Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #31

by Joel Friedlander on April 27, 2013 · 7 comments

Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for April, 2013. We welcome your submissions on topics related to writing, self-publishing, book design or marketing books.

A collection of outstanding articles recently posted to blogs, your reading here will be richly rewarded.

See the end of this post for links to submit your blog posts for the next carnival, or for participating Bloggers and Featured Bloggers to grab your sidebar badges. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Featured Posts

self-publishing blogsShannon @ Duolit presents The Justin Timberlake School of Rocking Your Book Launch posted at Duolit, saying, “In addition to charming you with his suave style, sweet dance moves, and amazing falsetto melodies, Justin Timberlake can teach you a thing or two about how to rock your book launch. Seriously!”

self-publishing blogsself-publishingLaura Pepper Wu presents 6 Powerful Ways to Market Children’s Books posted at 30 Day Books, saying, “This is a guest post by Gail Kearns and Penny Paine from To Press & Beyond, a book shepherding company that specializes in children’s and juvenile titles. Since I have no experience marketing children’s book, I invited them onto the blog to give us some actionable tips. And boy did they deliver! Here are 6 powerful ways to spread the word about your kid lit, with plenty of tools and resources to utilize.”

Kimberley Grabas presents 11 Author Website Must Have Elements posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “An author website has a lofty goal: it needs to not just be, but also needs to perform and respond. No longer just a fancy, static, online business card, it is an author’s ‘homebase‘, a marketing and networking hub and a portal that allows communication to flow between an author and his or her readers. And website visits can translate directly into books sold…”

Book design and production

adrienne morris presents You can have playtime if you finish your snack . . . posted at Books at Middlemay Farm

Rinelle Grey presents How I Formatted my Kindle Ebook using Dreamweaver posted at Rinelle Grey, saying, “I wanted a way to format my ebook somewhere between completely coding my novel in HTML, and letting Word do all the coding. I found Adobe Dreamweaver to be a reasonable solution, and since I couldn’t find any articles about how to use it for this particular purpose, I wrote my own.”

André Klein presents How The Ebook Limits Innovation posted at LearnOutLive, saying, “see also: The Easy Way To Sell Digital Downloads From Your Website http://learnoutlive.com/the-easy-way-to-sell-digital-downloads-from-your-website/”

Randy Ross presents Quick, Dirty Twitter Tips for Writers posted at The Loneliest Planet, saying, “Tools and tricks for adding followers and spending more time on what really matters — your writing. This article is for newbies and intermediate Twitter users who want to boost their platform.”

August Wainwright presents Your Cover is Killing Your Book, and How to Fix It posted at August Wainwright, saying, “It’s important to fully grasp just how important the cover of your self-published book really is. It’s the first thing potential readers will see, and probably has more to do with impulse purchases than any other element. Improving your books cover could easily double sales, so here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most out of your cover.”

Indie author

Simon Garlick presents An Indie Author Needs A Blog posted at Mojano: Adventures in Indie Publishing

Jason Love presents How to make web comics posted at Jason Loves Life, saying, “This is about comics and webcomics, not sure if this is something you want to include in your carnival or not.”

Michael J Holley presents Is Self-Publishing Cool? posted at Michael J Holley – Writer, saying, “Has Self-Publishing actually surpassed Traditional Publishing now as the cool thing to do?”

Andy Decker presents Jonah 2 eight: I Do the Cooking posted at Jonah 2 eight, saying, “Another parable for writers – it’s like learning to cook.”

JJ Marsh presents Triskele Books Blog: Indie-friendly Book Reviewers posted at Triskele Books Blog

Julie Covert presents An Author’s Oath posted at Julie McKay Covert, saying, “An entertaining look at four reasons to publish your parent’s novel and an “Author’s Oath.””

August Wainwright presents Anti-Competitive Companies, Amazon, & Authors posted at August Wainwright, saying, “I wrote this article to demonstrate to Indie Authors that the most important thing to do is forget the fears and doomsday scenarios that are so prevalent online, and remember to just write. Write, Edit, Re-Write, Market, and Publish. Then adapt to changes, adjust any strategies, and repeat.”

Brian LeTendre presents For Authors, Goodreads Now More Important Than Ever posted at See Brian write., saying, “My thoughts on Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads, and what it could mean for both authors and readers.”

Sally Harris presents You can’t run a serious business as a creative person, right? posted at Frankly Books

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Kimberley Grabas presents 35 Hot Blogs to Help 21st Century Writers Light Their Fire posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Let’ face it. The business of writing is tough. There is no ‘easy’ button to grow that fanatical fanbase that you know is out there. So instead you’ve been scrambling around trying to piece together the platform puzzle on your own, with little to show for it other than a lot of frustration and a dull throb behind your left eye. But there is something you should know that can make the road to success a little easier…”

Joanna Penn presents Book Marketing Using Paid Promotion: Targeted Email Lists posted at The Creative Penn, saying, “One way to move the needle quickly in terms of book sales and ranking is by using paid promotion sites that have lists of avid readers who might be interested in your book.”

Gail Gauthier presents Can An eBook Author Do The Book Fair Thing? A Report From The Trenches posted at Original Content, saying, “This post describes one author’s experience with a method for eBook authors to use to promote their work when making public appearances.”

Sarah Bolme presents Do Blogs Influence Purchasing Decisions? posted at Marketing Christian Books

Ben Macklin presents eBook Creation Easy; eBook Promotion Hard – 21 Tips to help sell more eBooks posted at BWM Books

Laura Pepper Wu presents Ideal Reader Exercises and why you should do one (+ a new free resource) posted at 30 Day Books, saying, “When I start any marketing campaign, I begin by completing an ideal reader exercise. Why? Because writing for one person – and one person only – means that all of your marketing efforts will be much more compelling and engaging. You’ll be connecting with them on a much deeper level, and using the right words and phrases that they want to hear. Simply; they’ll “get you”. This post offers a free ideal reader exercise for you to complete for your projects, too.”

Mark Coker presents Libraries to Become Community Publishing Portals posted at Huffington Post Books, saying, “Mark Coker outlines the opportunity for self-published authors to work in partnership with local libraries to help mentor the next generation of authors. Libraries, in turn, have the unique opportunity to help local writers write better books for the benefit of writers, library patrons and libraries alike. Libraries are adopting ebook checkout systems, and are now gaining the ability to acquire self-published ebooks from local authors. Libraries want ebooks, and self-published authors stand ready to supply them.”

Alexander Zoltai presents More On Why Google Plus Is Important for Writers posted at Notes from An Alien

J.M. Ney-Grimm presents The First Lines posted at J.M. Ney-Grimm, saying, “Your book cover catches the eye of a reader. Your cover copy prompts him or her to look inside. What about those first lines of your story? Will that reader move on to another book…or click the buy button on yours?”

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez presents The Most Popular Twitter Hashtags for Writers posted at The Jennifer (Author) Diaries, saying, “47 Twitter hashtags which allow writers quick and easy access to writing tips, publishing tips, genre specific conversations, writing inspiration, and access to readers.”

Nick Thacker presents Want to Sell More Books? Do These Things NOW! posted at LiveHacked.com, saying, “This post is about something we all as authors should be thinking about: how to reach more potential readers. There’s something here for everyone, and I think it’s a helpful way to set the mindset of turning from writer to marketer!”

Dana Smith presents What Should I Do About a Bad Review on Amazon? posted at The Savvy Book Marketer

Self-publishing success

Gordon Burgett presents The 10-Step Publishing Process, the list in order (#2 of 10) posted at http://blog.gordonburgett.com

Dana Sitar presents When It’s Time to Get Selfish with Your Writing Dream posted at DIY Writing, saying, “I hit a milestone: enough book sales to pay rent! But, I think I have better plans for the money… time for the next step on this writing journey.”

Will Entrekin presents A Different Indie Success Story, or: Exciting Press By (and Beyond) the Numbers posted at Exciting Writing, saying, “All the “self-publishing success stories” I’ve seen have focused solely on sales figures and corporate publication contracts. This is a different sort, about a new publishing business model with very different priorities.”

Patty Jansen presents Don’t Go Broke in Self-Publishing: 10 Ways to Protect Yourself in the Digital Revolution posted at Must Use Bigger Elephants, saying, “Successful self-publisher Brian Kittrell makes some important points about how to avoid being scammed.”

Geraldine Somerset presents Four Things Indie Authors Need to Understand About Google Search posted at How to Successfully Self-Publish, saying, “As indie authors, we’re always trying to get our book to rank at number one or to appear on a better page in the search results. Getting this right demands some knowledge of Search.”

Mike Reeves-McMillan presents Getting Honest Reviews posted at Sarah Nego Writes, saying, “I’m both an author and a reviewer, so this article looks at the issue of getting reviews for indie books from both sides of the fence. In short, always follow the guidelines.”

Elizabeth Barone presents How to Brand Yourself as an Indie Author posted at Elizabeth Barone, saying, “This post was featured on The Passive Voice on April 1st (http://www.thepassivevoice.com/04/2013/indie-author-branding-how-to-figure-out-how-to-brand-yourself/), and got a lot of good feedback. It seems to have inspired quite a few authors!”

Geraldine Somerset presents Indie Authors And The Vanity Publishing Question posted at How to Successfully Self-Publish, saying, “The vanity publishing question used to be easily answered. On the one hand, you had trade publishers and they paid you.”

Nick Daws presents Kindle Nonfiction Author? Think About the Reader! posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “In this post I look at specific problem areas for writers (and readers) with nonfiction e-books, and suggest some good practice guidelines.”

Geraldine Somerset presents New Literary Forms for Self-Publishers posted at How to Successfully Self-Publish, saying, “One of the least discussed benefits of ebooks and digital publishing is how they are giving rise to interesting new literary forms.”

Geraldine Somerset presents The One and Only Way To Success. posted at How to Successfully Self-Publish, saying, “I recently read a post about free books on Amazon being the way to striking gold. Yeah, another one. What struck me most was one of the comments.”

Kate Tilton presents Tools for tracking indie and self-pub book sales posted at BiblioCrunch Self-Publishing Tips, saying, “This post contains tips to seamlessly track your book sales without having to obsessively check each retailer (Amazon, BN, Nook).”

Writing tools and tips

David Leonhardt presents Are You Ready for a Ghostwriter for Your Book? posted at A Ghost Writers Blog, saying, “The more you have prepared in advance, the lower the cost will be for you. Ideally, the writer does not have to do any outside research, because you have done it all. If you provide your information in a complete and organized fashion, it saves time and money.”

adrienne morris presents Inside the Actors Studio–Writing is an Act | Books at Middlemay Farm posted at Books at Middlemay Farm

David Leonhardt presents Wreck-It Ralph and Character Jobs, Part I posted at A Ghost Writers Blog, saying, “It is hard to separate people from their jobs, because one of the first questions we ask is, “What do you do?” Why would your characters, including in nonfiction, be any different?”

Corina Koch MacLeod & Carla Douglas presents Authors, Images and Copyright: How to Stay Out of Trouble posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “Images can enhance an ebook’s message, but using images incorrectly can get you into trouble. Written from the perspective of two editors, this post offers self-published authors tips for preventing potential copyright issues.”

Dave Bricker presents How Many Spaces After a Period? Ending the Debate posted at The World’s Greatest Book, saying, “Few subjects arouse more passion among writers and designers than the debate over how many spaces should follow a period. If you adhere to a style manual, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t specify a single-space—but popular arguments in support of the single-space turn out to be mostly apocryphal. The single-space after a period is a simple style evolution—and it’s a fairly recent one.”

Iulian Ionescu presents How To Self-Edit Your Novel posted at Fantasy Scroll, saying, “So, you finished your first draft. You listened to the advice of seasoned writers who told you not to edit your work as you go, but just push through with your writing and be done with the first draft first. Bravo & kudos to you! That’s a great achievement. So, what’s next? Then answer is: edit & revision.”

Kristene Perron presents Sex Equals Death – The Dangers of Breaking the Rules of Writing posted at Warpworld Comms, saying, “Indie publishing is a perfect opportunity for writers whose work doesn’t follow the rules traditional publishers consider necessary to generate sales. But is breaking the rules of writing always a good idea? In this article I talk about when and why artists should break the rules.”

Clark G. Vanderpool presents Start Write Here posted at SmudgedButLegible, saying, “Personal observations on getting started writing fiction.”

Judith Briles presents The Author’s Inner Circle … Who Are You Going to Call? posted at The Book Shepherd

Laxmi Hariharan presents The muse is a fickle mistress posted at Immortal Protozoan

Bryan Schmidt presents Using Nuances and Subtext To Bring Characters/World To Life posted at Bryan Thomas Schmidt Author Blog

Well, that wraps up this issue. I hope you enjoy some of the great articles here, and let other people interested in self-publishing know about the Carnival—Use the share buttons to Tweet it, Share it on Facebook, Plus-1 it on Google+, Link to it!

The next issue is May 26, 2013 and the deadline for submissions will be May 20, 2013. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

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    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jeffrey Allen Davis April 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I look forward to this round-up every time. Thanks!

    Reply

    Kate Tilton April 29, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Thank you so much for selecting my post on tracking book sales Joel! I am so pleased to be able to provide authors with valuable information :)

    -Kate

    Reply

    Laura Pep Wu April 28, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for featuring Gail and Penny’s post, Joel! I really appreciate you rounding up these fab articles each month. Makes for great reading.

    Reply

    André April 28, 2013 at 6:30 am

    Hi Joel,

    thanks for doing this roundup and supporting indie authors worldwide!

    André

    Reply

    Kimberley Grabas April 27, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I look forward to this great roundup, Joel! A day early is even better!

    Thanks! :)

    Kimberley

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander April 27, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Attentive readers will note that this edition of the Carnival of the Indies has appeared a day earlier than usual, and this is undoubtedly due to jet lag. However, the only downside is that you get an additional day to enjoy this amazing collection of blog articles. Have fun.

    Reply

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