Time For a Spring Reset!

Spring often signifies new beginnings in literature and poetry, a rebirth, if you will. All that which lay dormant in winter now slowwwly stretches its limbs, lets out a big yawn and sigh of relief and comes back out to bask in the sun. The trees are budding, the deer are grazing, we now awake to the calming sounds of birds chirping, the sun stays with us well into the evening, it’s finally warm enough for sandals and everyone seems to be in generally better spirits because of those things aforementioned.

spring stretch

The charm and warmth of spring should not only put a pep in your step in your day to day life, but it should also be a time to pep up your writing and marketing efforts!

 

  1. Let spring be a new beginning for you. Make a list of things you’d like to begin with a fresh start. Do you need to begin editing, creating a marketing plan, blogging, etc? Now’s the time to do it!
  2. Use some springtime writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing and to help you “reset” after winter. Write about how the sunshine affects your mood and creativity, write about spring as a symbol of birth/life, write about the your sensuous experience wandering around in the natural world in springtime, etc. etc.
  3. Host an outdoor reading event in your community. Pick a nice sunny afternoon to encourage members of your community to get outside and share their love of the spoken and written word. This is a great way to network, to connect with other writers in your area and to have some fun in the sun!
  4. Start being more active on social media! Take pictures of the beauty around you, toss in a quote from a work of yours or of your favorite author’s and share with your audience! Blog, post about new developments in your publishing process, connect with readers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Now that the butterflies are back, why not be a little social butterfly?
  5. Spruce up your website. Who knows more about you than…well, you? Write up a fresh author bio that includes recent accomplishments, publications, life developments and so forth.
  6. Join some forums, join Goodreads! These are both terrific venues for marketing your book and they help you connect more intimately with your audience.
  7. Host a drawing contest for the cover of your next book! The winner gets a free copy of your book and gets featured on your website and social media pages!
  8. Add a “Store” page to your website. This is a great way to increase sales and to have your readers buy directly from you rather than some third party website.
  9. Do some spring cleaning of your writing space and bookshelves. See our last few blogs for tips on how to “declutter” as a writer!
  10. Take advantage of this nice weather! Try writing outside, even if it’s just brainstorming. A little vitamin D and time in nature can go a longgg way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠


Kelly

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, kellyschuknecht.com

Self-Publishing News: 12.11.2018

December banner with fir branches.

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

Forbes continues to keep us in rich and useful content this year with the latest contribution from Brandon Stapper of the Forbes Agency Council. Stapper, the “CEO of Nonstop Signs & Graphics, which has risen from humble beginnings to become a printing powerhouse” (according to the article) offers up three suggestions to those looking to break out into what he calls “thought leadership”–essentially, getting ahead of the curve in business through nuanced and effective brand management tied to future thinking of the highest order. Stapper’s first suggestion? Publish an ebook to boost your credibility in talking about industry-specific expertise.

Many readers will be most familiar with self-publishing as a vector for publishing fiction and memoir, but nonfiction books about specific niche industries are a rising star and market force. “Having a published e-book (even if you’ve published it yourself) signifies that you really know what you’re talking about,” writes Stapper. “Writing your thoughts on a particular aspect of your industry or a couple hundred pages on a how-to can easily establish you as an expert within your field. And people trust experts and are more inclined to follow them and even purchase their products.” It’s not a challenge to be undertaken lightly, he advises, but the potential benefits may just prove rewarding enough to make it a worthwhile venture.

In this week’s Post-Journal, Michael Zabrodsky breaks down the ins and outs of self-publishing versus taking the traditional publishing route in the “Write Now” podcast–an audio clip of which you can listen to at the link, where an extended written version is also available. If you’re at that tipping point where you’re still considering your options and you have a manuscript in hand, this episode of the “Write Now” podcast may just provide you with the information you need to make a decision. It’s worth noting that Zabrodsky, who self-published an ebook himself, makes note of but does not allow his personal decisions to influence the information he shares. This podcast makes for a straightforward look at what options are available, and the main questions you need to ask before moving forward. “It’s that easy,” he writes, but also: “It’s that hard.” He’s definitely onto something there!


spa-news

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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Self-Published Book Review: “Christmas Secrets”

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:

christmas secrets by uncle pappy

Christmas Secrets

by George R. Kuper AKA Uncle Pappy

ISBN: 9781478799108

Synopsis*:

Secrets of Christmas Revealed! This edition of Christmas Secrets is a first in a series of Christmas books. This book allows adults and children alike to enjoy discovering the secrets of the holiday season together. Many of the children’s questions about Santa Claus and the Christmas season are answered. The stories are interactive with prompts and questions to encourage children to think, analyze and become involved in the adventure

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Adorable Throughout – Great for Interaction with Kids

–  Verified reviewed on Amazon

Other Reviews

Interactive Christmas Story Focused on Entertaining Discussion

– reviewed by Al on Amazon

Wonderful Christmas Story

– reviewed by Greg on Amazon

 

Book Trailer

 


tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor

selfpubicon1

Self-Publishing News: 12.4.2018

December banner with fir branches.

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

One of our favorite sources for international news regarding digital publications, The Bookseller has come through for self-publishing authors again this week. Contributor Emmanuel Nataf digs into the nitty-gritty of how to reconcile publishing with the nascent entrepreneurial start-up model popularized in recent years, and this article breaks down his findings into three critical tips. At the risk of spoiling what they are, we recommend you check out his full article at the link!

One of the great and ongoing overarching stories of self-publishing has been its emergence from the dawn of the Internet age and its evolution into a market force worth respecting–and yes, admiring–and yes, perhaps even pursuing if you’re an author. The word “stigma” is bandied around a lot, but the good news is that today’s self-publishing author has so much less of it to contend with than authors who chose to go indie in the 1990s. This article, courtesy of the Press-Enterprise contributor Marj Charlier, chronicles this emergence as well as the implications for current authors of its absence–or abolition, as the case may be. Authors today can build upon the shoulders of greats, of those who have gone before to pave the way and who worked tirelessly to improve the playing field and services offered. Charlier’s article is well worth a second reading, especially if you’re looking for suggestions in getting started searching for the right self-publishing home for your next book.

On that note, Entrepreneur‘s Chandan Sen Gupta has arrived on our radar this week with this fabulous list of tips and tricks for authors looking to set out on their self-publishing journeys. Writes Gupta, “There is no doubt that self-publishing has arrived and is here to stay, but setting one’s book up for sale is only half the job done. Marketing, to reach out to the readers, is equally important and with its success, an author’s battle is won.” To that end, he dives into ways in which you can take advantage of self-publishing tools as well as your skills in marketing your book to build a successful sales strategy.

Looking for a little bit more of the history behind self-publishing and its evolution? We return to one of our longstanding favorite pairings: Adam Rowe’s commentary and Forbes magazine. In this week’s valued addition to this delightful tech team-up, Rowe writes–like Charlier–on the legacy of self-publishing, its origins, and current trends within the digital self-publishing industry. Rowe investigates several case studies, including that of maven David Gaughran, whose work has long been respected as an exemplar of the form, and whose self-publishing guide Let’s Get Digital has now officially reached its third edition. Rowe investigates just what it is that Amazon has done to and for the industry, and the ever-evolving ways in which it treats its authors. Always a byline to watch, Rowe’s article provides useful insights into just where we might be headed as we prepare to exit 2018.


spa-news

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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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The Alchemy of Holiday Marketing (Part IV)

We all know how wonderful it is to have holiday traditions, those things we do year after year and never tire of because they bring us nostalgia for our youth or for holidays in general. However, in book marketing, tradition in the holiday season might mean stagnation. So this year, when you’ve finished your traditions of decorating your Christmas trees, drinking egg nog, wearing tacky sweaters, caroling and hanging your stockings by the chimney with care, let us help you brainstorm some new ways to market your book.

christmas holiday fire book

The trees have shed their colorful fall foliage, the air has grown crisp, the kids are back in school, and you know what that means? The year’s final holidays are just right around the corner. This is a time of year to celebrate, not only because it means the return of pumpkin spice lattes and apple crisp, but because it is a time of year devoted to giving thanks, sharing delicious food and thoughtful gifts, and it is a time to gather with and spend time with those we love and cherish.

You can further celebrate this time of year as an author by innovating your marketing strategies, as there are certain advantages to marketing this time of year that aren’t available to you on just any summer day.

With an increased amount of shoppers trying to fill stockings and fill out the base of their Christmas trees, it is imperative that you’ve nailed down who exactly your audience is. Is your book a children’s book? Make sure your book is made available in local toy stores and maybe put some flyers up in local day care centers, libraries, and schools. Also, think of how great your book could be as a stocking stuffer for family members; being generous with your book this time of year could lead to more readers not only within your family, but whoever your family ends up sharing it with as well.

This is also a great time of year for holiday giveaways online. Vamp up your blog with relevant tags, and host your giveaways there! Post on pages relevant to your story–this could be anything from a Facebook page of the state your book takes place in, a Facebook group of readers that your book might appeal to, or maybe even to a Facebook event in your area that fits the theme of your book.

Remember that Christmas stockings are often full of Amazon gift cards; do you have an ebook to offer all these new potential buyers? Going digital means that there were literally be MILLIONS of people who will have access to your book, who never would’ve come across it otherwise. If you already have an ebook version, ask your readers for a priceless holiday gift: a good review online.

christmas stack of books coffee holidays

The Christmas holidays is an especially important time to be thinking about helping to preserve your family’s history and legacy by self-publishing a book.  That’s because Christmas, perhaps more than any other holiday, is rich with oral storytelling traditions, baking traditions, and narrative traditions of all kinds.  You can both collect new material for your book and enjoy the rich conversations that will inevitably collect around the news that you’ve got a book in the works.  And sometimes, at Christmas as at other times of year when our relationships with the past are the hinge upon which our lives turn, we can all do with a little reminder:

You are not alone. ♣︎

Do you have ideas to share? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments section, and I’ll make sure to feature your thoughts and respond to them in my next post!

Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process 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, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

 

Self-Publishing News: 11.26.2018

november

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

Look, it’s always cool when self-publishing gets a good word in a high-powered magazine like Forbes, and this week our industry got not just one but two references. First we wanted to mention Kimberly Whitler’s excellent November 24th article, which delves into a number of practical ways in which authors of all stripes and origins and publication modes can capitalize on their skills in order to, as the title of the article indicates, boost reader awareness and engagement with their books. She interviews founder and CEO of Smith Publicity, Dan Smith, about his recommendations. According to Smith, his company deals with roughly 60% traditionally published authors and 40% self-published authors, giving him a range of experience and wisdom on both methods, much of which bleeds into this interview.

The second Forbes article we mentioned? It comes to us by way of Rachel Kramer Bussel, who corresponded with a number of different authors from different publishing backgrounds whose worlds were upended with their publishing house closed down. Many of these authors, Bussel emphasizes, are award-winners and high performers in sales, which is another way of saying “they didn’t deserve to be dropped!” Even the best and most accomplished authors, her article indicates, can find themselves in this situation–and when they do, they need to develop a new plan of action. The publishing house at the heart of this article, Midnight Ink, is of course playing down the impact of their closure (or their decision not to take on new projects after September 2019, as they put it), but authors are justifiably spooked. Where can they go, Bussel asks? Many are choosing to self-publish.

You can find out more about both Forbes articles by clicking the links, above.

Self-publishing is, of course, a global phenomenon–and it’s not one that’s slowing down. Writes Eduardo Simantob of SwissInfo.ch, “Switzerland has a long tradition in independent publishing”–and it’s a history that can be traced all the way back through the country’s long and storied social and religious and technological evolution. Says Simantob, “Today’s independent publishing market has very little to do with politics or religion. Rather, it is a niche increasingly explored by visual artists, with or without renown, as well as for designers who work this medium as an art form in its own right.” These artists are now reaching back across the ocean to show their skills at international publishing venues such as the LA Book Fair, and they’re proud to be leaders in the art of self-publishing beautifully designed books. They’re also building lasting connections and relationships with indie publishers and artists across the European continent. This article, beautifully written and fittingly accompanied by beautifully shot videos by Carlo Pisani that showcase many of Volumes’ beautifully made books, is well worth a visit for the history and the eye candy both.


spa-news

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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Happy Thanksgiving! … & Your Weekly Self-Published Book Review: “Aurora of the Northern Lights”

thanksgiving

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:

aurora of the northern lights holly hardin

mom's c

gelett burgess children's book award gold

Aurora of the Northern Lights

by Holly Hardin

ISBN: 9781432724399

Synopsis*:

Come along as author Holly Hardin conjures a mystical world of adventure, sprites, and magical charms. After losing her parents, little Aurora sets off on her own. Because she’s different, Aurora finds it difficult to find anyone who will listen to her story, even at Christmas time. As her story continues, Aurora receives special gifts to keep her safe and important clues to find her new home.

Follow the journey as Aurora encounters a host of creatures along the way–including one very famous bearded man. What follows in this beautifully illustrated and delightfully written book is a heartwarming story of a home lost and found–and a Christmas lesson for us all.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

Reviewed by Grace (age 5) and Ella (age 4) Gleichner and Mom

“Aurora of the Northern Lights” is the story of a young girl named Aurora.  Aurora’s parents meet in the cold lands of the Northern Fey.

Grace: “It’s cold and snowy here, do you think this is where the Northern Fey live Mom?”

Ella: “Maybe they live in the North Cold (what Ella calls the North Pole).”

Aurora’s father, William, becomes sick in the cold so her mother, Mistletoe, agrees to move to a farm where the weather wasn’t so cold.

Ella: “We moved but it’s still cold here, just like in Manitowoc.”

Mistletoe and William are thrilled with the birth of their daughter Aurora, and for seven years everything is wonderful.  But, then all three of them get sick and Aurora’s parents don’t survive.

Grace: “That is so sad.  That’s why we get shots, so we don’t get sick, right Mom?  Are her Mom and Dad in Heaven now?”

Aurora feels lost, and when she wanders into town the people of the town shun her.  She doesn’t know what to do when suddenly a witch gives her a charm to protect her from harm, and tells her that this is not her true home, she needs to head to the forest.

Ella: “What a pretty necklace!”

She does head to the forest, where she does meet some Fey.  But, these are not her people and they too tell her to move on.  But, their queen provides her with a nice wool cloak and oak staff for her journey.

Grace: “At least she’ll be nice and warm.”

After traveling through the bitter cold, Aurora is about to give up when she comes upon a castle.  When she knocks, the door is opened by Santa Claus.

Grace: “Look Mom, Santa!  I can’t wait until he comes!”

Ella: “Don’t forget to put a cotton ball on my calendar so I know how many more days.”

Santa invites Aurora in where she is welcomed by all, but she then sees a woman who looks like her.  This woman is so happy to see her, because she is her Grandmother.

Overall I thought that “Aurora of the Northern Lights” by Holly Hardin was a well-written book; the only issue I had was that little Aurora was only seven when her parents died, and she was on her own and shunned by adults.  But, it does show children that life isn’t always easy, and even if you are different you can always find people who will love you no matter what.

– reviewed by Reviewed by Grace, Ella, and Mom on Reader View Kids

Other Reviews

“Named for the Northern Lights, Aurora faces a woeful plight. To many lands, she must roam, searching for her true home.”

Aurora of the Northern Lights is a delightful story, beautifully illustrated and told entirely in verse.

Aurora is the child of a beautiful and pale young Northern lady named Mistletoe and handsome William, a visitor from the South. William finds the Northern climate difficult, so they make their home in the temperate South.

When Aurora is orphaned, she is unable to stay in her old home. As she searches for her new home, those that she meets along the way are quick to chase her off. To some extent the story is one of intolerance. But fortunately, with perseverance and luck, Aurora finds a place where she is welcomed and loved.

I found the book a fun and engaging read. I imagine that the pictures and verse will go over very well with children. I highly recommend Aurora of the Northern Lights.

– reviewed by Gabi317 on Starting Fresh NYC

Aurora of the Northern Lights is a beautiful and touching story that is destined to become a Christmas favorite amongst young and old alike.

Mistletoe is an elfin living in the North, who falls in love with William, a human. When it becomes obvious that William is not built to live in such frigid conditions, Mistletoe leaves home to live with William a little further South, in a little town.

After a few years, they welcome a darling baby girl, whom they name Aurora, after the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) under which they were married. When tragedy strikes, Aurora is left to fend for herself. She doesn’t quite fit in anywhere, and commences upon a journey to find a place she belongs.

Throughout her adventures, she meets several people who shun her from their communities, yet bestow upon her gifts to help her along her way.

After trekking through ice and snow for days on end, Aurora finally comes full circle, finding the place she truly belongs.

The story is written completely in verse that flows on paper, as well as when read aloud. You cannot help but be filled with a variety of emotions as the story ebbs and flows through the happiness and the heartache.

Illustrations by Donald Vanderbeek add to the beauty and poetry of Holly Hardin’s words. They are beautiful and elicit as much emotion as the story itself.

Children will be held captive by the words and the pictures when this book is read aloud to them. It inspires visions of families cuddled together on the couch, wrapped up in blankets on a cold December night, sipping hot chocolate, as they share the story. It could even inspire young authors and artists to create their own story.

I received a copy of this book when I was a reviewer for BookPleasures.

– reviewed by Andrea Coventry on Amazon

 


tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Self-Publishing News: 11.20.2018

november

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing!

Don’t you just love finding nuanced conversations about self-publishing in the most unexpected of places? This week, we stumbled across this article by Heather Hansman of High Country News, and we just *had* to share! Hansman chronicles the lead-up to the third-annual Seattle Urban Book Expo, a grassroots event that has come to be a launchpad for authors of all walks and paths, including founder and self-published author Jeff Cheatham. As a Seattle-based author initially hoping to boost diversity and representation in children’s books (Seattle was, Hansman notes, “recently ranked as one of the 10 least racially diverse cities in America”), Cheatham saw a need … and set out to fill it, both with his own books and with the founding of the SUBE. Says Cheatham, “‘I’m all about creating a family reunion vibe […] When I first started, I felt like there was no one I could talk to, so I never want to deny anyone knowledge.'” For more on the expo and what to expect next from Cheatham, check out Hansman’s excellent article in full!

This article comes to us by way of Oon Yeoh of the New Straits Times, in which she tackles the evergreen subject of marketing after publication. Says Yeoh, a former editor at a local publishing company, “I had to deal with authors of all stripes. Each of them had their own quirks and personalities, as to be expected, but the one thing almost all of them had in common was their aversion to marketing their books. ‘Isn’t that the job of the publisher?’ would be the common refrain.” After laying out how even traditionally published authors have to dedicate time and energy to marketing if they want to succeed, Yeoh addresses self-publishing:

Self-publishing is a very realistic option. But once you go down that route, you’re becoming an entrepreneur whether you realise it or not. When you self-publish, you have to do everything yourself. You’ll have to arrange for the editing, design and layout to be professionally done; you’ll have to arrange for the printing and distribution to be done as well. Lastly, you have to market and promote your book to the general public. And, you have to fund all of these activities out of your own pocket. If your book sells well, you’ll reap the profits but if it sells poorly, you’ll be the one who suffers the losses. Just like in any other business.

This is realism, Yeoh writes, not a negative–it’s just the way things are, and as self-publishing authors themselves remind us regularly, it can be enjoyable when you feel empowered and engaged with your readers. Yeoh goes on to describe the “hard” and “soft” skills as well as the business skills writers of all publishing paths will need to refine in order to achieve success in marketing. A very worthy article!

  • How Self-Publishing Can Serve Your Mental Health

**Note: The article proper, in keeping with the brand of AnOther Magazine, contains some NSFW art photography. We are moving the link to the bottom of this article so that you don’t click it by mistake at work. Do not open at work!**

Here’s some good news we didn’t expect this week: according to Georgina Johnson on AnOther, World Mental Health Day 2018 provides the perfect starting point for conversations about agency, self-fulfillment, and self-publishing. Johnson, described as “a London-based multidisciplinary artist and designer, and the founder of art collective The Laundry,” first dabbled in self-publishing in the form of a 2017 zine project embracing and amplifying stories of black womanhood and diverse lives. The zine spoke with a voice that resonated, containing such powerful lines as “Freedom is a direct derivative of creativity; you could almost call them two peas in a pod. But how do you become free to create without the validity of louder or weightier voices? The answer for me laid upon the pages I braved producing.” The zine set out to show what mental health actually is or can look like–a nuanced take not often found in popular media. The article closes with this rousing endorsement for self-publishing, which made the zine and its conversation about mental health possible:

In a culture in which you can be made to feel small, as a woman, as a Black person, or someone on the fringes of society, self-publishing gives you power on your terms. It’s in no way easy, but when you create something honest, funny, critical, or something that just embodies you and the way you see, you open up yourself to others and allow folks to experience the world the way you do. In our climate of increasing intolerance, this is needed more than ever.

As mentioned above, the article and zine contain some NSFW art photography. You can read it [here].


spa-news

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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

icon logo self publishing advisor