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Monthly Archives: December 2011

2012 Digital Perspectives

  • The book world is global and as the ebook market explodes, publishers have to rethink territory rights.
  • Publishing is a rights business without a Rights registry, where much of the information about rights remains locked away behind closed doors.
  • Digital publishing now demands greater clarity and transparency on rights and the current ambiguity and lack of information remains digital publishing’s biggest threat and opportunity. Copyright contracts should move to fixed term contracts and ….

    Great thoughts about the future book here:
    http://www.futurebook.net/content/2012-digital-perspectives-publisher

 

 

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Interview with Kerry Wilkinson

You might not have heard of Kerry Wilkinson (yet). He sold his 100,000th copy of his ebook Locked In on Christmas Eve. Another self publishing success story. I asked him a few questions and he has been extremely open with his answers. Why did you go it alone as an author?

I went alone because I never set out to “become an author”. I have a good job – which I enjoy – and writing Locked In was only ever really a challenge to myself to see if it was something I could do. I enjoyed writing it and had a lot of leftover ideas, hence the sequels.

How did you get to the top of the Kindle chart, any marketing tips?

I didn’t really do much in the way of marketing – but I did plan for success just in case. So, at the back of Locked In was a preview of….  Read more

http://www.futurebook.net/content/q-kerry-wilkinson

 

 

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Victoria Strauss About Self-Publishing

HighwayKimNewberg

Photo Kim Newberg

Writer and “WriterBeware” advocate Victoria Strauss in an interview about self-publishing:

“It used to be most of the questions I got were about agents,” author Victoria Strauss says. “Now they’re mostly about small presses with horrible contracts, or the owner is running them out of their bedroom… the small press world is a real minefield, a big risk area for these writers.”

“The most important thing for a writer to do is educate themselves ahead of time. In order to make an informed decision, you really need to have an understanding of the publishing industry as a whole.

There’s a whole host of misunderstandings and myths about these publishing options.
 
There is also a whole range of options, from getting an agent and submitting to a big publisher to going to small publishers where you don’t need an agent to self-publishing.

If you’re going to self-publish, you need to know why you’re doing it, what you want to accomplish, and how you plan to implement that.
 
You’ll have to do a lot of work to have success! Many people think they’ll get tons of sales just because a book is listed on 500 websites. That’s not the way it works.”

 

 

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Writers Retreats

WILDACRES RETREAT – NORTH CAROLINA

The program continues each year, with 25 one-week residencies available from May through October. We are now accepting applications for the 2012 residencies. The deadline is January 15, 2012 and all applications should be made on-line.
http://www.wildacres.org/


HOPSCOTCH HOUSE RESIDENCY

Hopscotch House offers time and space free of charge to selected Kentucky women artists whose art is feminist in nature and promotes positive social change. Hopscotch House is located 13 miles east of downtown Louisville, KY. Residency is free of charge. Residents are responsible for their own food and beverage and personal toiletries. The Summer Residency Program offers stipends of up to $400 per week to selected artists chosen to
participate in the program. The Quarterly program offers need-based stipends of up to $200 for first timers, low income women, women of color, lesbian and bisexual women, and women from rural areas of Kentucky.
http://www.kfw.org/

THE WRITERS COLONY AT DAIRY HOLLOW – ARKANSAS

The muse is at home in this beautiful, historic Ozark Mountain town. In this setting, The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow offers residencies to experienced and emerging writers in all genres and composers/songwriters. Artists applying for and receiving a specific fellowship are granted a free residency, including room and board at WCDH. Travel is the responsibility of the Fellow. Deadlines vary depending on Fellowship.
http://www.writerscolony.org/

 Found at Fundsforwriters.com

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Writers Residency

 

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Comparison of Vanity Presses

Fine Print of Self-publishing

The owner of Bookpublisherscompared.com, Mark Levine, did a great job in finding out all these perks and fees and published it online and more detailed in an e-book. 

The only thing I am not agreeing with him, is calling those vanity companies, “publishers” – which they are definitely not!!! These companies don’t pay any advances - instead the author has to pay for everything from editing, to cover-image to book layout to formatting or printing if it is a paper book. And on top of that the author has to split the royalties with this vanity company (often a print shop).  If the writer wants to have copies of his own book (that he had paid for production in the first place) he has to buy! them from this vanity printing company…

OK, here it goes:

http://www.createspace.com

FORMAT OF BOOKS: Paperback (authors interested in creating ebooks are forwarded to the Kindle section of Amazon.com)

GENRES ACCEPTED: CreateSpace, an Amazon.com company (now combined with BookSurge, another previously distinct Amazon.com brand), operates much the same as Lulu.com and is more of a content manager and printer than a publisher. Therefore, it does not discern genres or quality of writing; it only asks that you not use the site to print books that are disturbing
PUBLISHING FEES: CreateSpace offers a variety of services, available for review at https://www.createspace.com/pub/services.home.do. There are do-it-yourself publishing packages where it is free to upload your book (https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/Index.jsp#content2), but you need to create your own cover and interior and submit them correctly to CreateSpace. CreateSpace only recommends its do-it-yourself packages for people with design experience….. read more:

http://www.bookpublisherscompared.com

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Hyper Smash

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in Publishing, Self-Publishing

 

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FREE Amazon Kindle Books by J.A. Konrath

 

Only today:

FREE Amazon Kindle Books by J.A. Konrath

 

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in e-Books, Marketing

 

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Publishing Headlines in 2011

Looking back, 2011 will be remembered as the year when publishing was turned on its head.

Self-published authors, once the pariahs of the book business, gained credibility — outselling many established names and giving hope to would-be authors everywhere. Borders, the second-biggest bookstore chain in the country, went under, signaling a shift in priority from print books to e-books.

Headlines in 2011:

Steve Jobs: In 2010, Steve Jobs promised to revolutionize reading with the introduction of Apple’s iPad; in 2011, concurrent with his passing, he became the subject of possibly the bestselling book of the year: Walter Isaacson’s 656-page, $35 biography Steve Jobs. Jobs knew in life — and now in death — how to wow an audience and get people to open their wallets.

Self-publishing: Prior to 2011, the road to becoming an author was arduous, requiring a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck. Self-publishing was seen as the option of last resort. Now, dirt-cheap self-published books are topping bestseller lists at Amazon.com and elsewhere. In 2010, there were 133,036 self-published titles released, and when the numbers come in for this year, that figure is expected to double or triple. It’s said that everyone has at least one book in them, and now we can buy them.

Borders:  In 2001, Borders had more than 2,000 bookstores in the United States, 50 overseas, and earned more than $3 billion in annual revenue. In July this year, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company went bankrupt, shuttering hundreds of stores (including several in Dallas), putting 10,000 people out of work and leaving book lovers everywhere bereft.

Barnes & Noble:  The growing popularity of e-books is credited with killing Borders (note: there was a lot of human error involved as well). Determined not to suffer the same fate, Barnes & Noble aggressively pushed e-books and put its Nook devices front-and-center in their stores. Throughout 2011, they beat arch rival Amazon to market with several innovative devices, including updated touch-screen e-ink devices and color Android tablets. The company, previously seen by many as a villain blamed for the closing of many independent bookstores around the country, became the last, best hope for those who like to browse and buy physical books in real stores.

Amazon: Ask booksellers who the biggest bully is now and they will likely tell you it is our “friends in Seattle,” as Amazon has euphemistically come to be known. The Voldemort of the book business not only controls an estimated 60 percent of e-book sales and a significant chunk of print book sales, it has now become a publisher, establishing imprints for everything from romance novels to children’s picture books and putting out more than 100 books of its own in 2011. It is even competing with the big houses in New York to pay top dollar for authors, as it did when it ponied up $800,000 to acquire a memoir by the film director Penny Marshall.

Amanda Hocking and John Locke: That generous sum falls well short of the reported $2 million paid by St. Martin’s Press to Amanda Hocking, the 27-year-old Minnesota author who became a hot commodity when her series of inexpensive, self-published novels about attractive magical trolls became a phenomenon. She joined thriller writer John Locke as the second self-published scribe to sell more than 1 million e-books on Amazon.com, alongside mega-bestsellers James Patterson, Nora Roberts and Janet Evanovich.

Excerpt from Publishing Perspectives

 

 

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Did You Make These Book Marketing Mistakes?

books
Kickstarter.com “A new way to Fund & Follow Creativity” was the last resort for an emerging author to fund her POD book project which was previously sold in e-book version.

She wrote in an article: “At the time of writing this, I am franticly trying to raise another $1,658 to meet my Kickstarter goal. $4,400 didn’t seem like so much when I launched the campaign for my novel a few weeks ago.

I am quietly panicking, but I trudge on. I gave myself 30 days, which meant I needed to raise an average of $142/day. So far, I have exactly $2,742 with 46 backers. I continually work to keep visitors excited and donating for the duration of the campaign.

To cut down on costs, I started with an e-book on Amazon, and was able to get a bit of press here and there. However, I was missing a significant portion of my potential market only going the Kindle route, and I wanted, for example, my grandparents to be able to read my novel. So, I put $250 into a book cover, and pre-ordered copies from Createspace.com.

After all of my closest friends and family members bought their copies, I realized I needed marketing. Sales were declining…

Finally, I admit that working in social media, I tut-tutted email marketing as if it were so archaic. I was wrong. Most people are on Facebook, but pretty much EVERYONE has email.  Start building your list now!!! The day I emailed my contacts on my email list, I raised $350.”

My comment:  Have a marketing plan ready, BEFORE you publish your book. Shop around for cover design, layout, printing etc. early on, look at elance.com and Fiverr.com, start your authors platform and contacts even BEFORE you are writing your book. Every business has to have a business plan, even the book publishing business – in which you are after all as a self-publisher.

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Marketing, Self-Publishing

 

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Free Residences for Writers in Colorado

ART 342 GRANTS
Studios, living arrangements and financial aid are given to qualified emerging or midcareer artists.
The organization supports the work of both, national and international artists who specialize in the visual arts, writing or music composition.

ART342 is located alongside the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, Colorado and approximately 60 miles north of Denver.  Deadline February 1, 2012 for six and fourteen-week residencies. 
http://www.art342.org/

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Writers Residency

 

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Working for Glory – or the Digital Feudalism

Do you remember a recent Google image?  Tom Sawyers friends painting the picket fence?  It reminded me to look for an article I read a while ago: “Facebook is now valued at $50 billion, Twitter at $10 billion and The Huffington Post has been sold for $315 million to AOL.

Most of the value was created by people working free for Facebook, Twitter and Huffington Post. We are being played to feed the beast, to create content that ends up creating value for others.

The Huffington Post, most social networks and traditional media have all one thing in common: low-cost and no-cost content is becoming the norm. But writing for an upstart blog is a little different from cranking copy for AOL, a large American media company with a market value  of $2.2 billion.

For anyone who is making a living by writing, it’s becoming somewhat scary. The growing perception is that content is a commodity, and the companies can have it for the price of zero. Content websites, such as Demand Media, paying up to $15 per article raised the price only slightly.

It reminds me a bit of Tom Sawyer: “Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?” he asks his friends, and soon they are lined up for the privilege of doing his chores. That’s a bit like how social networks get built.

Nowadays Sawyer would say “You’re building an audience around your personal brand.” Audiences became publishers, essentially painting the fence for the people who own the various platforms.

 

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Marketing, Social Networks

 

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Writing for “General Aviation News”

 

General Aviation Airplanes

General Aviation Airplanes

Pays up to $500 for articles of 750 words. Seasoned bi-weekly General Aviation magazine that provides features on aircraft and its maintenance, aviation safety as well as air events and aviation history. E-queries accepted.

http://www.generalaviationnews.com/about

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Freelance Writing, Writing

 

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LINDQUIST & VENNUM PRIZE FOR POETRY

NO ENTRY FEE
Established in 2011 with the aim of supporting outstanding Midwestern poets and bringing their work to a national stage, the prize will award $10,000 as well as a contract for publication to the author of the winning manuscript. The winner will be selected from five finalists.

Deadline: January 31, 2012. Submissions for this regional prize will be accepted only from poets currently residing in the Upper Midwestern United States, defined as: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

http://www.milkweed.org/content/view/396/72/

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Writers Conferences

 

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11 Places to Find Your Next Great Read – or Show Your Own Book

row of books

The Internet is full of great websites that can help you get connected with books that you’ll really enjoy reading. Check out these sites of quality books to discover great stories.

Book Communities
Discuss books you enjoyed, share your opinion on these sites – and if you are an author it is a must to join these communities where you can show your books for free.

1. BookTalk
Find an online reading group and book discussion forum that can help you discover new books.

2. Goodreads
Get book recommendations, keep track of what you’re reading, and socialize over books.

3. Listal
Here you can list, rate, and discover books and other media.

4. Scribd
Find out what others are reading on Scribd.

5. BookMooch
Exchange books with other members.

6. BookCrossing
BookCrossing offers used books, allowing you to share what you’ve read and discover new reads.

7. Shelfari
Build a virtual bookshelf, see what others are reading, and discover new books through Shelfari.

8. Reader2
Find new books to read and put your reading list online with Reader2.

9. Lib.rario.us
This site makes it easy to create a social catalogue of your favourite books and discover what others love.

10. Revish
Read, review and share books with other Revish members.

11. Wattpad
Wattpad has experienced explosive growth since its inception and has become the world’s most popular destination to publish and read e-books. Wattpad delivers billions of pages from its library of works created and published by the Wattpad community.  Authors get immediate response from readers when posting single chapters. One writer had already 16 million readers before she found a publisher – or a publisher her…

Other than your time, it is FREE PR for authors, to be known, talk about your books and often to show images of your books. On Booktalk you can swap a few of your paper books for free advertisements.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2011 in Marketing

 

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How Book Sales are Influenced

… by attractive front cover design.  Five tips how you can create appealing book covers.

Visit bookstores, your library, or go to the internet and research as many book cover designs as possible.  

You learn as much from badly designed books as from beautifully designed books.

In the Western world people read from left to right, top to bottom.

Position your text and image in appropriate levels of importance.

Put your title in the top half of your cover. 

Avoid centering all the text on your cover or title page, this looks pretty unprofessional.  

Right or left aligning creates much cleaner lines.  Never use more than three different fonts on your cover, to not confuse your reader – this includes bold, italic or underline variations.

Use bold or complementary colors, but NEVER use a white or a very light background.  Use light font on dark background for dramatic effects (novels, spiritual, etc.) and dark on light for easy readability (self-help, how-to, business books).

The elements should be clean, not cluttered and the font easily readable,  the text balanced in size and style to the graphics.  Allow at least 0.5″ in from the trim guides to place all your elements. This will ensure enough allowance around the cover’s edge and provide a more tailored look. 

Give your finished cover the thumbnail test.  Your front cover image should look crisp and polished when reduced to post stamp-size for display on online bookstores like Amazon.

Your potential book buyer looks first at the front cover; then turns to the back to read further. Draw her or him in with a catchy back header.        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Book Sales, Marketing

 

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8 Tips on How to get relevant links to your website or blog

 

Besides writing content-rich articles, websites with lots of relevant links are rising in Google’s web ranking.  Results are more visitors and success. But how can you get lots of links back to your website?

1. It is pretty easy to ask or answer questions on Yahoo! Answers or Google Groups and provide links to relevant resources.

2. Write thoughtful comment on blogs, but at least a couple of sentences and sign with your website / blog.

3. Depending on your category and offer, you will find Craigslist or Kijiji to be a cheap or free classified service, include a link to your website for pennies per month.

4. If you run a longstanding, reputable company, create a page about it in Wikipedia or in topic specific Wikis.

5. Set up a topical Squidoo page, which you can use to become an industry expert. Link to expert documents and popular useful tools in your fields, and also create a link back to your site.

6. Submit a story to several e-Zines that links to an article on your site. You can also submit other content and have some of its link authority flow back to your profile page.

7. If you publish an RSS feed and your content is useful and regularly updated, some people will syndicate your RSS content.

8. Most forums allow members to leave signature links or personal profile links. If you make quality contributions some people will follow these links.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Marketing, Website & SEO

 

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