Self-Publishing News: 10.9.2019

hello October word abstrtact in wood type

And now for the news!

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

We don’t often see self-publishing referenced on Book Riot, one of the foremost book recommendation services out there on the Internet, but this week Enobong Essien really stepped up in this article on the pros, cons, and functions of a book coach. We’ve written about book coaches here on the blog before, but Essien brings a unique approach and voice to the subject. Writes Essien, “If you’re pursuing the self-publishing route, then a book coach could be the difference between a book that never makes it off the shelves to a breakaway Amazon bestseller.” ‘Book Coach’ is in itself an umbrella term of a title for a number of support positions to both traditional and self-published books, including our favorite, the publishing consultant. Essian goes on to answer the all-important question: Do *I* need a book coach? when she writes:

Self-publishing sounds like a great idea. You have full control over your vision, you don’t have to face piles of rejection letters (or more likely emails) and you can get your book out there in a matter of hours if you so wish but more likely months instead of the minimum year and a half of traditional publishing. But it can also be a very lonely road and at the end of it you’re going to want some sales to back up all your efforts, right?

A book coach is a shepherd that will guide you through the ins and outs of the whole process, highlighting both the strengths and weaknesses of your writing and keeping you on track. A good book coach will have some industry experience, even if it’s not necessarily in book coaching, and will therefore have the contacts to refer you to for book cover design, Kindle formatting, and marketing strategies. But, most importantly, they will ensure that what you put out there is a well thought out, well-written, quality book.

Concluding her article with some expert advice on how to become a book coach if being the helper rather than the helped seems more your speed, Essian’s article is an absolute must-read.

One group of authors who might make good use of a book coach or two is the academic community—or so we might assume from reading Rose Ernst’s article for The Good Men Project. While money, writes Ernst, “isn’t the reason academics should consider self-publishing, […] it’s a fantastic side benefit.” But there are more important reasons to consider going indie, Ernst notes, including the fact that academic presses really fail to reach the general audiences that a self-published work can. Self-publishing is also timely, with a much more rapid turnover from manuscript submission to distribution of the finished product, an important facet of the publishing experience for those writing in fast-moving fields where getting ahead of the curve is important to guiding the conversation. Ernst gives academics a template for getting started in publishing, with suggestions for those well-established in the academic sphere but looking to extend and widen their audience.


spa-news

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

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Self-Published Book Review: “Rambling Squirrel”

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:

rambling squirrel

reader views award

Rambling Squirrel

by Wendy Laird

ISBN: 9781432738761

 

Synopsis*:

Learn interesting squirrel facts as you read about a curious squirrel’s journey.

Little squirrel has learned a lot about life as a squirrel but he hungers for more of life’s challenges. Follow his exciting adventures ahead!

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

“Rambling Squirrel” is a book about a squirrel wanting to learn lots of things. He was born on a bright, blue-sky day and learned very quickly. He learned how to climb down a tree head first, gather nuts for winter, where to build a safe nest, to hide in a safe place and, of course, use his tail as a blanket, a rudder and an umbrella. But he wanted to learn more! He went to talk to his mama and she suggested he should visit his cousins to learn more. He packed all of his squirrel-needing items and went to visit his cousins.

First he visited his cousin Beaver, He taught him how to build a river dam. It was cold, hard work! Then he went to visit his cousin Prairie Dog, He told Squirrel to always stay alert and keep safe by digging a tunnel and live in it! But Squirrel didn’t want to live in a tunnel so he went to visit his cousin Flying Squirrel; he couldn’t wait until he could fly! He also learned from his cousins Woodchuck, Chipmunk and Mouse. He was gone from his family for many weeks when he went to go back home. When he returned home, he told his family all about his trip!

My favorite character was the baby squirrel because he wanted to learn more about things. My favorite picture was when he was with his cousin Beaver because the squirrel really looked like a beaver! My favorite part was when he was with his cousin Prairie Dog. I liked the artwork a lot! I also learned more fun facts about squirrels in “Rambling Squirrel.”


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: 10.1.2019

hello October word abstrtact in wood type

And now for the news!

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

Adam Rowe of Forbes is back with yet more excellent coverage of self-publishing-adjacent news, this time with an article on the evolution of ghostwriting. For those who aren’t already read in on what ghostwriting is, the Lexico definition of a ghost writer is:

ghostwriting definition

That’s it. And loads of recognizable names in the publishing world employ ghostwriters, if only because the demand for books under their name is so high (and ghostwriters are a common occurrence in other industries, including music). Robert Ludlum, James Patterson, and even Alexandre Dumas all used ghostwriters. Many authors don’t actually exist or have never existed, and publishers will hire rotating casts of ghostwriters to assume the one continuous name; examples of this second kind of ghostwriting include Carolyn Keene (of the Nancy Drew series), Franklin Dixon (of the Hardy Boys series), and a number of other famous junior fiction “authors.” There are ethical guidelines to ghostwriting, of course (we don’t want to open the door to identity theft or libel), but ghostwriting has also become a common occurrence in self-publishing. Rowe’s article touches on this relationship. Rowe quotes Dan Gerstein:

Second, the explosion of self-publishing options and the rise of disruptive platforms like Wattpad has largely decimated the barriers to entry for a class of authors who could never get published before. These folks look at the amazing success stories of Fifty Grey Shades of Grey and The Martian — both of them self-published — and they understandably say, ‘why not me?’

Why not, indeed? Check out Rowe’s full article for more on ghostwriting.

While less flashy in title than Rowe’s article, it’s worth reminding readers near and far that Publishers Weekly is in the habit of posting monthly lists of recommended self-published books that hit shelves in the month prior. Each article also includes instructions on how self-published authors can submit their own publications for inclusion. The list of September publications includes some 97 titles, ranging from children’s books to adult nonfiction and beyond. Well worth a glance if you’re looking for reading material, and well worth a glance if you’re looking to get your own name out there, too!


spa-news

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

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In Your Corner: Fall Abundance (Part II)

Are you facing down the same cold snap that I am? It’s looking to be quite an early start to Winter, almost skipping straight over Fall, but I’m determined to wring every last drop of sunshine and joy out of these long afternoons.

Last time I wrote to you, dear readers, I launched this series about fall abundance and taking a moment just to breathe it all in … along with all those pine needle and pumpkin spice and fresh-baked shortbread aromas that are spiking the air right now.

fall cookies pumpkin autumn halloween

As the evenings take on a distinct bite, there’s still the tang of summer smoke in the air–all the fire of a season packed with heat and mixed feelings–and it’s time to start thinking of how to make the most of the Autumn writing and marketing season. Yes, it may be most often called the ‘back-to-school’ season, but we all of us go back to things in Fall. Back to work, back to family routines, back to the marketing strategies we … may … have let languish during the busy summer months.

How can we flip the switch and get back to work?

Here are my recommendations:

  • You’re not the only one who may need a reminder that change is upon us. Use the next month as an opportunity to launch a special deal or giveaway. You can frame it as ‘back-to-school savings’ or you can use it as a promo for new or upcoming releases.
  • Think visual. Fall is perhaps the most striking of all (or at the very least, one of the most striking) seasons. Take advantage! Your book is a product, and selling a product is at least half of the time about selling an image. If you haven’t created an Instagram and Pinterest, now is the time! These two social media platforms offer a great way of humanizing your brand and showcasing your product.
  • Fall is a great time to get your networking game on! People may not be thinking about taxes just yet (or they might be thinking about them a lot if they applied for an extension), but you certainly want to get your foot in the door before the holiday craze so that readers remember your name and your book come tax time–and come the holidays! Connect the dots between everyone you ‘meet’ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and even LinkedIn and work those contacts and relationships now, while they’re planning out their budget, calendar, and holiday schemes for the school year.
  • And on that note, it’s time to plan your own editorial and marketing calendar–or at least to sketch out the outlines! Is it your hope to write some newsletters, blog posts, or social media updates in the coming months? Do you have some new work on the horizon? Now is the time to schedule not just your writing time or your own holiday marketing plan–it’s time to lay the groundwork for an entire year of editorial works!

And these are just a few of my recommendations! As you might expect, there are plenty of chances to enrich your opportunities during the Fall. Don’t put things off–start now! More than just a hint of pumpkin spice is wafting on the rising breeze of Autumn ….

fall cookies pumpkin autumn halloween

You are not alone. ♣︎

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

Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

Self-Publishing News: 9.24.2019

Blue september paper banner with colorful brush strokes.

And now for the news!

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

While the whole notion of a “side”  hustle is up for debate when it comes to self-publishing (we’ve spent quite a lot of page-space talking about the work that’s necessary to make a real success out of it here on the blog), we find ourselves smiling while reading Abdullahi Muhammed’s suggestions on Forbes this last week. Muhammed himself writes that “you may need to experiment with different eBook niches, pricing and promotion strategies before you’ll start seeing tangible profits,” after all. It may be a bit of a surprise to find self-publishing ranked equal with housesitting, renting “stuff” out (such as your parking spot or car), and crafting an online course to showcase your specific skills, but as Muhammed reminds us, we live in a gig economy now. And that means … it’s a tough world out there, and diversifying your income sources is always a good plan.

“Libraries are changing,” writes NPR affiliate Mountain West News Bureau’s Rae Ellen Bichell, and one of the ways they’re changing is in the services they’re offering to their users. They’re also helping offset the problems sparked by what Bichell calls “news deserts”:

More than 170 counties across the country have no local newspaper, and half of all counties only have one — according to a recent report from the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism. Other studies suggest these growing “news deserts” contribute to low voter turnout, increasing partisanship and even makes local government more expensive to taxpayers.

How do libraries play into this? At least in one town, the local library has helped support a group of local residents in starting their own news publication, one that has faced the usual challenges of a community-run endeavor: funding problems and volunteer scheduling. They hit on a solution that looks an awful lot like how many libraries secure steady funding: a special district. “And what are libraries […] if not nonpartisan, nonprofit sources of trusted information chock full of some of the nation’s best information ninjas?” One of Bichell’s interviewees “dreams of the library housing not just a staff of local journalists, but also tools for citizen journalists to cover their community, like a makerspace for news.”

How does self-publishing fit in? Bichell writes that:

In the most literal sense of content creation, a growing number of libraries host equipment for physically producing new material, like 3-D printers and machinery for self-publishing actual books. In a broader sense, Kerr adds, they’re already starting to share more characteristics with news organizations — like the libraries that have podcasting equipment and green screens available, or even the ones with plans to house a public TV channel in the same building.

The future is wild, but we can’t imagine a better future than one where libraries are looked to by all as centers for boosting information access and countering misinformation—whether we’re talking about traditionally published books, self-published books, sort-of-self-published news resources, or any number of other possibilities. We’re here for it.


spa-news

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

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Self-Published Book Review: “Odin’s Promise” by Sandy Brehl

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:

odin's promise sandy brehl

mipa - midwest independent publishing association's midwest book award winner

Odin’s Promise

by Sandy Brehl

ISBN: 9781977216168

 

Synopsis*:

ODIN’S PROMISE is a historical novel for middle-grade readers, a story of the first year of German occupation of Norway in World War II as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

Eleven-year-old Mari grew up tucked safely under the wings of her parents, grandma, and her older siblings. After Hitler’s troops invade Norway in Spring 1940, she is forced to grow beyond her “little girl” nickname to deal with harsh new realities. At her side for support and protection is Odin, her faithful elkhound.

As the year progresses, Mari, her family, and her neighbors are drawn into the Norwegian underground resistance movement.

“Readers will cheer for Mari as she discovers her inner strength – and the courage to help celebrate Norway’s spirit of resistance.” — Kathleen Ernst, author of American Girl’s Caroline Abbott series and Chloe Ellefson Mystery series.

“Beautifully written, emotionally taut novel of one girl’s coming of age during war time.” — Gayle Rosengren

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

Odin’s Promise is a real coming of age story.  At first, Mari is a shy, quiet girl who frightens easily, but the reader can see how the circumstances she finds herself in enable her to find the courage and strength to grow and to do what needs to be done, even in the face of overwhelming threat on the part of young impulsive Nazi soldiers.

Resistance stories are among my favorite kind of WWII narratives.  While I like the stories of hidden organized armed resisters, I really like to read about the ordinary citizens who loved their country so much that they not only refused to support the occupation, but actively did what they could to make thing more difficult, or even to just annoy their occupiers.  Mari, her friends and school children all over Norway wore red hats every do to show their loyalty, and irate the Germans.  Norwegians are very patriotic,  and were very loyal to King Haakon VII after he escaped the Nazis and that really comes across in Sandy Brehl’s debut novel about Mari and her family.

There is lots of Norwegian culture included in Odin’s Promise, particularly around the wedding of Mari’s sister Lise, where outright defiance of Nazi orders was the real order of the day.  And be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end of the novel to learn all about how Sandy came up with some of the ideas for Odin’s Promise that give it such a feeling of authenticity.  And remember, there is a glossary included in the back matter that will help with both Norwegian and German words used.  And, just in case Sandy has peaked your curiosity about Norway and the Resistance in WWII, she has provided at very nice bibliography, including other middle grade novels about set in the same time with similar themes.

I found Odin’s Promise to be a beautifully told story of courage and perseverance in the face of immense challenges. Mari’s very appealing as a main character, an eleven-year-old girl whose 1940 Norwegian village has been taken over by the Nazis. She struggles to adjust to the often frightening changes in her world. But through it all her beautiful Norwegian elkhound, Odin remains by her side. But after Odin makes enemies of some of the soldiers, Mari really starts to worry about how she and her family will survive.
I’ll admit that one of the first things I did after I started reading the book was look up Norwegian elkhounds on the internet. I wanted to know what they looked like. As you can see from the picture above (from the American Kennel Club website), they are beautiful dogs.  Odin, it turns out is mostly black with white only on the tips of his paws and the tip of his tail. I confess I fell in love with Mari and Odin’s relationship from the first page.
Not only is this a sweet story about the relationship between a girl and her dog, but also the strength of the human spirit in finding ways to keep one’s hope up in the face of sometimes heart-breaking circumstances. For those who enjoy historical fiction, I can heartily recommend this one!
– excerpted from Heidi’s review on the Geo Librarian
What I Thought –
I loved this story! I first read about the German occupation of Norway and the Norwegian resistance in Steve Sheinkin’s BOMB and I thought the subject was interesting. I like World War II history and that time period in general, so this book was something I really wanted to read. While reading this book, I learned even more about the Norwegian resistance and the culture/history of Norway. Ms. Brehl wrote a believable, exciting story with characters you care for. I like that she wrote a sub-plot into the story to show that sometimes even the “enemy” is thrown into situations they can’t help being in or maybe don’t want to be in. Mari is a great main character. The reader can really understand how she feels throughout the story. Ms. Brehl includes a bibliography and glossary in the back section of the book , which is very helpful. I enjoyed the descriptions of the Norwegian setting. I could picture the small streets and hillsides in my mind. It is a good contrast when Ms. Brehl describes the beautiful scenery and the harsh reality of the German occupation. I liked learning about the rationing during this time and how the citizens bartered with and helped one and other. I completely enjoyed this book!
Five out of five bookworms for Odin’s Promise!
– excerpted from Erik’s review on This Kid Reviews Books

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: 9.17.2019

Blue september paper banner with colorful brush strokes.

And now for the news!

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

Justin O’Connell of Forbes brings us this fun article about the publication of viral sensation B is for Bitcoin, a picture book about cryptocurrency that’s as much for the adults who actually buy the books on behalf of their children as it is for the children themselves. This notion, that adults hold the purse-strings, was one that author Graeme Moore came to early on in the book’s formation:

“I was thinking, what would I want to read to [my niece]? I don’t want to talk about apples and boats and all of that kind of stuff. I want to talk about Bitcoin to my 2-year-old niece who is about to learn how to talk. And that’s how she’s going to learn the alphabet: A is for Altcoin, B is for Bitcoin, C is for Consensus, and D is for Decentralize.”

According to O’Connell, Moore is also an advocate for self-publishing. Writes O’Connell, “This new realm of self-publishing has made it so easy for anybody to create a book, Moore told me. So easy he says, ‘you don’t really realize how easy it is until you actually do it.'” Moore describes and O’Connell relates the process through which the book came into being, including the illustrations and upload for distribution. Moore also notes that “‘Having that excitement, realizing I could be a part of something very special, and then figuring out in what way I could contribute—this was the best way that I knew how.'” That speaks well of both him and the process, don’t you think?

This article, from Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, serves as a timely reminder of where self-publishing came from and where it is now, with columnist Susan Miles Gulbransen guiding Noozhawk readers through the facts. She also asks an important question: “Three experienced local authors have recently written good books but skipped finding traditional publishers. Why?” She then covers her interviews with self-publishing authors Barbara Greenleaf, Hendrika DeVries and Jeanine Kitchel, each of whom was drawn to self-publishing for different reasons and through unique pathways. Together, the three authors represent a rich range of genres, styles, and approaches, with Gulbransen’s article providing a coherent and useful entry point for those looking for anecdotal evidence that they’re doing the right thing or working in a field that will welcome them.


spa-news

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

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