Are you a busy Canadian author looking to save a few dollars? Read on…
Recently, I came across a post about additional sources of income for Canadian Authors.*** It occurred to me that, with the loonie at a thirteen year low, Canadian authors might be not only seeking more revenue but also searching for ways to keep that revenue in their pockets. Here’s one possibility:
My husband, who teaches business strategies at BCIT, informed me that Canada Post has a Solutions for Small Business Program. Upon consulting the Google gods, I discovered that this program was free to join. Without knowing exactly how it could benefit me, I signed up and printed out my paper membership ID card.
The next day I set off for the post office to mail books (ten picture books and five novels) to winners of my two Goodreads Giveaways. I pulled my paper Solutions for Small Business ID from my wallet and asked if it would be of benefit. Much to my delight, the clerk nodded and smiled.
How did the membership help? On the picture books, it did not help at all: they fit snugly into 8 X 10 manila envelopes and slid easily through the two centimetre wide mail slot. However, my ‘fat’ novels did not fit through that mail slot and had to be shipped as parcels. On those, I saved between two and three dollars… per book!
As promised, Canada Post delivered my ‘real’ card a few weeks later. I was surprised to discover that they sent me not just one copy, but five. I assume the reason behind that is that most small businesses have a few employees. (I’m sure I will use all five cards once I rocket to the top of Amazon lists and hire myself some staff. 🙂 )
I don’t know what other gems the Solutions for Small Business Program has in store for me, but it will be fun learning. Right now, I know that this program saves money on the cost of shipping.
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Finished your manuscript? Turned it over to your spectacularly brilliant copy-editor/designer wizard? Breathing a sigh of relief, are you? Well, suck that breath back in! It’s time to get your pre-publication kit together!
Hopefully, you’ve been filing info as you go: organization makes the final stages easier. Right now, I am in the middle of gathering pre-production information for my novel, OF SEA AND SEED, The Kerrigan Chronicles # 1. While I’m at it, I’m sharing it because most of what I need, you will too.
Here is my list:
Acknowledgements.It takes a village. Remember to thank every member.
Author Bio. Keep the bio short.
Author Headshot. Make it professional.
Bibliography. This is a maybe, necessary for me, as my literary suspense series is set in historical Newfoundland.
Book Endorsements. You need a blurb or two or three for the cover of your book. So write a few authors and make a request. Ask and ye shall receive, or not. But ask anyway.(One of my favorite quotes comes from Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”)
Call to Action. In the back of your book, include some or all of the following: a link to your homepage and social media, a bonus offer if they sign to your mailing list, a chapter of your next book, a letter asking for review.
Cover Image. Use a stock image or hire an artist. (The image for my above cover mock-up comes from Shutterstock.) In your book, credit source of image.
Dedication. (for Mom? Dad? Dog? Place?)
Disclaimer. “A statement that is meant to prevent an incorrect understanding of something (such as a book, a movie, or an advertisement”~ Miriam-Webster Dictionary (This is standard in all fiction. For examples, just check the front pages of any novel.)
Epigraph. Short quote for front, if you plan to use one. Caution here: think Public Domain.
Flap Copy. Brief synopsis for back cover, one that will draw reader in.
Key Words for SEO. Brainstorm. Check genre.
List of other Publications. All other books written by you.
Map ? (Maybe you need a map inside the cover? I plan to use a map of Newfoundland as a frame of reference for readers.)
Pricing Strategy. Check others in your genre.
Questions for Reading Clubs. Compile a list and put it in the back.
Am I forgetting anything? Please share any info you have!!
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Are you looking for ways to get your short stories and poems published?
I recently received an email from a writer who was seeking ways to do that. What follows is what I offered her, what I thought could be shared here as well.
I have used two avenues for publication of short stories: Story Contests and Literary Journals.
I use story contests to hone my craft; therefore, I’ve researched them and have entered many, including 24-hour story contests. This has resulted in having many stories published, both online and in journals in Canada and the United States.
The most comprehensive resource for contests in Canada is the Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar. This calendar is published in the fall of each year, usually by November. All contests are listed by deadline. Everything you need to know—submission guidelines, eligibility, word count limits, etc. — are given for each contest and, yes, poetry contests are included.
The best site I’ve found for information on contests and journals in the U.S. is Poets & Writers, “the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers.” On the right hand side of the landing page, under Tools for Writers, you will find an impressive list of databases for literary magazines, contests, agents, etc.
I know how much time and energy go into the pursuit of publication. I hope the above is helpful to you.
Do you have any suggestions to share? Please send them along.
Annie Daylon reading short story “Buryin’ Day” at launch of Freefall Literary Magazine (Vol XIX, Number 1) in Calgary. (First contest entry, second place!)
Good luck on your journey.
Please subscribe to my Author Newsletter by placing your first name and your email address in the space provided on the upper right.