Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marketing, Headshots, and Edits, Oh my!

(Apologies to F. Baum)

Manuscript Changes
I have followed up on each of the major suggestions I got from the editor (with the exception of Line Editing stuff that I'll pay them to do at the end) and I'm theoretically ready to resubmit.

That said, in reading over some of the text (and making some of the changes) I realized that there might be some room to plus up a couple parts of the book, so I'm torn between expanding some of the work and just submitting it so I can move on to the next part. I figure this must be a common temptation for authors, and if I knew any, I'd ask what they do. Sans the advice, I'm going to wait a day or two and see how I feel.

Outskirts Publishing Contact
I had a really nice conversation with Elise from Outskirts about some marketing stuff they do. It looks like editing and marketing are the major differentiators between self-publishing companies. Keep that in mind if you're shopping around. Happily most if not all of these services can be purchased ala-carte from the larger (Tier-2) outfits like Outskirts and iUniverse, which is really good for novices like me who don't have a clue what they need.

My photos are finished
I got some digital photos taken by a studio photographer last week, and I got them today. In the absence of a professional photographer, careful lighting, and software-assisted imaging, I'm pretty much the opposite of photogenic. Proof of this abounds. ACTUAL conversation:
"This is one of my favorite pictures of Roscoe." [a dog I was petting] They look farther up and see me. "Eew, sorry Jeff".
The "Eew, sorry Jeff" phenomenon has been the suffix to an amazingly large number of comments regarding photos of my family. I'm used to it by now. I was pleased that the photographer had taken the time to take a lot of photos and select the better ones from among them. I picked this one as a headshot and popped it up on my website.

I was also careful to get a "copyright release" signed by the photographer, which assures the publishing company that they can use the photos on the book and in their marketing materials. Apparently many photographers retain the rights to their work, and only sell "copies" to their customers. That seems a little odd to me, but apparently that's how it's done a lot of the time. Publishers want a clear path around this potential pitfall, so they request a release in writing.

Sadly, even though I've been scrupulous about shredding reader/editing copies of my book, this endeavor is now getting complex enough to have a paperwork trail. I'll probably need to get a folder or a box in which to keep stuff like the copyright release. <Sigh>

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