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Authors, You Need A Blog!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I regularly share links to articles and posts about the world of self-publishing. Half of these tweets are drawn from the websites of established publications and news organizations. While certainly informative, their articles can have a corporate feel, often lacking the raw perspectives and deep truths I find in the blog posts of my fellow self-published writers. It takes real time to search out new author blogs, to read through five or six posts, and then decide which one to share on social media. For me, getting to know my community, soaking in their school-of-life posts, is worth the investment. I always learn new things. I always come across the unexpected. And so, on Sunday, I sat down at my computer, ready to begin the hunt. I pulled out fi...

Blog Content: Using “Outtakes” From Your Novel

  Currently, I’m editing two of my manuscripts. Or, I should say, “pre-editing” these works-in-progress to prepare them for the hand-off to my dear editor. At this stage in my writing process, when I have 80,000+ words written per manuscript, I end up sending entire chapters to the cutting room floor. Watching them fall, knowing how much time, energy, and thought I’ve put into each and every line on those pages, makes it painful to think those scenes will never find their way into the hands of my (future) readers. Is this normal? Do you experience this angst, too? When constructing a novel, my writing style is to first map out the plot and then develop a series of (almost) standalone mini-stories that I organize as chapters. If you’ve read my work, you know this to be true. When I cut...

Self Publishing – The road to success isn’t paved

A guest post by Jess D. Harpley. Seeing that I have yet to achieve success, I’m not sure I should write this post… but I will anyway. Self publishing is easy. You write the thing, you log in to Amazon, you upload the thing, you press the publish button. Successful self publishing is a nightmare of frustration and heartache. Here’s why: 1. If you didn’t already have a massive Twitter following, you need to grow one. Much easier said than done, and sure, you can buy the “follower” services, but they just hack people’s accounts and force them to follow your page. As soon as the person realizes, they’re going to unfollow you and change their password. You first need to start following people in your genre, hopefully they’ll do you the good ...

Amazon’s Data Mining of Novels

I find data-mining as interesting as the next person. On any given day, you’ll find me clicking into the results of surveys about consumer habits, in any number of categories. I do this for reasons that are as unnecessary as they are ambiguous. Being from Washington, DC, and having cut my political teeth at an early age, I know how much wiggle room – and wishful thinking – is spun into the cloth of marketing data and rankings. So much of it is subjective: how the questions are asked, who is contacted, the size of the group, etc. Increasingly, companies are finding new ways to harvest and apply information extracted through data mining their customers. Amazon, for example, uses the amount of ebook pages read by a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, and the pace of that reading, in order to determi...

Steph Post’s New Author Survival Guide

A guest post by Steph Post. Today marks the one year anniversary of the release of A Tree Born Crooked. The past year has been a roller coaster of a ride, with fortunately more highs and lows, and the learning curve has been steep. In honor of my first book’s first birthday, I’m offering a gift of sorts: Steph Post’s New Author Survival Guide! (Also known as a list of things that have kept me off the ledge during this crazy, hectic, exciting, tumultuous and altogether amazing experience). If you’re a recent or soon-to-be debut author, I’m here to give you my humble observations and tips. These are also things that I hope to remember and apply for the rest of my writing career… So, here we go: Steph’s Survival Guide! -Make friends and allies with fe...

Books and Amazon’s New Third-Party Seller Policy

Recent changes to policies and fees for third-party sellers who sell Media products on the Amazon Marketplace on Amazon.com has elicited questions from book resellers and small presses. Here is a sampling of articles and threads discussing those changes:   “Small publishers in particular are dependent on backlist sales for their livelihood. Amazon is a Herculean player when it comes to backlist sales because bookstores favor front-list books. If you’re looking for a book that’s a year old or more, you’re likely to go to Amazon to find it.” Read the full article here.   “We sub-divided our analysis into two categories – volume and price.  Volume metrics will reveal whether sellers are entering or exiting the market, and price metrics will help us visualize how th...

Independent Bookstore Day is Here!

Writers need readers. Writers are readers. Readers need books. This Saturday, April 29th, keep your book buying local and participate in Independent Bookstore Day. The event is nationwide and many small shops are participating. New books, old books, traditionally published, indie published – it’s all out there and yours for the buying. If you’ve been saving up to splurge on a stack of new reading material, now is the time, book lovers. As writers, we never know what experience will seed the plot of our next book, or what stranger will shape a character that will drive readers positively wild with anticipation. And, anyway, what better place to hunt for ideas than in a bookstore? On Saturday, carve out some time from your day to go book shopping. Bring a friend and make an afternoon adventu...

Hear Kurt Cobain’s Sparse, Poignant ‘Sappy’ Demo

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Summer Dresses This Year

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5 Pieces Everyone Will Want From 2016

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Simply Sylvio is Vine’s first avant-garde gorilla, and he’s doing big things

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The surprising rise of Google’s new CEO

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