Self-Publishing News: 3.31.2020

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And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

Now this is a fascinating idea: According to this Accesswire repost to Yahoo! Finance, author J.B. Lion is launching a new series of five books, each of which comes as a “standard text-only version and a graphic novel that mixes illustrations alongside text.” The dual version, the article claims, is “meant to enhance the reading experience, reducing the chance that a reader stops reading halfway.” The series is the product of a decade and a half of labor, as well as the creative insights of Lion’s sons, creators of the world upon which THE SEVENTH SPARK is built. Given some of Lion’s other literary inspirations, it will come as no surprise that the series resonates with those readers who love other mammoth works of twisty and multifaceted fantasy fiction, and the graphic novel version is bound to attract a wide readership among those more attracted to visual forms than thick tomes. Whatever else happens in this series, it’s fascinating to see how indie authors like Lion are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in self-publishing. Now we’re curious about what other indie authors might be looking into dual-version publications like this one.

To balance out the day’s news release, we take a quick glance away from fantasy to catch a glimpse of another fun new thing in the world of science fiction, this time out of Fairbanks, Alaska. Ramzi Abou Ghalioum writes that “It would have been hard to tell, looking at his first two careers, how Craig Martelle would pivot at age 52 and begin writing science-fiction action novels.” But he did, moving first from the Marine Corps into law, working with Fortune 100 companies for a number of years before retiring from his second career and turning his attention to writing “that book I always wanted to write,” as he puts it. Drawing upon the kind of “streamlined approach” that his experience in the business world introduced him to, Martelle has applied the concept of process improvement to the act of writing–a concept that “involved examining a production process and figuring out how to streamline it for efficiency.”  Combining both his creative gifts and a lifetime of professional experience, he decided to self-publish. “The business part isn’t that hard,” he writes, so long as authors find the resources and guidance they need–another part of his mission.


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.

 

 

Self-Publishing News: 3.24.2020

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And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

This thoughtful article from Joyce Jenje Makwenda, correspondent for The Herald of Zimbabwe, covers the life and passing of self-publishing pioneer Lillian (or “Lilly”) Masitera, “one of the few writers who had the self-confidence to challenge the monopoly of established publishers” back in the 1990s, and in so doing, “paved the way for self-publishing for many local writers.” Makwenda counts herself as one of Masitera’s beneficiaries, describing the evolution of this iconic African writer from childhood through years of writing creative “letters to friends and relatives before the era of e-mails and text messages.” From these letters, Masitera learned that she had a gift for communication that had the potential to touch many others beyond her letters’ reach, and the confidence to put her words out there. The US National Library of Poetry published several of her poems in a collection in 1995, and for this, writes Makwenda, “she was awarded the International Poet of Merit Award” courtesy of the International Society of Poets. While she faced the same challenges in marketing and distribution as all indie authors, Masitera managed to push through the difficulties and still find time to encourage other women authors to do the same. Her loss is felt throughout the global world of self-publishing.

This fascinating little profile from Grace Chang of the Daily Trojan covers the rise of Aaron Bergen, a freshman in college who started working on his first novel at age eleven and kept returning to that same story time and again until he finished it and brought it to publication this year. The book, titled 2049, “follows a young adult named Thomas, who discovers that his recently deceased father was working on a time machine and rebuilds the time machine to go back in time in an attempt to save his dad.” According to Chang, Bergen “considers himself a self-taught writer,” leaning on YouTube tutorials and gifted acquaintances to assist with beta reading and cover art design. He’s leaving the future open to a sequel, which means that this is one canny college freshman whose self-publishing story has just begun.


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.

 

 

Self-Publishing News: 3.17.2020

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And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

We have a couple of really exciting success stories to share with you, our readers, this morning. First is this article from the digital megapowerhouse news-and-all-other-things website Mashable.  Contributor Sam Haysom opens his article by debunking the persistence of “self-publishing stigma,” an expression all of us here on the blog are familiar with from ages past. And “While questions over writers’ and publishers’ attitudes to this type of fiction may be up for discussion,” writes Haysom, “one thing seems pretty clear: A whole lot of people read self-published books. And a whole lot of writers are making money from selling them.” Three of those writers–LJ Ross, Rachel Abbott, and Adam Nevill–feature heavily in Haysom’s article, each contributing wisdom from lived experience following a unique path into self-publishing. We highly recommend you read Haysom’s whole piece in its entirety.

We have sung the praises of LibraryBub here on the blog before, but this month’s news is a serious highlight. The website, founded in 2015 to “mak[e] vibrant connections between indie and small-press authors and an extensive network of libraries,” is designed specifically to help libraries (and therefore their communities of readers) “identify acclaimed books from the independent publishing sector.” That’s you, folks. And while this particular press release mostly focuses on recent March releases that have gotten exactly that kind of acclaim, it’s worth noting that it provides links for both librarians and independent publishers (including self-published authors) to participate.


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.

 

 

Self-Publishing News: 3.10.2020

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And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

Self-publishing is HUGE in the United States, and very accessible. But what about in other countries? This article from the Regina Leader-Post out of Saskatchewan, Canada, offers some interesting insights into just what the industry has done to instill change beyond our national borders. Lynn Giesbrecht chronicles the journey of one author whose work was published traditionally, only for the publishing house that released it to go bankrupt shortly after, taking her book down with it. The grim summary is that “the cost of producing a book in Canada has jumped by 40 per cent since the 1990s while retail book prices have remained virtually the same. This has caused profit margins for the publisher to drop from between 10 and 12 per cent per book to single digits.” But not all is looking so grim, writes Giesbrecht: one respected author of science fiction has recently gone indie, reporting that “Over the last few years, Willett has seen a steady rise in the number of Saskatchewan authors turning to self-publishing or using local publishers instead of submitting their manuscripts to the major companies.” While the loss of any small or indie publishing company is a hard blow to the province of Saskatchewan, the general attitude seems to remain one of upbeat ambition.

On the one hand, this review in the form of a forward is just that: a review of a book about academics who have successfully carved out a niche beyond traditional academia, making use of new platforms and new opportunities courtesy of this digital, connected, global age. But on the other hand, this review/forward by Joshua Kim to the website Inside Higher Ed gives us a critical insight into the ways in which self-publishing has become foundational to even general conversations about the state of supposedly “unrelated” fields. As we’ve noted in previous news summaries and other pieces here on the Self-Publishing Advisor blog, many professors are moving away from traditional textbooks and towards open resources that their students can access for free. In an age where the average textbook seems to cost more than a bout of gambling in a Vegas casino, it’s hard to justify paying for–or asking one’s students to pay for–a book that they’ll likely never look at again, save to perhaps (if they’re lucky) pass it off to another student at a fraction of the price. But Kim’s summary, while it is specifically referring to just the one book, also hints at whole new aspects of connection between academia and self-publishing. It builds a case for the 1974 self-published The Moosewood Cookbook helping launch a generation of “vegetarian academics,” academics who were more likely to question the status quo, and more likely to pursue “alt-academic” careers, and more likely to turn to open resource and self-published materials as resources–or create them themselves. Are we reading a little too much into this? We leave it to you to decide.


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.

 

 

Self-Publishing News: 3.3.2020

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And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

Medium has become a welcome home for many excellent long-form articles unaffiliated with major news companies in recent years, and this article from Sumbo Bello of EDGY Labs–a “trend forecaster and SEO incubator providing guidance and end-to-end Enterprise level SEO solutions for Fortune 500 brands” according to its ‘about’ page–is representative of the kind of exciting material you can now find on Medium and other long-form-friendly web platforms. Where better to find a quality article describing some of the best content-creation tools out there for writers than a web platform that is itself a content-creation tool? Meta. “The best writing apps are those that help content creators attain a crucial goal, and that’s efficient writing,” Bello writes in the opening line of this piece, citing deadlines both internal and external as one of the main drivers behind the decision of which tool to use. Bello also notes that “Arguably, some of the most efficient writing tools are those that help optimize language mechanics and still cover SEO components like keyword density and relevancy.” (emphasis his) We were delighted to find this summary description list of platforms including the usual heavyweights of Google Docs, Apple Pages, and Microsoft Word–as well as several we are less familiar with, including FocusWriter, Scriviner, Final Draft, and Vellum (but his list goes on). We should note that we do not advocate for any one specific tool among these, especially given that many are paid services, but the information Bello includes is detailed and rich enough to hopefully help you make a decision if you are yourself on the hunt for a new tool, paid or free.

Once again we return to one of our all-time favorite topics in the news section of Self Publishing Advisor: the Zine! This early but time-honored form of self-publishing was absolutely critical to the development of interest in as well as tools to produce later self-publishing options such as on-demand print capabilities and responsive, timely turnaround from writing to publication. Zines were mostly locally distributed (but with some key exceptions) and were mostly individual projects (ditto) and focused around some niche or highly specific area of interest (ditto) … but they have proved an enduring form of what can only be described as a hybrid of art and print publication. Which is why we are so excited to see this article by Jeff Oloizia in Encore celebrating a recent zine exhibition at UNCW. “The best zines,” writes Oloizia, “are transgressive in their activism, born of any number of underground subcultures, and fly in the face of mainstream art and publishing norms.” They’re also, as the exhibition demands audiences to consider, a form of public artistry and worth enjoying and respecting as such. The exhibit described here by Oloiza will remain on display until April 3rd, but zines, as always, will live on indefinitely.


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.

 

 

Self-Publishing News: 2.25.2020

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And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

We love these monthly lists from Publishers Weekly! Not only do they serve as a critical discovery tool for those of us who read self-published books regularly, but they also help authors and the industry, too, by raising awareness of new titles and subjects of interest percolating through the wider cultural consciousness. Those behind the monthly lists make a real effort to represent the fantastic work being done across genres from romance to thriller to nonfiction and poetry, and this same even-handedness is shown in representing titles from big-name self-publishing companies to those offering full-service options like Outskirts Press (this month it’s Asking the Moon to Leave by Johnny Randolph Hunt) to those books which are published under only their authors’ names. As Publishers Weekly puts it,

Booksellers, publishers, librarians, and agents are encouraged to look at the 54 self-published titles below. Each appears with a list of retailers that are selling the book and a description provided by its author. Some of these writers are waiting to be discovered; others have track records and followings and are doing it on their own. If you are a self-published author interested in listing titles in this section, please visit publishersweekly.com/pw-select for more information.

This list comes out each month in both print and digital versions of the magazine, and we can’t recommend it highly enough!

We couldn’t resist talking about this article by Erin Grace of the Omaha World-Herald chronicling the further adventures of the inimitable Robin Reed-Poindexter, an Omaha native whose years fighting fire in California in part fuel her work as a writer. Reed-Poindexter has published two semi-autobiographical children’s books based on her experiences, as well as a lengthy 660 page (!) memoir titled Now I See Clearly. Having made history as the first black woman hired onto the Richmond Fire Department in 1987, Reed-Poindexter “scrapped her way” (Grace’s good word choice there) through some tough times and retired in 2019. Writes Grace, “Robin said she wants the stories to remind students who get in trouble that they should never write themselves off. While grateful for the support she said her North Omaha network of friends, family and educators gave her, ultimately she had to prove her worth on her own.” Her children’s books set out to render this ethos accessible to kids. In a year that has already seen much conversation about fire and the power of civic engagement, we can’t think of a better self-publishing story to feature here on our blog today.


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.

 

Self-Publishing News: 2.18.2020

February concept. stationery and notebook, business background

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

This thoughtful piece by Emily Larson of The Clipper focuses on a subject of great interest and importance to many students (of all walks of life) in our world today: the cost and accessibility of textbooks. Students, writes Larson, have already expressed their concern over the rising cost of these all-important resources to school administrators. “However, teachers are aware of this situation. Some are already working on changing it,” Larson continues. Many instructors and professors are already pursuing more cost-effective routes, such as employing “non-traditional” textbooks that cost far less or nothing at all, depending on the source. Many are turning to something called Open Educational Resources, a loose online collection of free textbooks and other educational materials. One of the instructors Larson interviewed for the article, Nevins, “encourages students to speak up about self-publishing laws and to support their teachers. ‘The student senate could possibly set up a grant fund to support faculty in creating these textbooks,’ he suggests.” And here’s where the article touches on our field of interest: With a bit of time and elbow grease, educators can create their own custom content using any of a number of self-publishing platforms and offer educational resources for a much more affordable rate than the going cost of textbooks. This is a win for both educators and students, assuming that the educators involved have the time and elbow grease (and sometimes money) to spare. It might prove useful to educational institutions like Larson’s to optimize their professional development opportunities in order to empower their teaching staff to create these kinds of resources with adequate support.

This week, in a segment we like to think of as “self-publishing authors up to cool things,” we find Buzzfeed reporter Tanya Chen interviewing self-publishing Instagram phenom Caroline Calloway as a part of Chen’s ongoing newsletter series, which captures some of the Internet’s “top things” and Chen’s current obsessions. Calloway, whose new self-published book Scammer will release in April (or thereabouts), was the center of an Internet controversy when the Instagram star’s complicated past was written up into an article by a friend and caption co-writer. Rather than running from that experience, as many would have, Calloway took the infamy and reshaped into something true to form and brand: a book riffing on the big reveal. While Calloway still has at least one traditionally published book deal to satisfy, her self-published book Scammer promises to be much more quick to market. Says Calloway, “I think as the media landscape and freelance journalism changes, savvy businesspeople and ambitious writers will see that there is so much potential in self-publishing.” We’re already seeing the change mid-motion, with the Instagram star joining a host of other working professionals–doctors and physicians, educators, activists, and more–joining the movement to self-publish. We wish Calloway all the best as she steps into self-publishing!


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.