Webinar Recap: What Every Self-Publishing Author Should Know About Print-On-Demand

In our recent webinar, What Every Self-Publishing Author Should Know About Print-On-Demand, we discussed considerations to keep in mind when preparing Print-on-Demand (POD) books for sale. Among these were presentation, interior formatting costs, cover design hints, CreateSpace™ and Ingram Spark / Lightening Source set up fees, trim size and standard formats, and pricing your POD correctly.

In case you missed it (or want to watch it again!), you can catch the full webinar below.

Are you considering a POD book sale or have questions not addressed in the webinar? Let us know in the comments below.

2014-01-29 11.00 WaveCloud Wednesday Webinar_ What Every Self-Publishing Author Should Know About Print-On-Demand

WaveCloud to attend GENRE-LA™

January 29, 2014

Denver, CO – WaveCloud Publishing will be joining the biggest weekend of 2014 for Literary and Screenplay Writers in Los Angeles. This unique conference, GENRE-LA™, is for writers devoted to the craft and business of writing in specific genres such as: Thrillers and Mysteries, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Romance and Erotica, Y/A, Historical Fiction, Historical Nonfiction, Biographies, True Crime, Memoirs, Spiritual, Self-Help, LGBT, and Urban.

Starting Saturday February 8th, GENRE-LA™ will be hosting workshops, panels, seminars, and pitch-sessions featuring industry experts, educators, publishing professionals, agents and best-selling authors. Join WaveCloud Publishing CMO Bill VanOrsdel on Saturday at 2pm PST when he presents:

What Every New Author Needs to Know
(about self-publishing)
BEFORE Writing a Book.

WaveCloud will be available during the conference for one-on-one conversations about self-publishing and how we can help guide you through the process.  We hope to see you there!

About WaveCloud Publishing

As an author’s trusted partner, WaveCloud’s mission is to teach authors about the industry’s best practices for publishing success while delivering professional services to ensure authors reach their self-publishing goals. WaveCloud offers expert guidance and guarantees that an author’s work will receive the best possible treatment to maximize its success.

Contact:

Bill Van Orsdel, Chief Marketing Officer
WaveCloud Publishing Corporation
720-442-7442
bill.vanorsdel@wavecloud.com
www.WaveCloud.com

 

WaveCloud Joins Big Names In Self Publishing This Weekend!

November 7, 2013

Denver, CO – On Saturday, November 9th at Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC, WaveCloud will join other exhibitors such as BiblioCrunch, Indie Reader, Kirkus Book Reviews, Kobo, LuLu, Publishers Weekly, and many more for the 2013 Self-Publishing Book Expo. Celebrating the 5th Anniversary, aspiring and published authors will come together to learn more about self-publishing success and how to market their book. Other attendees will include industry leaders that will host a variety of seminars and panels for authors to choose from and attend. This will be a great event to network, meet other authors and industry leaders, and gain insight about self-publishing success.

WaveCloud’s chief executives, Scott French and Bill Van Orsdel, will be available at Booth #2 to engage in one-on-one conversations about self-publishing and the industry’s best practices for already published and aspiring authors alike. Stop by, meet the guys and learn how WaveCloud can help you maneuver through the process of self-publishing

Self Publishing Book Expo, SPBE 2013, SPBE NYC, www.selfpubbookexpo.com

 

About WaveCloud

As an author’s trusted partner, WaveCloud’s mission is to teach authors about the industry’s best practices for publishing success while delivering professional services to ensure authors reach their self-publishing goals. WaveCloud offers expert guidance and guarantees that an author’s work will receive the best possible treatment to maximize it’s success.

Contact:
Bill Van Orsdel, Chief Marketing Officer
WaveCloud Corporation
720-442-7442
Bill.VanOrsdel@wavecloud.com
www.WaveCloud.com

10 Famous Writers who Self-Published

Self-publishing isn’t new.  It has always been an option for writers who couldn’t get the attention of publishing houses. Especially for first time writers, getting a publishing contract isn’t easy. Self-publishing has always been there as a “Plan B”. If you self-publish, you are in the good company of these ten authors:

  1. Jane Austen was self-published.  Three of the four books published during her lifetime had self-published first editions. The first book a publisher agreed to take on was Sense and Sensibility, and Austen had to promise to compensate the publisher for any money lost on the project. It was an instant bestseller, and the publishing house immediately picked up Pride and Prejudice.
  2. Nathaniel Hawthorne's first novel was self-published in 1828. The book, titled Fanshawe, was released anonymously. Hawthorne practiced writing for the next several years, submitting to magazines and newspapers. It wasn’t until 1850 that he published “The Scarlet Letter” through Ticknor & Fields.
  3. Charles Dickens self-published the first edition of A Christmas Carol. The story came together for him roughly two months before Christmas in 1843, and there wasn’t going to be time to process it through regular publishing channels. Dickens wanted it for sale that Christmas, so he began writing at a furious speed. Dickens finished the book in 6 weeks, and self-published it.  The first run of 6000 copies ran out by Christmas Eve. He ordered a second printing, and A Christmas Carol was purchased by a publishing house during its second printing.
  4. In 1855, Walt Whitman wrote and self-published the first edition of Leaves and Grass, one of the most unique books in American publishing history. It captured the attention of different publishing houses, and the following editions of Leaves and Grass were published traditionally.
  5. Virginia Woolf started her own publishing company, Hogarth Press, in 1917 with husband Leonard. Starting out as a hobby with a hand press to self-publish their works, Hogarth Press became a full-scale publishing house within 10 years and was run by Leonard Woolf until 1946.
  6. Derek Walcott, who won the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, published his first poem in a local newspaper at age 14.  By the time he was 19 he had self-published his first two collections of poems, and sold the books to friends and neighbors to pay back the loan his mom had given him to publish.
  7. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen together wrote Chicken Soup for the Soul. According to Canfield, they were rejected by 123 publishers. They finally found a small publishing company to print the book for them, and it turned out to be a great seller.  These two men went on to create Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC.
  8. The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield, was self-published.  Redfield sold 100,000 copies on his own before being picked up by Warner Books.
  9. E.L. James. “50 Shades of Grey.” Not self-published in the truly technical sense of the word, she posted her trilogy online as Twilight fan fiction first, and then submitted her manuscripts to The Writers Coffee Shop, a small company based in Australia. With them she published digitally and print-on-demand (POD).  In 2012, the book was picked up for re-release by Vintage Books.
  10. One of self-publishing’s most vocal proponents, Hugh Howey has done very well self-publishing through Amazon. After finding success with self-publishing, Howey inked a unique deal with Simon and Schuster; S&S are printing and distributing Howey’s Silo Series (Wool, Shift, and Dust) in bookstores, while Howey kept all the online distribution rights. He will continue to self-publish in the future.

Self-publishing is far from new. However, the game has shifted a bit. Because of the Internet, writers have more control now than they ever had in the past. Digital publishing capabilities take away a bit of the challenge that has always been a part of (traditional) publishing, “How do I get my book into bookstores?” Today, books don’t necessarily need to be sold in bookstores to reach the masses. Online distribution is not difficult to arrange. Online shopping rose in the mid-90’s, as e-commerce sites like amazon.com came along and changed the traditional position of bookstores. Digital technology makes it possible for people to read books without them having to be printed, and POD services make getting a book into printed form much more cost effective for authors. There are things going on in publishing that weren’t imagined 25 years ago. Boundaries are becoming blurred, and the publishing puzzle is being put together a bit differently now.

This excerpt from the article by Steve Almond, “PRESTO BOOK-O (WHY I WENT AHEAD AND SELF-PUBLISHED),” from The Rumpus sums it up nicely:

“Am I suggesting that every aspiring writer should run out and self-publish?

No way. Aspiring writers should spend their time and energy at the keyboard, trying to figure out how to make better decisions.

Am I suggesting that traditional publishing is doomed?

I sure hope not. I have a book1 coming out with Random House in April, and I hope it sells a gazillion copies.

What I am suggesting is that writers should look to the music industry – rather than the embers of print journalism – for inspiration. Several years ago, musicians figured out that they didn’t need a big label to put their work into the world. They just needed great songs and the required chutzpah.”

…“It’s easy to forget – amid all the leather-bound romance surrounding books – that they are relatively young as cultural artifacts go – and that they can and should evolve.”

1.(that book by Steve Almond is “Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us” launched in April 2010, and is available at amazon.com as an ebook or at Powell’s Books in hard copy.)

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EPUB & MOBI: An Introduction to eBook Formats

An electronic book (a.k.a. ebook or digital book) is a book that can be read on your computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, ereading devices, etc. eBooks are available in different digital formats such as MOBI, EPUB, PDF, LIT, ODF, and many others. However, EPUB and MOBI are the most commonly sold by ebook retailers and most commonly read on ereaders and ereading applications. For instance, MOBI files are read on one of the most popular ereaders, the Kindle from Amazon.com.

Why should you publish an ebook? According to Forbes Magazine and Digital Book World, ebook sales made up 23% of total of trade publishing revenues in 2012. Additionally, Bowker Digital Marketing notes that 43% of publishing purchases made by Gen Y (consumers born between 1979 and 1989) were in the form of ebooks that same year. Sales numbers like that should make every author consider ebooks within their publishing plan.

If you’re thinking about publishing an ebook, you need to familiarize yourself with digital formatting, different ereaders and apps, and the types of file formats they use.

EPUB
Used by Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Nook apps, Kobo and Sony ereaders, and the WaveCloud ereader app (among others), EPUB is considered the industry standard for ebook file formatting. EPUB is an “open standard”, which means it is free, not owned by any one company, and publically available. EPUB has a lot in common with HTML, which makes it a strong choice if you have a lot of specific formatting you’d like to embed. It supports complex layouts, images and embedded fonts. EPUB has “reflowable text”, meaning it allows the text to adapt to the size of the display screen while staying true to the layout and formatting. This allows for an optimal reading experience. An EPUB is simply the most versatile of all ebook formats, and is supported on all major platforms except for Amazon’s Kindle. You can download apps for Nook, Sony, Kobo, and WaveCloud all at the iTunes store and Google Play store, turning any of your mobile electronic devices (laptops, tablets, mobile phones) into an ereading device.

MOBI
It is no secret that the Kindle has helped Amazon become one of the largest ebook retailers. Kindle and Kindle ereader apps read three kinds of files: AZW, MOBI (short for Mobipocket) and PDF. AZW is proprietary to Amazon, but MOBI (being nearly identical to AZW) is truly compatible with Kindle and Kindle apps and the best choice when formatting your ebook for distribution through Amazon. MOBI files are able to handle fairly complex content, including advanced navigation and indexing, annotations, highlights, and bookmarks. MOBI files also use “reflowable text”, so formats are not constrained to specific pages, unlike PDF. Amazon has made their Kindle reading app available through iTunes Store and Google Play Store, giving desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones the ability to be used as ereaders. If you want to maximize the success of your book, we highly recommend distributing your ebook at Amazon.com.

PDF
The format you may be most familiar with is PDF. PDF is a format that is best used on desktops or laptops in an 8.5×11 presentation. It is designed to guarantee identical display no matter what the screen size, which actually makes it more difficult to read on small screens and many ereading devices. Unlike a PDF, MOBI and EPUB have the ability to adapt to the size of the screen and user preferences while still keeping the layout and formats intact.

Authors should make the effort to get books into the major ebook formats as part of the publishing process, in order to ensure distribution by the widest selection of ebook stores. eBook formatting is complicated by three factors: content layout, file formats and Digital Rights Management. If you have questions, or would like to inquire about formatting your manuscript for distribution, please see our Author Services information for ebook Layout and File Conversion.

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Writer’s Digest Conference West • September 27 – 29

Join WaveCloud when we attend

Writer’s Digest Conference West • September 27 – 29 • Los Angeles, California

http://www.writersdigestconference.com

Our own Bill Van Orsdel will be part of the action as the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Conference comes to the West Coast for the first time ever!

Bill is joining the panel of “Congratulations! You Published It – Now How Do You Sell It?”  Friday Sept. 27th at 1:40pm-2:30pm

From Writer’s Digest:

“You worked hard to find the best self-publishing platform for your needs made sure that your final manuscript, cover, and copy were just right. Now your book is about available for purchase – or soon will be – and you haven’t a clue as to what to do next. What can you do to help ensure that people find your book? What is discoverability and how to you maximize it? And what makes the difference between readers saying “not interested” and “I’ve got to have that?”

Writer’s Digest Conference West is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in sunny Los Angeles, in the fashionable West Side of Los Angeles, adjacent to Beverly Hills. Jason Zimmer, our Chief Technology Officer, will be tweeting on the events, sights and sounds, both within and outside of the convention. Perhaps he will run into some famous stars and starlets. Look for @WaveCloudBooks on Twitter with the hashtags #WDCW13 and #JZ.

Bill and Jason look forward to meeting and talking with both aspiring and published writers, publishers, and agents that stop by to see them at booth #13 in the Exhibitors Hall. Come talk and learn about WaveCloud’s vision, author services, and the future WaveCloud sees for authors.

Who Attends Writer’s Digest Conference West?

Writer’s Digest Conference West attracts aspiring and established writers in all genres, from fiction and nonfiction to children’s and young adult writing. 

Whatever your experience level, you’ll take something away from Writer’s Digest Conference West that makes it worth the price of admission. Our attendees range from newly graduated students all the way to veteran writers looking to stay current on the craft and business of writing.

Book Publishing: Which option is best for you?

There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth publishing, to find honest men to publish it, and to find sensible men to read it.
~Charles Caleb Colton

The moment has finally arrived. Your manuscript is complete, and you feel confident that it will appeal to the masses. Your next step: publication.

You will likely take one of three paths:

1. Traditional Publishing. A publishing company buys the rights to your manuscript. You are paid an advance, and all costs associated with the publication (editing, cover design, etc.) and distributions of the book are covered by the publisher according to the budget they have set.

Once the book is launched, the advance that was paid to you is deducted from royalties. You’ll begin to receive royalties after the advance is paid in full. In addition, the publishing house may or may not assist you with marketing. The publisher decides where your book will be sold and how many copies will be printed or made available digitally. Selling your book to a publishing house creates the opportunity to work with professional editors, designers, and promotions teams without incurring high costs. However, when you sell the rights to your book, you sign away most (if not all) creative control and the rights to any distribution decisions for the future of your book.

Currently it is harder than ever for a new author to get a book in front of publishers for serious consideration. It has always been difficult to get your manuscript in front of a publisher, and traditional publishing houses are increasingly cautious now; they can’t afford to take as many chances. They need to be fairly sure they can turn books into bestsellers otherwise they risk losing money. Because of this, first time authors aren’t as attractive as they once were.

2. Vanity Publishing. You pay a company to publish your book. There is no advance, and all costs are covered by you. Typically these types of publishers offer services through packages at various price points, which gives you access to their contracted editors, designers, etc. Creative control will depend on which level of service you choose, and you’ll have more of a say in the finished product than with traditional publishing.

The finished product will be distributed through POD (print-on-demand) or downloadable digital formats. Depending on the contracts you have signed, you may or may not own the distribution rights to your book at the end of this process.

Vanity publishing can be appealing for an author since they offer ready-to-purchase packages. It seems like an easier option on the surface, but be cautious about the terms and conditions and make sure to read the fine print. Vanity publishing is still in the process of finding its way out of the stigma attached to it by traditional publishing. As the self-publishing community grows, look for Vanity press companies to grow and change into a better solution than it is currently with even more offerings for authors.

3. Self Publishing. As the name implies, self publishing means the author is responsible for all of the costs and management of publishing a book. You make your own team. You decide who is going to edit, who will format, who will create the cover design, how the book will be distributed, etc. You are, for all intents and purposes, the publishing company. You can hire editing services from one company, cover art from another company, and distribution services from yet another. You can find one company that will handle all of it under your guidance. You can attempt to do it all yourself, although we strongly suggest professional editing services and cover design to give your book its best chance for success.

Once you have your final edited manuscript, cover art, and written descriptions you’re ready to have your manuscript formatted, arrange for print-on-demand options, and load your book in to distribution channels. You also decide if you want to hire a marketing team or take it on yourself. In addition to retaining all creative control, you keep the highest royalty rates. You will have complete ownership of your finished product, and complete control of bringing your book to market, including all marketing and distribution decisions. Acting as your own publishing company will allow you to reap the rewards of your extensive efforts.

Deciding on a publishing option is both a personal decision as well as a business decision. The world of publishing is changing, and self-publishing is a viable option for authors now. As the lines between vanity publishing and self-publishing blur, the dream of being a published author will be more accessible to authors who don’t have the opportunity to get their books in front of traditional publishers.

The choice is yours. Not everyone wants to take on the challenge of self-publishing, just like not everyone wants to give up creative control over the finished book. There is no “easy” way to publish a book – each option has pros and cons. WaveCloud champions and supports authors, no matter the publishing path they choose. Truly lucky are those authors who get to experience both traditional publishing and self-publishing. They will have the advantage of learning what both sides have to offer after witnessing both processes firsthand. For authors with less publishing experience, companies like WaveCloud have the knowledge you need to help make the decision that is right for you and your manuscript.

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The Author Website: Website Promotion

Part 5 of a 5 part series

Your website has been created, you’ve got a design you like, and content that is relevant and interesting. However, if you want to promote yourself and your work on your website effectively, you need to be actively promoting your website.

Website promotion doesn’t need to be difficult, even if you’ve never done it before. Run an online search with any number of variations on “promote your website” and you’ll be rewarded with literally hundreds of tips, tricks, links and ideas to help you with this task.  To help you along, here are six steps we suggest as you begin your website promotion:

  1. Search Engine Submission
    Search engines will eventually pick up your site, but when your site is new and light on content the search engines might miss it. Go ahead and let the search engines know you are there. Safehouseweb.com is a great site that tells you how to have your site submitted to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and ask.
  2. Social Media
    Use social to get the word out. Every post and update you put out there should have your website address attached to it. All of your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) should be set up so your website information is displayed prominently on that site. Each time you comment on a blog, make sure to enter your URL (website address) when asked so that people can click on your name to go to your site if they desire. Include in your email signature all of your contact information, such as email address, website URL, phone number, etc.. Make it as easy as possible for people to find and visit your website.
  3. Newsletter
    Keep in touch with your fans by sending monthly or bi-monthly newsletters. Collect email addresses with a sign up button on your website and a sign up option on your social media pages. Fans will appreciate being kept up to date on the progress of your latest work, notice of events, or news on what is next for you. You can remind them that visiting your website is an excellent way to keep up with what is going on with your career, and to let them know about exclusive preview chapters or other fun content you have on your site.
  4. Author Directories and Catalogs
    There are many author directory sites on the Internet; some have paid subscription costs, others are free. Sites like Book Browse and Writers Net have author pages and links to websites that make it easy for readers to find information. Submitting information to directories and catalogs is a good way for a new website to increase traffic.
  5. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising
    If your SEO is not giving you good search results, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising such as Google Adwords, Bing, etc. can improve your search engine rankings. As we stated in the previous post, Author Website: SEO, keyword-rich words/phrases help improve SEO. Similarly, keywords are an important factor to successful PPC advertising. Most search engines and “how-to” sites have keyword tools to help you learn to use keywords effectively and maximize your PPC investment costs. This is a great ways to market yourself, your books, and your book launches online.
  6. Provide useful, interesting content
    Audience loyalty and traffic retention are good for your website. Repeat visits mean people genuinely care about what you are posting, and are willing to invest some time browsing your content.  How to get search engines to take notice of your site is to post updates and fresh content that people will share through links. If visitors like some of the exclusive information available only on your website, hopefully they will share it with their network of people through links that lead back to your site. Links to your site indicate to the search engines that you have posted good content, and you will be rewarded with higher search rankings when queries are made that relate to your site. People are not likely to share old content from your site. They want to share something new and interesting with their friends and social networks. Chapter exclusives, sneak peeks at book cover designs, special background stories on the characters; all of these things can be sharable content.

The amount of time you invest and the number of strategies you use while promoting your website will undoubtedly have an impact on the success of your site. Start with any of the above, see what works for you, and then add in another step. Building a strong website is important. Promoting that website is the logical next step. Website promotion is about getting your site work for you, and using your website as a major marketing tool for the promotion of you, your brand, and your publications.

Week 1: Website Focus
Week 2: Content Strategy
Week 3: Website Creation and Design
Week 4: Search Engine Optimization

Does a self published book need professional editing?

You set out to write a book. You had an amazing idea for a story and you gave yourself a deadline to finish it. You dedicated yourself to this project and you went through it five times; reworking dialog and changing details. You ran it through spell check, your cousin (the English teacher) caught a few typos, and you read up on Self-Publishing. Your best friend (who reads every book on the bestseller lists) agreed to read it, and loves it. You finally finished your manuscript, it is your very best and to be finished is a great feeling. You think you are ready to publish – but are you?

Yes, if this is a hobby for you and you don’t need to sell a lot of books.

Yes, if your cousin and your best friend have ‘Book Editor’ on their resumes.

Yes, if you are a grammatical expert with a graduate degree in Written Communication and have ever been accused of being too detail oriented for your own good.

If any of the above “ifs” don’t ring true, your next step before publishing should be using a professional editor. Truth is, you worked hard on your book and you should give it the very best chance for success.  Copyeditors, line editors, structural editors, development editors / writing coaches… they don’t just proofread and spell check. Editors check your plot, make sure your storyline is solid, and they look for continuity in your character development and action. An editor will catch things you don’t see and things you won’t see, because you’ve been living with this creation for so long. They can see if an analogy is mis-used, if there is a sagging middle or if your storyline relies on too many coincidences.  They catch pacing problems and will scour your copy for a cohesive writing style.  An editor is going to take your creation and polish it until it shines.

Approximately 20,000 new titles are published monthly. In order to be competitive you need to deliver a clean, well written, professional product. Plus, as a self published author, you’re going to need a fair amount of word-of-mouth advertising. People don’t recommend books that have errors or seem amateur.

None of the above mentions editors working miracles. They can’t take something that is just OK and turn it in to a Pulitzer Prize winning work. But if you start by giving them your very best, they can take your creative efforts to a polished professional level – a level ready for publishing.  Your book is a representation of your abilities. It is worth the investment.

Should You Self-Publish?

We found a great article we would like to share with you written by guest blogger Orna Ross over on Jane Fieldman’s blog:

Should You Self-Publish? 15 Questions

By Orna Ross

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Self-publishing is not for every writer. In order to succeed, you need to have or develop specific traits, along with certain ways of approaching the publication of a book. Consider the following questions.

1. Are you positive and proactive?

Many writers wait for permission from an agent or publisher to say they are fit for publication—or for a PR campaign to explain why somebody should buy their book. The flip side of this passivity is chronic complaint syndrome: writers moaning about the vagaries of agents or publishers, about the death of bookstores, the dominance of Amazon, etc.

Not independent authors. You must take responsibility for the risks, as well as the rewards, of publishing your own work.

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