Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies Issue #59

by | Aug 30, 2015

Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for August, 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 Ebook Library Services For Authors. An Alliance of Independent Authors Report posted at ALLiance of Independent Author’s Advice Centre, saying, “Andrew Lowe, UK indie author and new Watchdog and Partner Member Manager at ALLi, offers an in-depth review of which library services are best for authors. Discoverability is one of the key challenges facing independent authors. How do you get your book in front of readers and make an impression that could potentially lead to sales and enhance your credibility and visibility? One solution is to make your book available to library patrons via an ebook loan system. Several services are stepping up to provide a link between your publishing platform and the ebook library infrastructure – mostly in the US, where there are thousands of libraries with the facility to loan ebooks.”

self-publishingL.G. O’Connor presents Author 101: The Harsh Truth Behind Print Sales posted at Creating the WRITE Reality, saying, “This is part of my Author 101 education series :-)”
 

self-publishingKimberley Grabas presents The 4-Part System to Define and Attract Your Target Audience (Part 1: IDENTIFY) posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “When defining your target audience, the first question you need to ask yourself is this: “Who do you want sitting in the seats?” Who do you want reading your work, sharing your ideas and contributing to your community? The audience you develop should be exclusive – it should be made up of only those individuals whose desires, values and interests align with the creative work that you offer. And since these are the people you will be spending a majority of your professional time with (through your blog, social media, email, conferences, speaking engagements and so on), it’s prudent to carefully choose those people who will not only be the most supportive, but motivate and inspire you to grow as a writer.”

Book Design and Production

Erica Verrillo presents Should You Hire a Professional Book Cover Designer? posted at Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity, saying, “Unless you have a flair for graphic design, you should hire a professional book cover designer. But how to choose? Here are some prize-winning cover designers who will make your book look like a best-seller – as well as a list of less expensive designers who won’t leave your cover looking like something your 5-year-old drew in Kindergarten.”

Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents Do The Best Book Ideas Originate In The Marketplace Or In The Heart Of The Author? posted at Kunz On Publishing, saying, “Do the best book ideas originate in the marketplace OR in the heart of the author? This is the first big questions would-be authors ask when they finally decide that they want to write their first book. The answer is not as elusive as many might believe. The best book ideas can be developed by looking at what is currently selling well on Amazon, AND matching that with what your heart desires too write about. Choosing your book idea based completely on one way or the other is certain to make your book a failure. But choosing your book’s subject matter based on a combination of both (marketplace needs and your heart’s needs) is certain to make your book a financial and critical success.”

Nate Hoffelder presents There’s an Audible Group of Authors Who Are Unhappy About the Audiobook Market posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “The audiobook market may be booming, but authors aren’t happy. A recent discussion on The Passive Voice blog reveals that authors have identified a number of fundamental problems with the audiobook market and with its largest retailer, Audible. Authors don’t like how much control Audible takes, nor do they happy about the low royalties.”

Ron Callari presents For Indie Authors, 21st Century’s Watson is no longer Elementary posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “This month, Watson adds to its accomplishments something to put a smile on a good number of indie authors’ faces. It is addressing an issue many of us writers anguish over. The ‘Watson Tone Analyzer’ might be just what the doctor ordered.”

Ron Callari presents What’s Up with eBook Subscriptions? Kindle & Scribd Business Models in Flux What’s Up with eBook Subscriptions? Kindle & Scribd Business Models in Flux posted at Bookworks’ Ron Callari Blogs, saying, “Are Scribd and Kindle’s eBook subscription services in transition for reasons that will benefit writers, readers or themselves?”

Y. K. Greene presents A Vital Reminder posted at Blargle Splect, saying, “A recap article linking all of my most useful blog posts over the past year or so. Everything from using Scrivener to write a series of novels to how to format interior pages of your paperback for print on demand sites like Createspace–all in one handy location!”

Ebooks and Ebook Readers

Randy Stapilus presents Indie Authors and the Future of eBooks posted at BookWorks, saying, “Indie authors have new challenges and new opportunities as the e-book reader marketplace changes.”

Indie Author

Alexander Zoltai presents “But, Do I Really Need An Editor?” posted at Notes from An Alien

Blair MacGregor presents Revisiting the Wherefore posted at Blair MacGregor Books, saying, “I’m not a break-out author, but years after I self-publishing my first novel, I can still look back and say I’d make the same decision today. For me, it isn’t the “breaking out” that matters. It’s the life I live while writing stories my readers enjoy.”

Gary McLaren presents 15 Compelling Reasons to be a Writer posted at Writers Unplugged, saying, “Why do you write? Is it for fame or fortune or do you write for another reason? If you don’t understand your motivations and reasons for writing then how will you define your success?”

Jordan Smith presents Does an Author Really Need a Website? posted at Fix My Story, saying, “I talk to indie authors all the time who aren’t convinced they need a website. Here’s why I think an author needs one.”

KD Rose presents Wattpad Isn’t The Only Game In Town posted at authorkdrose

Kyoko M presents My Second Year in Self-Publishing posted at She Who Writes Monsters, saying, “After celebrating my second year as a self-published author, here are some of my experiences and important lessons that I want to pass on to other upcoming authors.”

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Belinda Kroll presents Creating a Booktrack (Soundtrack for Books) posted at Belinda Kroll, Victorian Young Adult Books, saying, “I talk about making a booktrack for my book, including screenshots of the interface, my speculation on how it will affect sales, and a word to the wise regarding places to purchase for your readers.”

C. S. Lakin presents Introducing Authors’ New, Free Entry into Libraries: SELF-e posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “SELF-e is an all-new discovery platform that authors can use to get their ebooks into the American library system. SELF-e’s most important offer is the chance to have an author’s work introduced to one of the largest concentrations of English-speaking readers anywhere, the U.S. library system. Library Journal reports that some 299.9 million Americans hold library cards — more than 95 percent of the population.”

Frances Caballo presents Surprising News in Social Media – And a Twitter Tip posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “This post shares a Twitter tip that will attract new followers/readers to your network, an update on the future of Google+, and tips on how not to sell books on social media.”

Jay Artale presents A-Z of Effective Social Media Prompts for Authors posted at ALLiance of Independent Author’s Advice Centre, saying, “Are you getting bored with social media or stuck in a social rut? Don’t worry, it happens to us all so I put together a list of 26 Social Media prompts to inspire you to connect with your readers via your favourite social network. Social Media is an invaluable tool for authors, but sometimes you just need a little bit of inspiration or change in approach, to reinvigorate your engagement. Here’s my A-Z of effective Social Media Prompts for Authors that features: 26 pieces of targeted advice + 26 social media prompts for authors in the form of a question + some “did you know?” which all adds up to plenty of opportunities to reinvigorate your social presence.”

Jordan Smith presents Does an Author Really Need a Blog? posted at Fix My Story, saying, “Do you need a blog to be a successful indie author? It depends! This article will help you decide if a blog is the right choice for your author platform.”

Joseph C. Kunz, Jr. presents Do Authors Need A Large Platform? posted at Kunz On Publishing, saying, “It is critical that an author have a well-established platform. But it is not imperative that it be a large platform. In today’s “new-media” world, it is not necessarily about the numbers anymore. It is now about “engagement” with the readers. Whether it is for a large niche audience, or a micro-niche audience, it does not matter. Is the author seen as the “go-to person” to that audience? Is the author making an emotional connection with them? Is the author getting his audience rallied around a particular niche? Is the author selling books and ebooks to that audience? Is that audience commenting on the author’s blog posts? Are they re-posting those blog posts? All of these questions will help you understand what it means to have a strong and well-established platform.”

Kate Tilton presents Enter the Social Media Scene posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Author and editor Jessica West tells authors to use social media sites, like Twitter, as they’re meant to be used, to socialize.”

M. Louisa Locke presents The unexpected effect of the “perma free” strategy on my productivity posted at M. Louisa Locke’s Front Parlor

Michelle Weidenbenner presents Seven Venues for Virgin Indies to Sell Books posted at Random Writing Rants, saying, “This is an article about the different places where I sell my books. I wish I had this when I first started. The links to the various sites are attached. Hopefully, it’s a helpful tool for virgin Indies.”

Mike Reeves-McMillan presents Genre Considered as a Restaurant posted at The Gryphon Clerks, saying, “You’ll often hear genre-bending writers bemoaning the very existence of genre, but it does have a purpose: like a restaurant sign, it tells the customer roughly what kind of experience they’re going to get, what the flavours will be.”

Sandra Hutchison presents Being white, writing black: an interview with Cori Tadrus posted at Sandra Hutchison, saying, “Does your work reflect diversity? Sandra Hutchison interviews a white debut novelist whose main character is biracial about her inspiration and her process.”

Sarah Bolme presents A Good Marketing Guideline posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “How much should you spend marketing your book? One good guideline is offered here.”

Terry Whalin presents If You Write It, Will They Read It? posted at The Writing Life, saying, “I wrote this blog post this past weekend and included a current article from Hugh Howey in it about the myth of the lazy writer.”

Wesley Thomas presents 18 steps to a successful marketing campaign posted at Blog Posts For Writers, saying, “Hi, Linked in is my blog, and the individual article that writers have told me personally it has been very useful and they will use it for future marketing campaigns. So I thought I would help out writers even further by trying to get it more exposure on your site. I hope you enjoy the blog. Warm regards, Wesley Thomas.”

Self-Publishing Success

Amelia Smith presents An Analysis of the Author Earnings Survey posted at Amelia Smith, saying, “I’m not sure if “Self-Publishing Success” is the right category, but it seems like the closest fit.”

Ernie Zelinski presents Interview with Ernie Zelinski posted at Retire by 40

Randy Stapilus presents Should Indie Authors Worry About Piracy? posted at BookWorks

Writing Tools and Tips

B R Sanders presents Advice to Writers: Remember to Add Conflict! posted at Clatter and Clank, saying, “The Garden of Eden only got interesting when Eve at that apple. The truth is that if your story doesn’t have a conflict driving its characters forward, no matter how pretty your language is, your reader will probably disengage. A story without a conflict is essentially a story without a plot.”

C. S. Lakin presents 4 Ways to Ramp Up Tension and Pacing in Your Fiction posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Novels need to be packed with tension and have tight, strong pacing. But just how can a writer achieve this? Here are 4 great specific ways writers can ramp up tension and pacing in their fiction.”

C.K. MacLeod presents The Best Multipurpose Tool for Self-Publishing posted at Tech Tools for Writers, saying, “If I were to choose one tool that hits on everything required to publish an ebook, it’d be this one!”

Ellis Shuman presents The John Irving Theory of Everything posted at Ellis Shuman Writes, saying, “This is how I write a novel. This is how I live my life.”

Gary McLaren presents 21 Writing Quotes on Getting Started posted at Writers Unplugged, saying, “For many people embarking on a career in writing the most difficult step is the first one. Here is a compilation of 21 beautiful writing quotes from famous authors on “getting started”.”

K.M. Weiland presents 4 Ways to Write a Likable Protagonist at the Start of His Character Arc posted at Helping Writers Become Authors, saying, “How can writers create instantly likable protagonists when the characters have to start their arcs as less-than-perfect people? Find out what you can do!”

Kate Tilton presents Villains: The Real Stars posted at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, saying, “Author Will Van Stone Jr explores how villains are the real center of any story with examples from The Avengers to The Little Mermaid.”

KD Rose presents Where an Author’s Time Can Go or Things I learned in the Last 3 and a Half Hours posted at Savvy Authors

Marcy Kennedy presents 5 Techniques for Amazing Internal Dialogue posted at Writers in the Storm, saying, “If I took a survey asking writers what the most important elements of fiction were, I’d probably end up with a few consistent answers—plot, characters, dialogue, showing rather than telling. We might not automatically think of including internal dialogue on the list, but we should.”

Marcy Kennedy presents 7 Ways to Make Yourself a Better Writer in 7 Days posted at Marcy Kennedy, saying, “A quick list of fresh ideas of help us become better writers.”

Richard Sutton presents The Care and Conservation of Beta Readers posted at Saille Tales Books, News and Rants, saying, “Lately, offering a Beta Read seems to result in an editing job! I’ve gotten the impression that quite a few Indie Authors need to be brought up to speed on what exactly is a Beta Reader supposed to do and why they are so important…”

S. L. Saboviec presents Growing Your Character Relationships to Grow Your Character posted at Operation Awesome, saying, “As part of my blog tour this month, I wrote an article for Operation Awesome on a technique I use to round out my characters and make them three-dimensional.”

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 September 27, 2015 and the deadline for submissions will be September 15, 2015. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

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