So, here's the thing! I said I'd do a Part Deux of my Millenium Trilogy, Toady, and it's getting late! Strictly Dancing is on already on, and then there's the X-Factor until midnight, or some God-forsaken time, so I'd better get on with it.
Where was I? Well, in fact, I wasn't anywhere, but I do believe you were trying to make a pre-emptive strike on KDP without a blurb, a cover, and a clue as to how much you were going to charge those lovely readers for your magnus opium. So, slow down, Toady!
Okay, let's talk about a blurb. I've seen some long ones, some short ones, and some in the middle ones - what's right? Shrugs - who knows! All I can tell you, is that I have the attention span of gnat. My policy - generally - is to keep it short and simple. Ya gotta ask yourself what the reader needs to know, and take a look at the blurb on the back of some books - you'll get the idea.
Now, I shouldn't really do this, but it'll save me time in a couple of weeks. I'm three-quarters through my next Parish & Richards novel No.8: 'Be Not Afraid', so I'll write a draft blurb, and I'm sure there's some people out there who will say it's rubbish - whatever!
This next book in the series is packed with story: Parish and Richards travel to Quantica, Virginia to give a presentation at an FBI conference on serial killers in different cultures, but they stumble over an American serial Killer called "The Painter". Chief Kowalski and his wife Jerry are accused of Satanic Ritual Abuse of their children, who are taken away by Social Services - Kowalski has another heart attack and ends up in hospital, which leaves Jerry in a fight to get her children back. Much to Xena's disgust, her and Stick are given two cases to investigate due to Parish & Richards' absence. One, in which a group called Mothers Against Paedophiles (MAPs) are abducting paedophiles from their own homes, torturing confessions out of them, killing them, and then publishing the video-confessions on a website. The second case concerns a man called John Smith who is discovered in a house that resembles a necropolis because it has so many female bodies inside. The trouble is, he's not John Smith, he's not talking, and they don't know who he is. And I haven't told you about the hacker called Cookie, Charlie Baxter the solicitor, Alicia Mae's past, the undercover operative from the DGIFC following Parish... Oh yes, and there's an addition to Parish's family!
Now, that's slightly longer than I normally do, but there's a lot of book between the covers, so there you are, Toady. Oh yes, that's a good lead-in to the cover. Well, you'll be relieved to hear that you don't need a back cover! Here's what I do - like it or lump it. I take a photo (see above for the before and after. The original photograph was taken by my wife on a recent holiday to Crete), I re-size it to what Smashwords wants (I'll get to Smashwords - I promise), but actually it's not Smashwords that wants it a particular size - it's that tiny company called Apple, so it'll fit their iPad - it has to be 1,600 x 2,400 pixels, but here's the gumf - read it yourself. I right-click a photo and upload it to Paint, which everyone's got as part of Windows, and I crop and re-size it. Now, if you haven't already done so, you want to download Google's free software 'Picassa', because you can do loads of wicked stuff in there, like put text on the photo just like a real bok - and there we are.
Next is the price! A touchy subject with loads of argument for and against cheap or expensive. People want free books, but then - because they're free - they think they're probably rubbish. If you make them expensive, other people won't buy them because there's loads of cheap books out there. If you make them 99c, people won't touch them because they're bound to be rubbish... Need I go on? My older books are 99p ($1.51 or thereabouts), my shorts or novellas are 77p, and my new books were £1.99, but now I make them £2.99, which I don't think is excessive for two months of solid writing and a reasonable attempt at a story. Some people will say, "It's too expensive", others will say, "Charge us more - your books are just great", but I've told my wife she can't say that in public... And so it goes on. In the end, it's trial and error, and you can change your prices on KDP fairly easily. Now, it's nearly nine o'clock at night, and my eyes are getting gritty, so I'm gonna have a Part Three tomorrow, and I will talk about Smashwords... Goodnight cobbers.
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.