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  • Writer's pictureAlyse Gray

Plague Month 5: Compendium Pandemica: A Guide to Horrible Infectious Diseases

IT'S HERE!!!! The book baby is now available on Amazon! Here's a synopsis:

"In this fascinating collection of dark medical history, curious cures, and modern medical interventions, pathologists' assistant A.D. Gray examines infectious diseases in a quirky, yet oddly compelling manner. The excessively graphic, borderline ridiculous portraits of over 40 microscopic monsters will simultaneously educate and entertain in a way that neutralizes some of the terror illness can create."

What people are saying:

"Of all the books I have read, this one definitely has words. The substance of the text had everything I could hope for, regular text, bold text, italics and special fonts. Very enjoyable. The author writes in a knowledgeable manner but with a quirk, adding a light touch to some seriously dark subject matter, not to minimize severity but to gently guide a reader in a tolerable manner through heavy aspects of world history and present circumstances. Partly this is due to the genius use of black text on white pages to allow for easy readability without a black light or special glasses...One of my favorite parts is the numbered pages. If unable to finish the entire book in one sitting (highly probable), I only need remember the last page read and can effortlessly pick up where I left off. Plus the cover is very pretty, so as to not frighten children at first glance."

-My husband

A book marketing friend-of-a-friend gave me some invaluable advice and a goal for the next few months. I need 100 reviews on Amazon to get the book to the top of its category and gain the glorious title of "Amazon bestseller" in order for it to show up in searches. He said to pay 100 friends $1 to buy the ebook and leave a review, but that seems a little sleazy and I'm unable to do it (actually the truth is that I don't have 100 friends). This is one tactic mainstream publishing uses to get books popularized. They also can buy lots of copies of books to make them seem like they are selling well. So basically I have to find people to give me legitimate reviews, or at least fun ones like my husband's. And for some reason, it's really, really hard. Keep this in mind next time you support a small business or author. Good reviews are really important to their success!

Switching gears, fortunately, it turns out that I didn't need Bookstagram to take pretty pictures of the book because there is a little tool in Photoshop called Smart Object Layers that lets you do book mockups from templates. Mark over at Covervault provides the world with all these wonderful free book mockup templates that are just really fun to play with.

Now you can enjoy my book on a magical romantic evening with an unlabeled mystery bottle of wine.

OR perhaps you want to take it down to your basement dungeon...

But maybe you'd prefer to sip coffee next to your succulent while reading multiple copies of my book (AT LAST A SUCCULENT PHOTO!)

Although if you're not into bodily horrors, you might not be able to finish your coffee, even if you buy the ebook.

Still, you should buy piles of my book to give to all your friends! Available in ebook and paperback format on Amazon. Get your copy today!!

And now, some lessons learned during my self-publishing adventures.

If you want a self-published book to look nice, you need to have it properly formatted. This is done either by paying people like $500 (and no, freelancers on do not do good work for under $100, I learned that lesson...twice) or learn Adobe InDesign, which is the publishing industry's standard for book formatting While it's $21 a month, it comes with the price of a steep learning curve. I thought, "Oh, I know how to Photoshop, so maybe InDesign is like MS Word mixed with Photoshop, how hard can it be?" LOL. Somehow I learned enough InDesign skills during two weeks of painful trial-and-error to get the book out. It didn't come out perfectly the first time so I had to unpublish and re-release it. It looks ok now, but it's not perfect and I am definitely going to take a class in InDesign for the next book.

What will my next book be? Well it largely depends on YOU BUYING THE BOOK AND LEAVING A REVIEW ON AMAZON. If this book is successful, then publishers will be more interested in Death, It's a Living: A Guide to Postmortem Professions. If it's not successful, I've already started on a collaboration with a photographer called "Murder Cancer With Vegetables," which will be a cookbook featuring beautiful salad photography and and healthy, mostly vegan recipes containing ingredients known to prevent cancer. It will take at least a year or two to complete because I have to make and have all the salads photographed. I only make salads on the weekend. Weekends are spent cooking because, under normal circumstances, I spend the work week dissecting body parts, so the last thing I want to do is come home and dissect salad parts. Since this project will be going on for quite awhile, I hope to simultaneously be working on Death, It's a Living.

Anyways, order your copy of Compendium Pandemica: A Guide to Horrible Infectious Diseases today! It will mean a lot to me!

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