Tag Archives: Amazon Kindle

Why I’m an indie author re-visited

I’ve been suffering “blog burnout” for some time. To counteract it I’m rewriting older posts with some new content as well.

If I was under a contract to a big company, I could only write the books that  I was under contract for. I could write other things, but I’d likely have to sit on them for a different deal,=  or have to publish them under another publisher, under a pseudonym.

As an indy, I can publish whatever I want whenever I choose to.

Example: I’m writing a short story for my email list (set in the ‘world’ of my novel) and have the outline for a non-fiction work after I’m done with the novel, as well as notes for another series… my mind is busy!

Advantage: indie pub

Independent Truck Company logo

Independent Truck Company logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I was under a contract to a big company, I  would be hampered to writing in just one genre, and just one style. If I was signed for one series, I would be forced to write for that series alone. If it was for novels (it often is) I could only write novels and not short stories or non-fiction (the exception being if they help to drive interest to your contracted novels, and if they don’t affect your contract time).

[Of course, Steven King, James Patterson, and J.K. Rawlings are exceptions to this rule.]

As an indie pub author, on the other hand, I can write and publish whatever  I want and when I want to. I can start one series, then another, then put out an unrelated short story or a non-fiction work. I have that freedom.

See what I said above.

Winner: INDIE PUB

People under contract to a big publisher have no control over how their work is presented.

Indie pub authors control every aspect. The cover art is what they chose, as are the fonts (for a hardcopy book; for eBooks it’s still not under your control) and even illustrations inside the book.

You can print on demand and/or e-publish on Kindle/Nook/epub/Smashwords/whatever you choose.

[If you pick the  Kindle KDP program you can’t try another for 90 days..]

ADVANTAGE: INDIE PUB

Audiobook? Indy Pub authors can do this at will, and profit from it. Authors on contract can too — if they’re on the contact to get paid for it. Otherwise, the publisher might produce one, but all profits go to them.

ADVANTAGE: INDIE PUB

To play Devil’s Advocate, there is a big negative: all the costs (art, editing, advertising, etc.) come to you. After your first work sells, you can set money aside for the next one, but that first one may cost a lot.

grudging win: traditional pub

Novels in a Polish bookstore

Novels in a Polish bookstore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The one minus doesn’t outweigh the positives, though.

Why I’m an indie author

If I was under a contract to a big company, I could only write the books that  I was under contract for. I could write other things, but I’d likely have to sit on them for a different deal,  or have to publish them under another publisher, under a pseudonym.

As an indy, I can publish whatever I want whenever I choose to.

Advantage: indie pub

Independent Truck Company logo

Independent Truck Company logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I was under a contract to a big company, I  would be hampered to writing in just one genre, and just one style. If I was signed for one series, I would be forced to write for that series alone. If it was for novels (it often is) I could only write novels and not short stories or non-fiction (the exception being if they help to drive interest to your contracted novels, and if they don’t affect your contract time).

[Of course Steven King, James Patterson, and J.K. Rawlings are exceptions to this rule.]

Indy pub authors, on the other hand, can write and publish whatever  I want and when I want to. I can  start one series, then another, then  put out an unrelated short story or a non-fiction work. I have that freedom.

ADVANTAGE: INDIE PUB

People under contract to a big publisher have no control over how their work is presented.

Indy pub authors control every aspect. The cover art is what they chose, as are the fonts (for a hardcopy book; for eBooks it’s still not under your control) and even illustrations inside the book .

You can print on demand and/or e-publish on Kindle/Nook/epub/Smashwords/whatever you choose.

[If you pick the  Kindle KDP program you can’t try another for 90 days..]

ADVANTAGE: INDIE PUB

Audiobook? Indy Pub authors can do this at will, and profit from it. Authors on contract can too — if they’re on the contact to get paid for it. Otherwise the publisher might produce one, but all profits go to them.

ADVANTAGE: INDIE PUB

To play Devil’s Advocate, there is a big negative: all the costs (art, editing, advertising, etc.) come to you. After your first work sells, you can set money aside for the next one, but that first one may cost a lot.

advantage: traditional pub

Novels in a Polish bookstore

Novels in a Polish bookstore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The one minus doesn’t outweigh the positives though.

 

Crowdsourcing 201

To begin, there are two pledge levels that I forgot to mention before, but I’ve seen them for nearly every project I’ve joined, so they’re deserving of mention:

Pledge (song)

Pledge (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“$1”: you want to help out, but you just want to “get your feet wet”. For that you can pledge a single buck. It brings no perks with it, but it still helps the project move forward a bit. Dozens of such a pledge still add up.

“$5”: a larger bid with a sole perk: mention of your name in the Thanks, whether it’s a special page in a  book or comic book, or on a page on a Website (I’m listed on all 3 on different projects) …or whatever form it takes.

One thing: the Thanks are a part of every Perk level above $5 as well.

Where a project really gets cool is when it raises more than the target amount. Why?

Stretch Goals

After that amount, the folks who made the project add new features to their projects.

Take for example Grimtooth’s Ultimate Traps Collection.  These were a set of books that I read years ago in my game life…. traps in fantasy gaming of a darkly humorous bent. For this project all the out-of-print volumes  will be collected in a single hardcover volume. [I backed this]

Stretch goals included new books in this series, extra cloth bookmarks sewn in, even new backer-submitted traps.

Another example: a book that I backed made an audiobook version.

If the projects are the meat-and-potatoes then stretch goals are the neat desserts.

Crowdsourcing Sites

Indiegogo Website

This is the site that I used for my novel, but I think that I’ll use another one next time. I used it because of the flexible funding option available.

Flexible funding means that you get the funds collected — minus their fees — immediately, so even if you don’t make your target you still have something to start to work with.

Traditional thought is that if you don’t make your goal you don’t have to produce your  project — but in my case I don’t agree with that philosophy. Some people did back me, and I’ll finish my book as that’s what they paid for. Even though it’s taking me much longer than I’d like, I’ll get it done.

Kickstarter Website

You may have heard this mentioned a lot lately. Several films and TV shows were funded through this, as were many other projects. Two of my friends got funding for comic books through this, and many, many other projects.

Unlike Indiegogo, pledges collected here are only charged if the project funding target is made. As a result, if the funding goal isn’t achieved the amount collected is an even $0.

There are other crowdsourcing services, but for my needs they aren’t suited: Fundrazr is Canadian which suits me, but it’s better-suited to more altruistic projects than mine. Patreon  is, as the name suggests, a way to become a patron-crowdsourcer ongoing to an artist. I’m not *that* prolific. That wouldn’t be fair to my contributors.

One thing is for sure: whatever service that you go with you have a lot of promotion to do.

 

Re-doing my Mind Map

As I’ve said before, I’m writing fiction for the Kindle platform. Right now I’m trying to get my artist lined up…  but I want to start the novel before  the Indiegogo project gets underway.

To get started I’m trying to get my  mind map for the first book done on a new tool:

Scrivener (software)

Scrivener (software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I began to use Scrivener last October before NaNoWriMo. I’m on the Windows version, which isn’t as feature-rich as the Mac one.

Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

That has changed thanks to its native mind-mapping tool in Beta for Windows, a utility called Scapple.

I used Xmind before and even recommended it here. It’s a great program, but too structured for  the ideas that come to you for writing. The ideas for prose don’t often come in structured ways.

As a result I’m starting my map over, and also getting new ideas for the plot and characters as I go.

My 2013

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions (I’d rather get things done), and I don’t buy into the Mayan Apocalypse… I just wanted to state these things now.

As far as results go, 2023 wasn’t as bad for me as 2011 was, but I’m hoping 2013 will be even better.

I had one thing published this year. I’ll have more out in 2013, including hopefully my first published novels on the Kindle (fiction, not non-).

I also have my long-overdue fanzine to get started again, and my letter writing for other zines to get restarted.

Finally, 2013 will be my tenth calendar year on NaNoWriMo. I haven’t had a success at it since 2006. I hope to change that.

To superstitious people 13 is unlucky. May it not be so for me!

Very Different

Image representing Amazon Kindle as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

I’m reading a book about formatting material for the EPUB format on my Kobo at the moment (unlike the proprietary .mobi format used by the Amazon Kindle.epub is used for other devices).

The style difference is large… for Kindle all text is formatted Justified; for epub it isn’t. In fact, the book that I’m reading is left-justified.

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