IntrovertPRESS Author Spotlight: Rob Cooke

Rob Cooke’s Author Spotlight on IntrovertPRESS

Moonshiner’s Legacy     Sara’s Swamp Blues

Coming soon: The Lost Song of Miriam Landry

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Rob Cooke wrote early scenes of Moonshiner’s Legacy while undergoing treatment for cancer. He took his kids to the library, checked every book about the era in his novels and built the story one page at a time. The whole family was involved. From those research adventures with his kids, his series began. Moonshiner’s Legacy starts with Bo Barnum and his pursuits of handling the family moonshine business. Sara, his daughter, and granddaughter to a Creole Indian, is the focus of Sarah’s Swamp Blues.

Rob’s stories unfold with dynamic roots growing into the deep Southern culture of 1920’s Arkansas and Louisiana. Receiving 5-star reviews, Sara’s Swamp Blues continues the legacy into the violence and tumult of the 1950’s. Rob himself is from Nebraska and has a passion for Depression Era themes, especially the music of that time period. He is also a budding guitar, banjo and harmonica player.

Connect with Rob here. Please re-post and re-tweet to support Rob!

Thanks for visiting the IntrovertPRESS site. We are pleased to spotlight our authors and their literary ventures. If you would like to see the authors supported by IntrovertPRESS click here.

To ISBN or Not ISBN.

Self publishing? Need an ISBN? CreateSpace will give you an ISBN for FREE! Woo hoo!

But wait, if CreateSpace or other POD’s give me an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) – what’s the drawback? ISBN’s assigned to you by CreateSpace are “CreateSpace Assigned ISBN’s”. In other words it’s a place holder used only within Amazon marketing matrix.

But there are some options if you use CreateSpace:

  1. The option above, CreateSpace Assigned ISBN
  2. Custom Universal ISBN (for $99)
  3. Or you can provide your own ISBN purchased from an ISBN broker

Holy Crap…$99! That’s expensive…isn’t it? Actually for a universal ISBN, no – it isn’t. Arguably, the top ISBN broker is a company named Bowker. They sell a single ISBN for $125. The feature that most people use at Bowker is their group purchase option. They sell ten ISBN;s for $295, 100 ISBN’s for $575 or 1000 ISBN’s for $1500.

Why spend the money?

Here’s why.

  1. With a CreateSpace (or other POD) you are not the publisher, they are. Your book may immediately be disregarded by bookstores and potential reviewers as a vanity press project. I know when I was shopping my novel around to book stores they wouldn’t consider it if it had a CreateSpace ISBN.
  2. If you own the ISBN, you can move your book to a different printer if needed. Let’s say sales start taking off and you want to have copies on hand for book signings, you will have to pay CreateSpace the retail value for books. You cannot move it to a private printer for a run of prints to stock your book fair, book signings or public events. You will need to pay Amazon for your book!
  3. Lastly, buying your own ISBN’s means your book is listed with many retailers, libraries, Bowker Books In Print, Bookwire, as well as online services like Google Books, Apple’s iBooks, Chegg and the New York Times. Having your own ISBN gets your book OUT THERE!

So with my first novel coming out next month, I’m going to purchase ten ISBN’s. If anyone associated with IntrovertPRESS wants their own ISBN I’m happy to share. I would even be open to pooling resources or using crowd-sourcing to raise fund for ISBN’s. If you use your own ISBN, you can use IntrovertPRESS as your “publisher” so it looks like you are a traditionally published book.

We’re an author-netowrking site…let’s network!

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Even Carrie Had a Prom Date

The origin of IntrovertPRESS is a selfish one. Upon completing my novel and not having a traditional publishing contract I was faced with the Indie Author conundrum:

  1. I wrote a book
  2. I now want to sell the book
  3. Commence bashing head into desk

It’s a bit like getting yourself all gussied up on a Saturday night and then hoping a date will materialize at your door.  It is infuriating, even Carrie had a prom date.

So I created IntrovertPRESS to accomplish a few things:

  1. Make me feel like I’m actually DOING something to market my book
  2. Give my book a traditional publisher feel
  3. Create a network to put my book in front of buyers
  4. Garner a peer review of my novel until I land a qualified industry review
  5. See #1

In addition, I’m going to purchase my own ISBN so I can put my book on local bookstore shelves. The local paper has agreed to do a book review of my novel, so — assuming it is positive — my book will have a local push. If anyone else is interested in purchasing ISBN’s for their work, the costs are far more reasonable when you purchase in bulk:

  • $125 – 1 ISBN
  • $250 – 10 ISBNs – if IntrovertPRESS buys 10, super cheap to IP members
  • $575 – 100 ISBNs – super cheaper here!
  • $1000 – 1000 ISBNs – super cheapest…ISBN’s all around bartender!

Apparently buying ISBN’s is like buying mayonnaise, the 5 gallon vat of condiment is cheaper in bulk — and so it goes for literary birthmarks.

Respond if you are interested in joining our band of merry authors.

Amazon Preview Feature

Self publishing has many steps. I’m currently preparing for a book launch in May. I’m working on my Amazon Preview with Create Space (the facilitator of book prep for Amazon). This feature allows you to preview your book on their website. They provide options for the intended audience of your preview. Essentially you can create a Private Preview available only to people you select; or there are two types of Public Previews to target audiences or to the whole of the Amazon readership.

I chose the latter.

If you want to see what the Preview feature looks like, I shamelessly give you the link for my PREVIEW of SHELTERED, the story of Joe a homeless man with mental illness as he finds his way back to security. It is due out in May

Disclaimer: there is some tough language.

 

The Gods Speak

I’m a writer. It’s a life like no other. I sit at a table with a laptop and in the doing create worlds and creatures, give birth to nations, and dwell upon the profound. When my pen slows down I consider the giants of my craft for advice…

“I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.” – Oscar Wilde

Dear Oscar, indeed you are right, and everyday I work toward that goal. I wonder if you ever felt as though you were utterly acquainted to your own self.

“Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.” – Dorothy Parker

Never my dear, for you are my muse!

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I’m a conspiracy analyst. – Gore Vidal

Mr. Vidal…you would squeal in delight for the morass that is American politics.

“Courage is grace under pressure.” – Ernest Hemingway

Indeed it is and I try to clutch such grace, though I fear I lose grip from time to time.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” – Maya Angelou

Maya, oh Maya, had I had this wisdom in my youth I would have been much safer, but would lack the stories I am compelled to tell.

Imagine yourself now,

among the Herculean writers of our day,

what is it that you to say ?

 

I’ll Show You Mine…

 

My novel, Sheltered, is coming out next month. In preparation for the release I have done some thinking on how to market my title so I can create revenue from my work. Since we are a network of authors supporting authors I thought I’d share an outline I’m creating about how to market my book. My book is about a homeless man in Columbus OH battling mental illness. The story begins inside a homeless shelter and follows my MC as he finds stability in his life. My marketing thoughts are such:

1. Who is my target audience?

  • 20 years old and up
  • Literary fiction readers
    • Mental Health & Homelessness Groups
    • Community Organizers & Co-housing Advocates
    • LGBT Groups (my MC is gay)
    • Chess Enthusiasts (there is a neighborhood chess tournament in the book)

2. What are my marketing goals

  • Research specific national groups from target audiences (above) & send copies for review
    • NAMI
    • Mental Health America (all local counties)
    • The Advocate
    • National Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Create revenue from writing through Amazon and KDP ad/keyword targets
  • Create audience for future sales
    • Local book fairs
    • Book signing/Release event
  • Create traffic to my social media outlets

3. Marketing Tools

  • Letters
    • Regional/national contacts where subject matter is related to organization
    • Local letter of introduction highlighting local landmarks and locations
    • Individual letter/email/link to online book sharing and promo groups
  • Promotional Package
    • Copy of book
    • Introductory letter with bio, upcoming work and contact into
      • include excerpts from positive reviews
      • Include accolades from industry people
    • Business card with links to sales sites for book and contact into
  • Book Fair Tour
    • Contact independent bookstore
      • Arrange for them to carry your book
      • Arrange for book signing event
  • Sit in front of computer and tweet.post/tweet about book wherever it is ok to post

4. What about the future?

  • Create my BRAND: edgy, literary fiction
  • Produce novels fitting my brand in diverse areas to bring more readers in
    • Re-write letters for new novel
    • Add/Subtract organizations based on their being pertinent to subject matter
  • Sustain my life through writing
  • Foster other writers to create a small publishing press

So this is a basic concept for marketing. What are you doing to market you title?