IU Excellence Award Nominations Still Open

IUEA Nominations ButtonNominations are still open for the Indies Unlimited Excellence Awards. It’s up to you to decide which sites will be included in the voting! It’s time to recognize the sites that have provided you with the most valuable information, insights, and resources. Nominations are easy, just click on the image at left, or in the top of the sidebar, and follow the instructions.

You can nominate your choices for Best Book Review Site, Best Resource Site, and Best Watchdog/Warning Site. Get those nominations in and show that you care!

Indie News Beat: Which Perspective Would You Like with 2014?

As another New Year kicks off, it’s worth taking a look around at what’s being said about this crazy industry we call publishing. For many of us, it’s the data that matters: the most popular sites for readers, the titles they’re buying, which genres are ‘hot’ (and is there a snowball’s chance in hell we could bang out 50k words before that genre goes cold?). However much we may dislike marketing our books, we need to decide where they should be, what the ideal price point is, and many more variables which could see a few more copies downloaded.

So what might this year hold? If you can make it through the hyperbole, a good place to start is Ten Bold Predictions for 2014. Yes, last year was the best ever, except that now the price of eBooks is “plummeting”. Good news for readers, but if the mainstreams are finally bringing eBook prices down to what Independent Authors have been selling them at for a while, where does that leave the latter? Another telltale factoid is that “ebook revenue has tapered off”, which also supports the suggestion that mainstreams now understand they’ve milked the eBook market as much as they can. The problem for Independent Authors is that it removes a fundamental selling point: that our ebooks were cheaper.

An interesting perspective, and much useful information, is to be had in this article by Paul Jarvis. He describes his own experiences with using Indie sites to sell his books, and talks about publishing a book on Amazon as though it were a bit of a chore: “It took 12 hours [for his book to be on sale] which isn’t bad… Basically, there’s a lot of waiting for Amazon…” I found Jarvis’s use of Indie sites to sell his books to be a refreshing change, given that in my experience, Amazon is the number one place where a book has to be available. Continue reading “Indie News Beat: Which Perspective Would You Like with 2014?”

Author Portraits: A “How to”

KSBrooksand TRex
Fun photo – but just not right for professional use!
Photo courtesy DPR & Rich Meyer

Here at Indies Unlimited, our submissions are just like what you’d experience at a newspaper, magazine, publisher, agent, or advertiser. So when we ask for an author photo, we expect authors to provide a photograph that represents them as professionals. After all, writing is your job, right? So wouldn’t you want to put your best foot forward and impress us with your best writerly image?

That doesn’t always happen.

We do get some very professional head shots, but sometimes we get photographs with the following issues: blurry, eyes closed, holding alcoholic beverages, mirror shot in a bathroom, distorted selfie, and my personal pet peeve: the 8 megabyte humungous file. I’m sure you’re gorgeous and all that, but Indies Unlimited is run by volunteers – and while our hearts are big, our free email boxes are small. If you send me an 8 megabyte attachment, I’m going to delete it and perhaps your submission as well. We send along a link to a tutorial for resizing photographs with every guideline that goes out. Please please please learn it.

Look, we understand that most authors are not photographers. But I am. Don’t believe me? Check out my portfolio sampler here if you want. So, now that you’re convinced, how about I give you some tips to help you get the great looking shot that will end up plastered all over? Continue reading “Author Portraits: A “How to””

Should a Writer Have a Blog?

Typing via PresentationPro MSPubA reader asked: “I’m curious about one thing in particular, at this moment. How important is having a blog and lots of comments to a writer’s success? Reason I ask: I started blogging almost a year ago, and got sidetracked with blogging. I’m now thinking of changing my schedule from posting twice per week to once every two weeks, just to make more time for my writing projects. ”

How important is a blog to a writer? Continue reading “Should a Writer Have a Blog?”