Great Sites For Self Published Authors

English: I, the creator of this work, hereby p...

English: I, the creator of this work, hereby publish it under the following licence: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Indie 50 – The 50 Best Sites for Indie and Self-Published Authors

by August Wainwright

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and kept putting it off. Having now finished the list, I completely understand why I’ve been procrastinating for so long.

Trying to compile a list of relevant sites was hard enough. But attempting to get that list down to the final 50 sites turned out to be a massive endeavor; and I wasn’t even done yet – I still felt the need to try to rank the sites. How, or using what scale? Hell, I have absolutely no idea.

In the end, I decided the Indie 50 should be the 50 sites that, in my opinion, represent the best the Internet has to offer for indie and self-published authors.

That might mean something different for you (I’m sure it does), but for me, this list is made up of the sites that I visit on a daily or weekly basis. These are the sites that have helped me get to where I’m at. And, should I find a higher success in this industry, it will more than likely be due to something I picked up from one of these sites. I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time and I owe most, if not all, of that to the sites on this list. Read more here.

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Is Your Book Organized?

Book header/footer

Book header/footer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Putting together the heart of a book takes blood, sweat and tears. The heart of a book is what I consider to be the manuscript itself. But, what about the other parts of your book, such as the table of contents, preface, index and glossary? Have you compiled all of those nice little tidbits that make your book an actual book? If you are not sure how it all works and what you need to do to put a complete project together, I have found you some helpful tips on how to make your book organized.

The Book Designer is a site where authors can find every topic imaginable for self-publishing your manuscript. I have found this site useful for any author looking for help on book design, self-publishing, formatting and more. Check out this article on how to get your book organized so that you can be the professional author you want to be.

Self-Publishing Basics: How to Organize Your Book’s Front Matter

Many writers who think about self-publishing are taken aback when they start to put their book together for publication. It’s one thing to work on a manuscript, sometimes for years, getting the ideas right, the words to flow, the overall thematic arc to shine through for attentive readers.

But how do you turn that manuscript into a book? After all, there are lots of things in books that you’ll never see in a manuscript. Things like running heads, page numbers, half-title pages, indexes… stuff like that.

What’s In Your Writing Toolkit?

 

Most writers have established the basic tools that will be utilized moving forward in their process of writing. Of course, taking writing courses and participating in conferences and writing groups are essential and a given. But what about reading? If we are writers we should be reading, and not just books about writing but books written by our favorite authors, as well as discovering new ones.

summer reading

summer reading (Photo credit: ruminatrix)

Jody Hedlund has written a very nice article that points out what writers need in their toolkits.

Do You Have This Important Tool In Your Writer’s Toolkit?

By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund 

I’m currently between manuscripts. I finished editing a book in June, turned it in to my publisher, and now am busily researching my next book.

The research stage is always a bit of a break for me. I don’t have the daily pressure to write a certain number of words. And I don’t need the intense focus required during editing. Even though I try to accomplish several hours of research per day, my daily goals are less intense.

During the research lull between books, I usually attempt to make a dent in my to-be-read pile. While I’ve always considered reading one of life’s greatest pleasures, I’ve also come to realize that as a fiction writer, reading is a necessity in becoming a better writer.

The more a writer reads, the more familiar they become with story-telling. In fact, if you grew up like I did, with a book permanently attached to your hand, then writing fiction is probably somewhat intuitive. You already have a good foundation for what comprises a well-told story, even if you can’t quite put those techniques into fiction-writing lingo.

Even so, I recommend that all writers, no matter how much fiction they’ve read, STILL take the time to familiarize themselves with the craft of writing fiction. Even if we think we know how to write, we’ll only give ourselves even more of an advantage by familiarizing ourselves with story structure, plotting techniques, character building, etc. I find that I pick up new tips every time I read a fiction craft book. Read more here.

 

What Should Be Promoted: The Author Or The Book?

Egg Within An Egg

Egg Within An Egg (Photo credit: Kairon Gnothi (Opportunity Knocks))

Do you remember asking the question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I did when I was in 1st grade. I believe the question stemmed from a book I read that asked that question, and then went on to discuss the chicken crossing the road, or something to that effect. But, either way, in is still an unanswered question in my opinion. The purpose of me bringing this topic is, writers may be asking a similar question in regards to promotion. Should we writers promote ourselves or our book?

In a way book promotion and author promotion goes hand-in-hand. But it also could be that the book project should be the priority publishing point. If the book is good then readers will want to know more about the author. Or, it could be that the author is the focal point and then readers can actively seek out books that the author has written. In my humble opinion, I think we should promote ourselves as writers. What are your thoughts?

Here is an interesting blog post I found at Help I Need A Publisher, where an author asked advice on which part to promote, the author or the book. I am curious to hear your thoughts on this subject.

DEAR CRABBIT: market the author or the book 

Dear Crabbit
We had a brief Twitter exchange this evening. I asked: ” Do you recommend focusing on marketing the writer…or the book? ”

A bit more info: for the past 2-3 years, I’ve been blogging. Firstly as a way of promoting my (very) part-time coaching practice (I have a full time day job as well), and latterly as a way of promoting my writing (I’ve had a small paid writing gig with PaleoDietNews.com for the past few months).

Long story short….I now want to focus on promoting my writing. I’m going to convert my main site (cormackcarr.com) into an “author” site, and am going to set up two other blogs. One will focus on my coaching/careers/personal effectiveness writing….the other on food/health/fitness. Those are the two areas that my writing to date has tended to cluster around.

My logic (such as it is!) is that I can then promote the two blogs to their respective niche areas, backlinking to my author site (which will also have backlinks to any guest posting and article writing I do) and which will focus more on me…so that there’s scope for me to develop my writing in other directions without being tied down. Read more here.

Writing Credentials: Do You Have Any?

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

I follow C. Hope Clark. She is the brains behind the newsletter Funds For Writers. She has been a helpful entity in regards to me learning more about the world of writing. Recently I read a post that actually made me chuckle out loud. It made me realize how far I have come in the writing process. This post talks about writers and what types of credible writing they have done. It also mentions that publishers and agents need to hear from writers who are actively pursuing a writing career. What made me chuckle was that I (years ago) never thought of mentioning when I submitted a manuscript that I am a technical writer. I did’t think that applied because I wanted to be a children’s author. So, I guess if you’ve written anything, published an article, won a contest, that qualifies as experience in writing. Check out the article. It’s short, sweet and to the point.

How would you reply if asked this question? Indignant? After all, everybody has to start somewhere, plus you’ve been writing various pieces for years.

Everybody has to write the first manuscript. But few of them need to publish that first manuscript.

If you went to the doctor, needing an operation, you might ask, “Have you done this sort of operation before?” What if the reply is, “No, but I’ve been studying how to do it.” You’d move on to another doctor, because no matter how long he’s read the books and tested on cadavers, he hasn’t proven himself. Read more here.