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Posts Tagged ‘indie authors’

Two weeks ago, I tried an experiment.

As some of you know, in addition to this blog I have a Facebook page for my writing, which feeds through to my Twitter account. (I don’t like Twitter, but I’m not convinced it’s useless.) Posts here also go to my LinkedIn profile, to Google+, and to Tumblr.

I don’t have too many readers here—hundreds, but not thousands—and membership on my Facebook page is . . . modest, if you catch my drift . . . but I figured that this situation was the perfect foundation for a small experiment.

In short, I ran an ad. (more…)

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Going back over early notes for this novel, I realized that this project has been rattling around in my head for over a decade.

The first outline I wrote up has a note on the top: Tabled Jan 2004.

Initially, this was very depressing. (more…)

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Indie authors, take note:

Back in September, I reported of an unsolicited query I received from a representative of America Star Books (ASB), offering me a spot in their “Hot Indie Authors” brochure. This brochure was to be distributed at the Miami Book Fair, held the weekend of 20 Nov 2015. My response was essentially “Sure, go ahead; show me what you can do.”

Then I waited.

My intention, for reasons that are obvious to some, was never to enter into any agreement with ASB. I just wanted to see what (if any) result would come from being included in their brochure (if indeed that actually occurred). I also wanted to see what sort of communication I’d receive from ASB, and how much.

The results of this experiment both met and exceeded my expectations.

But not in a good way. (more…)

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ND Author Services

Since the day Gutenberg pulled the first sheet off his press, we’ve been told “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and for just about as long, we’ve done precisely that. It isn’t fair, but we do judge books by their cover and now, with the Big-Bang-like expansion of the self-published sub-industry, we probably do it even more.

For self-published authors, cover art is a morass of high cost and low quality. If you’re lucky enough to be an expert photo-manipulator, you may be able to create a decent cover, but even so, the costs of stock images and the complexity of rights and royalty limitations can be daunting.

I’ve created covers for some of my own titles. I’ve negotiated with photographers, fussed with fonts, and tried to apply the wisdom I’ve gleaned from those who do it for a living. I’ve had varying levels of success (the art for Unraveling Time and Cryptogenesis are probably my best), but I’ve never truly been satisfied. Still, whenever I’ve looked into contracting a graphic artist to create a cover, the prices have been out of my range, especially for shorter works which don’t have as high an earnings potential.

Enter ND Author Services.

ND Author Services (NDAS) is the publishing arm of the Hendee writing empire. The Hendees, Barb and J.C., are the authors of the best-selling Noble Dead Saga and other great series, and I’ve sent you over to NDAS before, to learn from some of their excellent articles on the business side of writing.

What most people don’t know is that J.C. Hendee is the talent behind most of their short-form covers. While all their long-form work is published by major houses, they self-publish all their shorter tie-in works, and J.C. crafts the covers. A while ago, I had the opportunity to look over J.C.’s shoulder and study how he builds layer upon layer of graphic elements to create his unquestionably high-quality covers. At the time, I could only dream of having cover art that good.

Now, however, we can all benefit from J.C.’s graphical talents, and you won’t believe how affordable it is.

NDAS began offering “pre-made” covers last year, and they now have an impressive gallery of artwork available for licensing. There are dozens and dozens of high-quality cover art on display, all organized into genre-specific categories. Select the artwork you want, and NDAS will customize it for your title, name, and other specifics. Then they’ll reserve that artwork for a year, so other authors can’t use the same piece.

You can license the work for e-book, print, or both, and here’s the kicker: the price for these is $30, $75, and $85, respectively.

Yes. You can get quality cover art for your electronic and printed book, both for only $85.

I know I sound like a shill, but anyone who has looked into hiring a cover artist knows that this is an incredibly low price, especially if you consider the quality of the work. I’ve paid more than that just to get the rights to a single photo to use in my covers.

Don’t see that perfect fit your title? No worries. NDAS offers services to create custom cover work, as well.

Trust me on this: if you are part of the self-publishing world, you really need to check this out. It may very well be the only cover art resource you need.

k

Typewriter

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A blog post has been going around lately, in which Hugh Howey (bestselling author and book industry watcher) attempts to debunk some myths about publishing. Specifically, he addresses the standard tropes that the fast growth of the e-book market is  (a) materially damaging publishers, and (b) decimating the independent bookstore market.

His post (which is a good read) pulls together simple graphics from sources such as The New Republic, Bloomberg, and Harper Collins’ own PowerPoint slides, and lays it out clearly.

  • Publishers are making more money from e-book sales than from hardcover sales.
  • Independent bookstores are thriving in this post-Recession economy.

As evidence of the first item, Howey shows how the profit margins publishers enjoy from e-book sales is nearly twice the margin provided from hardcovers. Publishers’ profits are not on the MSRP of a book of course, but on the wholesale cost of the book. So, in the graphic I’ve linked to on the right, keep in mind that the 41% and 75% profit figures are based on the publisher’s share of the MSRP (which are $13.72 and $10.49, respectively). (more…)

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