Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #34

by Joel Friedlander on July 28, 2013 · 3 comments

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Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for July, 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-publishingWill Entrekin presents Why You Don’t Need an ISBN (And What You Should Invest In Instead) posted at Will Entrekin dot com, saying, “Bowker deliberately misleads authors to believe that ebooks require ISBNs when none of the major digital retailers require one.”

self-publishingCorina Koch MacLeod presents 8 Steps to Styling Your Ebook in Sigil posted at Beyond Paper Editing: Editors’ Tips for Writers, saying, “Style your ebook for Nook, Kobo and Smashwords in 8 steps with Sigil. In this tutorial with screen shots, you’ll discover that creating an ebook with Sigil, a free EPUB editor, is a lot easier than you think.”

self-publishingRita Carla Francesca Monticelli presents Serialised writing: a step forward in your commitment as a writer posted at Anakina.blog, saying, “Writing serials is a great way to promoting your work, but also to improve your skills as a writer. In this article I describe the basic rules for writing serialised fiction and I offer some example on how to use that to engage your fan base, also pointing out the benefits for the author during the creative process.”

Book Design and Production

Rebecca Berto presents Affordable book cover designers for self-published authors posted at Novel Girl

Judith Briles presents Author Alert: Are Your ISNs Legit? posted at The Book Shepherd, saying, “How many times has an author thought that they owned their ISBN … and didn’t? Here’s a few tips to avoid that misery lane.”

J.M. Ney-Grimm presents Choosing a Tagline Font posted at J.M. Ney-Grimm, saying, “Choosing fonts for a book cover can be quite a challenge! I knew I wanted Palatino for my title, but what about the taglines? Finding the right tagline font proved to be a challenge and an adventure. Come read all about it and learn with me!”

David Bergsland presents How can I make my next book better? posted at The Skilled Workman, saying, “The basic skill set unknown to the new self-publishing author community is typography. This is the key to providing easy reading to your readers and a level of professionalism which will engender trust from them.”

Kimberley Grabas presents Powerful Pictures Perform: How to Create Images That Grab Attention posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Images and graphics are an incredibly important tool for capturing your audience’s interest. Like multi-pixel eye-candy for your readers. In fact, images rank right up there with your post’s headline for creating impact, grabbing attention and enticing your reader into giving your article a chance when the competition is fierce. Add to that the growth of social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest–and the increased ease with which we can take, alter, upload and share images–and it’s impossible to avoid this new age of visual fascination. For many writers, this may be alien territory, but since the importance of images in today’s world can not be denied–or ignored–finding simple but effective ways to source, edit and incorporate images into your platform building is essential.”

Sally Harris presents Trim size, schim size. Who cares, right? posted at Frankly Books, saying, “There’s nothing worse than picking up a self-published book that is the wrong trim size for it’s genre. This post looks at the steps authors can go through to ensure that their book has the most professional finish they are able to give it by firstly choosing a suitable trim size.”

André Klein presents Why Making Books Is Like Baking Cookies posted at LearnOutLive, saying, “Making books is fun. In fact, it’s rather addictive. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop. The process of bookmaking has long been in the hands of a small intellectual elite, heavily guarded by cultural gatekeepers. The internet has disrupted this machinery and exposed its arbitrary rules of admissions. Now, everyone can make books…”

Ebooks and Ebook Readers


Gordon Burgett presents I flat out love the open publishing system posted at Gordon Burgett, saying, “I love the new system where almost anybody can get in print free, or almost, in minutes or days, particularly for those who know they won’t knock the top writers and publishing houses off their pedestals. They have something to say (it may be utter foolishness) and now they have a legitimate way to put it in words that are sort of immortalized (I guess forever, or while there are mortals about). A couple of wee book examples to prove the point.”

Mark Rubinstein presents No, I Won’t Use an e-Reader posted at The Huffington Post

Indie Author

Rinelle Grey presents 6 Tips for Choosing the Right Editor for Your Book posted at Rinelle Grey, saying, “Since the advent of self publishing, there has been a huge number of editors offering their services with a varied range of experience, price, attention to detail, and style. Finding and then choosing one isn’t always easy, and can be very daunting the first time. In this post, I offer 6 tips to help you when finding and choosing an editor.”

Jaye Manus presents Boast Post: Thomas Pluck and Co-Op Publishing posted at JW Manus Ebooks = Real Books, saying, “Indie publishers with low budgets, but a need for professional production should consider co-op publishing. Sweat equity, risk going in and potential for profit sharing. Here’s how it worked for one project, and how the work flow and delegation of responsibilities pulled together to create an ebook worth boasting about.”

Laxmi Hariharan presents Does 80% of your Happiness come from 20% of you life? posted at LAXMIwrites

Nick Daws presents Kindle Worlds Opens for Readers and Writers posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “Kindle Worlds is a new opportunity for indie authors to publish fan fiction based on selected properties and make money from it. In the post I explain how it works and the twelve properties you can currently choose from. I also address the question of why non-US authors are currently excluded.”

Richard Levesque presents Missed It By That Much: Rejection Indie Style posted at Richard Levesque, saying, “I’ve heard it said that rejection is good for writers, that it forces them to write better, to push themselves and find ways to make their writing stronger. I think this is true, especially of beginning writers. I know rejection has pushed my growth as a writer.”

Daniel Baylis presents Perspectives on Publishing: 5 Writers Talk About Their Chosen Paths posted at The Conversationalist, saying, “Here’s a post that I curated. In the coming days, I’ll also be posting about my own decision to self-publish. Hope to share it with you also, Daniel”

Edward Iwata presents The Reader in the Coffee Shop — And Why I Write for Her posted at CoolGlobalBiz.com

Randy Ross presents Top Secret Work Habits of the Successful Novelist posted at The Loneliest Planet, saying, “A successful novelist’s creative process: it’s not pretty, but it’s instructive — no matter how much you screw off, the important thing is to get that butt in the seat.”

Deborah Jay presents Traditional or Indie Publishing – which is right for you? posted at Deborah Jay, saying, “Sharing my experiences from both sides of the tracks, with the aim of helping writers decide which route will suit them the best.”

Rebecca Berto presents We all feel like the worst writer in the world (but we’re not) posted at Novel Girl

Alexander Zoltai presents Why In The World Publish A Novel Promoting Global Peace? posted at Notes from An Alien, saying, “Why write and self-publish a book that one knows won’t be “popular”?”

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Sarah Bolme presents Back to Basics posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Find out how to use marketing basics to reach your target audience.”

James Moushon presents Book Marketing Using Paid Advertising – A Study – Part 1: The Good News posted at HBS Author’s Corner, saying, “The current buzz in book marketing is paid on-line advertising. Some authors report excellent results, other complete disappointment. This study is divided into two parts: the Good News and the Bad News, as reported by authors who have paid to promote their books.”

Tony Riches presents Building your author platform #6: Google+ posted at The Writing Desk, saying, “This is number six in a monthly series, based on four year’s experience of author platform building using social media.”

Steven Saus presents Check Out This Mobile Version of My Site (and links to how I learned how to do it) posted at ideatrash, saying, “I recently had someone tell me they “had the internet”. They meant on the phone. ONLY on the phone. While my prior mobile version of my site was okay, I wanted to make it clean, slick, and relatively easy. The results – as well as where I found the information – are shown here.”

Carla Douglas presents Goodreads vs. Amazon Customer Reviews – What’s the Difference? posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “How would you define “book review”? Sites like Amazon and Goodreads are changing the language around books and reading. What goes into an average book review, and is this enough? Do readers or authors want more?”

Patty Jansen presents How do you promote on Kobo? posted at Must Use Bigger Elephants, saying, “When people hear I sell well on Kobo, their first reaction is usually: how do you do that? How do you even promote there?”

Leslie Lee Sanders presents How to Be a Great Guest Blogger posted at Leslie Lee Sanders, saying, “Authors often guest blog on an independent book blogger’s blog to promote their latest book release. Here’s 8 tips on how to leave a great impression as a guest on a blog.”

Kimberley Grabas presents How To Target an Audience (And Avoid Book Launch Flop) posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Why Target An Audience? One of the biggest mistakes writers make as fledgling authorpreneurs is believing that the larger the potential market, the greater the chances that their book (or freelance services) will get noticed. In fact, the opposite is often true. The larger the market, the more competition you are likely to face and the bigger the drain on your already limited resources. Trying to appeal to the masses instead of understanding the needs, wants and desires of a select few–the ‘right’ few–is the recipe for a book launch flop. Finding and narrowing your niche will help you to reach–and appeal to–more of the people that will ultimately buy your book. The key is to identify and research what your true target audience craves, recognize the unique and meaningful aspects of what you have to offer, and align the two to benefit your ideal reader in an exceptional way.”

Jane Ayres presents Now you DO see it….making your book visible on Amazon posted at The Beautiful Room, saying, “This is the follow-up to my previous blog post about visibility on Amazon for writers, called Now you see it. So after fiddling with my Amazon categories, I thought I’d share the outcome with other writers. Did it work?”

Jane Ayres presents Now you see it……book visibility, categories and Amazon ranking posted at The Beautiful Room, saying, “One of my e-book titles is selling much better than the others. MUCH better. And I still don’t know why. It is certainly more visible on Amazon than the others – is this because it is selling better or is that why it is selling better? Author Jane Ayres digs deeper….”

Gail Gauthier presents Poet Robert Lee Brewer On SEO For Writers posted at Original Content, saying, “A series of blog posts from a poet did more to help me understand SEO, at least in relation to blogging, than anything else I’ve read on the subject.”

Phyllis Zimbler Miller presents Amazon Categories Frustrate Authors posted at Phyllis Zimbler Miller, saying, “This is an ongoing issue for Amazon authors.”

Self-Publishing Success

Dana Sitar presents Crowdsource Your Self-Publishing Project without Asking for Money posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “(My guest post) – Tips on how to tap into your audience — no matter how small — to find support and resources to make your next self-published book a success without breaking the bank.”

Amy Collins presents Library of Congress, Cataloging Data, and Bowker, Oh My… posted at New Shelves Distribution, saying, “To truly have access to the markets you want, your books need to have all of the elements the market is accustomed to seeing. Don’t skip the Library of Congress, Bowker or Catalog Data Blocks when publishing your books. The steps to take are listed here and sometimes can make a huge difference in your sales to librarians and book buyers!”

Hazel Longuet presents 7 Ways To Fund Your Writing posted at A Novel Experience

Leslie Lee Sanders presents Assisted Self-Publishing, Vanity or Subsidy Publishing’s Bad Rep posted at Leslie Lee Sanders, saying, “Understanding the not-so-good side of subsidy publishing to help those who decide to self-publish through a subsidy publisher ask the right questions and make the best choices to reach their publishing goals.”

David Bergsland presents The changes to self-publishing are just beginning posted at The Skilled Workman, saying, “We’ve just begun the changes. Ingram Spark is showing us a little of the future—maybe. A universal ereader app will help. A superb book discovery site, app, or blog would change the face of today’s publishing world almost immediately.”

Writing Tools and Tips

Donna Marie Williams presents The Art of Team Writing posted at The Celebrity Editor, saying, “Writers are typically loners, at least when it comes to their work. In “The Art of Team Writing,” I explore how to play nice with other writers in team writing projects.””

David Leonhardt presents Point of View – telling the story from somebody’s perspective posted at A Ghost Writers Blog, saying, “Point of view is an important writing tool. The short story example shows how simple it is for words to change one’s point of view.”

Shelley Hitz presents 3 Keys to Writing Success and Overcoming Procrastination posted at Training Authors, saying, “Thank you!”

Bridget McKenna presents Attack of the Adverbs! posted at Points of View, saying, “Stories move best when writers not only use verbs that describe action, but strong, specific verbs that paint a moving picture in the reader’s mind—the more specific the verb, the clearer the picture.”

Marcy Kennedy presents How Star Trek Helps Us With Showing Rather than Telling posted at Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers, saying, “You’ve heard the advice “show, don’t tell” until you can’t stand to hear it anymore. Yet all writers still seem to struggle with it. I think one of the reasons is we lack a clear way of understanding the difference between showing and telling. And that’s where Star Trek comes in to save the day.”

Marcy Kennedy presents How to Use the Five Senses Without Falling into the Telling Trap posted at Janice Hardy’s The Other Side of the Story, saying, “As writers, it often feels like we’re asked to balance plates on our heads. And I’m not talking about balancing platform building and writing time, or balancing writing time and real life. I’m talking about finding balance within elements of craft in our writing.”

Belinda Williams presents Tell it like it is: a beta-reader wish list posted at Belinda Williams Books, saying, “Beta-readers are a key component of your writing journey. In this blog post, Belinda takes you through some of the essential criteria when selecting beta-readers for your next project.”

Belinda Williams presents Turn the other cheek to criticism: with the CritWrit writers’ checklist posted at Belinda Williams Books, saying, “Criticism can hurt, even the constructive variety. Belinda shows you how to step back and view feedback objectively, and make it work for you (and survive with your ego intact).”

Bridget McKenna presents Vampire Verbs, Zombie Verbs, and Verbs That Kick Ass posted at Points of View, saying, “An adverb is a useful and necessary part of speech. It does a job. It just doesn’t do the job a lot of writers seem to think it does—that of somehow making up for having chosen a flabby verb. Use your verbs. Kick the ass.”

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 August 25, 2013 and the deadline for submissions will be August 20, 2013. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

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    { 3 comments… read them below or add one }

    Bridget McKenna August 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I learn so much from reading the blogs you promote every month, and it’s an honor to be included. The Carnival is like gold in my inbox.

    Thanks, Joel!

    Reply

    John W. Huffman August 1, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Great site, with many good tips and suggestions. I particuliarly appreciated James Moushon’s study on Book Marketing Using Paid Advertisements, in which I particiapted. I have now listed this as one of my favorite sites. Have a great day and keep up the good work.

    Reply

    Greg Strandberg July 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Wow, I think I’ll need a month just to go through this monstrous list! Thanks for all the great info!

    Reply

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