publishing

The Importance of Book Covers: Interview with Magdalena Johansson

Book cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories, and often times readers first judge a book by its cover. This year indieBRAG has put together a cover contest of books chosen by the indieBRAG Team. These covers were chosen based on several factors including; 1) professionalism 2) visual appeal 3) creativity and 4) fit with the story/genre. This week we have asked the ladies of the indieBRAG Interview Team to discuss with us the importance of book covers, what they like, want to see more of and so on…Today Magdalena Johansson talks with us about this. Magdalena, on the scale one to five, how important are book covers to you? Oh, definitely 5. There are quite a lot of books out there and if you want to capture my attention, have a nice cover. The risk is otherwise that I will miss the book. Why are they important to you? The cover is the face out. When one browse books, whether it's online or in a bookstore is it the cover that captures your interests first. Well, at least mine. What do you not like in book covers? Computerized figures, people that look like they belong in…

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Traditionally published authors are not your enemy!

Self- Publishing vs. Traditionally Published - let the war begin! Self-published authors are not competing with other self-published authors but ALL authors. Once a book is available for sale, it must be up to the standard that readers expect from all good books. You rarely get a second chance for a good first impression!  Once you put out a book that lacks professionalism, readers will be less likely to try your next book.  This can be a very difficult hurdle to get over. Traditionally published authors are not your enemy.  Most traditionally published authors don’t have any advantages that you can’t achieve. Traditionally Published books are: Edited by the publisher Cover art is done by the publisher Some help with promotion is provided- most is expected from the author unless they have high sales. Lower royalty payments Self- Published books are: Editing is provided by the author Cover provided by the author Promotion done by the author Higher royalty payments. If a SP author pays for professional help, they will probably come out about equal in money made. Doing the work requires time and money but the author maintains complete control- something that is often very important. The self-publishing community…

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Congratulations- Sue Fortin!

Congratulations Sue! I hope your new publishing deal with Harper Collins is a wonderful and fruitful experience- Thank you, it's very exciting. Since Harper Impulse is digital publishing, will you continue to have a print copy of your book available and, if so, how will that work? Harper Impulse are working on a digital first basis, so although there are no guarantees every title will be published in paperback, there is the scope for it at some point. Many self-published authors are seeking deals with traditional publishers while many are not. What is it that you find appealing about such a deal? Oh gosh, that's a loaded question  It really is a matter of personal choice and for me, there were several reasons. To self-publish proficiently and to a high standard can be quite expensive and I really wouldn't like to add up how much I spent on having my book edited, edited and edited again, together with having the cover professional designed and then the costs of promotion. To do this again for a second novel, I wasn't sure if I could invest so heavily. Another factor, was how wide reaching I could be as an indie author.…

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Liars, Leeches, and Other Losers

 To all you eager, new―and as yet unknown―authors who have finally finished your manuscript, welcome to the world of publishing, where dreams come true, and fame and fortune are only a book tour away. Or perhaps not! Let me see…how do I break this to you gently? Not one single literary agent will have anything to do with you. At most, your query letter will trigger a form rejection response as cold and pitiless as an IRS audit notice. And you can forget about sending your manuscript to any of the Big Six publishing houses. To them, you are lower than rust on the third rail in the subway, and equally untouchable. However, I doubt that these brutal facts will deter you from pursuing your dream, nor should they. So as you embark on this journey, let me just share with you a few words of caution about the liars, leeches and losers who populate the world of publishing. Let’s start with the first group of liars―your friends and family―albeit well-meaning ones. In your heart, you know that you have not written the next great American novel but you still think your book is pretty good. Damn good in fact!…

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The SPBE October 27, 2012 NYC

    Once again this year the SPBE was so informative and helpful to all the self-publishers who attended! I will be blogging about some of the things we learned and some of the people we met. This was our first year as exhibitors and it was well worth our time and money- we met some very important people and we were able to share our vision with so many. We met authors, publishers, editors and others who contribute to making your books a success. W also spoke with other companies in the indie book field such as audio book producers, all of which were very interested in indieBRAG. Many suggested we do joint ventures with them and we will consider this if they are helpful to our authors and readers. We spent a wonderful day with Katherine Ashe the author of the Montfort Series – one of our earliest Honorees. She did a terrific job of helping us spread the word and she gathered a great deal of information that will be helpful to us all. We really appreciate her support and her insights that will move us along in the future We also were able to spend a…

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Booker Prize shortlist turns its back on ‘readability’

Last year's head judge, Dame Stella Rimington, was pilloried for saying she prized books that "people would read and enjoy". Her fellow judge, the former Labour MP Chris Mullin, added that he liked a novel to "zip along". The chairman of the 2012 judging panel, Sir Peter Stothard, has loftier ideals. "I felt very, very strongly that I wanted to avoid that thing where people say, 'Wow, I loved it, it's terrific'," he said of the judging process. "I'm afraid quite a lot of what counts for criticism these days is of that sort: how many stars did it get? Did I have a good time? Would my children like it? It is opinion masquerading as literary criticism," said Sir Peter, who is editor of the Times Literary Supplement.  To read full article: Our Thoughts: Let me first state the obvious - we are not in competition with the Booker Prize! We also do not wish to suggest that what they do is invalid. The Booker Prize means that the winners will become best sellers and yet are often not very "readable". Although we only work with self-published books, we have developed a system just the opposite of what this esteemed group of critics aspire to. Self- published books are often looked down upon as unworthy of traditional publication which we have proven, I believe, to not always be the case. We have readers located around the globe who read books for us and give us one determination –is this a book you would recommend to your best friend? When all the readers have provide their decision, we honor the book with our B.R.A.G.Medallion only if it has received a unanimous "Yes". In this way we are finding books that "readers" feel are worth your time and money. After all, most of us read to be amused, thrilled, titillated and, yes, educated. We hope to encourage readers who want to find a great book to visit our website and support books that are good but probably will not reach the glorified heights that one with the title of Booker Prize Winner will inevitably reach. www.bragmedallion.com

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Writing As Your Legacy

  There are seven billion human beings on earth as I write these words; a mind-boggling number that is difficult to grasp. One way to look at it is that if Bill Gates, the richest man in America, were to distribute his enormous fortune equally to every person in the world, we would each only get $9.42. Hardly worth the effort, so relax Mr. Gates we won't push for income redistribution. Out of that teeming mass of seven billion people very few of us will ever be rich or powerful or famous. Most of us will be born, live, and die without ever having made any impact upon the world whatsoever. An exception, perhaps, are those of us who have been blessed with children, thereby helping to perpetuate the human race―a critical if not noteworthy accomplishment. Lest you become overwhelmed by the futility of our shared existence, take heart. There is something you can do to help ensure that your footprints are etched into the bedrock of history, rather than blown away on the sands of time: namely, write a book. Yes, you. Conventional wisdom says that 80% of us feel we have a book inside us. But unless you take the time to commit it to paper, or even better, to an electronic file, your name will soon be forgotten after you're gone. The same holds true even for those of you who have children. If don't believe me, ask yourself this question: what are the names of your great grandparents? My case rests. So stop making excuses; stop procrastinating. Find the time to write that book bouncing around inside your brain. There has never been a better time to do this. The relatively new and rapidly expanding world of self-publishing has given you the opportunity. Seize it! Once you have written it, have it professionally edited, and then release it to the world. Even if it is not a best-seller, it will live on long after you have shuffled off this mortal coil―and someday, somewhere, someone will read it and know that you were here. Robert                                                                                                                                          indieBRAG

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indieBRAG Reaches Important Milestone!

   We are proud to announce that in the first six months since indieBRAG, LLC launched our website 400 self-published books have been considered as candidates for the B.R.A.G.MedallionTM. Of this total, 50 books, or over 12%, have been awarded our medallion indicating that they were judged by our readers to be books they would recommend to their best friend. We are delighted that this acceptance rate is over double what might have been expected based on industry experts who estimate that only 5% of self-published books are well written and properly edited. We believe the reason is that the vast majority of these books were nominated by their authors and there is a degree of self-selection occurring, whereby only those authors who are truly proud of their accomplishment choose to have them judged by our impartial reader group. Accordingly, we are careful to advise those authors whose books were not chosen that this should not be interpreted as disparagement of their work or of them as authors. It is simply a function of the rigor that we apply to our process. Furthermore, we do not make public the titles of books which have been reviewed but were not selected to receive our medallion, or the names of their authors. As I write this nominations are pouring in and we expect to quickly reach the 500 mark and beyond! And the reason for our amazing acceptance among the rapidly expanding world of self-publishing is that we provide enlightenment of the readers, by the readers, and for the readers of self-published books!

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Ebook or Print? Join the conversation!

 Amazon UK's report that ebook sales have outstripped the sales of all print formats combined. According to unaudited figures released by [Amazon UK] on Monday, since the start of 2012, for every 100 hardback and paperback book sold on its site, customers downloaded 114 ebooks.                                                                                                                                        Posted by Victoria Strauss for Write Beware                                                                         Read full article @ http://accrispin.blogspot.com/ Self-publishing is exploding and the number of successful self-published authors is also growing. It is now an accepted and viable alternative to traditional publishing so the debate over whether self-publishing is a wise choice is diminishing. Now the discussion seems to be turning to how best to publish: in print or as an eBook. There are many advantages to eBook publishing; it is cheaper, faster, and, I suppose, the lower purchase price often contributes to higher sales volume. However, it is difficult for many indie authors to give up seeing their precious work sitting on the shelf or desk. The feel, look, and even the smell of a new book all create a feeling that a digital file on an eBook reader never will. Moreover, it is hard to impress your friends with your novel stored in an eBook reader like you can with a book placed casually on the coffee table. "Oh that? It's my latest book". Our B.R.A.G.MedallionTM Honorees have done it all ways: print only, eBook only, and both print and eBook. But which is best? We would love to have your thoughts on this. As readers, which do you prefer? As writers, how did you decide to publish as you did? Join the conversation -

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Print or Digital?

There is a debate among self-published authors right now as to whether it is worth producing a print book when eBooks are outselling print. Cost considerations are often cited as the reason to only offer an eBook. An SP author obviously needs to sell quite a few books to recoup the outlay of expenses associated with a print book. BUT, there is a problem for the author that he or she may not realize, specifically in rural America. Very few if any people living in rural areas have access to high-speed internet. Yes there are satellite internet providers but for those of you who have never dealt with them, this service is not cheap and it is not dependable. The equipment charges and monthly fees put it out of reach for many rural dwellers. Moreover, snow, rain and clouds can interrupt service (and frequently do!). Some social thought leaders believe that rural America is falling behind in the information revolution for just this reason. The New York Times stated that this, in effect, is a blow against equal opportunity. Whether true or not, it certainly affects eBooks and digital publishing. This invariably makes frequent shopping on sites like amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com a rare experience for those in rural communities. How does this affect us as self-publishers? Well, there is no question that eBooks are outselling print books―the statistics don't lie. But there is still an audience out there for print books. There are those who can't take advantage of the digital explosion and those that don't care to; readers who like the feel and smell of a book and want to line their shelves with their beloved books. The brutal fact is that authors who only publish in an eBook format are simply not taking advantage of this group of consumers, even if it is an ever shrinking group! Here are my thoughts on this – First, if you can only do one, print or eBook, always have an eBook version of your book. Authors who choose to only publish a print book are out-of-step with the times.

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