Self-publishing

SPBE Blog #2- Editing a Self-Published Book

    As I said in my previous blog, copy editing errors are the reason that most self-published books are rejected during the indieBRAG screening process. An indie author must not edit his or her own book. Although professional copy editing can be expensive, it is the single best use of an author's money. There are also other less expensive ways of doing this such as by using beta readers or joining writers' groups. Here are two slides from our presentation that address this issue: As you can see in Slide 19, our readers ranked copy editing as fourth in importance of the characteristics in their liking a book. BUT as Slide 20 shows, it is the number one reason why readers dislike a book. In other words, good editing alone will not make a book but bad editing will certainly kill it! In conclusion, we cannot emphasize enough that an author rarely gets a second chance at a good first impression!

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Blogs from the Self-Publishing Book Expo Our trip to the Self-Publishing Book Expo, held in New York City on November 9th, was a huge success! Our presentation, titled "THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY" of self-published books was well attended and well received. We were the only panel (out of seventeen) that was filmed by C-SPAN's Book TV and we will let you know when the segment will be aired, likely later this month. indieBRAG team members Robert Clouston and Stephanie Hopkins joined me in the presentation and over the coming days we will blog about what we covered. This will include the results from the surveys we conducted among our readers and B.R.A.G. Medallion authors, the findings of which formed the basis of our presentation. We think you will find it all very interesting. We will also discuss some of the things we learned from other presenters at the expo, which further support our survey findings. So here we go- To begin our presentation, I shared some rather stark statistics that out of the over 1,500 books we have considered since indieBRAG began in April of last year, 50% were rejected during the initial screening process. Strictly for…

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Have you ever added song lyrics to your story?

  Have you ever added song lyrics to your story? Popular songs can set a mood or even a time. Beatles music puts you into the Hippy days of the 60's. But, can you include these lyrics in your book? Here is some important information from Jason Boog, writer and GalleyCat editor- Have you ever quoted song lyrics in your book? Music can set the mood, evoke a certain setting or channel a particular emotion.However, writers need to be aware of copyright issues surrounding music in books. We caught up with Copyright Clearance Center's author and creator relations director Christopher Kenneally, discovering the key questions authors should ask before including a song. Kenneally explained:Consider not quoting the song. Lyrics, like all creative expression, are copyrighted. Copyright gives the author or creator the exclusive right to republication of the work. Any writer who wishes to quote lyrics, or for that matter, passages from another's book, must obtain permission first. It's probably worth asking how necessary or vital such quotation is to any particular creative work.Kenneally added:If it's used to set a mood or establish a period, it's easy enough to refer to song titles, which, under U.S. law, are not copyrighted.…

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The Wild West of Self-Publishing!

  I like the phrase used by Husna Haq from the Christian Science Monitor- "The Wild West of Self-Publishing"! As you all know, self-publishing has opened a door to a whole new world for aspiring independent writers, but there is a dark side to this opportunity. Pornographers have slipped through the door and now book sellers are trying to walk the fine line between banning such material outright and selective censorship. One immediate outcome is that this week I tried to send a self-published book to a Kobo reader and found their store shut down. They have removed all self-published titles until they can get a handle on this problem. And apparently Amazon and Barnes and Noble are also reviewing their titles, looking for any offensive material. Of course, there are those who feel we should be able to buy and read what we want; and who balk at such censorship. The enormous success of Fifty Shades of Grey has fueled a firestorm of copycat writers who are trying to out-shock readers and produce the next big money maker. But there is a difference between erotica and pornography; with the former having at least an element of artistry to it,…

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Join us at SPBE in November!

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9TH Come join the fun as we celebrate five successful years as the only exclusive home forself-published books and authors.The Self-Publishing Book Expo is celebrating our 5th Anniversary! This year, in addition to an all-star line-up of some of the most knowledgeable speakers in the business, the Expo will feature some inter-active sessions, and some extended sessions allowing for attendees to have more access to the information they need to successfully publish. We are also introducing a special coffee hour for attendees to mix, mingle, compare notes, and askone-on-one questions of some of our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and partners. At 12 noon, be sure to join us to discuss- THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY: What Makes a Good Self-Published Book?indieBRAG represents a group of 150 readers who have reviewed 1,000+ self-published titles. They are not editors, publishers, or literary experts; they are simply ordinary people who love to read. Members of the indieBRAG staff will uncover what they have learned in the process of choosing their B.R.A.G. Medallion winners. What does a book need in order to make it worthy of the reading public's time and money? What are the important things to weed out of…

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Agent Assisted Self Publishing

    How exciting, you got an agent- just one step from getting a publisher! Whoa, not so fast. Although few self-published authors use agents they can provide some valuable assistance. With the advent of digital and self-publishing, agents, like everyone in the publishing world, have had to reinvent themselves. Many agents are now moving into Agent Assisted Self-Publishing. Like any business owner, and as a SP author that is what you are, do not sign until you know exactly what you are getting for your money and how much control you may be losing. With permission from The Alliance of Independent Authors' (ALLi), we are sharing information they provided. We would love to have you join the conversation and share your experiences- Agent-assisted SP takes many different forms. At one end of the scale, it mean an agency encouraging one of their authors to upload their backlist, and showing them how, without taking any payment, content with the revenue boost this will give to the trade-published titles they represent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         At the other are the many agents now uploading files to Amazon or other retailers in an account in their own name, and collecting 15% of the sales revenue ad…

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The Edinburgh International Book Festival

  The Edinburgh International Book Festival began in 1983 and is now a key event in the August Festival season, celebrated annually in Scotland's capital city. Biennial at first, the Book Festival became a yearly celebration in 1997.Throughout its history, the Book Festival has grown rapidly in size and scope to become the largest and most dynamic festival of its kind in the world. In its first year the Book Festival played host to just 30 'Meet the Author' events. Today, the Festival programmes over 700 events, which are enjoyed by people of all ages.An important feature of the Book Festival's programme is a high profile debates and discussions series. Each year writers from all over the world gather to become part of this unique forum in which audience and author meet to exchange thoughts and opinions on some of the world's most pressing issues.Running alongside the general programme is the highly regarded Children's Programme, which has grown to become a leading showcase for children's writers and illustrators. Incorporating workshops, storytelling, panel discussions, author events and book signings, the Children's Programme is popular with both the public and schools alike and now ranks as the world's premier books and reading…

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SELF-PUBLISHING: MAKING LITERATURE BETTER!

    "Self-Published Authors Are Destroying Literature" cried one blogger recently. And he is not alone in his thinking: the vast majority in the traditional publishing world agree with him. But while this view is an over-simplification of a complex issue, there is a bedrock of truth beneath this topsoil of hysteria.The literary world is undergoing an upheaval unequalled since the invention of the printing press. For nearly five hundred years following its first appearance in the fifteenth century, only those authors whom the gods of publishing deemed worthy ever saw the fruit of their labors printed, bound and made available to the reading public. And while the appearance of so-called 'vanity presses' in the mid-twentieth century made it possible for others to have their books published, the enormous expense associated with this approach placed it beyond the reach of all but a privileged few. However, the advent of print-on-demand technology in the late 1990's changed everything, and from that point on nothing will ever be the same again in the world of book publishing.The good news is that now literally anyone can publish a book. The bad news is that now literally anyone can publish a book. And the…

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Writing for the Reader and Not Writing to Sell to the Reader (Or, How I Fought the War with the Amazons and Won!)

More from author Jim Musgrave- When I wrote my first historical detective mystery, Forevermore, I had a clear goal in mind: I wanted to write the best story for my reader to enjoy. This is the goal of every independent author out there, and the reason I want to communicate this fact of indie publishing is that many of the "big publishing houses" are not publishing the best stories for their readers. Please allow me to elucidate. I have been published by a big publisher. It was called "Harcourt-Brace," and it was the small professional arm of the corporation, "AP Professional Press" that published my book, The Digital Scribe: A Writer's Guide to Electronic Media. Notice the quaint reference to "electronic media." Back in the late nineties, we were still bedazzled by the newness of digital technology and its "multimedia" aspect. Today, digital multimedia is part and parcel of most of the "packaged novels" that get submitted by the big agents out there. They've already looked ahead to all the money to be made on movies, computer games, translations, Chinese edited versions, ads on the walls of urinals, and on and on with the corporate merchandising aspect of business. This…

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Don’t Confuse Independent Publishing with Self-Publishing

  by Jutdith Briles - The Book Shepherd   Indie, Independent and Small Press Publishing Are So, Soooooo Different from Self-Publishing, Vanity Presses and Pay-to-Publish "Publishing" I've said it once, I've said it a zillion times: yes, dear author-to-be (and those already published), there is a difference between self-publishing, vanity presses, pay-to-publish, a small press, and independent publishing. Don't mix them up. Don't get confused. Use Wikipedia as an initial guide: "The terms "small press", "indie publisher", and "independent press" are often used interchangeably, with "independent press" defined as publishers that are not part of large conglomerates or multinational corporations. Defined this way, these presses make up approximately half of the market share of the book publishing industry. Many small presses rely on specialization in genre fiction, poetry, or limited-edition books or magazines, but there are also thousands that focus on niche non-fiction markets." Did you read that? One-half of the market share of the book publishing industry! Doyou understand what it says/means? It means most authors today whose objective is to be successful create a small or independent press. They create their own "imprints"—publishing houses only on a mini scale. Authors find that books breed books, more will come.…

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