Authors First Launches Contest for Novelists and Short Story Writers

Authors First logoAuthors First, an online community for authors, is now accepting entries for their first annual novel-writing contest. The contest is open to all works of fiction over 40,000 words. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000, along with a publication contract from The Story Plant, an iPad Mini, and a year’s worth of Story Plant books. Five runners-up will also be chosen, each winning an iPad Mini loaded with a year’s worth of Story Plant books.

In addition to the novel contest, Authors First announced a short story contest for works of fiction 20,000 words and less. They will choose 20 winners, each of whom will be published in an Authors First anthology.

The deadline for entering is September 30, 2014. The winner will be announced by December 1.

“We’re tremendously excited about this contest,” said Lou Aronica, President of Authors First. “We know from personal experience what it is like to put everything into your writing but still struggle to find a publisher to pay attention to you.”

Authors First was founded by New York Times bestselling author Lou Aronica, Tony and Pulitzer Award- winning Broadway veteran Mitchell Maxwell, and Aaron Brown, an international bestselling author who publishes under the name Ethan Cross.

“We created Authors First to share the wisdom we’ve gained collectively about writing over the years and to help writers learn from a group of fellow writers who care deeply about their craft,” said Aronica. “We created the contest because we want to give writers a forum for being discovered.”

Set up like a virtual writers’ conference, Authors First offers basic and intermediate instructional sessions on topics such as idea generation, character development, research, pitching, and the publishing business.. A Master Class level will be introduced this fall.

LINKS

About Authors First

Authors First Contests

 

BookBaby Helps Authors Sell E-Books Directly to Readers

BookBaby BookShopWRITERS. With the opening of BookShop, BookBaby is writing a whole new chapter in self publishing. BookBaby authors can now sell their e-books directly to readers through their own free BookShop e-commerce webpage. As an author, you can earn more money per sale and get paid faster than ever before.

If you are a BookBaby author, you can now sell ePub and .mobi versions of your e-books directly to readers and earn 85% of the gross selling price. You can still link fans to your e-book on popular retail sites such as iBooks, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others.

Plus, instead of holding onto e-book revenues for weeks or months, BookBaby pays its authors within one week of the sale.

“It’s very simple. BookShop pays more and pays fast. Faster than anyone else,” said BookBaby’s Chief Marketing Officer Steven Spatz, “That’s what every author is looking for. For example if you sell an e-book for ten bucks on a Friday, you’ll see $8.50 show up in your account the following Monday. No other company gets money back to its authors like BookBaby.”

BookShop is free to every BookBaby author, including writers who are now taking advantage of the company’s new free eBook publishing package. Authors can upload ePub files directly to BookBaby for worldwide eBook distribution without any upfront costs.

BookShop is the latest addition to BookBaby’s fast-growing list of products and services to help authors find success in the marketplace. “It used to be that writers were thrilled just to have their manuscripts turned into an eBook and listed for sale on Amazon,” said Spatz. “But for today’s independent author, literary success requires a lot more than just great file conversion and retail distribution.”

“BookBaby’s new motto is ‘publish, promote and sell.’ While we’ll always help our authors publish books, they also need the opportunity to promote and sell their books. We’ve given our BookBaby authors exactly that with BookPromoTM and now BookShop.”

BookPromo Services

Last year, BookBaby introduced BookPromo, a free promotionaBookBaby BookPromol service for all BookBaby authors, Users of BookBaby’s BookPromo services receive:

BookBaby and CD Baby

BookBaby is the sister company to CD Baby, the world’s largest online distributor of independent music. Founded as a garage start-up in 1998, CD Baby has grown to become a trusted name in the independent music business, paying over a quarter billion dollars to over 300,000 artists worldwide. BookBaby is following in the footsteps of its corporate sibling by helping independent authors realize their literary dreams. “With CD Baby we’ve brought musicians and fans directly together,” said Spatz. “BookBaby and BookShop are going to do exactly the same for authors and readers.”

BookBaby distributes e-books in more than 185 countries through 11+ online retail stores, including Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble, BookBaby’s full array of services includes e-book formatting, cover design, and short-run book printing.

LINKS

BookBaby BookShop

BookBaby BookPromo

About BookBaby

 

E-Book Offers 50 Tips to Help You Freelance with Confidence

FreelancewithConfidnce-E-Book-350WRITERS. Laurie Lewis, author of the book “What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants,” has published a new Kindle e-book, “Freelance With Confidence: 50 Proven Tips for a Successful Freelance Career.”

While providing useful guidance for any freelancer, the e-book will be especially valuable for newcomers to the field and for those struggling to build a successful business.

The 50 tips in Freelance With Confidence fall into five categories:

  • 10 crucial things to remember about freelancing
  • 10 start-up instructions for new freelancers
  • 10 reminders about working alone and as part of a team
  • 10 pointers for keeping up in a technology-driven world, and
  • 10 insights about freelancing as a lifestyle.

The author has supported herself as freelance medical writer and editor in New York City for almost 30 years.

The second edition of her book “What to Charge” was selected as a finalist in the USA Best Books 2011 competition. It tied for first place in a business category and came in second in the writing division of the 2012 Reader Views Literary Awards competition.

LINKS

Freelance With Confidence: 50 Proven Tips for a Successful Freelance Career

What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants

Freelance Fee Setting: Quick Guide for When a Client Demands a Price NOW

Indie Publisher Lists Five Editing Errors Many Aspiring Authors Make

SBPRAEditingImagePublish-on-demand (POD) printing has forever changed the way authors approach book publishing. But just because everyone can easily publish a book doesn’t mean every book will meet the high standards that traditional publishers (and their readers) expect.

Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA), an independent publishing company, has identified five major editing errors that prevent authors from having their books accepted by the publishing industry:

Neglecting to proofread the work before submitting.
Thoroughly review your work before submission. Go over it objectively, remembering that this is a marketable product. If you have a propensity to use certain words and expressions repeatedly, be aware of them and take pains to avoid them. Don’t submit manuscripts with duplicate or missing chapters.

Overlooking typographical, punctuation, and grammar errors.
This could be an endless list. Some of the most common mistakes.

  • Using “it’s” instead of “its,” and vice versa
  • Misusing or omitting apostrophes (Bills dad is incorrect; so is Dad’s bill’s)
  • Using hyphens when dashes are required
  • Inconsistently formatting numbers, dates, and times of day
  • Capitalizing Every Word In A Title Or Subtitle. Standard publishing practice dictates the capitalization of only important words, not articles and short prepositions
  • Confusing the spelling of homophones, such as lightning and lightening, or complimentary and complementary.
  • Using inconsistent capitalization, such as capitalizing “Bible” in some places and making it lower-case in other places.
  • Using US and UK spellings and style in the same manuscript, resulting in humor and color in some places and humour and colour elsewhere.
  • Using “that” instead of “who” when referring to people.

Failing to Obtain Permission to Use Copyrighted Material.
It is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission for the use of all materials included in the book (not just text, but illustrations, charts, graphs). As the author, you must also ensure that all citations from other works are correctly quoted and that the sources are correctly cited.

Failing to Include All Material in a Single File.
Along with the main text, the manuscript file should include the “front matter” (title page, copyright page, epigraph, dedication, table of contents, preface, foreword, and introduction) as well as the “back matter” (bibliography, glossary, and endnotes or footnotes if used). Nobody will ever know if you intended this material if you don’t supply it with your manuscript. Adding it after the page layout has been completed is time-consuming, inefficient, and potentially expensive.

Failing to Develop a Professional, Yet Individual Style.
This is a really big one. So many authors don’t make the effort to learn how to write effectively. To compensate, they load their prose with “filler” phrases such “It is important to remember” or “I want to take this opportunity to say” instead of just beginning with the essential statement. Or they try to appear up-to-date by using slang like “What’s up with that?” or “homeboy”—clichés that are bound to sound dated a few years after the book is published.

The Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA) has the experience, expertise, and international network that can help authors be more successful in today’s evolving publishing industry. The firm offers book publishing services and comprehensive marketing support.

LINK

Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency

 

PubSmart Conference Helps Authors Understand All Their New Options

WRITERS. For an updated overview of today’s broad range of publishing opportunities, consider attending PubSmart 2014, April 16-18 in Charleston, South Carolina. The event is designed to help emerging authors and small publishers choose the best path for success.

PubSmartLogo-LRWhether you are interested in self-publishing, traditional publishing, small-press, or hybrid publishing, you will meet publishing professionals who can help you explore the option that is right for you.

Sessions are designed for:

  • traditionally published authors who want to improve sales and discover new markets
  • self-published authors who want to reach more readers
  • aspiring authors seeking guidance on publishing opportunities
  • independent publishers who want to better serve their authors

Topics to be discussed include:

  • how editors and agents can help advance your publishing goals
  • steps for building an author platform, brand, and persona
  • where book publishing and marketing are headed in the digital age
  • how to build sales and buzz through reviewers, mass media, and book clubs
  • methods of raising funds, using discoverability tools, and increasing distribution

Conference highlights include a a keynote breakfast with publisher Jane Friedman and keynote luncheon with bestselling author Hugh Howey.

Friedman has spent more than 15 years in the publishing industry as an editor, publisher, and professor, She will speak on the new golden age of authors and the emerging paths to publication that authors may consider in today’s transformed book marketplace. Hugh will speak about his unique path to publishing success and how he continues to explore new publishing models.

Other faculty members include Will Murphy and Tracy Bernstein from Penguin Random House; Chuck Adams of Algonquin Books; Robin Cutler of IngramSpark; David Symonds of CreateSpace; Christine Munroe of Kobo Writing Life; Tarah Theoret of NetGalley; Orna Ross of the UK-based Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi); Miral Sattar of BibiloCrunch; Amanda Barbara of Pubslush; agents Jeff Kleinman of Folio and Brandi Bowles of Foundry; Angela Bole of the Independent Book Publishers Association, C. Hope Clark of Funds for Writers, publicists Cindy Ratzlaff and Claire McKinney, and attorney Anne Dalton.

Sponsors and exhibitors include

  • CreateSpace
  • Nook Press
  • Kindle Direct Publishing
  • Kobo Writing Life
  • Rocket Science Productions
  • College of Charleston
  • Where Writers WIn
  • Bublish
  • Bowker
  • Biblioboard
  • Advantage Media Group
  • Pubslush
  • Independent Book Publishers Association
  • Net Gallery
  • Alliance of Independent Authors
  • Bibliocrunch
  • Scratch Magazine
  • IngramSpark
  • BQB Publishing
  • Book Logix

The conference will kick off on Wednesday, April 16 with four two-hour master classes sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association. These sessions will cover intellectual property rights, print and digital book distribution, social media, and the basics of publishing.

Charleston is a modern city with a strong connection to its historic past. For the third consecutive year, Charleston has been named Top U.S. City by Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards.

FrancisMarionHotelThe conference will be held at the Francis Marion Hotel. Located in Charleston’s historic district, The Francis Marion Hotel is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and listed in the National Register for Historic Places.  Known as Charleston’s Grand Dame, the Francis Marion has been hosting special events and important meetings for 90 years.

 

Register Early for PubSmart!

The basic conference fee is $395, or $345 if you register by February 14. A VIP Package that includes two Master Classes on Wednesday, April 16 is $495, or $445 by February 14.

LINKS

PubSmart Conference

 

 

Online Self-Publishing Conference Explains How to Build Readership for Your Books

A new, online self-publishing conference will be held from 9:45 am to 5:00 pm ET on Saturday, November 16 and Tuesday, November 19 at TheSelfPublishingConference.com. Organized by two self-published authors and experienced event planners, the conference will feature presentations by 22 experts. Combined, these speakers have helped sell over 500 million books and  generate $1 billion in book sales in print, online and via information products and courses.

TheSelfPublishingConference

The content of The Self Publishing Conference is geared for: writers; authors; small- to large self-publishers; traditional publishers; entrepreneurs; software developers; SEO, marketing and business experts; and anyone interested in writing better and selling more books.

The event organizers Julia Hidy and Jane Tabachnick  note that interest in self-publishing has grown exponentially since 2008. Every day about 2,000 new books are added to Kindle.com alone. This rapid expansion of self-publishing is making it increasingly difficult for authors to have their books discovered by interested readers.

Many self-published books only sell one or two copies, whereas others sell hundreds, or even hundreds of thousands of books.Many best-selling self-published authors consider the business side of writing as they create their content. While writing their books, they develop and execute fully integrated PR, media, social media, marketing and SEO campaigns that can help create a ready-to-read audience and expand the future discoverability of their titles.

The Self-Publishing Conference will cover new channels, formats, platforms and software tools that can help authors establish greater market saturation, expand readership and boost sales. The speakers will offer a combination of online training, strategic planning, and mentoring sessions. They will provide proven insights, tips, tools, and case studies that can help you create a road map for your own success in self-publishing.

Speakers include John Kremer, Daniel Hall, Brian Jud, Deltina Hay, James J. Jones, Jane Tabachnick, Jim Kukral, Julia Hidy, Colin Scott, Ginger Moran, Ronnie Bincer, Colin Martin and more.

LINKS

TheSelfPublishingConference.com

Program: The Self-Publishing Conference

 

More Authors Take The Initiative in Book Marketing

According to the firm Author Marketing Ideas, the myth of the publisher as marketer is declining, as a growing number of authors realize that marketing their books is part of their job. Whether they are working with traditional publishing houses or self-publishing, more authors are taking the initiative to market their own books. 

AMIBookMarketing

The trend includes well known writers, such as Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and author David Mamet who decided to self-publish his new book. He told The New York Times earlier this year, “Publishing is like Hollywood — nobody ever does the marketing they promise.” So of his new book he says, “I am going to promote the hell out of it, even though I’ll probably make my own mistakes.”

Award winning children’s author Sherrill S. Cannon say that “Writing ‘The End’ is just the beginning for me as an author; once my book is written, I move into sales mode.” Cannon has written five successful children’s books and relies on social media to connect with fans and boost sales. “My publisher Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency and their sister company Author Marketing Ideas have helped me tremendously and given a huge boost through services such as video book trailers and press releases. But as an author my job is also to be proactive. I blog and guest blog as well as enter contests and submit my books for reviews.”

“Authors such as Sherrill Cannon are what we see more and more as the new normal,” says Ellen Green, Vice President of Author Marketing Ideas. In addition to offering traditional book-marketing services, AMI also hosts educational webinars for authors who want to market their books on their own. To educate and empower every author, AMI also has a “Free Tips” page on their website.

If statistics about the rise of self-publishing are accurate, there’s a whole lot of book-marketing going on. According to the book data company Bowker, the number of self-published titles increased 59 percent last year, topping 391,000 books, The authors of each of these books is engaged in some form of self-marketing. 

LINKS

Author Marketing Ideas