Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sites for New and Veteran Self-Publishers to Visit

I really appreciate every author, or individual considering taking the leap and becoming an author, who visit this blog. It has been an uphill struggle to learn everything I need to know to make this a successful business and like any endeavor worth engaging in, you can never afford to stop learning.

Many individuals have taken the time to share their experiences, both good and bad, in the field of self-publishing with the intent of helping me along and to shorten the learning curve for me. I feel an obligation to do the same.

There are certainly readers of this blog who probably get a chuckle out of my mistakes as they are more experienced in the field of self-publishing. Then there are the authors who are new to the game and I hope they learn information of value from reading this blog. The third group are probably authors who are at about the same state I am in the learning process.

So, in an effort to share sources of information, here are a few sites I visit regularly and I have learned a great deal from.

Aaron is the author of Aiming at Amazon and the guru of self-publishing when it comes to the business model of selling self-published books via Amazon. He is also the author of POD for Profit and the creator of "Plan B" since Amazon has revised its dealings with Lightning Source. Aaron is just a treasure trove of information and views it as both a creative endeavor and a business.

Aaron has a realistic view of Amazon, how it works and what truly drives this company. In other words, he sees Amazon's good and bad points, of which there are both.

Morris is another of the leaders of the self-publishing movement and the use of print-on-demand as a business model for self-publishing. His book Print-on-Demand Book Publishing is another book self-publishing authors should read, even with the rise of the ebook. It describes the business model of POD for self-publishing. Remember, self-publishing is a business!

Morris writes about a lot of things on his self-publishing blog, ranging from understanding Amazon Sales Rankings, dealing with copyright violations, building an author platform and some just off the wall stuff that is really funny if you get his sense of humor. I have learned a lot by reading his blog and the archived posts.

This site is a great source of information about the design end of self-publishing as well as a wide range of topics that deal with self-publishing and publishing. Joel constantly provides new blog postings addressing topics both of interest and importance to authors who self-publish. Like Aaron and Morris, Joel views self-publishing as a both a creative and a business endeavor.

Joel also provides courses designed to teach new authors and veteran authors venturing into self-publishing learn the process and business of self-publishing. Joel also designs books as a service to self-publishing authors.

Konrath is a leader among the fiction authors who have become successful financially through self-publishing, primarily via Kindle ebook sales.

I don't always agree with his worldview on a range of topics, but I always come away from visiting his blog having learned something about the publishing industry. I write non-fiction and doubt I could ever write anything fictional worth publishing.

I have learned a great deal about the ebook explosion from his blog. Like the other three bloggers I have listed, Konrath views self-publishing as a business, and this from a very creative author. I have read many of his thrillers, particularly the Jack Daniels detective thrillers, and can attest Mr. Konrath knows how to spin a thrilling tale.

I don't quite know how to describe this blog.  Sometimes I visit and exit the blog with my blood pressure about to come out my ears telling myself I will never visit again. I always do though and I am pretty sure if Marcus could see me turn red in the face he would get a good chuckle out of it. If you already read this blog, you know exactly what I mean. Marcus loves to yank a chain, anyone's chain.

Why do I go back time after time? Because as mad as Marcus can make me, he also makes me laugh and often he writes about issues that are both important and informative for authors who self-publish.  Perhaps I just need thicker skin.

Like the other sites, I learn from the information Marcus shares and that is what makes the site worth putting on your list of self-publishing blogs to read.

In all fairness, if you wind up on the sharp end of Marcus' wit, you might have done something to deserve it. Just as quickly has he can take a poke at you, if you have done something praiseworthy, Marcus will be one of the first to point it out. He will also take a poke at himself from time-to-time.

Also, Marcus likes The Rolling Stones, The World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band. So do I.

All things Kindle. If you plan on making ebooks, Kindle in particular, part of your business plan, this site needs to be on your list of blogs and sites to visit. 

The focus of late is largely on books selling well on Kindle and the technology itself. While I am not trying to compete with best selling authors, it is a way to track what is going on with different topics and niches as well as changes in the technology. Something we all need to be aware of as authors who sell Kindle books.

If anyone knows of a site or blog that would be a good addition to this short list, please share it via the comment sections for this post.