Self-Publishing News: 11.20.2017 – These Cookbooks are Prime for Thanksgiving!

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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!

Look, it’s the week of Thanksgiving, so we’re going to spend a little time loving on a few of our favorite cookbooks this week as we ready our mixing bowls and our stomachs for what’s ahead: a week full of food, fun, and family–not to mention a whole lot of patriotism! Yes, it’s true, there’s no more timely and suitable cookbook to add to your collection this week than Uma Aggarwal’s America’s Favorite Recipes, the first volume of which was published by Outskirts Press! Aggarwal, an experienced cook and author of several other cookbooks, sets out to prove a point in this particular volume: that American cuisine is, in fact, that “melting pot” it has often been described to be, and that it combines the best of all worlds and elements from the various cultures who have been brought to our shores. Here is a beautifully designed and elegantly presented set of traditional as well as innovative recipes gathered by Aggarwal from throughout the country and throughout the history of America–from Colonial times to modern ethnic fusion cuisines–and a whole lot of great ideas to try as you dive into your Thanksgiving preparations!

Some chefs are just a national treasure, don’t you think? We happen to think so, and we happen to also think that Chef Jesse Jones counts among that exalted crowd of creative, masterful, and also accessible chefs who don’t just inspire us to do better in the kitchen–they also provide concrete steps of how to get from point A (the raw ingredients) to point C (the plated dish). Here, in POW! My Life in 40 Feasts, Chef Jones provides his readers with a brand-new set of tried and true recipes from his own private collection, all of them beautifully printed in this gorgeous cookbook. But there’s more here than just recipes, as wonderful and worthy as they are by themselves! This is not just a cookbook, it’s a memoir too, and it follows Chef Jones’ story from troubled times in New Jersey and North Carolina, throughout his training in the great kitchens of France, to his eventual return and success as a restaurant owner and five-star chef! This book provides plenty to get new and cautious cooks started, as well as lots to challenge the experienced chef. Dip into his French and Southern-influenced cuisine with this great set of fantastic feasts!

If it were easy, we’d all be doing it, right? And while we can’t all be Angela Mulloy, we can learn from her life story in this fascinating book, which combines memoir and recipes in an altogether new and fresh way! Mulloy’s life took an unexpected turn when she moved from a successful career in publishing to purchasing and renovating an Eighteenth-Century plantation, where she opened a restaurant and inn and launched herself down a wholly different path to what might be called … a renaissance of Southern cooking, hospitality, and tradition! With more than 25 years of experience in running the inn and restaurant to wide acclaim, Mulloy now brings us this fantastic book, chronicling her life and journey from childhood through the various kitchens and homes which sharpened her creative culinary instincts. Her life hasn’t exactly been easy–there’s tragedy and loss sprinkled in among the everyday hardships which make up an ordinary life–she has risen above it all with her sparkling wit and her tasty recipes, sure to please a crowd this holiday season. We can’t recommend her book enough!


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Self-Publishing News: 11.13.2017 – The Interviews!

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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!

For many self-publishing authors, regionality is a powerful thread woven throughout their works, tying their books to the cities and sceneries which surround them in day-to-day life. For newly self-published author Alexandra Speck, her first book has deep roots in the culture and community of Cape Cod, which she herself calls home. Says Steven Withrow of The Falmouth Enterprise in this early November interview, Ms. Speck honed early drafts of Honor Girl “in workshops with fellow writers at the Cape Cod Writers Center in Hyannis,” and has solid plans to promote and sell her book throughout the area using her experience in event planning as a development associate for the Community Health Center of Cape Cod. She has a lot to say in encouraging others thinking about self-publishing, too: “There are so many success stories with self-published authors, and publishing companies are really paying attention to books that have already found an audience,” she says. Withrow notes the decline in stigma associated with skipping traditional publishing in favor of the speed, flexibility, and affordability of self-publishing options. The rest of Withrow’s interview with Speck is well worth checking out on The Falmouth Enterprise‘s website!

Not every breakthrough for self-publishing authors comes in the form of a book, as Ivan Thomas’ article for Lee Bailey’s EurWeb Electronic Urban Report reveals. It’s here that Thomas describes the latest project by author, publisher, and indie publishing guru LaDonna Smith–a magazine, specifically designed to spread the word about self-published works and amplify the voices of minority authors and creators. The magazine in question is Writer’s Life Magazine, first started by Smith as a way of promoting her own book, The Money Tree but now an indie darling with both up-and-coming and high-profile names attached, such as NBA champion Metta World Peace (Ron Artest), who has released several well-received children’s books.

And look, we get excited about a lot of things on Self Publishing Advisor, but this magazine sounds really special, even by our standards. After all, it’s not every day that someone like Smith comes along with the know-how and the generosity to first craft a magazine and then open it up to promote the works of others. Writes Thomas, “Each issue of Writer’s Life Magazine provides professional advice and insider tips on writing and self-publishing books. These resources assist not only independent authors, but screen-writers, song-writers, literary organizations and rising illustrators. There is even a small-business spotlight that highlights bloggers and individuals who provide services to authors.” Smith’s hope is to provide a boost to the works of others who, like her, struggled to find a home for books and other artistic projects which celebrate people of color and for authors who are looking for more artistic control. The rest of this interview can be read at the link!

This isn’t your typical interview, but that’s fitting, because there’s very little that’s typical about Houston’s annual Zine Fest this year. In this brief interview with Connor Clifton, member of the absurdist comedy collective MicroSatan (which also publishes the zine Dragon Trainer High School), reporter Texas Cook takes a look at the underground culture of zines which is about to converge on the city. Those of you who’ve followed us here at Self Publishing Advisor for a while will know that zines are a favorite topic of ours here; although we don’t get too many opportunities to talk about them, we have written about them and their importance in the past, and would encourage you to not just catch up on Cook’s full interview but also on some of the many ways in which you can make zines work in your favor. (Interested? Read this article. And this one, too. And don’t worry, we’ll revisit the subject in more detail at some future date.) Check out Texas Cook’s article and the happy chaos that is the Houston Zine Fest 2017!


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Self-Publishing News: 11.6.2017 – The Company Files!

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And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically news from or regarding self-publishing companies!

Wait, what’s Sweek? It’s got a cute logo, that’s for sure:

sweek stories never end

The short answer, it turns out, is that Sweek is another self-publishing startup. This one isn’t necessarily in direct competition with indies and others who produce book-length works that are then distributed via bookstores and online sales, but that doesn’t mean that Sweek doesn’t have some serious competition–it just comes in the form of mobile platforms like Medium and Wattpad (and others, too). These platforms, which often consist of both a desktop-friendly website and a sleek (or sweek, I guess) app which allows users to both curate a collection of other peoples’ works for easy reading and write their own stories for publication. In this article from Molly Flatt on The Bookseller, one thing is very, very clear: our reading and writing habits are changing, and various industries–and platforms–are competing to be the next “normal.” Here’s to you, Sweek–we will check in with you in a couple of months to see how you’re doing!

Oh, and we all want to know what that ‘good part’ is, don’t we? Of course, for some of us it has nothing to do with a knight in shining armor and everything to do with a warm cup of tea on a cold winter’s night. Which is pretty much how my evening is going right now, come to think about it. Do I need a romance novel to round out my evening? Audible thinks so, which makes perfect sense, since romance books make up a big slice of the audio book giant’s core offerings and sales. So what’s the deal with this new service? Jacob Passy of MarketWatch writes that Audible (now an Amazon subsidiary) now offers an entirely separate package for subscribers who want to skip the other genres and dig into their romance. Says Passy:

The new “Take Me to the Good Part” function identifies major plot points — yes, including the sultrier moments — using algorithms and allows listeners to skip ahead in the story. And the “Steaminess Score” keys listeners in to the level of passion they can expect from a given title on a five-point scale from ‘Sweet’ to ‘O-O-OMG.’

Which … fair enough. What remains to be seen, of course, is how this will translate when it comes to boosting the careers of self-publishing authors. According to Passy, “self-publishing has allowed the romance genre community to address concerns related to inclusion,” concerns which Audible & Amazon haven’t always been willing to take on. One hopes that will change, and in the meantime, you can skip all the boring bits of your latest bodice-ripper.

I mean … one might argue that if one can foot a bill that large … one probably already has an extensive networking reach and the ability to build a business of any kind with greater success than, say, a recent college graduate who’s paying off loans by working with AmeriCorps or burning time in an entry-level position. But still, this is fascinating stuff! And what, exactly, do life coaches have to do with self-publishing? Quite a lot, actually, as Cathy Alter reveals in her article for the Washingtonian. Sure, the attendees of this particular book launch event all look overwhelmingly glamorous in their ball gowns and tuxedos (around a table fit for the Capitol in The Hunger Games), but I’d totally sit down with any one of them to hear what they have to say. That’s the power of glamor–of good branding–for you. And as Alter puts it, “self-help books are less about racking up sales than about building a personal brand that pays off in other ways”–and all of these self-published self-help authors have a lot riding on the line, and on their reputations, and on their brands. The author at the center of this article, the author behind the authors, could easily be framed as an object of derision–but it would have been a mistake to do so, and Alter avoids falling into the trap of taking an easy or simple portrait of the men and women profiled here. Well worth a read!


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Self-Publishing News: 8.30.2017 – October Round-Up

hello October word abstrtact in wood type

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, wrapping up what’s new for you and yours in October 2017.

Self-publishing can be a complicated process, as Desireé Duffy puts it in her latest article for the news blog Equities.com, but things are changing: “Self-publishing gives everyone the ability to unleash their opus to the masses,” says Duffy, launching into an interview with indie author, publisher, and radio host Gerald Everett Jones. Jones has been around long enough to attest to such changes, and the interview uncovers some genuine gems (including: “the noise level in the marketplace is higher than ever,” for example, due to the massive influx of new tools and texts). Jones and Duffy also work to hammer out a new definition of “success” which doesn’t conflate it with blockbuster publishing success, tackle misconceptions about self-publishing, compare the experience of going solo to that of sticking with traditional publishing, and list some tips and tricks for spotting the genuine article when it comes to self-publishing companies. They’re not all created equal, after all, and Jones knows. This lengthy interview is the perfect way to wrap up October!

If you haven’t been watching the news from Down Under, you’ve been missing out: the Australian literary scene has been rich and textured for many a decade, but the last five years have seen a veritable explosion of great works in a variety of genres and categories, from crime fiction to young adult to fantasy to romance, and self-publishing has played a part in this larger conversation. Here, in this article for the Australian book industry blog, Books+Publishing, Andrea Hanke writes that “With a number of traditionally published authors moving into self-publishing, there’s never been a greater demand for bricks-and-mortar bookstores to stock self-published titles.” Hanke turns to hybrid author Ellie Marney and to Kym Bagley and Angela Crocombe, both of whom are booksellers, for their insights into how the self-publishing industry has evolved internationally to make more room for authors to experiment with form and content. It’s refreshing to read multiple perspectives on the same issue, with both authors and booksellers present on the page. Read the full article at the link!

Yeah, yeah, this shouldn’t be news to those of us who are really plugged into the self-publishing landscape–but it’s always nice to hear our anecdotal observations confirmed by third party research and statistics, isn’t it? So we come to 


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Self-Publishing News: 10.23.2017 – Publishing Trends

hello October word abstrtact in wood type

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically regarding publishing trends within the publishing industry, and their implications for all authors!

This article by Jim Milliot for Publisher’s Weekly is the perfect way to bludgeon your way into Monday, packed with fascinating tidbits on the state of self-publishing by way of a new report from Bowker. It would seem that, now we’ve reached October 2017, we’re finally drawing conclusions about 2016, a year in which we apparently (collectively) purchased 786,935 ISBNs. According to the report (and Milliot), this serves as “an 8.2% increase over 2015,” which is, well, statistically significant. This number averages out the numbers for print books (which rose significantly) and for e-books (which dropped a bit). What does this report mean for you and me? First, there are several conclusions we might reach: firstly, that the drop in e-book ISBN purchases is leveling out (in 2015, there was an enormous drop), Amazon is still purchasing the bulk of ISBNs, and there are still plenty of companies jockeying to pick up the bulk of the remainder. There are perhaps more gems of wisdom we might identify here, and we encourage you to dig into the original article, which you can access here.

“Marvel and DC could learn a thing or two from their indie competitors,” writes Alexander Huls as he opens this article for the Pacific Standard. What are those things that might be learnt? That women make, buy, and read comics in which they are well-represented! We might examine that idea at length, but Huls has already done such a fantastic job we highly recommend you take a peek at the original piece for brilliant insights into the established comic publishers (like Marvel and DC) and what they have done to lose their edge in appealing to what is now a significant market share of the comics industry–a shortsightedness which is now paying dividends to independent and self-publishing comics companies. We’ll just leave you with one final quotation:

Women Write About Comics’ Purdy echoes that sentiment. “When you get through a convention or an industry space, it’s always: ‘Where are the women? Is this generation of women going to be the one to finally break through?’ We already broke through,” Purdy says.

You can read the rest of Huls’ fantastic article at the link.

We’re not disputing that there are plenty of pitfalls to landing a traditional publisher, as Loren Kleinman chronicles in her article for HuffPost … but we might dispute that a newcomer to the self-publishing industry is the way to cure all those ills. After all, there have been (as the Bowker article reveals, above) plenty of contenders attempting to redress the gaps and shortfalls of the traditional publishing industry, and if they haven’t found the solution in aggregate, it’s unlikely that just one new company would. Still, it’s worth exploring all options, right? So, what is Publishizer? According to Kleinman, it is “a NYC-based startup and crowdfunding platform that’s helped hundreds of authors get published,” which sounds a little bit like sales copy. Still, the rest of the article is fascinating, as it is made up of an interview with Lee Constantine, Publishizer’s Head of Growth. According to Constantine, Publishizer was established to combat one of the perceived shortcomings of self-publishing–namely, its lack of legitimacy, and its inability to compete with the “elusive” traditional publishing option. How does Publishizer aim to do this? Algorithms. Of course it’s more complicated than that, but we highly recommend you read Kleinman and Constantine’s full interview.


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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Self-Publishing News: 10.16.2017 – New Releases!

hello October word abstrtact in wood type

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!

Are you looking for a whodunit to liven up your October evenings? You can’t go wrong with Reginald Buchanan’s Deceived, a killer story with a serious twist. It follows the story of Joan Witherspoon, a rising star of an athlete and the kind of senior everyone hopes their children grow up to be: a bright spark, full of life and passion. But her life is about to get very complicated indeed. Tragedy strikes while she’s away at volleyball practice, and while her parents’ deaths are explained away by the local law enforcement at the time, she finds herself years later at the heart of a burgeoning serial murder story. There’s plenty of deceit to go around, as the book’s title indicates, but you won’t see the end coming until it arrives! Sure, it may not be as overtly spooky as a book with “Halloween” in the title, but Deceived is a fantastically creepy exploration of the various sides of grief, tragedy, and the mind of a killer.

On a lighter note, who hasn’t wanted to go backpacking or river boating or parasailing through Europe? (Okay, so that last one may be a bit too much, but there’s always room for a personal fantasy or two in the midst of a book review!) Francis J. Clauss is here to walk us through the jewel of the grand European tour of ages gone by: Italy, land of Roman ruins and lush wineries and volcanoes galore. But Clauss has something more to offer than just a smidgen of sight-seeing! A regular at the San Francisco Opera, West Bay Opera in Palo Alto, Opera San Jose, Santa Fe Opera, the New York Metropolitan Opera, and many foreign venues, he and his wife have volunteered behind and in front of the scenes at various venues and know the lay of the operatic land, so to speak. In this volume, Clauss takes readers on a journey through not just the heart of Italy’s opera scene, but also the history of opera and why it has become such an emotional lynch-pin for those like him, and why it has become a city- and nation-building force throughout the ages. Fascinating, right? More than worth a look!

Following up on the joyous ride that was the first book in this series, Tom Boyhan is back with a new installment! If you or someone you know has loved Harry Potter, The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes, or How to Train Your Dragon, here’s another fantastic fantasy series for young readers that really knows how to blow your socks off! With fire! Dragonfire! What’s cooler than that? I’ll tell you what: a story which combines the allure of martial arts (they win belts!) with boarding school (which we’d much rather read about than attend, except when it’s a magical boarding school for magical kids and DRAGONS) and podracing. I mean, dragon racing! Dragon racing is even cooler than podracing, in our humble opinion. But of course, not all is fun and games at the academy, and our intrepid cast of heroes must fight a shadowy organization in order to survive, save the world, and make it to class on time in the morning. They’ve got a full semester ahead of them, and we have a full evening by the fire reading ahead of us. Can’t wait for book three!


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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Self-Publishing News: 10.9.2017 – The Interviews!

hello october

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!

There is literally nothing more exciting and potentially explosive (in a literary sense) than a group of like-minded individuals getting together to accomplish something, and when that something happens to be writing and publishing one’s memoirs, the possibilities are endless! Or so the experiences of the Toledo Writer’s Workshop, interviewed at length by Nicki Gorny for the Toledo Blade, would seem to indicate–everyone there has a different story, both in terms of what they want to write and how their publishing process has gone. The workshop, which is made up of Chris Kwapich, Sarah Charles, James C. Mack, Chris Cummings, Don Slessman, Mohan Pandey, Bob Beach, and Mary Bush Shipko, is just as varied in terms of who chose to pursue a traditional publishing route and who opted to self-publish. Gorny dedicates page space to each author in turn, and each has something valuable to say about the process of writing a memoir. You can read the full article at the link!

Talk about a story for the ages! “Author Mark Cantrell was never expecting to have something in common with the protagonist of his latest novel,” begins Philip Cullinane’s article for the Stoke Sentinel, “But when the company he was working for went bust, the 46-year-old suddenly found himself unemployed, much like the character in his new book Citizen Zero.” So the story begins, yes, but it definitely doesn’t end there, as Cullinane chronicles Cantrell’s journey to self-publication, and his recovery after such a major career check. Citizen Zero, according to the article, conveys a world in which the gap between rich and poor is continually growing, where heavy-handed authoritarian governments are considered normal, and jobs are continually at risk of being rendered obsolete by artificial intelligence. Sound familiar? Well, maybe most of us don’t have to worry about AI yet, but some of us do. For more of Cullinane’s article interviewing Cantrell, visit the Stoke Sentinel website.

Every now and then, we like to talk comics, graphic novels, and heavily illustrated works on this blog, in part because they are just as commonly self-published as “word-based” literature, and in part because some members of the comics community are so totally, incredibly dedicated to their work–and we ant to honor that! This interview, conducted by Philippe Leblanc as part of a series at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC), takes advantage of the four-day festival’s intense concentration of independent artists to interview Marnie Galloway. Galloway, a Chicago cartoonist whose latest collection of publications includes Burrow, self-published in part with funds from the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, also uses Patreon to raise support in order to pay for daycare. A new mother, she speaks openly and frankly about the pressures of being both parent and artist in this interview, which you can read in full on The Beat


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As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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