Wednesday, 28 January 2015

My first Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, Reviews, & Why I Prefer Paperbacks

I took the plunge before Christmas and bought a Kindle. Then come new year, with the offer of a month's free borrowing on Kindle Unlimited, I decided to dive in and explore the joys of Kindle Unlimited. The results were very mixed.

The quality of some ebooks was disappointing. Some were written by people who had clearly never practised what they were preaching, and many were clearly opportunistic exercises trying to generate sales regardless of quality. Others however, were surprisingly good - and I did those authors a favour by leaving reviews saying how much I enjoyed the read.

While I was glad that I hadn't paid out for some titles, I liked the idea of being able to borrow books. After all, if you like the book, you might buy a copy for keeps, so I'm not convinced it's a bad deal for authors. The author royalties on Kindle Unlimited are better than you might imagine too - approximately $1.40 per borrow last time I checked - so it's a good way for authors to get exposure without buyers taking too much of a gamble.

The key in the long run, I think, is going to be down to reviews. Reviews can help to differentiate the good from the questionable. They're also a great way to say 'thanks' to an author who has written a good book that you enjoyed, so do consider leaving a review when you enjoy an author's work.

My conclusion on the Kindle experience? I prefer paperbacks! Kindle Unlimited has been a bit disappointing - I seem to have downloaded a lot of dross. But with regards to the format - ebook versus paperback - I find paperback a more pleasant read. I have the attention span of a goldfish which isn't good on Kindle. When I'm reading non-fiction, I like to flick back through a book when I've forgotten something (or I'm simply confused) and I didn't find it as easy on my Kindle to flick back and clarify things!

I don't think ebooks are a real threat to traditional publishing, although my Kindle will no doubt continue to provide a comfortable way to read PDFs away from the computer, or to get e-copies of books that are otherwise prohibitively expensive.

What's your preference and why?

Friday, 9 January 2015

Freelance Writing: Aim Higher, Earn More

Check out my new freelance writing book. Here's the blurb...

Freelance Writing: Aim Higher, Earn More

In 2011 Susie Kearley quit a career in marketing to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a full-time freelance writer. She had no contacts, no real experience in the publishing industry, and no idea whether she would succeed. Yet through sheer tenacity, determination and hard work, she built a solid career as a freelance writer, in the middle of a global economic recession. Today, she works for some well-known publications and earns a living from her writing.

In this book, Susie discusses her approaches to getting published and answers many of the burning questions asked of any freelance writer:

- How much money do writers make? How much do you earn?
- How can I generate more income from my writing?
- Where can I find the best opportunities in freelance writing?
- How can I learn from rejection and increase my chances of success?
- How do I break into magazines and newspapers overseas?
- Do I need an agent? What can they do for me?
- What's it like working with a small press book publisher?
- What are the biggest challenges to a sustainable freelance career,
and how can I overcome them?

This book discusses writers' average earnings and the many challenges facing someone following a freelance career. It explains how to generate income from feature articles, blogging, books, photography, and content creation for business. It details the money to be made from associations that pay out secondary royalties on your articles, photographs, and books. It also looks at record keeping and organisational skills - essential requirements once your workload reaches a certain level.

This book is written for those writers who've seen modest successes in publishing, to help them take their writing to the next level. It will help anyone looking for new inspiration and insight, who wants to earn more from their writing.

There are many beginners books on the market. This book is different. It focuses on making a regular income from writing. It doesn't go into great detail on the basics like how to pitch, because that's covered in lots of other books, including the author's first book, Freelance Writing on Health, Food and Gardens.

Part 1 focuses on different ways of making money from your writing.

Part 2 looks at working for magazines around the world and discusses the things you need to think about when you write for overseas markets.

Part 3 looks at opportunities in book publishing, a day in court, professional indemnity insurance, marketing, social media and writing as therapy.

Out in paperback and Kindle now.

Click here to buy