Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for January, 2015. 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.
Martin Crosbie presents The Season of Kindle Unlimited Discontent posted at Indies Unlimited, saying, “My take on Kindle Unlimited… Those of you who have read my articles know I’m a proponent of Select. I was on the initial Select train at the beginning of 2012 and took advantage of the program that helped many of us sell books faster than we ever thought possible. When Amazon added the benefits of Kindle Unlimited (KU) borrows to Select I got excited, and I hoped that a little bit of that initial magic might be duplicated.”
Helen Sedwick presents Think Like a Publisher (and Release Your Inner Badass) posted at Helen Sedwick’s Blog, saying, “Too many indie authors are tentative about self-publishing and reluctant to take ownership of the project. I urge them to consider what successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey would do (riches aside)? They would push, demand, question, negotiate, and micro-manage until they produced the best books possible. In other words, writers, release your inner badass.”
K.M. Weiland presents A Quick Guide to Beta Reader Etiquette posted at Helping Writers Become Authors. “Writers love their beta readers. But let’s be honest. Beta readers also kinda drive us crazy. Some of them are perfection: as polite, professional, and talented as any in-house editor. But others… well, let’s just say their lack of tact and their questionable knowledge of the craft can sometimes leave us howling in frustration. Why isn’t there a manual for beta reader etiquette–for how beta readers should conduct themselves and how writers, in turn, should respond?”
Book Design and Production
Stefanie Newell presents eBooks vs Print Books – Which makes more sense? posted at The Write One Blog, saying, “If you are new to publishing you’re probably considering whether your book should be an eBook or a print book. There is no right or wrong answer where this is concerned. This video will share some things to consider before choosing.”
Ebooks and Ebook Readers
Randy Stapilus presents Indie Publishers Sell Overseas posted at BookWorks, saying, “The last few years have seen a sea change in book publishing in the United States – but not only here. The boom in worldwide communications is affecting book sales too, and some important new rules are kicking in at the beginning of this year. Foreign books sales have traditionally been dominated by large publishing houses, but in recent years that’s been changing. In the last few years e-book sales also have started to grow as rapidly beyond North America as they had within it. The barriers to foreign sales are dropping.”
Ashley R. Carlson presents So You Published Your First Book … Now What? posted at Ashley R. Carlson Fantasy Author, saying, “This is a personal post with some insight into the thoughts and experiences I’ve had since self-publishing my debut novel. Hopefully it offers encouragement, a little inspiration, and some humor!”
Hanne Arts presents How to Choose YOUR Path From the Countless Options Available: Big Five, Independent, or Self-Publishing? posted at Hanne Arts
Kate Tilton presents I’m an Imposter! posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “While I’m not an author (yet) this is something I believe many authors relate to, the imposter syndrome, or in other words, self-doubt. This article covers a few ways to fight against self-doubt as you work towards your dreams as an indie author.”
Kyoko M presents Year in Review: 2014 posted at She Who Writes Monsters, saying, “What I’ve learned over the 2014 calendar year in terms of writing, marketing, and self-publishing two books in my urban fantasy series.”
Martin Crosbie presents A Christmas Carol – A Self-Published Masterpiece posted at Martin Crosbie – Author, saying, “Charles Dickens wrote his masterpiece in six weeks and when his publishers didn’t respond favorably he self-published. Here’s how he did it.”
Martin Crosbie presents Canadian Authors – How To Avoid Amazon/Smashwords/Createspace From Withholding Taxes posted at Martin Crosbie – Author, saying, “Joel, I recently updated this article and it seems to be helping Canadian authors.”
Ron Callari presents Indie Authors Facing the 2015 Tax Season posted at Ron Callari’s BookWorks blogs, saying, “It isn’t taxing enough to expend all of your energies crafting your self-published tome, distributing it and then marketing it to the masses. In addition to all that painstaking labor, before you know it, the taxman cometh. . .”
Steve Vernon presents Indie Versus Traditional – Which Should You Choose? posted at Yours in Storytelling
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Dana Lynn Smith presents Conquer Author Overwhelm posted at The Savvy Book Marketer, saying, “Sometimes authors can feel overwhelmed with all of the things they need to do. Learn how to focus on what’s really important, work smarter, and find a balance between writing, publishing and marketing.”
Ellis Shuman presents Surviving the Quagmire of Querying posted at Ellis Shuman Writes, saying, “To be an author, you must have thick skin. The lack of response is upsetting, but you can’t let that stop you. The rejections hurt, but you must endure.”
Frances Caballo presents The New Facebook Ban Authors Need to Know About posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “Facebook’s new policy on non-promotional posts makes it even more important for Indie Authors to focus on publishing great content. If you want to promote your books, you will now need to run an inexpensive ad. If your status updates are purely promotional, an extremely small number of your fans will see that content because Facebook will downgrade the value of your posts.Facebook implemented this new rule on January of this year.”
James Brown presents How To Create A Compelling Title For Your Self-Published E-book posted at James-Brown, saying, “I wrote this article due to the number of people in Geoff Shaw’s Kindling group, that asked me how I come up with titles. Example Title: Blue Ringed Octopus Delight. As a former freelance copywriter/ghostwriter, I always got praise from my clients on the autoresponders, etc that I wrote. Comments rolled in like “brilliant, how did you create this?” I think this article will help a lot of indie publishers because I cover how to create a title and making sure that your cover portrays what your ebook is about, which is something a lot of newbies miss. Regards, James”
Kate Tilton presents Twitter Tools For Selling Your Book posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “If you’re on Twitter and you follow other authors, you might have seen the hashtag #AmazonCart or #AmazonWishList show up in your stream. Here is how you can use these hashtags to market your books.”
M. Louisa Locke presents Time for a Pivot? Kindle Unlimited and Marketing in 2015 posted at M. Louisa Locke’s Front Parlor, saying, “This is my analysis of the effectiveness of my marketing strategies for 2014–specifically how Kindle Countdown was a successful promotional tool for me for until the introduction of Kindle Unlimited. And then my marketing strategies going forward into 2015.”
Michelle Weidenbenner presents How to Find Reviewers for Free posted at Random Writing Rants, Teaching Teens and Adults How to Get Published, saying, “Award-winning and best-selling author shares how to find free reviews.”
Nina Amir presents 11 Essential Elements of an Author Website posted at How to Blog a Book, saying, “Every author needs a website. But that site must have some essential elements for it to help you become discoverable and for it to be functional.”
Nina Amir presents The Secret to Successful Book Promotion Isn’t in the Plan posted at Write Nonfiction NOW!, saying, “Everyone says the promotion plan is what creates a bestseller. While you do need a plan for promoting your book upon release, it won’t help you create a bestseller if you don’t have these other pieces in place first.”
Patty Jansen presents Self-publishing: weatherproof your sales posted at Must Use Bigger Elephants, saying, “Much is made of methods to “game” Amazon to make a quick buck, but if you’re serious about a writing career, I think it’s as least as important to weatherproof your sales.”
Shelley Sturgeon presents Google Images: What You Need to Know posted at Bound and Determined, saying, “A lot of people are under the impression that they can freely use any image that appears in a Google Images search. They can’t and I explain why in this article.”
Stefanie Newell presents Amazon SEO – Understand Amazon Keywords & Categories posted at The Write One Blog, saying, “If you are an author who has a book on Amazon, understanding keywords and categories will be essential to your success. Amazon SEO (search engine optimization) is the act of choosing the correct keywords and categories to ensure your book gets the most exposure.”
Alexander von Ness presents There’s No Such Thing As a Successful Independent Author posted at Nessgraphica
Denise Wakeman presents 9 Ways Authors Can Use IFTTT Recipes To Be More Productive posted at The Future of Ink, saying, “Shelley Hitz’s recent post on The Future of Ink takes a look at how indie authors can be more productive by using automation tools. She focuses on IFTTT (If This Then That) and provides 9 super useful “recipes”.”
Mark Coker presents 2015 Publishing Predictions posted at Smashwords Blog, saying, “A dozen book publishing industry predictions for the year ahead. Indies face new competition, but there’s still never been a greater opportunity to reach readers.”
Writing Tools and Tips
Jennifer Ellis presents Cliffhangers – A Good Idea or Not posted at Jennifer Ellis – Writing, saying, “This article reviews the different types of unresolved endings to novels, examines why readers sometimes do not like them and discusses how to best handle unresolved endings to make readers happy”
Shen Hart presents Interspecies Body Language posted at Shen Hart: A writer’s flights of fancy and passing thoughts., saying, “A look into how important body language can be and the opportunities is presents to speculative fiction writers.”
Surajit Sarkar presents 10 Article Writing Keys For Newbies posted at Blogging and Blogger, saying, “New to Blogging! Yet to start your blog! Need right tools! Need to grow your blog faster! Need more traffic to your blog! Join Blogging and Blogger.”
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 February 22, 2015 and the deadline for submissions will be February 15, 2015. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need