Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #37

by Joel Friedlander on October 27, 2013 · 11 comments

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Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for October, 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

Shelley HitzShelley Hitz presents 47+ Places to Submit Your Free KDP Select Promotion for Your Kindle eBook posted at Training Authors, saying, “If you are looking for places to submit your free KDP select promotion for your Kindle eBook, you are in the right place! Plus, I also share my 11 step checklist with you. Note: We have continued to update this post and you’ll actually now find a list of 78+ places to submit your KDP select promotion.”

Sabrina RicciSabrina Ricci presents Freebie Strategies for Indie Authors posted at Digital Pubbing, saying, “Now, some authors are using other freebie strategies to promote their books, including making some of their titles permanently free (permafree)…. Inspired by a student in my Udemy course who asked some excellent questions on how to set e-books free on multiple sites, I reached out to a few authors to ask them about their experiences.”

James MoushonJames Moushon presents Getting Book Reviews: The Methods Award-Winning Authors Use – A Study posted at HBS Author’s Corner, saying, “One of the biggest challenges facing authors today is on-line marketing and what affects reviews have on their success. Reviews control rankings, impact the buying decision and ultimately sales. Authors use many methods to get readers to review their books. Predicting the results is a different story. The writer has to be willing to except the good, the bad and the ugly. Unlike the old days where publishers basically controlled what reviews readers got to see, the on-line world is unpredictable. So the major question is how do I get reviews and can I control the results? You could say if you want good reviews, write a good book. Unfortunately it isn’t that simple. Just ask an author who has gotten a bad review. I like a good study with a lot of help from my friends. And I have a group of outstanding, award-winning authors that have my back. Over 50 authors helped me with the study. I will try to summarize the information so you can get something out of this post.”

Book Design and Production

Dana Sitar presents Forget the Finish Line, Enjoy the Publishing Process posted at Writer’s Bucket List, saying, “Guest blogger, Writer’s Market editor Robert Lee Brewer, shares the #1 lesson learned in his first personal publishing journey.”

Jenny Hewitt presents How To Design And Crowd Test Your Kindle Cover posted at Electronic Bindery, saying, “A steb by step guide on how to get started on your cover design project by borrowing inspiration from the pros, plus some guerilla crowd testing tips.”

Katie McCoach presents The Reality of Judging a Book by its Cover posted at KM Editorial, saying, “A book cover is the first thing a reader sees when selecting their next book, so the reality of this? Books really are judged by the cover.”

Sally Harris presents I’m in love … with my new book formatting posted at Frankly Books, saying, “When I formatted my first book, Diary of a Penguin-napper, I did it using Adobe InDesign as I happened to have the software and managed to work out how to use it without giving myself a bald spot from pulling out too much hair. That was back when I had loads of time and infinite patience for the whole experience. This time around, I wanted something easier, but that would produce the same result. Enter Book Design Templates. I’m in love.”

Ebooks and Ebook Readers


André Klein presents How To Install Custom Dictionaries on Kindle for iPad and iPhone (iOS) posted at LearnOutLive, saying, “Ebook readers can be a great tool for language learners. Especially the Kindle with its ability to install custom dictionaries makes translating words on the fly easier than ever before. But what about the Kindle iOS apps? With this little “hack” you can get the same functionality without owning a physical Kindle device.”

Indie Author

Halona Black presents 3 Steps to Creating an Author Platform for Your Healthy Brand posted at HalonaBlack.com, saying, “I am a Freelance Health Writer and owner of Garlic & Lemons Media. This article offers advice to medical professionals and wellness entrepreneurs on creating their author platform well before the book is even written.”

Jenny Hewitt presents Not About The Money: 10 OTHER Indie Author Motivations posted at Electronic Bindery, saying, “For some authors, the big ones might be fame and fortune, but there are other reasons for a career in indie publishing, and here’s 10 of them…”

Kristene Perron presents Should I or Shouldn’t I? Advice from the self-publishing trenches posted at The Coconut Chronicles, saying, “How does an author know if self-publishing is the right choice? Here are a list of questions to ask and factors to consider before you decide.”

Richard Sutton presents Sudden Immersion posted at Saille Tales, saying, “No overview of the widely-defined process of writing fiction would be complete without a look at the “Just do it” school which includes the sudden immersion technique also used by those writers known as “Pantsers”. Unconnected with Rommel’s North African Mechanized Division, the reference is to the “seat of one’s pants” school of literature creation. It’s a mysterious process, and I discuss only those elements I’m able to verbalize”

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Alexander Zoltai presents Do Social Media Networks Have Different “Identities”? posted at Notes from An Alien, saying, “Business site demographic studies can be helpful when choosing your platform requirements…”

Carla Douglas presents Amazon and Goodreads: Updated Guidelines for Reader Reviews posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “Unless you’ve sworn off online content for the past few weeks you could not avoid hearing about the review controversy over at Goodreads. Goodreads has since clarified what kind of review content is acceptable and what’s not. But here’s a note to both Goodreads and Amazon: Maybe readers would pay more attention to customer review guidelines if they could *find* them.”

Dava Stewart presents An Embarrassing Lesson About Leaving Negative Reviews posted at Smiling Tree Writing, saying, “This article is only tangentially related to marketing and selling books. It is about the action one indie author took in response to a negative review, and about how reviewers really need to remember that other humans are reading their reviews.”

Dave Bricker presents Blogging to Build an Author Platform posted at The World’s Greatest Book

Frances Caballo presents Finding Alternatives for GoodReads: Riffle, LibraryThing & BookLikes posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “In this post I review the merits of three alternatives to Goodreads (Riffle, LibraryThing, & BookLikes) and explain how authors can sign up and use them.”

Gordon Burgett presents Find the buyers before you write your book posted at Empire Building by Writing and Speaking, saying, “If you ask a new book writer who will read (or buy) their book, an astonishing number will say “everyone”! Alas, it’s that lucky few who actually even know about your book that will see its words and, one hopes, shout its praises. Veterans multiply the number of readers manifold by identifying the kind of person who most needs or wants what the writer will share, and add in another dozen for family and close friends. Then they write the book to that target, and they sell it there too. This blog lightly discusses that buyer-identifying process here–to be read before the book is begun!”

Greg Strandberg presents Amazon Perma-Free Books and the Recent Rankings Mayhem posted at Big Sky Words, saying, “The forums were rife with speculation and rumors. “Why is my book dropping in rank? Where did my categories go?” And worst of all, “My book just disappeared!” What was behind the perma-free shakeups going on at Amazon? Answers were few and far between, so I set out to find them.”

J.M. Ney-Grimm presents What Genre Do I Write? posted at J.M. Ney-Grimm, saying, “What genre is that story you just finished? Identifying it might be more difficult than you think!”

Jane Ayres presents Self-promotion, the ego and the creative posted at The Beautiful Room, saying, “If you are an indie author, why is it okay for someone else to promote you, but not quite so respectable for you to do it yourself? Why does the modesty/ego argument only apply to indie writers and not those who are traditionally published?”

Jason Kong presents 5 Steps to Blogging Mastery for Fiction Writers posted at storyrally, saying, “Blogging best practices varies depending on who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. This article shares advice specifically with fiction writers in mind.”

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez presents Best Unkept Book Marketing Secret of the Indie Author posted at The Jennifer (Author) Diaries, saying, “Book marketing secret revealed!”

Judith Briles presents The Author Glaze Factor posted at Author U : Where authors go to become seriously successful, saying, “The deer in the headlights look is common when authors hear the phrase social media marketing for your books is a must. When the glaze factor settles in, the heels dig in and resistance oozes from every pour.”

Kate Tilton presents Rafflecopter – An Easy Tool for Author Giveaways and Launch Parties posted at BiblioCrunch Self Publishing Blog, saying, “One of my favorite tools for my blog is Rafflecopter. This tool works well not only for book blogger, but also for authors. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to set up a Rafflecopter account and use it for a giveaway.”

Kate Tilton presents SlushHeap 17: Hiring Author Assistants posted at SlushHeap, saying, “(Video) This hour long chat between Rudi and Darcie of ShlushHeap and author assistant Kate Tilton covers the main questions authors have about hiring an author assistant and what an assistant truly does.”

Kimberley Grabas presents 14 Things About Building a Blog Audience That You Think Are True (But Aren’t) posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “An urban legend, or more accurately, a contemporary legend, is a kind of folklore that gets passed around in third, fourth or fifth hand accounts, modifying as it circulates and accruing credibility (at least by some listeners) as it spreads. Some well-known ‘truths’ about building a blog audience are like urban legends. If they go unchallenged, the truth becomes ambiguous, or worse, these inaccurate concepts become the conventional wisdom of the day, passed as fact from one rookie blogger to the next. Let’s dispel some of these non-truths, so that you can begin to build a blog audience without folklore getting in the way.”

Laura Pepper Wu presents Exactly How One Author Sells 70-75 Books a Day posted at 30 Day Books Blog, saying, “Indie author Octavia Randolph emailed me to say “I am now selling at an average of 70 to 75 books a day across all three titles. This is $200 a day.” Here’s a couple of reasons her book sales dramatically increased.”

Leslie Lee Sanders presents Pluck Great Advice from Abundant Information by Experimenting posted at Leslie Lee Sanders, saying, “There is so much information out there. This expert says do this. That guru says do that. How do you find great advice among the plethora of tips, tricks, and tactics? One word: Experiment.”

Nina Amir presents How Writers and Bloggers Can Use the Rule of 5 To Become Discoverable posted at How to Blog a Book, saying, “Too often authors don’t do enough to help market their books and to make themselves and their books discoverable. This simple methods makes it a daily habit and chunks the job down into a 5-point to-do list.”

Patty Jansen presents Earnings from self-publishing Sept 2012 – Sept 2013 posted at Must Use Bigger Elephants, saying, “You know about Joe Konrad, right? Guy posts his sales figures online to show what self-publishing can achieve. Well, I’m not Joe Konrad, and I post my no-name writer self-publishing results in this post, hoping that it will give people a more realistic expectation of the kind of sales they are likely to get.”

Randy Ross presents 18 Months of Social Media: One Writer’s Progress Report posted at The Loneliest Planet, saying, “After a year of building an author platform with social media, one writer reveals his mediocre results. Hopefully, you’ve fared better.”

Richard Levesque presents 5 Thinks I Wish I’d Known Before Going Indie posted at Richard Levesque, saying, “Now, with 2 novels and 2 novellas out there and one more that I’m getting ready to release, I’ve finally figured out a thing or two about marketing. Not that I’m enjoying wild success or anything…but at least I’ve learned a few things that I wish I’d known back then. So, in an effort to help others who are jumping in with both feet, here are a few things that I wish I’d known when I started.”

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli presents Giveaway and mailing list: how to take care of your readers posted at Anakina.blog, saying, “In this article the crime fiction author Stefania Mattana explains the importance for an indie author of building a mailing list for marketing their books and how to create one.”

Sabrina Ricci presents How One Successful Indie Author Marketed His Work Up the Bestseller Lists posted at Writer Unboxed

Sarah Bolme presents Selling Books in Nontraditional Places posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Think outside the box. Sell more books with these venues.”

Steven Saus presents How To Avoid Being Overwhelmed Being On All The Social Media 101 posted at ideatrash, saying, “It’s daunting trying to be on all the different types of social media… because you want to be where your readers are. I outline a way to get your message to multiple different platforms – while still letting you interact with your readers without refreshing a web page all the time.”

Steven Saus presents The Strange Stuff You Have To Watch For In Contracts posted at ideatrash, saying, “Unless you are only selling from your own website, you have signed a contract with a distributor. More and more are popping up… but some of them have some really strange (and problematic!) terms buried in the fine print…”

Tony Riches presents Building your author platform #9 Pinterest posted at The Writing Desk, saying, “Number nine in a series of posts on building your author platform”

Vikram Narayan presents Mavens, Reviewers, Readers and Buyers posted at The BookBuzzr Blog, saying, “When we started Freado 3 years ago, we saw the book market as one single, homogeneous mass of people. Of course, we did use the industry standard way of dividing our audience by book genre and even via demographics. And this has worked reasonably well with hundreds of thousands of visitors to Freado and a lot of them converting into long term, returning users. Over time, however, we’ve come to see our audience as four distinct sub-groups. As an author or book promoter, you will find it useful to divide your own audience in to these four sets and to offer something that appeals to each of these categories in your marketing campaign.”

Jacquitta A. McManus presents Marketing with Promo Cards posted at Journey of a Storyteller

Judith Briles presents Get your book reviewed for Amazon Goodreads, Smashwords and B&N … posted at The Book Shepherd, saying, “Indie authors want book reviews. Here’s a win-win … get your book reviewed and the physical copy then goes to a local library for its shelves.”

Phyllis Zimbler Miller presents More Thoughts on KDP Select posted at Phyllis Zimbler Miller, Author, saying, “Amazon’s KDP Select option has many ramifications for authors on Amazon.”

Self-Publishing Success

Bryan Chau presents Fair Use Or Abuse – Copyright Edition For Indie Authors posted at Success Pen Pal, saying, “indie author, self-publishing, copyright, fair use, infringement, success, strategies, eBooks, etc.”

Daniel Baylis presents Around The World in 12 Chapters: Daniel Baylis on Indiegogo posted at CBC Books

Jessica S presents NaNoWriMo Pre-Game Kick-off! posted at Jessica S, saying, “NaNoWriMo officially kicks off on November 1st every year, and many of us scramble to find time to pound out thousands of words each night, and still find time to blog. So, I say we all challenge ourselves in October to get set for November. Get Ready for NaNoWriMo with October’s Blog Challenge Contest and win a free manuscript evaluation!”

Kathryn Jones presents Say What? posted at Idea Creations Press, saying, “My blog focuses on writing, publishing and marketing your books. I specialize in self-publishing and include author interviews and aspiring author interviews with an occasional book review.”

Nick Thacker presents CreateSpace, Lightning Source, Lulu — Where Should YOU Self-Publish Your Book: The Ultimate Resource posted at WriteHacked.com, saying, “I’d always wanted a rundown of the differences between these “big three” book printers, so I wrote one myself!”

Writing Tools and Tips

Andy Decker presents Them Old Revision Blues posted at Jonah 2 eight, saying, “A little article about revision and when to stop. The answer on when to stop revising a piece of work depends on the individual and how much time they are willing to devote to a single piece of writing. It’s not easy to know when enough is enough.”

Belinda Williams presents Plotter v Pantser: the battle within posted at Belinda Williams Books, saying, “Does it really matter if you’re a plotter or a pantser? And is one approach better than the other? Belinda looks at how you can embrace both the plotter and pantser in you and reap the rewards.”

Bryan Chau presents Putting The M.C. Hammer On Grammar posted at SuccessPenPal, saying, “grammar, writing, speaking, success, etc.”

C. S. Lakin presents Creative Mind Mapping for Novelists posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “An innovative look at how novelists can use traditional mind mapping techniques to brainstorm every aspect of their novel–to help organize ideas into structure.”

Corina Koch MacLeod presents How to Find (and Compile) Proofreading Errors on a Kindle posted at Beyond Paper Editing: Editors’ tips for writers, saying, “You can use a Kindle to check your ebook for proofreading errors. But what do you do after you’ve flagged all those errors? Use this step-by-step procedure to compile your errors into a checklist that you can send to your formatter or use to fix your ebook file yourself.”

Dave Bricker presents Writing is Design: Avoid writing Clichés for Better Prose posted at The World’s Greatest Book

Ellis Shuman presents Daydreaming Is Part of a Writer’s Job posted at Ellis Shuman Writes, saying, “Do you daydream! That’s just fine, because it’s a sign you’re hard at work.”

Gordon Burgett presents How to Write Your Book’s First Draft posted at Gordon Burgett, saying, “New writers, particularly of books, simply waste a ton of time and too often get lost on the way to finishing their first draft. It’s easier and far more successful to follow the very simple path used by professionals.”

Monique McDonell presents Preparing for NaNoWriMo the 2014 Edition posted at Monique McDonell

Nina Amir presents How to Prepare for a 30-Day Writing Challenge posted at Write Nonfiction NOW!, saying, “November is replete with opportunities to write a book in 30 days–or even a short piece, if you write nonfiction. However, your success depends upon planning before the month begins. This piece offers some concrete methods for getting ready to write anything in a month.”

Tom Evans presents Seven Time Management Hacks with a Difference posted at Tom Evans | author | bookwright | catalyst, saying, “Once you tune in like this, time expands to fit the task in hand :)”

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 November 24, 2013 and the deadline for submissions will be November 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 }

    Jerrye Sumrall November 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    What a wealth of information and resources!

    Reply

    Helene Poulakou October 30, 2013 at 2:43 am

    I’m slooowly going through the links posted here, and I’m thrilled to find a wealth of useful resources and ideas for publishing and marketing books.
    Precious!

    Reply

    Sabrina Ricci October 28, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you so much for including my posts Joel. I always learn a lot from Carnival of the Indies issues and it’s an honor to be included!

    Reply

    Trace A. DeMeyer October 27, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I so appreciate this blog, news and marketing ideas. I just wanted to say THANKS!!!

    Reply

    Greg Strandberg October 27, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Thanks for including my post, Joel. I wonder how long it would take to read all of these back to back.

    Reply

    Joel Friedlander October 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Yes, this issue is the biggest yet. It took quite a while just to vet all the articles. Better pick and choose.

    Reply

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