoyed every moment.  But, I’d have never felt the excitement of others reading Procythian Reign and sharing their enthusiasm for it.  It’s so rewarding to chat about their favorite character or how surprised they were by a plot twist.  It feels like Christmas and my kids are going to open a really cool gift I want them to enjoy!

But writing can be a fickle master.  There are all the long hours writing, rewriting and finishing just one work, something that will be repeated every time a new piece is written.  Then there are things like getting cover art, formatting your document for e-publishing and setting up your print book.  And this is the easy part.  The Twitter Machine consumes hours of my day.  There’s marketing research to do and business infrastructure to build.  I have become one with my phone and carry my computer everywhere I go, just in case I can sneak a few minutes to compose a review request or (Heaven forbid) write.  Then, there are the public appearances.  And, through it all, the wheels of progress seem to turn a little slowly.  Ok, sometimes it seems like they’re not turning at all.  But, that’s where Mr.  Jordan’s famous quote becomes so important.

We are all human.  That means that we are all fallible.  Each and every one of us has failed at something, and, on some level, everything we’ve ever done.  George Washington’s first command was surrounded and captured and resulted in an international incident that sparked The Seven Years War.  Abraham Lincoln failed in business two separate times, lost eight elections and suffered a nervous breakdown.  His future right hand man, Ulysses Grant, had resigned from the army to be with his family and failed at farming and real estate before going to work in his dad’s leather store to await destiny’s call. Winston Churchill was a failed First Lord of the Admiralty of World War I notoriety whose brain child was a campaign to open a new front in the Turkish Dardanelles.  The resulting battle, Galipoli, is still considered one of the great tragic wastes in a war full of great tragic wastes.

We all fail.  But, it is through failure that we grow and get better.  I have a new book, The Proceena Crusade, getting painfully close to a final rough draft.  That story has already undergone huge rewrites and cuts with more to come.  And, it’ll be a better, stronger book for the experience I have had with Procythian Reign.  When it’s time to publish, I’ll know ahead of time pitfalls and struggles I had the first time around, and will, hopefully, avoid most of them.

The business of writing should be fun.  After all, isn’t that why we do it, to do something we love?  How many times have people of all walks of life said: “That’s the ticket, if only I could do that”?  Is it really any surprise that it’s so damned hard?  We just have to keep our butt in the chair and fingers on the keyboard.  We’ll stumble and bumble at times, but we’ll learn, and, with determination, we’ll persevere.  That’s the key to “success”.

On “Settling” for Self-Publishing….The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

40 Weeks Until Publication

I’ve been a writer for a very long time, and I was one of those people who said they would never ever ever self-publish. It was just never on my radar. I knew there was a good chance I wouldn’t make it, but I planned on traditionally publishing or nothing. I guess after all these years “nothing” is just not acceptable anymore.

I made the decision that I would finally self-publish about a year ago, with the plan that I would start preparing in July of 2013 to publish in July of 2014. The novel was already written and heavily revised and edited, but I felt I would need a year to really learn the self-publishing process. If I was going to do this thing, I wanted to do it right.

I still plan to pursue traditional publishing to an extent, but it’s way on the back burner right now and I’m starting to think that that’s where it belongs. I recently read some scary statistics – publishers receive up to 2 million manuscripts per year and 3000-5000 per week. Sure, there’s bound to be a fair number of lazy hack writers who didn’t bother to learn how to write a good story before submitting, but you can bet there are an awful lot of extremely talented, hardworking writers who will never even be considered. It’s not that traditional publishers or agents are necessarily evil or unfair (though I believe the ones who are ‘by referral only’ or ‘only query if I met you at a conference’ are extremely unfair), but it’s a numbers game that can be almost impossible to win. The fact is that even most traditionally published books will not earn out their advance. After all that writing, editing, submitting, and publishing, most books simply aren’t successful. Most self-published books aren’t successful either, but at least they will get to see the light of day. SOMEBODY will read them. SOMEBODY will like them. All that work isn’t wasted, because those books will actually be read and have a shot at success.

I expected to feel disappointed, like I had failed, when I made the decision to self-publish. Maybe a tiny part of me does feel that way and maybe I always will. I still struggle with the idea of calling myself an “author”, but I am truly amazed at all the other emotions I’m experiencing. I realize now, for the first time, that I WILL hold my published book in my hands. People WILL read it. I have no idea how few or how many, but there will be people who I don’t know who will read this story that I slaved over for years. It continues to amaze me every day as I realize over and over again that the immense amount of work that I’m doing WILL result in the publication of a book. It’s not a distant “what if” anymore. It’s not “if”. It’s “when”. The when is next summer.

I’m kind of glad that it took me this long to self-publish, because it means I’ve had a long time to develop into a truly good writer. I also think it means more to me to publish at this point. I didn’t just decide to become a writer six months ago. It will be twenty years by the time I publish. I’ve learned so much in that time and I’ve experienced lots of moments when I thought it would never happen. It boggles my mind to know that it really WILL happen. Wow. I don’t know if the book will be successful, but nobody ever knows about that. Even traditionally published books that made it past all those gatekeepers crash and burn all the time. There are no guarantees.

There’s a wonderful, inspirational song that I love to listen to called This is the Moment from the musical Jekyll and Hyde. It’s all about that moment when all your dreams come true after all those years of hard work, dedication, and struggle. I like to listen to that song and think about THE MOMENT when my dream of publishing comes true. It amazes me that that moment is no longer an abstract possibility. It’s a reality. I know when the moment will be.

July 14, 2014.

I can’t wait.

– Linda Fausnet

Still Harassing Celebrities and LGBT Organizations – The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

 

41 Weeks Until Publication

This week I continued my quest for celebrity LGBT activist endorsements, as well as LGBT organization endorsements. My hope is that they will take the time to read my book and hopefully write a quick sentence or two to help me promote it since all the proceeds will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation. Honestly, I don’t know how optimistic I am that I will get a YES from anybody. Still, as a writer I am no stranger to rejection, and I truly believe you have to take risks if you want to succeed. I suppose the main risk here is financial – it cost about two bucks a packet for each mailing. Fortunately, I was able to email the information to some people. The organizations in particular were easy to find online.

So, now we wait.

It’s kind of fun. Every time I get an email notification and each time I check the snail mail box, there’s always the hope that I will get some good news. Even a nice NO from a celebrity (or, more likely, someone from their staff) or from an organization is better than no response at all. I think I’m so used to rejection that I will be shocked if anybody says YES.

Still. They might.

Here’s a list of the people I contacted this week:

GLAAD, GLCCB (Baltimore organization),Baltimore OutLoud,  PFLAG, You Can Play Project, It Gets Better, Born This Way Foundation, True Colors Fund, Saritza Hernandez (literary agent who represents LGBT books), Jason Collins, Huffington Post Gay, Lt. Dan Choi, Rachel Maddow, Dan Savage, Greg Louganis, Wanda Sykes, Lance Bass, Rosie O’Donnell, Coco Peru, Martin Sheen, Alan Cumming, Jane Lynch, Daniel Radcliffe, Zachary Quinto, Sharon Needles (Rupaul’s Drag Race).

Wish me luck!

– Linda Fausnet