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Don’t Let the Overwhelm Keep You From Your Best Book

The following is a guest post by Brenda Errichiello.

For an indie author, the editing process can be wholly overwhelming. Do you need a content editor? A line editor? A copy editor? What do these things even mean? How many times should someone look at your book? How do you know the person you’re working with is good?Continue Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Indie Literary Fiction [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by James Campbell.

Over the past few months, certain members of the literati have been occupying themselves with the question of genre vs. literary fiction – what do these terms mean, which is better, and so on.

First there was Arthur Krystal’s piece in the New Yorker, followed by Lev Grossman’s reply in Time, completed by Michael Kardos’s rebuttal to both on the Huffington Post’s book blog.

A quick summation: yes, there is a difference between genre fiction and literary fiction; no, genre fiction is not necessarily ‘lower’ than literary fiction or mere escapism; yes, literary fiction has just as many cliches and tropes as genre fiction; and yes, there are many examples of top quality work and utter crap in both categories, and people shouldn’t pigeon-hole their reading habits to solely one or the other.

Left Out of the Discussion

One thing that wasn’t discussed, however, was how books of each type tend to be marketed specifically within an indie pub context.Continue Reading

9 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block [Guest Post]

We have a special guest post today from one of our Indie Ninjas, Wren Deloro. She’s participating in NaNoWriMo this year (as is Shannon!). If you’re taking the 50,000 word, 30 day challenge let us know on Facebook!

Whether you are in the midst of a project or planning to take on NaNoWriMo, writer’s block is a dreaded possibility for any author.

Don’t let normal snags and stops hold back the completion of your project. 

Try a few of the following techniques, and get back on track.

1. Take a Break

photo by spring dewDo something completely unrelated.

This break could be a treat for all your hard work, or some good ol’ mundane activity. Think about it: how many ah ha moments have come to you while driving, washing the dishes, or in the shower?

Earn bonus points by completing household chores you have to do anyway. Make frozen food for your next intense write in.

Then, when you are done, sit your butt back in the chair!Continue Reading

I’m Selling My Chops, But Giving My Gravy Away [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Neal Abbott.

When I began writing, I shared the common delusion that one day I might be rich and famous.

I still may be someday, but that is no longer a consideration for why I write. I am not as concerned about selling books as I am being read. I would much rather sell 10 books to people who read and share them than 100 that sit in a shelf picking up dust, nothing but literary furniture.

I’ve read much about freebies, and I used to think it pointless, even counter-productive. How will I become rich and famous giving away books?

I see things differently now, and I think, better.

I have a novel, Prince, scheduled for launch on November 6th of this year, and I’m trying a couple of things marketing-wise that strategically places some tasty giveaways.Continue Reading

7 Been-There-Done-That Tips on Formatting, Taxes, Amazon, Reviews and More [Guest Post]

Duolit’s note: Like Cara dished last week, surprises abound when travelling the self-pub road. While we know that everyone’s experience will differ, Yasmin Selena Butt (a rockin’ friend to Duolit) offered to dish the dirt on the potholes she encountered while publishing her debut, Gunshot Glitter. Nothing like being forewarned, right?

As Yasmin told us, “if I was going to pass on anything, this is what I’d whisper in your ear…”

1) Formatting an eBook

Do not think of your eBook as a paperback!

I spent countless hours re-formatting the text – only to find, when I formatted for Amazon Kindle, it was better to wipe it all. Why? Because it is easier and safer to format a ‘clean’ document, than one that’s potentially embedded with a load of hidden or inappropriate formatting.

However, do refer to your master version (or a print copy) so you know where all your appropriate formatting should be added back in. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open your novel.
  2. Hit ‘Select All’ (or the equivalent, if not in MSWord) and ‘Copy’
  3. Open Notepad (or your equivalent) and ‘Paste’
  4. You will see your novel stripped down to just basic text. Don’t panic — this is perfect, trust me. ‘Select all’ and ‘Copy’ again.
  5. Open a new document in MSWord (or your equivalent) and ‘Paste’.
  6. Save it under a NEW filename. Remember, your Master is SAFE – you have it as back up.
  7. Now you have a brand new, unformatted completely clean version of your novel. Hurrah!
  8. Let the real formatting fun begin.  Note: if you are publishing direct to the Amazon Kindle Store, you can also upload your final copy as a .doc file. It really can be that simple.

For more formatting advice, visit Jo Harris’s website and the Smashwords style guide.Continue Reading