Category: self-publishing

20
Feb

Self-publishing Sci-fi and Fantasy: Interview with Joseph Malik, Author of Dragon’s Trail

Sci-fi author Joseph Malik has not only collected favourable reviews on his first release, but has been selected as an eligible author for the 2018 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction/Fantasy. He published the Dragon’s Trail independently, by setting up his own publishing business, Oxblood Books. We asked him about his experiences on self-publishing sci-fi or fantasy: it is a fascinating read. You can find his bio at the end of the interview.

When did you start writing? Did you have any rejections?

I started writing when I was a teenager. I had sent out manuscripts early-on before I realized that writing a book didn’t constitute nearly enough writing to write a good book, but I didn’t get serious about the craft of writing until my mid-twenties.

Dragon’s Trail went through several versions which would probably qualify as separate books entirely over about fifteen years. I have a folder with 47 rejection slips in it. I am sure I received many more.

The biggest piece of my writing journey, though, is that I set out to write a fantasy novel that did for knights in armor what The Hunt for Red October did for the nuclear submarine. To that end, I did all of my research firsthand. While I was developing my writing and studying the craft, I was learning swordsmanship, horsemanship, mountaineering, blacksmithing, martial arts, pacing off castles and ruins in Europe, building a functional Elvish language, and on and on. I wanted to have the mundane elements of the world correct—if not historically accurate, at least mechanically and functionally feasible—before I introduced the magical aspects of the story. I was told repeatedly by major publishers and agents that this would never work, and that there was no market for a “realistic fantasy.” I finally quit writing fantasy altogether after about fifteen years of rejection.

Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0
15
Feb

What Is a Beta Reader and How to Find One

Fanni SütőWhat is a beta reader and how to find one is brought to you by Fanni Sütő. Fanni writes poetry, short stories and a growing number of novels-in-progress. She publishes in English and Hungarian and finds inspiration in reading, paintings and music. She writes about everything which comes in her way or goes bump in the night. She tries to find the magical in the everyday and likes to spy on the secret life of cities and their inhabitants. Previous publications include: The Casket of Fictional Delights, Tincture Journal, Enchanted Conversation. Fundead Publications, 600 Second Saga.

Being a writer is no easy feat, especially if one chooses the path of self-publishing where, to misquote a classic, with great freedom comes great responsibility.

One has to oversee every step of the production and one has to be in control all the time. This, however, doesn’t mean that you have to be alone. Quite the contrary, you should have a team of professionals around you who can assist you whenever you need them. Today I am going to tell you about the importance of beta readers and critique partners, and give you some ideas about where to find them. Last but not least, I’ll briefly speak about blog hops, which are a great way to get feedback and encouragement from your fellow writers.

what is a beta reader

What is a beta reader and a critique partner?

You finished your novel yesterday and you’re already planning to publish it tomorrow? I would strongly advise against it. After you let it rest for a few weeks, give it another read with a fresh eye and edit it like there’s no tomorrow. You’ll probably find a few typos, unnecessary digressions and things to rewrite completely. When you are more or less happy with the result, it’s time to ask for a second opinion.Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0
10
Nov

Import your books straight from Pronoun

This was not an easy week for indie publishers and self-publishers: Pronoun has announced to shut down, effective immediately.

We have built an importer to help migrating your books from Pronoun.

We are sorry to see an innovative competitor go: competition drives the industry to provide better service and keep improving. However, we understand that authors are frustrated and worried. These are bad news, especially before Christmas: losing your reviews and rankings sounds awful just before the most important sales period. There is a lot of confusion: should you remove your books from sale already? Do you need a copyright statement to confirm your rights?

pronoun import

PublishDrive is here to make migrating your books easier. Our development team was busy this week working on an import tool for former Pronoun authors. You upload your ZIP file and we do the switch, keeping your reviews.

Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0
10
Nov

Authors Leaving Pronoun: How to Choose a Distributor

On November 6th, the Macmillan owned Pronoun announced that they are shutting down their services. Pronoun gave an author-focused service, inspiring competitors to innovate, and I believe their presence will be missed. This article is aiming to help former Pronoun authors (and others looking for a change) decide what to do in the information-overload that naturally follows.

Pronoun’s closing must have come as a shock for many: as an author you could think that a self-service portal backed by a big publisher is a safe place. You have probably already planned your Christmas promotions, prepared your new releases, and now you have to start everything all over again. But looking at the current chaos: this is no time to mourn. This is the time to share verified, true information.

To decide your next steps, you will have to consider the pitfalls of ebook distribution. Choosing a distributor is never easy. How to do your due diligence on your next partner?

If you are a writer or an author taking themselves seriously, do not rush this decision. You will have to think about the long-term consequences of finding your next innovative publishing partner. There are six questions you have to ask.

Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0
03
Nov

Frankfurt Book Fair As Indie Author – Should you go?

Are you interested in attending a book fair as indie author? Should you attend book fairs as an independent author at the first place, or is this just a waste of money? This question is driving most authors nuts: on one hand, book fairs seem like the heart of publishing industry, where experts from all fields meet, network, make deals and give amazingly interesting lectures. On the other hand, book fairs are all about signing deals and making new contracts: what can an indie author make out of it?

As a relative newbie in the publishing industry, this was the first year I ever attended book fairs: early summer I went to London (this was kind of home territory), then this October I participated in Frankfurt Book Fair: I thought it will be similar to the London one, but I was mistaken.

At this point, most big book fairs have an area dedicated to indie publishing. However, this area always is a tad detached from the rest of the fair: in London, Author HQ was right behind children’s books, at the far end of the fair; and in Frankfurt, author services were at the back of Hall 3.0, Amazon present with only a tiny stand in a whole separate building dedicated for German publishing. Definitely very far away from the rest of the fair that was happening mostly in Halls 4 and 6, with the agents’ lounge and the business tables all situated in at least 10 minutes of walk; and surrounded with German teens queuing up for signings.

Authorpreneur event at Frankfurt Book Fair 2017

Despite the hostile environment, though, the organizers of the International Independent Author Program (Porter Anderson and the Publishing Perspectives) did everything in their power to make the program interesting and engaging.

Starting with IngramSpark’s Andrew Bromley (who was the only one using the great chance to give away free books); continuing with ALLi’s Orna Ross giving an inspiring pep talk on how the indies should use every opportunity to give away free samples of their writing (by blogging for example) in order to attract much needed audience; and finishing with our very own CEO Kinga talking about smart tools indie publishers can use to increase their ebook sales, the program has something in it for authorpreneurs at all levels. Last but not least, there was a discussion involving all speakers and the audience.

I’m sure that all attendees have enjoyed it.

However, it isn’t necessary to have been present in Frankfurt in order to access all these talks and much more: ALLi organized an Indie Author Fringe to coincide with the Fair, collected great speakers on their own and published recordings of the Frankfurt speeches as well. All for free. Lecturers include Porter Anderson on whether Frankfurt Book Fair is indie author friendly, Joanna Penn and Sukhi Jutla on how to become an author-enterpreneur and Tim Lewis on using a podcast to deepen follower engagement.
Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0
25
Sep

Self Publishing Podcasts: Everything You Wanted to Know

self publishing podcastsPodcasts are like Marmite: love it or hate it. With an overwhelming the majority of the Western world’s population having a smartphone (and commuting long hours every day), podcasts are once again on the rise. Many of them are produced by self-publishers: but who is the audience? Should you go for fiction or nonfiction? Stay with us to learn more about how self-publishing podcasts help readers, writers and authorpreneurs. Our special guest for today’s post is Tim Lewis, host of the Begin Self-Publishing podcast who has kindly agreed to share some of his insight us.

What are podcasts?

Although podcasts have been around for a few years now and have developed a loyal follower base, there are still millions of people who don’t know what they are missing out on. Podcasts are like a radio show but on demand. Once you sign up, you don’t have to worry about downloading and deleting content, managing your phone’s storage and keeping up-to-date. Your daily news, interviews, analytics and fiction will just magically be on your phone when you get on the bus and realize that you forgot about your book.
Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0
20
Sep

How to Convert Your Book to Get Accepted by Shops – Sigil for Dummies

Following the success of our last article on ebook editors, we decided to create an Ebook formatting 101 with the three most popular converters: Sigil, Calibre and Vellum. The series starts with Sigil, that being the one true professionals use and the one our team recommends for instant success – and the one we receive the most questions about. If you always wanted to try it but never dared, stay with me: I’m just as a beginner as you are.

Sigil: The first steps

While I consider myself highly computer literate, I was always reluctant to use it: why should I switch to a code based editor to create ebooks when Calibre can do it for me with one click?

But then our in-house ebook editing superstar, Csilla convinced me to give it a go. She argued that I won’t only get clean code (about which I as a reader and writer couldn’t care less) but my books will display more consistently across devices and apps. I documented my journey, so you can follow it step by step. You can download the file I made by clicking here and use it as a template. Sigil can obviously do much more than this: I just wanted to help you get started on your journey and give a guide for using it. I’ll try to use the html editor as little as possible – it really gives me the heebie-jeebies anyway.

Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0
13
Sep

How to Publish Internationally – Author’s Tips

Nobody knows better how self-publishing works than our self-published authors. In our series, Self-Publishing Success Stories, we ask our authors about topics we believe they know best. In the first post, we talked about how to self-publish a cookbook with Kendall Harrison. Today, internationally acclaimed author Jean Joachim is sharing her tips and tricks with us about publishing internationally: she conquered the Italian and Spanish market. Do you agree with her about how to publish internationally? Did you have similar or different experiences? Share with us in the comments.

How did you decide to go on the Italian and Spanish market? Did you know in advance that you are going to be successful there?

One never knows in advance if he/she is going to be successful. Every new venture, big or small, is a risk. If the reward is big enough, then the risk becomes worth it.

Through the urgings of a Facebook friend, I had become curious about getting my books translated, but didn’t know where to begin. Italian translation fell into my lap. My former publisher, still a dear friend, had commissioned an Italian translation of one of her books. The translator requested other authors to work with and my friend recommended me. That’s how it began. The translator looked over my work and came to me with a request to translate one of my books.

Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0
18
Aug

The Top 10 Most Useful Ebook Writing Software

The age of handwriting your ebook and typing it up later is long gone. While I am a lover of beautiful stationery, an ebook writing software can be much more useful.

In our selection, we review the best editing, writing and converting tools currently at the market. Some of them practically take you from the first idea to the virtual bookshelf, and others import your manuscript and transform it into a beautiful e-book. Of course, everyone knows Blurb, and we write a lot about Sigil, that being the favorite editor of our technical team, but people have different needs and there are many reasons why you would want to look for an alternative to these apps. What is more important to you: ease of use or number of options? Do you need somewhere to write and edit the text, or just import it from a doc file? Did we leave out your favorite? Drop us a comment, and we’ll do our best to write about it.

10 best ebook writing software

(The article was updated on December 1st, 2017.) Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0
09
Jun

How To Promote an eBook – A Step-by-Step Guide

I spent most of my time at the London Book Fair 2017 sitting in the front row of the surprisingly pink ALLi stand, listening to independent authors talking about their success and author-aid services sharing the tips and tricks of the business. And of the many things I learnt while sitting there, this one struck me as lightning: several aspiring writers think that the job is done after having written the last sentence.

How wrong they are.

You are not a writer until somebody starts reading your work, and nobody is going to read your work if you don’t market it. But hey, it doesn’t mean that you should quit writing if you are not naturally good at selling yourself and making valuable connections!

Quite the opposite.

There are plenty of DIY tools and guides available to help you with marketing and turn you – a writer – into a successful writer. I’m not saying that it is going to be easy or cheap. It will require either your money or your time (or both). But as every good investment, it will show a return: while not every book published will be as successful as the Fifty Shades of Grey, examples of writers taking home as much as $300.000 in royalties exist and possible to follow.
Continue Reading…

Please follow and like us:
0