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Other posts by Susan Lulgjuraj

James Patterson gives third round of grants to bookstores
December 16, 2014 | 6:25 pm

James PattersonJames Patterson is at it again. The best-selling author sent another round of donations to independent books stores around the country. This time, he doled out $473,000 to 81 shops in a third round of donations, according to the Associated Press. Patterson has donated more than $1 million since he launched the program a year ago. Initially, Patterson had intended this third round to be the last, but that may not be the case. According to the AP, he will offer more in 2015 along with an “ambitious plan to help school libraries.” The grants were awarded to shops based on proposals....

BookCon to showcase diversity in books
December 16, 2014 | 2:25 pm

bookcon2015BookCon is showcasing diversity in its 2015 event in a partnership with We Need Diverse Books. BookCon will take place May 30-31 at the Javits Center in New York City. We Need Diverse Books will hold two panels, the first of which includes Hugo Award winners Kameron Hurley (The Mirror Empire) and Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie), World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor (Who Fears Death), Daniel Jose Older (Shadowshaper) and Joe Monti (Executive Editor of Saga Press). Their panel will be a “moderated conversation about the role diversity plays in the genre, their works and their influences,” according to ReedPOP. The...

Finding time to write has led to publishing success for author Kathleen Brooks
December 15, 2014 | 12:25 pm

kathleen brooks headshotKathleen Brooks has story ideas constantly floating around in her mind. She tries to grab them all by putting them on paper. So far, a number of those ideas have turned into e-books – very successful e-books. Brooks is a best-selling writer with her works having appeared on the best sellers lists for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. But it wasn’t always that way. Brooks was once a lawyer who worked for a non-profit for animals. Those story ideas were just milling around until she finally took the leap as an indie author. “I think career change...

Are indie authors headed for doom and gloom?
November 26, 2014 | 12:25 pm

indie authors doom and gloomI recently posted a portion of Mark Coker’s keynote speech from the Self-Publishing Book Expo. The first half of the speech was about 10 trends in self-publishing, which sparked some interesting conversations. In the second half of the speech, Coker discussed ways authors can succeed, but he started with the idea that self-publishing is getting more difficult for a number of reasons including more quality works being published and an over-supply of books. The Smashwords founder recently posted the second half of that speech on his blog (saving me the trouble of transcribing it). What Coker says is right, there is sobering news...

Smashwords’ Mark Coker deilvers keynote at Self-Publishing Book Expo
November 24, 2014 | 10:25 am

logoSelf-publishing isn’t going anywhere, and Smashwords’ Mark Coker recently took a look at how we got here. The Self-Publishing Book Expo was held in New York City recently with Coker giving the keynote address. Several trends have led to the explosion of self-publishing, and many of those reasons have allowed Smashwords to grow into a leading distributor of e-books. Here were Coker’s 10 trends in the self-publishing marketplace: 1. Rise of ebooks When Smashwords was incorporated in 2007, e-books accounted for one-half of one percent of the market, according to Coker. Amazon brought a lot of attention to the ebook market and it starting...

Facebook reveals the top 100 books that have stayed with users
September 12, 2014 | 10:25 am

10523932_10152689349753415_6678921836677731688_nIf you logged onto Facebook recently, you may have noticed some of your friends talking about 10 books that stayed with them in some way. They then tagged someone in turn – maybe you – to continue the list. Facebook has brought all the data together from these status updates to show what books have “stayed with” Facebook users. Facebook gathered the data from the last two weeks of August. Here are some of demographics for the people’s whose content was aggregated: The demographics of those posting were as follows: 63.7% were in the US, followed by 9.3%in India, and 6.3% in...

Big Library Read to offer up its latest book in October
September 8, 2014 | 12:25 pm

AnatomyOfAMisfitThe next installment of Big Library Read will take place next month. Anatomy of a Misfit will be featured for two weeks on OverDrive, the e-book lending library app. Anatomy of a Misfit is HarperCollins book by Andrea Portes. OverDrive allows customers to check out e-books of thousands of titles. But similar to a library, the book can only be checked out if a copy is available. Big Library Read allows anyone to check out the book simultaneously from participating libraries – meaning no hold for anyone. The next Big Library Read takes places October 13-28. Big Library Read brings attention to authors and...

Twitter’s potential changes could affect author promotion
September 6, 2014 | 2:32 pm

twitterSo Twitter wants to change things. According to multiple reports (you can find here, here, and here), Twitter is more than considering changing the way users see their feeds. Exactly how is not entirely clear yet as many have looked at smaller changes such as bringing back out tweets from users you already follow or changing the  algorithm completely by curating content that they think you want to read. That sure sounds like Facebook – and one of the biggest reasons why I use Twitter way more than I use the other guys. So, hopefully, it won't go that way. But this website...

StoriesAlive features interactive titles for young children
September 3, 2014 | 2:25 pm

stories-alive-logoReading apps for children is an area that many companies have looked into expanding. The difficulty that comes in that arena is two-fold: how to keep kids interested and how to get parents to spend money. StoriesAlive is a subscription-based reading app that contains multiple children’s stories, and is consistently growing. However, what sets Stories Alive apart is the interactive element of the app that keeps children engaged in ways that every reading experience is different even when checking out the same book again and again. At BookExpo America this year, I had a chance to sit with Umesh Schukla, CEO of...

Amazon adds four new Kindle Worlds platforms
June 27, 2014 | 10:26 am

kindle worlds logoKindle Worlds is expanding by adding four new platforms, Amazon announced on Thursday. Kindle Worlds allows writers to create stories based on licensed worlds. The new worlds are (based on the Amazon press release): • Barbara Freethy's The Callaways--The hit series from the best-selling Kindle Direct Publishing author of all-time on Amazon • Bella Andre's Game for Love--The sizzling series about the superstars women lust after from the New York Times best-selling author • H.M. Ward's The Arrangement--The steamy, sexy New York Times best-selling new adult romance series with over a million copies sold • Lucy Kevin's Four Weddings and a Fiasco--The sweet, contemporary romance...

Smashwords adds daily sales reports
June 12, 2014 | 12:25 pm

swchartsSmashwords is giving more information to self-published authors. The publishing and distribution company announced daily sales reporting for iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive and the Smashwords store. It also includes daily and total order accumulation numbers for iBooks preorders. “The reports provide authors and publishers unprecedented insight into recent sales performance across the largest Smashwords retailers,” Smashwords CEO Mark Coker wrote on his blog. “Authors can use the reports to gain rapid feedback on the effectiveness of marketing and promotion campaigns.” This type of information will help authors and publishers learn what marketing campaigns work best. Blog tours, discounts and or...

The Guardian names the winner of its first monthly self-published award
June 10, 2014 | 10:25 am

9146LOKgNIL._SL1500_The Guardian announced the first winner of its new monthly self-published book contest. The winner was “Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers,” a debut novel from Tom Moran. On Amazon, the book’s summary reads: “Enter the mind of Walton Cumberfield, an amateur gas and electricity meter-reader who is about to discover a cow that is independent of the space-time continuum. The debut novel by comedian and writer Tom Moran, Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers is like nothing else you'll ever read - beautifully bonkers and bizarrely brilliant. It has to be read to be believed.” But that doesn’t really say a lot about the book....