Self-Publishing News: 2.5.2018 – The Company Files!

february

And now for the news!

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

The title might be straightforward, but as Forbes contributor Adam Rowe wrote this week, the recent history of self-publishing is anything but, unless you’re looking at sales numbers … and if you are, those numbers tell a very simple story, one of rapid exponential growth in both production and publication as well as readership and market share. As Rowe puts it in the opening to his article, “In September 2014, there were “perhaps two million” titles in the Kindle Store, according to digital publishing expert David Gaughran. Today there are seven million.” Rowe interviewed Gaughran for his article, unspooling his origins in the self-publishing industry as well as his thoughts on where things have gone (and how they’ve gotten here). Says Gaughran, “It’s not just that the market has swelled; the tools we have for reaching readers have evolved at an incredible rate. It’s harder today, in some ways, and easier in others. But definitely more complex overall.” Complex is our forté! We highly recommend you check out the full article on the Forbes website.

Looking to take the next step in self-publishing your book this February by branching out in your marketing? The best deal around seems to be this one from Outskirts Press, which offers 15% off their Global Book Tour service package. For those unfamiliar with book tours, we can’t recommend them enough (no matter whom you choose to incorporate into your team) here on Self-Publishing Advisor. Interested in knowing more about book tours in general, and what they can do for your book? Check out Elizabeth’s brilliant blog post on the subject, and check out the Outskirts Press website for more information on their February deal.

Remember Medium? It’s been going through a lot of changes lately (some of which we’ve documented on our blog in various news posts), some of them significant. This one seems to be less dramatic than the usual, just a change in chief editor (as if that weren’t still an incredibly significant change!). But Siobhan O’Connor comes with an experience portfolio to rival the best, with experience at Time Inc. and a number of other important traditional print institutions, and many think she has a real chance of making the company finally turn a profit. Medium, a Twitter platform dedicated to longform self-published articles, has struggled to find a financial model which might do so. We’ll be watching closely!


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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5 Steps to Creating a Culinary Cookbook

What separates good cookbooks from bad ones? Just like everyone’s individual palate, the answer to that is largely a matter of personal taste, but these five hints just may help keep your cookbook from leaving a bad taste in someone’s mouth.

cookbook

  1. Include full-color photographs
    The number one most important thing you can do for your cookbook is include high-quality, full-color photographs of the food. Rare is the self-publishing author who can afford to spring for a professional photoshoot, but with today’s cameras, some 3-point bounce lighting, and a photo editing program like Photoshop, there’s no reason to limit your 5-star tartare to a 3-star photograph.  There are simply too many cookbooks on the market to publish one without images, or in black & white.  The old adage says you can’t judge a book by its cover and while that is proven false time and time again, nobody ever said such a thing about a cookbook – where you definitely CAN judge it by its cover. And its cover better look delicious! And so should the inside!
  2. Include original, unique, and exclusive recipes
    No matter how appetizing the pictures look, there has to be a reason for someone to buy your cookbook.  Sure, the design might be amazing, and the images breathtaking, but content trumps design every time, and that is especially true for cookbooks.  Your target market already knows how to make spaghetti, pot roast, and shrimp cocktail; you have to include recipes they’ve never seen before, or at least feature startling new takes on old standards that will justify their purchase, as well as satisfy their cravings.
  3. Allow content and design to dance
    Speaking of design and content, formatting a cookbook is much like dancing the tango, with the content and the design making magical music together as they flow in unison. Cookbooks require larger print than other books because people don’t “read” cookbooks, they “use” them (typically with wet fingers or flour-caked palms).  So, if you have too many recipes to hit your target page count at 14- or 16-point font, don’t decrease the font size to 12 just to make it fit.  Remove a recipe. Or, better yet, find a way to reword those three-page recipes into two-page spreads.
  4. Include finishing flourishes
    A good meal is like a good story (or a good cookbook); it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Anybody can print a recipe for baked Alaska from the Internet but only your cookbook contains the amusing anecdote about how making it for the first time led to a food fight with your grandson, which turned into a fond memory told over Thanksgiving Dinner for years to come.  Don’t be afraid to sprinkle some saffron into your prose to excite the senses and make the recipes in your cookbook truly your own.
  5. Obsess over the details
    The details of your recipes can make or break your cookbook. This includes the ingredients, as well as the instructions, down to the units of measurements and the cooking equipment.  If your audience is comprised mostly of US residents, don’t refer to grams or liters when your cook wants to see teaspoons, tablespoons, or cups, instead.  If your recipe calls for a very specific ingredient that is not available at the local grocery store, advise your cooks where to get their hands on it – a farmer’s market, online, a quick trip to China, etc.  By the same token, be informative and detailed about the pots, pans, molds, presses, graters, utensils, etc. you’ve used to create your inspiring dishes.  The purists will appreciate the opportunity to match your expertise and it gives the lay-cook something other than their prowess to “blame” when their soufflé flops.

To make a soufflé you’ve got to break a few eggs, but nobody warned you publishing a cookbook would be such a headache. It doesn’t have to be! Check out this One-Click Cookbook package over at Outskirts Press.


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.

Self-Publishing News: 12.25.2017 – Merry Christmas!!

And now for the news!

Yes, yes, it’s Christmas! And we know you have some yuletide carols to sing, some gifts to open, and some people to see. We’ll keep it short, but we wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas first! Here are 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!

First off, the really really good news: Outskirts Press (with whom many of our writers over the years have worked) are offering a really spectacular deal this holiday season, with $800 off the package price of any of their One-Click Publishing suites. These suites already offer really spectacular discounts by combining services in order to drop prices, so this discount means that for a couple of days over this Christmas season, you’ll be getting everything at rock-bottom price. And if you’re not ready to commit to one of their One-Click Publishing suites, they’re also offering $300 off the package price for their Ultimate and Full-Color publishing services, which are excellent as well. Check out the press release (at the link) or visit their website at www.OutskirtsPress.com for a Christmas present all your very own!

Have you been thinking about self-publishing this holiday season, maybe taking advantage of that sweet deal (above)? Shirley McMarlin of the Tribune-Review has some words of wisdom for you as you move forward. Some of them are warnings, some are encouragements, but they are all of them very wise indeed. Take a peek as she explores some of the ups and downs of both traditional and self-publishing platforms, and digs into those specifics which sell books (it’s not always what you might expect!). Nobody ever said it would be easy … but with experts like McMarlin around, it’s certainly easier to make the right decision to fit your needs.

Oh, who are we kidding? We love a good and positive story during the holiday season, and Jeff Polman’s piece for HuffPost earlier in December truly fits the bill. Herein Polman shares how, as a previously self-published author, he made his first foray into traditional publishing … and then turned right around and returned to self-publishing. Why? He’d written a book he loved, in a voice he felt at home in, and afterward discovered that agents and publishers were looking for some specifics which would require him to rewrite the entire thing to suit. Rather than do that–and sacrifice his original vision for this newest book–Polman went his own way, again, proving the (maybe not-so-) old adage that self-publishing is a refuge for those creators who want to maintain creative control over their work. Read the full article for more!

Yes! Self-publishing is about more than books! We’ve written before on how the self-publishing industry has its roots in everything from printed literature like books and comics and magazines to digital materials like ezines and so forth … but this might just be one of the first times we’ve seen games brought into the conversation. And we love it! the Xbox (and its archcompany, Microsoft) might just be opening its doors to independent games publishers and creators, who formerly were barred from seeing their games used on the platform. This would be, if it truly comes to pass, a massive move in reshaping the gaming industry, with repercussions which will be felt for years to come. Indie game designers have been making inroads into the industry for a while, but the Xbox remains one of the primary hardware components to gaming, and this decision places a thumb very heavily on the scales in favor of the diversification and democratization of game-space. Read the full article, courtesy of Matt Liebl and GameZone, 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 every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

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A Quick 5 Minute Survey to Serve You Better!

We’d love to hear from you about how we’re doing and what more you’d like to see on Self-Publishing Advisor! After all, we’re here to serve your needs and interests, and we want to ensure we’re delivering material that you need—and enjoy!

Click here to access the survey link

This survey should take around 5 minutes, and responses are completely anonymous.

we want your feedback


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: 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!


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: 9.18.2017 – New Releases!

september

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 to kick off the school year with some current and relevant material on supporting diversity in the American education system? We are! Of course, we may be biased by the fact that we have personal connections to a number of students and educators who might benefit from Joseph T. Mayhew and Robert J. Hudak’s combined experience and expertise–but it would be the rare American who didn’t have some sort of tie to these issues. (The Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon thing works for a reason!) Suffice it to say, this is one of our top picks both for new releases and back-to-school reads. Disadvantaged children deserve a better future than the one they’re given, and special education–rightly and compassionately and thoughtfully administered–may help them find that future.

Not everyone’s looking for a five-alarm snot bomb of a book on the eve of Fall … but some people are, and here’s a fantastic new example of the form! This is the memoir of Peter Gordon, who was pulled out of his idyllic life (he’d been recently remarried, developed a thriving career, and lived in a beautiful mountain resort) by a case of leukemia. The only solution? A bone marrow transplant, an invasive and dangerous procedure under his specific conditions. The book copy calls this a “real-world healthcare saga for our times, offering insightful lessons for cancer patients, caregivers, and medical professionals,” and it’s not exaggerating the broad appeal of this fantastic book! Just make sure to bring tissues.

Some of us may not have run across a Gothic novel (NOT to be confused with ‘graphic novel’) since grade school, when we had to read The Castle of Otranto and Northanger Abbey and–oh? That was just us? Not you? Never mind. Still, Gothic novels aren’t what you would consider run-of-the-mill mainstream fiction in 2017. Enter Dwight Brooks and Salvage Optic, stage left. Here’s a novel to delight and confound your expectations, what with its embrasure of archaic diction (a la the Royal Society, circa 1674) and its ferocious, beautifully-plotted character arcs. Did we mention there are pirates? Our bad. There are LOTS of pirates. And that’s fantastic, really. This is a book packed with swash, buckle, and literary Easter eggs which will keep the discerning reader busy in front of a crackling fire this Fall. Really, you couldn’t ask for a stranger–or more appealing–hybrid of a book!

No list of new releases is complete without a seriously awesome picture book! Bertyl, by Sandra Dobozi, fits the bill perfectly. This sweetly rhyming book follows the adventures (not to be confused with the piratey adventures of Salvage Optic) of a turtle looking to nail down answers to some of life’s tough questions: Who am I? What am I here for? Why am I not like other turtles? (Seriously, we can relate.) Fans of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder and its picture book counterpart, We’re All Wonders) will appreciate Dobozi’s take on what it feels like to be “different,” and to want to know one’s place in the world. This is the uplifting, positive, inspiring kid’s book we all need to read in the doldrums of 2017.


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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Conversations: 8/18/2017

S. O. S. – Writers Need Help, Too – Part III

The manuscript is finished! Woo Hoo! Now you’re ready to PUBLISH! The writing was so much fun! Where do we go from here?

The “big” traditional publishing houses today literally have hundreds of back-logged books waiting for their editorial staffs to “review” manuscripts and make their changes according to the “standard” of every specific genre.

First, I NOT want my book to be changed. My editor and I have completed it just the way I want it and no other editors are required.

Second, contracts with the traditional publishers give them full latitude in selecting a book cover. Nope—I do not want that, either. I have very specific ideas for the cover design.

help wanted

So, let’s look at the options today’s self-publishers offer. Again, this will require a bit of Internet Research to find the BEST FIT for me and my book.

  • After making a list of the Self-Publishing companies that look best to me I begin calling their main telephone lines and asking to speak to a Publishing Consultant.
    • I compare the publishing consultant to a National Park Service trail guide who, before I embark on my highly anticipated journey, will give me the “lay of the land.”
    • This person will walk me through the pros and cons of each publishing option available within their specific company.
    • He/she listens to what my manuscript is about and guides me to the best options for my particular manuscript needs.

The best Publishing Consultant I’ve ever enjoyed working with literally held my client’s hand through the whole start-up process. Her conversations with him extended over several weeks, which is exactly what he needed in order to make the best decisions for his book(s). She looked at the initial manuscript pages we submitted, listened to my client’s purpose for writing the book, and guided us to the very best options, which included personal cover design, extra help with photography placements, and layout design. My client gave her rave reviews in a letter to company’s owner.

Even though I sincerely believe that most of my clients would develop ulcers if they attempted to publish totally independently, to be fair, I will also mention the self-publishing “tools” to be considered. They include: Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble’s PubIt, Smashwords, and others. IF a client has little or no financial support for their writing efforts, or they have something short they want to publish—something that will possibly attract Readers to their major book(s)—I believe these are good options to consider. However, there is no Publishing Consultant to walk you through this forest.

Working with a Self-Publishing Company, and their publishing staff of experts, is (in my opinion) the best option for today’s authors. If finances are a concern, many have “gift cards” available (given by supportive family and friends) which can be applied to any of the publishing needs. The helping hand of the Publishing Consultant is priceless—and is included in the publishing package you select. ⚓︎

 


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.