The New World of Self-Publishing, Indie Authors and the DIY Revolution for Writers | Fiction School Podcast #12

The New World of Self-Publishing, Indie Authors and the DIY Revolution for Writers | Fiction School Podcast #12

The Play's the ThingA quickie first: Announcing Baker’s newest novel! The Play’s the ThingBook Two in the Such Sweet Sorrow Trilogy and sequel to Stealing the Show (free here or here!).  Listen to the podcast to hear a chapter and more about the The Play’s the Thing!

Get your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo!  (Coming soon to Smashwords, iBooks, and other online bookstores.)


ON WITH THE SHOW (NOTES):

Technology is so amazing. Some days I just look around and go, “We live in THE FUTURE!”

(Although the other day I realized that “the future” in Back To The Future, with the flying cars and hoverboards and the Weather Service, was set in… wait for it…  2015.  I don’t think we’ll get there, but they got some things really right.)

ANYWAY.  We live in the future!  And the new things happening in publishing are arguably the biggest revolution since, well, Gutenberg.  Authors now have the ability to publish more quickly and more cheaply than ever, with wider distribution than ever, and with the internet, they have more access to more readers than ever.

But it’s not all roses and death-by-chocolate in this brave new writer’s world.  There’s a lot for a writer to know before becoming an indie publisher.

This week on the show, we discuss this indie publishing revolution: what writers should consider when self-publishing, tools and resources for indie authors, self-promotion (which is the same for indie authors and traditionally-published authors), the modern writer’s work ethic…and also Bigfoot turds and the legend of Yukon Jack!

In the show we mention lots of resources for writers considering indie publishing.  Here’s a bunch of those links up top for you:

Scrivener. Y'know - for writers.

Gwen Hernandez and her book Scrivener for DummiesDean Wesley Smith and Kristine Katherine Rusch; Joe Konrath’s blog A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing; the Self-Publishing PodcastDavid GaughranJoanna Penn.  There’s lots more out there–if you know of good resources, share in the comments!

SHOW NOTES FOR EPISODE 12

  • Baker starts with a reading from The Play’s the Thing, the sequel to Stealing the Show in the Such Sweet Sorrow Trilogy.  (It’s a project he’s decided to self-publish after long study of the market and the processes of indie publishing.)
  • Tommy’s first comment: “You had me at Bigfoot turd.”
  • Baker with Yukon Jack
    Listen to the podcast and you’ll get to hear the legendary story behind this photo: Baker with Yukon Jack.

    We dive right in with self-publishing options: should you publish exclusively to Amazon with their KDP Select program?  We define lots of terminology and discuss exclusivity versus being more widely available, and different factors in those choices for indie authors.

  • One worry about offering books for free occasionally is that it trains readers to only get free books, and wait for books to be free.
  • Baker talks about his early decisions to try self-publishing, watching the market develop with Amanda Hocking, John Locke, and Joe Konrath, among others.  Also his experience working in traditional publishing at magazines and book publishers, and an intensive research process to teach himself all the skills and procedures.
  • Resources that were very helpful in the process of learning how to self publish are: (*ahem* the greatest writing program ever *ahem*) Scrivener; and Gwen Hernandez and her book Scrivener for Dummies; Dean Wesley Smith and his wife Kristine Katherine Rusch; Joe Konrath’s blog A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing; the Self-Publishing Podcast; David Gaughran; Joanna Penn; and lots more.  Like tons more.
  • Indie publishing changes the way writers write.  Being prolific really pays off for writers.  The old model of writing a book a year is not enough anymore.
  • Mixed feelings about this from Jody–perhaps this makes writers less careful, maybe not going through as many drafts of a book; but then, if readers don’t really demand that in-depth level of revision and content, maybe it’s not necessary…
  • The other job of the modern author, whether indie publishing or traditionally publishing, is to be ubiquitous.  (Tommy’s word of the week!)
  • For Baker, indie publishing has been rewarding because it’s intrinsic; rather than worrying about what some agent or editor will think, the author is also the publisher.  It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s also a lot of fun because it’s self-motivated.
  • Tommy talks about his decision to be traditionally published with a great small press, Atticus Books.
  • Traditional publishing helps get your book access to places, helps writers whose work doesn’t fit huge publishing houses.
  • Every writer wants to get published, so it’s up to the writer to decide what the best way to do that is, what matches their skill set and temperament and work ethic.
  • Is the stigma of self-publishing disappearing?  Seems so–it used to be called “vanity publishing,” and it’s not considered vain anymore.  Many successful authors are self-publishing now, too.  The terminology is changing from “self-publishing” to “indie publishing,” too.
  • There are some diehard indie publishers who say that “vanity publishing” is now defined by a writer who feels he or she must be traditionally published.  (We don’t necessarily buy this idea, but it’s out there…)
  • Jody discusses her new publishing deal with Entangled, an innovative publisher that uses a new business model–smaller advances with higher digital royalty rates and a strength in online marketing and social networking to help the author with publicity.
  • What it boils down to with publicity is that it takes a lot of work and a lot of humility.  Like they told us in school, “No one needs your book.”  Part of being a professional writer is self-promotion.
  • Yukon Jack
    One more time: Yukon Jack, everybody.

    Tommy tells the story of Yukon Jack!  Soon to be legend.

  • It’s all about what self-promotion really looks like, reading your young adult novel about sixteen-year-olds on a road trip to a sweating, hard-of-hearing, 90-something cowboy in a North Dakota library.
  • “The idea of self-promotion is that you gotta want it.  You gotta get out there.  Nobody’s gonna champion your book like you.”
  • And for the big finale: Baker makes another announcement and gives a special offer for podcast listeners!  Gotta listen to the show to get it…

Alright, that’ll do it.  We hope you enjoyed the show!  Until next week, happy writing, y’all.

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