… did you do the traditional Spring Cleaning before it arrived …
with your old stuff? And old ideas?
When it comes to writing, and publishing, the fabulous concept you had a few years ago may need to be rethought, revamped, or, gulp, tossed out.
Is the idea you have current? Leading Age? Has it been done been done before and have you come up with a whole new twist? Or is it … yawn … old hat?
For non-fiction, would doing a survey spark up some interest? How about conducting interviews with controversial or “in the news” personalities? Or, facilitate a focus group that might reveal new thoughts, trends or twists?
For fiction, just how clever or unique is your story line? Is it more like a “fill in the blank” that are common in the formula books that liter book store shelves or a true page-turner? Have you spent some time with a creative writing coach …
Who’s in Your Village? … Who Are You Going to Thank?
Everyone … That’s Who!
One of the last items on the book publishing “to do” list is to create the Acknowledgement Page … the Thank Yous to the team that assisted you in creating your baby. These are the people who got you here … don’t ignore them. Think in the narrative … let your readers know what your team did to get your book birthed.
An Acknowledgement Page is not a Dedication Page—those are usually short, minimal words and don’t include an entire village. Acknowledgements are different.
Many authors start with their family and friends, and forget the designers, consultants, printers and anyone who was a massive encourage in getting their book done. Don’t.
Let’s start with the obvious:
Family: Parents, kids, siblings, aunts, uncles. Family. They are a tremendous part—from giving you “time away” to create and finish your book—to do errands for you so you …
Publishing Blunders to Avoid … Part 2
Publishing Blunders aren’t fun … they can knock down your confidence, sabotage your bank account, and diminish your credibility. The savvy author can side-step many of them by not rushing to publish and getting educated to the publishing process. And, by using common sense.
Everywhere you turn, there is info via the Internet , on the bookshelf, via videos, and certainly from workshops. You would think that any beginning author would start with a quick search on the Internet to begin their quest. It would certainly reveal a plethora of information—how to do it; what not to do; publish your book for a few hundred bucks, become a best-seller; sell books by the boatloads—you name it, it’s out there.
Yet, a huge number of would-be authors start the process clueless … compounded blunders and mistakes … many that could have been prevented with a little prep work. Here’s the final five:
6 Believing …
After spending several hours with a client who was incredibly frustrated (and most likely PO’d at me for being the messenger) that what she had so carefully structured in her 8 x 11 print out version was most likely NOT going to be the same presentation in the interior design of the finished book that she had slated for a 6 x 9 format. Not to mention that the ebook version will be all over the map–she couldn’t believe that the ereader could change the font size, thus altering the number of pages and the size of content on the page.
Here’s the heads up: what you put down, page-by-page in your Word document/pdf may have little to do with what it looks like in the formal book layout. So … don’t make yourself crazy in trying to format things in the future. Just make your words sing.
You want to break up your copy—today’s eyes only will take in …
Years ago, I was a financial planner … before financial planning was a profession. Starting as stock broker with EF Hutton, I learned that savvy investors did something besides buy and sell stocks and bonds. An early bird in the CFP arena (Certified Financial Planner), I eventually left Hutton to start my own company, where I specialized in overall financial planning. Then a national study was done on up-and-coming professions … and being a Financial Planner (now with caps!) was at the top of the list. In fact, the fellow who headed up the study was so impressed with the results that he quit his day job and became a Financial Planner.
Fast forward to today. I’ve been coaching and shepherding authors for almost 20 years now. But it wasn’t until last year that I formally tossed in the day-job towel and embraced Book Shepherding full-time.
Ironically, I’m now hearing more and more people saying that they are publishing consultants. …
Two publishing scenarios …do you choose self-publishing/independent or traditional? … that’s the question.
Here’s an astonishing fact: Three books on the top 10 titles on the Combined Print and E-Book Fiction Best Seller List in September were self-published: #4 Blind Faith by CJ Lyons, #5 The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan, and #6 The Abbey by Chris Culver. All published under the own imprints—all very successful.
Self-publishing is increasing exponentially. It has moved into the ranks of the honorable—authors who felt that … and publishers who believed—that New York was the only true way to publish are quickly becoming the dinosaurs of the literary world.
Publishing your own books isn’t easy. You still have to write a good book and sell it largely on your own. You have to work your tush off … no exceptions. But it’s faster, you have more control over it, and you get a bigger share of the profits.
Amazing … how this …
Why so many authors think that their friend who teaches literature at the local college, or their sister who loves everything they write and do is the perfect editor for their work is beyond me. Your editor can make or break your work—she can shape and shore it up … or, put in some commas and check your spelling. There are now more self and independent published books than those produced by the traditional NY houses—and too, too many have minimal, if any, editing. Think “ruthless editing.” Cut and shape, hire a pro—and, when in doubt, cut it out.
Look for an editor who “gets” your topic … it will save you hours in their education. Let them know if there are quirky or unusual phrases or words in the beginning. If all the editor is doing is copy–the grammar and punctuation–he won’t be thinking about what sub-heads and layout should be. Somewhere along the line, authors began to think …
eMarketing is everywhere. For authors, it should start with the signature in each email. What’s in yours?
Start with using upper and lower case letters in your email and website addresses. Email and website addresses rarely are just one word wonders, especially when it comes to book titles. Help your reader to visually get cues to your name and title. Sue@IveWrittenTheMostFantasticBookInTheWorldAndYouBetterBelieveIt.com is a heck of a lot easier to read than firstname.lastname@example.org.
The typical, www.thenameofmybookisfantastic.com is too hard for your reader’s eyes. Not to mention that a whole bunch of letters strung together could actually spell out something that you didn’t intend to say. Help them out—print your websites and emails with caps on your cards, correspondence, emails, letterhead—everywhere.
Guaranteed, you will have a much better chance of them remembering you and your title.
Insert a photo of you or the cover of your book. Get a QR code–with the smartphone becoming the norm–a quick scan of the QR code …