This past Saturday at a meeting of Bay Area Independent Publishers Association, I led a roundtable about the reasons that every independent author and publisher (as well as every "dependent" author) needed to have an active presence on Goodreads.com.
Recently I created a survey to help more writers market their books. In exchange, I offered free marketing lessons. I asked one mandatory question in exchange for the lessons, and had one optional fill-in-the-box spot in case anyone had a question.
Carey Salerno, Executive Editor of Alice James Books and a Literary Arts Curator supporting the launch of Pen and Brush's new programming, shares what she has learned throughout her career in publishing and her experience as a poet and a writer.
It's my pleasure to share a conversation I recently had with Kate Angus, who is a founding editor of Augury Books, as well as the Creative Writing Advisory Board Member for The Mayapple Center for Arts and Humanities and a teacher at the Gotham Writers' Workshop in New York.
Helene Pappamarkou, Melena the Leopard Girl, Yagureté or "true carnivorous beast": these names are aliases, and Eleni Sikelianos jumps into each one in her genre-refusing essay-memoir-invention You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek).
Self-publishing isn't a get-rich scheme for anyone. Book publishing -- whether you're doing it by yourself, through a small independent publishing company, or through a Big Five publishing conglomerate -- requires an enormous amount of work before, during and after publication to pay off.
The whole process starts with eking out a little of your story and sending a small chunk to a beta reader or two or three -- not your neighbor or good friend or aunt to sister, but someone you trust to give you solid feedback that your story is awful or not.
This week, the Big Five just got bigger with the announcement that Hachette Book Group (the fourth largest U.S. publisher) is acquiring Perseus Books Group (the sixth largest U.S. publisher) in a deal that will close next month.
Do I think self-publishing is killing books? In a word, NO. In fact, not only do I believe self-publishing isn't killing books, I believe it's actually enlivened the marketplace, bringing a fresh, less structured, less filtered, more open life to the entire literary industry.
Good news: according to Goodreads, the largest online book recommendation website, roughly 6 million books are discovered on the site per month. Now the bad news: The burden of discovery remains completely on self-published authors.
Making those decisions in a vacuum is never a good idea -- it's too easy to waste time when you should have spent money or throw away money when a little time and effort would have done far more good. Hopefully this has helped you to approach these decisions a bit better prepared.
While some services overlap, each company has its strengths and weaknesses. Which is preferable depends largely on the needs and objectives of the author. The information here should help you decide which service would be better for you.
t's funny how authors often think that being an author doesn't require an investment. Hey, you wrote the book and that should be enough, right? Decide on your investment and then ask yourself: How much money am I willing to lose? Yes, I said lose.