Self-publishing

Martin Crosbie’s views on Interviews!

  "What's your favorite color?""Do you have a pet that inspired you to write your book?""Is there a food that you need to eat in order to create?"These are all actual, real questions that interviewers have asked me. I have a real concern that the interviews posted on sites and social networks are in danger of becoming so mundane and ordinary that the only people reading them will be immediate friends and family of the author. Try reading some interviews and decide for yourself. Compare the answers and you'll see similarities. Think about sporting events for a moment. You know the interview that the player gives after the game and talks about everyone giving one hundred and ten percent, or, when she or he mentions that although she or he scored the winning goal it was all about the team winning. Those are noble thoughts but they're sterile. I'm bored of them. I want to know what the player, or author is really thinking. Unfortunately, that has become quite difficult.There are no shortages of places where authors can procure interviews and promote their work. We're very fortunate. From this very site - B.R.A.G. to fine sites like Indies Unlimited and…

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Gratitude- A Simple idea we all know about

grat•i•tude Noun the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: He expressed his gratitude to everyone on the staff. Synonymsthanks, thankfulness, appreciation, gratefulness. A simple idea we all know about I was contacted by a reviewer recently who mentioned how seldom he gets any gratitude for the time he takes reviewing a book or interviewing an author. Quite honestly, I was taken aback with this lack of simple politeness. I believe that whether a review is good or not, you as an author should thank the reader for taking the time and, in some cases, spending the money to consider your book. Although this will not necessarily change their minds about your writing, it might make them consider giving you another chance with your next book! When dealing with the "uglies" out there, one response is all you need to make. No need to get into a discussion with someone who does not like your work. Remember, they are entitled to their opinion even if it does not please you. Thanking a reviewer who gave your book a positive review will most likely encourage them to mention you more often, and word of mouth is what makes a book…

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Can An Author Have It Both Ways?

Along with the ease of self-publishing came the ability to publish cheaply, and this may be one of the biggest problems with self-publishing today. Some of the disadvantages of getting a traditional publishing house contract are a loss of control and much lower royalties. The publisher chooses a cover they think will sell and they edit a book, including copy, line, and development editing. Even so, I have to say that not all traditionally published books are edited to perfection, or to the author's satisfaction, despite the fact that the publisher uses professional editors. Most self-published authors love the higher royalty percentage but often don't want, or can't afford, to hire the appropriate professional talent to make their book a quality product. I think it is accepted that in most cases an indie author simply can not properly edit their own work. Being so close to it, an author often sees what they think is there and not what is actually written on the page. Catching spelling mistakes is hard work (let's hope I didn't miss any in this blog), and in many cases, they fall in love with their own words. This makes it very hard to remove words,…

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Reading Around the World- Where Does Your Country Rate?

  1,600 people in 30 countries were surveyed by the NOP World Culture Score Index to find out how many hours are spent reading. The results are both interesting and significant. It appears that trends bunch in geographic clusters- Asian countries read the most, while Southern Hemisphere countries including South Africa, Australia, and Argentina show similar results. Strangely, industrialized first world countries are at the bottom of the rankings. Better minds than mine will have to interpret these findings as interesting as they are. This same study asked which genres were favored. The most popular genre was fantasy! 32% of the people surveyed said this was the genre they favored, especially among men, followed by the Russian classics, and historical fiction. Not surprisingly, romance was favored by females around the world. Modern prose came in as the least favored. Although India has the highest number of hours read per week, 25% of the country is illiterate. I think we can deduce from this that those who can read, read a lot. In contrast, only about one half of the adults in the USA read books and only about one fifth are regular book buyers.Why does this matter? Here are a couple…

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The New International Author Fair

  The Business Of Books The first of the International Author Fair series organized by Authoright kicked off in London Friday February 28th. Its mission: to equip authors with the commercial, technical and political knowledge of where things are in the business of books and where they are going. The event is a sure sign that the industry is coming to terms with change and realizes it needs to create some kind of structure amid the new trends led by Amazon and indie publishing. Indeed, according to the panel chaired by the genial Porter Anderson around 75% of books could well be self-published by the year 2020. But this is not 2020 and the real challenge in today's changing world for both for writers and readers, is recognizing and sorting out the junk from the good stuff. There is apparently an awful lot of self-published books that really are not up to standard, consequently much of the discussion was about means of professionalizing indie publishing. I was surprised, though, that nothing was said about book approval platforms such as indieBRAG, which constitute a filter for the reader and a pedestal for the writer who is serious about their work. Workshops,…

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A Glut of e-Books – Quality over Quantity?

    I saw a couple of James Bond movies last night. They're showing classic films at our local theatre. So, I got to see Thunderball and On Her Majesty's Secret Service on the big screen. It was very cool. So today, in my usual pedantic manner, I Googled and Wikipediaed all things James Bond looking for little known facts about the movies. And, in my research I checked out Ian Fleming, the author of the Bond books. Did you know that he wrote Casino Royale, the first book in the Bond series, in only two months? He even did the art work within that time frame. Keep that in mind as you read this article. I wrote a blog recently about word count targets. You can find it Here.   Some of the authors commenting at the end of the article talked about producing as much as a book a month. It's being done. I have a friend who publishes a new book every four to six weeks. She's selling about twenty thousand e-books monthly. It seems like there are a lot of books hitting Amazon's product pages right now. Authors have found a genre where they excel and they're…

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Time to Stop Groveling to Traditional Publishers!

  Previously authors spent so much of their time trying to get a publisher and most were lucky to get rejections since, in many cases, there wasn't even a response (letter right to the trash!) Now authors who decide to self-publish will need to spend much of their time finding their audience. The truth is they were going to have to do most of this on their own even with a publisher. I have had authors tell me they were told by agents to include their marketing plans to send to the publishers. The biggest challenge an author has today is not getting a publisher but finding a way to rise to the top of the avalanche of books being published. I am talking about all books since readers really don't care who publishes a book – a good book is a good book. At indieBRAG our readers around the world only read self-published books, but you would be greatly mistaken if you think a reader would rather read a mediocre book by a traditional publisher over a good self-published one. The fact that more self-published authors are finding ways to rise to the top says that traditional publishers are…

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Don’t Quit Your Day Job…Yet!

    According to an article by Alison Flood in theguardian (see link below) writing is a very hard way to make a living. She points out that while we often hear about the eight-figure deals that a few fortunate authors (very few) are able to secure, the vast majority of authors, both traditionally and self-published barely scrape by on their earnings. However, her article concludes with a quote by successful indie author Hugh Howey that holds out hope for the future of self-publishing. "...The simple fact is this: getting paid for your writing is not easy. But self-publishing is making it easier. How much easier? We don't have sufficient data to know. But a conservative estimate would be that five to 10 times as many people are paying bills with their craft today as there was just a few years ago. And that should be celebrated." So hang in there and keep writing! Bob The Guardian

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Reading and Your Brain!

It is well documented that reading is essential for our children to be successful in school and in their future careers. In fact, how well and how often a child reads for pleasure has more effect on their future success in school than any other factor – including their social and economic backgrounds. We spend countless hours and a great deal of money preparing our physical being with make-up, hair, clothes, bathing and doing exercise from a young age. And yet, we find it difficult to put aside a few moments a day to read. The benefits of reading non-fiction are obvious in learning skills and educating ourselves in fields such as history, science, language and on and on. But psychologists now believe that reading fiction can also have enormous benefits to both young and old in helping them understand the human character. Reading fiction increases our ability to build social ties and our empathy toward others. It can actually develop our social brains and make us more adept at camaraderie, collaboration and even love! There is an emotional response that occurs to most readers when they have read a book that successfully describes their exact predicament. A perfect example…

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Blog # 3 – The Best Format And Price For An eBook

      Continuing our discussion of our presentation at SPBE this slide shows the formats that our readers prefer.     As you can see, 56% of the readers we surveyed prefer the eBook format. This is not surprising. According to amazon.com during the past two years eBooks have outsold print books. The convenience of eBook readers and the lower cost of eBooks are the main drivers of this trend. Slide 7 also shows that if an author also wants a print book, a trade paperback is the most desirable format. We believe that an indie author should offer both but if he or she only publishes their book in one format, it should be as an eBook.This next slide shows the best price points for an eBook.   The above chart shows that 32% of the readers we surveyed will pay up to $4.99 for an eBook while 39% are willing to pay up to $9.99. The slide also indicates that 92% of readers will pay more than 99 cents. This is very important because there is anecdotal evidence from other sources that pricing a book at $.99 does not generate sufficient sales to warrant the loss of…

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