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Scribe Publishing Company’s latest release, OMG. That’s Paleo?, picked up some positive attention in paleo-blogger Michelle Tam’s latest forky friday blog.

Scribe Publishing Company has released two titles through iBooks for the first time! Juli Bauer’s (of PaleOMG.com) “OMG. That’s Paleo?” and Jody Lamb’s “Easter Ann Peters’ Operation Cool” are now available in all 51 of Apple’s iBookstores, globally! Check them out via iTunes on any of your devices, and let us know what you think!

It wasn’t all that long ago that the Big Six publishing houses (Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin Group, HarperCollins, Random House, Simon & Schuster) and the like owned the book-printing industry.  In an April 2011 article in “The Atlantic,” Peter Osnos points to the year 1984 as a turning-point in the publishing industry.  He describes how the once-dominant booksellers that the US had in department stores were slayed by the chain stores, changing bookselling evermore.  In that article, Peter also credits computers and increasing author advances as major game changers for the book publishing industry.

To Osnos’ point about computers, the modern cult of self-publishing certainly owns itself to computer technology.  Prior to the digital age, one would have had to go all Anias Nin, purchasing and operating a printing press, to publish one’s own books; the investments of time and capital for doing so are neither attainable nor palatable for every given author.  Self-publishers such as CreateSpace and Author Solutions (recently acquired by Pearson’s for a whopping $116 million) have offered a new horizon for authors – one can publish a book without an agent or a publisher.  What’s more is that e-readers such as Kindles and Nooks have offered a new medium for consuming books, fostering an explosion of e-books, and encouraging some authors to publish e-books exclusively instead of hand-held print copies of their work, giving edge to digital books like never before.

The diversity of book publishing is at an all-time high, and Ingram Content Group has monopolized on that to become the largest distributor of physical and electronic media worldwide.  Their mission statement is, “to help published content in any format reach more readers around the world.”  Perhaps one day they will lay claim to being the hero who saved print books amidst the war with electronic books and readers.  Pardon the romantic digression.

Lightning Source, a business unit within Ingram Content, offers electronic and hard copy publishing to independent publishers.  As a print-on-demand book publishing service (think of the Espresso Book Machine), enabling independent publishers (Scribe Publishing is one of them!) to be more efficient and cost-effective than ever before.  With printing operations in the US and Europe, publishers will see fast turnaround for books, whether printing a single copy or thousands of a given title.  In offering a distribution network that includes Amazon, Ingram, Barnes & Noble, Gardners and Bertrams and Baker & Taylor, Lightning Source offers avenues to the shelves of major booksellers, contending with the sentiment of Random House’s former editorial director, Jason Epstein, who said, “… no author since Homer has ever found his own book in a bookstore.”

What if you could lend the electronic version of your book to readers for free, while pocketing a royalty?  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, perhaps it would be, if not for Kindle’s ever-adapting platform.

KDP Select” is a program that enables Amazon Prime members to check out a limited amount of books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library at no cost, and read them at their leisure (there’s no due date). The best part, for authors and publishers, is that royalties are paid by Amazon for each copy borrowed. The amount per copy changes monthly, based on a fund that Amazon sets aside every month as incentive for publishers or authors who list their books this way, and is determined in part by how many books are borrowed overall (among all the titles listed in this program). But in general, the royalties are comparable, or sometimes better than, the royalties that would typically be earned by an eBook sale.

The catch? KDP Select requires that the book is released as an eBook through Kindle exclusively for a period of three months. Afterwards, it can be released as an eBook everywhere else (for the Nook, Sony e-readers, and so on), and after the three-month exclusivity period is up, the book will still be enrolled in KDP Select, forever, it seems (or until they end this innovative program). The good news is that the restrictions do not apply to print versions, so the book can be released in print and in the Kindle format simultaneously.

Books published by Scribe Publishing Company will always be made available for Kindle and will participate in this program as long as it lasts. Like book reviews, signings, and other promotional efforts, allowing readers to borrow your work for free is another way to expose potential readers to your work.  Word of mouth travels fast, and if someone borrows your book and likes what they read, they may decide to tell all their friends.

Your latest novel or screenplay is progressing well.  You’ve established the main and supporting characters.  You’ve created the basic plot, and have plenty of ideas for scenarios to paint in order to tell your story.  But how can you develop your characters, and your story, to be compelling – to draw the reader or viewer in – to connect and really believe in the story?

Stanley Williams has a few tips for you, tips that are tried and true per his clients in Hollywood.  The author of “The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue and Vice” insists that the most compelling stories (be it fictional books or screen plays) are those in which a character’s behavior and motives align with real-life morals and values.  Focusing in on the “psychological and moral premise” of your story, and developing it according to the guidance in “The Moral Premise” is the recipe for success, according to Stan.

Want to learn more?  Purchase the book, or attend one of Stan’s workshops or seminars.  Get down to the business of making your work of fiction a great success – and may your premise be moral!

What happens when you meld an author and a computer programmer?  Innovation!  (And wouldn’t “The Medici Effect” author Frans Johansson be proud?)  Simon Haynes is a published sci-fi author who has a few decades experience as a programmer.  His worlds collided and a word processing program called yWriter was born.  yWriter helps authors break their writing up into sections (think chapters or scenes), while also tracking their work.  Much like software programs comprise numerous modules of various functions, yWriter breaks writing up into drag-and-drop-able scenes, chapters, characters, and more!

The latest version, yWriter5, is available as freeware (though, happy users can register their copies if they wish to support Simon).  Detailed installation instructions are provided for Windows, Linux and Mac platforms.

A favorable review of yWriter was featured on CNET several years ago, and one novelist praised yWriter even compared to commercial softwares with similar functionality.

Oh, and while this word processing tool was created with fiction writing in mind, it’s applicable to everything from playwriting to non-fiction.  Now go grab your free copy – happy writing!

Congratulations!  You’ve finished the final manuscript, ARCs are rolling out to reviewers, and you’re waiting for the big publication date to arrive so you can tell friends and family where to pick up your book.  Only one thing left to do – promote, promote, promote.  A book signing or reading might be nice, but can you be sure how many people will attend?  What good is a reading if only five people are there to hear you?

Enter Togather.com, a fresh, new site that enables an author to get commitments from fans to attend a book signing, before actually committing to hold the signing. Think of it as a Kickstarter-like fansourcing platform for authors, fans, and “hosts” of signing or reading events. If the prescribed (by author) number of fans pledge to attend, the event will “turn on,” making it the real deal.  And best of all? The service is totally free to the author. The site collects a small fee from event attendees if the author’s minimum criteria for accepting an event are satisfied (i.e. either enough people RSVPed or bought enough books or tickets for the author to say yes).

The site launched in August and is currently still in beta, but that might make it the best time to test the waters, as it has already been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, Fast Company, and other news outlets. Authors are featured prominently on the site and can link their Twitter feeds and websites and include their book’s cover image and description, so at the very least, they are getting good exposure for free, as people come to check out the site.

While an author can use the site to tell friends and family about an upcoming event (and secure their RSVP), it’s also an interesting tool that makes authors available to fans in a way that wouldn’t have been possible without social media innovation.

Check out the write-up on Mediabistro, where a video and more intricate description of the site’s offerings are provided.

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