Words of Wisdom

Audiobook in Your Future?

I opened my email inbox recently and discovered a surprise – a company called Tantor Media wanted to buy the global audio rights to my novel The Witch of Napoli. Was I interested? I was instantly suspicious. Everybody’s trying to sell services to indie authors these days (agenting, publishing, marketing, etc.); many are expensive scams. You pay them an outrageous fee, or you “share” the cost. I fired back a snarky, warning salvo: “I'm only interested in a sale of audio rights to a company which will pay all production fees. If you're looking for a co-investor, I'm not interested. I can easily produce an audiobook myself via Amazon's ACX or similar platforms. It's been on my to-do list for some time.” Then I googled Tantor and gulped. The company was more than legit – Tantor is the largest independent audio book publisher in the U.S. Tantor Audio titles include National Book Award winners, Man Booker Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners and New York Times Best Sellers. OMG! Had I turned them off before we even started talking? It’s not that I couldn’t produce my own audiobook – Amazon’s Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) tool http://www.acx.com/ is surprisingly easy to navigate;…

Read More

Advertising Budget

Books sales might prove to be slow. We know it is largely up to us to promote our work. True, if you have taken the route of publishing via a small Indie publisher, some promotion will be done for you. However, that will not be enough to propel your creation out there for everybody to see. Therefore, you are starting to search for other options. The problem might be, there are not enough funds available for a large advertisement campaign. Believe me when I say, there really is no need to spent a vast amount of money on one single promotion. I have done this about four times now, without the desired effect. Maybe, we should follow the good old English saying, ´Every mickle makes a mackle´´, or something very similar. Let´s say we could spare 50 Dollars a month and for a while, we are able to stick to it. Now we have set our budget and have to master the art of spending it wisely. Finding a way what works best for the book we plan to promote. Book promotions sites are excellent options, but we have to remember that the same book, using the same site, can only…

Read More

That Grey Area of Copyright

By Helen Hollick I read an article the other day about a self-published ‘author’ (hmm, debatable term) who had produced dozens of new books in one year. Someone got suspicious and looked into the details. It turned out this ‘author’ had copied, almost word for word, other books just changing the characters’ names, sex, and altering the location. So Jane Brown became John Black, and London became New York. That in itself was fine, but when an original sentence of: ‘Jane looked out of her bedroom window at the grey, drizzly sky of a London afternoon and sighed,’ became: ‘John looked out of his bedroom window at the dull, drizzling sky of a New York afternoon and sighed,’ things are not so fine. (I made the example up by the way!) What is even more disturbing, it seems this particular person knew exactly what he/she was doing because they had been caught, and cautioned, before. Apart from this is damaging to the original author and nothing more than copyright theft, what did this person get out of it – beside raking in a few ill-gotten pennies? We are not talking big time best-seller here. But then of course, the best-sellers…

Read More

IT TAKES A TEAM by Barbara Kyle

I've gratefully learned this lesson in having ten novels published: it takes a team. My Thornleigh Saga is a seven-book historical series that features a middle class English family's rise through three turbulent Tudor reigns. The latest is The Traitor's Daughter. For this series my publisher wanted a book a year, and for me that's a challenge. I couldn't achieve it alone. I'm happy to say I've been blessed with a support team, three people that are definitely an "A" team. I sing their praises here. First is my agent, Albert Zuckerman. Al is something of a legend in the publishing world. He founded Writers House, one of the largest literary agencies in the world. He's been midwife to dozens of bestselling books, many of them blockbusters such as Dr. Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, Michael Lewis's Moneyball (made into the film with Brad Pitt), and Ken Follett's mega-bestsellers like Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. I'm honored that Al names me as one of his leading clients. Years ago, when I was a rookie in this business, peddling my first novel but knowing nobody, I sent queries out to a slew of agents, as all…

Read More

Self-Publishing: An Author’s Experience

Today B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree G.J. Reilly is talking with us about his self-publishing experience. G.J., when did you decide you were going to self-publish? When I sent out my first manuscript and it took close on a year to receive a reply. Okay, that’s not really fair. A major publishing house had an open submission window for a very exciting new project. ‘Inquisitor’ was barely finished, unpolished and pushed through editing using the bare bones of MS Word. By the time I’d received my first inevitable rejection, ‘Inquisitor’ had changed and evolved and I was so close to it that I really couldn’t tell if I was deluding myself, or whether it was actually worth reading. I’d had a few beta readers, but nobody who’d ever really written for themselves and, although trusted their opinions and they were very honest, I felt like I needed completely impartial feedback. However, just about every article on the internet was telling me that getting feedback is like winning the lottery on Friday the 13th. So, instead of wasting professional time, I decided to read as much as I could about self-publishing in the hope that readers might leave reviews. It took a long…

Read More

indieBRAG Interview Team Member Stephanie M. Hopkins

indieBRAG has put together a great group of book bloggers to interview our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees. This week we would like our authors to get to know our team a bit better. Today indiebrag Team Member Leader Stephanie of Layered Pages is chatting with us about her website. Stephanie, why do you blog? In a post on Layered Pages back in March, I said that book blogging is our canvas to express our feelings of stories we read. Book bloggers are a special breed of readers and writers. We channel so much of ourselves into our blog. It’s a medium of expression and creativity. I honestly can say that I would be lost without my blog. I am pretty sure I have a blog addiction-ha! Blogging is a profound outlet of expression in today’s world of social media. How many books a year do you read? Generally, I read anywhere from 50 to about 85 books a year. Of course this is a great frustration for me because of my deep love of stories.  I want to be able to read much more than I do. You know the saying, “So many books, so little time…” What are your favorite genres?…

Read More

Interview Team Member Magdalena Johansson

indieBRAG has put together a great group of book bloggers to interview our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees. This week we would like our authors to get to know our team a bit better. Today indieBRAG Team Member Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede  is chatting with us about her website. Why do you blog? I blog because I love to read books. And, through my blogging have I found friends all over the world that just like me likes to read and blog about books. How many books a year do you read? 389! LOL, well that’s according to Goodreads for 2015. But that also includes short stories and graphic novels. I do try to read at least 3-4 books a week, mostly because I have a lot of books to read and I keep getting/buying more. What is your favorite genres? Thriller, horror, mystery, historical, paranormal, crime, fantasy, and science-fiction. Basically everything except romance. Not that I’m totally against romance. I’m just very picky. Where are the different places you read? Either on sofas (home or my mom’s place) or my bed. Of course, I always have books with me (my trusty iPad)! What thrills you the most about reading? What thrills…

Read More

indieBRAG Team Member Heather Campbell

indieBRAG has put together a great group of book bloggers to interview our B.R.A.G. Medallion Honorees. This week we would like our authors to get to know our team a bit better. Today indieBRAG Team Member Heather of The Maiden’s Court is chatting with us about her website. Heather, why do you blog? I started blogging because I wanted to be able to engage in a community who were interested in the same subjects I was; my husband, at that time my boyfriend, was getting tired of hearing all about the Tudors!  I have continued blogging because of the friendships that I have made through it and it’s a fun hobby to work on. How many books a year do you read? The last couple years I have averaged between 45 and 68 – I keep striving for 70 and haven’t hit it yet! What are your favorite genres? Historical fiction, and biographical non-fiction.  I read widely in other genres too, but I don’t feature them on my blog. Where are the different places you read? I typically read before bed every night as a method of relaxation.  A couple days a week I have time to read on my…

Read More

Dreaming Through Summer by Anna Belfrage

To me, summer is clogs, mosquitoes, ice-cream and lying on my back staring up at the sky through the foliage of a birch tree. “Hmph!” Matthew Graham says from somewhere inside my head. “Shows you’ve never been a farmer.” I glance at him, this 17th century hero of mine. A farmer? Yes, I suppose he is, a tall strong man who has spent endless weeks in back-breaking labour just to clear the fields he now has planted. The maples and sycamores, the huge American chestnuts – all gone, as Matthew Graham single-handedly turns American wilderness into fields and pastures to feed his family. But today, I’ve decided to treat him to a picnic, a recreation of a perfect childhood day (mine, not his. His would involve a lot of work, seeing as he was his Da’s main helper on their little Scottish manor) “A picnic?” He gives me a doubtful look. “The hay needs to be brought in, and I’ve got fences to mend, and…” I hold up my hand. “Even an imaginary character needs a break now and then.” “Imaginary?” He throws his head back and laughs. “If I don’t exist, why are you talking to me?” Good question,…

Read More

Marketing Your Book(s) by Alison Morton

Why marketing? Publishing a book yourself is fun as well as hard work. But if you are going to sell your book, you need to adopt some commercial principles and practicalities. We often hear “sales and marketing” bracketed together, but they are two distinctly different things, although intimately connected. Marketing as a way of building awareness of yourself, your work and your brand, thus creating a demand in the customer’s mind so that they will seek you out – basically, the battle for the mind. Sales, on the other hand, is focused on persuading the customer to buy by meeting a need at the right time. But readers can be turned off by overly aggressive sales tactics. Now I love talking to readers face to face and sharing the fun and fascination of my Roma Nova books with them. But there’s a lot of work leading up to the point when you sell that reader your book, and that’s all about marketing. So let’s get down to marketing The pre-requisite is a good product. A well-edited story, with professional layout and design, a great back cover blurb and stunning cover are all taken as given. (Well, the B.R.A.G. Medallion award…

Read More

Most Shared Posts

Most Discussed Posts