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Self-publishing audiobooks with Kobo Writing Life: Interview with Nick Coveney

Before we start talking about audiobooks, can you give us a quick intro to Kobo Writing Life?

Launched in 2012, Kobo Writing Life is a global DIY publishing platform that empowers authors to take their publishing career into their own hands. With Kobo Writing Life, you own your rights, set your prices and can distribute your books in any country you choose. We don’t ask for any exclusivity, so you are free to publish wherever else you please. We are a small team of industry experts with a big vision and an enormous passion for books, we are proud of our reputation as the most author-friendly platform out there.

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10 ways for authors to save money on editing

Track ChangesLisa Poisso is a fiction editor and book writing coach working with independent authors and new authors seeking representation. Lisa helps emerging authors tune their manuscripts to publishing industry standards and craft commercial fiction that resonates with readers. Find her at Lisa Poisso, follow her on Twitter at @LisaPoisso, or like her on Facebook. This guest post originally appeared on Lisa’s site.

As an emerging author, you may be frustrated to discover that you shouldn’t follow the lead of experienced authors when it comes to your editing budget and saving money on editing. The editing needs of seasoned authors are much different from those of new authors. Writers at earlier stages of their careers need strong developmental guidance; no amount of copyediting spit and polish will keep readers turning the pages of a lackluster story.

Yet content editing (also known as developmental editing) is the most expensive type of editing. I see you doing the math in your head: The most expensive kind of editing is the most important kind to get for the authors who have the least money to spend and the smallest chance of directly recouping that investment. It’s an unavoidable process. The better the editing you get in the early stages of your career, the more you’ll learn about writing and revision and the faster your story crafting and writing skills will level up.

In the meantime, you’re not without alternatives. Effective ways to save money on editing are well within your reach at every stage of your writing career, which helps you afford the editorial services that benefit you the most.

1) Tell editors your budget up front

Don’t blindly fish for rates and bids when contacting prospective editors. Tell them your budget range right up front, and then send them your manuscript so they can assess your editing needs. Would a manuscript evaluation be a good alternative to a content edit for your book? Is your manuscript strong enough to go straight to substantive editing? Get a sample assessment and talk with your editor.

2) Turn in clean copy

Most editors don’t have set rates for their services; they base their quotes on how much work they’ll have to do to your copy and how long that will take. The sloppier your manuscript is, the higher your editing rate will be. So read through your final draft several times to save money on editing. Run spellcheck. Try a service like Grammarly or EditMinion.

3) Develop your writing skill

If you shrug off the hard work of revisions and rely on an editor to tie up every dangling plot thread and dangling participle, you consign yourself to higher editing rates for the duration of your writing career. Don’t laugh off your errors and leave them for the editor to catch. Learn your business. Hone your craft.

4) Schedule your edits early

Three to six months isn’t too soon to begin finding the right editor you’d like to work with. If you want to work with the kind of editor who applies multiple review processes to your copyedit and thoughtful deliberation to your content edit, you don’t want an editor who’ll return your manuscript in a week. And sure, you could pay rush fees, but those can run to 100 percent or more of a project’s base fee.

5) Choose the right number of editing rounds

Some editors keep costs low by charging by the editing “round”; once they’ve finished that particular draft (no matter how many “passes” they themselves make during the process), that round is considered complete. Paying by the round could save you money unless you hope to go back and forth with your editor over several revisions. In that case, find out if you’ll get a discount for subsequent rounds (this is how I handle things) or, for editors who offer multiple revision rounds in their base rate, how many rounds are included in the price of the edit.

6) Handle the cleanup yourself

Some editors send the edit to the author for review and approval, then make all the adjustments to the manuscript themselves. While this reduces the potential for error, it raises the cost of the edit. To save money, choose an editor who lets you accept and reject your own edits and do your own post-revision cleanup.

7) Try crowdsourcing your proofreading

Once all the editing is said and done, it’s time for one last check: proofreading. Your editor may provide this service; I do not, because I feel that your manuscript needs a fresh set of eyes at this point in the game. You could hire a professional proofreader, but you may be able to save money on editing by farming this out to eager family and friends who’ve volunteered to help. Keep in mind that you’ll need to carefully vet their recommendations; their knowledge of current grammar, style, and usage or storytelling conventions will not always be on target. Ask your editor about reviewing their suggestions as part of your editing followup or for a very low rate.

8) Don’t waste your resources squeezing a lemon

It has to be said: No amount of line or copy editing can fix a clunker with a lifeless story. If your editor recommends stepping back from a final-stage edit like line editing, take heed. And if you’re not sure whether what you’ve written is ready for prime time—or professional editing—investigate with a more affordable assessment like a new author review or a plot checkup.

9) Look for package pricing

Remember that advice about cleaning up your copy in order to get a lower rate? Editors can afford to offer lower prices on subsequent editing services because your manuscript will be in better shape after the earlier edits. You’ll save money on editing by taking advantage of editing packages to get more services at lower rates.

10) Once you find an editor you click with, stick with them

Most editors provide special rates, discounts, or scheduling perks to established clients. I offer an established client discount and the ability to pencil in future edits on my schedule without a deposit until another author wants to book the same dates. Stick with your editor for similar insider treatment.

10 tips for authors to up their book marketing skills

rachel-thompson-225x300-225x300Rachel Thompson is a bestselling author, and a social media and author marketing/branding consultant (BadRedheadMedia). Here she shares her top 10 tips for author self-marketing.

Many authors are intimidated by the thought of marketing their books. As I mention in a post on my blog recently, the concept of an author platform makes most writers run away or start talking to the dust bunnies in the corner.

The basic premise of book marketing is this: write great books that people want to read, then effectively market them. If you’re self-published, use professional editors, designers, and formatters so your book looks amazing. I self-published my first three books and invested in those services through scrimping and saving. Now you can crowdfund. It’s doable.

If you’re traditionally published, you will still be doing the majority of your own marketing. I have an agent now and am published by a boutique literary agency out of NYC. While they do a small bit of marketing, I do 90%. My BadRedhead Media clients are a mix of NYTimes bestsellers and successful indie authors, and they too are doing all their own marketing.

You must market your books so people can find them. Here are my top ten tips:

1) Know your demographic

Who is your ideal reader? Most authors have no clue (I know I didn’t at first either). The best place to start: Pew Research Center. Tip: Everyone is not your demographic.

2) Where is your ideal reader spending time online?

That’s where you need to be. Most authors spend their time on Facebook, whining about how their books aren’t selling. Facebook is the largest social media channel in the world – but is it where your readers are? If your books are YA, you need to be on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube, which skews younger.

3) Be social on social media

Too many authors blast and spam, with little to no interaction, which is not only ineffective, it also violates almost every social media channel’s rules. Listen, retweet and share, interact and reply. It’s not all about you. And for all that’s holy, cancel that automated welcome on Twitter. Newbie mistake.

4) Blog at least once weekly

This is effective for your SEO. Not sure what to blog about? Focus on your branding and keywords. What are you most excited about? Remember, we brand the author not the book. Write about what you are authentically passionate about or an expert in (Hint: it doesn’t have to be writing!).

5) Add your social media icons to your website and blog

This is seems so obvious, but so many authors don’t do it. If you make people search for ways to find you, they’re out.

6) Add your books to your site/blog

One author complained recently that nobody was purchasing her books. I looked at her site and you couldn’t find a single purchase link anywhere! Lesson: add your books and link to Amazon (and other purchase sites).

7) Be authentic

Not sure what to tweet/post/blog about? It’s really easy: what interests you? Share that, even if it’s not at all about your book. So what? Unclear about your branding? Read more here: Branding 101.

8) Use tools to manage it all

I love tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, CoSchedule, ManageFlitter, and content aggregators (there are many) that shorten and organize my online time. Most offer free options and are zombie-easy to use.

9) Have a plan, work the plan

I find most authors will flit from here to there, trying a bit of this and a bit of that, with no strategy or clear goals in place. Create a marketing plan, have goals, and measure those goals. Reset as needed.

10) Above all else, write a damn great book

None of the above will matter if your book is awful. Learn your craft. Spend the time and effort to work with a professional editor, formatter, and graphic designer. Use betareaders. Send out ARCs. Make sure your book is as close to perfect before release to have the best possible chance at success!

Startup Snapshot: Scriggler

Dmitry Selemir was once a physicist and hedge fund rocket scientist PM, and is now the founder and CEO of Scriggler.com, ‘the Soundcloud of writing platforms‘. We interviewed him here.20160826_132004

1) What exactly is Scriggler?

We define Scriggler as a writing, blogging and debating platform, but it is a lot more than that. It combines elements of social network, blogging platform and, above all, it is a community with the goal of not just providing its members with an opportunity to present their work, their opinions and ideas, but to give them a voice, by providing a significant promotional support both within the Scriggler membership circles and outside.

It’s all about helping our members reach out to a much wider audience than they otherwise would be able to and also about helping readers discover stories, poetry, opinions and ideas that would resonate with them the most.

2) What problem does it solve?

The problem is exactly what any new author will be faced with – how do you get your work in front of people and ultimately make sure they are prepared to buy your books. Most still appear to think the solution is to write more books or write better books until you get noticed by an agent/publisher and they take care of the rest. In reality, whether you self-publish or go conventional way – arguably it’s your ability to get visibility, build your author platform that counts the most and publishers look at that ability as one of the major factors, books themselves almost come secondary. After all, they are in the business of selling books, not rewarding literary merit.

What Scriggler aims to achieve here is to help our members through the most difficult stages of audience acquisition – their very first steps. We don’t just get their work seen, we help them develop the whole package – their social media presence, their website, newsletter; experiment with the strategy to find what works best for them. We also encourage them to find similar authors to partner with, either creatively or purely for promotion.

We don’t forget about the bigger picture too. Scriggler is open to all genres and topics and is certainly not confined to showcases of fiction and poetry – our members share opinions, ideas, blogs, etc. It opens up the membership to a much wider mix of people, it’s not just writers mingling with each other. It also ensures much more diverse conversations and increases the chances of our contributors to connect with the actual audience, not just fellow writers, after all selling your books to other authors is a pretty difficult, if not impossible, task.

It all contributes to our ultimate goal of becoming an intellectual and cultural blender, where all views and ideas are well represented.

3) Who is your target market?

There are two distinct parts to Scriggler – one is the website itself and the free services we provide, the other is additional, premium services, like our Twitter management and book promotion service. When talking about target market it makes sense to talk about these separately.

The free service is designed to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, we are open to all genres and topics and certainly, would like all of them to be well represented.

The premium part is designed for people who would benefit from higher visibility – for example, those actively developing their author platform. Primarily the services we currently offer concentrate on social media and predominantly Twitter, where we take advantage of both our expertise and current presence. This is the area we would like to expand on, making sure we give our audience access to as diverse a list of services and tools as possible. We don’t necessarily need to be the sole provider – so we are very much open to partnerships.

4) What results do you hope to see over the next few years?

We have big plans, of course, and some, particularly ones concerning future development, I would prefer to keep under wraps for the time being.

Right now we are focused on growth of the already sizeable community behind the website, our ability to impact on the discovery and distribution of our contributor’s content. We would like to see more success stories from our members and certainly want to be a big factor behind it. I will also be looking to expand the team behind the website, ideally bringing in a new co-founder with publishing background.

5) What will be next for Scriggler?

In the immediate future, we’ll hold our current course – expand the social media presence and grow both the user base and the readership and start building relationships with other industry participants – anyone who would help us have more impact on the careers of our members.

Startup snapshot: Leanpub

len_eppLen Epp is a Co-Founder of Leanpub. He wrote a doctorate in English Literature before working as an investment banker in London, so enjoys wearing the seemingly contradictory hats of resident corporate finance and literary type person at Leanpub. We interviewed him about Leanpub here. 

1) What exactly is Leanpub?

Leanpub is a book writing platform combined with a bookstore that pays a royalty of 90% minus 50 cents per sale. Leanpub is primarily used by self-published authors, and also some small publishers. To suit the preferences of different types of authors, we’ve built Leanpub so that you can write books in Word, in the browser, or in plain text; or, if an author wants to upload an ebook they have made themselves, they can also upload their book in PDF, EPUB and/or MOBI format.

2) What problem does it solve?

One big problem that Leanpub solves is: How can you build an audience while you are writing your book?

Our answer is to publish your book before it is finished, and then add new chapters and publish new versions until you are done. Leanpub is built around this idea, which has many benefits both for authors and for readers; for example, it lets the author get feedback early, and build a loyal following of readers who can help her improve her book (and it’s also great for publishing serial fiction, of course).

3) Who is your target market?

Leanpub is currently most popular with authors of technical books, partly because our “Publish Early, Publish Often” model is especially valuable for people who are writing or reading about cutting-edge technologies that are subject to rapid change. However, our target market is actually all self-published or indie authors, and we are doing more to try to attract new types of authors, especially fiction authors. Personally, I would love to see people start publishing in-progress books that follow political events, like election campaigns.

4) What results do you hope to see over the next few years?

We hope to see our model of in-progress publishing catch on for both fiction and non-fiction books. It is very rewarding to build an early audience and it can help improve the quality of the final version of the book, which can of course be taken up by a conventional publisher when it is finished. Many of our authors also find this model inspires increased motivation to write, as you have readers out there waiting for the next chapter.

We expect that the next few years will bring a lot of growth in the market for self-published ebooks. In some quarters this is considered to be a controversial view; for my own views on the matter, please see my article ‘On The Dark Matter Of The Publishing Industry‘.

5) What will be next for Leanpub?

The next big thing for Leanpub is to work more on building community within the Leanpub platform. We want to encourage communication between authors and readers, and readers and readers. This will include lots of development work on our reading app (currently the app is available for iOS users, and we will be adding an Android app as well).


The business of books: Only connect

At the launch of BookMachine’s Snapshots III I kicked off the talks by raining hard on the book industry parade. (Sorry.)

While I was on holiday in Dorset last week I wandered into a charity shop in a pretty market town and remarked on the number of books they had crammed onto their shelves. The woman behind the counter said wearily: ‘We’re not taking any more books. Everybody’s getting rid of them and nobody wants them.’

She didn’t know I was a book person. She had no idea she’d just delivered a punch to my gut. It’s not the sort of thing people in my world, and my social media bubble, tend to say. But it is of course true, or at least there’s truth in it.

As publishers, we spend our time with people who love and appreciate books. This is NOT THE REAL WORLD. For many people in this country books are an outdated technology. An irrelevance.

The Reading Agency reported last year that:

  • 44% of of young people aged 16-24 don’t read at all for pleasure (for older adults, that figure is 36%)
  • Only 26% of 10-year-olds say they like reading

And for an industry that makes its money from the sale of books it’s a perfect storm because, as fewer people want to buy books, more books are being published than ever before at lower prices than ever before.

So what’s the answer? Well, there’s no one answer. There never is. But we can find AN answer, I believe, in the creating of connection.

We already know that for many readers a book is interesting only when it’s connected to something else, something beyond the book, that has meaning for them. If they love Bake-Off, they’ll buy the book. If they’re a devoted fan of the YouTuber of the moment they’ll queue up for a signed copy, if they’re at an event with a great speaker, they’ll buy the book at the back of the room, if they’re in a book club they’ll buy the book they’re discussing: they need a reason, they need a connection.

When we write and publish today, we’re engaging in a battle for attention that’s more sophisticated and segmented than ever before. The people who really get this are the platform builders like Pat Flynn, Seth Godin, Jeff Goins, Joanna Penn, Hugh Howey, Denise Duffield-Thomas – and many of these are indie authors because they want control and they can reach their people directly. They have podcasts, blogs, YouTube channels, businesses: they have fans and/or customers instead of a sales force, and their book reaches new readers who become new fans and/or customers. It’s the attention they’re monetising – for many of them the revenues from the book itself are just a side benefit.

When rapper Akala spoke at Futurebook last year, revealing that his self-published books outsell CDs at his gigs, he asked ‘Why would I need a publisher? I have my own customer base.’

The good news is that books have an irreplaceable role in this new online/offline economy of connection and attention, but we have reached a tipping point: readers need a reason to read them. They need meaningful context. And the most powerful reason is always human connection – directly with the author, or with other people who’ve read and loved the book. Which means that publishers need to find ways to support authors to find their tribe and build their platform.

If we don’t respond to that challenge, if we don’t recognise that we’re in the business of making people care and connecting them, we’re simply adding to an undifferentiated pile of books that nobody has a reason to read. We also risk being left with a world in which only celebrities or business-savvy authorpreneurs can succeed in the book market.

Publishers have traditionally thought of themselves as gatekeepers, but once the walls have come down it’s a bit pointless continuing to stand beside the gate. And, even worse, if you insist on standing there you’re going to miss the party that’s going on inside.

Maybe a better metaphor for our future is as table hosts. Publishers don’t own the venue any more, it’s not even our party, but we CAN host part of it: we can lead the conversation in our area, give a voice and a platform to people with something interesting to say, we can make ours the table everyone wants to come to, where the best conversations happen and the most interesting connections are made. We can be where the party is.

And that’s much more fun than guarding the gate, right?

future of the bookAlison Jones (@bookstothesky) is a publishing partner for businesses and organizations writing world-changing books. She also provides executive coaching, consultancy and training services to publishers. www.alisonjones.com. 


4 steps for building an author brand

This is a guest post from Ricardo Fayet. Ricardo is an avid reader and startup enthusiast who has been studying the publishing industry with interest for several years. He co-founded Reedsy, to help authors collaborate with publishing professionals.

Branding is often an oversight for many authors. With so much else to focus on, creating a brand for yourself and your book can seem trivial, but creating a brand from the outset could be your key to success.

With so many books available, both in print and online, most consumers are only looking at your book for a few mili-seconds while browsing through an online or physical store. That’s where your “branding” comes in. If the customer immediately identifies your book as ‘yours’ and remembers having seen the pattern elsewhere, they’ll pay attention to it. Online retail search algorithms also make it easy for readers to see all the ebooks in a series (or by the same author) at once. If they all have the same strong visual identity, you will appear to readers as a professional and prolific author in your genre.

But what does ‘branding’ actually mean? Branding means creating a clear and distinct image for yourself (a “brand”) that differentiates your books and authorship from others. Communicating your brand successfully entails keeping consistency throughout your work. You are essentially making a promise to your readers. If someone enjoys one of your books they will look for more.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide that should get you started:

1) Decide what you want your brand to say

Essentially this involves determining who you are as an author and what you want to be known for. For example, do you want to be known for chick-lit, or young adult fiction? As this will be the foundation of building your brand it can be hard to reverse later on, so make sure you are certain.

2) Are you branding yourself or a series?

If you are writing a series of books then you may decide to brand the series. This is the easier option because it gives you a clear focus and audience to aim your brand at. If not there is the option to brand yourself as an author or brand your work around a niche genre, as indie author Ben Galley did with the ‘Western Fantasy’ genre and his Scarlet Star Trilogy series (read more about this here).

3) What if I want to write in different genres?

Choosing to brand yourself within a specific genre is a long term commitment. Some worry that creating a genre brand will limit them creatively but this is not true. If you don’t want to commit to one genre, you can use different pseudonyms to differentiate between genres. Similarly, with a series, you can use different names to make your branding easier. For example, Madeleine Wickham writes under ‘Sophie Kinsella for a specific series, and as Madeleine for her other novels. She uses similar style covers to create sub-brands.

author brand

Whether she is writing as Wickham or Kinsella, her work is instantly recognisable.

Alternatively, if that doesn’t work for you I’d recommend at least trying to find some consistencies within your work to use as a hook for your brand. This could be something as simple as setting all your of work in the same location, or always making reference to a particular animal or flower. Bear in mind that the more niche your genre, the easier it will be to build a brand and get recognised. Amish fiction is a very alternative genre and thus it has been easier for authors Beverly Lewis and Wanda E Brunstetter to build a brand and become ‘reference’ authors in that genre.

4) How to build the brand?

Once you have established what you want for your brand, it’s time to take action:


The simplest way to start establishing your brand is through your book covers. This is easier with a series, as you can create extremely similar and interconnecting covers like the Hunger Games series.

author brand 2

If you are branding yourself as an author, the cover is still important. Using the same font, complimentary colours and similar layouts will make your brand recognisable. Self-published authors Bella Andre and Mark Dawson make their names the biggest feature on the cover, which draws the eye to their name, thus reinforcing their brand.

They also have a clear visual identity for each of their series. This has several impacts:

  • It makes their name immediately recognisable in a sea of ebooks
  • It makes their series immediately recognisable as well

author brand 3 author brand 4

Using the same style of images, illustrator or photographer and keeping the layout consistent, can be an especially good technique. Judy Moody, for example, always uses the same illustrative style for her children’s books and her covers are instantly recognisable.

author brand 5

If you are struggling to come up with ideas, drafting profiles/personas of your target audience can help you gauge what will appeal to them visually. If in doubt, consider your favourite authors; what attracted you to them in the first place.

It’s not all about the cover, though! Think as well about the interior layout of your book, and, if possible, hire the same designer to both do all of the covers and all of the interiors in the same series. The interior design of a book doesn’t have the same “eye-catching” role as the cover, however it is vital to the reading experience, and works more subliminally in the reader’s mind.

Online Presence

author brand 6

Keeping font, colour schemes and layouts consistent throughout your website design and social media reinforces your brand. The aim is for your website to instantly show your brand. Coming back again to the example of Amish fiction, Wanda E Brunestetter’s website leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to what her books are about.

If possible using the same handles across your social media makes it easier for readers to find you online. Another crucial element is to keep your tone and voice consistent on social media like Chuck Wendig. You’ll see him shouting, cursing, joking. And you know you can expect that from his books.

author brand 7

Hopefully these basic steps will get you started! Building up a brand can and will take time, and you won’t be able to see any results early on.  You will need to pair your newly formed brand with a killer marketing plan, to get your work noticed. But once you do,  it will be totally worth it, because readers won’t be just buying a book, they’ll be buying into your brand. They’ll keep coming back for more!


Getting a book noticed: 4 tips from the UK’s bestselling indie author

Rachel Abbott self-published her first novel, Only the Innocent, in 2011 through Kindle Direct. It reached the number 1 spot in the Kindle store just over three months later,held its position for four weeks and was the second highest selling self-published title in 2012. In August 2015, Amazon confirmed that Rachel is the UK’s bestselling independent author over the last five years. She is also listed at number 14 in the list of bestselling authors – both traditionally and independently published – over the same five year period. Here are her top tips for promoting a title.

The one question I am always asked by writers is “How can I get my book noticed?”. As we all know, it is possible to write the most brilliant novel in the world but, unless people know it’s out there, how are they going to find it amongst the millions of books available for the Kindle?

The tips below might help you to be noticed and to build and maintain a high readership.

1) Run an awareness campaign

Don’t only think about marketing activities that result in immediate sales – focus on making sure that people recognise your books, seeing them in as many places as possible. Display your covers: at the end of each email you send; in guest posts for popular blogs; in tweets or Facebook posts. Awareness is crucial to success. When readers see your book in a store you want them to think ‘I’ve seen that book before – it looks interesting.’

2) Develop a list of reviewers

Most bloggers post their reviews on Amazon and Goodreads as well as on their own blogs. Keep a list of the reviewers you like, and make sure you invite them to read the book before launch. Find other reviewers by searching similar authors, plus the word ‘review’. Send reviewers all the details they might need including what the book is about, the word length and genre. Good reviews create a desire for people to buy.

3) Build your mailing list

A perfect example of a marketing plan objective would be to increase your mailing list by 500 readers. Your actions might include putting a link to a sign-up page in the back of your books, running a promotion, creating a newsletter sign-up form for the author Facebook page, blog or website. Then you can send readers regular updates on the book launches.

4) Use social media tools to help you

It’s all so easy to get hooked on Twitter and be on their all day – but use scheduling tools to cut down on the time spent on social media. Remember the average Twitter user reads tweets for no more than 15 minutes per day and follows 270 people, so if you want to catch their eye, you need to tweet at regular intervals.

book marketing

Book Marketing Survey identifies the top 5 book promotional services

The latest Book Marketing Survey carried out by KindleBookReview provides a number of interesting insights into the best ways self-published authors should be promoting their ebooks. With over 300 indie authors participating in the survey, questions ranged from the best places to seek book reviews to how much money authors spend on promoting their books each year. In the second release of the survey, KindleBookReview asks authors about the best places to advertise their books, with recommended best practices to get the best from these book promoters.

The main take-aways

  • The majority of authors (68%) recommend using book promotion services to advertise their book.
  • 43% of authors in the survey often or occasionally use book promotion services to gain sales, downloads, reviews of their books.
  • The top 5 recommended promotional services all score over 60% in being “strongly recommended” or “recommended” by the authors in the survey.
  • The top 5 recommended book promotional services are BookBub, KindeBookPromotions, Ereadersnewstoday, Kindlenationdaiily.com, Bargainbooksy.com. Honorable mentions also go out to BookGorilla, Pixel of Ink and Freebooksy.
  • The top target audience sought by authors are “readers in my book genre who will purchase and review my book”.

Best Practices for authors in 2016

The results of this survey clearly indicate that book promotion services are a great way to advertise and promote your books.

The survey also looks at some of the best practices to ensure your book is accepted by these services. Many of them have waiting lists due to their popularity, and consequently have strict criteria for the books they decide to promote. So to get the best out of these services and be accepted by them, please follow the top 10 tips provided by KindleBookReview.

The full report is available here.


barlow books freelance

Author-pays publishing: Sarah Barlow Scott interview

Sarah Barlow Scott is the founder of Barlow Books, a team of freelance editors, and experts in design, production and marketing. The team run their our own businesses but work together in a new business model, providing everything from planning the book to distributing and marketing the final product. Here Norah Myers interviews her.

1) Please explain the idea behind Barlow Books. What makes it different from traditional publishing and other author services that are already available?

Barlow Books uses freelance editors and designers from traditional publishing. Like the traditional publishers, we have sales and distribution deals to get books into stores in Canada and the U.S. Unlike traditional publishers, we ask authors to pay up front for all services. In return they get 100% of revenues from the sale of books to readers.

2) What about this model appeals to you as an editor?

Authors get top-of-the-line editing and design at the same level they might expect from a traditional publisher. But if they’re prepared to invest in their books, they don’t have to wait and hope for a big publishing deal. 

3) How do you see this model fitting into the future of publishing?

It’s an important opportunity for those who have a mission, and want to get the word out via a professionally produced book, or for those who care about their brand, and don’t want to undercut it with a sloppily produced book.

4) What sorts of clients fit well with this model?

Authors with a mission. Authors who care about their brand. People on the speaking circuit who want to increase the number and value of their speeches.

5) What happens if you receive a manuscript that you think will be very successful, but the author can’t afford the fees?

We suggest the author raise the money, just as filmmakers do. Kickstarter and other crowd funders are a good place to start.

6) What advice would you give editors looking to work with this model?

We use top of the line book editors, people who have edited dozens of books for major publishers. We pay well. Contact me if you’re interested in working with us. I’m at sarah@barlowbooks.com.

Independent thinking: Designing covers for self-publishers

You’ve finished! There it is, your first novel. Phew. Now it’s the easy bit, right? Just self-publish it and its ‘Kindle Million Club, here we come’….

Wrong, but this is the thought process that many self-publishing authors still have. The successful independent authors I know all have one thing in common – they hire professionals, and they listen to them. And for us professionals, it means becoming something else – a guide.

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