Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for December, 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.
Carla King presents Practical Editing Software for Indie Authors posted at BookWorks Blog saying, “Because professional editors are so expensive (and worth every penny), the purchase of electronic editing software can be a smart investment. Here’s a review of the four best tools for authors offering “first-pass” or “last-pass” editing to clean up mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.”
Jordan Smith presents How to Optimize Your Amazon Search Keywords posted at Fix My Story, saying, “This is the ultimate guide to targeting and optimizing your book’s Amazon search keywords. I explain how to evaluate the keywords you already have, then give plenty of ideas for choosing the best possible keywords to improve your book’s visibility on Amazon.”
Kate Tilton presents Book Critique ABCEs: a How-To for Authors posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Author and editor Jessica West offers an easy FAQ on the different levels of book critique you need to know.”
Book Design and Production
Cathi Stevenson presents Tools You Can Use: Resources for Self-Publishers posted at Book Cover Express
Gail Gauthier presents The Weekend Writer: Working With Illustrators posted at Original Content, saying, “Both self-published and traditional picture book authors need to know what they’re getting into before they begin working with an illustrator.”
Alexander Zoltai presents #Reading Is Powerful Medicine posted at Notes from An Alien, saying, “Reading is critical for Indie Authors; and, certainly, not just reading about writing itself… Reading for the mind and heart…”
Robin Storey presents Why You Should Get Out Of Your Reading Comfort Zone posted at Storey-Lines, saying, “Indie author Robin Storey explains why it’s important, particularly for authors, to read outside your favourite genres, as reading widely is one of the most effective ways to improve your writing.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Carol Hedges presents How to Make A Million From Writing posted at Carol Hedges : I write, I sleep, I try to resist cake, saying, “this has garnered nearly 2K reads and is still picking up readers as it floats through the blogosphere”
Chris Well presents What You Need to Know About Publicity Before You Self-Publish posted at The Write Life, saying, “Many self-published authors assume that traditional publicity is out of reach — but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In this article, I outline 5 myths that self-published author often believe about publicity, and then share some empowering truths that will help self-published authors get the media coverage they deserve.”
Frances Caballo presents 20 Facts About Social Media that Authors Should Know posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “If your book is available for sale online and you’re using social media, what should you know if you’d like to reach more of these 3 billion people who spend time online? Here are some facts as well as information on how to use this data to your advantage.”
Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents 3 Common Myths About Book-Buyer Retention posted at Kunz On Publishing, saying, “The business concept of holding onto, or retaining, past and current customers, is typically not given much thought by many self-publishers. But building a following of readers that will continue to read and buy what you have published in the past, and will publish in the future, is imperative for your long-term financial success as a self-publisher. Therefore, implementing a book-buyer retention plan, more commonly a called customer retention plan, must be an essential part of every self-publisher’s marketing plans.”
Kate Tilton presents Why You Need To Start Your Social Media Platform Before You Publish posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Guest author Kara Piazza covers the importance of social media for authors and why the best time to start is now.”
Michelle Weidenbenner presents Seven Questions to Ask a Book Narrator Before Hiring Him or Her posted at Random Writing Rants, saying, “Audio books are a great revenue stream for authors. Read about my mistakes and learn the important questions to ask before you hire a narrator.”
Miles Smith presents How I Got $145 in Audiobook Sales With $475 in FREE PPC Ads posted at Miles Anthony Smith, saying, “For the first 5 months of 2015, I sold 55 units and generated $94.74 in royalties and a $50 bounty from the sale of my audiobook Becoming Generation Flux by running pay-per-click ads on LinkedIn Ads and Bing/Yahoo PPC Ads. What I love most about driving traffic to my audiobook on Audible is that Audible pays to re-target traffic to your product page. So, how did you do it, Miles? Quite simply…with a little skill and a little luck.”
Sarah Bolme presents Get More Attention for Your Book posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “You have probably heard the pessimists. Newspapers are on the decline. The space for book reviews in newspapers is shrinking. Fewer people are reading newspapers. Only around 29% of people read a daily newspaper, down from 47% in the year 2000. Print magazines are also dwindling in number, leaving fewer places for authors to garner book coverage in the media.”
Sarah Bolme presents Which Role are You Neglecting? posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “As an independently published author or small publisher, you are extremely busy. You have many roles that require diverse tasks. Each role has huge responsibilities that require your time and attention. Because you wear so many hats, I am sure that at times you end up neglecting some of your roles.”
Ron Callari presents HarperCollins Goes Indie? posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “HarperCollins Publishing LLC is one of the “Big Five” publishing houses, alongside Hachette, Holtzbrinck/MacMillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. If you’ve been a starving artist for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve thought about papering your walls with all of the rejection notices you’ve received from traditional publishers, over the years. In fact, those dark days might have been the catalyst for you going ‘indie’ in the first place, once you learned about self-publishing as an option.”
Ron Callari presents Self-Publishing Luminary Dan Poynter Blazed Trail For Indie Writers posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “As a visionary, the real-life journey of Dan Poynter is a poignant tale of one of the first proponents of self-publishing, decades before digital technology transitioned the field from traditional publishers to the go-it-alone author.”
Writing Tools and Tips
Ashley R. Carlson presents Should You Hate Your First Draft? posted at Ashley R. Carlson Editor & Author, saying, “This post is dedicated to all the NaNoWriMo writers out there, as well as any burgeoning author who’s still learning to trust their talent. I think it’s important for authors to be REALISTIC about their first drafts, but not to outright “hate” them. I share quotes from several bestselling authors, and some encouragement too!”
Gordon Burgett presents Here’s how to submit changes to your book at Kindle posted at Empire Building by Writing and Speaking for writers, speakers, and publishers, saying, “How many authors (and bloggers) have their books submitted by someone else, then they don’t know how to go back in and update, correct, or rewrite their prose. So here are the steps in Kindle, and once they’ve tried them it will be almost the same for the other open publishers.”
K.M. Weiland presents How to Write Multiple Antagonists posted at Helping Writers Become Authors, saying, “Sometimes your story is going to require not just one, but multiple antagonists. When that happens, how do you juggle them all? Here are three ways.”
Katie McCoach presents What is Developmental Editing? Does Your Story Need it? posted at KM Editorial, saying, “What is Developmental Editing? And does your story need it? Understand how developmental editing compares to other types of editing.”
Terry Whalin presents 9 Ways to Jumpstart Your Writing During the Holidays posted at The Writing Life, saying, “Thank you, Joel. I appreciate you and if I can help you, let me know. Terry”
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 January 31, 2016 and the deadline for submissions will be January 15, 2016. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need