A Brief Look at the State of Self-Publishing

By Superikonoskop (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Superikonoskop (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Less than a decade ago, self-publishing, or indie publishing, had a stigma. Indie authors in general were seen as authors who couldn’t get past the gatekeepers, and they weren’t good enough to be traditionally published, so they weren’t real authors. Continue reading

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Guest Post: 9 Tips to Help Ensure E-Book Success

ebook

By James A. Rose – InstantPublisher

James A. Rose gives tips on how to be more successful when it comes to selling ebooks.

Indie e-book publishing has exploded in the past five years or so and for good reason. It is the best method for new authors on a limited budget to introduce their book to as many potential readers as possible. Right from your home office you can upload your book to multiple retail marketplaces with potential consumer exposure in the millions. E-book publishing is also a great way to test the waters before you invest in a short print run. Don’t get too excited just yet. Most e-books go nowhere but there are some steps you can take that will ensure your new e-book has the best possible chance for success. Continue reading

Indie Authors: Gathering Data and Marketing Your Work

You may already know, but I’m a big fan of data. It’s so useful, and can help streamline and make book marketing so much more effective, among other things.

One great way to collect data is to do surveys. One great example of how survey data pays off is musician Jim Bianco’s album, Cookie Cutter. NPR reported that all 17 songs were inspired by a fan who filled out his 69 question survey. Fans shared intimate answers, and Bianco got back “stories about reunited lovers, runaway pets, ballerinas, brain cancer survivors, Jesus Christ and — everyone’s favorite — death.” Continue reading

What Indie Book Publishing and Indie Game Development Have In Common, Part 3

A while back, I watched Indie Game: The Movie and was struck by how much indie game development and indie book publishing had in common. I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented and inspiring indie game developer, Jonathan Blow. Below is the second in a three-part series that discusses the similarities between developing games and publishing books as an indie. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Piracy and DRM

DRM is a hot button issue in both the publishing and gaming world. According to Blow, PC games don’t have DRM, and because of that, 90 percent of PC games are pirated. Other platforms such as iPhone, however, automatically use DRM as part of their distribution service. Continue reading

What Indie Book Publishing and Indie Game Development Have In Common, Part 2

A while back, I watched Indie Game: The Movie and was struck by how much indie game development and indie book publishing had in common. I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented and inspiring indie game developer, Jonathan Blow. Below is the second in a three-part series that discusses the similarities between developing games and publishing books as an indie. Read Part 1 here.

The Marketing

Marketing can be tough for game developers and writers. Both sometimes spend months or even years working on a project, and once it’s finished they have to learn to go out in the public and aggressively market their baby. Continue reading

What Indie Book Publishing and Indie Game Development Have In Common, Part 1

A while back, I watched Indie Game: The Movie and was struck by how much indie game development and indie book publishing had in common. I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented and inspiring indie game developer, Jonathan Blow. Below is the first in a three-part series that discusses the similarities between developing games and publishing books as an indie.

What do indie gaming and self-publishing have in common? Well turns out, quite a lot.

The documentary, Indie Game: The Movie, shows the ups and downs of being an independent game developer through the eyes of Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes while they worked on Super Meat Boy, Phil Fish during development of Fez, and Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid. The film is inspiring, and illustrates the similarities between publishing games and publishing books. Continue reading

Indie Authors: Finding Your Audience

It’s not the most glamorous aspect of indie publishing, and it’s definitely hard work, but finding the target audience for your book is an important step when it comes to successfully self-publishing. Knowing your readers and who may be potentially interested in what you have to say can make marketing down the line much, much easier, and interacting with fans and/or people in your community can help make the publishing process much more rewarding.

But how do you go about finding your audience? Continue reading

Ebook Review: The Hybrid Author

Hybrid_Author_coverThe Hybrid Author by Dianne Sagan

A publishing industry in constant change, authors find themselves trying to make decisions about whether or not to self-publish or traditionally publish. Now you have a book that explains the Hybrid Author path. 

  • What it is. 
  • What the options are. 
  • How to decide. 

Including interviews with C. J. Lyons, J. A. Konrath, Hugh C. Howey, Marie Force, Barbara Morgenroth, Jennifer Archer, and Travis Erwin. The Hybrid Author is “a treasure house of useful suggestions and resources for any writer.” Continue reading

Issue #40 of Self Publishing Carnival of the Indies!

Every month, Joel Friedlander posts a collection of informative blog posts about self publishing on his site, The Book Designer. This month, my blog post by guest author Ron Glick about using Kindle Countdown deals was included! You can check it out, along with all the other awesome posts, in this month’s issue of Self Publishing Carnival of the Indies. Enjoy!

Freebie Strategies for Indie Authors

UPDATE: Author David Gaughran has also kindly answered a few additional questions. 

Using free as a tool can be very beneficial to authors. When Amazon first started their KDP Select program, many authors were able to take advantage of the five freebie days offered during every 90-day exclusivity period, and shoot to best-selling status. However, Amazon has since changed its algorithms, and as CJ Lyons pointed out on Jane Friedman’s site, KDP Select is not the same tool it used to be.

Now, some authors are using other freebie strategies to promote their books, including making some of their titles permanently free (permafree). One way to do that is to price a book free on Smashwords, and wait for other distribution sites to price match.

Inspired by a student in my Udemy course How to Create Beautiful E-Books who asked some excellent questions on how to set e-books free on multiple sites, I reached out to a few authors to ask them about their experiences.

Three authors, Keith RobinsonSusan Kay Quinn, and David Gaughran shared with me. Keith Robinson is the author of the sci-fi/fantasy Island of Fog series for ages 9+, Susan Kay Quinn is the author of YA sci-fi Mindjack Trilogy, as well as the Debt Collector series, and David Gaughran is the author of Let’s Get VisibleLet’s Get Digital, and A Storm Hits Valparaiso, among others. Continue reading