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: 8.28.2017 – Publishing Trends

Hello august. Splash paint letters

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!

Well, of course they do! I mean, when you look at the numbers, that’s quite a bit less than one in ten people alive on Planet Earth–and if you’ve spoken to any number of earthlings lately, you’ll know we’re a species addicted to storytelling and words. But the point, according to the UK’s Southern Reporter, is actually something quite different. (And also, the article is talking specifically about 5.3 citizens of the United Kingdom alone, which is rather a smaller population than Earth’s 7 billion.)  No … the point is that memoir and autobiography now make up a majority in terms of author-interest. According to the article, “One in five of those planning to write a book would like to pen their own life story (21 per cent), more than twice the number of any other non-fiction genre and considerably more than any genre of fiction” (emphasis added). This means that, in about five or ten year’s time, whenever this massive percentage of UK authors finally sits down to pen books in their retirement years, the majority of books published may in fact be autobiography and memoir–not mass market genre fiction. Not romance, not crime fiction, not Nordic Noir. How cool is that? Keep your eyes on your pocketbooks, people! British nonfiction is a storied and legendary canon, and about to get a lot more diverse and interesting!

We’ve known for a while now that the publishing industry isn’t doing so well, as a whole, while self-publishers are growing and diversifying at record pace. Well, this article by Michelle Caffrey of the Philadelphia Business Journal chronicles the progress of BookBaby, a South Jersie Print-on-Demand (POD), ebook distribution, and indie publishing company known for its ease of use. The full text of the article is only available to subscribers, but if you don’t happen to be one, you can catch much of the same information in other places and from the BookBaby website itself, specifically its “in the press” page.

And you thought the New Yorker was irrelevant to indie authors, huh? Well, maybe even the New York literary scene can take a clue or two, as Stephen Burt’s most recent piece dives into the nature and values of fanfiction. The worlds of fanfiction and self-publishing are not, it’s true, one and the same–but there’s a tight correspondence to explore, as very often fanfiction authors have no other option forward to publication than going indie, and many times established self-publishing authors began as writers with a foray or two into the fanfic universe. Burt spends some quality time with other cousins of the self-publishing movement, cousins we have spoken about regularly here on the blog–fanzines, science fiction (and other popular genre fictions), as well as the rich relationship between scholarly analysis and pop culture–and upon which we could hold forth for quite a long time. Suffice it to say, Burt’s piece is a refreshing take from an establishment magazine which has often spurned “our people,” and an insightful bit of analysis in and of itself. Well worth taking a look!


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.
Kelly
ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing News: 2.28.2016

This week in the world of self-publishing:

In this February 28th article for Khaosod English (“a Bangkok-based news website providing coverage of Thai politics, economics, and culture to an English-language audience”), Chayanit Itthipongmaetee recounts the history of zines, particularly in eastern Asia, and the positive impact that they have had on Thailand’s literary scene.  Says Itthipongmaetee, the zine has its origins in a thoroughly Western context: they “started in Western countries […] with topics considered outsider, aggressive or antisocial such as hardcore punk or metal,” and “exploded in popularity when reproduction technology such as photocopying machines made it cheap and easy for anyone to create their own.”

The story of the zine is, in this context, the story of every narrative that breaks the mold and leaks out around the edges of “standard practice” and “standard interest” in traditional publishing.  But zines didn’t stay a Western concept.  As Itthipongmaetee recounts, “Whereas zines in the West vanished as soon as anyone could roll a Geocities site, they endured until internet access became widespread in Thailand in 2004 or so. Most Thais turned to blogs, boards or services such as Exteen, Pantip and Thaimail.”  This has made zines a more enduring expression of creative freedom in Thailand than they have been in the United States––and, since most zines are self-published, they have become a focal point around which the east Asian indie movement rotates.

For the rest of Itthipongmaetee’s excellent article, including her conclusions on where zines in Asia are headed in the near future, check out the original article here.

“Publishing is not really a business at all, it is a verb, the act of putting something into the wild, usually with a consequence,” writes Philip Jones in this February 26th article for The Bookseller: “They are creationists—in a good way. They need to believe. Yet there is a flip side. Publishers occupy positions of power: what they project into the world has an influence precisely because it has been ‘published.'”  This means that self-publishing, rather than just an exercise in ego and self-benefit, is truly a radical act that challenges the established information hierarchy of many nations and cultures.  It has the potential to effect real change in redressing many great wrongs that have been handed out to aspiring authors by the traditional publishing industry.

As Jones goes on to point out, “publishing may now be starting to listen (and act).”  He’s speaking, of course, about Penguin Random House’s decision earlier this year to sell its self-publishing business (Author Solutions): “acknowledging, one might hope, that investing in authors with one hand, while taking their money with the other, always looked at best uncomfortable and, at worst, an existential disaster.”  In a brilliant move that I highly recommend following up on, Jones then points his readers to  Penguin Random House’s (UK division) decision to roll out a comprehensive “Creative Responsibility strategy,” with CEO Tom Weldon remarking that a “publisher of our size really could be a force for good in society above and beyond the books we publish.”  The fact that Weldon and Penguin Random House recognize the fact that a healthy self-publishing sector boosts their traditional publishing sector––with everyone benefiting from increased value and increased sales––is a hopeful sign, indeed.  For the rest of Jones’ article, click here, and for a look at Penguin Random House’s creative responsibility strategy, click here instead.

In a February 25th press release for PRNewswire that was reposted to Crowdsourcing.org, the makers and runners of BookFuel––”a company that provides professional self-publishing services to aspiring authors”––announced the launch of FundMyBook.com, a website dedicated to helping authors “publish with the help of sponsorships and other support by friends and family. FundMyBook.comprovides a viable option to any writer who may have been intimidated by the effort required by other crowdsourcing sites or the expense of self-publishing.”  And we’re all very well aware of just how expensive it is to be an author, both in respect to the actual production of a book, and in the marketing campaign that follows.  FundMyBook.com is designed to serve as a book-specific analogue to Kickstarter and GoFundMe, two popular project-funding platforms that allow people to raise money from like-minded individuals.  There are several key differencees between FundMyBook.com and these other crowdfunding services, however.  As the press release points out, it is “difficult for writing projects to stand out” among all of the competition for the average person’s attention.  “These other crowdfundingsources also don’t provide the social media exposure or the help planning for the costs of the reward fulfillment that FundMyBook.com does for aspiring authors,” the press release states.

It looks like FundMyBook.com might be of legitimate use as authors look for new ways to reach untapped markets.  For the entire press release, follow the rabbit hole all the way down the link!

And last but not least in our lineup for this morning, I give you Jonathan Kile of the Tampa Bay’s Creative Loafing fame on the fundamentals of self-publishing.  In his February 24th article for CL, Kile begins with a subtle flourish of dark humor: “So, let’s get this out of the way. Amazon apparently works their people really hard, practices predatory pricing to establish dominance in whatever it is they choose to sell, and also has a special machine that crushes kittens.” But Amazon, Kile argues, is so omnipresent that resistance, in the classical sense and especially as pertaining to authors aspiring to break out into the self-publishing method and market, truly is futile.  The “why?” as Kile explains, is nowhere near as important as the “what next?”  And as Kile so simply puts it, this step consists of getting “into bed” with the Big Bad corporate world via Amazon.  It may not be the ideal situation, he writes, but it’s the one that we must face in any case.  “It takes a lot of work to write and publish,” says Kile, “and just as much work to get noticed.”  And while he states that this is simply the first salvo in an ongoing series about digital content and Amazon, Kile’s article captures a fascinating cross-section of opinion as regards the current state of indie publishing and how it intersects with the wonderful world of Amazon.  For the whole thing, follow the link.


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.

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Ezines: Promote your Self-published Book

The digital age brings us a virtually unlimited number of ezines straight to our computer screens and finger tips, each with a specific niche or category. With so many free and competing factions most are voraciously hungry for content. Ezines are a great way to generate content AND promote your book (either before it is published by building a “name” for yourself) or after it is published.

Rather than seeking them out individually, you can place your articles into databases that ezine editors frequent for content. They use your article free of charge, and in exchange, include your biographical byline, which includes information about you and your book.

Here are some to check out:

http://www.ezinearticles.com
http://www.ebooksnbytes.com
http://www.connectionteam.com
http://www.netterweb.com
http://www.ideamarketers.com
http://www.goarticles.com
http://www.knowledge-finder.com
http://www.articlecity.com

Don’t send them the same article you published last week. Instead, write another chapter of your book first (since finishing your book IS the main goal, after all.)

– Karl Schroeder



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