Indie Authors: Using Collaboration Tools

Indie authors have a lot of options when it comes to the tools they work with, and nowadays there are more and more tools that allow for productive collaboration. Below are just a few: Continue reading

Indie Authors: Digital Comics

Novels, children picture books, and even cookbooks are often discussed in the digital publishing realm, but another type of book is gaining more prominence: comic books. Continue reading

An Interview with Gary Rodriguez, Author of Escape Through the Wilderness

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Gary Rodriguez is the author of Escape Through the Wilderness, his first fiction book. Here’s the official description:

“What was that?” Savi whispered anxiously.
“It couldn’t be Vexel, could it?”
Again, they heard more rustling in the woods, they knew it was getting closer.

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics, accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.

When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.

A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “last chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel, who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.

Read on for Rodriguez’s interview. Continue reading

Indie Authors: Building Your Brand and Writer Platform

To be a successful indie author, you need to have a brand / writer platform. At first, this may sound like a daunting task. And yes, it is a lot of work.

But I’ve found that it helps to outline goals, and then break down your plan into small steps that you can easily do a little of each day. Even if you only spend 10 minutes a day, over the course of a few months, you can really accomplish a lot.

I’ve also realized that when I first started out, all social media and even blogging felt like a chore. But as I’ve gotten used to it, I’ve started to really enjoy it and not see it as a task that needs to be done, but rather as a way to connect with people. Granted, it took me a while to get into this mindset, which may be something someone who is just beginning may want to keep in mind.

Here are some articles I’ve found that can really help you craft a marketing plan and build your brand / writer platform, a little at a time, day by day: Continue reading

Indie Authors and Authorpreneurs: Teaching Online Courses

To many people, self-publishing means producing ebooks. But nowadays, that’s a limited way of thinking. A lot of indie authors call themselves authorpreneurs, and at least some of them have expanded their business to include not only books, but other digital content such as blogs, podcasts, videos, and even online courses.

Making and selling your own online courses is one of the latest ways to build a brand, and more and more companies are popping up and offering their platforms to anyone with subject matter expertise who is willing to share. Platforms include Udemy, Skillshare, Skillfeed, Pathwright, Coursmos, ON-ED, and Fedora, to name a few. Classes consist of videos, presentations, quizzes, and discussion topics. Full disclosure, I have self-published a few ebooks, and I have my own online courses available on Udemy, Skillshare, and Skillfeed.

I spoke with six other online instructors who are also authors, five of which are currently earning a full time income with their books and classes. In most cases, their books and courses fuel each other’s sales. Though some of them offer their courses on multiple websites, they all teach classes on Udemy, a platform with more than 20,000 courses and over four million students. Continue reading

Indie Authors: High Quality Book Covers

When it comes to selling books, having an eye-catching cover is high on the list of getting more readers and buyers.

But there’s a lot to consider. Should you make the cover yourself? Hire a designer? Use stock photos?  Continue reading

Readers and Writers: Library News

Libraries are an important part of the book publishing world, and it’s been a while since I mentioned them in a post, so here’s a collection of links to library news, services, and more. Continue reading

Guest Post: Get More Blog Traffic with These Free Keyword Research Tools

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Courtesy of Ciphers, via Wikimedia Commons

By Brian Lang – Founder, Small Business Ideas Blog

Finding and using the right keywords is essential when it comes to running a successful blog. Brian Lang, owner of Small Business Ideas Blog, covers how to research the best keywords.

Blogging is a great way for freelance writers and authors to showcase their skills and start building a following.

Bloggers that can successfully grow their following also find it easier to get high paying freelance work, grow a profitable business, or launch new books successfully. Continue reading

So You Want to Write a Novel: Five Writing Mistakes, According to Grammarly

Grammarly, a platform that helps writers edit, has taken NaNoWriMo to a new level the past two years with its novel writing group @Grammowrimo. Last November, Grammarly worked with 500 writers to produce a 40,000 word novel. In addition to publishing a novel, they’ve compiled a list of the top five common writing mistakes. See their infographic below for tips on how to improve your own writing: Continue reading

An Interview with Kyle Prue, Author of The Sparks

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Kyle Prue is the author of The Sparks, book one of the Feud Trilogy. Here’s the official description:

Could you forgive your sworn enemy if it meant saving your family, legacy and beloved city from the hands of an evil power? The Vapros, the Taurlum, and the Celerius: three dynasties bound by an ancient promise, and given superhuman abilities to protect the city of Altryon from the dangerous world beyond its walls. Centuries of fighting, however, have turned the families against each other. A powerful emperor now rules and each family has suffered heavy casualties in the feud. Sixteen-year-old Neil Vapros desperately wants to become an assassin in order to impress his overly critical father. Despite a failed mission, Neil learns that a new sinister threat has awakened. This mysterious new power will shatter the established order and threaten not only the very lives of these powerful families, but also the once great city of Altryon.

Read on for Prue’s interview, as well as an excerpt from the book. Continue reading