Thursday, August 23, 2012

Great writing prompt from Poets & Writers

Creative Nonfiction Prompt

Compose a table of contents for your life. Include titles, subtitles, sections, and chapters that outline a period--or the entirety--of your life. Once you've finished the table, write a brief summary for each section. 

I challenge five of my  blog readers to do this exercise, and then post a comment here to let others know about it:  Was it fun?  Too hard?  Extremely motivating?

Let us know if you at least started this, by September 30, 2012, and, as a Friend of Poets & Writers, I'll let them know how we did it too.

I'm starting mine today,


Thursday, August 16, 2012

New York Times article on self-publishing

There's an informative update on self-publishing and digital books here: The Joys and Hazards of Self-Publishing on the Web:

In particular, note:
The single toughest part of self-publishing is getting attention for your book. Nearly 350,000 new print titles were published in 2011, and 150,000 to 200,000 of them were produced by self-publishing companies, said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of Bowker Market Research, which conducts an annual survey of new books.

Same stuff I've been telling people for five years now.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Housework can wait

This note from someone I just met last week really made my day. If you question why and whether you should keep blogging, let this be your motivation:

"I enjoyed reading your blog and I bookmarked it.It motivated me to make time to work on my writing today and put off the housework until tomorrow."  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ebooks: Who buys them?

Every time I write an article about publishing or conduct a workshop, I have to give people the bad news. Having an ebook is not an end in itself. It is not automatically going to turn a profit by tomorrow.

The truth of ebook succcess is the truth of all bookselling success, and in fact all selling success. You have to know where your customer is, and know how to reach them. Here is an insightful graphic from Smashwords, a reputable, successful ebook production and sales avenue. Smashwords and Bookbaby are probably the two best places to look when you want to achieve ebook sales success. (click image to enlarge).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Four Smashwords authors make NYTimes bestseller list!

I've been a fan of Mark Coker and his firm, Smashwords, since 2007 when I uploaded Release Your Writing  to their service to publish an ebook and inadvertently crashed their server. It takes a great guy to talk to me on the phone and take over the project.

Look how far Smashwords has come as a superstar for uploading and distributing your books.
Here is an excerpt from their blog today:

Take a look at the August 5 edition of The New York Times Fiction Ebook bestseller list, out yesterday.  Lightning struck multiple times this week.

Congrats to Colleen Hoover (Slammed at #8, Point of Retreat at #18), R.L. Mathewson (Playing for Keeps at #16), Lyla Sinclair (Training Tessa at #17) and Bella Andre (If You Were Mine at #22, Can't Help Falling in Love at #23, and I Only Have Eyes for You at #24).

All the credit for these results go to the authors who wrote the books, the readers who purchased them and the retailers who connected these books with readers.

I'd like to thank each of the authors above for allowing Smashwords to play some role in their distribution strategy.  Some of them use Smashwords to reach most of the major retailers, and some use us to reach only a few.  You can find each of their books at Smashwords by clicking the title above, or find them at your favorite ebook retailer.  Show them your support because they're opening doors for every indie author.

It's a big deal to see a single Smashwords author on the New York Times Bestseller list, let alone four in one week.  A year ago, it was unheard of.  A year from now, it'll be more commonplace.  Tomorrow's global bestsellers are at Smashwords.  Maybe the next bestseller will be the title uploaded to Smashwords two minutes from now, soon to be visible at the top of the Smashwords home page.  Or maybe it'll be one or more of the nearly 9,000 new titles uploaded to Smashwords in the last 30 days.  Or uploaded three years ago.