Connect with Readers, Part 2: Out in the World

26 Mar
March 26, 2015

People attending a CongressIt’s important for indie authors to connect with readers, both virtually and in person. Even if you’re only publishing electronically, you are not made of bits and bytes, and building a loyal readership that will buy your eBooks and recommend them to others begins with being accessible to your readers. While there are a number of ways you can stay connected with readers online, occasionally you’ll need to close down the laptop and venture out into the sunlight to meet and greet your readers in person. Try these five ideas for getting out in the world to connect with readers:

1. Host a reading at your public library. We encourage indie authors to work with local libraries on a regular basis. Your local community can be one of the biggest supports to you, and you can enhance that community support by building a relationship with your library.

2. Host a writing workshop. Many of your readers may have the desire to write themselves. You can establish yourself as the resident expert, connect with more potential fans, and share your experience by hosting a writing workshop or teaching a class at your local community center, college, or public library.

3. Participate in a writer’s conference. Writer’s conferences take place all across the country, so it should not be hard to find one that fits your schedule and your style. It’s a great place to connect with other writers as well as connect with readers. Wikipedia has a fairly exhaustive list of conferences that take place around the world.

How are you planning to connect with your readers out in the world this year?

Connect with Readers, Part 1: Virtual Connections

24 Mar
March 24, 2015

IMG_1297As an indie author, one of the best ways to sell more eBooks is to connect with readers on a more personal level so that they will provide the valuable word-of-mouth advertising you need to reach more readers. Connecting with readers virtually is a great place to begin. Most of your readers will be accessible on a variety of social platforms, so there are valid reasons indie authors should use social media.

There are ways to connect with readers virtually beyond social platforms. You can:

  • Send a newsletter
  • Host a podcast (or be a guest on one)
  • Publish a blog (and guest post on other blogs)
  • Respond to emails/fan mail
  • Create a YouTube channel

There are myriad ways you can connect with readers. To do so effectively, you need to make your connection less about selling eBooks and more about connecting authentically. Let your readers get to know you and your personality. Share pieces of you they won’t discover by reading your author bio. Show them your personality. Be genuine.

In our next post, we’ll talk about ways you can connect with readers offline (in the “real” world) to help create an even deeper relationship with the people who are most likely to help you obtain even more readers.

How do you connect with readers?

Repurpose, Recycle, Resell: Getting the Most Out of eBooks

19 Mar
March 19, 2015

ebooks are the futureJust as you can reuse, reduce, and recycle to protect the environment, you can repurpose, recycle, and resell your eBooks to continue expanding your readership and growing your visibility as an author. The life of an eBook is never over. In fact, once you’ve written a few eBooks, you have more options for how to use the material than you could possibly imagine.

Repurpose: Share Excerpts

From guest posts on high traffic blogs to allowing a portion of your eBook to be shared in someone else’s publication, repurpose the words you’ve written by sharing them in other venues and on other platforms. You can require guest posts to include a link back to your website so readers can purchase the title, but sharing the content in different ways can get your name out there.

Recycle: Participate in an Anthology

If you’re trying to get your name out there or introduce your titles to new readers, participate in anthology. Allow the first in your series of eBooks to be included in an anthology of eBooks on the same subject. Even if you make little to nothing on the sales of the anthology itself, the purpose is to get your name and your story in front of readers who may have purchased the anthology because of the genre or topic but don’t know you. It’s great advertising.

Resell: Bundle Your eBooks

One way to get more mileage from eBooks in a series after they have been published is to bundle them together. Whether you have a zombie trilogy or three books on parenting, you may find new life and new readers by putting them all together in one file and selling them as a package deal.

What other ways can you use your existing eBooks to market yourself as an indie author?

 

 

Self-Publishing Is Not New

17 Mar
March 17, 2015

E-learning.  Tablet pc and textbooks. Education online. 3dIf you’ve always wanted to be an author but have been turned away by publishers or simply haven’t even submitted your manuscript for fear of rejection, self-publishing is an option now more than ever before. But self-publishing is not new. Not only did many famous authors from the past find success with self-publishing – people like Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, and Ezra Pound – but there are a number of very successful modern authors who self-published as well. Richard Paul Evans self-published The Christmas Box before selling it to Simon & Schuster for $4.25 million. 

Not every indie author will write an instant best seller or have the ability to turn self-publishing success into a big publishing house contract. But if you have a book inside you, there is no reason you should not consider self-publishing as a viable option. Self-publishing gives you control over your content, the time you take in writing and publishing, and your profits. But in the words of the great author, Voltaire (yes, he said it first): “With great power comes great responsibility”…and self-publishing requires you to hold yourself to a high standard since there won’t be a publisher or agent doing it for you.

Kristen Lamb, author of Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World, has great advice for indie authors who want to self-publish. For more advice on writing and marketing your eBooks, check out EditionGuard’s Indie Publishing resources:

Don’t be afraid! We can help you overcome the fear of writing your #ebook

The power of #digitalpublishing – see how far you can take creativity

4 ways you can transform content into an #ebook and publish quickly 

Turn your #WordPress blog into an #ebook with a push of a button 

#Videomarketing tips for your ebook

Why it’s time to be done with #Kindle only publishing

Why writing your second #eBook is harder than writing your first – and how tips to help you get there!

eBook News from Around the Web

13 Mar
March 13, 2015

1From high VAT taxes in Europe to an increase in the number of digital magazines, this is the eBook news from around the Web we’ve been reading this month.

EU courts rule that eBooks must be treated as a service. Electronic books cannot benefit from the same reduced rate of value-added tax as paper books, the top court of the European Union ruled on Thursday. But the European Commission signaled it may change the rules next year to allow for equal taxation of books in any form. Read more.

Indie authors are a crucial force in publishing. Although those in corporate publishing houses and some critics may still consider self-published works to be of less quality than traditionally published books, it is clear by the sheer number of titles and their sales figures that self-publishing is here to stay, and a force to be reckoned with.   Read more.

Major author opts to self-publish. When it came time to publish her next novels, she chose to self publish them. Her story mirrors the story of many writers today. Given the freedom to self publish or traditionally publish, a growing number of proven bestsellers, and first-time authors alike, are choosing to self publish. Read more.

Schools move to adopt eBooks. A study conducted by LightSail Education shows that educators are leaning towards fully adopting ebooks in the classroom, which indicates a healthy future for companies who build them. Read more.

What’s the top eBook news you’ve been reading?

The Future of eBooks

12 Mar
March 12, 2015

ebookThe future of eBooks is often debated, and there will always be those who prefer print books. But no matter how popular the print book remains over time, technology, convenience and the draw of immediate gratification will continue to ensure a place for eBooks in the publishing industry.

Here at EditionGuard, we get excited thinking about growth in the eBook industry, because it is only here that the playing field is truly leveled so that small and independent publishers can compete cost-effectively with big media and publishing houses. EditionGuard is thrilled to play a role in the future of eBooks by providing access to digital rights management (DRM) for small and independent publishers, by supporting indie authors, and by continuing to develop new and exciting tools, technologies, and services to enhance the experience for writers, readers, and publishers.

We believe the future of eBooks is bright, indeed. Because we believe our solutions offer small and independent publishers the ability to compete so well among the “big guys,” we gladly invite you to try a month of service with us for free – no credit card required. Whether you are an indie author wanting to stop giving away 20-50% or more of your profits or you are a publisher representing multiple authors and looking for a security and selling solution that lets you compete effectively, EditionGuard can help you set up your own online bookstore powered by Adobe Content Server – the exact same DRM system used by industry giants, and the only DRM trusted by major publishers.

Learn more.

 

eBook DRM: Cost-Effective Solutions for Publishers

06 Mar
March 6, 2015

AdobeDRMThere is a lot of confusion about eBook DRM. But the truth is, if you are an eBook publisher, one of the most important considerations you have in selling eBooks is digital rights management (DRM). The problem has been traditionally that to have effective, customizable DRM, you have to be able to afford a significant investment in DRM software. This has made it impossible in the past for smaller or independent digital publishers to compete with larger publishers.

Advantages of eBook DRM

The biggest advantage of DRM is providing security that prevents unauthorized sharing of eBooks, protecting your authors from theft and loss of income. All of the major publishers integrate DRM into their eBooks, but smaller publishers who cannot afford to invest tens of thousands of dollars in licensing fees have been unable to offer the same security to authors.

EditionGuard offers a solution to help level the DRM playing field by offering independent and smaller publishers access to the same Adobe® DRM Content Server used by bigger publishers. You can now power your online eBook store with Adobe Content Server – the exact same DRM system used by industry giants, and the only DRM trusted by major publishers – for cost-effective, easy selling.

And while you’re getting the most advanced security available, readers who purchase eBooks from you have enormous flexibility. They can download their eBooks and read them on almost any device and app without restriction. The process is immediate, the profits are yours to keep, and your costs are predictable.

Try EditionGuard free for 30 days now.

Serial eBooks: Bringing Back a Popular Format

05 Mar
March 5, 2015

Hardtimes_serial_coverThere’s something wonderful about the anticipation of the continutation of a story from week to week, and serial eBooks are surging in popularity. Serial eBooks take advantage of an old approach to publishing that gained popularity with Charles Dickens, who published The Pickwick Papers and Hard Times as serials. The trend was continued in Germany and France by authors like Alexandre Dumas, who published both The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo as serials. In America, Harriet Beecher Stowe first published Uncle Tom’s Cabin as a serial in the 1850s.

The Benefit of Serial eBooks for the Indie Author

Smashwords is anti-serial, citing lack of immediate gratification, risk, cost, and inconvenience as major reasons. But most of us are familiar with the thrill and anticipation of waiting week after week for a new installment of our favorite TV dramas, and serials fulfill the same purpose for avid readers. Popular serial author Samantha Warren explains the benefits of writing serial eBooks include not having to meet minimum word counts or deal with the gatekeepers of traditional publishing who reject authors who aren’t producing “massive tomes of literature.” Creating serial eBooks allows you to publish more frequently and develop characters and story arcs over time.

Many people who love to read don’t have the time to delve into a 400-500 page novel and serialize the reading themselves by reading small portions. Delivering them segmented, planned, serial stories is a great way to give readers what they want: immediate entertainment in short bursts that they can consume when they have some downtime.

Serial eBooks Are Different than Novels

Serial eBooks are different from novels and need to be marketed differently. As you write your serial installments, you should have at minimum a general idea of each subsequent serial when you publish so that you can tease readers with what’s coming. Clearly identify to your readers (before they buy) that it is an installment series so that they know what they are buying. Other than that, all of our eBook marketing tips will help you sell more serial eBooks. Once you have a few installments published, it can be useful to make the first installment permanently free to entice new readers to try the series.

Non-Fiction eBooks: The Anthology eBook

26 Feb
February 26, 2015

1372708366kwetf

As we wrap up our exploration of fiction eBook alternatives, one non-fiction eBook that can have you published in a relatively short period of time is the anthology eBook. Whether you obtain the rights to a collection of interviews that were conducted with your favorite musical artist, or collect a number of essays you previously wrote on related topics and tie them together, you can create and publish an anthology eBook rather quickly.

Collaborating on an Anthology eBook

Making an anthology can be even easier if you invite friends, colleagues, or fellow authors to contribute. Before you begin, however, you should determine how you will invite authors to contribute, how you will determine which contributions will make the final edit, and if you want an editorial partner to help you put the anthology together.

If you do want an editorial partner to help you, the two of you should decide together the genre and subgenres. You both should also discuss and put in writing how you will share the costs and profits from your endeavor, and clearly delineate who will be responsible for what tasks throughout the project.

Before You Publish Your Anthology eBook

Getting people to contribute, whether it’s for an anthology of political poetry or essays on motherhood, won’t be difficult, but you should be clear with contributors that submissions aren’t guaranteed to be included and that their only compensation is the visibility of being included. This will prevent you from having issues later when a contributor decides that he or she should earn money off the sales of your anthology. Be sure to have each accepted contributor sign a written contract releasing the rights to you for the appearance of their contribution. You may wish to consult an attorney to obtain the proper guidance.

As you can see from our series, there are a number of non-fiction eBook options to choose from that will have you published in no time. From How-To and Recipe eBooks to Travelogues and Memoirs, there is no limit to what you can write in the non-fiction arena.

What other non-fiction eBook genres would you suggest?

Non-Fiction eBooks: The Academic eBook

24 Feb
February 24, 2015

file000527564214As we explore the variety of options available to indie eBook authors, one form of non-fiction eBook that is quickly becoming more popular is the academic eBook. The growth in online e-learning tools for “Generation Z” is exploding, and theirs will be the first generation to be more comfortable in a digital environment. Academic eBooks open an entire world up to the indie author, because there are virtually unlimited numbers of topics one can pursue.

If you’re interested in academic writing, start with what you know. Did you complete a well-written thesis for your master’s degree or dissertation for your PhD? Transform your own academic reesearch into an eBook on your specialty topic. Are you knowledgable in certain academic subjects because of your own studies or passions on the topic? Share your knowledge.

What makes an eBook an academic eBook?

The biggest difference between traditional non-fiction eBooks and academic eBooks is that academic eBooks are designed for learning. Therefore, additional elements should be incorporated into your chapters, such as summary sections, questions, and possibly, defined vocabulary sections, depending on the target age of your student and the subject matter of your academic eBook.

Academic eBooks have the potential of being much more engaging than their print counterparts. To achieve this, consider adding:

  • Links to supporting sources, news articles, and videos that enhance the educational value of your topic
  • Links to offline supporting resources, such as PowerPoint presentations, lecture notes, and exercises that make the eBook attractive to educators
  • Images, graphs, and other visual resources that help educate the reader

Not everyone who wants to be an author is capable of writing fiction, but non-fiction opportunities abound. What will you write now?