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

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

Year in Review – Celebrating Our One Year Anniversary

December is often a time of reflection for me and for most people. I spend time thinking about the accomplishments I’ve made over the last year, the opportunities to do better and to set my goals for the coming year.

Coincidentally, this year in addition to reflecting on my personal life and career,  I also get to take a look back at Booktango. Booktango officially went live to the world in Beta one year ago.  It’s been an exciting year and as we close out 2012 and celebrate our first anniversary, I wanted to take some time to celebrate the last 12 months and look ahead to 2013.

December 2011

At launch, Booktango had some of the core features you see today such as the online editor, error identification, e-book details collection, retailer selection and submission. We knew we weren’t done, but we were excited to get an initial product out and begin gathering feedback from our authors. We continued to develop and plan new features for roll out during the first few months following launch. 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!

Announcing New E-book Publishing Packages: Socializer & Eye Catcher

Since starting this blog back in April, we’ve discussed a wide variety of issues on the topic of e-book publishing. But we keep coming back to two key aspects that seem intrinsically important to publishing in the digital space: online marketing and e-book design.

As we’ve come to fully realize the importance of these topics, we’ve developed innovative enhancements to our online cover design platform, and we’ve added some unique e-book marketing services to help our authors create better-looking e-books and share them more efficiently with the world. Now, we’ve taken things a step further and created two new publishing packages that are designed to help authors meet their e-book publishing goals in these areas.

Introducing the Socializer package

Social media offers one of the most exciting opportunities for online book marketers; but it can also be one of the most daunting. There’s a lot to know and learn about the Continue reading

Reset and Resub: How to Make an E-book and Keep it Fresh with New Information

How to Make an E-book and Keep it Fresh with New Content“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Any author knows that a fine piece of art — such as your e-book — occasionally needs some tweaking. Even when you have proofread, edited and put that final shine on your book, you may have some ideas later that would make it even better.

Perhaps you find a few lingering typos that you need to correct; or maybe you decide your cover should “pop” more, and you want to spruce up the image, colors or text fonts.

At Booktango, we respect your need as an author to make an e-book better. We understand you need to keep your book fresh and make changes based on your own review or on feedback from book buyers, family and friends. Whatever the reason, we’re here to make it as simple as we can for you. Continue reading