Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for February, 2017. 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.
Ali Luke presents What Bad Writing Looks Like … and How to Fix It [With Detailed Examples] posted at Aliventures, saying, “What makes writing “bad”? In this post, I go through a piece of (self)-published fiction that, sadly, comes across as a first draft. I explain in detail where the writing isn’t working, highlighting mistakes for you to avoid — and I give a fully rewritten example of how I’d rework the piece to make it stronger.”
Helen Sedwick presents Using Gucci and Other Trademarks in Your Writing posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “Writers often use trademarks to reveal their character’s status, tastes, and vanities. BookWorks’ Legal Expert Helen Sedwick reveals the ins/outs of using trademarks in your work.”
Shawn Manaher presents 3 Approaches to Email Marketing for a Book Launch posted at Book Marketing Tools Blog, saying, “Incorporating email marketing into your book launch plan is one of the smartest things you can do as an author. This incredibly powerful tactic is not only cost-effective, but it also has the potential to produce a crazy high return on your investment. When you first engage in email marketing, you’ll discover there are three main types of email campaigns you can create, namely e-newsletters, email blasts, and autoresponders.”
Book Design and Production
Marcy Kennedy presents Creating a Print Book Box Set posted at Fiction University, saying, “One of the most challenging questions for indie authors is “Is there a way to create a print book box set?” The short answer is yes. Whether or not we’ll feel the options are workable for us, though, requires thoughtful examination.”
Martin Cavannagh presents Cover Design: How self-publishing authors can do it best posted at Reedsy, saying, “A thorough guide to Book Cover Design that covers the process of working with professionals to craft a book jacket. Features an infographic that compares the average costs, depending on design techniques (illustration, stock photo, etc.) and the designer’s experience.”
Alexander Zoltai presents Main Street Writers Movement ~~~ for: “Everyone who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.“ posted at Notes from An Alien.
Annette Hamilton presents Bite Me on the Barcode: More on pricing and POD for the Aussie author posted at Annette Hamilton’s Writing Zone, saying, “Thoughts about some of the problems of the Indie author outside the US.”
Auburn Seal presents Know Yourself and Write Better Books posted at Bibliocrunch, saying, “This article, published on Bibliocrunch.com discusses how to find your “author theme” and apply that information to deciding what books to write and solidifying your author platform. Thanks for your consideration!”
Belinda Pollard presents 5 Publishing Myths Debunked posted at Write & Publish Like a Pro, saying, “Are publishers “gatekeepers”? These 5 publishing myths can hurt writers’ feelings and careers. Let’s debunk.”
Sandra Hutchison presents Published every way: An interview with author Denise Deegan posted at Sandra Hutchison, saying, “Denise Deegan (also known as Aimee Alexander) shares her experiences as an author of multiple genres who has published traditionally, self-published, and had a book with an Amazon imprint.”
Terry Whalin presents Three Reasons to Find and Join a Local Writer’s Group posted at The Writing Life, saying, “Writing is a solitary profession. One of the ways writers can grow is to locate and join local writer’s group.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Carole P. Roman presents How to Sell Books Long Term: What Worked for Me posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “Successful BookWorks author, Carole P. Roman, shares her strategies for selling your books over the long haul in our “Notes from the Field” series.”
Darcy Pattison presents Children’s Books Sell Online: Data Guy on Juvenile Sales posted at Indie Kids Books.
Dave Chesson presents How to Smart And Catchy Author Bios posted at Kindlepreneur, saying, “A good author bio can be the bridge that transforms a reader into becoming a fan. Find out step by step how you can turn your ho-hum bio into something your fans will fall in love with.”
Frances Caballo presents Twitter Headers for Authors: Do’s & Don’ts posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “Authors often miss the mark when creating their Twitter headers. BookWorks Social Media Expert Frances Caballo shares how not to waste this valuable real estate.”
Frances Caballo presents Want in on a secret? Email marketing rocks! posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “Would you like to know a secret? One that social media managers might not freely reveal? Here it is: Email marketing is in some ways more effective than social media.”
Iola Goulton presents Five Ways to Build Your Author Email List (and One Way Not To) posted at Australasian Christian Writers, saying, “Everyone is talking about email marketing, but some authors still manage to get it wrong. Here are some basic tips about how to grow your mailing list.”
Jay Artale presents Book Marketing for Children’s Authors: How Children Buy Books posted at Self-Publishing Advice Center from ALLi, saying, “In the third and final part of our series by ALLi Children’s Advisor Karen Inglis, here are valuable insights to help indie authors who are self-publishing children’s books discover how the youngest generation buy books, and how best to reach these young readers.”
Kate Tilton presents How To Start Your Own Bookstagram posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Melissa Robles offers advice for authors & readers on how to get a start on Bookstagram, the bookish community of Instagram.”
Lois Hoffman presents Should You Use Kindle Pre-order? posted at The Happy Self-Publisher, saying, “You’ve likely heard of Kindle Pre-order as an option for releasing your book early. There are many reasons to take a slower route – more time to find readers, generate anticipation, and line up reviews for launch day. Who wouldn’t want those? But is Kindle Pre-order right for you?”
Marcy Kennedy presents Why I Launched a Secret Pen Name posted at Marcy Kennedy’s Blog, saying, “Pen names are, in part, a marketing decision, but I used my secret pen name to test whether a platform is really necessary to sell books and to fall back in love with writing again.”
Nate Hoffelder presents 5 WordPress Themes for Professional Authors posted at Jane Friedman, saying, “Are you looking for a WordPress theme that is more than just a blog theme? Here are five different themes which are feature-rich and look great.”
Penny Sansevieri presents 7 Book Marketing Trends Authors Should Expect in 2017 posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks’ Marketing Expert Penny Sansevieri shares 7 book marketing trends that indie authors should expect and incorporate into their plans for 2017.”
Penny Sansevieri presents How to Sell More Books in 2017: 12 Top Tips posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “Set your course for success in 2017 with these 12 tips to help you sell more books, by BookWorks’ Marketing Expert, Penny Sansevieri.”
Shawn Manaher presents The Author Hangout Ep 134: “Improving Kindle Book Rankings” posted at Book Marketing Tools Blog, saying, “In this episode, we interviewed the Kindlepreneur himself, Dave Chesson. He shared great tips for authors to improve their Kindle book ranking, as well as how to get Amazon to send traffic to your book.”
Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents Computer-Data Backup-Strategy For Self-Publishers posted at Kunz On Publishing, saying, “Protecting your computer’s data files is something every self-publisher must know about and deal with before it’s too late. It’s essential that you keep the back-up process simple and automatic. It is also imperative to create multiple copies, on-site, and off-site. Here’s a run-down of how we do this in our office.”
Writing Tools and Tips
Alex Encomienda presents A Guide to Metrical Poetry posted at AlexTheWriterDot, saying, “There are plenty poets among indie writers and self published authors. This article is a thorough introduction to meters, feet and styles of poetry including free verse and blank verse. It can be quite informative for a beginner.”
Auburn Seal presents Let’s Talk About Writerly Goals posted at Bibliocrunch, saying, “One of our most popular articles, this blog posts discusses specific tips for goal setting for the new year, complete with references to tracking tools and finding your why as a writer!”
Belinda Kroll presents Using Bullet Journals to Track Your Editing posted at Belinda Kroll | Fiction for Kids & Teens, saying, “Belinda shows examples of using a bullet journal habit tracker to make sure she covers all of her editing needs.”
Blair MacGregor presents Violence and Viewpoint posted at Blair MacGregor Books, saying, “The story-tension we tend to associate with violence isn’t about the violence at all. It’s about what the violence does to the character—whether the character is inflicting or enduring the violence.”
C.K. MacLeod presents Comment Shortcuts in Word posted at Tech Tools for Writers, saying, “Editors and beta readers can make suggestions in a piece of writing using the Comments feature in Microsoft Word. Here’s how to do that efficiently.”
Colin Dunbar presents How to Write a Book posted at The Complete Self Publisher, saying, “If you’re asking yourself the question, “How do I write a book?”, this article is going to give you the fundamentals to writing a book. Writing a book is actually a matter of to each his own, but I hope that if you’re thinking of writing your own book, the suggestions and ideas here will help.”
Duke Diercks presents Tools For Authors: 34 Pieces Of Writing Software That Will Improve Your Writing, Make Editing And Publishing Easier, And Improve Your Concentration And Motivation posted at DukeDiercks.
K.M. Weiland presents 6 Bits of Common Writing Advice You’re Misusing posted at Helping Writers Become Authors, saying, “Take a look at 6 common bits of writing advice that are abused far too often even by authors with the best of intentions.”
Kate Tilton presents Balls Through the Wall: Making Better Horror Stories posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Author Will Van Stone Jr. on why author must go dark for cringe-worthy horror.”
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 26, 2017 and the deadline for submissions will be March 15, 2017. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need