Posts Tagged With: indie publishing

Get to Work: Marketing Part 1

Regardless of how you publish your book, expect to do one thing when you are not busy writing your next book: Marketing.

There are many authors out there who have shared their marketing stories, and the lessons they have learned, good and bad. Here we will review two of them, but first let’s take a look at a couple maxims to keep in mind. Continue reading

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Want to Revise Your Kindle Book?

As independent publishing — both by the individual author and small presses — has exploded and matured in recent years, so have the tools available to those writers. You can spend as much, or as little, as you like in getting your book into print. An industry of editors, formaters, cover designers, image suppliers, etc., have emerged to support the ventures of thousands of authors. You can pick and choose what you farm out, and here I would like to skip a few steps ahead in the process and write about editing your Kindle files. Continue reading

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Passion and Publishing

Here are some short videos by bestselling writers Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi where they discuss Writing What You’re Passionate About and Self-publishing vs. Publishing Companies. Check out the pros and cons and balance that needs to be struck in these approaches.

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“No Desire to Give Up”

There has been consderable discussion on how the Internet and ebooks helped turned self-publishing from a bad word to an industry-changing movement. Authors have started there and moved to traditional publishing; others have done the opposite. Some have gone both routes even as fellow writers have stood firm in one camp or another. It is certain that self-publishing – now often referred to as indie publishing – is not going anywhere. Nor is traditional publishing. Nonetheless, here is author and editor Jaimie Engle‘s self-publishing success story, brought on when everything fell apart:

I self-published my children’s novel, Clifton Chase and the Arrow of Light, in September 2013, after the small press I had been working with breached our contract. Three weeks before my slated release, my publisher bailed and left me stranded. I had no publicist, no idea what to do, and no desire to give up.

Read the rest of her story here.

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Selling Your Book

Brian Godawa continues his instructional series with How to Market Your Self-Published Novel. Don’t let the title mislead you, however. Regardless of how you publish your novel, much of the marketing is up to the author. Until you earn the auto-selling reputation of a Tom Clancy or J.R.R. Tolkien, an author’s effort at marketing their book is critical. Many new authors are surprised at this, expecting book ads and radio spots, but such things have become the exception rather than the rule. The quantity of books being published also makes it impossible for every new book to receive the red carpet treatment. So once that book is done, your work isn’t.

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Self-Publishing vs. Legacy Publishing

Author Brian Godawa discusses the pros and cons of self-publishing:

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Publishing Numbers “Wildly Wrong”

Didn’t have a chance to post this weekend, so I’ll send you over to Robert Bidinotto’s article, “New Data Demolish Key Claims by Big Publishers.” Therein he discusses the data released by author Hugh Howey which reveals some interesting insights on the state of publishing.

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Book Price Wars: 2015’s Publishing Battleground?

There’s concern that the price wars started by indie writers may come back to haunt them. Here’s the scoop: Indie authors are able to sell their books for at a much lower price than traditional publishing. You’re basically buying right from the source with minimal overhead. The issue is that if traditional publishers lower prices, more competition for indies. Maybe not.

For one, there is always competition, traditional or otherwise. Just walk into a bookstore or browse Amazon. Millions. It’s about — regardless of how you publish — connecting with audiences with a strong, quality product. Two, I’ve seen many of these “low” prices jump back up. Perhaps not as high as retail, but still up. Holiday pricing, perhaps? The idea of having a sale seems to be a new thing for some publishers. How low can traditional publishers really go? Sure, on a super runaway bestseller they can afford some sales or lower prices. Or they can say, “This is a bestseller, people are going to buy it regardless.” And, of course, the lower the traditional publishers go with pricing, the less their authors get.

That’s why indie authors still have an advantage when it comes to revenue (not that writing books is a get-rich scheme). There are other factors at work here, but ultimately I think indies, e-books and technology will continue to transform the industry. Where the equilibrium will occur, I’m not sure. There’s room for all publishing models, but we are seeing a settling of which is good for whom.

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Indie Authors Continue to Change Publishing

This time it is publishers of Christian fiction taking notice. Indie authors are here forcing “the industry to adapt,” going beyond the “typical guidelines used to frame the culture’s concept of Christian fiction” and not limited by “genre restrictions.”  In other words, giving readers more choices.

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Amazon a “Market Disruption” for Publishers

The war between Amazon (who has led the wholesale changes seen in publishing in recent years) and traditional publishers (currently Hachette Book Group) has come to a head over e-book pricing. Hachette’s position is that they have the author’s best interests at heart, but indie writers argue otherwise. One of them, Robert Bidinotto, explains that there is more to the story:

…even though publishing contract terms (including advances, royalties, and rights) are simply awful for 99% of authors, a relative handful of Big Name Authors do in fact benefit disproportionately from their alliances with Big Publishing. These “one-percenters” (to borrow a term from current political parlance) get extravagant advances from the publishing houses — advances so large that they don’t care much about other contractual terms, such as royalties and subsidiary rights, which other authors must endure. They have a huge vested interest in keeping the publishing industry frozen in amber, exactly as it is. As marquee figures in the industry, these Big Name Authors also dominate prominent writers groups, such as the Authors Guild. So, when such individuals and groups issue statements, purporting to speak for authors generally, you can be sure that they are really only representing their own narrower interests.

You can read the complete post at his site and the petition that supports the Amazon side. Bidinotto also writes, “Look, I have no problem, in principle, with publishers. If they really did what they promise to do — take the burdens of editing and publication off writers, compensate them reasonably, and market them creatively and intelligently — I think many more authors would be happier than they are now. A number of small presses still do this.”

And that is truly what is at the heart of the debate. It isn’t that Big Publishing is evil or that no authors ever succeed with them or that no one but bad authors indie publish. Once writers had another path to publish their works, they were free to question the system that usually left them with the least return. If big deals come along, that’s great, but most writers would be happy to pay the bills and make a living. And most don’t.

The industry is changing. The death of many bookstores has shown us that. If traditional publishers don’t change, will they follow the same path?

P.S. For an example of how some in traditional publishing are adapting, see the October issue of Writer’s Digest in which “The Evolving Agent” details how agents are joining the digital era.

Categories: Books, Writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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