Watching out for Pitfalls in Indie Publishing

I haven’t wanted to be this long since my last articles, but there is really enough to be found on Amazon and Smashwords to keep you busy for a couple of months. They answer questions readily and well, and these two will be your best bet for indie publishing that works well, looks good and is helpful in seling your work.

I’ve been gathering info on a few of the pitfalls of getting starting in indie publishing. I had written for publishers like Harlequin, BET (no longer in action) and one other major women’s fiction publishers for almost twenty years. Then e=book publishing opened up for freelancers and I jumped on it. Ah, freedom has been wonderful. Now it is dimming somewhat, but is still good. But you need to be on top of it, to know, to ferret out what is good and what is bad. Read the rest of this entry »

More Useful Websites to Help you Succeed in Indie Publishing – Part 2

Whatever you do, please don’t let anyone else’s thinking replace yours. You’ve written your book(s) — quite an accomplishment. Now you want to get it in the hands of readers. Truly good editing and proofing are absolute necessities. Google or the word of a trusted friend who has used the editor and proofer will help. If Google, be sure to check for complaints and kudos for your choice. If it’s to be an e-book, you’ll need a specialist in this to save pulling out your hair.

The best people to prepare your edited and proofed manuscript for e-book publishing will do it for both Amazon and Smashwords for the same price. Again, work with Google on this. They have the formats, etc. I’ve known writers who do their own, but I can’t sweat it These two companies are premier in the field and give a world of support and publicity. From them, you get worldwide distribution and special articles to keep up with what’s going on. Read the rest of this entry »

Changes in the Indie Publishing Terrain

Greetings my blog friends! You’re probably aware of many changes in indie publishing in the past few years. Up through much of 2013, I was doing quite satisfactorily as I expanded Craft’s New America Press. I was a happy camper. A new cancer survivor, I’m sure all this good news helped me pull through so rapidly. Then sales began to fall and I fugured it was just the later time of year, but not so. This has contnued up to presently.

A number of things cause this: Just about all places like Amazon, Smashwords, etc. are offering free books. Amazon has the highly succeddful plan for $9.98 a month that gives you unlimited access to 700,000 books to choose from. Other plans that favor the reader and leave writers out in the cold are in the works. We are going to have to find many answers to this, but we are a resourceful group and we will publish our writing and/or get it published. We have a love affair with readers, and we’re not about to let go. Read the rest of this entry »

Independence Day – Indie Publishing

This is the second and last part of the article on indie publishing by noted author Lynn Emery who has been a writer for Harper Collins. She is now the very happy indie publisher of several successful — and beautiful — books that I have richly enjoyed. Also, a number of her print books have been turned into e-books.  Lynn is truly a helpful author, and I am so grateful to call her my friend. She tells a smashing, romantic tale of suspense that is sharp, witty and oh, so wise.

If you decide to go the indie author route, then make sure you do it right. The world of being an indie author is now in the 2.0 version. You must decide, and be truly honest here, if you can do your own covers and editing. Creating an attractive book cover requires serious design skills.  It’s not just finding great stock photos or art that you like and arranging fonts around them. The fonts should be right for a book cover, not regular fonts you’d choose in a word processng program.  The arrangement of the cover art, be it a photo or drawings, is more than just knowing how to stick them on the right size background using a photo editing application. Self-published books are held to the same standard as any book, and now your book will be seen around the globe. You want to have the best looking product possible. Same goes for the content. Few of us can successfully edit, copyedit and proofread our own work. Why? We miss a lot because we know what we meant to say and we see it even if it is not there or wrong. You need someone to set fresh eyes on what you’ve written to catch those glaring, and sometimes embarrassing boo-boos. Readers will certainly see them, and won’t cut you any slack. Trust me, I’ve got the t-shirt. Read the rest of this entry »

Independence Day – Self-publishing

This is my first guest columnist for this round of self-publishing.  I introduce Mrs. Lynn Emery who has written a number of bestselling books for Harper Collins and other noted publishers. While writing for BET, she had one book selected and made into a TV movie.  She  is a supervisory social worker and an all around great person.  Let me say at the outset that any errors you find are mine because she is an ace at proofing.  I present this in two parts to allow you time to study and absorb.  The second part will go on in two – three weeks.  Wish me well on this. Here goes:

When Francine asked me to write a short article on being an indie author I said, “Sure!  Then I thought, “Oh Lord, where to begin?”  By the time any advice or how-to piece is written, it’s outdated.  Things are changing just that fast.  What I might have advised or told others about indie publishing three months ago is now quite different.  So be advised  you must stay tuned in and connected because what I’m saying here might be obsolete in short order.  With that said here we go.

I started down the road to self-publishing in 2010.  At that point the term “indie publishing” wasn’t widely used.  In fact it took months after I started learning the ropes to hear it.  Let me tackle semantics first.  Indie author and indie publishing is more acurate than “self-publishing” to describe what I do now.  The old term implies I do everything myself, including promation. In reality I’ve chosen to hire a team of freelancers to help with editing, proofreading, cover design and sometimes promotion or marketing. I’m independent of any book publishing entity or even the people I hire. I make all the decisions, but I do get wonderful input and advice.  Therefore I use indie publishing and indie author exclusively.  The term “self-publishing” doesn’t do my business justice anymore, in my opinion.

I’m going to assume you’ve done your homework.  I shouldn’t have to tell you what KDP stands for, or that Smashwords offers e-books in multiple formats.  If you are not fmiliar with the terms mobi or e-pub, then get to work.  Google and Bing are your friends.  There is simply not enough space for me to give you a step-by-step explanation of all the ends and outs of being an indie author. Read please.  That said I will give you some advice.

The very first step is to decide if you want to be an indie author.  This isn’t an open and shut question  Some writers truly don’t want to wear all of the hats of an indie author.  They want a publisher to handle cover design, and hiring editors, copyeditors and proofreaders.  They don’t want to have to think  about distribution.  Most important, they want an advance and the cachet of saying, “My publisher thinks. “Or “My editor says…”  So truly consider if you want to be an indie author.

* * * * *.

Okay, Lynn sets out quite a tableaux for you to consider.  If it’s something you want, please don’t back off.  I pray about things I want and usually find my way to these things.  Please don’t forget to come back for the second part that delineates more of the  how-to bit.

Until next time, don’t forget to hug yourself and others, along with my cyberhugs.

Francine