Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for November, 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.
M. Louisa Locke presents Readers to Books/Books to Readers––Part One: How to find Books in the Kindle Store posted at M. Louisa Locke’s Front Parlor, saying, “The premise of this post is that for authors to understand how to best sell their books in the Kindle Store, they need to understand how shopping in the Kindle store works. To do this I first described how browsing works in a physical bookstore and then compared that to shopping in the Kindle Store.”
Kimberley Grabas presents 2 Must-Dos to Make Your Book Marketing Infinitely Easier posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Why is it that your book marketing is falling short? You’re trying to implement as many of the tricks and tips that the ‘experts’ recommend, but few of your marketing tactics are gaining traction. Sure, you haven’t tried EVERYTHING yet, but you’ve tried enough to move the needle at least a smidge, right? There’s no question that building a strong platform takes time, and gaining momentum–even with a sound marketing plan–requires the patience of a saint. But something just isn’t jiving.”
Vikram Narayan presents What do Subscription EBook Services Really Mean for Indie Authors? posted at The BookBuzzr Blog
Book Design and Production
André Klein presents An Introduction To Regular Expressions (Open Office) posted at LearnOutLive, saying, “Being an indie publishers involves so many different aspects from writing to formatting, cover design and marketing, that it can be a big relief to automate any kind of repetitive tasks. In this article I give a short introduction to “Regular Expressions”, what they are, and how indie publishers can use them to save a lot of time during the editing/formatting stage.”
Gordon Burgett presents 7 solutions for submission snarls for ebooks and CreateSpace posted at Empire Building by Writing and Speaking, saying, “These are the baby snags that catch you when you submit your ebooks, with solutions that work for us.”
Greg Strandberg presents Top 10 eBook Cover Design Sites posted at Big Sky Words, saying, “It seemed to me that the self-publishing forums were always full of people looking for eBook cover advice. I’d been the same when I began publishing, for its not always easy finding the resources you need when you’re just starting out. That’s why I researched 75 different eBook cover design sites and put up what I thought were the 10 best in a blog post. Hopefully some people will be able to find their dream cover because of it.”
Katie McCoach presents Developmental Editing: What is it Exactly? posted at Katie’s Editorial Blog, saying, “The editorial process of the developmental edit may vary from editor to editor, however the idea is the same – work with an author to help the author create the best possible story they can. This article explains 5 things a developmental editor can do for you.”
Laura Pepper Wu presents Going Perma Free: My Reflections After Giving Away 100,000 Copies of My eBook posted at 30 Day Books Blog, saying, “Have you ever thought about going perma free as part of your eBook marketing strategy? Here is one author’s reflections after he gave away 100,000 free downloads of his book! Find out what happened next… with Bryan Cohen, author of 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2: More Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More.”
Patty Jansen presents Self-publishing for Beginners posted at Must Use Bigger Elephants, saying, “I get asked a lot of very basic questions about how to start in self-publishing. This very basic post is more about attitude (avoiding being ripped off and having unrealistic expectations) than a how-to.”
Steve Vernon presents “We’ve Got You Covered Friday – Keith Draws” posted at Kobo Writing Life, saying, “Here’s a brand new blog entry from cover artist Keith Draws on how he designs his covers. Keith has done ALL of my covers for my Flash Virus series – as well as the cover for my Coyote versus Scandinavian Troll dark fantasy novella TROLLING LURES.”
Carla Douglas presents Self-Pubs: Is Your Editor Trying to Tell You Something? posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “Editors know how important clear editor-author communication is, but that doesn’t mean they always get it right. Is your editor being frank with you about what your manuscript needs? Are you hearing her?”
Chris Kridler presents Book success takes many forms, despite tyranny of trends posted at Sky Diary: The Blog, saying, “Writers anguish over achieving success, and some chase trends to get there. But sometimes success means writing stories that are true to yourself.”
Heather Hart presents 5 Ways To Boost Your Holiday Book Sales posted at TrainingAuthors, saying, “Christmas season usually brings in the highest book sales of the year – even without any extra marketing! Why not make the most of the season and plan your book marketing accordingly? In this post we’ll share 5 ways to boost your book sales this holiday season. ”
Ian Sutherland presents 5 Different Applications of Narrative Motif Using the Simple Example of ‘Coffee’ posted at Cyber-Scriber, saying, “A classic writing device is to replay a high level concept, or narrative motif, in multiple ways throughout a novel. Such creative repetition can offer the humble novel richness and depth. It plays to theme. It can elevates a story to a higher plain. Authors strive for such thematic greatness. Not all achieve it. This article shares five different applications of ‘coffee’ as a narrative motif from my upcoming novel:”
Jane Ayres presents Making a book trailer: 20 Steps I took before, during and after making my first book trailer posted at The Beautiful Room, saying, “Twenty steps to making a book trailer. I hope other indie writers will find this article helpful. This is my first book trailer and I wanted to share my experience of the process from start to finish – and beyond.”
Lovelyn presents Is Podcasting Your Novel Worth It? | H. Lovelyn Bettison posted at Comments for H. Lovelyn Bettison, saying, “Is podcasting your novel still a good way to find new readers? I’ll be experimenting with podcasting to find out.”
Russ Ryan presents So, Your Dog Died? Write A Book About It! posted at It’s Just A Dog Book blog, saying, “Hey Joel–Love your site and all your helpful tips! I recently posted this article on HuffPo and thought some of your readers might be able to relate w/their own self-pub experiences. Thanks again for all your expertise! Best/Russ Ryan”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Denise Wakeman presents Five Essential Elements You Must Have in Place to Sell More Books posted at The Future of Ink, saying, “Most author entrepreneurs do not take the time, or know how to, create a solid online foundation before they write, publish, and sell their books. You need to set the stage and begin your visibility campaign well in advance of publication if you really want to reach a bigger audience and sell more books. Without a foundation (also known as your “platform”) on which to build a visible presence on the Web, it’s going to be difficult to attract attention and get connected with enough potential readers to make a significant number of book sales. Period. In this article you’ll learn five elements you must have in place to build a solid foundation so you can sell more books.”
Dr. 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.”
Frances Caballo presents 8 Marketing Exercises for Introverted Writers posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “Being an introverted writer isn’t easy. Although you work well alone and you love to read and write, you detest attending functions where you don’t know most of the attendees. Yet unless you become more comfortable talking to people you just met, how will you be successful in your marketing efforts?”
Ian Sutherland presents Lessons Indie Authors Can Learn From Single Estate Winemakers posted at Cyber Scriber
James Moushon presents Ebook Marketing: Boxed Sets are Gaining Exposure and Sales posted at HBS Author’s Corner, saying, “One of the things the digital world allows authors to do is to bundle their writings and easily deliver them to readers. Because of this, we are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of ebook boxed sets offered on-line. The types of sets vary but the author’s objectives are consistent. They want more sales and increased exposure.”
Jason Kong presents How to Enjoy Marketing Your Fiction (Even If You Hate Selling) posted at Storyrally, saying, “Marketing your fiction writing can be stressful, painful, and overwhelming. But here’s how you can shift your outlook so that it’s a positive and rewarding process.”
Lindsay Buroker presents The Art of the Amazon Sale: Improving Rankings, Selling More Books, and Gaining Exposure posted at Lindsay Buroker — Fantasy Author, saying, “I go over what I did on my most recent sale to earn a nice return and find some new readers.”
Nate Hoffelder presents 6 Things An Author Should Look For in An Indie eBookstore posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “In October 2013, Amazon, Kobo, and other ebookstores responded to the news that they sold erotica with mass deletions of content. While no one can blame them for over reacting, that event reminds us that authors can’t completely trust the major ebookstores to sell their content. It is simply good sense to also have a sales channel via one of the indie ebookstore platforms. This posts gives a few tips on what to look for.”
Nick Daws presents Kindle Ebook Descriptions – Amazon Changes the Rules (Again) posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “Amazon have recently tightened up the rules regarding how descriptions on Kindle e-book sales pages can be formatted. This article sums up the latest position, and offers some tips on how to use what formatting is still allowed to best effect.”
Phyllis Zimbler Miller presents KDP Select Has New Feature: Kindle Countdown Deals posted at Phyllis Zimbler Miller, Author
Randy Ross presents Video, Youtube for Writers: The World’s Shortest Primer posted at The Loneliest Planet, saying, “Video is a great way to attract an audience, drive traffic to your blog, and pitch yourself as a reader at libraries, literary events, and book stores. This short article offers simple advice for getting started with Youtube and covers: taking, editing, uploading, and sharing video clips. It is geared toward novices with some basic computer skills. If you already have a digital camera or phone that takes video — you may not need to spend anything to create useable video.”
Russell Phillips presents How To Sell Downloads From Your Website posted at Non Fiction Authors Association, saying, “If you use WordPress for your website, this article shows how easy it is to use a free plugin to sell ebooks or other downloads direct from the site.”
Shelley Hitz presents How to Host a Live Webinar for FREE Using Google+ Hangouts posted at Training Authors, saying, “In this post we wanted to share what we learned about how to host a live webinar for free using Google+ hangouts. We have attended live webinars hosted through Google Plus and have heard many people talk about doing it. But, unfortunately, we could not find many tutorials that could walk us step-by-step through the entire process. Our learning curve was steep and included trial and error, online research and asking colleagues who have hosted hangouts in the past. Therefore, we decided to take what we have learned and write this tutorial in hopes this it will help many people save tons of time learning how to use Google+ hangouts in the future!”
Steven Saus presents How to Not Overwhelm Everyone On Social Media – Using IFTTT and Multiple Channels on Buffer posted at ideatrash, saying, “Making every tweet and Facebook post about your book will drive away your followers. And so will updating with a bunch of other links all at once. Here’s a way to spread out the love automagically using Buffer and IFTTT.”
Steven Saus presents Measure Twice, Register For an ISBN Once (and Where Bowker’s Data Reveals A Surprising Correlation About Smashwords) posted at ideatrash, saying, “One of the downsides of easy self-publishing is the difficulty drawing lines. For example, the recent reports that Smashwords is the largest US “producer” of independent eBooks isn’t quite correct… but the data *does* show something else surprising.”
Steven Saus presents Paying Authors Through Crowdfunding: How To Know It Is Being Done Ethically posted at ideatrash, saying, “I love Kickstarter and crowdfunding. Unfortunately, not everyone is being particularly ethical about how they’re using it to pay authors. I provide guidelines so you can evaluate each project on its own merits.”
Tony Riches presents Building your author platform #10 Free Book Promotion Sites posted at The Writing Desk, saying, “Final post in a ten part series on author platform building”
Dana Sitar presents Ebooks: The Perfect Companion to Boost Your Blog posted at Writer’s Bucket List, saying, “Kelly Gurnett explains how you can build your audience and boost your blog by publishing an ebook.”
Geoff Hughes presents Fear and Loathing on the Self Publishing Trail posted at The Write Stuff, saying, “What’s behind the fear and loathing associated with self-published authors? Geoff Hughes investigates.”
Joanna Penn presents Self-Publishing Checklist For New Authors. A Case Study For Nada, A Historical Thriller. posted at The Creative Penn, saying, “The steps of self-publishing are almost second nature to many of us who’ve been in it a while, but to new authors, it can be overwhelming. Here’s a checklist for getting your book published and selling, without too many extras.”
Nick Thacker presents Don’t Judge A Self-Published Book By Its Cover posted at Nick Thacker, saying, “This is my first experience using 99designs to hold a design contest for my upcoming thriller, and it was quite a success!”
Steven Chang presents How To Start A Successfully Food Blog: Interview With Kavitha of Foodomania.com posted at How To Start A Blog: For Fun And Profit!
Writing Tools and Tips
Alexander Zoltai presents Can Writers Learn from Painters? posted at Notes from An Alien, saying, “A writer can learn from a painting by absorbing its Meaning ~ How can a writer learn from the painter themselves?”
Ellis Shuman presents How I Found Time to Write in My Busy Schedule posted at Ellis Shuman Writes, saying, “Many of us writers have a day job, which drains away a lot of our creativity. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to make progress on our creative writing. Or are there? Here’s what I did, and continue to do, every day in order to find time to write in my very busy schedule.”
Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents Citation Styles: A Guide for Self-Publishers posted at Kunz On Publishing, saying “Why Is Citing Sources Properly So Important for the Non-Fiction Self-Publisher?
Citing your sources is a well-respected form of professional courtesy, and also your duty as a publisher. You must give credit where credit is due. Therefore, when using another person’s words or ideas, citing that person’s work is essential. If your sources are not cited correctly you could potentially be accused of plagiarism. And plagiarism is a serious offense that can result in a career-ending loss-of-credibility from your peers. A loss of credibility would also dampen your current and future book sales.”
Kyoko M presents Things National Novel Writing Month Taught Me About Writing posted at She Who Writes Monsters, saying, “Just an informal blog about writing lessons and tips with bits of humor. I use both non-fiction and fiction examples for the weekly blog posts.”
Lisa Lawmaster Hess presents Edit is a Four-Letter Word posted at The Porch Swing Chronicles, saying, “Editing is one of those things I hate to tackle, but that I’m always happy I did, and editing with input makes the work even better.”
Marcy Kennedy presents 7 Ways to Develop Your Voice posted at Marcy Kennedy – Author and Freelance Editor, saying, “A distinct voice seems to be the thing that everyone wants but no one can tell you how to get. Developing your voice–like everything else in writing–takes time and discipline, but it can be done. So here are some ways you can actively work on developing your voice.”
Marcy Kennedy presents What Is Head Hopping and How Can We Avoid It? posted at Marcy Kennedy – Author and Freelance Editor, saying, “Head hopping and omniscient POV are often confused. This post explains the difference between them and how we can avoid head hopping.”
Steven Saus presents Performance Anxiety – A guest blog by Graham Storrs posted at ideatrash, saying, “Author Graham Storrs kindly wrote a guest blog for me about one of the things we often forget about writing – the performance anxiety.”
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 December 29, 2013 and the deadline for submissions will be December 20, 2013. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need