The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Archive for the tag “Indies Unlimited”

What are service publishers?

Service publishers are akin to vanity publishers in that they will print or publish whatever you have for a price. They will not pass judgment on it and they don’t care if it sells. The difference here is that you know from the get-go that they are selling services, not dreams.

via Service Publishers — a la Carte for Authors ‹ Indies Unlimited ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

Should you consider a publisher you have to pay? Hard to say, especially as writing gurus start telling self-published authors they need better editing, formatting, cover art and promotion plans, none of which are free.

Melissa Bowerstock tells us that service publishers and vanity publishers aren’t the same because vanity publishers are selling dreams and service publisher are selling services. Before you say, “oh, well that’s just semantics,” consider the fact that service publishers offer a “menu” of services from which you can choose while vanity publishers offer you a package that may or may not include services you don’t want.

It’s worth looking at because self-publishing really isn’t free if you want your book to have a chance of selling well.

–Malcolm

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How Do I Know Which Book Promo Sites Are Legit?

“If you go to our site http://www.indiesunlimited.com/ and click on the tab “Book Promo Sites” – while we do not endorse any particular site, those sites have been vetted and used by at least some of our staff. We would not list them on the site if they took advantage of authors. We cannot state that any of them perform a certain way, so you may or may not have success, but they are not known to scam authors.”

via From the Mail Room: How Do I Know Which Book Promo Sites Are Legit? – Indies Unlimited

Many of us rely heavily on book review sites since major sites such as Book List, Kerkus. Publishers Weekly, and other mainstream sites won’t touch a small press or self-published book (with the exception of pay-for-review programs), so finding those that will make a difference is an important project.

They can help spread the word, but for most of us, few miracles will occur. Making them part of a larger program of platform building seems to give us our best shot.

Malcolm

Author of Conjure Woman’s Cat.

How to pitch a blog guest post

So you’ve read through all the advice about how to guest post, you’ve got a lot to write about, and you’ve even researched a little bit of search engine know-how. You’ve learned that you can help the site out by putting relevant keywords in the title of your post and in the subheadings.

You pick your most brilliant idea, and you send it out to the site editor of your favourite blog (only do this one at a time!). But no one is replying to your emails.

via How to PITCH a Guest Post to a Blog ‹ Indies Unlimited ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

I like Ben Steele’s approach to this problem. If you want to write a guest post on somebody’s blog, you need to do some homework–just as you do when you pitch a book to a prospective agent or publisher or a story idea to an editor.

Magazine editors say “read the magazine before you submit an idea.” This keeps you from sending a romance short to National Geographic or an epic fantasy set on another world to National Parks and Preservation Magazine. Reading the blog is a good place to start.

–Malcolm

Tarot and Writing

Everything old is new again, if you wait long enough. Every now and then, I run across an author on the internet who says, “I just had an amazing idea! I’m going to use Tarot cards in my next story! I bet nobody’s ever done that before!”

via Writing and the Tarot – Indies Unlimited

I enjoyed reading Lynne Cantwell’s post because (a) I’ve used Tarot cards ever since I was in high school, (b) They appear in some of my novels, and (c) They have definitely been used for hundreds of years in stories and novels

She’s right when she says that the so-called “Fool’s Journey” (Major Arcana 0) has similarities to the Hero’s Journey popularized first by Joseph Campbell in the 1940s and that there are nice associations between Jung’s archetypes and the cards. The Kabbalistic Tree of Life is also linked to the cards.

–Malcolm

I use a different deck than Lynne, the Thoth Deck. You can learn more about it and the Tarot in general at Raven Tarot.

What about Amazon’s Third-Party Sellers?

via Help! Someone else is selling my book! – Indies Unlimited

While taking a short break from obsessively Googling your name and checking your KDP dashboard, you wander over to search for your book on Amazon. Imagine your surprise when – gasp – you see two listings. Or three listings. Or even more! Someone named IHeartBooks is selling your paperback on Amazon! Not only that, but – horror of horrors – they’re charging more than you are. Or maybe less than you are. Or maybe you’re one of those authors who’s stumbled across a copy of your paperback selling on Amazon for $6,789 or some such outrageous price.

No, this is not piracy. It’s business. Stores and others buy your book at wholesale and sell it at retail. Others buy your book, read it, and then sell the copy to somebody else. It’s legit. Publisher Melinda Clayton explains why.

I buy too many books. So, I’m happy that Amazon allows me to resell the copy after I’ve read it. I usually don’t make very much because some sellers try to make their profit on volume by keeping the extra (if any) charged for shipping while selling the copy for a penny. Occasionally, I make a few dollars.

You can, too. And so can a lot of other people.

–Malcolm

Getting ready for a successful book fair

The warm-weather months are upon us, and this often means book festivals, book fairs, conferences, and other events. So, this seemed like as good a time as any to offer some tips on what authors need when selling their books at events. While events vary, the basic needs tend to be pretty similar.

via Tips to Help Authors Make their Festival/Events a Success ‹ Indies Unlimited ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

If you haven’t attended a book fair as an author with books to sign and sell, R. J. Crayton at Indies Unlimited has compiled a list of everything you need to take with you.

Selling books at a festival begins with being seen and ends with your signing a lot of books. There’s a bit of art to this, and that means setting up your booth or table to attract attention and make transactions with readers friendly and easy to accomplish.

–Malcolm

Promotions: What Type to Use When

“As indie authors, we have a wealth of types of marketing and promotional opportunities available to us. However, some types aren’t as effective as others, and some are more effective when you’re farther along in your career. As a newbie, where should you concentrate your efforts? As a more seasoned indie, what will boost you to the next level of visibility and sales?

“Here’s one list, together with our recommendations for when best to employ each type. Some are free; some, not so much. I’ve included a $ next to the ones that will cost you money.”

via Promotions: What Type to Use When – Indies Unlimited

Authors constantly debate which promotion strategies really work. Sometimes, those with high acclaim seem to have worn themselves out before most of us find them.

A lot of Indie authors are reporting that sales are down. Some blame a change in Amazon algorithms which purportedly favor the higher priced books from large mainstream presses over the modestly priced books that are self-published or that come from small presses.

Lynne Cantwell has done a great job compiling a list of strategies to try. Regardless of whether (or if) Amazon is tweaking its site to make more off the higher priced books, we still need to get the word out–and, perhaps, raise our prices.

Malcolm

You want your book to sell, right?

“Whether you design your own book exterior and interior or are working with a professional, here are a few precepts that will guide you towards a better product, and thus more sales.

“Lesson Number One: Think of the Reader’s Experience”

Source: Design Your Book to Sell – Indies Unlimited

Gordon Long brings us a quick list of steps we must take to convert “my manuscript” into “the reader’s book.”

Yes, it’s been mine for a while, my words, my muse, my drafts and revisions, but once it gets on the shelf and/or on Amazon’s website. it’s no longer just “mine.” It’s a story told for the reader, a writing prompt for his or her imagination.

But first, s/he has to pick it up. With the advice in this Indies Unlimited post, you can make sure that happens.

–Malcolm

Moving Print Book Files from CreateSpace to IngramSpark

A couple of years ago Lynne Cantwell gave a great overview of three of the most popular choices for paperback distribution: CreateSpace, Lulu, and IngramSpark. As Lynne explained, while all three have benefits, IngramSpark, owned by Ingram Content Group, “has the most robust distribution chain of any of the three POD services, as its parent…

via Moving Print Book Files from CreateSpace to IngramSpark — Indies Unlimited

This is a practical consideration for everyone who currently relies on CreateSpace. The alternative just might help you get a much better deal. Plus, not having returnable books is a big reason why most small press and self-published books are not in bookstores, a benefit IngramSpark allows.

–Malcolm

Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility

“Amazon recently made some changes to their pre-order process that give authors more flexibility. Back in 2014, in what was considered a great leap forward foward self-published authors, Amazon provided the ability to offer books for pre-order.”

Source: Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility – Indies Unlimited

Now, author R. J. Crayton tells us that changes in the system will make the service even easier to use. I like having the ability to due pre-orders as my publication dates draw near.

–Malcolm

 

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