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Self Publishing

Indie Author Spotlight - K.C. O'Neill

Indie Author Spotlight - K.C. O'Neill

'm a big fan of anyone who takes charge of their own dreams and makes them into a reality. And no one does that better than the indie author. I'm proud to be a part of this community, because the whole industry is filled with helpful, supportive, brilliant people who are out to accomplish their dreams, no matter what. They're self aware, generous, responsive, innovative thinkers who take responsibility for their own path in life. What's not to love? 

This week I'm putting a spotlight on one indie author in particular, my new friend K.C. O'Neill. She's recently released her book, "Just Parker," now available on Amazon. Put it on your Kindle and give it a read. But before that, get an inside peek into its development and promotion, and the author behind it.


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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Writing day! Citadel: CoL in progress

Writing day! Citadel: CoL in progress

Just wanted to drop a quick note. I know I've slacked off on blog posts this week, but it's all in the name of a worthy cause! Today I am spending the entire day working on Citadel: Children of Light!

You can track my progress on the Home page. Throughout the day I'll update with the latest word count, and you can watch that little meter fill up to your heart's content!

I'm incredibly grateful to you for being patient and supportive. And I hope this will be enough to get you excited about the book. It's a hell of a story, and I really cannot wait for your to read it!

Soon, my pretties. Soon.


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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The icky business parts of writing

The icky business parts of writing

Some of you know (or may have figured out) that I'm doing a deep dive into self publishing as a business platform. There's a ton to learn in this area, especially since it keeps growing when I'm not looking. I'm listing to podcasts (the guys at SelfPublishingPodcast.com are fantastic and entertaining), reading tons of books, blogs, and articles, and generally just obsessing over the business and marketing side of my writing. It helps to work in Marketing as a "day job." Lots of transfer back and forth.


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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Short-changing Scrivener

Short-changing Scrivener

A while back I wrote about my "tools of trade" — the go-to tools I rely on to do my work. Not much has changed on that front, and all of those tools are still a delicious part of my nutritious workday. But I feel like I may have short-changed a piece of software that I've come to adore, and that I believe has some value that even the guys who make it may not consider.


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

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Pimping the Podcast Answer Man

Pimping the Podcast Answer Man

I've considered putting together a podcast, and my first instinct was to run it the way I produced Tom King's CompuTalk back in the late 90s. Not bad, format-wise. But as things have changed quite a bit since those wee early hours of the Internet, I'm doing some research to find tips, tricks, and tools for pulling this together. Enter Cliff J. Ravenscraft, the "Podcast Answer Man.


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

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New ebook — Two Blocks East

New ebook — Two Blocks East

This is kind of fun. 

Again, I'm going through my back catalog of books and short fiction, polishing some things up, putting nifty covers on them, and releasing them as ebooks. This is a great way to put some of my older work out there for people to see, even some of the stories that have been published previously in various magazines and anthologies. 


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

BECOME A SLINGER

Get updates on new books, new posts, and new podcasts, plus be the first to hear about special offers and giveways. And pants jokes. Lots and lots of pants jokes.








Tools of the trade

I use a handful of tools in my daily trade, whether that's Marketing Smartypantsness, Creative Direction, or Wordslinger novel noodling. There are tons of apps and software packages out there to help with just about anything you can think of, but here are a few fall-backs I use, and how I use them.


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

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Get updates on new books, new posts, and new podcasts, plus be the first to hear about special offers and giveways. And pants jokes. Lots and lots of pants jokes.








The Three Reasons to Avoid Being Punched in the Face - Part 2

Read the second installment of "The Three Reasons to Avoid Being Punched in the Face." 

Elle had a thing for red.

“It’s bold,” she said. She’d said this more than once, as we perused the wares of the little clothing shop just a block from the record/comic/hot chocolate shop/post office, where I’d decided it would be a good idea to buy a new wardrobe for a near stranger. She had described nearly every item of clothing she’d picked up as some variation of ‘bold.’ The skirt was “pronounced.” The pants were “adventurous.” The gloves were “distinct.”


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

BECOME A SLINGER

Get updates on new books, new posts, and new podcasts, plus be the first to hear about special offers and giveways. And pants jokes. Lots and lots of pants jokes.








I have become Revisionist, destroyer of continuity

Citadl Obelisk.jpg

For the past few weeks I've been editing the first two Citadel books, getting them ready for a second edition release. I'm exercising the author/publisher prerogative to change a few things as I go. That's going to irritate some purists, and I'm really, really sorry about that. But it's not like I'm changing the plot or anything, just a few tweaks to dialogue and exposition that really need to happen for things to make more sense. Relax about it.

I have an ulterior motive in this. I needed to refresh my memory, get my head back into the story, so I could write Book 3. I'm taking notes as I go during this edit, cramming Evernote with every relevant bit of info I might need later. I'm breaking down key character traits and plot points, and small details that might get overlooked if I'm not careful. I don't have a big enough following for my stuff to permeate Wikipedia yet, so I can't cheat.  Curse you all.

The edits—there's a part of me, the reader in me, that's screaming about that. I mean, sure, I say  relax about it, but the truth is some of those changes are significant. I'm tweaking little incongruous details that bugged me, and that had painted me into a corner. Subtle things, to be sure, but big enough in the grand play that if I left them as they were I'd have to write something really convoluted to make it all make sense. 

The reader in me hates it. The author in me knows it has to be done. Think of it like a kid going to dentist. Sure, the kid would rather be out playing with his favorite toys, but the dentist has to take care of that rotting tooth that could spoil all the fun. 

The good news in all this—Book 3 is on its way! It's been way too long, and I know that. And again, I'm really, really sorry about it. I had other books to write, and other stories to tell. But it's finally coming, and along with it, Books 1 & 2 will get a tiny tummy tuck to make them a little more fit.

If you've already read Citadel: First Colony and Citadel: Paths in Darkness, I probably owe you an apology, but what I'm going to give you is a huge debt of thanks. The feedback I got from many of you has helped me make some big decisions on the shape and direction of this story. So the edits I'm making are really for you. Thanks for pointing out the typos and flaws and plot holes and character goofs. In particular, my friend Athena pointed out a major  character goof in Book 2 that could have ruined everything. Thanks to her quick reading and ironclad memory, I was able to fix the goof before the book went to print, which is a really, really good argument for releasing to ebook first. 

This is a dicy game, self publishing. And I'm learning as I go. But you folks are making it all worthwhile, so thanks for that! And I'm going to do my best to make sure you have more books to read.  

Look for the second editions to release over the next month!


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

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Smashwords - Now with more Kevin!

Just a quick note, I just set up my Smashwords page and uploaded Citadel: First Colony. You can check it out here:

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/kevintumlinson

Now you have a chance to read Book One of the Citadel trilogy on the device of your choice, just in time for the upcoming release of Book Two! 

And in case you aren't following me on The Face Social Networks Books, here's the skinny on Book Two:

Citadel: Paths in Darkness is set to release some time in March 2012!

Thanks for all the support, well wishes, and pestering to get Book Two written. When it hits shelves you will be approximately number 3 to know!


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

BECOME A SLINGER

Get updates on new books, new posts, and new podcasts, plus be the first to hear about special offers and giveways. And pants jokes. Lots and lots of pants jokes.








Seth Godin totally stole his idea from me

Probably not. He is, after all, a friggin' marketing genius. So I'll just pay myself a little compliment and say that I thought of the same type of thing Godin thought of. There. Now we're both awesome.

Godin is launching The Domino Project. Essentially, he's going to leverage the publishing services offered by Amazon.com to offer print, ebook, and audiobook versions of his stuff wherever Amazon's reach extends wordlwide. Sound familiar? Yeah, that's exactly what Happy Pants Books is doing.

That's great news, because it means that the idea really is a good one, and the plan will probably work.

And don't go thinking this means competition. It doesn't. What it means is that the publishing industry is changing in a drastic and world-altering way. Now, instead of being a slave to the whims of a few powerful publishers, bookstore chains, and distributors, individuals can have the power to reach millions of readers and spread new ideas to every nook and cranny of the planet.

My goal for Happy Pants Books isn't to turn it into a vast publishing empire. The goal is A) to publish my own work in a way that's completely under my control, and B) to help change the publishing industry for the benefit of humanity.

When the Gutenberg press was invented, it opened up a whole universe of new thought and philosophy. Suddenly, anyone who could plunk down the shillings (or pounds, or whatever ... I'm not some kind of currency historian here, folks) could put his ideas into print and start influencing the thoughts of readers (and those that readers chat with). This led to a lot of crap being published, but it also led to a world of discovery. It led to an expansion of thought. It led to a Renaissance.

So congrats to Seth Godin. I hope the Domino Project does unbelievably well. I'll keep plugging away wiht my little imprint, publishing whatever strikes me as "good," and making my contribution to the inevitable shift. Strap in and enjoy the ride.

 

 


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

BECOME A SLINGER

Get updates on new books, new posts, and new podcasts, plus be the first to hear about special offers and giveways. And pants jokes. Lots and lots of pants jokes.








Own it

Last night, over the carnage and scraps of a Mexican dinner at Molina's, I got into a discussion of the book publishing industry with my sister-in-law, Heather Staible. Like me, Heather is a writer. She wordsmiths for the likes of People Magazine and CultureMap.com. Très chic.

Basically, a friend of hers got a book published through traditional publishing, and now has to go about promoting it. The problem is that between her full-time job and the PR for her book, there's no time to write more books.

This is a problem I think a lot of published authors face. If you aren't a big commodity (if your last name isn't King, Grisham, or Rowling, for instance), then there is an expectation that you will do all of the footwork for promoting your book to the public. Most of that on your own dime.

I get it. A bit of self promotion is just part of the business. Jerry D. Simmons, the "Publishing Insider," says that if you think you're going to just concentrate on the writing and leave promotion of your book to the publisher, think again. You'll effectively be shunned by the industry, written off as a one-time bad investment.

Publishers want go-getters, which to me seems largely incompatible with "writers." They're asking a bunch of mostly-introverts to go out and be Ziglar-esque sales people, promoting their book and starting sensations.

The trouble, as I see it, is that authors get very little in return for all of this footwork. Advances, these days, are fairly low. Travel expenses seem to be coming out of the author's pocket, more and more. Royalties for book sales are low. Rights — film and television, foreign, electronic, etc. — are essentially owned by the publisher. Authors have some negotiating power, but c'mon ... is a first-time author going to stand a chance of re-negotiating a contract with a long-time publishing giant? The rules are written by the big guys.

That's why I think guys like Seth Godin have the right idea. These days, technology and the Internet make it easier and more economical for peole to self publish. And with self publishing, the author maintains control over their work. Since promotion comes mostly out of the author's pocket anyway, then they might as well get a bigger return on their investment. There's no advance payment, which is a bummer. But really, it's not much money anyway. Even a starving artist would find the typical book advance to be a fairly pitiful sum (typical advances seem to be around $3K-$5K). And at any rate, keeping 100% of your profits might help compensate.

What about the stigma of self publishing?

What about it? Of course there's a stigma. Self publishing circumvents the established publishing process. Big publishing houses miss out on the money that these self published books could generate. Also, there are some stinkers floating around out in the self-published world, I won't deny it. But there are just as many, if not more, really, truly good books coming out under indie labels. Books that were often casually ignored by the gatekeepers of the publishing world.

When the printing press was invented, people went crazy with publishing their own works. There were stinkers there, too. But look how that evened out. Eventually, the good stuff rises to the top. It only takes a handful of readers enjoying your work to put you into a decent income. And promotion, at that point, becomes nearly automatic. Once you have a following (a Tribe?), all you have to do is stay in touch with them. Believe me, fans are way better at promoting your work than you will ever be, and they have limitless time, money, resources, and enthusiasm.

I'm not done with this topic, I think. I'm gonna think about this a bit more, and post more about it. I think we're on the cusp of a redefinition of the publishing industry, and I think it's going to be an interesting thing to watch and be a part of.

 


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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

BECOME A SLINGER

Get updates on new books, new posts, and new podcasts, plus be the first to hear about special offers and giveways. And pants jokes. Lots and lots of pants jokes.