The Indie Learning Curve

Marg Indie IconI’ve always enjoyed the benefits of technology, so it’s not surprising that I should embrace the advances in publishing with delight and anticipation. I’ve been uploading ebooks to my various sites for years, long before Amazon set the bar higher by bringing out its first Kindle. There was a big difference, though – ‘ebooks’ back then were usually just PDF files, which you could download and print out, or read on your computer. No auto adjustment of page size. No reading on a convenient Kindle! Continue reading

Social Media for Writers

I almost added ‘ugh’ to the subject line of this post. I have to admit that (other than blogging, which I kind of like) I would really rather be writing my book than writing posts on Facebook or sending out tweets. I don’t mind my personal FB page (which I have sadly neglected anyway) but the one I have to post to twice a day because it’s in my contract – meh.LindaPoitevin

However, I also admit that I can usually come up with something relevant, and I find it useful to schedule a bunch of posts at once. Other than that… I haven’t bothered to investigate FB algorithms etc. So it’s a good thing that other people do.

Linda Poitevin is a writer who is pretty good at ‘working’ social media – blogs, FB, Twitter – so much so that she actually does ‘Social Media Monday’ posts. Not every Monday, but many Mondays.

I recommend you go to her blog and read through her collection of articles on Social Media. You’ll learn a lot. Pay particular attention to what she does on Wattpad: she found that her work there had a beneficial effect on her fiction sales.

Here’s a useful post on Facebook:

And here’s Linda’s page of links to her posts on Social Media:

And finally, do listen to the interview with Linda about using Wattpad to leverage sales. You can hear it here on the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast:

If you know of other good resources on harnessing the power of social media, please let us know in the comments section!

Marg :-)

Marg’s Indie Tipsheet

I’ve been quiet for quite a long time – on the blog, the website and with the tipsheet!

There’s been a reason for that. I’ve been focusing on my Indie writing – not just the Busy Writer series for writer (and there are a few new titles in the works for that series, too!) but with my fiction.

I’ve published 3 paranormal romances, with a 4th three-quarters finished, and I’m plotting a crime/thriller series. Well, more than plotting – I’ve got more than 40,000 words written of the first book!

So I decided that it was time to get back to something I truly love – interacting with writers – and combining it with my new passion for Indie writing. To do that, I’m moving to a new Tipsheet – Marg’s “Indie” Tipsheet! Anyone who is currently subscribed to the current Writing4Success Tipsheet is invited to come across. Within a couple of weeks, I’ll be shutting down the ‘old’ Tipsheet email database. If you’re keen to see where the exciting new world of Indie publishing can take you, come on board!

You’ll find a new sign-up box to the right of this post. I hope to see you on the other side. I’ll be sending out my first tipsheet within two weeks.


Happy I Opted to Print

Our guest blogger, Gary Hutchinson, has just published his first book, Sumotori, using Amazon’s POD publishing arm, CreateSpace. These days, when e-publishing is so straightforward, I knew that many writers are wondering whether to bother publishing a print version of their books – and just how difficult the process is. Well, here it is – straight from the horse’s mouth! 


Happy I Opted to Print

By GP Hutchinson

Have you eschewed the notion of offering your novel in print as well as in e-book format thinking the potential gain is just too small for all the cost and effort? You might want to think again. There are several distinct benefits to making your work available in paperback. And if you run up against any additional expenses at all they should be negligible.

Continue reading

Filling out Amazon’s W-8BEN for Australian Authors

FormFillingAustralian authors (and others who are not US citizens) may not realise that when they start publishing books on Kindle, Amazon will withhold 30% of their royalties for tax UNLESS:

  • they get an EIN (Employee Identification Number) from the IRS, and then
  • fill in form W-8BEN and send it to Amazon.

I have just been through this process, and was helped along the way by various posts on forums and on Kindle Boards about how to do it all successfully.

There is a post here that explains it all, and walks you through the process of filling in the form to send to Amazon once you have your EIN: Continue reading

How to Build Your Writing Business

build a writing businessA few days ago, I passed on some advice to an excellent writer who is just starting to build her writing business. She’s starting from a good place – she already has a great deal of expertise in several different subject areas, and people who know what she does come to her for advice. However, she has, at the moment, most of her eggs in one basket. Her main employer has a firm grip on that basket. At any time, she could wrest it away, and hand it to someone else.

Sally really needs to build up her business, tapping into her areas of expertise. She has just (within the last few weeks) started up a website and blog, and is thinking about a series of books.

Continue reading

WordPress Blog Basics

WordPress BasicsAre you ready to set up a blog?

Here’s a guide to the basics of putting up posts and media (usually photos) to go with your posts. There’s also a handy WordPress Starter Checklist.

The WordPress Basics guide covers: 

  • How to Create a Post
  • How to Personalize Your Post
  • How to View a Preview of Your Post
  • How to Categorize and Tag Your Post
  • How to Add Media to Your Post
  • How to Install a WordPress Plugin

The Basics of WordPress (Right Click to Download)

Starter Checklist (Right Click to Download)

What If You Don’t Yet Have a Blog? 

If you haven’t yet registered a domain name (website name) and got your blog organized, then here is an option.

An internet marketer named John Chow has made an offer to anyone who wants to start a blog: take up web hosting through his link (which means that he will get a commission) and he will install a blog FOR you. You will still have to customize it the way you want, but at least it’s a start. You can then try out different themes and plugins and so on.

Be warned, if you take up web hosting with Hostgator, and register your website name (domain name) through them, they automatically default to a 3 year hosting payment. You don’t have to do this (I suggest one year paid up front) but you have to look carefully at the page, select the ‘down’ arrow next to the three year option, and change it to the period you want.

So: for those who want to have someone else do it for them, here’s John Chow’s information page about his offer. Note: I am just passing on the news about the option – after that, it’s between you and John Chow. If you would prefer to wait, I will be adding more information soon about how you can do the whole process yourself. (Note: it won’t cost you any extra to do it through John.)

John Chow’s Set-up-a-Blog Offer: 

How Lucky Are You?

to get lucky, start prospecting

The Welcome Stranger Nugget

Last week, I was finishing off an article that delved into Australian history. Part of my research took me to the gold rush days, which led me in turn to reading about The Welcome Stranger, a gigantic gold nugget found in 1869.

At the time, weighing in at 66 kg(145 lb) it was the world’s largest gold nugget. Well, the largest that anyone knew about, anyway. People marvelled at the luck of John Deason, the Cornish prospector who found it. He was simply searching around the roots of a tree when he found it, lying only 3 cm (1.2 inches) below the ground. The Welcome Stranger was worth around £10,000 – which is around 3-4 million in today’s dollars.  Continue reading

A 4D formula for Writing Success

Teena Raffa-MulliganGuest Blogger Teena Raffa-Mulligan has posted for us before (on giving guest author talks to schools). This time, Teena offers some insights to succeeding as a writer even though you might not be earning as much as J K Rowling or Nora Roberts!

Anyone can decide to be a writer. That’s the easy part. The hard part is achieving success. And for most of us who set out to become writers, that means publication. We have a story to tell and we want to share it. If we’re honest, we also have our sights set on a multi-book contract with a leading publisher and top ranking on the best seller lists. A decent income so we can quit the day job is also on the want list.

Continue reading

Finding Your Genre

choose_genreThis week, I read a synopsis for a new book by a first-time author whose work I respect. His first book will be released shortly: a fast-paced thriller set in Asia. I am fairly confident that he will quickly develop a following.

He was keen to get started on a second book, and was thinking of trying a different genre – one he classified as a romantic comedy. However, when I read the synopsis, the tone didn’t telegraph ‘romance’, or ‘comedy’. To me, it was still a thriller – with one important difference: it had paranormal elements.

That changes things. A lot. Continue reading