I recently landed a great promotional opportunity with author Scott Nicholson (The Red Church). Once MALICE goes live on Kindle, he'll add a blurb and an html link to my book at the end of four of his own books and short stories. The only catch is that I have to be ready by October 1st which, believe me, is no small feat.
I've already got the cover art, thanks to the amazing Kit Foster, who has done an awesome job if I do say so. Incidentally, Kit is already working on the cover for my novella BIRD OF PREY as well as two of my short stories, THE GRIP and THE SECOND COMING. About two weeks ago I lined up Diana Cox who's currently proofreading the manuscript and recently hired Ted Risk who Scott recommended for the formatting.
One important note before I go on. If you're going the hiring route like I did, be sure to consider that everyone you bring on board has their own schedules, some of which might be very busy. The first formatter I hired, for example, wasn't able to get to me until the end of October. As J.A. Konrath would probably say, every day your book sits idle, is another day it fails to find you a readership.
Now, as promised, since this was all new to me, I'll fill you in on some of what I've learned. For anyone about to embark on the self publishing route, I'd say a strong cover--something that really grabs the eye--is a must. Ideally it shouldn't be too dark since online you'll have little more than a tiny thumbnail to temp readers into clicking on your book. If you shrink the image down to 12.5% and it still looks good, then you're in business. This was where my designer Kit really shined. I definitely have a vision for how I wanted the cover to look, but I can't draw for my life so Kit would send me several options until we zeroed in on the look I was after. It's one thing to have a mental image and another entirely to clearly articulate that vision to the person in charge of making it a reality. It's funny how quickly I forget that no one can read my mind. Ouff!
That being said, my suggestion would be to do your cover first. Whether you go it alone, or hire someone, you're going to need it once you get to the formatting stage (more on that in a future post) and of all the stages, the cover can be the biggest wild card. You might get it all done in a single day's work, or it could take you a month. It all depends on the complexity of what you want, and how clearly you can communicate that idea.
Thanks for hanging out.