#TraditionallyPublished vs. #SelfPublished Authors

August 22, 2015 8 comments

I happened to read (for the first time) The Hindu interview I did on August 7, 2015, and was aghast. The writer, obviously, has no clue what self-publishing is all about, despite the long email interview I typed up for her explaining how it all works. Here’s part of her article (obviously her interpretation of the state of publishing):

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“We are all familiar with the story of an unpublished writer. He has spent a year or more writing a book, keeping it a secret from almost everyone. Then, he spends another year writing to all the publishers he can find. Soon after, snooty rejection letters start trickling in, and the story ends slowly with the writer getting himself a job.

However, the onset of self-publishing has pierced a severe dent in this clichéd story. Though the “serious” breed of writer will never want the ignominy of having to publish his own work”
***
Only ‘serious’ work from traditionally published authors? Really?

There are excellent books that traditional publishers have published; that goes without saying. But how do you explain the 50 Shades trilogy, all the ‘campus lit’ books penned by ‘serious’ authors?

I might be wrong, but I don’t recall them being complimented on the quality of their writing (or editing).

Serious Indies (Independent/self published authors) spend serious money on quality editing. To call us ‘non-serious’ is not only elitist, it is derogatory: not the kind of ignorant/disparaging comment I would expect from a newspaper like The Hindu.

I need to put in a note here: I *chose* to self-publish. I declined a traditional publishing contract in order to do that. So this downgrades me from serious to non-serious? Wow! Imagine that!

I have been noticing more and more that these reporters ask for interviews, then cut and paste things out of context. One of the interviews I did with The Times of India talked about self-publishing in the same breath as vanity publishing. This, despite the fact I took the time to explain the difference. That paragraph was just hacked off, probably because it didn’t fit in the word count prescribed for the article.

I don’t want to turn this into a battle between ‘us’ (the Indies) and ‘them’ (the traditionally published). All of us work hard on our books and deserve to be judged by the quality of our writing, and not how we chose to be published.

I’m seriously ticked off. I think it is time ‘serious’ Indies in India talked about this. I’ll be at the Publishing Next conference in Goa, Sept 11-12. If you want to discuss this, please find me at my panel and we’ll connect.

#TraditionalPublisher #contracts and #LiteraryAgents

May 22, 2015 3 comments

Here’s an extract from a must-read article on HuffPo:

“One of the things I learned is that publishers often change their contracts to give themselves more favorable terms. Agents who are paying attention pick up on the differences and understand the ramifications. Agents who aren’t, don’t.”

AND

“… … a few year ago, Simon & Schuster removed four sentences from the end of the rights reversion clause. These sentences defined the sales threshold, which states that rights will revert to the author if the number of sales drops under a specified amount. Removing these sentences meant that if the publisher also bought digital rights, the book would in effect never go out of print, and the publisher would own the rights to the work in perpetuity.”

The article states that you can’t necessarily depend on your literary agent to catch these for you, so be vigilant about what you’re signing away.

Click here for the rest of the article.

#TraditionalPublisher or #Self-publishing Scam?

May 19, 2015 5 comments

Lately I’ve been getting lots of invites from “Traditional Publishers” offering to publish my books for me. I’m always leery of such ‘offers’ because many of these outfits are self-publishing scams dressed in traditional publisher clothing.

Some quick and easy ways of checking if the traditional publisher is legitimate (though they are getting smarter by the year):

* Is the publisher’s website geared to the reader (as it should be), or are they in the business of selling you, the writer, services or ‘packages?’

* Is it a digital-only publisher? Frankly, I don’t see how this is beneficial to the author. Instead of a one-time payment to your editor / book cover designer / ebook formatter, you’re now paying a lifetime of royalties. If you have also been asked to pay for these services (in addition to the royalties) definitely stay away. Self-publishing is so easy – create an account on Amazon, smashwords etc and upload your book. Why would you hand over your rights to someone else for this effort?

* Are they asking you to pay for publishing your book? Stay away.

* Typically, traditional publishers have provided the author access to in-store distribution, which was what authors wanted / needed. But things are in such a flux now that it is hard to know whom to trust.

I wish I could say only scummy self-publishing outfits are demanding payment for publishing a book, but I find that (in India, at least) traditional publishers – the big established-for-decades ones – are also selling services on the sly. I’ve heard of a few of them offering to publish a book and provide in-store distribution for these books, provided the author ponies up hundreds of thousands of rupees. Not only that, these established traditional publishers are then pressuring the author to buy up the entire print run so the publisher can declare the book a success. If this isn’t smarmy, I don’t know what is.

Jane Friedman also deal with this on her own blog. Click here for her take on it.

#Publishing #Scams, Traditional Publishers and #AuthorSolutions

April 29, 2015 Leave a comment

David Gaughran has a post out this week which is absolutely a must read for anyone wishing to self-publish.

“Aside from providing a false veneer of respectability to Author Solutions’ operations, the only role that the partnering publisher plays is to provide “leads” to Author Solutions, and then sit back and collect the royalty checks. In short, these publishers are pimping out their brand as bait for the Author Solutions scam.”

Click here for David Gaughran’s entire post.

#IndieRecon 2015 and #TheIndiaReadathon

April 14, 2015 Leave a comment

There are a couple events this week that I’m part of. 

The India Readathon which aims to introduce the reader to self-published books set in India. You may register as a reader if you wish to read, free of cost, the latest in Indian self-publishing (not to be confused with vanity publishing). Authors are also invited to register their books. All we require is that your book have some Indian connection. The nationally of the author is not relevant.

BRB Banner Final Option 2

The second event is The Indie Recon 2015.

Stealing this from The Book Designer (since I’m also part of this event. — Rasana)

Is this the online event of the year for indie authors? It just might be.

What is IndieRecon?

“Three packed days of advice and education about self-publishing and reaching readers. PLUS this year: a live-streamed Indie Author Fringe Festival, from the London Book Fair.”—IndieRecon.org

Who else is involved?
IndieRecon is being run this year in conjunction with the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), one of the best of the author-centric groups for indie authors.

Who will be there?
Organizer Orna Ross has put together an unbelievable group of almost 50 successful indie authors and publishing industry insiders. See the whole lineup here: IndieRecon 2015 Speakers

What can I expect?

Nitty gritty details on self-publishing basics like pricing, distribution, and formatting from top industry professionals.
Learn to build your marketing and publicity skills.
Chat with NY Times bestselling authors Barbara Freethy and Belle Andre.
Fun contests and HUGE giveaways. (Hint – Begins with a KO and ends with a BO)
You can attend in your PJs. Need we say more?!
Discover some great new indie authors to read.
Learn about all the fab communities and tools out there for indie authors.
What does it cost?
It’s all free. Did I mention it’s free?

When is it?
April 15th-17th
The online conference is scheduled for April 15-16th 2014 with online seminars, workshops, discussions and master classes culminating in a reader-centered Indie Author Fringe Fest live from The London Book Fair’s Book and Screen Week, on Friday 17th April.

How do I find out more?
Complete Schedule: IndieRecon 2015 Event Schedulehttp://indierecon.org/events/

Register here: IndieRecon 2015 Registration http://indierecon.org/

******
Also, don’t forget to register at The India Readathon for the India-centric ebook readathon

Advice for Writers from Barbara #Freethy

April 8, 2015 2 comments
#1 NY Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy talks writing, publishing, and finding balance, plus gives her advice for new authors… Check out what she has to say then Read on for more information about this blog tour and all its great prizes!
You’re an icon in—not just the indie publishing community—but the publishing community in general. Your success is something to which we all aspire. In your opinion, what has been the greatest contributing factor to the success of your novels?
There are so many factors that contribute to a successful writing career and it’s hard to say which ones are the most important, but I do believe that publishing frequently helps to build an audience and also momentum. I don’t write as quickly as some authors do or as slow as others; I think I’m somewhere in the middle. But I try to put out 3-4 books a year and I think that helps keep my books in front of the readers. I also write what I love to read. Sometimes that means my books are not part of the hot trend of the moment, but that’s okay. I think it’s a mistake to try to chase fads. They blow out as quickly as they blow in. And, finally, I look at writing as my career. I work hard at it. I spend a lot of vacations at my computer. But it’s a really rewarding career, so it’s all worth it!
Writing and publishing books is not a business for the faint of heart. You have to be a risk taker. You have to be willing to speculate on your income and to be able to live through the slow times. You have to develop a thick skin, because rejection is everywhere: agents, publishers, reviewers, readers… We all know that books are subjective. But if you’re up for the task, writing can be an awesome career choice!
When did you start writing your very first novel, and did it ever get published? How has the world of writing change since you started out?
I wrote my first book when I was pregnant with my second child, who is now a young adult. It was eventually published as a Silhouette romance titled Promise of Marriage under the pen name Kristina Logan. The writing world has gone completely upside down and spun around a dozen times since I wrote my first book, but it’s an amazing time to be a writer now. There are so many opportunities for writers to get their books to the reading public. I’m thrilled for the writers who are starting out now, whether they want to be traditionally published or publish themselves. There’s more work. There are more changes. But there are also many more opportunities. Technology has brought many changes to the world of books, but readers continue to embrace new books, new formats, and—at the heart of every book—great stories. I don’t think great stories will ever go out of style.
What advice do you have for authors who are either aspiring to write their first book or are working overtime to try to get that book noticed?
For writers working on their first book, the most important thing you can do is write all the way to the end. Too many new writers get hung up in the middle or caught up in rewriting the beginning over and over again. To get over the hump, jump ahead in the story or just write something—anything—knowing you can fix it during the editing process. Until you write to the end, you don’t know what you don’t know. You have to experience the entire process of writing a novel. It takes dedication, determination and stamina to finish a book. But it’s hugely gratifying, and there’s no better experience than the actual writing.
For those writers who have published their first book and are working overtime to get it noticed, I would caution against spending all your time promoting that first book. What you really need to do is write the second book and then the third. You have to look at your writing as a career. More books will increase your audience faster than any amount of marketing you do. I urge an 80-20 split: 80% of your time should be spent writing and 20% on promotion.
Describe your writing process. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or something in between?
I am closer to being a pantser than a plotter, but I do always know at least the five main plot points of my story before I begin writing. But part of the fun for me as a writer is telling myself the story. I want to be inspired and surprised as I go along. It makes it more interesting to me. Of course, I would be able to write faster if I outlined, but it just isn’t the way my brain works. There’s no right way to write, just the right way for the individual author.
What was your reaction when you first found out you broke onto the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers’ lists? How did you celebrate?
Hitting #1 on the New York Times with my novel SUMMER SECRETS was an amazing moment, especially because it was my first self-published title. I celebrated with a lovely dinner out with my husband. What was even more astonishing was that the novel stayed on the NYT list for 5 weeks and since then I’ve had 19 more novels hit both USA Today and the New York
Times. It never gets old!
How do you find balance between writing, publishing, and promoting your books and the rest of your life? Any tips for the rest of us?
I have no balance whatsoever at the moment! I do try to do something in the world of exercise— take a walk or play tennis at least 3-4 times a week. And I also try to refill the creative well by reading and watching movies and television. Inspiration comes from everywhere, sometimes a song on the radio, a person that walks by, a sign on the road… I think it’s important for writers to be out in the world, because all our experiences provide the fabric for our stories!
Congrats on your groundbreaking, new partnership with Ingram to get the paperback editions of the Callaways out to the world. What about this opportunity has you most excited?
I’m thrilled to be able to bring my bestselling digital titles into print and have the books sold at physical bookstores throughout the country. Partnering with Ingram Publisher Services has allowed me to use their national sales team and distribution system to sell my books into Target, Barnes and Noble, airport bookstores and supermarket chains. I know that some readers still love their print books, so I want my readers to be able to read my books in whatever format they prefer. Until very recently print has been under the control of large publishing houses, but now print readers will have an opportunity to get titles by an Indie author, and I think it’s a game changer for the publishing industry!
About the Callaway Blog Tour & All Its Great Prizes!
This is the week you finally meet the Callaways! Not only are they all over the web as part of their extraordinary blog tour, but they are also out and about in your neighborhood. That’s right; we’re celebrating the print launch with Ingram by throwing a party all over the world! Make sure to follow this tour closely for your chance to win gift cards, swag, autographed books, and other incredible prizes. All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE.
Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment—easy to enter; easy to win!
To Win the Prizes:
1. Purchase any of the Callaway novels by Barbara Freethy (optional)
2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that’s where the HUGE prizes are)
About The Callaways:
Callaway Print Covers
The Callaways were born to serve and protect! In Barbara’s new connected family series, each of the eight siblings in this blended Irish-American family find love, mystery and adventure, often where they least expect it! Each book stands alone, but for the full enjoyment of the series, you might want to start at the beginning with On A Night Like This! Get the eBooks via
About the Author:
Barbara Freethy
Barbara Freethy has been making up stories most of her life. Growing up in a neighborhood with only boys and a big brother who was usually trying to ditch her, she spent a lot of time reading. When she wasn’t reading, she was imagining her own books. After college and several years in the P.R. field, she decided to try her hand at a novel. Now Barbara is a #1
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author loved by readers all over the world. Her novels range from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Learn more on her website, Facebook page, or in her Street Team.

#Scams in #Publishing

March 14, 2015 Leave a comment

My article today in scroll.in.

Incase the link doesn’t work for you, you can check this pdf on my blog.

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