Saturday, March 24, 2012

How to write a blurb for your book

Easy, right? Just sum up your entire novel in a few sentences? Nbd.

Sarcasm abounds. Writing the blurb was one of the hardest parts of self-publishing my book, and I suppose I have to be honest: I didn't write mine.

After sitting around for an hour and trying to figure out what to write, I finally snapped and realized that I was the wrong person to do that. Here's the deal:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blurbs and working order

My book is back in working order. Yay! You can find The Complex on Amazon.com once again.

Look for my how-to on writing blurbs later this week!

-CZ

The Missing Link

Due to some bizarre technological malfunction, The Complex is not available (or even present) on Amazon.com. Sucks. But I have not unpublished, and according to Amazon it should be fixed within three days (I KNOW, RIGHT?).

I for one am not impressed by our robot overlords. Come on, Amazon. Be better.

-CZ

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to make a great ebook sample

This post probably sounds really strange. It probably sounds like I'm giving tips about something that doesn't really exist--a sample. Let's back up.

What is a sample?
Since I'm a registered Amazonophile, I'm speaking in terms of Amazon.com. A sample is the first 10% of your book. It's the small excerpt that online customers can download to their e-readers for free before they decided whether or not they want to purchase the book. This excerpt is also available on the product page. It's basically an author's pitch (along with covers and blurbs). We'll talk about blurbs another day.

Gone are the days when someone would decide whether or not to read a book after reading the last page--this is the age of the sample.

So I've recently taken up the hobby of reading the sample of any YA teen indie author who asks me to (I've limited the genre because if it were more flexible, I'd have enough samples to last me a lifetime. Literally). I've had about 4 dozen requests (and the offer still stands). And I've read through most of them. Here's the rundown:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Letting it be

Now that I have officially been published for two weeks, I can say that I am finding the experience surprisingly pleasant.

I'm a pretty private person and putting The Complex on KDP was stressful. Like anyone, I don't really want to be criticized or told that I'm bad at doing something that I love. Putting your novel out there is basically asking someone to focus entirely on you and your choice of words for an extended period of time. It's actually pretty intimate, in the least sexual way possible (unless you wrote Fifty Shades of Grey, amirite? Eh? No?...sorry).

I've gotten a couple reviews on Amazon and feedback has been positive. Of course, the book isn't exactly flying off the pixelated  shelves, but that's to be expected. It's been 14 days. Rome wasn't built in a day. Rome also was the product of a wolf-bred hellion and a long string of men in togas...I think I've lost my train of thought.

Now that I've gone through this, I realize that I never need to resent a famous author again. I feel stressed without any attention, and they have to present their work to hordes of cruel, bloodthirsty readers. Even J.K.Rowling has haters. I guess my point is, being a writer is really hard. I'm not indulgent enough to call myself a writer (I've only made enough money to take a one way train from campus to NYC) but the emotions of putting yourself out there are certainly not exclusive.

I've spent two weeks worrying and I'm just going to relax now. And that's just fine.

-CZ

Check out my novel, The Complex, on Amazon.com

P.S. My offer to read the Amazon sample of anyone indie YA author still stands...just ask. Ideally with the word "please" involved.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Indie writers

I've decided that a new undertaking of mine will be to read the Amazon sample of any YA author who asks me to. As one should do with a sample, I will buy the book if I enjoy the sample; if I don't enjoy the sample, I won't buy the book.

Please send me links to your book or friends' YA books. Thanks!

-CZ

Monday, March 5, 2012

One Week

Tomorrow marks a week since I published my first book and I must say, the whole experience has been extremely interesting.

First thing, is that it's really hard to get someone to buy your book. You blog, you tweet, you forum post, you goodreads, you shelfari...usually to no avail. It's really, really hard.

Secondly, no matter what, everyone who speaks to you is just trying to get you to buy their book. "Cool pic" and a twitter mention usually means that they want you to buy their book. They don't think your pictures are cool. Your picture probably isn't cool. Just accept it, we're all selling all the time.

Third, Kindle royalties are low. 35 percent or 70 percent. We're talking well below minimum wage standards here.

Fourth, getting seen is hard. It's like throwing a dot of red food coloring into the ocean. You're not going to turn it red. You're not even going to turn it purple. Not even lilac. It's really difficult.

Fifth, it's fun. There's nothing wrong with it. Unless you went overboard hiring editors and cover designers and buying ads, you've got nothing to lose (financial, at least).

Just don't quit your day job.

-CZ

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Amazon.com Author Central

My profile 

I just created a profile on Amazon. Now, it's linked to my book and everything is concise and wonderful.

-CZ

Re-Editing

Another reason why I love Amazon.com? Even if after your 5000000 hours of editing a mistake slips through the cracks, they let you re-upload and fix the error.

And that, my friends, is why I love ebooks.

-CZ


Thursday, March 1, 2012

And...we're live

My book is officially available for purchase on Amazon.com! I signed up for KDP so I'll be exclusively with Amazon for a few months, which is totally fine because, again, I am obsessed with Amazon. And I'm so happy.


Enjoy! Prime members can download for free. Even if you don't own a kindle, you can still read the book via iPhone Kindle app OR the kindle reader for PC and Mac (available for download on Amazon.com)...or basically for any electronic.

-CZ