Tag Archives: ebooks

How to get your writing noticed

Publish stories on your own website/blog

thzm0mn3jlAndy Weir, author of The Martian, first published this story on his own website one chapter at a time. He’d been posting short stories and chapters of different books on-line for ten years, growing a dedicated following.  His readers asked him to produce an ebook version of The Martian to make it easier to read, and this is when the book took off. Suddenly, he had an agent, a book deal and Fox Studios making the movie. Interestingly, the author had once taken three years off work to try and sell his writing to a traditional publisher and failed.

 

Use Wattpad to find a readership

176127761Wattpad has 8 million monthly visitors and a high proportion of YA users. Writers post their books chapter by chapter, and give it away for free. But some authors see it as a price worth paying in order to find a readership. Lily Carmine’s story, The Lost Boys, clocked up 33 million readers! It was quickly snapped up by Random House.

 

 

 

Broaden your readership using social media

Try combining your words with images for sites such as Instagram, pinterest and Facebook to expose your writing to new readers. Even on sites where visual content isn’t required, images have better visibility in the news feed. I write flash fiction for pure fun and post it on Instagram/my author blog.

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 Make an ebook

stick-dogAmazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) enables authors to independently publish their books straight to Kindle. It’s not a passport to getting your work noticed, but if your writing stays in a drawer no-one is going to read it! Producing an ebook is less expensive than making a physical book and is a good way of dipping your toe into the water to see if it sells. Tom Watson, author of the picture book Stick Dog, produced his own ebook because he felt his work was “too far out there” for a traditional publisher. It went on to gain a massive following through word of mouth. Our Electrik Inc books are all available as ebooks.

Do you have any top tips for getting your writing noticed? If so, let us know. We’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Kim

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Independent Publishing – My Story So Far

St Viper’s School for Super Villains is about to be independently published and I’ve been reflecting on the last few months – the things I enjoyed, what drove me bananas, the challenges that lie ahead. And knowing what I know now whether I should be clever/stupid/crazy enough to do it again.

WHAT I ENJOYED

Taking control. I have nearly been published through the traditional route a couple of times. For a little while I had a lovely literary agent (the agency closed their children’s list). Movie companies even read one of my manuscripts with a view to buying the film option. But somehow my timing has never been quite right and luck hasn’t been on my side (Note – we inklings all have very different stories!). I needed to try something new to get my books in the hands of children or give up and earn a proper living. Then we had that Electrik moment in the Jazz Cafe which Jenny blogged about. Professional Independent Publishing was born.

It has felt incredibly liberating challenging the norm, creating a way to independently publish high-quality children’s books, in a way that meets our needs, building on both the strengths of traditional and self-publishing. I’m proud that we have been brave enough to have a go and of the product we’ve created.

Working with other children’s writers.  I loved being a creative writing student and really missed bouncing ideas around with other writers after the MA finished. It can be lonely working on a book on your own. Being part of Electrik Inc has allowed me to write and publish in a supportive environment. We have had a laugh too.

Seeing my book looking gorgeous St Viper’s has been professionally and lovingly line edited over and over again and it shows. The reviews of the book are brilliant. I also have the cover and illustrations I wanted. I’m a happy writer.

WHAT DROVE ME BANANAS

Where to start? Having to buy a new laptop because the old one wasn’t up to the job and Adobe Acrobat Pro to meet the printer’s requirements.  Researching POD companies and finding out after hours and hours of reading that our preferred supplier would only sell my book on Amazon.com not Amazon.co.uk and in American dollars (which they failed to mention). Generally trying to fit square pegs into round holes. We are a hybrid of traditional and self-publishing and nothing quite fits us. I must say that the ebook has been a walk in the park compared to producing a print on demand book. Mostly, what has driven me bananas is the time form filling and buying services has taken away from my writing. But on balance I think all the work has been worth it to get the book I want.

THE CHALLENGES THAT LIE AHEAD

I’m happy blogging, tweeting and squawking but I could do with a whole army of clones to visit bookshops and schools to talk about St Viper’s. ‘Who is your rep?’ ‘Who are you using for PR?’ I am frequently asked in stores. ‘Err…that’s me.’ I feel incredibly small, like Julia Donaldson’s snail in the Snail and the Whale in a big world. It should become easier when we start marketing our books together, but for the time being it’s just St Viper’s. We will have to be inventive in the way we market my book. We must write fantastic stories that children talk about. It’s all possible. Like Donaldson’s snails on the rock it would be easier to be quiet, sit still and stay put, but I’d rather carry on with the adventure.

Kim Donovan

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to e or not to e

to e or not to e

Who says ebooks can’t coexist with paper books? And why do so many people fall into the ‘for’ or ‘against’ camps like zealots? Perhaps because for many writers, and readers, great books can be like a religious experience – they give us insight, emotion, empathy, passion… epiphanies. But do great novels have to be made of paper to make us feel all that? And do ereaders mean traditional publishing is dead? Of course not.

Anything that gets more people reading – adults and children – is great. And if more writers publish their own ebooks, that’s great, too. It’s quality that matters. It also matters to traditional publishers and that’s one of the benefits they offer their clients. Okay, for some the royalties might be better at Amazon, but you don’t get a built-in editor shaking their head and telling you to, “Cut, cut, cut… and that’s the tenth time you’ve used the word really.”

Traditional publishing still has a lot to recommend it. So do professionally produced ebooks. Anything that brings books to readers, whether it’s a lorry from a distribution depot or a line of computer coding on an ereader is fine by me.

Amanda Hocking has found that both traditional and epublishing works for her. http://amandahocking.blogspot.com/  Having made a well-deserved fortune by putting her novels online, she has now turned to traditional publishers to help her increase her readership and get physical books out to her growing fanbase.

For me, ereaders will never replace books. Curl up on the couch with a coffee and a Kindle? Nah. But, you know, if we didn’t embrace change, we’d still be sending our manuscripts out to scribes, killing goats, scraping and preparing the skins to make vellum, getting some gall from tree bark for the ink, touting round for the scribe with the best hand then waiting a few years for delivery – of one beautiful book. I wonder if merchants back in the 15th century turned up their noses at the new “printed” books? “Ooh, look, he’s got a Gutenberg.” Sniff, “I only read illuminated manuscripts, you know. Can’t abide new technology.”

The changes happening in publishing today are seismic. And they’re not going to stop. Great. The canvas and the camera co-exist in harmony and are used by artists to create beautiful images. The creativity comes from the people using them. Epublishers and traditional publishers are similar creative forces. As a reader, and a writer, I welcome them both.

Kay Leitch

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