This is part one of a six-part series.
As a self-published author, it’s your responsibility to make sure your book is as high-quality as it can be, and an editor is an indispensable resource who can help make your book look professional instead of amateurish.
Getting off to a Good Start
Ask your peers—other writers—for their opinions. Join local writing groups. Meet writers online and ask them to have a look at one or two chapters for you. Don’t be shy about getting feedback from your fellow writers.
Every writer is focused on her own work, so make sure you give something back to the community by returning the favor for others.
Now is a good time to write a synopsis. This is a skill in itself, so practice is key. A synopsis is different from a blurb; it should be about one A4 page long, contain all the major plot points and describe what happens in your book. Don’t worry about spoilers! This is a great way to identify weaknesses or plot holes. Read it out loud. Does it ramble or sound boring? Do things seem to happen for no reason? Maybe you just need to tweak the synopsis, or maybe you need to go back to the book and make some changes.
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How One Question Can Improve Creativity and Problem Solving (Joe Wikert)
If you only listen to one podcast this week, make sure it’s the one linked to here. It’s one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking talks I’ve ever heard. The speaker is Bernard Roth, and the talk is from a series of entrepreneurial podcasts offered by Stanford.
The Indie Author’s Guide to Hybrid Publishing (PW)
Authors no longer have to choose between traditional publishing and self-publishing. A third option has emerged and is gaining ground: hybrid publishing, which fuses aspects of traditional publishing with self-publishing, often for an up-front fee. At least that’s one definition; as any author exploring the territory of hybrid publishing will find, it’s complicated.
Making the Most of E-Mail Marketing (PW)
It’s hard to overstate the importance and effectiveness of email for book sales and marketing. Unfortunately, now that the secret is largely out about email, it’s becoming the most increasingly abused sales tool. That’s mainly because authors (and publishers, too) don’t take time to customize and target their messages appropriately.
Inkitt: Using Algorithms to Open Doors for Indie Authors (BookWorks)
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been both hailed and panned by critics. Critiques range from a necessary evolutionary step for mankind to robots overtaking our world. Over the last decade, it appears to have touched all fields of endeavor, including the book publishing industry. Today we explore Inkitt’s foray into AI with its predictive data-driven software fueled by a proprietary algorithm that is designed to select best sellers.
Glimpses of the US Market: Charts from Nielsen’s Kempton Mooney (Pub Perspectives)
From some of the material presented at BookExpo America, views of the US market courtesy of Nielsen Book and Kempton Mooney: So far, it’s a great year for Dr. Seuss. Again.
Can Libro.fm Turn Digital Audiobooks into a Revenue Stream for Indies? (PW)
Libro.fm wants to be the go-to digital audiobook site for indie bookstore customers, but just how much a financial difference that will make for booksellers is yet to be seen. Since Winter Institute in January, Libro has signed 85 independent bookstore partners, including Tattered Cover in Denver, Third Place Books in Seattle, and Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, according to cofounder Mark Pearson.
Judy Blume on Why US Indie Booksellers Are Thriving (Guardian)
She might be a beloved and bestselling author of classic children’s books from Forever to Blubber, but Judy Blume says she wakes up every day “and I look to the sky, and I say, ‘whoever’s up there, I thank you for not having to write today.’”
Epic Success in Kids’ Ebook Subscription (PW)
Prevailing industry chatter over the past several months has frequently included the leveling off, or in some cases the downturn of ebook sales. According to the AAP 2015 StatShot report covering the trends of the past year, ebook sales in the children’s and young adult category were down 43.3 percent from 2014.
Storytel Buys Mofibo for £10m (Bookseller)
Audio book streaming service Storytel has acquired Danish ebook and audio streaming service Mofibo for £10.36m (100m Danish crowns).
In Uganda: Nobody Complains That Book Prices Are Too Low (Pub Perspectives)
In the West, years of deep discounts in the trade and audience-attracting freebies in self-publishing have led to concerns about books being undervalued. In Uganda, pricing runs the other way.
Steve Potash, OverDrive CEO and Library Ebook Pioneer (TeleRead)
Steve Potash started digitizing books long before it was cool. Now in his 60s, the CEO of OverDrive began digitizing law books in the 1970s, thinking this was the next big step in the publishing world. Every new invention that came along—PCs, CD-ROMs, Windows—made him more optimistic for the future of digital publishing.But 40 years? No, Potash never thought it would take that long, but he also never gave up.