Welcome to Self-Publishing: The Carnival of the Indies

by | Oct 6, 2010


Last year when I started The Book Designer blog, I was looking for ways to find readers. I kept running into the advice to look for blog carnivals to participate in.

I had no idea what a blog carnival was. A gathering of bloggers, like a street fair? It sounded festive, and it turned out to be a great discovery.

When blogging first got started, bloggers would put out a call for entries to get other bloggers in their field to send in their best blog posts.

A compilation of the best posts submitted would be issued as a blog carnival. The links were divided into subject categories, and the carnival would come out weekly, or monthly, or on some schedule that suited the blogger.

Marketing With Blog Carnivals

As the number of blogs proliferated, there were blog carnivals for almost every subject area and niche. And why not? It works for both readers and bloggers:

  1. Readers get a convenient, curated list of articles that are probably going to repay a visit to the contributing blog with good content and value. They are already gathered, vetted and sorted. This is one of the most valuable functions you can perform for the readers in your niche, because otherwise a lot of this content will go unread.
  2. Bloggers get a chance to share their best posts with a wider audience, since all bloggers who participate in the carnival link to the post from their own blogs. Because the best blog carnivals are tightly focused on their niche, there’s a great chance that readers of other blogs will be delighted to find more great content in their area of interest.

If you are a nonfiction author with a blog on your topic, I would encourage you to check and see if there are any blog carnivals in your niche. Participating is an easy way to market your blog, and to find new readers.

Time for Something New

Blog carnivals don’t seem as popular as they once were, but they are still a great idea. While searching for carnivals to participate in, I found a number aimed at writers and writing blogs. And there’s Cathy Stucker’s great blog carnival oriented to book marketing, Selling Books.

But I was disappointed to find no blog carnival for self-publishing. What’s up with that?

Since there are so many more bloggers writing about self-publishing, it seemed like a great time to start one up, so that’s what we’ve done. I call it Self-Publishing: The Carnival of the Indies, and this month will be its premier issue.

I’ve set up a page on the blog that has all the information you need if you’d like to participate. Mostly it involves going to blogcarnival.com and pasting a URL into a form, but if that’s too much trouble you can just email it to me and the carnival sprites will take care of the rest. Check out the Carnival Page for complete details.

The deadline for this month is October 20th, and your post should have been published within the last 90 days. Oh, it should also have something to do with self-publishing. Just go to the Carnival Page where it’s all spelled out.

The Carnival of the Indies will replace my last This Week in the Blogs post for the month on the last Sunday of each month. If you want to make sure not to miss it, subscribe to the Book Designer right now and you’ll get all new posts in your inbox automatically.

If you’re a blogger, I hope you’ll participate. Every blogger whose post appears in the Carnival will get one of our nifty new sidebar badges:

self-publishing blog carnival
And if you’re a reader, I think you’re going to be amazed at the great reading we’ll have for you. Stay tuned, and I’ll see you at the Carnival!

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