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Embrace the digital publishing era instead of print publishing

The future is digital, and for everyone. Even for writers, who can control their own future with their fingertips. Once upon a time, you were demanded to publish a physical book in order to become a real author, but with all the progress on the digital publishing space, that isn’t longer necessary. But why should I switch?

1.- It’s practical

Digital publishing is easier, faster, and cheaper and you can reach million of readers and followers throughout the world; you are not limited to a physical space on a library anymore. Everything is getting online. The concept of being an author has expanded along with the possibilities of endless opportunities. You no longer depend on an agent or bookstore thanks to the digital community; you can do it by yourself.

By having readers from all parts of the world, you can get into the international markets immediately, test them, unlike when you publish your books in the traditional way, in which you should first get into the national bookstores and then, if it goes well, you can expand your frontiers.

By having no barriers; you can easily be recognized among the writing digital community as a: blogger, journalist, fiction writer, editorialist, creative writer, inspirational, among others. You get a brand and a name, and take advantage of the social media to make yourself recognized. If you are successful in doing that, you score a goal.

2.- Time

Another positive aspect is the time required to publish. The digital way, is very fast and effective. There is no waiting to print pages or long process corrections. If there is a correction, you can do it right away, even if your story is already published, and you don’t have to pay more money for redistribution. There are even publishing platforms like Inkspired, Medium, Wattpad, etc, that have been created for that specific purpose. They are the publisher that you need, and mostly all of them already have a reading community within them, so if you decide to publish stories in any of them, it’s almost guarantee that people will read you and most importantly, connect.

3.- One Content to rule them all

The content you create is now multi purpose. Distribution becomes platform agnostic, faster, more flexible, and even free. You can reach totally different places at the same time, because you can publish it in multiple platforms or blogs or even social media. As we said in one of our latest posts, when you already have a community that follows you, and a fan-base, you become even more attractive to agents, publishers and people in general.

It’s time to change people’s mind about what a writer really is. Society still thinks that an author is good only when he/she has published a printed book, but that concept is old fashioned now. Nowadays, there is a huge amount authors that write only on digital platforms or blogs and are excellent in what they do. The famous E.L. James, who wrote 50 shades of Grey, is one example of this success. She started with self-publishing in some fan fiction sites and later with an e-book. Other examples are Huge Howey with the Wool Trilogy, Amanda Hocking with My Blood Approves series and Trylle Trilogy, and Kristel Ralston, an ecuadorian author-entrepreneur who built her own writing career around digital publishing platforms, and now is totally dedicated to writing, publishing an average of 4 books a year.

Remember, digital content travels faster and longer than printed words.

March 29, 2017, 9:55 p.m. 0 Report Embed 7

Comparing the alternatives on social publishing

Authors from all over the world are benefiting from self-publishing in ways that past generations couldn’t even imagine. The opportunity to have the power back to us, democratizing the whole publishing process, has gone a long way for many emerging writers. Authors nowadays have more tools and options to market themselves, create their own portfolio, adopt readers and followers, construct engaging storylines, improve writing, get constant feedback, monetize in different ways, and most importantly, connect with a readership that was impossible to do while selling books in a physical bookshelf.

There is a vast ocean of possibilities for emerging writers and established authors looking to break through in the digital publishing space - since the content is platform-agnostic, it’s easier to expand to different platforms and gather broader audiences. You can either choose one and commit to it, or use as many as you want to increase your possibilities to build different fan-bases, in different sites with different audiences.

We created a list of the most popular digital platforms that you can use to get published, and we will explain how they work and what they offer. 

1. Inkspired: Is a digital platform for readers and writers, where you can discover and publish creative stories, book series and storytelling for    free. You can receive donations for your stories, discover other independent authors, grow a readership and be part of a writing community. You also have options to create different story types, like  visual stories and blogs. Available also on iOS and Android for reading, and they have a professional authoring app for Mac and Windows specialized in fiction writing and online publishing.

2. Medium: Is one of the most famous online publishing platforms, developed by Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder. Here you can read and write social journalism, amateur and professional publications, blog  posts and documents. They have an app and a web page and also offer their own publications, which includes the online music magazine Cuepoint.

3. Wattpad:
Is a platform that allows you to share new stories with everyone. Users can publish articles, stories and poems about any subject. Content mainly focuses on fan fiction, starring amateur and established authors. Users can comment or vote in any post they read, and they can also join associated groups from the web page.

4. Lulu: Is a Self-publishing platform for digital and printed books. Writers can set up their own royalties, calculate how much money they can make by selling their books and control all the publishing process. Authors upload their files, and these are submitted by digital form for publication.

5. Radish: Is a mobile app for serial fiction with a growing user based mainly in Korea. With the app you can read stories, although most of the content is paid chapter by chapter.
On the other hand, writers can also benefit from platforms like Writer's Digest where, instead of publishing stories, you can read, discover and follow all sort of tips for writings, interviews, articles about how to create a good story and everything involved in the art of storytelling.

All of these platforms are great at their own thing, and all of them have different focuses, niches and use; it depends where you are at writing, and what do you want to achieve. That’s why it's hard to choose just one. We believe that Inkspired is one of the most complete ones, because it is specialized in a specific target of users, and it provides you interesting tools for reading, although its main strength is the experience while writing and publishing. 

Authors from all over the world are benefiting from self-publishing in ways that past generations couldn’t even imagine. The opportunity to have the power back to us, democratizing the whole publishing process, has gone a long way for many emerging writers. Authors nowadays have more tools and options to market themselves, create their own portfolio, adopt readers and followers, construct engaging storylines, improve writing, get constant feedback, monetize in different ways, and most importantly, connect with a readership that was impossible to do while selling books in a physical bookshelf.

March 21, 2017, 12:18 p.m. 1 Report Embed 5

Traditional publishing or Self-publishing? That’s the question

There is a doubt inside a writer’s soul. There is always the possibility of not being read or not being able to introduce yourself into the bookstores. But when that insecure voice starts to paralyze your fingers, remember that times has changed and nowadays there are more options out there to publish easier, and increase your chances to make it as a writer.

To get published, you can go down through two paths. There is the traditional publishing method, which is the one we all know: printed books in bookstores. But there is also the digital self-publishing option, which is everything that is now digital and involves E-books, Kindle and Digital Platforms to get your books serialized by chapters. Both of them have their positive and negative points. So, in this article we will compare the good, the bad and ugly... let’s start by analyzing the traditional one.

Traditional publishing

· The feeling of being important.

In order to get your books shipped to bookstores you need to sign a contract with an agent or a publishing house. Your agent has to recognize your work. And once he does, you will have his validation, which generates a level of prestige and professionalism. An author that has published physical books is always considered a little bit ahead. And if you get this feeling, you’ll be more secure.

· Don’t worry, you’ll be distributed.

Once you have an agent, you don’t need to worry about your printing distribution. You can just lay down your “sofa”, because the agent will make it for you. Distribution, marketing and placement is part of his job.

· Literary prizes?

When you publish a book, you are more likely to be recognized also for literary contests and awards. It’s more likely than an author who has a published book can win a literary prize sometime, as there are contests that only evaluate printed books.

· To be professional work with professionals.

You will have a whole professional team to help you with the paperwork, distribution, editing, focus, strategy, cover, and printing.

However, good things also have some “cons”:

· It’s all t o o s l o w.

If you are expecting a fast publication, this isn’t the best solution. The process of getting published traditionally can be very slow. You first need to have your whole book finished and edited, second you need to find an agent that would want to work with you, third you need to do some changes, create a cover, print it, etc. After that, is time for distribution, and last you have to wait until it get sold. And we can be talking about months.

· Your economy depend on the sales.

If your books are not sale as you expect, your earnings wouldn’t fit your expectations. But if they are sale, the royalty rates, which are a percentage of the sale of the book, are also low. They can range between 7% and 25%, according to an article published on The Creative Penn.

· You’ll have to invest some money.

Agents always take a percentage of your work, and some of them take another percentage when you do self-publishing in the meantime, even if you do it alone.

· You marry your publisher.

Once you sign a contract for your book, it belongs to the publisher, and when things doesn’t come out like you expect and you want to change publisher, sometimes can be difficult. So our advice is to check the contract very carefully and know what you are signing.

Self-publishing in digital platforms

The other side of the coin also has very positive aspects:

· Creativity flows all over the way.

When you decide to publish by your own methods, you need creativity more than anything else. You should analyze how and what to write, to whom, how to attract your audience, marketing, how to create your own brand, etc. You’ll require ingenious strategies to place you into the market.

· That freedom of being single.

You will be independent without any bond tying your to a publisher. That freedom provides the opportunity of publishing in different parts at the same time while managing your time.

· The process is faster and effective.

As self publishing involves everything that is digital, it is a faster process… and also easier to distribute without any physical boundaries. If you finish a story today, you can publish it right in that moment, forgetting about all those old-fashioned long and bureaucratic processes. There are even platforms like Inkspired, where you can also publish chapter by chapter, which means that if you haven't finished your book, it is not a problem.

· Publish at different platforms and conquer the world.

There are many online platforms that offer the free publishing service: Medium, Inkspired, Wattpad, Writers Digest, Lulu, Radish, etc. And by using these platforms you can be read in any part of the world. The national frontiers are not longer a barrier, because technology knocks them down. Your potential audience becomes larger, and you can reach people faster than with printed book.

· Earnings become attractive.

You can also publish in platforms like Amazon, in which you can sell your book in a cheap price, and obtain up to 70% in royalties.

· In publisher’s eye.

Once you publish, and according to how well do you market yourself, you can get into publisher’s eyes, because someone can find you, read your stories, like them, and maybe receive a phone call to sign a contract.

But digital publishing also has its negative side:

· It’s all up to you.

You will need the motivation, the contacts, the strategy, the passion, the time, the distribution, everything. You will have to be in charge of all, because it’s your own job.

· The prestige or professionalism isn’t the same.

As we said before, the prestige that a publisher (depends on which) can give you, is a big step for attracting an audience, but in self publishing you don’t have it. You have to create it for yourself.

· The investment comes out from your pocket.

Maybe you will have to invest some money in your own marketing, brand, knowledge, workshops, etc, in order to offer a good story.

So, at the end, each side of the publishing industry has their pros and cons. It’s up to you to choose what’s more convenient for you as an author, and the stage of the book you are currently working on. Snatch the opportunity that can take you to the next level. :)

March 14, 2017, 5:06 p.m. 1 Report Embed 6

Ways to get paid for writing as a freelancer

So, one day you decide
to live from and for writing. You know you have got the skills, the talent, the passion… Maybe you even studied something related to creative writing, or maybe not; but now you finally decide to make an statement, and go for it and tell your stories to the world. However, there is this big white elephant in the room: how can I earn money from writing? Publishing a book in digital platforms or as an ebook could be an option; but is that going to make up for a living?

First of all, it’s all about mindset. To make a living from writing, you have to make writing your living: make it part of your daily life, and get to know that sometimes it won’t be that exciting as you believe, when pressure comes to knock the door for instance; the ability to move forward will always rely on your passion for it. Other distractions, strict editors, innovative articles proposals, critics and the possibility of not being published are also some factors to be considered. Have in mind that is going to be tough, as everything in life that is worth something, but take the opportunity by the horns, and go for it, if it is truly what you love. You can write your book with a marketing strategy, but while that works out (we will talk about that in later post), you can also become a freelance writer. It pays… and it pays good.

Nowadays, thanks to the evolution of digital marketing and all the content being tracked by search engines, there are a lot of positions requiring content creation for brands. Some people call it “inbound marketing”, others just call it “content marketing”. There are thousands of options to write for many websites, online magazine, start-ups or platforms; as they are looking to become more relevant on internet and the way people search for their brand through the content they are generating. For you, as a next-to-be freelance writer, it could be an ideal job in terms of time management, flexibility and independence. You have your own time, and you can work in any part of the world. There is no need to be just in one country or settled in a corporate office.

There is a long list of blogs or magazines that are looking to receive original articles, or stories that you can write, and not everybody knows about them. That’s why many platforms write about them and they also offer articles with the best tips to become a freelancer. These platforms are willing to help you in the process of getting paid, by providing you information about what exactly those magazines need and what they are searching for.

These are some of the platforms that have gathered all the information about the sites that are willing to pay for an article. You can also find advice on how to build your career, as a freelancer, how to grow, and how to get published or market yourself:

1. The Write Life

2. Writing Platform

3. Make a living writing

4. All indie writers

5. Elna Cain

6. Your writer platform

Each one of them has a specific vision, but all of them have been created to help writers in their “seems to be difficult” publishing.

In the other hand, we have also a list of websites where you can browse through paid writing jobs, as you can search actual vacancies or contests, or receive a list of companies that are hiring writers at the moment.

1. Freedom with writing

2. Freelance writing

3. Freelance writing gigs

4. Upwork

The opportunities to write online content are expanding. This is a functional way of starting getting paid for writing, while you work on your next novel. Research a bit, read these websites, follow their advice, and take the risk to send your writings to every place you feel identified with. Just then you will find open doors where you once didn’t see any. But never, ever, forget about your dream of becoming a fiction author; and… you know, you can start right here, right now from Inkspired: get started today!

Feb. 27, 2017, 5:44 p.m. 0 Report Embed 4
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