The Dorothy Churchill Cappon Creative Nonfiction Award offers $1,500 plus publication. Deadline is May 18.
Authors know that pacing is impacted by how long a particular passage runs. Often the longer the passage, the more time readers experience passing. There is one important exception: when the scene involves high action or suspense.
In this case, one of the best ways to enhance the writing is to slow down. Focus on the details that a character pressed mentally into a high state of alert will notice, and feed those to the reader. Fear, panic and the awareness of danger tends to make people hyper-sensitive to those kinds of details, so providing them in the narrative will connect readers directly with the emotional tone of the scene.
Audible launched the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) in May of 2011. It gives authors a platform on which to expand their audience base and connects audiobook professionals with authors. It has its own fan base of listeners around the world.
After starting with 1,000 titles, they have helped create 26,000 people create audio titles from their works. The site offers a bounty payment of $50 every time an audiobook on their site is the first purchase of a new AudibleListener member.
Representatives of Publisher’s Weekly and Kobo, the ebook reader that is very indie friendly, both noted that the room where the self-publishing events took place was so crowded they could not see the front of the room. One had to use his cell phone to look over the crowd to see the speakers and panelists. This is only one of the many indicators of the popularity of self-publishing, and the extent to which it is disrupting (in a beneficial way) the old-school methods of the publishing industry as a whole.
At the Bologna publishing conference, a panel spoke about children’s publishing. It noted that a “nimble” approach was required…meaning that publishers had to be quick with distributing apps and other digital components to attract and engage readers.
One of the primary points to come out was that branding is a big deal even within juvenile arenas. No one can simply wait for Apple or Amazon to pick their product or app from the slew of incoming projects. Instead, publishers need to grab new opportunities for combining forces.
One of the newest things I’ve noticed lately is groups of authors teaming up to offer package deals on books. For a set price, usually equaling $0.99 for each book in the package, buyers get four, five, six or even twelve books at once. Authors copromote on their social media and often have found themselves achieving bestseller lists.
Writer’s Digest Conference happens in New York City Aug 1-3. Four separate writing tracks to personalize your experience, agent-led boot camps, their usual pitch slam, and a mini bonus conference on Friday evening.
Ebooks have become a substantial profit-maker for heritage publishers, Some houses are reporting that over 30% of their revenue comes from ebooks. With the lower costs, many people assume digital is a big area where publishers can thrive.
Authors have been confused about what they’re likely to see as their cut of the benefits of lower costs. While many indie authors find that they get about 70% of the price, heritage publishers are still holding the line at 25% for authors. This includes works they are looking to republish under new contracts that include digital rights for works that came out before digital was part of the marketing plan.
Many people don’t feel this is right. But comparisons to indie authors’ royalty rates don’t account for the fact that the indies have to finance all the marketing themselves. For first-time authors, receiving a contract from a traditional house (even a very small one) can still be the easiest and most cost-effective method of building their fan base.
The dynamics change for those who have already created indie success or who have built a fan base after several traditionally published novels. The case can be made that the publisher has little more to invest that laying out the ebook and distributing it…which can be done for under $1K total by freelancers. Heritage publishers still have a network of existing contacts that are the buyers of books. Foreign rights, too, can be sold more easily through a traditional house.
When deciding which way to go, consider where you are in your career as an author. It could make a big difference to your success down the road.
Recently I posted on the rise of publishing figures in 2012. Now we have the latest on 2013. Overall, publishing rose 1% that year. Not stellar but at least things continue to inch forward.
And considering that the total figures equal $15.05 billion in sales for just over 1,200 publishers, those figures are quite good indeed.
One of the best ideas to come about these days is turning kids into book reviewers. BiblioNasium is a growing digital network that has long supported literacy and independent reading among children. Their new platform allows kids to post advanced book reviews.
These are the readers of today, and the adult readers of tomorrow. Anything that supports them and makes them feel more engaged will help authors and publishers in the long run.
Keep these points in mind when you’re planning to indie publish a book:
–Anything except text adds a level of complexity that isn’t easily managed in ebooks. You might need a designer to help you lay out the interior if you have pictures, graphics or tables. Writer’s Resource can refer you to top-quality individuals for this.
–Links should be easy to navigate. This means if you link back to an earlier section, be sure to provide a link that returns readers to the place where they left off. Readers don’t want to have to use the “go to” feature to find the page they were reading.
–Publishers might spend thousands of dollars making sure the interior layout works well for readers. Pay attention to this component. An experience that allows readers to sink into the content without the distraction of setup flaws will enhance your career.
Quality counts. Give your readers what they want!
OHIOANA Book Festival takes place in Columbus, OH May 10. Includes children’s activities and food trucks outside the Fort Hayes Metro Education Center.
Huffington Post rounded up some eye-popping bookplates to personalize your books here.
Forbes magazine used a number of metrics to estimate the figures Amazon won’t release to anyone about their sales. They found that roughly 43.7 million Kindle devices have been sold, including e-readers and tablets. They further estimate that each device averages 10 ebooks purchased totalling $530 million in annual sales.
This isn’t a surprise for authors. Amazon continues to be the prime mover of ebooks no matter who published the work.
From 2012 to 2013, legacy publishing grew 7% across the board. Specific categories like YA and fantasy saw, and are still experiencing, much higher rates classified as “hyper-growth” by Adam Gomolin on Book Business. He points out that it’s not about “fixing” a system that clearly isn’t broken. Instead it’s about optimizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the new model.
That includes internet marketing plans for authors, harnessing digital and mobile devices for reading and discovery, and the continuously sticky issue of distribution. Crowdfunding services received a special note from Gomolin because they can provide capital to small presses and indie authors.
If you’re interested in help, contact Writer’s Resource. The DIY marketing plan, which is heavy on free or low-cost digital options, has lifted authors to Amazon bestseller status. A bulk sale program can move 100 copies minimum at a time, and articles and interviews can be created and submitted on your behalf to different outlets.
Take charge of your future. Whether you’re in with a top publisher or going it alone, make your book a success in this time of growth and change.
Books-In-Progress Conference happens in Lexington, KY June 6-7. Featuring guest speaker Ann Hagedorn, bestselling nonfiction author of Wild Ride.