Highly recommended for indie authors from beginners to veterans.
I’d heard positive things about this book, and I confess the opening chapters left me wondering what the fuss was about. As I kept reading, I found a wealth of helpful information.
Reedsy co-founder Ricardo Fayet has built on many of the site’s blog posts to assemble a comprehensive overview of what indie authors need to know to market their books. I appreciate his balanced approach and his advice to pick one thing to implement at a time instead of blindly striking out in all directions. He also stresses that marketing is not a one-size-fits-all activity.
This isn’t a smarmy, trickster type of marketing book, but one that emphasizes marketing as a way to help the readers who’ll want your book to find it. That’s helpful, not pushy.
Because many of the topics covered in this book can be books (and courses) in their own right, chapters include referrals to more in-depth material from experts in the field. If you’ve been around indie publishing awhile, you’ll recognize most of the names.
Although it’s packed with information, the book’s friendly, encouraging tone makes it an easy read. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I felt equipped to choose among my possible next steps.
Bonus about this book? The digital version is free (on all platforms) and I believe it’s intended to remain that way. Here’s the link at the Reedsy site, or you can find it on your favourite ebook store site. Warning: you may find you’ve highlighted the digital version enough that you’ll want to buy a print copy for easier reference.
A four-letter word. And we writers utter it
in all its forms: noun, adjective, verb. However, this dirty little word is
most vital to our work.
My latest book A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek was heading to IngramSpark. I
knew it shone with my authorial brilliance. After all, my two critique partners
tore it apart, and I rewrote it according to their suggestions.
I have subscriptions to Grammarly and to my
favorite editing software, ProWritingAid. I ran the manuscript through them and
dutifully made corrections.
As a final polish, another software program
read the work to me.
It wasn’t enough, and I knew it.
The book would be self-published, the
reasons would make another blog post. I wanted this book to rise to the top of
Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s lists. Millions of other works competed against
it. Again and again I read that in order for your book to make it into the ten
percent of new releases, a professional editor had to correct its issues.
You read all I did to make this work shine.
My editor, true to my predictions, claimed
my work was clean. She found it easy to edit. Then she sent me my edited copy.
Page after page after never-ending page,
she marked-up my work like an English teacher on Adderall.
And what did she find? A smattering of
MINI Cooper not Mini Cooper
LEGOS not Legos
My ‘ was supposed to go the other way ’ (Can you see the difference? I couldn’t).
I spelled Emmett’s name (a
minor character appearing seldom) Emmet on one random page somewhere in the
middle of the manuscript.
Kincade not Kincaid
Random single spaces at the end
And I could go on and on and on. Why bore
you with my boo-boos?
So many small mistakes all my early editing
didn’t catch. So many of my favorite weasel words I never saw. So much.
I almost think I took longer to correct my
mistakes than it took to write the story.
However, the result is a professional novel.
I know most of you use traditional
publishers and using ProWritingAid sends off a polished manuscript for their
editors to critique.
For those who must self-publish, find a
trustworthy editor. Check his/her credentials. Send her a few pages for a
sample of her work.
How do you find one? Ask your writing
groups. Get recommendations from other writers. Mine is a member of ACFW and
used to work for the agent Les Stobbe.
New York Yankee on Stinking Creek rise to the top of the NYT Best Seller
List? An introductory read of the novel will prove it should.
If it doesn’t, it won’t be because of poor
Check out A New York Yankee on Stinking Creek. You’ll see the above is true.
NOTHING GOOD COMES FROM
Alone, again, after the death of her
fiancé, abstract artist Kiara Rafferty finds herself on Stinking Creek,
Tennessee. She wants out of this hillbilly backwater, where hicks speak an
unknown language masquerading as English. Isolated, if she doesn’t count the
snakes and termites infesting her cabin, only a one-way ticket home to
Manhattan would solve her problems.
Alone in a demanding crowd, Delia Mae
McGuffrey lives for God, her husband, her family, and the congregation of her
husband’s church. Stifled by rules, this pastor’s wife walks a fine line of
perfection, trying to please them all. Now an atheist Yankee, who moved in
across the road, needs her, too.
Two women. Two problems. Each holds the key to the other’s freedom.
Author Carol McClain is an eclectic artist and author. Her interests vary as much as the Tennessee weather—running, bassoons, jazz, stained glass and, of course, writing. She’s a transplant from New York who now lives in the hills of East Tennessee with her husband and overactive Springer spaniel.
She is the president of ACFW Knoxville and
the secretary of the Authors’ Guild of Tennessee.
The world in East Tennessee intrigues her
from the friendly neighbors to the beautiful hiking trails and the myriad
I spent part of last week at Write Canada, an annual conference for Canadian Christians who write and/or edit. This is my happy place, where I gain practical teaching and build friendships, in an atmosphere that renews my spirit.
After many years at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre, the conference moved to a Toronto hotel this year to be more accessible. This was a positive step, although a few logistics need tweaking for 2016.
I missed the restful beauty of the grounds in Guelph, but the open-air market behind the hotel provided fresh Niagara strawberries and there was a lovely little park a few blocks away.
Best thing about this year’s conference, for me?
One of my sons attended with me. Matthew was a runner-up in the Fresh Ink Contest at the university level. He can write circles around me, and that makes me proud. If you like dark fantasy from a Christian perspective, keep an eye out for him in the next few years.
Other best thing? Early morning and impromptu prayer times with treasured people (you know who you are.)
What did I learn?
From the panel on book launches (I was one of the panelists): One panelist recommended the short ebook, Hosting a Virtual Book Release Party by Shanna Festa. Another reminded me to contact the local cable TV channel with my book news.
From the Titles, Keywords and Blurbs workshop with NJ and Les Lindquist: The homework gave me a decent beginning on the back-cover blurb for Redemption’s Edge #3, and the workshop suggested No Safe Place may not be the best title for this one.
Indie Author/Publisher class with suspense author Linda Hall:
Free “simplenote” app for note-taking, syncs from one device to another.
Beta Readers: give them a few questions (sequence, believability, characters etc)
Android tablet: Google Play Books will read your manuscript aloud in epub format – read along silently with it to see what you catch.
If your ebook includes internal graphics, reduce them to 500×700 pixels or less. Link them to full-sized images on your website if necessary.
Cover: Can you read the print cover from 10 feet? Can you read the ebook cover in a thumbnail? Keep the title at/near the top so it won’t be lost if print books are stacked in a tier.
Marketing Best Practices with Mark Lefebvre from Kobo:
The “3 P’s of Self-Publishing Success: practice, patience, persistence” – to which I add a fourth: prayer.
Your “street team” is your secret weapon. Treat them well.
Set up an Amazon Central page for the Canadian and international sites, not just the US one.
Book signing tip: have a stack of books ten feet away from you, so people can check them out without fear that you’ll “sell at them.”
Wattpad can be a great place to find beta readers and reach your target audience, but it needs an investment of time.
$1.99 is the worst price for an ebook online.
Going Global: Write Locally, Publish Globally, with Mark Lefebvre from Kobo: In the US, most ebooks sold are for Kindle, but Kobo outsells Kindle in Canada and in the rest of the world (Kobo started in Canada and is now part of the Japanese Rakutan company).
Writing from the Middle with writing teacher and thriller author James Scott Bell: I need to read this book. He made a lot of sense in the one-hour workshop. (No surprise. I’ve learned a lot from his other books on writing.)
The Word Awards Gala (for work published in 2014): My romantic suspense, Secrets and Lies, didn’t win in the suspense category, but to be a finalist is still a positive endorsement of the book’s quality. The suspense winner was Sandra Orchard’s Blind Trust, (Book 2 in an excellent series. I suggest starting with #1, Deadly Devotion.) You can read the full list of winners on The Word Guild site or by clicking the photo below.
Book finalists in The Word Awards, for work published in 2014