OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
In today's podcast, I update you on the latest happenings in the publishing world as well as my own writing journey, and I interview April L. Hamilton, the Indie Author, on self-publishing. We specifically answer a number of the questions you asked in the survey.
This show features an interview with April L. Hamilton. She is the author of several books including “The Indie Author Guide”, a blogger and an outspoken advocate for the indie author movement. April is also the founder of Publetariat.com, a site for indie authors, as well as the Publetariat Vault matching self-published authors with agents, and the Vault University.
Links from my introductory section:
- Publish on Amazon Kindle here https://dtp.amazon.com/
- Amazon opens to international authors and raises revenue to 70% for publishers (good news for self-publishers)
- Self-help author Stephen Covey signed directly with Amazon for distribution of his ebooks
- Author Scott Sigler's iPhone app (and check out his novel podcasts if you like horror)
- Smashwords signs BookViewCafe pro-authors for distribution of ebooks
- Mur Lafferty “I should be writing” podcast – for wannabe fiction authors
- Write or Die software – great for writing with no distractions
- Problogger's Top 30 Bloggers to watch in 2010
In the podcast interview with April Hamilton you will learn:
- How April has combined indie authorship (independent self-publishing) with being picked up by Writer's Digest for a publishing deal
- How authors Stephen Covey, J A Konrath and Piers Anthony have embraced self-publishing for e-books – successful mainstream authors moving to a self-publishing model
April also answers these questions submitted by readers of the blog:
- How has self-publishing changed recently and is the stigma of self-publishing still applicable?
- How does self-publishing affect your chances of getting a publishing deal?
- What is the best site for self-publishing, for print and ebooks, in US and globally? (April recommends LightningSource, CreateSpace and also mentions Lulu for print books, Amazon DTP and Smashwords for ebooks). We also mention EBookArchitects.com for formatting help.
- Where do you recommend people find quality freelancers for editing, cover design, and page-setting, etc?
- It is worth it to go down the self-publishing route? (in terms of sales and other less tangible reasons)
You can find more information about April Hamilton at AprilHamilton.com You can also follow her on Twitter @indieauthor
You can also read the transcript online by clicking Show right => show
JP: Hi everyone and welcome to The Creative Penn Podcast. It’s my first one in 2010 so I’m very excited to be back and this year I’m going to do things a bit differently. I’m feeling a bit more confident now and I guess, you know, with lots more information to share. So, I’m going to start giving you some updates prior to the main interviews in the podcast and I’ll also be adding in any promos so if you’re a podcaster you can forward promos for your own podcast. I’ll also be focusing on answering the questions from the survey I did on the blog before Christmas. There’s over 400 questions that you guys asked which is exciting. I will also be interviewing people I am personally interested in and topics that I want to cover. And again if you have any recommendations please do let me know.
So, I hope you had a good holiday. I was in Europe with my family and had three weeks off the Internet which was very exciting and wasn’t actually difficult at all. I was in Oxford, England with my dad and brothers and sisters and also did a cultural trip Italy, primarily Venice and Rome and I even saw the Pope on my last day, which was very exciting. So I had a really good break and now I’m really back into this year and going to make a big one and make it count. So, I hope you’ve got some great resolutions as well. I’m a real resolution fan, goal fan I guess you should say.
Okay, so there is some really big news in digital and e-book publishing this week that I wanted to share. You may have seen it, I’ve tweeted it, lots of people have written blog posts but basically Amazon has opened up the Kindle store to international publishers. Now previously I’ve been one of those people moaning about the fact that you have to be a U.S. resident to basically publish on the Kindle. Now that’s changed. You can actually be an international publisher and you can publish in a couple of different languages and to do that you just go to dtp.amazon.com. That’s the letters D-T-P dot amazon dot com. You can upload HTML there. If you don’t know how to do that, I’m going to write a blog post. I’m going to have some other interviews on this topic in the next few months so listen up but yeah very exciting if you’re a non U.S. resident, you can now publish in the Kindle store.
The other thing that just happened only yesterday is that Amazon have changed their revenue model to be 70% to the publisher which means especially if you’re a self publisher you can actually make quite a bit of money. So that’s big news for everyone who is putting books on the Kindle store and now international people can too so very exciting. In addition to that, just before Christmas, self help author Stephen Covey signed directly with Amazon to distribute his e-books and perhaps the big – one of the first big name authors to do so and I’m sure that will continue because it’s so easy now to just publish yourself on amazon.com and have a global audience.
And next week we’re expecting, January 27th is the Apple announcement people have been waiting for. So will the Tablet deliver on the e-book possibilities, will it change the app store, how will that change the Apple world and for people like myself who’ve got iPhones, how will that change how things work. And again on the Apple front I will be looking at how to produce and iPhone app for your book and just author Scott Sigler who is also a podcaster, massive podcaster and author has just done an iPhone app. If you’re an iPhone owner download Scott Sigler’s free app to have a look at that. More and more authors are doing this. It’s another way to build your platform.
And the final little update on sort of publishing news is smashwords.com. If you haven’t heard of them they’re an e-book publisher who have distribution all over the place. Have distribution with the Kindle and have just signed bookviewcafe.com authors who are all pro authors including Ursula Leguin, and they will be publishing their stuff on the Kindle – sorry on Smashwords. This is very exciting. So, 2010 is looking sort of brilliant really for all authors and probably financially specifically for self published authors. And I guess that – that’s about digital publishing and in today’s interview I’m talking to April Hamilton who is inde author, independent author and sort of pro self publishing. We’ll be answering sort of questions on that.
My personal writing journey this year, I’m going to share a bit more about that. I’ve been listening to the brilliant Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing podcast, which is basically Mur talks about her journey. She’s been podcasting four years and her listeners have seen her go through the journey to become a published author and now sort of pretty popular. So, I’m going to sort of try and share my journey too and be honest about where I am in my own journey. So, having written three non fiction books, I’m writing my first novel. It’s a thriller with sort of religious themes as similar to James Rollins. I would say Dan Brown, but that’s kind of archetypal. I do actually have a masters degree in theology from Oxford University so I’ve got quite a lot of education in theology and I want to actually put that into a novel. It’s going to be action thriller, lots of explosions and stuff.
I’m already thinking of changing my working title. The working title currently is Mandala and I’m thinking of changing that. I’ll let you know. So, I have around 20,000 words currently from NanoWriMo and I did some videos on that last year. I’m now outlining and restructuring the book so I’m actually going through an outlining process which I should have done before I started writing because I find myself being one of those people who sits down and goes, I don’t know what to write next. And now I’m outlining it, I do know what to write next so it’s working very well. I’m also using Write Or Die, which is a brilliant piece of software. It’s only like $10 to buy or you can use it free on the Internet. It’s basically a screen that starts going red and starts having squeaky noises if you stop writing so it’s really good for that – a bit of time, set yourself a goal, maybe a 1,000 words or twenty minutes and just sit and write and it won’t let you stop.
So, you can write crap and it doesn’t matter but you have to write. So, you can’t edit at the same time you have to write. So, it’s all very good. So, my first [0:07:32] fiction. I’ve also registered with the Queens [Writer ?] Centre for the year of the novel so I will have a support group and I will be telling you all about that too. Okay, a couple of other things. So, The Creative Penn blog is just now over one year old. It’s doing pretty well, number four in Australia for the top writers blogs and also just named as one of the top thirty bloggers to watch in 2010, which is pretty exciting for me because there are some big names on there that I follow personally and that’s actually got me quite a lot of traffic so that’s pretty good. So, I will be giving you some tips hopefully this year on how to get more blog traffic as I experiment myself continually.
Some live events and pretty exciting time. I’ve been trying to expand my speaking career. I’m doing a lot of speaking this year. Two things to raise. If you are in Australia, I am doing a one day workshop on March 21st in Brisbane and you can read about that at thecreativepenn.com/seminar and there is information there. So, it’s a one day workshop in Brisbane only. Sorry, I will do other speaking in the rest of Australia, I was just kind of organising. If you do have a writer’s festival or something please do invite me, I’d love to come. I’m also going to be speaking for five days in Bali in Ubud, October the 1st to the 6th, before the Ubud Writer’s Festival. This is very exciting, my first international speaking gig. I will be doing basically four whole days of teaching, very intensive. You’ll probably get my stuff, it’s quite intensive.
I will be going through writing – a day on writing, a day on publishing, a day on author platform and a day on making money as an author. Lots of teaching and also lots of sharing and time to write. Also time to relax, do yoga, hang out and then if you fancy staying for the Ubud Writer’s Festival, there will be discount for those people who on the retreat. So that is a writer’s retreat in Ubud, Bali and you can find out a bit more information about that although we’re still finalising the brochure, you can find out about that at thecreativepenn.com/bali, or just email me Joanna@thecreatviepenn.com. Okay, so as ever please let me know if you have any questions. I’d really like to hear from you. I’m going to try and be more interactive this year so if you do email about the podcast and things I will be responding and that type of thing. So, here’s the interview and thanks for listening.
Hi everyone. This is Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn Podcast and today I’m interviewing April Hamilton. April is the author of several books including The Indie Author Guide. She’s a blogger and an outspoken advocate for the inde author movement. April was also the founder of publetariat.com, a site for indie authors as well the Publetariat Vault matching self published authors with agents, and the Vault University. So, welcome April.
AH: Thank you.
JP: Oh, it’s great to have you here cause you’re so active on the blogosphere and with your writing and everything. So, for those that don’t know you can you give a brief roundup of your writing and publishing experience because I hear you’re soon to be published by Writer’s Digest as well as self publishing?
AH: Yes. I’ve been writing pretty much since I’ve been old enough to hold a crayon. I dreamed of being an author as a girl but it didn’t seem like a very practical or clear cut career path so I pursued other options for making a living. I was a technical writer, then a software engineer and a web developer for many years and that’s turned out to serve me very well now that authors are expected to develop a platform and be web savvy. As for publishing, I have two self published novels in print and e-book editions and also two non fiction books. One of the non fiction books as you mentioned, The Indie Author Guide, is a comprehensive reference to self publishing and managing a career in indie authorship. The rights to that book have been picked up by Writer’s Digest Books for publication in a revised and updated edition coming out this fall.
JP: That’s fantastic, and maybe you could just mention there about Publetariat a bit more and what you’ve been doing with that side.
AH: Okay. Publetariat was launched almost exactly a year ago. We’ll be celebrating our one year anniversary February 11th and it was founded as a site specifically geared to self publishing or as I call them indie authors and small imprints. Because while there are lot of sites out there geared to writers in general, in my experience as an indie author I found that they’re tended to be quite a bit of bias and stigma against the self published authors at some of the those other writer sites which were really mostly populated by people interested in pursuing a traditional publication path. So, I started Publetariat as a site that would have all the same resources and features as any full featured writer community site but specifically geared to indie authors and their specific needs and interest.
JP: And it’s a great site so I’ll put some links to that. So, I guess we hooked up about a year ago and started chatting then, and self publishing has come a long way I guess in the last year and in the last couple of years. So, is that stigma still applicable for self publishing and how has, I guess, self publishing changed?
AH: Well things have changed so much just in the two years since I self published The Indie Author Guide it’s kind of mind boggling. The stigma has been there in trade publishing against self publisher for decades, yet just in the past year the level of mainstream acceptance of self publishing at least here in the U.S., has increased dramatically. We’re seeing very successful, mainstream published authors such as Stephen R. Covey, he’s the Seven Habits guy, [0:13:51] author legend [0:13:53] Anthony and crime novelist J. A. Konrath, self publishing and being very open about it. Konrath is a particularly surprising case because he was very vocal as an anti self publishing author as recently as 2008. So, he’s kind of turned around and that’s come as a big surprise to me. However, this is all happening in the U.S. and I understand from a contact in the Netherlands that the anti self publishing bias is still very strong in Europe and you would probably know better than I what the situation is in Australia.
JP: Yeah. I think with a much smaller market here there’s a lot of protectionism of the industry but the rest of us just get on with it I think as you’ve been doing. That’s interesting and you say about Joe Konrath cause I read on this blog that he actually pays his mortgage from Kindle sales and makes more money from his self published books.
AH: Yes, and it seems that in the end it really comes down to dollars and cents and a lot of these successful, established mainstream authors are starting to realise they can earn significantly higher royalties releasing work on their own than they do going through a traditional publisher.
JP: So, do you think we’re going to see like a Stephen King or a Dan Brown releasing their own book, self publishing their own book any time soon?
AH: It’s possible. Stephen King has experimented with self publishing on his web site in the past, but he was trying to release a self published e-book edition through his web site, [0:15:32] five years ago at a time when e-books were really in their infancy and it was not a very successful attempt. I think if he were to do it again today it would be a very different story, but it kind of depends on the individual author’s willingness to experiment. And I think some authors are maybe just very comfortable in the niche that they have and of course just staying with the publisher that you have reduces the amount of your own outlay of effort and energy and so on. So, it’s really a matter of what’s the level of entrepreneurial spirit of the individual authors.
JP: And we should point out it’s nothing to do with their age because Stephen Covey and Joe Konrath are not in their twenties so it’s not just for…
AH: Or no and [0:16:19] Anthony is not a young man either. He is definitely a much more mature writer. I mean I was reading his books when I was in junior high school.
JP: No, that’s brilliant. So, these – some of these questions are things that people have asked me on my survey that I did last year and one of the questions that comes up over and over again is, how does self publishing affect your chances of getting a publishing contract?
AH: Well, the fact that Writer’s Digest Books has picked up my book should be proof enough that self publishing will not prevent an author from being able to land a mainstream publishing contract, at least not here in the U.S. There has been a lot of concern over this term known as first publication rights and that’s really kind of a dated concern. According to Jane Friedman who’s the editor-in-chief at Writer’s Digest Books, and also has a pretty high position on the magazine staff, this is a concern that really has no place in the modern trade publishing world. It happens all the time that an author will self publish something, it picks up a little bit of buzz or gets a little bit of sales and the next thing you know it’s being snapped up by a Penguin or a Simon & Schuster. So, the rights of first publication, authors really don’t need to worry about that.
In the U.S. we’re beginning to see a dynamic here in which this happens pretty frequently, and when I say that a successful book that has been self published will be picked up, I don’t mean selling millions of copies. There are books that have made top ten lists in the Kindle store, on web sites like Podiobooks or on Smashwords and books which have garnered media attention for some reason that come to the attention of these publishers and the rights get picked up. Aspiring authors see this happening with increasing frequency and they’re beginning to realise that a well received self published book can be a faster and easier way to get a publishers attention than that traditional path of spending months or years querying to get an agent, and then more months or years trying to sell something through the agent.
A self published book is a known quantity. It’s already out there racking up sales, gathering reviews, so picking up the rights to that kind of a book is much less risky for a publisher than releasing a totally unknown book from a debut author. And that’s really why I launched The Vault. It’s a web site that has a database of self published books and the listings include actual sales figures, links to author platform pieces and any press that the book or author has gotten so it makes it easier for publishers to locate these books.
JP: That’s actually fantastic and I think it’s quite funny in a way because your book, The Indie Author Guide, is about how to do self publishing and it’s been picked up by a traditional publisher, which is kind of ironic in a way but they’re obviously recognising that people are going to do this now, and that people want that information.
AH: Yes. Writer’s Digest is very forward thinking. They’re unusual in trade publishing in that way and they have recognised very early on that self publishing is exploding, it’s definitely reshaping the trade publishing landscape. So, they were very interested in getting at least one title — for all I know they may be looking for more — related to self publishing in their catalogue because this is definitely an area where aspiring authors are needing more information and actively seeking it out.
JP: That’s fantastic. So, if people are going to go down that route, what is, in your opinion, the best site for self publishing for print books and for e-books and also with more of a global view I guess.
AH: Well, it depends on the author’s goals and needs. In general Lightning Source for print on demand or minimum print run publishing. You don’t have to sign away any of your rights when you work with Lightning Source. They’re really just a service provider. The author or an imprint formed by the author is the publisher of record and retains all the rights to the material. Their per copy production costs are amongst the lowest you can find but they’re quality is excellent. The company is used by many mainstream publishers for print on demand printing and they have global distribution options built right into their system. It makes it very easy to get your book made available for sale on Amazon, Amazon U.K., other online booksellers and also add your book to major wholesale catalogues used by brick and mortar booksellers all over the world too. Now, being in those catalogues doesn’t guarantee that any brick and mortar store will stock your book but it does make the book available for sale to those sellers and that ensures that any consumer can walk in to just about any bookstore and order your book from the bookseller.
The downside to Lightning Source is that they were originally set up to work with mid-sized to large publisher so you won’t get a lot of author hand holding here. You really need to know what you’re doing and understand the overall publication process. For authors who maybe aren’t quite so savvy and are going to need more support, Lulu and Create Space are the two major options here in the U.S. as far as service providers that don’t require to sign away your rights. They’re geared more towards helping individual authors to get their books in print and always have been. So, they are much more support oriented, they have a lot more tutorials and documentation on their sites. Now, I’ve used Create Space and I can vouch for the quality of their books and since it’s an Amazon company it’s very easy to get your Create Space book listed on Amazon’s U.S. site. It’s really just checking the box on an online form.
While Create Space recently began offering the option to list your book in wholesale catalogues used by U.S. libraries and booksellers, there is no easy or practical way to get your Create Space book listed on Amazon’s international sites or in wholesaler books or wholesaler catalogues used outside the U.S. Lulu offers a global distribution option for a fee, but Lulu’s per copy production costs are so high that I don’t recommend using them. The higher your per copy production costs, the higher you have to set the retail price of your book and there is no reason for consumers to pay more for a self published book than they would expect to pay for a comparable mainstream book. It can be a real deal breaker as are as turning the consumer off to the possibility of trying a book from a new untested author.
Now, I’m afraid that I’ve yet to hear of a Create Space or Lulu analog being run outside the U.S., anything that can offer the same kind author supportive publishing experience at a reasonable price and provide global distribution, so I can’t make any other recommendations for services outside the U.S. as far as print service providers. As far as e-books, people who want to experiment with self publishing but don’t want to invest a lot of money upfront or put in a lot of time and effort to learn about the print publishing process, you may want to start with publication of an e-book on Smashwords, which is a U.S. based site but people from all over the world can access that site and purchase e-books from in. Smashwords makes it very simple to upload your manuscript. You can upload it as a Word document or a PDF. Their online tools will automatically convert it to various e-book formats according to the ones you specify you’d like to offer and they also make it available for sale not only on Smashwords store but they have distribution deals with major online e-book retailer such as Barnes and Noble, Sony and Short Covers.
They also have partnerships that will make your Smashwords books available to all the major smart phone platforms. That would be like your iPhone, your Blackberry and so forth and this is accomplished through providers such as Stanza, E-Reader, Short Covers and so on. Now, Amazon also has its own internal little tool set for creating books for the Kindle, which is called digital text platform, and it isn’t expensive to use, it’s in fact free. There is no upfront cost, but it is a little bit more complex than Smashwords. It’s not as simple as just signing up for an account and uploading a Word file and poof you’re done. I don’t recommend the dtp route for anybody who isn’t at least versed a little in HTML cause that’s immensely helpful, or anyone who doesn’t have the patience to do sort of iterations of the process of sort of uploading their book, checking it online through a preview to see how it looks and making little tweaks to fix it. But anybody who does want to give that try, I have provided a free guide for how to do it on my web site and I think I’ll be giving that address towards the end of the interview. I do have the free guide there and I also have made The Indie Author Guide free for viewing from cover to cover on my site and the little guide to Kindle publishing is in that book as well.
JP: Wow, that’s a stack of information there. Thank you so much for that and I probably say that I personally have used Lulu as a starting out author because it’s got so much handholding and I guess Lightning Source was – I didn’t really know about that when I started out, but now probably now I know what I’m doing, I would move on to Lightning Source. The other thing I just wanted to mention for people was, if they really hate e-book formatting they can look at ebookarchitects.com and have a chat to those guys about formatting for a cost obviously. Have you used E-book Architects?
AH: No. Because I have a technical background it’s not difficult for me to format my own book but I am acquainted with Joshua Tallent who runs E-book Architects and he’s really been on the e-book bandwagon from early on. He’s very knowledgeable and E-book Architects definitely knows what they’re doing and he even has a book on the subject of Kindle formatting. He’s a frequent speaker at conferences on the subject so he’s definitely a trustworthy source to go to.
JP: Brilliant. Okay, so a couple of other questions. So, obviously if people self publish they need some help, so where would you recommend people find quality freelancers for editing cover design, page setting, etcetera?
AH: There are two ways. The ideal way is to get a personal referral from a writer friend who has hired the type of freelancer you need and can personally recommend the freelancer that they worked with. That’s just not always possible though. So, otherwise you can do online search. You want to look for a quality web site first of all. That shows that the freelancer is taking the business seriously and running it professionally. Check for pricing and work sample if applicable for say a cover designer on the web site to narrow the field to maybe five top candidates. Then you want to contact each candidate and do sort of a mini interview. Have your questions prepared in advance. You’ll want to ask for more detailed pricing information. You’ll want to ask for references and check those references and among the other questions you want to ask, you want to get information about the candidate’s working and communication style.
So, for example if you hire a freelancer who works in a time zone that’s twelve hours ahead or behind you, then phone communications may be difficult and expensive. If the freelancer prefers to limit communications to email but you want to check in by phone, your working relationship is going to be difficult and vice versa, if they prefer phone and you only like email. Also be sure to get very clear terms of scheduling and deadlines so you won’t be left hanging indefinitely while you wait for the work to be done, as well as full details on what constitutes fulfilment of the contract. So, you don’t want to be stuck with a situation where say you hired an editor and the agreement that you’ve signed says that as soon as the editor returns your pages the contract is fulfilled and you have to pay. You want to verify that there is some degree of your approval, that makes payment contingent on you being satisfied with the work. And also you generally need to be prepared to pay at least part of the fee upfront on request. Not all freelancers will request this. It’s more common if there’s a materials cost upfront which may be the case for a cover designer or a photographer, but don’t be alarmed if a freelancer should ask you for part of the money upfront. It’s not an uncommon practice.
JP: That’s great, and I guess for me personally I’m increasingly using Twitter to find people because I spend so much time there. And for people if they’re interested you can obviously Google on Twitter or use Twitter search or use wefollow.com, has quite a lot of listings and certainly the people I seem to find there are very web savvy and tech savvy which is often the people that you need as well. So that’s been quite good. Okay, so one really interesting question that I got sent which I thought you would really love to answer is, is it worth it to go down the self publishing route and that was in terms of sales and other less tangible reasons I guess?
AH: It’s been entirely rewarding for me. I’m not yet supporting myself entirely on my earnings from writing and perhaps I never will, but it’s important to recognise that only about 2% of all authors worldwide earn enough from their writing to fully support themselves regardless of who published them. So, if you’re going into authorship with an expectation of being able to quit your day job as soon as your first book is in print, you’re going to be disappointed and that’s true whether you’re self publishing or the mainstream route. However, the other non tangible rewards of being a published author are very great. The first and most important in my opinion is just being able to reach your readership and know your work is out there being read and appreciated. There is nothing like getting an email from a reader who’s written to thank you for writing your book or finding a new positive review has been posted online for one of your books. If you’ve spent years toiling away in obscurity like most writers do, these experiences can really reawaken your passion for writing and childhood dreams are made of this sort of thing.
I think just about every author I know is living out their childhood dream of being a published author and there is really something to be said for that as well. In my case self publishing also led me to found Publetariat and the sister sites you mentioned, also to become an advocate and to some extent an activist in the self publishing and indie author movement so it’s really changed my life in some major ways.
JP: And I would second that and say for me personally it was getting my book on amazon.com and being available for sale globally that kind of started it, kind of that wow moment, and then as you said the feedback that you get. It’s just – I would definitely say it’s worth is and people can still pursue as you’ve talked about, people can still pursue the traditional publishing route they want to. We’re not anti that, it’s just that self publishing can be brilliant on its own terms I guess.
AH: Yes. What I tend to say is that the decision of whether or not to self publish really needs to be made on a manuscript by manuscript basis and where I don’t feel it makes sense for most debut novelist to go the mainstream route simply because it’s very difficult to get published in the first place and then secondly unless you’re a celebrity or have some other kind of big buzz around you, you’re not going to get a major marketing push. So, it can be really difficult to get people to notice your book and stand out from the crowd but in cases where you do have an expectation and an agreement from a publisher of some kind of marketing support, then it’s probably going to be a smarter decision to go the mainstream route. It really just comes down to, is there something that this publisher can do for me, or do better that I can’t do myself. If the answer is yes, go with the mainstream publisher. If the answer is no, then there is no reason not to try going it alone.
JP: Brilliant. And when we say going it alone, both of us have found a massive number of people online and around the world you self publish and there’s quite a community these days isn’t there?
AH: Yes, yes it is. In going it alone you’re not really alone. I mean this was one of the driving forces behind founding Publetariat is I had a sense that there were all kinds of self publishing authors out there like me who just didn’t really have a community to call their own. And since launching Publetariat, it went viral in its first week and to this day it’s still in the top I think 1.5% of web sites worldwide for traffic according to Alexa. So, there was definitely a need for this kind of community and there is a huge population worldwide of people who are self publishing or interested in doing so.
JP: Brilliant. Okay, well thanks ever so much. Thank you, that was fantastic information. So, how can people find out more about you and about your books and what you’re up to?
AH: My author web site is www.aprillhamilton.com and links to my blog, Twitter and Facebook profiles are provided there along with more information about me and my books and there are excerpts from my books there. As I mentioned previously, I’ve made the current edition of The Indie Author Guide available to read online there in its entirety for free also. So, anybody who is needing some more information and maybe you can’t afford to invest in a bunch of books right now, the information is there for you to use free of charge. There isn’t even a sign up or email submission requirement. I’m really just interested in trying to grow and support the movement as much as possible right now, so that’s why I’ve elected to make that resource available.
JP: Brilliant, and I hear you’ve got a cruise coming up this year?
AH: Yes, October 10th through the 17th, there is going to be the first annual author workshop cruise. It’s taking place out of Los Angeles for a week cruising along the Mexican Riviera with stops in Puerto Viarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Mazatlan. And during the at sea days we’re going to offering three hour intensive workshops on the subject of publishing in print, self publishing in print. That is I’ll be offering that workshop. Joshua Tallent who we mentioned earlier is going to be presenting a workshop on how to format your book and use the Amazon dtp tool to get it published to Amazon’s Kindle store. Then we have Seth Harwood, podcaster extraordinaire who’s going to be offering a workshop on podcasting based on his excellent author boot camp class. Then we well also have Kirk Biglione of Medialoper and Kassia Krozser of Booksquare who will be teaching a workshop all about author platform and how authors can best use social media. Those will talk place on the at sea days, so then attendees will be able to do some sight seeing and whatever they like in port, on the in port days.
JP: That’s fantastic, and where can people find out more about that cruise?
AH: The web site for that is www.authorworkshopcruise.com, and I’d also like to mention that attendance for the cruise is limited to just thirty cause we want to be sure that everybody who attends gets lots of personalised attention and that we’re presenting something that’s substantially different than your typical workshop or conference experience, and also so that every single attendee can get an individual, one on one consulting session with one of the presenters.
JP: That’s brilliant. We’ll put some links to that in the show notes and thanks ever so much for your time April. That was a really good session.
AH: Thank you Joanna.