Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Digital Publishing

3 More Ways To Publish An E-book

I’ll save what I consider the best for last…

Ebook Publishing

Image Courtesy of Arjun Kartha ~

So, first is a new way to get published through Amazon—a mysterious, possibly breakthrough endeavor.

From TechCrunch‘s article—Amazon Looking To The Wisdom Of Crowds To Find New Authors:

“According to a Kindle Direct Publishing forum user, Amazon is quietly rolling out a way to find diamonds in the proverbial publishing rough. The unnamed project would bring a crowd approach to the acquisition of new titles using a voting system that ranks new books based on crowd favorites.”

And, from The Digital Reader‘s article—Amazon to Launch New Crowd Source Platform, Now Recruiting KDP Authors:

“I’ve confirmed the new program with Amazon pr spokesperson Susan Stockman, who told me that this program will be neither KDP nor Amazon Publishing, but something new. Unfortunately the program is so new that she was unable to provide much additional information.”

However, you can subscribe to get more information from Amazon… {WARNING: since publishing this article, Amazon may have stopped this…}

The second way to publish an e-book is new to me but has been around awhile—NOOK Press. {since publishing this article, it’s been renamed Barnes & Noble Press…}

From their website:

No-Cost Self Publishing
With no delivery fees or production costs, NOOK Press is free to use from start to finish.

We’re Here to Help
We offer live chat services so you can get all your online publishing questions answered in an instant.

Share with Your Community
Find fellow authors, marketing advice, and more with our NOOK Press blog and Facebook communities.

Easy-to-Use Content Tools
NOOK Press lets you write, edit, and format your manuscript in one place. Collaborate with friends and editors directly in NOOK Press.

And, here’s my pick for Most Innovative E-Book Publishing Option, because my Best Friend graciously sent me the link to the Poets & Writers’ article—0s&1s Reinvents E-book Publishing.

From the article:

“Officially, 0s&1s Novels ( is a new independent publisher and distributor of digital literary fiction. But in the context of the ongoing e-book pricing war between some of bookselling’s biggest players…this new start-up offers an indication that maybe the so-called rules of e-book publishing, and the large corporations who are making them, need not shape the digital future.”

And, from 0s&1s’ website:

“We believe technological advances in any art’s medium should help the proliferation of independent, unconventional product.

“But we’re not quite sure this has happened. Despite the fact great novels are consistently being created, only a few make it through the requisite channels to a larger readership.

“The selling of digital books has become an oligopoly, with only a few important players—& a lot of power. The world of e-reading shouldn’t be proprietary to any one brand, reader, or (set of) publishers. Selling a digital book is as simple as transmitting a series of zeroes & ones, & there’s never been a better time to take advantage of that fact.

“Our concept is to distribute digital books that are truly independent, pro-author, green & above all, ambitious. Our writers get 80% of profits, retain full rights to the material & buck the trend, not follow it.”

So, there ya go, three more ways to publish e-books :-)
Read Some Strange Fantasies
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Self-Publishing Revolutionaries

Self-publishing isn’t a new thing—it’s been going on for hundreds of years.

Self-Publishing Revolutionaries

Image courtesy of Nick Winchester ~

What’s relatively new is Digital Self-publishing.

But, while the masses are now able to self-publish, mass-media is creating a fractured hall of mirrors when it comes to the true Potential of self-publishing.

The digital revolution is not often proclaimed as the domain of deeply revolutionary writers because the landscape is congested with “genre-writers” who just happen to be using a new technology.

Oh, there are true revolutionaries out there but the apparently wide channels for self-promotion are clogged by those same genre-folk.

Yet, there are those who have self-published but still look back at the legacy publishers as the true revolutionaries.

An article in The GuardianSelf-publishing is not revolutionary – it’s reactionary, has many distorted perceptions, of both kinds of publishing.

I thought I was going to do a point by point rebuttal of this article; but, I asked my Best Friend (an accomplished author) to read it and her response really gets to the heart of the matter:

“He appears to be slamming self publishers as too inward focussed and saying that their narrow focus will damage the culture…”

“Has he not grasped that traditional publishers are simply big businesses with no radical agenda now – who have no interest at all in ‘culture’. When the world was a slower place perhaps they did, but now I doubt it…”

“A great many writers who were ‘radical’ only got published in the past because they self-published…

“I don’t think the writer of this article knows a lot about the true state of modern publishing…”

The article in The Guardian shows me that some folks can only interpret a new opportunity from the perspective of their old habits, as the man in this video clearly demonstrates :-)

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* Google Author Page

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The Future of Reading . . .

There’s so much in the press about Reading; but, most of it pretends it’s about Publishing… 

Future of Reading

Image courtesy of guillermo ossa ~

Will digital kill print?

Will self-publishing kill the traditional houses?

And, all the authors feel compelled to share their opinions—opinions only since hard facts in the realm of books are so difficult to find

Of course, the prevailing opinion is that readers are consumers and authors must feed that consumption.

What’s happened to authors as Unique Creators and Readers as the Most Privileged People on the planet?

Things are so frenzied that even my attempt to introduce what I want to share in this post has almost slipped away from me

I’ve covered the Reading-Writing-Publishing Beat for nearly eight years and the Subject Index Links in the left side-bar clearly show what I’ve felt most compelled to explore.

Amongst the over 2,300 posts, certain major topics loom large, like Writer’s Resources and Self-Publishing and Reading and Author Interviews.

And, the most numerous group of posts are tagged Notes from An Alien

Not merely because that’s the name of the novel I wrote that will always be free.

It’s also because of what that novel says about our world; and, more importantly, that the words “Notes from An Alien” most perfectly describe me and what I’ve tried to do in this blog—find some sense in what’s happening in the Book World as our civilization goes through the biggest transformation humanity has ever faced

So, peripatetic introduction having been spun out, consider the Future of Reading through the lens of an article in Publishing Perspectives from the London Book Fair—LBF’s Digital Minds: The Golden Age or End of the Book?

A few snippets:

“…in a roundtable discussion that ended the day, a question was posed by Random House’s Dan Franklin that seemed to summarize the philosophical bent of the day. ‘Is this a golden age for publishing or the end of the era of the book?’”

“’It’s the beginning of a change in readership’, replied Dominique Raccah.”

“’It’s the golden age for the access to stories’, said author Nick Harkaway.”

“’It’s the beginning of a new age for the author’, says Kobo’s Michael Tamblyn.”

My comments:

Certainly, books need authors to write them and some method of publishing them; but, Readers (not “readership”) are the reason for books.

Certainly, access to reading is opening up.

Certainly, one can hope authors are beginning to enter the New Age that’s dawning

Now, trying to keep the focus on Readers, let’s briefly explore an article about the UK head of Penguin Random House in The Guardian—Tom Weldon: ‘Some say publishing is in trouble. They are completely wrong’.

One snippet:

“While Amazon tempts browsers with recommendations based on their search history, Weldon thinks traditional publishers need something more personal. They have to get to know their readers: ‘Where do they hang out, what do they like, how do we talk to them?’ The company is still in the early stages of this process, but is seeking this ‘direct relationship with readers to tell them about the books they might fall in love with’.”

My comment:

Traditional publishing has been around for quite some time now Why are they still “in the early stages” of being concerned about a direct relationship with their readers?

Another article from The Guardian—Publishing: we can’t see the right track for all the digital platforms—has this:

“Last year, the Pew Research Centre, an independent think tank, reported that people under 30 were now reading more books than they were 10 years ago, and in more formats than ever before. We know this anecdotally, from experience. Step on to any bus, plane or train. A majority will be engrossed in the written word, in some form.”


There appears to be some hope for the Dear Reader; yet, I wonder if all the Access is providing a truly Valuable reading experience

And, what’s up with all this talk of bookstores disappearing?

Perhaps, it’s only certain kinds of bookstores?

I’ll leave you, my Dear Readers, with a bit of Refreshment:

Visit Parnassus Books, where the owner says some fascinating things, like:

“You may have heard the news that the independent bookstore is dead, that books are dead, that maybe even reading is dead—to which I say: Pull up a chair, friend. I have a story to tell.”

Read Parnassus’ online Literary Journal—and, have some fun. :-)
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How Is Digital Self-Publishing Affecting Traditional Publishers?

The importance of relying on a few people at massive companies to judge whether a book should be published seems to be evaporating… 


Image courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian ~

Plus, self-publishing isn’t really new.

Many famous authors of the past self-published.

The difference (and, what’s causing concern for traditional publishers) is Freely-Available Digital Tools.

I’m going to share part of an article by Jack W Perry, owner of a consulting firm helping publishing transition to digital.

First, though, I’ll list a few of my past posts that could help you get up to speed on what’s been happening:

The Various Flavors of Publishing . . . (interesting comments on that one)

Will Traditional Publishers Survive? (two authoritative comments there)

Indie Authors Are Learning How To Act Like Publishers

So, are you familiar with a company called Harlequin—billed as “the world’s leading romance book publisher”?

Seems they’re in a bit of trouble and some “experts” feel what’s happening to them might happen to the other legacy publishers

There’s an article on Digital Book World called, Lessons Publishers Can Learn From Harlequin’s Annual Results, by Jack W Perry, where he says:

“Harlequin’s annual revenues have dropped by almost $100-million over the past five years.”

It’s true that Harlequin is a single-genre publisher but Perry thinks their annual report has warnings for other traditionals.

Here’s some of what Harlequin said:

“The proliferation of less expensive, and free, self-published works could negatively impact Harlequin’s revenues in the future.”

“The low cost of digitization has also led to a proliferation in the number of digital titles available and increased competition.”

“The significant growth of the digital book market in recent years has resulted in a contraction of the retail print market.”

“Online retailers have also entered into the book publishing business creating additional competition.”

“The decrease in North American revenues was the result of declines in the retail print and direct-to-consumer channels.”

There are some apologists for legacy publishing who are still crying foul about these changes

It’s like some kid screaming that the lemonade stand next to his—the one with hand-squeezed lemons (not instant powder) and free refills—is cutting into his business

Of course it is!

Wise up, kid, and find your own competitive advantage.

Am I being callous?

Is there more to it?

Are self-published e-books automatically inferior?

What are your thoughts and feelings?
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More on The Konrath/Eisler Conversation

Yesterday, I featured a conversation between Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath (both highly successful authors) called, Be The Monkey.

I realize many blog readers don’t follow links and may not discover how rich in content that conversation is.

It has nearly every issue a writer could consider when comparing the state of Traditional and Indie Publishing; and, Barry and Joe have deep experience in both realms.

To help encourage a few more readers to actually click that link up there and download the full conversation { it’s FREE }, I’m going to put the Table of Contents here:

Part One
The Rise of eBooks and Self-publishing
The Future of Paper
What Do These Changes Mean for Writers?
The Virtual Bookshelf and Dynamic Pricing
Readers: the People Who Buy the Eggs
The Revolution is Here
The NYT Bestseller List and Authors With Stockholm Syndrome
Digital Royalties and “Lookback” Provisions
Publisher Reaction and Counterarguments
The Tipping Point
Similar Risks, Different Context
The Long Tail: Long-term Benefits of Self-Publishing
Promotion and Marketing: Legacy vs. Indie
Legacy Publishers: Adding Value?
Paper vs. Digital Sales: A Zero-sum Game?
The Future: the “Self” in “Self-Publishing,” E-stributors, and Indie Publishing
Part Two
Another Conversation? But Why? Answers to This and Other Questions
Bestselling Indie Author Amanda Hocking Just Signed with a Legacy Publisher. Doesn’t That Mean You’re Wrong?
What About the Glut of Self-Published Books? How Will Anyone Know Which Are Good?
But Don’t You Need an Editor?
Isn’t Piracy Scary for Indies?
Your Negro Baseball League Analogy Was Outrageous
Aren’t You Guys Forgetting How Much You Give Up On The Paper Side When You Go Indie?
Which Leads to The “Shame on Publishers Marketplace” Heading, to Make This Section Easier for Publishers Marketplace to Find
Go Indie, or Go Legacy? Here’s the Math
Who Will Be the New Players in Digital, and How Should Authors Pay Them?
A Few Misconceptions
Part Three
Is It Hypocritical for An Author to Self-publish and Also Publish with An Amazon Imprint? And What’s in That Contract, Anyway?
Is Exclusivity Bad for the Industry?
A Working Definition of “Legacy Publishing”
Is Amazon a Legacy Publisher?
It Has to Be Either/Or. And Other Examples of Erroneous Thinking
Briefly Returning to the Question of: If The Big Six Are Legacy Publishers, What Do We Call Amazon?
And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Erroneous Thinking Topic
How Do Brick and Mortar Bookstores Succeed in the New Publishing Landscape?
And How Do Literary Agents Succeed?
Next Steps in the Evolution of Ebooks
Be the Monkey

There’s so much good information in this document that multiple readings would clearly be most profitable :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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