Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 7/25/14

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IT’S IN THE STARS-II

Can you imagine it?  Can you see it?  Do you perceive the conundrums associated with futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel and the eventual contact with other sentient beings?  If you are a Science Fiction reader/writer, these concepts (and many others) race through your mind all the time.  That’s exciting!  Very exciting!  And we know it is exciting because of NPR’s 2011 list of Top 100 Sci-Fi-Fantasy books, the first eleven books of them being written and published between 1917 and 1964—way before authors had the option to self-publishHurray for today’s technological advances!  The field is wide open!

It is important, however, to honor the legacy that previous Sci-Fi authors left for us, which demonstrates that good writing never “dies.”  JRR Tolkien’s books are currently being made into amazing films, motivating millions to re-read the original books.  Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books have tweaked the imaginations of such visionaries as Ray Bradbury who admired the element of Burroughs’ stimulating “relationship” tales and incorporated many of those concepts in his Star Trek TV series and later films.  James Cameron (Avatar) and George Lucas (Star Wars) were also influenced by Mr. Burroughs’ books.  Yes, indeed, excellent writing combined with out-of-this-world imagination lives “into the future.”  That alone encourages today’s Sci-Fi authors.

Now, let me add more information to “boost” you off the couch and into your writing room!  Do you remember the film 2001: A Space Odyssey?  Way back in 1968, author Arthur C. Clarke developed this science fiction novel concurrently with Stanley Kubrick’s film version.  The novel was actually published after the release of the film.  Some might call this a conspiracy between Clarke and Kubrick.  If so, it was a brilliant conspiracy, indeed.  Both novel and film were/are big successes—and Arthur C. Clarke became the “official” author of the novel because the lion’s share of it was based on numerous short stories he’d written between 1948 and 1968.  By end-of-the-year 1992, the novel had sold 3 million copies!

Today a new novel associated with that novel/film has come on the scene (July, 2014)—The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’  It is a four-volume set that explores (in great depth) every aspect of the film and its making from the use of groundbreaking technical effects, extraordinary set designs, plus the fascinating collaboration between Kubrick and Clarke.  Now that is what I call longevity in the writer’s world!  When the magic of imaginative/futuristic science and technology blend with well-developed writing techniques and inspiration, amazing things DO happen.

SO, if your thoughts are filled with a plethora of possibilities for life and living in the next decades and/or millennia please, write them out for all of us to enjoy.  The publishing industry has moved forward “into the future” too, and offers multiple self-publishing options for your every need.  Go boldly my friends!  GO BOLDLY!

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

Weekly Self-Published Book Review: Later Gator, In a While Crocodile

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Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

 later gator

Later Gator, In a While Crocodile

Mike Fortunato

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478712855

Reviewed by Miles Cassells (age 3.5) and Mom for Reader Views Kids

“Later Gator, In a While Crocodile” by Mike Fortunato was a super fun book to read with Miles. Lately, Miles has been interested in reptiles and learning about them in school, so when we sat down to read this book he was excited. Not to mention, “later gator” is a favorite expression when saying bye to someone on their way out the door.
Gator is hanging out in the swamp and realizes none of his friends can come and play with him. He is lonely and wished there was someone to hang out with. Then, along comes Crocodile. Gator wasn’t sure how he was going to play with him because he was an alligator and the crocodile was, well, a crocodile. After discovering that they are very similar in their abilities and enjoy the same things, they joined up to have a blast in this 3 part picture book.
“Later Gator, In a While Crocodile” by Mike Fortunato is a great example of how to teach children that even though we may be slightly different, we are all still the same. We can come from different species and still be friends, or in our case as humans, different races. This is a lovely way to remind children that we can all play together and have lots of fun even if we look different from each other. This is a lesson that many adults need to learn as well.
Awesome book!!

Don’t Miss These Opportunities to Promote Your Book

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Book fairs are an excellent way to promote your self-published book, learn about the publishing industry, and network with other professionals. Even though the year is more than half way over, it’s not too late to promote your book at some of this year’s book fairs. Here are a few you might want to add to your calendar.

2014 Beijing International Book Fair

Show Date: Aug 27, 2014 – Aug 31, 2014
Location: Beijing, China
Deadline: Aug 05, 2014

2014 LIBER (Spain)

Show Date: Oct 01, 2014 – Oct 03, 2014
Location: Barcelona
Deadline: Sep 10, 2014

2014 Frankfurt International Book Fair

Show Date: Oct 08, 2014 – Oct 12, 2014
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Deadline: Sep 12, 2014

2014 Pennsylvania Library Association

Show Date: Sep 29, 2014 – Sep 30, 2014
Location: Lancaster, PA
Deadline: Sep 12, 2014

2014 Illinois Library Association

Show Date: Oct 15, 2014 – Oct 16, 2014
Location: Springfield, IL
Deadline: Sep 26, 2014

2014 New England Library Association

Show Date: Oct 19, 2014 – Oct 21, 2014
Location: Boxborough, MA
Deadline: Oct 03, 2014

2014 California Library Association

Show Date: Nov 07, 2014 – Nov 09, 2014
Location: Oakland, CA
Deadline: Oct 06, 2014

2014 New York Library Association

Show Date: Nov 06, 2014 – Nov 07, 2014
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Deadline: Oct 17, 2014
Many of these book fairs have deadlines that are fast approaching, so be sure to sign up soon.
In addition to these popular book fairs, look for local events where you can promote your book. County and state fairs are often a good choice as are hometown fall festivals.
I’d love to know, where do you plan to promote your book this year?
ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 7/22/14

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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

 A Publisher of One’s Own

This interesting article from Inside Higher Ed looks at self-publishing statistics and the role self-publishing currently plays in academic publishing. This thought-provoking piece illustrates the problems with traditional publishing while discussing the reluctance of many scholars to self-publish. This is a must read for all academic writers.

Kindle Unlimited earmarks $800k extra for self-publishers 

Amazon recently confirmed it will increase its fund for self-publishers agreeing to loan their ebooks by $800,000 this month. The retailer predicts an uptick in downloads with the launch of the Kindle Unlimited subscription service. Those with ebooks already being distributed under the Kindle Owners Lending Library will automatically see their titles added to Kindle Unlimited.

 Self-publishing surging to 31% of ebook market, claims report

A new report claims that self-published authors have surged to 31% of ebook sales on Amazon and are now earning more ebook royalties than writers published by the “Big five” traditional publishers. While some people have questioned the data, the figures show that self-published authors are successful and that the industry is growing.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Takes Patience

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One of the many benefits of self-publishing is the turnaround time. Self-published books can often be printed much quicker than traditionally published books. That said, successful self-published authors understand that publishing a quality book takes patience. Here is why.

1. Your manuscript should be near flawless.

Before self-publishing your book, you want to make sure you spend plenty of time revising and editing. For some authors, a developmental editor could be extremely beneficial, and for all writers, hiring a professional copyeditor is a must. While no book is completely flawless, readers expect quality books to be close to perfect. If you want your book to be successful, you need to have the patience to go through the editing process.

2. The cover is extremely important.

Despite the cliché “don’t choose a book by its cover,” most readers are highly influenced by the front and back cover of your book. Take the time to design a quality, personalized front cover that depicts the essence of your book. Also, spend time writing professional back cover copy and author bio, and don’t forget to have this copy edited and proofread.

3. Plan, plan, and plan some more.

Even the most well-crafted book can’t be successful if readers don’t know it exists. Successful self-published authors understand the importance of a great marketing and promotion plan. Take time to figure out who your target market is and how you are going to reach them. Some possibilities include setting up and maintaining social media pages, contacting local media, and scheduling book signings.

Remember, patience is a virtue. While you are excited to finally see your book in print, don’t be in such a rush that you skip over important steps in the self-publishing process. Being patient now will pay off in the long run.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 7/18/14

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IT’S IN THE STARS

WHERE oh where are today’s true Science Fiction writers?  In my youthful days, I cut my reading-teeth on such marvelous other-world adventures as 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (by Jules Verne), War of the Worlds (by H.G. Wells) and John Carter the mysterious traveler to Mars/Barsoom.  With each impossible John Carter action and invention created by author Edgar Rice Burroughs, my wonderment increased.  Yet, the present-day genre of “science fiction” now includes other facets that (in my opinion) detract from the legacy left to us by these great authors.

The specific definition of the genre of Science Fiction is “…imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster-than-light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.  It often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations and has been called a literature of ideas.  Authors commonly use science fiction as a framework to explore identity, morality, social structure, politics and other literary themes.”  And there you have it!  That is what I’m looking for in my Science Fiction books today.

Did you know that NPR (National Public Radio) did a survey back in 2011 to discover what people were reading in the “science fiction genre?”  This created their list of the Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy books (even though I’m not enthused about the addition of the “fantasy” piece).  Out of their Top Ten, only three are still alive and writing—Orson Scott Card, George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman.  Of course, I love seeing the work of many of my favorite writers remaining on top: JRR Tolkien, Frank Herbert, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov to name a few.  However, where are the new writing explorers?

Self-published author, J.M. Erickson has come upon the scene in recent years with some excellent writings.  His most recent, Future Prometheus: Emergence and Evolution, is an excellent beginning to a series that explores the edge of the familiar and the unknown terrain of possibility—a world where the science of today has warped into something totally unexpected.  This is visionary, futuristic, science/technology-based writing that compels the reader to turn the page and think about the possibilities.  Happily, this author has the understanding and background that allows his imagination to explore these “what if” scenarios.  I applaud Mr. Erickson in his writing career, in his choice to self-publish and in his willingness to think and write “outside the box.”

It is my hope that more true Science Fiction writers will step out and accept the legacy to explore human identity, national and world politics, social and cultural paradoxes within this literary framework.  Our lives are changing (evolving) by the minute and we need writers to offer other choices than the ones currently being made.  As Frank Herbert (The Dune series) said, “The gift of words is the gift of deception and illusion.”  That concept needs to be deeply explored allowing us to picture an illusion that exposes deceptions and just might show us the way to better possibilities.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

Weekly Self-Published Book Review: The Job

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Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

 the job

The Job

Cramer Louis Jackson

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432784584

 

It is often said that good things come in small packages and this certainly is the case with this read. In the beginning we meet Joe, a man on a mission. Joe is out of work, and despite all his attempts to find a job, he keeps failing. However, good fortune is about to smile upon him as he receives a mysterious email offering him an opportunity for work, but it is cloaked with mystery. Joe is hesitant at first, but his desperate situation pushes him to respond and from that moment on, his life will never be the same. Joe is thrust into a world he never dreamed truly existed and the job that he must undertake will bring him into a realm that even Science Fiction Writers could never pen, but for Joe it is real. Here he finds adventure, and true love. For Joe, his journey is just beginning.

I really enjoyed this read; it definitely was not a storyline that I had encountered before. The character Joe can easily be identified with in our world today, and you will find yourself smiling at the good fortune that has come his way. It is ‘out of this world’ adventure, well packaged in a warm storyline that draws you right in and keeps you reading until the end. Very well done, and I am pleased to recommend it.

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