Oh my Good Golly - the world of self-publishing is not at all straight forward. Sheesh!
I released Close Your Eyes in late December and have essentially re-published it I don't know how many times now. I've also been flailing about all over the world wide web trying to figure out ways to promote the book.
One way has been through the Readers' Favorite website, where the book now has 5 very positive reviews.
I also, by the way, arranged for a review to be done of my older book Festival - and wow - that review knocked my socks off. I hope that reviewer really did like the book as much as she seemed to have, because that was one heck of a nice review to read.
Before I write any more, here's a photo interlude - this was from a morning bike commute on Thursday May 5:
Okay - here is one reason why I have republished "Close Your Eyes" numerous times - typos!
In deciding to dust this book off and self-publish it - I did NOT have any actual word files to work with. Any that once existed would have been on floppy discs, and I couldn't find the floppy discs anyway, so all I had was the manuscript in print form - from some time in the past when I had printed it out.
So - I could either retype every single word in the manuscript, OR, I could try to use technology!
Here's what I did.
I used a copier/scanner to scan the printed pages into .pdf form.
Then I used Adobe to read this .pdf, and generate a new word version for me.
And it DID! And it was GREAT! And it saved me SO MUCH TIME as opposed to typing the whole thing over again.
BUT - in this conversion process, there were lots of bits of text that Adobe couldn't make sense of, and so it just made best guesses - and that ended up creating boat loads of typos. I swear to God I proof read the manuscript but I missed lots of things - the name "Krysztoff" got changed in a few different ways, and relatively simple words like "turn" somehow got transposed to "tum".
So... I published the book in December with way more mistakes inside it than I'd have ever guessed... and then myself and friends would catch this or that glitch.. and I'd make a list.. fix them in the manuscript.. and reupload to amazon again... and so on and so forth.. and I think I did that at least 3 times.
AND THEN I got even more serious.
Never quite liking the interior look of the book - i used Fiverr and found a book design / book layout person who tidied up my book cover for me (I wanted to keep using my photo for the cover), and to redesign the interior layout... and wow.. finally it looks much better.
Otherwise - winter / spring 2022 has been spent trying to promote this book. Honestly - this side of "writing" is pretty dizzying. And in fact the word "writing" isn't even appropriate anymore, the more appropriate word is "self-publishing"... of which writing is really only half of the work. The rest is the marketing and publicity.
I wish I could point to this, or that, or the other thing, that I have tried thus far, and say that it has worked, but either they haven't worked, or it is too early to tell.
As I type this on May 10, 2022, I have recently done two things which I have some hope for:
a) organized a Goodreads giveaway of copies of the paperback version. Hopefully that will create a little bit of buzz about the book on that site.
b) entered the book in the Publisher's Weekly / Booklife indie publishing contest.
So we'll see. I have dipped my toe into many other waters as well - hopefully some combination of them will get people reading (and reviewing) the book, and create some buzz.
Of the reviews of Close Your Eyes on the Readers' Favorite site... here are some of my favourite lines:
I thought that this work by Chris Tomasini was incredibly interesting and refreshing. It is not a long read and I wish it had not ended so soon. It is told in an unusual style and is certainly creative. I have never read anything similar previously. / Michaela Gordoni.
A surreal romantic odyssey that transports you to medieval-era Europe, to a time of fearsome kings, beautiful princesses, forbidden love, and politically motivated arranged marriages, Close Your Eyes is an exploration of love in a myriad of its forms. Filled with romance, courtroom drama, humor, and heartbreak, Chris Tomasini's ode to love is an enthralling read from start to finish. / Pikasho Deka.
Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale by Chris Tomasini is not at all what you expect it to be. From start to finish this book surprised me with how captivating it was. I found myself enjoying this book so much, especially in the way it is written. This book unfolds as a fairy tale told by Samuel and that seems to give it a certain charm. Although Samuel is only taught to read and write later in his life, his ability to share the tales of his friend gave an even more charming aspect to this story as a whole. The book is well written and the characters are interesting and so easy to empathize with that you become enchanted as you go through the various tales of each character. You truly wish to know more and see more of their lives and what they’ve been through. This book was really beautifully done and I would highly recommend it. / Miche Arendse
So... "never read anything similar previously", and "a surreal romantic odyssey", and "not at all what you expect it to be"... love it! The 30(ish) year old me slaving away in basement apartments in Toronto, writing this book, would have been thrilled to know that people would one day like what he was writing. :)
And... one more photo as that seems to be my thing... from the same morning as the swan photo above:
I'm Chris Tomasini.