Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #54

by | Mar 29, 2015

Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for March, 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-publishingJay Artale presents ALLi Watchdog: Amazon vs Apple posted at Alliance of Independent Authors Self Publishing Advice, saying, “In this month’s Alliance of Independent Author’s Watchdog post, the indefatigable Giacomo Giammatteo compares Apple with Amazon. With Amazon firmly situated at the top spot for sales and Apple in control of the second position, this article compares how Apple and Amazon stack up regarding their treatment of authors. This is an invaluable side by side comparison for self-published authors.”

writingHazel Longuet presents How I improved my writing productivity by 100% posted at Novel Experience, saying, “The tips I used to improve my writing productivity by 100%. I was struggling to hit my word count targets so, after a little analysis, I changed my desk set-up and writing habits and was able to make major improvements and you can too with these simple tips.”

self-publishingK.M. Weiland presents Do You Know the 6 Must-Have Elements of a “Wow” Story Premise? posted at Helping Writers Become Authors

Book Design and Production

Colin Dunbar presents Formatting for Smashwords posted at Format Book In Word, saying, “This is the first of five posts showing the steps to format your Word manuscript for submission to Smashwords.”

Randy Stapilus presents Collecting Those Elusive Amazon Reviews posted at BookWorks

Sabrina Ricci presents Indie Authors: High Quality Book Covers posted at Digital Pubbing

Indie Author

Andrew Crusoe presents How to Play the Kindle Publishing Game & Win (A Humble KDP Player’s Guide) posted at Aravinda Loop, saying, “We each choose the game we wish to play. Some enjoy historic games like chess or backgammon. Some enjoy newer games. But the exceptionally interesting games are the ones that you don’t even know are really games. Do you know what my favorite game is? Easy. It’s KDP.”

Ashley R. Carlson presents So You Got A Bad Book Review … Now What? posted at Ashley R. Carlson — Author and Speaker, saying, “This recent post describes my experiences as a debut indie author, and the stages of “grief” I went through when I received my first negative book review. I then give tips on how I handled it, to inspire and uplift other authors going through this same exhilarating and at times, difficult, journey.”

Carla Douglas presents Self-Pubs and Trad Pubs: Couldn’t You At Least Talk To Each Other? posted at Beyond Paper Editing, saying, “Is the divide between indie and traditionally published authors as wide as ever? Both stand to learn a lot, if only they’d talk to each other.”

Ian Martyn presents The responsibilities of a self publishing author posted at Ian Martyn – Science Fiction Author, saying, “If, as self-publishing authors we wish to be taken seriously, then I believe there are certain responsibilities and practices we must adopt.”

L.G. O’Connor presents Author 101: Why an LLC might be right for you posted at Creating the Write Reality, saying, “Maiden blog post for my new Author 101 blog series. Operating under an LLC as an indie author can have several real advantages. The post demystifies the process, highlights the key advantages, and lists the four simple things you need to do for ongoing operations.”

N. L. Brumbaugh presents Learn as You Go, The Business of Writing for Beginners | by an Indie Christian Author posted at N. L. Brumbaugh, saying, “I’ve been in the beginning/learning stages of writing for three years. I have experienced my fair share of challenges (bumps and bruises) on the writing journey as an indie author. For me, it is always two steps forward, one step back. I’ve been totally on my own without any coach or support. . . other than what I access from the online community which, I believe, makes it a much bigger step for a newbie in the field. I don’t have a “go-to” person. This is a good article for the late bloomer like me, who wants to know what to expect and is uncertain (and scared!) or is part way there but needs some encouragement. I include the “Christian” label because it defines my blog (I wouldn’t want to surprise the visiting audience).”

Robin Storey presents From Would-Be to Published Author posted at Storey Lines, saying, “What song best describes your author journey? Author Robin Storey describes her ‘Long and Winding Road’ to publication as an indie author.”

Sabrina Ricci presents Guest Post: Get More Blog Traffic with These Free Keyword Research Tools posted at Digital Pubbing

Sabrina Ricci presents Working as a Freelance Writer posted at Digital Pubbing

Si Garlick presents Revenge is Tweet! posted at Mojano

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Frances Caballo presents Aerbook Puts Full Power of the Mobile Web in Readers’ Hands: The Mobile Web for Authors posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “In January, HarperCollins Publishers announced a pilot program offering previews of top-selling books. In other words, bestsellers are now available for preview on the Internet as well as social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. This move by HarperCollins is an attempt to integrate their books with the mobile web, a hot topic in Internet marketing and one I promised to talk more about on this blog. Guess what? You as an Indie author can also use Aerbook to achieve the same goals as those of traditionally published writers.”

Gordon Burgett presents Multiply your book’s sales by turning your book into 6 posted at Empire Building for Writers and Speakers by Writing, Speaking, and Publishing, saying, “Extract integral units from your book and reform them into stand-alone wee books. The wee books sell, plus they point the reader to the total book with more good, salable information. (You can also divide the wee books into blogs, which may sell both.) Like the hog, you’re selling everything but the tail and the oink!”

Jordan Smith presents How to Format Your Amazon Description to Stand Out posted at Fix My Story, saying, “Many authors don’t know that they can use HTML styles right in the KDP description. This article explains how and includes templates for making the formatted description look great.”

Kate Tilton presents From Twitter to Business Partners: a #K8Chat Tale posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Twitter chats are an amazing way to connect with authors, readers, and other publishing professionals. Here is a tale of how two authors met on #K8Chat and turned their meeting into opportunity.”

Kate Tilton presents How Not To Take Things Personally posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “While marketing and selling your books you will eventually run into those who just won’t like your book. Here is how you can not take it personally.”

Kristen Jett presents But I’m A Writer, I Don’t Need A Marketing Plan posted at Queen of Inbound {Marketing}, saying, “Sometimes it’s hard for writers to understand why marketing should be a first thought – instead of the last thought. Here’s why you should switch that mindset.”

Lana Pecherczyk presents HOW TO ADD VALUE TO A FICTION BOOK SO YOU CAN SELL MORE posted at Author Zoo, saying, “In marketing, we constantly talk about adding value to your product. This is because customers these days aren’t just going to buy it because you told them to. They are smart and fickle, and with the Internet bringing every competitor to them at lightning speed, you really have to add more to your product if you want to sell it. This article gives real examples of how an Indie author is planning on adding more value to a book.”

Lori Schafer presents Bad Book Reviews: Not About Your Book, But About Your Readers’ Expectations posted at Lori Schafer’s Short Subjects I Feel Like Writing About, saying, “In this article I take an analytical look at bad book reviews that are unrelated to the quality of writing. In most cases I determine that these types of poor reviews result from reader misunderstandings of the product, and I suggest strategies for ensuring that book presentation and marketing create more accurate reader expectations.”

Nate Hoffelder presents KindleSpy Can Help Uncover Pricing, Keyword Secrets of the Kindle Store posted at Ink, Bits, & Pixels, saying, “When making a decision, more information is always better, and Kindle Spy can help. This tool helps authors and publishers identify important keywords and highly profitable categories in the Kindle Store.”

Nate Hoffelder presents Tolino to Launch Self-Pub Portal in April posted at Ink, Bits, & Pixels, saying, “Germany’s Tolino ebook coop is launching a self-pub portal next month which will let authors upload their ebooks and sell them in bookstores across central Europe.”

Randy Stapilus presents 10 Ways Indie Book Promoters Leverage Blogs posted at BookWorks

Ron Callari presents Self-Publishing Best Practices by the Experts posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “Thorough listing of predictions by self-publishing experts, which are informative for writers who like to stay current with what’s happening in the self-publishing space, and why we would should rely on some tried-and-true best practices of the past.”

Ron Callari presents Should Indie Authorship Be Its Own Business? posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “The minute you decide to sell your first self-published book, you’ve chosen to go into business! Whether you formalize that business relationship is another question altogether.”

Sarah Bolme presents The Why & How of Book Giveaways posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “To give books away or to not give books away? Many authors and small publishers wrestle with this question. Some believe that giving books away does not reap many benefits and “cheapens” the author’s works. Others believe that giving books away can spur sales.”

Shelley Hitz presents Social Media for Authors posted at Shelley Hitz, saying, “In our digital world, it is essential for authors to have a social media presence. However, you do not need to do it all. I share my tips for authors in this post.”

Shelley Sturgeon presents 7 Tips for the Camera Shy Author posted at Bound and Determined, saying, “As part of building our author platforms, we need headshots and may wish to use selfies on our social media networks. But what if you’re camera shy? Most of us are. Here’s some tips to create better pictures and, hopefully, overcome some of that shyness.”

Shelley Sturgeon presents Hundreds of Blog Post Ideas for Writers posted at Bound and Determined, saying, “Regularly writing for your blog can seem like an overwhelming task and if you’re new to it, it is likely to take a while until you feel comfortable and confident doing so. I thought it would just make sense to create a roundup of some of the many existing articles on this topic. There is bound to be some overlap with ideas suggested in these articles, but combined I’m sure there are literally hundreds of ideas in this list.”

Terry Whalin presents Grow Your Twitter Followers in Less Than 5 Minutes A Day posted at The Writing Life, saying, “Terry uses these tools consistently to grow his twitter following to over 138,000–and less than five minutes a day.”

Self-Publishing Success

Bethany Brown presents Do You Know Your Book Publishing Goals? posted at The Cadence Group, saying, “Understanding why you are publishing and what your goals are before you start the publishing process is vital to your success. Identifying your goals (and revisiting them often) will help you stay on track and avoid costly mistakes.”

Bethany Brown presents Has KDP Pre-order Helped Level the Playing Field for Authors posted at The Cadence Group, saying, “The ability to put a book up for pre-order has long separated the “haves” (traditional publishers) vs the “have nots” (indie presses and self-published authors). That separation is narrowing as KDP now allows authors and indie presses to set up their eBook on Amazon up to 90 days pre-publication.”

Chris Well presents Are you the next great crime writer? Self-publishing, Kindle Worlds, and Brash Books with Lee Goldberg posted at DIY Author, saying, “This interview with Lee Goldberg touches on how his success as a self-publisher led him to walk away from his popular “Monk” mysteries, why Kindle Worlds is not actually “fan fiction,” and why indie authors shouldn’t be in a rush to publish.”

Katherine Pickett presents 10 Key Questions for Evaluating Your Book’s Competition posted at The POP Newsletter, saying, “Researching the competition can be overwhelming. As you sort through Amazon listings, print editions, and ebooks, you may begin to ask yourself, “What is it I’m looking for again?” These 10 key questions will help you remain focused while you evaluate your competition.”

Writing Tools and Tips

C.K. MacLeod presents A 5-Minute Guide to Evernote posted at Tech Tools for Writers, saying, “Evernote is a terrific tool for collecting and storing ideas and research. Learn how to use it in 5 minutes.”

Gordon Burgett presents Four proven ways to sell 75%+ of your freelance writing posted at Empire building by writing and speaking, for writers, speakers, and publishers, saying, “A 4500-word summary of how to sell at the top of four writing/publishing fields: magazines, newspapers, books, and niche publishing. Tons of blog and book references vital to any writer. Also, a great strategy guide for empire building.”

HOLLY CAVE presents Write Like the Buddha posted at Holly Cave

Jennifer Ellis presents The Pros and Cons of Head Hopping posted at Jennifer Ellis – Writing, saying, “This article explores point of view in writing and the pros and cons of head hopping among point of view characters within a scene.”

Jessica Millis presents Top 10 Writing Tips from the Desk of Virginia Woolf posted at Esaymama Blog, saying, ““It seems as if an age of genius must be succeeded by an age of endeavour; riot and extravagance by cleanliness and hard work.” Virginia Woolf”

Kyoko M presents Headcanon Exercise #1 posted at She Who Writes Monsters, saying, “I enlist the help of a writing exercise to help flush out characteristics and personality quirks of the characters in my urban fantasy series.”

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 26, 2015 and the deadline for submissions will be April 15, 2015. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

5 Comments

  1. Andrew

    Thanks so much for once again including one of my articles, Joel!

    Not sure if it was intentional or if I just got lucky, but it’s an honor to be the first article under “Indie Author”. And for the record, I wasn’t joking. I really do think KDP is a game, and that mindset change has helped me. I hope it will help others….

    — AMC

    Reply
  2. Jeffrey Allen Davis

    The link to gaining the “elusive amazon reviews” is broken.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Looks like it’s been fixed, thanks for the alert Jeffrey.

      Reply
  3. Will Gibson

    I always look forward to Mr Giammatteo’s reports on ALLi and read this article by him (Amazon vs Apple) from last month on their website. His research is always informative, accurate, and insightful.

    On Friday, Orna Ross (the founder and director of the Alliance) posted that Mr Giammatteo had recently suffered heart attacks and a stroke that don’t allow him to work. We all hope he returns soon.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      I’m really sorry to hear that, Will, and thanks for letting us know. Our thoughts are with Giammatteo along with thanks for all the work he’s done to help indie authors.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.