Quick Link: 10 Tips for Self-Published Authors

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Here are some good pointers from author for writers who are thinking of becoming self-published. Head on over to Fantasy Faction for the full post.

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10 Tips for Self-Published Authors

by Duncan M. Hamilton

In publishing there are outliers who release a book straight to the top of the charts, but they are few and far between. Happily, you don’t need this to happen to be able to make a full time living from writing—the slow build to a solid platform is equally viable, albeit longer in the making. With that in mind, I’ve put together ten pointers that I hope will help anyone considering going down the self-pub route avoid some of the pitfalls and hard lessons waiting along the way.

1. Writers’ Cafe on the KBoards Forum

Every day for me starts with a few minutes there. It has a vast amount of information relating to pretty much everything you could encounter as a writer. It’s up to date, with discussions on new developments in the industry usually starting up within minutes of the announcement being made. There’s also ongoing discussion on what marketing methods are working, and those that aren’t. As always, you’ll need to exercise personal judgement in separating the wheat from the chaff, but this will become easier with a little time spent reading up. There are some very experienced and successful writers hanging out there, and more often than not they are very generous with their advice and in sharing their knowledge.

Read the full post on Fantasy Faction

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Quick Links: Guide to Self-Publishing Marketplaces

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Today’s offering is a basic guide for self-publishers on the major different marketplaces. There are smaller places out there as well and niche stores, all of which a quick google search will show you. Writers And Authors poster Fred Johnson’s article is a very good place to start! Do you know of any other marketplaces for indie authors?

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Guide to Self-Publishing Marketplaces Guide to Self-Publishing Marketplaces

by Fred Johnson

As an editor, I’m lucky enough to talk to authors as part of my daily grind. I was talking to a friend and self-publishing writer recently who was frustrated by his most recent novel’s market position—he’d been using Amazon to market and sell his book, but, having had little success, he was wondering about alternative channels that might serve him better.
This got me thinking: if my friend was losing sleep over this, surely many others would be to. So, without further ado, here’s my condensed guide to the most popular self-publishing platforms.
Amazon – (inc. Audible, Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace)
The big dog, the king of the hill: Amazon is the default channel for self-publishing, and is by far the most popular choice. They offer various platforms that are geared towards writers of all experience and calibre, from the free and barebones services of CreateSpace through to KDP and KDP Select, which offers greater commission but demands exclusivity for a certain period in return.
KDP offers 70 percent commission on books sold for between 2.99 and 9.99 (that’s in pounds sterling, U.S. dollars, and euros) and 30 percent on books that are sold for anything below or above that bracket. KDP Select offers extra royalties from the KDP Select Global Fund in exchange for ninety-day digital exclusivity—this means that, for a certain amount of time, your eBook will only be sold through KDP.
The great benefit of Amazon is its size and its sheer dominance—huge numbers of people could come across your book. Of course, the flip-side is that there are far more self-publishing writers to compete with. Also, because Amazon let any old bod host their work, there’s an awful lot of poor-quality stuff on the Kindle Store that could put readers off.

Read the full post on Writers And Authors

Quick Link: A plea for reviewers – can we open up a dialogue about self-published books?

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Roz Morris, owner of Nail Your Novel, reaches out to people who review books with a plea that they open their minds a little towards reviewing self-publishing titles. I can understand the reluctance of book reviewers, there are a lot of self-published books that look, well, self-published.  A lot. But, there are also a lot of self-publishing authors who do it right by hiring the correct people so their title is a professional offering and they are growing.  Thoughts?

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A plea for reviewers – can we open up a dialogue about self-published books?

by Roz Morris

So I find a lovely-looking review blog. The posts are thoughtful, fair and seriously considered. I look up the review policy and … it says ‘no self-published books’.

Today I want to open a dialogue with reviewers. If you have that policy, might you be persuaded to change it? Or to approach the problem in a different way?

I used the word ‘problem’. Because I appreciate – very well – that in making this policy you are trying to tackle a major problem. Your time as a reviewer is precious – and let me say your efforts are enormously appreciated by readers and authors alike. You get pitches for many more books than you can read and you need a way to fillet out the ones that are seriously worth your reading hours. A blanket ban is a way to fend off a lot of substandard material and save you many unpleasant conversations. And traditional publishing implies a certain benchmark of competence.

Competence. That’s probably the heart of the matter. There are good self-published books, of course, but how can I help you sort them from the bad and the fug-ugly?

Read the full post on Nail Your Novel

Quick Link: This is Why Authors Shouldn’t Do it All

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There are people out there who say you can self-publish an ebook for free. And it is true you can. But if you want anyone to actually read your book you have to compete against a lot of other titles, and they will have taken the time to hire professionals. It doesn’t matter how good your story is, or how important your information is. No one will read it if it isn’t professionally done. Just because you can make a cover in MS Paint doesn’t mean you should. Please don’t.  During my day job, I see a lot of books and I can tell instantly which ones did their own cover, and they don’t sell. Margery Walshaw posting at Bad Redhead Media has a great post on all the different experts you will need and why it is a good idea to use them. 

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This is Why Authors Shouldn’t Do it All by guest @evatopialit

By Margery Walshaw

What’s better? To be a jack of all trades or to specialize in a particular skill? Naturally, there are arguments for either choice depending upon the circumstance. Let’s say you’re an athlete and have suffered torn cartilage in your knee; you’ll want to consult with an orthopedic surgeon. After all, they’re experts at what they do. So why is it as authors, we don’t seek out experts? Why do so many of us try to do it all?

Assuming that the writing is in place, let’s examine all of the jobs or tasks that are required to bring a book to market.

Publishing Requires Juggling  

  • Editing/Proofreading
  • Cover Art
  • Digital and Paperback Formatting
  • ISBN Registration
  • Synopsis Writing
  • Keyword and Category Research
  • Distribution / File Uploading
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Social Media

Phew…what a list! Considering that today’s reader has an abundance of choices available to them, it makes sense to give your audience what they crave….more books! Many authors have learned that one of the secrets to building a loyal fanbase is to release their books in rapid succession. Some debate the pros and cons of doing this with a series versus a standalone novel.

Quick Links – Should You Pay for a Publicist?

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

posting at Jane Friedman, shares her experiences and costs of hiring a publicist.  As an indie author, you should be willing to spend a little money on a great cover and a great editor, but is it worth it to spend more money on a publicist? What have your experiences been?

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Should You Pay for a Publicist?

You’ve written a great book and—if you’ve self-published—probably shelled out for the services of a good editor and cover designer. The last thing you want is to pay for a publicist. But in a sea of authors, how will potential readers know about your book?As a traditional-turned-hybrid author publishing with She Writes Press, I foot the bill for all the publishing costs but reap a much higher percentage of royalties for both print and ebook sales for my debut memoir, Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces. My book is distributed like a traditional one, in all the retail channels; distribution is a major challenge facing self-pubbed authors, and traditional distribution is an advantage of my particular press.

I invested in a publicist to break into mainstream media, which led me to identify a number of online and print women’s media sites that would be perfect for my coming-of-age memoir and mother-daughter story. Of course I could have tried approaching these editors on my own, but that would have been time-consuming, and I didn’t have the established and nurtured contacts. Accidental Soldier has been featured with The Reading Room, Brit + Co, Writer’s Digest, Reader’s Digest, SheKnows.com, Working Mother magazine, Teen Vogue, and Seventeen—and that’s just a few. I would have never gotten that far on my own.

However, good publicists are not cheap. They command higher payment than a quality editor because they spend more hours over a longer time period working for you and your book.

Quick Link: 5 Musts for Self-Publishing Great Books

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

A timely post now that NaNoWriMo is almost done! Once you have completed writing your story there are some essentials you need to do to make it worth publishing. Laurisa White Reyes from Janice Hardy’s Fiction University lists them out for you. 

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5 Musts for Self-Publishing Great Books

By Laurisa White Reyes, @lwreyes

Quality Puzzle Showing Excellent Services And Products
I will give you a hint…

Part of the Indie Authors Series

When I was fourteen years old, I described my life’s dream on a page in my journal. I wanted, more than anything, to be an author. Not just any author. I wanted to be a New York Times Best-selling author. I fantasized about autographing books and winning the Newbery Award. In bookstores, I scanned the shelves, hunting for the very spot where my books would one day be. Once I actually started writing novels about a dozen years ago, I fully believed this dream was within reach, that any writer who worked hard enough could achieve it.

Naïve as I was, this dream kept me motivated through fourteen complete manuscripts and hundreds of rejection letters. Along the way, I did get three books published with small presses. I thought my dream was coming true. But I soon discovered that publication is no guarantee of success, and that too often, getting published with a small press (as well-meaning and author-friendly as many of them are) can be worse for an author’s career than having never published at all.

That’s where I found myself in 2015, with three published titles, a career in the publishing industry, and an impressive list of awards and recognitions under my belt. Yet I felt no closer to my dream than I had been as a teenager. By that time, I had spent two decades working on one particular book that meant a great deal to me.

In 1993, I worked as an office assistant at an AIDS clinic in Pasadena, California. I witnessed a lot of tragedy there, people suffering from a disease for which, at the time, there was no effective treatment. My experiences stuck with me and eventually resulted in a children’s novel about a girl whose father is dying of AIDS. Though I received numerous positive responses from literary agents, the manuscript accumulated close to thirty rejections. One agent told me that though The Storytellers was good, “kids today aren’t interested in reading about AIDS in the 90s.” In other words, it simply wasn’t marketable.

I was discouraged. I was disillusioned. Maybe the publishing industry was somehow rigged against people like me. I had a decision to make: Give up on the book or self-publish.

Quick Links: Should You Self-Publish or Traditionally Publish?

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Jane Freeman tackles the question should you try to publish traditionally or go the self-publishing route.  She gives you some thoughts you might not have heard before.  Personality has a lot to do with it. As someone who is self-employed, self-publishing seems a more likely route for me, if I ever get a book finished. ; )

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Should You Self-Publish or Traditionally Publish?

June 21, 2016

The key is to know yourself. You got to check yourself, before you wreck yourself.
The key is to know yourself. You got to check yourself, before you wreck yourself.

by Jane Friedman

Are you wondering if you should self-publish or traditionally publish? You’re not alone. The same question is on the minds of many writers I meet, regardless of their career path or how established they are.

When I began working in the publishing industry in the mid-1990s, a stigma surrounded both self-published books and self-published authors. I recall speaking at the Chicago chapter of the Romance Writers of America in the mid-2000s, and running a workshop on how to self-publish. About three people showed up and two of them were already self-published; it was by far the worst-attended session I’ve ever run at a major writing event. At the time, self-publishing was not a well-regarded path to success, and it indicated some kind of author failing or eccentricity.

Times have (dramatically) changed, and now some self-published authors accuse traditionally published authors of being misguided or short-sighted in their allegiance to a “legacy” system.

But there is no single right answer to this question because it’s context dependent. That means the right answer can change—even for the same author—from book to book, and from year to year.

This post outlines what I think are the biggest factors that play into the decision.

1. Do you expect or want to see your book stocked in bookstores across the country?
It next to impossible for a self-published author with a single title to achieve wide-scale distribution for their book at bricks-and-mortar stores. You may be able to get your book stocked locally or regionally, especially if you have the right connections or are a well-known person in your community. But for the most part, a self-published authors’ books will sell primarily through online retail, whether as a print book or an e-book. That’s not the drawback it used to be, given that more than half of all books sold in the United States sell through Amazon (regardless of format).

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

In The News: Timberland libraries now offer access to self-published books

Libraries get more offerings for their patrons, authors get more exposure.
Libraries get more offerings for their patrons, authors get more exposure.

In The News – Articles Of Interest For Authors

While this is a local news item, I am sharing for the information on Self-e.  Self-e is a free program for authors and small publishers to get their books into local libraries. The Olympian is just one news organization that is highlighting the opportunities this presents for authors.  Anyone out there tried Self-e? If so let us know your results.

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Timberland libraries now offer access to self-published books

By Ben Muir bmuir@theolympian.com

  • SELF-e is a website that lets libraries distribute the work of independent authors
  • It helps authors who don’t have publishing houses increase their visibility
  • It increases the library’s offerings for patrons

There are two ways to publish a book these days.

The first is through the six prominent publishing companies that are still the recommended route to maximum exposure.

The other is through independent publishing, an approach authors take when they haven’t signed with an agent or a publishing house, but still want their work to be read.

And there was no middle ground until SELF-e became the compromise.

SELF-e is a website that lets libraries distribute the work of independent authors, and offer an array of genres and content for subscribing patrons.

The Timberland Regional Library system has joined thousands of other libraries across the country in providing SELF-e offerings, said Timberland public relations specialist R.J. Burt.

“One of the barriers for writers is being recognized enough to be picked up by a large publishing house,” Burt said. “Libraries have broken down that barrier for writers, so they should certainly use it.”

How it helps local authors

Publishing on SELF-e is not only free but effortless, said Kim Storbeck, a library collections development specialist. After authors upload a book to SELF-e, there is a vetting process that takes roughly a week.

Read the full post on The Olympian

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Links: Letter to a Discouraged Writer

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Writing getting you down? Perhaps you are feeling discouraged and even though you got published, it didn’t turn out like you thought it would? James Scott Bell has some encouraging words to help you keep your chin up and move along at Kill Zone.

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Letter to a Discouraged Writer

June 12, 2016
by James Scott Bell

Get back up, start writing! Starting with a funny caption for here!
Get back up, start writing! Starting with a funny caption for here!

My man,

Here’s the thing. You got yourself good enough to get a publishing contract back in the “old days” when you needed to impress an agent, get repped, get shopped, and then sign on with a house. Your books came out with nice covers, some marketing, some placement. You did book signings and conference appearances. Three books I think it was, right?

So what happened? Sales weren’t enough to earn back the advance. And not enough to get another contract from the publishing house.

There’s an author support group for that. It’s called “Practically Everyone” and they meet at the bar.

I don’t know the exact percentage, but most fiction authors who ever lived never caught on in a big way. Many used to manage a “midlist career” which meant at least enough sales to keep on publishing, though not enough buy a yacht.

So you went through a dry period. Your agent shopped you but without success. So you parted ways. That was a tough time for you. You wondered if you’d ever get published again.

 

Quick Links: From Trad-Pub to Self-Pub–Tips and Observations

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Elizabeth S. Craig is one of those amazing authors who has had book published by a publisher as well as self-published. She recently got rights back to some titles from her publishing house and decided to re-release them as eBooks her self.  She is gracious enough to share her experience and thoughts.

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From Trad-Pub to Self-Pub–Tips and Observations

 

Quick Link: Eight things booksellers would like self-published authors to know

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Ever thought about trying to get your book into a bookstore or hold an event? Niki Hawkes at The Independent has some tips for you that booksellers think you should know. There is also a podcast along with the story.

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Eight things booksellers would like self-published authors to know

We want YOU to sell your book!
We want YOU to sell your book!

Self-published authors are sometimes ill-prepared or don’t know what to expect when they approach booksellers about selling their titles, signing events, policy, etc. To be successful in pitching their books to booksellers, self-published authors should have a sense of the resources available to booksellers, what is appealing to them, and how to approach them. Here are eight things booksellers would like self-published authors to know.

Making sure your title is available for bookstores to order is an important first step

Bookstores don’t have access to all titles, and corporate stores like Barnes and Noble can’t sell your title unless it’s in its system and available from one of its distributors. Independent bookstores are much more likely to accept copies you bring from home, but each one is different, so it’s important to do some preliminary research. The more available your book is, the easier it will be to make sales.

Before setting up a book signing, do research on how to get your title accepted into the bookstores you are considering.

Quick Links: How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Ebook Formatting

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

This is the next in a series of posts about self-publishing from Digital Publishing News. talks about some basic formatting hints and things to look out for. If you have a question or problem with preparing your manuscript for eBook publishing, let me know in the comments below and perhaps I can help.

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How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Ebook Formatting

Quick Link: Maybe it’s time to take the plunge and become self-published like me

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

After having some success with traditional publishing, author Denise Deegan decided to try out self-publishing. She writes up her experience on the Independent.ie site.


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Maybe it’s time to take the plunge and become self-published like me

by Denise Deegan

 5/30/2016

The art of reinvention: Denise Deegan took charge of her own work and became self-published.
The art of reinvention: Denise Deegan took charge of her own work and became self-published.

I found excitement on a whole new level when I self-published writes Denise Deegan.

Authors, like artists, live with rejection. We meet it when trying to get published. We meet it trying to stay published. We write, and then others decide if our work is good enough to be let out into the world. Or at least, that’s how it used to be.

In 2001, I gave up my PR business to write a novel. I had no agent, no publisher, no experience. I didn’t even have an idea. In retrospect, it was crazy. But then, maybe sometimes craziness is exactly what’s required to change your life. I wrote the novel in six months, sent it out to publishers and agents and prepared for rejection.

It came!

Thankfully, I also received feedback on my writing. I edited the manuscript and sent it out again. I got to work on a second novel so that the next batch of – inevitable – rejections wouldn’t stop me writing. I told myself that it didn’t matter if I never got published. Of course it mattered.

The edits worked. That first novel was published. Three more followed. After that, I wrote a Young Adult series called The Butterfly Novels. And can I just say, the reaction from teenagers to these books would make up for any rejection ever.

Meanwhile, the world of self-publishing was being born. For the first time, authors could reach readers directly and globally. The fact that royalty rates were higher meant lower prices to the reader. This transformation in publishing was exciting to watch. Such was the success of self-published novels like Fifty Shades of Grey and Still Alice that traditional publishers began to offer contracts to their authors.

In the News – Barnes & Noble Should Carry Indie Books

In The News – Articles Of Interest For Authors

I have to admit Barnes & Noble just frustrates me. I want them to succeed, I want there to be competition and a lot of choices with books and eBooks.  But if you told me that Barnes & Noble was deliberately trying to fail, I would believe you. First they make affiliate advertising a horrible painful experience, and their support of self-publishing books is non-existent.  on Digital Book World agrees and makes his case why Barnes & Noble should carry indie books.

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Barnes & Noble Should Carry Indie Books

Quick Links: Making Changes to a Published Book

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

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Making Changes to a Published Book

Read the full post on Elizabeth S. Craig

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.