Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #32

POSTED ON May 26, 2013

Joel Friedlander

Written by Joel Friedlander

Home > Blog > Self-Publishing, Social Media > Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #32

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

self-publishingAugust Wainwright presents How to Write Better Prose According to Ernest Hemingway posted at August Wainwright, saying, “Love him or hate him, Hemingway had a way with words. Today we have six tips on how to write better fiction prose from Ernest Hemingway. Learn how to write a more true book from one of the greatest American writers of all time.”

Nina AmirNina Amir presents How to Craft a Successful Title for Your Book posted at Write Nonfiction NOW!, saying, “A book title can make or break a book. Plus, today the title can mean the difference between being found on line or not. Learn how to write a title for your book.”

Belinda PollardBelinda Pollard presents Twitter for Writers: Two golden rules posted at Small Blue Dog Publishing, saying, “There is so much conflicting advice about how writers should use Twitter, including long lists of do’s and don’ts. In the end, it boils down to two Golden Rules for how to be a good Twitter citizen and make the most of your Twitter presence.”

Book Design and Production

David Bergsland presents Does quality really matter in the new publishing paradigm? posted at The Skilled Workman, saying, “I’ve been noticing more indicators that quality book design still makes a difference. My fastest growing sales group is bundles of downloadable full-color PDFs of ePUBs with fonts embedded—all DRM-free. I don’t think that a coincidence. What do you think? What do you expect from a $2 novel? Or a $3 non-fiction book? Not much, I’ll bet. The reaction to Joel’s Word templates gives us an indicator also. Of course, I’m not sure about letting them really believe that Word can produce professional design—but that’s another argument, for another day.”

Kate Tilton presents Five Best Practices for QA’ing your eBook posted at BiblioCrunch Self Publishing Blog, saying, “This post contains five tips for authors by Colleen Cunningham (@bookdesigngirl) and Iris Febres (@epubpupil) from FWMedia.”

Rucy Ban presents How I Designed My Book Cover posted at Jilted Genius

Ebooks and Ebook Readers

Sarah Bolme presents eBook Sales Keep Growing posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “eBook sales continue to grow. If you are not on-board with an ebook version of your book, now is the time to do it.”

Jane Ayres presents Is a book simply a commodity? Should you be able to get a refund on a book if you didn’t enjoy it? posted at The Beautiful Room, saying, “Has anyone ever taken a book back to a bookshop on the basis that they didn’t enjoy it? Is it possible to abuse Amazon’s kindle refund system on e-books?”

Jane Ayres presents Readers: Does Size Matter? posted at The Beautiful Room, saying, “Do readers value a book by its size? Would you expect a book priced higher to be better than a cheap one? It is easy with e-books to have our expectations manipulated when there are so many books for free or less than £1. If my book is available free, is it worthless? And how much does size really matter?”

Indie Author

Rinelle Grey presents Amazon Exclusivity – Pros and Cons posted at Rinelle Grey, saying, “Love them or hate them, there’s no doubt that if you’re an author, and maybe even if you’re not, you’ve heard of Amazon’s exclusive self-published author club, KDP Select. This program offers authors a couple of benefits, in return for them selling their book exclusively through Amazon. So without getting into an Amazon war, I thought I’d list the pros and cons for KDP Select, and briefly explain why I’m choosing to enrol my book.”

Marilyn Parel presents eBook Self-Publishing Resources posted at

Jane Ayres presents Is a book simply a commodity? Should you be able to get a refund on a book if you didn’t enjoy it? posted at The Beautiful Room

Donald J. Bingle presents Telling People at Work You are a Writer posted at Writer on Demand, saying, “Writing may not be a choice for many, but telling the people at your day-job is. Part of my continuing blog on Goodreads. Donald J. Bingle, Writer on Demand TM:”

Alessandra Thomas presents The Commandments of Surviving Your Debut Release Week posted at Pen and Muse, saying, “A tongue in cheek guide to surviving your debut release week – or better known as how to preserve your sanity as a self-published (or indie) author.”

Patty Jansen presents There are girl cooties on my space ship–on women writing hard SF posted at Must Use Bigger Elephants, saying, “There are many, many reasons I am happy to have self-published. I had never considered this reason as one of those. Yet another way in which traditional publishing is behind the times.”

Monique McDonell presents What is an indie author? posted at Monique McDonell, saying, “This is a blog article that explains to readers what an indie author is and why one might choose to be one. It also explains several other terms writers band about and assume readers understand.”

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Kimberley Grabas presents 13 Blog Post Blunders You Should Avoid (And What to Do Instead) posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “What happens to your blog post after you press publish? Crickets chirping? Tumbleweeds gently rolling by? Are you starting to lose your motivation, and the belief that this whole blogging thing really has any merit when it comes to building your platform and actually selling some books? You are not alone. Blogs are abandoned every day, and the harsh reality is that the majority of blogs get less than 1000 people visiting per month. So why are some blogs incredibly successful, while others limp along for a few months and eventually fail? What can you do to ensure your blog is one of the success stories?”

Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents 7 Things Readers Notice When Picking Up A Book posted at, saying, “If you have any hope of having your book achieve financial and critical success, you must understand how your readers (your customers), view your book (your product) when they first see it (online or on a shelf). Once you fully understand how your readers will perceive your book when they first see it, you can adjust your book accordingly. Here is a quick look at the first things that readers notice when they first view your book.”

Judith Briles presents Authors, Judgment and Publishing Predators posted at The Book Shepherd

Aishah Macgill presents Be Visible On Google Search With Authorship posted at Aishah Macgill, saying, “Want your author image to show on Google search beside your posts? It takes a little effort to set up, but worthwhile!”

Kimberley Grabas presents How to Market a Book and Strengthen Your Author Platform with Goodreads posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Imagine a magical place that gathers together 17 million of the most passionate readers who want to talk about, review and buy your book. A place that not only allows, but encourages, both new and established authors to promote their books. A place that provides FREE opportunities to – get your book in front of thousands of buyers, – conduct informal research (polls), – participate in a highly viral environment, – join or create groups with like-minded people on every literary topic imaginable, – create an author presence, connecting your book, your blog and your social media platforms. Now imagine if Amazon purchased this magical realm of high quality, book-buying, book-loving influencers in the spring of 2013, likely leading to big opportunities to align your Amazon marketing to this Utopia. If such a paradise existed, would you want to be a part of it?”

Lisa Lawmaster Hess presents On Writing and Social Media posted at The Susquehanna Writers, saying, “I am one of a number of contributors to this blog. Cate Masters is the writer in charge of this site. Thanks for the opportunity to participate!”

Marcy Kennedy presents The Secret Recipe for Writing a Perfect Pitch posted at Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers, saying, “We had 50,000 to 100,000 words to write our novel, and now we have to condense that down into a couple of paragraphs for an agent pitch, query letter, Amazon description, or back cover copy.”

Tony Riches presents The Writing Desk: Building Your Author Platform #3: Amazon Author Pages posted at The Writing Desk, saying, “Number 3 in a new series on all aspects of building your author platform”

Steven Saus presents What I Did With My Five Minutes Speaking to Local Authors posted at ideatrash, saying, “This weekend, I was at a local author’s and artists event. Other than knowing I’d have five minutes to speak, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Despite the table-oriented setup, I quickly realized that it was more of a networking kind of event instead of a public-facing sales event. I didn’t want to make the common indie-author mistake of trying to sell to authors, so I spent a few minutes hashing out and reworking what I wanted to say. So I told them about avoiding scams. While not comprehensive, hopefully this covers the high points enough that we can continue to spread the word that scammy “publishers” aren’t able to prey on author’s dreams quite so easily.”

Steven Saus presents What I Think A Query or Cover Letter Should Look Like posted at ideatrash, saying, “No matter what style(s) of publishing you are pursuing, you will have to write a query letter. Maybe to a publisher. Maybe an agent. Maybe to a reviewer, or editor. As a publisher, I recently got an excellent query letter from an author. With her permission, I reprint it and explain exactly why it was so effective.”

Deborah Jay presents Who is your ideal reader? posted at Deborah Jay, saying, “Create a profile of your ideal reader to better target your marketing efforts – an easy, quick exercise useful to self-publishers of both fiction and non-fiction.”

Self-Publishing Success

Dave Cornford presents A Year in Self-Publishing posted at Dave Cornford, saying, “A post reflecting on the ups and downs of my second year in self publishing.”

Leslie Lee Sanders presents Basic Facts about Self-Publishing Every Author Needs to Know posted at Leslie Lee Sanders

Nick Daws presents E-publishing – don’t give up! posted at Nick Daws’ Writing Blog, saying, “In this post, UK author Sally Jenkins offers advice for anyone who may have published their first e-book and been disappointed that sales weren’t as good as they hoped. This encouraging article was the winner in my recent guest blogging contest.”

Toni Tesori presents Gut Check: How Bad Do You Want It? (Publishing Success, That Is!) posted at Duolit, saying, “In self-publishing, success is truly earned, not given. Do you have the mindset needed to build the writing career of your dreams?”

Ellis Shuman presents How My Book Became an Amazon Bestseller (for 3 Days) posted at Ellis Shuman Writes, saying, “thanks for your consideration!”

Bridget McKenna presents If Everyone Does It, Is It Still a Scam? posted at Occupy Publishing, saying, “The traditional publishing industry is running scared, casting around for anything that might be called “innovative” in the face of serious disruption, and making questionable choices. Many experienced author/publishers have been assuming truth would out, and it wasn’t, after all, our job to educate writers about the dangers of pursuing a dream that tends to become a nightmare. But if not us, who?”

Bryan Chau presents Self Publishing Dreams – Let Your Magical Pen Guide You! posted at Success Pen Pal, saying, “self-publishing, indie author, successpenpal, bryan chau”

Leigh Ann Kopans presents Self Publishing ProTips: The Dos and Don’ts of Requesting Reviews posted at Pen and Muse, saying, “As a self-publisher, you’ve decided that the only audience whose approval of your book matters is the readers. Not agents, not editors – readers. If the reader is the most important judge of your book, then it follows that the book reviewers/bloggers with large audiences of readers are your new gods and goddesses. Learn how to worship them and get more reviews!”

Colin Dunbar presents Time management for self-publishers – The Plan posted at Self Publishing Diary, saying, “Ah, time. That elusive thing we all don’t seem to have enough of – at least not as the years move on in life. In youth, we generally tend to feel we have endless hours… to squander away on worthless activities.”

Joanna Penn presents You Have Permission posted at The Creative Penn, saying, “You have permission – to write, publish and connect. What’s stopping you?”

Writing Tools and Tips

Alexander Zoltai presents “…well-written and well-argued book reviews, essays, and other articles in the realm of ideas.” posted at Notes from An Alien, saying, “Wonderful Reading & Research Resource for Writers”

Jacquitta McManus presents Does your story have its pivotal emotional moment that transitions the protagonist? posted at Journey of a Storyteller

Nina Amir presents How Blogging Helps Writers and Authors Increase Earning Potential posted at Write Nonfiction NOW!, saying, “Although you may not get paid for blogging—at first (or on your own blog), your blogging makes you a more valuable writer in the eyes of those who hire you and buy or contract your work. Learn how this boosts your earning potential in a variety of ways.”

Gordon Burgett presents How many book pages a day should you write? posted at, saying, “Oddly, probably that most common question I get from book writers! So here are some thoughts that might help…”

Allison Moon presents How to Deal with Bad Reviews posted at Tales of the Pack, saying, “Bad reviews are inevitable for any writer. Here are some of my tips for emotionally dealing with them, especially for newly published writers.”

Marcy Kennedy presents How to Format Internal Dialogue posted at Marcy Kennedy – Fantasy Author, saying, “Though part of formatting internal dialogue is personal preference, the rest is determined by what point of view you’re writing in.”

J Meyers presents How To Get The Best Out Of Your Beta Readers posted at Pen and Muse, saying, “Beta readers are an important part of the writing process – but can you have your betas help you? Tips, tricks, and valuable questions to get the most of the beta reading process.”

Donna Marie Williams presents Pinterest for writers posted at The Celebrity Editor

C. S. Lakin presents Putting Passion in the Pages posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Passion comes through the best when we step aside and get out of our own way as we write. What do I mean by that? Well, those things I mentioned that can trip us up—the need for success, validation, an audience—create roadblocks to passionate writing. On one shoulder, glaring at us as we write, is that infernal internal critic. And on the other shoulder is the needy, worrying, insecure author thinking she’s just fooling herself and everyone else by assuming she can write well. We need to get out the duct tape and put a strip over each of those two annoying hecklers’ mouths. Really. Instead of worrying over why we write or analyzing to death our writing, goals, story ideas, and market possibilities for our novels (that we may not have even written yet), I suggest we return back to that first love of storytelling. That’s why you started writing anyway, isn’t it? We have to not only shut up the critic and other inner hecklers that get in our way, we also have to journey back to a simpler place, one that rediscovers the joy of creativity every time we sit down to write.”

Judith Briles presents The Author’s Inner Circle … Who Are You Going to Call? posted at The Book Shepherd

Carla Douglas and Corina Koch MacLeod presents Use Google’s Ngram Viewer to Craft Authentic Fiction posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “If you write historical or period fiction, you probably do quite a bit of research in order to accurately set the scene. But do you take the time to find out if words, phrases and expressions were commonly used at that time? Google’s ngram viewer is an easy way to check your historical accuracy.”

Laxmi Hariharan presents Want to change the brief to your life – campaign? posted at LAXMIwrites, saying, “Every author needs to know how to package, position and sell themselves too. This blog post helps to get your elevator pitch down!”

Kristen Jett presents When You Should and Shouldn’t Use a Pen Name posted at Pen and Muse, saying, “The pros and cons of using a pen name – from safety, to your ego, to ensuring you don’t wreck your career!”

David Leonhardt presents Write to the point (never mind the word count!) posted at A Ghost Writers Blog, saying, “Thomas Jefferson said, “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” In order to please Google, many people will use two, three or four words where just one will do, and their writing quality suffers big time for it. When you write to the point, you stop when you have said your piece. That might be at 100 words. Or it might be at 200. In the case of this article, it is at 451.”

Chris Kridler presents Writers have reasons to get serious about sex scenes posted at Sky Diary: The Blog, saying, “With the advent of New Adult and the surge in erotica sales, writers of all types of novels have reasons to give sex scenes serious thought. When written well, they offer a potent opportunity to enrich a book’s characters.”

David Leonhardt presents You might be a writer posted at A Ghost Writers Blog, saying, “”If you ask your child whether the new kid in school is the protagonist or the antagonist, you might be a writer.” … and dozens more clues that might implicate you in this writing conspiracy.”

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 June 30, 2013 and the deadline for submissions will be June 20, 2013. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

Joel Friedlander

Written by
Joel Friedlander

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