The IndieWeb is a community of personal websites, connected by simple standards. These follow the principles of publishing content at your own domain name and owning your data.
Indiekit uses these standards to help you publish content to your own website and then share it on popular social networks.
What really happens when you “get a book deal,” publish your first book, and go on tour to promote it? It may not be what you’ve always imagined!
- Book deals do not mean a bunch of money.
- Most authors never see another cent beyond the advance.
- Often book launches are the responsibility of the author.
- In 99.9999% of times authors are not paid for readings.
- Book tours are funded by authors.
- Often authors have little control over the cover, title, and subtitle of their books.
- Books maybe copy edited, but are often not given extensive structural edits.
- Authors often only earn $1.50 a book.
- Usually authors have no control over the publication of excerpts.
This is very thought provoking and eye-opening.
Turn a Google Sheets spreadsheet into a blog page and RSS feed
I really like the potential of this as a tool for students to spin up a site for a project or even a collaborative space to share. I am also intrigued in the prospect to work with the data collected using Google Sheets.
Unless you feel you can figure out how to market your book, unless you want to devote as much energy to that marketing plan as you did to its authorship and production, unless you are prepared to sustain your marketing effort through constant iteration and refinement, you probably shouldn’t self-publish.
I’ve evolved a checklist for would-be self-publishers that makes success more than a matter of pure luck.
- Observe the publishing fortunes of books whose audiences you imagine to be similar to your book’s audience;
- From these observations, formulate a falsifiable hypothesis about how you will reach a similar audience;
- Based on this hypothesis, formulate a plan to get your book to that audience;
- Execute your plan, and measure its progress by comparing your book’s performance to your hypothesized performance;
- As new data comes in about where your hypothesis was mistaken, revise your hypothesis and make a new plan, and execute that;
- Go to step 4. and repeat.
This won’t guarantee that you succeed, but without something like this, you will almost certainly fail.
I am intrigued to how this differs in Australia or if it is the same all over the world.
Doctorow also shared a reading of the piece on his podcast:
These days the idea of bestseller means selling in the range of 10,000 books. The average book released these days sells only 250 copies, so if you’re over that, you’re doing well.
No one wakes up in the morning hoping to be as vapid as possible. But eventually you internalize the squeeze. Everyone down the chain adjusts their individual decisions to the whim of the retailer, or to their best guess at the whim of the retailer. If it’s Barnes & Noble, you may hear that a cover doesn’t work, that the store won’t carry the title unless you change it. If it’s Amazon, you may not hear anything at all. You go back and adjust your list of wildly optimistic comparative titles — it’s The Big Short, but . . . for meteorology!
Choose active media, set yourself up to succeed by building systems to cultivate positive habits, but most importantly: Take a second to think about the contracts you’ve entered into as you go about your day. Are those contracts you’re happy with? Did you realize you had entered into them?
It’s an essay about “contracts” — and I don’t mean the formal things we sign upon joining a company or getting a divorce, but the more implicit contracts we enter into with a piece of media, software, or an application. Contracts can become proxies for thinking about “media accounting:” What we gain or lose by engaging with different media and mediums. Consider this missive a little bit of Media Accounting 101.
It is about the agreements we make that we may not always be aware that we are making. This is another interesting examination about being.
Central to this discussion is attention and in particular James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.
I’ve always wondered about self-publishing, but always from a digital perspective, using Gumroad or some other platform. I had never thought of physically publishing something and giving it away. I obviously need to explore this in more detail.
Syndicated at Read Write Collect