Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for December, 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.
K.M. Weiland presents How to Identify Your Story’s Premise–and Its Most Important Part posted at Helping Writers Become Authors, saying, “To learn how to identify your story’s premise, use these two questions to come up with a “high” concept that wows readers all the way through to the end.”
Colin Dunbar presents Is it Possible to Publish a Book For Free? posted at The Complete Self Publisher, saying, “In this article we’ll look at where you can self publish your book, and what goes into self publishing. Then we’ll see if you can really publish a book for free.”
Carla King presents Book Sales Strategies & Tools for Indie Author Success posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks Tech Expert Carla King outlines selling strategies and tools using the 4 P’s: Product, Price, Place & Promotion.”
Book Design and Production
Belinda Kroll presents Working with a New Cover Artist posted at Belinda Kroll, Books for Kids & Teens, saying, “Belinda provides tips for improving your process when discovering and working with a cover artist for independent author-publishers.”
Cathi Stevenson presents “Self-Published Authors Are Destroying Literature” and Other Opinions posted at Book Cover Express Indie Publishing Blog.
Nina Amir presents How to Avoid the Post-Writing-Challenge Slump posted at Write Nonfiction NOW!, saying, “After you complete a writing challenge or meet a publishing deadline, do you fall into a slump? Become a high-performance writer, and avoid that problem.”
Nina Amir presents What is High Performance and Why Do Bloggers Need It? posted at How to Blog a Book, saying, “High performance applies to bloggers and writers–not just machines or race cars. The most successful people in any industry are high performers.”
Penny Sanvevieri presents Planning an Audiobook? Consider These 3 Things posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “The rising popularity of the audiobook means more opportunities for indie authors. BookWorks Marketing Expert Penny Sansevieri shares 3 important tips to keep in mind when producing your audiobook.”
Carrie Beckort presents 5 Things No One Told Me About Being an Author posted at Across the Board, saying, “I love being an author. However, there are a few things I wish I had known before I signed up for this gig.”
Jordan Smith presents Amazon Now Offers Paperbacks Through KDP—Should You Use It? posted at Fix My Story, saying, “Amazon recently rolled its CreateSpace property into KDP and is now offering paperbacks. Should you use this new option? Here’s a look at the pros and cons.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Brad Graber presents Seven Steps to Follow Before a Writer Invests in a Facebook Ad posted at Brad Graber’s Blog, saying, “I have a number of blogs targeted mostly to writers. Should you have questions – I can be reached at [email protected] or 248-320-2483.”
Chris Well presents 13 Quick Tips For Author Publicity posted at Build Your Brand Academy, saying, “Free author publicity is one of the most effective ways to rise above the noise. With the right email–to the right person–an author can get booked as a guest or for an interview. However, over his years working in the media, Chris Well has seen many do”
Frances Caballo presents How Writers Can Improve their SEO without Pricey Experts posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “What do all the Google algorithm changes mean for writers? A lot, actually. And if you use Yoast – and every writer should use this plugin on their website – you will notice a new feature, readability. Yep, if you want to rank on Google, you not only have”
Frances Caballo presents Video Will Be Huge in 2017…Get Ready! posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “Video is hot, so don’t miss out. BookWorks Social Media Expert France Caballo shows authors how to get on board YouTube for 2017.”
Joan Stewart presents Missing Contact Information Is Killing Your Book Sales posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “Easy-to-access contact information is often overlooked by indie authors which can cost them book sales. Publicity Expert Joan Stewart shows how to avoid this”
Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents 11 Free Testimonial Sources For Non-Fiction Authors posted at Kunz On Publishing, saying, “Testimonials from a wide variety of people is a great way to bring credibility, exposure (eyeballs), and higher sales for your book. Here are eleven sources to find free testimonials that you can use to help promote your book on your website, and in all o”
Martin Crosbie presents 5 Ways to promote your book over the holidays – For Free posted at Indies Unlimited.
Nate Hoffelder presents Amazon Allows Paid Advertising for All eBooks in KDP posted at The Digital Reaer, saying, “Amazon now lets authors buy ads for any of their ebooks in KDP. This service used to be limited to ebooks in KDP Select, but now it’s open to all.”
Sarah Bolme presents Branding: It’s More Important Than You Think! posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “My daughter is a senior in high school. This means that we are in the process of visiting colleges and taking tours in an effort to find a good school match. Recently, at one college we were touring, we sat in a seminar conducted by the university’s Career Center. As I listened to the Director of the Career Center talk to prospective students, I heard phrases like: “Brand yourself” and “Branded candidate”.”
Sarah Bolme presents Four Publishing Trends for 2017 posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Do you wonder what challenges lay ahead in the coming year? I believe that the publishing landscape will continue to develop in the direction it has been growing over the past decade. Here are four publishing trends I see for 2017.”
Shawn Manaher presents 13 Key Questions to Ask About Your Audience Before a Book Launch posted at Book Marketing Tools Blog, saying, “If your messaging isn’t properly targeted, people will feel duped. For this reason, you must identify who will be most receptive to your manuscript. With any luck, you spent time investigating your key readership before you started tapping out your ideas”
Terry Whalin presents Authors Can Use the Power of Radio posted at The Writing Life, saying, “Book promotion is like the legs of a stool and one of those legs is often neglected and not used: radio. Terry Whalin gives you the resources to begin to use radio to market your books.”
Helen Sedwick presents Estate Planning Tips for Authors posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks Legal Expert Helen Sedwick educates indie authors about estate planning to protect their literary legacy and secure the future of their writings.”
Jay Artale presents How Indie Authors Can Avoid Predatory Awards posted at Self Publishing Advice Centre, saying, “With hundreds of contests and awards open to indie authors, it’s hard to know which contests and awards can be trusted. To help separate the bad actors from the legitimate contests, the ALLi Watchdog Desk is pleased to introduce our new feature, Award and”
Writing Tools and Tips
C. S. Lakin presents Your First 50 Pages–Pass or Fail? posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “The first fifty pages of your novel carry the heaviest burden for your story. The opening chapters are all about setup. Setup of characters, premise, tone, writing style, conflict, stakes, world/setting, and so much more. I do dozens of fifty-page critiques every year. I don’t know the exact count, but it’s what I encourage writers to start with when requesting help with their WIP (whether partially done or completed). Why fifty and not one hundred? Why not twenty pages? Fifty pages seems to be just the right number to get a feel for all those important elements. So let’s take a look at some key elements you need in those first 50 pages.
Carrie Beckort presents Quality Control for Indie Authors posted at Across the Board, saying, “Self-published authors are responsible for all aspects of the publishing process, and that includes Quality Control (QC). In this post, I talk about the critical variables that should be in every author’s QC process.”
Colin Dunbar presents How To Start Writing A Book posted at The Complete Self Publisher, saying, “We’re all different, so to help you get started with writing your book, I’m going to share six methods about how to start writing. Try the different methods, find the one that works best for you, or a combination of methods, and move forward with writing”
Georgina Jeffery presents The Hard Cut: Editing Tips Part 3 posted at An Inspired Mess, saying, “In ‘Part 2: The Easy Cut’ we looked at quick and easy ways of improving your writing by making small aesthetic cuts. The reason these cuts were quick and easy was because they were largely superficial; they tightened up your work without making you lose anything you’d really miss. This time we’ll show you how to identify which deeper elements of your story might need more drastic – and painful – alteration.”
Nate Hoffelder presents Technology Changes How Authors Write, but the Big Impact Isn’t on Their Style posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “Out writing tools actively shape the limits and expanse of what we have to say. Not only do we write differently with a fountain pen than with a crayon because they each feel different in our hands, we write (and think) different kinds of things. But what can writing tools and writing machines really tell us about writing?”
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 29, 2017, and the deadline for submissions will be January 15, 2017. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need