News You Can Use

by | Mar 24, 2010 news indie publishingIt’s time to catch up on some news items, both from the publishing world, and closer to home.

Nominations Open for the Author Blog Awards 2010

Are you an author who blogs? If you’re a self-published author, I hope the answer is “Yes” because it’s one of the best ways to find and connect with your readership. Let’s face it, as writers, blogging should come pretty naturally once you understand how it’s different from other forms of writing.

I’m putting together a series of posts on author blogs but in the meantime, if you or someone you know qualifies as an outstanding author-blogger, you might be interested in these awards. This is by Anna Lewis on Publishing Talk.

The Author Blog Awards aim to highlight to readers the great content that you can find in author blogs and microblogs, reward those authors who engage with their readers online, and encourage other authors to do the same. Nominations are now open.

See the extensive article at Publishing Talk for more information.

Apple Signs Perseus Books, iPad News

As reported in the New York Times yesterday, Apple has signed agreements with two publishers, one of which, Perseus Books, is quite important in the independent publishing field. As David Steinberger, chief executive of Perseus, said: “As the leading provider of distribution services for independent publishers, including digital distribution through our Constellation digital service, Perseus is thrilled to be making our books available on the iPad.”

Perseus distributes for over 330 other smaller presses including Grove/Atlantic, Harvard Business School Press and Zagat Guides. If it had seemed like something was missing from the iPad anticipation, perhaps the inclusion of a vast array of independent publishers will help close the gap.

Keep in mind the growing popularity of packaging books as apps which are then sold through iTunes or in the App Store, rather than the forthcoming iBookstore. So far this looks like the best onramp for self-publishers to get onto the iPad.

Amazon Kindle

The Book Designer is now available on Amazon Kindle—You’ll see the badge in my sidebar over on the right there. Getting a blog into the Kindle store is actually not that difficult. I followed the step-by-step instructions I found on Publetariat by Stephen Windwalker. If you have a Kindle, check it out.

While looking at the Amazon page for the Blog, I noticed at the bottom this helpful link from Amazon: Customers Viewing This Page May Be Interested in These Sponsored Links: “$50 Expert Brazilian Wax”. Well, you never know, do you? Maybe that will be my first giveaway.

Editor Unleashed Contest

On a personal note, I was honored that my entry in Maria Schneider’s Editor Unleashed “Why I Write” contest was accepted for publication in the book that will be produced from the winning entries. This was run in conjunction with Smashwords, who will publish the book.

Over 160 entries were received. Head over to Editor Unleashed’s Forums to read the entries, including the wonderful grand prize winner, “The Library on the Wrong Side of Nairobi” by silverfish. is Six Months Old

Yes, hard to believe, but it’s been six months since I wrote my first article here, wondering if anyone would be interested in typography, margins in books, different types of printing, and how amazing the indie publishing life is. 177 articles later I can honestly say It’s been fantastic so far, and I have lots of plans for the rest of my first year.

More than anything else, I’m really grateful for you, the people who read the articles I post here. The interactions I’ve had over the past six months with readers, other bloggers, the vast array of people involved in independent publishing has been the best thing of all that’s happened since I sat down to share what I’ve learned over the years.

With the changes taking place in book publishing, we are truly fulfilling the ancient Chinese “curse:” May you live in interesting times. It’s going to be a wild ride for the foreseeable future. No one knows quite what the book world will look like a few years from know, but we all know it will look different. It’s turning out to be a terrific journey, and I’m glad we’re taking it together.

I’d like to specifically ask readers if there are any subjects they would like to see covered, any areas of self-publishing, book marketing, writing, or anything else that goes into making books that they would like to learn more about, to leave a note in the comments. Thanks!

tbd advanced publishing starter kit


  1. Joel

    Betty, yes, I still have that “new car smell.” Thanks for your attentive reading.

    Rachael, I appreciate your comments. You’ve placed a pretty tall order. I know that there is open source software for doing page layout, but I believe most of it is command-line driven, not for the inexperienced or faint of heart. I’ve used MS Publisher, which is fairly inexpensive, but since I’m used to higher-end tools I wouldn’t choose it if given the choice. And I’ve seen some pretty good looking books done in MS Word (but don’t quote me) by authors who really put in a lot of time and effort to get that beast to jump through some pretty small hoops. But you’ve got me interested now, and I’m going to start a file on this topic and see what I can come up with. Thanks for continuing to read, it means a lot.

  2. Rachael Gootnick

    Hi Joe,
    When your blog post asked for suggestions of topics, I thought to myself how ironic it was, since just yesterday, while reading your CIP post, I was telling myself how convenient your site is, because it seems like every time I want a more detail explanation of something, the next day your posting about it! It’s somewhat eerie!
    I wish I could think of topics that I’m interested about that you haven’t already written about, but honestly, it feels like we think so alike, that I can’t think of anything that hasn’t already been covered in the past 6 months.
    But as a strong supporter of open-source and freely available software maybe you could cover some alternatives to popular (and costly) software that users may be interested in using to design their books? I know we have several free software resources on our site, but I’m sure you know of others.
    I’ll curb my rambles for now, but thank you Joe, for such an outstanding resource – your site is an inspiration!
    -Rachael Gootnick, Content Manager, Open Publishing Guide

  3. betty ming liu

    wow — you’re only six months old? congratulations, joel! you’re doing a great public service!



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