Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 023 with Michael Rank

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Listen in as KWL Director Mark Lefebvre interviews nonfiction author Michael Rank, whose titles include HISTORY'S WORST DICTATORS and FROM MUHAMMED TO BURJ KHALIFA: A Crash Course in 2,000 Years of Middle East History. Mark and Michael discuss Michael's podcast, History in Five Minutes, self-publishing from a nonfiction author's perspective, and the challenges and rewards of translating self-published titles. Michael shares his thoughts about: His History in Five Minutes podcast, where Michael works to share stories about things that challenge our assumptions about the past, and the people who "shouldn't be there" in a moment of history, according to our idea of that era of history. Utilizing the podcast to develop a readership, connect with fans, and promote his books. "Think … [Read more...]

Utilizing Self-Publishing to Thank Readers and Booksellers

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By Beth Revis I never thought I’d self-publish…but I’ve never been happier with the idea of doing it now. And the biggest reason for that is because I have been able to turn my words into a full novel of thanks to my readers. After years of going the traditional route, I had my dream come true: A great agent that got me a great book deal that landed me on bookshelves, the NYT Bestseller List, and more than twenty foreign language translations. But the next book I wrote didn’t quite fit my publisher’s list, and it was something that I feel needs to be on the market sooner rather than later, so after some careful thought, I decided to go hybrid. It was an easy decision, honestly, and in the end the only logical one for me. This new book, THE BODY ELECTRIC, is loosely linked to … [Read more...]

Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 020 with Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Pamela and fans at a bookstore event.

In our latest podcast, KWL US Manager Christine Munroe interviews bestselling author and self-publishing expert Pamela Fagan Hutchins. Pamela has written the book on self-publishing, WHAT KIND OF LOSER INDIE PUBLISHES, AND HOW CAN I BE ONE, TOO? In the summer of 2013, she embarked on a 60-cities-in-60-days book tour, which she organized herself (with the help of her supportive family), so she has plenty of insights and advice for working successfully with bookstores. Listen in to Episode 20 as Pamela shares her thoughts on: Her mission to serve as an exemplary self-published author, in particular when working with bookstores, so they will open the door to fellow writers. Stories from the road during her 60-cities-in-60-days book tour, including the day when a book club showed … [Read more...]

Memories of Superstars Writing Seminars 2014

Michelle (center) with KWL's US Manager Christine Munroe and Director Mark Lefebvre.

C. Michelle Jefferies was the lucky winner of Kobo’s Superstars of Writing Seminars scholarship giveaway for 2014. She attended the conference in February, alongside KWL Director Mark Lefebvre and US Manager Christine Munroe. A few months post-Superstars, we asked Michelle to reflect on her experience, and here’s what she had to say! By C. Michelle Jefferies When I think of the three days at Superstars, several one-word descriptions and emotions come to mind. The first one is amazing. There was so much information and so many things to learn that I was, at times, completely overwhelmed with what was being presented. I took tons of notes. I have a stack that I still need to go through, again, to solidify the information in my head. The accommodations were great, the hotel was amazing. … [Read more...]

Write Away

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By Kerrie L. Flanagan and Jenny Sundstedt WRITE AWAY: A Year of Musings and Motivations for Writers combines monthly insightful and humorous stories with tips, tools and interactions that encourage writers to reflect on where they are and where they want to be. From "Writing Naked" to "Writing an Effective Query Letter," these essays remind readers of the unique nuances in the life of a writer and provide practical advice for strengthening skills and knowledge. Each month opens with a place to record goals and action plans. A back section provides resources and tools to help readers stay on track and stay informed. Inspirational quotes, reflective questions, and short exercises keep motivation and energy flowing. Here are a few excerpts: "Time to Get Rid of Excuses" By … [Read more...]

Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do

A sneak peek at book one in Farmer's upcoming series, GRACE'S MOON.

By Merry Farmer I, Merry Farmer, am an indie author. And I’m proud of it, too. I was never really interested in taking a path to publication that went through the traditional publishing industry. Sure, it had and still has its advantages, but after a few half-hearted attempts to toe the party line, I knew it wasn’t for me. The feedback I was repeatedly given was that I was a great writer, my plots were interesting and my characters had dimension, but my stories wouldn’t sell. No one was buying medieval or western historicals. It couldn’t be done. That was when my purpose as a writer was born. The refrain that has become my battle cry and the heart of everything I write is, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.” Nothing pushes a creative mind harder than being told that something can’t be … [Read more...]

Indies for Indies: My Partnership with My Local Bookstore

KWL Director Mark Lefebvre presents a workshop on digital publishing alongside Rob Slater at Village Books.

By Robert L. Slater Bellingham, Washington, has as many bookstores as many small towns have churches and bars. You can literally have a top ten… I frequent many of them, but the one I know best has become a great friend—Village Books. VB did a lot for me as a reader and community member. I saw Terry Brooks, Neal Stephenson, and many more folks at VB events. As a customer in their original location, an old building in underdeveloped Fairhaven, I joined their Reader Rewards Club.  Every year on your birthday month, club members receive a coupon for a discounted book, your age up to 39 as a percentage discount, and a cup of coffee. Eventually the costs of maintaining an awesome local brick and mortar bookstore took their toll and everyone got 25% off no matter what their age. In … [Read more...]

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