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

In Your Corner: More on Podcasts (Part IV)

A month ago, I started a series on podcasting for self-publishing authors. For more explanations of why podcasting is an important tool for authors, check out the second post in this series, and for my reflections on the nitty-gritty of recording and editing those podcasts check out the third post in this series. This week, I’m back to complete the series with some final thoughts on podcasts and how they relate to self-publishing.

professional microphone

We are not the first blog to point out a connection between self-publishing and podcasting. Even a cursory Google search for the terms “self-publishing” and “podcast” together turns up thousands of relevant hits, including podcasts from self-publishing companies (e.g. the “story studio” Sterling & Stone), podcasts wherein the podcaster interviews famous and/or successful self-publishing authors (e.g. the Self-Publishing School), podcasts by self-publishing authors themselves (e.g. Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula and the Self-Publishing Authors podcast). These are just a few examples of the podcasts themselves, but there are also plenty of blogs who have put together lists of the top ten or so self-publishing related podcasts for you to peruse (we’re particular fans of Kindlepreneur’s list, as it mostly lines up with our own experience and has great rules for inclusion).

The downside of these lists, including our own mentions? You might become convinced that podcasting as a self-publishing author can or ought to only look one way, and that’s to say you might feel pressured to talk about the process of publishing and marketing your book, which may or may not be your comfort zone. Especially if you’re a self-publishing author just getting into the industry and you don’t feel as though you’ve got this polished life to offer up in thirty-minute chunks every month, podcasting the way that the podcasts on these lists do may feel preemptive.

The fact of the matter is, a podcast can look like whatever you want it to look like. And you don’t have to “have it all put together” (in your life or in respect to your publishing experience) in order to get started; many of the best podcasts today started with several extremely messy, experimental episodes as their creators worked out what they wanted the podcasts to be. You can use your podcast to read excerpts. You can use it to talk about your experience as it happens, warts and all. You can use it to talk about other self-published books, or engage with other self-publishing authors. Keeping a seed planted at the back of your mind that the podcast is another extension of your marketing strategy, do all the things you want to do and don’t wait to get started! That’s always the hardest part, isn’t it?

We hope you do decide to experiment with podcasting, and if you do, we’d love to boost your voice. Pop a link to your podcast in our comments, and we’ll happily make a mention on our blog!

You are not alone. ♣︎


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.

 

Tuesday Book Review: “The Paymaster”

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:

the paymaster adeed dawisha

download

1st Place Winner in the 2018 Reader’s Favorite Awards Mystery Category

The Paymaster

by Adeed Dawisha

ISBN: 9781478783152

Synopsis*:

George Haddad is a deeply conflicted man. A doyen of Washington’s high society, he is also a life-long member of a terrorist organization. George resolves his inner conflict when he discloses secret information to Tessa Barnard, a young television reporter, who soon finds herself treading a treacherous path of intrigue and deception involving murder, abductions, and brutal assaults. Someone is determined to silence her. Is it foreign terrorists, or does the danger emanate from somewhere much closer to home? Meanwhile, George Haddad himself becomes the object of the boundless cruelty of his organization’s star assassin, and he has to make a fateful decision that could cost him his life. He knows the odds are heavily stacked against him. A tightly written and intricately plotted novel, with many twists and unanticipated revelations, The Paymaster is hard to put down.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

The Paymaster is an exciting exploration of terrorism and counterterrorism, a twenty-first-century thriller done right.

Adeed Dawisha’s fast-paced novel The Paymaster unites a former nationalist and an ambitious journalist to take aim at one of the modern world’s biggest problems—terrorism.

George Haddad is a veteran of a nationalist terror organization, a former idealist who spent his young life sipping black tea in bombed-out warehouses in the Middle East. Now, with a mansion and a family in Virginia, Haddad has grown bored, tired, and despondent. He seeks to combat his ennui by aligning himself with Tessa Barnard, an aspiring investigative journalist who is stuck in West Virginia.

The initial purpose of their meeting is to expose Emilio Luciani, a man posing as an Italian but who is really a Hezbollah terrorist, Nizar Saleh. Haddad wants Barnard to unmask the man while he is in a secret meeting with the CIA, but one murder throws the entire scheme off of the rails.

The Paymaster is a quintessentially modern thriller set in some unexpected places. Besides the usual milieu of Washington, DC, the East Coast megalopolis, and the jet-set spots of Europe, the story also touches down in frozen Chicago, small-city West Virginia, and during the heady days of the 1979 Iranian revolution. It is an entertaining journey, the main thrust of which is that the worlds of terrorism and counterterrorism are far more entwined than most people think.

Although he is a scholar who specializes in the troublesome politics of the Middle East, Dawisha does not write like a pedantic professor. Indeed, The Paymaster moves at a quick clip, with concise, utilitarian language far outpacing fancy linguistic displays.

Characters are believable, though Barnard conforms to a certain stereotype. She is almost amoral, a careerist who seems mostly driven by a desire to get the heck out West Virginia. Although she certainly grows in maturity as the novel progresses, she is not as artfully drawn as the conflicted Haddad.

If Haddad is emblematic of real terrorists, or of terrorists who have lived long past their prime, then your average bomb maker or cell functionary is a lot more conflicted than news reports would suggest. Haddad and Barnard make for an exciting team, while the expert assassin hired by Haddad’s former comrades makes for a threatening adversary.

The Paymaster is an exciting exploration of terrorism and counterterrorism, with the daily monotony of both captured in between cinematic shootouts and cat-and-mouse games. This is a twenty-first-century thriller done right.

– reviewed by Benjamin Welton for Foreword Reviews

More Reviews

“The Paymaster” by Adeed Dawisha is an exciting and electric mystery/thriller that submerges readers deeply into the plot and leaves them guessing until the very end.

The story begins with George Haddad, a wealthy man of deep political influence in Washington DC, who is actually a member of the Revolutionary People’s Front, a Middle Eastern terrorist organization.  Attending a budget meeting of said organization, Haddad’s mind was not in the meeting as he was preoccupied with other matters: not being late to his daughter’s Christmas’s show, and making ‘the call” to Tessa Barnard. This call would finally put an end to his life of conflict by sharing the secret information he knows with the T.V. reporter. But instead of realizing peace of mind for himself, divulging the secret information puts Tessa in mortal danger and makes him a target within his organization.  Efforts to keep this information under wraps set the tone for this thrilling, intricate adventure.

Adeed Dawisha created a well written thriller with simple, engaging dialogue, and a fast-paced integrated plot that flows beautifully, keeping readers from putting it down. As much as I like to brag on how I always am able to figure out plots, I must admit, this one did have few surprises for me. Dawisha truly knows how to master pace and plot in a way which unravels unexpectedly. His characters are not just genuine, the way he built them with dialogue and description made them come alive in my mind. Dawisha also features impeccable writing skills within the action scenes as I could picture things happening vividly in my mind as clear as having it play on a screen in front of me.

I can’t recommend enough “The Paymaster” by Adeed Dawisha. It is an awesome five-star read. A thrilling and intriguing page turner that made me jump from my seat more than once. I will definitely look out for more work from this author!

 – reviewed by Michel Violante for Reader Views

This spicey thriller with multiple surprises includes characters drawn from the FBI, the CIA and television journalism, covering and uncovering international secrets and dirty deals with shady organizations from abroad. Murder, sex, betrayal, vengeance, redemption — even confirmation hearings — this fast-paced story has plenty of human interest. Lots of fun!

– reviewed on Amazon by Stephen Nimis


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: 6.18.2018 – New Releases!

june

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically new releases written by self-publishing authors and published by independent presses! Today we’ll be featuring brand-new releases in the Outskirts Press Bookstore!

If you’re anything like us, every now and again you just really need a good and powerful historical mystery to set its hooks and draw you in, and Daniel K. Edmondson’s new novel, The Parchment, is exactly what the doctor ordered! A pastor with more than 40 years of experience, Edmondson knows more than a little about life and how the human mind works, and he brings that knowledge to this book. Steeped in biblical archaeology, The Parchment follows the intrepid James and Anne down a path which leads to both religious epiphany and historical revelation as they uncover the mysteries of an ancient library, one hard-won clue at a time. For readers of both Dan Brown and Frank Peretti, but with a voice and a style all of its own, The Parchment is sure to remind all of us why books like these and films like National Treasure remain the bedrock of many people’s love of history.

Life was different way back when, wasn’t it? If you’ve spent much time in the American public school system, you’ll already be more than aware how tightly budgeted the average child’s time is, and how little of that time is given over to play. Well, other sources have dedicated a great deal of time arguing for more play and freedom from sociological, psychological, and developmental perspectives, but until now it has been rare to find nonfiction narratives for the kids themselves which point to an alternate way of doing things. In My Nana Was a Free-Range Kid, author and illustrator (and all-around Rennaissance woman) Nancy Peek Youndahl lays out the story of her grandmother, “an outrageously mischievous child that was left to her own devices” and who grew up running “free range” in North Carolina during the 1940s and 1950s. Part biography, part entertaining story, and part argument for more freedom and more play during a child’s formative early years, this book covers a lot of ground and does so with grace.

With its eye-catching cover, Titanus’ Rage is sure to be a popular pick with lovers of science fiction and fantasy, but this latest book from author Miles Monahan has a lot going on under the surface to delight readers of any genre: biting prose, interesting characters, and a crisis of galactic proportions to avert. The first installment of what will hopefully be a long-lived series, Titanus’ Rage proves once and for all that genre does not define or limit a book, but rather opens doors for comparison and connection. Here is a book to satisfy even the most hungry of space-shenanigan lovers!


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

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The Importance of Book Covers for Self-Publishing Authors

Self-publishing has become so quick and easy that many authors are tricked into satisfying their urge for instant gratification instead of being encouraged to take a step back and look at their book as more than just a commodity to thrust into the marketplace with a computer-generated cover and a computer-generated interior. After all, it probably took you months or even years to write your book; don’t rob yourself of the satisfaction of distributing something truly amazing just because some sites allow you to “publish” it in minutes.  Computers don’t know what makes a good cover. Cover designers do.

When it comes to deciding on the cover for your self-published book, there is a simple rule of thumb: The easier it is, the worse it will be. If all you have to do to “generate” a cover for your book is click an “ok” button, you are doing your book and your writing career a huge disservice.  The cover of your book is arguably the most important element. It plays a role in your promotion and marketing. It entices buyers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It attracts people at author events and book fairs. But it only does those things if it’s good.  And a good cover is never created by simply clicking an “ok” button.  

Most self-publishing service providers offer authors a choice when it comes to book covers.  They typically provide “free” cover options, and they typically provide “custom” cover options for an additional fee that ranges from $400-$1200 depending upon your service provider. Most of the “free” publishing websites don’t offer custom cover designs, but instead, point you in the direction of 3rd party cover designers. Their “free” selections are typically limited to words on a plain background. You may be able to customize the font and the background color, but that’s usually it.   Full-service self-publishers typically offer “templates” that can be customized with colors, fonts, and even images, usually for free. They all offer custom cover design options, too.

A custom cover is always the best option, but if a custom cover design is outside of your budget, there are still some important considerations when it comes to using one of the “free” covers provided by your publishing provider.

  1. Never accept the default.  Just about every self-publishing provider will provide you with a “free” cover that you can accept without lifting a finger.  Don’t! Remember the simple rule of thumb a few paragraphs up? The easier it is, the worse it will be. That’s not to say the default cover is bad – it might be very nice.  But hundreds or even thousands of authors have already selected it. You want to make sure your cover stands out. Change the background cover. Choose a different image. Change the font.  
  2. Speaking of background cover, give it some thought.  In all likelihood, the majority of your sales are going to occur from Amazon. Do some competitive research.  Go to Amazon and type a keyword or key phrase into the search box that someone might type to find your book. Look at the results.  Look at the colors of the books that appear in the results. Is there a common color? Do you notice any books that really stand-out?  What color could you choose that would increase the chances of browsers noticing your book among all those competitive books? That’s the background color you want.
  3. If your self-publisher allows you to change the default image of your cover for something else, you should definitely do it.  Again, the rule of thumb is to avoid what is easiest. It may take some time to locate the image you want, but it is time well spent.  You don’t want your book looking like all the other books that were published by authors who chose the default cover, do you? Even if you feel the default image works for your book, it is worth the effort to find a unique image instead. In most cases, your self-publisher will allow you to swap the image without an additional charge, but even if you have to purchase the rights to an image on a stock photography site, it’s still worth doing.
  4. Most self-publishers will allow you to change the font on your free cover, and if they do, you should take advantage of that option (since most authors won’t).  Look at the font choices that are available and select a font that represents the genre of your book. Romance book covers typically feature flowing script. Sci-fi fonts, on the other hand, are typically large and blocky. Conduct another search on Amazon to see the types of fonts that are used on books similar to yours.  Stay within the vein of your genre while still being unique.

These concepts are second-nature to most professional book cover designers, which is why a custom designed cover by a professional is always the best option.  After all, what’s the point of publishing a book if your cover isn’t going to attract anyone to it?

book cover design


brent sampson
In 2002, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist Brent Sampson founded Outskirts Press, a custom book publishing solution that provides a cost-effective, fast, and powerful way to help authors publish, distribute, and market their books worldwide while leaving 100% of the rights and 100% of the profits with the author. Outskirts Press was incorporated in Colorado in October, 2003.
In his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Brent is an expert in the field of book publishing and book marketing. He is also the author of several books on both subjects, including the bestseller Sell Your Book on Amazon, which debuted at #29 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

Tuesday Book Review: “Greed Disease”

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:

greed disease by ted folkert

download

Greed Disease

by Ted Folkert

ISBN: 9781478790822

Synopsis*:

This book is about the impact of greed on our livelihood and on the sustainability of our planet. Greed exercised by the rich and powerful and the behemoth corporations provides challenging obstacles for the working class of our society – growing income and wealth inequality and exacerbating worker exploitation. Even worse, it endangers our planet, threatening the life-sustaining habitat that enabled life and which is essential in sustaining life. Without corrective action, the ultimate result does not look promising for our future. For most of us members of our society, as we go about acquiring the essentials for living a comfortable life, doing business is not a level playing field. Dealing with the normal deception and dishonesty in advertising and marketing, and navigating the cleverness of the rentier element of society can be treacherous experiences for the powerless working-class. Kind of like swimming with sharks. Lots of books have been written about the world of finance, the banking industry, and the enormous power and influence that has silently matriculated to those who occupy the control of money. After all, some say that “money is the root of all evil.” H. L. Mencken is attributed to having said: “If they say it isn’t about money, it’s about money.” Someone said: “money talks and baloney walks.” When bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robs banks, he replied: “because that’s where the money is.” Willie isn’t around to rob banks any longer, but there are lots of others ready, willing, and able – not with a gun, perhaps, but in more clever ways. This book is about money and the power and influence that accompany money, the quest for power and influence that drives the quest for money, and the changing mindset of humans as evolution progressed from a quest for food, shelter, and safety to an incessant search for and capture of comfort and pleasure. It is about the impact of the growth in population from a few thousand people on the planet to several billion people on the planet and the progressing destruction of the planet for human habitation as deception and dishonesty have become commonplace and greed consumes us all.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Greed Disease” by Ted Folkert is a business & economics book directed to all readers. The book begins with a definition of greed. In short it states that everyone has a level of greed that motivates us to work for our survival and our own goals. So a balanced amount of greed is actually ok, and maybe even necessary. It is an unbalanced level that can make ‘greed’ a disease.

During this introductory part of the book, the reader might feel the author is being a little repetitive, yet, I hope readers push through it, as I think this portion is the foundation of what comes next, and I believe that the reader will find it to be worth it. Following this introduction, the author presents readers with all current and real cases in our economy which reflects how the ‘greed disease’ was the catalyst to the victimization of the people by powerful business CEOs, banks, and politicians, to benefit themselves.  I found this portion of the book not only enlightening, but also entertaining as the author’s voice felt to me like a narration of different 20/20 cases. In the end of the book the author puts everything in perspective by taking the reader through the goals and missions of all the different US parties, and the implications this disease has on our world and way of life. As Folkert states in this book, “Our political mindset has been transformed into one of acceptance of deception…” I am a reader that agrees with him.

Ted Folkert has done an amazing job presenting readers with a short, to the point and plain language book that puts into perspective what we, the regular people, are letting happen in our economy, even though we are being victimized by it. The format he chose to deliver his message to readers is effective, entertaining, enlightening and impeccably written.  Readers not familiar with economic topics will feel a little more knowledgeable about past and current economic scenarios where unbalanced income and insatiable greed make themselves evident.

Overall, I found “Greed Disease” by Ted Folkert to be enlightening, entertaining, and thought provoking. Enough that it has motivated me to look more into what is going on currently in the news, and talk and voice my opinion and concerns to others. This fact alone illustrates vividly the five-star rating I give to “Greed Disease.” I definitely recommend!

– reviewed by Susan Violante for Readers’ Favorite

Another Opinion

GREED DISEASE, by Ted Folkert, is a compelling and comprehensive tour de force of the manifestations of greed, and impact it has on our global civilization. As we dwell on greed, it is revealed how it constantly undermines and conflicts with the common good, and the greater interest of society. It is an eternal and timeless struggle between mankind’s self-interest and base desires, driven by personal greed, at the expense of the common good. Greed dominates the world of banking, corporate management, finance, and politics, to name only the main players. Over time, it leads to a concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a smaller elite, at the expense of a decent life for the dwindling middle class. Yet, greed is nothing new, and not likely to disappear. However, the author explains that it has taken us to the very brink of a global crisis in climate change, water scarcity and depletion of resources that could literally challenge survival of humanity on earth. The author quotes Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs in his 2011 book—“The Price of Civilization” when he writes, “We exist in a bizarre combination of Stone Age emotions, medieval beliefs, and god-like technology.” He further quotes Professor Sachs, “Our challenges lie not so much in our productivity, technology, and natural resources but in our ability to cooperate on an honest basis. Will the super-rich finally own up to their responsibilities to the rest of society?” The author follows with a call to action and a detailed series of steps to offer hope for a national and global remedy. All of which is very pertinent to each of us, our children, and our grandchildren. Thus, this is a highly recommended book to read, and ponder, with careful consideration.

 – reviewed on Amazon by T.L. Needham


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: 6.11.2018 – The Interviews!

june

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically interviews with or articles written by self-publishing authors and experts!

If you’ve spent much time browsing our blog over the last few years, you’ll know that self-publishing isn’t just a thing for authors of novels and book-length manuscripts; there are all sorts of materials that can be self-published, from music to video games to comics, and that the indie sector in all of these industries is growing at a rapid clip. This week, Nicole Herviou of Comics Verse put together a great interview with comic creator and letterer Ryan Ferrier, who has had a hand in many major “mainstream” comic franchises (including Godzilla and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) over the years, as well as a profound influence and prolific presence in the indie and self-published corners of the comic market, most notably multiple D4VE arcs and Curb Stomp, one of our personal favorites). What’s so special about this particular interview, you might ask? First of all, Ferrier’s experiences run the whole gamut of possibilities for a comic creator, and he’s not shy about talking about any of it. He also delivers some great insights into how the world of comic publishing (and self-publishing) has changed over the years, particularly in relationship to and support of creator-owned material. This is one enlightening conversation, and we highly recommend you read the whole thing if you’re at all interested in pursuing a career in comics.

One of the things we love most about running this blog is the opportunity to identify, discover, and boost the stories of authors who are finding new and unique ways to make self-publishing a part of their lives–and those lives all look very different, making for quite the diverse field of possibilities. Meet Marie Force, another author so prolific that it would take hours simply to list and describe her more than 70 books out on the market. Force is, ahem, quite a force to be reckoned with (sorry, couldn’t resist)–and after years of publishing mostly independently, she’s now partnering up with Kensington Books (distributed by Penguin Random House, one of the Big Five traditional publishing houses still scraping by) in a deal that at first glance might seem to be trite, but on a closer look is anything but.

What do we mean by that? Well, there’s a common misconception that success in self-publishing–success of the kind that Force has achieved–is followed by an immediate transition to traditional publishing. But Force is having none of that; she may be adding Kensington to her arsenal, but she’s not giving up her affiliation with and wholehearted support of self-publishing. In this Publisher’s Weekly press release, the traditional publishing house notes that Force “continues to see the advantages to both indie and traditional publishing models,” and that their role is to get “behind her on some previously published and forthcoming original novels,” not to replace her indie and self-published presence. As the release notes, Force is a champion of the “personal touch,” and that extends to honoring her existing readers, and crafting a hybrid presence to suit her specific needs. As we mentioned earlier, there are as many ways to be a self-published author as there are authors in the world.


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

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In Your Corner: More on Podcasts (Part III)

Several weeks ago, I started a series on podcasting for self-publishing authors. For more explanations of why podcasting is an important tool for authors, check out last week’s post. I’m back this week to talk about the nitty-gritty of recording and editing those podcasts!

professional microphone

Generally speaking, there are very few requirements for putting together a fairly decent podcast, and most of the platforms are free. (Or, they only start charging fees after a certain number of podcasts have been uploaded. I’ll touch on distribution platforms and their fees in my next post on the subject.)

The recipe is simple, the ingredients few:

  • something with a decent microphone
  • a robust Internet connection for conducting interviews without lag
  • a software program to allow Voice Over IP (VOIP) conversations for the same
  • a software program to record and edit your audio

That’s really, truly, about it. And if you’re not interested in conducting interviews as a part of your podcast (although I highly recommend it as a way to alert other authors to your work, and to make your podcast feel more collaborative), then you don’t even need to worry so much about the Internet connectivity or the VOIP software. If you do go that direction, and you don’t already have Internet at home, you can probably reserve a study room at your local public library and use their wifi. (Some libraries even have recording studios you can book for free!) I recommend using something like Skype or Google Hangouts for the VOIP software, as they’re both free, and there are other, higher-quality services which you can pay for if it becomes important to your podcast.

The microphone is also negotiable! I have friends who have invested in high-quality standalone mics that plug into their laptops, but I’ve always found that my laptop microphone is decent enough at recording that I don’t need to worry about quality. When I’m traveling, I use a little handheld, battery-operated digital recorder that I bought used on Amazon a decade ago for other reasons (mainly, I had my best writing ideas while driving, and I kept forgetting them by the time I got to my destination, so I picked up the recorder to make recording them easy; I don’t recommend writing while driving). But really, the simplest option is usually the best, and the option you’re most familiar with.

The software you use for recording and editing is by far the most important component of this recipe! As with the VOIP software, there are lots of great options which you can download and use for free; I recommend Audacity, which is robust enough to do all the things you’ll need it for, and used by enough other people that there are lots of “how-to” videos online to explain the more obscure details, like how to reduce background noise and merge two audio files together. Audacity is free, and while it’s not pretty, it gets the job done if you take some time to familiarize yourself with how it looks and feels. I don’t recommend downloading programs from the Internet if you’re not one hundred percent sure you’re getting the right thing and from a reliable, virus-free source, so chat with your local Technology Specialist Librarian or other tech-savvy individual before choosing a program and a source to download it from. If you’re just not comfortable with downloads at all, take a look at the audio editing software programs available for purchase through Amazon; there are lots of options, some of them affordable.

For those of you already deep into the podcasting process, what do you use to record your podcasts?

You are not alone. ♣︎


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.