Happy Tuesday, everyone. I’m moving slow this week. Monday was pure exhaustion in fact, but after a long night’s sleep I’m perkier this morning. So let’s get to the links.
• Robin Sullivan of Ridan Publishing has long chronicled the boundaries of the new self-publishing wave. On her blog, Write to Publish, she pulls together a great deal of information about self-published and indie-published writers, sales, and progress. Now she has a useful new article at Publishing Perspectives in which she points out a number of self-published authors who are selling enough on their own that they’re making a living from it. These aren’t the folks who are getting all the publicity, and they aren’t selling at the level of Amanda Hocking or John Locke. Robin calls them the new midlist, and each of them is an example of the way in which self-publishing is changing the playing field.
• I loved this essay from Alan Baxter, in which he explains why other writers are not the enemy. Too often we see other writers as the competition, something that must be brought low so that we can succeed. Alan’s words are a nice antidote to that attitude. He wants us all to succeed together, and he describes some of the ways he has supported other writers, and they have supported him.
• Everybody wants to be on Twitter these days but not everyone is confident in using the service. Media Bistro points out five Twitter profile mistakes that you should avoid. Are you unclear why Twitter might be useful to you? Mary Rarick has a different list: Five Reasons Freelance Writers Should Use Twitter. Read it and decide for yourself.
• By now everyone has heard about J.K. Rowling’s new venture into ebook publishing. She’s taking the reins in a good way, and raking in the lion’s share of profits as well. I enjoyed this article in the Guardian newspaper, on J.K. Rowling, Marketing Genius. If you want to succeed, study those who do it best.
• Writers are readers, too, and book-lovers generally. I don’t know about you, but my life would have been much worse without the generosity of public libraries. So I was pleased to read that two-thirds of public libraries in the U.S. now offer ebook lending programs. That information was presented at this year’s American Library Association Annual Conference, which also included announcements from both Barnes & Noble and Amazon that they are increasing their efforts to promote ebook lending as well. That’s great news for keeping the digital divide as small as possible.
• Let’s finish off with some technical notes. If you’ve worked on an ebook of any kind, you may have run into the concept of metadata. But do you really understand what metadata is and how to use it to make sure readers can find your book? Over at The Book Designer Joel Frielander has the first in a two-part series explaining metadata and how best to use it. If you’re formatting your own books, this is info you must have.
• This post is from 2010, but some writing advice is always fresh. Anne Allen gives us a list of 12 Dos and Don’t for Introducing Your Protagonist. The early pages of your book are the most important, since in an ebook that’s the part your readers will sample. Take Anne’s advice and think about the best, most compelling way to introduce your characters and bring them to life in your reader’s mind.