Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Indie Writers

Open Up To Indie Authors


I’ve read so much trash in the news about how self-published authors are ruining humanity’s “Literary Heritage” that I’m convinced certain people are quite jealous of Indie writers. Opening Up To Indie Authors

“How dare they decide to publish without the blessing of the Gatekeepers?!”

Well, simply put, they’re quite fed up with what traditional publishers represent.

If you really have no clue about what’s been happening with the Indie author movement, check out my over-100 posts about self-publishing.

And, if you want a more experienced perspective than mine—a writer who’s always been a maverick—you can read what Orna Ross, Founder and Director of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) has to say in, Why Self-publishing Is So Good For Literary Culture.

To encourage you to read her article, let me share a few excerpts:

“Corporate publishers and agents now scour self-publishing sites, hoping to woo writers away from the indie option.”

“Corporate publishing works from a scarcity model, grounded in commercial principles. It selects a very few books to be published, assigns them a value dictated by publishing overheads and supply chain, and protects their value with copyright.”

“Self-publishing works from an abundance model, grounded in creative principles. All books can be published and it is writers and readers who decide on value, based on a wide variety of considerations.”

“This apparent cri de coeur about literary values is actually fear of change, often from those who are invested in the old order. And fear of the creative. Creativity is never orderly and neat; it’s colourful and chaotic and kaleidoscopic and we need a publishing scene that acknowledges, and is prepared to be more reflective of, that truth.”

This past April, Alli launched their Opening Up To Indie Authors Campaign.

Here’s the campaign in a nutshell:

“Festivals, awards, libraries, bricks and mortar bookstores and writing associations all are traditional bastions of the world of letters and with good reason. Finding ways to build positive connections and relationships with these places can be of huge benefit for you and your books – as they offer your work the crucial exposure to readers who are just waiting to discover their next good read.”

Obviously, the “you” in that statement is the self-published or Indie author; and, they’ve published a Guidebook for Indies to help them engage the traditional arenas of literary activity.

How the Guidebook aids writers:

  • “By helping indie authors better understand how the book trade operates, including retailers, events organisers, libraries, awards programmes and reviewers
  • “By making clear that the best modern self-published books meet the quality standards expected from the best trade-published work”

This guide is also aimed at those who work in the literary, publishing and books industries: award bodies, book fairs and conferences, libraries, literary festival and event organisers, retailers, reviewers and anyone who acts as a bridge between writer and reader.”

And, I especially encourage you to Sign Their Petition.

After you sign it, the page changes to an opportunity to widen your influence with a contribution that helps spread the word on Change.org.

Even if you don’t read the book or sign the petition, your ideas and feelings about this movement are very welcome in the Comments :-)
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A College Degree in Self-Publishing !?


Graduation

Image courtesy of Kati Garner ~ http://www.sxc.hu/profile/fluffbreat

With so much information about self-publishing on the ‘Net one can wonder about the possible benefits of spending money to obtain a college degree in the subject

Of course, much of the information on the ‘Net is suspect

I reveal some of that suspicion in the 104 posts about self-publishing I’ve written, along with what I consider to be valuable information for those pursuing the Indie Path.

Yet, The Guardian has an article about a postgraduate MA in Self-Publishing at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK.

It costs £5,000 (about $8,200US)

Here’s the university’s information page about the course.

From that page:

“This course will equip you with all of the necessary skills you will need to be a self-published author including how to edit your book, how to lay it out, how to monitor sales, how to manage yourself and your finances, marketing yourself and your book and how to create an eBook. The final part of the course will give you the opportunity to complete a finished copy of your book.

“The course is taught by industry experts with contributions from successful self-published authors. Students have round the clock access to our bespoke publishing house in the state-of-the-art Media Factory with all the latest equipment and industry-level software such as Creative Cloud, InDesign and Nielsen Bookscan.”

From The Guardian:

“The MA will begin in September, and course leader Debbie Williams believes it will help ‘legitimise’ self-publishing. ‘Things have definitely changed. In the last two years, self-publishing has stopped being a dirty word, and is a legitimate option for authors’, she said. ‘Even the biggest authors are looking at it now.'”

They go on with this commentary:

“Despite the negative light in which self-publishing is viewed by some — Jeffrey Archer recently said ‘it doesn’t work, don’t do it. The only person who reads it is the person who gets it published’, while Sue Grafton has characterised DIY-ers as ‘too lazy to do the hard work’ — 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. Digital self-publishing also continues to boom, accounting for 40% of self-published titles in the US in 2012, up from just 11% in 2007, according to Bowker.”

The comments to the article in The Guardian range from praise for the initiative to rank skepticism and claims of fleecing aspiring writers

What are Your  thoughts and feelings about college degrees in self-publishing?
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A Mild “Rant” About An Extremely Serious Situation


I’ve learned that standing up and screaming about a perceived wrong is, in itself, wrong.

Being mild in speech and patient in attitude can seem less effective but are better all round.

So, I’ll practice what I’ve learned

Most of you know that the digital revolution and its child, self-publishing, are causing all kinds of disruption to traditional methods of writers bringing their work to the public.

It’s quite similar to absolutist rulers finding their power being eroded by popular social movements and going quietly insane in their castles.

The problem is the rulers aren’t being quiet

One incredibly extreme example was a recent article in The GuardianHarperCollins UK boss tells publishers: take storytelling back from digital rivals.

You might think the boss wants a war with rivals over traditionally published books.

Nope, this man’s war is “going beyond ebooks to apps, games and video”.

Nothing about the quality of books or the importance of the author as creative producer—merely a move to make more money

This particular example is rather like the absolutist ruler adopting the demands of the society and selling them back to the people.

For more (some nearly barmy) things these folks are doing, read a few of the posts I’ve tagged with “Traditional Publishers”.

And, I hope a few of my readers who have “successfully” been published through the traditional route will share what they went through

O.K., so self-publishing is here to stay (and, you might still find a decent book that happened to be traditionally published [but, please remember, there are many authors jumping from the sinking traditional ship]) yet, is self-publishing actually harming writers??

One of the most insidious “reasons” I’ve found to defame self-publishing appeared in the article, Self-Publishing’s Parallel Disruptions.

You should read the article to sense the full range of repressed anger at the forward march of author freedom; but, essentially, the point made is that, without the traditional castle and its minions, a writer who uses self-publishing is harming their chance at becoming a truly accomplished author

I can’t avoid sharing one quote from that article (and, remember, these words are a defense of traditional publishing):

“High mastery is expected of symphony musicians, ballerinas, Olympic athletes, brain surgeons and more. Why not novelists too?”

So, if you don’t submit to the demands of traditional publishers, you can never achieve mastery?!?

‘Nuf said

Two Caveats: Nothing I’ve said should be taken to diminish the talent and artistry of those authors who have used or will use traditional publishing. And, there’s quite a bit of dreck being self-published.

Still, I feel all writers would be better served by self-publishing

For those of you who haven’t yet explored the vast realm of possibilities being offered today’s writers, check out the 96 posts I’ve written about self-publishing.

If you take that last link, you’ll see this post at the top, since I’ve tagged it with “self-publishing”. Also, when you get to the bottom of a page of posts, you’ll find a small link that says, “Older posts”.

I’d Love to hear a few comments on my “Mild Rant” :-)
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Writers Want To Be Reviewed & Read ~ More on Book Promotion


I’ve said it often here—I’m a maverick.

I will  take advice but only if it sticks on My Walls :-)

A friend once defined Book Promotion as everything that helps a writer get comfortable with their Own Way of Living Their Writing Life.

This fits well with my oft stated “maxim” that Book Promotion is Relationship Building

I’m definitely finding my own way through the fast-changing jungle of Publishing/Promotion, with a novel released last year and two more books in the series to be written.

You can find my experiences and thoughts and feelings on this process by clicking the word “Promotion” in the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar (as you scroll through the listed posts, do notice the “Older Posts” link at the bottom of the list…).

One thing Indie Writers can become concerned about is how they can get their books reviewed—comparing, apparently, the work traditional publishers “provide” by getting reviews for writers (which, in reality, may or may not happen) to the frightening prospect of facing rejection from traditional arenas of review.

Let me share a few excerpts from the post, Book Blogs, The New Literary Salons, which appeared on Her Circle—a magazine of women’s creative arts and activism.

“Book bloggers are, I believe, the fairy godmothers and godfathers of the literary world. Bloggers invest their estimable talent, their tremendous energy, and their invaluable time into discovering, reviewing and promoting new books—and they keep dreams alive.

“Here are five important ways bloggers shape the literary world:

“For indie authors, bloggers replace traditional reviewers
“Provide professional reviews, tailored to their audience...
“Discover new voices...
“Introduce new authors and spread the word about books...
“Offer collaborative communities for authors and readers…”

Do check out the full article.

If you’d like to find some of these wonderful people, go to Book Blogger Directory.

So, there’s one sure way for Indie authors to get noticed.

Do you have any favorite book bloggers to recommend or other ways for Indie writers to get reviews?
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