Apple Has Started Listening to Indie Publishers

By Holly Lisle

Applauding Apple's Improvement

Applauding Apple’s Improvement

I and other indie publishers received notice from Apple that the company has changed the way it deals with indie publishers.

To better serve your needs, English-language phone support is now available to iBookstore publishers. With this new option, we now offer four ways to get answers to your questions:

  • The Book Forum is a community-based, collaborative environment to find solutions and share tips on creating, delivering, and marketing books in the iBookstore.
  • The iTunes Connect FAQ is constantly updated to answer common questions. (You must be logged in to your iTunes Connect account to use)
  • The iTunes Connect Contact Us module provides the option to send inquires directly to the support team, for email-based support. (You must be logged in to your iTunes Connect account to use)
  • If you prefer to speak to one of our iBookstore Publisher Support advisors, you can also use phone support. To contact the phone support for publishers, call [PHONE NUMBER AVAILABLE TO APPLE INDIE PUBLISHERS]. Phone support is available in English only and provides the same support as our email support option. Calls are toll-free from the U.S. and Canada. International calling rates may apply elsewhere. An active iTunes Connect account is required to use this option.

The iBookstore support team is available to assist you via email and phone, Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific). When requesting support, be sure to provide as much detail as possible, including:

  • The book’s Apple ID, ISBN, or vendor ID and the title (for title-specific queries).
  • The transfer log for delivery failures. Include the entire transfer log in your Contact Us inquiry. You can access the transfer log by clicking the magnifying glass in the iTunes Producer delivery window. You can also use the “Send to Apple” feature in iTunes Producer to submit the entire log for review.
  • The device, browser, version number, and operating system for technical issues in the iBookstore or on iTunes Connect. You can get this information by choosing About This Mac from the Apple menu in OS X.
  • Any other details that can help us replicate and resolve the issue.


The iBookstore team

I don’t know how much my own recent run-in with Apple, and the surprising amount of fallout, had to do with this decision, but I’m delighted to note that Apple has decided to present a much more workable platform for indies not too long into the aftermath.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Saturday Snippet, and My first week back to full-time fiction.

By Holly Lisle

She's back...

She’s back…

I had a blast this week—and fairly late yesterday, I realized why.

It is the first week in several years where all I did was write.

I did not build site infrastructure, work on website design, put together HTML for lessons, prep courses for formatting, design book covers, design lessons, test plugins, install plugins, upload self-pubbed work or build Kindle, Nook, or iTunes pages for the same, or anything else. (Well, okay. I did student support…but if I don’t do that, students complain. :D)

But this week, for the first time in years, I was just writing, revising, and…writing.

On Cadence Drake: WARPAINT, I started with 21,456 words, and finished with 28,424 (roughly 8,000 words for the week) and the realization that at some point I saved over the final version of the plot cards I’d put together for the book. So the week ended (and will begin) with me replotting the remainder of the novel. Got most of it yesterday, have a few scenes left to do.

On CREATE A CHARACTER CLINIC, 2nd Edition, I got through 178 pages of in some places HEAVY revision, and will finish up through the final manuscript page (p. 222) this weekend.

Some of the weekend revision and ebook formatting I may do while Isaac (as a tropical storm, a depression or whatever it turns into once in finishes messing around over water) either brushes west of us or, if the track shifts eastward, drops in for a visit. We have the edges of outer bands now. But mostly this one looks likely to miss us.

And the snippet.

From the 8,000-ish words I got, I decided you’d have fun with these:

NOTICE: This material is copyrighted, unchecked raw first draft, probably buggy. Please don’t post typos or corrections (I do my edits at the end of the first draft of the project and will not see your comments when I revise). This material may not survive to publication. Do not quote or repost anywhere or in any format. Thanks.

“Do you understand what happened?” I asked him.

“You made me want you.”

“Yes. You have to understand there’s something in me now—it might be something that has always been there that I never noticed, or it might be something new that came with the nanovirus—and that something wanted me to own you. To make you my captive. My slave. It wanted me to use you.”

He tugged against my grip. I did not release him. I wasn’t done making sure he understood.

“You’re going to be in this cage today. You’re going to be dealing with all of this—you and the others. You’re going to find things in yourselves that are going to want to get loose. And at some point, you and I and everyone else doing this is going to have to let set our worst demons loose in order to win over the [SPOILER DELETED].”

I released his wrist.

He studied me. “How bad is it?”

“It isn’t,” I told him. “It feels wonderful. It feels like feeding the part of you that’s been starving, giving it the best meal ever.”

“That’s a problem,” he said.

And that was an understatement.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Laura Howard’s Self-Pub Interview with Me

By Holly Lisle

Laura Howard and I talked via Skype for about an hour on self-publishing.

Her site is here, and I recommend you drop by, because she has a LOT of other interviews besides mine there. And it’s a good site, and she’s a cool person.

Laura Howard: Finding Bliss

You can find the interview there, along with extra resources she linked following our discussion.

I’ve also added the interview here:

[embed_youtube src=”” width=”420″ height=”315″ id=”selfpubinterview”]

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WABWM: Official First Day, and a Snippet

By Holly Lisle

I’m posting the official WABWM thread for the day. If you’re playing (or want to join—you can start any time you’re ready) the thread for the day is here.

Also if you’re playing, bookmark this page:
Write A Book With Me Board Go to the board every day, and post your own run on the newest official topic—the one pinned to the top when you get there. That way, I’ll see what you’ve written and be able to respond (after I’m done with my own writing). 😀

Finally, for folks who want to play Write A Book With Me, but aren’t set up yet, here’s how you get set up:

For readers, who may or may not find the word counts interesting, I’ll post snippets here.

The current novel-in-progress is WARPAINT, and today I have a snippet, also posted on the board…but if you just want the snippet, I’ve posted it below, too.

NOTICE: This material is copyrighted, unchecked raw first draft, probably buggy. Please don’t post typos or corrections (I do my edits at the end of the first draft of the project and will not see your comments when I revise). This material may not survive to publication. Do not quote or repost anywhere or in any format. Thanks.

And then it changed.

Pain turned to pleasure, fire to delicious heat, fear and anguish to incredible, calm, centered certainty.

This was how I was supposed to feel. This was perfection. I opened my eyes, and everything lay before me in a flawless detail I had never before imagined possible. Every surface had a crystalline clarity that rendered it beautiful, no matter how mundane its origin or purpose.

The people around me were exquisite, their hair, skin, and features all seemingly crafted out of new materials so much finer and more delicately designed than human flesh had ever seemed to me.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Reader Interview: Just Desserts

By Holly Lisle

Just Desserts

Just Desserts

Okay. I have this crazy thing for cookies. My first word, aside from “mommy” and “daddy” was cookie. Seriously.

Cadence Drake has developed a craving for this one particular cookie-maker’s cookie because I NEVER get to have as many cookies as I want, so I’m living vicariously through her.

Some folks don’t even like desserts. Some folks would skip the meal for a perfect apple pie.

Which dessert would you have if you could only have one? And why that one?

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

“Write A Book With Me” is back.

By Holly Lisle

I’m excited. Happy. Delighted to be ALMOST ready to write fiction full-time again.

Here are the details.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

To write WARPAINT, I have to change my schedule

By Holly Lisle

This comes down to priorities and plans.

I want to get both Cadence Drake: Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood and Cadence Drake: Warpaint into print this year. That’s my priority.

I’d planned to move BOTH How to Think Sideways and How to Revise Your Novel to public versions this year, then write Warpaint while finishing the HTTS Walkthrough, and the extension to How To Write A Series.

Only I was standing in the shower late last week and the hot water hitting my head apparently landed on the reality center of my skull with a bit of extra oomph, because I realized it’s already AUGUST, and I’ve been working just about full-time moving How To Think Sideways to the public version since LAST YEAR.

Granted, I had to find and put together an entirely new delivery platform in order to do this, Margaret had to build new software for me, we had to test it, I had to proof and format the biggest and most complicated course I have, I had to set up every single item that can be downloaded as a separate product, learn the software that allows me to link everything together, get the lessons formatted, create all the sales pages for the lessons on my shop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple (and still pending, but gonna have to wait a bit now) Kobo.

The build-a-new platform stuff is done. All those product edits, formats, uploads, linking and delivery setups, tests, and sales pages AREN’T.

And, now that I know the process, I have to concede this point to reality. I don’t have time to do both.

How to Revise Your Novel is already on a working platform. Students can take it right now. It isn’t available everywhere, but it IS available. Warpaint isn’t.

Best case, I could take How to Revise Your Novel public by mid-November, if everything that didn’t break my way this time broke my way next time. But I’d have to work as hard on that as I have on HTTS, and I couldn’t write Warpaint.

I’m writing Warpaint, dammit. I’ll get as many of my novel reprints online at the same time, I’ll do as much as I can on the Walkthrough and the Write A Series extension.

But first and foremost…

…on NOVEMBER 15th, 2012, I’m publishing Warpaint: A Cadence Drake Novel.

It is going up on my site, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and if possible Kobo (having some odd problems with them right now, so I’m not promising that platform).

How to Revise Your Novel will make the jump to public in 2013.

And for the writing neepists among you. Here is my writing schedule.

Cadence Drake WARPAINT Numbers

Existing words: 21,430
Total words needed: 80,000
Words to completion: 58,570

Available working days to publication: 64

Revision: 14 days
Formatting and Pub: 7 days
Weekends reserved for other work–cannot be used for buffer.

64 – 21 = 43

58570 ÷ 43 = 1362 words per day BEST CASE

Preferred Pace: 2000 WPD

58570 ÷ 2000 = 29.285 rounds to 30 working days.

Starting date: August 16.
Publication Date: November 15.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Amazing Apple Turnaround: We’ll Accept HTTS Lesson 6…WITH The Links

By Holly Lisle

Happy Apple

Happy Apple

4:41 PM EDT. My husband, kid, and I are out, and my phone rings. It’s San Jose, California calling, and I don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.

Don’t ask me why I answered this one. I did, though, and it was a representative from Apple calling.

He told me he and others had been over How To Think Sideways Lesson 6, and that, to quote him, “We made a mistake.” He said that on review, he and others had seen that the lesson was entirely within their TOS, that my use of the links had (as I stated) not been there to sell individual products, but to demonstrate a useful technique that taught my students a writing skill.

And he noted that they did not have the lesson WITH the links anymore, but if I would care to re-submit it, Apple would make sure there was no problem with its publication on their platform.

I thanked him, and told him I would be happy to put my work back up on Apple.

And I am.

IT’S GOING TO TAKE ME A COUPLE DAYS. The rest of this week is booked solid, and I’m going to have to re-download iTunes Producer and get it set up again. (Yes, I deleted it from the computer.)

So figure, best case, the first lessons of HTTS (as well as my other work on the iBookstore) will start coming online again on Monday. I’ll get everything up as quickly as I can after that, but uploading each lesson requires significant time and attention to detail on my part. I’ll try to have the whole course available by Monday, August 13th.

Thank you for your support and comments.

I don’t know how this came to Apple’s attention. I’m glad, however, to have the problem resolved, and to once more be able to offer my work on the iBookstore.

Contents © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved