Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for February, 2016. 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.
J.M. Ney-Grimm presents How I Wrote & RE-WROTE Cover Copy for My Novel posted at J.M. Ney-Grimm, saying, “These are the guidelines I followed to craft cover copy that makes browsing readers want to buy and read my book.”
Belinda Pollard presents Instagram for Authors: My First 6 Months posted at Small Blue Dog Publishing Pty Ltd, saying, “I joined Instagram in mid-2015 as an experiment. It’s been more than I expected it to be. These are my results and what I’ve learned. See if they help you decide whether or not to add yet another social network to your author marketing kitbag.”
Carla King presents How to Optimize Your Amazon Author Central Page posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “Your author central page lets you manage what buyers see on each of your book pages, improves search, lets you track sales, connect with readers, and contact Amazon directly to solve issues with your account. Here’s how to sign up and maximize its impact.”
Book Design and Production
Diane Tibert presents Treat eBooks like Websites and Update them Regularly posted at Diane Tibert, saying, “I once thought eBooks were published and left unchanged on the virtual shelf for years. There was no reason to update them. I quickly learned I was wrong. Everyone who reads your eBooks should be provided with the most up-to-date information to encourage them to learn more about you.”
Stefanie Newell presents What Should Be Included On Your Book Copyright Page? posted at The Write One Blog
Doris-Maria Heilmann presents Canadian Writers and Publishers are Spoiled! posted at 111Publishing, saying, “A peek over the fence: How the Canadian government is supporting and fostering literature, writers and publishers – even ISBN’s are FREE in Canada!”
Matthew James presents The unique relationship between self-published authors and their readers… posted at Ramblings
Robin Storey presents Twelve Things Never To Say To A Writer posted at Storey-Lines, saying, “Indie author Robin Storey reveals the 12 worst things you can say to a writer, based on a recent popular Twitter topic.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Frances Caballo presents Boost Your Website Traffic with Pinterest posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “If you haven’t been using Pinterest, this post will help you to get started. If you’ve been on Pinterest for some time, you’ll learn about changes that have recently occurred and how to use Pinterest to improve your SEO.”
Gordon Burgett presents Article you are submitting need a sidebar? Here’s an example posted at Empire Building by Writing and Speaking, saying, “Sidebars to articles are a great place to position and market self-published books and their table of contents.”
Jay Artale presents Why Book Launches Don’t Measure the Success of Self-published Books posted at ALLi’s Author Advice Centre, saying, “If you are worried that your book didn’t make enough sales on its launch -fear not! In the world of self-publishing and indie authors, your launch should be regarded as just the start of your journey, and that the best is yet to come. The success of a book launch doesn’t dictate its future.”
Jordan Smith presents How to Write a Fantastic Author Newsletter posted at Fix My Story, saying, “I know so many indie authors who are miserable trying to keep up a weekly blog. This post explains how to get out of the blogging trap by starting a monthly author newsletter. Write more books, not an endless supply of blog posts!”
Jordan Smith presents How to Write an Incredible Amazon Description posted at Fix My Story, saying, “So many authors settle for a less-than-perfect Amazon description when with just a couple hours of work, they could write one that knocks it out of the park. This article shows how to research your genre’s conventions and write a great description.”
Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents How A Book Foreword Can Help An Author’s Career posted at Kunz On Publishing, saying, “A credible book foreword can, and should be, a powerful marketing tool for the author of the book, as well as for the author of the foreword. Both of these authors must not underestimate the power of a credible and authentic foreword, and how it can, if done correctly, forever enhance the career, and book sales, of both.”
Kimberley Grabas presents Your Author Business Plan: A Framework for the Creative Entrepreneur posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Does the thought of writing a business plan make you wince? You’ve been struggling valiantly through most of the non-writing, left-brained activities that have been thrust upon you as a modern writer–do you really need to go through the formality of crafting your “executive summary”, “sales forecasts” and “market analysis”? Well…yes. (sorry) But if you’d prefer to skip the spreadsheets in favour of a more “writer-friendly” planning process–because deep down you know you could use a bit more direction to move your writing career to the next level–you’re in luck! I’ve designed this business plan framework with the creative entrepreneur in mind.”
Miles Anthony Smith presents 10 Stages to Skyrocketing Email Subscriptions with Wisepops & Mailchimp posted at Digital Book Marketing by Miles Anthony Smith, saying, “If you are seeking to increase your email subscriptions, you must have some sort of overlay or light-box on your website. Some use the term pop-up, but that has a negative connotation. And Wisepops aren’t really pop-ups; those happen in a new browser window. Wisepops occurs in the same window and cause the webpage to be grayed-out will the overlay/light-box is on top. Wisepops has many uses, is easy to use, deploy on your website, and link to your ESP (email service provider). Wisepops & Mailchimp are both offered at a reasonable monthly price and are easy if you are just starting out or are a pro looking for advanced features.”
Randy Stapilus presents Niche Advertising to Your Target Audience (Part 3) posted at BookWorks, saying, “This is part 3 of a series of articles about advertising as a component of book marketing.”
Ron Callari presents Is Twitter Fiction an Option for Self-Publishing Authors? – Part Two posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “Concise expression is characteristic of astute, perceptive and pithy dialogue. After all, isn’t “brevity the soul of wit?” When the great bard first inked those immortal words, his keen grasp of the value of the economy of language holds as true today as it did back in Elizabethan England. Perhaps even more so now with the advent of social media. This is particularly true of one microblogging platform that’s been part of our zeitgeist for the last 9+ years, and opened the doors to a new construct called ‘Twitter Fiction.’”
Steve Vernon presents KELPIE DREAMS KINDLE SCOUT CAMPAIGN – DAY 8 posted at Yours In Storytelling, saying, “A thirty day blog series detailing the ups and downs of one bearded big-bellied author’s thirty day Kindle Scout Campaign. Lots of tips and tricks and a ton of bad jokes and the occasional splash of inspiration.”
Lois Hoffman presents Planning for Your Writing Business posted at The Happy Self-Publisher, saying, “In this new year, you know more about your your writing business and yourself, how you tick and the business climate that surrounds you. So, why you are in your writing business this year? What makes you want to get up every morning and put in the long hours and hard work? As Napoleon Hill asks us to discover, what is your “burning desire”? Discover the questions to ask yourself to make the most of your writing business.”
Writing Tools and Tips
Belinda Kroll presents Use KindleSpy for Genre Competitive Analysis posted at Belinda Kroll, YA Victorian Books, saying, “Belinda does a quick summary how to use KindleSpy for competitive analysis and determining genres of future books via Amazon stats.”
Cate Baum presents Eight Ways To Start Research For Your Historical Novel posted at Self-Publishing Review
Deborah Jay presents Writers, what can you learn from modelling? posted at Deborah Jay – Mystery, magic and mayhem, saying, “We all know the saying, ‘write what you know’, but how about writing what someone else knows instead?”
Jennifer Ellis presents Maintaining Motivation through the Second Draft: 11 Tips posted at Jennifer Ellis – Writing, saying, “Finding the motivation to complete the second draft of your novel or short story can be tough. Follow these tips to maintain your focus and enthusiasm and get that draft done.”
K.M. Weiland presents The #1 Problem With Backstory (and Its Simple Fix) posted at Helping Writers Become Authors, saying, “Discover the Number One problem with backstory and how to ask the one question that will keep you from committing this story sin in your own writing.”
lee goldground presents What music Did You Listen to While Writing Your Book? posted at lee goldground – author of i am hate, saying, “A short prompt about what music inspires writers, with two links to hypnotic pieces (Basinski cascade and disintegration loop1) that helped a six month edit of a nine-year write. Plan to make this a series on the different phases of writing a 300 page novel, thinking about what types of music helped these phases. Brand new author with fledgling blog.”
Leslie Lee Sanders presents Master the Element of Surprise (What I Learned Writing Darkness Eternal: Refuge Inc.) posted at Leslie Lee Sanders, saying, “Want to turn a dull story into an exciting one? Want readers to talk about your story long after reading it? Surprise them. Plot twists and surprise endings are just some of the components that make up great fiction. Following are some tips you can apply to master the element of surprise in your story.”
Ron Callari presents Aer.io Turns Self-Publishers Websites into Point-of-Sale posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “Do you have a website for your book? Does your website also serve as a storefront? Are you selling a lot of books from the storefront on your website? For those who’ve answered “yes” to all questions, I congratulate you for your stellar achievements. Why? Because it takes a rare set of skills above and beyond creativity to successfully design, market, sell and distribute your eBooks and printed books online–without help from some kind of publishing software.”
Steve Vernon presents Put Your Manuscript On A Diet posted at Yours in Storytelling, saying, “Your story is WAY TOO FAT! And I don’t mean fat, like phat – I mean FAT, like I can’t believe that I ate those sixteen slices of pecan pie, with gravy. So – how do you whittle it down to size? Here are a few important tips to help you get a handle on self-editing.”
Steven Saus presents A Study In Quick Characterization: The Dinner Scene From “You’re Next” posted at ideatrash, saying, “The dinner scene from “You’re Next” develops an entire cast of characters in just over five minutes. Authors can learn a lot to improve their craft by carefully examining this scene.”
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 March 27, 2016 and the deadline for submissions will be March 15, 2016. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need