Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Day in the Life- #IndieAuthorDay

International Indie Author Day happened Saturday, October 14th. It was a day for Indie Authors around the world to get together.

I'm proud to say myself and poet Kate Marsh visited with our local Harney County Library and set up an author day at the library. We invited authors and writers from the area to join us for a two hour discussion of writing, publishing, and being creative.

We had nearly 20 people present, which I feel was a good number considering the small community of Burns, Oregon. Authors brought books to set up and sell.The books ranged from Children's, YA, Mystery, Sci-fi, Romance, Poems, and Nonfiction. 

We had refreshments of pumpkin and sugar cookies, coffee, tea, and juice.

The authors were asked in an email who would like to be part of a panel. We had Kate, myself, and four other authors as part of the panel. Most were Indie authors. Three had been published before going Indie. One had never published a book but wrote screenplays, and one was Indie all the way.

The event started with everyone present who considered themselves a writer to stand up, say their name and what they wrote.  It was fun to meet some people I'd only heard their names and see the passion in everyone of them for the story they were writing.

Good questions were asked and discussions were engaging and enlightening. Everyone was patient with those who took longer to tell their writing journey and when the event ended at 4, most people lingered to talk more. We were finally kicked out by the library staff because the library had been closed for half an hour!

Everyone who participated in the day had a good time and enjoyed talking with other writers and learning about the struggles and the triumphs.  It was wonderful to see young people as well as the geriatric set there to talk writing and learn from one another.

The one thing I came away with is the need to have a writing workshop of some kind at the library possibly every other month. I'll be headed into the library to talk with the director of the library and see what we can do.

If you are an author, did you participate in any events for Indie Author Day? If a reader, do you like to hear how an author struggles not only with getting words on paper but the business of writing, or do you just like reading the books for enjoyment without wondering about how the story went from a writer's  brain to the book page? 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Making my books truly my own, by Paty Jager

This will be a post about moving my print books from Creastespace (Amazon) to Ingram Spark and making my books truly my own.

When I started this Indie Publishing journey, there were not as many resources for an indie author to use. The name that came up over and over to get books put in different venues than just Amazon was Smashwords. I used them, but after a few years it was easier for me to upload to Kobo and Barnes and Nobles myself. I've yet to go straight to Apple because I don't own a Mac computer. 

Then other aggregators started popping up, and I found Draft 2 Digital (D2D) much more user friendly. It has many more places that sell my books than Smashwords offered. It is also easy to upload to and pick the venues. It also has a universal link that also includes the Amazon link. This Books2Read universal link has made updating my website and information in the backs of my books much simpler.  I've also begun using Findaway Voices, D2D's audio book side which gives me more options for sales of my audio books and more royalties than Amazon's ACX.

All this time I had used Createspace, the most user friendly and free place, to upload my print books. But I had bookstores balking at ordering books from Createspace because they are an entity of Amazon. Which was putting the little bookstores out of business.  But with whispered rumors of Amazon using their printing house to say you can only sell your print books through them, I've hopped over to Ingram Spark while they are having an upload for free period and started my new series with them and moved over my mystery series.

I will have to say Createspace was more on the ball when I contacted them to send my Shandra Higheagle print book files to Ingram Spark. They had it all ready to go before Ingram Spark had finished my side of things with them. I'm happy to say all of my Shandra Higheagle Mystery books are now being printed by Ingram Sparks. I received one of each book that I ordered to check out the printing. The books are a bit thinner than the Createspace books but the inside print is bolder/darker.  Otherwise they appear to be the same.

Now I'm waiting for the recent releases: Savannah: Silver Dollar Saloon and Haunting Corpse, the latest Shandra Higheagle Mystery to arrive to see how well I formatted the interior and my cover designer (Covered by CLKeerins) did on the cover.

Ingrams requested some different dimensions on margins and details on the interior and the cover has to go on a template. 

The first book we turned in neither my cover designer had encountered some of the Ingram Sparks wording before and after a fail on our first uploaded interior and cover, learned that all we had to do was go deeper into our PDF formatting options. 

For the interior I had to select I wanted a PDF from my formatted word document, then in the screen where I'd clicked PDF there is an options button. I then clicked PDF/A compliant. This version worked for Ingram Spark.

My cover designer discovered when she saved in a Photoshop PDF under save options there was one for color. The dialog box said ICCprofile:sRGB IED61966-2.1  When she unclicked that, the format worked for Ingrams.

 I have purchased the ISBNs for the ebook, print, and audio versions of my books and have more control over where they can be found by readers.  Going forward all my books will be in print from Ingrams, my audio books will be at Findaway Voices, and my ebooks (unless I'm in a group product) will be found at all ebook venues.

I've always been an independent person by nature and letting one entity have a hold on my writing just didn't feel right.

If you are an indie author, who prints your books and do you go with Kindle Unlimited or spread your books around?