Monday, April 29, 2013

How to Approach Publishing as a Business

Publishing is a business and, as the author, you must consider yourself the CEO of your book. From start to finish—the germ of a book idea to publication (and beyond)—you must take charge. If you make good business decisions, you will surely experience greater success. If not, then, you could be one of the nearly 78 percent of authors who fail.
So where does an author start? What is the first step? Understanding the publishing industry—getting a grasp on what it entails, what all of your options are and what your responsibilities as a published author are.

Here’s what publishing professionals suggest:

  • Study the publishing industry.
What do I mean about studying the publishing industry? How does one go about this?
1. Continue to visit blogs. Follow the links. Consider the recommendations. Check out the resources. Heed the advice of professionals.
2. Read books by industry professionals such as Patricia Fry, Dan Poynter, Brian Jud, Mark Levine, Penny Sansevieri and others.
3. Join local authors’ groups. Attend meetings and events, participate in their discussion groups, read the articles and check out the resources at their sites and study every newsletter they so carefully prepare for you.
4. Subscribe to magazines and newsletters related to publishing. “Publishing Basics,” “Book Marketing Matters,” “SPAWNews,” “The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter—all FREE.
5. Search the Net. Spend time each week checking out the resources you’ve already discovered and searching for additional resources, articles, discussion groups and books. Use these materials and sites to gather additional information you need about the industry (your publishing options, how to choose and approach publishers/agents, your responsibilities as a published author, what to expect when it comes to marketing your book and so forth).
6. Attend at least one good authors’ conference. Sit in on several of the workshops. Ask questions, pick up handouts and network with other authors.
How can you succeed as an author in today’s highly competitive publishing arena? Remember that publishing is a business and approach it as such.

* [This article was written by Patricia Fry, author of 37 books and executive director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) Her latest book is Talk Up Your Book (Allworth Press). Follow her informative publishing blog daily:]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Celebrate Lover's Day with a Romantic Duo!

When you're in love, everyday is Lover's Day.

Sometimes people need a little incentive to express their love or to take a "leap," Valentine's Day is one such opportunity. Lover's Day is yet another chance at love. Some people get married on Lover's Day, others propose, or have a romantic dinner for two.

What do we do on Lover's Day? Because we love romance and readers, we want to give you a present for Lover's Day. In fact, we like you so much, one day isn't enough—we want to give you THREE DAYS of LOVE!

So, for the next three days, Tue 4/23 through Thur 4/25, we are giving away the bestselling kindle edition of The Distant Shore by award-winning author Mariam Kobras.

The Distant Shore is the first book in Mariam's Stone Trilogy, and here’s what her fans have to say:

~ Valerie Storey, 5 Stars, “Mariam Kobras has a real gift for description, and I loved the settings in particular; some of the passages read like poetry. Reading her book was the equivalent of taking a vacation—and to my mind that's the best kind of reading experience there is.”

~ Lauri Rottmayer, 5 stars, “Mariam Kobras has crafted a love story that you can really imagine. Her beautiful words create the images in your head drawing you into the story and the lives of the characters. I'm excited to read the next book!"

~Adele Adair, 5 stars, "Jon and Naomi's love story had me captivated and I was carried along on the roller coaster of their relationship. Her ability to set a scene transported me to Norway, New York and beyond. The journey she takes us on is not an easy one for her characters as they struggle to overcome years of separation and the differences in their lifestyles, hopes and dreams."

~Johanna Harness, 5 stars, "The set-up is straight-forward. Jonathan Stone, an aging rock star, still longs for the woman who walked out of his life years ago. His fan mail is usually screened, but this time his manager gives him a letter. "My mother's name is Naomi Carlsson," it begins. "We live in a small town in Norway called Halmar where she manages a hotel, the Seaside. She said you are my father." From there, the story tumbles out beautifully, structured with a sense of inevitability—and yet I still found myself surprised."


We've also put the kindle edition of the second book in the Stone Trilogy, Under the Same Sun, on SALE for $3.99, 50% off. Yep, it's twice the love!

Both books are beautifully written, engaging stories, that will keep you turning the pages late into the night. Don't miss out on this LIMITED TIME OFFER! All good things have to come to an end so, even though we'll still love you on the 26th, this offer ends at midnight PDT on the 25th.

No kindle, NO PROBLEM, Amazon has an app for that. You can read these ebooks on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Just click HERE and get reading!

Our prescription: Take two Kobras kindles with plenty of chocolate and unplug the phone!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Are Book Critics Obsolete or Essential?

From a Creative Penn article called “The Discoverability Challenge: With More Authors Self-Publishing Each Year, How Will Your Book Get Noticed?

Amazon and other online publishers have made it so simple for authors to self-publish that the number of books hitting the electronic shelves each year has skyrocketed. For example, in 1950, only 11,000 new books were published. Seems like quite a good amount of books, doesn’t it? The year 2011 welcomed an estimated 340,000 new books into the world, according to data company Bowkers.
In the days of bookstores, titles were quickly retired to make way for the latest and greatest. With online book retailers like Amazon now the go-to place for literary material, books can stay on electronic shelves indefinitely while each new year brings an ever-increasing tidal wave of newly published selections.
Readers have more reading choices than ever, but writers have never faced a more competitive environment or struggled so hard to get their book noticed.

Outlets that will review your independently published books

As possible solutions to this discoverability challenge, the article’s author (Jessica Bennett) goes on to mention sites like NetgalleyGoodreadsBookish and Rabble Reads, as well as her own CompulsionReads. I’ll add our friends at the B.R.A.G. Medallion to the list too. These sites aim to highlight the best indie books on the market — the very, very flooded market.

What are your predictions for the future of book criticism?

In a world where Amazon customer reviews can be purchased, are these kinds of grassroots and crowd-sourced review sites more important than ever? Do they help bring attention to the most deserving indie books? Or do they reinforce a certain stylistic status quo?
Do they nobly broaden admittance into the canon, or are they perpetuating an obsolete notion (the myth of a canon in the first place, especially in the digital age)?
And if they are serving a crucial role in a changing industry, maybe it’s not that big a leap to think that book critics — the old-school, individual kind —  could still offer a valuable service too (if, of course, they’ll consider books not being pimped by the traditional publishing industry).
Now that the barriers to publishing and distribution have fallen, are critics more important and more powerful than ever? 
And what does it even mean to be “a critic?”
Which can you trust more, the wisdom of the masses or the tastes of a learned (maybe snobby) individual? Data from a social graph or the instincts of an experienced book critic?
Yes, I realize there’s probably a place for both in tomorrow’s publishing industry. But I’d love to hear your thoughts on how the floodgates of the future (and present) will be tended. Let me know in the comments section below.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

One Writer's Conference Could be Your Catalyst

Why attending a writers conference will take your career to the next level

*This article was written by C. Hope Clark, editor of and originally appeared here.

New writers might fear attending a conference. Seasoned writers may think they don’t need to go to conferences anymore. But I would like to argue that every writer should dare to attend one conference per year.
It doesn’t have to be a huge, 1,000-attendee extravaganza, but try to make it more than a Christmas party for your writer’s group. You want to make yourself attend a conference where:
1) You meet new authors.
2) You hear new presenters.
3) You have the ability to receive a critique.
4) You have chat time with other writers.
I’ve been to many conferences. Some are better than others, but keep in mind I’m viewing it from the standpoint of a presenter. I’d love to attend a function where I wander around meeting others who are lost like me, or seeking answers to writing problems. I want to sit at the same table as someone who’s at my level of writing and publishing. And I want to be accessible to teachers willing to explain an issue to me, or tell me if I’m on the right track.

Who you’ll meet at a writers conference

We develop a hunger for our kind. That not only means writers in general, but also writers who:
1) write in our genre
2) write part-time or full-time like us
3) started later in life
4) just left college and don’t know where to turn
5) self-published instead of traditionally published
6) remain stubborn for a traditional contract
7) like agents
8) don’t like agents
9) prefer ebooks
10) won grants and contests
11) have great blogs
12) make social networking work
13) place their books into bookstores
14) attend retreats and know how to get their way paid
I’m sure you can add to the list, but what we want is to exchange thoughts with others who have our same doubts . . . while seeking similar dreams.
In other words, they get you . . . and you get them.
You know how rare those people are in your real world.  Conferences rejuvenate you, but they also help you deduce whether you’re on the right track. They open doors.

What kinds of career-building opportunities happen at a writers conference?

1) A published writer meets another published writer and learns more about selling foreign or film rights.
2) A struggling writer meets one more experience who has a fantastic blog and offers an opportunity to guest post.
3) You analyze the way author tables are decorated and develop some great ideas for a new banner.
4) You study business cards and bookmarks handed out and see why yours aren’t cutting the mustard.
5) You hear about new magazines seeking freelancers and decide to pitch a few.
6) You become friends with a bookstore owner who offers to stock your book in his store after the conference, maybe offer you a signing event.
7) You offer to volunteer next year at the conference in exchange for your conference fees being paid.
The opportunities are endless! Just go to a conference, and choose to learn and network. You will walk away with enough ideas to keep your muse pumped for months to come.
BIO: C. Hope Clark is editor of chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the last 12 years. She’s author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series. Lowcountry Bribe released in February 2012, with book two (Tidewater Murder) coming out in mid-April 2013. And she’s also author of The Shy Writerand The Shy Writer Reborn. Her freelance work has appeared in Writer’s Market 2013, Guide to Literary Agents 2011 and 2012, Writer’s Digest and The Writer Magazine. and  Twitter @hopeclark