So You Think You Can ePublish?

“No one knew this boy had special powers. Little did the adults suspect he would change the world…after they changed his diaper.”

Happy Friday!!!! Today we have a real treat. Jen Talty, the better cuter half of Who Dares Wins Publishing, is here to share some exciting news about an upcoming workshop at Write It Forward. Self-publishing is EXPLODING and there are more opportunities than ever before to carve out some writing success. Yet, to quote The Incredibles, “When everyone is special, then no one is.”

There is a ton of competition now that the traditional gatekeepers no longer hold sole possession of the Keys to the Publishing Kingdom. There are so many options out there, and with more choices comes paralysis by analysis. Which option is the best fit for your work? How can you do everything and still have time to write? Is that even possible?

Let’s hand this over to Jen and she’ll explain more. Thanks so much, Jen, for being here!

***

Technology has opened many a new door for civilization. From trains, planes and automobiles, we are a society on the go. Now we’re a society on the go that brings our office AND our leisure activities in our pockets. We can stay connected to friends, family and our boss… while enjoying a good read at the beach while… on vacation… all from the comfort of our Droid, Blackberry, Tablet, iPhone, iPad, iTouch…and the list goes on.

Technology has made it self-publishing easier, and more complicated at the same time. Easier because the technology has given authors direct access to their readers. Distribution in the eBook world is not ruled by the Big 6, and therefore there the space between author and reader is much shorter. Add the incredible growth rate in the eBook market, it’s a great time to be a writer.

At Write It Forward we have a few basic concepts:

  • Writers produce the product
  • Readers consume the product
  • Everyone else is in between
  • Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way

In November, Bob and I will be teaching an on-line workshop regarding how to self-publish successfully. The course is designed to help anyone, from published authors with a backlist to the unpublished considering self-publishing. We will be giving you our collective experience in both traditional publishing, digital publishing and self-publishing.

This workshop will look closely at self-publishing distribution channels from what kind of file you will need to upload your eBook to various options you have in creating the files. We will also discuss all the various platforms such as Kindle, Nook, iBooks and Smashwords and what are the best strategies to getting your book up for sale.

We will discuss doing it yourself, outsourcing and team-building options. Authors have more options today than ever before, but the process can be overwhelming. While this is not a step-by-step technical class, the workshop is designed to give you enough information to make informed decisions on how to get your eBook on all formats possible.

We will also touch on various marketing tools we have used to help our business continue to grow.

We have over 20 years experience in traditional publishing, 5 years in ePublishing and 2 years with our own publishing company Who Dares Wins Publishing. Our unique experience is part of why we have been so successful in this new Wild West of publishing. We hope that by sharing all that we have learned, you too can have some of the great success that we have seen.

Instructor Bios

NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer has over 50 books published.  He has sold over four million books and is in demand as a team-building, life-change, and leadership speaker and consultant for his Who Dares Wins:  The Green Beret Way concept which he translates into Write It Forward: a holistic program teaching writers how to be authors.  He is also the Co-Creator of Who Dares Wins Publishing, which does both eBooks and Print On Demand, so he has experience in both traditional and non-traditional publishing.

His books have hit the NY Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and numerous other bestseller lists.  His last release, The Jefferson Allegiance, was released independently and reached #2 overall in sales on Nook.

Bob has presented for over 1,000 organizations both in the United States and internationally, including keynote presentations, all day workshops, and multi-day seminars.  He has taught organizations ranging from Maui, to Whidbey Island, to San Diego State University, to the University of Georgia, to the Romance Writers of America National Convention, to Boston SWAT, the CIA, Fortune-500, Microsoft, the Royal Danish Navy Frogman Corps, Microsoft, Rotary, IT Teams in Silicon Valley and many others.  He has also served as a Visiting Writer for NILA MFA program in Creative Writing.  He has done interviews for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, PBS, NPR, the Discovery Channel, the SyFy channel and local cable shows.  For more information see www.bobmayer.org.

Jennifer Talty co-created Who Dares Wins Publishing with NY Times Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer, and runs the technical side of the company. She is published in romance and teaches Creative Writing at various writing conferences across the country.

Jennifer Talty received a BS degree in Business Education with a concentration in Marketing and Sales from Nazareth College of Rochester.  She taught Business Applications at both the High School Level and in Continuing Education.  She was a co-leader of Distributed Education Clubs of America and worked with students in developing marketing, sales and public speaking skills.  After leaving the teaching profession she worked as product and sales trainer for various hardware and software companies such as 3Comm, HP and McAfee and was the regional merchandising representative for Buena Vista Entertainment.

Thank you so much for being here!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left over to write more great books! I am here to change your approach, not your personality.

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  1. #1 by Bob Mayer on October 14, 2011 - 9:31 am

    Thanks for the post Kristen– We’re in the process of pulling together all we’ve learned in the last two years and trying to make it coherent, but there is a lot of overlap. For example, when you talk platform product and promotion all three touch on each other.
    I just had a startling realization this morning that your “normal” e-reader is not in the demographic of your normal reader. Have to reflect more on that.

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 14, 2011 - 9:41 am

      I agree. I think the people who read e-books are part of the larger whole of the population that, before, was so hard to tap into. It is one thing to ask someone who doesn’t call himself a reader to pay $24 or $12 or even $9 for a hobby he doesn’t believe he enjoys…and then he has to carry around a book. It is another thing entirely to ask this person to part with .99 and he can read on his iPhone to pass the time on a ferry ride or train ride or doctor’s office waiting room. EBooks can get people who don’t feel they like reading to sample. Then, if the author writes a “sticky” book (great story), the author likely will have a huge fan. People who are “non-readers” are VERY loyal. There are people who, if you asked them, would claim they don’t like to read….but they own every hard cover copy of the Harry Potter series.

      I actually think the “hard-core” readers have been some of the most resistant to e-books and e-readers. They all love the feel of paper and browsing a bookstore. Some are coming around but many are set in their ways. I think the target for e-books is the typical non-reader. This is why social media becomes so vital.

      Thanks so much for teaching this class! It is a real treat to get such an opportunity to learn from the best in the biz😀.

  2. #3 by Training4now on October 14, 2011 - 9:53 am

    I am confused, (and I know the entire wordpress community is going to hate me for this) what’s the difference between e-publishing and tradtional publishing? An editor? A better seat in a book store? I don’t get it.

    • #4 by Patrick Thunstrom on October 14, 2011 - 1:33 pm

      E-publishing is generally considered a sub-form of Indie Publishing, though there are ‘traditional’ venues for e-publishing. The key difference is how you go about getting your book to the readers. E-Publishers go their own way, Traditional Publishers go through the Agent > Publishing House > Market route.

  3. #5 by Jessica Aspen on October 14, 2011 - 10:04 am

    This is such an exciting opportunity to gain information from some of the best people in the industry. I just wish it wasn’t in November (going to be a crazy month for me). Count me in next time, for sure!
    And as for e-readers vs traditional readers. Luckily you still have print on demand to satisfy those of us without e-readers or those who just love the feel of the page and the feeling that they own something solid. With POD there is room for all!

  4. #6 by Jenny Hansen on October 14, 2011 - 10:17 am

    I still love to touch a book but the cost and immediacy of my Kindle won me over long ago.

    Why isn’t this workshop in January?! GACK!

  5. #7 by Julie Glover on October 14, 2011 - 10:17 am

    This looks like a great deal for the workshop. I’m still aiming for the traditional route, but each day I find myself looking at the head-spinning changes happening in publishing and wondering if maybe I should get on a different path. At the very least, I think it’s wise for authors to know all of the various options. Thanks for the info, Kristen, Bob & Jennifer!

  6. #8 by ramblingsfromtheleft on October 14, 2011 - 10:22 am

    I think the hard core reader might have appeared to be the hold out on e-books, but in the end we will prove to be the population who buys the most e-books. In one week I ordered three great print book titles from amazon and downloaded three others onto Kindle. I mix and match and as I have said about this amazing time in the publishing industry, writers (also hard core readers) will follow this pattern.

    Writers who have already had success in traditional pub will e-pub their back list, continue to use the trad method for certain projects or go it alone on others. There is no either “or” … there is why not one of each. Better, why not more than one at the same time? Since we are the gatekeepers and we can go small press (hundreds of types, genres and opportunities to get between the boards and gain experience), major publishers who sitll accept unagented work (six major publishers covering every genre) and traditional agent to pub to bookseller. After learning my craft and doing what Bob always stresses (there is no substitution for a good book), I intend to not only take advantage of it all, I intend to do it all. Go out on submisstions in three directions and hold on to others for my own plans in self-pub (read Jane Friedman’s post on “serial” writing).

    This is the most exciting time for those who take the time and care to do good work, not for the naive who believe rejection letters mean you should run to xLibris. Rejections also mean your work needs more work. If the three of you can also teach writers to learn the difference, you will open up an exciting world to everyone.

    Since I read it all the way I listen to every type of music, consume DVR and movies like chocolate and don’t like categories or pigeon-holes (I must still have those ex-hippie passions running in my aging veins) … I read this blog, love Bob Mayer’s blog, listen and learn from both sides of the fence and like the rebel I still am … tear down fences every chance I get. You better believe I will take advantage of what you and both Jen and Bob have to say on this subject, pick your brains and use it all to learn everything🙂 Thanks three times!

    • #9 by CC MacKenzie on October 14, 2011 - 1:04 pm

      I agree 100% with these comments. Keep all options open. This is a great opportunity Kristen and Bob and Jen.

      The publishing world is in the middle of a vortex of change and we’re all in it together, thank goodness for these guys to help guide the way.

  7. #10 by Gloria Richard Author on October 14, 2011 - 10:25 am

    I’m with Jessica on timing. I can either whip my WIP into submission mode, or take another on-line class in November. I’ve already committed to one class.

    PLEASE tell me this course will be offered again. If you’d like to work it around my schedule, January or February are great for me. I’m on deadline to have my ms ready for Golden Heart on December 2nd. Just a thought…

    Kristen, I can’t believe it took me so long to subscribe to your blog. A nudge from Jennifer Hansen’s Cowbell sent me over here this morning. So glad it did. Happy writing!

    Back to the WIP.

  8. #11 by Anne R. Allen on October 14, 2011 - 11:10 am

    Great post–and great comment from Florence “rambings” above. Hardcore readers/booklovers have been resisting the change because we love our familiar old friends, paper books. But we’re slowly buying e-readers (my 90-year-old mom just bought one.) And within a couple of years, the multi-task tablet will probably expand the e-book market even more. And–interesting statistic I read recently: e-reader owners read more than anybody. E-readers have increased the number of books read overall.

    What kind of books will work for the tablet generation remains to be seen. But whatever happens, we know the future is digital and whether you choose to go with self-pub, small press, or turn your career over to the big bosses of corporate publishing, everything is changing.

  9. #12 by Stacy Green on October 14, 2011 - 11:19 am

    This course looks really interesting. I’m just going to be starting my query process in November, but self-publishing is an option. Like Julie, the success stories and dollar figures keep my head spinning. But I don’t have any real grasp of what it would take TO self-publish from the technical and marketing side, so I’m really considering this workshop.

    As for the readers, many libraries are also now able to loan books out via Kindle and Nook, further increasing their appeal. There will always be holdouts, but with constantly changing technology and new generations of readers being raised on technology, ebooks are only going to get more popular.

  10. #13 by the writ and the wrote on October 14, 2011 - 12:11 pm

    This sounds like a great workshop. Will there be a cost attached?

  11. #14 by Catherine Johnson on October 14, 2011 - 12:15 pm

    I’m still on the fence about self-publishing and e-books and Nov is very busy PiBoldMo and a cool blogfest. So I’ll sit this one out, but if there’s another one in 6 months to a year I’ll probably do it. The things I’m working on right now aren’t really what agents handle, so direct to publishers or self-publishing may be an option – yikes!

    • #15 by Jen Talty on October 14, 2011 - 1:55 pm

      The cost for the 6 week course is $30.00.

  12. #16 by Nicole Basaraba on October 14, 2011 - 12:18 pm

    To quote Kristen’s reply to Bob’s comment:

    “I actually think the “hard-core” readers have been some of the most resistant to e-books and e-readers. They all love the feel of paper and browsing a bookstore. Some are coming around but many are set in their ways. I think the target for e-books is the typical non-reader.”

    I wrote a blog post about “The fate of books…or should I say ebooks?” just this week and I think the same thing: that e-books target the typical non-reader and that more people are reading books because in one way they’ve become more accessible at .99 cents a piece.

  13. #17 by Jen Talty on October 14, 2011 - 2:02 pm

    I think the reader who reads a couple best-seller books a year aren’t running out to go buy an ereader. However, as more and more people get iPads or the Kindle Fire, we will see more and more occasional readers who only read a couple books a year downloading ebooks. My DH doesn’t read, but since he got his iPad he’s read two books already. When I was traveling last weekend to Utah, I paid close attention to who was reading what. My plane was packed, but I saw only 2 people reading books and counted 12 ipads and 3 kindles and 1 nook. Yes, I took a poll on the plane.

    Going from print to digital will happen in bits and pieces. eBooks have been around for a very long time, but only in the last couple of years have they gained popularity. The shift will continue. I do believe we will see a point where eBook sales are the majority and print books a small percentage, but that will happen in waves as the technology continues to grow.

    • #18 by Author Kristen Lamb on October 14, 2011 - 2:05 pm

      My hubby is a non-reader, but he is now an avid reader now that he can get them on his phone and for inexpensive. I think the new technology will make a lot of converts, which is great news for writers.

  14. #19 by Gene Lempp on October 14, 2011 - 4:17 pm

    As a graduate of the Write It Forward class I can attest to the power and proven principles of Bob’s work and methods. Bob’s blog at WDWPub is one of the best places to keep on top of the ever-changing publishing industry and has been an incredible asset to me over the past year. I can’t express enough how important it is that we, as writers, stay on top on of the publishing industries shifts while being sure to keep our options open.
    Jen is ultra-cool and is a great encouragement to many writers through her #wewrite hashtag on Twitter. It was Jen’s friendly, open and very real attitude that convinced me to take Write It Forward and I am glad that I did.
    I highly recommend this and any class presented by Bob and Jen.
    Thanks to Kristen for having Jen on today and always providing us, her adoring readers, the best options and opportunities for advancing our writing careers.

    • #20 by patriciasands on October 14, 2011 - 9:01 pm

      Ok Gene, I’m sold! Having taken Kristen’s fabulous blogging course this summer and become part of the awesome #Wana711 group, I think this is my next logical step. Great endorsement!

  15. #21 by Guerrilla Wordfare on October 15, 2011 - 9:27 am

    The old opinion that self published authors weren’t real authors is on life support.

    We started with a brand new website and one book at the beginning of this year and have increased sales every month including over 4,000 sales on Amazon during September.

    Numbers like that are very possible e-publishing and makes you every bit as much of a “real writer” as anybody else. We could easily get a small publisher right now but why? If you can move thousands of books a month and keep 70% of the profits, there is no reason not to.

    We chronicled our search for a good editor, a good cover artist and we were off and running. My wife writes and Ii worry about the technical stuff. With a little common sense and a lot of hard work and talent anybody can do it.

  16. #22 by Glamorous Editor on October 15, 2011 - 10:01 am

    What’s the format of the workshop?
    Webinar, email lessons–one time meeting for how long, etc
    Thanks,
    Sally

  17. #24 by Tiffany A White on October 24, 2011 - 4:32 pm

    I just signed up for the November class! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us, Kristen!

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