Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for April, 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.
M. L. Gardner presents Crafting Serial Fiction: An In-Depth Guide posted at M. L. Gardner Blog, saying, “A serial is a short but captivating story published in installments. And I really, really love them. When I contemplated using a serial format to continue The 1929 Series, I did a lot of research on how they’re done. Like anything else, there’s tons of information and opinions. Some of it’s good, some not so much. But I muddled through it all and took away what made sense to me.”
John Doppler presents Amazon Sales Rank: Taming the Algorithm posted at ALLi’s Author Advice Centre, saying, “Confused by the behavior of Amazon’s sales rank? The Alliance of Independent Authors new Watchdog takes the mystery out of this frequently misunderstood Amazon Sales Rank feature.”
Joanna Penn presents How To Sell More Books on iBooks posted at The Creative Penn, saying, “Authors who are serious about building a long term career with their books, who want to sell on all platforms, to all markets, mostly choose to take their books wide. Here’s some tips for selling more books on iBooks.”
Book Design and Production
joylene butler presents Ask PZM: April – New Marketing Opportunities posted at Joylene Nowell Butler, suspense author, saying, “The article includes important information about BookPlanner by author Phyllis Zimbler Miller.”
Kate Tilton presents What Level of Editing Do You Need? posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Editor Jessica West looks at the different types of editing you need for your book along with great questions to ask editors you are looking to work with.”
Ron Callari presents What Amazon and Libraries Have in Store for 2016 posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “Transitioning from the real world of hardbound books, bookstores and libraries to the virtual world of bits, bytes and pixels was a major leap in putting self-publishers in the driver’s seat. It was a time for the legacy publishing world to take pause. Today, we will explore how a return to getting physical with the printed word in the real world is making a comeback.”
Deborah Jay presents You’ve hired an editor, but what happens if you don’t agree with them? posted at Deborah Jay – Mystery, magic and mayhem, saying, “There is plenty of advice out there about engaging an editor for your work, but what do you do when you don’t agree with your chosen editor’s suggestions?”
Holly Evans presents Handling The Pressure Of Being An Indie Author posted at Chaos Fox Writing, saying, “Being an indie author comes with a huge deal of pressure and stress. This is a guide to handling that pressure so that we don’t burn out.”
Ian Martyn presents Write because you love writing posted at Ian Martyn – Science Fiction Writer, saying, “I see lots of adverts out there offering the magic formula to success. However, I think to write good fiction you first have to love writing”
Lois Hoffman presents Relentlessly Helpful posted at The Happy Self-Publisher, saying, “In business, in the business of selling books and in life, we all want something. We strive for success or to sell more books and get the good things in life. We want attention, recognition and satisfaction. There’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes we go about it in the wrong way.”
Robin Storey presents To Swear Or Not To Swear – That Is The Fecking Question posted at Storey-Lines, saying, “Indie author Robin Storey explores the pros and cons of using swear words in your novels”
Ron Callari presents Open eBooks for Children: Future Opportunity for Indie Authors posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “When indie authors are accepted, it would allow both veteran and newbie authors to have their work judged and vetted by their target audience.”
Sandra Hutchison presents Awesome Indies founder Tahlia Newland on challenges and opportunities for indie authors posted at Sandra Hutchison, saying, “Interview with the indie author who founded Awesome Indies, which seeks to curate quality indie fiction.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Belinda Kroll presents Using Kindle Spy for Genre Competitive Analysis posted at Belinda Kroll | Books for Kids & Teens, saying, “Authors can and should conduct analysis of their competitors. How do I know what I’m writing will sell? Are other authors selling similar content? Is there a gap that could be filled by my work? These are important questions which can be answered by competitive (cooperative) analysis, and I’m sharing my process using KindleSpy to help me out.”
Carla King presents Mastering Metadata: the Key to Marketing Your Books posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “This post includes a downloadable Cheat Sheet (worksheet) to help authors pull together all their metadata as instructed.”
Chris Syme presents How To Give Your Facebook Page a Quick Likes Spike posted at CKSyme Media Group, saying, “If you’re trying to build the number of Facebook likes on your author page, start by inviting the friends from your personal profile.”
Christine Munroe presents Building Your Author Mailing List posted at Kobo Writing Life Blog, saying, “Bestselling indie author Mark Dawson shares why and how authors should build their mailing list. Published on the Kobo Writing Life blog, a resource for authors interested in learning about the craft and business of writing.”
Frances Caballo presents What to Post on Social Media Plus 38 Examples posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “Authors often ask me, “What should I post on social media?” The answer is simple: Great content that your readers will enjoy. Social media and book marketing aren’t about you. Yes, you have books to sell and a blog you want your readers to visit. But in the end, everything you do is about the reader. As such, the content you post will be driven by what motivates, moves, and meets the needs of your readers.”
Gordon Burgett presents Sell your entire book and its chapters simultaneously posted at Empire building by writing and speaking, for writers, speakers, and publishers, saying, “If you have 12 chapters plus the book they are in you could publish all 13 at the same time, hoping that by reading any chapter of that masterpiece it will attract the buyer to the whole book. Sometimes the reader likes a specific chapter well enough he/she will buy many for a particular readership. Like a book called Speaking for Money might have a chapter called “How to be a Fund-Raiser!” They may buy 50 of the chapter (wee book) plus a few of the full book. Who knows?”
Heather Gilbert presents 5 Ways Authors can be Tweeps, not Twits posted at Heather Day Gilbert Author, saying, “Many authors have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. Make Twitter bearable with these five tips.”
James Moushon presents “Authors, Don’t Sell Short Stories SHORT” – A Short Story Marketing Strategy Study – See more at: http://hbspublications.blogspot.com/2016/03/authors-dont-sell-short-stories-short.html#sthash.6sRf6ov5.dpuf posted at eBook Authors Corner, saying, “Study by Over 70 Outstanding Authors discuss their Short Story Marketing Strategy”
Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents Foreword Vs. Preface Vs. Introduction: A Guide For Self-Publishers posted at Kunz On Publishing, saying, “It is essential for a self-publisher to understand the differences between the foreword, preface, and introduction of a book. Each section plays a vital role in the critical and financial success of the book. Without these three sections, a non-fiction book is incomplete, and not giving the readers their money’s worth. Therefore, I have laid out some basic definitions of each section to help give new self-publishers a starting point before beginning their first book.”
Nate Hoffelder presents Tapas Wants to Gamify the eBook Market, But Will Consumers Go Along? posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “The vast majority of ebooks are sold directly to consumers, but that’s not how things work in the games market, where -in-app purchases provide more revenue. Now a startup called Tapas Media wants to “gamify” ebook sales by bringing that in-app purchase model to ebooks. Tapas wants to sell ebooks by the slice, basically, and use a special digital currency in the process. Do you think consumers will go for it?”
Penny Sansevieri presents Amazon Themes and Keywords: Optimizing Your Book Page – Part Two posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “This is Part 2 of a 2-part series, Part 1 of which is in the issue #66.”
Robin Cutler presents How to Get Distribution AFTER You’ve Printed Your Book posted at BookWorks Blog
Shelley Hitz presents 10 Pages You Should Include in Your Author Website posted at Shelley Hitz – Author Audience, saying, “Your author website is your home online. However, have you really thought through the strategy of how to set up your website or simply put something together? In this blog post I share 10 pages I think every author should include in their website.”
C. S. Lakin presents How to Hit #1 on Amazon’s Bestseller List–Repeatedly posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Author and Huff Post blogger Garry Rodgers shares his recent successes and methods used to target Amazon effectively and hit the #1 spot with numerous books he’s written. Showing just what keywords he used and sharing screenshots, Garry helps writers to see how they can garner similar success with their self-published books.”
Writing Tools and Tips
C. S. Lakin presents The Cycle of Action-Reaction in Novel Scenes posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Writers get so busy elaborating on plot in scenes, they don’t stop to consider what’s important. And that’s conveying a realistic flow of behavior for their characters. So many manuscripts I edit and critique show a character hearing some news or witnessing something occurring around them, and they have no reaction. They just move on to the next plot development. Or there might be two people talking and they keep bringing up important or interesting bits of information. But do either of them react or process what’s being said? No. There are no narrative beats, no showing of expression, gesture, body language, thoughts—nothing to show they heard what the other person just said. Oh wait, they quickly replied, so surely they heard. Right? Well, sure. But it doesn’t sound natural. There is no believable process or cycle of action-reaction taking place. As a result, the scene is rushed, awkward, clunky. Off.”
C.K. MacLeod presents Why Writer’s Love Scrivener (And Why Editors Will Too!) posted at Tech Tools for Writers, saying, “Find out why Scrivener has become wildly popular with writers—and why it’s a great tool for editors, too!”
Heather Gilbert presents 5 Practical Ways to Keep Moving Forward as an Author posted at Heather Day Gilbert Author, saying, “Heather Day Gilbert, author of the Indie Publishing Handbook, shares 5 practical tips to keep you moving forward in your writing career.”
Kate Tilton presents Romance Novels: Why You Need to Go Beyond the Tropes posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Author Will Van Stone Jr. breaks down the romance tropes you want to avoid in your next romance novel.”
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 May 29, 2016 and the deadline for submissions will be May 15, 2016. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need