Tag Archives: Self-pub

BREAKING NEWS: Articles Now Available

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Big and wonderful news everyone: Our tremendous and tireless technical team has added a brand new feature to Sumbola for writers and readers alike!  Now, Sumbola members can write and submit articles directly on to the site for others to browse through, read, comment and vote on.  It’s a big step in our efforts to allow you to self publish, and we can’t wait for you to test it out.

One of the biggest reasons we’re excited to launch our Sumbola Articles is that it gives a platform to both the casual and the consistent writer. If you maintain a blog elsewhere on the web with regular content, you’re free to copy and paste your own essays and articles from your site, exposing your work to a different viewing pool.  If you lack the time or desire to maintain your own blog to begin with, this is a great tool for you as well! You can post as frequently as you like, and your content can vary as much as you please.

An additional tool we’ve added to our Articles is the ability to attribute blog posts to content that is not your own.  This is a great way to share other perspectives and will link back to the original author or publisher’s site.  While it’s great in many ways, we do advise caution in what you link to: may sites will have strict rules about sharing their work even with attribution, and if not, it’s always polite to ask permission anyways.

If you have content that you’re ready to share, feel free to jump on in and start sharing- we would be delighted!  That being said, please check out and adhere to the Sumbola Terms of Service to know what types of content and activity is prohibited as well as our policy on copyrights.

While this is a big jump for us in terms in what we have offered so far, we are still looking to make this feature (and Sumbola as a whole) the very best it can be!  If you have ideas for new categories, we want to hear them! If something isn’t quite working for you, we want to fix it! Feel free to submit any and all feed back to us by commenting below, reaching us by our support email (support@sumbola.zendesk.com) or visiting our support desk!

Ready to start?  Great! Hop on over to Sumbola’s Articles Section to add your voice.

In related and also awesome news for all writers with books ready for publishing: we’re just about ready for you, so stay tuned for updates!

publishing news graphic

A Kobo Quarantine, an Unhappy Gallagher, and Other News…

This week in the publishing world…

Kobo Quarantines Self Published Authors

After highly unflattering news coverage regarding several pornographic publications, Kobo pulled several self-published titles from the digital shelves on October 15, BBC News reports. A spokesperson for Kobo has insisted that the move is not a form of censorship, but an effort to “protect the reputation of self publishing as a whole”.  Self-published

McDonald’s Celebrates Literacy with Happy Meals

From  November 1st to November 14th, McDonald’s will be distributing an expected 20 million books with their happy meals, according to Publisher’s Weekly.  Four original titles will be released with the popular kids meals and will not be sold outside of the promotion.  This promotion will position the fast food chain as one of the top children’s book distributers.

Neil Gaiman: “We Have an Obligation to Imagine.”

Author Neil Gaiman gave a lecture earlier this week discussing the importance of libraries, reading fiction for pleasure, and daydreaming.  Gaiman spoke at The Reading Agency’s annual lecture series at the Barbican in London, England on Monday, October 14th.  An edited version of his lecture can be found on The Guardian.

Eleanor Catton Wins the Man Booker Prize

Catton, the youngest author ever to win the prestigious award was honoured for her book, “The Luminaries”.  The Luminaries is a stylistic tale of mysterious and seemingly linked occurances in a New Zealand gold-mining town.  It is also the longest book to ever receive the Man Booker Prize, a hefty read at 848 pages long.  Publishing Perspectives has the full story available.

Noel Gallagher:  “Fifty Shades of Grey? Fifty shades of s–t.”

The 46 year-old musician, known for his previous successes with the rock band, Oasis doesn’t like fiction.  At all.  In an interview with GQ Magazine, Gallagher expresses his extreme distaste for fictional books and their authors, book sellers, and owners, completely baffled by their use and offended by their “snobbery”.

Did we miss one of your favourite publishing news stories of the week? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @sumbolacosi.

Why Self Publishing Is More Than OK

Isaac Asimov

More than a week ago, I read an article that struck me.

Why Didn’t I Self-Publish?” was a letter addressed to Salon advice columnist Cary Tennis, and his response.  In short, the letter was written by a woman with a successful career outside of being a writer. She has a husband, child, and a passion for story telling. After writing two novels, she sought an opportunity to publish them, but upon finding a platform through her local library, she couldn’t go through with it: her opportunity came and went. She was left feeling disappointed and confused.  Why didn’t she pursue it?

Tennis’ response, in short, was that she had a lack of motivation to be self-published.  Yes, she wanted to be a writer; her novels (not to mention newsletter and short stories) are proof of that.  What she wanted was the recognition from her peers, including her husband, that she was creative, artistic, and more than just “practical, organized, somebody who gets things done”.  Tennis suggested that instead of self-publishing, she should find a reputable publisher. Furthermore, he advised her not to let the likelihood of “never making it on Oprah” hinder her.  He ended his article encouraging her to “dream big.  That way, you will have something to strive for”, inviting her to take action.

I read the article on my browser, closed the tab, and moved on to other publishing insights and editorials.  And yet it stayed with me, this sadness about a woman who was too afraid to self publish- for fear of her work being dismissed, or worse, herself ridiculed. It was only after reading an article by Hugh Howey on the IndieReader, entitled The Best Days of My Life that I understood why:  his happiest days were spent writing, not being a best-selling author.

There is nothing wrong with her desire to feel validation for what she is passionate about. For those who have read the full article, we could be quick to point fingers at her friends and husband for the lack thereof. Unfortunately, the truth is that you can find dozens of editorials from the so-called “successes” of the publishing industry, echoing their sentiments:

“Self-Publishing isn’t good enough…you’re not a real writer”.

When authors with any level of experience face that stigma, it’s hard to feel motivated.  It’s hard to feel confident in not only your work, but in yourself. The name of a big-five publishing company should not be a requirement for the support and encouragement of writers.

We need to remember why we choose to write.  Something inside each of us, at one point in our lives said “yes. Write. This is what you need to be doing, right now.” There is nothing wrong with making a profit, but that isn’t the main purpose.  There is nothing wrong with meeting Oprah, but that isn’t why we write either.  We write because we’re compelled to. We need to share our stories because we love them.  Self-publishing is a perfectly viable way of doing so.

Remember this about yourself when you write. Remember this when others imply that a publishing house defines the value of a writer. The woman from the advice column might not have had the support of friends and family, but as fellow writers, she should have it from us.

Jim Carrey To Self-Publish His First Children’s Book

via Lit Reactor

Last week, Jim Carrey announced his latest project: the comedian, actor and activist will be self-publishing a children’s book titled How Roland Rolls.  The story is about a little wave named Roland who worries about what will happen to him when he hits the beach. The book launches September 24th 2013 through his own company, Some Kind of Garden Media.

via Jim Carrey

Children’s books are often designed to help young readers gain an understanding of the world around them, be it holidays, important virtues or pet care.  Carrey’s story is a tad more existential.  His aim is to instil a sense of connection with the world and alleviate concerns of loss or loneliness. Reflecting on his own childhood, Jim Carrey stated, “Kids don’t get enough credit for their deeper thoughts”. Many books cater to the physical or social aspects of childhood- this one is intended serve the introspective side of growing up.

Jim Carrey is certainly not the first celebrity to publish a children’s book. In recent years, it has become something of a trend.   Julie Andrews, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld and Madonna are notable names for their efforts in the industry- even Rush Limbaugh has announced his own children’s book, in attempts to teach “what isn’t being taught”.

For the discretionary parents, blogger Tom B. of Building a Library has recommended four celebrity-written children’s books that he and his daughter have found worthy of time and attention. We’ll have to wait and see if How Roland Rolls measures up.

Does your child have a favourite book by a celebrity?  Let us know in the comments or tweet us @SumbolaCoSI.