IPNE Member Blog

News - Members, feel free to contribute! Please make sure that your posts relate to independent publishing, writing, or other topics of educational interest to IPNE members. If you are unclear about what type of material to post, please contact our blog editor, Cynthia Hagan Kallai.
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  • 03 Dec 2019 9:59 AM | Geoffrey Dutton

    Let me ask a favor, one I would be happy to return. While this blog is pretty quiescent, it seems a good venue to reach out to the authors, self-publishers, and indies who collectively make up IPNE. Are your notifications on?

    The favor I'm asking is for you to visit my publishing website and rummage around in it (It has a dozen or so pages, most of which concern my novel Turkey Shoot, and a blog). Then tell me what I'm doing wrong, and if any ameliorations occur to you, what  I could do better. In return, I will cast an eye on your online enterprise, if you care for feedback.

    I read a lot of columns and listen to podcasts telling authors how to approach the hardest part of their job, publicity. They tend to play up the importance of websites as sales magnets. And so, having run a Wordpress blog for about five years, I used it to publicize the novel I was writing between 2015 and 2018. Among those pages were a lead-in, synopsis, backstory, a sample chapter, a set of podcasts of me reading chapters, and even a list of the people and places that populated the story line, and also photos evocative of places where the action took place. All in all, it was a lot more collateral than most authors put online.

    When it came time to publish, I opted for the Hybrid model with a publisher that gave me all the rights to the book and allowed me to publish under my own imprint. And thus, Perfidy Press was born. And of course it needed a website that would put my novel up front, as opposed to the back pages of my blog.

    I picked a cute URL, bought it for under a dollar, signed up for hosting, and set up another Wordpress. The whole exercise took less than a month to get working. It went online about a month before my launch date (9/11/18, selected as appropriate for a thriller featuring an Islamic Terrorist). After a few months of little usage, I changed the theme, edited some of my copy, and embedded a video of an interview I had before the book came out. There's even a press kit, and of course a pop-up announcing the award IPNE bestowed upon the book last month ("Courage in Fiction").

    I choose not to set up any eCommerce. Even though it probably wouldn't have been hard to do, I had decided I didn't want to involve myself in fulfilling orders, and simply directed readers to the online bookseller of their choice with links to my book at Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Indiebound, and B&N. Was this a mistake?

    I keep tweaking it, but am never quite sure how engaging Perfidy.Press is for someone who has stumbled upon it. Few comments come my way and even fewer new subscriptions to the TinyLetter newsletter that I occasionally emit to 140 victims, most of whom I coerced onto my list in the first place. At least, only half a dozen have unsubscribed. And for the record, I haven't spent a lick of time optimizing SEO, black art that it is. Am I missing out on significant traffic as a result? What do you think?

    So check it out and sock it to me. You can find me in the member directory, but just in case here's an email address. And feel free to comment underneath this post if it isn't for eyes only.

    And if you have a website you want checked out, give a shout.

    Thanks y'all.

  • 10 Jun 2019 9:36 AM | Eddie Vincent (Administrator)

     I taught history for 37 years at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, the Naval War College, and Williams College, and wrote eight books.  Earlier this year I published A Life in History, my autobiography as an historian, under my imprint, Mount Greylock Books.  On May 28 I talked about the book before an enthusiastic audience at the Harvard Coop.  The talk can be heard here.  Enjoy!

     David Kaiser

  • 11 Apr 2018 9:30 AM | Eddie Vincent (Administrator)

    Now - June 30th: Upload Your Books for Free
    Code is (all caps): SELFPUB

    So a $49 savings on print and $25 on ebooks

    This information was shared by Mellisa Sherlin on 4/10/18

  • 14 Mar 2018 5:53 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    Beyond the I: When Memoir Meets History

    Saturday, March 24
    1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Ford House, SNHU Campus

    Memoirist Mimi Schwartz“But my life isn’t interesting!” many people who want to write memoir tell me.  But every life is, especially when you weave in history —be it family legacies, neighborhood landmarks, or the social history that shapes us.  Through readings, discussion, and in-class exercises, participants discover new strategies for writing their life stories in ways that friends, family or strangers will want to read on. This workshop focuses on the ways that personal narrative is enriched be history —be it family legacies, neighborhood landmarks, or the social history that shapes us.  Open to all levels. Limit to 14.

    Mimi Schwartz is the author of seven books, most recently, When History Is Personal (University of Nebraska Press, March 2018). Her other books include the award-winning Good Neighbors, Bad Times- Echoes of My Father’s German Village, winner of the New Hampshire Outstanding Literary Nonfiction Award for 2008-2009; Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed, a JCC pick for ten best nonfiction books of 2002; and the popular Writing True, The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction. Her essays have been widely anthologized and ten are Notables in the Best American Essays series. She is Professor Emerita in Writing at Richard Stockton University.

    The cost for this workshop is $50 for NHWP members or $75 for nonmembers.

    To register, go to our webiste at www.nhwritersproject.org/workshops/

  • 08 Dec 2017 5:45 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    Observations on Bookstore Marketing - NEIBA Report

    by Bonnie Kreitler, Rambling Dog Publications

    Volunteering for IPNE at September's New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA) convention was a great way to meet people who love books. Those strolling the exhibit floor were bookstore buyers (and a few librarians) looking to discover the next best new books. Others (publishers like us IPNE members) were there to be discovered by buyers. So how did that work out?

    I went to learn more about book discovery, so during the afternoon of the exhibit day, I went on a walkabout to see what other publishers (most bigger most IPNE members) were doing to attract store buyers and to learn what a small publisher might duplicate. I also approach strolling store buyers to ask them directly to ask how they preferred learning about new books.

    Here are my notes:

    • Book buyers like access to advanced reader copies (ARCs) but have a preference for physical copies. Electronically, they like Edelweiss and give Netgalleys a pass.
    • Hearing about a book from a trusted source definitely gets points—a customer, another bookseller, a librarian, a book distributor’s rep, a trusted reviewer or book catalogs they trust to carry the kind of books they stock.
    • Reviews are important but book buyers want them to be CREDIBLE—from a trusted source (see above), starred reviews from trusted sources like Publishers Weekly, Library Journal. Reviews from paid review sources are ignored.
    • Some independent bookstores hold space for local authors. See if this might work for your book in some way.
    • NEVER say AMAZON to a bookstore buyer. Either to their face, on your website, in your marketing literature, etc., etc. One said that they don’t mind an Amazon buy button on a site as long as there’s at least a buy button for IndieBound above it.
    • Which brings me to rack cards. Rack cards at an exhibit from booksellers should give booksellers information they want and need to order: all basic metadata like publication date, number of pages, ISBNs of all formats, the name of the book’s distributor (if you have one) and the name of the wholesalers stocking the book (Ingram and Baker & Taylor are the big gorillas). If your rack card says get it from Amazon or has no way for them to order the book except directly from you, they will move on.
    • Book buyers also move on if a book’s cover or copyright page clearly indicates it is a self-published book, print-on-demand book. If they are interested enough to check out your web site, they are looking for signs and the only way to get the book is through Amazon or another POD distribution channel, they will move on.

    Fellow volunteers Charlotte Pierce, Lisa Cohen, and Donna Markussen made for great company. Our books are very different but, in between conversations with potential book buyers, we were able to share and explore marketing ideas with one another. Thanks, all! - Bonnie Kreitler

    Rambling Dog Publications LLC
    P.O. Box 547|Southport, CT 06890|203-254-9230 office
    www.ramblingdog.com
    www.facebook.com/ramblingdog
    New Fiction Release! I HEARD YOUR DOG DIED: Imaginings for Those Who Have Lost a Pet - ** 2017 IBPA Ben Franklin Book Awards Silver Medalist **


  • 14 Oct 2017 9:19 AM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    Don't miss this special opportunity to learn more about book design from IPNE member Cate Barr and other design leaders in Boston book publishing.

    • Location: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 6th Floor, 125 High Street, Boston
    • Date & Time: Tuesday, October 24, 6-8 pm

    Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a designer in book publishing? What makes a great cover? How does a book’s content affect its interior design—and vice versa? When a book is all words, does design really matter? For anyone interested in book design, publishing, or graphic design, Bookbuilders of Boston is thrilled to announce their upcoming Fall Forum on Book Design.

    Attendees will get an insider's look at book design across Boston’s publishing scene—trade books, children’s books, and textbooks—from professional designers including:

    • Louis Roe, Designer, Beacon Press
    • Mark Robinson, Art Director, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Lisa Rudden, Designer, Candlewick Press
    • Cate Barr, Senior Art Director, Cengage Learning
    • Radoslav Mateev, Associate Art Director, Vista Higher Learning

    This event is free and open to the public; RSVP today.

  • 07 Oct 2017 8:33 AM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    The New Hampshire Writers Project presents a webinar with James Patrick Kelly on: "Hooking Your Readers: The Critical First 250 Words of Your Story," on Monday, Oct. 9.

    According to the NHWP: "You only get one chance to introduce yourself and your characters. In this webinar we will look at the craft of starting a story or a novel. Let’s talk about dos and don’ts of welcoming readers to your fiction. Join James Patrick Kelly, the award-winning author of Mother Go, online for this webinar on Monday, October 9th, from 7 to 8 pm."

    James Patrick Kelly has won the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He has published five novels and over a hundred and thirty short stories. He teaches Popular Fiction at the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.

    COST: $10 for NHWP members, $25 for nonmembers.

    To register to attend, and for more information about this and other NHWP Workshops and Webinars, go to the NHWP website.


  • 20 Sep 2017 1:22 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    As we progress through the fall book shows like NEIBA, NELA, and the Boston Book Festival, please watch the IPNE website for registrations to come online, and make sure your IPNE profile is updated with current name, address, and book images and metadata. 

    Registration for these events is online only and is open to full vendor and publisher members. Exhibitors also need to complete the Curation Checklist (needed to exhibit at NEIBA, NELA, and BBF) linked on the left-hand column at IPNE.org/Events.

  • 07 Sep 2017 6:31 PM | Charlotte Pierce (Administrator)

    With apologies for the Sept. 1 snafu, we've rescheduled the September meetup to Sat. September 16, at Arlington (MA) Town Day. You're invited to visit Glenn Koenig and Charlotte Pierce at their booth at Art on the Green between Robbins Library and Town Hall (700-730 Mass. Ave). 

    You'll find other authors and publishers in the area to visit with and learn from, and lots of other fun goings-on. 

    PLEASE NOTE: Our member group address is metro-boston-publishers@googlegroups.com; just email that address if you're already a member. To join the group, send a message to metro-boston-publishers-subscribe@googlegroups.com. Feel free to post messages and requests on the group.

    Here's the schedule and locations for our next few gatherings. You can register for these and other IPNE events ahttp://ipne.org/event-2535318.

    • Sep 16 2017, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Please join us at Arlington Town Day, Art on the Green (between library and town hall). Stay tuned for rain date.
    • Nov 04 2017, 12:00-04:00 PM - Please join us in the Robbins Library Community Room, for the IPNE 4th Annual Book Awards! 700 Mass Ave., Arlington 02476. RSVP required.
    • Jan 06 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - St. John's, 74 Pleasant St., Arlington
    • Mar 03 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - St. John's, 74 Pleasant St., Arlington
    • May 05 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - St. John's, 74 Pleasant St., Arlington
  • 09 Jul 2017 9:56 PM | Anonymous

    At the last meeting of the Metro Boston Publishers (IPNE regional branch) in Arlington, MA, we reviewed a number of best practices for publishing websites, talked about the Espresso Book Machine at the Harvard Book Store, and discussed how to use web site builders (Weebly for example, although we discussed WordPress also), how to reserve a domain name and use it in setting up your own web site, what a QR code is and how to read one (it turns out it's extremely simple, just download the free app "QR Reader" and click on it!).

    We also covered how to work with book designers and editors using what I have to come to call the ‘a la carte’ publishing method (you as author do what you want to do yourself, then contract out to others for the things you can’t do or don’t have time to do). I like that better than the term ’self publishing’ because it gives a better idea of what we really do. The old "major publisher" way is kind of like a six course meal delivered to your table, all preset (Random House, Penguin, Simon & Schuster). Our method is to pick & choose the services you need from various professionals, as you see fit. Like a buffet table. That's why IPNE is so valuable - you can find references to some of them here on this site.

    I brought some ARCs (Author Review Copies) of my book, a man wearing a dress, and Glenna brought a copy of her book, Book Design Made Simple. I showed how my book is posted as ‘for sale’ by two vendors on Amazon, even though it was not really for sale until September 14. It even said there was a ‘used’ copy for sale. How could that be? The folks at Ingram Spark assured me that only the cover and metadata went out to Amazon, so nobody can actually publish my book without my authorization.

    We had so much to talk about, we ran a little past noon! All hands pitched in to put away and clean up. Thanks to member Vicki Ford for bringing sumptuous snacks!

    This report by Glenn Koenig of Message Rain, Arlington, Massachusetts

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