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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Xlibris Writer’s Workshop Presents Self-Marketing Your Book

The creative freedom that self-publishing affords aspiring writers (especially from conventional publishing practices) entails more self-marketing effort. Accomplished independent author J.A. Konrath believes that writers are largely responsible for promoting their books.

“There are 50,000 novels published a year, and four out of five don’t make money. You have to get people to read you, or else you won’t be a writer for very long,” he said.  

Here are self-marketing tips from thriving self-pubbed writers who have proven that success in what was once known as “vanity publishing” is real and attainable.

“Don’t let the things you don’t have prevent you from using what you do have.”– John Locke

While the American e-book writer of crime fiction had no formal training as a writer, his gift of imagination not only propelled his writing success but also his marketing strategies. He believes that cost-free marketing can reap good results if you have “enthusiasm, empathy, people skills.”

“There’s always a way to compensate for what you don’t have. If I’m not as smart as you, I’ll have to work harder. If another woman is prettier than you, you might have to be more charming. There’s always a way to compensate,” Locke stressed.

“Guy’s provided me with such great content all year, the least I can do is buy his $10 book.”– Guy Kawasaki

With his bold statement that traditional publishers are having aneurysm from the growing influence of indies, the self-published author/entrepreneur recently published his book APE: Author- Publisher – Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book co-authored with Shawn Welch. Kawasaki, however, reminds hopefuls that content quality very important. Perhaps such an advice is self-explanatory and surely the first step to attaining marketing success.

“I have beta readers, copyeditors, and an army of proofers and before I publish each book I have to make sure every one of them is available when I need them at the right time to release my book. I also have to make sure I’ve set aside time to design my cover, create my marketing copy and reach out to my readers when the book is released.”– Bella Andre

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author have sold more over 1.5 million books to date. The figures speak for themselves. Also a full-time wife and mother, Bella juggles her demanding tasks pretty well. Only a disciplined person can pull that off.

Ready to make it big as an indie? The Xlibris Writer’s Workshop is here to guide you in your self-publishing journey from start to finish. Read more writing, editing, and marketing tips at theXlibris Blog.

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How Google’s ‘Penguin’ Update Will Change Publishing, for the Better

Shifts by Google Mean Content Will Once Again Be King in Publishing

Yaron GalaiOver the past decade, the publishing industry been swinging on a pendulum created by the effects of search engine optimization (SEO). In the old, primarily print days, the most successful publishers were those that could produce great content for a specific audience and keep that audience engaged via subscriptions or at the newsstands. More recently, the kings of publishing were those that could best engage web crawlers and monetize their sites through a windfall of free search traffic. The focus has been less on creating great content and engaging readers than on producing lots of words on lots of pages to engage web crawlers.

 

But there is a silver lining to all of this. With last year’s Panda release, and the more recent Penguin release, Google is going to flip SEO on its head. If Old SEO enabled some to fool a crawler into indexing borderline junk content to get high rankings, New SEO looks likely to take any notion of fooling anyone out of the equation.

 

New SEO will put all publishers on more equal footing, favoring those that produce quality content that is highly engaging to a certain audience. If SEO was previously a linear method of feeding a crawler with words and links, Google’s results are now the result of a feedback loop: show them that you can produce quality content that people are attracted to, and free search traffic will follow.

 

There are two ways for a user to arrive at content — the first is actively searching for it on a search engine like Google or Bing. The second is to discover or stumble onto it via a link on another website, an e-mail from a friend, a link shared on Twitter or Facebook, etc. “Discovery” encompasses all those times we reach a page without first typing a keyword into a search box.

 

To feed the search rankings with New SEO, publishers must be thinking about the discovery side. How can they get more engaged people discovering their content and engaging with it outside of Google? Ironically, a New SEO expert will probably need to focus more on Facebook than on Google to improve search rankings. The same goes for brands that are investing in content creation and content marketing. To be successful, everyone needs to play by the New SEO rules.

 

With New SEO, the pendulum is finally swinging back to favoring humans over crawlers. The New SEO rules point directly back to what was valued in the traditional print-dominated days — content will not be a mechanism to convert clicks but a tool to boost awareness, increase overall engagement and offer opportunities to connect with a quality audience. And the “customer” that content is tailored for will no longer be SEO bots (the software apps that work the web automatically), as the New SEO favors the true end-user: the reader.

 

These are great days for publishing, and I’m very optimistic about future, weighted by quality content. Like many others, I hated much of what SEO had done to the industry, but the world of New SEO is one I’m looking forward to.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yaron Galai is CEO and co-founder of Outbrain. Follow him on Twitter @yarongalai.

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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Publishing

 

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Self-Publishing Simplified: How to Publish a Book on Kindle [Kindle Edition]

An author’s guide to writing, publishing and promoting your Kindle book

By: Deborah H. Bateman

About the Book

Self-Publishing Simplified: How to Publish a Book on KindleSelf-Publishing Simplified: How to Publish a Book on Kindle is a Kindle eBook about how author Deborah H. Bateman went from being a blogger to a published author using Kindle Direct Publishing. Deborah tells a little about her journey from blogging to becoming an author and also shares the steps to writing, publishing, and marketing a book with Kindle Direct Publishing in order to empower other authors, and aspiring authors to publish their books.

Benefits of Reading: Self-Publishing Simplified

  • You will be led to consider what your passion is.
  • You will learn about building an online platform.
  • You will learn the elements required for a Kindle eBook.
  • You will learn step-by-step how to publish a Kindle eBook.
  • You will learn how to market your book once it is published.
  • You will learn about the Kindle Direct Publishing Select Program.
  • You will learn how to promote your book for the KDP free days.
  • You will be encouraged to write, publish, and promote your book.

About the Author

Deborah H. BatemanDeborah H. Bateman is an Author, publisher, blogger and website designer. Deborah was born and raised in South Carolina, where she still resides with her husband. She has two beautiful daughters and five precious grandchildren. Besides writing and publishing books, Deborah enjoys cooking, interior decorating, and crafts.

Deborah has published five books in the Daily-Bible-Reading Series, they are: “The Book of Ruth: A Story of Love and Redemption,” “The Book of Esther: A Story of Love and Favor,” “Beatitudes: How to Live a Blessed Life,” and “Finding Our Identity in Christ,” “The Book of Ezra: A Story of Provision and Protection,” and “Psalm 119: Thy Word is a Lamp unto My Feet.” She has published one book about self-publishing. It is called: “Self-Publishing Simplified: How to Publish a Book on Kindle.”

Deborah is the founder of Christian Daily Resources, a Christian online ministry dedicated to “Sharing God’s Word”. Deborah is the author of Daily-Bible-Reading blog and Bible Verse Tweet blog where she shares daily Bible studies and Bible verses. at: http://daily-bible-reading.com and http://bibleversetweet.com Also, you can check out her website at: http://ChristianDailyResources.com. Deborah looks forward to “Sharing God’s Word” with you.

Check out Deborah’s author site at: http://DeborahHBateman.com/. Deborah also has a blog on her author site where she shares self-publishing tips, digital publishing tips, indie publishing tips, book marketing tips, writing tips, and social media tips check it out at: http://DeborahHBateman.com/blog

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Amazon, kindle, Self Publishing

 

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101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing — 001: Get Active on Social Media

101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing -- 001: Get Active on Social MediaI was toying around with the idea of making a series of articles called “101 Self-Publishing Tips.” I dutifully began compiling a list of tips, but after the first few dozen, I realized that a lot of them were not tips so much as thoughts, but still things that I felt were important to mention to those interested in self-publishing. Besides, I don’t know if I am really the one to be giving people tips. That would imply I know what the hell I’m doing. Also note that these thoughts reflect my personal experiences. Your own experiences may differ.
So here, presented one at a time as they occur to me and as I have the time to write them, are my 101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing. They will be presented in no particular order, but I’ll try to keep related thoughts flowing in a logical manner. I’ll try to do two or three a week, but I’m not making any promises just now.
001: Get Active on Social Media
If you’ve found this blog, chances are you came across it on social media. Why is this important? Well, you now know my name, and if you look to the right of this page you know the titles of my books.  Even if someone who finds you the way you found me isn’t initially inspired to buy your books, that name recognition builds valuable word-of-mouth potential. When a friend recommends a book, having heard of the author provides an addition “authority”–nebulous as it may be–and a reader is more likely to act on that perceived authority. Even if they’re just scanning titles on Amazon, your book will stand out if the readers thinks, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of him/her!”
Social social media is great for two things: getting your name out to the public and building relationships, both with other authors and potential readers.
Now, social media can either be a blast or a pain in the ass. It can either be valuable time spent marketing and networking, or it can be a black hole into which all your hopes and dreams are relentlessly sucked. But for a self-published (and even trad-published) author, it is an essential part of getting your books in front of eyes.
I am personally active on Twitter and Facebook.
With Twitter, you can do a lot of things in 140 characters: greet new followers, share jokes and random thoughts, compliment and congratulate other writers on their books, etc. Even so, I find the format annoyingly limited. It’s difficult to have a true, relationship-building conversation on Twitter. But it’s great for making connections that one can later pursue on Facebook or via email, and I have met some wonderful friends that way. Promoting your book on Twitter is important, but be sure you spend at least as much time posting things not so obviously self-serving. Triberr is a great program by which you can post links to others’ blog posts and they in turn will post yours. It keeps your content varied and ensures that you’re posting a lot of information that is not directly leading back to you. Just be sure to limit the number of groups (called Tribes) that you participate in, or Followers can get overwhelmed by your constant Tweeting. More on Triberr in a future post.
Facebook is great for building on the relationships you’ve formed on Twitter. Since you can get across a lot more information than you can on Twitter, it’s also best for sharing quotes from reviews, updates about your releases, or even just sharing the things that are going on in your life. You can also make a “page” on Facebook for people to like if you don’t want your private Facebook account to be public. This does, however, limit the flow of conversation as you won’t see the posts of people who have liked your page; you can’t engage with them by commenting on the things they post.
I’ve met some authors on Facebook or Twitter who had one but not the other. By not using both, you are unnecessarily limiting your potential reach. There are certainly other social media sites, but I recommend all self-published authors get active on these two, at the very least.
There are also book-specific sites such as Goodreads. I’m not as active there as I could be, but just by having an account, I get tons of friend requests. As mentioned above, those are people who are learning my name and the titles of my books, and that has powerful potential. You can also announce events such as book giveaways, contests, new releases, personal appearances, etc. Even if you don’t do a lot on Goodreads, I recommend keeping your account up to date by adding all new releases. It’s just one more place for people to see your books.
If you enjoyed today’s thoughts, look to the sidebar on the right and you can follow by email to receive notices when I have new posts and also join the site with Google Friend Connect. If you have additional thoughts or observations, I’d love to hear them! Just leave a comment below.
All the Best,
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

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Book Country launches free self-pub tools!

Big changes coming to the Book Country Community, too!

You may have noticed some pretty big changes around here yesterday? We relaunched Book Country’s self-publishing tools, and we think you’ll like what we’ve done with the place:

  • Free eBook Publishing: Yep, you heard right. Writers using Book Country’s self-publishing tools now have the ability to upload, format, design, publish and distribute their eBooks free of charge.
  • Higher Royalties: Writer using Book Country’s self-publishing tools will now earn 85% of their net sales, after retailers take their cut.
  • Online Editor: Our goal at Book Country has always been to help educate writers; with our new online editor, writers who want to format and publish their own eBooks can learn where their formatting mistakes are happening and correct them immediately. No more wrestling with an awkward style guide! *throws old style guide on ground, stomps on it*
  • Distribution to All Major eBook Retailers: Amazon, Apple, BN.com, Kobo, Sony, Google, and Scribd
  • Open to All Types of Writing: Previously the Book Country self-publishing tools were limited to writers of science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, and thriller. Although the Community will remain a genre-only writing community (for now; more below!), we’ve eliminated the need for writers to attach their self-published work to our Genre Map, which opens up the self-publishing services to writers working in most genres of fiction and non-fiction.
  • eBook-Only Self-Publishing Platform: Digital content has become more important to those of you looking for non-traditional pathways to share your writing. For that reason, we’ve decided to nix the print publishing services and focus on making Book Country the easiest (and best!) way for writers to publish an eBook.

But Wait! There’s MORE! 

The changes to our self-publishing tools are the first step in a radical (and awesome!) redesign of the entire Book Country site, including our Community workshop. In addition to fixing some of those technology bugs that have plagued us for a while, some other exciting changes you’ll see coming to your Community by the Summer of 2013 include:

  • More Genres! (No, really. LOTS MORE.) You spoke up and we listened. Although we love our genre fiction community members, we realized that many of you write across several genres; by limiting you can post on our site, we were doing you a disservice. We’ll be opening up the Community workshop to almost all fiction genres, as well as narrative non-fiction and memoir. We’re looking forward to seeing all the new projects you’ll be sharing!
  • Private Messaging (I KNOW! Right?)  Lots of you have asked for this feature, and I’m pleased to say that the redesigned Book Country community will allow users who are Connected to private message one another. *fist pump*
  • Enhanced Discussion Board Functionality: There are some fantastic discussions about writing going on in our forums, but we know that the platform isn’t always optimal for following a conversation. Our new forums will rock your world, we promise!

We’re still taking suggestions for enhancements to the Book Country community, and we’d love to hear from you. How can we improve your experience?

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Anaïs Nin on Self-Publishing, the Magic of Letterpress, and the Joy of Handcraft

Celebrated diarist Anaïs Nin has previously given us some keen insights on lifemass movementsParis vs. New York, and what makes a great city. Besides artist and author, Nin was also a publishing entrepreneur. In January 1942, she sets up her own small press in a loft on Macdougal Street, and soon set out to print and self-publish a new edition of her third book, Winter of Artifice, teaching herself typesetting and doing most of the manual work herself.

From The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 3: 1939-1944 (public library) comes this beautiful passage on the joy of handcraft, written in January of 1942 — a particularly timely meditation in the age of today’s thriving letterpress generation and the Maker Movement. (Especially interesting is the parallel to what developer Ellen Ullman articulates in describing the mesmerism of programming software.)

Anaïs Nin on Self-Publishing, the Magic of Letterpress, and the Joy of Handcraft

The relationship to handcraft is a beautiful one. You are related bodily to a solid block of metal letters, to the weight of the trays, to the adroitness of spacing, to the tempo and temper of the machine. You acquire some of the weight and solidity of the metal, the strength and power of the machine. Each triumph is a conquest by the body, fingers, muscles. You live with your hands, in acts of physical deftness.

You pit your faculties against concrete problems. The victories are concrete, definable, touchable. A page of perfect printing. You can touch the page you wrote. We exult in what we master and discover. Instead of using one’s energy in a void, against frustrations, in anger against publishers, I use it on the press, type, paper, a source of energy. Solving problems, technical, mechanical problems. Which can be solved.

If I pay no attention, then I do not lock the tray properly, and when I start printing the whole tray of letters falls into the machine. The words which first appeared in my head, out of the air, take body. Each letter has a weight. I can weigh each word again, to see if it is the right one.

I use soap boxes as shelves, to hold tools, paper, inks. I arrive loaded with old rags for the press, old towels for the hands, coffee, sugar.

[…]

The press mobilized our energies, and is a delight. At the end of the day you can see your work, weigh it. It is done. It exists.

Nin then offers a wonderfully vivid vignette, in which her partner in the venture, Gonzalo, engages in a wild wrestling match with the press — a near-primal struggle we’ve all experienced in the face of an unruly letterpress or even a plain old office printer jam:

Once there was something wrong with the press. It did not work. Gonzalo would not send for the workman, or the repairman. He literally battled with the press, as if it were a bronco, a bull, an animal to be tamed. His hair flew around his face, perspiration fell from his forehead, his centaur feet were kicking the pedals. The machine groaned.

It seemed almost like a physical battle which he intended to win by force. He towered over it. He seemed bigger than the machine. I never saw anything more primitive, more like a battle between an ancient race and a new type of monster. Both as stubborn, both strong, both violent. Gonzalo won. He was breathing heavily. The wheel suddenly began to spin again. He looked absolutely triumphant.

Ultimately, the practical handiwork is for Nin a disciplining agent for the creative process of the conceptual. In a diary entry from April of the same year, she writes:

Take the letter O out of the box, place it next to the T, then a comma, then a space, and so on.

Count page 1, 2, 3, and so on. Select the good ones while Gonzalo runs the machine. Day after day. We are nearing the end. I have difficulties with the separation of words. And it is a problem in setting type.

(My separation of the word lo-ve became years later the favorite of the faultfinders!)

The writing is often improved by the fact that I live so many hours with a page that I am able to scrutinize it, to question the essential words. In writing, my only discipline has been to cut out the unessential. Typesetting is like film cutting. The discipline of typesetting and printing is good for the writer.

Nin recounts the hard-earned triumph of her handcrafted masterpiece:

The book was finished May fifth. Gonzalo and I printed the cover. The bookbinder was objecting to the nonstandard measurements. The machines were set for standard measurements. We finally found a bookbinder willing to bind three hundred books of an odd size. It was delivered all bound May fifteenth. The Gotham Book Mart gave a party for it. The book created a sensation by its beauty. The typography by Gonzalo, the engravings by Ian Hugo were unique. The bookshop was crowded. Otto Fuhrman, teacher of graphic arts at New York University, praised the book. Art galleries asked to carry it. I received orders from collectors, a letter from James Laughlin, offering me a review in New Directions by anyone I chose.

A surviving hard-bound copy of the limited edition of Winter of Artifice, self-published by Anaïs Nin in 1942, with engravings by Ian Hugo.

The book was, indeed, stunning. (The artwork on cover of The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 3: 1939-1944 is also by Ian Hugo, an engraving he created for another one of Nin’s books, Under a Glass Bell.)

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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

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Very Inspiring Bloggers Award

Very Inspiring Bloggers Award

I was nominated for “The Very Inspiring Blogger Award” on Monday by fellow blogger at Imagineer-ing and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Chelsea Brown for this award.

Thank you very much Steve, I truly appreciate this and I am paying it forward now.

 

Here are the rules of the award:

  1. Display the award logo,
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you,
  3. State 7 things about yourself,
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

Alright, let me try to share seven things that you may not know about me. 

  1. I love to read, read, read a lot of books. I find reading relaxing and enlightening.
  2. I love listening to music. i prefer a bit of everything when it involves music: classical, rock,  slightly jazz, so on. I typically hear music once I am within the workplace. I stream music from an online station or alternative online tool. the idea is to listen to something while i’m working. I listen to music also betting on my mood, and i often find that I connect songs to sure moods and thoughts. for instance, in my writing, i’ll occasionally  use a line from a song lyric as an epigraph as a way to line a context or mood for the writing. I positively love definitely music, and i think music is a crucial aspect of my life.
  3. I might sometimes write for other publications. I also ghost pieces pretty regularly. And I’ll also occasionally blog for the SelfPublish101. It’s a big Internet out there.
  4. I go to the gym occasionally. And jog every Saturday and Sunday.
  5. During my leisure time I played Video Games with my brother, it’s fun. Try!
  6. My ambition in life.. I want to become a writer! I want to write stories that are capable of changing the lives of people. I always had writing as a hobby. Whenever I was unhappy or dissatisfied with my life, I would often write short stories emerging from my imagination.
  7. I am also doing some image editing/designing.

Nominees (In no particular order)

Imagineer-ing – An adventure in ebooks.

brianwfoster.com – Tips, reviews and critiques in fiction writing.

Self Publishing Advocate – Encouraging authors in the Self-publishing industry.

Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite! – A Discussion of Writing For Those Who Have Spent Their Lives Writing

Oprah – Life Lift is a place where you can find engaging news, fresh images, and the straight talk.

Catherine Ryan Howard – Writer, astronaut, skinny – Catherine Ryan Howard wouldn’t mind being any of those things.

Xlibris Self Publishing – designed to help you write and publish your book.

Shannon Thompson – You need the world, and the world needs good people.

Weakly Short Stories – Just another WordPress.com site.

Gabfrab.com – I’ve infused myself with puppy DNA.

Bucket List Publication – Indulge- Travel, Adventure, and New Experiences

The Life of a Newbie Self-Published Author – This blog is my journey through self-publishing, side quests included

Pat Fitzhugh – Author

Disappearing in Plain Sight – Writing about writing.

Congratulations to all of my nominees!!!

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Authors, Award

 

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