Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #53

POSTED ON Feb 22, 2015

Joel Friedlander

Written by Joel Friedlander

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Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for February, 2015. 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-publishingSandra Hutchison presents So you’re thinking of indie publishing? posted at Sandra Hutchison, saying, “A review of the current state of indie publishing with key information and links for people who are deciding whether to dive in. Some links will interest experienced folks, too.”

self-publishingK.M. Weiland presents The Lazy Author’s Way to Identify and Overcome Writing Weaknesses posted at Helping Writers Become Authors, saying “Our first reaction to our own less-than-perfect writing is often denial, followed by shame. Writing is a journey of never-ending learning that can leave even experienced writers gasping and overwhelmed in the face of their own inadequacies.”

self-publishingRon Callari presents Kindle’s KDP EDU Targets Indie Authors in Academia posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “On January 23, retail giant Amazon launched KDP EDU, a new division of their Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program that focuses specifically on education and academia.”

Book Design and Production

Alexander von Ness presents Back Cover Copy – Great Copy for Your Backside posted at Nessgraphica

C.K. MacLeod presents Kindle Textbook Creator in 7 Steps posted at Tech Tools for Writers, saying, “Amazon will now take a beautifully designed PDF and turn it into an ebook. And the conversion process only takes five minutes of your time! Five minutes, six steps. This quick tutorial will show you how.”

Chris Kridler presents How to choose a book cover image? Genre and quality count, but beware the clones posted at Sky Diary: The Blog, saying, “Book cover images should be relevant to your genre and content, but the wrong photo might create a clone of another book’s look. Focusing on New Adult novels as an example, this post looks at how much a designer can play with expectations for genre book covers.”

Colin Dunbar presents Format a Book in Word: Kindle Formatting posted at Format Book In Word, saying, “In today’s self publishing world, it’s a good idea to have your book available in as many formats as you can. Now we’re going to look at the Kindle. Formatting for the Kindle is really plain formatting (just like typing on a typewriter, if you’re old enough to remember those days ).”

Richard Sutton presents Working With Text Typography: The Font Test posted at Saille Tales Books, saying, “It’s fun to compare how text sets in various fonts on a page set for the trim size of your book. Surprising, all the differences you’ll see. It helps make the right text decision when it comes to your book design.”

Ebooks and Ebook Readers

Sarah Bolme presents Are eBook Sales Stagnating? posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “eBooks lost a little bit of sales ground in the third quarter of 2014, according to data from the latest survey of book-buying behavior from Nielsen Books & Consumers. Here is what this survey found for sales of books from January through September 2014:”

Indie Author

Deborah Jay presents Please don’t leave me hanging… posted at Deborah Jay – Mystery, magic and mayhem, saying, “I wrote this post with the aim of exhorting fiction writers to learn the craft of narrative structure. It evolved from my feelings of extreme annoyance after investing some of my precious time in reading (yet another) debut novel to review, and finding that (yet again) it had a cliff hanger instead of an ending.”

Jordan Smith presents The Independent Author Professionalism Manifesto posted at Fix My Story, saying, “After seeing a number of indie authors projecting a decidedly nonprofessional demeanor, I wrote a blog post with a manifesto of six points for authors who want to act like the professionals they are.”

Nate Hoffelder presents Kindle Unlimited, Market Scrying, and Sales Cycles posted at Ink, Bits, and Pixels, saying, “In late 2014 many indie authors saw a decline in sales, and pinned the blame on Kindle Unlimited. But as I show in this article, there’s evidence that the ebook market has gone through similar decline in each of the past four falls.”

Richard Levesque presents Growth Mindset Essential for Self-Published Authors posted at Richard Levesque, saying, “I can think of example after example of things I’ve bumped up against as a self-published author that required me to either learn a new skill or give up. And I’m not alone. As I talk to other writers and read other people’s blogs and posts on social media, I see writer after writer who has the right mindset.”

Robin Storey presents The Novella – Don’t Sell It Short posted at Storey Lines, saying, “Robin Storey, author of two novels, discusses the rising popularity of novellas and why she is writing one.”

Sabrina Ricci presents Indie Authors: Know Your Rights posted at Digital Pubbing, saying, “Writing and publishing books can be so much more than simply put a print and ebook out. As indie authors, you have rights to your intellectual property, and you can, to quote The Creative Penn, “exploit” them.”

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Alexander von Ness presents 5 Things To Do Before Your Next Book Event posted at Nessgraphica

Dana Smith presents Build a Solid Foundation for Book Promotion posted at The Savvy Book Marketer, saying, “The first step to selling to start “building your author platform” – in other words you need to develop a reputation, connections, and online followers.”

Denise Wakeman presents How To Write Fascinating Amazon Book Listings To Sell More Books posted at The Future of Ink, saying, “In Karon Thackston’s article on The Future of Ink, she lays out three ways to make your Amazon book listings more attractive using power words and your credentials. She shares real examples of book descriptions that sell.”

Frances Caballo presents Social Media Tips for Assault and Domestic Violence Survivors posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “What can you do to build your author platform if you’re a survivor of domestic violence or rape? Last year I met a writer who was being stalked. Recently, a domestic violence survivor contacted me, asking for my advice. While attending a conference, a rape survivor asked me a similar question. If you or someone you know is also in this situation, call 1-800-799-7233. When an author is a sexual assault or domestic violence survivor who want to build a marketing platform, I have these strategies to consider.”

Gail Gauthier presents A Writer Gets All Techie About Her Website posted at Original Content, saying, “I just relaunched my author website after making changes related, mainly, to color. Color can help with branding and unifying social media platforms.”

James Moushon presents Authors: Improve Your Twitter Messaging and Control posted at eBook Authors Corner, saying, “Social Media is crucial for people who are trying to break into writing. Today our focus is on Twitter and how you can improve your messaging and communications. Features short cut: How to Expand your message past the 140 character barrier.”

Kate Tilton presents A Day in the Life of an Author Assistant posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “An author assistant can be a huge help when marketing and selling your work. Here is an average day for an author assistant.”

Kate Tilton presents Ask An Author Assistant: Your Questions Answered posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Curious about choosing an author assistant? Wondering how an assistant helps authors once their book is published? Find answers to your questions in this Q&A post.”

Kimberley Grabas presents Blog Post Ideas for Writers: Solving the “What Do I Blog About?” Conundrum posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Ready to solve the “What do I blog about?” puzzle, once and for all? To do so, we need to lay a little groundwork. Before we can think about creating amazing content, we need to know three things first: Who is your audience or the intended consumer of your content? How do your passions, interests and talents intersect with the wants and needs of this specific group of people? And finally, what are your goals or the results you wish to achieve? Your answers to each of these questions will direct the quality and the focus of the content you create for your blog going forward. Not only will you consistently be able to craft compelling, entertaining or educational content that speaks directly to your audience, but you’ll actually find it easy to do so.”

Sarah Bolme presents A Marketing Snafu posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “A large number of books by small publishers and independently published authors cross my desk each year. On the positive side, overall the quality of the books published by this group has improved over the decade I have been rubbing shoulders with them. On the negative side, many do still contain slip ups”

Shelley Sturgeon presents Testimonials: An Ageless Marketing Strategy posted at Bound and Determined

Stefanie Newell presents Amazon Book Descriptions That Will Convert Into Sales! posted at The Write One Blog, saying, “Besides your book cover and title, your Amazon book description is one of the most important factors that determines whether or not your book will do well. Are your book sales low and you’re not sure what the problem is? Consider your Amazon book description. In this video, I share tips on how to create an Amazon book description that will help you to convert browsers into buyers!”

Terry Whalin presents Effective Use of LinkedIn posted at The Writing Life, saying, “I hope these tips help a lot of indie authors. I look forward to seeing you next month, Joel at the SF Writers Conference.”

Self-Publishing Success

Ron Callari presents Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America Welcome Indie Authors posted at Ron Callari’s BookWorks Blogs, saying, “On the heels of Kindle creating a new pathway for educators to self-publish textbooks, another genre has just opened its portals. On February 3rd, the membership body of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has approved by-law modifications that will allow indie authors to obtain Active and Associate memberships in their venerable organization.”

Sandra Hutchison presents Goodbye, ABNA. Hello, Kindle Scout (for some) posted at Sandra Hutchison, saying, “For authors who treasured the annual, now-defunct Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, a look at its replacement, Kindle Scout.”

Writing Tools and Tips

Andrew Crusoe presents How many times do you “Shoot” your novel? posted at Aravinda Loop, saying, “In the writing world, there’s a lot of talk about rewriting chapters until you’re happy with them, but I’m not so sure that’s the best way. And lately, I realized something: If you fiddle and rewrite your story too much, there is the danger of losing its essential aliveness and excitement that is inherent to a first draft. (Thanks so much for supporting independent authors like me and running this blog carnival!)”

Dana Sitar presents The Ultimate Guide to Writing Your Manifesto posted at A Writer’s Bucket List, saying, “Hone your self-publishing skills and build your author platform by creating a manifesto ebook that tells people who you are, what you do, and why you do it.”

Jacquitta McManus presents Things you need for your book layout and design posted at, saying, “A list of 3 things you need before you start your book layout and design.”

Kyoko M presents Things Justified Taught Me About Writing posted at She Who Writes Monsters, saying, “FX’s hit show ‘Justified’, about federal marshal and modern cowboy Raylan Givens, ends in 2015, so here are the many amazing things this show has taught me over its six season run.”

Lana Pecherczyk presents Take a page out of the Banshee writers’ book and learn how to juxtapose posted at Author Zoo, saying, “Juxtaposition is a term I grabbed from my time in the fine art field. It refers to placing two items or images next to each other for a bigger contrast or comparison. Learn how to use the technique in your writing to add depth and resonate with your readers.”

Mike Hanski presents Thoughts Behind Habits of Famous Writers posted at Bid4papers, saying, “This article describes the role of writers’ customs in their masterhood.”

Rosalind Minett presents detail in writing fiction posted at Characterfulwriter, saying, “Towards quality writing in self published fiction.”

Shen Hart presents The Psychology Of Turning Someone posted at Shen Hart: A writer’s flights of fancy and passing thoughts., saying, “A look into the possible psychological effects of turning someone into a vampire, werewolf, or similar.”

Stefanie Newell presents Pen Names – 7 Reasons Why You May Need One! posted at The Write One Blog, saying, “Pen names are useful for both fiction and non-fiction writers. There are several reasons why an author may choose to write under a pen name. In this video I list just a few of those reasons. If you’ve been going back and forth on whether a pen name would be suitable for you, consider the reasons listed in this video and make an informed decision.”

Zoe Brooks presents Shadows in Story Structure posted at Zoe Brooks Books and Things, saying, “What do indie gaming and self-publishing have in common? Well turns out, quite a lot. The documentary, Indie Game: The Movie, shows the ups and downs of being an independent game developer through the eyes of Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes while they worked on Super Meat Boy, Phil Fish during development of Fez, and Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid. The film is inspiring, and illustrates the similarities between publishing games and publishing books.”

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 March 29, 2015 and the deadline for submissions will be March 15, 2015. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

Joel Friedlander

Written by
Joel Friedlander

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