Dec 3, 2012

Researching My Novel: Dark Southern Sun

Writing authentic historical fiction, I believe, requires research. Such novels cannot be constructed entirely from fiction. My research for the sequel to Counter Currents took me to southeast Australia.

Oct 28, 2012

Many Literary Awards Exclude Indie Authors

In the past, I often bought books that won or were shortlisted for one of the major English language literary prizes. Not any more. When I became an indie author, I began to boycott such books because many prize-granting organizations specifically exclude self-published authors. How can you claim to award the best if you exclude vast numbers of authors?

Oct 23, 2012

Make Sure the World Can Buy Your Ebook

Recently I advised self-published authors to diversity their ebook formats: I said go beyond Kindle to include sellers who offer the epub format. Here’s a further tip for my American colleagues: diversify your epub vendors to make sure your foreign fans can buy your books.

Oct 9, 2012

Indies Should Publish on All Platforms

We indie authors work hard to coax readers to buy our books. When even a trickle of sales of an ebook is cause for euphoria, it astounds me that so many authors ignore nearly 40% of the American ebook market and the majority of the Canadian market.

Jul 28, 2012

The Adult Content Dilemma

My first novel, Counter Currents, contains one nude swimming scene (pretty tame stuff) and one explicit sex scene. The latter is not gratuitous--it is a natural evolution of a relationship between two characters in the story. I included it because I wrote the book for well balanced adults.

Jul 19, 2012

Make Paperbacks Part of Your Sales Plan

For my first self-published novel, Counter Currents, I decided to include a paperback version as well as an ebook. I used CreateSpace with excellent results. Some of the pros, such as John Locke (author of How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months), advise us not to bother—it's not worth it, they say. Respectfully, they're wrong for two reasons.

May 29, 2012

One Leaf in the Forest Screaming for Attention!

Updated October 2013
Imagine you are one leaf in a forest of 10,000 trees. How do you get noticed? That is the challenge each new indie writer faces.

Here are some sobering stats found on blogs and news websites:
  • In 2011, Amazon had 950,000 ebooks for the Kindle, out of a total of about 1.8 million titles.
  • Almost 2.8 million non-traditional books, including ebooks and print-on-demand paperbacks, were produced in the United States in 2010 (says Reuters).
  • US publishers of all types produce over 300,000 traditionally published books per year with about 210,000 more in the UK.
  • In October 2013, the American ISBN agency Bowker stated that 391,000 self-published titles were added in 2012, a 59% increase from 2011.
The world is awash in books with more every year.

Mar 23, 2012

Symbiotic Nature of Indie Books

Updated December 31, 2013
After just a couple of months as an indie author, I groked an unspoken truth that any author needs to know who still wants to sell paperbacks (along with their e-books). Your best friend is the independent bookstore owner, and you may be that owner's edge against the big book chains. Eighteen months later I am even a bigger believer.

Jan 22, 2012

New Publishing Paradigm Unfolds as Foretold

In January 2012, the flagship in Canada's fleet of traditional publishers became a small cog in a foreign business empire. Random House, a subsidiary of the international publishing conglomerate Bertelsmann AG, bought out the remaining shares of McClelland & Stewart. (The purchase passed federal government scrutiny, proving that Canadian culture gets less protection than Canadian potash.)