This Week in the Blogs, April 8 – 14, 2017

POSTED ON Apr 16, 2017

Shelley Sturgeon

Written by Shelley Sturgeon

Home > Blog > Self-Publishing, Social Media > This Week in the Blogs, April 8 – 14, 2017

Lots and lots of great self-publishing information for you to read in today’s post! Articles, news you can use, and a long list of book fairs and conferences for May. So, without further ado, I’ll leave you to it! Enjoy!

Ali Luke on Aliventures
Why Your Self-Published Book Needs a Professional Cover
“One of the two crucial things that indie / self-publishing authors should pay for is cover design. (The other is editing.)”

Barb Drozdowich on Self Publishing Advice Center
6 Ways for Indie Authors to Use Goodreads to Network
“Goodreads is often the site that is dismissed as difficult to navigate or full of nasty people. Let’s talk about these elephants shall we?”

Sandra Beckwith on Build Book Buzz
Why authors shouldn’t obsess over one-star reviews
“Authors, prepare yourself for the inevitable one-star review. In the publishing industry, one-star reviews are practically a rite of passage.”

Beth Bacon on Digital Book World
Trending Up: What’s Fueling and Feeding the Audiobook Boom?
“The digital audiobook industry is trending up. The recent launch of RBmedia, a digital audio company that brings together the management of several technologies that specialize in spoken-word audio, casts a spotlight on this growth. In recent years, spoken-word media has increased in both sales and the number of titles being published.”

Dan Wagstaff on The Casual Optimist
Book Covers of Note April 2017
“This edition of ‘book covers of note’ is brought to you entirely by Gray318 who designed the covers of all the books published this month.”

Self-Publishing News You Can Use

By Amy Collins

Kindle Scout Contest

KindleScout has a program that it describes as ‘reader-driven publishing’. You may submit any new manuscript; the company will run a campaign for thirty days during which you hope your manuscript will be given as many nominations as possible. After this period, manuscripts with enough nominations will be published in digital form.

Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

Submit your new, never-before-published, English-language book of 50,000 words or more to Kindle Scout and be considered for a publishing contract with Kindle Press in 45 days or less. We welcome submissions for English-language books in the following categories: Romance, Mystery & Thriller, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult, and general Literature & Fiction. Adults (ages 18+) with a valid Amazon account that reside in a Kindle Scout–eligible country can submit.

Links of Interest
Kindle Scout Eligibility & Content Guidelines

All the World’s a Book Fair (or Writer’s Conference) Calendar

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention (May 2–7)

Atlanta, GA

Lots of books, lots of authors, aspiring and pro.

Nonfiction Writers Conference (May 3–5)


Have you heard about this thing called The Internet? Everyone’s doing it. If you don’t like to travel, you can Skype to hear established writing and publishing professionals teach about how to finish a book, land a book deal, and then promote it. There are also sessions on public speaking and on providing content for social media.

This conference stresses that it’s not about pitching but about content, and some members (fees range from $120 to $490, with a spectrum of perks) can get reports with specific areas of advice for writers.

The Gold Rush Writer’s Conference (May 3–5)

Mokelumne Hill, CA

James Ragan has read his poetry in Carnegie Hall, as well as to Václav Havel and Mikhail Gorbachev. Now he can read it to you!

There are some standard “how to sell your book” seminars, and a couple of open mikes. This seems to be one for poets and novelists (with lots of poolside events). Bring your bathingsuit!

Northern Colorado Writers Conference (May 5–6)

Fort Collins, CO

Chuck Wendig, the keynote speaker, has written science fiction (Star Wars: Aftermath), thrillers, young adult, comics, games, and screenplays, as well as his blog, This eclecticism speaks to the spirit of NCWC and its authors and learning sessions, plus the publishers you’ll have a chance to pitch.

Something for everybody, with perhaps a leaning toward the pulpy.

The Muse & the Marketplace (May 5–7)

Boston, MA

Name says it all, don’t it? The Writer magazine calls it “The #1 writing conference in North America.” It does seem to be huge. Richard Russo (Nobody’s Fool), Nathan Hill (The Nix), Isabelle Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns) and about a thousand other authors, editors, and literary agents will be spilling knowledge.

The Bronx Book Fair (May 6)

Bronx, NY

This one skews towards poets. The discussion on the lack of libraries and bookstores in the Bronx should prompt despair and hope for book lovers. Kevin Young, the incoming poetry editor of the New Yorker, will be the keynote speaker.

DFW Writers Conference (May 6–7)

Dallas, TX

This conference features sci-fi, fantasy, and YA author Rachel Caine, memoirist Stephanie Klein, and ebook publisher Jane Friedman. There’s definitely opportunity to pitch your book at this one.

Atlanta Writers Conference (May 12–13)

Atlanta, GA

It’s got manuscript critique, it’s got pitch sessions, it’s got technique development sessions and Q&As with literary agents and editors, but what caught our eye was the section on query letter critiques. Now, that’s some how-to-be-a-writer nuts and bolts education.

Anguilla Literary Festival (May 18–21)


This is less nuts and bolts and more beaches and books. Among the speakers are Man Booker Prize winner, Marlon James, and Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and one of NPR’s Best Books of 2016.


Shelley Sturgeon

Written by
Shelley Sturgeon

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