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Archives: Inspiration

What We Mean by “Indie”

What We Mean by “Indie”

A few months ago I was asked by the crew at Indie Visible to work on a show for their new channel on Youtube. What I started is a monthly show (don’t worry, I haven’t given up Read Ink) that will cover various topics in Indie Publishing. Tuesday the September video will go live, but today I wanted to share the August video, “What We Mean by ‘Indie.'” Enjoy!

 

UtopYA Liveblog!

UtopYA Liveblog!

It was a great weekend. I’ll be making a recap post sometime after I catch up on sleep and unpack. You can view the archive of the liveblog down below the Twitter feed and the suggested posts.

I’m at UtopYA Con in Nashville this weekend! Check back all weekend as I post updates to this post.

In addition to my updates, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram and read tweets from other authors at the event through the #UtopYA2015 hashtag.


Three Things We Need to STOP Doing in YA Literature

Three Things We Need to STOP Doing in YA Literature

Reading YA literature, I am becoming disappointed in the messages we are repeatedly sending to young girls. I have teenage students who read a lot who seem to echo the messages of these books in their day-to-day speech. That can be good sometimes, like when we teach people to be tolerant and brave and curious. That can also be bad. Here are three things we need to STOP doing over and over again in YA literature, especially when it targets young women.

5 Christmas Gifts for Aspiring Writers

5 Christmas Gifts for Aspiring Writers

We’re coming up on that time of year when we madly Google listicles for gift ideas. You’re probably here because you know a writer and you just can’t figure out what to get them for Christmas or their birthday. There are tons of books on writing that you could buy them, sure, but how do you know before reading them which books are actually helpful?

Here are five ideas for writerly Christmas gifts that are NOT books on writing or fancy notebooks (like they probably have dozens of).

The New Rules of Marketing and PR

514260BTshL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_This is the best marketing book out there. It’s a must-read for anyone trying to establish themselves as a brand online. David Meerman Scott has put out several editions of this book because the web is a quickly-changing environment. He teaches readers how to promote themselves by creating content and engaging in meaningful discussion. His method is a great start for any aspiring author looking to built an audience online.

Personal Connections at Author Appearances

Personal Connections at Author Appearances

I’ve gotten into doing more author appearances this year. They’re difficult to schedule (and somewhat awkward, “Hey, I’m interesting. Have me at your store/library/event as an attraction? Please?”) but totally worth it. I always get to talk to really awesome people and have a lot of fun. This year, so far, I’ve done the Birmingham Library’s Local Authors expo, some other library events, Alabama Phoenix Festival, and I went and rubbed elbows at UtopYA 2014. I have a comic store appearance planned for next month, and I have a few more cons on my schedule for 2014 (including the Geek Gathering in Sheffield).

These events are exhausting, especially for introverts, and you may not feel like it’s worth it to pay table fees and set up a booth when you could just sell ebooks from the privacy of your own home. You’d be wrong: it’s worth every moment and every penny. Why? Because readers are looking for a connection. The world is full of fantastic books, and nobody can possibly read all of them. Getting face-to-face interaction with potential readers gives them a reason to pick your book out of a sea of great reads.

The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing

The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing

ohposterkickKickstarter This!

The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing is back on Kickstarter. You can get some great rewards, whether you’re a writer or not. Olympia Heights fans- there are signed paperbacks and an exclusive poster. Take a look and see if you can help us in any way. Shares help, too!

Back it now!

Thanks for your support!

What We Mean by Self-Publishing

What We Mean by Self-Publishing

Self-Publishing and Indie Publishing have become controversial topics. Part of this controversy, however, is caused by the fact that we have two totally different things in mind. For the vocal anti-self-publishers, they imagine a woman alone in her room uploading her first draft from Microsoft Word to the internet and posting it for sale.

So What Do We Really Mean by Self-Publishing?

Self-Publishers take charge. They do not surrender their manuscript to a company, but rather take ownership of the decisions that go into producing their books. They do not have to do everything themselves, but they remain the shot-caller.

looking-for-alaska-book-coverAs a Self-Publisher, I pick the models that represent the characters on my covers. I tell my designer that I want the cover to be predominantly green or blue. I give the thumbs up or the thumbs down, but I don’t necessarily design it myself. Where John Green had to accept the publisher’s desire to explain-away the smoke on the cover of Looking for Alaska with a candle, Self-Publishers get veto power.

Self-Publishers get beta readers and editors to critique their work. Self-Publishers might hire a copy editor, but they might also get an English major friend to check the grammar.

The point is that Self-Publishers are not necessarily one writer alone, uploading whatever they pump out the day after NaNoWriMo. They are simply people who take control of their publishing experience.

The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing hopes to give these brave captains of their own fate a guide book to help along the way. At this point in the project we are 16% funded; we need your help.

Already selected a reward? What else can you do to help? Share our link with your networks and friends. Know a writer? Send them a message. Know someone looking for a cover artist? We have that in the backer rewards. Have a blog? There are widgets on the main page to embed this project.

We don’t just want to teach people how to put their book out there; we want to teach them how to do it well. Self-Publishing has some misconceptions to overcome. The best way to do this is to support each other in producing the best books we can.

 

How JK Rowling Keeps Inspiring Me

How JK Rowling Keeps Inspiring Me

Harry Potter inspired me to look beyond MTV and boys and latch on to a world of fantasy, creativity, and story-telling.
Now JK Rowling is inspiring me again. By now, we’ve all heard the tail of how JK Rowling came out of the closet as mystery writer Robert Gailbreth. Now we’re starting to hear how the book published as Gailbreth, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was a commercial flop, despite being a critical hit.