So, you’re a writer and you want to find the ultimate platform to get your titles front and center for the public to see.
Let’s start from the beginning… Turning back the hands of time… When my journey began and I was a little boy attending Spring Shadows Elementary School in Houston, Texas in the late 1960s…
There, my teachers and educators noticed that I had a strong talent for writing poetry and stories. I excelled in Spelling and I had a vivid imagination.
In 1977, the Spring Branch Independent School District awarded me my first writing award: Outstanding Journalism.
I was attending Northbrook Junior High and I wrote movie reviews for the school paper.
I had a blast writing those reviews!
In 1980, and in Northbrook High School, my teachers urged me and my parents to consider ‘Majoring’ in Writing and being an Author. They believed that’s where my talent was.
All along, I resisted, fought, and insisted that I wanted to move to Hollywood and be an actor… Looking back, such an unwise decision with no Plan A or B. Some might even call it simple stupidity.
To appease my parents, I chose Cosmetology. But, that’s a different book & chapter, all to itself.
My regret today is I’m sorry I didn’t listen to my teachers, educators & parents. They were right: My strength was in my writing. I know that now, and, I should have followed through with it.
On the flip side of the coin, I also see that all the events in my life have inspired all of my writing: Then, now and tomorrow.
That’s important for me to own and understand as an Author/Writer.
In fact, every Author/Writer should Own & Understand that simple fact. Take every experience, good or bad, absorb it, and expand on it.
Once you, as the Author/Writer, have finished/perfected/edited your poem, story, essay, play, screenplay, you are now ready to present it to the WORLD!
Sounds horrifying, doesn’t it!
On the contrary, it’s just the opposite. It feels great, empowering and encouraging.
Before presenting your masterpiece to the WORLD, there’s two mandatory responsibilities every Author/Writer must do: PROTECT IT!
No matter what, always Copyright and Register your work with the Library of Congress and the Writers’ Guild of America-West. Both have minimal fees to do so, and it is your duty to invest in your work and make sure you follow through and protect your ‘intellectual property.’ I cannot stress how important it is to COPYRIGHT & REGISTER!!!!!!!
As a Writer/Author, you will gain a track record with your publishings, awards & achievements. Notice, I am already making you a star with your written word.
Amazon. It can be your best and worst friend. I happen to be a proud Author/Writer on Amazon. For me, it’s become a good friend.
Its platforms are designed to get the Artist’s work out on the world stage as cheaply as possible.
Remember, Amazon is also a business. It is designed to make Amazon money. As long as you understand that, you’ll be in good shape. I’ve known several authors who become angry and give up because their book doesn’t set the Universe on fire!
NEWSFLASH! Not everyone can be Stephen King or J.K. Rowling.
The rest of us, however, must do the best we can to get sales, get noticed & create ways to get our names out there.
Is there a rule book or formula for doing this? NO.
As an Author/Writer, you’re pretty much on your own in that area.
Once you’ve been proactive and put your work on the Amazon platforms, congratulate yourself! You’re making strides and you should be proud. This includes making sure you have Cover Art for all of your titles. Outside of Copyrighting/Registering, having art work is paramount to the success of your title. NO MATTER WHAT.
Like an album cover for a singer: It’s important!
For me personally, I have been using graphic designer Jorge Velasquez for the last 25 years for my cover needs. I’m never disappointed, and his rates never leave me in a panic.
Jorge is a former resident of North Hollywood, now living in Salt Lake City. He still maintains his L.A. clients.
Now, that you have your cover art and title complete, and finished to your liking, it’s time to take your work a step further; Submitting it to the extraordinary world of YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY.
In 2019, while researching my story, Drag Queen Storytelling Hour, my research took me to the West Hollywood Public Library web site, which accidentally took me to Biblioboard.com.
Understand, I have always wanted to find a way to introduce my titles to the library, but, as fate would have it, I was always rejected. So, when I came across Biblioboard.com, I was very apprehensive and suspicious as first. Biblioboard.com is the Center, the heartbeat, for Libraries to go to to have instant access to local Authors & Writers, and connect them to the public. It’s a win-win for community, authors, writers, libraries and the state!
What did I do? I followed the prompts, filled out the application for each of my books and poems, attached the cover art and pressed submit. All along, assuming I would be rejected by a kind Dear John email within 4-6 weeks.
After my submissions, I did as I always do: I Forgot about it.
It would take a full 5 weeks till I received my first email informing me that the Online Indie California Library, also known as Biblioboard.com, had APPROVED all of my titles & applications! I confess I was happy & proud! I was officially in the State of California’s libraries system.
I urge all of my fellow writers to not only market your words in print (Kindle, NOOK, etc.), but also audio. Audiobooks sell and the Amazon arm for audio, known as ACX, makes it simple and user friendly. Trust me, if I can figure it out, anyone can.
I also urge you to make sure you have art work for each of your titles. Even if it’s a one-page poem, HAVE A VISUAL.
These five book covers are my favorites and created by Jorge Velasquez.
Do your research thoroughly before making decisions. These helpful web sites should start you off in a good direction and establish a track record for your work that even you’ll be proud of. I wish you only Good Luck & Success!
Graphic Artist & Cover Designer: