If you follow the publishing industry at all you will have noticed a number of trends. Everybody and their dog are talking about the trends in self-publishing via eBooks. I’m not going to talk about these: they are well covered.
What has motivated me this morning is a discussion I’ve been having with a managing editor at one of the magazines I write for. A couple of days ago she opened a discussion with me about a special project article. Special projects are stand-alone publications. They often bear the name of the parent magazine, but are published as a magazine sized book. We have been discussing this proposal via e-mail since. One of the questions I asked was the expected word count. Continue reading “Trends in Publishing”
With the possible exception of a multi-best-seller author, all writers should seek constructive criticism of their work. The bigger the work, the more important this is. This may be proofreading for typos, or it may be seeking help with plotting and character development; that depends on your experience and skill. Here are some pointers for finding and dealing with constructive criticism. Continue reading “Constructive Criticism: What it is and how to use it”
I have received a fair number of inquiries from aspiring authors about e-mails they have received from “publishers”. I have received one or two of these myself. The messages vary, but in essence they portray the sender as a publisher, generally they use impressive names that include the word “press” to give the impression that they will print the book. Most are, at best, publication services.
Some offer to convert the author’s book manuscript into an eBook for a minimal fee – often about $50.00. Others offer to oversee the entire publication and printing process and request fees of several thousand dollars. Are any of them on the level? Do any of them offer genuine value? Continue reading “Publication Services – Who is For Real?”
You have a desire to write; to make your thoughts and inspirations known to others. Perhaps you are knowledgeable and wish to share your expertise with others, passing what you know to another generation. Maybe you are creative and enjoy entertaining others with stories of fiction. Or perhaps you are insightful and like telling factual tales about places, people and events; helping others to understand.
Getting a book published by a traditional or mainstream publishing house is the gold medal of the writer Olympics. In an age where anyone can self-publish their work, regardless of the quality of that work, having your book accepted and printed by a “brand name” book publisher is the most authoritative stamp of approval that says “I am a talented author”. How do you get there?
Approaching a Publishing House
On a very rare occasion a major publishing house will invite new authors to submit manuscripts in a particular genre for their consideration but, generally speaking, the usual way to gain admittance to the hallowed halls of the big time publishing houses is through a literary agent.
A literary agent is to the writer what a talent agent is to the singer, dancer, or actor. Many times an agent will also act as your editor, helping to improve your work before it goes to a publisher. An agent is the “Inside Man” (or woman) who has the connections within the publishing industry to get a manuscript read, knows what each publishing house is looking for and which publisher would be best for your current book.
Developing a writer-agent relationship will be the most important step in building your business as an author. Select your agent carefully.
Kindle Your Blog is a tutorial for publishing your blog on Amazon’s Kindle. It describes in detail what information and graphics you need to have at hand, and how to produce them, before you begin the submission process. Then it takes you step by step through the process in a clear, straight forward manner.
Why Kindle Your Blog?
Blogging is a burgeoning phenomenon, more and more people and companies are getting into blogging as a means of self-publication. Many simply want to make money, others have information or thoughts to share, others are promoting their books or products. Whatever the reason, blogs are micro-publications seeking an audience. Continue reading “Kindle Your Blog”
Want to have a little fun with literature? Here are 6 bits of trivia about authors, see if you can guess who each famous author is. (Answers at the end, but don’t peek)
1) What name is this author better known by?
This author was born in 1904 in Springfield MA. He graduated from Dartmouth College and went to Oxford University in England to get a PhD in Literature. In 1954 his publisher read an article in Life magazine detailing reading troubles children were having in the US. He asked this author to write a book that would engage young children and encourage them to read. In 1960, this author was challenged to write an entire book using only 50 words. He successfully accomplished both of these tasks. This author was born Theodore Geisel. By what name is he better known? Continue reading “Famous Author Trivia”
Below is an excerpt from my book “Writing for Profit or Pleasure: Where to Publish Your Work”. It is just a few paragraphs about marketing a book from Chapter 11, which is about publishing through a traditional book publisher. I’m posting this in response to a discussion I had earlier today with Jillian Peery who is finishing up a novel and asked, “what now?”
Before you go shopping for an agent there are some things you ought to do that will ease the task and help good agents take you seriously.
You need to have a completed and polished manuscript. Did you catch the “polished” part? If need be, hire an editor to go over your manuscript with you to be certain it is the best work you can do. You do not want an agent to read your manuscript and think, “This writer has potential; but needs a lot of work”. If you’re writing fiction, be sure your first 30 pages are especially compelling; an agent will need to know that you can set up a story to make it exciting to the reader.
Few agents are in the business as philanthropists; they’re trying to earn a living and will weigh the amount of effort they will have to put into an author against what they will make from their commissions. If you’re going to stick a foot in their door, make sure it’s your best looking foot.Continue reading “Marketing a Book – Where to Start”
There is a tendency for authors, especially new authors, to discount the value of the established and venerated publishing houses: those establishments that have for, in some cases, hundreds of years provided the readers of the world with quality materials to entertain, inform, and enlighten. But suddenly the reverent awe in which we have always held these firms is being besmirched, like graffiti on a church, by a pair of hooligans: a bratty upstart called Self Publishing and his sidekick Indie Press. Oh, sure; their cousin Vanity Press has been prostituting herself for almost as long as the Big Houses have been around, but she pretty much kept to herself and offered little threat to them.
Self and Indie, however, have managed to lure a sizable contingent of writers into their posse with promises of instant money and stardom. But, here are six reasons why authors should stick with the brick and mortar giants of legacy publishing. Read More
P.O.D. (Print on Demand) book machines have been in use in companies like CreateSpace and Lightning Source for years. Using these machines they are able to print your books as they are sold – one at a time if need be – instead of having to do print runs of thousands (or tens of thousands) of copies as a traditional offset press would. That means you, the author/publisher, don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on printing costs up front and don’t have to pay for storage of the books while waiting for them to be sold. Print them as you need them: what could be better?