Welcome to Self-Publishing: The Carnival of the Indies

by Joel Friedlander on October 6, 2010 · 62 comments

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Last year when I started The Book Designer blog, I was looking for ways to find readers. I kept running into the advice to look for blog carnivals to participate in.

I had no idea what a blog carnival was. A gathering of bloggers, like a street fair? It sounded festive, and it turned out to be a great discovery.

When blogging first got started, bloggers would put out a call for entries to get other bloggers in their field to send in their best blog posts.

A compilation of the best posts submitted would be issued as a blog carnival. The links were divided into subject categories, and the carnival would come out weekly, or monthly, or on some schedule that suited the blogger.

Marketing With Blog Carnivals

As the number of blogs proliferated, there were blog carnivals for almost every subject area and niche. And why not? It works for both readers and bloggers:

  1. Readers get a convenient, curated list of articles that are probably going to repay a visit to the contributing blog with good content and value. They are already gathered, vetted and sorted. This is one of the most valuable functions you can perform for the readers in your niche, because otherwise a lot of this content will go unread.
  2. Bloggers get a chance to share their best posts with a wider audience, since all bloggers who participate in the carnival link to the post from their own blogs. Because the best blog carnivals are tightly focused on their niche, there’s a great chance that readers of other blogs will be delighted to find more great content in their area of interest.

If you are a nonfiction author with a blog on your topic, I would encourage you to check and see if there are any blog carnivals in your niche. Participating is an easy way to market your blog, and to find new readers.

Time for Something New

Blog carnivals don’t seem as popular as they once were, but they are still a great idea. While searching for carnivals to participate in, I found a number aimed at writers and writing blogs. And there’s Cathy Stucker’s great blog carnival oriented to book marketing, Selling Books.

But I was disappointed to find no blog carnival for self-publishing. What’s up with that?

Since there are so many more bloggers writing about self-publishing, it seemed like a great time to start one up, so that’s what we’ve done. I call it Self-Publishing: The Carnival of the Indies, and this month will be its premier issue.

I’ve set up a page on the blog that has all the information you need if you’d like to participate. Mostly it involves going to blogcarnival.com and pasting a URL into a form, but if that’s too much trouble you can just email it to me and the carnival sprites will take care of the rest. Check out the Carnival Page for complete details.

The deadline for this month is October 20th, and your post should have been published within the last 90 days. Oh, it should also have something to do with self-publishing. Just go to the Carnival Page where it’s all spelled out.

The Carnival of the Indies will replace my last This Week in the Blogs post for the month on the last Sunday of each month. If you want to make sure not to miss it, subscribe to the Book Designer right now and you’ll get all new posts in your inbox automatically.

If you’re a blogger, I hope you’ll participate. Every blogger whose post appears in the Carnival will get one of our nifty new sidebar badges:

self-publishing blog carnival
And if you’re a reader, I think you’re going to be amazed at the great reading we’ll have for you. Stay tuned, and I’ll see you at the Carnival!

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    { 16 comments… read them below or add one }

    Efioanwan April 25, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Hi, can I still get updates of the carnival if I do not participate by adding a blog. Would love to see what this is, and maybe another time I can join?


    Joel Friedlander April 25, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Efioanwan, the Carnival is ongoing and a new issue is published each month. You can check them all out on the Carnival Page or use the links at the bottom of this post in the “Trackbacks” section.


    alex d September 21, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I have been writing for many years now, and have had several of my works published. However the hardest part I always come to when I am writing, is getting it published. Most would say writers block, but I have had the hardest time getting my work published until I started self publishing my own work through a great resource I found. I found that their unique transfer software allows just about any body submit their books from any manuscript layout software they use. Soon enough they will then publish a book in trade quality from as many copies as you desire. It even takes only a week to get the published copies. Instantpublisher has saved me so many different troubles when it comes to writing.


    Julia M Lindsey October 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you for the information. It is a great way to find other blogs in the publishing world. I just signed up. I would love to have a badge to put on my site.

    I submitted an article. Do I just submit a new article a month?


    Joel Friedlander October 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Sure, Julia. You can submit more than one per month if you like, but the Carnival will only appear at the end of each month. Everyone who has an article in the Carnival will get a badge, and I’ll send a link when it comes out. Thanks for participating!


    Betsy Gordon October 6, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Joel — This concept of a Carnival of the Indies is really neat! But I’m thinking, aren’t you already doing a Blogging Carnival in miniature, with your weekly “This Week on the Blogs”? I can hardly wait to see the grown-up version of this baby.

    Thanks again for a great weekly selection of interesting stuff to read and learn, and new blogs to visit!


    Joel Friedlander October 6, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Betsy,

    I’ll still be doing the weekly links, but the Carnival will have many more articles, will come out once a month, and I hope it will showcase some of the great blogs and bloggers in the self-publishing space. Should be interesting.


    Dana Lynn Smith October 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    What a great idea Joel, and I love the nifty graphics you have created. I just submitted my first post, Gain Visibility with Reviews on Amazon.com. Thanks so much!


    Joel Friedlander October 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Thank you, Dana, look forward to your post.


    Cathy Stucker October 6, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Joel, I am glad that you are doing this. There is always room for another publishing blog carnival, especially one devoted to self-publishing.

    Good luck with it!


    Joel Friedlander October 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks Cathy, I’ve really enjoyed participating in your Selling Books blog carnival, and I’ll continue to send you articles.


    Belinda Kroll October 6, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Thanks for putting this together! I hadn’t heard of blog carnivals before, only blogfests. Really excited about this!


    Joel Friedlander October 6, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Hi Belinda. I’ve had a lot of fun running articles in different blog carnivals and I hope you’ll contribute since you are already a self-published writer. Thanks for stopping by.


    Belinda Kroll October 6, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Joel, I will definitely! I’ve submitted my recent post about media mail and CreateSpace, and how we need to be careful about planning for the postal service.


    Kim Wolterman October 6, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Joel, this is a great idea! While I have a separate blog for my first book, I also started one to describe my journey of founding a publishing company and self publishing my book. I look forward to seeing the “show” of other bloggers at the Carnival of the Indies.


    Joel Friedlander October 6, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Kim, that’s great. I’d love to have some articles in the Carnival about your journey, and I hope you’ll participate.


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