Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for March, 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.
Amy Collins presents Make the Most of Your Book Back Cover With These Tips posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks Expert Amy Collins outlines what authors should, and should not, do to make the most of their book back cover, including examples of actual back covers.”
March McCarron presents Polish Your Prose: How to Clean Up and Strengthen Your Writing posted at March McCarron’s Blog saying, “I decided to write up this post to give newer writers a peak into my process for polishing prose. This is an important step, and one I think is too often overlooked.”
Dave Chesson presents How to Create A Professional Author Page in Amazon posted at Kindlepreneur, saying, “Learn how to set up your Amazon Author Page, and Central account with these pro-level tricks and tips. Add video, descriptions, biographies and even blog posts on your author page.”
Book Design and Production
Lorna Reid presents Why Every Author Needs a Professional Book Cover Why Every Author Needs a Professional Book Cover posted at Author Packages.
Georgina Jeffery presents Crowdfunding the Written Word: Author Interview with Erinna Mettler posted at An Inspired Mess, saying, “Have you ever considered self-publishing via crowdfunding? I spoke with Erinna Mettler to get the inside scoop on her crowdfunding experience with indie publisher ‘Unbound’. Erinna shares the challenges she faced and gives advice on how to reach that critical funding goal.”
Iola Goulton presents Should I use a Pen Name? Why or why not? posted at Christian Editing Services, saying, “My response to a question from a new writer: should I publish under my own name, or a pen name? As this post attempts to show, that’s not an easy question to answer.”
Katie McCoach presents 4 Simple, Realistic Ways You Can Make Time to Write posted at KM Editorial, saying, “Finding time to write is not easy to do. Here are 4 simple solutions.”
Lois Hoffman presents Author Platform Success Plan posted at The Happy Self-Publisher, saying, “Writers, in general, are creative sorts and not natural-born marketers. Yet most seek some financial reward for their effort. Many hope for major success. So, how do you fill in the gap between knowledge and desire?”
Lorna Reid presents Secrets to Working With A Professional Cover Designer posted at Author Packages.
Robin Storey presents The Health Risks Of Being A Writer posted at Storey-Lines, saying, “Indie author Robin Storey explores the health risks of prolonged sitting and how you can address and minimize those risks.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Alexander Zoltai presents Little Books Might Be the Best Solution for Promotion posted at Notes from An Alien.
Alexandra Amor presents Book Marketing: Using Amazon Ads to Grow a Newsletter List posted at The Creative Penn, saying, “As an independent author, you probably know that building your newsletter list is of primary importance. Here’s how to use Amazon Ads to kickstart that growth.”
Andy Conway presents The punk publishing revolution, the Publishing Con, and how Amazon freed authors from serfdom posted at Punk Publishers – The indie publishing revolution. In three chords., saying, “Ahead of the launch of “Punk Publishing – a DIY Guide”, here’s the first explosive chapter.”
Chris Well presents How to Attract New Readers with the Author Playlist Strategy posted at Build Your Brand Academy, saying, “It can be a struggle to get new readers to stand up and take notice. One way that authors can get the attention of these readers is to leverage what I call an “Author Playlist Strategy.” Drawn from examples I’ve learned working in the media and in retail, this simple idea can give authors the boost they need to attract readers who follow other authors. The article even includes a free workbook download!”
Clare Whitmell presents 7 Ways to Turn Readers Into Buying Fans posted at Publishing Spark, saying, “The ideal scenario from your mailing list is that your subscriber opens and reads your email, then takes some sort of action – whether that’s replying to your email, clicking on a link that you send them, or buying a book. But if you aren’t getting good response rates to your emails, try these seven ideas to increase the chances of your emails being seen, read, and acted on.”
Clare Whitmell presents Is Your Author Mailing List Effective? 5 Ways to Find Out posted at Publishing Spark, saying, “With a “set-it-and-forget-it” mailing list provider, it’s easy to start building your mailing list. But you should also periodically keep an eye on it to make it even more effective. Here are the five stats you should be tracking.”
Frances Caballo presents How to Get Going with MailChimp and Email Marketing posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “Everywhere on the blogosphere writers are hearing the admonishment, “Start an email marketing program.” Publishers, the experts tell you, want to know that you have an email list. Even if you’re an Indie author and intend to be indie as long as you can breathe, an email list is important to your marketing efforts. So it’s loud and clear that you need an email list, right? But did you ever notice that there’s little advice about which programs are better and how to use them? Well, I intend to clear that up today.”
Frances Caballo presents Twitter 101 for Authors: Hashtags, Do’s & Don’ts posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks Social Media Expert Frances Caballo presents Twitter 101 for authors with all the essential Hashtags, Do’s & Don’ts to master this go-to social network.”
Kate Tilton presents This Is Why You Should Do Newsletter Surveys posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Author AD Starrling explains the benefits of using a newsletter survey to engage your readership and covers how authors can get started.”
Kate Tilton presents Top 5 Unique & Wonderful SWAG Picks for Every Author posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “In this article, I cover five unique swag ideas authors can use for their giveaways and promotions.”
Kimberley Grabas presents 5 Invaluable Strategies to Help You Reach Your Big Goals in 2017 and Beyond posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks, your 2017 “to-do” list has morphed into a hot mess… And much like last year, you’re flying by the seat of your pants – chasing the urgent over what’s truly important – detached from your goals and dreams and lost in the tangle of it all. Unproductive and uninspired. Ugh. How about we hop off that hamster wheel? Instead, I’ll take you through five fundamental strategies that will help you get inspired, realign with your dreams, and allow you to confidently make the decisions that will move your writing career forward in 2017.
Sabrina Ricci presents Setting Up and Building an Email List posted at Digital Pubbing, saying, “Direct marketing is powerful. There’s a reason so many people say “the money is in the list.” If you can build a mailing list of people who like your work and are willing to pay for it, then it becomes much easier to sell your books and have bigger book launches. With that in mind, here are some tips and resources on how to build a strong mailing list”
Sarah Bolme presents Fresh Insight into Book Buying Behavior posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “I have a confession to make. I have never purchased an ebook. I read ebooks on a Kindle app, but every ebook on my Kindle app I acquired for free. I do buy books. However, if I am going to spend money on a book, I buy a print book. My behavior is not outside the bounds of normalcy for book buying.”
Shawn Manaher presents What Every Author Should Know About the Social Side of Book Launches posted at Book Marketing Tools Blog, saying, “While it’s true that we’re not all socially adept, the reality is that there has been a fundamental shift in how consumers discover new books and communicate with authors. People have become far less receptive to one-way communication methods where they have no way of responding. They want a way to interact. They want real connections. They want a way to share their opinions and be heard. These are all things they get from social media.”
Tamara Dever presents Getting a Top Reviewer to Read Your Book posted at TLC Graphics: The Designer Writes, saying, “Chris Lawson, Hall of Fame reviewer on Amazon, gets “a ton of book review requests; alas, many of these requests are not very appealing.” That doesn’t necessarily mean the books are bad, but the requests themselves aren’t compelling enough to even get him to the book to find out! He has some great advice about how to get a top reviewer to actually read your book.”
Terry Whalin presents Why Self-Publishing Is NOT “Easy” posted at The Writing Life, saying, “It’s never been easier to get a book published but selling those books is the real challenge. Terry Whalin gives us five tips.”
C. S. Lakin presents 4 Ways Writers Can Be Productive When Their Energy Sags posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Taking a look at your natural biological ups and downs, learning when you have peak energy and concentration, is needed in order to make adjustments in your life and schedule so you can crank out books. Here are 4 tips to help you be productive when your energy sags. And a new book release to help you be super-productive!”
C. S. Lakin presents Memoir or Novel–Should You Fictionalize Your Life? posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Aren’t all novels based on truth? Aren’t all of them, especially first ones, autobiographical? Aren’t writers supposed to write what we know, and if so, aren’t all of our stories either laced or outright saturated with the details of our lives? One could certainly argue this point. But the real question is this: Should a writer purposely set out to write autobiographical fiction? Or should it be memoir? Or . . . should one make it all up?”
Helen Sedwick presents How to Use Lyrics in Your Writing Without Risk posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks Legal Expert, Helen Sedwick, advises indie authors on how to use song lyrics in their writing without risking legal consequences.”
Robin Cutler presents Are Indie Authors the New Self-Publishing Experts? posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks’ Distribution Expert Robin Cutler of IngramSpark, reports on the emerging trend of successful authors who are creating businesses as self-publishing experts & indie publishers, to help other authors.”
Shawn Manaher presents 3 List Building Tactics to Attract Subscribers Quickly Before a Book Launch posted at Book Marketing Tools Blog, saying, “Are you leveraging email marketing for your book launch? Do your subscriber numbers look a little sad? While there are hundreds of ways you can promote your email list, we’ve handpicked a few of the most effective so that you can build your list fast. If you’re only months away from launch day, these are the tactics on which you’ll want to focus your attention.”
Writing Tools and Tips
Ali Luke presents How to Write Character Descriptions That Work [With Examples] posted at Aliventures, saying, “Character descriptions can be tricky to get right: you want readers to know what the people in your story look like, but you don’t want to dive into long paragraphs of description that bring your story to a sudden halt. In this post, I suggest what to avoid, give examples from published fiction, and explain how you can use description to add to the characterisation of your viewpoint character (the one doing the describing).”
Dave Chesson presents Scrivener vs Word posted at Kindlepreneur, saying, “To many authors, Scrivener is their favorite writing tool. However, is it worth it when most of us already have Word on our computers. Check out this side by side comparison of the two writing programs and see which one is best.”
K.M. Weiland presents Learn How to Pace Your Story (and Mind-Control Your Readers) in Just 8 Steps posted at Helping Writers Become Authors, saying, “Want readers to react to your story in just the right way? Learn how to pace your story, using these eight important pacing tricks to get you started.”
Katherine Pickett presents When to Spell Out Numbers posted at The POP Newsletter, saying, “I’ve found one of the quick ways to tell a book that hasn’t been edited very well is to look at the treatment of numbers. If I find a bunch of inconsistencies, I figure the editor didn’t know her numbers rules and has probably made other mistakes as well.”
Rachael Mollison-Read presents How Exploring Multiple Aspects of Creativity Makes Me a Better Writer posted at R.S. Mollison-Read.
Rachael Mollison-Read presents How To Combat The Extreme Discomfort of the Middle posted at R.S. Mollison-Read.
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 April 30, 2017 and the deadline for submissions will be April 15, 2017. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need