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How Karma and cooperation have changed the game in independent publishing

How Karma and cooperation have changed the game in independent publishing

Karma and cooperation amongst independent authors is changing the game[This article was written by guest contributor Nancy L. Baumann of Bookarma.]

You know what the problem is, don’t you? Traditional publishers have long held an exalted position. They determined who was in and who was out, who was worthy and who was not. They decided what the public could read and what messages or entertainment to issue. They were the gatekeepers of ideas.

That’s over now, and we have some statistics to prove it. The July 2014 Authors Earnings Report said that self-published authors are “dominating traditionally published authors” in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery/thriller, and romance genres, and are also taking “significant market share in all genres.” The report also said that, “We can now say that self-published authors earn more in royalties than Big 5 authors, combined.”

So what about the gatekeepers? Quite simply, indie authors went around them. And thanks to the culture of karma and cooperation in the Indie market, you can produce a world-class book. But only if you’re determined to be a professional.

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Preparing for NaNoWriMo: how to manage your time, stay motivated, and keep the creativity flowing

Preparing for NaNoWriMo: how to manage your time, stay motivated, and keep the creativity flowing

NaNoWriMo: Write a Novel in One Month

Resources for authors that want to write a novel in less than a month

National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) is a little more than a week away. On November 1st, thousands of authors will start writing with the goal of completing a 50,000-word novel by midnight on November 30th. That’s a hell of a goal, and it requires that you write an average of 1,666 words per day for an entire month. Sound inspiring? Painful? A bit of both?

It’s really an amazing event fueled by the passion of a worldwide community of authors, and it might be just the thing you need to temporarily turn off your internal editor, experiment with new approaches to writing, and push your craft to the next level.

But it won’t be easy. That’s why I’ve put together some info to help you prepare for this writing marathon (or is it a sprint?).

An outline for your writing process during NaNoWriMo

If you’re going to finish a novel in 30 days, your schedule may look a little something like this…

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What’s your state book? A literary map of the U.S.A.

What’s your state book? A literary map of the U.S.A.

A literary map of the United StatesWell, this isn’t a map of “official” state novels, but Brooklyn Magazine has compiled a list of books that are:

… more than just a general reflection of a place, but rather paid attention to the specifics, even at the risk of the exclusion of the whole. No one book, after all, can completely capture the spirit of something so unwieldy as a state. Few—if any—books can even completely capture the spirit of an individual. And yet there are those stories that so beautifully evoke a time and a place and a way of life that it becomes close to impossible to separate the literary perception of a place from its reality—one winds up informing the other.

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Let’s talk: tell us about your adventures in writing and publishing

Let’s talk: tell us about your adventures in writing and publishing

BookBaby wants to hear from youWhat’s the very best thing about my new job as President of BookBaby? That’s easy – it’s getting the chance to interact with the BookBaby community of authors, publishers, editors and many others.

It’s hearing from people like Caleb Mason who wrote me last week:

I just wanted to let you know I have used (BookBaby) for all the books I publish under my imprint Publerati and have been very impressed with the helpfulness of your staff there. I recommend you every opportunity I get.

I had a notion of what I wanted to do when starting out. But without BookBaby none of what I am doing would have gotten off the ground, so my thanks are genuinely felt. And your staff is among the best I have dealt with anywhere.

Caleb founded Publerati in 2011 and quickly assembled an impressive collection of fiction from a diverse group of authors, from debut novelists to writers drawing praise from the New York Times Book Review and Oprah’s O magazine. Publerati proclaims its list of Core Beliefs on its website starting with “A love of writing and reading fosters empathy.”

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Why a traditionally published poet decided to self-publish her newest book, give it away for free, and  ask readers to help her write the sequel

Why a traditionally published poet decided to self-publish her newest book, give it away for free, and ask readers to help her write the sequel

Arisa WhiteArisa White, the widely-published Bay Area poet, Cave Canem fellow, and board member of Flying Object, has decided to self-publish her most recent collection dear Gerald in both print and eBook editions, give away a bunch of copies for free, AND solicit responses from readers that she’ll use as source material for another book project.

Why? Well, I asked her.

An interview with Arisa White about the process of self-publishing her latest poetry collection

I know it’s unfair to ask you to summarize a book, but if you could, what’s the soundbite about dear Gerald?

dear Gerald is a collection of epistolary poems, addressed to my estranged father. There are 35 poems in the collection, if you count the two typographical poems. I started on this project a few years ago when my mother asked me if I wanted to write to my father, who was deported to Guyana for involvement in a criminal case. Last time I remember seeing him, I was three years old, living in Brooklyn, NY. The work tries to make sense of his absence, and all the ways absence shows itself in my life—how absence begets absence, and what does this mean for the quality of our relationships with self and other.

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Printed Books 101: the components of a book (and where they go)

Printed Books 101: the components of a book (and where they go)

Printed Books 101: a glossary of book componentsA cheat sheet for self-published authors making print books

[This is an excerpt from 'Printed Book Design 101,' written by Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer. Download the complete guide HERE for free.]

For quick reference, here’s a cheat sheet of common components used in book design. Remember, most books don’t have all of these, so use this glossary to get the parts you DO have in the right place.

Half title — This page contains only the title of the book and is typically the first page you see when opening the cover.

Frontispiece — An illustration on the page facing the title page.

Title page — Announces the title, subtitle, author and publisher of the book.

Copyright page — Usually the back of the title page, this page carries the copyright notice, edition information, publication information, printing history, cataloging data, legal notices and the books ISBN or identification number.

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Venn Zen: Authors, be one with your audience

Venn Zen: Authors, be one with your audience

Authors: how to understand your audience[This guest post was written by Suzanne Paschall, CEO of Indie Ink.]

I was mightily inspired recently by one of our authorpreneur clients who tested us on our theory of building an Audience Avatar. (I love it when they do that! It’s what keeps us on our toes.) I’ll get to that test in a moment, but first I want to share with you the two-phase process we go through. Step one was to have her coach (me, in this case) interview her as if she was one person at the centre of the most likely audience for her content.

I asked her to envision this person, give her a name, and describe her demographic characteristics. “How old are you?” I asked. “Where do you work? Are you married? Do you have kids?” We went on like this for about a half hour, exploring her Avatar’s life—her beliefs and behaviours, as well as spending, reading and communication habits. We dove into her key influencers, and discussed her hopes, dreams and pain points.

In the end, our client looked at me and said, “I know my audience pretty well, but you asked some things I really was guessing at the answers to. And I wasn’t being her when I answered; I was me guessing at what she would say.”

Testing assumptions

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The cover of this week’s New Yorker, starring… printed books!

The cover of this week’s New Yorker, starring… printed books!

CoverStory-Fall-Library-Tom-Gauld-690-938

According to The New Yorker, Tom Gauld’s “Fall Library” illustration on the cover of this week’s issue was originally supposed to feature a woman holding up an eReader. But they decided against it because, according to Gauld, ”the fact that she’s holding one of her millions of books is what’s nice.”

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15 ways to promote your book with a book trailer

15 ways to promote your book with a book trailer

15 ways to promote your book trailerA book trailer is a short video teaser for your book. The video can consist of live action, animation, scrolling text on a black background, or pretty much anything else you think will capture the imagination of the viewer.

But are book trailers really necessary for promotion? I mean, you’re an author, not a filmmaker, and a book is a book — NOT a movie! Well, click HERE to read one writer’s opinion on the necessity of book trailers.

“Necessary” may be a strong word, but in our socially-connected, video-frenzied world, a professional book trailer can be a super helpful tool in your promotional bag of tricks. They’re short, sharable, exciting (when done well), and show that you’re serious about your writing, so readers will take you seriously too.

OK. Wanna create one? Check out our top 5 book trailer tips for authors.

Still stumped on what’d make a good trailer for your book? Get some inspiration from these fantastic book trailers.

Now, you’ve filmed and edited your book trailer and you’re ready to wow the world with it. What do you do? Where do you begin?

Here’s a list of ways to promote your book with your book trailer

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Keep going! Persistence pays off in the publishing world

Keep going! Persistence pays off in the publishing world

Dune: Frank Herbert's classic was rejected 20 timesTired of being rejected by publishers? Remember Frank Herbert

I was listening to the Writer’s Almanac Podcast this morning and heard that it’s the birthday of Frank Herbert, author of the science fiction masterpiece Dune.

Herbert is just one name on a long list of writers who found success after being repeatedly rejected.

Nearly twenty publishers told Frank Herbert “no thanks” after he’d submitted the manuscript for Dune.

Eventually Dune was accepted by Chilton, a publisher of auto repair manuals and an unlikely launching pad for a book that would go on to define an entire genre, sell over 12 million copies, and get made into a movie (twice).

So, if you’re feeling down, rejected, unsupported, or otherwise low about where you’re at in your writing life, try to remember that plenty of famous writers established their careers only after years of beating their heads against closed doors.

If you’re passionate about the craft of writing, it’s best to heed the advice of poet Todd Boss: “Never Give Up.”

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