Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #30

POSTED ON Mar 31, 2013

Joel Friedlander

Written by Joel Friedlander

Home > Blog > Self-Publishing > Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #30

Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for March, 2013. 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.

Featured Posts

Kimberley GrabasKimberley Grabas presents 21 Platform Building Insights from Authors and Experts Who Excel at It posted at, saying, “Authors with platforms sell books. Create something that matters and surround yourself with people who are interested.”

Dana SitarDana Sitar presents How I Published and Launched My Latest Ebook for Under $150 posted at DIY Writing, saying, “If you want to self publish but worry you can’t afford it, here’s a breakdown of my publishing costs — and how I got away with doing most of it for free!”

blogs for self-publisherMark Coker presents Six Tips to Bring Your Book Back from the Doldrums – Reading the Reader Tea Leaves posted at Smashwords Blog, saying, “Do your ebook sales need a shot in the arm? This post outlines six steps authors can take to boost sales of their existing ebooks. Each of the steps are designed to help authors identify and eliminate friction that can prevent readers from discovering and purchasing their book.”

Book design and production

Jess Lee presents Case Study: Turn a Crappy Cover into a Golden CoverCreate Your Own Ebook Cover | Create Your Own Ebook Cover posted at Create Your Own Ebook Cover, saying, “You probably have an old mock-up book cover sitting on your hard drive. You’ll dust it off after reading this case study about a enslaved girl turned Cinderella!”

Ben Macklin presents 5 Steps from Print (Backlist) to eBook + Costs posted at BWM Books, saying, “A short blog on what to consider when thinking about turning your out of print book into an eBook”

Peter Masters presents Bargain self publish book covers posted at MarketingM8, saying, “I managed to get a great book cover for Cut Limbo at a very, very reasonable price.”

Russell Phillips presents Book Covers: Does Accuracy Matter? posted at Russell Phillips, saying, “Cover artists are hired for their graphic design skills rather than their knowledge of the book’s subject matter. Design skills are important, but this can lead to cover art that doesn’t really fit the book. The question is, if the cover is good enough, does it matter?”

Ebooks and Ebook Readers

Sarah Bolme presents Amazon’s New eBook Policy posted at Marketing Christian Books

Steven Saus presents Keep It Simple In Your eBook Design (With A Practical Example) posted at ideatrash, saying, “It’s important to remember that eBook design is not the same thing as print book design. It’s also important to remember that even the most basic of flourishes can make you look like an idiot. I give a practical example from where I was tweaking another person’s conversion work.”

Steven Saus presents Transferring Notes From Kindle for PC Between Machines posted at ideatrash, saying, “One big step toward being able to move comments from Kindle books (on PCs) from one machine toward another. This is INVALUABLE for those of us who have to take feedback from authors or clients who are far away.”

Indie author

Allison Moon presents The Proper Care & Feeding of Your Author posted at Tales of the Pack, saying, “Hi Joel, I wrote a blog post about how to be a supportive friend/partner to the writer in your life. Could be good for some of your readers. Thanks! ~Allison”

Chris Kridler presents A book soundtrack? Playful playlist enhances novel writing and reading posted at Sky Diary, saying, “A musical playlist helps a writer explore her characters, and the resulting “soundtrack” adds a movie-like dimension to reading the book.”

Elizabeth Barone presents How to Avoid Indie Publishing Scams posted at Elizabeth Barone

Jane Ayres presents Lessons in Indie Publishing: Free books and the mystery of Amazon rankings posted at The Beautiful Room, saying, “Are free book promotions worth it for indie authors? And how on earth does Amazon decide what makes it to any of the bestseller categories?”

Jane Ayres presents The Business of Writing Part 1 posted at The Beautiful Room, saying, “Apparently, the majority of new businesses fail in the first year – something like 85%. But if you’re an aspiring indie pubbed writer you shouldn’t let that stop you…..”

Russell Phillips presents Self-Publishing: Good For Apple, Good For Readers posted at Russell Phillips, saying, “UK newspaper The Guardian ran a piece titled “Self-publishing: a revolution for writers, not readers”. This blog post explains why I think self-publishing is good for readers as well as writers.”

Scott Marlowe presents Why I Don’t Write About Dragons posted at, saying, “The advice in this article is to not tackle something to which you can’t give proper treatment.”

Simon Garlick presents A Picture Book Without Pictures? posted at Mojano: Adventures in Indie Publishing, saying, “Picture Books can be costly to produce, for an indie author is that expense justified? Should we grow our children’s imaginations with a leading hand or allow them to find their own way, but just how marketable is a picture book without any pictures?”

Marketing and selling your books

Ben Zackheim presents Build an author website with WordPress (Part Two) posted at ben zackheim, write!, saying, “In this post, we take a look at the three key ingredients needed for every effective author site.”

Charmaine Clancy presents 10 Tips for Creating Classroom Resources to Promote Your Novel posted at dream… write… publish, saying, “If you write children’s or YA novels, one of the best places to market those is in the classroom. Learn how to attract the attention of teachers by providing free classroom resources.”

Gordon Burgett presents The 10-Step Publishing Process: The List in Order (#2 of 10) posted at Gordon Burgett’s Blog, saying, “This is #2 of a 10-part series. This one suggests the ten steps, in order, that you can take to get your book in print quickly and profitably.”

James Moushon presents Book Marketing, Desert Style: Tucson Festival of Books 2013 posted at HBS Author’s Corner, saying, “My views and takeaways of the fourth annual Tucson Festival of Books 2013 with help from my friends Rebecca Dahlke and Terry Ambrose.”

Jan Bear presents Top Ten Website Design Mistakes of a Major Publisher’s Authors posted at Market Your Book Blog, saying, “You’d think the major publishers’ authors would have their marketing together, right? Wrong. Here are ten major website design mistakes found among the authors’ sites of a major publisher. After enjoying the schadenfreude, go and do better.”

Jane Ayres presents Are chapter titles an under-used marketing tool for writers? posted at The Beautiful Room

Joanna Penn presents How To Record, Produce And Distribute Audiobooks With J. Daniel Sawyer posted at The Creative Penn, saying, “Your book is not just a physical book or an ebook. There are plenty of other subsidiary rights that you can exploit and audiobooks are high on the list because of the rise in popularity of listening during commutes or workouts, and the increased penetration of smartphones. In this interview with author and audio producer J Daniel Sawyer we explore how you can get into this market.”

Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents 7 Amazon Tools To Help Market Your Book Like A Professional posted at, saying, “As an author and self-publisher it is absolutely essential that you have a presence on Amazon. And luckily for us, Amazon provides many powerful ways to connect with potential readers and buyers. Amazon has more market presence, and more marketing power than even the biggest publishers. So to get you started, here is a quick look at some of the best book marketing tools on Amazon to help make your book a financial and critical success.”

Kimberley Grabas presents The Writer’s Guide to Building an Email List posted at, saying, “Building an email list is arguably the most important element to building a following and getting your message heard. It is the most direct and cost effective way to communicate and engage with your fans and subscribers on a personal level. The bigger your list, the bigger your online marketing asset–and the more interested publishers are.”

Laura Pepper Wu presents What the heck do I blog about? Blogging ideas for fiction authors who feel stuck in a rut posted at 30 Day Books, saying, “You’re a writer who wants to keep a blog. You know it’s great for your readership; it expands your reach and keeps readers and fans engaged in between books. You also kind of enjoy it, when you know what to write about. But that’s the problem, ain’t it? What the heck do we write about?”

M. Louisa Locke presents Don’t Panic: KDP Select still works, you just might have to work it a little differently posted at M. Louisa Locke’s Front Parlor

Marcy Kennedy presents Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make on Facebook and How to Avoid Them posted at Marcy Kennedy – Fantasy Author, saying, “A lot of the methods authors use to sell their books on Facebook feel like spam, are annoying, and aren’t effective. Here are the top 5 Facebook etiquette rules writers break.”

Nick Daws presents How to Set Up Google Authorship (and Why You Really Should) posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “Google Authorship is Google’s new(ish) program that helps writers prove authorship of any content they publish online. There are many advantages for authors to joining this program. In this post I set out the main benefits, and explain the two main methods you can use to ensure that your content is correctly attributed to you by Google.”

Nick Thacker presents The Definitive Guide to Book Marketing posted at, saying, ““Book marketing” is as broad a subject as something like “writing a book.” And while I’ve never been privy to much information regarding marketing a book as an ad agency or a publishing house might, I do have some experience selling ebooks. If you can relate, or are thinking of releasing an ebook in the near future, this post is for you. I was asked recently by a close friend why I don’t write more posts that give specific advice — things like where to buy ads, and how much money to throw toward marketing. My answer: because it’s not going to help you.”

Nina Amir presents Conduct a Competitive Review to Find Ways to Rise Above Top Blogs posted at How to Blog a Book, saying, “A blog can serve as a highly effective marketing tool for an indie publisher if it is well done from a design and content perspective. Conduct a competitive review of top blogs in your category to improve your blog site, blogging ability and blogging and gain the competitive advantage in your market so you can sell more books.”

Rinelle Grey presents My Experience with a KDP Select Promotion posted at Rinelle Grey, saying, “I ran my first KDP Select free promotion in March. I’ve heard a lot about promotions not increasing rank as much as it used to, and thought I’d see for myself.”

Steven Saus presents INDIE AUTHOR MISTAKES: Know Your Target Audience (Or Which Groups To Advertise To) posted at ideatrash, saying, “If you really, really want to waste your time and come across as an unprofessional (and continue to give indie authors a bad name), go ahead and flood your Facebook, G+, and author friends with pleas to buy your book. Otherwise, don’t.”

Steven Saus presents Writing Your Author Bio – An Exercise in Extremely Short Promotion posted at ideatrash, saying, “It doesn’t matter what you are writing – short stories, novels, creative nonfiction, how-to guides. You will need a bio for the works you write and for programs and appearance promotion. Here are some practical tips on getting your bio short, snappy, and effective.”

Self-Publishing Success

Alexander Zoltai presents What Are A Writer’s Odds of “Success”? posted at Notes from An Alien

Belinda Williams presents Self-publishing is a business: discuss posted at Belinda Williams Books, saying, “Self-publishing is like running your own small business – is it the right fit for you? This post examines if you have what it takes to be your own boss in the publishing world and looks at some of the key qualities essential for your success.”

Dave Bricker presents Co-Publishing – Alternative Path or Another Trap for Writers? posted at The World’s Greatest Book, saying, “Thanks as always, Joel!”

Nina Amir presents How to Achieve Publishing Success and Reach Writing Goals posted at Write Nonficion NOW!, saying, “Whether you want to self-publish or traditionally publish, you need to adopt an “Author Attitude” to succeed. Evaluate yourself and your idea through the eyes of a literary agent; set goals; do whatever it takes to reach them.”

Writing tools and tips

Corina Koch MacLeod presents Beyond Paper Editing: How to Proofread on a Kindle: Seven Steps to Proofreading Your .mobi Book posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “This article was included in a roundup on”

David Leonhardt presents Before you sign a Ghostwriter contract posted at A Ghost Writers Blog, saying, “You have found a ghostwriter that you want to work with. You are ready to sign a contract. But does the contract cover everything? Here is a quick guide to what you need to know…”

David Leonhardt presents What makes a good book? posted at A Ghost Writers Blog, saying, “One of the questions we get frequently goes something like this: “Do you think I have a good enough story? Do you think it’s a best seller?” This gives us a moment to consider what makes a successful book, so I would like to share my thoughts on this with you.”

Iulian Ionescu presents How To Self-Edit Your Novel posted at Fantasy Scroll – a blog for fiction writers, saying, “So, you finished your first draft. You listened to the advice of seasoned writers who told you not to edit your work as you go, but just push through with your writing and be done with the first draft first. Bravo & kudos to you! That’s a great achievement. So, what’s next? Self-editing is the answer.”

John Schmoll presents Even More Blogging Tips From a Beginner, Part II posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Running a blog means that I learn something new nearly every week. One of the favorite aspects I enjoy about blogging is the community aspect that you can find in the blogosphere.”

Samir Bharadwaj presents Evolving Your Writing Voice posted at Samir Bharadwaj dot Com, saying, “How to help yourself find your own writing voice and avoid sounding like a copy of everyone you’ve read.”

Aishah Macgill presents Dash It! posted at Aishah Macgill, saying, “In my experience, too many authors give little thought to their dashes-if they use them at all. Give the humble dash a little thought when you start writing to avoid inconsistencies throughout your book, especially if you are an indie who is self editing!”

Bridget McKenna presents The Mystery and the Method (and the Magic…and the Madness…) posted at Points of View, saying, “If you’re a reader, you may be curious about how writers do what they do. If you’re a writer, you may still be curious about how other writers do what they do, and whether it bears any resemblance to your own methods.”

Bryan Thomas Schmidt presents 5 Things Writers Should Know About Working With Indepedendent Editors posted at Bryan Thomas Schmidt Author Blog, saying, “Thanks!”

Bryan Thomas Schmidt presents 8 Tips For How To Approach Editing Your Work posted at Bryan Thomas Schmidt Author Blog, saying, “Thanks!”

Marcy Kennedy presents How to Use Your Logline, Tagline, and Pitch to Create a Stronger Story posted at Writers in the Storm, saying, “Most of us think of a logline, tagline, and pitch as marketing tools we write after we’ve written our story so that we can use them as our book’s cover copy. We’re doing it backwards. We should be writing them first because they can help us write a much stronger story.”

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 28, 2013 and the deadline for submissions will be April 20, 2013. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

Joel Friedlander

Written by
Joel Friedlander

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