Saturday, September 29, 2018

Cresting the Hill: September Wrap-Up




In contrast to last September's pot-holed filled country road, this September has been a relatively smooth ride.

Actually, more or less, it's more like being on a crest of a hill. We're a little winded from climbing up, and we're looking around at all the wondrous sites and readers around us. But once we get that nudge, we'll be sailing down fast again. 

So what HAVE we been up to?

Posts This Month

Because of schedule conflicts and the start of school, most of our writers have had a small hiatus from RW from August-September. In lieu of this, we've had a 5-part series on self-publishing, as well as a long overdue "bookish" post. Shall we sneak a peek?

  
In this third part of five, indie children's author Shawn Robinson talks about two major indie platforms: Amazon and Ingram. The pros and cons of each are very well researched, I highly recommend you check it out! 


Book Scout Bulletin #4
Our first book scout bulletin in over nine months features several great works, including reviews of All the Crooked Saints and The List. Check it out by clicking link above!



In this fourth part, Shawn Robinson goes over two topics: advertising the book, and writing contests. It is chock full of facts and avenues for research for the aspiring indie author.  

An Overview of Self-Publishing, Part 5
In this concluding post, Shawn Robinson gives some great tips about ISBNs and book formatting - as well as some wonderful advice for newbie authors.





Remember, that if you happened to miss any of these posts, you don't have to search through the messy archives. Just click the post title!


In the meantime, what has been happening on the social media scene?

Social Media Stats


94 followers, 29,688 all-time views. 
57 likes, 63 followers.
318 followers, 496 tweets, 676 likes.
19 posts, 132 followers 
22 boards, 126 followers.
66 members, 16 topics
28 followers 
47 subscribers

Hmm. The growth of our social media from this month from last month is probably what one would expect from a plant in November....hardly anything.

Just so y'all are aware, we are still looking for an Instagram and Goodreads coordinator! Interested parties should email the team at therebelliouswriting@gmail.com.



Around the Blogosphere

The Simarill Awards have just concluded and what fun they have been! My personal favorite has been the award for the Most Magnificent Dragon, which you can find HERE.

Lilah @ The Singing Writer is spearheading a new mental health blog collaboration called "From My Mind to Yours", and she is opening the door to any blogger that wishes to join her. For more information, please email catholicgirlstuff@gmail.com.


Hamlette @ The Edge of the Precipice is hosting her 2018 Tolkein Party! Check out this years tag questions HERE.


Mary Kate @ Sarcastic Scribblings hosted a lot of guest posts, including ones from Gray Marie CoxLila Kims, Catherine HawthornIvie Brooks and Lilah @ The Singing Writer.


Nadine Brandes has revealed the cover for her new standalone novel Romanov, and several bloggers have taken part of the blog tour. If you haven't seen this beautiful cover, check out R.M Archer's post HERE.


Our world-building expert Melissa Gravitis has written a new installment of her Questions to Ask series.....about fictional armies! Click HERE to check it out!


Final Thoughts 

In our next post, I'll be returning, bearing with me....100 mini-reviews. No, I'm not kidding.
We hinted at this event in our June Wrap-Up, but the voting has picked up a lot of steam since then!

Until then.....keep fighting the fight, fellow Rebels!




Saturday, September 22, 2018

Guest Post Featuring Shawn Robinson: An Overview of Self-Publishing, Part 5



Note from the RW Team: To give our writers a small hiatus, we are welcoming author Shawn Robinson to do a 5 part series on self-publishing over the months of August and September. We hope that this will prove very useful, especially to the teen/indie authors in our audience. Next week, we'll be back on our regular schedule with our September Wrap-Up. 
In the meantime, please give Shawn a warm welcome!


Alright, we've made it through a lot of information over the course of this conversation on Self-Publishing. I hope you're still with me. Maybe it's been like drinking from a fire-hose. Sure, you get some great water, but you end up losing more than you take in. If so, don't be discouraged.

We're just going to cover a little bit more here and then wrap it up. So let's dive in!


Formatting Your Book

If you've finished your book, you're starting to realize that the document you have sitting before you doesn't look like a book. You're also probably starting to realize that you're not sure how to get it into a format ready for a printer. 

The way you get your book from Microsoft Word or Scrivener or yWriter or something else to a printer is to format your book for printing and save it as a PDF. Since this is a complicated and detailed process, I'll point you to my blog post Setting up Your Book: The Basics where I go into this in a lot more detail. 

When you upload that PDF to Createspace, KDP or Ingram, they take the digital PDF and print it! If you've never done this before, it sounds scary and overwhelming, but it's not as hard as you might think. The first time you do it is a little challenging, but after that, you just copy the file and put your next book into the already formatted file! It only gets easier!

ISBNs

You will need an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). If you're not sure what that is, here are the basics: It's a 13 digit number that's used around the world to identify and track your book. Think of it like your book's address. If you don't have an ISBN, book stores and more cannot identify and order your book for sale.

I wrote a series of blogs on ISBNs as there's a lot to know about them, but here's the simple stuff you'll want to know: 

1. Every edition/version of your book needs its own ISBN (paperback, hardcover, ebook, audio book, etc.)

2. ISBNs cost a lot of money for most people (I'm Canadian... we get them for free... sorry)

3. ISBNs are tied to the publisher. My publishing company is called BrainSwell Publishing so all my ISBNs are tied to that company.

4. A lot of companies (Amazon, Vanity Publishers, etc.), will offer to give you an ISBN for free. That is fine if you don't plan on getting your book out there for sale anywhere else. If you're just using Amazon and no one else, go for the free one. Otherwise, it's worth your while to own your own ISBN. If you take the free one from Amazon or somewhere else, they are technically the publisher (regardless of what they say).

5. If you are going to buy your ISBN, you can often buy them in bulk and save a HUGE amount of money. Google, "where do I get an ISBN in..." and add in your country. Bowker sells them in the US, Nelson in the UK, etc.

Concluding Thoughts


All right, we've covered a lot of information. There is a lot more we could cover, of course, such as trim size, creating a cover, details about book setup, book launch teams, launch dates, etc., but we'll need to wrap it up here if we still want to call this an overview. :)

Let me give you a few thoughts just to encourage you to and help you in your writing.

First Thought
Check out some decent writing software like yWriter or Scrivener. They are big helps when it comes to organizing your writing and laying out your book. I use yWriter for my blogging and Scrivener for my fiction writing (I write children's/middle grade novels).

Second Thought
Consider something like NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it runs in November of each year. It's a worldwide challenge to authors to write an entire novel (at least 50k words) in one month. You sign up and encourage one another to keep writing throughout the month.
If you don't want to do this with NaNoWriMo, you can always just get a bunch of friends together and challenge one another to a similar goal. I wrote the third novel in my Arestana series for NaNoWriMo and it ended up around 77k words.

Third Thought
Stick to your guns on your morals and values. One of the challenges you will face as an author is to fill your books with a lot of junk. Authors are often convinced that you can only write quality, properly expressive works if you include a lot of immoral and, what I would deem, inappropriate language and content.

You don't.

Quality writing takes people on a journey through the ideas and concepts in the book. You are not constrained by the expectations of the reader. You are free to write as you please. In my opinion, it takes greater skill and results in higher quality writing to write family appropriate stories than it does to fill your book with immoral language and concepts. Take the high road!

There you have it! A quick overview of the Self-Publishing process! All the best as you continue through this journey, and if I can be a help or encouragement along the way, let me know!

Meet the Orator:
Bio and author picture are sourced from Author website (www.shawnpbrobinson.com). Used with Permission.

I’m a writer, a husband, a father, a Christian, a hiker (or at least I was till some recent health problems), a lover of coffee, a biker (not the cool kind, but the kind that rides around on an old motorcycle and has a blast) and someone who enjoys watching movies with my sons and playing cards with my wife.

I have written (so far) four books. One is a book of short stories, the other three are a series (Arestana series). They are geared to younger readers and I have a blast writing them! You can check out my books here: www.shawnpbrobinson.com/books

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Guest Post Featuring Shawn Robinson: An Overview of Self-Publishing, Part 4


Note from the RW Team: To give our writers a small hiatus, we are welcoming author Shawn Robinson to do a 5 part series on self-publishing over the months of August and September. We hope that this will prove very useful, especially to the teen/indie authors in our audience.  
Please give Shawn a warm welcome!

In this blog post, I want to take a quick look at how to get your book out there to people. We're going to explore a little bit about advertising and writing contests. Both of these can be a lot of work and, at times, be discouraging as it can yield poor results.

Remember this: book sales are a marathon, not a sprint. Don't expect to do one bit of advertisement and sell fourteen billion books. Expect to slowly grow your reader base!

Advertising

One of the downsides with Self-Publishing is that you are responsible for all your own advertising. If you publish through a traditional publisher, they do a lot of that work for you because they are interested in selling your book. If you Self-Publish, you do not start with that support.

The challenge is, of course, finding people who are interested in reading your book and convincing them it is worth the read. This isn't easy, but here are a few things to keep in mind:


~ Start with Family and Friends ~

The fun part is that there are some family members and friends who will actually buy multiple copies and share them around. I remember reading an article a while back from an author who shared a funny story about this kind of thing. She had a family member show up one day who told her, "Hey, I bought a copy of your book and I want to get you to sign it, but I left it at home." She replied with, "It's an ebook." He responded back with, "What's an ebook?"

Authors immediately think about how they will sell their books to their mom, their aunt, their friends, their colleagues and so on. While you will sell some to family and friends and more, that's not typically how it ends up playing out.

If you have 500 friends that you are sure will buy your book, expect that 20 will. The other 480 will mean well, but will not get around to it (some will forget, some will "get to it this weekend when they have time," some will be too busy, etc.). I know that sounds like a pessimistic attitude, and I don't mean to be a pessimist (I'm actually a committed optimist). It's just the way it goes.

If you want to sell your book, you'll want to look beyond family and friends. Even if all of them buy a copy, you'll likely want to go beyond that limited number.


~ Social media ~
 
Social media has its ups and downs for advertising your book. It is really great for connecting the world, but you have to keep in mind that everyone is using it. If something starts to work for selling a book, understand that EVERYONE will start to use it, and it will quickly cease to work for the average person.

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more are great for connecting up with large numbers of people, but they have their limits because people are overloaded with information.

For my first book, I tweeted about my book through not only my own account, but also a number of others (paid tweets). Through all this, I probably "reached" somewhere around 400k-500k followers. I'm not sure I received a single sale through any of those tweets. It was a good learning experience.

Social media accomplishes two things. First, it helps to give you a presence on the internet for fans to connect with you. Second, it opens the door for you to accomplish reader-author relationships, which will be discussed in a moment.

~ Paid Advertising ~ 

There are many ways you can pay for advertising. Amazon ads are a decently effective form of advertising, and it's Pay-Per-Click which means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

The downside of it is that while you will likely sell books through it, you will have a hard time recouping your advertising costs. So, you might spend $100 in advertising and make $70 in sales. 

There are, perhaps, times when you just want to get your work out there for people to read, but that's not something you can afford long-term. Wait... I don't know your financial situation... that's not something I can afford long-term. Perhaps you can. :)

~ Reader-Author Relationships ~

The big thing you need to do is create fans. You do this by developing relationships with your readers.

A Former Wired editor once explained that all you need is 1000 "super-fans." If you have 1000 fans who are reading everything you write and promoting it to everyone they meet... you're all set.

If you have someone who is keen on your books... don't be afraid to build that relationship with them. It's a fun part of this process. You can develop friends around the world who love to read what you write!

So, if someone contacts you about your book, respond to them! Don't give them your home address or mobile number, but certainly chat through a Facebook Author Page or in the blog comments on your home site.

Contests

There are tons of contests out there for writers to submit a short story or an entire book for judges to get all judgy on it. Also, you can get your books out to people through offering contests.


~ Writing Contests ~

You can enter writing contests with your work and through that become known as an author. And if you are a young writer, there are loads of options for you. As a 42 year old... I'm too old for a lot of the "young writers" contests out there, but if you happen to be younger than me, you might have a shot at that! Google writing contests and see what you find!

If you win a contest, you can advertise, "Winner of the ?? award for best book in the SFRCCPHF genre."

~Self-Hosted Contests ~

You can get your books out to people through offering contests. I'll point out three different avenues of how this can be done.

First, you can make use of Goodreads and their giveaways. They offer a chance for you to set up a contest for people to enter in to get a copy of your book for free! This, unfortunately, can be costly as there is a fee for running one of their contests as well as the cost of your books (if you do print).

Second, Amazon does something similar (US only). You pay for your book and for shipping and Amazon runs the contest for you. You still get your normal royalties for this as well which is great!

Third, you can set up your own contest on your Facebook author page/Twitter account/website. You can then ship through Createspace or Ingram and likely get the book shipped out for about the same price as it would be to buy your book from Amazon. If you have Amazon Prime, then you can send it right from Amazon with free shipping and make a royalty. :)


One Last Thing....

The more books you have, the more books you'll sell. Simple? What I mean is that if you have one book and someone likes it, they will finish the book and move on. If you have ten books in print and they like one of your books, you might find they order a copy of book two in your series and then book three and so on.

Try to write books in a series and try to publish a number of different books! The more books you have, the more books you'll sell!


Meet the Orator:
Bio and author picture are sourced from Author website (www.shawnpbrobinson.com). Used with Permission.

I’m a writer, a husband, a father, a Christian, a hiker (or at least I was till some recent health problems), a lover of coffee, a biker (not the cool kind, but the kind that rides around on an old motorcycle and has a blast) and someone who enjoys watching movies with my sons and playing cards with my wife.

I have written (so far) four books. One is a book of short stories, the other three are a series (Arestana series). They are geared to younger readers and I have a blast writing them! You can check out my books here: www.shawnpbrobinson.com/books

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Book Scout Bulletin #4


Hello Fellow Rebels!

No doubt, many of our readers are on their way back into the school halls, with heavy backpacks full of textbooks. The mind-bending snowfall of homework has also started. Already, many of us wish to escape back into the realms of fiction!

What better time to dive into the intelligence box and check out some book reviews?

These reviews were placed in our Contact Form between Feburary - September 2018 by our ever loyal book scouts. Our fervent thanks go to them!

Shall we take a peek?


EntwinedEntwined


Author: Heather Dixon
Language: ☆☆☆☆☆
Abuse: ☆☆☆☆☆
Lust: ☆☆☆☆☆
Review of the Book: ☆☆☆☆☆

There are lot of different Twelve Dancing Princess stories. That they're cursed, usually through their mothers doing. But in this one, the princesses just LOVE to dance. They dance when one of them is sad to make them happy and they dance when they're already happy...and now they want to dance to remember their mother, the queen, who has died. But the kingdom is in morning and they CAN'T dance. So when they find a secret room, they unwittingly get themselves into a lot of trouble.

I really liked this book because of the close bond between the sisters, who are all named after flowers AND IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER! (Which makes it easier to tell who is who.) All the sisters have different personalities, which I loved. And speaking of things I loved, I liked the romantic pairings in this book. A lot. They're all so perfect!

The closest you get to any swear words in the second sister (Bramble) who reminds me a lot of Jo March. I don't remember any exact words she says...but they were more along the lines of "Hang it all" or "Blast." And the princesses were abused to some extent by the villain the book (emotionally at the least) but it was viewed in a bad light.

I highly recommend you add Entwined to you TBR!

Reviewed by: Natasha Hart

Natasha Hart is a 19 year Ravenclaw and old lover of rain, music, books, and poetry. She is also an amateur writer and author of the blog, The Natasha Hart. She is happiest when she has a warm mug of tea and an old book on a rainy day.



Image result for all the crooked saintsAll the Crooked Saints

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Language: ☆☆☆☆
Abuse: ☆☆☆☆☆
Lust: ☆☆☆☆
Review of the book: ☆☆☆

*abbreviated from inside cover*
Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle. Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one. Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado, is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars. At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

*my thoughts*
After reading the Raven Cycle, I was surprised by this book. It was cleaner than the Raven Cycle, with only a few curse/interesting words and clean romance. The concept of "All the Crooked Saints" is intriguing, but a little weird. It is definitely magical, in a sense, and the way Stiefvater combined Catholicism (saints, etc.) with miracles might be off-putting to some.
I liked the characters and premise and enjoyed this book (to an extent), but I also was a little uncomfortable with the portrayal of religion and miracles. Therefore, I grappled with giving this book four or three stars, but eventually decided on three. If possible, I would give it 3.5 stars. :))
*the title is awesome, though, and the cover is really pretty :))*

Review provided by: Allison

Hi, I'm Allison. I am very excited to write for Rebellious Writing, as I feel that in today's society, the concept of "good" literature for teens and young adults has become twisted. I hope that my reviews will help others find great books to read, and I look forward to seeing other recommendations!



https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cyvVTnJOs4Q/WnPC_J5IL0I/AAAAAAAAWKM/YSXZX8HsfpwjfpmbN4gJSaFgKeN2psULACLcBGAs/s320/jane%2Bof%2Blantern%2Bhill.jpgJane of Lantern Hill

Author: Lucy Maud Montgomery
Language: ☆☆☆☆☆
Abuse: ☆☆☆☆☆
Lust: ☆☆☆☆☆
Review of the Book: ☆☆☆☆☆


Jane lives a cheerless life, raised by her mother, grandmother, and maiden aunt in a gloomy, hostile old mansion. Her mother loves her, so at least she has that, but she's constantly squelched and belittled by her grandmother and aunt. Then her life changes forever -- and decidedly for the better -- when her estranged father sends for her, and she spends her summer with him on Prince Edward Island, where she becomes a real person instead of a scared little shadow.

This book is a lovely look at a young person learning to think and act for themselves, yet still striving to honor both of her parents and be obedient to them. Jane is in a hard position, caught between two parents who both love her, and whom she loves, and uncertain how to speak about them to each other without hurting either of them. She consistently works to please both of them while blossoming into her own person at the same time.

It's also got an interesting bit of meditation on how parents shouldn't get so wrapped up in their children that they neglect their spouses. And also that spouses shouldn't get jealous of the way their spouse loves their child. I would have liked to see that developed even more, but what was there was very nicely done.



https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1500555004l/33640512.jpg"Speak Easy, Speak Love"


Author: McKelle George
Language: ☆☆
Abuse: ☆☆☆☆
Lust: ☆☆☆☆
Review of the Book: ☆☆☆☆☆

This is a YA retelling of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" set in the Prohibition Era just outside New York City. But it's much more than just a transportation of the characters to a new setting. It takes the basic premise of the play -- can two people who verbally spar and butt heads be convinced to fall in love? -- and runs with it.

Beatrice here is a strong-willed, strong-minded young woman who gets kicked out of school and winds up at her cousin Hero's home, hoping her uncle and cousin will take her in. She doesn't know it until she gets there, but they run a speakeasy called Hey Nonny Nonny in their basement. Benedick is living in their house too, having run away from school with his friend Claude because... they can.

Then there's Maggie, a jazz singer and Hero's dear friend who provides the entertainment for the speakeasy. And there's Prince, who tends bar for Hey Nonny Nonny, and his brother John, who is... not a Good Guy, but still a good person deep inside. John ties with Beatrice for my favorite character, I think.

Claude and Hero get all infatuated with each other. Federal agents try to close down the speakeasy. Hero and Maggie try to convince Beatrice and Benedick they love each other even though they spend basically every waking moment annoying and being annoyed by each other.

And if that sounds kind a fluffy, trust me, this book is deeper than I'm making it sound. It's got all kinds of stuff about race and class differences and ethics, not to mention some Very Wonderful character explorations. And then there's the writing! Snappy, insightful, witty, and profound by turns.


Note from the RW Team: So no one freaks out, Hero is a girl!


Reviewed by: Rachel Kovinchy

Rachel Kovaciny lives in Virginia with her husband and their three homeschooled children. She has independently published her book "Dancing and Doughnuts" this fall, a western re-imagining of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." In her free time, Rachel writes for the online magazine Femnista, reads, bakes, blogs, watches movies, and daydreams. You can check out Rachel's blog HERE.



The ListThe List

Author: Patricia Forde
Language: ☆☆☆☆☆
Abuse: ☆☆☆☆
Lust: ☆☆☆☆☆
Review of the Book: ☆☆☆☆


The List is one of those books that makes you think, whether you like the book or not. It's dystopian, though people think they're living in a utopia. Some themes seemed to be taken out of the Biblical story of Noah's Ark, but made into an unBiblical retelling. Some might not enjoy that part, but it was loosely based and I don't know if the author is Christian. There were some other themes such as global warming that I didn't agree with, but the book itself had lots of adventure and was clean. Even the characters that liked each other didn't show large amounts of affection. There was violence and death, so despite the middle grade possibility, I would say 14 and up, depending on your maturity level.

Words//Dystopia//Hope//Freedom//Fighting for What You Believe in//Words Matter

Reviewed by: Ivie Brooks

Ivie Brooks is a Jesus loving, dragon riding, book reading, sweet tea drinking writer who wishes to portray life in all its ups and downs. Writing characters that have realistic feelings is important to her, as is making the story raw and vulnerable. Ivie lives in the south and is a southern girl at heart. She hopes to run a business of her own and be her own boss, all the while self-publishing books every few months. You can find Ivie at her website, iviewrites.blogspot.com and you can see her book reviews over at Goodreads.


And that concludes the report!

For those who wish to know more about these books and/or add any of these books to their TBR, just click on the book title. It will bring you to the book's Goodreads page!

Would you like to be a book scout? Check out the Collaborate page under the Mission header! We look forward to receiving more intelligence from y'all!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Guest Post featuring Shawn Robinson: An Overview of Self-Publishing, Part 3




Note from the RW Team: To give our writers a small hiatus, we are welcoming author Shawn Robinson to do a 5 part series on self-publishing over the months of August and September. We hope that this will prove very useful, especially to the teen/indie authors in our audience.  
 Next week will bring our quarterly Book Scout Bulletin, featuring several awesome YA books. In the meantime, please give Shawn a warm welcome! 

In the third part of our blog, we want to explore two of the biggest Self-Publishing services out there: Amazon and Ingram. Amazon is the obvious one for many people and often well used by authors. Ingram, however, is an absolutely massive distributor, but many Self-Publishers do not end up taking advantage of their services (or even know about them).

Today, we'll try to take a brief look at each of them.

Understanding Amazon

All right, one of the big things you need to understand is the Amazon online bookstore. Amazon is a HUGE entity that spans the globe. If you put your book up for sale on Amazon, your book will be available for sale through Amazon sites around the world in a matter of days.

Amazon doesn't charge anything for putting your book up for sale. They offer services for making up a cover or formatting your book for printing, but they are not required costs. You can actually do all the work yourself and save the money. The only time you have to pay is when you sell a book and they take the fee off the cover price of the book.

Amazon has two companies they use to get your book out there to the unsuspecting public: Createspace and KDP.

Createspace is a fairly simple site to use. Through Createspace you can put your printed book up online for people to buy. You submit a PDF of your interior file and a PDF of your cover, set your prices, set where you want to sell the book and away you go! 

A typical 200 page book will cost you around $2.50 to print, another $4.50 in charges and then the rest should be yours. So if you sell your book for $10, you'll make around $3/book. Those costs/royalties are estimates. In the end, it'll likely end up costing you a bit more than you expect and you'll make a bit less than you expect. :)

Createspace only does print books (POD). Once you set up your book, it takes a few days to get going and then you're all set. You can also order proof copies for yourself (that's a copy for you to do some editing and checking over of your book--it's not-for-sale) and you can buy multiple copies for yourself for only the cost of printing and shipping. That means you should be able to get some copies in your hands for somewhere around $4-$6/each for selling to family and friends! 

KDP is the other company Amazon uses and they have, in the past, focused on ebooks. They are easy to use (nicer interface than Createspace) and your book will upload and update very quickly.

KDP also produces paperbacks (POD), but there are a couple limitations. First, you can't order wholesale copies for yourself. That's not a huge problem since you can use Ingram (see below), but it's annoying as Ingram is more expensive to print than KDP and Createspace.

The other problem is that KDP only provides books to the US, European and Japanese regions. That might sound like it covers a lot of ground, but you'll notice big English reading markets (Canada, India, etc) are missing. 

This is a big problem for me, personally, as a Canadian author. Most of my readers are in Canada and it took me a while to figure out that my book wasn't for sale in Canada... it just looked like it was. :( They put it up for sale, but listed it as unavailable, telling customers it would ship in 1-2 months (but it never would since KDP Print doesn't ship to Canada). It's not until I started to dig that I found out it's because KDP doesn't work with Canada.

For me, I use Createspace for printing and KDP for Kindle (ebook). Both KDP and Createspace have reporting sections to let you know how many sales you've had. They are both easy to read and update relatively quickly!

Overall, Createspace and KDP are amazing to work with. No complaints as to their customer service.


Understanding Ingram

Ingram is huge. Ingram is massive. Ingram is also invisible. 

Well... not invisible, but I would venture a guess that few first-time authors will have heard of Ingram. Let me give you an example to let you know how big Ingram is. Take a look at a bookshelf full of different books at your library or in your house or at a store. Chances are about 70% of those books were printed by Ingram. 

Ingram is a printer. That means that you can do POD through their IngramSpark division. Their print costs are a little higher than Createspace/KDP, but some people feel their quality is better. I have found their shipping sometimes to be cheaper so you might find wholesale copies are cheaper through Ingram than Createspace.

Ingram is also a distributor. That means that they distribute your books around the world. If you put your book for sale on Ingram and let them distribute it, they will get it out there to everywhere from Books-A-Million to Book Depository to Foyles to Chapters to just about everywhere else! If you put your book on Amazon and also set your book up with Ingram, you pretty much have covered the entire online world and made your book available to just about every bookstore on the planet. Ingram is also great to work with as their customer service is incredible!

Now, here's the catch with Ingram...

Ingram has fees for setting up a book ($50) and for updating book information ($12). I'm sure you don't want to pay that, so here's what you do:
Google "Ingram coupon codes" I have about 8 or 9 titles on Ingram and I have not paid one single fee for setting up a book or updating a book's information because I have found coupon codes every single time. Look for coupon codes. :)

In Conclusion...

So, there you have it: a quick overview of Amazon and Ingram. They are both great to work with and they are both the way to go for the Self-Publisher!


Meet the Orator:
Bio and author picture are sourced from Author website (www.shawnpbrobinson.com). Used with Permission.

I’m a writer, a husband, a father, a Christian, a hiker (or at least I was till some recent health problems), a lover of coffee, a biker (not the cool kind, but the kind that rides around on an old motorcycle and has a blast) and someone who enjoys watching movies with my sons and playing cards with my wife.

I have written (so far) four books. One is a book of short stories, the other three are a series (Arestana series). They are geared to younger readers and I have a blast writing them! You can check out my books here: www.shawnpbrobinson.com/books