Business, General
Business, General

Do I Really Need an ISBN Number?

Do you need an ISBN number to sell your book? This question comes up constantly. The answer is, unfortunately, it depends.  An ISBN number is a unique number, attached to a barcode, assigned to a book that identifies it for SKU systems for inventory tracking. If you want your book to be sold “wide” meaning that it’s available everywhere, you might need one. Maybe.  If you just want to sell your book on Amazon, they will provide a unique ISBN that only works on Amazon, and they won’t charge you anything for it.  If you want to sell your book...

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The Indie Mindset

Let’s talk mindset. Many of you have come out of the Traditional Publishing (TradPub for short) world, either directly, or having been raised and trained to think that way. You see a specific career arc that you need to follow, in order to achieve success. Does this sound familiar? Start in short fiction, honing your craft at 5000-word stories until you think you have the ability to write a pretty good story for one of the periodicals in your genre. Then you start submitting them and to various open anthology calls until you start to achieve some level of success....

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YA Predicted to Trend in 2024

In researching the nonfiction market, I came upon this excellent article from Blurb.com. It's an in-depth look into the stats of the last year, both from numerical data as well as surveys. And while everything in the article is interesting, I want to highlight their predictions for popular genres in the coming year. Blurb predicts that "young adult, romance, fantasy, mystery and thriller,

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Let’s Talk About AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the current hot button issue in the world of writing. Some people say it’s the greatest thing for writer productivity since the word processor. Others say it will destroy the entire field. As a writer, web designer, and someone who was coding before he hit puberty, I can assure you that it’s not the former and probably won’t do the latter. It’s not even actually artificial intelligence, which is something I am not going to get into in this article, as the semantics of what we call it is less important than what we use it...

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Scams and How to Avoid Them

My father defined a shortcut as "the longest distance between two points." Keep this in mind whenever someone offers you an easy way to become a successful writer. Because there is no easy way. But any time there is a group of people willing to work hard to achieve their goal, there will be people offering them a shortcut — a shortcut that will not work. This is the general rule of writing, publishing, and well, everything. If someone offers you a guarantee of success predicated on how much you pay them, the only guarantee is that you are being scammed. That's the general idea; now let's talk specifics.

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Three Act Description Structure

If you’re looking for an easy way to write blurbs, why not use the structure most writers use — whether they know it or not. It’s based on the three act story structure, as featured in this portal fantasy blueprint. The structure is three acts split into three sections each like this: Act I — Set Up Exposition — The setup. Show your protagonist in their ordinary life. Inciting Incident — The thing that happens to start the protagonist on their journey through the plot. Plot Point One — The thing that solidifies the protagonist going on their journey (despite...

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Accounting And Taxes For Writers

So you’re a self-published author. Congratulations, you are now an entrepreneur. We know, you just want to be a writer. But the “just a writer” career path is quite rare these days. Instead, you chose to control your own financial destiny, which means that you have to actually deal with some financial stuff. If you’re still single, you may wish to marry a money manager or accountant so you can avoid all of this bookkeeping stuff. If you can’t do that, then welcome to managing your own income.  Taxes and Basic Business Accounting Paying your taxes quarterly is really the...

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Launching a Book with Kickstarter

Is Kickstarter right for you and your book? For many independent authors, the answer is a resounding yes. Before we start talking about how to run your Kickstarter campaign, let’s figure out if it’s the right platform for you.  Kickstarter is most useful if you already have some social media reach or an email list. It doesn’t have to be huge, but having a little head start can make a big difference. You can run a successful Kickstarter without a big audience, but it’s a ton of work and for probably  a small reward. You don’t need a huge following...

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From Idea to Book

(Originally appeared as “Taking a Book from Idea to Bestseller” on the WrittenWell front page) There are bits of advice scattered all over the internet on how to write a book, how to market it, how to outline, how to write a great ending. But seeing it as a linear process will help you to do everything in the right order without missing a step—and that is something I don’t see anywhere else.  What I can’t do in this article is explain how to do every step. That would take, well, an entire website. But seeing the steps will help...

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