Writing Resources: Self-Publishing

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I was supposed to post up this blog-post hours ago, but I got distracted by Pinterest, and yeah I know I should try harder to fight my procrastination impulses. However, just in case anyone is curious as to what the hell snickerdoodle cookies are (and yes those are a real thing), now you know (and knowing is half the battle). Anyway, moving on to a more practical writing-orientated subject, I was reading this blog-post today:
Promotion: Amazon and Patreon by K. A. Cook

And I thought, that’s a shitty situation, there should easier ways for Authors to earn money through their writing. I know this picture is supposed to be a joke, but I think there might be some truth to it. Maybe Writers should start looking into the “Making t-shirts” industry or perhaps make black t-shirts with character quotes/pictures, snarky comments on writing or bad pick up lines. I’ve always wanted a shirt that says, “You must have fallen from heaven, that would explain how you messed up your face.” Oh I should get some sleep, I’m clearly not in the right frame of mind to write this post, oh well.

I also wanted to post up some links to Self-Publishing orientated websites and articles:
Self-Publishing – Writer’s Digest
Yes, You Can and Should Self-publish (Here’s Everything You Need to Know) by Jeff Goins
Where to Find Free Market Listings by Jane Friedman
5 Lessons in Publishing Success From Bella Andre by Jane Friedman
Self-Publishing – Writer Beware
Self-Publishing – The Creative Penn
9 Self-Publishing Fiction Writers You Should Follow Today by Joel Friedlander
Articles – The Book Designer
Let’s Get Digital – Dave Gaughran (especially his Publishing Is Rotten To The Core article)
A Newbies Guide to Publishing – JA Konrath
Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know by David Carnoy
How to self-publish an ebook by David Carnoy
Publishing – Duolit Self-Publishing Team
Self-Publishing Tool Kit: A Free Resource For Writers – Writer’s Relief
Blogging For Dollars – Problogger
How to monetize a Blog – Problogger

On an unrelated note, I found this NaNoWriMo Word Count Calendar, for anyone who might be interested in such a thing. I Also, for anyone who might want to set up a NaNoWriMo Library Group Thingy at their local library, the link is here:
NaNoWriMo – Library Outreach Guide

4 comments

  1. In some ways not having a visual sense is a benefit – I don’t find Pinterest all that distracting or even interesting. (But I get really distracted by words.)

    I’m the first to admit I’d make more money – but have less readers – if I were better at selling my books. But I’m really reluctant to do that because of accessibility. I rely on free reads being unable to afford books right now, and I’d rather give my books away than have people unable to afford them (as I always say, representation). It sucks that I can’t make a living income from my words, but that’s the state of the Western world with regards financing creativity at the moment…

    Also, in terms of looking for the future, giving books away now is the best way to build an audience for anything I want to sell later. (Something They Call Glory.) Seriously, you know how they recommend authors to blog to build an audience for their fiction? I can tell you that the stats on my outgoing links don’t hold this up – very few people go from my blog to my books/publications. It’s actually not worth blogging if I want to do it solely to promote my books. The reverse is far more true, in fact – my books promote my blog quite well. (Although most of my traffic comes from search engines.) Maybe it’s just me, and maybe it’s the fact I’m a dinky author on a dinky little blog creating not-mainstream words (and being annoyingly long-form about said words), but my conclusion is that the best way to build an audience as a fiction writer is to put fiction books out for free to begin with and keep consistently releasing works thereafter. This may be an incorrect evaluation for anybody else, but it does explain, to me, how I can have writer friends with very little online presence who are still picked up by queer romance presses!

    (I’m starting to find WordPress’s stats very, very interesting now that my blog is active enough, and getting enough traffic, to get actual statistics.)

    It’ll pay off, one day. I’m not there yet.

    (Besides, I’m an indie writer of decidedly non-mainstream fiction. The world is set up in a way that it is naturally harder for me to make a living income from my words – and I say this as a statement of fact, not a rant. The world is what it is.)

    If I had money I’d buy your T-shirts!

    Nice collection of links. You’re trying to ensure I do nothing but internet, aren’t you? 😉

  2. Yeah, my attention span is terrible, I did manage to delete a couple of pinterest boards. I need to do a complete overhaul of my social media stuff. However, thank you for stopping by and commenting, I was worried readers would think this was a lazy post, as I’m just posting up links to someone else’s content, but the self-publishing process is complicated and, to me, an important subject Writers need to be informed about (even if they never use it).

    That’s great now that you’re getting better traffic, mine’s pretty inconsistent but then again so am I, but that is a weird situation, I would have thought that blog lead to book, especially since I’ve noticed that so many authors now sell their e-books through their author website (I’m looking into the mechanics of it, although I should probably have a book to sell first). I think your evaluation of the situation is pretty spot on, it explains a few things I’ve noticed with successful author platforms.

    However, I think being a member of a specific niche market is a good thing, one of things that keeps popping up in my marketing research is “know your audience and tailor specifically to them” and you would know your audience better than anyone, especially as you’re also apart of that same audience. I just wish it wasn’t so hard, that there were more support and a more positive attitude towards reading (if that makes sense)

    Oh, no! My evil plan has been foiled again :D. You’re right though, I should be more pro-active

    • I think there’s different ways of blogging. Some of us are essayists. (Me? No, not at all. I never write essays.) Some of us are curators. I’m at a point where I’m trying to promote my words and my voice as a writer with books out there, so I really only curate on Tumblr (as an effort to make my Tumblr more active). You’re at a different stage as an author and as an editor/production professional, you’ve got a very different blog, and you’ve got a different goal in mind. And there’s nothing wrong with promoting other writers (I’m grateful for one) and providing people easy access to the information they need. That’s not a negligible amount of effort, IMO.

      I actually mean to write something about the Amazon process, because the KDP documentation is terrible and confusing. I had to ask people to figure out a few things, and then oddly enough it turned out to be simpler than the documentation made it sound. There’s a lot of stuff that just isn’t easy to find out.

      I know of a lot of authors who do their own online stores. It’s not that hard, these days. I’m not sure it’s something I want to pursue given my mostly-free model, but I think it’ll work better if one is already an established author.

      It seriously surprised me when I realised just how not effective my blog is in generating outgoing links to my books. I blog for other reasons, but the truth is that I’ve had more downloads of all my books put together via Smashwords alone than I have had total hit counts on my blog … and all I’ve had to do is put my books up on Smashwords and leave them there. Given that most of these downloads are happening by people not accessing the file through my blog, that says something about free books as marketing, I think! Right now I’m getting the same average of downloads per day on Death is Only a Theoretical Concept as I am hits per day on Queer Without Gender. That will probably change as my blog keeps growing, because people can come back to my blog over and over whereas they’ll download a book the once, but in terms of attention gained for effort, fiction – at least packaged as an ebook, not as a post – beats blogging. And if I keep on releasing books…

      (Things might change when I become more established as a blogger and author; I might get a regular audience on my blog without working so hard for it, and there’s not yet a great many posts on my blog. Right now my experience flies in the face of conventional wisdom handed out to beginning writers, though, and I think that’s interesting enough to mention. If I could advise anyone on the effectiveness of Things We Do For Free In Order To Promote Ourselves, I’d say, without hesitation, a well-designed-and-edited free ebook in terms of hit count versus ongoing effort/outlay.)

      I agree in part: it is probably easier to find a readership as a queer person writing in a smaller pond than it is to be a cishet person writing for a massive cishet audience – who finds you in the flood of cishet books? On the other side, though, I’m often writing for an audience lost in a (smaller) flood of cis m/m books, and it’s very difficult to categorise my books – vendors seldom have ‘transgender’ categories, never mind ‘non-binary’ categories. (One would be quite justified in thinking that queerness starts and ends with gay, lesbian and sometimes bisexual identities.) Asylum is in the ‘lesbian’ category on Amazon even though it’s not quite lesbian fiction; Death is in the ‘gay’ category even though its sequels will not count as m/m fiction. They don’t have a general ‘LGBT’ section, and I don’t even remember where I put Crooked Words. I have a very specific audience, which is great, but putting my words where they will be found by that audience isn’t always that easy.

      I wish there was a more positive attitude towards people paying money for reading but as I stand on both sides of the divide (as a creator who needs money and as a reader who can’t afford to pay) all I can say is that it’s quite confusing. If people who could pay took it on themselves to sponsor creatives however they can (buying multiple books, Patreon, donations, whatever), I think it would be a very cool thing in terms of valuing the arts. I’ve got a long list of authors to whom I’d love to donate money should I ever be in a position to do so.

      (One could argue that by putting my works up for free, I’m undervaluing my words, which is absolutely true, but if I don’t do that, how do I build an audience – never mind my personal philosophy on accessible representation? It’s a confusing moral question with no simple answer; I sure as hell don’t have one.)

      No, I think you’re doing just fine being you own blogging self. I don’t ever mean to knock curating as a blogging form when it does an important job.

      /end essay

  3. Reblogged this on Queer Without Gender and commented:
    My friend J. P. Kyle links my last post on Amazon and Patreon – and provides a great many links useful to self-published writers. It just so happens, however, to be a launching off-point for several essay-length comments about my experiences on self-publishing, blogging here at QWG and what it means to be a beginning/just-starting author…

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