Tag: Publishing

Doomed By Self-Publishing?

This was a great little piece I found on Janet Reid’s blog. Will Self Publishing Doom ME? I think it is a question facing many new unsigned authors. I have fielded a few myself and I never felt that I have doomed my writing by self-publishing. Notice I didn’t say career, my career is still in the library, mostly because I am not that good a sales person. You know self-publishing is only the first step. To have any measure of success you need to invest time and money into marketing and selling your book. You need to make contacts and pound the bricks. None of these are my strong point so I’ll just bask in the reviews and good word of mouth my books have afforded me and put off worrying about stellar numbers. Follow this link to read Janet’s take on this question: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2017/02/will-self-publishing-doom-me.html

Independent Authors Day

village-books-publishing-bellingham_0This Saturday, October 8th, is Independent Authors Day. You can find out more at http://indieauthorday.com/. Amazon also has devoted a page to their Independent Authors Powered by Indie I will even be hosting a panel of 6 Independent Authors for a Q & A at the Northwest Regional Library in Surprise on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

One question that comes up is, just what makes an author an independent? Essentially, it’s an author who is self publishing their work through something like Amazon Kindle Publishing, Barnes and Noble Nookpress, Createspace, Lulu, Smashwords, or others that I can’t recall off the top of my head. The reasons for this are varied, new authors in particular are attracted to these presses simply by virtue of there being no other alternative. Published authors are also attracted to this avenue by the promise of better royalties and more creative control. The one thing Independent publishing is not, is a farm team of sorts for authors. These authors work just as hard and in some cases harder because they do have more riding on these books. As an independent you do not have a marketing department or slick social media campaign to drive word of mouth. It is all you. Days like October 8th are important because they let people know that if you have a book inside you there is a place where you can go to see it in print. Spend some time this Saturday and learn about what Independent Publishing is all about.  #PoweredByIndie

Scamers Will Scam 

conartistThis is an old story but one I just heard about.

https://www.writtenwordmedia.com/2016/03/17/amazon-toc-issue-everything-you-need-to-know/

In my books I usually place the table of contents in the rear to give sample readers more of the book. I never thought about using it as a cheap way to scam Amazon. The way it works is Amazon pays authors for the number of pages read through Kindle Unlimited. So if you have a link at the front of the book that takes readers to the back of the book, Amazon’s system counts all those skipped of pages as being read. It didn’t take long for scam artists to figure this out.

To combat this, Amazon has been flagging all books with the table of contents in the rear and letting those authors know that if they don’t move the table their book could be taken down. Pretty Draconian, I know. I would think looking for internal links in the first few pages would be more effective but then I don’t work for Amazon.

Truth be told this really doesn’t affect me as I only have one book on Kindle Unlimited and I’ve not really seen much money from it. Still it’s sad to see people taking advantage of the system. You could also argue that Amazon takes advantage of honest authors’ hard work but that’s for another post.

The Cost of Self Publishing 2016

The great folks over at Reedsy.com have answered the question, How Much Does it Cost to Self-Publish an eBook.

The costs are based on data culled from the Reedsy marketplace. You may find other prices elsewhere but for a good measuring stick their info graphic is a wonderful tool. One thing to bear in mind is that while you can spend more than is here and you can spend less, the important thing is that in an already crowded marketplace for your book to stand out you will need to spend some money. Now you know about how much.

Another Cautionary Tale

I came across another excellent post from Janet Reid, http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2016/04/please-tell-me-you-didnt-pay-money-for.html. I know these are intended to be cautionary tales but sometimes I find some of these humorous. At other times I get infuriated at the hole machine that has popped up to, “assist,” writers. You can waste a lot of money, money that would be better spent on editors, book formatting and cover designers. Just always remember there are no sure things, no corners to cut, and a sucker is born every minute.

Things Didn’t Quite Work Out

I saw this story on Galley Cat http://www.adweek.com/galleycat/penguin-random-house-sells/114720. I only had one interaction with Author Solutions. That was back in its first year when I entered the Writer’s Digest novel contest. Ever since then my mailbox benefited from regular deposits of promo materials and offers, none of which fit anywhere in my budget.

The idea was a promising one as far as I understood it; a traditional publisher taking a brave step into DIY publishing. Instead Author Solutions quickly became a bunch of services designed to separate new authors from their money more than connecting them with readers. Will the new owners carry on business as usual or resurrect the brand into something closer to the ideal? Time will tell. For now most writers would agree, we’re better off without them.

Spam Books

I really had no idea this existed. http://www.newselfpublishing.com/blog/#spambooks

Though after some thought I can’t say I am surprised. If there is a way to take a little money and make a lot of money you can bet someone is working at it. Now the hard question a writer must ask himself or herself is, why don’t I just take a freelance job. I know a very talented writer who does just that. I have thought about it too. We all have our own definition of success in mind and our own milestones to reach before we can say that we arrived. For myself, I prefer the control and the satisfaction of writing for myself. Publishing is just an afterthought. I’d love to make most of my money from it some day, but at the same time I don’t want to turn what I do to relax into what I do for work.