Writing At The Speed Of Light

I’m a slow writer. One of my primary goals this year is to increase my writing speed. Last year I released four titles – three shorts and two full-length books. About 170,000 words total. That sounds pretty impressive until you factor in that two of those shorts were written in 2010, and I had been writing the historical novel over a period of many years – it only had to be rewritten last year. Subtracting both of those, and adding in new text added to the novel, leaves me with maybe 90,000 new words written and published last year. It could be worse, I suppose, but there is a huge amount of room for improvement – especially when I break Read More…

Self-Editing: Back to Basics, Part II – Guest post from Karin Cox, Editor

We wrap up our series on self-editing today with part two of Karin Cox’s guest post on self-editing basics and the common mistakes writers make. On Monday, we kicked off the series with a post from UK author and editor Harry Bingham (The Writers’ Workshop), who underlined the importance of editing, and how developing your own self-editing skills can greatly reduce the amount you need to spend on professional help (and lead to a better book). If you missed it, that’s here. On Wednesday, my editor, Karin Cox, gave some practical tips on how to avoid some of the more common errors she sees in writers’ manuscripts, such as unnecessarily florid verbiage, wandering commas, and modifiers gone mad. That post Read More…

Self-Editing: Back to Basics, Part I – Guest Post by Karin Cox

We continue our series on self-editing today with the first of a two-part post from author and editor Karin Cox. Karin has a unique perspective: she has considerable experience working for a trade publisher in Australia and is also a freelance editor. On top of that, her own work (both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults, as well as poetry) has been published the traditional way and has been self-published; she really has seen all sides of the equation. Karin is also my editor. I have first-hand experience of her impressive pleonasm-hunting skills as well as her uncanny ability to turn my sopa de letras into intelligible prose (no mean feat). If you missed the first installment in this series from UK Read More…

We Interrupt This Blog: Tribute to LC Evans

As some of you may know, indie author LC Evans lost her battle with cancer earlier this month. Simon Royle is organizing a tribute today, which happens to be the anniversary of when he interviewed Linda on IndieView. Simon thought this would be good day to shine a spotlight on the work of LC Evans (author of We Interrupt This Date, one of Red Adept’s picks for 2010), and has got several of the big indie reviewers to review one of her titles today. In addition, he invited all the authors he interviewed on IndieView over the last year to participate in a giveaway to benefit Linda’s family (who now have control of her KDP account). The way it works is Read More…

Edit Like A Pro: Guest Post by Harry Bingham

Last week, I spoke about the importance of getting the basics right. This week we are going to focus on editing, and in particular self-editing. One of the more common criticisms self-publishers receive is with regard to editing (or proofing, which is part of the editorial process). Sometimes the criticisms are misplaced, with readers confusing British English with a typo, or a stylistic choice (like whether to use the Oxford comma) with a rule. But oftentimes,  readers’ comments are on the mark. Equally often, readers find flaws with the story that could have been addressed with a more rigorous edit. For example, if your readers felt nothing when a character died, perhaps you should have done more to establish an emotional Read More…

A New Strategy for a New Year – Guest Post by Sarah Woodbury

To enroll or not to enroll, that is the question on a lot of writers’ minds. I have had several posts on KDP Select, because it’s a complex issue, without one “right” answer that will fit all self-publishers. If you are just catching up, I came out against the program before Christmas, but featured two authors recently that are doing well out of it: Marilyn Peake and Patrice Fitzgerald. To wrap up this mini-series, I have a guest post from bestselling author Sarah Woodbury, who hasn’t enrolled in KDP Select. Instead she’s exploiting the increased opportunities on other retailers. Here’s Sarah: *** When Amazon first announced its KDP Select program, my heart sank. I knew that going exclusively with Amazon would Read More…

Why Is My Book Not Selling?

Okay. Time for a confession. A Storm Hits Valparaiso is selling a little less than I had hoped. But that’s not what today’s post is about. This question – why is my book not selling? – is quite a common one and I would like to address it in a general way because I think many people slip up on the basics. I would also like to use my new book as a case study, to show what steps I am taking to address somewhat tepid sales over the last couple of weeks. And in fact, the tide is already turning – thanks to a couple of tricks I pulled yesterday, but we’ll get to that. As Seth Godin says, it’s far Read More…

The Joys of KDP Select: Patrice Fitzgerald’s Story

Last week, I had a guest post from Marilyn Peake, who explained how KDP Select is helping her achieve new levels of success after ten years in publishing. I wanted to have a couple of opposing voices here to balance out my opposition to the program because (a) my antipathy towards KDP Select is based – at least partly – on the exclusivity requirement, which matters less to other writers, and (b) I could be wrong anyway. Today, I have a guest post from Patrice Fitzgerald who has used KDP Select to hugely increase her sales – at prices far higher than the average self-publisher too. Here’s Patrice:

The Joys of KDP Select: Patrice Fitzgerald's Story

Last week, I had a guest post from Marilyn Peake, who explained how KDP Select is helping her achieve new levels of success after ten years in publishing. I wanted to have a couple of opposing voices here to balance out my opposition to the program because (a) my antipathy towards KDP Select is based – at least partly – on the exclusivity requirement, which matters less to other writers, and (b) I could be wrong anyway. Today, I have a guest post from Patrice Fitzgerald who has used KDP Select to hugely increase her sales – at prices far higher than the average self-publisher too. Here’s Patrice:

Time Traveling Through the Past Decade of Publishing

I promised to have a guest post from a writer who is doing well out of KDP Select, to balance out my post explaining why I wouldn’t be participating, and why I was against the program in general. This is the first of two guest posts on KDP Select from writers that are participating, and doing very well out of it. And don’t worry, I’m not slacking off while the guest posters are in the house – I have a new column up at Indie Reader called The Sharks Are Circling. Here’s Marilyn Peake: The past ten years have seen such sweeping changes in the publishing industry, specific technologies have gone from cutting-edge to old-fashioned in what seems nearly the blink Read More…

What’s Up With Wattpad?

Kids these days, eh? Always wandering around with their noses in their iPhones, up to no good. Well, maybe not. Because lots of them are using an app called Wattpad which might just be the biggest revolution in reading you’ve never heard of. The Toronto-based Wattpad began in 2007, initially providing a mobile platform for 17,000 public domain works from Project Gutenberg. By June 2009, the Wattpad app had been downloaded 5 million times. Fast forward to today, and Wattpad is the world’s largest reading and writing community. I have had lots of teachers tell me that kids are getting into reading e-books on their smartphones in a big way, but I was short of hard numbers. Here are some from Read More…

What's Up With Wattpad?

Kids these days, eh? Always wandering around with their noses in their iPhones, up to no good. Well, maybe not. Because lots of them are using an app called Wattpad which might just be the biggest revolution in reading you’ve never heard of. The Toronto-based Wattpad began in 2007, initially providing a mobile platform for 17,000 public domain works from Project Gutenberg. By June 2009, the Wattpad app had been downloaded 5 million times. Fast forward to today, and Wattpad is the world’s largest reading and writing community. I have had lots of teachers tell me that kids are getting into reading e-books on their smartphones in a big way, but I was short of hard numbers. Here are some from Read More…

December Report: Sales Steady, Revenue Up

December is when self-publishers get all misty eyed over all the newborn e-book buyers taking their first tentative steps into the market. Amazon sold well over a million Kindles a week during December, and the other manufacturers will have shifted plenty too. Most of these will have been to new entrants, who traditionally (i.e. since last year) go on a book buying binge to fill up their shiny new devices. It certainly seemed like the market doubled on Christmas Day. Since then, a burst of sales only gets you half as high in the rankings as it used to (although the Amazon Lending Library borrows counting as sales will be a factor too). My sales didn’t double, so I’m not speaking Read More…