Monday Links

Happy Monday, friends! This is the week I plan to publish my first self-pubbed e-story. I’ve been muddling about with the bio and blurbs and will finish soon. In the meantime, some news from around the ‘net:

• You may have heard of Kobo, which is a service of Borders bookstores and their proprietary ereader and also one of Smashwords’ retail partners. They recently announced that they have obtained $53 million in funding to fuel expansion of their online retail presence, including new online stores throughout Europe. This is great news for writers who publish with Smashwords, and another sign of the growing importance of ebooks to publishing in general.

• Trade publishers realize that they need to upgrade their IT resources, and fast, and Tech Job Watch (a WSJ partner) reports that executives from major publishers such as Simon & Schuster and Random House met in New York recently to talk about how to ramp up their electronic publishing divisions. Sounds like they’re going to go on a big hiring spree, as well as outsourcing to existing IT companies.

• In a post with remarkable depth Ilona Andrews, a traditionally published writer, discusses the future of ebooks and describes her own experience with dipping into electronic self-publishing. She is cautious rather than thrilled with the upcoming changes, and presents good, careful thoughts about why she feels that way.

• Last week I linked to Kristine Katherine Rusch and her posts on ebook royalty problems from commercial publishers. This week she reached back to explain what she thinks are the Sea Changes that are buffeting the publishing world, and why many writers who have been commercially publishing may not see what’s about to hit them.

• Most writers, when they dream of making a living with their creative work, think about hitting it big with a bestseller. But Dean Wesley Smith has a different vision, and in his post explains why you can make a very good living on small numbers of sales, but only if you have a lot of products to sell. His conclusion? A writer’s first task should always be to write and publish more!

• And, to finish up, a couple of useful tutorials for self-publishers. First, in a great thread over at the Writer’s Cafe on Kindleboards, author Jack Murphy wrote a clear and helpful post explaining how to create a Facebook landing page to publicize your work. There’s also a video tutorial on YouTube to help you visualize the process. And in response to requests in another Kindleboards thread, author Kathleen Valentine posted instructions on how to sell your ebooks directly from your own web site. I have to say that I am constantly impressed by how the Writers Cafe members go out of their way to help each other and share their expertise.

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