self publishing

Booktango + Sooner football = Interesting new way to use e-books.

Matt Hofeld is the site manager for the popular Oklahoma Sooners’ fan-site Crimson And Cream Machine. He is a passionate follower of Oklahoma football and has been covering the team as a writer since 2004.  Every year before now he would publish The Sooner Kickoff report as a magazine, which meant there were printing and mailing costs that made production and delivery to rabid Sooner fans increasingly costly. 

Using Booktango, the 2012 Sooner Football Guide is now an ebook instead of a magazine.

For this season, Matt chose to publish an e-book this year using Booktango. So The 2012 Sooner Kickoff report is available for download on any device anywhere and at anytime. For a publication that is typically  in a magazine format, an e-book is an interesting and cost-saving alternative to connect with fans. In addition, by using Booktango, enabled Matt to publish his e-book and distribute it to all major e-reading devices and to leading book resellers for free. He no longer has to worry about unsold magazines and shipping costs, and now can reach a broader audience and never have to worry about running out of copies to sell.

The 2012 Sooner Kickoff book includes:

  • In-depth previews for all 12 of Oklahoma’s 2012 opponents
  • Special features on Landry Jones, the return of Mike Stoops and the Cali Trio
  • Position breakdowns
  • Team procedures
  • A look at each 2012 newcomer

“The expectations are always high at Oklahoma, and this year is no exception,” writes CrimsonandCreamMachine.com. “With a four-year starter at quarterback and an experienced offensive line the foundation is there for 2012 to be a great season. Will the Sooners be up to the challenge of their schedule?” Only time will tell.  But I thought this was a very interesting way to use a fast free and easy e-book publishing platform to get content into the hands of rabid fans.

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Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, Indie book publishing, self publishing, writing

“Strategies for Self-Publishing to the Global Market.” I can’t wait to speak to the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society on this topic,

On Saturday, September 15th, I have been invited by the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS) to address the topic of “Strategies for Self-Publishing to the Global Market” as part of their Special Speakers Event series.

I can’t wait and am so excited they extended an invitation. It has already created some stir because I am sure people are concerned I will just do a big advertisement for Author Solutions. But that has never been my approach and it will not be this time either.

This is one of the most exciting times to be an author, but also one of the most confusing because there are more paths and opportunities to get published. So it is more important than ever for authors to be informed and choose the best publishing option based on their goals, skills, patience, and budget.

My goal is to clearly explain the three different publishing options for authors today, DIY, assisted self-publishing and tradtional publishing, and the four different paths you can pursue, Free DIY, General Contractor, Publishing Package and Traditional Publishing.  Each of these paths can help you get your book into the hands of readers, but how do you know which is the best one for you. That’s what I hope to help you figure out. So I will cover:

  • Advantages and drawbacks to each publishing path
  • Key questions you should ask yourself before you publish
  • 7 secrets of successful self-published authors
  • Plus take questions from the audience

If you have a manuscript you want to publish, or know someone who does, I hope you will attend. It is free, but you need to RSVP. The event will be held  Los Angeles Valley College on Saturday, September 15 starting at 2:00 pm.  I look forward to meeting some of you then.

This is one of the most exciting times to be an author, but also one of the most confusing because there are more paths and opportunities to get published.

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Author Solutions, authors, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson

Former Colts punter Hunter Smith publishes book about the negative and positive impact of wearing an NFL Jersey

It is football season so it seemed appropriate to have at least one blog post that recogonizes the impact the pig skin has in America. Hunter Smith, former punter in the NFL has written an interesting book titled, The Jersey Effect, which includes a forward by Tony Dungy and interviews with numerous players. Smith wrote the book to bring to light the allure and potential downfall wearing an NFL jersey can bring in an athlete’s life who is not prepared for life after football.  It is worth a read even if you are not involved in football because it points out some key principles that are applicable in other areas of life. Hunter is a man of faith and published with Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson, so the message is clearly written from a Christian world view, but it is not overly religious. I have included a couple of videos where Hunter talks about topics from the book.

 

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agents, Author Solutions, authors, Ebooks, Editing, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, self publishing, writing

Looks like self-publishing will be a hot topic at the Writers Digest West Conference

Writer’s Digest has hosted one of the most respected conferences  in New York City in January for quite some time. This year, they are also holding a writers conference  in October on the West Coast.  In fact, this is the first time this event has been this close to the Pacific. The registration web site gives more details. Here’s what it says:

For the first time ever, Writer’s Digest Conference brings its real-world publishing knowledge, writing inspiration and networking opportunities to a West Coast audience in 2012. Join us in Hollywood to find out how publishing and tech developments affect writers, how you can make your work and your pitch irresistible, and what you can do to get going, get discovered, and get published.

I will be speaking and sitting on a panel at the conference.  In my seminar titled, Seven Secrets of Successful Self Publishing, I will share all I have learned from

I will be speaking about the secrets I share in this e-book. You can download it for 99 cents at http://www.booktango.com if you don’t want to wait for the seminar.

working with authors who have found self publishing to be a very satisfying publishing option.  In addition I will sit on a panel titled, Self Publishing in the Real World – What to Expect, What to Do, and How to Do It.  I am really looking forward to this panel because they have assembled a very diverse group of people who can speak to the topic from different points of view. Here’ s the lineup:

Dana Newman, Attorney and Literary Agent, Dana Newman Literary, LLC, Eric DelaBarre, Writer/Director, Seven Publishing, Brian Felsen, President, BookBaby, Stephen Blake Mettee, CEO/Publisher, The Write Thought Inc. and K.C. Sherwood, Abbott Press Author and winner of the Mark of Quality.

There are a number of other seminars or panels that address the topic of self publishing because clearly it is the topic that is on everyone’s mind. I am really looking forward to my time there and hope to see you in Hollywood as well. Registration information is available on the web site. Just click here for more info.

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agents, Author Solutions, authors, Balboa Press, book marketing, book selling, Ebooks, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, Thomas Nelson, writing

4 things every writer needs to know if they are planning on publishing today

The world has changed for authors which means they have new opportunities and consequently responsibilities.

As you can imagine, with the announcement a few weeks ago about Author Solutions being acquired by the world’s largest publisher, there has been an enormous amount of media interest. This is both a thrilling and confusing time for authors, so I think it is more important than ever for authors to be informed and choose the best option for getting published based on their goals, skills, patience, and budget. My last post suggested there were four paths authors could pursue today, and I laid out the differences among them. But recently, at the end of a very thoughtful and comprehensive interview, I was asked the question, “Is there anything else you would like to say to authors today?” What follows is my response to that question.

Gone are the days of walking to the mailbox and pulling out a pile of rejection letters and wondering if you would ever get published. Today, every author can get publishedand get his or her book into the hands of readers—whether you use a DIY method, assisted self-publishing, or sign with an agent and try to acquire a traditional publishing contract

That means authors have more opportunity than ever before, but they also have more responsibility. And that is not something anyone seems to be talking much about. Whereas before it was the publisher, now it is the author who has the responsibility to set clear goals and a budget. Having clarity about these two areas will help authors make the best decision about which publishing path is best for them. In addition, they also need to have a realistic assessment of the skill and time they have to put to the project.

You can absolutely change your brakes and wash your car for less money if you do it yourself, rather than paying someone to do it for you.  But if you don’t know how to change brakes or you don’t have time to wash your car, you should pay someone to do it for you.  I think the same type of decision-making should be applied to making a publishing decision.

In addition, authors should:

  1. Make sure you have a clear picture of who the audience is for your book.  Saying your goal is to sell to every man, woman, and child on the planet (I had an author tell me that) is not realistic.
  2. Understand your options. DIY, assisted, and traditional publishing all have advantages and drawbacks. Inform yourself. There is plenty of information out there. In fact, that is why we created the Author Learning Center (www.authorlearningcenter.com) and why I published 7 Secrets of Successful Self Published Authors. It’s an ebook on booktango.com  for 99 cents.  We have been told by many authors that both the ALC and the 7 Secrets are very helpful.
  3. Think about your marketing while you are writing your manuscript, and know there are no guarantees with marketing. Just ask any marketing director at any company in the world. You do some things that you think will work and they don’t, but you also do some things that far exceed your expectations. The key is to be consistent and experiment. Not everything is going to work, but if you do nothing, you don’t stand a chance.
  4. This industry-changing shift in publishing does not mean everyone will be successful, but it does mean everyone will have the opportunity to be successful. Honestly, I think that is the most exciting thing about the time in which we live. At ASI, we are simply providing the opportunity, whether you want to publish for free with Booktango or use an assisted self-publishing imprint like AuthorHouse or iUniverse or publish with an imprint tied to a traditional publisher like Westbow Press and Thomas Nelson or Balboa Press and Hay House. Not that long ago, authors only had one choice: find an agent and pray they could sell the manuscript. That has all changed, and I think that is amazingly exciting.

Too many authors publish a book with the expectation that the world is just sitting, waiting for their manuscript to get finished, and once they make it available for sale, the world will come to them. The reality is, being an author takes an informed, consistent effort, but when you get those e-mails from readers that tell you how much they enjoyed your book or found it helpful, it is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

Certainly, there are economic considerations when it comes to publishing, but I think the one common goal that unites all authors is they want to impact people with their writing. That’s why those motivations I mentioned on our call are so key. Writing to help others or telling a story that has to be told or supporting a business or ministry are worthy pursuits because they impact people.

As I say to authors all the time, I don’t know how many books you will sell if you publish, but I know how many you will sell if you don’t. I don’t know how many people you will impact with your book if you publish, but I know how many you will impact if you don’t. And to all the naysayers and fearmongers, I would like say: quit bickering about methods, and let’s encourage authors to seize the opportunity.

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agents, Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Indie book publishing, iuniverse, Publishing, self publishing, writing

The 4 different publishing paths authors can pursue today.

It was that long ago that becoming an author meant there was one path to pursue. Find an agent to represent you and then have that agent sell your manuscript to a publisher. But as you know, the indie revolution has created more opportunities and choice for authors than ever before and so now there are four different paths authors can pursue to get their work into the hands of readers. 

…..the indie revolution has created more opportunities and choice for authors than ever before…

The first is what I call the Free DIY path. This is the author who uses a publishing tool like Booktango, Smashwords or Lulu to create a formatted book for limited distribution. It may only be an e-book and only  for sale on the publisher’s web site, but it is out there and available for readers.

The second publishing path  is what I call the General Contractor path. These are the individuals who serve as the “general contractor” for their book project and obtain all the services they need to create, publish, print and distribute their book. Some of the work they do themselves  and some they hire out , but they are in control of the whole project. I find this group is currently the most vocal and the ones most proud of how they are sourcing everything themselves or doing it on their own.

Which path is best for you? It depends on the skills, time and dollar investment you can make and what is your ultimate publishing goal.

The third path is the one where an author uses a bundled services package to get published. Imprints such as AuthorHouse or iUniverseoffer such packages.  This

More options mean more opportunity for authors.

Publishing Package path may mean paying more to get published than with the first two paths,  but there is a convenience and time savings to working with one company to get everything done. For whatever reason, the General Contractor authors seem to be most critical of this group of authors because they feel like they are overpaying to get their book published, but I think they are missing the point. You absolutely can use other means than a publishing package to get published, but if you don’t have the skill or time to mess with all the details, working with a professional services company is the fastest and easiest way to get to the goal of a published book.

The fourth path is the one that has always existed and will continue to persist. It is Traditional Publisher path. However,  the indie revolution has changed  where traditional publishers are finding authors they want to pick up.  It used to be they would only find them from query letters from agents, but now they are actually finding authors who are using free DIY, general contracting and publishing packages to publish.  That means the walls that have historically stood between authors and a traditional publisher have been torn down.

Now each of these paths has advantages and drawbacks, but the most important thing is that each of them can get you to the place where your book is available for readers. Which path is best for you? It depends on the skills, time and dollar investment you can make and what is your ultimate publishing goal. But you have four paths to choose from instead of just one.  That is why it truly is the best time in history to be an author.

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