Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for June, 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.
Richard Levesque presents How Much Does Randon Chance Account for a Writer’s Success? posted at Richard Levesque, saying, “This blog post was freshly pressed at wordpress, and I was astounded by the number of comments by people who said they felt the same way about the role of chance in a writer’s success; many thanked me for having the courage to say this “out loud”, which struck me as amusing since it didn’t seem all that courageous or edgy when I wrote it. I think people viewed this as an emperor-has-no-clothes moment. The basic idea here is that blog after blog gives advice on writing and selling but very few acknowledge the role that chance plays in a writer’s success or failure.”
M. Louisa Locke presents “It’s a Dandelion Thing:” Social Media and Marketing posted at M. Louisa Locke’s Front Parlor.
Kimberley Grabas presents 101 Quick Actions You Can Take Today to Build the Writer Platform of Your Dreams posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “What does it really take to build a writer or author platform? Money? Connections? An intimate knowledge of vampires, wizardry or erotic romance? Actually, the most important aspect to building an author platform is understanding that it’s about engagement; about connecting and interacting with people who are aligned with your message and affected by your story. Your platform is a web of intertwined beliefs, values, emotions, thoughts, stories, images and ideas that stem from your own core philosophy and are ultimately shared by your fans.”
Book Design and Production
Alexander Zoltai presents My Favorite Publishing-Aid Company Has Become An Even Better Choice posted at Notes from An Alien
Cathi Stevenson presents What Sells a Book? posted at Book Cover Express Articles, saying, “What motivates someone to actually purchase a book? In a 2009 book buying survey by Verso Digital (US), just more than half of 5,640 US respondents said they purchased books based on author reputation. Forty-nine percent said they bought books others recommended to them, and 45 percent used price as the deciding factor. Reviews influenced 37 percent of book purchasers, artwork played a role for 22 percent and advertising, 14 percent.”
Colin Dunbar presents Design and Format An Ebook like Pro! – Part 1 posted at Self Publishing Diary, saying, “I’ll be the first to admit, the content (subject matter) of your ebook plays a big role in the success of your ebook. But when you consider where and how ebooks are sold, you’ll see the advantages of a professional ebook design.”
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. Let’s take Google – it is the biggest and most popular search engine. Most of the others work in a similar way.”
Corina Koch MacLeod presents How to Create an Ebook With Sigil: It’s Easier Than You Think posted at Beyond Paper Editing: Editors’ Tips for Writers, saying, “Learn how to use Sigil — a free, open source EPUB editor that allows you to create an EPUB file that you can upload to most distributors. It’s surprisingly easy to use (not unlike a word processor) and if you’re at all interested in having more control over how your ebook looks, you can use Sigil to tweak “under the hood.”"
August Wainwright presents US vs. UK Book Covers posted at August Wainwright, saying, “Readers are swayed by book covers, now more than ever. Head over to Amazon or Kobo or B&N, search through any category, and you’ll notice just how many of those little covers are jammed onto every single page. It’s very interesting to see the different book cover designs for the US vs UK, and the feelings and emotions each look creates. Here are a few killer book covers and how they compare to their opposites across the pond.”
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Ebooks and Ebook Readers
David Bergsland David presents Contrary to common opinion, InDesign CC has helped ePUB export a lot posted at The Skilled Workman, saying, “InDesign constantly gets a bad rap by web developers and coders in general. However, for authors and self-publishers it is the best solution for publishing ePUBs, PDFs, and KF8 versions of your book.”
Rinelle Grey presents Is BookBub Making Free Promotions Only for the Elite? posted at Rinelle Grey, saying, “After my recent unadvertised free promotion, I’m wondering if it’s possible to make it to the top without paying for it.”
Dana Sitar presents Join the DIY Writers Carnival Every Month to Promote Your Blog and Get Published posted at WritersBucketList.com, saying, “Every month at WritersBucketList.com, share your thoughts on the writing life, promote your blog, and have a chance to get published by DIY Writing.”
adrienne morris presents Buck tries on Christianity and Thankful’s in the Family Way posted at Books at Middlemay Farm, saying, “An excerpt from my second novel set in late 19th century America.”
Geraldine Somerset presents ALLi Watchdog: Agent Assisted Self Publishing. posted at How to Successfully Self-Publish, saying, “Agent-assisted SP takes many different forms. At one end of the scale, it mean an agency encouraging one of their authors to upload their backlist, and showing them how, without taking any payment, content with the revenue boost this will give to the trade-published titles they represent. At the other are the many agents now uploading files to Amazon or other etailers in an account in their own name, and collecting 15% of the sales revenue ad infinitum.”
Geraldine Somerset presents Indie Authors Take Note: Prestigious UK Folio Prize Is Open To Self-Publishers. posted at How to Successfully Self-Publish, saying, “Originally The Literature Prize, renamed after acquiring sponsorship from the Folio Society, the prize is open to authors of all nationalities writing in English, provided their book is published in England in the calendar year preceding each year’s prize. The prize was set up as a serious-minded alternative to the Booker after the controversial announcement by its 2011 judges that they were focusing on books with “readability”, which many saw as a marginalisation of books that made a serious effort to engage with important or difficult matters of subject and form.”
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. Self-publishers, being more nimble and less constrained than trade-contracted authors, are finding fruitful niches and changing what it means to write and read a “book”.”
Geraldine Somerset presents Successful Self-Publishing Authors Are Entrepreneurs posted at How to Successfully Self-Publish, saying, “Indie authors come in all shapes and sizes and the only unifying characteristic is that they see themselves as creative directors of their books, from conception to completion. That means into design, printing, formatting and beyond. Contrary to uninformed opinion, publishing is not printing, or the moment when when you press the “Publish” button on an e-book sales platform.”
Judith Briles presents Publishing Predator Author Solutions in Class Action Lawsuit posted at The Book Shepherd, saying, “Cha-king … Cha-king … Cha-king is filtered through the DNA of those who have been seduced by the ever-outreaching octopus like approach of the publishing predators. A good cha-king for the predator cash register; a very bad one for the author. A recent class action suit has been filed against Author Solutions and it’s offspring…”
Judith Briles presents 5 Red Flags for the Indie/Self-Publisher and Author posted at Judith Briles, The Book Shepherd, saying, “Do your homework. Authors must watch out for the unscrupulous types who prey on unsuspecting authors in the making who are so eager to see their work out there that they get trapped by the publishing predators.”
Lindsay Buroker presents As an Author, Is It Worth Being in the Amazon Associates Program? posted at Lindsay Buroker — Fantasy Author, saying, “As long as you’re promoting your books anyway, why not make a few extra bucks as an Amazon affiliate? This explains how I use the program to make a few hundred extra a month in addition to my book royalties.”
Lindsay Buroker presents Self-Publishing Basics: Focus on One Book Series or Start Multiple Series? posted at Lindsay Buroker — Fantasy Author, saying, “Discussing the pros and cons of starting multiple series vs. sticking to one for a while.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Jan Bear presents Author Beware: Self-Publishing Book Scams Abound posted at Market Your Book, saying, “Authors looking to self-publish don’t expect to find self-publishing book scams among the traditional presses. That’s a dangerous mistake.”
Cathy Stucker presents 6 Ways to Promote Your Book on Twitter posted at Selling Books, saying, “Can Twitter sell books for you? Well, no, not all by itself. But Twitter is one of the tools you can use to promote your book. Tweets, images (Your book has a cover, right?) and Vine videos can help you create relationships with readers and sell more books. Discover the tips and tricks that will make Twitter effective for you and your book.”
James Moushon presents Free ebooks Promotions Can Be Pure Gold for Authors posted at HBS Author’s Corner, saying, “One lesson I learned was you needed more than a general goal of being a successful writer. Giving your work away for nothing had to have a purpose for me. I know some authors refuse to give their books away. Being a relatively new author, I needed to get my work out in the reader’s hands. As I always do in this type of situation, I went to my HBS Author’s Spotlight Crew (21 authors opinions and experiences.”
Jason Kong presents How to Promote Books and Win Fans posted at Mystery Writing is Murder, saying, “In a guest post for Elizabeth Craig’s blog, I explain how book promotion can be a generous act and win you supporters.”
Laura Pepper Wu presents 5 Places to Find an Intern to Help With Your Book Marketing Activities this Summer posted at 30 Day Books, saying, “In an economy such as this, when many university students struggle to find work during the summer holidays, hiring an intern is not only a great opportunity for you, it’s a brilliant experience for them. Authors can use a little help on their websites, social media, marketing as well as aspects of the writing process such as research and fact-checking. And students can learn more about self-publishing, marketing and careers in writing. All of which would make for a pretty exciting and fruitful internship. Here are 5 places I am posting classifieds for help wanted – perhaps you might find a wonderful intern for your book marketing in one of these places, too.”
Laxmi Hariharan presents Can an Indie Author SEO her way to the Bestseller lists? posted at LAXMIwrites
Randy Ross presents Nine More Twitter Tips for Writers Confounded by Twitter posted at The Loneliest Planet, saying, “These tips cover the gamut from adding and managing followers to working around a common error message to punching up your Twitter page design. There are also several more tips for better Tweets.”
Ron Herron presents Are You a Storyteller? posted at Painting With Light, saying, “Comments about my experience, both as a public relations, communications and marketing professional, and my latest role as an indie author.”
Steve Vernon presents My crack-dealer theory of eBook marketing, or how I started eating broccoli posted at Kobo Writing Life, saying, “My first entry in a monthly series of “How-to, with humor” blog entries.”
Gail Gauthier presents What’s A Self-Publishing Author To Do? posted at Original Content, saying, “This particular post was an attempt to bring together information regarding some of the difficulties self-publishing authors face.”
Sandra Hutchison presents Just who counts as a Christian, anyway? posted at Sheer Hubris Press, saying, “When I went to assign categories and key words at Amazon I realized I was in the ironic situation of publishing a Christian-themed novel that really would not be welcome in the category “Christian.”"
Amy Collins presents Library of Congress, Cataloging Data, and Bowker, Oh My… posted at New Shelves Distribution, saying, “There are things librarians and bookstores look for in a properly published book. Library of Congress listings, Catalog in Publication Data Block, properly registered and book data listed in Bowker and Books in Print. Not sure how or where to start? These four steps will get you there!”
Eva Odland presents Self Publishing – rockets, horror and glory posted at Eva Odland, saying, “Not so much success, as an article of of the apparent battle for the reader’s dollar between traditional publishing industry and self publishers.”
Writing Tools and Tips
Angela Greenfield presents Dialogue – BecomingAWriterBlog.com posted at BecomingAWriterBlog.com, saying, “Writing dialogue in fiction takes much consideration before words come out of the characters mouths. This article covers the basics of writing dialogue.”
David Leonhardt presents How to write the plot of a story posted at A Ghost Writers Blog, saying, “Here is a generic plot summary (with Infographic) that you can use as a base for your own fiction or other story-type manuscript.”
Allison Moon presents How to Have Opinions About Art posted at Tales of the Pack, saying, “In my former life, before I was an author, I was a theater reviewer, gallerist, and curator. I continue to be a passionate advocate for artists and will always be a great lover of art. Last year, I posted a sarcastic-as-hell blog post How to Write Bad Reviews. But I realize that people might actually be interested in how to be better armchair art critics. In an effort to replace snark with substance, I’d like to offer amateur reviewers some tips for writing useful and insightful reviews of books, film, and art.”
Bridget McKenna presents Self-Editing for Everyone, Part 1: The Most-Hated Writing Advice Ever posted at Points of View, saying, “”Give the readers the most direct experience possible. It really is that simple. The more you get in your own way with unnecessary words that distance the reader from that direct connection with the action of your story, the more you’re telling. Telling denies the reader the experience of story action in favor of reporting something to them instead.”"
C. S. Lakin presents Catching Readers in Your Net posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Too often novels are just a string of events, with one thing happening after another, mostly plot and little heart. If you are writing a novel with heart, hoping to impart and explore some themes, you want to avoid writing a book that is just a series of events. C. S. Lewis made this comment: “All stories must be a series of events [plot] but . . . this series is only really a net whereby to catch something else.” A story with heart should entangle us in a net of wonder, hold us dangling in the air over the surface of our lives and immobilize us momentarily. How can writers do this? The post will tell!”
Lisa Lawmaster Hess presents The Quest for Expression of Affection posted at The Porch Swing Chronicles, saying, “Not sure if this is a good fit since it’s more about the impact of being a writer than an actual how-to style piece….my apologies if it is off-base (and I’ll try again next month:-)”
Marcy Kennedy presents Four Fiction Felonies that Make Your Plot Unbelievable posted at Marcy Kennedy – Fantasy Author, saying, “In fiction, everything needs to happen for a reason. So to help you catch the biggest offenders that make your plot feel unbelievable (and not in a good way), here are the four biggest fiction felonies when it comes to plausibility.”
Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli presents Character is everything posted at Anakina.blog, saying, “This article has been written by Theresa Snyder, she is an indie sci-fi author. In this article she analyses what makes a very good character and how to have one even in sci-fi stories.”
Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents 7 Key Ingredients Needed To Create Compelling Blog Content posted at KunzOnPublishing.com, saying, “In order to attract readers to your blog, you must create compelling content. This means that your content must quickly get the readers attention – and hold on to it. But, at the same time, you must make an emotional connection with them. Compelling content will help the reader start to trust you, and will in turn help build an emotional connection with the reader. This is what will make your blog a success. Here is a list of the most essential ingredients to achieve this success.”
Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents 6 Basic Things Every Reader Wants From Your Blog posted at KunzOnPublishing.com, saying, “The blog is now the most basic and essential marketing tool needed for today’s small publisher. Your blog can be a very powerful way for your readers, customers, audience, and market, to connect with you on a practical and emotional level, 24/7. If you do not include all the basic information that your readers are looking for when they visit your blog, they will leave your site feeling disappointed, and without making an emotional connection to you, your products, or services. And because of this, many will not return to your blog, or buy your products or services. Here is a quick run-down on the most essential information that you must include in your blog.”
Nick Daws presents Who, Whom, Whoever, Whomever – How to Decide Which is Right! posted at Nick Daws’ Writing 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 July 28, 2013 and the deadline for submissions will be July 20, 2013. Don’t miss it!
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