Episode, the World’s Largest Community of Mobile Storytellers

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Back in 2014, Pocket Gems, a leader in the mobile games space, launched Episode, their interactive mobile story platform. In this platform, which is available on Apple, Google Play, and Amazon, users can interact with animated stories and make decisions to shape their plots.

The platform has grown in the past two years, and has become a great place for new writers to get their work noticed. I had the opportunity to interview head of studio Michael Dawson, who talked about the current and future state of Episode. Continue reading

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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

Taking a Closer Look at Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 3.39.28 PMThere has been a lot of buzz lately around Kindle Unlimited, the latest service to enter the ebook subscription game. But what out of all the subscription services  I’d say that this one is the biggest game changer, and that’s because it’s an Amazon service.

After recently finishing Brad Stone’s The Everything Store, I have a feeling that right now, Kindle Unlimited is more of an experiment for Amazon, to test the waters of ebook subscriptions. They’ve probably been thinking about it for at least a year or two, when the phrase “Netflix for ebooks” started becoming popular. But like the other business models out there, I’m not sure it’s yet clear how profitable or successful subscriptions for ebooks are.

Amazon already has tried a few varieties of subscriptions, such as Kindle FreeTime Unlimited and even with the Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL). Kindle Prime users have access to KOLL, which allows them to borrow, for free, one ebook per month. The selection is fairly large, and it includes all ebooks authors have enrolled in the KDP Select Program. For those who may not know, authors who choose to upload and sell their ebooks on Amazon’s platform have the option to also enroll those books in KDP Select. KDP Select requires that the ebook be exclusive to Amazon for 90 day periods at a time, though that strategy no longer works as well for authors as it used to. Continue reading

Intellectual Property and the Indie Writer

Courtesy of Ulfbastel, Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Ulfbastel, Wikimedia Commons

By Ron Glick

This post was originally published on http://godslayercycle.wordpress.com/. Ron Glick, an indie author of 9 comic trivia books and 5 novels, shares his insights and experiences with intellectual property. Read his latest novel, Dorothy Through the Looking Glass.

In recent months, the subject of intellectual property rights has become a very big issue for me personally. I swear, the last half of 2013 must have been an unwritten copycat movement that I never received the memo on. Out of nowhere, I found myself defending my own intellectual properties on various fronts, all from claims originating in this time frame. However, to make matters worse, it opened my eyes to exactly how under-informed independent (or indie) authors really are on the subject.

As writers, we all recognize the value of a brand. We rely on creating something marketable and unique to grab the attention of our audiences, but it frightens me at how little the indie writer market seems to understand of exactly how sovereign we are in preserving the concepts we create. Worse, not a single indie writer I have discussed this issue with in recent months is even aware of the necessity to aggressively defend what they have created. Continue reading

Pocket Gems Launches First Interactive Mobile Story Platform, Episode

Episode

Pocket Gems is known for being a leader in the mobile games space (well-known games include Tap Paradise CoveAnimal Voyage: Island Adventure and Campus Holiday), but today the company is officially launching an interactive mobile story platform called Episode, on the Apple App StoreGoogle Play, and the Amazon Appstore. Users can interact with animated stories that were built specifically for mobile devices, making decisions that shape the plot. Continue reading

New Year = New Websites

It seems like at the beginning of every new year (at least for the past three years), I suddenly get sick of the way my websites look and spend a week or two obsessively redesigning. Well, it’s that time again, and I’m proud to say I have a few new websites in addition to some prettier websites–hopefully these will help out anyone interested in my work!

So here’s a little more on what I did, and what you can expect from me this year. Hint: it involves ebooks and dinosaurs. Continue reading

POD – What does it really mean?

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By Bethany Brown – The Cadence Group

Print on demand is becoming more and more common, especially for indie authors. Bethany Brown, from The Cadence Group, a dedicated team of publishing professionals, has written a great, in-depth article explaining the ins and outs of POD. Read on.

If you are self-publishing your book or thinking about self-publishing your book, the term POD has probably come up in your research. POD is short for “Print on Demand” and, while technically a printing method, it has come to mean far more to authors and small presses. Continue reading

Other Self-Publishing Tips

Self-publishing can be a challenge. To do it successfully, you basically run the business of you. Below are some additional things, aside from the writing, editing, marketing, and conversion, to keep in mind. Continue reading

New Vanity Publishing Services

There’s a new demand for self-publishing services, particularly for e-books. Vanity publishing used to have a stigma, but that is slowly going away as new high-end services pop up.

Below are four such services self-published writers can use. If you know of any more, please list them in the comments!