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.
Imagine summarizing one of your favorite classics in a synopsis. Whether we're talking Pride and Prejudice or Ulysses, that synopsis would be a snoozer, since it's just a pitch giving the highlights of the plot. No pretty language. No tension. Just an outline in prose form.
Ah, yes: "platform." If you're an Indie author you know this term well. It might even be a four-letter word to you. This concept crept into the industry a few decades ago and has now become a major player.
For the purposes of this article, a "pro" is someone who earns his/her primary income from writing. Toby Neal and Holly Robinson are pros (although Toby is mostly an indie and Holly mostly traditionally pubbed), with multiple novels and credits of various kinds, and they're also friends.
Because the world of indie-publishing gives authors more freedom, previously marginalized writers are able to reach a wider audience -- and readers can be treated to a wealth of new perspectives and experiences than those most explored in the traditional realm of publishing.
Meet Adria J. Cimino, author of Close to Destiny, and one of the publishers behind Velvet Morning Press. Cimino stepped away from both traditional publishing and the United States. After her move to Paris, she teamed up with author Vicki Lesage to form Velvet Morning Press.
Because the University of Wisconsin Press had done such a bang-up job on my memoir My Germany--which got me three different tours, two in Germany--I gave them Assault With a Deadly Lie, and the cover they came up with knocked me out. So I decided the older Nick Hoffman books needed a makeover.
Must literary writers, including myself, quell the urges of our pen unless and until it includes a monetary transaction? Should a literary writer not be published unless they are paid for it? This implies that our writing must be bought before it qualifies as real writing.
So you decide to do it yourself, go the Amazon way, make it on your own. You can now take your manuscript and convert it to a book with your name on the cover without having to rely on a traditional publisher.
As an author who was beginning to wonder if she was washed up, I've found a new day has dawned. No longer am I at the mercy of the powers that be in publishing. I am extremely grateful to Amazon for making it possible for me to share my stories with the world.
There's a saying in the music business: if you can't be a hero in your hometown, you can't be a hero anywhere. Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel both played bars that likely you and I wouldn't be caught dead in.
Novels are not cars to be assembled. You can't write them if the muse isn't with you, and the muse doesn't always come when you call her. Yet, if you want to make a living as a writer, you must find a way to go to the muse if she won't come to you.
Writing a book is one thing, promoting it is a whole different animal. But what if you could, right out of the gate, know exactly what to do to create an outstanding, well-received book that was promoted in such a way that it sold better than you expected?
Finding inspiration, Vreeland took what happened and weaved a fictional story around it. Since then, Vreeland has authored six horror books. Her most recent, The Sea of Souls, is a sequel to The Folks.
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.
Serials feel interactive in a new way that breathes life into stories that might not work as longer novels, a lot like TV series. Readers get to join the journey, picking it up at any stage and hanging on for the ride as it unravels.