Self-Publishing Week in Review: 8/19/14

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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.

Writer’s Digest Inks Deal With BookBaby on New Self-Publishing Imprint

Writer’s Digest recently announced that the Company has entered a partnership with BookBaby to launch a new self-publishing division named Blue Ash Publishing. This new venture is grounded in what Writer’s Digest does best: educating writers. As more companies such as Writer’s Digest join the self-publishing industry, authors will reap countless benefits and the industry will continue to grow and flourish.

Yacht Captain Turned Bestselling Self-Published Author Tells All

This interview with NY Times bestselling self-published author Hugh Howey shares his writing journey and advice. He discusses his views on traditional publishing, his secrets to success, the film based on his book, and more.

Kindle Direct Publishing Unveils Pre-Orders for eBooks

Amazon has finally rolled out their pre-order program for all authors who distribute through the Kindle Direct Publishing. Self-published authors will be able to start selling their title before its officially ready, giving them the ability to hype the book in advance and start capturing sales. All self-publishing authors should check out this opportunity.

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 Do Self-Publishing Authors Earn?

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How much do self-publishing authors earn?

There is no one size fits all answer.

What an author earns varies greatly. Income is based on a variety of factors, including the author’s goals, intended market, and marketing strategy.

One of the main reasons author income varies so greatly is because many authors don’t self-publish to make money. They never intend to market and promote their book, so they earn very little. For these authors, success is not defined by the amount of money they make or the number of books they sell. Instead, it is simply based on whether or not they accomplished their goals.  Some common definitions of success among self-published authors include:

  • Sharing their story with family and friends
  • Reaching a niche market
  • Finishing and publishing their manuscript, regardless of how many books they sell
  • Gaining fame
  • Earning an income
  • Increasing their business
  • Building their following of readers
  • Adding to their resume
  • Getting picked up by a traditional publisher
  • And many, many more

I assume you ARE interested in earning money if you asked this question. For those of you who want to make a profit, here is what you need to know:

  • Depending on the trade discount set by you or your publisher, you can expect to earn royalties on average of $2-$7.
  • Some self-publishing companies offer more flexibility in setting pricing and royalties, so it is important to select a company that meets your needs.
  • Marketing is key to financial success! If you want to earn money from your book, be prepared to dedicate your time, money, and effort to marketing and promoting your self-published book.
  • Quality is also extremely important. You must offer readers a professional, well-written book.
  • A dynamic cover and professional editing are a must.

A great way to learn more about how much self-publishing authors earn and how they define success is studying other authors. Read interviews and books by successful authors. Network with writer’s in your area. Join professional writing groups. Talk to people who have self-published. Learn about the industry. All of this research will not only give you an idea of how much self-publishing authors earn, but will also offer excellent tips and advice for making your book successful.

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 8/15/14

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A WRITER IS…

…a Writer, is a Writer—as a rose is a rose is a rose.  Within the genus Rosa (in the family rosacea), there are over 100 species and thousands upon thousands of exquisite hybrid cultivations, many of which are being created even as I write this blog.  That is how I see a writer—a person who has the vision to create a specific piece of writing, whether it is a blog, a novel, textbook, mechanics manual, tweet, or the most inspired and uplifting play and/or film script ever written.  Where do you fit?

When there is a concept flapping around in my thoughts and I can’t seem to get it OUT on the page, I take a walk.  Sometimes it’s a short walk down the hallway of our apartment building and across the scenic connection bridge to the café for their brand of coffee and back again.  Often I grab my sun hat and walking poles to enjoy the canal path just a block away.  Once in a great while I’ll drive up into the foothills and step into the illusion of being alone in the wilderness where seasonal wildflowers greet me and evidence of coyote, deer, or bear might be found on the trail.  And, all the while, those ideas for that writing project are sorting themselves out and settling into place.  That’s the working theory anyway, and I can happily report that most of the time it is successful—for me.

Last month I took one of those walk-in-the-wilderness excursions; four days of placing myself in a lodge away from my normal routine and setting myself up to focus on one particular project.  Sometimes we just must shake ourselves from normal patterns—like turning the soil around rosebushes and adding fertilizer—to allow the best writing that is within us to COME OUT!  That time away was (as the cliché states) a little slice of Heaven.  I’m attaching one (of over 160) photos I took during that time, just to give you an idea about that environment of inspiration.  Notice the rough marks on the standing aspen trees?  Deer or moose marked his passage there.

friday post

However, the unexpected happenings of such a get-away are often the most inspiring; the people met along the way.  The first motivator for me was the woman at the counter of the mountain gas/convenience store.  She politely asked me if I was on vacation (immediately aware that I wasn’t a local).  When I said I was taking a few “writing-get-away” days to get my book re-started, she said, “I should do that!  With all the different people who come through here, I could write volumes!”  (I hope she does!)

Then an hour later I was talking with the manager of the lodge and discovered that she’d “always wanted to write.”  Friends have been telling her for years that she is a “born writer.”  So, why is she managing a mountain lodge?  We talked about seasons-of-life and what they teach us in preparation for being the writer we’re meant to be.  Just think of the people (sharing their life-events with her) who have stayed in her lodge.  Imagine the mountain stories she’s collected from the town folks, delivery drivers, and back-country hikers.  Oh, she’s in a great season-of-life to delve into writing—and publishing.  I’ll be watching for her books!

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: Flash Bangs

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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:

 flash bangs

Flash Bangs

Andy Underwood

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781432783488

Length is not a required ingredient for a good story. “Flash Bangs: A Sparkling Array of Hundred-Word Short Stories” is a collection of short fiction from Andy Underwood, who takes people into the throws tales of episodic drama at readers, charging them with all too common problems like addiction, as well as stories off the beaten path, ghosts stories, pets, and much more. “Flash Bangs” is a choice pick for fans of flash fiction, recommended.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 8/12/14

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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.

Indie Authors Talk Editors

In this article, eight successful indie authors share their editing experiences and offer some tips and advice on the editing process. This is a must read for all self-publishing authors.

Everyone Needs an Editor

This article shares why a great story, professional book cover, awesome marketing plan, and stellar website are all a waste of time if you haven’t hired a professional editor to review your book. This is a must read for all authors.

Simon & Schuster Acquires Self-Published YA Novel

Aladdin Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, has acquired the book rights to Strays by Virginia Castleman, a self-published YA novel about two orphans. This self-publishing success story will inspire all independent authors, especially YA writers.

Self-Publish or Perish: Why I Made the Leap from Traditional Publishing to Indie

This NY Times Bestselling author shares why she decided to take the leap from traditional publishing to indie publishing. This is a fascinating read for all 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.

The Importance of a Dynamic Back Cover Copy

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You’ve finally finished your self-published book, and you can’t wait to share it with readers. But how do you convince them that your book is worth reading? One of the most powerful ways to lure in readers is the back cover synopsis.

Think about when you visit a bookstore. You might be searching in a particular genre or just browsing the entire store for something that catches your attention when the title or cover of a book catches your interest. What do you do next? Most likely, you turn over the book and read the synopsis on the back cover. What is written there influences whether or not you purchase the book.

Now, think about when you are shopping for books online. You probably enter keywords in the search engine. A list of books pop up. The results are based on the keywords found in the book’s title, the author’s name, and the product description. Again, a title or cover catch your attention. What do you do next?

You probably click on the book and read the description. This description is usually the same as the text that appears on the back cover of the book. Just like when you were shopping in a store, this text influences whether or not you decide to purchase the book.

Just as you are influenced by the back cover synopsis when purchasing books, so are your readers. Therefore, it is essential that you take the time to write a compelling, professional back cover synopsis for your self-published book. For more information on writing a great back cover synopsis, check out these posts:

Is Your Back Cover Copy Driving Away Potential Readers?

Five Tips for a Great Synopsis

Copywriting Services in Self-publishing

I’d love to know, how much does the back cover influence your book purchases?

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 8/08/14

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INSPIRED PERSPECTIVE

Walking through a shopping mall recently, I caught a conversation segment as a young lady’s voice rose to a higher pitch: “…and if I’d never seen that—for myself—I wouldn’t have believed it.”  Oh how I wanted to ask her what she’d seen!  I didn’t, of course, so my imagination was left to fly off in multiple directions.

Now, sitting at my computer, writing to other writers, I’m acutely aware of how inspiring that snippet statement is—confirming the fact-based nature of humans who so easily believe what they see—even if what they’re seeing is a special-effects fabrication.  Long ago, the marketing/public relations gurus recognized this element of human nature.  Their skill in creating just enough illusion in the sales-pitch of their products seems to increase by the hour as earth’s population becomes ever more susceptible.  We want “the facts” to be “true.”  Don’t we?

Well, that’s a bigger discussion than I’m able to provide in this space and time.  However, the concept—as it relates to writing—is a valuable one to talk about.  Below are two food-for-thought statements:

STICK TO THE FACTS in non-fiction writing.  Always?  Most-of-the-time?  The definition of this term non-fiction is: A report or factual account…history…empirically true assertions and descriptions written by an authority in that field.  The fact about non-fiction writing is that it is also a narrative and/or story of the topic/subject being addressed.  It is a cumulative work of research developed by an author who believes his or her facts are true.  These authors offer their readers their knowledgeable, inspired perspective on the subject matter they are writing about.

BRING ON THE WIZARD OF OZ!  Fiction writing is often labeled a theoretical, imaginary flight-of-fancy “invented” by an author to provide escape from reality.  Personally, I don’t like labels and I don’t appreciate that definition.  Elements of it are true; however, my version would go something like this: Authors of all fiction genres provide a unique and inspired perspective to their subject matter by incorporating “what if” scenarios giving readers the opportunity to explore possibilities they might not have imagined before.

THERE IT IS…the connective umbilical cord that supports ALL WRITERS…inspired perspective.  Over the last several blog entries, I’ve given examples of books that I consider to be superbly written by authors utilizing this gift—their uniquely inspired perspective.  From Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD: SOME INSTRUCTIONS ON WRITING AND LIFE to THE ROBE by Lloyd C. Douglas and THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE by authors Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, each author has offered readers fact-based, imaginatively told stories meant to open hearts and minds to new and exciting horizons.  THIS IS EXCELLENT WRITING!

Without doubt, there is someone reading this blog right now who has this gift of writing!  ARE YOU USING IT?  Are you writing?  Are you ready to publish?  THEN DO IT!  Don’t make the rest of us wait any longer!  Search out the self-publishing company that best fits your needs and enjoy the satisfaction of holding that book IN YOUR HANDS!

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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