“Self-Publishing” Is Growing Up

By Geoff Hoff

The history of publishing is a long and crooked one. People have written books for as long as people have written. Originally, to “publish” a book meant to have it hand-copied, and there were whole monastic orders that were dedicated to that craft. Each copy of the book was an original work of exquisite art. Since few could actually read, this seemed the way to do it. This is, of course, the ultimate “self-publishing.”

Self Publishing

“Gutenberg bible” page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then people began carving plates in order to print the pages so that each copy looked like every other, and more copies could be printed. This was the way of it until Gutenberg invented the movable type printing press, produced the first “mass produced” books, which, among other things, included an edition of the Bible.

Fast forward to the late 1800s and early 1900s, when there were actually publishing companies. Several prominent authors still published their own work, but it was starting to be Continue reading

Planning to Self-Publish an Ebook? Beware of Smashwords!

By Shawn Hansen

There are plenty of fantastic reasons to self-publish your book or eBook.  The primary reason most people choose to self-publish a book or eBook has to do with control.

(When I say self-publish, I am talking about you – the author – hiring or using a third party to produce the resulting for-sale item.)

When you self-publish, you control all kinds of elements:

  • The Cover
  • The List Price
  • The Release Date
  • The Distribution
  • Discounts & Special Offers
  • Giveaways

In other words, you can hire CreateSpace to print a physical copy of your book, and you can also hire them for various distribution tasks.

Depending on what you choose, you will pay varying amounts of money in exchange for services.

Likewise, you can use Continue reading

Writing for Kindle

By Geoff Hoff

It seems that everyone these days is talking about publishing books on Kindle as a way of becoming known, getting your information out there to a big audience and, not the worst reason, making a bit of money.

I’ve published several books on Kindle and have more in the works and several people have asked me how I wrote them so quickly. There are lots of programs out there that will help you with that and other aspects of writing specifically for Kindle but I decided to give you my take on it all.

Writing for Kindle

Image via Wikepedia Commons

First of all, approaching writing for Kindle is like approaching writing for anything. You do your brainstorming to come up with your main idea (or whittle down your list of hundreds that are lying around), then you imagine what you want to communicate, organize those thoughts into some sort of outline and fill in the blanks.

This is, of course, a Continue reading

The Death of Books, Newspapers, Apple Pie and Everything?

By Geoff Hoff

Everyone is talking about the death of books and of traditional publishing and publishers. We watched newspapers struggle in the wake of information readily available on the Internet, now we’re seeing publishing houses scramble in the wake of Amazon’s print-on-demand and AuthorCentral services, etc.

I had a conversation about this with a friend of mine and thought I’d share some of what we discussed with you.  My friend had been in the newspaper biz and lost his job, perhaps because of the downsizing of his paper, perhaps for other reasons, and the whole thought of the possible disappearance of major publishers startles him.

Amazon Kindle eBook Reader

Image by goXunuReviews via Flickr

I have been saddened by the diminishing of so many newspapers, especially in the area of arts coverage.  But being sad about it is one thing. I also realize that I get most of my news from the Internet. As in all the other disciplines, there are Continue reading