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Posts tagged self-publishing

What Indie Authors Can Learn from Big Retail
June 26, 2015 | 10:56 am

competitionAs a relative Twitter newbie, I have been burning up my Kindle Unlimited downloads this month on social media guides for authors. How much to tweet? What to say? How to say it? It all felt so confusing to me. Then I had a retail experience yesterday which opened my eyes a little. When I came home and told the Beloved what happened, he smirked and said 'it's just like Twitter, in a way. Are you going to write about this?' Let me back up and tell you the whole story. I bought a wedding dress yesterday! Yes, yes, I know, very...

Independent publishing’s ‘Kickstarter moment’
June 21, 2015 | 11:58 am

Publishing may finally be having its “Kickstarter moment.” That’s the opinion of writer John Biggs in the piece he posted to TechCrunch today. Biggs discusses how hard it has been for independent published works to get attention from the literary establishment. Then he points out that following the example of Kickstarted gadgets, it is now possible for writers to finance complete creation of a work from start to finish, including paying for professional editing and cover design. As a result, indie writers are suddenly about to become respectable. I would argue that we are about...

Author’s Guild Proposing Contract Challenges
June 18, 2015 | 10:26 am

contractNow this is a step in the right direction, assuming they follow through on it. The Author's Guild is proposing an initiative for fair author contracts, and I think they are right on. Authors are among our more vulnerable classes of workers. Book authors receive no benefits, no retirement income or pension, and there are no unions to protect them. They live or die by copyright—their ability to license rights to publishers in exchange for advances and royalties. While copyright is meant to give authors control of how and on what terms others can use their works, publishing agreements tend to be...

The Martian: An accidental self-publishing success story
June 17, 2015 | 2:01 pm

coverA new science fiction movie by a well-known director is on the horizon. Matt Damon plays an astronaut, stranded alone on a planet inimical to human life. It also features Jessica Chastain. While you might be experiencing some Interstellar déjà vu, I’m actually talking about Andy Weir’s breakout novel The Martian, coming later this year by Ridley Scott. An in-universe promotional video and the trailer came out a couple of weeks ago, and proved so popular that 20th Century Fox moved the release date up by two months. But did you know that The Martian was a self-publishing Cinderella...

Morning Links: Reports of iOS Ad Blocking May Be Premature. Fix or Replace?
June 16, 2015 | 8:11 am

ios 9iOS 9 content blocking extensions are not a mobile advertising armageddon (Baldur Bjarnason) Over the past couple of days I sat down and did what most tech columnists seem unwilling to do: I actually looked into what an announced API is capable of. Namely, the upcoming iOS 9 Safari content blocking extensions. TeleRead Take: I had thought all the hoopla last week about "no more ads on iOS browsers" might have been overblown. Looks like I might have been correct. We'll see as the API goes into wider use. *** Should You Fix That Broken Gadget or Just Buy a New One? (Lifehacker) Sometimes fixing...

Author Inc: My First Royalty Payment
June 15, 2015 | 12:25 pm

cash.jpgToday seemed like a timely day for another update on my Amazon business, for two reasons: my first royalty payment is on the way, and my first original book is out! Don't get too excited about the royalty, though---Teachers Pay Teachers automatically sends out payments via Paypal, on every 15th of the month. They don't wait for it to accrue above a certain amount like Amazon does. So this month's princely sum due to me this fine day is....drum roll please...28 cents! I am not too concerned. It was the wrong time of year to put out teaching stuff, so I am...

E-book-lovers vs. proprietary formats (yes, P is still evil)
June 6, 2015 | 11:28 am

Cumbres_&_Toltec_trainTeleRead writers traditionally have been strong supporters of e-book standards. No blinking. No hesitation. ePub is the way to go in most cases. The majority of us have just hated proprietary formats even though companies like Amazon make them hard to avoid. Proprietary formats remind us of the time when trains commonly ran on tracks of different gauges. But as TeleRead’s owner, I've made it clear we don't have party lines.  And today’s beautifully written essay from Chris Meadows, my friend and much-appreciated colleague, illustrates this. Mind you, Chris isn't directly cheering proprietary formats. He...

More on the ‘Author Income’ Crisis
June 6, 2015 | 2:59 am

I've been thinking some more about the 'author income' crisis Paul wrote about earlier this week. I typically find Teleread's Canadian news first because I am local so I see it sooner, but Paul beat me to it this time because I saw it and was still mulling over what to say when he posted. And three days later, I am still mulling. Here is my issue. I have always found it to be a flawed assumption that 'writing' is, firstly, a clearly defined occupation, and secondly, one which should assure its practitioners a solid career path, per se....

Parsing the Amazon Best-Seller Lists
May 22, 2015 | 10:25 am

amazon best seller listNow that my first book  is up at the Kindle store, I have been reading a ton about Amazon rankings, trying to tweak the category listing for my title to give it broader exposure. I knew the book was not going to be a best-seller. It is a niche category, and I knew that. But it was a book I wanted to read myself, so I figured it would be a good test project for me to learn the ins and outs of the Kindle process. The good news: I am beating out my chief competitor. Normally, I am...

Morning Links: Vook to relaunch as Pronoun. Change to MacBook Pro
May 20, 2015 | 8:26 am

pronounMy Personal List of What Should be Top-of-Mind for Publishers Around Digital Change Today (Mike Shatzkin) To prepare for DBW 2016, we need to decide what publishers need to be thinking about and learning about next March, when the seventh annual DBW will take place. *** Vook to Relaunch as Free Self-Publishing Platform Pronoun (Digital Book World) The strategy shift comes eight months after acquiring the short-form ebook publisher Byliner and more than a year after buying Booklr, a data and analytics start-up. *** Apple Gives New 15-Inch MacBook Pro a ‘Force Touch’ Trackpad (Plus Other Stuff) (Re/Code) Apple has updated its 15-inch, Retina-display MacBook Pro laptop...

Morning Links: Copyediting or proofreading? FCC to start policing broadband caps
May 14, 2015 | 9:00 am

copy editing or proofreadingBusiness Musings: Burning Bridges (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) A freelance writer needs to be an artist and a businessperson. Sometimes those roles conflict. And sometimes we get put into truly uncomfortable situations. *** Walmart Challenges Amazon with $50 per Year Unlimited Shipping (Re/Code) Walmart is planning to test a new unlimited online shipping service this summer for $50 per year, a move to compete with Amazon’s annual $99 Prime shipping service. *** FCC Might Finally Start Policing Broadband Usage Caps, Unreliable Usage Meters (Techdirt) FCC insiders now say the agency might start policing caps if Comcast begins to expand its usage meter ambitions. *** Copy editing or Proofreading? Getting the...

Morning Links: Judy Blume advocates for library. Books which began as blogs
April 30, 2015 | 9:00 am

judy blumeFour Indie Books That Began as Blogs (IndieReader) Check out this handful of great (gorgeous!) indie books that got their start as blogs. *** Is Agency Ebook Pricing Suppressing Sales? Hard to Say (DBW) The latest monthly data from the Association of American Publishers (AAP), for January 2015, show ebook sales in slump. *** Judy Blume Advocates for the New York Public Library (GalleyCat) Judy Blume has decided to become an advocate for the New York Public Library. Blume considers librarians to be heroes and feels that this institution deserves more funding. *** Kobo to Co-Publish Tell-All eBook on Jian Ghomeshi (Ink, Bits & Pixels) Everyone knows that nothing sells...

Tolino launches self-publishing platform in Germany
April 29, 2015 | 10:25 am

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 8.30.46 AMOne of the leading German digital booksellers has launched a self-publishing platform. Tolino Media is giving indie authors another way to distribute books in Germany, according to Publishing Perspectives. Publishing Perspectives says that Tolino has already attracted a few notable German self-published authors including Elke Bergsma, Nika Lubitsch and Alfred Bekker. The terms of the deal could be a reason why some indie authors may choose Tolino over Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Tolino offers 70 percent royalties. The books will also be distributed through all of Tolino’s partners, more than 1,000 online bookshops. But it is not limited to just Germany. Tolino has partnerships...

Author Inc, Part 2: Setting up a Specialty Website Account
April 24, 2015 | 10:25 am

download (2)I wrote earlier about my experiences setting myself up as a beginning author on the Kindle store. I found the experience pretty painless, overall. But how does another web store compare? Is it easier, or harder, to set oneself up there? For comparison, here is a recap of my first few days as a seller on the specialty website Teachers Pay Teachers. This website allows teachers to offer free and paid self-created resources for use by other teachers. It has become very popular because they require each seller to offer at least one resource for free, so there are a lot...

Morning Links: Freelance Scramble. Blueprint for digital afterlife
April 23, 2015 | 9:00 am

digital afterlifeThe Freelance Scramble Part Three: The Unthinkable (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) The freelance scramble happens when the cash doesn’t flow the way that a writer expects it too. Longtime freelancers have learned the dance that I call the freelance scramble, which is mostly about replacing expected income with something else. *** How My TV Obsession Got Me Reading Book Series (Book Riot) There were probably a number of factors, but if I had to pin down one thing that sparked my newfound (or rather, refound) enjoyment of serial reading, I’d probably say that it was the precedent set by my obsession with television, beginning a...

My Experience as a KDP Newbie, Part 2: Becoming a Kindle Author
April 20, 2015 | 2:25 pm

kdpI wrote yesterday about my decision to become a Kindle author. I plan to put some of my teaching stuff up down the road, and hope to promote them and make them a side business. But this first book was a passion project and I don't expect to make money on it. It was simply a book I wanted to read myself! And since the work was done anyway, why not share it? The sharing process was both straightforward and fiddly at the same time. Here is what happened when I was ready to get my book uploaded. 1) Setting Up a...

My Experience as a KDP Newbie, Part 1: The Road to a Kindle eBook
April 19, 2015 | 2:25 pm

51RdOJhYSVL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_I have a book which is up at the Kindle store! As I wrote last month, my desire to publish on the Kindle store was one of the reasons I switched my account over to Amazon.ca. So, what was my first title? And how did it go? 1) My First Title This was an interesting one. Way back in 2012, I wrote about a book I found on the Kindle, wanted enough to pay more than my usual for, and shelled out a massive $18 to secure a Kindle copy. I was bitterly disappointed to find that this very costly book was...

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