Thursday, July 28, 2011

Indie ebook publishing links and website recommendations

Independent Publishing Links and Website Recommendations
I was asked to sit on an author's marketing panel tonight with my writer's group. We got together with a group that's more focused on book marketing (our group is a "writer's support group" - we talk about craft and do writing exercises and cheer each other on. It's a little different spin than many critique circles you'll hear about.)

I represented the indie epublishing point of view, and knowing I was likely to be in the minority (I was) in terms of doing the ebook formatting and watching the ebook industry, I put together this list of resources as a handout. Thought it would be useful to capture here, too. As is typical for me, this list leans heavily toward fantasy/science fiction/speculative fiction writers, but not exclusively.

What other resources do you rely on for information about independent ebook publishing? Add them in the comments!
A prolific writer, DWS has published more than 90 novels via traditional methods and is now at the forefront of the indepedent publishing movement. He writes a series called "Think Like a Publisher" and another called "Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing."
Together with his wife and others in the writing community, he leads workshops on marketing, publishing, short story writing, and others out on the Oregon coast.

Married to Dean and a writer in a variety of genres, Kris also writes about freelancing and the business side of writing in her two series, The Business Rusch, and The Freelancer's Survival Guide.

Local Chicago author Joe Konrath has made headlines over the last several years as he's moved away from traditional publishing and made a name for himself (and met with plenty of financial success) in independent publishing. Joe's worth reading because he shares numbers, something many authors are hesitant to do. He also brings in an interesting string of guest bloggers.

Michael Stackpole writes about industry topics and lights fires under writer's behinds in his House Slaves series.

Was the first author to make headlines for making millions publishing her own books. She began independent publishing her books only just over a year ago and has hit the big times. In recent months she's been in the headlines again for accepting a traditional publishing deal for a new book series. She's notable because she's finding a way to have her cake and eat it too. Her "Magic Hand" post from last fall is one of my favorites.

Other interesting writers/observers of the independent publishing realm:
  • Passive Voice - this former lawyer has a very interesting perspective on all kinds of indie publishing topics.
  • Zoe Winters  - (in particular read the 99c ghetto)
  • Dave Farland - sign up for his "daily kick" - a free email (not always daily) with writing tips and suggestions. Dave is known for traditional publishing but has begun carrying the independent flag lately.
  • Kevin J. Anderson - Traditionally published but independently publishing his backlist, author Kevin J. Anderson has some interesting things to say about ebook pricing and process.
  • John Locke - site of author John Locke, another independent who has sold over 1 million ebooks on his own, no publisher required.

Don't forget, my own novel, Convergence, is now out in all ebook formats!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

CONVERGENCE - by Karen T. Smith, a YA Sci-Fi novel

Desperate for some new summer reads? My young adult (young end of YA, perfectly appropriate for most middle-grade readers) science fiction novel CONVERGENCE by Karen T. Smith is now available on all ebook platforms (amazon kindle, barnes and noble nook, smashwords for most other e-readers. Note: Kobo and Sony Reader distribution should be within the next 1-2 weeks. Apple mail trail a bit longer.) Paperback to come sometime soon, there's a bit more work on my end before it's ready.

First of all, isn't the cover gorgeous? I had a fantastic cover model (one of the kids' babysitters!) and my really awesome friend Renee of The Cover Counts worked on this cover with me. We found some fantastic images, tweaked the heck out of them, and spent god knows how long talking about fonts. Did you know there are literally thousands upon thousands of fonts out there? Absolutely crazy!

I'm beyond thrilled with how it came out, though. It's pretty much as close to how the whole space station setup is pictured in my head barring an actual artist's rendering.

What is it about? Well, one of the taglines we came up with when brainstorming this cover was:

Space Station, high school, some really terrible hair days, diabolical plot. Things just go from bad to worse for Anya.
But the one we went with (after a completely unscientific facebook friend poll where this one won by a landslide):
It's bad enough getting dragged to the space station Convergence to attend high school, but when Anya uncovers a diabolical plot aboard, she'll have to rely on her wits and new friends to stop it.
And here's the full blurb from the product description:

Anya is pissed when her family moves from earth to the Space Station Convergence. Everything is strange from the food (soy paste in all its colors and forms) to the frequently changing gravity conditions at her new high school.  Anya soon uncovers a plot to take over the central computer’s core processor. While this might not bother your typical geek, Anya is anything but your typical geek. She has discovered that the central computer is self-aware, and that computer is Anya’s first friend on the Convergence. Anya will do anything to protect her computer friend, Isis, even if it means breaking into Central Computing and telling her other new (human) friends about Isis.
But don't just take my word for it, read it for yourself and let me know what you think! Reviews as always are GREATLY appreciated!

Book Review - Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

I recently reviewed the book Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi, over on my mom blog - Suburban (in)Sanity. I really enjoyed this book, even though in general I'm tired of future-told dystopia stories. Hunger Games overkill I suppose. This one was fantastic, though, and kept me up late reading.