28 July 2015

5 reasons NOT to self-publish

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Followers of this blog will know that, despite the myriad arguments against self-publishing (the two most common being that there are too many books out there already and that the quality of the majority of self-published books is sub-par), I am a great proponent of it (more on that in next week's post, "5 Reasons to Self-Publish").

But self-publishing is not the right path for everyone, and I believe that an emerging author should consider both options before deciding which route to take.

Here are five reasons NOT to self-publish.

1. You lack the resources to give the indie author route a proper go.
Becoming a successful indie author is like having two full-time jobs: there's the full-time job of writing, and then there's the full-time job of finding and engaging with your audience in order to sell your books.

14 July 2015

7 Tips for Self-Publishing an Ebook, Part 2

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week I shared my first three tips for self-publishing an ebook:
1. Start working with a cover designer early-ish
2. Ask your cover designer for a JPEG, not a TIFF or PNG file
3. Publish with both Smashwords and Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

Today's post contains four more tips to help you have a smooth ebook publishing process (and avoid learning the hard way).

4. Format for Smashwords first.
You've finished the book, which is to say you have a finished manuscript that has gone through several rounds of editing and revision and has been copy edited. You are 99.9% sure you will not be making any further changes to the content of the manuscript. Does this describe you? Yes? Okay. Then you are ready, young Jedi. It's time to format your manuscript as an ebook.

08 July 2015

7 Tips for Self-Publishing an Ebook, Part 1

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A couple of writers have approached me lately looking for advice on how to self-publish an ebook, so I thought I'd share what I've learned over the course of the last three years and five self-published ebooks (plus two for a client) here, available to all.

As I worked on this post, I realized I had more to say than I originally thought, so I'm breaking it up into two parts. This week's post contains tips about working with a cover designer and which publishing platforms to use. Next week's post will address the recommended order of operations.

Please note that these tips are not meant to be an exhaustive how-to, much less a step-by-step guide. My intention is to make your self-publishing experience a little easier by sharing some things I wish I'd known when I first got started.

1. Start working with a cover designer early(ish).
I usually start working with a cover designer about 3-4 months before I expect to release my book. Depending on your cover designer's skill and availability - not to mention your availability, when it comes to providing feedback on mock-ups - it can take anywhere from a week to several months to nail down a cover.

05 May 2015

Writing prompt 65

You know how sometimes a couple of words or a phrase pops into your head and your mind gloms onto them? It rolls them around, feeling their shapes, and explores all the random memories, images, and other experiences that your brain somehow associates with them. This happened to me while I was driving the moving truck up to Portland, and I thought these two words might make a good writing prompt for other people, too. I'm guessing they occurred to me because I'd spent the last week packing up and making decisions about what to keep and what to discard.


28 April 2015

Writing prompt 64

I don't post writing prompts as regularly as I used to, but this on popped into my head yesterday and I thought I'd share it with you. My mind takes it in the direction of a horror story, but if you manage to write something *other* than a horror story/poem out of it, I'd love to hear about it!