BLOG

Whether you are an aspiring author, a published author, a publisher or one who provides services to those who publish, the purpose of this SLPA Blog is to provide information and resources on a full range of author/publishers issues and ideas.
  • Friday, June 10, 2016 11:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Guest blog post written by SLPA’s 2016 winner of the IBPA Pub U scholarship, Kristina Blank Makansi

    IBPA Publishing University 2016

    As noted by Chris Kenneally of Copyright Clearance Center, independent publishers (including self-publishers) all share the same desire, or “genome; that is, we all want [and need] one another to share information, seize new opportunities, study the trends, economic issues—even with our “competitive rival[s].”

    “Connecting”—whether with authors, suppliers, publishers—as well as learning and staying on top of what is happening in the publishing world is one of the best reasons to be a member of IBPA. And networking with like-minded people and experts to learn from is what IBPA’s Publishing University is about. Coming together as one, we keep independent publishing alive and thriving.


    This past May, Donna Essner, one of my Amphorae Publishing Group business partners, and I attended Publishing University in Salt Lake City. I was the happy recipient of the SLPA scholarship which covered registration fees. (I recommend everyone enter to win the scholarship next year!) Upon arrival, we were met
    with a plethora of information, services, and assistance available in every area of independent publishing, and print and ebook distributors, printers, wholesalers, website developers, retailers, and experts on public relations/promotions were on display and available for consultation—and for making new friends. Even shy writing types are encouraged to network, mix, and mingle, and to learn from one another. One comment from Kwame Alexander, keynote speaker and 2016 Newberry winner, struck me in particular. “Go wherever,” he said. “Be vulnerable. Be prepared.” This advice is not just for authors alone. It’s a mantra even we publishers should remember. And if you’re self-publishing, it goes double! Be bold. Experiment. Put your whole self out there.

    Of particular interest to author/publishers are the workshops and panel discussions given by successful marketers, publishers, and authors, who openly and happily share their success stories—and their failures—to help the rest of us succeed. Learning from the mistakes others have made, in particular, helps us achieve our goals and that of our authors. Throughout the conference, we found that everyone we met shared their knowledge willingly, no matter the question. And fellow attendees are just as eager to learn from what we, at Amphorae, have learned. As a writer, traditional publisher, and self-published author, I eagerly devoured all the information—or as much as I could ingest!—I could get my hands on. In fact, I highly recommend you go with a friend or colleague so you can each attend different sessions and then share notes.

    One particular bit of advice to keep from being so overwhelmed with everything available to IBPA attendees, is go with a plan. Decide what you want and need to learn and focus first on that. 

    —Kristina Blank Makansi with Donna Essner, partners, Amphorae Publishing Group


    But, to reiterate Kwame Alexander, “Go wherever. Be vulnerable. Be prepared.” Just go. IBPA Publishing University is one destination that I recommend to everyone on the publishing journey.

  • Wednesday, April 27, 2016 9:23 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    SLPA doesn't talk much about the art of writing, leaving that to the St. Louis Writers Guild, except that writers should consider who their readers will be and how to speak (write) to that audience. But, K.M. Weiland has an excellent article on how to write scenes to keep the reader happily interested. Follow the links in the article, too, for more good information.

     

    How to Create Awesome Scene Arcs That Surprise Readers

  • Friday, March 18, 2016 1:30 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    I hope you know you cannot just use any photo you find online for your book or website or blog. Most are copyrighted and require specific permission and even payment to use. Do not think you can just tell who the photographer is and they will be happy (same with using other peoples' written words). You may even be in trouble using your own photos! Below is an enlightening article by photographer Jean Gill about the use of photos for commercial purposes. Note that nowadays in the US, gardens and parks may also require permission and payment to use photos taken on their grounds.

     

    How to Source and Use Photos in Self-Published Books

     

  • Wednesday, February 24, 2016 4:28 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    How will you build your following? Here are a few ideas:

     

    71 Ways to Promote and Market Your Book

     

  • Sunday, February 14, 2016 3:04 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Using beta readers is important - beta readers read a late or final draft to give you feedback so you don't publish to embarrassing reviews. Hopefully these readers are honest with you. Author Anne Leigh Parrish gives tips on how to use this feedback:

     

    Tips on Getting Feedback

     

  • Tuesday, January 19, 2016 4:20 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    You are using social media to spread the word about you and your books, right? Don't be a spammer, though, or go on and on about your books, annoying potential readers. What do you post about then? Gary McLaren of Writers Unplugged has an article for you:

     

    40 Ideas for Writers to Post on Social Media

     

     

     

  • Wednesday, October 07, 2015 11:10 AM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Your author bio can help sell your book, so don't be shy about your accomplishments. Author/Copywriter Bryan Cohen gives 5 tips in his article 

    How to Write the Best Author Bio. 
  • Wednesday, August 26, 2015 9:25 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Joel Friedlander talks about proofreading and how reading aloud is not just for kids.

     

     

    7 Tips for Proofreading Your Book
  • Monday, April 27, 2015 4:30 PM | Anonymous member

    This post provides details about the 5 Parts of the Book You Will Write, in addition to the book itself. A must read if you thought your contribution ended with the content!

  • Friday, March 06, 2015 6:53 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Editor Rachel Newman has an excellent article on Joel Friedlander's blog on editing your work for point of view - of course, don't rely on yourself to catch all the errors. Who is telling your story? Be sure to maintain this point of view throughout, unless you are really good at knowing how and when to switch.

     

    Whose Story Is It? Self-Editing for Point of View

     

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