Writers, Readers & Self Publishing

Our community of self-published authors is generous with the knowledge they have gained on their writing journey. Here at Writers, Readers & Self Publishing, we will share with you their advice, their experiences and their ideas for writing and promoting award-winning books.  We will also share incites from our readers and others in the field of self-publishing such as editors, designers and successful best-selling authors who graciously share their thoughts and experiences. Our readers and writers have also contributed some fun and interesting stories that we hope you will enjoy!

The Wars of the Roses and Cecily Neville

The fascinating truth behind England's most violent era .Can be seen in The War of the Roses: A Bloody Crown Using historically-accurate, battle-filled re-enactments and interviews with expert historians and noted authors, this definitive documentary series brings to vivid life the captivating true stories behind Britain's bloody civil wars. The Trailer Cecily Neville - The great-granddaughter of one king, Edward III of England (and his wife Philippa of Hainault); was the wife of a would-be king, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York; and the mother of two kings: Edward IV and Richard III. Cecily Neville's husband was Richard, Duke of York, the heir to King Henry VI and protector of the young king in his minority and later during a bout of insanity. Richard was the descendant of two other sons of Edward III: Lionel of Antwerp and Edmund of Langley. Cecily was first betrothed to Richard when she was nine years old, and they married in 1429 when she was fourteen. in 1460, Cecily and Richards son, the future Edward IV, won the battle at Northampton, taking Henry VI prisoner. Richard, Duke of York, returned to claim the crown for himself. Edwards Queen, Margaret and Richard compromised, naming Richard protector…

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Rejection!

Rejection is part of the literary experience- we've all been there. Whether it is rejection by publishers, agents, contests, or reviewers, it is never easy. I suppose that rejections by publishers and agents for self-publishers aren't even that hurtful today since it has become expected! We certainly can appreciate how difficult this is for everyone who has been "rejected" by indieBRAG. Although we do not ever mention books not honored, we do get some very wounded and angry authors who strike out at us. We just let this pass over us without response. Many times I believe these authors regret their angry words upon reflection - perhaps not. Although there is a lot to be learned from rejection – does anyone realy believe  that? - there are many reasons to just plow ahead and have faith in your work. That is not to say you do not accept and consider constructive review, but rejection is often from publishers and agents who have never read a single word of you writing and that is frustrating. I am sure we have all heard some great stories about literary rejection but, those of us who have experienced it first hand,  can never get…

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A response to Sue Grafton’s angry words.

I guess you saw the comments by bestselling author Sue Grafton about self-published authors. If not, you should! During an interview with a local newspaper, she said- "that's as good as admitting you're too lazy to do the hard work". The self-published books she has read are "often amateurish", she said, comparing self-publishing "to a student managing to conquer Five Easy Pieces on the piano and then wondering if s/he's ready to be booked into Carnegie Hall". According to Grafton, Becoming an author is about hard work: "taking the rejection, learning the lessons, and mastering the craft over a period of time". Having had her first three novels rejected, she said she sees "way too many writers who complete one novel and start looking for the fame and fortune they're sure they're entitled to". She added "To me, it seems disrespectful ... that a 'wannabe' assumes it's all so easy s/he can put out a 'published novel' without bothering to read, study, or do the research," said Grafton. "Learning to construct a narrative and create a character, learning to balance pace, description, exposition, and dialogue takes a long time. This is not a quick do-it-yourself home project. Self-publishing is a…

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Oh To Be A Fly On The Wall!

I'm sure many of you have seen the recent press releases announcing that yet another traditional publisher has acquired a self-publishing service, or is opening a new self-publishing division, or in what must be the most bizarre case of them all, has contracted with a competitor to utilize their SP service. It is rather amusing to see the spin that their PR agencies have put on these actions. Ever since the advent of print-on-demand technology opened up the world of publishing to hundreds of thousands (and soon to be millions) of author-wannabees, the traditional publishing houses have looked with disdain upon these unwashed masses. Until now that is. But can it be that the fat cats and effete intellectual editors who populate the giant publishing conglomerates have suddenly decided that "we the people" aren't such bad writers after all? Not! The truth of the matter is that there are three principal reasons behind this rush to get into the SP biz...they are money, money, and more money. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall in the boardroom when the CEO of one of the big publishing houses was first presented with this idea by his senior vice…

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Recording your own Audio Books

Richard Denning's advice on recording your own audiobook - Two years ago I recorded The Amber Treasure and released it in episodes via Podiobooks.com. This is a US-based site that will publish audio books. It also feeds them to Itunes again as podcast episodes. Over a couple of years, the book had 300+ downloads and some good feedback. As a first experiment in recording audiobooks, it was not a bad way to go. Recently I decided to move forward and look to record some of my other books and I am using http://www.helpforwriters.me/ whom I met at the New Writers UK Fair. (This annual event at Nottingham in November is a gathering of self-published authors, associated folk such as editors and agents, etc). I don't find I sell many books there BUT as a place to network and make contacts it is useful. They are taking both The Amber Treasure and Child of Loki (which I am currently recording). My "home studio" is very basic. It consists of A)This PC B)A free to download copy of Audactity Which is a recording and editing programme. C)A Shure FM 58 XLR microphone . This was recommended to me by several pod-casters as…

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Coffee with Doug Carlyle

  One of the things I enjoy the most is getting to know the authors who have joined us at indieBRAG. Doug Carlyle, the author of In Search of the Fuller Brush Man, drove from Texas to Wisconsin to visit his daughter and was able to join me for coffee. It was a wonderful time getting to know Doug, his daughter and very cute- and VERY well behaved – grandson. Although I could not possibly read all the books that our reading teams read, I did have the chance to read Doug's book and I really enjoyed it. Doug is a member of both the Writers' League of Texas and the Houston Writers Guild. I would encourage all self-published writers to take advantage of such organizations. They provide a forum for support and help. And many are genre specific which may help you to refine your skill in telling the story you want. They are also a great source of information for marketing your book. Some of the larger groups provide workshops on writing and promoting along with information on book events and venues for selling your book. I urge you to go online and search out your area for…

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Audio book for no investment!

    Did you know that you can have a professionally developed audio book for no investment? Yes, it's true. One thing I sigh about continually is how many people try to sell to us authors. Classes, webinars, conferences, marketing, and on and on. Don't get me wrong; I participate in these activities as much as I can. Many are helpful and work to promote our books, but costly none the same. I have recently found a way to drive more revenue out of the book I already wrote by getting it produced as an audio book! It's true! Sandy Weaver Carman of Voicework on Demand, Inc. is in the business of helping authors grow their "revenue river". Here is how you get started. Amazon has a company called ACX. http://www.acx.com/ ACX walks you through registering and uploading your book for auditions. That was actually very fun and extremely rewarding to hear people read your book in character. Then you chose the narrator that you feel captured the essence of your story and you are on your way. You review each chapter and if there is anything you want reread, you let the narrator know and they will redo any…

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Ripple by Tui Allen honoured at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair

New Zealand was the guest of Honour at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair Ripple by Tui Allen was chosen to represent New Zealand and we are proud to say is a 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Thank you Tui for taking the time to share your thoughts- My book Ripple was selected by the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) as one of forty to represent NZ literature at Frankfurt. This happened because NZ was this year's Frankfurt "Country of Honour." It's a bit like being the host country at the Olympics, except that the fair is always in Frankfurt Germany. It is the biggest book fair in the world and is the size of a medium sized NZ town except taller. Being on many levels, it goes higher into the sky than towns do here. To get around its buildings you catch a bus! We NZSA authors became known in NZ as the "Frankfurt Forty" The list we were chosen from did not include authors who had already been chosen by the Publisher's Association of New Zealand (PANZ). The PANZ authors were all very well-known and had been thoroughly conventionally published and their Frankfurt costs were paid for them. Several…

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The SPBE October 27, 2012 NYC ~Get more sales!

Now we are going to get down to what you can and should be doing to get more sales! It is possible to do all of the following yourself; however, there are some things you probably should get skilled help with. Foreign Rights: This is where you license the right to translate and sell your book in a foreign market. Although you can do this on your own, it is exceedingly difficult. Without a foreign rights agent who knows that particular country there is no way of protecting your rights or guaranteeing that you will get paid. Amazon is considering offering this service to its authors at some point in the future but for now you had best seek an agent. And for those of you who can afford it, attending the Frankfurt International Book Fair in October, 2013 would be well worth your while. Literally hundreds of thousands of people from the global publishing industry attend this event and most are looking to buy (or sell) foreign rights. Global Distribution: Short of licensing the foreign rights of your book, this is something you can probably handle on your own. At most online booksellers (e.g., amazon, B&N, pubit, ibooks, kobo,…

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The SPBE October 27, 2012 NYC ~ No one will care about you book as much as you do

  Did you know that Shakespeare kept complete control over his writing and never relinquished any of his rights to a printer or publisher? The same holds true for many other famous authors. Obviously this is not a new idea; it's just much easier to do today thanks to the rapidly expanding world of self-publishing. As a result, traditional publishers are scrambling to change in an attempt to swim with the tide of SP not against it. Those that don't are about to disappear forever because self-publishing is now becoming a tsunami! Evidence of this is provided by the fact that the top six publishers are now searching self-published books for their next big hit. This puts indieBRAG in a pivotal position within the emerging SP industry because through our process, the sea of self-published books is being methodically filtered and purified. Self-publishing gives you, the author the ability to keep control of your creative work product and capture more of the profits. So why then are some successful SP authors seeking deals with traditional publishers? Well for one thing, self-publishing is hard work. In addition to the first and most obvious task of actually writing a great book, there…

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