Gifts for Indie Authors

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By Fabrizio Lonzini via Flickr

It’s the holiday season and everyone has their list of wants. Knowing that many indie authors are living on a shoestring budget, I knew those: “What to get a Writer for the Holidays” articles just won’t do.  Let’s be honest, many of them are silly and rather unrealistic. I mean, who wants a $25 t-shirt with literary quotes that will just wear out in 6 months? I don’t. Besides, you could get some pretty sweet stuff that can help with your writing career for that same amount.

I’ve considered the problems the typical indie author has like; social media, cover design, and proof reading, so I went on a mission to find things that could make our lives better.

P.S. I am in no way affiliated with the companies or products mentioned.

Anti-Social Media Software

Social media is a big problem for a lot of authors because it often becomes a time suck. For years your solutions were either to unplug your modem or disable the wifi on your computer. But what if you’re a writer who needs to do research and interview people online? Disconnecting from the entire internet is irrational. Luckily, there is now software you can download that will temporarily block social media sites and other places you like to linger and it won’t cost a lot of money. Here are just a few of places to check out:

Freedom: This software is for both Windows and OS operating systems and can block up to 8 hrs at a time and only costs $10. There is a free trial version and a 60 money back guarantee.

Anti-Social: Anti-Social is an app that allows you to block websites that you find distracting for $15. However unlike Freedom, it cannot be turned off, which is supposed to keep you honest. Also, Anti-Social has a 60 day money back guarantee. It also works with Windows, and Mac including, Yosemite.

Focus Writer: Focus Writer isn’t necessarily an anti-social media piece of software but I’m including it anyway because it gets rid of all distractions on your computer by clearing your screen so you can focus on just your writing. It has all kinds of features like; a daily word count, type writer sound effects, even timers and alarms. This one is a pay what you can type model and runs $5 – $20.

Art/Photo Editing

By Kristen Kokkersvold via Flickr
By Kristen Kokkersvold via Flickr

Many indie authors like to create their own book covers and that’s awesome, I know a lot of indies who are actually talented in this area. Many of them use PhotoShop or InDesign by Adobe but I found their new cloud service too buggy.  I was also disappointed with their customer service which comprised of a FAQ page with little or vague information.  However, if you’ve drank the Adobe Kool-Aid and love it, they have a monthly subscription service that costs $19.99 for just one app, or $29.99 for all the apps.  Be warned though, you can cancel after 30 days but after that, you’re locked in for a year.

Don’t worry, there are many other types of software out there that are similar or even better than Adobe and they won’t cost you $359.88 annually.

Pixlr is a free online photo editor that is similar to Adobe Photoshop. I’ve used it myself to edit photos for social media and this blog.

Sumo Paint is another PhotoShop like photo editor that has a free and paid subscription service.  The paid service includes cloud storage, new tools and updated apps which cost only $4 a month.  Not a bad deal either way, but try the free version first before committing to the subscription.

Scribus  is often called the free alternative to Adobe InDesign which tons of professional graphic designers use to create digital magazines, web pages, and yes, even ebook covers.

Corel PaintShop If you must have software installed on your computer, there is Corel PaintShop. It’s often compared to PhotoShop and runs around $39.00 – $49.00 on Amazon. *Warning* They do have a popup ads which is why it’s so cheap.

Grammar/Proofreading Software

I’ll admit it, I make plenty of grammar mistakes, and sometimes that hurts my work. I mean, who will take a writer seriously if they’re constantly screwing up? But have no fear, there is software that can check your work much better than MS Word and some of them are cheaper.

White Smoke
White Smoke has advance grammar, punctuation and even alerts you to repetition. They have a basic monthly subscription of $9.95 and a lifetime premium subscription of $299.99 (flat fee).

Grammarly
Grammarly is an online program that checks for misspellings plagiarism, and misused words. They have a free trial if you’re interested. If you end up loving it, it’s $29.95 a month, $19.98 quarterly, and $11.66 a month for year subscription.

Right Writer (CD)
Right Writer is another piece of software that comes in CD ROM and offers grammar, punctuation, with syntax checker. It also comes with a free video grammar course and it all costs only $29.95 not including, shipping of course.

Well there you go, some gifts indie authors need and actually want. If you know of any more useful services for authors tell me about them in the comments section.

How To Know If Your Book Will Sell Before You Publish: Finding Out What Readers Really Want

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Question Mark, Ipswitch by ed_needs_a_bicycle via Flickr

Before I begin, I have to give a hat tip to Steve Scott and his book, “How to Discover Best-Selling eBook Ideas,” which inspired this post. After reading his book, I asked myself how could I apply what I learned to the fiction market and ended up with a few surprising ideas.  And no, it has nothing to do with KDP Select, nor will it require the blood of a goat.

With the proliferation of the internet, it has never been easier to access book lovers.  I mean, they’re everywhere!  I believe if indie authors would just take the time to listen to what readers are saying maybe they could provide readers with the novels they desperately crave.  Most publishers already know which genres are in demand and make sure not to publish books that have no readership.  So how do indies find out what books will sell?  I’m so glad you asked…

Forget Amazon Rankings

Over the past few years, Amazon rankings have been used as a measuring tool for a book’s popularity and profitability.  That’s nice and all, but those rankings don’t tell you anything really important. For example, can you discern if a genre is more popular than another? Answer: No, not on Amazon. Even the New York Times Bestseller’s List isn’t a good source for that because you can only find out if a book is selling big.

How to Find the Hot Genres

Crowd Southbound 2013 Michael_Spencer
Crowd Southbound 2013 Michael_Spencer

When doing research for my post Cheap Advertising for Indie Authors, I stumbled across something interesting.  As I was scanning the prices for Bookbub and Kindle Nation Daily, I noticed that they charged more for certain genres like mysteries and romance, while charging less for others like, chick lit, children’s and YA.  Now why would that be? Most likely it’s because they base their prices on what sells best. This should give you a clear picture of which genres sell but there are ways to verify this information…

What Readers are Begging for: Checking the Math

To confirm what the ad prices are telling me, I went to Goodreads to find out what genres are the most popular. I did this by looking at the giveaways. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Rachel, giveaways are going to attract tons of people looking for a freebie,” but that’s where you’d be wrong. I noticed that the number of people entering the children’s giveaway contest is lower than the number of people entering the romance giveaways. Don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.

PicMonkey Collage
Romance giveaway on the left, children’s on the right.

P.S. I omitted young adult (YA) books even though Goodreads includes them in the children’s category because most advertisers and readers consider them two different genres.  Also, this picture represents the most popular giveaways for the day of 11/18/14.

As you can see, 2,692 people entered the romance giveaway, while only 834 entered the children’s book giveaway.  I found this pattern over and over again. The children’s books just couldn’t measure up in popularity to the romance novels.  So logically it makes sense, if you can’t giveaway a book, then why would anyone pay for it?  

More Analysis

If you want to delve even deeper into this you can look at Goodreads’ Lists, Most Read This Week, and Most Popular Categories.  These particular threads will give you a peek into how popular a specific book is, and which books readers are talking about.  To find the categories for your particular genre just go to Goodreads.com/genres and click on the one you’d like to study.  Goodreads will take you to a page that will list everything you’ve ever wanted to know about that particular genre.

If you are a wise author, you would find a few books similar to yours and look at the reviews to see what readers are saying.  What are their most common complaints?  Now do your best to omit that stuff from your book.  Next, try to find out what are they going gaga over?  Now be sure to include lots of that stuff in your books.

This type of research will give you an advantage over the competition who are just following their muse, because unlike them, you can craft your book according to the desires of the readers rather than just guessing what people want.

This can be replicated on other book centric sites like Library Thing, Jacket Flap and even Shelfari.

But I’m an Artist…

Yeah, I know you’re an artist and your muse will guide you to the work you are destined to create. However, for the rest of us who would like to make money from our books, we need to know what the market looks like.  We also need to be realistic about the odds of our book’s success. That way we don’t waste time and money promoting a book that has no fan-base.

I’m not saying don’t write the book you were inspired to write, that’s the cool thing about being an indie author, it’s not all about profit margins.  You can publish whatever you want, but you shouldn’t go broke promoting that whatever.

Podcasts That Feature Indie Authors

By Alan Levine via Flickr
By Alan Levine via Flickr

It’s not easy finding a podcast that will interview a self-published/indie author. Trust me I know, I just spent the past week researching, emailing and tweeting podcasters.  And I was pretty surprised to learn that there are still lots podcasters that won’t touch an indie book.  I was even more stunned to learn that there are podcasters charging fees for an interview.  By the way, it’s unnecessary to pay for an interview, because most podcasts make their money from advertising, not from charging their guests. I’m not saying these businesses are frauds, they do provide a service but there are no stats that say paying for an interview creates anymore buzz than a free one.  It’s kind of like paying for book reviews, often it’s unnecessary and yields no ROI.

In my search, I did manage to find several podcasts that will take a chance on an indie author and won’t charge you a dime.  But before I tell you that, let me explain why you should consider appearing on a podcast.

Podcasting is Hot Right Now

Podcasting has gotten so popular that even the New York Big 5 publishers have gotten in on the act. For example, Penguin, and Harlequin, both have podcasts where their editors give submissions tips and discuss upcoming books.

Not to be outdone, Barnes and Noble launched several podcasts via their, Barnes & Noble Studio division. Now before you get excited, be warned, B&N only favors bestselling authors. The same story goes for Apple, and even the U.S. Library of Congress. :( But don’t fret, if they want to pretend that we don’t exist, that’s fine, we can build our own networks.

Podcasting Authors

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By Zoomar via Flickr

In true indie spirit, some authors have started their own podcasts where they feature other indie/self-published books. In fact, 90% of the podcasts who welcome indie authors, are hosted by indie authors or authors signed at small publishing presses.  If you were wondering, authors at small presses often face the same uphill battle when it comes to marketing their work, so they really do feel our pain.

Two Possible Arrangements

There are two types of book podcasts, one where you submit your book for review and another where you get interviewed about your book or about writing in general. Both are good ways to promote your work.  Now before I go on, I need to be brutally honest with you, this will not make you a bestseller.  In fact, most marketing methods like blogging, radio and yes, even television are ineffective at selling products short term. However, they are very effective at selling books long term.

10 Podcasts to Consider

  1. Write Stream
  2. Red River Radio
  3. Kobo Writing Life
  4. Newbie Writers
  5. The Funky Writer
  6. WebWeaver Books
  7. The Bookcast
  8. Indie Books
  9. Paranormal & The Sacred
  10. Good Reads Mad Reads

Here’s a spreadsheet with more details such as genre, and contact info.

Important Tip: Make sure to read the description of the show and actually take the time to listen in because not all shows will fit well with your personality. If you’re a romance author, maybe a show like Dudes & Books isn’t your style. Trust me, you’re doing everyone a favor by doing your homework.  Also keep in mind, a lot of these podcasts are booked well in advance, and are biweekly or monthly shows.  There is only so much air time to go around, so if they say no, it’s nothing personal.

How to Find Indie Friendly Podcasts Yourself

Most websites like Blog Talk Radio, Podbean, Sticher and iTunes have terrible search engines.  To make matters worse, some podcasters don’t tag or categorize their shows properly making it difficult to find them, so you may have to get creative with your search.

Here are just a few keywords to type in the search engine:
  • author interviews
  • books
  • writers
  • fiction
  • novels
  • authors
  • indie authors
  • self publishing

For a more specific result, try your genre or niche such as; business, health, legal, sci fi, romance, erotica, mystery etc.

Your Job as a Guest

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By RoadSidePictures via Flickr

As the guest, there are certain things expected of you such as promoting the show on your social media sites, blog or newsletter.  Not long ago, we had an author write a press release before she appeared on our show.  That was unexpected, but very much appreciated because many authors just show up, promote their book then, leave.  No thank yous, or communication whatsoever.  If you’re having trouble understanding why that’s a bad thing, read my post: How to Approach & Pitch Social Media Influencers.

A word to the wise:  Keep in touch especially, if you plan on writing more books.  That means, if they have a Facebook page, like it.  If they’re on Twitter, follow them and retweet them whenever possible.  It doesn’t take much effort to do these things.  And if Facebook or Twitter feed overwhelms you, create lists and check on those lists often.  Again, it’s all about sowing good Karma.

Did You Know You Can Podcast Your Book?

Several years ago, a few indie authors created audio versions of their books and posted them to PodioBooks where they were able to grow a following.   This in turn, created a demand for the ebook and print editions of their work.  One of those authors ended up getting a publishing deal down the road.

For those of you who’ve never heard of PodioBooks it’s a site that uses a pay what you can business model. That means readers decide how much they want to pay if at all. PB is a sharing site like NoiseTrade, so there’s no real money to be made here.  On the flip side, you can serialize your books and possibly grow an audience.

Well there you go, I hope I helped you figure out with this whole podcasting thing.  I know this was lot to digest, so take your time and decide what’s best for you.  There are a myriad of choices when it comes to marketing, and podcasting can be a path to finding your audience.  So it’s definitely something worth considering.

Old School vs New School Crowdfunding: Which One Should Authors Consider? Part 2

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By chris@APL via Flickr

Last week, I discussed traditional crowdfunding and today, I’ll be explaining the new way the publishing industry is using that same model to test a book’s profitability. They (the publishers), do it mainly to get out of hardest and most costly parts of publishing, which are acquiring books as well as marketing them.

Think about it, if a publisher doesn’t have to actually commission a book, then there’s no risk involved. It’s the perfect model for them. However for an author, it may not be such a great deal but you didn’t ask me all that did you?

Don’t Have Any Money to Publish? Then I Hope You Like Sharing

Seeing an opportunity to make money on the crowdfunding craze, several companies popped up catering specifically to self-published/indie authors. Many of them are publishers operating on the crowdfunding model.

Another thing I need to point out is that not all of these sites operate exactly the same way. As an author you need to be aware of this, for example:

Pentian Allows backers to share in the book’s profits.
PubSlush  is a publisher operating on the crowdfunding model and has several packages where they help you with various things like landing pages, social media posts etc.
Unbound.co.uk  Here an author has to pitch the idea of the book and if the book gathers enough pledges, then the author can begin writing the book. Unbound takes 50% of the profits.

Now what do they offer authors in the way of distribution and marketing is a good question. None of them address those issues on their websites. Again at least with Kickstarter and other sites like it, you are in total control and after Kickstarter gets their cut, they leave.

The Problem With This Arrangement

Keep in mind that unlike a traditional publisher, these people don’t make their money from selling your book, they get it from crowdfunding. There is no incentive here to make your book a success.

Crowdsourcing for a Publishing Contract

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By Ritesh Nayak via Flickr

For those of you who don’t know what crowdsourcing is, it’s the engaging of a crowd for a skill or resource. The steps here are so similar to crowdfunding that I had to add it to this post.  However unlike with crowdfunding, where you campaign for funds, here you campaign for votes.
Several publishers such as; Mcmillan, Harper Collins and Amazon, have created websites to engage readers to pick out the best books for them. In essence, they want to farm out the responsibility of the slush pile to the public and the most popular manuscripts will get a traditional publishing contract.

Kindle Scout
Here an author uploads a book, and the readers decide if it is worthy of a contract by voting for it. The author that gets the most votes gets a publishing contract from 47North (An imprint of Amazon) as well as an advance of $1,500. They also offer a 50% royalty and insist on a 45 day exclusive.

Authonomy
Authonomy, which is owned by Harper Collins, only offers the possibility of a traditional publishing contract. Each month, 5 popular manuscripts are chosen by the editors for review. However, I’m told by authors who’ve actually used the site that those odds are miniscule. Also, their terms aren’t searchable on the website so there’s not much to tell about them. There’s no mention of a royalty split or advance of any kind.

SwoonReads
Owned by Macmillan, Swoon Reads, is a site for YA Romance writers and just like Authonomy, it promises a publishing contract to the most popular stories. However, unlike Authonomy and Kindle Scout, they offer a $15,000 advance. They also insist on all your rights in all languages and an option on your next book.

Common Complaints

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Game Dogs By FishFlicks via Flickr

A lot of the authors I’ve encountered online have utter disdain for the alleged politicking involved in these ventures. A few claim that some authors have gamed the system by spamming people all day and kissing butt. Well, duh!  These books are chosen based on their popularity, not their merit. In my opinion, these types of sites are testing an author’s ability to market their work and connect with an audience. It has nothing to do with literary quality whatsoever.  If you feel that campaigning for votes or money is demoralizing or degrading, then this isn’t for you.

The Takeaway

It’s worth mentioning Swoon Reads and Authonomy gets less traffic than this blog according to Alexa, so I don’t know who’s gonna discover your novel when no one is really using the site. You’d be better off going to Wattpad, which has serious traffic, or commenting in the comments section of this post.

Another disturbing thing I noticed was that most of these sites also have poorly managed social media pages. If these companies aren’t marketing their own product, why would they market yours? Personally, I would have a hard time parting with 50% or more of my royalties to someone who isn’t adding anything to my publishing project.

But then again, you didn’t ask me all that…

Old School vs New School Crowdfunding: Which One Should Authors Consider?

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Eat Money (Lynne Hand) via Flickr

Not long ago, Kickstarter became a household name when it became the go to place to raise money for independent artists without a corporate sponsor.  Crowdfunding websites have raised money for films, music albums, and yes, even books.  Now flash forward to 2014 and even mainstream artists like Kenny Loggins and Zach Braff have used the site to raise quite a bit of money for their own pet projects.

However, there is a new kind of crowdfunding popping up in the publishing world and it would be wise if authors learned the difference between the two if they want to fund a self-published book, or simply get a contract with a publisher.

In The Beginning There Was Old School Crowdfunding

Back in the day, artists would create an account on a crowdfunding site and go straight to the people thus cutting out the middle men like agents, acquisitions editors and yes, even traditional publishers.  It was like a miracle from heaven for independent artists everywhere.  Artists could keep their rights, retain creative control and still make money on a book.  However, as with most miracles, there was a catch…

Chicken Meet Egg

Quickly, a problem arose for those with no platform.  An author with very few connections often had a difficult time raising awareness let alone, funds for their project.  Like it or not, most successful crowdfunding requires a promotional savvy that most authors don’t have.

This is where marketing companies and PR firms who specialize in crowdfunding promised to come to the rescue, for a price.  In essence, another middle man had been born.  Go figure.

Are Promotional Services Really Necessary?

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David Goehring via Flickr

If you don’t won’t to build a platform then yes.  Because according to Kickstarter’s own statistics, only 43% of projects actually get funded.

I’ve seen prices for these promotional services vary dramatically from $17 to $2,991 which include anything from press releases written by a copywriter, to targeted advertising, templates for your email list (or so you can bug your family and friends), and even video tutorials. However, that’s only on the pricier side. If you want to go the cheaper route, you can get a press release (written by God knows who), a targeted Facebook ad, and a social media blast.  I’ve only listed the affordable ones because I know my audience.

*Not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned*

Since there are no guarantees that this visibility will result in a successful campaign, it makes more sense to build a platform and promote the project yourself.  There’s no way around this platform thing, trust me, I’ve looked into it!

Crowdfunding is a 24/7 Deal

Ask anyone who’s ever successfully funded a campaign and they’ll tell you it is a hard job that requires hands on management. Authors often promote tirelessly on social media, blog tours and even podcasts to raise awareness for their projects.  So this isn’t just a set it and forget it endeavor.  If your project is 30 days, then you need to be plugged in for 30 days. This money will not raise itself.

Ultimately the question you have to ask yourself is, do you have the dedication it takes to successfully raise money for a project? If not, then old school crowdfunding isn’t for you.  However don’t fret, that’s not the only game in town. Next week, I’ll explain another way crowdfunding is taking over the publishing world and why it may be the new business template for publishers.

Keywords & Subtitles: They’re More Important Than You Think

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A man of few words by Jason Mrachina via Flickr

It was brought to my attention that one of my posts “How to get Featured or Reviewed on Amazon” had an incorrect address, that has now been updated.  I apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused. 

Over the past few years, I’ve encountered article after article, lauding the importance of key words and categories. However, these articles were only centered around Amazon and its search engine but recently, I discovered the importance of keywords on Wattpad as well. It makes sense, because some readers are very genre specific. You rarely see a Sci-Fi fan reading a children’s book or an erotica fan reading religious fiction. When readers get on a site like Wattpad or Amazon, they go straight to what they’re interested in. Sometimes, they’ll type in the search engine what their looking for, while others go straight to the categories list.

My Own Experience

A few months ago, I did an experiment where I added subtitles with keywords to all my material on Wattpad.

Now before you think I did something shady or complicated, let me explain, I only added the genre in the subtitle. For example, with Eternal Bond I put in the subtitle: The Vampire Novel Series.  For Fedelta, I simply put in the subtitle: A Romantic Suspense.  And for Hag I put: A YA Romance and that’s it!

Here are my results:

Keywords Table

Stats as of 10/11/2014

Now before you ask, I wasn’t picked by the Wattpad editors to be featured and didn’t have to go exclusive for 6 months with them.

Looking at these stats it’s hard to argue with the logic of adding subtitles to your books. Keywords give your readers a surefire way of knowing what they’re getting and will get your work read. However, there’s more to this story…

Keywords on Social Media

The technique doesn’t end there, I also use hastags with keywords when sharing my work on social media. Yes, I often add hastags like; #Wattpad, #Paranormal, #Romance, #YANovel, and #Vampires to my social media posts whenever I share my work.  This way my posts can attract more attention beyond my immediate circle of followers and end up in the search engine, rather than just becoming an invisible post. Today, this seems to be a necessity since Facebook, Google+ and even Pinterest, all use hashtags.  And if you were wondering, yes, there are people who are paying attention.  Since getting serious about this a few months ago, I’ve been retweeted, several times and even had my work shared on platforms I’ve never heard of by nonfollowers.  Not bad, eh?
More tips:

  • To make sure you get some sort of response, try using Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule those posts during the most active times of the day.
  • Share quotes from your book using a free quote generator like Quozio or ProWritingAid.
    You can also make a shareable pic with a quote from your book using the Flickr Commons or MorgueFile.
  • Don’t forget to add the links to your work.  (You won’t believe how many authors forget this!)

It’s Not a Miracle but it’s a Start

Will this make you a bestseller? Probably not. Will it give you a slight advantage over the indie or traditionally published author who doesn’t use them?  Yes.  Many self-published authors are frustrated by lack of visibility online and this is just one way to get noticed and it won’t cost you a thing.  So why not give it a try?  Use keywords in your subtitles, then promote that work on social media using keywords in your hashtags.  And don’t forget, make it gorgeous and shareable!

Yes, this is a lot of work, but nobody said self-publishing would be easy.  Like any self-published author, you are the PR team, social media manager, cover designer and  even the accountant.  So it’s your job to get your work out to readers.  There is a market waiting for your book, it’s just a matter of finding it.

Selling The Foreign Rights To Your Self-Published Book

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By Max Sat via Flickr

Last week, I discussed how to get your self-published book translated using various techniques from hiring contractors to using a royalty splitting website. Today I’ll talk about the next logical step in this journey and that is selling your foreign rights to a publisher. Yes, you can sell your book’s rights whether they be digital or print to a publisher in another country.  Sounds cool huh?  Seeing our books being sold at  store overseas is the dream of many authors.

There are several options that self-published authors have, you can find an agent who can sell it for you, or you can try to do it on your own.  But before I begin, I have one very important question…

Have You Exploited All Your English Rights?

Did you know you can sell the English rights of your book to publishers in other countries? Just as English language music and movies are sold all over the world, so are English language books. So before you go and get knee deep in translations of your work, make sure you’ve exploited all of your licensing rights. If it’s possible to sell your book’s English rights to a German publisher, why not?  In fact, you can sell those rights to publishers in every country on the planet.

Unfortunately, many traditionally published authors stop with selling their U.S. or U.K. rights and that’s absurd.  There are many publishers in other countries that would love to do business with you so what are you waiting for?

Can I Still Shop Around My Book To Agents and Publishers?

Yes, if you’re upfront with your agent/editor there shouldn’t be any conflict. However, you must be specific as to what you’re actually selling them. If you’re selling only U.S. English rights you must make sure that’s in your contract. This is important because many authors are finding publishers doing what’s called a rights grab where a publishing company tries to buy up all your book’s licensing rights without paying you adequately for them.  Sadly, there are many stories of authors who have mistakenly sold all of their book’s rights for a few bucks and that’s just wrong.  A book publisher has no business owning the movies rights to your book!
Here are a just few ways you can license a book:

• Digital (Ebooks)
• Print (Paperback and hardcover)
• Foreign language versions
• Audio
• Movie
• Merchandise (T-shirts, toys, posters, etc.)

Agents

Unfortunately, in some countries it’s necessary to have an agent if you want to be published with a legitimate publishing company. There are some literary agencies that specialize in foreign rights sales and are happy to help you for a percentage of your royalties.  Some of these agents subcontract other agents overseas with whom they split a fee with if a property sells.  There are also literary agencies who prefer to deal directly with publishers.

Doing it DIY Style

By emdot via Flickr
By emdot via Flickr

Recently, several websites have popped up that cater to matching publishers with authors. The most popular ones with indie authors are Pubmatch and IPR License. IPR License has a yearly fee of $79, while Pubmatch, has both free and paid services.

Both sites are relatively new, IPR License was launched in 2012, while Pubmatch was created in 2009 and is co-owned by Publisher’s Weekly.  So neither site has been around for a long period of time.

However, I have yet to find any decent reviews or testimonials from either site. There are no Hugh Howey’s or Colleen Hoovers that have emerged from these places. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, I just wouldn’t shell out money for the paid services. Go free and check out the site for yourself then, decide what’s best for your book.

So there you have it, a complicate subject explained as simply as possible. If you have any experience with Pubmatch or IPR License please tell us about it in the comments section. Lord knows, I’d like to know if anyone is having any success.