Archive for category Self-Publishing

Indies, the World, and Anxiety

So, I love independent publishing. When it comes to publishing short works, I find it to be ideal. I like anthologies and magazines, and for any writer they certainly have their value. Both are exposure to a wider market and a way to test the mettle of your work. Will someone else find it worthy?

In the 21st Century, that does not have to be the only avenue of an author wanting to get short works into the hands of readers. It is one of the things I love about independent publishing.

That said … I noticed that the last month or so, I have had modest but steady sales. It has been nice to see and has left me wondering how to turn modest and steady into moderate and steady. Marketing and exposure, obviously, but finding the right way to go about that … affordable, of course, to an indie still coming into her own.

Then the last few days happened and anxiety sets in. The problem with being an indie, I don’t have a marketing arm looking at figures and the market and interpreting what they see so that I understand what is happening.

I can only play guessing games.

UK sales had been strong for me the past month or so. I am wondering with the current events on that side of the pond, if that is affecting my sales at all. I hope not. E-books are not very expensive. I think the highest price book that has been going recently is $1.99. If it is recent happenings in the UK driving sales down – I know how tough things are for me if I am not willing to spend a dollar or two on things.

As anxious as I am about sales, I can’t ignore the news that comes across my feed. Things are turbulent and insecure, maybe more than I had realized.

Everything surrounding Brexit is complex and convoluted. It is also heated and I don’t think it is going to be resolved quickly. In discussing it on this side of the pond, we look at geo-political impacts and lessons we can take as an electorate with our own upcoming election. As with the UK, in the US we have a lot of disillusioned voters. Polls may point one way, but in this environment that is no guarantee of outcome.

In all of that, though, I hope that we don’t forget that for all of the politicians, elections, trades, and regulations, that there is a human element to this. People’s lives are being affected by this in ways we cannot even see.

We can only guess at them through a dashboard.

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An Experiment

I am going to try an experiment and see if this will work.

 

You should click on me and buy all of Lynn’s books right now.

(The Silence and Doctor Who are properties of BBC and their respective creators and are no way affiliated with The Writer’s Manifest, Lynn Perretta, or any of her books. Use of this picture is shameful self-promotion by a dedicated Whovian who is desperate to sell her books and should not be taken as an endorsement by the BBC, the creators of Doctor Who, or anyone with any kind of decency. In fact, when they find out I am doing this they will probably be pretty pissed (as in angry not drunk) at me for doing this. Sorry guys. I hope you understand.)

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Word Count

I started a conversation in a Writer’s Group that I participate in on Facebook. I don’t think, however, that I quite got across the point of what I was asking about.

Here is what I posted to the group:

Why is there a word-count competition?

We talk about word count a lot, as though it is a competition to get books as large as possible.

I have written everything from flash fiction (about 1k) to short stories (anything from 2k – 15k), novellas, and novels (my longest being about 130k words or so).

The storytelling style, the story development, even the enjoyment of the story itself varies between flash-fiction, short stories, novellas, and novels. Even with novels, the style of storytelling is going to vary if your book is 80k, 130k, 180k, the Stand, etc.

So, what do you think happened to the appreciation of both writing and reading the different types of stories?

Is there a way to fix this?

Now, people immediately decided to defend the need for things like:

  • authors monitoring word count
  • word count as a way to differentiate between types of stories
  • complaints against authors who list a 5k story as a “novel”

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Asking for 5-Star Reviews? Stop It Now!

I am in a few different writer’s groups online. It does not matter how many times we all talk about the importance of integrity (especially among Self-Published and Small Press authors) or honest reviews. Every once in a while someone will still pop up with “I’m looking for only 5 Star reviews” in a thread. It is aggravating and disheartening. And it does not matter how many times the rest of us call these people out on this practice. People still pop up and do it.

Stop.

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Making the Case for Self Publishing

I’m going to share a really great post from another blog.

Should you follow the traditional or self publishing path? Numbers point the way.

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Getting Images for Cover Art

Copy of 2010 03-06 utc 037“Do you know how to find free images that you can use online?”

I see this discussed in groups a lot. Let’s face it. When you are a self-published author, especially if you are a new author, you cannot always afford to pay for artwork. Maybe you can save up for a once-a-year cover for your novel. What if you are a short story or novella author needing artwork on a monthly or even weekly basis? Chances are your art budget is going to outstrip what you bring in from your writing – at first anyway.

There are ways to get free images that you can adapt to photos. You just need a photo-editing program, a little skill, lots of practice, and some knowledge.

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Promotion Time!

In my head, the title sounds funnier because the Permanent Editor and I were playing a game called Dokapon Kingdom with the kid. This game is basically the Monopoly of Wii … which is to say it is a game that will split a family. 🙂 Anyway, when you do certain level-ups the character will say “Promotion time!” and it is really cute.

So, I am gearing up for the release of The Shulim Cycle Book of Susan in November. If you want to help, please pledge to spread the word via Thunderclap. It’s easy. Just pledge and if I meet my pledge goal, then the message will go out automatically on whichever social networks you choose.

Simple. And I will be grateful if you do that. If you decide to pre-order when that opens up at the end of October, even better!

 

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Writer Beware

Good morning fellow readers and writers.

So, if you are self-published, you are always looking for new opportunities to help you get your book out there in a way that is advantageous to you. When you see something offered, it is vital, however, that you check up on them and their claims.

Very important when it comes to this little company: Morgan James Publishing.

Their deal seems appealing on the surface. They appear to be up front about the costs and caveats.

But … “Many major houses require authors to purchase 5,000 copies, or more, of the book upon its release, usually at a 50-60% discount off retail.”

According to traditionally published authors on the forum that questions about MJ Publishing were shared on, this is not the case, especially for fiction. For non-fiction, depending on agreements and needs of mostly the author it would appear, similar things may be added to contracts. So we are talking about something that occurs only by exception – meaning that while technically it is at least a plausible claim, the addition of “most” followed by specific figures makes the claim suspect.

Which makes them suspect.

Writer beware.

Also, just in case you do not know about this awesomeness, SFWA has a resource available to everyone, member or not, to help authors look out for this type of thing. Hopefull Morgan James shows up on their list soon. Book mark this, and if you see someone, or get an email, compare them to it first before doing the rest of your research: SFWA’s Writer Beware.

 

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Edits, Revision, and Rewrites, Oh My!

Thought I would give an update to where I am with The Shulim Cycle Book of Susan.

Draft Five.

That is the editing draft I am on now, with the Permanent Editor finishing the last chapters of Draft Four and soon to begin the chapters finished so far (1 as of this posting, but I’m into 2) once those are done.

Whoever says that self-published authors don’t edit did not meet me. Personally, I find it easier to edit something not my own work but … one does what one needs to.

So, what great insights do I have from this edit?

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Stop! Raffle Time.

So, as I am finishing up the edits for The Shulim Cycle Book of Susan, it is time to gear up for the release.

When will that be, you ask breathlessly?

November 17, 2014.

Mark your calendars and expect to hear from me between now and then as I ramp up for the release.

To start that off, I have a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will be giving away signed copies of The Shulim Cycle Book of Susan to 3 lucky winners, a  cover-art t-shirt signed by me to one, a mug with the cover art to one, and free copies of the e-book to 5. Now, Rafflecopter is a viral-marketing raffle site, which means that you enter by sharing. Follow the blog, follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Tweet or comment on this blog. Pretty easy.

The raffle will go from today until October 31.

Please enter and share it.

I also am all sales-like for the first novel.

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