Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for September, 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.
Karen Inglis presents Self-publishing a picture book posted at Self-publishing Adventures, saying, “This focuses on self-publishing a children’s 32-page colour picture book in print – it covers what I did, what I learned (not least about interior paper quality for POD), and what I may do differently next time….
I have since bought one of The Book Designer’s templates for Kindle authors and fully intend to use it to create the same book for the Kindle store!”
Phil Bolsta presents How to Promote Your Book Like a Pro! posted at Triumph of the Spirit, saying, “As I was learning how to market and promote my books, I wanted to share what I learned with other authors. Even though this post is fast becoming a go-to resource for authors, I consider it a work in progress. I will be continually updating it as I come across new ideas and strategies.”
Kimberley Grabas presents 34 Strategic Ways You Can Use Pinterest to Market Your Book and Your Author Brand posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Pinterest is exploding! And with it, so too are the opportunities for authors to expand their reach and increase their book promotion and brand awareness. Now the third largest social network, Pinterest acts as a virtual pin board that helps you organize and share things you find on the web. As you surf, you can pin images from other sites onto Pinterest where others can re-pin those same images. People head to Pinterest to find solutions, get ideas and to be inspired. Plus pinners are buyers. Hmmm… So how do we encourage them to be book buyers–your book buyers? Well, like with all social media, it’s important to avoid the incessant self-promotion. Pinterest is a quieter platform where you express yourself primarily through images. No witty banter required. Plus, over 80% of pins are re-pins, which means if you are in that 20% of pinners that are sharing original content, you can add real value. If you provide remarkable content, your fellow pinners will happily circulate it for you. What’s important on Pinterest is to market indirectly by building trust, loyalty and engagement. You want to give people a reason to click through to your site for more.”
Book Design and Production
Dave Bricker presents Book Cover Design: Judging a Book by Its Cover posted at The World’s Greatest Book, saying, “A 3-Part article that looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly of book cover designs. Why do some covers succeed and why do some covers fail?”
André Klein presents Should You Convert Your Ebook Yourself, Or Hire A Professional? posted at LearnOutLive – language learning books and more, saying, “In the “second goldrush” of digital publishing, a lot of small companies and service providers have sprung up that offer cover design, editing, and ebook conversion. But paying hundreds of dollars for converting a simple manuscript is not always the best choice for indie-publishers on a tight budget. Why not do it yourself?”
Rebecca Berto presents Suggested professionals for hire posted at Novel Girl, saying, “Authors spend days if not months trying to find the best quality professionals to polish their books up for publication, and getting the best deal as well as quality is even harder. Here, editors, formatters, cover designers and book promotion services are listed, as trusted and suggested by blogger and Amazon bestselling author, Rebecca Berto of Novel Girl.”
Steven Saus presents The Rules of Book Design Are Merely Guidelines: Here’s Why posted at ideatrash, saying, “It’s easy to justify your decisions for book design by saying “but it’s the *rules*”. Except when those rules don’t work.”
Steven Saus presents Cross-Reader Compatibility With eBooks (Especially Poetry) posted at ideatrash, saying, “While formatting a book of poetry for eBook production (yes, *really*), I discovered that many popular eReader apps for Android displayed the content *very* differently.”
Daniel Baylis presents I Wrote A Book, And Here’s Why You Should Care posted at The Conversationalist, saying, “Daniel took one year to travel the world. And now he’s written a book about his adventures. Here are three stellar reasons why you should help get his book into the world.”
Deborah Jay presents Indie Publishing – the lazy way – using Draft2Digital posted at Deborah Jay, saying, “If you’re a true technophobe or, like me, you truly do not have the time (or inclination) to learn about formatting and uploading to all the various platforms, then this might be the self-publishing route for you.”
Geraldine Somerset presents Indie Authors: Reach New Readers With Indie Book Evaluators posted at Self Publishing Advice Blog, saying, “Why did you decide to set up an evaluation programme for indie books? I was frustrated with buying books with good star ratings only to discover that they were so badly written that I couldn’t finish them. Are you run by indie authors?”
Geraldine Somerset presents Writing As A Team: Collaborative Fiction Writing posted at Self Publishing Advice Blog, saying, “Over the last year and a half, a mother and two daughters have written a novel together, collaboratively, in an almost entirely egalitarian fashion. “Somehow all three of us are still alive,” says Amira Makansi, one of the three writers who makes up K. Makanski. We invited her over to tell us how this three-in-one author-publishing team makes it work.”
Helen Sedwick presents Crowdfunding for Writers — Handle with Care posted at Keeping It Legal, Step-by-step guide to the legal issues of self-publishing, saying, “My blog covers many of the nitty gritty issues of self-publishing, such as sales tax, EIN and 1099s.”
Jenny Hewitt presents Why Self-Publishing Needs a Sundance (and Who Should Be Redford) posted at Electronic Bindery, saying, “Imagine a new event that shrugged off ‘conference’ and became a festival centred around self-publishing, a resource for learning, and a showcase for the indie craft. How could it fail? Indie is about stories, technology, art and entrepreneurship, and that’s an inspiring set of ingredients. So what would a truly independent indie pub festival look like?”
Marketing and selling your books
Belinda Pollard presents How I created my first podcast posted at Small Blue Dog Publishing, saying, “We’re all told we must have multi-media on our author blogs and websites, but it’s intimidating for many of us. I finally did my first podcast and it was easier than I expected. These are my tips based on what I learned from the process.”
Cathi Stevenson presents Romance Author Pam Crooks Talks About Her Move From Traditional to Self Publishing posted at Book Cover Express Articles, saying, “Pam’s book Hannah’s Vow became an Amazon best seller, after she got the rights back from her traditional publisher and self-published.”
Denise Wakeman presents 7 Things Authors Can Do While Waiting for A Book to Be Published posted at The Future of Ink, saying, “Featured author Shelley Hitz shares seven excellent book marketing tips… As an author, what can you do while you wait for your book to be published? There are many things, depending on where you are in the process.”
Gail Gauthier presents Self-publishing And Web Presence posted at Original Content, saying, “This post deals with the opportunities self-publishers miss out on by not maintaining any kind of web presence.”
Heather Hart presents Are You Losing Book Sales Over This Common Problem? posted at TrainingAuthors, saying, “Authors who sell books on Amazon may be losing sales simply because reader’s from other countries can’t purchase their books through the link they are given. Well, we’ve found the solution and disclose it in this post.”
Jenny Hewitt presents Team Indie Author Games: Elevator Book Pitch posted at Electronic Bindery, saying, “The elevator pitch is a familiar requirement for entrepreneurs, product developers and startups. But indie authors need a variation on the startup pitch: the elevator book pitch.
These book pitch collaboration games can be played with one or more indie authors and indie publishing team members, and can help you articulate the best qualities of your work in a unique and memorable pitch.”
Kate Tilton presents Awards that Indie and Self-Published Authors can Apply to for 2013 posted at BiblioCrunch Self-Publishing Blog, saying, “Last year I complied a list of awards that indie and self-published books are eligible to win. This year I have an updated list with the current deadlines. Many of these happen every year so if you miss one, try again. Please make sure you check the website for the full requirements and rules. Remember entering to win an award can be a great way to market your book!”
Kate Tilton presents Creative Author Interview Ideas posted at BiblioCrunch Self-Publishing Blog, saying, “I’ve been running a book blog, Froze8′s Blog, for about a year now as a book blog. In my experience the best interviews are the ones that are fun and engage readers. Remember your audience is not other writers, it is readers.”
Kate Tilton presents Wish you had a few extra hours in the day? Hire an author assistant! by guest @K8Tilton posted at BadRedhead Media, saying, “Have you ever wished you had a few extra hours in the day to send out review copies to book bloggers, mail those prizes from your last giveaway that happened months ago, or update your website? Then maybe it is time you considered hiring an author assistant.
In this post I give you the 411 on author assistants, what we do, what we cost, and how it can help you, the author.
Kimberley Grabas presents How to Create a Custom Facebook Cover Image That Gets Noticed (Without Spending a Dime) posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Can’t afford a designer, but have Facebook cover image envy? Do you want to have an amazing cover photo that attracts new readers as well as keeps your current fans coming back for more? Well you’re in luck! As of July 1st, 2013, Facebook has relaxed their guidelines somewhat, allowing you to add more than just the ’20% text maximum’ to your image, as well as any other info you think may entice your fans to stick around. Add to that the option to use the free online photo editing software site known as PicMonkey, and we’re in Facebook-cover-image-making business!”
Leslie Lee Sanders presents The Elementary Marketing Tactic You Don’t Know You’re Missing posted at Be a Freelance Blogger, saying, “Here’s an article on the importance of consistency in image, quality, and content when marketing yourself, your products, and your services.”
Michelle Weidenbenner presents How I Made Amazon’s Bestseller List – And You Can Too! posted at Random Writing Rants
Randy Ross presents Social Media for Writers: Confusing Twitter Terms in Plain English posted at The Loneliest Planet, saying, “I’ve been using Twitter for years and still get confused by terms like @mentions, @replies and a bunch of other stuff (which followers see what?) This glossary was surprisingly difficult to assemble. (Twitter Help was of little help).”
Rinelle Grey presents I published a book, now what? posted at Rinelle Grey, saying, “As most indie writers know, writing and publishing a book is just the beginning. In this post, I share with you 12 ways you can promote your book, without being pushy or doing the hard sell.”
Shelley Hitz presents 5 Steps to Get Back the Time Facebook is Stealing From Your Writing posted at Training Authors, saying, “We only have 24 hours each day. Therefore, in order to be the most effective in our lives (writing, business, personal, etc.), it is important to evaluate periodically WHERE our time is going. This is especially true for social media accounts like Facebook. I have been evaluating my time recently and realize that Facebook is stealing a lot of my time and I decided to be proactive and do a few things to help. In this blog post, I share 5 ideas that have helped me.”
Tony Riches presents Building your author platform #8: Linkedin posted at The Writing Desk, saying, “Part of a series of posts about how to use free on-line social media to build your author platform – with ten top tips!”
Bryan Chau presents Secrets To eBook Publishing Success! posted at SuccessPenPal – Bryan Chau, saying, “self-publishing, eBook, strategies, success, mindset, tips, distribution, etc.”
Corina Koch MacLeod presents 10 Last-Minute Publishing Tasks Every Author Should Know About posted at Beyond Paper Editing: Editors’ tips for writers, saying, “Ready to hit publish? Wait. Check this list first, to be sure that you’ve addressed those pesky (but important) last-minute publishing tasks.”
Writing tools and tips
Belinda Kroll presents Using Evernote as my Distributed Brain posted at Belinda Kroll’s Blog, saying, “How to make use of the free version of Evernote to keep track of your bilbiography and online research if you’re writing a non-fiction or, in my case, historical fiction book.”
Belinda Williams presents eBook success: short and sweet? posted at Belinda Williams Books, saying, “Is the key to eBook success keeping your novels short and sweet? Belinda takes a look at the world of digital fiction and the trend for shorter novels, serial fiction and short attention spans, and whether it’s a defining factor of success.”
Bridget McKenna presents Self-Editing for Everyone Part 11: Homophones posted at Points of View, saying, “But of course YOU know the difference between a miner and a minor, naval and a navel. You know your sachet from a sashay, rain from reign, a taper from a tapir, and a tenner from a tenor. You know whether you’re wreaking or reeking. You do, don’t you? It’s important to know more about the nuances of the language you’re writing in than your spellchecker does, because if the word you need is altar and you use alter, advanced word-processing technology won’t save you.”
Ellis Shuman presents How to Write a Thriller like Dan Brown posted at Ellis Shuman Writes, saying, “Is there a secret code to creating a thriller that will captivate readers like The Da Vinci Code? Here is the formula that Dan Brown uses in his novels.”
Geoff Hughes presents Stop making excuses. 6 ways to get your writing on track posted at madhouseMEDIA, saying, “Tips for new writers to overcome common excuses about not writing.”
Molly Greene presents 101 Fabulous Blog Topic Ideas posted at Molly Greene: Writer, saying, “Joel, this post got some great traffic and feedback, thought you might like to use it in your blog carnival. Thanks so much for your consideration!”
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 October 27, 2013 and the deadline for submissions will be October 20, 2013. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need