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Archive for the ‘Publishing’ Category

QUERY LETTERS
Pocatello Writers Meeting
Marshall Public Library
April 15, 2017, 3:30pm-5:30pm

At our writers’ meeting this coming Saturday, Charity Samora will give us a refresher course on how to write a good query letter to an agent or publisher.

The query letter is meant to elicit an invitation to send sample chapters or even your whole manuscript. The goal is to get them to read your book.

So, join us to make sure that you are using the format and content expected by professionals.

In the meantime, keep in touch via our online open forum at https://www.facebook.com/groups/pocatellowriters/.

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Pocatello Writers Meeting
Marshall Public Library
Saturday, March 19, 2016,   3:30pm-5:30pm

At our meetings we always hear questions about ebooks and the self-publication methods used by some of our members. The internet has empowered authors with easy DIY methods never before available in history. So perhaps it is time to do a study session on the topic.

On March 19th, Sherrie Seibert Goff will give an updated overview of the various avenues available for self-publication, along with pros and cons. The success of one’s career is in our own hands now more than ever before. We hope that you will share your own experiences and knowledge about this subject during the discussion.

Second hour will be used for our usual critique session. Please email James Norris, our critique coordinator, by Wednesday Mar 16 at pocatellowriters@gmail.com to let him know that you’ll be attending and if you’ll have pages to share. He will email you back by Fri 18 March letting you know how many copies to bring based on attendance.

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Kindle Unlimited is a new program where readers can “borrow” an unlimited number of ebooks to read for a subscription price of $10.  Writers are naturally concerned what this will do to their royalties. Bret Wilson investigated and reported his findings at our last writers meeting.  Thanks, Bret
——————————————————————————————
This is a copy of the information sent to me after my phone call with the people at Kindle Unlimited. Have a nice day. Bret

Hi Bret,
Thank you for calling in today! It was a pleasure to assist you!

Sales rank is determined by a number of different inputs and may be changed over time. If your book is borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library or read from Kindle Unlimited, your book’s sales rank will be impacted. Please note that only the first borrow or read from a customer will be counted.

The share of the KDP Select Global Fund is calculated based on a share of the total number of times customers read all participating KDP titles.

When a Prime Kindle Unlimited user reads more than 10% of your book for the first time, or a KOLL user downloads it for the first time, that qualifies you for a share of the fund.

For example, if the monthly fund amount is $1,000,000, with unique KOLL customers downloading and unique Kindle Unlimited customers having read past 10% of 300,000 total KDP titles, and your book was read 1,500 times, you will earn 0.5% (1,500/300,000 = 0.5%), or $5,000 for that month.

The payment schedule will be the same as your other sales from KDP, and will be one combined payment that includes royalties for sales and the payout from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

Regardless of your country of residence, we’ll pay you via the method you’ve chosen in your account (Electronic Funds Transfer or paper check, depending on your particular options).

If you have additional questions about KDP Select, be sure to check out our Help pages:

http://bit.ly/1mBOoux

I hope this helps. Thanks for using Amazon KDP. I hope you have a nice weekend ahead!

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We had a good meeting on Saturday about today’s publishing climate.  An overview of the 4 basic publishing methods is posted here on our website.  Click on the above menu tab labeled Publishing or on this link:
https://pocatellowriters.wordpress.com/publishing-methods/ .

Special thanks to WAYNE MINSHALL for sharing his experiences in SELF-PUBLISHING using Create Space by Amazon. I think Wayne has a few more handouts available if you missed this informative meeting.  Thanks, Wayne.

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Marshall Public Library
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 4pm-6pm

We’ve had requests to cover the topic of publishing in some of our upcoming meetings. So join us next Saturday, and we’ll get started.  Everyone, feel free to share your experiences and advice.

To kick it off, I’ll give a brief overview of the four main Methods of Publishing and some of their pros and cons. With this better perspective, you may be able to research and choose the right method for yourself.

Then Wayne Minshall has agreed to provide a more in-depth presentation on one of those methods, by telling us about his experiences with Self-Publishing via Create Space. Come and find out if this is the way you want to go.

If anyone else has expertise with a particular publisher, we would love to hear about your experiences. I for one am interested in online publishing and e-books like Kindle if someone would volunteer to share their know-how in that direction, perhaps at our May meeting  (hint, hint).
– Sherrie

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YE OLDE PRINT PUBLISHING

For decades, writers have been limited to publishing hardback and paperback books via one of four basic methods (traditional, self, co-, and vanity).

Traditional = The supposedly preferred method to get a book published is through an agent and a legitimate publisher, waiting months or years for your work to be accepted, edited and produced, then watching it go out of print too soon because the sales are too low.

Self-Publishing = For complete author control you can take on all of the aspects of production yourself, from editing, cover art, printing, marketing, distribution, copyright, ISBNs , etc. You wind up with a hundred books stored in your basement and trying to peddle them from the trunk of your car. Some authors form their own one-man publishing company to gain access to distributors for their self-published books.

Co-publishing = One can hire a company like iUniverse or AuthorHouse or CreateSpace to do all of the self publishing tasks for you, and probably in a more professional manner. They use POD (print-on-demand) so you don’t have a bunch of books sitting in a warehouse. Each book ordered is instantly printed and distributed via Lighting Source as orders come in from Amazon and other booksellers worldwide. The author receives an author’s discount for his own purchases, plus a royalty on other sales that come in.

Vanity Presses = Most of them charge a hefty fee to produce your book, but have a bad reputation because they are little concerned with quality and will publish anything. They don’t bother to promote or distribute your book, relying mostly on author purchases for their profits.

THE RULES HAVE CHANGED

The good news is that sales on e-platforms are outselling print books. Authors have more power to be seen and heard in our digitalized, connected world than ever. With the empowerment of the internet, e-publishing has evolved into an easy DIY process, and it has opened the door for micro-niches that are too small for traditional publishers to be interested in. Ebooks present new opportunities for authors in the way of larger royalties, more control, and more exposure.

Anyone can publish a book at next to no cost and put it out on the web. Maybe this is a good thing as a portal to bringing unrecognized talent to the forefront. The flipside is simply transferring the slush pile from the editor’s or agent’s desk directly to the public, a situation maybe not so good.

Electronic publishing is rapidly changing before our very eyes, going through the same evolution as television did over the last 25 years. I remember when we had 3 channels in Pocatello, then we got cable and had 13 channels. Now we have over 200 channels and nothing on to watch. We came from black & white to high def on a giant screen.

Even Netflix, who used to mail out movie discs to our homes, is in full-mode of streaming digital videos over the internet. iTunes is doing the same. You no longer have to download your favorites or mail back a disc, as everything you like/want is stored for you out on a cloud somewhere. All they require is your credit card, and you are good to go.

Today millions of people own an e-reader like Nook, Kindle, or iPad, and as a result more and more people are reading on a regular basis. There is something to be said for curling up with a good printed book, just the sensory experience of touching and smelling a real book, yet the lure of accessing so many titles on an e-reader cannot be denied. Just imagine all those books available on that one little device. Now people with sight issues can simply increase the font size to make reading easier.

Perhaps the most glaring characteristic of ebooks is their lower price. An ebook on Kindle is $9.99 instead of $26 for a hardback or $18.95 for a trade paperback. Ebooks with no overhead are simply cheaper and easier to produce. So far, author incomes have not suffered, because ebook royalty percentages are much higher than print royalties. However, the reduced customer price has vastly increased competition, and not just for authors bypassing the traditional agent-publisher route. Just to stay in the game, traditional publishers are busy producing ebooks as well.

HOW CAN I GET IN ON THIS?

Just google “How to publish on the web”, and you will turn up a number of do-it-yourself options. Here are the biggies:

Amazon Kindle Store = If you google “How to publish on Kindle”, you will learn that it is free, fast, and easy to upload your manuscript. Books self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing get a 70% royalty and are available for purchase on all Kindle devices. Amazon has ingeniously created an app that turns every iPad into a Kindle. Now apps are available for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices. You can publish your books in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian and specify pricing in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and Euros.

iBooks on Apple = Just google “How to publish an ibook to the Apple bookstore.” From what I can tell, the iBookstore is a little harder to get into without some special formatting program. But it can be done. Don’t get caught up on whether to go with Kindle or iPad … do both!

Barnes & Noble Nook = Google “How to publish on Nook” This summer Barnes and Noble set up their own publishers’ system for the Nook.

 

PLACES TO BE

As difficult as it is to attract casual sales from browsers in bookstores carrying 80,000 titles, digital takes that challenge to the Nth degree. Online our books are like a needle in a vast haystack. So it has become important for authors and groups of authors to build communities, clubs and affinity groups to survive. Your digital presence now determines your success or failure.

Website = All writers, whether published or not, should have an author’s website with plenty of links in and out. Your website is essentially your “calling card” to the publishing world and potential fans. There are several places you can get a cheap or free website.

Blogging = You can run a blog for free on WordPress.com or on various other sites. Interact with fans and connect with like-minded folk in your field or genre to market your writing.

LinkedIn = On LinkedIn you can find the resume of just about anyone you have ever worked with. This is where people participate in professional or business-to-business social networking. You can manage your professional identity and interact with contacts in your field, maybe access knowledge, insights and job opportunities.

Twitter = Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read text posts of up to 140 characters. Use it to follow your friends, experts, favorite celebrities, and breaking news. The power of tweeting has been demonstrated by the Arab Spring and the ubiquitous flash mobs. Basically, Twitter consists of the followers and the followed. Think of it as bait, and try to become the followed.

Facebook = Actively send out “friend” requests and links. Get as many people as you can to “like” your page or post. You can create groups of friends and fans dedicated to your genre or area of interest. You also can create a fan page or a cause page and link it to the rest of the internet.

Google + = This is Google’s new social network, similar to Facebook. It is still in the process of being rolled out, but looks very promising.

You Tube / Videos = Authors can create videos to promote their writing or a book or a cause, then publish the link for others to watch. But don’t try to wing it. It must look professional.

Scribd = (pronounced scribbed) This social reading and publishing company has democratized the web publishing process because anyone can instantly upload and transform any file into a web document stored on Scribd, discoverable through search engines, shared on social networks and read on billions of mobile devices. It is rather like a You-Tube for books, in that it is free content and you get all the good, bad and the ugly. You can create a microsite focused on anything. Millions of people come here every day to discuss business presentations, recipes, calendars, books, poems, genres, essays, resumes, manuals, agendas, or anything at all they want to share. You can put a chapter of your book out on Scribd then advertise the link on your Facebook or Twitter or in an email inviting your fans to come read it.

The key to using all the above tools effectively is to always ask your audience to act or interact. This is how things on the web magically “go viral.” So make it easy for them to:
– opt in
– sign up
– comment on your blog
– follow your tweets
– like your fan page
– friend you on facebook
– buy
– recommend
– link

All of this may prompt one to declare print media terminally ill and to think that libraries and bookstores are going the way of the five-and-dime. I don’t think so, but then I’m the type who haunts second-hand book stores and library sales. I don’t even own an e-reader.  (I know, I know!)

The cold truth is that if ebook sales continue to increase like a nuclear chain reaction, it behooves us all to sit up and pay attention. Just take a look at the tablet sales projections in the attached Kindle Fire article.

Misc

The attached article said, “Research firm Gartner predicted that 63.6 million tablets will be sold this year, up 261 percent over last year. Annual sales are expected to reach 326.3 million units in 2015.

A last minute tip directed interested people to myecovermaker.com to find a site that will help you make good covers for your self-published ebooks.

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If you missed our June 16 meeting, LaRaine Larson shared some valuable feedback, advice and learning she received while working with her publisher’s editor. Tammy Godfrey also is going through the same process with her publisher. The two of them are working hard to meet demands and requirements in time for their deadlines. Good luck to both of you, and thanks for sharing the experience. Also thanks to our three readers: LaRaine Larson, Laura Neibaur reading for Tammy Godfrey, and Andrea Griggs.

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