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This Week in the Blogs, March 16 – 22, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

Enjoying your weekend? Why not put your feet up and take a few minutes to catch up on some great articles on self-publishing related topics? You’ll be glad you did.

Don’t miss our latest e-Book Cover Design Awards post here tomorrow, and be sure to check back here next Sunday for our monthly Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies post.

Dan Wagstaff on The Casual Optimist
Book Covers of Note, March 2019
“It’s almost the first day of spring, the snow and ice have just about melted in Toronto (for now!), and everything is still awful, so it must be time for March’s book covers of note!”

Dave Chesson on Jane Friedman
Changes to Amazon Advertising: What Authors Need to Know
“On January 7, 2019, Amazon made some significant changes to the AMS features. Although there are slight variations throughout the entire system, most of the major changes can be grouped into three categories…”

Chris Syme on Smart Marketing for Authors
How to Put Together a Killer BookBub Ad
“In this episode David and Chris discuss the tips and tricks to images and targeting on BookBub ads. It’s not like Facebook or Amazon ads, so you need to know the guidelines for maximum results.”

Self-Publishing Review on Self-Publishing Review
When is the Best Time of Year to Release a Book?
“In Hollywood, there’s a pretty set calendar for when movies are released: horror movies are usually released around Halloween, high-concept blockbusters in the summer, Oscar movies start in November, movies that aren’t blockbusters or Oscar contenders in February. Does the book trade follow the same release schedule?”

Jay Artale on How to Blog a Book
Create Blog-Book Synergy to Reduce Content Creation Stress
“By building a synergy between my blogs and books, I’ve been able to streamline a continual flow of content and get maximum leverage out of every piece of content I create.”
 
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This Week in the Blogs, March 9 – 15, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

Are you off in search of leprechauns and pots of gold today or perhaps sampling some green beer or dancing a jig? Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Enjoy this week’s selection of articles.

Frances Caballo on Social Media Just for Writers
New to Instagram? Here’s How to Start Plus 9 Tips for Authors
“If your reader demographic is between the ages of 18 and 49, Instagram can be a strategic application for you to use.”

John Doppler on Self Publishing Advice From The Alliance Of Independent Authors
How To Find the Perfect Title
“The harsh reality is that many of us rack our uncooperative brains for weeks in a fruitless search for a title. And when divine inspiration doesn’t appear and we’re nearing the point of desperation, we clutch at a semi-random title that feels only mediocre.”

Sandra Beckwith on Build Book Buzz
Use quirky April holidays for book promotion
“Schedule some fun into your book promotion in April by taking advantage of some of the quirkier holidays and special occasions that month brings us.”

Melissa Bowersock on Indies Unlimited
Tracking Kindle Sales with Book Report
“Book Report is a free app (app.getbookreport.com) that adds a hot button to your browser.”

Reedsy on Writer’s Digest
5 Tips for Better Book Cover Typography
“A book’s cover is a key marketing tool, reflecting the contents of the book. As you might guess, the typeface of your book title and other cover text (the style and appearance on the page) are just as important.”
 
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This Week in the Blogs, March 2 – 8, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

Hope you’re having a great weekend. Enjoy this week’s selection of articles and don’t forget to submit your articles to our March blog carnival, Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies by the deadline–Friday, March 15th.

Anne R. Allen on Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
How to Write for a Blog: 10 Tips for Writing Strong Web Content
“Writing Web content is a little different from writing a traditional essay or magazine article, but it’s not hard. You just have to learn some basic guidelines.”

Elizabeth S. Craig on Author Imprints
Rights Reversion and What to Do After Reversion
“Asking for your rights and starting down the road of self-publishing a backlist can be overwhelming. But breaking down the project into smaller tasks makes the job manageable.”

Melinda Clayton on Indies Unlimited
KDP Print (formerly CreateSpace) vs. IngramSpark
“I think it’s probably time for a refresher post comparing KDP Print and IngramSpark.”

Kristen Lamb on Kristen Lamb – Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi
Editing for Authors: 7 Ways to Tighten the Story and Cut Costs
“Editing has always been a critical factor regarding any book’s success. This has NOT changed. If anything, proper editing is a complete game-changer now more than ever in the history of publishing.”

Russell Phillips on Self Publishing Advice From The Alliance Of Independent Authors
How to Set Up Local Book Links for your Ebooks
“Helping readers find your ebooks in the online store of their choice will increase the chances of making a sale, so it makes sense to provide convenient local book links on your author website to all the stores where your books are available.”
 
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This Week in the Blogs, February 23 – March 1, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

My preference is to stay inside where it’s warm and read a book, but my dogs, like the one in the picture, love to go outside and frolic in the snow. Is it balmy where you are or cold and snowy? Either way, find a comfy spot and take a few minutes to read this week’s selected articles.

And, here are your monthly reminders:

  • If you’d like to participate in our Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies blog carnival for March, please submit your blog posts by March 15th. All the information you need to know can be found here. Our Carnival of the Indies post will run on the last Sunday of the month.
     
  • Want to submit your e-book cover to us for our March e-Book Cover Design Awards? Be sure to submit it by March 31st. March’s submissions will be presented in a post at the end of April. Submission information can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Carnival of the Indies or the e-Book Cover Design Awards, just click on the Contact page and fill in that form, or leave a comment below.

Frances Caballo on Social Media Just for Writers
Are You Ready for Book Marketing? Take This Quiz
“Social media alone won’t cause your books to start flying off the proverbial bookshelf. … So, take this quiz and see if you’re ready to tackle book marketing on your own.”

Judith Briles on The Book Shepherd
10 Social Media Tips for 2019
“Social media is the town hall of marketing for most authors. It’s a landscape that has pros and cons and is in a constant mode of change.”

Jo Van Every on Self Publishing Advice From The Alliance Of Independent Authors
An Easier Way to Upload Book Metadata to Distribution Platforms
“An essential part of the indie author’s self-publishing process is to complete the metadata on the distribution platforms of your choice.”

Jason Matthews on How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks
Draft2Digital Adds Google Play Distributor for Your Ebooks
“This is a great addition by Draft2Digital for important retailers to work with. Google Play sells a lot of books for indie authors.”

Stephanie Chandler on Nonfiction Authors Association
Tips to Compiling an Anthology Book
“If you want to publish a compelling book in a short amount of time, compiling an anthology can be a fantastic solution.Tips to Compiling an Anthology Book As the primary author, you reap all of the rewards of writing a book without having to write the entire manuscript.”

Too Good To Miss


David Wogahn on Author Imprints
The 2019 Guide to Amazon Fees and Royalties for Kindle eBooks and KDP Print
“Setting a selling price for self-published Kindle eBooks or KDP Print books (formerly CreateSpace) sold on Amazon begins with understanding your costs.”

Sandra Beckwith on Build Book Buzz
How to announce your book with an e-mail blast
“I’ve received quite a few book announcement e-mails lately. I want to be excited for the authors, because this is a big deal. Sadly, though, most of the messages aren’t very compelling.”
 
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Self-Publishing: The Carnival of the Indies Issue #101

self-publishing

By Joel Friedlander

Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for February, 2019. We welcome your submissions on topics related to writing, self-publishing, book design or marketing books.

A collection of outstanding articles recently posted to blogs, your reading here will be richly rewarded.

See the end of this post for links to submit your blog posts for the next carnival, or for participating Bloggers and Featured Bloggers to grab your sidebar badges. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Featured Posts

bloggingDaphne Gray-Grant presents How to establish a writing routine for 2019 posted at The Publication Coach, saying, “The vast number of words required for most books — about 80,000 — ends up intimidating many people. Worse, most of them think they’ll be unable to accomplish the writing if they DON’T devote at least an hour (or more!) a day to it. Instead, I’ve found that the best way to tackle a big project like a book is to work on it a little bit at a time, but do it every day.”

Martin CrosbieMartin Crosbie presents How Can I Gain More Subscribers for My Author Mailing List? posted at Indies Unlimited, saying, “Really great tips on how to build your list. We’ve figured out how to use Mailerlite or Mailchimp of some other mail delivery service, now how do we find readers who want to hear from us? Here are a few ways the IU staff builds their subscriber lists.”

Frances CaballoFrances Caballo presents How Not to Market Your Book – 12 Rookie Mistakes posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “Did you just publish your first book? It’s an exciting time, isn’t it? You’re probably thinking that now it’s time to market your book. To learn about how to market your book, you’re probably reading blog posts like mine and absorbing as much information as you can. Writers put so much energy into writing their books that they have little time to think about marketing them until the final edit is done. That’s when your head tends to come up and when you stop typing. You think to yourself, “It’s time to publish!””

Book Design and Production

Carla King presents Two Online Book Creation Tools That Are Worth the Money posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks.com’s Tech Guru, Carla King, reviews two of her favorite online book creation tools that allow you to write, edit, share, publish and sell your books from the cloud, including examples of how they work.”

Dmitri Barvinok presents The reach of eBook platforms for Publishers from Kindle to Kobo posted at Front Edge Publishing Blog, saying, “THE POWERFUL REACH OF EBOOKS A QUARTER OF ALL AMERICANS read an eBook last year. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, Director of Production Dmitri Barvinok writes about why eBooks remain a vital part of book distribution nationwide. In this column, Dmitri shares the latest trends in eBook sales and looks at the unique power and reach of several of the major eBook platforms, including Kindle and Kobo. Are you among those millions of eBook readers? You’ll find this a fascinating overview of how publishers are trying to reach out to you.”

Indie Author

Deborah Jay Deborah Jay presents Authors, are you applying what you learned last year to your current writing? #amwriting posted at Deborah Jay Author, saying, “I wrote this piece both to lay out for myself what I learned last year in my author journey, and to share with others in case it might help them move forward too.”

Lisa Lawmaster Hess presents Embracing My Options posted at The Porch Swing Chronicles.

Mary Patrick presents Are You Covered for Success? posted at Author M. J. Patrick, saying, “This blog follows a recent Indie author, M. J. Patrick, as she navigates through the mysterious of self-publishing. In a recent discussion about publishing woes and wins, choosing the right cover was well visualized when one author brought the same book wrapped in three different covers. This blog reveals the first cover – following blogs in quick succession will reveal the other two, ending with an interview about the entire process that teaches the value of cover design and getting it right.”

Sarah Bolme presents What To Do When Your Book is Pirated posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Authors should be more concerned about obscurity than piracy. This is the conventional wisdom. However, piracy does happen. When it happens to you, do you know what to do about it?”

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Brianna Long presents Why Snail Mail is Still Effective in the Age of the Internet posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “Now that brands can reach consumers through emails, texts, and social media, the idea of sending a physical postcard or promotional letter is obsolete, right? Nope! Let me explain why.”

Iola Goulton presents 12 Steps to a Great Blog Post posted at Australasian Christian Writers, saying, “Blogging. It’s often considered one of the basics of a good author platform. But a lot of authors find writing a great blog post an unpleasant chore. 12 Steps to a Great Blog Post will help you write and publish great posts.”

Nate Hoffelder presents How to be a Better Podcast Guest posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “Virtually every marketing expert agrees that if you want to get your message out there in 2018, podcasts are the way to go. We’re told we need to launch our own podcasts, or at the very least be frequent guests on podcasts. This is all very well and good, but how exactly do you go about being a guest on a podcast? How do you make sure that the resulting episode is both fun for listeners and achieves your goals? I can help you with that.”

Sabrina Ricci presents Social Media Updates and Trends posted at Digital Pubbing.

Sarah Bolme presents Don’t Pull a Bait and Switch posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “The first few pages of your book are extremely important. You must draw the reader in right from the start. But, be careful that you don’t create a bait and switch.”

Susan Stitt presents How Do I Create Videos to Promote My Book? It’s easier (and more powerful) than you may think! posted at Front Edge Publishing Blog, saying, “Video marketing of books is the future, as in the right now future! We’re just getting started and already the results have been impressive. We have no stake with the companies mentioned in the story, just happy to share what is working for us.”

Self-Publishing Success

Belinda Griffin presents Finding the Ideal Beta Reader to Match Your Target Reader posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks.com’s Reader Relationship expert, Belinda Griffin, explains how to find, select, and use the ideal beta reader who is aligned with your target reader for your writing and book marketing.”

Dave Chesson presents Setting Up Your Writing Business for Legal Protection posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks.com’s Author Branding Expert, Dave Chesson, discusses how authors can legally protect their writing business by setting up a company to operate under, something he learned about the hard way. Dave hopes by sharing his experience (and suggestions) he can spare you a similar nightmare.”

Iola Goulton presents Paths to Publishing | Vanity Publishing posted at Christian Editing Services, saying, “This is the final post in a recent series on paths to publishing, and looks at what is often called vanity publishing … when the providers aren’t trying to convince unsuspecting authors that it’s actually self-publishing or indie publishing or even traditional publishing.”

Tyler Doornbos presents DIY Author WordPress Site: 5 Skills for Success posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “BookWorks.com’s Web Lead, Tyler Doornbos, offers video walk-throughs of the 5 basic tech skills required to build a DIY WordPress site in his latest series.”

Writing Tools and Tips

Amanda Linehan presents The Emotional Stages Of Writing A Novel posted at Amanda Linehan, saying, “Writing a novel can involve many emotional ups and downs for the writer. What does your emotional arc look like?”

Belinda Pollard presents Survey Results: The Pros and Cons of Beta Readers posted at Write, Edit and Publish Like A Pro, saying, “My survey about people’s experience with beta readers received a rush of responses. Writers clearly find manuscript feedback valuable, but also sometimes struggle with the process. The good news is that there are answers to the problems.”

C. S. Lakin presents How to Advance Your Plot with Careful Scene Design – 5 Steps posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Plotting is complex, and whether you “wing it” or plot extensively, there are 5 key steps that will help you stay on track when brainstorming a scene.”

Lisa Poisso presents Formatting your manuscript for editors and agents posted at Clarity: Tools and Skills for Authors, saying, “When you want your work taken seriously, it should look as though it deserves that respect. You want the publishing professionals you work with to be able to focus on the story and the words, not flinching at how painfully small the type is or how tired their index finger is from scrolling through production-sized layouts.”

Lisa Poisso presents How to revise your manuscript: a revision planner posted at Clarity: Tools and Skills for Authors, saying, “Early revision is about big-picture revision: plot, characterization, point of view, and so on. Don’t waste your time tweaking writing you may end up pulling up by the roots. Your mantra: Don’t fiddle—revise.”

Louise Harnby presents How to convey accents in fiction writing: Beyond phonetic spelling posted at The Parlour, saying, “Do your characters speak with an accent? All of us speak in ways that are distinctive; we just don’t notice our own accents because they’re ours and we’re used to them. This article offers guidance on how to self-edit your fiction writing so that accents don’t become the primary story.”

Louise Harnby presents How to write thoughts in fiction posted at The Parlour, saying, “If you write fiction, chances are your characters will be thinking. This article shows you several different ways of conveying what’s going on in their heads.”

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky presents Energising your Plot posted at Mikhaeyla Kopievsky, saying, “An article that looks at ways to tighten the pace of your novel (particularly the difficult second act) using energy instead of conflict.”

Phillip McCollum presents Learning How to Learn Fiction posted at Phillip McCollum – Author, saying, “I’ve started a series on my blog that’s focused on optimizing the learning process (meta-learning) when it comes to writing fiction. We all want to become better writers, but what’s the “best way” to become better? That’s a question I hope to address.”

Zara Altair presents What’s Your Mystery Subgenre? posted at Write Time, saying, “An introduction to mystery subgenres for authors. Why you need to know your subgenre and how it will get you the right readers.”

Well, that wraps up this issue. I hope you enjoy some of the great articles here, and let other people interested in self-publishing know about the Carnival—Use the share buttons to Tweet it, Share it on Facebook, Link to it!

The next issue is March 31, 2019 and the deadline for submissions will be March 15, 2019. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

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This Week in the Blogs, February 9 – 15, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

More great articles again this week for your reading pleasure so don’t miss out. Be sure to check back here next week for our Issue #101 of our blog carnival Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies to be followed on the very next day by January’s e-Book Cover Design Awards.

David Wogahn on David Wogahn
2019 eBook Distribution Round-up | Aggregators Comparison Chart and FAQs
“eBook distribution options in 2019 have expanded greatly the past two years. There are scores of online eBook retailers around the world and eBook aggregators abound to help self-publishers easily make their book available for sale.”

Sandra Beckwith on Build Book Buzz
2019 literary calendar with 98 holidays, weeks, and months for book lovers
“Whether you want to support your local library, honor an important author’s birthday, or promote a literacy campaign, you’ll find something in the 2019 literary calendar.”

Frances Caballo on Social Media Just For Writers
Using Video Marketing? Why It’s Important and 3 Apps to Try
“According to Comscore, adding video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times.”

Kristen Tsetsi on Jane Friedman
Understanding Audiobook Production: An Interview with Rich Miller
“When I entered into that first relationship with an audiobook narrator/producer, I knew absolutely nothing about how an audiobook was made (beyond the obvious “skilled voice actor records a reading of a book”). This meant I also had no idea how much there was to know.”

Dan Wagstaff on The Casual Optimist
Book Covers of Note February 2019
“Thanks to the weather cancelling everything, I’m not horrendously late with this month’s covers post!”

 
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This Week in the Blogs, February 2 – 9, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

Working hard at planning, publishing and promoting your books? Why not take a couple of minutes to read this week’s selection of articles. A pause to refresh, relax and help to keep you informed.

And, a quick reminder: Submissions for issue #101 of our Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies blog carnival need to be received by Friday. Info and submission form can be found here. The post will be published on the last Sunday of the month.

Ilan Nass on Your Writer Platform
Best Practices for Authors Looking to Optimize Their Marketing Strategy
“It’s an unfortunate truth that writing a good book doesn’t guarantee an author’s success. … With so many others vying for readers’ attention, it’s important to implement an effective marketing strategy. Various brands rely on best practices instilled by a Facebook advertising specialist or Instagram expert to promote their products, and authors may consider doing the same to attract a broader audience.”

Kristen Lamb on Kristen Lamb – Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi
How to Sell More Books: A Tale of Fishing & Catfishing
“How do we sell more books? This is the big question all authors ask (myself included). Obviously, there are countless opinions about how to sell more books, but not all opinions are created equally.”

Anne R. Allen on Anne R. Allen… with Ruth Harris
Your Online Presence: 10 Mistakes for Authors to Avoid
“These days, an author’s online presence is of vital importance to a career, whether we’re published or planning to publish. Whether we’re indie, hybrid, or trad-pubbed, it’s not only essential to be easy to find online, but we need to keep a professional presence and guard our author brand and reputation.”

Dana Sitar on Writer’s Digest
Who Is Your Target Audience? Use This Simple Trick to Figure Out If They Actually Exist
“Someone has probably told you at some point in your writing journey to think about your “target audience.” So you went through the exercise: stated their gender, age, location, occupation, income bracket and relationship to your subject.”

Christina McDonald on Jane Friedman
How to Grow an Email Newsletter Starting from Zero
“An email list is your secret weapon for selling books—it is a direct connection to your reader. But when I got my first book deal, I had no audience, no author Facebook page, and no email list. I knew I needed to build awareness to give my book the best chance to succeed. Here is my step-by-step guide to how I built my email list to 6,000 subscribers in one year.”

Too Good To Miss

Kotobee on Kotobee Blog
International Book Fairs 2019
“Nothing warms a book lover’s heart more than a good book. And nothing excites a book addict more than a book fair, overflowing with publishers and booksellers. So, every year we compile for you the dates of the biggest and best book fairs around the world, in the annual Kotobee International Book Fair Calendar.”
 
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This Week in the Blogs, January 26 – February 1, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

Did your local groundhog see his shadow yesterday? Will it be spring soon or will winter drag on? (Yes, to our readers outside of North America, this groundhog thing is a silly little tradition. Even we think so!)

Enjoy this week’s articles and don’t forget to mark these dates on your calendar:

  • Submit your blog posts to our Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies blog carnival by February 15th. All the information you need to know can be found here. Our Carnival of the Indies post will run on the last Sunday of the month.
     
  • Be sure to submit your e-book cover to us for our February e-Book Cover Design Awards by February 28th. February’s submissions will be presented in a post at the end of March. Submission information can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Carnival of the Indies or the e-Book Cover Design Awards, just click on the Contact page and fill in that form, or leave a comment below.

Melinda Clayton on Indies Unlimited
Smashwords vs. Draft2Digital
“It’s been a while since we’ve had a post outlining the similarities and differences between Smashwords and Draft2Digital (D2D), and since both have made changes over the years, now seems like a good time.”

Dan Wagstaff on The Casual Optimist
Book Covers of Note January 2019
“Here are this month’s book covers of note. Better late than never I suppose!”

Frances Caballo on Social Media Just For Writers
How Not to Market Your Book – 12 Rookie Mistakes
“Did you just publish your first book? It’s an exciting time, isn’t it? You’re probably thinking that now it’s time to market your book.”

Michael LaRocca on The Blood Red Pencil
Seven Proven Strategies for Editing and Proofreading Your Own Writing
“After you finish writing it, put your document away for a while. Hours, days, weeks or even months. You want to look at it with “fresh eyes.””

Admin on Self Publishing Advice From The Alliance Of Independent Authors
Marketing: ALLi’s 3 Guiding Principles for Selling Rights
“So you’ve self-published ebooks, paperbacks, and possibly audiobooks too – the usual order in which indie authors make their work available to readers – and you’d like to explore opportunities for other formats, such as translation, TV and film?”

 
Photo: BigStockPhoto

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