IBPA IS A BEST-KEPT SECRET among some IN THE WRITING AND PUBLISHING INDUSTRY
International Book Publishing Association does a great job with connecting members to the publishing industry. IBPA members receive full access to IBPA's members-only discussion forums, where they can share experiences while offering and receiving advice and helpful information. Another benefit IBPA offers is a subscription to IBPA Independent - a bi-monthly magazine filled with practical advice, targeted annual conference, vendor discounts, free webinars, and more!
More than 3,700 independent-minded book professionals from across the United States have discovered the value of IBPA. This collaboration allows and welcomes different opinions, perspectives and viewpoints on a range of subjects and interests, which may prove valuable to many authors.
IBPA's MISSION STATEMENT
"To lead and serve the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success."
"A world where every independent publisher has the access, knowledge, and tools needed to professionally engage in all aspects of an inclusive publishing industry."
In addition to educational opportunities being made available, the association offers valuable resources that offer discounts for book reviews, distribution, design and PR & marketing services. Some other benefits that most indie authors may have never considered is the opportunity to enter contest and book award programs. I especially like that I am able to receive 15% off of ISBN purchases at Bowker, free POD set-up & revisions at IngramSpark and discounts on translation and editorial services. Some of the amazing benefits and vendors include:
Visit the IBPA Website for a complete list of benefits.
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Self PUBLISHING TRUTH VS myth
After the quiet mornings and nights of long hours of writing, congratulations, you've completed your first manuscript or children's book--now what! Although writing is an author's passion, every author writes because he or she feels that they have something to share with the world. Even though major profits may not be the ultimate goal, it is a goal that will allow an author to continue to write, flourish and thrive. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than to share one's creativity, thoughts and passion with the world. Even better, a great compliment is when it is received, accepted and appreciated by a mass audience. Many author's learn just how competitive the market is and how challenging it is to get the word out and sales generated once their book is complete. This is when it is important to understand the different roadmaps to publishing.
When self publishing, whether using a "self publishing" or "vanity" publishing house, authors must understand the facts and weigh the pros and cons. Vanity publishers also known as subsidy publishers, will essentially publish almost any and everything a would-be author presents to them. Since these publishing houses charge and upfront fee, they are not as concerned with the quality or potential market. Some of these publishers only charge and upfront fee and allow authors to keep 100% royalties, while others may charge an upfront fee and additional royalty fees for each sale of an authors work. 100% sounds fair since their efforts to get your books sold and on bookshelves pales in comparison to the vast effort and labor your will have to put into gaining recognition and success for your work. It's true, that they will make it so that books are available for global distribution, but that is something that authors can also accomplish themselves by using self-publishing platforms--some of which I mentioned in a previous article "Print On Demand vs Offset Printing Services."
I have to admit that I was green when I wrote my first book and had no idea of what the publishing process entailed. I used a vanity publisher that convinced me that my book was "better than sliced bread." They were really excited about the content which excited me. I felt really special. I loved the fact that they provided a one stop shop. They provided the illustrator, editor and formatter. Because of that I can honestly say, that I appreciated them. However, it was a learning experience. I thought I had researched them, but I wanted to publish so badly and they gave my book such a glowing review that I was only seeing what I wanted to see. A year later, and after several phone calls from them trying to nickel and dime me, I started reading complaints of them withholding royalties among other problems authors were having. With that being said, if an author chooses a subsidy publisher, they should go into it well informed, and perform lots of research--making sure the publishing house they choose is one of honor and ethics. For those with absolutely no resources, but posses the skill base and have a knack for marketing and selling, this option may work. Some self-publishing houses may be expensive, but worth the effort of handling different aspects of the book publishing process. It is all about perspective.
Before closing, one thing that I made certain of when working with the vanity publisher of my first book, is ensuring in writing that I owned the rights to my illustrations and could pull the book at any time and republish with a traditional publisher if given the chance. I cannot emphasize the importance of intellectual property. I ultimately, decided to pull the book and publish it under my own publishing label. I will blog later on how it is important to establish your own publishing brand if you decide to self-publish.
Stay tuned to future posts as I will, cover traditional publishing, library of congress registrations, copyrights and much more.
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FREE RESOURCES FOR AUTHORS AND SELF PUBLISHERS
LibreOffice Productivity Software
If you like Microsoft Office but can't afford the price tag or would prefer a free alternative, LibreOffice is a free, but powerful productivity software suite that fits the bill. This software allows users to easily create spreadsheets, presentations, publications, databases and word processing documents. There is even a function that allows the end-user to save work to the cloud. I like that it is stand-alone software that's not bundled with other software and doesn't require anything else to run. Most of all, I love that it is a complete package. Once the user opens LibreOffice, there is an option to create a spreadsheet, presentation and so forth. In order to switch over to use a different application such as the publication or word processing software, there is no need to exit the app. The user can switch seamlessly through the apps because they are all locate on one dashboard. LibreOffice is compatible with correspondent Microsoft software.
DIY Book Design
Have you ever wondered how to make cool 3d mockups of your books or e-books? Sure you can hire someone or purchase software or a subscription to software. DIY Book Design is an easy to use online book mockup maker. Best of all, it is free. This software allows you to create beautiful single designs with just one book or tablet image or a composite design that includes a book, tablet and phone. This software is a must have. I can't believe I didn't discover this one earlier.
Tec-IT is a free online barcode and QR-code generator. The software offers a plethora of barcodes, including event barcodes, qr-coded business cards, UPC's and more, for users to generate and download in a .gif or pdf format. Honestly there are too many different barcodes to name, and I don't know what half of them are used for. However I am familiar with barcodes for books. Authors and publishers can download ISBN 13 (International Standard Book Number) barcodes and ISBN 13 + 5 Digits (including price). For publishers of magazines, newspapers, journals and periodicals, ISSN's (International Standard Serial Number). Before you spend money paying someone to generate a barcode, check out this site. It is super user-friendly, and again, it is completely free.
Calibre is a powerful eBook conversion, easy to use e-book manager that lets its users convert content to and from an extensive list of formats--making it compatible with just about any e-reader. Features include a comprehensive e-book viewer, the ability to share and backup libraries and a simple, user-friendly interface. The conversion feature automatically detects book structure, and the application has a built-in editor where users can preview changes in real time. Calibre is absolutely free and available for Windows, macOS and Linux.
Shaxpir's user platform assists users in writing and allows them to organize and store documents. The free package includes a manuscript builder, world-building notebook, margin comments, concept art and spell checking & linguistics tools. It also has tools for goal setting, progress tracking and exporting to HTML or Microsoft Word. I looked at it and have to admit that I was quite impressed. Shaxpir works on both Windows and MacOS.
This must-have tool allows authors and self publishers to create social media videos, attractive posts and eye-catching book covers. Canva offers a variety of templates and copyright free graphics that authors can use to masterfully create logos, websites, and marketing materials such as flyers, postcards and novelties.
HandBrake video encoder is a tool for converting video from almost any format to a selection of modern widely, supported codecs. With its simple interface, users can get started with HandBrake in a matter of seconds. Simple, easy, fast. I often use it to reduce the size of my videos. Authors with video trailers may find this to be a useful tool. HandBrake is absolutely free and available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.
Streetlib's one-stop shop lets users write, publish and sell their books. This free online software, packs a powerful punch, allowing users to draft and edit content, choose from a set of impressive themes, and download ready-to-go files for all major platforms. StreetLib handles publishing needs for e-books, audiobooks, podcasts, comics, magazines, Print On Demand and online reading with no upfront costs! This is definitely worth checking out.
Last on my list, but certainly not least, Kindle Create free software provides the tools to create beautiful books every time. The software features professionally designed themes with chapter titles, drop caps and image placement options. The site includes downloadable tutorials and FAQ's. In addition to the professional templates and WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) view that allows users to see their works on different devices the way their readers will, this software is both a time and money saver. For that, I give it two thumbs up. Kindle Create is available for download for PC or Mac.