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Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Archive for the tag “Indies Unlimited”

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

 

Aren’t you supposed to be writing right now?

Ernest Mendozza begins his Indies Unlimited post “Essential Apps for Procrastinating Writers” with a paragraph that attracted my attention because I am supposed to be writing right now rather than reading his post and creating a new post of my own to talk about his post. Here’s how he begins:

Someone once said, “Being a good writer is 3% talent 97% not being distracted by the internet.” Ain’t that the truth. Just while writing this introductory paragraph, I’ve checked my email three times, changed the music twice, and went to see when the next episode of Mr. Robot airs. And that’s not counting my Twitter habit.

He offers some advice and an application that just might help.

You know, when we work for somebody else, we’re expected to work during working hours. When we work for ourselves–as writers usually do–it’s easy to justify everything else but the actual work. No wonder nothing is getting done. Check out his post and see what you think.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Eulalie and Washerwoman,” “Conjure Woman’s Cat,” “At Sea,” “The Sun Singer,” Sarbande,” “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire” and a batch of Kindle short stories.

 

InstaFreebie Offers Authors a Chance to Build Mailing Lists, Find Fans

“Back in August, I started hearing authors talk about a site called InstaFreebie, where you could give away a free copy of your book in exchange for recipients signing up for your mailing list. Both Jim Devitt and Shawn Inmon have discussed the importance of mailing lists. Authors on different online groups said they’d scored upwards of a thousand names added to their lists using InstaFreebie.”

Source: InstaFreebie Offers Authors a Chance to Build Mailing Lists, Find Fans – Indies Unlimited

Author R. J. Clayton has found a great site for us to explore. Why? Because sometimes establishing a mailing list is like pulling teeth. So how about a little incentive?

Worth a look, and perhaps a tryout, I’m thinking.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism novels.

 

Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover

“I’m constantly looking at book covers as part of my “job” here at Indies Unlimited. On top of that, I run into authors posting their covers in groups all the time, asking for input. So I see a LOT of covers. And most of them all have the same issues.”

Source: Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover – Indies Unlimited

Like K. S. Brooks, I wonder why we see the same nasty issues causing horrible book covers when there are so many of us pointing out why those book covers are horrible: like dark type on a dark background or light type on a light background.

She may have a good idea. Since some authors aren’t following any of this advice, maybe the thing to do is right a post that suggests doing all the wrong things in hopes that fractious, roll-your-own-disastrous book cover will stubbornly go out and do the opposite things.

You might want to show this post to the usual suspects on your Facebook friends list.

My brother, who’s an artist and who’s taught art at the college level, once told me that unlike other prospective talents, our ability to draw or paint gets stuck at a grade school level because the schools don’t teach much art. So why are we doing our own covers?

–Malcolm

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