IPA Annual Report

IPA stands for International Publishers Association.  They have a report out every year.  I’ll try to do a link to the PDF file but if you can’t access it, google IPA annual report.  PDF file.

Now why read it?

Well, first it contains some interesting information about publishers.  There is one article by Jens Bammel not liking the value of Amazon.  It goes on to quickly cover the idea Amazon is not caring enough about books so the customer isn’t getting enough value for the money.  I openly disagree with this.  I believe customers are bright people who over time will weed through the authors not worthy of their money by Goodreads and other sites.  I have enough fair in the customers to not worry about the huge amount of self published authors.

Second, it really gives you a sense the publishing companies are starting to get scared by the recent and upcoming changes to their once powerful hold on the book market.  Now it’s the authors along with the customers deciding who gets the big bucks and who gets left in the dust.  Publishing companies use to and still do not publish most of the books which land on their door step. Now with Amazon authors don’t have to be controlled or pushed aside for a publishing companies agendas.  This means more freedom of speech and less control at a company level.

It leaves me thinking if this isn’t already in place someone needs to start the ISPA.  International Self Publishers Association.  This would help to defend self publishers rights to publish and promote self publishers around the world.

If anyone has heard of anything like this, please let me know.

Supporting the ISPA in her head for now

Terra Ann Spencer

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Networking with other self published authors

It’s important to know how to network with other self published authors.  Some quick reasons can be blog interviews, reviews, cover artists, book beta readers and editors.   If you look at the competition as something you can learn from instead of just something to overcome,  you can gain far more from it than just sales.

Let’s say author A has an amazing cover.  Let’s say author A paid very little for the cover.  You would never know this because you didn’t network and ask.  Editors can be high-priced but with a network you stand to find editors who are not asking for huge sums of cash.  You might even find some people who can edit but don’t have a degree (they are out there) so they don’t push themselves as editors.  I have a few via Facebook through another author if you want to contact them for price, timeframe and what kind of edit they do.  Send me an email ( terranightangel@yahoo.com ) with the header ‘Editor Midnight Crimson’ and I’ll send you how to get a hold of them.

Places like LinkedIn (this is a link to my Linkedin) would be a great way to get started but most self published authors haven’t bothered to think about Linkedin this way yet.  We can get together and discuss strategy in the market place, what works, what doesn’t, which editors were worth the time and/or our next big ideas for self publishing.

We could use Skype.  Skype would be great place to do mini meetings and mini idea swaps.  Someone just needs to decide when we might do these and we have to keep them free.

I think places like Nanowrimo are a great way to get started in meeting authors but not the best to meet only self published.  If you know of any other places, leave a comment or email me.

Looking for ways to connect

Terra Ann Spencer

5 self publishing truths mmmmmmm *shakes my head*

Over on my Facebook page, a fellow author posted this article about the 5 self publishing truths and wanted an opinion on it.  Of course, if I’m going to talk about self publishing, it will be here so here we are talking about this article.

Yes, the truths need to be said.  Writing is not the best paying gig out there.  It isn’t news most of us haven’t heard at one point or another.  ‘Don’t quit your day job’ has been mouthed off by more than one writer over the years and this was way before Amazon came along with the idea everyone could publish everything they wanted to publish.

Let’s get real.  These truths are not a self publishing truth.  You can get published the old way through agents and publishing companies and make nothing.  I’ve read about more than one author who didn’t get put on a self or their publishing company didn’t market them.  These are truths every author has to face at some point in their writing career.  Few will be famous, a chunk will write long enough to find an audience and the rest will leave writing to someone else after a novel or two.

With that said, the article is a good read.  Yes, we need to talk more about the pitfalls and the horrible sale numbers.   If we don’t talk about the bad parts as an author, we lack true knowledge about our chosen path as a career.

Remember most authors even traditional ones took years to make it as writers.  Why did Stephen King write porn before becoming a hit, which book was Twilight into before we heard about it and did you hear of Game of Thrones before HBO?   Those are traditional authors and self publishing isn’t any different.  Work hard, learn everything you can and find the passion to never give up.   The rest of it is just luck!

Terra Ann Spencer

Why not all mistakes are mistakes

Yesterday I was browsing the internet in hopes of trying to figure out more about promotion and marketing needs for my novel once it’s done.  Anything for a distraction from writing as usual.  Though, I do have to admit I was glad to have stumbled upon a blog post from a few years back, 2013.  Now I’m not much into reposting so I’ll spare you that post.  I prefer to comment on the blog or site.  I like to add my own ideas which can be good or bad.

It listed out 12 mistakes authors make while trying to gain readers and sales.

Let’s go over the bad.   1.  We blog too much.   I do not agree with this at all.  Yes, I know most of my followers or views will come from fellow writers and authors but that doesn’t mean I’m not connecting with readers.  Odd thing is writers tend to read.  Also blogs help with your name and book title in the searches like Google.  The more you’re mentioned online, the higher you rank in the search.  2. The blog lists out several places where authors connect too often with authors but also says authors don’t use author hangouts to their fullest.  At this point, I almost stopped reading the list.  How confused and repetitive did this post need to be to make it sound good?

Let’s go over the Good.  I did agree with the writer that most authors do not engage their fans through social media enough or use social media correctly.   Granted you have to buy her book in order to learn how to do these.  Love the catch.  I will not make you buy a thing.  Engaging any reader means answering questions, finding places in person to met them and allowing them to feel you are approachable.  Using social media means reading about each kind and get a feel how each one works and is different.  Facebook marketing is not the same as marketing on your blog.  Facebook connects you faster to your readers and there is more chance they will respond to a post.   Your blog you will find will connect you to readers but chances are high they won’t respond.   You will also find some readers will only read the subject line and if it doesn’t catch their interest, they won’t bother reading the post.

In the end, I decided I could not link her post as it would be a disservice to my fellow writers.  The main reason is how I see a mistake in connecting to a reader, you may not see it that way.  Her list was more about her trying to get everyone to buy her book but I did find the good points interesting enough to make this post.  My advice is to Browse, Read and Learn and together we might figure this out.

Learning along with everyone else

Terra Ann Spencer