The New Author is a self-help guide to novel writing, publishing as an independent ebook author and promoting your brand using social networks.
Available from all leading ebook stores (see Shop for full details) in ebook and paperback.
With foreword by Jim Williams, author of ten internationally published novels including Booker Prize nominated Scherzo.
There are at least three reasons why you should read this book:
1. you want to be an author;
2. you have already written a novel and want to publish it as an ebook;
3. you want to promote yourself as an author.
This book is a beginner’s guide on how to do the above. It isn’t a magic elixir for foolproof million copy marketing of your ebook. It is based upon the experiences of this author and a broad-based peer group.
I have to warn you right now, this is not going to be an easy journey. Less of a country stroll, more of a trek up Kilimanjaro. The good news is that almost anyone can trek up Kilimanjaro with the right support, appropriate equipment and a positive attitude. See you at the top.
Buy direct from Ruby as an epub or mobi ebook or paperback
The New Author is an excellent piece of writing, combining deceptive simplicity, lucidity and charm: a trick which in practice is very difficult.
Barnes explicitly warns against the trap that engagement at the required level can become obsessive and time consuming, and in a couple of nice vignettes he makes his point with wit and style. The New Author is a terrific companion for independent e-publishing and I recommend it.
The first reviews for The New Author are in:
Truly helpful for the new and not so new author,
October 24, 2012
This is an excellent Kindle ebook that really is written for the new author and will be immensely helpful to him or her. The whole process of writing a novel is covered, from start to finish (including how to format and publish on Kindle and Smashwords).
There are many ebooks on Kindle about how to write a novel, but it's not uncommon to come across some so badly written and edited that it's plain they won't be of any use to wannabe writers. In fact, their writers themselves need to consult a far better book on their own topic. And here is one for them now.
Not only is The New Author extremely well written by someone who knows what he's talking about, but the tone is also truly heartening for those who yearn to become published writers but just don't know where to start.
The writer doesn't attempt to go into writing technique in any great detail, but he provides an excellent summing up of the considerations to be borne in mind when embarking on a story, and also recommends other resources which go deeper into particular areas of technique.
Along with the revolution in publishing has come one in marketing, and the title The New Author can be taken to have a double meaning: it can refer not just to someone who aims to become an author for the first time, but also to the new online world with which more experienced authors must now become familiar. So the large section on marketing a novel online through social media and other methods is particularly relevant and welcome for authors at all stages of their careers.
Probably the best one-stop shop for the indie author,
There are swathes of books offering advice to the aspiring author about to launch his/her book onto the e-market, ranging from the excellent (David Gaughran's 'Let's Get Digital') to the rather glib and opportunistic (John Locke's one). Few have provided such a broad yet sufficiently deep introduction as this one. Ruby Barnes, a successful ebook author in his own right (and therefore someone who knows what he's talking about) takes the reader through every step of the process of producing, publishing and marketing an ebook, offering his personal experiences with regard to what seems to work and what doesn't. It's all done with a good deal of wry and at times earthy humour, something that's often lacking in this kind of book.
This won't of itself make a bestselling author out of you. It might not even make you a success. But it's the sort of book I wish I'd taken the trouble to seek out and read before I embarked on my own epublishing journey. It guides you between the pitfalls so that you at least stand a chance.
After exploring the mad and slightly confusing aspects of self publishing, I was given 'The New Author' in an attempt to try and clarify all the 'whys and wherefores'. And it did! Other books I found very dry and left me feeling I was outside the head's office for being stupid. Ruby's way was a breath of fresh air. It was clear, informative and funny. He admits his own mistakes so you don't have to. It's a book you can dip in and out of, especially when it comes to promoting yourself. Technophobes need not apply or learn damn quick!
And thanks for all the elephants!
Review by: Susan Condon on June 13, 2012 :
I read this book on my Sony eReader while on holidays – the only problem I had with that, was that I didn’t have a pen and paper handy to make notes!
This book is perfect for anyone who has a passion for writing. It is very well written and divided into three parts. I had only planned on reading the first two, which relate to writing tips and advice on how to promote your brand using social media, but was enticed into reading every word – and I’m so glad I did. Ruby includes excellent advice, as well as tips, on the drawbacks of not thinking through your whole approach to writing and branding, drawing on personal experience to highlight it all. There’s advice on what to include in your blog or website to draw readers and writers to your pages - but also advice on how to avoid the lure of social media sites in favour of writing – something I’m sure we’ve all done at one time or another.
I found the section on self-publishing a real eye-opener, with step-by-step instructions on how to strip your writing of all formatting so that it will appear perfectly on Amazon, Smashwords etc. Ruby advises on everything from pricing structures and how setting up a special offer on one platform can affect your pricing on another; to advice on how best to promote your work with the help of fellow authors and reviewers. It was something I had never considered before, but I’ve already recommended this book to a number of friends, who would benefit from this section alone, to promote their work to a wider audience.
I came away from this book feeling that I had garnered some very useful information which can only help me on the road to success . . .
A vital piece of equipment for the wannabee author, 8 Jun 2012
On the technical side, Ruby writes very clearly, concisely and straightforwardedly. Which is just what you want when picking your way through all the hurdles and technicalities of editing and publishing. There is never a spare word, lots of funny ones and all of them useful and wise. Highly recommended. 5 well earned *'s.
Small book, Big help!,
May 18, 2012
The New Author is full of so much great information if you're thinking of writing and publishing, not just an ebook, but any book. It mainly consists of three parts: writing your novel, building a social media platform, and publishing an independent ebook. The author takes everything in a step by step process as he holds your hand through your journey, instilling wit and knowledge based on his own mistakes and successes. The New Author is told in a very personable aspect, which makes reading it enjoyable and easy to follow. I've tried reading some other books on how to be a better writer, but they all seemed too textbook-like and preachy. Granted I'm still floating in part one (writing my novel), but it was extremely informative on what I should be looking forward to do in respect to my commitment on finishing my book. The Top Ten Tips in the conclusion of the book really summarized and solidified the book for me. I'm actually looking forward to re-reading the book several times with a highlighter in hand. This book is a great aide and will be a great reference as I continue my own "Authorly" journey.
Stuffed full of useful info yet easy to digest,
March 30, 2012
A `must read' for any writer intending to go the indie route as it explains in great detail how to produce a high quality ebook, and establish both a brand and sales platform.
Review by: Lady Eternity Ravenheart on May 17, 2012 :
What author approach defines you? This book gives any writer, new or seasoned, a great way to examine not only their own secret writing desires, but also a way to find what approach suits them best. This book however is designed to be light in the facts and is written as an overview. It is not written to be an indepth guide. Due to its design it might not be exactly what a writer would like, however it is the friendly and easy approach that makes it unique. Through the style it's written in, it makes navigating through the creation process of novel creation easy, effortless fun. I recommend this book as a must have in any writer's library. If there is any writer who values their art would like to improve it in an easy and fun manner, then Lady Ravenheart Wordsmiths is happy to put our support behind this well written book.
Read this book,
13 May 2012
The book is simply and logically structured in three parts, but in this review I'll reserve the second until last because it deserves fuller treatment. The first part deals with what can loosely be called the Rules of Writing. This is not specific to the e-format and, as the author acknowledges, the subject is dealt with more fully in many other works, and he seems to have included this section (rightly in my view) for the limited purpose of writing a primer covering all the basics as well as his own special contribution. As for the content of the section, he repeats the commonly accepted points of writing technique in a clear commonsense manner and with an appropriate level of scepticism as to the possibility of writing by rule. This section is a useful summary and most writers probably need nothing more. The truth is that the trick is in the practice not the theory, and what most aspiring writers need is informed critique of concrete pieces of work.
The third part is a detailed exposition of how to convert a manuscript into an e-publishable form compatible with commercial e-readers. It goes on to explain how to place the book with a free e-publisher such as Amazon, and various post-publishing matters such as reviews, pricing and tracking of sales. One would have to try it out in order to verify how correct and user-friendly this account is, but Ruby Barnes has been through the mill and writes well and intelligently, so I take this section on trust for the present.
The heart of the book is in the second part, which is explains how to parlay your e-book into a bestseller by leveraging the opportunities provided by Twitter and social networking sites to create a product brand and an aware and active readership. At this point I'll digress in order to give my take on where we are and why Ruby Barnes's book is necessary.
For six hundred years the printed codex has been the technical format of books. The cost of production has influenced the proportions and outlets for books purchased and books loaned, and to a large degree countries have maintained national literatures rather than succumbed to international authorial brands; and this has been the model of mass readership for a century or so. It's this model, with its accompanying train of agents, publishers and bookshops, that has been largely destroyed in the last twenty years without its becoming wholly clear what the new model will look like.
I've never seen it clearly stated, but it seems to me true that the worldwide demand for commercial fiction can be satisfied with an annual production of a couple of hundred books. The success of translated Scandinavian crime fiction sold through superstore outlets along with a mere handful of other books seems to me to prove this point. The fact that historically many more books have been produced has been the result of a segmented, decentralised market and distribution system founded on technical limitations and cultural differences. The globalisation of economies and the creation of a homogenised international culture, driven by free market capitalism, lead with books as with any other product to attempts to simplify and control demand and achieve economies of scale. Although pundits talk of the loss of cultural diversity and reader choice, I don't think this loss is in reality experienced by leisure readers of commercial fiction. The few hundred books that I refer to as one possible outcome of the current process still offer a broad enough range to feel like sufficient choice for a significant portion of the market. But this, of course, means death to the hopes of most aspiring authors.
The e-book looks set to displace the codex as the preferred reading format. In predicting the future the following seem to me to be relevant considerations. There are many readers who are casual consumers of only a handful of books in a year - holiday readers, if you like. They may not consider an e-reader as a worthwhile investment, and therefore they may survive as a base market for the traditional hard format. That said, there may be a tipping point at which this residual market cannot be serviced economically from the standpoint of producers and distributors. The price of e-readers, and the cost of producing and distributing hard format books are in flux, and I don't think one can be confident as to how this will all play out.
I can envisage a future in which books develop almost as two separate art forms, like theatre and film. A small stratum of bestsellers (my two hundred books a year) may survive as hard format books, sold through limited outlets suited to casual readers, and behind this will be the cloud of e-books. Where does "choice" stand in this scenario? In the world of the hard format, it will be very reduced, but, I suggest, not necessarily experienced as such by consumers. In the realm of the e-book, however, the range of choice will be vast as new entrants, who in the past would have been excluded from being published through bad luck or incompetence, pile into e-books. Here the question is whether the enhanced choice will be meaningful, or perceived as white noise, a mere cacophony.
Ruby Barnes's book faces up to this changed scenario and says - rightly, I think - that predictable success can only happen through deliberate manipulation of social networking in all its forms. In the second part of The New Author he takes the reader in detail through various techniques for doing this and identifies key forums of opinion. However this course is not for the faint hearted. Barnes explicitly warns against the trap that engagement at the required level can become obsessive and time consuming, and in a couple of nice vignettes he makes his point with wit and style.
The New Author belongs to the class of self help books, a subject I studied when writing How To Be A Charlatan And Make Millions. It differs from those written by charlatans in that Ruby Barnes offers authentic, proven techniques and makes limited personal demands ("Buy my book," not "Sell me your soul,").
The New Author is a terrific book and I recommend it.
Ruby’s top ten tips for ebook publishing
- You’re going to need a good book, one you believe in, one that has your author’s voice. That unique voice communicates your individual talent as a writer.
- Test your book on honest people before you consider releasing it. Make it the absolute best you can. Don’t regret, be proud.
- Ready to publish? Forget about it until you’ve considered the next two marketing steps of platform and brand. You can ignore them and still be successful. That will make you into a folklore hero whose name is on everybody’s lips, but they’re few and far between (and I’m not one of them).
- You need a social networking platform. Ebook readers are internet users. That’s where you need to focus (and make sure you start that ball rolling before launching your ebook).
- Brand is to an author what location is to real estate. Make your name your brand. Everything you do needs to enhance that brand. Exert caution at this point because, if you do it wrong, retracing your steps is difficult.
- Now let’s publish. A cover, title and description that tells a potential reader what’s inside is worth reading. A digital manuscript that won’t cause that reader to trip over systemic errors in prose, grammar or format. If you baulk at any of this then pay someone who can do the uncomfortable parts for you (it can be less expensive than you might think). And keep backups and version control for everything that you write.
- Aim to build a readership that will provide reviews, recommendations and support. Don’t be precious about initial pricing.
- Leverage your social networking platform to gradually increase exposure of your book. Use subliminal marketing and influence strategies when you enter into the mêlée of the marketplace.
- Build your brand team. Remember at every step that each virtual friend, follower and reader is your team. Never alienate, even when in receipt of negativity. Radiate positivity and calm confidence. People don’t just read your ebook, they also digest your blog posts, forum comments, tweets, facebook updates, everything that you write on the internet. Those readers read, enjoy and recommend. Word of mouth sells ebooks. This is the key.
- Are you writing the next book? Never stop writing creatively. Always have a project in the first draft or edit stages. Blogging, tweeting, chatting and whatever is new, all good but you are an author and you must write. Allocate time for making friends and marketing. Ring-fence time for creative writing. Do both, in parallel, with an element of self-discipline. A satisfied reader asks for more. The reader market is effectively infinite and so is their appetite for good books.
You’ll find useful and proven content in the 44,000 words of The New Author by Ruby Barnes to help you with all of these ten tips.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Tags: authorship, creative writing, e-publishing, epublishing, facebook, formatting guide, indie publishing, novel writing, publish my novel, self-publishing, social media, twitter, writing 101, writing skills, digital publishing, how to publish an ebook