Juggling writing my novels, blogging, and daily life is a huge challenge. This week I (sort of) chunked the task of researching the business end of blogging. That voyage into Google-ville unearthed a meandering myriad of fascinating stuff worth sharing with you…
Blogging: In most any timezone, folks check their social media on weekdays, around lunchtime. According to these statistics gathered by Sprout Social, most of us bloggers are wisest to post mid-week, mid-morning. Forget about posting on weekends.
Social media: Trendwatchers at Pew Research Center report that everyone everywhere is increasing their social media engagement. Among all ages, Facebook is used most and most frequently, with Youtube gaining behind them.
Mind: “The greatest gift you can give to people is your full attention,” according to the Australian guy on Smiling Mind. Meditation, mindfulness, stress relief, call it what you will — everyone tells us we need it. Smiling Mind coaches us to do just that, in English and even in Aboriginal languages! — no credit card required to upload it and use its free version indefinitely!
Body: Mindfulness can help us stay fit — MyFitnessPal tracks and calculates our eating, nutrition, and activity. No credit card required to use its gratis edition forever.
1st YouTube: Ever wonder about it? Ta-da! Here it is, originally uploaded on April 23, 2005…
Anti-Viral Dog: Crisis brings out the worst — and the best! — in us, like how whoever kindly made this video wanted us to smile…
What are your best blogging hacks and fave truly free apps?
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When it comes to publishing, deciding which route to take can be a challenge.
For the traditional route, once an author writes a book, they sign on with an agent or publishing house. The author shares a hefty percentage of the sales, in exchange for the agent doing everything involved in getting attention and sales.
A self-publisher keeps all the money — but does everything, including possible hiring of an editor and book designer, buying advertising, etc.
Turning down a book contract was a painful decision. My book emphasizes listening to your internal voice. My voice told me I wouldn’t be happy signing a contract that didn’t feel mutual. The morning after making this decision the idea for my next book came to me. I then knew self-publishing was the right path.
Two things were clear. 1) I would create a publishing imprint to house this and future books. 2) I would be intimately part of the process.
Creating a publishing imprint meant establishing an LLC. Its mission is broad enough to cover other professional activities, like public speaking, so that my writing will be an essential part of my professional life.
There are reputable companies, like Girl Friday Productions, that help authors from concept to final production. I believe they quoted me $16,000. I chose not to go with this sort of company because I had a manuscript that already was far along and, also, it means not taking the lead in creating my team. Establishing my team meant spending hours finding a top quality editor, cover designer, and interior designer.
I was fortunate enough to find a developmental editor who is the vice president of a publishing company. She had me reduce my manuscript by 30%. She told me that while I don’t like telling people what to do (I am a psychologist) – as a writer I needed to be more directive. After a major edit, I hired another editor to polish the final manuscript.
For book design, I chose Reedsy, an online company that has wonderful professionals for hire. Inexpensive cover designs cost around $500. For an experienced, artistic designer it is closer to $1000. My cover designer was so good that I persuaded him to do my interior design which cost about $2000.
I learned the hard way that what makes for a beautiful physical book creates complications for the ebook. (Suggestion: Make a copy of the interior before getting fancy!) Creating the ebook to look like the physical copy proved difficult. I had no way to assess the actual skill level of designers. The first person misrepresented their experience, and I paid $450 for something I couldn’t use. The next person charged $500 and what I wanted took more time than estimated–so we negotiated a higher price.
My experience creating the audiobook with Brickshop Audio in Brooklyn was a pleasure. The audiobook, with production help, costs $250 per finished hour. My 55,000-word book (on ACX) cost $1650.
I recommend my path to authors who enjoy creating a business and who have the time and desire to address countless creative details. It means a lot more work upfront, but having finished products closer to your vision. I am excited to take what I have learned to new ventures!
Dear readers, share your experiences below with self-publishing vs. traditional publishing…
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How blog posts and articles can promote your book!
Want to increase readership and book sales, write an article or blog post?
Writing material related to a non-fiction is a no-brainer. Chances are you’re an expert and can easily expand or provoke further discussion on your book’s topic through a blog post or article. But fiction writers have a challenge and need to be creative. Here are some of the areas to explore:
Your book’s central theme(s).
The main location(s) described.
Expand on historical references and the era.
Your inspiration for writing the book such as an event or other trigger.
Backstory of one of your main characters and if based on a real person.
Any unusual practice or method you used to write the book.
Bonus material in form of background stories or information.
I was fortunate my last book “Suddenly Single Sylvia” about a newly divorced mature…
I have relocated from Shanghai to Kuala Lumpur for almost 2 years now. From a small cosmopolitan country Singapore to a major city Shanghai and a buzzing world in Kuala Lumpur. For the past 4 years, it has been nothing short of an adventure.
One thing that my friends love to ask me is what is life like between Malaysia and Singapore, what is the difference. Yes, I do get that question all the time. I mean besides the exchange rates at the current SGD$1 is to RM3. There is a vast difference between the two countries even though they shared a long history and are neighbours.
Singapore Night View
People One major draw to me living in Kuala Lumpur is the local population here. I’m a Singaporean, and I love my fellow countrymen, but local Malaysian folks are just too friendly to ignore. I thought I would have a…
A few years ago, I wasn’t really a big fan of literature. As a matter of fact, I was completely involved in the technicality and complexity of “Mechanical Components” during my undergrad years.
It was only when I began working as an analyst that I discovered the beauty of reading and analyzing from industrial journals. My joy was enhanced by the fact that I was making getting paid for the experience.
I am from Pune, India. These days I reside in Pennsylvania where I am pursuing a Masters in Business Analytics. Fortunately, I have plenty of time to visit public libraries, where I read more than corporate and industrial tomes. It wasn’t until I met people at libraries that I realized how bizarre the skills that I possess as a writer are. I am able to write a blog or an article within minutes with the help of my quick and witty thinking, add a little humor to it, and thus make it a little captivating.
Before I knew it, I was visiting a variety of libraries for fun in addition to browsing various styles of literature. The self-help section showed me that others share my interests.
More than 90% of U.S. libraries offer free internet, a service that attracts a surprisingly large audience. At libraries, not only do I expand my reading horizon, but I meet new people.
As a result, I started a blog where I now channel my personal thoughts onto my own website. This is something I never before imagined I would do.
I am honored to write my first guest post for da-AL, a brilliant blogger with an even more brilliant approach towards writing. As she mentioned, a public library is indeed a paradise. It is a dynamic, versatile community that offers so much to people and it provides a place where people can organize their thoughts.