In the latest episode of the podcast, US Manager Christine Munroe interviews Carla King, a travel writer and self-publishing expert. Christine and Carla discuss:

  • What self-publishing was like when Carla started out in 1995, when she wrote a mountain biking guide to the French Riviera. She shopped it to publishers, but they wanted a bigger book. So she self-pubbed it and the money she made funded two more trips to the French Riviera – she was sold on self-publishing!
  • Carla began writing her American Borders blog before blogging was something.
  • The developments in computer software and self-publishing opportunities over the last 20 years – from desktop publishing to the vast array of free, easy-to-use programs and platforms available today.
  • The origins of Self-Publishing Boot Camp – in 2008, her writer friends who had previously been making a good living from writing suddenly saw their advances drop off to levels they couldn’t survive on. Carla started teaching about writing for the web and self-publishing, which grew into the Self-Publishing Boot Camp, co-founded with Lisa Alpine.
  • Self-Publishing Boot Camp is a day-long program focused on self-publishing. Carla now helps to program conferences such as the San Francisco Writers Conference and the Willamette Writers Conference.
  • Her deep knowledge of the industry helps her know who is trustworthy and who is not. “There are some hucksters out there.”
  • The real cost of self-publishing: around $5,000 total – all costs are outlined in the Budget UnknownChecklist in the Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors.
  • Why should authors attend writer’s conferences? It’s an invaluable opportunity to econnect with the community and support system. Everyone has the same problems, whether it’s craft, marketing, website issues.
  • Carla’s number one piece of advice: “Define your goals for your book.” Do market research, find out what people are writing, reading, liking, what the covers of similar books look like, etc.
  • It’s important for traditional authors to think about marketing and social media, too.
  • The social media rule of thirds: you don’t want to be the person at the party just talking about yourself and your book. You need to strike a balance between that and asking other people about what they’re doing, and imparting interesting information through curated content.

Following this conversation, KWL Author Care Coordinator Vanessa Ghosh offers some advice to keep in mind when creating an eBook. Don’t forget: ePubs are reflowable! Don’t use page numbers, and use a page break to push text to a new page instead of hitting “Enter” several times.

Christine and Carla will reunite at upcoming the Willamette Writers Conference in August. We hope you can join us!


Carla King

Carla King is a motorcycle adventure travel writer.

Destination Published

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Buy the Self Publishing Book Camp Guide for Authors, 3rd Edition on Kobo

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Carla King was turned down by big publishing in 1994 and so she self-published her guidebook to bicycling the French Riviera. She made enough money to return to France twice more, which helped her fall in love with the self-publishing process. With a career in technical writing and an adventurous spirit she was perfectly positioned to adopt the indie author lifestyle and to help others do it, too. In 2008 she started teaching classes on how to write for the web, build platform with a website, and how to format and self-publish books. In 2010 she founded Self-Pub Boot Camp, a program of books, workshops, and virtual classes that step authors through the publishing process. Carla is a frequent speaker on adventures in travel, writing, and publishing. The 3rd edition of her Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors, released in March 2015, has been downloaded over 30,000 times.

If you enjoy this podcast and would like to automatically download episodes as they go live – even before the show notes are posted to the Kobo Writing Life blog – subscribe to the RSS feed via your favourite pod-capturing platform (such as iTunes) using the RSS feed link: RSS feed for Kobo Writing Life Podcast.

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