IU News Bits

Indies Unlimited NewspaperWell hello, folks. It’s the end of January, and there are some things you should know, whether you like it or not.

Indies Unlimited Excellence Awards

There are only five days left to nominate the sites of your choice for the IUEAs. Yes, this coveted award is almost to the voting stage. Will your favorite sites make it in? They won’t if you don’t nominate them! Please make sure to follow the rules when nominating. The admins are getting gray hairs. Don’t know where to nominate? Start here on nominations home page.

Have You Been Scammed?

Has a vanity press or other self-publishing service provider done you wrong? It’s happened to lots of people – and we want to hear your story. Just drop us a line through the contact form and we’ll shoot the guest post guidelines over to you.

New Vetting Procedure

As you may or may not be aware, Indies Unlimited puts each book through a rigorous vetting procedure before it can be featured on the site (self-service posts not included). As the number of queries has increased dramatically, we’ve found it necessary to streamline the vetting process. Starting in January 2015, we’ve split it into a two-phase process. First phase: books will be evaluated on the basis of their cover, categories, and linkage to the author’s Author Central page. Although the words inside are the most important, the book’s cover is the first thing a reader might use to drop the book from consideration, and the committee approaches each book as a prospective buyer might. If a book passes those criteria, it will move on to the second phase: reviews, book description, and book’s look inside feature. If it does not pass the first round, the author will have the opportunity to make adjustments and/or enhancements and then resubmit.

The vetting committee is comprised of volunteers who spend a lot of time evaluating books as well as providing thoughtful feedback to authors so they can produce a more professional product. They do this in hopes of dispelling the myth that indie author books are inferior. A big kudos to them for donating their time and energy to the cause.

Just Ask Us

That’s right, we’re here nearly 24/7 – and all for free. (Crazy, isn’t it?) We work overtime to get the answers you need to those pressing questions, such as: What the heck is a meatgrinder? How do I format for Createspace? And, why has no one ever seen Big Al and Hugh Howey together at the same time? (Suspicious, isn’t it?) In any case, drop us a line via the contact form with what you need to know about writing and publishing and we’ll get back to you, either with a link to an article we’ve got on hand or, with a brand new article written by one of the expert minions on staff. If you wish to remain anonymous, we can do that. No one will get your name out of us. We’re plenty accustomed to torture. So don’t be shy! Ask away.

Flash Fiction Challenge Rule Update

Don’t forget, the rules have changed for the 2015 Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenges. We’ve implemented a panel of judges to select the top entries before public voting. Read more about the 2015 rule changes here, and don’t forget – you can’t win if you don’t enter!

New Administrative Assistant

Last, but definitely not least, Kyle Phillips has joined the staff in an administrative capacity. Kyle is studying English and Marketing and, for some reason we can’t comprehend, will be donating his time to assist the Admins by fielding query emails and coordinating Vetting Committee input. Remember, everyone at IU is a volunteer – so please, don’t shoot the messenger. Let’s extend Kyle a warm welcome, and if you want in on the pool of how long he will last, squares are five dollars.

Thanks again for being a part of Indies Unlimited. Don’t forget, you can show your support by telling your friends about us, and if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can always make a donation. Happy Writing!

Featured Book: The Fallen

The Fallen by Lee French and Erik KortThe Fallen
by Lee French & Erik Kort
Genres: Fantasy
Available at Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

In a world torn from its Creator, a cranky Seer must survive long enough to save her clan from the grasp of a telepath who would have her gift for himself, no matter who or what stands in his way.

Book Excerpt:

“He is some sort of Mecalle nobility, yes?”

Stunned by the question, Teryk stopped and looked at her. “How could you possibly know that?”

“I am a Seer.” Normally, Chavali said this and people left it be, taking her to be what she said she was. This time, the statement felt a little flat, like she was trying to convince herself as much as him. Really, how could she rightfully call herself that when she hadn’t seen the attack on her clan coming? Why didn’t the spirits tell her it was going to happen? They were supposed to help her protect the clan.

He grabbed her arm where it was covered by her sleeve, not accepting the answer. “No, really. How did you know that?”

Like this, she was actually afraid of him.

What others are saying:

“There is deftness and wit to the writing, a light touch that ensures that even the minor characters are memorable” – turnerpage, Amazon Reviewer

When Your Books Outlive You – Estate Planning Experts Offer Advice for Writers

estate planning for authors last willSo, you’ve built a writing empire, or more likely, you’ve published a couple of books and they sell enough to pay your cable bill each month (or your coffee bill, if on a smaller scale). Now, you die; what happens? Well, that is going to depend on how you’ve planned for it. I talked to a couple of estate planning experts on what self-published writers need to do to ensure their intellectual property assets (that fancy legal term for your books) pass on in a way that you want. Estate planning, like a good novel, has a few twists and turns, so here’s the skinny so you don’t get caught off guard. Continue reading “When Your Books Outlive You – Estate Planning Experts Offer Advice for Writers”