Holiday Bleg

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Yes, this really is a fruit. It’s called Buddha’s hand citron. What, you think we make this stuff up?

As we near the end of another year we find ourselves in the throes of the holiday season. Of course, everyone has a lot to do to prepare. After all, dear old Aunt Trudy couldn’t possibly find one of those precious porcelain pigs with her dubious internet skills.

Soon you’ll be either traveling or preparing to receive guests. That means moving all the boxes of stuff you meant to take to Goodwill someday from the guest room to the garage. Or it could mean buying new luggage because your old luggage is somewhere behind a mountain of boxes of stuff you meant to take to Goodwill someday.

And what about those holiday recipes you’ve been meaning to try out? Yes, you’ll need some kind of butter they don’t sell at a regular grocery store and several fruits with unpronounceable names that look like  parasites that might fall off an alien.

This all happens in company with your regular work and household chores. You still have to fill your space in the cubicle farm as well as milk the chickens and slop the kids.

It can all be overwhelming. We understand everyone is a little preoccupied right now. It’s easy to forget about your good old buddies here at Indies Unlimited. You know, the site you go to for FREE helpful tips, publishing and marketing insights, nifty tutorials, honing your flash-fiction chops, and to post your free or discount books for others to see?

If you have found our site useful – if we’ve brought you a laugh or an idea or a useful tidbit – we’d appreciate it if you’d think about chucking a couple of bucks in the old PayPal tip jar over in the right sidebar. Easy-peasy. No browsing through pages of content to find the one porcelain pig we don’t have. No cleaning out the guest room.

Thanks in advance. We now return you to your regular programming. Happy holidays to everyone.

Choosing a Book Excerpt

Book ExcerptAuthors have a lot of blind spots when it comes to their own books. Writing the book turns out to be the easiest part of all the other stuff you have to do. A lot of authors have trouble selecting a passage to feature as a book excerpt. I believe there are two major reasons for this. The first (and probably the biggest contributing factor) is that the author knows the context of every scene in the book and is therefore unable to understand why someone reading the passage without context might not get it. The second reason is an almost paranoid impulse to prevent “spoilers.” A number of sites showcase book excerpts as either a stand-alone feature, or in combination with author interviews. A lot of authors also provide book excerpts on their own websites. It’s a good opportunity to get a sample of your writing out there in front of some readers (hopefully future fans) who may not yet be acquainted with your work. Of course if the sample falls flat the reverse effect is achieved. It’s worth putting a little thought into choosing the right excerpt. Here are a couple of considerations that may help you: Continue reading “Choosing a Book Excerpt”

Is Amazon Buying Simon and Schuster?

dealHere is something I don’t think many people saw coming. The internet is abuzz with rumors that Amazon is in negotiations to buy big ink publisher Simon and Schuster. The internet is always abuzz with something, and I don’t know whether this is real or not. It may be a stratagem aimed at scaring Hachette off the fence in its negotiations with Amazon. But Passive Guy is also reporting it, so maybe there is something there after all.

Kozlowski (link above) reports:

The publishing industry could be turned onto its head with a recent revelation that Amazon is in talks to purchase big 5 publisher Simon and Schuster. If the deal were to get done, this would give Amazon major distribution to physical bookstores under their own imprint and change the publishing world forever.

Notwithstanding that everything that happens seems to threaten to change the publishing world forever, this does conjure up some pretty dramatic images.

As always, Amazon is not talking. My favorite part of any article about Amazon is always at the end of the article: A spokesperson for Amazon refused to comment. Seriously? I think maybe Amazon is using the title “spokesperson” incorrectly. It would make more sense if they changed the person’s title to stonewaller. A stonewaller for Amazon refused to comment. There. That makes sense.

Anyway, if Amazon really did buy its own big fat pet publisher, that could represent some major upheaval. Will the Bezoids still love indies if they have their own big brand to push? What about Apple? Will Apple respond in kind, scooping up Hachette? Will Random Penguin scramble to buy Barnes & Noble to squeeze its competitors out of the brick and mortar markets? Will Yahoo respond by buying up DC Comics?

Fun times. What are your predictions?

NewsBites: Looking for the Union Label?

NewsBitesIt is time once again for Indies Unlimited to carry out its charge as the champion of truth, the vanquisher of deceit, and the taster of all things bacon. Yes, the NewsBites team of investigative journalists never rests until an opportunity presents itself. No matter how high those mountains, how deep those raging seas, or how hungry those hippos, we will keep more or less steadfastly to our quest to bring you somewhat reliable infotainment. Remember, if you’re not completely satisfied, you can fully refund our money.

And now, here is some news-type stuff we scrounged up and snarked all over: Continue reading “NewsBites: Looking for the Union Label?”