Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for July, 2014. 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.
Belinda Pollard presents Why are book editors so expensive?? posted at Small Blue Dog Publishing, saying, “I’m an editor myself, so how can I be saying we’re expensive? Well, I’m an author too, and I’m now saving my pennies because I need to hire an editor soon for my own book. Here’s why it costs so much…”
Ian Martyn presents 7 key things I’ve learnt from a year of blogging posted at Ian Martyn – Science Fiction Writer, saying, “Its hard to believe I’ve been blogging for a year on all things, scifi, writing or that just interest me. Having had no previous experience it’s been a steep learning curve. It has been both challenging and enjoyable. Here are 7 key things I’ve learnt along the way.”
Kimberley Grabas presents 39 Things to Remember While Struggling to Build Your Writing Career posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “When you’re knee-deep in the tangle of learning something new, it’s easy to get lost in trivialities. What’s important and what’s not? What deserves your attention, and what can you let go of? Overwhelm stalls your forward progress, frustration rises (maybe even a little panic?) and the wave of “I’ll never figure this out”, washes over. And since the rules are rapidly changing, there is a constant struggle to pull yourself from the quagmire of the “unimportant”, and focus on what’s truly relevant to crafting a long and successful writing career. Take a deep breath. Building your career as a writer is no small task. But it’s too important not to figure out. To ease the tension and guide you along your path, the following is a list of gentle reminders of what really matters. Things you probably already know, but have forgotten or abandoned while striving to build your author empire.”
Book Design and Production
Colin Dunbar presents Format a Book in Word: Global Settings posted at Format Book in Word, saying, “Naturally, the quality of the content of your book is the number 1 priority. But when you format your book, the layout of your content, structure and readability is just as important as the content itself.”
Karl Bunker presents A cover for your self-published book posted at The Indie Author, saying, “Even if you hire a professional designer to create a cover for your book, you should still educate yourself as much as possible about what makes a good (and bad) book cover. In this article I discuss the essentials of cover design and provide some resources for developing your design-sense.”
Meg Cowley presents How to publish on Createspace – the process explained, with screenshots posted at Writer Avoiding Writing, saying, “This post is about using Amazon Createspace as a print on demand service. I won’t go into the pros and cons of all print on demand services (that’s a whole other topic!). Instead, I want to share the process with you from an inside view – I had no idea what it looked like before I tried it and I really would have liked to, so I do hope this is useful. :-)”
Ebooks and Ebook Readers
Ron Callari presents Bibliophiles Transitioning to Smartphones for their Byte-size Literature posted at Bookworks
Heather Hart presents Take Back Your Dreams posted at TrainingAuthors, saying, “Writing, publishing, and marketing books takes a lot of work. It doesn’t matter how much we love doing what we do as authors, there will always be work involved. So how can we keep our dream job from turning into a regular daily grind? I share 3 steps to taking back your dreams and revitalizing your life in this post.”
Mark Coker presents 2014 Smashwords Survey Reveals New Opportunities for Indie Authors posted at Smashwords blog, saying, “Mark Coker’s third annual Smashwords Survey provides the industry’s most comprehensive analysis of retail sales data for indie ebooks. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll learn: 1. Do longer books sell better than shorter books? 2. Do authors who do ebook preorders sell more books than those who don’t? 3. What’s the ideal ebook price to maximize readership and author earnings? 4. How effective is FREE as a promotional price for ebooks, and is the effectiveness of free increasing or decreasing? 5. How is fiction pricing different from non-fiction pricing, and what’s the ideal price for non-fiction?”
Russell Phillips presents Translate Your Book With Babelcube posted at Nonfiction Authors Association, saying, “Translations are potentially a useful source of extra income, but tend to be very expensive. Babelcube offers a royalty-share model, so that indie authors can get translations of their books without an up-front cost.”
Sandy Smith presents Leaving Reviews for Indie Authors posted at Author S. Smith, saying, “This blog post was initially for my readers, but it soon became very popular with other authors. Thought I’d share.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Bethany Brown presents 5 Ways to Find a Hook to Market Your Book posted at The Cadence Group, saying, “In today’s crowded marketplace, it’s more important than ever before for self-published authors to find a way to stand out. Whether marketing a book to readers, media, bloggers or book reviewers, having a solid hook is vital to getting someone to pay attention to your letter or email.”
Deborah Jay presents Have you tried collaboration as a means of marketing? posted at Deborah Jay, saying, “Sharing two examples of collaborative marketing efforts that are easy to reproduce, and my results with each. More fun and far greater reach than going it alone.”
Denise Wakeman presents Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose: 20 Ways To Maximize Existing Content And Cut Your Blogging Time in Half posted at The Future of Ink, saying, “When it comes to marketing your books, you need to give it everything you’ve got and leverage your time and content. Penny Sansevieri shares 20 excellent tips for repurposing your content so you can get more visibility for your book.”
Bethany Brown presents The True Costs of Self Publishing posted at The Cadence Group, saying, “Understanding the true costs of the different type of self-publishing is key to making smart, strategic decisions from the start. There are a number of different ways to bring a book to market. Understanding how each works, and the costs associated with each, will help prevent costly errors.”
Karyn Lawrence presents Transitioning From Screenwriter To Author posted at Karyn Lawrence, Author & Designer, saying, “A recap of my experience transitioning from 12 years of screenwriting into self-published fiction.”
Writing Tools and Tips
Amy McElroy presents Choosing and Staying True to a Point of View posted at Honest Editing | Authentic Writing, saying, “Tips to choose the point of view best suited to your manuscript, and then avoid temptations to stray from that particular perspective. By keeping a consistent point of view, readers will stay focused, engaged with your narrator and your story.”
Belinda Williams presents The gender of books and does it matter? posted at Belinda Williams Books, saying, “Belinda looks at whether gender matters in books and writing, including the varying recognition for male vs. female writers, the gender of the readership for different genres and even the titles of the genres themselves.”
Carla Douglas presents A Quick Guide to Writing Short—Part 1: Fiction posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “Many opportunities exist for shorter pieces of writing — flash fiction, stories and novellas, to name just a few. In this article, I outline some of the differences between these various forms, and provide a few tips for getting them right.”
Corina Koch MacLeod presents 25 Word Lists for Writers posted at Beyond Paper, saying, “A round-up of useful word lists for writers. Use these lists to check for and address potential problems in your writing.”
Hope Clark presents 15 Ways To Tell You’re Onto Something Good posted at The Wicked Writing Blog, saying, “Writers also abound with ideas; it’s part of their DNA. But they don’t necessarily need to act on all of them. And the one we choose might ultimately be discarded along the way because it doesn’t bloom like it should. So how do we know whether or not to invest so much of our lives into a tale? Here are 15 ways to tell if this is the story you were meant to write.”
Ian Martyn presents Why you should join a writing group posted at Ian Martyn – Science Fiction Writer, saying, “I was given the advice to join a writing group early in my writing career, but delayed for some years. I wish I hadn’t. Here are some of the reasons I believe it is a good idea. http://wp.me/p3ycbY-15e”
Jordan Rosenfeld presents Stop Worrying About Being Good at Writing (Be Committed) posted at Write Livelihood, saying, “Don’t waste creative energy worrying whether you’re any good at writing; be committed to your craft instead.”
R.S. Mollison-Read presents Refilling Your Creative Tanks posted at R.S. Mollison-Read, saying, “Find new ways to inspire creativity by consuming the creative works of others!”
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 31, 2014 and the deadline for submissions will be August 15, 2014. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need