Friday, February 15, 2013

Self Publishing Infographics

Self-publishing vs. Traditional publishing infographic
Infographics about Self Publishing
Self Publishing by the Numbers
The Self Publishing Process
Self Publishing Infographic
Self Publishing Infographic by Americas Press

The Adventures of an Independent Author: Self-Publishing Statistics

The Adventures of an Independent Author: Self-Publishing Statistics

Interesting stats from this blog:

10% of authors earn 75% of royalties
Total Books published by country, the top three are : USA, UK, France
56% make over 25k, 28% over 50k, 15% over 100k
Two types of author: 56 % : Sell book cheaply to get more readers. 44% : Charge a higher price and make more money from fewer readers.
42% of authors can never changed the price of their books
41% Paid for a cover designer (the most popular form of paid help) 29 % paid for copy editing.

Top 10 Popular Posts for The Adventures of an Independent Author Blog

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: The Self Publishing Toolkit

The Self Publishing Toolkit by Daphne Dangerlove is a simple and straight forward guide to self publishing on Kindle Direct. Sticking with what a new autor absolutely needs to know, Dangelove provides step-by-step information on theprocess of publishing to the Kindle, marketing your book and more.

This book is particularly useful for writers who aren't familiar or comfortable with using online promotion methods. It includes information on website design, SEO basics, and the importance of creating an email list. It doesn't matter how much or how little you know about about the technical side of being online, you'll find something here that will help.

The one real weakness of Toolkit is that it is geared solely for fiction writers. While some of the information will apply to and be helpful for non-fiction writers, a great deal of it will not apply.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Self Publishing News 2/4-2/10

Apple's Big Announcement: Apple is rolling out it's own program for self publishers, in an attempt to challenge Kindle Direct's current market domination.

"The Gatekeeper's Are Gone": Publishers are slowly adapting to the change the self publishing explosion has created. Some small publishers in Minnesota talk about how they are changing their business with the times.

Leading Self-Publishing ServiceProvider Outskirts Press Pays Authors $300 to Publish Books inFebruary: Check it out.

 Space Marines?: Big geek news this week - Games Workshop accused a self publisher of copyright violation for using the term "Space Marines" in her title. A term which has existed since decades before Games Workshop was founded. Self publishers are uniquely vulnerable to this kind of attack.

A Look at Marketing: Self publishing and traditional publishing have different approaches and needs when it comes to marketing.

Finally, two great articles on the perception of self publishing. One looking at how the perception of self publishing has changed and the other examining how self published author can continue improving the reputation of self publishing.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Joy of Formatting for Create Space

My first book is almost ready to be published. It is written and edited, has a wonderful cover, and is starting to feel like it is really happening.

It is also, for the first time, starting to feel like work. That's because of the three days I spent formatting it for CreateSpace (with more to go when I tackle formatting for e-book conversion.) If there is a more tedious, annoying, painful part of publishing a book than formatting and layout, I have yet to find it.

Formatting starts with the page size. That's actually the easy part. You go into page formatting, set the page size according to CS's guidelines for the book dimensions you want, and you are good.

If you haven't already, pick out a font preferably two different fonts, one for chapter titles and one for your actual text. Then you go through, page by page, and are change font, font size, and alignment for your entire book. You can't just 'select all' to make the changes - if you do, your chapter headings will end up the same size as your text, which doesn't work at all. Don't forget to justify the text (and NOT justify the chapter headings!)

Orphans and Widows are particularly annoying - that's jargon speak for when a single line of a paragraph ends up a different page than the rest of the paragraph. Most word processing programs have a way to automatically avoid Ophans and Widows, but you can still have problems, especially if your chapters have subheadings - word processors don't recognize a subheading on one page and the following paragraph on the next as a Widow, but it still looks bad on the page.

Basically, it was a lot of going through the text, over and over again, making sure that there was nothing I had missed that would cause problems later or not look good. Unfortunately, there is no short cut to a good looking book. So take your time, go through page by page, and you'll get there.

Now I'm off to reward myself for all my hard work. Take care.

Friday, February 8, 2013

How to Self Publish Successfully: Top 5 Blog Posts

How to Self Publish Successfully is an advice blog for self publishing authors run by the Alliance of Independent Authors. ALLi is an awesome resource for new and established self publishers that is well worth checking out.

Members of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) On Being A Member- If you are interested in joining or learning about ALLi, check out this popular post, where member have left dozens of comments on what they like (and don't like) about being a member of ALLi.

“Amazon Is Playing Indie Authors Like Pawns,” says Smashwords founder, Mark Coker- This guest post by the founder of POD publisher Smashwords looks at some of Amazon's demands and why having multiple retail outlets is your best option.

Please Don’t Call Me An Indie Author- Another popular guest by, by Talli Rolland. Here Talli discusses why she wants her readers to see her an author like any other.

Are Indie Authors Devaluing Books? By ALLi Community Builder, Melissa Foster- Melissa Foster examines the 99 cent book, and how it hurts authors and self publishing.

Bookbaby or Smashwords Best for Self-Publishers?- Part One of a five part series on picking distributors for your self published book.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Book Review: The Fine Print of Self Publishing

The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine is absolutely necessary or an utter waste of time. For the author who is prepared to do the work of self publishing themselves, this book is a waste of time. If you are interested in hiring a self publishing company, then you need this book.

Mark Levine has a legal background and a passion for the rights of the author, both of which show as he clearly and extensively evaluates the major self publishing companies and lays out which ones are worth dealing with and which ones will only rip you off. He examines the various parts of a self publishing contract, and which phrases are warning signs of a contract that you will regret in later years.

Sadly, a significant portion of self publishing companies are not good for the author. Because of the sheer number of scam companies and unethical practices out there, the book can often come across as negative or disillusioning. However there are several outstanding and good self publishing companies as well. If you want to hire a self publishing company, getting this book can save you thousands of dollars, massive headaches, and the rights to your books.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Week's Top Articles on Self Publishing 1/28-2/3

A new non-profit organization is working to bring indie books to libraries.

A collection of self publishing articles and blogs from around the web for the months of January.

A good run down of information to be aware of before you start on the journey to self publishing.

HuffPost takes a look at the pros and cons of the different paths to publishing. If you aren't sure whether or not self publishing it right for you, check it out.

As an alternative to choosing between self pub and trad pub, many authors are walking a middle road and doing both. Here is one hybrid authors take.

For a different take on self publishing, this blogger looks at the effect self publishing a non-fiction industry book had on his consulting business?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Self-Publishing Resources:

LiveHacked is a blog for writers run by Nick Thacker. Nick writes "on living and writing well." He is a great resources for ideas and information on writing and marketing your self published book.

Here are the top 10 posts from LiveHacked over the past year:

Using Scrivener and Evernote to Write Your Book - Scrivener and Evernote are great tools for a writer, and here Nick lays out how they make the writing processes smoother.

In Search of the Perfect Steak Recipe - This was Nick's experiment in perfecting SEO techniques. Check it out for a look at how good SEO is done - and for the awesome recipe.

Scrivener: The Ultimate Guide to Exporting Ebooks (Kindle, ePub, etc) - Formatting for conversion to an ebook is a real pain. This blog post describes how you can use Scrivener to convert your manuscript directly to an ebook.

Scrivener: An Introduction to Novel Writing - A quick and easy intro to using Scrivener that focuses on the basic process without worrying about the distraction of advanced features.

How to Make Reading a Habit - One of the most common pieces of advice for an author is: READ. This post lays out a great way to make reading a habit - and looks as ways to make reading enjoyable, if you are usually a reading hater.

How to Read Faster and Understand More - Tips and tricks for upping your reading speed and comprehension.

Great Thrillers: Books Like James Rollins - A look at some of the great thrillers published over the past year, and what makes a great thriller.

Selling Books: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need - Nick intended the title of this post to be snarky, but amazingly, it's true. This is a great, all-inclusive guide to selling books.

How to Find the Perfect Audience for Your Book, And Then Sell It to Them - A guide to building a mailing list to create an audience and fan base for your writing.

How to Learn ANYTHING Faster than You Ever Thought Possible - This "brainstorming session on steroids" is a great way to boost your learning.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Self-Publishing: What Six Months Has Taught Me.

In July, I sat down to start writing my first book, with the full intention of self-publishing. I knew my topic was too niche to catch the attention of a big publisher, and I liked the idea of handling every step of publishing myself - from outline to edit to marketing.

It's me a long six months, and I am now finalizing the layout of my book in preparation for submitting the file to a POD publisher next week. I'm not done with my self-publishing journey yet - far from it! But I thought I'd share a bit of what I learned over the past half year.

Have a plan. No matter what step of your journey, have a plan for it. Have a plan for a schedule to write your book. Have a plan for finding (and paying!) an editor. Have a plan for marketing. Always, always, always have a plan. Your plan will not last - but having one means knowing what you need to do, when you need to do it. A huge step up over floundering and guessing.

Do your research. Self publishing is easy. Self publishing well is hard. The interwebs are littered with self published books that are shoddily designed, poorly written and ill conceived. Don't let yours be one of them. It is also littered with well written, clearly thought out, awesome books that no one has ever heard of, because the author had not plan for marketing. Don't let your book be one of those either. There are dozens of great resources to help you learn how to design and publish a professional looking book. And more resources for learning marketing and branding. Use them.

Expect problems. Whether the editor you want turns out to not be available until spring, you comp crashing halfway through the third chapter, or your .epub file gets corrupted the day after you upload it to your website, something will go wrong. Possibly lots of somethings. Expect it, allow for it, and deal with it.

Get Scrivener. Seriously. If you have a choice between paying a cover artist and getting Scrivener, get the program and make your own cover. The hassles you will save yourself with the ability to save your file directly to a .epub or .mobi file (instead of going through the MSWord hell of formatting for conversion) are uncountable. And the clear, professional look the automated conversion gives you avoids some the most annoying formatting problems of most ebooks - like extra paragraph breaks on every page.

Hire an editor you disagree with. I had a chance to work with two editors. One said that my book didn't need my help, just a few issues with wording here and there. The other marked up practically every sentence. He wasn't commenting on grammar or content - he just had a very different approach to style. I nearly went with the editor who was going to leave my writing alone, but the other guy was cheaper. I figured I could ignore the suggestions I didn't like and I couldn't really afford to pay more than I absolutely had to. And you know what? My book is better for it. I ignore his suggestions as often as I take them, but having an editor with a very different approach to style ( he is a devotee of Strunk and believes in using the fewest words possible. I grew up on Hodgeson-Burnett, Burroughs and the Brontes, and tend toward a slightly more verbose style.) has given me a different perspective on my own writing, and helped make my work more readable, while keeping my phrasing and ideas intact.

I hope you find my experience helpful, if you'd like to share what you have learned of self publishing, let me know. Good luck with your own journey. I'm off to wrestle with page layouts.