Promote or Perish

meThe motto at universities used to be “publish or perish”, meaning that it was not enough to just teach classes or do research. The results of the research must be published to attract attention and prestige.

For an aspiring writer, however, it is not enough to publish. Having one or more books available for sale is kind of useless if no one knows about them. Once you have published, it’s Promote or perish. Today’s writer, especially self-published writers, have to become promoters and marketers of their books.

So I have been learning about book promotion. Excerpts of AES are now being sent out by BookDaily.com and now I am an “authorpreneur” on Bublish.com to see if it will help.

Bublish allows authors to send out “book bubbles” that give a link back to a book excerpt and the author’s comments on it.  here is an example of one of my book bubble tweets:

“Easier to read now. http://t.co/0jmtPbiyci via @BublishMe”

I began this process yesterday but quickly ran into a problem: my excerpts were formatting badly, putting a blank line after every sentence.  Arrgh! I went to bed last night vowing to find out what was causing it and fix them.

It turns out the problem was due to file formats. I’m using a program called Calibre to convert my book files because Bublish only allows me to upload .epub versions to use for the excerpts in my book bubbles. I do my writing in the free Openoffice.org word processor and save them as .doc files. However, Calibre won’t use .doc files as inputs for conversion. So yesterday I was exporting my books as .PDF files and using Calibre to convert the PDFs to .EPUB format.

I should have read their online documentation first. Calibre is not good at converting PDFs…and that was what was causing my horrible bubble text formatting. Today I broke down and read Calibre’s online help and discovered that it would be better to use OpenOffice’s .ODT format for colnversions.

So today I went back to Bublish.com and fixed it. It was painful deleting my previously-uploaded EPUBs because the Bublish dashboard showed I had racked up 165 views of my excerpts.  Iut there was nothing for it. I had to fix the formatting, so I deleted the old uploads, saved new .ODT versions of my books, converted them, and uploaded the new EPUBs to Bublish.

Then I had to make new book bubbles. And voila!  The text formatting is fixed now.

Easier to read now. http://t.co/0jmtPbiyci via @BublishMe

Much better formatting. ‪#‎scifi‬ ‪#‎BookBubble‬ http://t.co/YWto0LqpUj via @BublishMe

Improved preview of book 3 ‪#‎scifi‬ ‪#‎BookBubble‬ http://t.co/NpJKsPZyUn via @BublishMe

Start of a new series. ‪#‎scifi‬ ‪#‎BookBubble‬ http://t.co/9LgEaHeSGa via @BublishMe

And soon…maybe I can even get back to writing my next book….

— MRK

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