The Kindness of Strangers – Guest Post by Cheryl Shireman

One of the first things a writer notices when they join the self-publishing community is that it really is a community. We all pitch in to help each other. We share tips on editors, formatters, and cover designers. We recommend promo venues and warn about scams or bad deals. And we cheer each other’s successes and commiserate when someone hits a roadblock. Part of the reason for that, I’m sure, is that there is a feeling that we are all in this together, lone wolves fighting against the deep pockets, marketing muscle, and control of print distribution of the large publishers. But it’s also because many of the people involved are just plain nice. One of the most helpful authors Read More…

Crowdfunding A Novel – Turning A Profit Before You Publish

Regular readers will know that I always stress the importance of a professional package. This means only publishing your best work and having a great cover, neat formatting, proper editing, and an enticing blurb. Some of that stuff you can do on your own, some (usually covers and editing) you have to pay for. And good work doesn’t come cheap. I also try and remind people that we aren’t just competing against other self-publishers, but against the very best books from traditional publishers. When you take this professional approach, it’s important to recoup your costs as quickly as possible. Then every sale after that is pure profit. One of the competitive advantages that publishers have is the ability to take Read More…

Guest post by David Wright – Serialization: A Timely Return for the Digital Age?

One of the most exciting aspects of the indie revolution is seeing writers moving beyond straitjacketed definitions of what a story or book should be. We have seen a resurgence in short stories, a rebirth of the novella, and, as you will see below, some fascinating experiments with serialized fiction. All of these forms were held back by the economics of print and the risk-averse nature of publishers and agents. Self-publishers, of course, are free to publish whatever they like. Today, I have an excellent guest post from one half of a writing duo that is doing just that – with great results. Here’s David Wright: “To be continued…” I first discovered these three magical words in the pages of comic Read More…

Using “Free” On Standalone Books – Guest Post by Indie Author Hollister Ann Grant

I think we all know at this stage that “free” can be a powerful promotional tool. Usually, when writers go through the somewhat convoluted process of making a book free on Amazon, the aim is to introduce a new pool of readers to their work who might otherwise never hear of it. Often, it’s the first in a series, and the hope is that out of the thousands that download it for nothing, a reasonable percentage will (a) actually read the book and, (b) enjoy it enough to pay for the rest of the author’s work. Some of the most successful self-publishers out there have employed this strategy – with fantastic results – so its effectiveness is not under question. Read More…

Using "Free" On Standalone Books – Guest Post by Indie Author Hollister Ann Grant

I think we all know at this stage that “free” can be a powerful promotional tool. Usually, when writers go through the somewhat convoluted process of making a book free on Amazon, the aim is to introduce a new pool of readers to their work who might otherwise never hear of it. Often, it’s the first in a series, and the hope is that out of the thousands that download it for nothing, a reasonable percentage will (a) actually read the book and, (b) enjoy it enough to pay for the rest of the author’s work. Some of the most successful self-publishers out there have employed this strategy – with fantastic results – so its effectiveness is not under question. Read More…

Exclusive: Amazon Signs Indie Author Lia Fairchild

Amazon’s newer imprints have been getting all the press lately, but today, AmazonEncore has announced the signing of indie author Lia Fairchild. Her debut novel In Search of Lucy will be re-released next Spring in both paper and digital formats with a spiffy new cover, and – most importantly – that much-coveted marketing push. AmazonEncore was the company’s first foray into publishing in 2009, albeit on a smaller scale than we are seeing with the new imprints. Their mission has been to “unearth exceptional books and emerging authors” and over the past two years, they have published work from authors such as Christopher Herz, Stephen Leather, Joe Konrath, and Karen McQuestion. Here’s the official announcement:

Literary Agency Sells 520 Books In One Deal, Raising Questions

Last week, Curtis Brown (UK) signed a deal for 520 of their authors’ backlist titles to be published by Pan Macmillan’s new imprint Macmillan Bello. 120 titles will be released between November and the end of the year, with 400 more coming in 2012, and the books will be available in both digital and POD formats. Regular readers might remember that, in May, Curtis Brown were considering a move into publishing after fellow-agent Ed Victor launched his own imprint Bedford Square Books. At the time, Jonathan Lloyd, the managing director of Curtis Brown, was quoted by The Bookseller as saying, “Where Ed Victor leads, others follow – and we are right behind him, but with a rather larger list.” However, Mr. Lloyd Read More…

July AAP Figures Show Continuing E-book Explosion

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has released its figures for the month of July. Aside from a bump in hardcover numbers, the same trends we have seen all year are visible: print down and e-books surging. As always, the AAP figures come with a health warning. Only a very limited number of houses report, and you should hesitate before drawing hard-and-fast conclusions, especially with regard to the raw revenue numbers. However, it’s useful to look at the trends, which are confirmed by more comprehensive sources. The figures in the table below are in millions of dollars. 

Kobo Partners With Major European Booksellers As Global English E-book Sales Surge

On Monday, we took a look at the European e-book market, on foot of the opening of Amazon Spain in September, last week’s new French Kindle Store, and widespread rumors that dedicated Kindle Stores will open in Spain and Italy shortly. One of the commenters to that piece asked about Kobo, given that I had flagged their European expansion as one to watch during the summer. I responded that Kobo had struggled to find appropriate partners in key markets. Well, that has now changed. Yesterday also saw the beginning of the Frankfurt Book Fair which is at least partly responsible for the European focus of much of the news, as well as the flurry of announcements this week, including a big Read More…

The European Market: What’s Slowing Growth & What’s Driving It?

With the opening of Amazon Spain last month, the French Kindle Store last week, and strong rumors of more to follow, I thought it was a good time for an overview of the European e-book market. While most of the events and companies (and writers) driving change are American, and while the US is far ahead in terms of e-reader adoption rates and e-book sales, the book business is a global trade (which some estimate at $90bn per year), of which America is but one, albeit significant, market. As the situation is less developed than in the US, there is less hard data and quality analysis, so forgive me if this is a little spotty. If anyone has better sources, Read More…

The European Market: What's Slowing Growth & What's Driving It?

With the opening of Amazon Spain last month, the French Kindle Store last week, and strong rumors of more to follow, I thought it was a good time for an overview of the European e-book market. While most of the events and companies (and writers) driving change are American, and while the US is far ahead in terms of e-reader adoption rates and e-book sales, the book business is a global trade (which some estimate at $90bn per year), of which America is but one, albeit significant, market. As the situation is less developed than in the US, there is less hard data and quality analysis, so forgive me if this is a little spotty. If anyone has better sources, Read More…

Indie Author Traci Hohenstein Signs Four-Book Deal With Amazon

Traci Hohenstein has signed on with Amazon’s increasingly acquisitive imprint, Thomas & Mercer, on a four-book deal, comprised of her indie smash hit Burn Out and three subsequent novels, as yet unpublished. This is somewhat new ground for Thomas & Mercer in that Traci doesn’t have a huge backlist (Burn Out was her debut), and unlike most of their authors, she doesn’t have some background in trade publishing. In fact, she only self-published her debut title in April, the only work she has released thus far (although the sequel is imminent). Quite the meteoric rise. I have enjoyed sharing the news here of deals struck by J Carson Black, Michael Wallace, and Scott Nicholson, but this is particularly special given all of Read More…

Amazon Opens Kindle Store In France, Basic Kindle For 99 Euro, Surcharge Abolished

Amazon opened the fourth Kindle Store in France this morning. The Amazon.fr site, previously restricted to physical books, will now give French customers access to 35,000 local language e-books from local publishers, as well as 825,000 e-books in other languages, mostly English. In addition, the store will be selling the new entry-level Kindle for 99 Euro (with free shipping). The price discrepancy with the US is largely down to there being no ad-supported device available in France, for now at least. The total selection of e-books is slightly lower than the US due to territorial restrictions, meaning that some publishers in the US don’t own the rights to sell certain titles in France. For self-publishers, if you own the rights Read More…

Rip-Offs, Terrible Advice & Zombie Memes

It’s been a while since we had a link party, so let’s dive right in to this seething mess of rip-off publishing services, terrible self-publishing advice from “top” literary agents, and the reappearance of a zombie e-publishing meme. And that’s just for starters. Hold on to your hats! Reaching Out To Readers My (almost) weekly column for IndieReader.com is live, and today I’m Reaching Out To Readers. For the click-lazy, it’s about getting beyond your writer-filled Twitter stream and connecting with the people who will not just buy your work, but champion it. On that note, I’ve created a safe place where I can meet readers with similar interests where they won’t get assailed with sales reports, pricing strategies, or shop Read More…

Rip-Offs, Terrible Advice & Zombie Memes

It’s been a while since we had a link party, so let’s dive right in to this seething mess of rip-off publishing services, terrible self-publishing advice from “top” literary agents, and the reappearance of a zombie e-publishing meme. And that’s just for starters. Hold on to your hats! Reaching Out To Readers My (almost) weekly column for IndieReader.com is live, and today I’m Reaching Out To Readers. For the click-lazy, it’s about getting beyond your writer-filled Twitter stream and connecting with the people who will not just buy your work, but champion it. On that note, I’ve created a safe place where I can meet readers with similar interests where they won’t get assailed with sales reports, pricing strategies, or shop Read More…