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Byline: The Art of Writing and Business of Publishing

Selecting the Right Beta Reader is Key to Receiving Helpful Feedback We’ve talked about the importance of having a beta reader to give feedback on our books. I hope you’re as sold on the idea as I am. The next step is finding beta readers—not just any one but the right ones. If we pick … Continue reading Seven Things to Look For in a Beta Reader

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The more people who provide feedback on our books the better. Of course, to be of benefit, this needs to happen before publication, when there is time to make changes. Although review by various types of editors (each pass focusing on different elements) is essential, basic feedback is first needed to work out the kinks, … Continue reading Why Our Books Need Beta Readers

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I’ve heard many credible sources advise not to include prologues in our books. Yet, writers continue to write them, and publishers continue to publish them. Does that mean we can safely disregard this advice? I think not. Here’s why: I understand most readers skip prologues. That’s telling. Even more, I’ve read e-books that opened to … Continue reading Should Your Book Have a Prologue?

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Last week we acknowledged no one has all the skills required to self-publish a book. The only solution is to pay a team of people to handle the critical tasks of book publishing. This includes cover design, editing, interior layout, photography, and so on. Or is there another way? Although it would take great effort, … Continue reading Should You Form a Book Publishing Co-op to Produce Your Next Book?

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If we publish our book with a traditional publisher, there are no out-of-pocket expenses. The publisher even pays us an advance. Although it might not be much, at least we receive some money at the beginning of the publishing process. Not so with self publishing. Self publishing costs money, Self Publishing Costs Money This is … Continue reading Can You Self-Publish Your Book For Free?

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Self-publishing is a misnomer or at least successful self-publishing is. A better label might be team publishing. That is, when we self-publish, we must not do it all ourselves (though we can, we shouldn’t) but instead assemble a team, a self-publishing team. Here are the players for our self-publishing team: Author, the Self-Publishing Team Captain … Continue reading Remove Self From Self-Publishing: Assemble a Team

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Several years ago, I received a telemarketing call from a well-known self-publishing operation, a division of a well-known traditional publisher.  She wanted to talk about book publishing. Although unwelcomed, the interruption didn’t surprise me, because a few years ago I had contacted them. Their business model intrigued me, but I dismissed them when I stumbled … Continue reading Don’t Believe Everything You Hear about Book Publishing

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You have likely heard stories of publishers turning down books that later went on to become bestsellers. There are also tales of agents who missed seeing a book’s potential, only to be proven wrong when someone else made it a success. These accounts prove that having a book published with a traditional publisher is far … Continue reading What It Takes To Land a Book Deal

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As you consider when to write, it is also critical to consider the issue of where to write. Not only does this depend on your circumstances, but also on your personality. While writing is often a solitary process, some prefer to do so in the company of others. They may opt to write amid the … Continue reading Where Should You Write?

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In a previous post, I talked about traditional publishing and vanity publishing (once the only two options), with hybrid publishing now filling the space between. Hybrid publishing is a combination of the two, with varying options for a book author. Hybrid Publishing A common term for this ever-evolving assortment of book publishing options is hybrid … Continue reading Six Flavors of Book Publishing

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Once upon a time, authors had two primary options to publish their books: a traditional publisher or a vanity publisher. However, a new option has emerged: hybrid publishing. Traditional Publishing In today’s challenging economic environment, traditional publishers are risk adverse. This makes it harder for a new author to sign with them. A traditional publisher … Continue reading Hybrid Publishing: Providing a Continuum of Publishing Options

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I read a lot of book reviews and even more movie reviews. Setting aside the critiques that are not really reviews—attacks on persons or perspective—the resulting (real) reviews are insightful for the book or movie in question but also in better understanding their respective industries. I’ve noticed a difference between movie reviews and book reviews. … Continue reading What Movies Teach Us About Book Publishing

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In Guy Kawasaki’s new book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book, he advances the term “artisanal publishing” as a new way of looking at self-publishing. The vanity publishing of yesteryear can be smartly rejuvenated with a fresh perspective of artistry, hence the concept of artisanal book publishing. As the distinction between traditional publishing … Continue reading The Potential of Artisanal Publishing

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An anthology is a collection of selected writings by various authors. It seems anthologies are popular. Why is that? Readers Enjoy Bite-Sized Passages in Anthologies Anthologies focus on a theme, but within that subject, each author’s work is usually independent of the other contributors. Each chapter or section contains an autonomous thought. There’s no storyline … Continue reading Three Reasons Why Everyone Likes Anthologies

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For the past two months, I’ve blogged about the nine self-publishing errors. My list isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a great starting point. Nine Self-Publishing Errors Poor Content A Lousy Cover A Lackluster Title Poor Editing Poor File Conversion Font Abuse: Getting Carried Away With Fonts Having a Homemade Look Failure to Follow Conventions Publishing Too … Continue reading The Nine Errors of Self-Publishing

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In the Rush to Publish We Run the Risk of Sharing Our Words Before They’re Ready The final error of self-publishing for us to look at his publishing too soon. Too many authors frustrated over not being able to get a traditional book deal or find an agent make the mistake of jumping into self-publishing … Continue reading The Ninth Error of Self-Publishing: Publishing Too Soon

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There are certain standards established publishers follow. Though these conventions may seem arbitrary, a failure to follow them could make your book stand out in a bad way. For example: On the cover, the author’s name stands alone without the word “By.” Subtitles aren’t preceded by a colon but placed on a separate line from … Continue reading The Eighth Error of Self-Publishing: Failure to Follow Conventions

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To address the seventh of eight self-publishing errors, let’s take a step back. Let’s look at the bigger picture, that is, the book as a whole. Don’t self-published a book that looks homemade. In years past, this may have included photocopied pages, a simplistic cover, spiral binding (or three-hole punched for a binder), 8 1/2 … Continue reading The Seventh Error of Self-Publishing: Having a Homemade Look

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I call the sixth error of self-publishing, font abuse. That not as prevalent and it once was, font abuse is using multiple font styles, with varying point sizes throughout a manuscript. The author may view this as creative formatting, but the only thing it accomplishes is irritating the reader. At best, this barrage of fonts … Continue reading The Sixth Error of Self-Publishing: Font Abuse

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If we avoid the first four errors of self-publishing (poor content, cover, title, and editing), we can still ruin our hard work with formatting errors. Just because a book looks good in Microsoft Word, doesn’t mean it’s going to convert nicely to an e-book. Even one conversion error will lower a reader’s esteem for our … Continue reading The Fifth Error of Self-Publishing: Formatting Errors

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