Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Colorado Book Awards

I’ve submitted Good Cop, Dead Cop to the Colorado Book Awards, held by Colorado Humanities, and if you’re a Colorado-based author (or have written something related to Colorado), you might want to do the same. The contest is held each year, so if you published your book in 2011 you have until Jan. 13, 2011, to submit your book.

I had to send a check for $53 and seven copies of the book, although you can actually just enter your submission online and include a PDF of your work. I was reluctant to enter, thinking it unlikely a science fiction book would win, but my husband pointed out that seven people would have to read the book, dramatically increasing my readership, and I had to agree to his wisdom.

Good Cop, Dead Cop book signing

Get your copy of Good Cop, Dead Cop signed where the story begins, in the bowels of Union Station. I’ll be at the open house for the Platte Valley & Western Model Railroad club in the basement of the building from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 17.

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If you’re not familiar with the book, it opens with my dead cop looking for a shooting suspect in the same basement, and Union Station, of course, is on the cover of the book. The club’s open house will actually be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and if you’ve never visited the club, definitely visit even if you don’t care about my book. It’s actually a fun Christmas thing to do so bring the kids.

I’ll have copies of the book to sell, or you can pick up your copy at the downtown Tattered Cover that’s just across the street.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Apparently smart self-publishing decisions: giveaway

At least for the moment, creating the giveaway on GoodReads.com seems to have been a smart decision.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Good Cop, Dead Cop by Jennifer Petkus

Good Cop, Dead Cop

by Jennifer Petkus

Giveaway ends August 08, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Stupid self-publishing mistakes I have made: ISBNs

I should have either bought a block of ISBNs from Bowker or just used CreateSpace services to get my ISBN. What I did instead was just buy one ISBN from Bowker and now nickel and dimed my way into spending too much for a book that’s sold less than 30 copies so far.

Stupid self-publishing mistakes I have made: Incremental release

I started researching self publishing in advance of my book, My Particular Friend, in the event that I could not find an agent or publisher for it. Along the way, I decided that I could experiment with the book I had already written, Good Cop, Dead Cop. And so I learned how to format the book for the Kindle, and then the Nook, and then Lulu and iBooks and finally for CreateSpace as a real paperback.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lulu no longer stumped on permissions

[farnsworth]Good news, everyone.[/farnsworth] Well, good news to Mac users of calibre, Sigil and Lulu.com, anyway. Lulu no longer objects to the permissions of files in epubs converted by calibre and/or Sigil.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

GoodReads Book Giveaway!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Good Cop, Dead Cop by Jennifer Petkus

Good Cop, Dead Cop

by Jennifer Petkus

Giveaway ends August 08, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, July 22, 2011

Good Cop, Dead Cop for sale at the Tattered Cover

The Tattered Cover, the premiere bookstore in the Denver metro area, now has Good Cop, Dead Cop on its shelves at the Colfax Avenue, downtown and Highlands Ranch stores.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Check your exported PDF!

Just a word of warning, I’d been creating PDFs from my Word document to send to CreateSpace. If you don’t already know, CreateSpace is a print on demand service that was bought a while ago by Amazon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Checking your work: Validation

Unfortunately there are a lot of pitfalls on the road to creating an EPUB and some of those pitfalls are not very obvious, thus the need to check your work with with a validator. EPubCheck is the best way to see if an EPUB is valid (although Sigil has a built-in validator, it can miss things that EPubCheck will find).

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Checking your work: Kindle Previewer for Mac and PC

One of the major difficulties about creating books for ereaders is that you probably can’t afford to buy a Kindle, a Nook, a Sony, an iPhone and an iPad. You might have one of these, but probably not all. So it’s very nice that Amazon offers Kindle Previewer for Mac and PC.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Finetuning: Encoding

There are a lot of characters that you normally don’t even think about when writing your book that may be very difficult to preserve in your ebook. Take for instance the lowly quote marks in the following phrase:

Friday, April 29, 2011

Workflow: Match Dreamweaver styles to Word Styles

In the previous installment, I urged you to use style sheets to format your Word document and the argument I used is that it makes it easy to format and reformat your document. And I also mentioned that if the Word style sheets are named identically to Dreamweaver stylesheets, then life will be one sweet song, but perhaps you are wondering:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Workflow: Start with Microsoft Word / Stylesheets

How do I create an ebook?
Well, like most people, I write in Microsoft Word, which despite being an incredibly bloated piece of software, is still very good as a word processor, once you can hide enough toolbars and palettes to focus on your work.

Tools of the trade

NOTE: I proudly work on an Apple Macintosh, but almost everything I say here will apply to both Mac and PCs. (I also use Parallels Virtualization to run Windows on my Mac.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My proof reader

Editing and re-editing your own work can make you hate it with a passion you reserve for spammers and people who kick dogs. And after a while you just start glossing over the text, not noticing that a question ended with a period or that a word is repeated.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quickly publishing on Amazon

It’s not that difficult to publish a book on Amazon, but of course I did it the hard way, submitting an actual MOBI file rather than a more straightforward Word document or PDF. In fact, if you just created a book  using a Word template, creating a table of content by using Word’s hyperlinks to Word bookmarks, you could probably be publishing in a jiffy.

To buy or not to buy an ISBN

First, what is it. Well, it’s the 10- to 13-digit number you find on the copyright page of that Harry Potter or Twilight novel you just bought. The International Standard Book Number identifies your book so that bookstores know that they just ordered the large-print, paperback version of your book published in 2007 versus the audiobook released in 2009. In other words, it’s necessary if you want to get your book sold in bookstores because they order based on the ISBN.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kindle with Special Offers

It’s in my best interest to promote the $114 Kindle with Special Offers. After all, the more Kindles out there, the more likely you’ll buy Good Cop, Dead Cop. But I have to suggest caution until a little more is known about the new model.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Applying for a copyright

There are many who complain about government bureaucracy, but you’ll find little about which to complain when you apply for a electronic copyright at the U.S. Copyright Office. It only costs $35 to file a copyright for an ebook and the process happens very quickly, although there are a number of forms to fill out. And I suspect the application process would work during a government shutdown.

Friday, April 8, 2011

How to publish your ebook

I’d been busy writing My Particular Friend, a book that combines Jane Austen and Sherlock Holmes, when my friend Lee asked why I didn’t publish my first novel, Good Cop, Dead Cop, on the Kindle.

It was a sore subject because I’d put a lot of hard work into GCDC, only to fail to find an agent or publisher. The whole experience was so painful I locked it all away and devoted my time to other pursuits. But when Lee asked her question, I thought, sure, why not sell the book through Amazon? And while I’m at it, I could sell it through Barnes & Noble and even Apple’s iBookstore. How hard could it be?

Good Cop, Dead Cop available at Lulu

Good Cop, Dead Cop is now available at Lulu for $4.99.

Good Cop, Dead Cop available at Barnes & Noble

Good Cop, Dead Cop is now available at Barnes & Noble for the Nook reader for $4.99.

Good Cop, Dead Cop available at Amazon

Good Cop, Dead Cop is now available at Amazon for the Kindle reader for $4.99.