Now’s Not the Time to Panic: The Perfect Gift for All this Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is behind us. So is Black Friday. As you come out of your turkey coma, it hits you: Christmas is only a few weeks away! Holy smokes!

We all have that hard-to-buy-for relative or friend who seems to have everything. And it’s those people in our lives we love the most but loath buying them a holiday gift. They have the newest gadgets, plenty of clothes, more books than some presidential libraries.

But they don’t have a publishing package. Yet. Continue reading

Digital Shorts: Grow your readership by keeping it short with e-book publishing

Did you know that a goldfish has a longer attention span than the average human? Yes. It’s true. As authors what are we to do? If we don’t grab the attention of our readers within eight seconds – that’s the average attention span of mankind in 2012, down from a whopping 12 seconds over a decade ago – then how do we expect to galvanize them through the lengths of War and Peace. Or something similar?

The answer is quite simple, really. Enter digital shorts. A relatively new format for publishers have embraced, these pieces are digital and have a shorter lead time to market. Continue reading

Finish Strong in November: Six Tips for National Novel Writing Month

November is almost here. Do you know what that means? It’s National Novel Writing Month, and it’s time to write the novel of your dreams.

NaNoWriMo” is a 30-day writing contest for aspiring novelists. The idea of the event is to motivate writers to draft a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. That’s about 175 pages. And if we break that down further, it’s shy of six pages a day. In perspective, you’re writing one small freshman composition assignment everyday for 30 days. Nothing you can’t handle. Right?

Well, if you’re motivated to compete in NaNoWriMo, I have tips to help you write better, more effective prose. Continue reading

Is E-book Marketing Different than Print Book Marketing?

Marketing is marketing, right? Yes. The goal behind marketing a new book, regardless of the medium, is the same. You want to position a book so people will find it, buy it and read it. However, because of their format, there is a fundamental difference in the approach you should take for marketing e-books.

Your e-book is electronic, so people won’t be looking for it at the corner Barnes & Noble. But they will be looking for it online. Thus, the Internet is where you should focus e-book marketing.

While you may know how to write an e-book, marketing it online can be tricky unless you have a plan. Luckily, planning can be as simple as one, two, three.

One: Start with a Creative Brief

This is the starting point for any successful marketing plan. A creative brief helps you define several key points of your marketing strategy. Continue reading

Is Digital Rights Management Limiting Your Freedom?

Is Digital Rights Management Limiting Your Freedom

Publishing a book is a wonderful achievement, and you probably want to protect it from being pilfered. But protecting your book using digital rights management tools may not be in your best interest.

Digital Rights Management, or DRM, is designed to protect your content online by “locking content into an account, requiring a password to open a file, making use of a hardware key, or applying digital watermarks,” according to American Libraries blog e-Content.

I would argue that rights are liberating, but DRM is, in fact, restricting. Consider this, DRM “controls what you can do with the digital media and devices you own,” according to Defective by Design. So, it can prevent people from sharing your work. In other publishing, such as the magazine industry, relies on the pass along rate, the rough number of times a magazine issue gets handed off to a non-subscriber. When friends share an issue with other friends, people can taste the content and may decide to purchase that magazine. With DRM, pass along is eliminated, and so goes your chances of finding new readers using that method.

The same idea is important for books too. Recently, I purchased a book, not because it was recommended to me, but my friend gave me a copy to borrow. I read the first chapter, was hooked,  logged onto Amazon, and that author made a sale. Continue reading

Are E-Books Saving the Environment One Book at A Time?

Can you hear the lament of nostalgia? Some would say e-books are killing the indie bookstores and the beat-nik culture that embraced it so many years ago. And the closing of mega-box bookstores show their visible scars on urban sprawl — vacant Border’s blot the four corners of my hometown.

What are ebooks doing to the environment?

The closings of these stores and the scattering of the people who congregated them could be a reflection of a recovering economy, but it’s more a sign of changing times.

But what are ebooks doing to the environment? We are increasingly a more environmentally-conscious people, and technology is reflecting this with the rise of e-books and their e-readers. We have come to realize and embrace the printed book is a significant waste of energy, water and paper.

Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, Nancy Davis Kho tells us the “National Resources Defense Council estimates the U.S. publishing industry uses more than 1.5 million metric tons of paper each year.” An earlier study estimates that each printed book produces 8.85 pounds of carbon dioxide. So when we think about the environmental impact of e-books, part of the answer is simple. There are no trees used in the production of an e-book. So they do, in fact, save the environment.

But that’s where the easy answer stops, because the evidence is sketchy that e-readers have a lower carbon impact. Continue reading

3 Strategies to Win 1,000 True Fans of your E-book

Win 1,000 True Fans

Not all authors will be New York Times best sellers, but you can still be a successful author and content producer without ever gracing traditional best-seller lists.

Although the post is dated, the concept Kevin Kelly teaches us is apropos — perhaps even more so today. In his blog post, “1,000 True Fans,” Kelly writes, “A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker or author — in other words, anyone producing works of art — needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.” Continue reading