Category Archives: Business of Writing

Editing Published Books

Coffee and cookies on table with book in the background and the post's title, "Editing Published Books" superimposed on the front.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

One of my favorite things about self-publishing is the ability to go back into a published book and make changes.

There have been, unfortunately, a few things that I would like to correct in some of my published Penguin books. Naturally, I don’t have the ability to make those because they’re not in my KDP dashboard.

But with my self-published books, I’ve made quite a few changes to the text.

One reason I might go back in is what you’d expect…correcting typos or small formatting issues. Continue reading Editing Published Books

Draft2Digital’s Free Templates

A quill pen and inkstand are in the background and the post title, "Draft2Digital's Free Templates" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

As an indie author, I have a good team for all the things I don’t do well or need help with:  cover design, editing, and formatting.  But I also like to know about tools that help me to fill in the gaps in areas that I can work on.

Draft2Digital has been a big help to me in a variety of different ways (I’m not affiliated with them in any way, except as an author-user).  I especially needed ways that I could update my books’ back matter easily and inexpensively (more on their free conversion tool in a later post).

When I was a traditionally published author, interior design was very important to the total book package.  Section breaks in my Memphis Barbeque series, for instance, had little pigs as scene dividers.  When I became an indie author, at first I sought out more elaborate interior design for my ebooks.  Years later, this became a problem when one of Amazon’s devices didn’t display the design correctly…this issue included the title page, chapter headings,  dedication, and drop-cap.  Continue reading Draft2Digital’s Free Templates

Make it Easy for Readers to Contact You

Man is talking through a tin can connected to a string and the post title, "Make it Easy for Readers to Contact You" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig 

I’m lucky to have a very good relationship with my readers.  We frequently exchange emails.

I recently received an email from a reader of mine that I’ve corresponded with for years.  She asked me if I could figure out a way to get in contact with another of her favorite authors.  This reader was on email, but not on social media.

As a favor to her, I looked up the author’s books on Amazon to see if I could find her website through  Amazon Author Central.  She was not on Amazon Author Central.

I googled the writer and found a rudimentary website.  There was no contact page or contact information on the website.

I looked up the writer on Twitter and found that she had an account.  I sent her a tweet, letting her know that a reader of hers had a question for her.  Two months later, I’ve received no reply. Continue reading Make it Easy for Readers to Contact You

A Closer Look at Babelcube for Translation

Woman holding a globe with the post title, "A Closer Look at Babelcube for Translation" is superimposed on the post.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

My strategy for the last couple of years is increase the income streams for my already-published books by branching into international publishing, libraries, and translation.

 

I’m about to publish my first translated book, A Dyeing Shame, in Spanish.  My translator is the gifted Alfredo Moyano-Barroso.  I was lucky that Freddy not only speaks Spanish and English fluently, but he lives in the US and was easily able to convey Southern US customs and traditions to a new audience.  Right on that book’s heels is an Italian version of A Body in the Backyard, translated by Valeria Poropat, another wonderful translator.

 

Babelcube is a platform that allows indie authors to audition and retain translators for their books.  Here is my experience working with them:

 

The Good: 

  • The royalty-share agreement. For writers, there’s lots that’s good.  There’s very little risk on our side as writers (except, perhaps, the risk of a bad translation).  We pay nothing upfront.  Babelcube handles payments to the translator, distribution of the books, etc.
  • Checkpoints for quality control. We have opportunities to end the translation process.
  • A partnership (for ebooks) with StreetLIb: a company I already do business with and respect a good deal.  That expands the distribution options (although I wish that StreetLib would take over the print distribution–more on that below).

Continue reading A Closer Look at Babelcube for Translation

Reviewing a Writing Year in Progress

A desk with cube walls completely covered with colorful papers and posters is in the background and the foreground has the post title, "Reviewing the Writing Year in Progress" superimposed on it.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

This is about the time when I start wondering where the year has flown off to.

To keep from saying this in December and feeling very off-track, I’ve got a date set in my calendar around now to check in and see how I’m doing so far.

The check-in isn’t only for my writing, but also for my writing business. And summer is a great time to check in with business because we all experience that middle of the summer slowdown. It’s a slowdown of sales and a slowdown online, in general. Blogs are quieter and social media is somewhat more erratic.

You could be as detailed or as broad with this as you want.  Some years I really don’t have time to do more than look and see if I’m on track to put out the number of books that I wanted to publish and to glance over sales and see if I need to run a special.  Some years I have more time to be reflective and to cover a broader area.

Ideally, for me, I’m trying to review the different areas below (and some of them could belong under more than one heading). Continue reading Reviewing a Writing Year in Progress