Monday, May 27, 2019

Serialize Your Novel

I read Write. Publish. Repeat. over my vacation. The authors said, over and over, write more; sell more. How many times have we heard that? They said they had success serializing some of their novels. They broke them up into chunks. They released the chunks every two weeks at 99 cents each. Each chunk had a teaser at the end that referred to the next installment. Then, at the end, they sold the entire book at a slight discount to the sum of the chunks. All of this was done as ebooks of course. (They are among the indie publishers that say to release as an ebook first and only if there is interest, invest in the extra money to come out in print.)

So, if you have 5 chunks, you release those over 10 weeks at 99 cents each. Total: $4.95. Then, on week 12, you release the entire book for $4.25.

Will it work for you as it did for them? It depends on the book. It depends on whether the chunks have enough of a cliffhanger to inspire people to buy the next installment. It certainly seems worth trying.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Authors: Don't Pay Someone to Publish Your Book!

Here is yet another article imploring authors to never pay someone else to publish your book. Even though they call themselves “hybrid publishers” they are really just vanity publishers in disguise. Note: this isn’t the same as paying someone for a service: editing, formatting, or marketing assistance. If you choose to pay for specific deliverables, that is OK. Hold the service provider accountable! Get what you paid for.
“The first reality is to understand that vanity presses will never help you succeed. 
I hear from so many authors who had wild dreams, were told mistruths and paid an awful lot of money to publish their book. And all for nothing. 
Vanity publishing is definitely not self-publishing. Paying a vanity publishing company to sell books to you is not a recipe for success. Do not fall for the trap.”
Somewhat of a tangent on the vanity publishing angle:
“Combined Indie author ebook sales of imprint, not listed and collective amount to over 37% of the market. A full 12% higher than the Big Five publishers market share!”

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Waterline Writers: May 19, 2019

Wayne Johnson

Wayne Johnson

Wayne Johnson

Wayne Johnson

Cathy Borders

Liz & Lou Holly

Liz & Lou Holly

Liz & Lou Holly

Elizabeth Russell

Elizabeth Russell

David Berner

David Berner

David Berner

Chad Sullivan

Chad Sullivan

Eileen Kimbrough

Eileen Kimbrough

Eileen Kimbrough

Eileen Kimbrough

Justine Nies

Justine Nies

Justine Nies

Ray Ziemer

Ray Ziemer

Ray Ziemer

Leo Zarko

Leo Zarko

Monday, May 13, 2019

Publishing Odds & Ends: Writers Beware & Kindle Delivery Costs

Scam Alert


Once again, I came across a blog post about scam publishers. I can’t reiterate strongly enough: be careful before you hand over your money! Indie publishing means you have to get help: editing, formatting, perhaps some marketing help. You have to make sure you are going to get the help you need at a reasonable price. Read the fine print!
"There are a lot of ways an author can publish, but if you receive an unsolicited offer from a publishing company or publishing service, you should be very careful. 
It is extremely rare for reputable publishers or a literary agent representing a traditional publishing house to contact an author with a publishing offer unless the author has celebrity status. 
It is too late after parting with thousands of dollars to discover that your publisher has no responsibility under your contract to sell your book."
Read the entire article on the Just Publishing Advice website.

Kindle Delivery Costs


Go easy on images in Kindle ebooks. If you have lots of images in your ebook, your royalty will be diminished, sometimes considerably. Apparently, the same goes for covers, according to this article. The larger the cover file (in megabytes), the larger the delivery cost. I’ve written about the delivery cost issue before in a previous post, complete with an example.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

In Trump’s World, Rules Are For Chumps

As most of you probably know, the horse that appeared to win the Kentucky Derby was disqualified for breaking the rules – running out of its lane and bumping into other horses. The ruling was appealed and upon further investigation, was upheld.

I saw Trump’s tweet about the Kentucky Derby.


Trump said the ruling was wrong, and that it was due to “political correctness.” To Trump, and many of his supporters, playing by the rules means you are being merely “politically correct.” Since being politically correct is bad in their world, I think we can all see where playing by the rules ends up. Trump is definitely an “ends justify the means” kind of guy. Winning is all that matters; how you win is not at all important.
  
What makes America exceptional? Some think it’s because we attempt, and strive, to be a nation of laws. That separates us from dictatorships and banana republics. It means that even the rich and powerful can be held accountable. We’re not always good at it, but it is an ideal I think most of us would like to see realized.
“We are a nation of laws and not of men.” – John Adams, second President of the United States
From a Heritage Foundation article entitled “Why is AmericaExceptional?
“Working from the principle of equality, the American Founders asserted that men could govern themselves according to common beliefs and the rule of law. Throughout history, political power was—and still is—often held by the strongest. But if all are equal and have the same rights, then no one is fit by nature to rule or to be ruled.” 
I don’t think this administration feels that way. I think Trump and his hangers-on feel they are entitled to be treated differently. They feel that those pesky laws and regulations should not apply to them. They feel they shouldn’t pay much in taxes because they are “job creators” and therefore have done enough.
“We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” – Leona Helmsley
I fear that if we continue down this road we will be reduced to banana republic status. The rich will be able to do whatever they please and the rest of us will be hassled by petty laws that change on a whim. Our environment will continue to degrade. Our economy, once the beneficial effects of the tax cuts wear off, will become more volatile and fragile. It won’t be pretty. We must vote this gang out in 2020 before more damage is done to our country.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Indie Publishing: Your Book's Keywords

After reading the following blog posts, I realized I haven’t spent enough time focusing on keywords, and I have been using ineffective keywords. I have single or 2-word keywords for my book, Book Formatting Demystified, and see that perhaps that isn’t the way to go. So, I followed the advice in these articles and changed my keywords for my book – using longer phrases instead of single words.

I write these blog posts way ahead of time. Today is March 20th and this post is scheduled to appear on May 6th. In this case, that may be enough time to see if it made any difference! I have put on my calendar to check my sales reports on May 2nd to see if there was any impact at all. The way sales have been going, any sales greater than 0 might be indication enough! Look for a PS at the bottom of this post for that information, but do not skip the articles I’ve linked – I think there is some valuable information here. Just because it might not work for me doesn't mean it won't work for you.
"When you publish a new book, finding the best seven Amazon KDP keywords can often prove a difficult task, especially for new authors. Even some seasoned self-publishing authors find this an onerous task. 
Long tail keywords consist of more than one word, so in fact, they are short phrases. Many authors misunderstand this point when selecting Amazon KDP keywords, believing that a keyword should be only one word. This is not the case at all. Each one of your seven Amazon keywords should be more than one word. 
Google is a great tool to start looking for longtail keywords, because the suggestions given are real keyword terms that people have already used to search, and it’s such a simple process to find them. 
… the effort it takes to research keywords will be worthwhile in the long term, as you will find perhaps four or five very strong, discoverable longtail keywords that will continue to attract potential book buyers to your book for years to come."
Read the entire article on the Just Publishing Advice website.
"Just remember that a one word keyword will be highly competitive, so avoid them. It is much better to choose longtail keywords for your seven KDP keywords."
Read another article on this topic on the Just Publishing Advice website.

Here is information right from the KDP help files.
______________________
PS - it's May 2nd. I have had some sales on my book, but I cannot claim that the change to the keywords and description made a dramatic difference. That's not to say that it won't make a difference in your case, of course.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Book Review: Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you are a writer you might like this book. Quite a bit of it is mundane; it is pretty repetitive. But, there is some insight into the mind of a great writer.

Page 115 – 116: “Not that it is necessary to be remembered but there is one purpose in writing that I can see, beyond simply doing it interestingly. It is the duty of the writer to lift up, to extend, to encourage. If the written word has contributed anything at all to our developing species and our half developed culture, it is this” Great writing has been a staff to lean on, a mother to consult, a wisdom to pick up stumbling folly, a strength in weakness and a courage to support sick cowardice.”

Page 124: “…novel has been falling before the onslaught of non-fiction.” This is on July 9, 1951. Even then the novel was thought to be dead. Look at it now.

Also, the man was seriously into his pencils! It's no different today. We are picky about our computers and software. He mentions on July 2, 1951 that he went through three dozen pencils since June 11th. That's about 2 pencils per working day! That's a lot of writing!

One other observation: unlike so many of today's writers, especially but not confined to self-published writers, there's no mention of cover design, book blurbs, marketing strategy, book giveaways to garner reviews... his sole focus during the 10 months of writing was on the story.



Beautiful Fall Day

It's a beautiful fall day here in Illinois. Seen on the Fox River Trail