An Indie Author’s Insights On Winning Book Awards

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By Matt J Pike

Matt J Pike is the author of Kings of the World and Apocalypse: Diary of a Survivor (stay tuned for a review of that excellent book). Pike won an award for his book Kings and has agreed to share his insights on the process.

Hi all,

The wonderful Sabrina has asked me to jot down my experiences when entering my first ebook – Kings of the World – in a book awards competition last year. So, here goes. Continue reading

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Indie Authors: Pricing Your Ebooks

Pricing an ebook may be one of the hardest pieces of marketing when self-publishing. After writing, editing, proofing, designing, packaging, promoting, and uploading to distribute, the next step is to decide how much to charge. Most people say it’s best to experiment with pricing, either by price pulsing or even just changing things up every few months to see what works best.

It’s a big challenge, and best practices seem to be changing constantly. A few years ago, 99 cents was considered the best price for indie ebooks, so that people would not hesitate  and be able to afford trying out a new author. But now, higher prices are supposedly better, and even $1.99 may be too low. Continue reading

App Zine Machine, An Easy Way for Indie Authors to Publish Magazine Apps

App Zine Machine

When it comes to digital publishing, indie authors have endless options. In addition to ebooks, authors can produce blogs, podcasts, and even digital magazine apps.

One new platform that makes it easy for users to publish magazines is App Zine Machine. Created by App Clover, LLC, a resource in the mobile app market, App Zine Machine launched after 21 months in development.

“Everybody has a blog, everybody has a website, some people have podcasts,” Len Wright, CEO and co-founder, said. “Very few people out there publish their own magazines. It has a special, we call it cache or panache, jokingly.”

App Zine Machine is a web application that uses HTML5. The platform makes it easy to add video, audio, or other interactive content that actively engages an audience. Users assemble their magazines in the application and then export them as apps for sale in Apple’s Newsstand.

Wright said that App Zine Machine was made for writers, entrepreneurs, and businesses who are passionate about publishing and want to build up their brands but either may not know or may not have the time to make complicated apps.

“I’m not a coder or a techie,” he said. “I’m not a programmer whatsoever. I don’t even know HTML, so for me a lot of the systems out there were just a no-go from the start.”

With App Zine Machine, all users need is an Internet connection, he said, though Chrome is the best web browser to use.

“You can be anywhere in the world and create a magazine,” Wright said. “You can even do it from the iPad.”

Continue reading

Indie Authors: Book Awards

Book awards are a great way for a book to gain prestige and can be an effective marketing tool (you can include a seal on the cover to make your book stand out). They can also lead to traditional publishing contracts. (See my post on becoming a hybrid author.) Continue reading

Indie Authors: Earning Money Through Ads/Sponsorships

Selling ebooks is not the only way to earn money from a book. Authors can also take part in subscription services or give away books for free to upsell other products. But there’s also a third option: ads/sponsorships.  Continue reading

7 Strategies and 110 Tools to Help Indie Authors Find Readers and Reviewers

Self-publishing is growing, and with it come new resources. One of the biggest hurdles of being an indie author is finding readers and getting reviews (which helps find more readers). Some people may still consider self-publishing a stigma, and some writers may think that promotion takes away too much time from writing. But many sites, including Outramp, Your Writer Platform, and Indies Unlimited have written posts giving advice for marketing.

On Digital Book World, founder of McCarthy Digital Peter McCarthy said, “Whoever is the best at connecting authors’ works with the end consumers — they win.” It’s about being agile and seeing what works.

With that in mind, here are 7 strategies and a list of 94 tools indie authors can use to help promote their books and find new readers and reviewers (although the first and most important thing is to write a good book, and then write another, and then keep writing).

UPDATE: After posting I realized I missed a few, so I’ve added them to the list, bringing the total count to 119 resources. You should also take a look at Your Writer Platform’s “How to Get Review For Your Book (Without Begging, Bribing or Resorting to Subterfuge)” for more advice and sites to use.

UPDATE 2: Honorable mention goes to Book Swag, a new website that is similar to BookBub, except free, and is aimed at helping authors promote their books for free and helping readers find great books. Continue reading

Using Kindle Countdown Deals as a Marketing Tool

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By Ron Glick

Indie authors have to make a lot of decisions when it comes to marketing books. New tools come out frequently. Ron Glick, author of 12 books, weighs in on his experience using Amazon’s Kindle Countdown. Read on for some great insights. Also check out his latest novel, Dorothy Through the Looking Glass.

Being an independent or self-published author usually means you are literally responsible for every aspect of producing and marketing your book. Things that a writer can rely upon through a traditional publishing house – such as marketing, media contacts, professional reviewers, etc. – are not readily available to an independent, which means an independent must work considerably harder to market their work. The key to any successful independent author is marketing, and anyone who has been where I have been with self-promotion, you know there is no readily available network to plug into to get instant recognition of your work. In a nutshell, marketing is everything. Continue reading

How One Successful Indie Author Marketed His Work Up the Bestseller Lists

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a huge fan of Hugh Howey. A while back, I had the pleasure of interviewing him, and I found out some of his amazing, and fairly unique, marketing and indie publishing strategies. You can read it here, on Writer Unboxed. I look forward to reading any and all comments!

6 Tips to Successfully Crowdfund a Project

Crowdfunding is hard. To do it successfully, and to be like the high profile projects on Kickstarter, Indie Go Go and other platforms and raise thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars means treating the crowdfunding process like a full-time job. Here are some tips I’ve learned the last couple years, both from experimenting with crowdfunding myself and from learning from experts (in no particular order). Continue reading

Garden District Book Shop

Over winter break I went to New Orleans with my family for the first time. While leisurely strolling around the Garden District we stumbled upon the Garden District Book Shop, a small but beautiful indie bookstore with loads of signed books.

Browsing bookstores always reminds me why I wanted to go into the publishing business. So many books! So many great stories begging to be read!

Plus indie stores are very supportive.