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is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date.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 give you an overview of the state of self-publishing and some of the things you need to know about, as well as suggesting there are 5 things you need to get sorted in 2013 if you're taking writing seriously as a career.
Before the content section, I update you on my own progress.
Exodus was published in December and on Dec 21 was on Amazon's Daily Deal with the 99 authors, 99 books, 99 cents promotion, amusingly categorized as Literary Fiction. I explain a bit about how the promotion came about and the impact it had on sales.
The Creative Penn has been voted one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers for the 3rd year running. Thanks for voting! And also one of the Top 10 Blogs for Self-Publishers, so I'm glad you find the site useful. I guess I'll keep running it then 🙂
State of Self-Publishing
Here are some of the things I go through in the podcast:
- Smashwords is now accepting ePub versions so you can avoid the Word Meatgrinder. Fantastic!
- I highlight some of the top points from Mark Coker's 2013 Book Publishing Predictions – including ebooks going global, tablets and ebook readers, and the glut of ebooks now trad pub is releasing backlists as well as the algorithm-generated books. Your lesson: Focus on the fundamentals. Write great books and build a readership slowly.
- Tablets and e-readers in education in the US and worldwide plus some of the highlights of Digital Book World's predictions for 2013. Why you should care.
- Is the stigma of self-publishing gone forever now? Guy Kawasaki on ‘artisanal publishing‘ and Digital Book World announces a conference panel with Hugh Howey on Straddling the Models : Authors Choosing to Both Self- and Traditionally Publish (reported on Ether for Authors)
5 Things You Need To Get Sorted In 2013
If you want to get serious about your writing in 2013, here are my recommendations (based on changes I have made and am making to my own process).
(2) Streamline your idea capture and sorting process, as well as your To Do list. We wear so many hats these days it's easy to lose track and I was personally drowning in my Inbox before Christmas. I now use Things app on my iPhone and Mac for any kind of ideas or notes for books, as well as my To Do items. It doesn't matter what system you use, but you need to use something. Your memory is not good enough.
(3) Sort out your writing process and your production goals for 2013. Read this post by Dean Wesley Smith. I also just read 2K to 10K by Rachel Aaron which had some excellent suggestions.
(4) Get your books into the global market. If you haven't already done so, look at publishing on Kobo Writing Life and iBookstore (through Bookbaby/Smashwords) because they are entering new markets faster than Amazon. The latter has the US and Europe pretty sewn up but the rest of the world is currently up for grabs. Your books need to be out there. Use KDP Select for the initial period if you want, but then, publish everywhere.
(5) Focus on building your own tribe and stop scatter-gun marketing. Obviously, write more books. But also, get your homebase website sorted and make sure you have an email signup on it, as well as a link to it at the back of your book. This is #1 – everything else is extra and everything else should point back to it. Here's more help if your book isn't selling.
I'd love your comments on how you feel the state of self-publishing is right now. Are we moving into a mature space where the stigma is gone and it's now just ‘publishing'? Please leave a comment below.
Top image: Flickr Creative Commons This Year's Love