Tag Archives: self-publishing

Working With Formatters

Lit World Interviews

Quite a few of my clients have come to me to have their books formatted, and then found themselves unable to update their already published works with their latest releases because they don’t have the formatted Word manuscripts on file. That’s fine if the formatter who worked on your previous books is available to do the updates. Hopefully the formatter is still in business and findable, or even alive. Things happen. If you have the formatted manuscripts, either your current formatter, or yourself, can do the updates in minutes and have the incarnations required by the various publishing platforms quickly. If you don’t then you either leave them as they are minus any future updates or have whatever manuscripts that you do have on file reformatted, which is a waste of money.

When hiring people to work on your book, here are a few things to take note of before…

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Hybrid Publisher or Vanty Press in disguise?

ML Keller- The Manuscript Shredder

Simple steps to evaluate the value of a hybrid publisher

The traditional publishing model follows one rule: money always flows to the author. If the author pays for anything, they do not have a traditional publishing contract.

In the past, anything else was considered a vanity press, but with the rise of the indie publishing boom, the traditional/vanity press line has blurred.

Hybrid publishing has emerged as a middle ground, where the publisher/author relationship has changed from employer/employee to a true partnership. Both parties share in the risk of publishing a book, and as a result, share more equally in the profits. Those in hybrid publishing claim this model allows for great manuscripts that didn’t fit current market trends (and were therefore considered too risky) to be published. The model (which emphasizes digital distribution) also allowed for smaller sales numbers while maintaining profitability. Despite the noble philosophy, many so-called hybrid…

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Lies told by Small Presses

Steven Capps

Like many of my posts, this stems from something I saw in an online writer’s group. Essentially, someone who has been traditionally published from a small press was putting down people who self-publish. Personally, I have my own problems with self-publishing that I discuss in my “Why I’ll Never Self-Publish” post, but that is besides the point. At this point, I’d like to formally begin my rant against small presses.

In my opinion, traditional publishing is best done through an agent and then with a professionally recognized publisher. Small presses, unless they are recongized by writing organizations like Codex or SFWA, often give little more than what someone can do through self-publishing but will suck away 40-60% of the author’s share of royalties and then use self-publishing tools (like Createspace) to produce the book. Small Presses get away with this by telling authors lies in order to get them to sign…

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Things No One Tells You About Self-Publishing 

Writer's Blog

Crazy woman with crossed eyes drinking wine through a straw

1. Selling books is harder than writing them. There are 300k books published in the U.S. every year. And 30% of Americans read only 1 to 5 books in 2014. Writing a book is purely up to you. But getting other people to buy and read your book is another matter.

2. Everyone obsesses about titles and covers butit’s hard to prove their impact beyond above a basic level of quality. It’s easy to find popular books with lousy titles and covers, and unpopular books with great titles and covers. There are too many variables for magic answers. Publishers exert more control over titles and covers than you’d expect: often authors have little say.

3. Some books, like The Great Gatsby or Moby Dickdon’t become popular until decades after publication. It’s a strange world. Books have lives of their own, typically quiet ones. We judge…

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How Writers Get Paid: A Beginner’s Guide to Book Royalties

Kristen Twardowski

800px-BilleteiNTER_II

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.

—     —     —

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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Optimizing Your Online Book Description

ML Keller- The Manuscript Shredder

Effective online book descriptions are more than just the words. The internet is a visual medium, much like a magazine. Readers expect content to be presented in a visually interesting way. This means thinking about your description as a web design project, including visual arts elements, like white space, and formatting your text using HTML. Even if you are not a programmer, simple tags for bold, italic, H1, H2 are easy enough for the novice. (If you still need help, use a WYSIWYG HTML generator. Then, cut and paste the results in your Amazon description.)

Here is a book description that needs revision. Notice how the large block of text is unappealing, even daunting. Readers are conditioned to expect efficient content online, smaller chunks of text, and variety.

bad hook Giant blocks of text turn readers off

When designing your book descriptions, consider how all the elements of the page will work together…

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To Give or Not to Give?

Marketing Christian Books

The Internet abounds with advice. Some of it is good and some of it is not.

When it comes to advice for independently published authors, often what you find on the Internet is contradictory. Some authors assert one thing, while others assert the opposite.

One area where advice given for independently published authors on the Internet contradicts itself is in the area of giving books away. Some advice givers say you should, others say you shouldn’t.

Advice is cheap. Anyone can give advice. The advice taker must discern whether or not the person has the knowledge or experience to give good advice.

Whether you, as an independent author, should or shouldn’t give books away for free is not the question to ask. Rather, you should ask: What is the industry standard?

1. Giving books for free in exchange for reviews is standard in the book publishing industry.

Providing a free…

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Top Five Reasons to Self-Publish

theherdlesswitch

Every writer now days has to carefully decide between two roads, traditional publishing, or self-publishing. Both roads, with the proper amount of elbow grease, will technically get you where you really want to be, but both roads are far from equal.

I must confess that just like every other writer out there I started out wanting to go the traditional publishing route. Once I finished my work I even started querying publishers. That was a whole new level for me, it helped me to see what it was really like to compete for a coveted spot on some publishers roster. That was when I realized I wanted to take a crack at self-publishing. Here are my top five reasons for making that decision.

I wish you the best of luck, whichever route you decide to take!

1: Time: I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, ‘time is money’. So true…

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