If you're looking for the latest news about the writings of Stuart J. Whitmore (author of: Lesson One: Revolution!; Two Boys, Two Planets; Journey to Yandol, and other stories; and, Wolf Block), you've found the perfect blog for that!
I may not be a household name yet, and you might not have read all of my books, but I have been publishing digital content for over 20 years, and I've learned a few things along the way. In this post I will share with you five skills that you will need to be an indie author. To be clear, when I say "indie author" I mean an author who is primarily responsible for not only the writing of a book but also the editing, publishing, and marketing of the book, even if parts of the process are handled by another party (e.g., a small publisher, or a big publisher who doesn't want to bother promoting your book).
In a post in late January, I set out a number of writing-related goals for this calendar year. Now that we're over halfway through the year, I realized I should revisit that list of goals and assess where I am. Unfortunately, I can't say that I'm happy with my progress, and I realize that I've shifted my focus too much toward marketing existing works (which have never performed well) instead of releasing new works.
If you look on the front page of the Video Liberty site you'll probably see a half-banner ad for Two Boys, Two Planets, which appears there via Project Wonderful. Considering that improving my book marketing has been a theme for me this year, and also considering that the sales of my children's book seem to be declining, I decided to put some time and effort into the book. This includes both marketing (such as online ads) and improving the book itself. I set last night as a deadline for myself to have an upgraded version of the Kindle edition uploaded to Amazon KDP, and some struggles with that upgrade process caused this week's blog post to be delayed.
One of my "beta readers" for the Lesson One: Revolution! sequel (Extra Credit: Loyalty!) brought to my attention something that I should know to improve the story. (Warning: Very minor spoiler ahead.) Unlike an issue of word choice or punctuation (which were also detected), this is something about real life that would be helpful to know for many people, writers and non-writers alike. In the sequel, Dan sustains a serious injury and wants something to help deal with the pain. He has access to some first aid supplies that were in storage, and he opts to take some ibuprofen rather than a much stronger prescription drug because the latter is past its expiration date. That was written from my consumer-level "understanding" of medicine, and it turns out to not be the right choice. I'll fix the story, but read on to see what the right choice would be, and how what I learned from my beta reader could be helpful to you, and to your bank account.
Is it a major quake that will create a tsunami of change in the e-book market? Or is it a squib that is heard by the closest neighbors but which the rest of the world doesn't notice? Earlier this week, Barnes & Noble announced, as part of a corporate fiscal report, that the company's "Board of Directors authorized management to separate the Barnes & Noble Retail and NOOK Media businesses." In other words, the NOOK platform will become a separate business, spun off from the larger company. The change in the NOOK platform could be just what it needs to finally be a strong competitor to the Kindle platform. Or, it could be just a meaningless move in the platform's slow march toward following the Sony reader into the dim history of also-rans. It depends on how they manage the change. And when I say "manage the change" I mean break away from the plodding and ineffective "marketing" shown by Barnes & Noble today.