By Joel Friedlander
Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for May, 2020. 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.
Glenna Collett presents A review of Affinity Publisher posted at Book Design Made Simple, saying, “This new graphic and book design application gives InDesign a real run for its money. It’s got about 98% of the same features, plus a lot of its own great ones, and it costs an awful lot less. We reviewed it so everyone can decide for themselves before trying it out.”
C. S. Lakin presents 23 Top Writing Podcasts That Help You Improve Your Craft posted at The Self-Publisher, saying, “Writers have so many online resources these days to help them hone their writing skills, but there are never enough hours in the day to take advantage of them. And when it comes to podcasts, you would need a thousand lifetimes to listen to all the great content that will help you on your writing journey. One of the great features of podcasts is the audio format, which allows for listeners to learn while doing a whole lot of other non-writerly things.”
Louise Harnby presents 10 ways to proofread your own writing posted at The Editing Blog, saying, “Fresh eyes on a piece of writing is ideal. Sometimes, however, the turnaround time for publication precludes it. Other times, the return on investment just won’t justify the cost of hiring a professional proofreader, especially when shorter-form content’s in play. Good enough has to be enough. Here are 10 ideas to help you minimize errors and inconsistencies.”
Book Design and Production
Nate Hoffelder presents Canva v Book Brush posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “Book Brush and Canva are two great online tools for making graphics such as ads and book covers. This review will help you figure out which one works best for you, and more importantly, which one is worth paying for,”
Howard Lovy presents Writing on Lockdown — How ALLi Members are Coping with COVID-19: Inspirational Indie Authors Podcast posted at ALLi’s Self-Publishing Advice Center, saying, “In this special edition of my podcast, I talk to members of the Alliance of Independent Authors about how they’re coping, and writing, under lockdown.”
Kate Tilton presents Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resource Round-Up: Free entertainment, activities, and more posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “In the wake of this terrible COVID-19 pandemic, I am reminded of the good that comes from people banning together to support one another. Here are some of the many things people are doing now to help us all as we self-isolate and wait out this storm.”
Sarah Bolme presents Amazon Is NOT Your Publisher posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “I am surprised by the number of indie and self-published authors who tell me that the publisher of their book is Amazon, Kindle Direct Publishing, or IngramSpark. It is clear to me that these authors do not understand the difference between an author, a publisher, and a publishing platform.”
Terry Whalin presents How to Handle the Perfect Storm posted at The Writing Life, saying, “While the world is in turmoil, you may be experiencing the perfect storm personally. How to you handle it? Prolific editor and writer Terry Whalin tells us in this article.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Doris-Maria Heilmann presents Diversify: Are You Still Selling Books Only Via Amazon? posted at SavvyBookWriters, saying, “Amazon’s new priorities: books don’t belong to daily necessities. Therefore, suppliers of products that are a lower priority should expect both: reduced purchase orders and extended delivery windows for existing purchase orders. How Can You Avoid This Trap? Why sell books only to one company? “Put Your Eggs in More Than One Basket!” Aggregators/Distributors The largest online retailers Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Scribd, or in Europe, Thalia, Hugendubel, Buecher.de and Buecher.ch, 24Symbols, or Baker&Taylor – thet all work with aggregators.”
Frances Caballo presents From CIA to Writing Thrillers: Carmen Amato posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “Read about thriller author and former CIA agent Carmen Amato to learn how she became such a savvy success story among Indies. She manages her website, uses social media like a pro, and incorporates BookBub promotions to boost sales. Plus, check out how her branding stands out and makes all of her book covers recognizable.”
Kimberley Grabas presents Build Your Writer Platform & Fanbase: A Fiction Author Case Study posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “I had the opportunity (and the pleasure) of working with fiction author, Abby Arthur, a few months ago. During our one-on-one session, we worked on defining her author brand, identifying her ideal audience, and developing her online presence (building her author website, email list, and network). We uncovered some specific promotional campaigns that would entice her readers and help her meet her objectives. In this post, Abby is sharing the steps she’s taken and her results (so far), so you too can learn how to grow your audience and writer platform.”
Laura Cross presents How to Price Your Self-Published Book to Produce Robust Sales (and Determine How Much You Will Earn Selling It) posted at Ink & Cinema.
Michele DeFilippo presents How to Connect with Readers Virtually posted at 1106 Design | Publish Like the Pros, saying, “With shopping and large gatherings off the table for the next while (and who knows what the future will bring?), this is a good time for authors to take their book launches online and connect with readers virtually. Here’s how.”
Nate Hoffelder presents How I Stopped Wasting Time on Twitter and Facebook posted at NateHoffelder.com, saying, “Twitter and Facebook can be great marketing tools but they are also intentionally designed to suck you in and keep you scrolling through updates. This gets in the way of getting work done, which is why I have blocked the FB news feed and the Twitter home page. This post explains how I did that.”
Pauline Wiles presents Author Website Must-Haves posted at Build Book Buzz, saying, “Many authors find creating their website surprisingly hard. This article gives you a nudge by explaining what you can and can’t live without in your online home.”
Rebecca Flansburg presents Authors & Publishers-if it feels like the World isn’t Listening, do this posted at Multicultural Children’s Book Day, saying, “Thank you!”
Sabrina Ricci presents Guest Post: 5 Ways to Sell More Books and Reach More Readers with Video Marketing posted at Digital Pubbing.
Sarah Bolme presents Are You Offering a Compelling Reason to Buy? posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Why should I buy your book? Have you ever been asked this question? I have, numerous times. As humans, we need a reason to part with our money. We want what we spend our money on to benefit us in some way.”
Michele DeFilippo presents Why Now Is a Good Time to Self-publish a Book posted at 1106 Design | Publish Like the Pros, saying, “Self-publishing your book might not be at the top of your agenda these days. But if your book is written and ready to self-publish, here are five reasons why this is a good time to self-publish.”
Writing Tools and Tips
Beth McQueen presents How and Why to Express Emotion as Action in your Memoir posted at Beth McQueen, saying, “When we’re writing memoir, it’s easy to fall into the trap of telling the audience about the emotions being experienced rather than showing them. More than half our human communication is done nonverbally, so if you want to show rather than tell, learning these cues is essential.”
Jay Artale presents 6 Ways Blogging can Help You Write Your Memoir posted at How to Blog A Book, saying, “Jay Artale outlines six distinct ways in which blogging a personal memoir can help you get clarity about your theme and plot, and streamline your writing process.”
Louise Harnby presents Writing natural dialogue – using contractions posted at The Editing Blog, saying, “Not sure if contractions are a good fit for your fiction’s dialogue? Here’s why they (nearly always) work.”
Zara Altair presents Enrich Your Characters with Opinions posted at Write Time, saying, “You want your characters to feel human. One of the best ways to do that is to give them opinions. Opinions, large and small.”
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, Link to it!
The next issue is June 26, 2020 and the deadline for submissions will be June 15, 2020. Don’t miss it!
Here are all the links you’ll need