From my years in publishing, I find many writers expect to have instant success.|
While they may not say it verbally, they show this expectation in other ways. It makes sense since we live in a fast-moving, instant message world. One of the ways I see this expectation is in contract negotiations with new authors. In the details of the contract sometimes writers try and narrow the length of the contract to two or three years. I understand their desire but I often end up explaining that books sometimes take several years to take off and reach the public. At Morgan James Publishing, we’ve had a number of books with modest sales in the beginning, but the author consistently works at marketing and spreading the word about their book. These authors try multiple approaches to reach their audience. Then almost without explanation, their book begins to consistently sell…
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Congratulations! You have signed with a publisher that wants to bring your book to the market. But how will you get paid for book sales? What royalties are considered normal?
I suppose I should backtrack. First of all, how do traditional publishers pay authors, and what exactly are royalties?
Publishers typically pay authors in several ways: advances and royalties.
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Advances – Advances are initial, upfront payments presented to authors. Their full name is advances against royalties, so if a publisher offers an author a $1000 advance, that author will not begin to earn additional royalties until after the book has already “earned back” that $1000. Even if the book never earns $1000 worth of royalties, the author still gets to keep the advance.
Royalties – Royalties are the amounts of money an author earns on each book sold. In traditional publishing, authors tend to…
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This is a good argument for publishing your book independently. It’s one thing to ask writers to jump through hoops. It’s another thing to remove the hoops altogether…
by Larry Kahaner
Thanks for sending us your manuscript. The plot is unique, the characters are compelling and the writing is top notch. It’s one of the best books we’ve ever read. Unfortunately, it’s not right for us.
Best Regards, The Publisher
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Something to keep in mind when self-publishing.
For years, I thought that the only way to get published was to be represented by a literary agent. The publishing industry perpetuates this myth – just look at how much Writer’s Digest talks about finding and keeping agents if you don’t believe me. But the truth is: it is not necessary to be represented by a literary agent to get published. I’m living proof.
There are many ways to get books published. One option is self-publishing, although that option has the most difficult path to financial success for an author and puts 100% of the marketing and sales efforts squarely on the back of the author. Another option is small press publishing, which typically uses a business model where the publisher and the author are partners in getting the book published and into the hands of potential readers. The third option is large press publishing. Unless you’re already a…
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Every self-published author has a lot on their plate. Part of the challenge of self-publishing is that the writer takes on every
role of a publisher, from start to finish. It us unrealistic to assume that every author will be good at every aspect of publishing, though. So I’ve made a list of 5 things that I think every self-published author should do.
1) Edit, edit, edit. Learn about whatever language you are writing in and attempt to master it. Unfortunately, if you want your book to be popular and you want it to succeed, grammar and spelling play a huge part. When a reader picks up a book and they see in error within the first few pages, it takes away from the experience. If you didn’t take your work seriously by not editing it (or hiring someone to do it), why should the reader invest time in…
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by Chris Mandeville
A synopsis is a document —sometimes a paragraph, sometimes several pages— that describes your book. What could be simpler? As a writer, I know my story better than anyone and thus should have no problem summarizing it.
Really? Yes, theoretically. But in the real world, writing a short summary of a novel can be a challenging task, particularly for the author, who often has a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.
A synopsis is “a way of relating your story in a logical, chronological manner that hits the high points of plot and character development and resolution” from Writing the Fiction Synopsis: a step by step approach by Pam McCutcheon.
Setting aside for a moment the ease or difficulty of synopsis writing, let’s take a look at why you should care about synopses.
A synopsis is a tool used by writers, editors, and…
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“The cover needs to convey the genre, and give a clue into the story. It doesn’t need to tell the whole story, but create enough intrigue to catch the readers’ eye.”
Over the past year, I have gotten to know, Adam Hall, who is a book designer for indie authors. His website, www.aroundthepages.com is a showcase for his work, but Adam also does design for a variety of diverse projects and audiences. He has worked with both first-time and experienced authors on one book or a series. I asked him to share some of his insights recently about designing for books. His answers to my questions follow below.
How did you start designing book covers?
I got my start by doing a favor for a friend, Ernie Lindsey. He is an indie writer who has made the USA Today Bestseller list with his series, Sara’s Game. A few years ago he needed some help tweaking a cover. Ernie and I have now collaborated on about 10+ projects. Through his, and…
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