Tag Archives: Self-publishing

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


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 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.


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.

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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Self-Published


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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.


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.

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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Self-Published


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Tips on Writing a Book

Unsure how to go about writing your book? Here are some tips:

When writing a book, there is no rule of thumb on the number of pages or its chapter length, regardless of genre. However, there are some important things that you need to keep in mind when determining your book’s chapter length and page count.


Consider the reader’s attention span. There are readers, many of them, who read ‘on the go’ – it could be on their way to work or while having lunch. They are those who enjoy chapters that they can finish within ten or fifteen minutes.

Setting your chapter length may depend on the amount of time it takes to finish reading the material. For example, if it is more than fifteen minutes, you might want to split your chapters into two. This should work well when writing a non-fiction book.

Keep in mind that writing a fiction and non-fiction book is entirely different. Fiction book writing requires the use of shorter chapters, some only a page, if only to immerse the reader into the story. On the other hand, writing a non-fiction book requires a more detailed content, specific to your chapter title or heading.

While it is good to set your chapter pages to twenty, perhaps the most important thing that you need to consider is to incorporate everything relating to a specific topic in a chapter, so as to sum it all up without the shilly-shally. For instance, if you are writing a book about makeup, include all there is you need to write about eye makeup. Tips on applying cheek blush should be in another chapter.



There is actually no given rule when setting the chapter length of your book. However, for your work to be considered a book instead of a booklet, your word count should be at least 10,000. In addition, you can create two volumes if your book has over 450 pages.

Submission of manuscript is usually done in a word-processing format, so a 300 word count can fit approximately one page of a 12-point font text, standard size, perfect-bound book. However, you cannot be completely certain of the final length of your book until your publisher will have formatted it for printing.

If you are interested in publishing a book, get this FREE publishing guide and start your journey to publication.

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Publishing Schedule Planning

(from the Nationaal Archief. Yes, our early schedule drafts may indeed be just as incomprehensible as this one is. What, you’re surprised?)

We finalize our publishing schedules over a year out.

What does that mean?

That means today, as I’m sitting at my desk, we’re assigning final publication dates in our schedule for our spring 2014 season — May, June, July, and August 2014.  (And actually, I’m writing this post on April 17th, so ‘today’ is actually ‘a week ago.’  We’re planning even further out than you thought!  It’s like a mind-vortex.)  And when I say ‘assigning final publication dates,’ I don’t mean seasons or months — I mean actual week-by-week dates on the calendar for every single book in that spring 2014 season.  We’ve been working on this version of the schedule for two or three weeks now; the dates will be final tomorrow morning.

So at this point, we have to be sure that these books are all definitely making these lists — that most if not all of the final art is finished if not turned in, the books have gone through our editorial process, we’re working on starting the conversation about cover design and figuring out the actual book design; I think at least one of these titles has already been completely laid out.

So we’re not sitting here, over a year out from the publication date, and saying, ‘well, we can publish BOOK X on June 17th, 2014, if the art is in by May 1st, 2014.  And we definitely-probably know that’s going to happen.’  We’ve got a final list of the books we’re publishing for spring 2014 with most of our materials in and we’re in the process of designing books out of them right now.

Rather than making our month-by-month or week-by-week scheduling decisions on the materials due-dates, we make them based on opportunities.  What does that mean?  Well –

Is a certain book a strong candidate for an extensive author school visit schedule?  We’ll want to publish it in the winter or in early fall so that the author can go talk to students in the classroom. If we’re publishing it in spring, it should go in the first possible release date.

Does a book’s author have a strong relationship with a convention?  We’ll plan to publish the book in time for it to debut at the show.

Are we publishing a book for the same age/audience/media outlets on that same day?  Maybe we should move this book to another month so we don’t have to make booksellers or media or consumers chose between two great books of ours to feature.

Are we publishing five other books on the same day?  Maybe we shouldn’t do that, so we’re able to give each book its time in the spotlight.

Does the book have a seasonal hook?  Is it about love (Valentine’s Day) or summer (summer books come out in early spring) or school (September)?  We should put it in a month where stores and media will be able to best feature it.

Once we’ve performed this tightrope balancing act with our whole season of books, it’s pretty difficult for us to change our publication dates.  Our schedules are like those mobiles that are all hanging interdependent pieces — if you move BOOK R out of May to July at the last minute, what can we switch to fill its place so that we’re not accidentally publishing four books in July and only one in May?  And will BOOK J that we’re moving up now miss out on the opportunities that we were planning on for its July publication?

Why do we work this far in advance?  Well, one of the reasons is that we like being prepared.  (No, really).

We also work with a number of distributors and stores and schools and libraries who we want to be able to give accurate early information to when they need it so they can best sell and promote our books and nominate them for awards — in some cases, this can be as far as eight to twelve months before a book’s publication date.  We also print our color books in China, and we’ve got an extensive proofing process for all of our books (at least three rounds of proofs and one set of blues) after we send them to the printer, so the shipping and the proofing both take up a great deal of time.

In short: we want the books to be the best possible books, and we want to create a publishing schedule for them so they hit the time of the best opportunity for them to make a splash in the marketplace.

So we take a long view of things.

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Is there money in ebooks? [infographic]

Now Novel is a fantastic site committed to help authors go through the process of writing and publishing a book. Their team has just created a very interesting infographic every aspiring writer should take a look at.

Asking a question “Is there money in ebooks”, the chart shows a fantastic growth of ebook market – from 1% in 2008 to 30% in 2012 with a prediction of 50% in three years from now (figures for US market).

The most interesting part, however, is showing the revenue split between author, publisher, and agent. If you want your book to be published the traditional way (and of course if you will be lucky enough to get a publisher), you will receive roughly 12% of the pie. Getting into digital publishing shifts proportions – you, the author, are the one to get most of the revenue.

So, on one side there is a traditional publisher, who gets 80%. On the others side we see self-publishing platforms like Smashwords or Scribd, where author gets (at least) 80%.

But money comes not only from the revenue split. Ebook market is growing not only in the US. By publishing your book on Amazon or Kobo or Smashwords you are making it available for any English-speaking reader in the entire world!

And remember, you don’t (and in fact you should not) do everything by yourself. Self-publishing is not about writing publishing, and marketing a book the DIY way. Not any more. Digital publishing gives the author the steering wheel – a power to decide which experts to hire to make sure the new novel will have most chances to succeed.

Now Novel

Is there money in ebooks - infographic

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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Self Publishing


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Self-published books becoming best sellers

Self-publishing allows writers to use ingenuity and self-promotion to be discovered by readers

Self-publishing allows writers to use ingenuity and self-promotion to be discovered by readers

There is a sea change underway in how some authors are published. Self-published books have made their way onto best-seller lists and the distribution model is attracting more established authors, the New York Times reports.

The Times article overviews how big publishing houses including Penguin and Harlequin are now operating divisions focusing on writers that are willing to forego an advance in exchange for a greater share of the overall profits. More than 250,000 self-published books are now produced annually, and while many may never be well read (or read at all), a quarter of the most popular titles sold on Amazon were self-published.

“While self-published authors get no advance, they typically receive 70 percent of sales. A standard contract with a traditional house gives an author an advance, and only pays royalties – the standard is 25 percent of digital sales and 7 to 12 percent of the list price for bound books – after the advance is earned back in sales,” the Times article noted. Romance and science fiction topped the charts, according to the report.

Another avenue of opportunity is using self-publishing to distribute backlisted books that have gone out of print. A 2011 Forbes article cited authors making greater royalties off of out of circulation titles than when they were in print. But many services are geared toward novices. A quick Web search turns up a bevy of sites dedicated to the practice including independent publishers. There are also guides to self-publishing and services to assist writers that aspire to make their first bestseller or just have their voices heard.

There might be some gimmickry, but it makes perfect sense to use the Internet to disrupt how books are distributed.  The model at least provides another option that casts off reliance on publishing houses’ marketing promises, agents, and other middlemen that reduce payback for what could be years of work. Maybe publishers will innovate their own services in response.

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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Self Publishing


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Blog Post # 5: How To Publish a Book on


This is a great, informative video that shows you how to get started publishing on

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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Self Publishing


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