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Smart self publishing: it comes down to people

Smart self publishing: it comes down to people

Self-publishing with BookBabyThe iPhone alarm shrieks far too early in the morning. I fumble to turn it off and then switch the TV on with the Comcast app. Brrrrr… it’s freezing. A glance at my weather app confirms it’s the coldest morning of the year thus far. Another phone app controls the heat and I crank it up a few notches.

A few minutes later I’m heading downstairs, working the remote starter app to warm up my car. Hm. Do I need to take a lunch? I open my calendar to check today’s schedule….

And so it goes in my wired day. Yeah, I love me some technology! Couldn’t live without it now. And without the relentless advance of technology, companies like BookBaby wouldn’t be around. Yet if you were to ask me what the real secret behind BookBaby’s success is, it wouldn’t have an on/off switch.

Last week I offered up the concept of “books without boundaries” and how our approach toward eBook globalization is a pillar of our business. And here’s another one:

People Powered Publishing.

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12 articles that will help you write your next novel

12 articles that will help you write your next novel

How to Write a NovelWriting inspiration for the middle of NaNoWriMo

You’re only halfway through the first week of National Novel Writing Month, which means you’ve still got weeks to go, and tens of thousands of words left to write.

How’s it been so far? Inspiring? Exhilarating? Frustrating? Torturous?

Just in case you need a little novel-writing boost to get you through the first week of NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d share a handful of favorite BookBaby articles on the topic:

* Writers, Forget About Your Weaknesses!

* Top 3 Tips for Writing Your First Novel

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eBook formatting tips for self-published authors

eBook formatting tips for self-published authors

eBook formattingSelf-published eBooks shouldn’t look any less professional than traditionally published eBooks

eBook formatting? BORING! I wouldn’t blame you if your eyes just glazed over and your brain fogged up.

But here’s the thing: it’s important to at least learn the basics of eBook formatting to make sure that the digital book you publish comes out on the other end of the eBook conversion process looking like something you cared about, labored over, and handled like a professional.

In other words, you want your eBook to look beautiful and function properly, NOT seem like a garbled mess. Proper manuscript formatting can make all the difference.

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The NaNoWriMo word-count calendar: writing a novel one day at a time

The NaNoWriMo word-count calendar: writing a novel one day at a time

BookBabyNanoCalendar

National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) begins this Saturday. Are you ready? Have you stretched, fired up the computer, purchased extra Moleskine notebooks, and thought of an awesome idea for a novel? Great — now it’s just a matter of writing 1,667 words a day for the entire month of November.

To help you stay on schedule, Marie Thresher (of BookBaby’s design team) created this word-count calendar. It’s kinda like a novel-writing Nativity calendar, only instead of eating chocolates every day you have the satisfaction of being X pages closer to completing your 50,000 word novel.

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Books without boundaries

Books without boundaries

Global eBook distribution

Why distribution beyond Amazon really matters

If Bill Gates said it, I tend to believe it. The software tycoon-turned-philanthropist has been proven right on just about everything (if you forget the Zune and that CTRL-ALT-DEL thing).

At the dawn of the internet, Gates published an essay that started off with this line: “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet.”

The name of the essay? “Content is King.”

His 1996 prediction — made during the prehistoric days of dial up modems, AOL and floppy discs — came true. From silly cat videos to eyewitness reports of government crackdowns, and billions of terabytes of everything in between, ours truly is the age of information on demand. As predicted the revenue followed, with powerful eCommerce platforms and monetizing traffic through advertising. Over the years Gates’ truism about the preeminence of information has been stated and restated with almost religious fervor.

Yet the explosion of information is only half the story, and that’s where BookBaby comes into play. Anyone on the planet has the potential to create the most eloquent, breathtaking, astonishing, even life-changing content. But without an audience — or more precisely the means to reach it — this rich content will never be fully appreciated.

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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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