Tag Archives: how to self-publish

Setting Goals

For self-published authors, setting goals is tremendously beneficial.  As writer, publisher and marketer, we have a lot to do. For me, written goals help me lay out my overall purpose, they establish baby steps to see that I get there, they help me prioritize, and they keep me accountable.

Rather than talk this topic to death, however, I’m simply going to write out a sampling of my goals from 2011 and my goals for March 2012. I think this will suffice to illustrate how they helped me dive into an unfamiliar new career and how they continue to keep me on track. If you find them extremely dull, skip ‘em, and I promise my point will be waiting again somewhere near the end.  :)

My 2011 Goals

  • Give my all-over-the-board blog a specific children’s literature direction.
  • Research how to publish on Kindle and Smashwords.
  • Become familiar with different ereaders and the file formats associated with them.
  • Evaluate pricing and royalty options.
  • Set up an author website.
  • Figure out how to get my paperbacks on Amazon.
  • Rewrite and publish The Quill Pen.
  • Read and review LOTS of kids books.
  • Learn how to create a book trailer.

In the beginning, I was hopelessly overwhelmed. I kept discovering and listing all these new things I had to do and learn. I had very broad goals that included a lot of experimentation and education. This year my goals are much more specific. I’m still learning and trying lot of new things, but I have a better understanding of the direction I want to take and the ways to get there. At the beginning of the year I wrote out several broad goals I wanted to meet.  Now each month I pick a few things from the pile and break my objectives into more manageable tasks.  They keep me moving forward.

March 2012 Goals

  • Finish Slashings manuscript and begin rewrites.
  • Procure a professional editor for finished manuscript.
  • Prepare a Beneath the Slashings query for reviewers. Query in March and April.
  • Edit and publish lesson plans for The Quill Pen in paperback and digital formats.
  • Read and review four books to post on my blog in April.
  • Become more proficient with imaging software.  Create a new Quill Pen cover.
  • Finish and implement blog makeover.
  • Try Kindle select with Candle Star.

My Point

Okay, I promised a point after all this. Here it is: Self-publishing and self-marketing involve way more time and effort than I ever dreamed they would. They encompass my blogs, social media, interaction with others of the same interests, my reading choices, my writing decisions, my self-education, the list goes on and on. Setting goals has aided me tremendously by helping me define what I most want to accomplish and then breaking those objectives into bite-size pieces. If you are a writer, I’d encourage you to take a few minutes and pinpoint exactly what it is you want to achieve. Only then can you set a course to get there.

If you aren’t tired of reading this post yet, here’s a few of my broad objectives remaining for 2012:

  • Look into itunes, podcasts and audio books.
  • Rewrite Song of the Mountain. Publish in fall/winter.
  • Organize August book launch and blog tour.
  • Create a plot outline for new five-book series idea.

Indie Endeavors, Part 10: Marketing – Building a Platform

This is my last post in this series! But I’ve decided to make Indie Publishing a category on my blog and add to it often. If you missed any posts in this original series, here are all the others…

You’ve probably heard it before: Authors today need a platform from which to sell their books. I would agree with this. Even traditional publishers expect more from their authors than they once did. Nowadays, authors have to push their own work and create their own fan base, especially if they’re self-published. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to do this. I’m going to touch on some of the most important ones and give a few tips about what to do and not to do.

Create a Website

I’ll start with the foundation. If you want people to see your work, you need someplace to display it. This means you need a website or a blog or, ideally, both. If I had to go with just one, I’d start with a blog. It’s interactive and dynamic and offers much greater potential for drawing people because you can use it to offer something rather than just putting something out there for sale.

To be the most effective, your blog should have a specific focus that’s related to the product you wish to sell. For example, if you have written a book about growing vegetables from seed, it would make sense to create a gardening blog featuring tips, posts on soil quality, or reviews about specialized products. By offering a wide variety of content, you’re serving your audience. Encourage responses, reply, interact with people, and post often. In response, you’ll draw readers and probably generate interest in your book. Blogs are user-friendly and free. The two biggest hosts would be WordPress and BlogSpot. I can’t offer a comparison because I’ve only used WordPress, but I can say I’ve been very happy with it.

A central website featuring all your books, information and links can also be very beneficial, and it’s possible to set one up very cheaply with no experience or techie skills. It’s even kind of fun. Try Yola. Or run a google search for free webhosts. I only switched to a paid site because I wanted a specific domain name (www.michelleisenhoff.com – I’ve actually started the cogs rolling to make it match my blog).

Go Where the People Are

Social media also offers lots of possibilities for connecting with people. Keep in mind, however, that you do not want to alienate yourself from them by becoming obnoxious. That means go easy on actually pushing your work. You’ll definitely want to share important news, excellent reviews, story updates, and new releases, but balance that by offering something, namely friendship. Be nice, respond to invitations, follow back, answer questions, ask questions, and initiate conversations. In short, be approachable and friendly and take an interest in others. This does take time, and it probably means your list of followers will grow slowly. And of course you can’t get to know everyone well. But these follows will be based on contact, and that’s worth something. In the meantime, have links to your websites that people can click on if they choose to.

The two biggest websites I’d recommend interacting on are Twitter and Facebook. I’m not a huge fan of Twitter because the format feels very abbreviated and superficial to this novel writer. But I’m on there, and I use it, because it has tremendous potential. One tweet with a corresponding link can be retweeted endlessly, thereby reaching an audience exponentially greater than your own. And I’ve met WAY more people there than on any other site besides my blog. If you do make an important connection, it’s possible to exchange information and communicate through other media, like email. And one nice thing about the concise format is the impossibility of wasting a lot of time on any one tweet. Keep in mind, however, that if you want others to promote and retweet you, you should be generous in promoting and retweeting others. (Promise, my Twitter friends, I’ll get better at that when I finish this manuscript or the school year, whichever comes first!)  If you’re new to Twitter, there are lots of helps available. Google “how to use twitter.” I got two BILLION hits.

Facebook is another way to reach a huge audience. You can use it two ways, as yourself or as a page. As yourself, you can “friend” an unlimited number of people and interact with them, post videos, share photos, message, etc. It’s a great way to interact with people. However, your “friends” have access to your personal photos, to your other friends’ accounts, to all your wall conversations. You may wish, as I do, to reserve these privileges for people you actually know and not for fans. Then the solution is the creation of a page (see mine). A page is a professional yet approachable way to display yourself and your work to others. You still have the opportunity to connect with a wide range of people, but it needn’t be so personal. Fans can “like” you, and when you’re logged on as your page you can “like” others, and you have the same ability to converse. Here’s a link for setting up your own Facebook page.

Some other great social sites, which I won’t detail on this post, are LinkedIn, Google+, Digg, StumbleUpon, and a lot more. Also, if you’re an author, get yourself on Goodreads, Shelfari, and/or LibraryThing. You can also meet and interact with people of common interests (teaching, gardening, book blogging…) on forums. Finding one you like just takes a little research.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Your fan base will not materialize in a week or even a year; it is an ongoing task. It’s not even possible to master everything at once, nor is it necessary to be on all these sites. Try one or two things at a time and learn them then add something new later. I began book blogging a year ago. I created a Facebook page a few months later. And I only started using Twitter at the end of the last year. Building your platform is a slow process, one that requires time and effort, but one that’s full of potential. So take a lesson from the tortoise: Make a start somewhere and keep on keeping on.

Indie Endeavors, Part 9: Blurbs

Next week my how-to series will wrap up! But I’ve decided to make Indie Publishing a category on my blog. I’ll add to it often. In the meantime, check out all my posts in this series…

Your book is published in a variety of places. Now it’s time to write up some effective blurbs to help you sell them. Blurbs are short, catchy summaries and can range between one sentence and two or three paragraphs. After your cover, your blurb is the first place readers will look to check out your book, so make sure it’s snappy and effective. The trick is to capture interest in a short space. In this post, I’ll give you some examples of blurbs and blurb lengths and share some great places to use them.

Usually the site on which you publish your book will give you the opportunity to write a short synopsis that will appear next to your book listing. Take advantage!! The length of your blurb will depend on the amount of space you’re given. Here’s my Smashwords short blurb for my middle grade fantasy, The Quill Pen. In four sentences, it captures the story’s problem, piques interest, and creates a measure of suspense (at least I hope it does!):

If you owned a pen that wrote the future, would you use it? What if consequences spread like ripples in a pond? What if they raged out of control? What if the pen demanded tribute—in blood?

Smashwords also allows room for a longer summary, as does Amazon. You’ll want to be careful, however. It is possible to bore your reader or scare them off with too much text. And you don’t want to reveal too much information, either. The best blurbs give a little away and create interest by hinting at all the reader doesn’t yet know. Here’s an example:

If you found a pen that wrote the future, would you use it? What if consequences spread like ripples in a pond? What if they raged out of control? What if the pen demanded tribute…in blood?

Thirteen-year-old Micah has found such a pen. One that’s ensnared him in a curse dating back generations. One that’s devastated two families and now threatens his whole New England village. But how can Micah destroy the pen when it offers him his only chance at the future he dreams of?

Sometimes an even longer blurb may be in order, like on the back cover of your book, or when someone (like a reviewer or an editor) asks for a one-page synopsis. Since my Quill Pen back cover blurb is quite short (I used the one above), I’ll provide the one from my book The Color of Freedom as an example of a longer one. It gives the reader a very good idea of what will happen in the book but still leaves much unsaid. Notice how the conflict is clearly put forth:

Fourteen-year-old Meadow McKenzie hates the British. Turned off her Irish farm and forced to book passage to America as an indentured servant, Meadow understands why the rebels wish to throw off the yoke of King George’s rule. But is freedom worth the cost?

Then, forced to flee her master, Meadow disguises herself as a boy and takes up with a traveling tinker. While winding toward Boston to reunite with her father, she’s moved by the courage, pride and determination of the American patriots, but their Puritan roots run deep.

Before she can embrace the cause of her new homeland, Meadow must carefully consider a future amongst Puritan hatred for her Catholic beliefs. Would liberty apply to Irish, to Negroes, to Quakers, to Jews, to Catholics? Or would that slogan be cast aside when majority rule served the majority? Perhaps the colonists had simply invented a new kind of tyranny.

But war will not wait for Meadow’s decision.

It’s also wise to have a very concise summary of perhaps one or two sentences. You never know when you might have a quick opportunity to pitch your book. Fellow YA author Lois D. Brown (who wrote Cycles) and I decided to advertise in the back of each other’s books because our themes were so similar. We used very, very short blurbs because we figured our readers’ attention span was at an end. Here are both of them:

Mine: If you owned a pen that wrote the future, would you use it? What if the pen demanded tribute—in blood?

Hers: Thirteen-year-old Renee Beaumont is about to die . . . again.

So you can see that having a variety of blurbs is very beneficial. If you’re given the space, make sure you include them. (And make double sure your spelling and punctuation are correct.) With a little creativity, you’ll probably find many additional uses for them. I use mine each time I query a possible reviewer, and they’ve come in handy when I’ve been featured on author spotlight blogs. So take a little time to write some up.

Indie Endeavors, Part 8: Should I Create a Paperback?

So you’re thinking of self-publishing?  Jump into my how-to series…

Creating a paperback version of your book is a bit more complicated than creating an ebook. However, there is something very gratifying about holding, smelling and flipping through the pages of your very own hard copy. They also look fabulous sitting on the coffee table! But more importantly, perhaps, are the millions of folks who haven’t switched over to digital. If you don’t provide your book as a paperback, you’re missing a huge potential audience.

Not long ago, self-publishing a physical book involved a costly print run and perhaps five hundred or a thousand books in your basement that you were solely responsible for storing, distributing, and selling. Not anymore. If you are a brand new author, print-on-demand (POD) publishing is the only way to go. Here’s how it works: You upload your files digitally to the publishing company’s database where they are stored. (Making changes simply involves uploading a new file, even after publication.) Then, whenever someone purchases your book online, those files are used to print as few as one copy, which is sent to the purchaser. Amazing! And very cost effective, because as an author, you don’t put money in; you simply take out your cut of the profits.

My Experience with Two POD Companies

So where should you print your books? That depends on your needs. My first experience was through Lulu.com, as it was pretty established and the only one I had heard of before. I was extremely happy with the results. Their website was user-friendly, with step-by-step instructions and a great help forum. I could upload my files in doc format, the cover creator was a breeze, and the final product was extremely professional. I highly, highly recommend Lulu if you want only a few copies for yourself or close friends. However, I wanted to make my books available to a wide audience at a reasonable price, and I found that placing my books for sale on Amazon involved some legwork and a lot of fees. To make just seventy cents per copy, I had to price my 165-page novel at a ridiculous fifteen dollars.

Then I discovered CreateSpace, a POD publisher which is owned by Amazon. Suddenly, I could place my novel for ten dollars, make three dollars profit, and not have to give a thought to the logistics of distribution. Perfect! I must say Lulu produced a slightly higher quality book, but I am still quite satisfied with CreateSpace. Ease of production was very comparable. CreateSpace’s cover creator was user-friendly, the help forum super, and they also allow the uploading of Word docs. And as an added bonus, price per book for author copies was substantially lower than Lulu’s.

Formatting Basics

So you want to proceed? Keep in mind that creating a paperback is a different ball game than creating a document for ereaders. Each page is stationary, not free-flowing, so some formatting must be in place to make it look nice. It’s more of a building project, but since PDF is the industry standard, you actually build it in your favorite word processing program and then convert (or upload to your publisher’s converter). I use Word, and many of the sites even offer Word templates, which eliminates much of the following work.

Here are several things to think about when creating a POD paperback:

General formatting. First, you must choose your book’s size based on the options offered at your particular publisher. There are many, many sizes, and these vary by company, but several standards will be found at most of them. Once you choose your size, you must format your Word doc in the same size. You can do this in the “Page Layout” menu. Next, set your margins and gutters, the area where a two-page spread meets in the middle. Your publisher will have suggested guidelines available. And finally, add in any headers or footers you might want on each page, such as page numbers and the book title or chapter titles.

Since I do not usually name my chapters, I do not start new chapters on new pages. But if you would like to, you can make very effective use of page breaks. The section break feature is also very handy if you don’t want your headers or footers included on every page (like the front or end pages). You can break your manuscript into individual sections with their own unique formatting. Both page and section breaks are found in Word’s “Insert” menu.

Front and end pages. Paperbacks have important pages and information at the front of the book (some of which is required by law) that may differ from an ebook, such as a title page, copyright page, dedication, and table of contents. Your publisher will have specific instructions available about what is required and what to include on each page. Likewise, you may wish to include information at the end of your book, such as a bibliography, note from the author or glossary.

Images. When I added maps to one of my novels, I encountered some problems when uploading to CreateSpace. I learned that Word saves images in a low resolution to reduce file size, which would have resulted in a grainy printed image. To fix this, I had to covert my finished manuscript to PDF before saving as a Word doc instead of using the automatic converter. (See below.)

Converting to PDF. Since learning how easy it is to convert a Word doc to PDF, I now prefer to do it myself every time, whether I have images or not. It can be as easy as choosing the PDF file format from the “save as” drop down menu. This method, however, will not protect image resolution, so I choose to download the free PrimoPDF conversion software.

Primo is actually a virtual printer. To convert to PDF from a Word doc and maintain image resolution, DO NOT save the document after inserting your images. (Don’t move or enlarge the pictures, either. Insert them exactly as you want them to appear.) Instead, choose “print” from the “File” menu and then select the Primo printer from the drop down menu. Your document will be saved as a PDF with high quality images.

Producing a paperback can be a bit trickier and more time consuming than creating an ebook, but hard copies have advantages all their own. You just might want to consider diving in.

Read Part 9: Blurbs

Indie Endeavors, part 6 – Publishing ebooks on Kindle

So you’re thinking of self-publishing?  Jump into my how-to series…

Your manuscript is clean, you have a cover image, you know all about ISBNs, it’s finally time for the big post, the one you’ve all been waiting for – I feel a drum roll would be in order here – how to publish on Kindle!

Amazon Kindle sales make up 95 percent of my total sales.  It’s where the people are, where your work will be discovered and picked up.  If you publish nowhere else, publish on Kindle.  The process is extremely easy, as you will soon see.  The writing is the hard part, and by this point, that’s all done!

Kindle requires your document in HTML format, but before you convert, you will need to make sure it looks exactly as you want it to appear on an ereader.  That means no headers, no footers, no page numbering, no page breaks.  An ebook is a free-flowing document, so get rid of all that stuff.  Next, check your font sizes.  Because ereaders usually have medium to small screens, it’s a good idea to keep your fonts between 12 and 16 points.  Next, make sure you have your title, author name, copyright date and cover image credits centered at the beginning of your document, and add any content you want included at the end, like contact info, links and teasers for your next great work.  (Back of the book content could be a post all its own!)

One last step I take before converting is to delete all my formatting and start over with a clean slate.  This is not absolutely necessary, but it’s wise, especially if you’ve created your document in Word, which is notorious for troublesome automatic formatting.  These changes Word makes in your document usually go undetected, but they can lead to skipped spaces, odd spacing, and all sorts of weird issues once your manuscript hits an ereader.  These are hard to track down (I’m speaking here from experience!).  To save lots of headaches later, I always start fresh.  The whole process takes me about half an hour, and it assures me a much higher quality product when I’m done.

Optional:  To delete your formatting, copy your entire document (Ctrl + A) and paste it into a plain text program such as Microsoft Notepad, then re-paste it into a new Word document.  (All my instruction will assume a Word document, because that’s all I’ve ever worked in.)  Then you can go back through and add chapter headings, bolds, centers, italics, and any other necessary tweaks.  

This is also a good time to get rid of tabs and replace them with automatic indentations.  This is not necessary for Kindle, so you may skip it if you’d like, but if you plan to also make your ebook available on Smashwords, you’ll end up having to do it anyway, and this is the best time.  (Lots more about Smashwords next week.)  If you do choose to replace tabs, you’ll want to do it before you tweak your centered text, because the indentation will override it and you’ll have to center again.

Optional:  The easiest way to delete tabs is to use the “replace” tool in the “editing” toolbar.  Type ^t into the “find” line (the carrot symbol is above the 6) and leave the “replace” line blank.  This will delete all your tabs instantly.  Now to indent automatically, highlight your entire document (ctrl+A) and open the “paragraph” toolbar.  Under the “indents and spacing” subheading, look for the “indentations” section and find the drop box below “special.”  Choose “first line.”  You’ll notice a 0.5 appears in the “by” drop box next door.  You can set this for as deep or shallow an indentation as you’d like.  I like to use 0.3.  Every first line of every paragraph is now indented.  

Your manuscript is now ready to convert to HTML.  First, save your manuscript for good measure.  Next, save it again using “save as” and chose HTML (or “Web Page”) from the “Save as type” drop down box (located under the “File name” box).  Voila!  You have an HTML document ready to upload to Kindle.

Now the fun part.  Head over to the Kindle Direct Publishing website, set up an account, and follow the easy-to-follow instruction.  Keep in mind your cover image will need to be ready in JPEG or TIFF format.  And your royalty rate will depend on the price you choose for your ebook.  (This is another topic worthy of a whole separate post, but the facts in short are:  You cannot price below .99.  Any book priced between .99 and 2.98 will only gain you 35% royalties.  Books priced from 2.99 and up will get you a 70% royalty rate.)

You’re ready!  Go for it!  Your new ebook will usually appear on Amazon’s website within twelve hours.  Congratulations, new author!!

Read Part 7: Why Publish on Smashwords?

Indie Endeavors, Part 5 – What the Heck is an ISBN?

So you’re thinking of self-publishing?  Jump into my how-to series…

Next week we can begin diving into some of the publishing sites on the web, but before I do, a short discussion of ISBNs may be in order.  One of the first questions you will be asked before you begin publication is if you want to provide your own ISBN or not.  That begs the question, what the heck is an ISBN, anyway?

An International Standard Book Number is a unique 13-digit number given to every newly-published book and used for identification and cataloguing purposes around the world.  (Books dated before 2007 will have 9- or 10-digit numbers.)  Each country has its own distributor.  In America, that distributor is the Bowker Agency.  Anyone can purchase and register an ISBN through the Bowker website; however, if you purchase only one, it isn’t cheap.  Prices drop considerably when you buy additional numbers.  If you are interested in purchasing your own ISBN and you plan to write more than one book, you may want to consider purchasing ten numbers instead of just one, because it won’t cost much more, and the numbers are good forever.

Most digital publishers, however, purchase ISBNs in bulk and offer them freely to authors who publish through them.  AND they take care of any paperwork.  Is there a catch?  Yes, a small one.  The number issued by a company will point to that company.  In short, that means in within the cataloguing details, it will be easily deduced that you are a self-published author.

Last spring, I didn’t really understand how this all worked, so I undertook the expense and hassle of purchasing a set of three ISBNs.  And to make matters worse, I purchased through a reseller.  I did get a fair price, which included digital bar codes, but I have since come to regret my decision.  First, registering the numbers through this particular reseller was a pain, and my first attempt didn’t even go through.  Second, I found out that most publishers will generate a bar code anyway, so that part of my purchase was unnecessary.  Third, I found out that every edition of a book (hardcover, softcover and every ebook format) requires a separate ISBN, which gets expensive in a hurry!  And finally, I came to realize that the only ones who really look through the numbers are mostly bookstore people and librarians – not my primary market.  Joe Schmo who purchases my book off Amazon couldn’t care less what my ISBN is, let alone who issued it.

So I was out a hundred and forty buck with little to show for it.  I never even used the third number.  Since my early blunder, I happily accept whatever free ISBN is offered.  It’s made absolutely no difference, and it’s MUCH cheaper and easier.  If you want to pursue the placement of your book in libraries and bookstores, you may want to research this further, but it’s pretty tough for an indie to get inside brick-and-mortar.  So my advice would be, go for the freebie.

Part 6: Publishing ebooks on Kindle

Indie Endeavors, Part 4 – Cover Images

So you’re thinking of self-publishing?  Jump into my how-to series…

Before you publish your manuscript, you must design a cover.  Even an ebook has a cover image associated with it.  It’s the first thing your potential readers will see, and you know what they say about first impressions.  Make it count!   Whether or not a person chooses to purchase your book is often directly related to the quality of your cover.

So what makes a great cover image?  It should be professional, appealing and uncluttered.  The title should be clearly readable even when the picture is reduced to the size of a thumbnail.  The author’s name is usually smaller and less important, unless you’re Steven King, but it should still be visible.  And the cover may or may not feature a snappy quote from a review.  Finally, the finished product should be saved in at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) to prevent a grainy image.

Sound like a tall order?  You can hire this done if you’d like.  Word-of-mouth recommendation are easy to come by on sites like Goodreads, Shelfari, or LibraryThing where lots of authors hang out.  There, you can “shop around” for covers you like.  If you find one, simply ask the author who designed it.  Or you can ask for recommendations on a forum like BookBlogs.  Here’s an example of one such comment thread.

But designing your own cover is cheaper, and it’s actually kind of fun.  All you need is image-editing software and images, and both are pretty easy to find.  You can use your own pictures, but if you’re no photographer, there are millions to choose from on the web.  But remember, copyrights pay a large role here.  Don’t just assume everything is freely available for your use.  Many sites on the web stock images you can purchase and use, but if you know where to look, you can find lots of great pictures for free.

Public domain images may be used by anyone in any way they wish.  For the most part, these include pictures taken before 1923, photographs of historical artworks, and government photos.  These can be found on sites run by state libraries, historical commissions, museums, universities and the Library of Congress.  There are even search engines to help you locate what you need.  Try everystockphoto.com.

Creative Commons provides another great way to find free photos.  Under a CC license, the copyright holder maintains only some of their rights.  The most generous terms allow a user free rein, but they must credit the copyright holder.  This is called attribution.  There are several levels of CC terms, however, so make certain you know which one an image is licensed under before using it.  I’ve found most of my CC images on Flickr and Photobucket.  (For a fuller explanation of both public domain and Creative Commons copyrights, visit http://www.pdimages.com/.)

Once you find an image you like, you need software.  Photoshop is the first program that comes to mind, but free downloadable programs do exist.  PaintNet is the one I use.  It’s been fairly easy to figure out, though I admit I’m still a novice.  There are plenty of plug-ins and features I haven’t even tried yet.  I’ve also heard decent things about Gimp, and there were many more options when I googled “photo software”.  Keep in mind that it may take some time and practice (and maybe some on-line tutorials) to learn the ins and outs of your program, so have patience, but once you’ve got the basics down, you can begin to choose fonts, colors and image effects to create exactly the cover image you desire.  Cut out sections of a picture, fade others, shrink them, move them, or even layer multiple images to create a collage.  The possibilities are endless.

In conclusion, a cover image seems like a huge obstacle at first, but it can be solved without too much pain.  Because I didn’t want to invest a great deal of money into self-publishing projects that may or may not pay for themselves, I chose to create my own cover images.  You can see them in the right hand column of my blog. Not the best ever, I freely admit, but I think they make a decent first impression.  And my books are earning a profit, not paying off a debt.  I’ll consider hiring an artist down the road.

Go to Part 5: What the Heck is an ISBN?