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The Surprises of Self-Publishing: How to Roll with it and Still Kick Booty

The following is a guest post by Cara Alwill Leyba.

To say self-publishing feels a bit like the Wild West would be an understatement. After the gut-wrenching, obsessive decision to independently publish your work (should I just wait? What if I find an agent that can sell this? Am I ruining my career?), the real work begins.

I thought I had it all planned out. I had dates. I had launch parties lined up. I had blog tours scheduled. I was extremely neurotic organized.

And then Amazon published my book a month early.Continue Reading

Self-Publishing vs. Playing the Lottery: Embrace the Business Mindset (Instead of the Gambler’s)

The following is a guest post by Tracy Atkins.

The odds of winning $10,000 in the Powerball Lottery: 1 in 648,975.

The odds of successfully producing a top-100 selling book: 1 in 3,282.

The perceived odds of success are a big draw for many self publishers.

It seems like a no brainer and a gamble worth taking to create and release a novel to achieve fame and fortune. Like playing the lottery, some authors simply attempt to get rich quick, by rapidly writing and pushing out a book and then hope for the money to roll in.

In some ways, it is no different from stopping by a convenience store and buying a $2 lotto ticket. It is not, however, a strategy for real-world success and profit.

Taking a long-odds gamble rarely pays off, especially in publishing. Although it is easy to write a novel and release it upon the world for little to no outlay in cash or effort, the outcome you should expect isn’t the same as if you bought that Powerball ticket.

Yes, luck does play a part in both gambling and self-publishing, but luck must be tempered with reason.Continue Reading

5 Vital Self-Publishing Skills Learned from Working in Non-Profits [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Dana Sitar.

For most of us, writing and self-publishing are not our first steps into the professional world.

You’ve probably got educational and work histories littered with all kinds of ways to pay the bills, get a leg up, contribute to the world, and learn a little more about yourself. Adding publisher to that roster can be quite a jump.

What if your work as a self-publisher were more connected to the work you did before writing? I think it can be, no matter what that work was. By paying attention to the lessons you can learn at your “day job”, you can build a unique set of skills to apply to your writing and publishing work.

Before writing professionally, I worked and volunteered with non-profit organizations for three years. Here are some of the lessons I learned from that particular industry, and how they apply to my work as a writer now:

1. How to talk about money

For the introverted writer, this task is difficult on so many levels! Working for non-profits, I learned the importance of understanding the value of a service and knowing how to talk about it. I had to argue the need for funds before a council, prove the usefulness of my organization’s services, and explain how the money in a proposed budget would support those services.Continue Reading

Advertisements: A new eBook pricing strategy [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Richard Denoncourt.

If you could save six dollars on an eBook, but it meant flipping past a few advertisements during your reading experience, would you do it?

What if the advertisements were only at the beginning and end of the book, to keep the actual reading experience untainted?

What if they weren’t?

The question of putting advertisements into eBooks has been asked before, but not nearly as often as it should.

photo by uncafelitoalasonceLook at Facebook and Google.

At one point, over a billion dollars of Facebook’s worth came from ad revenues. Google generated more than six times that figure from ads alone.

Now, with tablets and color eReaders, clickable ads can be a reality in electronic books–and a major potential source of income resulting in cheaper eBooks for you, the reader, and larger advances and royalties for your pal, the writer, so she can keep typing away.

No one’s suggesting putting ads for carpet cleaners and insurance into The Great Gatsby, of course. But would you mind if the eBook version of Stephen King’s next novel came with an ad for James Cameron’s upcoming film? How about an ad for Netflix? Goodreads?Continue Reading

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Make Writing Your Full-Time Job? [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Amanda DeSilvio.

Many first time authors begin writing in addition to having a full-time job. It can be tough to make ends meet, so dropping everything to pursue your dreams of becoming a published author isn’t always a realistic choice.

However, any published author will tell you that finally publishing your work is a full-time job, even if you don’t get paid during the process.

The whole idea then seems like a catch 22, leaving many authors asking that inevitable question: How do you know when it’s time to making writing your full-time job?Continue Reading