Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for September, 2014. 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.
Ron Callari presents Self-Publishing for Graphic Novelists posted at BookWorks, saying, “Previously, we’ve reported on a number of automated publishing platforms now available for self-publishing authors. From the top players in the space such as Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Apple’s iBooks and Smashwords – to the smaller collaborative offerings that include such start-ups as Widbook and FastPencil, today an indie author has a lot to choose from. But what about those who’d like create a graphic novel or comics, where commercial art, cartoons and illustrations are as important as the written word. What are options does the graphic novelist have?”
Kyoko M presents Hindsight is 20/20: My First Year in Self-Publishing posted at She Who Writes Monsters, saying, “A lot of indie authors want to tell you that we’re all rich and happy and it’s easy to become a success. That ain’t true. Here’s what is, at least for me.”
Marcy Kennedy presents 5 Guidelines for Approaching Book Review Bloggers posted at Fiction University, saying “Today I want to talk about another important method for letting readers know our book exists and (hopefully) that they’ll enjoy it—blog reviews.”
Book Design and Production
C.K. MacLeod presents 8 Proofreading Tools for Beta Readers posted at Tech Tools for Writers, saying, “Are you a beta reader? Imitate the pros, and use one of these tools to offer feedback to fellow authors.”
Carla Douglas presents Print to Digital: Cleaning Up Your Word File posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “Do you have a print document that you’d like to self-publish as an ebook? The first step is to convert it to a Word document using OCR software. Next, you need to clean up the digital junk introduced in the conversion process. This post shows you one way to do that.”
David Bergsland presents What desktop publishing did to graphic designers, self-publishing is doing to authors posted at The Skilled Workman, saying, “It occurred to me that this nagging bewilderment, a strong overall feeling of deja vu, is simply a natural reaction to twenty years of constant radical paradigm shifts for graphic designers, art directors, and authors. It helps to take a brief look at what we have gone through. At least it helped me and I hope it does the same for you.”
Deb Dorchak presents 3 Great Free Alternatives to Adobe Design Products posted at Blue Sun Design Studio, saying, “Want professional results but getting Adobe InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator is out of the budget right now? Take a look at these three open source alternatives.”
Karen Lotter presents Publishing: What are the Benefits of Being a Hybrid Author? posted at An Animated Approach to Cover Design, saying, “I have taken this over as I see we at ALLI dropped the ball. We’ve got great articles to share via our blog.”
Krizia MissK presents 7 Reasons Why No One Is Reading Your Blog posted at Book Promotion Hub
Ebooks and Ebook Readers
Peter Utton presents Tips for using the iBooks Author software program posted at www.peterutton.com
Sabrina Ricci presents How to Create a Fixed Format Ebook (Part 4): Embedding Fonts posted at Digital Pubbing, saying, “So far in this series, I have covered how to setup a fixed format ebook, how to add images, and how to place text. In this post I’ll go over how to embed fonts, to make your ebook even more unique. You can use this trick for both fixed format ebooks and reflowable ebooks.”
Alexander Zoltai presents Almost Against My Will ~ Yet Another Look At The Amazon–Hachette Dispute… posted at Notes from An Alien, saying, “So many articles about Amazon-Hachette… Such a waste of bits and bytes… Here are two Rational points-of-view about the squabble…”
C. S. Lakin presents Nailing Your Novel’s Genre in Your Opening Scene posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Regardless of the reason, writers often, at some point in their writing career, choose to tailor their writing to fit a specific genre in order to try to get a piece of the sales pie for that genre. I often encourage my clients who are struggling with nailing their genre to highlight or underline (in the novels they “deconstruct”) elements they are struggling with, like the way backstory is infused into present action, the way emotion is revealed by showing rather than telling, how dialog is distilled and compressed. Here are tips on how to nail your genre in your opening scene.”
Corina Koch MacLeod presents Why You Should Become Your Own Publisher posted at Beyond Paper, saying, “Or how (not to) set up your own publishing company. From tradpub to selfpub—this new series will describe our trials and triumphs. But first: why we made the leap.”
Heather Day Gilbert presents Writers’ Talk Interview with Heather Day Gilbert posted at Heather Day Gilbert, saying, “Alton Gansky, director of Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference, interviews Indie Author Heather Day Gilbert. Heather, who has had three literary agents, talks about her decision to leave the traditional publishing world and pursue indie publishing with her Viking novel, God’s Daughter, and her mystery, Miranda Warning (two first novels in series).”
Ian Martyn presents Where to go for inspiration – a few ideas posted at Ian Martyn – Science Fiction Writer, saying, “I can’t say I have ever suffered from writers block, but I do admit that from time to time I scratch around for inspiration for my blog/short stories/novels. These are just some of the places I go looking and why.”
Michael N. Marcus presents Authors: who cares who published your books? Probably no one posted at Book Making Blog, saying, “Readers are interested in a book’s content and maybe the author’s reputation. Readers don’t care about the logos or brand names on books. Concentrate on producing top-quality books. Choose a good name for your tiny publishing company. Don’t for a minute fret that readers will reject you because the logo on your books doesn’t belong to Penguin or Simon & Schuster.”
Marketing and Selling Your Books
Denise Wakeman presents How to Use Visual Marketing to Sell Books posted at The Future Of Ink, saying, “Visual marketing may seem foreign to an author, after all you specialize in words, right? Changes in social media have shifted slightly to a more visual world with Pinterest, Instagram, and the wild popularity of YouTube. Not to worry, using your creativity and some handy free web tools, you can create a solid visual marketing campaign for your book. Peg Fitzpatrick shows authors step-by-step how to create a visual book marketing campaign with one central image.”
Frances Caballo presents 34 Blogging Topics Just for Writers posted at Social Media Just forWriters, saying, “Newly published authors often ask me, “What should I blog about?” When we publish our first book, we think we’ve said everything we can on the topic. Then we learn that we need an author website and blog. So we wonder, should I write about my cancer, my trip to the Bahamas or my garden? It depends. If you wrote a gardening book, it would make sense to write about your garden. If you wrote a memoir about surviving cancer, then you might want to write about cancer treatments. To help new and veteran bloggers who are Indie marketers, I created this list of potential blog topics for you.”
Heather Day Gilbert presents Indie Book Marketing Step Three–Early Readers posted at Provision Books, saying, “This article is a step by step breakdown for people wondering what early readers ARE and what role they can play in their book marketing process.”
Kimberley Grabas presents Email List Building Series (Part 5): Strategies to Grow Your List, Your Reach and Your Sales posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “We’ve come to the final chapter in our list building series, with the 5th and final post challenging you to step up your game (and your book sales) by trying some pro level strategies to skyrocket your subscriber numbers. But before we get into it, let me ask you this question: Are you serious about building a career as a writer? If so, building an email list of targeted and engaged readers is one of THE MOST important things that you can do right now – even as a complete novice without a book in hand – to significantly increase your chances of “making it” as a writer. Don’t brush it off as something that can get done later – it’s much, much too important to get buried at the bottom of your to-do list.”
Krizia MissK presents 27 Ways To Find More Blog Content Ideas! posted at Book Promotion Hub
Martin Crosbie presents Self-Publishing Secrets Revealed – Comparing Free and Discounted Promotions posted at https://martincrosbie.com/, saying, “Free promotions might be working again. Or they might not. Then again… ”
Martin Crosbie presents The Real Question is – Who’s Going to Pay? posted at Indies Unlimited, saying, “Should sites be permitted to charge authors to expedite their services?”
Nate Hoffelder presents Twitter Launches Buy Buttons, Enabling Authors to Sell eBooks on the Service posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “Twitter is now beta testing a new embedded buy button that could one day enable authors to sell ebooks from inside Twitter’s platform.”
Nate Hoffelder presents Writer’s Digest Partners with BookBaby to Offer Services to Self-Published Authors posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “BookBaby and Writer’s Digest have partnered up to launch a new self-publishing service and offer a variety of over-priced packages that cost from $417 to $3,137.”
Patty Jansen presents Twitter for Authors posted at Must Use Bigger Elephants, saying, “Twitter is invaluable for authors, but it’s also easy to turn people off on Twitter. Here’s how to use it effectively.”
Sarah Bolme presents Being Heard Above the Noise posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “The number of books published each year is staggering. How do you get your book noticed above all that noise?”
Simone Pond presents Book Marketing Breakthrough posted at Simone Says . . .
Geoff Hughes presents Why writers should always be called authors posted at the Write Stuff, saying, “Hi, here is my humble submission. Thank you. Geoff Hughes”
Nina Amir presents Why I chose Assisted Self-Publishing and Enjoy Being a Hybrid Author posted at Write Nonfiction NOW!, saying, “Not every author plans to self-publish, and some would prefer traditional publishing. Yet other choose the hybrid path. And for those who want it, there’s assisted self-publishing. All of these options can be combined to create a successful career.”
Writing Tools and Tips
Ashley R. Carlson presents Heal Your Spirit To Write Your Book posted at Ashley R. Carlson Fantasy Author, saying, “This is a post I wrote about a month and a half ago, when I was experiencing severe writer’s block during the time I was supposed to be writing my WIP’s climactic ending scene. I was given the opportunity to go on an impromptu trip and on a whim, I went. In this post I discuss the first apprehensive feelings I had about taking a “break” from writing when I had been determined to finish it that weekend, but discuss that in the end, taking the time away from my book allowed me to see the plot that much more clearly and eventually work out the perfect ending! Hope you enjoy. :)”
Belinda Williams presents Editing psychosis: recognize the signs posted at Belinda Williams Books, saying, “In this blog post Belinda takes a humorous look at the dangers of editing and provides some tips on how to stay sane while undertaking the editing phase of your manuscript.”
C. S. Lakin presents The Secret to Crafting Genuine Characters for Your Novel posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Think about what makes you interested or drawn to certain people. What qualities of theirs pull you in? Is it a sense of humor? Some interesting hobby or skill? Engaging style of talking or fascinating facial expressions or gestures? Every character in your novel should have something about him that makes him interesting. It takes some work to create original, fresh, unpredictable characters, but it’s worthwhile to do. This post will give you some great tips for creating memorable, believable characters for your novel.”
Connie Dowell presents Coffee and Characters posted at Book Echoes Media, saying, “Little details add up to a big difference in character development.”
Helen Sedwick presents From Alligators to Van Goghs: Little Known Sources of Public Domain Images posted at Helen Sedwick’s Blog, saying, “If writers and bloggers want to go beyond the Creative Commons in their search for public domain images, here is a list of other sources, including museums, federal agencies, and libraries.”
Marcy Kennedy presents Five Words that Weaken Your Writing posted at Marcy Kennedy’s Blog, saying, “This post explains five words that weaken our writing because of how generic they are, and makes suggestions for how to fix them.”
Marcy Kennedy presents Have You Orphaned Your Dialogue? posted at Marcy Kennedy’s Blog, saying, “Orphaned dialogue is dialogue where the reader isn’t sure who is speaking, and it happens more than you might think. As the writer, we know exactly who’s speaking. We forget the reader can read only our words, not our minds.”
Meg Cowley presents 20 Editing Tips For Fiction Writers posted at Writer Avoiding Writing, saying, “Editing can be a difficult task. After all, faced with a behemoth of a manuscript that needs fixing up, where do you start? Here are 20 tips to help you out with what to focus on in your fiction editing.”
NIna Amir presents How to Structure Your Nonfiction Blogged Book posted at How to Blog a Book, saying, “Knowing how to structure a nonfiction book can help you get your project moving forward quickly. This post offers 7 tips for aspiring nonfiction authors.”
Ron Callari presents Proofreading Requires More Than Just SpellCheck posted at BookWorks
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 October 26, 2014 and the deadline for submissions will be October 15, 2014. Don’t miss it!
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