Thursday, July 18, 2019

Saving Money



This week seems to be all about saving money. It started with the fantastic article by Anne R Allen on Self Publishing money wasters. This is a great article and a real heads up on what not to spend your money on. As always with articles like this read the comments because there are a few more tips in the conversations.

Saving money seems to be the theme with the publishers. This week The Guardian reported that Pearson is switching to a Netflix style rental option for its academic textbooks. Is this a good idea? I saw one horror story, this week where a parent copped a $3000 fine for a student's overdue textbook.

Every week I try to drop in on the Twitter chat that Rachel Thompson hosts around Book Marketing. Often her fellow co-host is an Author Virtual Assistant- The Rural VA.  This is not an AI but a real human person whom authors can employ to do tedious work for you. Here is a guest article about working with an author assistant.

Last month I mentioned that libraries were being stung by the new policies around library copies of ebooks that the publishers were imposing. Libraries pay for very expensive digital copies that have kill codes embedded in them, which activate after so many borrows. Some publishers are now changing the terms and it’s biting libraries and their wallets. Publishers Weekly explores that brick wall that libraries are up against. This week a librarian about to retire decided to vent her feeling about the disenfranchisement that these lending policies are causing communities.

The DIYMFA ( Do it Yourself Master of Fine Arts) site has loads of great articles. Have a trawl around the site. There is an article for every writer there. One recent article from Helen Darling was on Indie publishing budgets. How to think about them and prepare yourself for business. 

This week Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware rounded up the seven publishers that she has the most complaints about. It’s a sad list as their ads are everywhere and they make themselves look so legit. Please take the time to look at the list so you can advise newbies to stay away from their fishing hooks. 

Kris Rusch is on week four of her licensing journey. This week she talks about inventory. Do you have a comprehensive master sheet of your inventory anywhere? Most of us don’t. A few files in various hard drives or filing cabinets. This is an important and overlooked document. There is money in knowing what you own, what rights you haven’t signed away.

In the Craft Section,

In search of a moral compass- Writer Unboxed- READ THIS! Bookmark

Character descriptions, avoid boring stuff- Angela Ackerman- Bookmark

4 tips to get unstuck with hard emotion- Lisa Hall Wilson

Story Climax- The Write Practice

Exploring nonlinear narrative- Art of Narrative

In The Marketing Section,

4 dirty secrets about author social media marketing- Frances Caballo

Ten business models for Indie Authors – Orna Ross

Mailchimp or Mailerlite -which one for budget-conscious authors- Rachel McCollin

10 reasons you aren’t getting book reviews and how to fix this- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

How to write good jacket copy – Nathan Bransford- Bookmark

12 SEO tips to drive traffic and sell books – The Book Designer- Bookmark

To Finish

Saving money is what the lean Indie Publisher is all about, so with that in mind, Nate Hoffelder has a list of ten free online graphic and image manipulation tools. This is a BOOKMARK resource. Take a look at all that is possible for ... ZERO dollars. 

Maureen
@craicer

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If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Got Credit

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Decluttering Ownership


This week Microsoft readers woke up to discover that Microsoft was shutting its e-library down. Unfortunately, that meant that all their books disappeared. After nearly twenty years of ebooks, there are still people out there who think that once they have bought an ebook it is theirs. No, it isn’t. You have bought a license to read the book on a proprietary software. That is what DRM (Digital Rights Management) means. If you have a DRM free copy you can put it on other devices and so keep the copy. 
This is why Kris Rusch is so interested in potentials available for authors in the licensing business. Do you really know what you have created and what it is worth?

While Microsoft was decluttering their library... Anne R Allen was looking at decluttering novels. This is a great post on how to streamline your work.

Streamlining. Become an author. What every teen overachiever has on their bucket list of things to do before they turn 20.  Jane Friedman has an interesting post on the rise of Teen Authors hiring ghostwriters. 

Reedsy has a post on free book cover makers which is chock full of tools. BUT YOU MUST OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE IMAGES YOU USE. I put that important sentence in caps because Book Riot reported this week on the plagiarism of the image that was used to make the iconic book cover for Elizabeth Acevedo’s multi-award-winning book, The Poet X. So is this a case of Steal Like An Artist?

Reedsy also has a great post on Bookbub ads for anyone who wants to get a grip on these. 

Passive Guy reports on a court case where Amazon was found to be liable for third party sales. This might not seem big just yet but... if your book is pirated then sold on Amazon... then Amazon could be liable. ( cue pirate cleanup)

Every year around this time Joanna Penn writes her version of Author Earnings when she does a deep dive into her business and looks at how it is doing. She even makes pretty graphs and does data analysis. Have a look at this years report. This is what we can all aspire to. 

In The Craft Section,

The importance of character names- Scott Myers

Trim the fat from your fiction- Utopian Editing

8 quick tips on Show not Tell- K M Weiland

Writing your novels blurb- Staci Troilo- Bookmark

How to see the holes in your stories ending-Roz Morris - Bookmark

Planning your opening passages- Mythcreants- Bookmark

How to slash your word count by 20%- Jodi Renner

In The Marketing Section,

How to test Bookbub ads- Bookbub- Bookmark

20 Quick book marketing ideas- Rachel Thompson- Bookmark

10 things to update every time you release a book- Deborah Jay

Reader Targeting influences everything- David Gaughran- Bookmark

Production calendars- DIYMFA

How to use book content to reach more readers

25 newsletter incentives for fiction authors- Mixtusmedia- Bookmark

To Finish,

It’s been a book cover week. I’ve relaxed looking at Bookcoverzone. ( No I haven’t bought any more covers for nonexistent books this year...Yet.) Design Wizard sent me a link to their selection of the most creative book covers. Go and be inspired.

Maureen
@craicer

Do you want the best of my bookmarked links in a handy monthly newsletter?
When you subscribe you will also get a nifty mini book crammed full with marketing notes as a thank you.
If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.


Pic: Flickr Creative Commons – Phil Hearing


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