Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #35

by Joel Friedlander on August 25, 2013 · 6 comments

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Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for August, 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-publishingAugust Wainwright presents The E-book Sky is Falling… Right? posted at August Wainwright, saying, “Recent articles have popped up on the Post and LA Times websites where the idea has been floated that e-book sales are “leveling-off” and “flattening”. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Dave BrickerDave Bricker presents Book Cover Design: Judging a Book by Its Cover — Part 1 posted at The World’s Greatest Book. “Nothing screams “amateur” like a poorly crafted book cover. The standards for book design aspired to by trade publishers are not all that high, but self-publishers routinely fall short of them. If you want your book to be taken seriously, package it like you’re serious about it. Perhaps the greatest tragedy in literature occurs when a well-crafted, meticulously edited bookblock is paired with an uninspiring cover.”

self-publishingDianne Greenlay presents How Wattpad Gained My Self-Published Novel 500,000 posted at ALLi: Self Publishing Advice, saying, “Last weekend, my novel, Quintspinner – A Pirate’s Quest, surpassed the incredible number of a half a million “reads” on Wattpad, the free online app connecting writers with readers. I first heard about Wattpad on David Gaughran’s blog in January 2012. At that time I was struggling to define my novel’s readership. My protagonist was sixteen years old and therefore the novel should have been classified as YA (Young Adult), but most of my readers at that point were adults. I was looking for a way to introduce the story to the YA crowd, and much to my excitement, Wattpad’s membership seemed to fit my needs.”

Book Design and Production

Bethany Brown presents eBook Cover Design Tips posted at The Cadence Group

Cathi Stevenson presents Can I Fit 900 Words On My Back Cover? posted at Book Cover Design Articles, saying, “Over the years, I’ve developed a file of information that I send to all of my clients as we’re nearing that part of the project.”

David Bergsland David presents Cover Design: The seduction of type effects posted at The Skilled Workman, saying, “The most common problems in cover design are: poor font choices, complex type stylings [emboss, bevel, shadow, glow, outline, inline, and so on], and complex high contrast backgrounds. This is a little discussion of the subject showing the problems and suggesting solutions.”

Geraldine Somerset presents How I Do It: Super Successful Indie Authors Share Their Secrets. posted at Self Publishing Advice, saying, “”Write as if nobody will read it; publish as if everyone will read it.” Hugh Howey talks about the writing and publishing strategies that have made him one of the world’s bestselling self-publishing authors. What’s the secret of your success? The biggest advantage I had as an aspiring writer was my prior experience as a bookseller and a book critic. I knew going in that making a career out of writing was highly unlikely. This was a huge advantage. It allowed me to approach my writing as a hobby, as something I loved, rather than something I needed to pan out.”

Indie Author

Daniel Baylis presents Why I’ve Chosen Self-Publishing, Or As I Prefer To Call It, “Team-Publishing” posted at The Conversationalist, saying, “These five reasons were at the core of my decision to self-publish.”

Deborah Jay presents 5 steps to holding a facebook launch party posted at Deborah Jay, saying, “If you are considering holding a launch party for your next release, here are some suggestions you can use to create a great party on facebook.”

Michelle Weidenbenner presents How Do Writers Find Reviewers? posted at Random Writing Rants, saying, “Indie authors must find reviewers who are willing to read their novels and write a review. Where do they find them? Tips from an Indie author.”

Richard Levesque presents Getting Some Perspective on Bad (and Good) Reviews posted at Richard Levesque, saying, “I know there are some writers who claim not to read their reviews, but I’m not one of them. I have come to embrace the idea that readers are the new gatekeepers of the literary world–not so much agents any more–and I want to see what my readers think. Even when what they think isn’t so nice.”

Sandra Hutchison presents Torn between two lovers posted at Sheer Hubris Press, saying, “An analysis of Amazon and Smashwords as potential dates”

Steven Saus presents The Value of Inexperience Is The Lack Of Tolerance Of Business-As-Usual Bullsh!t posted at Ideatrash, saying, “One of your STRENGTHS as a new, independent writer is that the status is NOT quo for you. Publishers, marketers, contractors – all of us must now justify our existence to you. Maybe you’ll decide the status was quo for a reason. But at least some of the time you’ll decide that there was NO good reason – and your fresh outlook will be what gives you the strength to walk the straight and narrow path.”

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Simon Garlick presents Want to Sell eBooks? Don’t Promote! posted at Mojano – Adventures in Indie Publishing, saying, “After running an extremely unsuccessful giveaway promotion I decided to run my own little experiment with intriguing results!”

Aishah Macgill presents List your book on the Book Depository posted at Aishah Macgill, saying, “Ever wondered how to get your independently published, POD book listed on the Book Depository? It can happen automatically, but it doesn’t gurantee sales.”

Ben Z presents Why you should run a Goodreads contest posted at ben zackheim, saying, “”Why should I run a Goodreads contest for my book?” “Because it gets your book on people’s GR shelves!””

Carla Douglas presents Amazon and Goodreads: Guidelines for Reader Reviews posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “Buying a book is sort of like going to the movies — Amazon and Goodreads reviews invite us to try our luck. What goes into a review on these sites? You’ll find a breakdown of requirements here, and a surprise or two.”

ebele presents How to sell yourself better (7 tips) posted at Street-side convos, saying, “Sharing some tips I have discovered on selling yourself and your work. Enjoy!”

Gordon Burgett presents Our best practices for general market book publishing in mid-2013 posted at Gordon Burgett’s Blog, saying, “The order in which we submit our books in mid-2013, to paperback and ebook houses–plus some words about BookBaby”

Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents Passive Marketing: 9 Powerful No-Cost Ways To Help Boost Book Sales posted at KunzOnPublishing.com, saying, “There are two main ways of marketing your books. They are “passive marketing” and “active marketing”. Basically, all marketing efforts fall into one of these two categories. Passive marketing generally includes all the seemingly small, static, subtle ways that we attract readers. This involves marketing efforts that reach people whether they know it or not. Active marketing generally includes all the larger, splashier, and more expensive ways that we attract readers. This involves marketing efforts that are much more obvious, and people know right away that they are being marketed to. Here is a quick discussion of some very powerful no-cost passive marketing ideas that will help you prolong your books sales.”

Kate Tilton presents Twitter Etiquette for Authors posted at BiblioCrunch Self Publishing Blog, saying, “Twitter is a great tool for authors but it can be just as much of a hindrance if used incorrectly. Here are some tips on how to best use Twitter.”

Marcy Kennedy presents 7 Reasons Every Writer Needs to Be on Twitter posted at Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers, saying, “Twitter often gets a bad rap by people who don’t understand it, misunderstand it as full of spam and celebrity stalkers, or don’t know how to use it to its full potential to build an author platform. When used correctly, though, Twitter can be one of the best tools for meeting new readers and increasing traffic to your blog. Not to mention it’s fun!”

Patty Jansen presents Self-published writers: please can the spam posted at Must Use Bigger Elephants, saying, “I wish all self-published writers would spend more time on their craft rather than relentlessly spamming my Twitter and Facebook feeds. What is more: companies don’t do this. They know that people hate being spammed at.”

Phyllis Zimbler Miller presents Book Promotion Tips posted at Phyllis Zimbler Miller

Randy ross presents Promote Your Writing: Events, Readings, and Fringe Festivals posted at The Loneliest Planet, saying, “How writers can boost attendance and readings, plus one writer’s experience performing at a fringe theater festival.”

Sarah Bolme presents Are Reviews Really Important? posted at Marketing Christian Books

Shelley Hitz presents What NOT to Post When Marketing Your Book – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid posted at The Future of Ink, saying, “Have you heard of the popular TV show, “What Not to Wear”? Well, in this blog post, I am not going to cover fashion, but instead I will be focusing on what NOT to post when marketing your book on social media. The idea for this post came while I was on Facebook one day. I am in a lot of Facebook groups for networking and marketing purposes and I see the craziest things posted within these groups. Unfortunately, many authors are pushing, pushing, pushing their books on social media instead of engaging their readers and pulling them in. I have compiled 8 of the most common mistakes I see authors making when marketing their books on social media.”

Steven Saus presents The Pageviews Will Come: how to (and how NOT to) publicize your blog posts or anything else you write. posted at Ideatrash, saying, “Self promotion is difficult – and sometimes you end up crossing that line into being an annoying jackass. Don’t be the guy who gets all defensive about it. See how my blog readership has grown from just writing good content – and then see how NOT to do it.”

Sylvia Liu presents Blogger or WordPress? Why I am Sticking with Blogger posted at Sylvia Liu Land, saying, “Authors are encouraged to blog, to develop a web presence and platform. The first decision to make is what blogging product to use. In this article, I explain why I am sticking with Blogger even though many advocate the use of WordPress.”

Tony Riches presents Building your author platform on YouTube posted at The Writing Desk, saying, “This is part of a series of posts exploring the many ways authors can successfully apply social media to build their author platform”

Self-Publishing Success

Bryan Chau presents From Rubbish To Self-Publish posted at SuccessPenPal, saying, “self-publishing, ebooks, indie author, strategies, success, etc.”

Denise Wakeman presents Are You an Author or an Authorpreneur? posted at The Future of Ink, saying, “I am co-founder of The Future of Ink with Dr. Ellen Britt. The article I’m submitting is from one of our expert writers, Kristen Eckstein. Thanks for your consideration.”

Nina Amir presents 4 Things to Understand Before You Self-Publish Your Book posted at How to Blog a Book, saying, “This post was part of a series on self-publishing. It was preceded by posts on traditional publishing.”

Writing Tools and Tips

Andy Decker presents When in doubt, write the way you talk posted at Jonah2eight, saying, “This is a handout I give my composition class. They seem to enjoy it and I thought it might be helpful or entertaining for others.”

Belinda Williams presents Why writers should blog. No, really. posted at Belinda Williams Books, saying, “There’s a lot writers can gain by blogging regularly. In this post, Belinda reveals one very good reason all writers should blog and it’s not about building your author profile…”

Bridget McKenna presents Self-Editing for Everyone Part 7: Two Languages posted at Points of View, saying, “Writers of English have extra linguistic resources, owing to that fact that English is two utterly distinct languages more or less happily married into one language of incredible richness. When a word from one branch won’t do, we can always go looking for one belonging to the other. The trick is to know which language to employ in which circumstances.”

Bridget McKenna presents Self-Editing for Everyone Part 8: Dialogue Tags posted at Points of View, saying, “Well-written dialogue spoken by well-drawn characters is the heart of any scene, and scenes are the building blocks of your fiction. A vital part of writing good, believable dialogue is knowing how to handle tags with skill and confidence.”

C. S. Lakin presents Words of Advice from Famous Authors That Are Just Wrong posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Writers are wont to take advice to heart, especially if such pithy advice comes from a famous author. But a lot of advice is just plain wrong. At least, for some people. Take a look at some bad advice from famous authors and see if you agree or disagree with their views on writing.”

Corina Koch MacLeod presents Recipes and Copyright: How to Stay Out of Trouble posted at Beyond Paper Editing: Editors’ tips for writers, saying, “Are you including recipes in a book you’re writing? Are they your own recipes? Here’s how to tell, along with some tips for staying on the right side of copyright law.”

Ellis Shuman presents Writing in My Sleep posted at Ellis Shuman Writes, saying, “When are you most creative?”

Iulian Ionescu presents Writing By Time Might Work For You posted at Fantasy Scroll

Jamie McNease presents Descriptive Writing: 4 Ways to Give Readers a “Clue” posted at J. G. McNease: An Author’s Journey, saying, “This is an article on writing descriptively for blogs and/or books.”

Katie McCoach presents Write Under Pressure posted at Katie’s Notebook, saying, “I’d love to spread the word on Twitter writing support groups, which is what this article is about. Thanks!”

Kristene Perron presents Get the Most From Your Writing Group posted at The Coconut Chronicles, saying, “From professional level critiques to industry advice, writing groups can be an indie author’s best friend with literary benefits. Here’s how to get the most from your group.”

Leslie Lee Sanders presents Simple Solutions to Ten Common Writing Roadblocks posted at Leslie Lee Sanders, saying, “As creative individuals, we often hit roadblocks which prevents us from being productive or making progress. Here are 10 of the most common challenges writers face, and tips and solutions to help get you back on track.”

Nina Amir presents How Blogging Got Me Out of the Slush Pile posted at Write Nonfiction NOW!, saying, “This post details how blogging helped me develop platform, which helped me land a traditional publishing deal.”

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 September 29, 2013 and the deadline for submissions will be September 20, 2013. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

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    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    Nancy Beck August 27, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Always love going thru these – lots of really interesting ones this time around.

    Thanks for doing this every month! :-)

    Reply

    Kimberley Grabas August 25, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Fantastic roundup this week, Joel! It seems to be getting better and better!

    Just missed the deadline by a hair – kids and summer make it tricky to get things done! :)

    But definitely in my calendar for next month…

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander August 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    There’s a lot to keep track of, that’s for sure. We use the @Carnival_Indies account to help remind people of submission dates.

    Reply

    Katie Cross August 25, 2013 at 4:39 am

    Happiest. Find. Ever.

    Reply

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