The Witches of Armour Hill - A Self Publishing Adventure
The Witches of Armour Hill - A Self Publishing Adventure
A story of magic and deceit, of the dark, twisted ties that bind families together; produced independently as an ebook and paperback.
A story of magic and deceit, of the dark, twisted ties that bind families together; produced independently as an ebook and paperback. Read more
About this project
“Margaret May Reis knows how strange she is; people have been telling her for years. At sixteen years old, though, Maggie begins to realize that strangeness is only half the story. Maggie isn’t just strange – she’s a witch.”
Hey everyone! My name is Alyssa Cooper, and I’m a writer. I’m here because I need your help to bring my next novel, Switch, to life.
Switch is the first instalment in a series of books called The Witches of Armour Hill. The story is based on a local legend from Peterborough, the most haunted city in Ontario. I visited the city for the first time just a few years ago, but I instantly fell in love with the history.
People believe that, in 1840, a woman was tried for witchcraft in Peterborough. When she was found guilty, the people dragged her to the top of Armour Hill. They burned her alive.
Switch is actually the story of the witches who came after - all of the witch’s descendants, maintaining their magic culture in a modern world. The story is already there - what I need now is your help to bring the book to life.
My name is Alyssa Cooper, and I’ve been a writer my entire life. I’ve had short stories and poetry published in magazine, journals, and anthologies since 2008, and my first novel was published in 2012.
Since then, I’ve seen two novels published by Melange Books and a poetry collection published by Hidden Brook Press. Although these three publications were all exciting experiences for me, I found myself dissatisfied with the sales of the books, the lack of advertising, as well as with the lack of control I’d had over the process in general. As a result, I turned to self publishing, taking my career back into my own hands.
Using Amazon’s KDP and CreateSpace programs, I have self published three short stories and a book-length short story collection since 2014. Although these books were produced with no design or marketing budget, they have garnered a much greater response than my professionally published library, allowing me to begin building my fan base. These publications were extremely liberating, and they taught me a lot about the process I plan to use to publish Switch.
A good book requires four things to be successful: professional editing services, a stylish book design, strong advertising both pre- and post-production, and reliable distribution channels.
Editing Services: $2000
Quality editing is hugely important to creating a great book. Switch is a long novel, with a manuscript currently standing at 110 000 words. Quotes I’ve received for a full edit on this project, from start to finish, range from $1500 to $2000. This is the biggest expense to publishing Switch, but it’s also the most important.
The design aspect of Switch will include three things; a great cover, proper ebook formatting, and an attractive paperback design. Luckily, as a trained graphic designer, I can handle a lot of this work myself, keeping my expenses low. The cost involved will be for the purchase of stock photographs graphics and typefaces, and ebook conversion services to ensure the ebook files are flawless. These conversion services average $200-$300.
Print Copies: $500
An important part of my distribution plan for this project includes personal distribution. I run an e-store at www.alyssacooper.ca, where I can distribute world wide, and I also plan to canvas local bookstores in the Kingston and Belleville area. This portion of the budget will allow me to purchase a large amount of books upfront, so that I can stock local stores, distribute through my e-store, and provide copies to reviewers, libraries, and contest give-aways to promote the release.
Another extremely important part of any publishing project is advertising. I have spent my year of self-publishing researching and experimenting with cost effective advertising that has boosted my sales. The only thing that has held me back on previous projects has been a lack of an advertising budget - this portion of the budget will allow me to market the release of Switch effectively, making sure that it receives the attention it deserves.
Publishing a book is a journey, and it’s not always an easy one. There are trials all along the way, and when you’re independent, it always feels like you’re facing them alone. But as scary as that can be, it’s the best part of self-publishing too; along with all that pressure comes the satisfaction of knowing that you produced the very best book that you could, and you did it on your own. Or, as the case may be, with the help of very generous strangers.
Switch is just waiting to become a success story, and I hope you decide to become a part of it.
Risks and challenges
Booking A Professional Editor
One of the challenges to this project is finding a professional editor that is geared to this kind of project, and that will be willing to work on my schedule. I would like to see Switch published this summer, and so I aim to have the editing portion complete by the end of June.
Today, the Internet is flooded with amateur editors claiming to be professionals, and those who are professionals are often booked well in advance. I've already begun my research of potential editors, so that the list is ready for inquiries once this campaign is complete. I plan to obtain references from authors the editors have worked with in the past, to ensure I will receive a quality service.
Choosing An Appropriate Cover
One of the dangers of working as my own cover designer is that the cover contains no outside perspective. This can often result in a design that may be visually appealing, but does not necessarily represent the story to a potential reader.
To combat this issue, I have included a group of beta readers in the original conceptualization of five covers. I plan to complete five designs, based on their suggestions, upon completion of this campaign. Once the designs are complete, I will allow fans and readers to vote on which cover will be published. This will ensure that the final cover appeals to my target audience, and not just to me.
Print distribution is often the most challenging aspect of any self-publishing project. By using Amazon’s KDP program along with Smashwords Expanded Distribution program, I ensure that my ebook will be available in all of the big name e-book markets. But print is harder. Many book chains do not allow self-published titles on the shelf, and in today’s world, there are fewer and fewer independent book stores.
By publishing the print edition of Switch using the Create Space program, rather than printing the paperbacks independently, I can enroll in distribution to a variety of bookstores and online retailers, libraries and schools, as well as the Create Space Direct store. This will open Switch up to a new market of readers, and also allows me to order paperbacks on demand for distribution to local book stores.
www.kickingitforward.org - Once The Witches of Armour Hill project is complete, I plan to participate in the Kicking It Forward program by investing a portion of my profits into other Kickstarter campaigns.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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