This week in the Blogs, August 26 – September 1, 2012

by Joel Friedlander on September 2, 2012 · 10 comments

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It’s back-to-school time here in the U.S., but school’s never out for the indie authors of the world, and this week I’ve got some great reading for you and some very important topics. Whether it’s your copyright page, POD books in color, publishing awards, episodic publishing or the scams that seem to abound online, you’ll want to work through these articles so dive in.

James Moushon (@jimhbs) on Self-Publishing Review
Indie Authors: Your Copyright Page Needs Work
“One of the first things an indie author should realize is that the printed version of their book does not have the same content as the ebook version and the differences start right in the front of the book.”

Todd Allen on Publishers Weekly
How Affordable Color POD Could Change the Comics Industry
“By now you’ve probably already heard that Ingram Content has a new “Standard Color” pricing program that makes self-published color Print-On-Demand graphic novels economically feasible. This means you no longer have to have material out of print. It means you have access to the bookstore market, especially the online bookstore market.”

Suw Charman-Anderson (@Suw) on Chocolate and Vodka
How would you run a self-publishing award?
“As Sam put it, “there are some real loudmouths with monstrous egos” out there, and you can guarantee that any system based solely on a popular vote would cut out lesser known authors with awesome books in favour of the egotists.”

Amanda Meuwissen (@bigworldnetwork) on The Independent Publishing Magazine
Online Publishing With a Twist
“Unlike a traditional novel with a clear endpoint, series on BigWorldNetwork will continue for as long as their readers want more and new seasons are renewed (a season being 12 episodes in length).”

Kristine Kathryn Rusch on Kristine Kathryn Rusch
A Warning To All Writers Who Need Help Indie Publishing
“From the beginning, I have warned readers of this blog away from services that promise to publish your e-books for a percentage of the royalties. I haven’t done so in a while, and I really need to again. Here’s why.”

Writing for Change Conference in San Francisco

I’ll be speaking at the 4th San Francisco Writing for Change Conference on Saturday, September 15th, at the Unitarian Universalist Center at Geary and Franklin in San Francisco.

The keynoters are Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World, and Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior.

There will be panels of authors, agents, editors, and marketing people. You’ll be able to get feedback on your work from freelance editors and to pitch your book. Scholarships are available.

But there are only 100 spaces in the conference, and reservations are going on now. For more information, please visit www.sfwritingforchange.org.

Blog Note

After months of planning, tomorrow we’ll open the doors on a brand new feature on The Book Designer, using new interface elements (otherwise known as “buttons”) to give readers access to all the books, guides, tools and training courses that can make such a big difference to your publishing journey.

Although it’s going to take a little longer to completely build out all the access pages, the front door will swing open tomorrow and at least you’ll be able to “kick the tires” to see what’s coming.

Watch for it, and have a great Sunday.

photo credit: Яick Harris via photo pin cc

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    { 9 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jo Michaels September 4, 2012 at 5:41 am

    This is a great list. Thanks for taking the time to put it together! As always, your blog is informative and a wonderful read. WRITE ON!

    Reply

    Ilana Waters September 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I must say, the article on copyright didn’t really go into *why* the author’s instructions were necessary. Different copyrights for each version of an e-book? I didn’t see how the reader or author benefited.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander September 2, 2012 at 10:36 am

    James points to an example in his “wish list” #4 in the article.

    Reply

    Maggie Dana September 2, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Type:

    The Terms of Use look long and boring, but it’s essential

    into Google and the third result is this epub company.

    Reply

    carol brill September 2, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Joel, after reading Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s,
    A Warning To All Writers Who Need Help Indie Publishing
    I am both on guard and confused. Because she does not mention a service by name, it is not clear to me which services exactly to avoid.
    for instance, in prior blogs, you have mentioned (I think favorably) BookBaby – is this the type of service she warns against???

    Reply

    Tracy R. Atkins September 2, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Carol,

    I think Mrs. Rusch’s article is more of a cautionary tale, instead of just an indictment against one company. Most of her articles are very sensitive to contract terms, as she has been burnt a few times. The advice is sound.

    From a business perspective, by agreeing to the terms of service for certain e-book management companies, you are giving up a percentage of your royalties in exchange for an e-book conversion and upload to the retail outlets. E-book conversions can be made at home or by a professional for a flat fee. So, you must weigh if you stand to make more money by paying for someone to do a one-time conversion to ebook, or if you really want to pay someone a percentage of your royalties. Economically, it often makes sense to pay a onetime fee and own the masters.

    Further, some of these ebook services have terms of service that may change, unfavorably to the author. Since you are not signing a contract, you have little recourse if they decide to do something you don’t agree with. On top of that, they often own the digital files that make up your ebook and if you decide to leave them, you are stuck without an electronic copy you can market elsewhere, starting the cycle over again.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander September 2, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Carol,

    I recommend both Bookbaby and Smashwords as ebook distributors, and I don’t believe Kris is talking about either of them in this article. However, it’s always a good idea to read the agreements you “sign” before you sign up with any firm that is offering you services in exchange for a percentage of your royalties. Note that Bookbaby, alone in this field, does not deduct a percentage from your sales.

    Reply

    Carol September 2, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Thanks Tracy and Joel. Your further clarification helps

    Reply

    Bridget McKenna September 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Bookbaby charges authors flat fees for services. The types of scam artists Kris is on about are those who do jobs the author could hire out for a flat fee, but take a percentage of royalties in perpetuity. Some even call their services “self-publishing.”

    Reply

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