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Hugh Howey: Self-publishing is the future — and great for writers

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“Books have changed forever, and that’s good. Writers will find readers and make more money going it alone, like me.”

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Hugh Howey wanted to find out if there were other success stories out there when he posed a question on the Kindle Boards. He started a thread entitled “The Self Published Authors I Want to Hear From.” He wanted to find those making $100 to $500 a month. He had a sneaking suspicion that there were many. He said that every response he received started with a variation of: “I’m actually making a lot more than that.”

 How about these stories:

o JAN STRNAD, a 62-year-old educator hoping to retire in four years. In 2012, he made $11,406.31 from his work.  He now makes around $2,000 a month.

o ROBERT J. CRANE, His monthly income had gone from $110.29 in June to $13,000+ in November.

o RACHEL SCHURIG has sold 100,000 e-books and made 6 figures last year.

o RICK GUALTIERI cleared over $25,000 in 2012 from his writing.

o AMANDA BRICE writes teen mysteries and adult romantic comedies in her spare time. She averages $750 a month with her work.

Do you have story inside of you just waiting to be heard? Never has there been such a time in history that doors to publishing success are flung as wide open as they are today. Just think–if you start your writing today, you could be the next self-publishing success story tomorrow!

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

Link to the original article: http://www.salon.com/2013/04/04/hugh_howey_self_publishing_is_the_future_and_great_for_writers/

 

 

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Authors: when is the most productive time to write?

See on Scoop.itWriting “Rightly”

I read this article on cracked.com yesterday, entitled “5 things you can do right now to be instantly smarter.”

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Could the best time of day to write be when you are tired, frazzled, and at your worst? Apparently, experiments have shown that our brain adapts to new and crazy ideas when we are annoyed. When we’re at ease our brain is comfy and rejects ideas that seem too weird. Huh? 

I am trying to get my writing done first thing in the morning when I am fresh, and my mind hasn’t been overtaken by all the gobbledegook on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and e-mail. This seems to be working for me. I jump in with both feet, get the required (my own goals) amount of writing done, and get out.

The ideas that come to me are fresh from the dream state, and not affected by all of the other social interference out on the web. I think each person has to find their own writing bliss, embrace it, and reject what doesn’t work. The whole point is to get it done, and be pleased with your finished work.

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article and the full interview: http://crimsonleague.com/2013/03/31/authors-when-is-the-most-productive-time-to-write/

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Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

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These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list – When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

I am tucking this list of Pixar’s “22 Rules of Storytelling” into my writer’s toolbox to pull out when I am working on my writing for Kindle. I can readily pick up some new ideas by quickly scanning the list, and referring back to these rules could truly get you out of some stuck-in-the-mud storylines.

I’m fondly recalling Pixar’s Movie, “Up”. If they used these rules in writing the love story of Carl and Ellie, then these rules would also work great for romance stories written for Kindle. Their beautiful story in the movie is the shortest, most eloquent and touching love story I think I have ever seen. Although it was between two digitally created characters, every time I watch it, I sob like a baby.

Pixar knows of which they speak. This one is a keeper.

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

Link to the original article: http://aerogrammestudio.com/2013/03/07/pixars-22-rules-of-storytelling/

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5 Things Beginners Need to Know About E-Book Publishing | Jane Friedman

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Penelope‘s insight:

 

Let’s head back to the basics for new students to the ebook publishing market. There are a few tips that will at least bring you up to speed with the self-publishing lingo that you may hear tossed about. These 5 things have remained fairly constant and will give you a head start on your own “Writing for Kindle” or other platforms.

1) Ebook publishing and DISTRIBUTION SERVICES (Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble Nook, Smashwords, etc.) are NONEXCLUSIVE and do not take any rights to your work. You can take it up and down, revise/update and change your price at any time)

2) There are SINGLE/MULTIPLE distribution services, which can be used in tandem (Smashwords, Bookbaby, FastPencil will distribute to multiple e-reading devices. Amazon’s KDP (Kindle) is a single-device publishing service.

3) Successful ebooks require excellent COVER DESIGN (Prices for novels typically run from .99 to 2.99)

4) Amazon royalties favor PRICING between $2.99-$9.99 (70% royalty at the 2.99-9.99, and 30% above 9.99)

5) Calibre is a free EBOOK CONVERSION SOFTWARE widely used to output ebook files from many types of sources. I personally like software called KBG (Kindle Book Generator) that will create a PDF of your book and all files necessary to publish to all platforms) Resource #3 on http://PhilosBooks.com/Resources

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

 

Link to the original article:http://janefriedman.com/2011/08/09/5-things-beginners-need-to-know-about-e-book-publishing/

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Ebook Promotion — What’s Working at Amazon in 2013? | Self-Publishing

See on Scoop.itEBook Promotion and Marketing

Amazon isn’t the only place to sell your ebooks, and I’ve had some luck with Apple and Kobo of late, but it remains the big dog in the house.”

Penelope‘s insight:

 

There are so many ways to market our ebooks, and authors are always trying to decipher how to make sales in the ways of “least resistance”. Not that we are a lazy bunch–quite the opposite–we are just overwhelmed with choices.

 This excellent article sums up what the writer feels first is “Not Working at Amazon” anymore, then she tells what “Is Working”.

 Let us sum up what is NOT WORKING well anymore:

1) TAGGING (Amazon got rid of the keywords on the book page)

2)  “Post-Free” KDP SELECT BOUNCE (It’s not as good as it used to be)

3)  Using AUTHOR NAMES in your book descriptions

4)  KEYWORDS in the TITLE fields (Amazon is cracking down)

5)  BIG VENUES for advertising your ebooks (Amazon again cracking down)

 Is anything working? Let’s sum up what MIGHT BE WORKING:

1)  Putting out your WORK FREE on the net, and put it out EVERYWHERE

2)  ADVERTISE where it is effective (Bookbub and Goodreads)

3)  WRITE more books! (Best marketing you can do)

 

Think “Whole Series” or “Multiple Series” so readers will buy more from you!

Hope this sparks some great ideas for you in your own marketing campaign. Happy book selling!

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”***

 

Link to the original article: http://www.lindsayburoker.com/amazon-kindle-sales/book-promotion-whats-working-at-amazon/

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The Self-Pubbed Writer Who Wrote the Next Great Sci-Fi Saga

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You can also listen to this article. When bookstore employee and indie author Hugh Howey published his short story “Wool” as a 99-cent e-book on Amazon in July of 2011, he wasn’t banking on the story transforming his career.

 

Penelope‘s insight:

  

I’m in the middle of reading the wildly successful “Wool” permanent free book that sits out on Amazon. Sci-fi fan, I am not, but the story is intriguing. Bookstore employee and indie author, Hugh Howey had no idea that publishing his short story out on the web would completely change his life. He had written nothing else after this one, but fans reached out to him to finish his futuristic short story to satisfy their desire for more work from this author.

As Wool opens, Holston, the sheriff of the silo is being sent to “cleaning,” a punishment that takes him to the toxic surface to scrub the sensors that project a view of the world above to the silo below. The description of the view is one of the only clues Howey provides about the world before the silo was created. It’s a “familiar and rotting skyline” in which “ancient glass and steel stood distantly where people, it was suspected, had once lived aboveground.”

 By reaching out to Howey and leaving reviews that asked for more, fans helped conjure the fictional world that has come to mean so much to them. And through the power of self-publishing and social media, Howey converted interest in the first story into dedicated fandom and hundreds of thousands of e-book sales. Self-publishers can always learn from studying what is currently working, and tweak it to fit into their own self-publishing.

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

 

Link to the original article: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2013/03/hugh_howey_and_wool_how_the_self_pubbed_sci_fi_writer_relates_to_fans.2.html

 

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Digital Publishing and Indie Authors | What to expect in 2013?

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“Publishing in the digital age has taken on a brave new face. It’s precocious, it’s brazen, it’s sassy and it’s independent.”

Penelope‘s insight:

 

2013 is a brand new year for authors! What should they expect? 

o Ebooks are cheaper to produce

o Social Media allows authors to create a following

o Promotions (allows authors to bring their books to target markets)

o Indie Authors can earn more (60-70% vs. the 30%)

 For the entire article and more great news for authors, visit the original article.

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

 Link to the original article: http://marketingforromancewriters.com/digital-publishing-2013/

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Margo Berendsen: Love story plots, or 13 ways to mess with your characters

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

Penelope‘s insight:
 
Are you considering writing a romance novel for Kindle? They are hot sellers, and you’ve got countless romance genres to choose from. If you are stuck for ideas, this excellent post will jumpstart your thinking in the area of love.

This author gives us Love Story Plots, or “13 different ways to mess with your characters.” You can even cross over into the paranormal romance genre. (Movies: “Avatar” or the “Twilight” series).

If you are considering the YA (young adult) romance genre, a great example are the Kindle book covers of a very successful romance novelist, Rachel Hanna. Make sure that you aim for a great plot that appeals to your chosen audience (this may take some research), and an eye-catching book cover. Here’s an interview that I had with Rachel recently. You can listen in to get some ideas of your own, or just take a peek at her beautiful covers. Her audience loves her!

 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/philosbooks/2013/03/01/interview-with-best-selling-romance-novelist-rachel-hanna

 

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

 Link to the original article: http://margoberendsen.blogspot.com/2011/02/love-story-plots-or-13-ways-to-mess.html

 

 

 

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“I Wasted $8000 On Kirkus Review Advertising.” An Indie Author’s Story | Successful Self-Publishing

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I wasted $8000 on ads that were never going to do anything for me because display ads don’t work for books. Susie Jenkin’s story

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Be forewarned. This is but one indie author’s story of wasting $8,000 on display advertising for her book! She got ONE response from a huge display ad that she paid for–and that was from a PR agent.

The big publishing houses are going to be relentless in the next few years as they fight back against the self-publishing craze. They have to come up with new ways to make big bucks.

This author brings it down to brass tacks: EGO. You better have your ego in check, and look out for your own best interests. The big publishing houses are only looking for the next almighty dollar, and it’s up to you to make sure it doesn’t come out of your pocket. This very reason is what drove me to set up a company to help authors, in both publishing and promotion of their books in a very cost effective manner.

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Ebook Promotion and Marketing”***

 Link to the original article:

http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/indie-author-says-kirkus-reviews-a-waste/

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Beware Random House’s Ebook Imprints – Forbes | Self-Publishing

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Random House’s ebook-only imprints have come under fire for having predatory and abusive contract terms.

Penelope‘s insight:

 

Another great case made for self-publishing: YOU RETAIN CONTROL and PROFITS and the KNOWLEDGE of the ANALYTICS of your book. Sure, your book may be sitting out on Amazon, or Smashwords, or the i-bookstore, but you can pull it at any time and put it on your own website for sales.

I have heard the same story time and again from friends who have had their books published by one of the big publishers. They sign a contract, which pretty much signs away their rights. They pay out thousands and thousands of dollars for what? The book is published, but that didn’t include any promotion. These authors are kept in the dark about the number of sales, they don’t see royalties, and they are being treated as if they absolutely have no right to know how their books are doing. They are frustrated and discouraged.

Personally, I will stick to self-publishing and my books will remain my sole property.

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

 Link to the original article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/suwcharmananderson/2013/03/10/beware-random-houses-ebook-imprints/

 

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