Self-Publishing Week in Review: 9/02/14

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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.

Why This Bestselling Author Decided To Start Self-Publishing

Author Karen Traviss has published a slew of successful books, from her own Wess’har Wars series to a number of Star Wars, Halo and Gears of War novels. But for her new techno-thriller Going Grey, she decided to walk away from a mainstream publishing contract and self-publish. She explains why in this article.

 Advanced Marketing Tactics for Indie Authors

These best practices give self-published books maximum exposure and provide authors the best opportunities for their work to be discovered. This is a must read.

Social Sophistication

This article talks about how successfully use social media to market your book. It talks about various social media platforms. All authors should read this.

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.

How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

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Many authors ask, “How much does it cost to self-publish a book?” The question should be “How much should an author invest in their project based on their marketing goals?” Most authors self-publish in hopes of selling their book, but not every author has the same goals. It is important to consider your definition of success.

If earning money from your book is a priority, a solid marketing plan, in addition to an appealing book and quality content, is essential to selling to your book.

I always recommend professional copyediting and a custom cover to all authors who are serious about sales. Potential buyers typically spend approximately eight seconds deciding if they like the cover enough to consider purchasing the book. Therefore, the cover needs to be unique and eye-catching. In addition, nothing will “kill” a sale faster than a manuscript that is riddled with typographical errors or bad grammar. This is especially important for non-fiction books that are positioning the author as a credible expert.

Self-publishing should be looked at from a business perspective. All businesses must budget for advertising.  I typically estimate that $2,500.00 is the average self-publishing budget. In this estimate, I have allotted $1,500.00 to the actual production of the book.  The additional $1,000.00 should be used for marketing services. The cost for professional copyediting is not included in this amount, but I do recommend investing in professional copyediting.

 Although many people spend more or less than this amount, I believe this is a good estimate for self-publishing authors. However, it comes down to each individual’s goals and reason for publishing. For more advice on creating your self-publishing budget, contact your self-publishing company.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager 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 8/29/14

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INSPIRED…

One of my favorite genres to work with (as editor or consultant or ghostwriter) is Religion/Faith.  The authors inspire me, personally, every time I help them prepare their manuscripts for publication.  Reading this genre is also high on my list—whether fiction or non-fiction.  So it is that, when reading one of my favorite faith magazines, I came across one sentence (yes, one sentence) that so inspired me I cannot stop thinking about it:  “Faith turns the tables on logic while turning life’s waves into a foundation.”

The author of that one-liner is Marcus Yoars, editor of Charisma magazine—oops, former editor.  (He has stepped away from this position to pursue a missions calling.) As only the third editor of Charisma in its 40 years, this young man has proved himself to be quite a leader in the writing field.  Comments from his last heartfelt editorial can—from my always-needing-inspiration perspective—give every writer helpful hints to follow.  Although his emphasis is spirit-faith-focused, his points (as I read between the lines) came to me like this:

  1. Writing always involves risk. Authors often speak of that feeling of leaping-off-a-cliff when releasing their work to be published. This is a time when our faith in what we’ve written (and what we hope readers will discover in those pages) comes into play. We don’t have to write in the Religion genre to understand this—to carry the same all-or-nothing element within us that allows us to produce and send our projects into the world.
  2. Faith in what we’ve written often defies logic. Many of the authors I’ve worked with open our introductory discussion saying, “Nobody else will probably be interested in this book, but I just had to write it.” For me, that is the best sign that whatever their book is about, it must get published. Ever hear the cliché statement: If I don’t do it, who will? First and foremost, authors must believe in their project—write it—produce it—then wait for everybody else to catch up.
  3. Doubt destroys. However, faith in what you’re writing will pull you out of the darkest blank-page-hole and allow you to emerge with fresh insights and more clarity about your subject matter. Battles with doubt must be fought and overcome. Faith brings strength.
  4. The choice is ours. All writers must face the cycle of faith vs doubt each time they begin a new piece writing. However, if we keep pumping our faith-muscles, that cycle will become easier and easier to complete—with satisfaction.

For the faith, spirit-led writers, there is one more element that strengthens their writing abilities—their obedience to use the God-given writing gifts they’ve been given.  This includes being obedient to write that which they are “assigned” to write, whether it is that letter to a grandparent or the completion of that textbook for chemical engineering…and everything in between.

There it is, my friend.  Whatever writing storm you face…let faith show you the way to success!

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: Lazarus in the Labyrinth

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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:

 laz

Lazarus in the Labyrinth

TR Hanes

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432784713

An empty death would be preferable to some. “Lazarus in the Labyrinth” follows Reno Antonin, a man under the weight of his life. As his health continually fails and his family seems to fade away, he is left with a life he views as not worth living. Exploring the idea of consciousness, he seeks a rebirth, not fully understanding what it truly means. “Lazarus in the Labyrinth” is an original read with twists on depression and the drive to start anew.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 8/26/14

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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.

10 Truths About Self-Publishing for Entrepreneurs With a Book Idea

Books are a great way for entrepreneurs to establish their authority in their industry and to add to their income. This article offers ten tips to help entrepreneurs successfully self-publish a book. It is a must read.

Campaigning for Children’s Rights: PW Talks with M. Dolon Hickmon

In this interview, author M. Dolon Hickmon shares why he chose nontraditional publishing when his book fell outside of the forms that presses were buying. His novel 13:24: A Story of Faith and Obsession raises awareness about the prevalence of child abuse, and he talks about why he decided to use an animated trailer as a marketing tool.

Four Great Ways to Find Indie Books You’ll Love

This interesting article talks about ways people can find great indie books, including book review sources, indie book stores, and social media. This information can help spark marketing ideas for self-publishing authors.

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.

What Not to Do When Self-Publishing

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There are a few things that separate successful self-publishing authors and could-have-been-successful self-published authors. If you want your book to succeed, avoid these common mistakes.

1. Formatting

There are specific requirements for properly formatting your book. Authors who try to do the formatting themselves may be disappointed with how their book turns out. To ensure your book is formatted properly, enlist the help of your self-publishing company. They will tell you exactly what to do and provide assistance to make sure the formatting is done right.

2. Front Cover

You may be tempted to save money by using a template cover. This can be very costly to your success. Despite the cliché “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” most readers do! You want a unique, professionally designed cover that captures the essence of your book and encourages readers to buy it.

3. Editing

Another area authors often try to save money is editing. They think that self-editing is the best option, but even the best writers can’t rely on self-editing. It’s just not possible to catch all of the mistakes and issues when you are so attached to the project. Always have a professional editor review your manuscript before publishing to ensure your book is the best it can be. Too many mistakes can be costly to your reputation as a professional author.

4. Back Cover

The back cover is just as important as the front cover! Do not rush through this step. The back cover helps hook the reader and plays a role in online search results. A professional copywriter and editor can help make your back cover copy great.

5. Time

Do not rush! I know self-publishing is exciting and I know it’s important to many authors to have their books published by a certain date, but successful authors know the importance of taking their time to do it right. Spend time revising your manuscript. Put a lot of thought into the title and cover art. Be patient enough to allow an editor to review your book. Spend time planning your marketing strategy. While I don’t want you to get so caught up in making everything perfect that you never finish your project, I don’t want you to rush the process and regret the quality of the book you produced.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager 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 8/22/14

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WRITING WITH FRAGRANCE…

Last week I used an analogy of a writer compared to a rose, both enjoying thousands upon thousands of unique species and hybrids.  I’m smiling—remembering a particular writing conference workshop titled: What Species of Writer Are You?  Wish I still had the notes from that discussion, but I can still give you the basic points scented with my perspective, of course.

#1…Just as every flower, leaf, branch and tree is uniquely different, so are you; as an intelligent being, as a person and as a writer.  It is extremely important to accept just how unique we are and that what we are inspired to write about is enormously valuable.

#2…Because we are intelligent beings, we can get lost in the adventure of learning.  Yes, we must develop the skills and abilities associated with our gift of writing; however, if we allow ourselves to get lost in the research, the story (article, poem, etc.) may never be finished and published.

#3…We are blessed with five (some folks say six) marvelous senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell (and insight).  All of these natural abilities must come into play when we’re writing.

#4…A writer’s species becomes identified in the genre of writing they are drawn to, starting with what genre they read the most.  This also includes what genre of film one appreciates and/or enjoys the most.

#5…Marriages occur between species creating—exceptional—hybrids.  When a writer develops personal relationships (with family, friends, marriage partners, co-workers), other genre fragrances come into the mix.  The history professor (of a writer) questions an established “fact” of history and multiple “what-if” scenarios blossom.

#7…Or…the beautifully landscaped botanic gardens are destroyed by flood; Nature’s fury uproots everything and the gardener (writer) must begin again!  Not to worry.  The re-write will be better than the first.

#8…The hardy species survive and grow stronger.  Thus it must be with writers—developing the “thick skin” necessary to ward off barbs while still being able to accept/absorb the constructive nutrients from useful critique.

When that workshop speaker laid out gardening tools all around the podium, I almost got up and left,  but I’m glad I didn’t.  She visually portrayed the elements needed to keep writers “growing.”  She confirmed that a stagnant writer—who cannot “think outside the box”—is dying and if they’re not careful, they’ll be uprooted. She also confirmed the value of “planting” our work—publishing it—the minute we know that it is ready for release.

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.

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