RSS

Tag Archives: Publishing

5 Key Lessons for Authors and Self-Publishers from Neil Gaiman

5 Key Lessons for Authors and Self-Publishers from Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman (source: Wikipedia)

Neil Gaiman, one of the world’s most beloved authors, gave the keynote speech at last week’sDigital Minds Conference and although his audience was primarily made up of book industry executives, his talk was just as relevant to authors and self-publishers. If you haven’t seen it already, the full presentation is now online and well worth watching.

For me, there were five key lessons to draw from Gaiman’s talk and I have taken the liberty of both paraphrasing him and, in some cases, expanding upon his ideas.

1. Be nice

Gaiman recalled a time when he was sharing a signing with a big-ticket crime author, back before he found himself on the bestseller lists. Incredibly Famous Author, who remains anonymous for the duration of the anecdote, made a scene when presented with an ex-library book on the basis that he ‘got nothing for it’. In response several people in Famous Author’s queue defected, buying copies of Gaiman’s book and waiting in line for him to sign it.

All authors, and especially self-published authors, should bear this in mind at all times. It only takes one example of obnoxiousness for someone to change their mind about buying your book and, on the internet, such examples can travel widely. Instead, give people something to love, give them something to remember and to treasure. Give them an opportunity to take a chance on you; don’t give them a reason to change their minds.

2. Readers discover authors they love, they don’t buy them

People find their favourite authors through word of mouth, not by going into a bookshop and buying a book. They are introduced to their favourite authors by being given or loaned the book by a friend, or by borrowing it from a library. Said Gaiman:

“We don’t normally find the people we love most by buying them. We encounter them, we discover that we love them, which is why I decided early on I was never going to go to war [on piracy], I was just going to encourage, I was going to go for word of mouth.”

3. What is valuable is what is unique

The publishing is in the business of producing lots of things that are identical, ie copies of books. But people buy things because they are unique, because they remind us of an experience, because they have some emotional impact on us. We need to appeal to people by producing beautiful objects. We need to festishise books and give people a reason to buy them.

4. Make yourself heard

We live in a world of abundance now. The days of scarcity, where it was hard to find things, are over. The question is how do we make ourselves heard? How do we find the signal in the noise? And how do we make ourselves heard? A world in which there’s too much information means we no longer rely on gatekeepers but on guides and on word of mouth. That means you have to get out there, you have to be a part of your community, and you have to be the signal, not the noise.

5. Be lucky, be a dandelion, try stuff

For me, this was the most important part of Gaiman’s talk and it starts about 15 minutes in. Mammals, he reminds us, have a small number of offspring and nurture them, pouring all their energy and resources into helping them grow up. Dandelions, on the other hand, produce many, many seeds, the majority of which will never germinate, but — and it’s an important but — some will.

We should, he says, throw our seeds to the wind and see what works. Not everything will pan out the way we hoped, and he gives some good examples of failure, but enough will succeed. It’s important to remember, however, that just because something works well once for someone else does not mean that the same thing will work for you. Sometimes it won’t even work again when the same person does it. Gaiman’s model, he tells us, is this:

“Try everything, make mistakes, surprise ourselves, try anything else, fail, fail better, succeed in ways we would never have imagined a year ago or a week ago.”

Too many authors and self-publishers are looking for the One True Path To Success, but that path doesn’t exist. Tactics that seem to work for one author fail for many others (although we’ll never know how many as no one counts the failures). And strategies that worked once upon a time no longer do. So we have to be inventive, try things out, not get disheartened when we fail, and just keep on being creative, no matter what.

There are more opportunities out there now than we can count, more chances to throw our dandelion seeds to the winds than ever before. There has never been a more exciting time to be a writer than now.

Visit original post here.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

Tags: , , , ,

Secrets of successful self-publishing

Secrets of successful self-publishing

A one-day workshop aimed at anyone who wants to learn how to be successful at self-publishing

Date and times: Sunday 9 June 2013, 10am-5pm

Overview

In this dynamic seminar, you will learn the secrets of how to successfully self-publish your book including: how to ensure your book is the best it can be, how to evaluate and choose service providers, what you should do yourself and when to use professionals, how to maximize your chances of selling your book once it is published, and how to avoid expensive mistakes.

Course content

• How self-publishing, and independent authors, fit into the current publishing eco-system
• Prerequisites of successful self-publishing
• How to self-publish ebooks & sell them online, including formatting, major book distribution sites and pricing
• How to self-publish in print, using print on demand or small print runs
• How to evaluate self-publishing services and how to avoid the most expensive mistakes
• The business side of self-publishing including timelines, budgets, the entrepreneurial mindset and psychological aspects
• Top tips on marketing your self-published book

Tutor profile

Joanna Penn is the independent author of ARKANE thrillers, Pentecost, Prophecy and Exodus, as well as the non-fiction book, Career Change. Joanna’s site for writers www.TheCreativePenn.com has been voted one of the Top 10 blogs for writers and self-publishers and offers articles, audio and video on writing, publishing and book marketing. Joanna is also an Advisor to the Alliance of Independent Authors and a professional speaker. Connect with Joanna on twitter @thecreativepenn

To book

Go here.

Details

Date: Sunday 9 June 2013
Times: 10am-5pm
Location: The Guardian, 90 York Way, King’s Cross, London N1 9GU
Price: £150 (includes VAT, booking fee, lunch and refreshments)
Event capacity: 30

To contact us, click here. Terms and conditions can be found here.

Visit original post here.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Self-Published

 

Tags: , , ,

Which Publishers Are the Best at Selling Ebooks in 2013?

Which Publishers Are the Best at Selling Ebooks in 2013?

Everyone knows that The Hunger Games was a huge hit in 2011 and 2012 and that the next movie based on the series, Catching Fire, comes out soon, but who knows which publisher has been the beneficiary of such success?

Everyone knows self-publishing is growing by leaps and bounds, but who can say how well self-published authors in aggregate are doing against the big publishing houses?

To answer these questions, we at Digital Book World created Ebook Publisher Power Rankings to rank how well each publisher is doing at ebook sales. The methodology is simple: look at the 13 weekly top-25 ebook best-seller listsfrom the first quarter of 2013 and count how many times each publisher had a title that appeared on the list.

ebooks

Here are the top-five publishers so far in 2013:

1. Hachette: 88 appearances
2. Random House: 87 appearances
3. Penguin: 42 appearances
4. Self-published: 22 appearances
5. Macmillan: 18 appearances

See the rest of the list.

Three things we learned:

1. Self-published books are making more waves this year than ever before. Some 7% of all weekly best-sellers were self-published in the first quarter of 2013 and two No. 1 best-sellers in that time. In the weeks since, there have already been two more No. 1 best-selling self-published ebooks.

2. Penguin Random House will dominate the best-seller list when the merger between the two large publishers closes in the second half of 2013. Between the two of them, they published 40% of the best-sellers in the first quarter of 2013.

3. Harlequin has begun to figure out how to find mass-market success with ebooks. Harlequin has not benefited from the rise of ebooks despite the huge popularity of romance ebooks. The largest publisher of romance titles has seen more of its paperback business disappear than it has been able to replace with a rise in ebook sales so far. But in the first quarter of 2013, Harlequin had a handful of hits on the best-seller list, indicating that it might be turning its digital performance around.

Read more.

Visit original post here.

See Also:

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Self-Published

 

Tags: , , , ,

How to Write and Publish a Book

Read here to find out how to write and publish a book whether you’re 73 or 11 years old.

Do be realistic about your expectations. Writing should be a hobby. The prospect should be fun and not a chore. Being published is not all there is to realm of writing – enjoy what you’re doing!

Please also note that if you’re under 18, publishers tend not to bother with all the legal hassle. Since you are not of age to sign the contract, and need parental consent, this brings further problems, and publishers tend to avoid young authors for that reason. This being said, it’s still a good thing to try anyway. You just might make it.

 

Steps

Begin forming ideas and jot them down. Afterwards, select the ones you want. Some people choose to simply start to write with only one sentence in their head. Whichever way you do it, it’s fine, but the most common way is actually starting with an idea. You’ll find that after the first sentence, the ideas will pop into your head and it’ll flow. Just keep writing.

Don’t worry about errors; you can correct them later. You get the best stories by continuing on and not looking at the screen. If you keep looking at the screen, chances are you will want to change everything right away instead of continuing on with the story.

There should not be a limit on how much you can write a day, but create a minimum. It will help you focus on the story. Never stop; no matter how bad it seems, JUST KEEP GOING! This is the most important thing! If you have anyone around you that discourages you, shoo them away or ignore them. Better still, work in a quiet or empty place.

Once you finish your story, it should follow the guidelines which publishers Allen and Unwin follow:

  • Junior fiction
    • For beginner readers, aged 5-8, word length 5,000-10,000
    • For confident readers, aged 7-10, word length 10,000-30,000
    • For middle readers, aged 11-14, word length 30,000-55,000
  • Young adult novels
    • For teenage readers, aged 13-16, word length 40,000-60,000
    • For mature teenage and older readers, aged 15+, word length 40,000-100,000
  • For a total list and for more information and writing and publishing, go to “Submission Guidelines” on the Allen and Unwin website.

Recheck and re-edit your story as many times as you need to. It can’t be stressed how much this is necessary. However, don’t keep editing if you don’t know what the problem is. Over-editing is possible and dangerous, so get others to check it. They can spot things better than the author him/herself.

Research different publishers. You may choose to self publish, but getting published by a big time publisher is better for getting a larger audience. Most publishers only choose to publish or even read solicited material – that is, manuscripts gone through an agent. Agents usually also choose to read only material that they are acquainted with – or the authors they know. Prices range. However, there are quite a few publishers that do publish unsolicited material, such as Penguin or Allen & Unwin.

Once you have decided on a few publishers (the more the better), start researching about them. Some choose to publish for adults only selected genres, but all information should be available on their websites. Some have different guidelines and word limits, or whether it need be solicited or not. Some also require a synopsis – a summary. However, almost all publishers require a hard copy (printed) version of your story. Also, keep in mind their specifications. Some publishers prefer double spaced lines, with a certain type of font in a certain size, etc. Stick to what they specify. Do not send emailed copies or ones on a disc, unless stated you may. Usually they don’t tend to return them, so keep your original with you.

Wait and wait. Send your copies to all available that you can. It may take up to four months or more, maybe, to get it edited. If you get it, well done! You get to see it in the stores! However, the publisher usually doesn’t advertise it for you.

Tips

  • Publishers won’t advertise your book. That’s up to you, the author. They market it out, but they don’t advertise it except for maybe on their websites. Tell friends and family, and put fliers up around your city/town. Sometimes you may even get a local book store to advertise your book.
  • Remember; regardless of your age, most publishers will still publish for you if your story is good! Be prepared to take criticism and use it wisely.
  • Keep writing! While everyone has a different editing style, most people find it most helpful to write as much as they can while the ideas are fresh, and revise the story later.
  • Stick to the plot. If you have another idea, jot it down, and try and see where you can wedge it in without leading the story into a completely different direction.
  • Remember publisher/agent etiquette. Don’t submit to so many, especially if they specify not to. Patience is the key. After a month or two with no reply, then perhaps you can try others. Remember: unsolicited work generally is left until later and can take up to many months to get to.
  • Toss “rules of writing” out the window. There are mechanics to the language: punctuation, general sentence structure, etc. However, never be tied down with what you read online when it concerns rules such as “never write in passive language,” to “avoid using said,” or to “never use adverbs.” Editing can always come after, anyway.
  • Try numerous publishers. Some will take you, while some won’t.
  • Always edit your own work before submitting it. No publishing company will accept your work if it’s full of spelling and grammatical errors or inconsistencies.

Warnings

  • If meeting the publisher, make sure you actually show up on time and be yourself; don’t put on an act or be nervous. Sometimes publishers tend to already have decided and just want to go through protocol.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of avoiding “said.” Many new writers tend to think that using the word “said” gives an overuse of the word. However, this isn’t the case. Take the following:
    • “Come on!” Joseph cried. He ran around the garden excitedly.
    • “Yes or no?” Mother inquired as she walked down the stairs to him.
  • In both cases the words “cried” and “inquired” are used. However, the rest of the dialogue already gives the reader the idea that Joseph is excited and Mother is relaxed. You don’t have to have words like “inquired,” “quoted,” “denied,” or “stated.” “Said” is perfectly fine and is shorter. It lets the reader form the image themselves without having you butt in and pave the way for them.

Visit original post here.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

Tags: , ,

Is LinkedIn Trying To Get Into The Self-Publishing Game with Pulse?

BookWorks

Almost everyone these days has a LinkedIn account, whether they need one or not — in fact I can’t tell you how many of my actor friends got one in college and never check it! But when you’re in a more straightforward profession than acting, or if you’re looking for ways to put yourself out there, it’s worth having a Linkedin profile.

12e018532d913494d841f79da5dd70bf_1

However, in the world of publishing and personal branding, Linkedin gets forgotten much of the time. Who needs a Linkedin when you already have a Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and personal website, you might say?

Linkedin has apparently noticed this and, like Barnes and Noble, wants to make more of themselves in the self-publishing industry. Yesterday they announced the purchase of Pulse, a “social reading company” (sort of like an RSS feed, but prettier) as part of their first step toward becoming a “professional publishing platform.”

Here’s what…

View original post 242 more words

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Barnes and Noble’s “PubIt!” is relaunched to entice self publishers

BookWorks

nook-pressAs far as easy, straight-to-e-reader publishing goes, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is still the reigning champion, in no small part because the Kindle still remains the leading e-reader on the market. Barnes and Noble has had its own self-publishing software for years, but you wouldn’t know by the numbers; while PubIt! attracted 20 percent more independent authors every quarter, Kindle is already overflowing with them, to the point where 27 of Kindle’s top selling 100 books are self-published. And while 25% of books on the Nook platform are self published, between CreateSpace and KDP, that number is most likely much higher on Amazon’s vast marketplace

Nook fans will be happy to note that Barnes and Noble is looking to change all that, however. Yesterday they announced the relaunch of their self-publishing program under a new name, Nook Press (which already sounds much more enticing as a publishing platform, in…

View original post 312 more words

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Publishing Wars: Traditional vs Self

Living in Other Worlds: The Life of a Fantasy Writer

Maybe some of you have been waiting for this one. And after a long, busy week (where I may or may not have forgotten to post yet), I’m finally going to tackle the subject.

Unknown

Now, before I begin, I want to start off by saying I am not an expert and anyone who claims to be an expert (unless they have legitimate credentials and experience) is really not. There is blog after blog filled with writers rambling on about self-publishing and traditional publishing. They claim to be experts. Most aren’t. So don’t take what you read and think it the absolute truth (this just so happens to be a smart thing to do with just about everything).

Let’s look at a quick list of pros and cons.

Traditional: They have editors to look over your work, some (note some, you still have to do promotion yourself) publicity that will work…

View original post 290 more words

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Self Publishing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,