Welcome to BACKPACKED Week! (And Oooh, Look at That Fancy Video!)

Welcome to BACKPACKED Week, which, rest assured, is not a week of posts about MY NEW BOOK THAT’S OUT NOW, but a week of self-publishing posts about stuff I learned while self-publishing MY NEW BOOK THAT’S OUT NOW. So what I’m saying is if you don’t want to buy or hear anymore about MY NEW BOOK THAT’S OUT NOW, you don’t have to take a week’s holiday away from my blog. I, like, pinky swear.

We’re all exclamation marks and over-zealous capitalization here this morning because my new book, Backpacked: A Reluctant Trip Across Central America, is out now! Yay! Squeals! Formatting headaches! Please peruse this snazzy – and somewhat unusual – book trailer I made earlier:

If you can’t see a video, click here to watch it on YouTube.

What did you think? I have to say I’m pretty smug about that trailer, even if it did take hours and hours and a twelve-pound bag of coffee grounds to make. I even bought the music and everything. (I know, right? Get me, all obeying the law.) Tomorrow I’ll be telling you how I made it, where I got the idea to make it and where you can legally get super cheap music to put to your own, and that’s just one of many information-packed posts I’ll have on here this week. The schedule looks a little something like this:


Um… you’re reading it already.

LATER TODAY: The Even Easier Way to Format Your E-book

I had an e-book formatting epiphany last week, and it came just in time as I was about to hurl my Macbook out the nearest window in frustration. This approach to formatting sounds drastic but is actually easier, simpler and works so well that I went and re-formatted Mousetrapped the same way and have started re-formatting Self-Printed, just so all my books could look as good. And I’m even putting images in Self-Printed. Yes – images. That‘s how well this method works.

TOMORROW: How I Made My Snazzy Book Trailer

I think book trailers are great fun and can definitely help spread the word about your book, but they don’t need to be what you think they need to be. There’s only one rule for making them, and that’s think outside the box. In this post I’ll be telling you more about the wonder that is Jing, explaining how I purchased music so that I don’t go to jail – and telling you how much it cost me – and how I put the video above together.

backpacked catherine ryan howard

Because this post hasn’t had a cover image yet.

WEDNESDAYMaking a Real Book

There are oodles of information online about how to get your e-book into tip-top shape, but what about the interior of your CreateSpace or Lulu paperback? It is so much easier to make your physical book look amazing, yet it’s here where most self-publishers fall down. In this post I’ll be showing you what needs to go in and how you can make it look good, as well as showing off the insides of the Backpacked and (the newly-reformatted so that it matches) Mousetrapped.

THURSDAY: How Much Work is Self-Publishing? 

Many people think that publishing an e-book and/or a POD paperback isn’t that big of an operation, and that’s partly the fault of people like me who say things like, “Uploading to CreateSpace takes about half an hour.” It does, but that’s only a drop in the ocean of what a professional self-publishing operation entails. To show you exactly what’s involved, this time around I kept a list of all the things I had to do just to get to this point. Today I’ll post it, and its length may surprise you…

FRIDAY: 10 Things Self-Publishers Shouldn’t Worry About (But They Do)

When I’m self-publishing, I’m asked a lot of questions. Most of these are things that I would’ve loved to have someone tell me about it when I was starting out, and I’m happy to answer them. But some of them are about things that are so far down the list of things that you, as a self-publisher or promoter of books, should be worried about – or even thinking about – that they’re actually on another list, headed Are You [BLEEP] Kidding Me With This? Today I’ll reveal what they are.

And I think that’s enough to be getting on with, don’t you?

So back to business. Backpacked is out now, priced $2.99 in e-book and $14.95 in paperback. You can purchase it:

If you’re not sure whether or not you want to read it, you can download the first three chapters free here and check. If you don’t know anything about Backpacked at all, you can find out more about the book hereIf you pre-ordered a signed paperback copy of Backpacked, rest assured you will be receiving your book shortly. Obviously they have to get to me first so I can sign them, and then I’ll send them to you. You’ll receive an e-mail confirmation once your order has shipped.

Me, on the island of Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua, writing (notes in the travel journal that would one day help me write) Backpacked. See more photos from the trip in the slideshow on the homepage of Backpackedbook.com

If you buy it, I’ll be your best friend forever if you can do even one of these things too:

  • Get around to reading it
  • Review it – on Amazon, on Goodreads, on Library Thing, or even just in crayon on a Post-It that you stick on your fridge
  • Tweet that you’re reading it
  • Recommend it to a friend (if you like it, that is!)
  • Get the book’s cover tattooed on your face (extra brownie points for that!).

If you don’t buy it, that’s okay. I’ll still be your friend, and although I may harbor some lingering animosity towards you, I promise to hide it well. You can still help spread the word about the existence of me and this book by:

  • Sharing links to this week’s blog posts
  • Re-tweeting links to this week’s blog posts
  • Spreading the book trailer around like a (nice!) virus
  • Getting the book’s cover tattooed on your face.

So that’s it for now, folks. If you do happen to tweet about Backpacked at some stage this week, please use the hash-tag #backpackedbook. That way I can keep tabs on you all… [Evil glint in eye.]

Find out more about Backpacked here.

(Phew. Coffee time!)

7 thoughts on “Welcome to BACKPACKED Week! (And Oooh, Look at That Fancy Video!)

  1. Leah Michelle (@LeeahMichelle) says:

    That book trailer is awesome. And I don’t even like book trailers. (Seriously. I hate them most of the time.) But yours is awesome. If more book trailers were that fun and that well made I’d probably like them. Kudos!

    Hope Backpacked does awesomely. My review’s going up tomorrow at my personal blog (for personal blog read: book reviews and football talk). I’d Tweet you my review but you don’t follow me (boy, was that a hint if ever there was one), so I shall come read and comment on tomorrow’s post. I know, I’m so selfless.

    PS: The amount of work you put in to help people self-publish is beyond awesome. Just thought I’d tell you, so you feel appreciate. I read every post, even if I’m never, ever going to publish a book, properly or otherwise!

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      Thanks so much Leah! I’ve just finished writing tomorrow’s post and I basically say that book trailers need to do more than just advertise the book – they need to have some added value so people are watching them for a separate reason, like funny book trailers – people watch them not necessarily because they’re interested in the book, but because they’re good for a laugh.

      I hope Backpacked does awesomely too! And I will immediately rectify that following issue… ;-D

      I don’t really think of this as work because I enjoy it so much but on the days when I’m like, ugh, I can’t be arsed, I remind myself that without this blog, I wouldn’t have a career. That gets me posting!

  2. Peter Jones says:

    Now THAT was wonderful. Never seen a book trailed before and now I doubt I will see one that has quite the same impact.
    You have certainly got my brain ticking…..

    Definitely worth a tweet so that more people get to see it – off to do that now.

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