Book Signing May 13!

Mark your calendar. On May 13, 2017 10am-4pm, at Round Table Pizza, 37480 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA, authors from the Fremont Area Writers Group and I will eat pizza and sell books. My book is the Createspace printed version of my superheroine stories, Super Holly Hansson in Super Bad Hair Day! This book comes with a CD containing:

  • ebook files: Kindle, epub, PDF.
  • Super Holly artwork from Batton Lash and other artists.
  • Audio versions of my stories: hear me read with a musical score!

At Round Table on May 13, you can likely see me and the other writers do open mic readings! Eat pizza! Buy books! Have authors sign the books! Watch authors doing readings, or as I call it, open mic opera! And especially, meet local authors, storytellers, and poets.

Analysis of my Awesome Audio!

bluemics2013-1357744813After I received 20 copies of my Createspace book, Super Holly’s Super Bad Hair Day (two short stories and chapter zero of The Comic Book Code) for the Fremont Book Signing, I wanted to add a CD to each book for artwork, ebook files (mobi and pub and PDF), and audio files of me reading each story. I’ve done open mics for years, should be easy, right? Here is what I learned.

Use a quality microphone! I used Blue Nessie, same USB mic that I used for The Malevolent Mystery Meat. I spoke close to the microphone but slightly to one side so my hard consonants did not pop, like a “P” turning into “PUH!!!” (I do not have a pop filter. Maybe I should get one.)

Voice over the top! I do all the voices for all the characters. Holly is my voice while I think like a woman as best I can. Harry Headbutt, my villainous Hulk, is pretty easy: loud and dumb. But when I voiced my barber Lash, the audio file sounded like just plain old me. Lash should stand out, he is a character in real life. So I roughed up my voice and re-recorded those parts.

Audio stories are LONG! As in reading the entire story takes around 45 minutes. There is no way I can read out loud for that long and not flub up a word, or cough, or curse at a barky doggie barking. So I recorded until I made a mistake or needed to stop, about 5 minutes at a time, 10 at the extreme outside. I recorded in Quicktime, and put the clips together in Garage Band, where it is easy to remove the trailing edge of the recording, as in, “And Super Holly punched Harry Headbutt right in the… ARGH! SWEET PEA, STOP BARKING OR I’LL MICROWAVE YOU LIKE A HOT DOG!”

Avoid external noise! I was at my cousin’s home (house/doggie sitting), upstairs, doors and windows closed. It got warm. But I did not plug in my laptop cooling fan. I had to stop at airplanes flying over, leaf blowers, and my cousin’s littlest dog barking (see above advice).

No internal noise! Even with a good mic, you can get buzzing if you do not place the mic in just the right position. That can mean moving around the room, moving the computer, and moving the USB and headphone cables. Monitor yourself by wearing headphones and making sure there is no static. At all. NO BUZZ! I made the mistake of letting some buzz into a few of the recordings; I might have to redo them if I ever send them to Audible.com.

Music makes fun! I added clips from Al Fabrizio album Serenata Italiana (he makes beautiful mandolin music), and from Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), who makes great royalty free background music. I am often told I am a good performer, but adding the right background music makes an audio story sing.

Use quality CDs! I tries Staples CDs. Ugh, sometimes they would not verify after my computer burned them. I bought Verbatim CDs instead. Worked perfectly.

I have more to learn. And I have to post these audio files (soundcloud, anyone?). Or bits of them. 45 minutes per story is a LOT of blabbing!

I will be at the Fremont Book Signing on Saturday!

FAW POSTER LIBRARY BOOK SIGNINGI believe one should announce events about a week before, then a day before. I am a little late on the day before. But I will be at the Fremont Area Writers book signing and sale from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 in the Fukaya Room of the Fremont Main Library at 2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont, California, at Stevenson Boulevard and Paseo Padre Parkway. In the photo, I am the guy at the top, in the middle.

There will be several writers there from the Fremont branch of the California Writers Club. We will sell books and do open mic readings. I intend to perform.

I hope I sell books. I spent this week making audio files of my three stories. I made a CD for each Createspace book I had printed, on which I burned ebooks (mobi, pub, PDF), some of Batton Lash’s cool Holly artwork, and my audio readings (with some nice royalty free music) of the short stories Super Bad Hair Day, The Poet and the Supersplainer, and a preview (Chapter Zero) of The Comic Book Code. Super Holly is pretty busy!

P.S. I might have to leave a little early to pick up my cousin at the airport. If you are coming, try to get there well before 3.

P.P.S. (August 7 edit): I sold 2 books. But I have more to learn about sales. Like right after I finish my INCREDIBLE open mic performance, I should make it REALLY clear that the CD included with the book includes three audio story files with neat musical scores. I also had to leave early to pick up my cousin at the airport, and that might have cut into sales. I’ll ask how the others did next time I see them.

My Createspace Unpacking, and the Aug 6 Fremont Book Signing!

I got a package of 20 Createspace copies of for my superheroine Super Holly Hansson’s Super Bad Hair Day! Here is my audience, Tucker and Wrigley, waiting for me to open the box. See how excited they are? Well, they would be if I said, “Walk,” and got out the leashes. (I am doggie-sitting them this evening.)

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The box, opened and packing paper removed.

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The book and I. My beard is scruffy, my hair is messy, but the book makes me happy. Thanks again to Batton Lash for the wonderful cover art.

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I did find one typo to fix, along with a couple minor format issues in one line of dialog. And the font and letter size could look nicer. I blew up the letter size to 14 to fill pages for this little book. The text looks slightly washed out. I will likely work on improving the text and upload that again later. The front and back cover have a nice indie look. I used Comic Sans font there. I am making audio files for each story, which I will burn to a CD and put into each copy I sell on Saturday. From the Fremont CWC newsletter:

The Fremont Area Writers are gearing up for a book signing and sale from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 in the Fukaya Room of the Fremont Main Library. About a dozen authors will participate. Some will read from their works, including children’s literature, nature, history, super heroes, and religion. The library is located at 2400 Stevenson Blvd., at Stevenson Boulevard and Paseo Padre Parkway.

And I will do an open mic reading! I shall PERFORM!!!

FAW POSTER LIBRARY BOOK SIGNING

 

 

 

Super Bad Hair Day: revised Createspace cover!

My interior text for Createspace went okay. I used a 6×9 Word template from Createspace.  But my cover? Not so much.

I tried using my cover from my Kindle book. The cover came out printable, but it had a white border, and the back cover was blank (except for the ISBN).

So I generated (depends on page count) and downloaded the 6×9 book cover template  from Createspace. Then I used Gimp. Fortunately, Batton Lash also gave me the Photoshop version of the Kindle cover, so I imported it into Gimp and resized it to 6×9, 300 dpi. Then I figured out how to import the Kindle cover into the book cover template, moved it to the front cover, and wrote text on the back cover (along with Holly’s “eyes up here” art). At 66 pages, this book will not have a printable spine (130 pages minimum).

I used this from YouTube to get a general idea of how to start. I did have to look up how to import and then how to move the Kindle cover art.

And I used this to figure out the bugs for adding text (the text was coming out too tiny until I watched this).

I had to figure out a few other things, like whiting out the background and moving stuff around (the move tool, dummy!) and the like. So in 24 hours, I will see how it looks. I hope it looks better.

Super Bad Hair Day: second edition!

I have republished Super Holly Hansson in: Super Bad Hair Day. My changes:

  • I added Chapter Zero of The Comic Book Code.
  • I made several minor edits suggested by a fellow member of the South Bay Writers Club (I will post about that soon).
  • I fixed a few typos (GRR, I can’t believe a few sneaked into the first edition!). Running both the Storyist and Microsoft Word spelling checker helped me squash typos.

And I created a version of this on Createspace. (It is under review, I hope it will print okay.) A few comments on that:

  • Since I write in Storyist, I copied the story into a 6×9 Microsoft Word template that I downloaded from Createspace.
  • When I reviewed the uploaded interior contents, I had to adjust the page numbers and add the ISBN numbers in the original Word file, and upload again.
  • I had to create a new Createspace account even though I had a Kindle account. And I made sure to enter my royalty information right away.
  • I set the price at $6. The minimum allowed was about $5.40. More expensive than I like, but I can live with it.
  • I hunted for a webpage with the steps listed out, but did not find it. I found the video below very helpful. For example, he suggested that I have my Amazon page for my Kindle version open so I could cut and paste most of the data.

My First Book Signing: How???

Fremont_book_sale_sign_2016 MayThis Saturday, May 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Fremont branch of the California Writers Club is having a sale and signing at Round Table Pizza, 37480 Fremont Boulevard, Fremont, CA. Come and get some pizza! And when you buy a book, you get a free drink!

Im my case, I will see how well I can sell my self-published eBook short story bundle: “Super Holly Hansson in Super Bad Hair Day, and The Poet and the Supersplainer!” How do I sell it when the other writers have nice, physical, papery books? To entice readers, I can:

  • Print a physical copy for readers to skim, with that wonderful Batton Lash cover of Super Holly in the barber chair, and my barber Lash breaking his scissors on Holly’s super-strong blonde hair.
  • Print a small poster of that wonderful Batton Last cover to entice readers.
  • Print postcards with that cover that I can sign for readers.
  • Do my open mic reading of Harry Headbutt hitting on Super Holly. I love doing that, Holly gets so MAD!

And when I have the reader DROOLING to buy my eBook:

  • The reader buys a copy on Amazon from their smart phone.
  • Or the reader gives me a dollar for a CD with a mobi, epub, and PDF copy of the story. (I will have to see how well that works.)
  • Or the reader gives me a dollar, and I will email him or her a mobi, epub, and PDF copy of the story. Either I bring my computer and email it there, or I take their email address and email them later.

Maybe I’ll become a few dollars richer, and be able to buy a drink with my profits.

P.S. Darn it, this book signing is the same day as Free Comic Book Day! Oh well. I have a few weeks of comic book backlog to read anyhow. And I like hanging with the Fremont writers.