IU News Bits April No Foolin’ Edition

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

Indies Unlimited Author Survey

There are only two days left to take the IU #PublishingFoul survey. Please check this out: it’s short, fast, easy, anonymous, doesn’t require a log-in, and even if you’ve never been scammed, please answer the first two questions. And boom, you’re done.

Spiffy New Server

You may have noticed Indies Unlimited is now loading lightning fast. You’re welcome. In order to escape the server slowdown experienced by thousands of websites, we moved IU over to a new server. Now we can proudly say, “IU is all like BAM!” Because of those server troubles, some votes may not have registered in our #PublishingFoul survey. Please stop by the survey and check to make sure that yours have. If you see this:VOTED #PublisherFoul surveythen your vote registered. If you see this:NOT VOTED #PublishingFoul Surveythen it did not – and please do vote. We don’t ever ask for much, do we?

Subscriber Emails

Recently, some people have unsubscribed from the newsletter (blasphemy! how dare they?!), claiming that we send too many emails. The newsletter only goes out once per day (we even send it manually now to make sure it doesn’t misfire), so if you are receiving more than one, that means you’ve subscribed to posts via WordPress. If you want to stop receiving those each time a new post goes live, it’s easy to unsubscribe. At the bottom of the email, you will see:unsubscribe via wordpressJust click unsubscribe, and you’re good to go. Make sure to subscribe to the IU Newsletter, though!

New Resource Pages

We’re always trying to add resource pages to fill the needs of authors. This past quarter, we added one with a list of places to find Beta Readers as well as Legal Resources for Authors. You can find a list of all our resource pages listed at the top of the KnowledgeBase.

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/Anthology Update

Yes, we’re hard at work on the 2014 Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Anthology. That should be released soon. And don’t forget, the rules have changed for the 2015 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!

Summer Schedule

As weekend traffic slows down for summer fun, IU will be going to a new schedule. Beginning in April, we will be running only two features on Friday through Monday, which means that some of your favorites may move. Make sure to subscribe to the IU newsletter so you don’t miss any!

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

How we almost got hooked…line and sinker… by Publish America

#PublishingFoul Logo Indies UnlimitedGuest Post
by Jacqueline Hopkins

Back in 2010, I was living in Alaska, and editing my niece’s book. Shana Gentry told me she had a publisher and they were waiting for her to finish it. I asked her who it was. Proudly, she said, “Why it’s Publish America, of course.” I had never heard of them. Back when I’d tried to get my novel published, I’d gone the traditional route – and Publish America wasn’t one of them. After all the rejections I received, I got discouraged and quit writing, shelving over a dozen books I had started.

In any case, I asked Shana about PA and she said she’d found them online and had already signed a contract with them. When she first contacted them, their response and interest in her book was immediate and very over the top, telling her she had a bestseller and that they would make her a famous author. PA was very prompt in their responses; however, their contract spoke of many charges to come out of her pocket. In fact, she wouldn’t see a profit from sales until they recouped their costs. Only then would get any royalties. Shana also told me she was to pay them around $200 for startup fees and contact placement in the company, and for a front cover and back panel of the book. They also told her an editor would call her and keep in touch with her as she wrote, and that she didn’t need to seek the copyrights as they handled that as well. She told me she had her doubts right away and stopped correspondence with them after about two weeks of back and forth emails and harassing phones calls, pushing her to send the manuscript. Continue reading “How we almost got hooked…line and sinker… by Publish America”

The Goodreads Preview Feature

goodreads logoIt has recently come to my attention that Goodreads now offers the option to upload a preview for each of your books. I like the idea. Previews are a great way to allow readers to get a taste of the book so that they will have a better sense of whether the content and style will appeal to them. It works much the same way, in my opinion, as the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. Continue reading “The Goodreads Preview Feature”