Archive for the ‘Self Publishing’ Category

A couple of years ago, Publisher’s Weekly decided that for the low, low price of $149, self-publishers could buy the right to MAYBE get reviewed by them.

One blogger, a self-published writer herself, says that she feels PW is so entrenched in the “traditional” publishing model that they are deliberately trashing self-pubbed novels in their reviews.  She gives statistics that of 99 novels submitted one quarter, only 25 merited a review and of those 25 only 4 were at all complimentary.  In fact, she calls the other 21 reviews “scathing.”

I do not see any proof of her implication that PW is deliberately trashing these books in order to squash traditional publishers competition.  I’ve always heard that 99% of queries received by publishers are rejected.  By those numbers, giving 4 good reviews out of a total of 99 books sounds like a win.

What do you think?  Is big publishing and their cohorts trashing indie books unfairly, or no?

I know there’s a lot of bad writing out there (I’m not defending it!) and that self-publishing was, and a lot of the times still is, a venue for vanity. But it’s becoming more and more mainstream, the way to go, and I find it hard to believe that of the nearly one hundred novels submitted, PW couldn’t have found a few more things to like. You can practically sense the glee emanating from the reviewers as they rip apart these books. …read more

via Publishers Weekly seems to relish scathing reviews of self-published books | A City Mom.


I ran into a wall when I went to my local Barnes and Noble and asked if they could carry some copies of my novel Painted Black on their shelves.  When the manager looked it up in the database, she said they couldn’t because it is Print On Demand and they aren’t able to return unsold POD books.   I had no response to that so left a promo packet with her anyway and went home, dejected.

However, my publisher made it clear later that the manager did not know what she was talking about, and sent me a link to the article below.  If you use Lightning Source as your POD publishers, don’t let them blow you off with that excuse.  Read this whole article and go in well armed.

Nowadays, there’s an odd belief circulating that self publishing a book
as print on demand will keep it out of bookstores. Actually, the
opposite is true.

The Stigma of POD (Print on Demand, Lightning Source, Barnes & Noble, Borders).

There are almost as many people creating companies that offer resources to writers as there are writers jumping into the self publishing frenzy.  There are a lot of hungry fish out there and everyone seems to be chasing those dollar-sign shaped fish hooks.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to be careful to pick a company that can be counted on to deliver some bang for your bucks.  Personally, I have no intention of paying anyone to either publish my writing or to promote it.  I don’t even enter contests if they have an entry fee.

There are lots of these companies, however, that offer free advice or tools that I am perfectly willing to take advantage of and pass on here.  I found the site below when doing some research on freelance rates that has several free offerings you might want to check out.  I’m sure they are hoping you will like their generosity enough to inquire into their paid services, but please know that I am not advocating for them.  If you are interested in what they have to offer, go for it.  Or just take the freebies and go on your way.  Your choice.

We hope you find these FREE writing resources useful for the writing you do. Check back with us often to see what other writing freebies we’ve come up with lately.

via Writing Freebies | No 2 Pen Writing and Communications.

Inkwell Editorial

Posted: March 26, 2012 in Self Publishing

My original intent for this blog was to chronicle my journey as I followed the path to self publication.  Along that track the karma gods sent me New Libri Press so I never made my initial destination.  Or you could say I achieved my intended outcome–getting published–in a different manner.

However, when I was trying to share what I learned about self publishing, the article linked below is the kind of piece I hoped to be able to offer my readers.  So, while I didn’t actually write it, I hope you can use this helpful article on one woman’s experience with self publishing a Nook Book.

This week, I started working on one of my freelance writing goals for this year; the one about uploading all of Inkwell Editorial’s titles to Barnes and Noble. Immediately I noticed some major differences, the main one being that self-publishing nook ebooks is a lot easier than it is publishing ebooks on Amazon (for Kindle).

Following are three things that immediately stood out to me.

via Inkwell Editorial.

This looks like a great site to bookmark if you are a self published author.  The article linked below on how to use categories to call attention to your book is only one of the good pieces of advice I found.

The “category path” is how Amazon determines the rankings. The main ranking that we are used to seeing is the “Paid in Kindle Store.” This ranking includes everything from newspapers to games and even Kindle accessories. You can see how important it is to categorize optimally.

via Helping you become a #1 Bestselling Author | Indies Unlimited.

There is a link in the article below to a chart showing a comparison of the different self publishing options that might prove helpful if you are thinking of going that route.  You can also click on the picture below to go directly to the chart.

The self-publishing industry has gotten a makeover.

Distribution costs have gone down and design quality has gone up. The fact that undiscovered writers can get someone to design, edit, publish, distribute and market their books for a few thousand dollars in a matter of weeks is nothing short of amazing.

Self-publishing services are designed for a large number of clients who have relatively small budgets. As with the yellow pages, there is a lot of up-selling and packaging of individual services. But that’s not to say that the services aren’t valuable.

via Self-Publishing Guide From Digital Book World | Digital Book World.

Eat Your Words

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Marketing, Self Publishing, Small Presses

Small presses and self published authors have come up with many interesting and unique ideas to promote their books.  But here’s an article about a larger press taking a new approach that everyone could probably use, though on a smaller scale.

Random House is partnering with others to sell tickets to events that include a free copy of the author’s book.  You can read the article below for specific details of what they plan, but to put it in a smaller perspective, let’s think of a way it might work for you.

Is there a restaurant in your area that has a reputation for great food?  This could be anything from a famous greasy spoon to gourmet, award winning fine dining.  If there is a way to forge a connection between what they do and what your book is about, even better.  If, for instance, your story takes place in Paris, how about approaching someone well known for their french cuisine?

Now, pitch the idea of their hosting a special event, possibly on a night when their business is slow.  They could offer special prices on some of their signature dishes.  You could offer copies of your book to give to each party that makes a reservation.

You might even be able to throw in an author signing.  You could sit at a table near the entrance and sign books as people left with a full, happy belly.  Bring a few books along in case someone wants to buy an extra copy.  Advertisement for the event could be shared between yourself and the restaurant, and benefit both.

Then again, why stop at restaurants?  What other venues can you think of that might be open to this type of event that could be good business for you as well as them.  Be creative.  Isn’t that, after all, what writers do best?

Random House of Canada is experimenting with a different kind of book tour this fall–one that guarantees book sales from every person attending a launch. Working with strategic marketing partners such as Fairmont Hotels and Air Miles, the company is creating ticketed events that include a copy of the book in the price.

via Random House of Canada Tests New Book Tour Model.

As a companion to Twitter Tuesdays I’ve decided to create WordPress Wednesdays. WordPress is really easy to use. All you really have to do is sign up, select your template and post your thoughts. But there are also so many ways to individualize your blog to make you stand out in a crowd, and when you’re hoping to draw in an audience, standing out is a good thing, as long as you’re not in your jammies in the middle of the interstate.

One way to personalize is to use Widgets. Now I seem to remember the word widget first being used in the cartoon the Jetsons when I was a kid. Didn’t George work at a widget factory? I used to always think of it as a made up word with no specific meaning, kind of like thingamabob or doohickey. Maybe it was always a legitimate word, but if so, I’m pretty sure it did not have the meaning it does today.

A widget in general is a control tool, often associated with an app (application). All the sections you see along the left side of the page here are there because I told WordPress to place a widget there of one kind or another. Most widgets WordPress offers are fairly easy to understand. A text widget lets you place text, an image widget lets you post an image, a link widget lets you post web links, etc.

But a few of them I’d never heard of (making me the same as someone 100 years ago if asked about widgets).

The first one I looked into is called an Akismet widget. A quick search tells me if I put this on by blog sidebar it will show how many spam comments got posted to my site. Simple, right, except I’m left to wonder why would I want everyone to see how much spam my site generates. Kind of like wearing a sign that says “I have Cooties.”

The next one I looked at had much more promise.  it’s called file sharing. You have to create an account at the site, but it’s free and you can easily do it from within the WordPress widget itself.  You click on the “go get some HTML code” in the link sown on the left and it takes you to their website where you can create an account or log in, and then grab the code you  need to set your widget up.

The idea behind the widget is to be able to share files with anyone who visits your blog.  I’m sure this could make some people very uneasy, but I could see it coming in handy if you had a restricted blog that only registered users were allowed to access.  For a writer, it could be a great place to share free samples of your writing, or perhaps even your whole book.

You can link any document type, it seems like.  Your reader just needs to have a program that can open the file.  You can change the size of the widget and even choose to have your files shown in list or icon format.  You can delete files, add more and  rename them right from your WordPress blog.

If you want to see how it works, scroll down to bottom of my page here and look to the left.  I uploaded three image files and the first chapter of my novel Teach Your Children Well.  Teach is the prequel to my novel Painted Black which will be published by New Libri Press.  I’m thinking of releasing Teach as a self published ebook to serve as a promotional tool and introduction to my Jo Sullivan suspense novel series.  So download the chapter if you want, and then leave a comment and tell me if you think maybe I should give that a shot.

Cover Art

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Self Publishing
Tags: ,

Most of the media in these collections are attached to generous copyright licensing. (See Creative Commons Licensing.) Though you may not need to ask permission to use them when publishing on the Web for educational purposes, you should cite or attribute these images to their creators unless otherwise notified! If you see any copyright notices on these pages, read them for further instructions. Also visit our new Thumbnail list. Note: always check individual licensing notices before publishing on the Web or broadcasting!

via copyrightfriendly – home.

If you want to self publish, whether it’s e-pubbing or print copies, you need to make a decision about what your cover looks like.  You can hire someone to create one for you, or you can mix and match your own from royalty free artwork available from one of the sites listed in the link above.  With a simple picture editing program like Paint, or even just a screen grab utility and Word, you can create a great looking cover for free.

This temporary book cover for my novel Painted Black (we are still deciding on final cover art for the published book) was created by me with three different images in Word, using a free font called Graffiti.  Maybe it’s just me, but I like everything about it except maybe the font.  What do you think?

This is a little trick I learned from my friends here at the Indie Book Collective. #whoImetonTwitter

Find the three words that represent what you want people to know about your work. Then make those words sing for you in each tweet.

via Twitter Branding « Indie Book Collective.

Kimberly Kinrade started out as a Twitter novice like me but now seems to know her stuff.  If she can do it, I can, too.  Right?

I like her idea quoted above.  So what are the three words I would use to brand myself and my work?

  1. Suspense – My novel Painted Black is a suspense novel, as is the series it kicks off.  Even the short stories I have had published have a suspenseful  element.  All good fiction has some conflict that causes tension (aka suspense).
  2. Homelessness – The novel and many of my stories highlight the homeless condition.  My history of volunteering with organizations that serve the streets has given me an appreciation for the people who live there and those who work to better their condition.
  3. Chicago  – Moving to Chicago made a big difference in my life.  It opened my eyes to a wider world.  When I set a story or book in Chicago, I feel like that city is more than just the setting.  It is a living, breathing character as well.

These three words are not as bright and cheerful as those that Kimberly chose (magic, love and chocolate) but this is what I write about, what I enjoy reading.  I’m betting there are others out there who feel the same.