The Late, Not-So-Great PublishAmerica

#PublishingFoul Logo Indies UnlimitedHere we thought the vanity press industry was on the ropes – what with PublishAmerica being sued out of existence and Author Solutions (and its eleventy billion imprints) having to resort to recruiting new authors overseas because aspiring authors in the US were on to them. Every now and then, though, one of them turns up again, like a bad penny. And so it is with PublishAmerica. Continue reading “The Late, Not-So-Great PublishAmerica”

Must You Publish a Print Book?

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/RobinHiggins-1321953/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3061646">Robin Higgins</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3061646">Pixabay</a>Sometimes when you’re cruising the intertubes, something jumps out at you that makes you want to spit out your coffee. For me, it was a gem of advice in a Q&A on Quora.

The query, edited for length, was: “What do traditional publishers provide that self-publishing doesn’t?” The question drew the typical answers: a cover from a professional cover designer (which indies can also buy), great editing (ditto), marketing assistance (a little harder, but doable – and midlist authors at traditional houses often have to find help, too), and placement of your book at brick-and-mortar stores (okay, I’ll give them that one – although it’s not impossible for indies).

But it was this throwaway line at the end of one comment that caused my spit-take: “Don’t forget to do a POD print edition, even if its layout is pure template-driven and it’s not up to pro standards in production values. Ebooks with print editions sell better than ebooks without.”

There’s so much here to unpack. Continue reading “Must You Publish a Print Book?”

New Amazon Rules on eBook Bonus Content

kindle stuffing
Oh, come on – don’t tell us you don’t get this!

Poor Chance Carter. Poor, poor Chance Carter. Here he is, just a guy trying to make a living at this indie author thing, and he gets caught in Amazon’s bookstuffing dragnet.

Bookstuffing works like this (don’t try this at home!): In an effort to get the largest possible payout on Kindle Unlimited borrows, certain authors have been shoveling several books into a single book file and marketing it as a single book. Sometimes they reuse the same bonus books multiple times; David Gaughran recently shared a chart that shows how an author named Cassandra Dee does it (again, please don’t try this at home!). These authors will put a come-on at the front of the file to entice readers to click to the last page of the book in order to enter a contest or get a free short story; the bots at KU then count the whole book as read. Continue reading “New Amazon Rules on eBook Bonus Content”

Writing and Publishing What Scares You

memoir writing laptop-3087585_960_720I’ve published more than twenty works of fiction over the past seven or eight years, but none of them has given me so much pause – so much stick your fingers in your ears and go LALALALA – as publishing the book I’ve been working on for at least ten years: a memoir of my relationship with my mother and my brother.

Don’t hurt me, but I find it pretty easy to dash off 50,000 words of a rough draft of a novel in a month’s time (I’ve won NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo multiple times), polish it, and stick it up on KDP. I also don’t have a problem writing nonfiction – as long as it’s happening to someone else.

This memoir, though. Continue reading “Writing and Publishing What Scares You”