Tag Archives: self-publishing

3rd Indie Fringe Conference: October 14, 2017

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Attention new, aspiring and indie authors! News from IngramSpark.

(For those not familiar with the Ingram Book Group, the largest distributor and wholesaler of books in the United States, here’s an excellent article from The Independent Publishing Magazine on IngramSpark and Lightning Source, a print and fulfilment company with facilities throughout the world.)

Per IngramSpark’s website:

October 14th marks 2017’s last 24-hour, non-stop, online conference for indie authors hosted by Indie Author Fringe. This third conference takes place alongside Frankfurt Book Fair and focuses on running an author business.

To support your business growth, IngramSpark is waiving title setup fees for the final time this year, from now to 30th November 2017, when setting up either a new title or an existing title in a new format.

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Down with Trad-Pub Deals

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Elizabeth Craig wrote a positive-thinking, inspiring piece called “Why I’m Turning Trad-Pub Deals Down.” You can read the post through the previous link, but here are the highlights.

I make more money writing independently of a publisher.  This is by far the top reason. I even made more self-publishing a few books than I did with more traditionally published books on the shelves.

I exploit all my rights and publish my book in a variety of formats or internationally. I can expand my reach to find more readers.  Publishers frequently hold onto your international, audio book rights, etc.

I can make changes to my self-published books.  Sometimes I’ll hear from readers about formatting or typos in my trad-published books…and it’s very frustrating knowing there’s nothing I can do.

I can make changes to my online profiles at the retailers and distributors I deal directly with.  I had to deal with a lot of red tape to even get my photo up on Penguin Random House’s site last week. I was stunned to find it wasn’t up there. After all, I’ve written for the publisher since 2010 and my photo was available to them for the backs of the books.

The only reason I was able to jump through the hoops and get the picture uploaded was because an employee at Penguin for the Berkley imprint went above and beyond the call of duty as a conduit between me and the art department.  My Memphis books aren’t listed or linked to on the page…they’re stranded in some sort of Nowhere Land without an author bio or picture, but at this point I  don’t have the time to deal with it.  Plus, my Riley Adams profile there has no bio or picture.

I can run promotions on books with lagging sales. I can make a book free. I can give a book away to gain newsletter subscribers (and then inform them of new releases for later sales gains). I can run quick weekend sales to make my books more visible on retail sites.

I can devote all my time and best ideas to the series that will pay me best. If I wrote an additional series for a trade publisher, I wouldn’t have as much time to devote to my other series.  I felt at the end of my traditional publishing that I was saving my best ideas for my ‘own’ books.

I don’t feel the need to prove anything. Originally, it did feel good to be validated by a gatekeeper…I was a newer writer and I needed that. Now, I prefer reader validation. It’s ultimately more valuable.

I have price control. If I switched back to traditional publishing, my readers would experience higher prices for my new books and they’d be emailing me to ask me why.

I can choose my book covers. I got lucky with the covers I had from Penguin Random House.  But going from complete creative control over the covers back to no control (they did always ask me what I thought of a cover before they signed off on it, but if I hadn’t liked it, I’m not sure they’d have pulled it/reworked it) would be challenging.

I can release books when I want. There could be large gaps between books: more than a year.  Now I can release a couple of books in the same series in a year’s time, if I like.

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Advice on Self-Publishing

Ah, yes. Self-publishing. Just saying those words is enough to send a tingle of excitement up the spine of many writers, especially if you’ve never published anything before and hope to make it big. We’ve all heard the spiel, right?

“I self-published my book on how to make origami out of spent fuel rods and made millions!” Ivan A. Hump, author of From Rocket Fuel to Rocket Fun!: Blow Your Friends and Their Minds at the Same Time

“In a dream I had last year, Toonces whispered sweet nothings in my ear and said I should publish a driving guide for cats. Well, the rest is history. I not only had it published, but it went on to become a New York State Times bestseller in just 12.1 seconds!” Anole Lady, author of Cats Don’t Have Opposable Thumbs, Dumbass: But They Sure Can Drive Good!

Riiiiiiiiiight.

For those of us with experience in this area, the feeling of self-publishing is part excitement, yes, but mostly dread at the long, winding path ahead that is fraught with ghosts, ghouls and goblins.

The good folks at ScreenCraft (@screencrafting) recently posted a piece titled “Self-Publishing Your Novel: A Guide for Screenwriters.” They also wrote a nifty little piece called “Web Presence and SEO for eBook Publishers (or movie producers)” that’s got some swell advice, too.

Although I myself posted on the subjects of self-publishing and the evolution of a novel, you can never have too much information/knowledge/advice when going down the self-publishing road. Every little bit helps. Truly and for trues.

For anyone out there thinking of publishing that story or book or guide you’ve been sitting on for months/years, all the while collecting rejection letter after rejection letter from agents and publishers, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about going it alone. Contact me at harrisrh@gmail.com should you wish to learn more from someone who has fought (bravely, of course, and with real valour) in the trenches of this burgeoning field.

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