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Posts tagged ‘Indie’

A Book’s Fate

51Lxqzd5JpL._SY346_Being Indie: A No Holds Barred Self-Publishing Guide for Fiction Authors by Eeva Lancaster. Reviewed by Gabriel Constans.

Ms. Lancaster states right up front that, “Books have a publishing standard, and Indie authors are accountable to their readers in making sure these standards are met or exceeded.” Being Indie explains how to meet that standard and provides steps for doing so. It also describes how to be a “savvy Indie author”, as opposed to simply getting your book published.

The author of Being Indie practices what she preaches. The book’s cover catches the eye, the layout and editing are well done, and the content very relevant. She also has an excellent on-line and social media presence. These are all aspects of being an indie author which are clearly defined and presented. This is an excellent resource for anyone considering, or in the midst of, publishing their own book.

There are three parts to this work. Part One (Pre-Publishing) includes sections on – From Manuscript to Book – The Editing and Proofreading Stage – What Type of Editor Do You Need? – How to Approach Cover Design – Book Design and Formatting – Fixed Layout or PDF. Part Two (Building Your Author Platform) has information on – Your Website or Blog – Guest Posting – Your Online Presence – Social Media Presence. Part Three (Post Publishing) is a recap of the first two sections.

What I appreciate most about Being Indie is the experience, and knowledge, the author has about the process and the honesty with which she speaks. There is no sugar-coating, or sells pitch, trying to get you to buy her products, or do it here way. Being an indie author takes a lot of hard work and diligence. Very few make a living doing so. Ms. Lancaster says, “Doing nothing, and leaving a book’s fate to the gods, will only ensure failure. It will not sell itself. No one will buy it if it’s less than a book should be. No one will notice it if it’s not attractive. That’s the reality. The sooner you realize this, the better.”

 

What do we eat when we’re dead?

images-1An excerpt from Dead Head Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

If life is a bowl full of cherries, what do we eat when we are dead?

Every Day Koans by Master Tova. Epilogue.

More precarious koans, stories, & tales, at Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

Troubling Times

586613838e010d433bacb209ce65ea56c69e859e-thumbAn excerpt from Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

A student came to study with Master Tarantino Toshiba after a recent separation. She was fed up with relationships and said she was tired of the whole mating game. She’d rather go it alone and find peace of mind through meditation.

“Go back to your ex and give it a little longer,” advised Master Toshiba. “But this time make sure to meditate non-stop while engaged in any conversation or activity with your partner.”

“You’re telling me to leave and return to that selfish, nagging cheater and try again?”

“Yes, but try not to call them names, as that tends to make people feel bad.”

The student thought The Master had misspoken, since she had no idea what her ex was really like, but she trusted her teacher and returned home. After a month of re-kindled arguments and negativity, she returned to her teacher.

“This is not working Master. No matter how hard I try to meditate or have loving thoughts, they continually ignore me, put me down, and tell me what to do. I want to stay here with you and the other nuns to find some peace of mind.”

“If you can’t find peace of mind at home with those you love, you will not find it in a monastery, community, or distant cave.”

“But Liz is insufferable. Aren’t there times when one needs to move on?”

“What’s her name?” The Master asked.

“My partner? You know Liz.”

“Oh yes. I know Liz,” Abbess Tova said. “Why didn’t you say so in the first place?”

“I assumed you knew who I was speaking about.”

“It is best to never assume anything,” replied the Abbess.

“Well, I apologize if I wasn’t clear.”

“No apology needed and it is accepted.” The Master smiled. “In this case, as I said before, there are times when some situations are hopeless and one must move on in order to find freedom.”

More satirical koans, stories, & tales, at Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

Why Shop Indie?

logoFrom Indie Bound

Why shop Indie?

When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits:

The Economy

Spend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.

Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.

More of your taxes are reinvested in your community–where they belong.

The Environment

Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.

Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.

The Community

Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.

Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.

More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.

Now is the time to stand up and join your fellow individuals in the IndieBound mission supporting local businesses and celebrating independents.

Indie Bookstores Upbeat

Indie Bookstores Have Big Holiday Sales
by Judith Rosen, Claire Kirch, Wendy Werris & Paige Crutcher
2nd January, 2012 Publisher’s Weekly

Despite an economic backdrop filled with talk of a fiscal cliff and no single hot holiday title like last year’s Steve Jobs biography, independent booksellers who took part in PW Daily’s Christmas 2012 survey were surprisingly upbeat. “We beat last year and last year was a stellar year. We are very happy,” said Dana Brigham, manager and co-owner of Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass. Similarly, Suzy Takacs, owner of The Book Cellar in Chicago, which saw 2011 sales rise 38% in the wake of Borders’s closing, was pleased to have last year’s increase stick. Holiday sales for 2012 were “terrific,” she said, “up a whisker.” And Michael Boggs, co-owner of Carmichael’s Bookstore, with two stores in Louisville, Ky., was satisfied with being down 6% at one store and 4% at the other. “Both were up 38% from the year before. The new level is 30% more than pre-Borders. It’s an enormously big figure for a store that’s 35 years old to have.”

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In Des Moines, Alice Meyer, owner of 6-year-old Beaverdale Books, was “exuberant.” Her store was up 10% last month and 29% for the year. Two-year-old Wakefield Books in Wakefield, R.I., one of a few indies to open in a Waldenbooks location, also held its own. “We had another very solid year here,” said manager Bob Ryan. “December started off a little slower than we like, but those last few days from December 21 made up a lot of ground we had lost.”

The last few days were crucial for many stores this season. Lisa Baudoin, owner of Books & Company in Oconomowoc, Wis., described the final three days as “huge,” with the store’s highest sales ever on Saturday, December 22. “This year for the retailer it was a five-day holiday,” said Steven Baum, co-owner of Greetings and Readings in Hunt Valley, Md. “But it couldn’t make up for November and December.” His store was down for the year.

Other stores experienced a stronger build up to Christmas, including some affected by late October’s “Frankenstorm,” Hurricane Sandy. “It has been a good year even taking into account that we were closed for two weeks with the hurricane,” said Karen Rumage, co-owner of River Road Books in Fair Haven, Ct. Broadway and Brookline Books, which both do a big Hanukkah business, reported an early sales boost from having the holiday fall in the first half of December.

In most of the country weather was not an issue. In Houston, Blue Willow Bookshop owner Valerie Koehler, speaking for many, said “we have been very fortunate.” Christmas Eve was in the 70s. A blizzard in Oregon the week before Christmas did play havoc with restocking for bookstores there. But national events were a greater impediment elsewhere. The Newtown shootings reverberated at some bookstores in mid-December with weakened sales. Readers who normally shop at Books of Wonder in New York City to Eso Won Books in Los Angeles stayed home with their families as they watched the tragedy unfold. Books & Company’s Baudoin was one of the few to report flat sales in December, which she attributed to “the politicians. You didn’t hear much in the news about the fiscal cliff until after Thanksgiving. And that’s when things went flat.”

Although the number of independents has been growing since 2010, when the American Booksellers Association reported 1,410 members, indies and chains continue to close. In addition to Cokesbury announcing the closing of 38 stores and 19 seminary stores, bookstores like Puddn’head Books in St. Louis, Mo.; Archiva Books in New York City; St. Helens Book Shop in St. Helens, Ore.; Rainy Day Books in Tillamook, Ore.; and Yawn’s Books & More in Canton, Ga., all closed last month.

Not all closings are necessarily a bad thing. Marva Allen, co-owner of Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem, which shuttered its bricks-and-mortar operation over the summer, said, “we are totally loving the flexibility of our online store, which allows us to offer our customers a wider selection. We continue to do pop-ups and special events. I am conceiving a reading room concept [in lieu of a bookstore] that’s not yet fleshed out.”

Many adult titles that were cited as top sellers came out early in the season, like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (June), Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (March) and Tiny Beautiful Things (July). A few hit in November like John Meachem’s Thomas Jefferson, or December, Adam Makos and Larry Alexander’s A Higher Call, which Kris Kleindienst, co-owner of Left Bank Books in St. Louis, said, “came out of nowhere the week before Christmas.” While it got a boost from The Diane Rehm Show, another December release got an even bigger boost from media attention. Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, originally slated for 2013, was moved up after Oprah selected it for her book club.

Read complete story and others at Publisher’s Weekly

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