By Allison Phillips
The environment is changing for authors. What once was thought to be a solitary pursuit is evolving into an interactive process with the introduction of new technology. As we move from the printed page to the screen, it invites readers and writers to engage and share the experience through online writing communities. Writers now have access to networks that offer critique, feedback, and support to one another. This collaborative approach helps to beat writer’s block, get inspired, and obtain a fresh perspective.
Take the bestselling novel 50 Shades of Grey, fan fiction based on Twilight, and written in progress on a public fan-fiction website; it gathered fans and feedback over time before being formally published.
While online writing communities benefit writers by giving them the freedom to share their work, it benefits readers by allowing them to uncover a whole new world of storytellers. No longer are readers restricted to the bookstore in search of something captivating but can now visit a site to explore new writing styles, working plots and engage with a potential bestseller.
Here are some writing communities that readers can explore: Continue reading
Jane Friedman has a great post on how to write a book in three drafts. There’s the messy draft, which is a first draft and often unorganized. Then there’s the method draft, which outlines the messy draft and starts the rewriting process. And last is the polished draft, where you start asking people for constructive feedback from beta readers.
After getting feedback, you can go back and take a look at your paragraphs. Joseph Blake Parker offers six tips on how to write strong paragraphs. Basically, you want to know what kind of paragraph you’re using (descriptive, action, dialogue, etc.), determine paragraph lengths depending on whether you want to slow a scene down or have an action-packed scene, and use important words only one time per paragraph.
Next you can use tools, such as Grammarly or the Hemingway app, to help clean up your manuscript. There’s also After the Deadline, an open-source plugin/extension/add-on/etc. that uses AI and natural language processing to find errors and offer suggestions.
After all that, you can choose to either self publish your book or to try and go the traditional route. If you want to go the traditional route, Writer’s Digest has a guide to literary agents, where you can learn more about agents, and get tips on how to query and submit.
The publishing industry is full of opportunity. Today, publishing startup Leafless, a digital distribution platform and publisher, is launching (after rebranding). Leafless aims to solve the problem of authors paying for reviews and honest reviews disappearing from sites like Amazon. Through Leafless, authors can give copies of ebooks to readers for reviews, and popular books on the site can be distributed globally, in order to collect data for agents and publishers to see and choose whether or not to publish a Leafless book traditionally. Leafless also plans to traditionally publish select titles under its own imprint.
Leafless was part of Ingram Content Group’s 1440 publishing accelerator. I got the chance to ask the founder of Leafless, Richard Billings, a few questions about his new platform and what it means for indie authors.
S.R.: What inspired the creation of Leafless?
R.B.: I began as an amateur writer, writing poems and short stories. After some good feedback and encouragement, I decided to write a novel. I spent two weeks clicking away on the keyboard only to come up with two chapters. I decided that if I was going to spend a year of my life writing a book, I should probably take a look at how the publishing industry works. It didn’t take long to find out that most manuscripts submitted to traditional publishers are rejected. When researching the self-publishing industry, I found many authors setting their prices high but providing very few, if any, reviews for me to base my decision on.
S.R.: How can Leafless help indie authors?
R.B.: Our initial offering only tackled pricing and reviews. We tried to circumvent the traditional market by only selling ebooks on our own site in a self-published-only model. We continued to talk with authors and were continuing to find that although many were happy for the opportunity to have their books read, many still wanted to be traditionally published, but didn’t have the connections to publishers and agents. We also began speaking with publishers and agents who said that they were buried under slush piles and needed a way to filter through the noise to find good content. At Leafless we give authors the opportunity to be discovered by traditional publishers and agents without the mess and rejection of submitting manuscripts to disparate publishers and agents.
S.R.: How many authors and readers is Leafless currently working with?
R.B.: With our previous offering we worked with nearly 300 authors from around the world. We of course hope to see many of those authors convert to the new site. We will also be actively seeking new authors in the coming months.
S.R.: Through Leafless, authors can give copies of their ebooks to readers, and then readers can nominate books for publication. How many votes does it take for a book to be published?
R.B.: Books submitted to the site will remain as ‘Galleys’ for readers to read and provide feedback. Readers can read as many of these as they like, but will have a limited number of ‘Nominations’ that they can use towards books they’d like to see published. A nomination will require that the reader to write at least 250 words about why they’d like to see the book published. After 10 nominations, authors will be offered a global distribution contract as a self-published title. We will apply our pricing model and provide limited marketing towards these books.
S.R.: And how does the publication process work?
R.B.: During the self-publishing stage, after nomination, we collect pricing, sales, demographics, and other important data which we then make available for subscribed publishers and agents. Publishers/agents can use this data to make informed decisions about which authors they’d like to make a contract offer to. The offers take place through our site where we either act as the agent in the case of a direct to publisher agreement, or as a split-commission in the case of an agent agreement. As part of our process, once a book is picked up for traditional publication, those 10 that initially nominated it will receive a signed copy from the author.
S.R.: Are reviews that readers write only available on Leafless or will they be published elsewhere?
R.B.: We still looking into it, but our goal is to disseminate reviews gathered through our process to as many retailers and review sites as possible.
S.R.: Leafless will also be publishing books the traditional way. How many books does Leafless plan to publish per year, and what does Leafless look for in a potential book?
R.B.: Leafless will publish books that appeal to us as a brand. We will probably publish only one book per month under the Leafless imprint. Our authors will receive all of the bells and whistles of traditional publishing, including editing, cover design, marketing, and our contract is based on the Authors Guild fair-contract recommendations. Our goal is to provide a service between authors and publishers. Our publishers would get a right-of-first-refusal for any books we decide to take one. We don’t want to compete with our publishers.
S.R.: How can authors submit their work for consideration?
R.B.: We will, as in the past, provide an easy to use submission process. We are partnered with Pressbooks.com to provide simple eBook creation tools. Submission into the Galley section is free and under no contract other that our normal Terms of Service.
You can learn more about Leafless here.
Book publishers can learn a lot from their media counterparts. As the world becomes more connected, the lines between these industries is getting blurred. Keeping on top of trends then can be really helpful, in terms of getting ideas of what can be done and what to expect in the future. Here are a few headlines from other forms of media that can help inform people in book publishing:
- “Paying The Piper: Music Streaming Services In Perspective” on NPR
- “SiriusXM: A Success Story (So Why Are They Still Paying Below Market Royalty Rates to Music Creators??)” on RIAA
- “Songwriter says he made $5,679 from 178 million Pandora streams [Updated]” on ARS Technica
- “Submit Music to Independent Radio Stations, Podcasts and Interview Sites” on Indie Music Bus
- “Whitestone – The World’s First Interactive Music Platform” on Kickstarter
Movies, TV, Video
- “‘Murder, She Wrote’ Reboot in the Works at NBC With Octavia Spencer” on Hollywood Reporter
- ““Kevin Spacey urges TV channels to give control to viewers”>Kevin Spacey urges TV channels to give control to viewers” on Youtube (Telegraph)
- “BitTorrent to Add a Paywall to its Bundle Platform in September” on The Digital Reader
- “BookReels, an MTV for Books?” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Creator & Director Anthony Wilcox Opens Up About Shield 5” on DIY
- “Dear Television” on LA Review of Books
- “Forget Binge-Watching, Try Encouraging “Binge-Reading”” on Publishing Perspectives
- “Google Unveils App Streaming: Is This the Platform That Unifies Apps and the Web?” on Battelle Media
- “Google wants you to pay $9.99 per month for ad-free YouTube” on Venture Beat
- “Harlequin Hopes to Find ‘Binge’ Readers with New E-Serial” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “How To Find and Hire your YouTube Team” on Youtube
- “In a year, Netflix’s competition shifted from Hulu to HBO to everything” on Quartz
- “Media Companies Join to Extend the Brands of YouTube Stars” on NY Times
- “Movies, music, and sports: U.S. entertainment spending, 2008–2013” on Bureau of Labor Statistics
- “Netflix is doing to TV what steam-powered printing did to books” on Quartz
- “The New Canon” on MetaFilter
- Out of Print
- “Publishers Should Start Selling eBooks on Bittorrent” on GoodeReader
- “Ready for Your Close-up? What YouTube Can Do for Writers” on Publishing Perspectives
- Tribeca Snapshot Shorts
- “Why Do People Talk Funny in Old Movies?, or The Origin of the Mid-Atlantic Accent” on Open Culture
- “Why I Recorded a One-Second Video (Almost) Every Day in 2015” on NY Times
- “Why publishers should embrace the film world’s enthusiasm for releasing a director’s cut” on New Statesman
- “YouTube Authors Storm the Bestseller List” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Youtube’s pay TV service makes video-creators a deal they literally can’t refuse” on Boing Boing
- “Electricomics wants to redefine comics for the 21st century” on Wired
- “Four Risk Factors Facing the Comics Industry in 2015” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Tokyopop Returns with New Manga, Self-Publishing App” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Spotlight: A Poetry Comics Discussion” on The Rumpus
- “Author Combines Mobile Gaming, Fantasy Fiction to Lure Readers” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Hachette launches football ‘gamebook’ series” on The Bookseller
- “Lessons for Publishers, Amazon, B&N, Kobo from Microsoft’s Xbox DRM about-turn” on I Reader Review
- “No Man’s Sky: What’s Missing From the Universe For You?” on Movie Pilot
- “What Indie Book Publishing and Indie Game Development Have In Common” on Digital Pubbing
- “The Content Industry Is Designing Anti-Piracy Lesson Plans for Kids” on Gizmodo
- “Hachette Livre Partners with Knewton to Develop Adaptive Curricula” on Digital Book World
- Inanimate Alice
- “Millions of Students Using Ebooks as Learning Tool in Schools” on Digital Book World
- Writers Web TV
- “The ad blocking controversy, explained” on Vox
- “Here’s The Thing With Ad Blockers” on Wired
- “We Brought Together the Major Players in the Ad Blocker War, and Here’s What They Told Each Other” on AdWeek
- “Where Clicks Reign, Audience Is King” on NY Times
- “Why Now Is the Time for Advertising and Marketing Technologies to Converge” on AdWeek
- “19 Warning Signs Your Infographic Stinks” on Kissmetrics Blog
- “Can Digital Shops Survive the Branded Content Boom?” on AdWeek
- “Content – Fresh, Exciting and Inviting” on Digital Book World
- De Correspondant
- “Digital Publishing: Your Story’s Life Span” on Editor & Publisher
- “Dutch journalism startup Blendle wants to create an iTunes for newspaper and magazine articles” on TNW
- New Historian
- “The Optimized Publisher: Social Integration” on Digital Book World
- “The Optimized Publisher: Structured Data Markup” on Digital Book World
- “Please, for the Love of God, Read This Post (Or How to Fight Content Fatigue)” on Copy Hackers
- “Publish interactive historical documents with Archivist” on Medium
- Ubu Web
- Codex Press
- “Erasing Digital Publishing Imperfections from Your UX Design” on Content Standard
- “Goodbye, Native Mobile Apps” on Atavist Insider
- “How content containers can dramatically affect user experience” on Joe Wikert
- “Millennials” on The Guardian (interesting way to present the series)
- “Infographic: Who Are The Leading Digital Publishers in U.S. News?” on Mobile Marketing Watch
- “Scoop: A Glimpse Into the NYTimes CMS” on NY Times
- “What you need to know: How six publishers digest the news for readers” on Nieman Lab
- “Why digital-first designers are the future of digital publishing” on Talking New Media
- “Buy Me a Beer: Why the “Donate” Button is Dead… Almost” on Blog Tyrant
- “Monetizing a Blog: Tip Jars and PayPal Donations” on Men with Pens
- “Setting up WordPress for AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages” on Yoast
- “Tensorflow and Monetizing Intellectual Property” on Stratechery
- “Why a Donate Button Will Hurt Your Blog” on Brian Haynes
All this connectedness, combined with lower barriers to entry, have made it easier than ever for people to start their own startups. Not all are successful, but they are all interesting.
- “Among News Apps, Flipboard Drives The Most Traffic For Publishers (According to Onswipe)” on TechCrunch
- “Byte is a wild new creative tool from the founder of Vine” on The Verge
- “Creating Book Apps With AppOpus by Russell Phillips” on Nonfiction Authors Association
- “Flipboard buying, killing Zite – will you make the switch?” on iMore
- “Learnist Releases App, Debuts Digital Bookstore” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “New app offers ‘books for the Snapchat generation‘” on CNN
- “Osprey and Amber launch digital partworks” on The Bookseller
- “Out of the Box Ebook Store for Publishers From Pubsoft” on Digital Book World
- “Quotle Is Instagram And OneShot For Book Quotes” on TechCrunch
- “Review: Read’s ePub reading app for iOS will make you more productive” on TNW
- “At the New Zola Books, Focus Is On Tech” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Bedtime Reading, Written by a Robot Just for You” on NY Times
- “Bonnier is Working on its Own eBook Subscription Service – BookBeat” on The Digital Reader
- Book Grabbr
- Book Tango
- “BookTech Award Showcase: Write-Track” on The Bookseller
- Borne Digital
- “eBookids Wants to Be a Netflix for eBooks for Kids” on The Digital Reader
- “Eleven Wants to Bring Back Adverts in Books” on The Digital Reader
- “Extinction and Editing: Startup Collate It” on Publishing Perspectives
- “Founder of The Pigeonhole on the serialized future of books” on Talking New Media
- “Germany’s LeYo! Relates Digital Interactivity and Analog Books for Kids” on Publishing Perspectives
- Girl Friday
- “How a City in France Got the World’s First Short-Story Vending Machines” on NY Times
- “Inkshares Announces New Publishing Tier, Funding Goal” on Digital Book World
- “Inkshares introduces Inkshares Credits to publishing crowdfunding system” on Teleread
- “Interactive Storytelling Phone Debuts” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Is Scribophile For You?” on Indies Unlimited
- Moveable Type
- “MyPublishingAssistant Lets Authors Streamline Blog-to-Book, eBooks” on GoodeReader
- “Nerdist Launches Collection on Inkshares” on Digital Book World
- “NetGalley Adds Excerpt Support Via Dial-a-Book” on Digital Book World
- Picturing Books
- “Pigeonhole Offers Subscriptions for Serialized Ebooks” on Publishing Perspectives
- “Poland’s OpenBooks.com Asks, Is Pay-After-You-Read Sustainable?” on Publishing Perspectives
- Post-Digital Publishing Archive
- Publication Studio
- “PubSoft’s New Platform Stands to Revolutionize the Publishing Industry” on GoodeReader
- “Startup of the week: Intellogo” on The Bookseller
- “Startup of the week: Orson & Co” on The Bookseller
- “Startup Serial Box Wants To Be the ‘HBO for Readers’” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Startup snapshot: The Owl Field” on Book Machine
- Unconventional Guides
- “Used eBook Website Launches in Europe” on The Digital Reader
- “Tapas Media Launches Gamified Stories App” on Digital Book World
- Adams Media
- Archangel Ink
- “Canelo reveals first signings” on The Bookseller
- Comma Press
- Samhain Publishing
- “The new platform luring readers into short fiction” on The Guardian
- Waldorf Publishing
- Anthology Builder
- “Authors.me Declaws the Publishing Process” on Silicon Hills
- Book in a Box
- Business Ghost
- “DBW Interview with Enrique Parrilla, CEO, Pentian” on Digital Book World
- Flying Cat
- Pedernales Publishing
- “Self-Publisher Introduces MyPublishingAssistant.com” on eContent
- Story Weaver
- “UK’s StoryTerrace Extends Crowdfunding to Private Bios” on Publishing Perspectives
- Book Perk
- Delancy Place
- Fetch Book
- The Reading Room
- “Read Senses” on DevPost
- “ReadZap Wants to Deliver Your Next Read to Your Inbox” on The Digital Reader
- “Screwpulp’s Launch May Be the Salvation of Book Reviews” on GoodeReader
- “‘Netflix for E-Books’ Looks Doubtful with Oyster’s Shutdown” on Forbes
- “5 things we learned from the demise of Oyster Books” on Joe Wikert
- “After Oyster, What’s Next for E-book Subscriptions?” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Oyster, a Netflix for Books, Is Shutting Down. But Most of Its Team Is Heading to Google.” on re/code
- “Oyster” on Crunchbase
- Oyster blog
- “Oyster Is Shutting Down Operations” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Oyster’s Sunset Shows Subscriptions Alone Won’t Address Challenges Of Ad Blocking” on TechCrunch
- “Scribd Cuts Romance Catalog” on Smashwords Blog
- “Vook Acquires Booklr” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “What do Subscription E-book Services Really Mean for Indie Authors?” on BookBuzzr
- “What’s Up with eBook Subscriptions? Kindle & Scribd Business Models in Flux” on Book Works
- “Cassidy: Issuu shows Silicon Valley’s vital role in global commerce” on Mercury News
- CEO Lifestyle
- Epic Write
- “Popcorn Time reinvents the seedy process of torrenting” on Ars Technica
- Product Hunt
- Reasearch Pad
- “This free online encyclopedia has achieved what Wikipedia can only dream of” on Quartz
- Worm Book
- Code Mentor
- “Making sense of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) – and why I prefer Earliest Testable/Usable/Lovable” on Crisp
- Email Hunter
- “How The New York Times and other publishers are using Slack as a content tool” on DigiDay
- Open Knowledge Labs
- “Prototype mobile phone covers foreshadow new wave of E Ink displays” on Gizmag
- “Skimlinks Poised to Displace Traditional Hyperlinks With World’s First Intelligent Linking Technology” on Digital Journal
- “StickyDocs Launches New Digital Publishing Platform Uniquely Tailored for Corporate Communicators” on Digital Journal
- “Vivliostyle – Web browser based CSS typesetting engine – Johannes Wilm – XML London 2015” on Vimeo
- Y Combinator
After taking a look at other industries, as well as new companies in the book industry, it’s interesting to read about trends and predictions for the future.
- “A manifesto for the open book” on The Bookseller
- “A manifesto on working with authors” on The Bookseller
- “Author Earnings survey analysis 2015” on Amelia Smith
- “Getting Past Genre in Digital Acquisitions” on Digital Book World
- “All Good Things…” on Julie Hyzy
- “Let authors take the quiet road; Week in Books” on Independent
- “The Agent’s Role in the Digital Age: A Conversation with Jessica Faust” on Jane Friedman
- “New Guild Survey Reveals Majority of Authors Earn Below Poverty Line” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Self-publishing And Web Presence” on Original Content
- “Type, edit and format with your voice in Docs—no keyboard needed” on Youtube
- “Web Poets’ Society: New Breed Succeeds in Taking Verse Viral” on NY Times
- “Ebook-Inspired Art: Center for Book Arts Nods at How Digital Is Changing Everything” on Digital Book World
- “Face to Face? Or Face to Screen?” on C. Hope Clark
- “Fonts and Nonsense: What Bookerly and Literata Get Wrong” on Digital Book World
- “Google developing books with special effects, patent applications suggest” on Silicon Beat
- “Google’s Ebook Logo Combines The Best Of Print And Digital Brands” on FastCo
- “Guardian open journalism: Three Little Pigs advert” on The Guardian
- “How online book shops can harness the power of social proof” on EConsultancy
- “How Publishers Are Using Smart Automation to Drive Sales” on Digital Book World
- “How We Build CMS-Free Websites” on Development Seed
- “Maximizing mobile micro-moments” on Joe Wikert
- “‘Book Scavenger’ Has Readers on the Hunt” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Barnes & Noble Announces Fantastic Lineup for the First-Ever Retail Mini Maker Faire® at StoresNationwide, November 6-8” on Business Wire
- “Books as brands and the opportunities to sell book-branded merchandise” on The Shatzkin Files
- “Can Technology Replicate Word-of-Mouth Book Marketing?” on Publishing Perspectives
- “Can This Small Publisher’s Radiohead-Style Plan Change the Way Books Are Sold?” on Flavorwire
- “Direct-to-consumer: Can you change buyer behavior?” on Joe Wikert
- “Ingram partners with BitLit to offer e-book bundles” on The Bookseller
- “International Read an Ebook Day Set for September 18” on Digital Book World
- “Leanpub Explains Why Not to Write Books in “Stealth Mode”” on Publishing Perspectives
- “Local Maui Book Publisher Launches First Worldwide Coordinated Virtual World and Book Series For Tweens” on Ein
- “Macmillan To Publish First Novel From Swoon Reads, A Crowdsourced Romance Imprint And Online Community” on Digital Journal
- “Mimi Makes A Million” on James Altucher
- “Potluck Book Discovery” on Medium
- “Publishers Turn to the Crowd to Find the Next Best Seller” on NY Times
- “Rewarding Readers– with Ebooks via Credit/Debit Card” on Digital Book World
- “Simon & Schuster and Hotels.com to Offer Ebooks to Travelers” on Digital Book World
- “Sword & Laser to Launch “Sequel” to First Publishing Contest” on Digital Book World
- “Target to offer e-books through partnership” on USA Today
- “The 15-Second Films Taking Instagram By Storm” on Fast Company
- “The Things Customers Can Do Better Than You” on Harvard Business Review
- “This unique Tokyo bookstore offers one book title a week (pictures)” on Ebook Friendly
- “Three Brilliant Publishers Doing Things Differently” on Digital Book World
- “Walmart is Carrying a Self-Pub POD Book In-Store” on The Digital Reader
- “With Stephen Fry, Penguin Crowdsources Future of the Book” on Publishing Perspectives
- “Bitcoin Now Accepted at Falbe Publishing for Ebooks, Audiobooks, and Stock Art” on Digital Journal
- “Bitcoin U: Why Simon Fraser bookstores are accepting virtual currency” on CTV
- “Connecticut Governor Signs Bill Creating State-Wide Electronic Book Delivery System” on Library Journal
- “Corner Office: F+W Chairman & CEO David Nussbaum on the Company’s Decisive Strategic Shift Toward Ecommerce” on Publishing Executive
- “Dance to Calypso” on Ma.tt
- “Digital reading museum to open in Paris” on The Bookseller
- “Disney and Pixar Spotlight Staff Talent in New Line of Books” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Harper Collins: from publisher to creative content business” on EConsultancy
- “Huge coalition led by Amazon, Microsoft, and others take a stand against FCC on net neutrality” on The Verge
- “The Rise of Twitter Fiction” on The Atlantic
- “Never Stop Learning: Access Lynda.com Courses on Your Next Virgin America Flight” on LinkedIn Blog
- “Reference: Google Adds Historical Street View Imagery” on Library Journal
- “Selling Erotic Ebooks Is Illegal in Germany Before 10pm” on Factually
- “SFWA Welcomes Self-Published and Small Press Authors!” on SFWA
- “The State of Ebooks” on EContent
- “Top 10 companies winning at remote work culture and their secrets” on CloudPeeps
- “Victory in California! Gov. Brown Signs CalECPA, Requiring Police to Get a Warrant Before Accessing Your Data” on Electronic Frontier Foundation
- “Making Medium More Powerful for Publishers” on Medium
- “2015 is the year the old internet finally died” on Vox
- “Forget Samsung and Apple. This is the future..” on 9Gag
- “Activate Tech and Media Outlook 2016” on Slideshare
- “A Vision for Making Ebooks More Engaging” on Digital Book World
- “Ebook silos and missed opportunities” on Studio Tendra
- “E-Ink Smartphone Flip Covers Are a Wonderful Idea” on Gizmodo
- “Interstitial Publishing” on The Scholarly Kitchen
- “Is It Time for Scholarly Journal Publishers to Begin Distributing Articles Using EPUB 3?” on The Scholarly Kitchen
- “Print Primacy Vs. Digital Diversity?” on Digital Book World
- “Report: “What Lessons Can Consumer Publishing teach the Book Industry?”” on Byte the Book
- “The businesses of books” on The Bookseller
- “The Death of the Long Tail” on Music Industry Blog
- “The End of Apps As We Know Them” on Intercome
- “The iPad Pro: The Start of Something New” on re/code
- “The publishing world is changing, but there is one big dog that has not yet barked” on The Shatzkin Files
- “The Show Must Go On – More Opportunities Than Ever for Publishers at MIPJunior” on Digital Book World
- “The State of the Internet” on Business Insider
- “Time to rethink the publishing internship?” on DigiDay
- “What We Got Wrong About Books” on The Scholarly Kitchen
- “When the Sharing Economy Comes to Publishing” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Book Sprinting with PLOS” on BookSprints
- Breaking the Page
- “Market research used to be a silly idea for publishers but it is not anymore” on The Shatzkin Files
- “NaNoGenMo 2014: A procedurally generated mysterious codex” on Safari
- NYT Labs
- “Piracy Takedown Notices Increase eBook Sales, Research Finds” on Torrent Freak
- “Seth goes short. Buffer goes long. Here’s what you should do with your content.” on Copy Hackers
- “Two out of every three digital minutes are spent on mobile” on Digital Content Next
- “Ebooks gone global: Report suggests less resistance, more legal sales and importance of Apple” on GigaOM
Last, it’s fun to see all the pieces starting to come together in the form of ebooks. There’s a lot of interesting developments in the EPUB world.
- “AAP Supports Ambitious EPUB3 Plan” on Digital Book World
- “Can e-books be made worthwhile for everyone?” on Teleread
- “E-book Reader: Batteries Not Required” on Engineering.com
- “Ebook sample subscriptions and automation” on Joe Wikert
- “Ebook screen tech is changing how Australia sees the road” on Alphr
- “Editions at Play are an extremely creative take on interactive ebooks by Google” on 9To5 Google
- “Google Is Publishing Unprintable Books” on Buzzfeed
- “IBM standardizing on EPUB to reduce digital barriers and increase mobile support” on IDPF
- “Indie band Airplane Mode releases iBook to accompany new EP; highlights further opportunities to tweak iBooks Author” on iBooksAuthor Conference
- “What is an Ebook Worth?” on Terrible Minds
- “Why and How the Samsung Readers Hub Could be the Next iBooks” on The Digital Reader
Live Write Thrive has a great post on sounds in novels, called “The Sound of … Sound in Novels.” It describes different types of sounds, such as natural sounds, which are part of the environment, expressive sounds, which may be amplified to help show a situation, surreal sounds, which are imagined, and emblematic sounds, which can draw focus to a particular moment. These types of sounds can be found in films, but writers can also make use of sounds, as symbols, as characterization, or even to show movement.
Writers can now add actual sounds to their work, or at least to ebooks. Using the platform Booktrack, authors can add soundtracks to their ebooks.
According to Booktrack’s website, Booktrack synchronizes music, effects, and ambient sounds to text to make reading a more immersive experience.
Mashable wrote that Booktrack “debuted as an iOS app focused on professional authors like Salman Rushdie; a total of 40 titles sold more than 250,000 downloads,” but then pivoted in 2013 to become a platform where “writers can embed songs from a catalogue of 20,000 licensed audio files, adding mood music, ambient audio and sound effects to play in tune with story lines, paced to a user’s reading speed.”
The Booktrack website has a special section for authors, which explains what Booktrack can do for them:
Authors and publishers can easily create their own Booktrack by choreographing their stories to Booktrack’s extensive library of over 20,000 free-to-use music and ambient audio tracks. The Booktrack library is rapidly expanding with our users who have already created more than 12,000 short stories and novels in 30 different languages. Booktrack has nearly 2.5 million readers in 150 different countries looking for stories like yours.
As long as you own the rights to the text, or the story is public domain, you can create a soundtrack for the book and publish it.
Booktrack has also expanded to offer services to classrooms, to help boost creativity and retention.
To learn more about the process of creating a soundtrack for your ebook on Booktrack, read “How to Create Your First Booktrack (and Get 2,000 New Readers)” on Jane Friedman’s site. It’s a guest post by Laurence MacNaughton, detailing the process. Basically, you upload your text and choose sounds. See also “Create a Booktrack (Soundtrack for Books)” on Worderella.
Have you ever used sounds to enhance your story? Please share in the comments!
By Sheena Mathieson – Freelancer
Facebook is such a big platform that has helped out so many indie authors. Here are some more tips on Facebook fan pages, from guest author Sheena Mathieson.
Today, the world meets on a platform and that social platform is Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s child has brought us closer and knitted us into the same web of ties. In this web of interconnected humans, do you want to be that entrepreneur or blogger who explores Facebook marketing strategies to serve creations to the world around?
Well, then you have come to the right place.
Why should you step up your Facebook fan page?
If you want to develop a concise Facebook marketing strategy or publicize your content, then you have set up a Facebook Fan Page. These are the reasons:
A good place to network and share one’s thoughts.
Sometimes you might want to share quick links or thoughts with other people. By using a fan page, not only can a celebrity take their musings to their fans, but product developers can also take their thoughts to their prospective customers. A writer can share the gist of his content to the internet-usership, artists can display their creations to the world; all of these without having them come to your site or shop.
A fan page is like a virtual ground where people can have discussions and interactions, where they can share links and foster connections. Once they know what you are about and they like it, your business or blog will begin to grow at a much higher rate.
Access to a greater number of people.
Facebook limits your friends’ count at around 5,000 but a fan page allows you to get as many likes as you desire. Your networking skills are expanded and with such an expansion, your thoughts and ideas can reach faster and further to the people out there.
It is simple to have a Facebook fan page, but to wait for its impact isn’t. It needs hard work in the form of daily upgrades. A successful fan page doesn’t attract success very easily – you need a plan and a spark to help you get there. Take these few important Facebook tips – it needs a well laid content plan, posts that can be food for thought or surprising news to the ones visiting your page, and daily tending so that it doesn’t rust away.
What are the benefits of stepping up a Facebook fan page?
Well, it is a simple thing – a personal profile of a market entrepreneur or blog writer doesn’t provide him or her a market or unlimited readership. Fan pages that publicize your business or work can be a cherry on the top for your Facebook marketing strategy. Personal profiles, however are just meant for one thing – personal connections. Not public ones, right?
So, here are a few benefits of your Fan Page:
- You get great access to advertising – Through your Facebook fan page, you can create ads for a targeted audience and end up not spending much money in the process. You can reach out to the friends of your fans through promoting posts and marketing your products/content well.
- You can schedule your content within Facebook – You can schedule your content according to the way you want and bring back older content as reminders for your audience.
- You can gather more followers– As a part of most Facebook Tips; you can gather more followers from friends of your fans and a community outside that of Facebook. You can achieve this through newsletters and contests.
- You can get insights from the new Insights tool – The new Insights tool on Facebook gives a detailed analysis on what is happening to your page – the number of people who have liked your post, the number of people who have access and much more.
A Few Facebook Tips:
- Run a contest on Facebook to reach out to more people as they give you access to emails through enticing prizes.
- Promote your fan page by setting up a Facebook page elsewhere online or through email notifications.
- Try to make the most out of your Facebook Insights tool.
- Generate access to apps that can add purpose and traffic to your page. For example, the Social RSS app helps you to draw on your blog’s RSS feed.
- The Insights tool can be of immense help in stepping up Facebook fan page.
This is a simple list. Be creative so you can devise ingenious Facebook marketing strategies to allow Facebook step up fan page. Just draw on and develop from experience and experimentation; and in case you need help, you have these Facebook tips to fall back on!
Sheena Mathieson understands the essence of making excellent content that suits the needs of every business, especially when it comes online marketing. She can spice up your marketing campaign with the content she makes and then incorporate Buy Real Marketing services.
Blogging is great for writers. If nothing else, blogging can be a way to practice writing, often in shorter chunks (at least compared to a book).
Blogging is not for everyone, and it took me a long time to even get in the habit of blogging. But now that I’ve established a routine, I really enjoy coming up with new content, or sharing links I’ve found valuable over the years. I love doing research, and blogging allows me to turn a lot of my research into something concrete, and hopefully useful.
For authors, there are a lot of ways to approach blogging. According to Anne R. Allen, blogs can grow with your career as a writer. It helps you develop your writing, build a platform and help make yourself enticing to agents and publishers, and introduce new work to readers.
Of course you can use your blog to help with content marketing for your books. Book Promotion shares a lot of great tips for how to blog and use social media to forge connections with readers. You can also use your blog to ask questions and get feedback.
You can also use your blog to write a book, as Nina Amir advocates. For people who do NaBoBlogMo (blog a book in a month) she offers a list of 31 things to do after you’ve blogged the book and want to sell it as a book. One interesting point is she recommends writing about 20% additional content, to add value to the book.
Blogs can also be a revenue source, especially if you have a large following. Rafflecopter shares their experience about partnering with bloggers via advertising to help maximize their reach.
One last thing to consider is how many blogs you want to maintain. The Book Designer outlines strategies for authors who want one site or multiple sites. Sites can include book sales pages, articles, and more.
Do you blog? If so, please share your experiences in the comments! What works? How do you get in the habit of blogging? What do you write about?
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
Marketing is a huge, integral part of indie publishing, but it doesn’t have to be hard. There are a lot of different pieces, but one of the most effective and longest lasting is building an email list.
The email list has a few different names. Mailing list, subscribers, sign-ups, newsletter. But it all boils down to the same thing: it’s a list that people have willingly signed up for, because they are interested in what you have to say. That means the people on an email list are an indie author’s target market, which, as any internet marketer will tell you, is incredibly valuable. Continue reading