Self-Publishing

Self-publishing is on the rise, and with its growing popularity comes an increase in information. (Sometimes, there can even be too much information.)

I've listed below my most helpful articles on self-publishing, including marketing and promotion (the bane of every self-published author's existence), advertising free days on KDP Select, getting reviews, tools such as ISBNs and free graphics programs, and contests. 

I've also posted self-publishing success stories. These are not only inspiring, but highly instructive. Nothing beats an author's first person account of how he or she achieved success. 

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If you are considering self-publishing, you will need an arsenal of tools, tips, and strategies, all of which you can find on these sites.

MARKETING AND PROMOTION


If you are self-publishing, or even if you are being published traditionally, public events such as talks, book signings, and readings are a must. Nothing creates more fans than your physical presence. People want to sit in an audience and hear you speak. They want to crowd around you afterwards, asking you to sign copies of your book. But what about all the people who only know you virtually? That group is important as well. Here are some great tips for reaching your audience - both physical and virtual - on social media.

One of the appeals of self-publishing is that there is no waiting time. But is publishing immediately a good idea? And, if not, how long should you wait?
If you google ‘how to launch a book’ or ‘how to boost your book sales’ you’ll find a plethora of resources suggesting everything from growing an email list to getting early reviews to creating a street team. This is all wrong.
The Skinny on Virtual Book Tours
How to plan your own blog tour, or, if you don't have the time, how to select a good service.
High-Impact Paid Promotion for Indie Authors
Here are the paid services that authors have reported are the most effective for promoting their books.

32 Facebook Groups for Authors
These 32 Facebook groups provide a venue for announcing your new release, promoting your free days on Amazon, discussing topics related to publishing, and marketing and writing tips, and anything else related to books.
15 Reading and Writing Communities That Can Boost Your Platform
Reading and writing communities can be a great way not only to get feedback on your writing, but to gain a following. Some of them host competitions for the most popular stories, which are then publicized. On some of the larger sites, notably Wattpad and authonomy, there are tie-ins with media, publishing houses, and, in the case of WEbook, a service that helps writers pitch directly to agents.
Promoting Your Scifi or Fantasy Novel on Social Media
Here are top social media sites for promoting your science fiction and fantasy books.

Subscription Services for Self-Published Authors
These 3 subscription services have a huge number of subscribers and are open to self-published authors.
How to Get Reviews for Your Self-Published Book
An article that summarizes all the different strategies you can employ for getting reviews.

List of Online Reviewers Who Accept Self-Published Books
Mega-list of 240 book bloggers who are happy to review self-published work. This list is updated regularly.
Free Publicity for Your KDP Select Free Days
67 sites where you can advertise your free days - for free.
Everything I did wrong, Part 3: ePublishing
I made a number of critical mistakes in publishing my ebooks. Don't do what I did.
Everything I Did Wrong, Part 2: Designing An Author's Website
Yep. I did this wrong too. Here's how to do it right.
"Considering Self-Publishing? Don't Bother, Unless You Follow Guy Kawasaki's Advice"
Guy Kawasaki says self-publishing is all about "Karma."
A Simple Way to Sell More Books
Chandler says that if readers like your book, they will want to know what else you have written. So, are you including an "also by" in the front (or back) material of your book?
The Power of Preorders
If you are self-publishing, pre-orders are a must. Not only do they help generate buzz about your book, they serve as a vital promotional tool.

10 Tips for How to Throw a Successful Book Launch Party
A book launch party is an ideal opportunity for promotion, so don't waste it! The release of a book, especially a book by a local author, is considered news, which means you can get press coverage. It is also a great way to meet your fans, make new ones, and to connect with people who share your interests.
8 Ways to Use Goodreads to Promote Your Book 
Goodreads is one of the most powerful social networks for authors looking to connect with readers. At 30 million members, it is the world’s largest site for book recommendations, with readers adding 30,000 reviews to the site every day. As an author, this is how you can make use of this popular site.
10 Scifi and Fantasy Review Sites for Indie Authors
Here are ten great sites that publish reviews of self-published science fiction and fantasy books. All offer reviews for free, the only exception being RT Book Reviews. Some accept books for review, while others accept freelance reviews, in which case someone - not the author - would have to submit a review. The advantage of these sites is traffic. While there are hundreds of bloggers who review self-published books, review sites, with their multiple reviewers, offer more exposure.



PUBLISHING

Amazon Opens Its Doors to Self-Publishers of Children's Books 
KDP Kids is a publishing platform that allows authors to import illustrations, add pop-ups, and preview illustrated books with Kindle Kids' Book Creator. KDP Kids Also allows authors to target the parents - the people who are going to buy your book - of children in their demographic.
Random House Opens Its Doors to Self-Publishers, Perhaps
The launching of Random House's sci-fi digital imprint Hydra is met with some skepticism. But writers are more than pleased to submit their work. 

Vook Becomes Self-Publishing Platform
With its contacts in major media, and its expansion into worldwide distribution, Vook may offer a serious challenge to Amazon, Smashwords, and Book Baby. It is hoping to attract Indie authors by offering 100% royalties, and a free self-publishing platform.


GENRES

Top 5 Online Resources for Short Story Markets
Here are the most extensive, and most useful, resources for finding the perfect home for your short story.
Top 5 Sites for Science Fiction Writers
These sites will guide you on your mission to explore strange new markets, and to publish where many speculative fiction writers has gone before. 
Top 5 Sites For Mystery/Thriller Writers
Whether you are just starting your career as a mystery writer, or have a book or two under your belt, these should be the top sites to put on your “favorites” list. 
Top 6 Sites for Romance Writers
With over 30 million dedicated readers, Romance is one of the most lucrative genres. Go to these sites to find your audience.
Top 5 Resources for Publishing Poetry
Here are the resources that will provide you with all the information you need to locate the best literary journal for your work.

Top 5 Sites for Historical Fiction
These sites contain tons of valuable information on how to write historical fiction, as well as ample resources for researching whatever time period you are writing about. 

TOOLS OF THE TRADE 

Should You Hire a Professional Book Cover Designer?
If you are self-publishing you will want the best cover money can buy. Here are some book cover designers who will make your book look like a best-seller, and you don't have to spend a fortune either!
ISBNs: When You Need One and When You Don't
If you are thinking of putting your book into print, whether it's through print-on-demand, or any other self-publishing print venue, you will need an ISBN. If you are publishing on Amazon, you may not need to bother. 
Making Your Own Book Cover? Best Free Programs for Graphic Design
There are dozens of graphic programs that don't cost a penny and provide high quality graphics. Features range from simple editing tools (rotation, special effects, text insertion) to 3D design and animation. As far as image manipulation is concerned, the sky is the limit. 
13 Sites Where You Can Get Fabulous Free Photos
Eye-catching images not only draw the reader’s attention, they establish a mood, set a tone, and express what you can’t say in words. Fortunately, finding beautiful images has never been easier – or cheaper.  


CONTESTS AND AWARDS FOR SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS

10 Awards for Self-Published Books
There are a few self-publishing contests that are not only prestigious, but offer considerable prizes to the winners, either in terms of cash or publicity. In this post I have listed 10 of the most worthwhile.
SCBWI Opens Yearly Award to Self-Publishers
The Spark Award is an annual award that recognizes excellence in a children’s book published through a non-traditional publishing route. It is open to members of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, (If you are a children's book writer, you should join SCBWI.)
4 Free Writing Contests for Self-Published Authors
While literary contests are increasingly open to self-published authors, only a few of them have no entry fee. Here are four legitimate contests that are free to enter. 


STATS ON SELF-PUBLISHING

What Authors Want
Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest conducted a survey of 5,000 writers, prompted by the enormous jump in revenues from self-published books. While, "publishers [are] scrambling to explain to authors, agents and the rest of the world how they add value to the publishing process," authors are clear about what they want.

How Much Money Do Self-Published Authors Actually Make?
While the stats are not encouraging, some authors did report earning $200,000 or more from their writing, the highest income choice on the survey.
Hugh Howey: Why the Decision to Not Self-Publish is "Fatal"
Hugh Howey's Author Earnings Report provides stats on how much money self-published authors make on Amazon. 
What is Success? The Best-Seller's Numbers Game…
It’s not often you get to find out exactly how many books you have to sell before you can call yourself a “best-selling author.” Take a guess. Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? How about 10,000.
Will Self-Publishing Exist in 10 Years?
The term “self-publishing” may have outlived its usefulness, according to Jon Fine, director of author and publishing relations at Amazon, speaking at the Publishing for Digital Minds conference in London. 
Self-Publishing Boom in Great Britain
18 million self-published titles purchased (worth £59 million) is nothing to sneeze at. 
Self-Publishing Output Jumped 59% in 2012
What does this huge increase mean for self-publishers? 1) You have lot of competition, and 2) You have a market.
eBook Market Set to More Than Double to Top $16Bn By 2020
The ebook market is being driven by more consumers accepting e-reading, more content made available through different business models, and the accelerating growth of emerging markets, especially China. 

25% of Top 100 Kindle Books on Amazon from Indie Publishers
Somehow, it isn't surprising that a quarter of the top 100 Kindle books are self-published.  Self-published authors tend to price their books competitively.

Diary is a wonderful example of "Advertise it, and they shall come." 

Romance Novel Finally Breaks The Post’s ‘No Self-Published Books’ Rule
The Washington Post, like many other highly influential book platforms, has always adopted a hands-off policy regarding self-published books. That has now changed with Serving Pleasure, an erotic romance which won a place on The Post's "best of" list for romance.

YA Debut Gets Six-Figure Deal: How did Scott Bergstrom Do It?
Scott originally self-published his book, but not in the usual fashion. As an advertising executive, Scott knew that marketing was everything. He formed a LLC, NuCodex Publishing, which allowed him to display his book at the Frankfurt Book Fair. It generated a huge amount of interest, grabbing the attention of an agent - and Hollywood.

The Martian: How did a self-published novel become a top-grossing movie? 
The Martian, a film directed by Ridley Scott (AlienBlade Runner, Gladiator) and starring Matt Damon, has grossed over $385,869,582 in less than a month. How an obscure, self-published novel chock full of math and science ended up as a blockbuster should be a question on every indie author's lips.

Self-Publishing Success: The Little Rabbit That Could
Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, the most famous author you have never heard of, has been making the news recently. His children's book, The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep, has been touted as an overnight success after it hit #1 on Amazon's bestseller list with seemingly no promotion. How did Ehrlin's self-published Rabbit manage to garner the top position on Amazon? All is revealed in this interview.
My own story of how my book got to be a bestseller on Amazon.

 "How I Became a Best-Selling Author": One woman's unlikely road to a hit novel
Darcie Chan's self-published debut novel became an unexpected hit in 2011. It sold more than 400,000 copies and landed on the best-seller lists alongside brand-name authors like Michael Connelly, James Patterson and Kathryn StockettThis is how she did it.

Hugh Howey's Self-Publishing Success Story - Luck, Timing, and Writing for the Right Reasons
He worked sporadically - and happily - at writing, putting his partially completed books up on Amazon for 99 cents, until one of them took off.  What is unusual about Howey is that he remained a self-published author on Amazon's Kindle platform - even after he landed a book deal with Simon and Schuster. He also turned down offers from agents - until one of them dangled Hollywood before him. 
10 Bestsellers That Began as Self-Published Books
If you self-publish, your book may not only achieve success in its own right, but may be picked up by a major publishing house. (Ironically, it may even be published by one of the houses that has previously sent you a rejection slip.) These 10 famous books were turned down, but their authors did not give up on them.
Harper Collins Signs Up Self-Published Author Tina Seskis in $500,000 Deal
Sekis' debut novel, which was originally published in April as a Kindle e-book, went on to hit #1 on Amazon. Seskis, She followed the e-book publication with a paperback release, which went on to hit the bestseller list of the British bookstore chain, W.H. Smith. 
Self-Published Book Makes It to #17 on Amazon's Kindle List - How Did Madeline Sheehan Do It?
Madeline Sheehan didn't "rocket" to success, she started off with only 6 sales - and she was thrilled! How did she get to #17 on Amazon’s Kindle Best Seller list (and get an agent)?
Tracy Bloom's Self-Published Book Rockets to the Top of Amazon's Charts
With no UK publishing deal for her debut novel, Tracy Bloom decided to go it alone. A few weeks later, her book was sitting at the top of the Amazon Kindle chart. 
Epublishing - The Secret to Success
Lindsay Buroker provides details about her success and asks "Are More Authors Than You Think Making a Living Self-Publishing?" 
Rejected by Publishers All Over NYC, Amanda Hocking is Now a Self-Published Millionaire
Amanda Hocking wasn't "discovered" by an agent or a publisher. She's still self-publishing, and selling 100,000 books a month.
Self-Published Book Skyrockets Author to Success
Soon after self-publishing, people Coleen Hoover didn’t know were downloading the book — even after it was only available for a fee. Readers began posting reviews and buzz built on blogs. By July, both of her books were on The New York Times best-seller list for e-books. Soon after, they were picked up by Atria Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint. By fall, she had sold the movie rights." 

Indie Authors Get 7-Figure Deal for Self-Published Series
Before signing up with Berkley Books, Jasinda Wilder had self-published 28 ebooks. She did two things: 1) She identified her market and followed the trends, and 2) She wrote like blazes, churning out one book after another, until she built a following. 

NEWS

University of Central Lancashire launches world's first degree in self-publishing
Announcing its Master's in self-publishing, the university pointed to research from the books data company Bowker, which found that around 390,000 titles were self-published in the US in 2012, up 59% on 2011 and a massive 422% on 2007.

First Bookstore Dedicated to Self-Published Authors Opens in Florida
Two writers in Florida decide it's time to open a bookstore just for Indies. Essentially, it's a coop. Each writer pitches in enough per month to pay for rent and overhead, and keeps 100% of sales.

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