Title Leading Story – Writing Tips from R.L. Stine

Did you know that the national bestselling children’s author R.L. Stine comes up with his story ideas for his books by beginning with the title of the book? Spooky, right? It’s so different, but guess what? It obviously works. He has sold more than 350 million books and writes six books a year in his Goosebumps series!

Video courtesy of the Author Learning Center Continue reading

The Do’s and Don’ts of E-book Cover Design

The Do's and Don'ts of E-book Cover Design

You worked hard to write a book, and now you’re ready to publish. Woo hoo! But, wait. Have you thought about your e-book cover yet? As an e-book author, you face unique challenges when it comes to designing that perfect cover since it will only be seen online. 

E-book design is way more important than most authors realize. If your e-book cover doesn’t grab a reader’s attention, you could potentially lose a sale or even several thousand. Your design must represent the book you’ve created, draw in readers and make your title stand out from the competition.

That might sound overwhelming, so here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider as you create (or hire a pro to create for you) your e-book cover: Continue reading

Self-publishing with Google Docs and Booktango, a first-hand Experience

Self-publishing with Google Docs and Booktango, a First-hand Experiences

This in-depth blog post about a Booktango author’s first-hand experience was originally posted on William L. Weaver’s blog, Choice Management.

The Booktango Service

In March of 2012, I came across Booktango, a service of Author Solutions in Bloomington, Indiana which is now owned by Penguin Books, that in turn is owned by Pearson, PLC. The cool thing about Booktango is that it is a freemium service that provides individuals an online website to assemble their eBook, scan it for formatting errors, register and assign an ISBN, produce PDF, MOBI, and EPUB files, and have them listed for sale at Booktango, Amazon, Google Play, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, and Sony.

All of the above services are 100% free, and there is an additional menu of packages you can purchase that currently range from $49 – $359. The add-on services for a fee include things that employ creative humans who assist in your project including editing, interior images, U.S. Copyright filing, consultation on social media promotion, custom cover design, and marketing assistance. Continue reading

5 tips to getting published in 2013

5 tips to getting published in 2013

This blog was originally posted on Dec. 31, 2012 on The Indie Book Writers Blog

There has never been a better time to be an author so if you have a manuscript you have been working on, 2013 is the year you can get published.  Here are five simple tips to help you make sure you get to your goal.

  1. Pick a date when you want to hold a copy of your book. Writing is a process, but publishing is a goal so you need a deadline. And I have found the authors who are successful in self publishing, set a date when they want to hold a copy of their book. Sounds simple, but it is really important.
  2. Decide when is the best time for you to write and make that your routine.  I have talked to hundreds of authors and the ones who get to the goal have a discipline about their writing. Most have a better time in the day when they write most productively. What is your best time to write? Do you know when it is? Have you marked out that time on your calendar everyday or most everyday. Continue reading

A Good Story is a Terrible Thing to Waste – Novel Beginnings Writing Contest

You might know him as a screenwriter who has collaborated with such comic greats as Mel Brooks and Steve Martin. Carl Reiner, a distinguished actor, film director, producer, writer, and comedian, is giving aspiring writers the opportunity to become a published author. He teamed up with AuthorHouse and launched a unique writing contest in conjunction with the release of his new book, I Remember Me. For the contest, Reiner started a novel and is giving other writers an opportunity to finish the story and get published.  Here are the details on the contest: Continue reading

Here’s My Card: How e-book publishing is the new business card.


With the job market as turbulent as ever, people are always looking to stand out from the crowd. One way to do so is by publishing a book on a subject that you know everything about. Okay, maybe not everything, but enough that your peers consider you an expert. Nothing cements your authority in your field like having an articulate and professional book in your hands.

A published book brings credibility and authority on your topic whether you are

  • networking at your local coffee shop,
  • attending a convention at a remote destination, or
  • approaching your boss on that long-overdue raise,

Your book is your business card, the tangible item that will make people remember you. Continue reading

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

Announcing: Winner of the iPad Generosity Contest

Booktango is giving gifts a little bit early as the holiday season approaches. We’re running a two-part contest, Generosity, during October and November. For the first part of the contest we entered all of our authors who submitted their book for publishing by October 31st into a drawing to win a free iPad with Retina display.

We are pleased to announce Oliver Frances, author of Through Existences, is the winner of the iPad!

For those authors who didn’t win the iPad, don’t worry! You still have a chance to win the second part of this contest. Be one of the first 300 authors to submit a book by Nov. 30, and you’ll get:

  • 10 downloadable copies of your e-book to give to family and friends this holiday
  • a free promotional e-mail to help you spread the word about the launch of your book

Join us in congratulating Oliver, and best of luck to those who enter the second part of the contest!

Start Blogging: Lessons from author Marisa Treviño

In 2004, Marisa Treviño was working as an editor for a monthly trade magazine and was routinely published across the nation as a freelance opinion editorialist. Even though she was living off her writing, Marisa wasn’t completely satisfied. She was churning out columns more quickly than they could be published by outside media outlets, and she grew frustrated by her lack of control over the publishing processes for her writings.

The cure for Marisa’s frustration? To start a blog

She had heard about blogs; and the more she learned about them, the more she knew this was the answer. Finally, she would be able to control how often she published and could write whatever she wanted. So, she started writing daily blog posts about issues she cared about; and now, that little blog has evolved into a full-blown news site with an ever-growing readership.

Today, Marisa Treviño is a blogging expert. She recently published an e-book with Booktango — A Simple Start to Blogging with Social Media — to share her knowledge and experience with others. We talked with Marisa to learn more about her story and the advice she has to offer fellow writers: Continue reading