Archive for the ‘Publishing’ Category
Apple’s distribution system for the Ipad (and Ipod), is a free application called iBooks. Once installed, iBooks allows you to buy, download and store your ebooks. Individual writers are not able to directly upload titles. Instead, Apple has appointed a number of Apple-approved iBookstore aggregators. One of these is Smashwords and uploading your book to their site is simple. Here’s how:
REGISTER: Sign up for a Smashwords account. Choose a ‘member name’ that corresponds with the pen name or publisher name you will be using. Choose this carefully, as you cannot change it later.
FORMAT: Study and implement the Smashwords Style Guide so you can learn how to format your ebook. Your book must be uploaded to Smashwords as a Microsoft Word .doc file.
COVER IMAGE: You will need a quality book cover image (JPEG file), and it must be a vertical rectangle shape and at least 600 pixels tall. The cover cannot be a grey scale image and it cannot contain hyperlinks or website addresses.
PRICE, ATTACH & UPLOAD: Once you have formatted your book to the Style Guide, click the Publish link at the top of any page. Carefully fill out the required information. Apple prices ebooks in 99 cent increments, so it’s a good idea to do the same.
CONVERSION: After you click the publish button, your browser will pause as it uploads your information to the conversion service. At the end of the conversion you may see messages, suggesting formatting problems. Once your book has been converted you will receive email confirmation.
CHECK FOR INSTRUCTIONS: Check your Dashboard. Under the ‘Premium Status’ column, it should say ‘Pending review’ or ‘Accepted.’ It usually takes a week or less for Smashwords to manually approve your title for the Premium Catalog. If it says ‘Requires Modification,’ click the link for instructions, where you’ll find messages from our reviewers.
UPLOAD NEW VERSION (IF REQUIRED): If you were asked to revise your book, when you’ve finished the revisions return to your Dashboard and click ‘Upload new version.’
VALIDATE YOUR EPUB: Once your ebook conversion completes, it’ll output your book in multiple formats, including EPUB. Apple requires that your EPUB file pass the EPUBCHECK validator. Here’s how you can check: Go to your book page, download the complete EPUB, then upload it to a free validator, such as http://threepress.org/document/epub-validate. Most books pass 100%. If your book fails, it’s usually caused by easy to fix problems such as poorly formed hyperlinks. Once you’ve fixed your book, return to your Dashboard and click ‘upload new version.’
ASSIGN AN ISBN: Apple requires your book have an ISBN. Go to the ISBN Manager page to assign one to your book. Your ebook ISBN must be different than the print book ISBN..
OPT-IN TO APPLE CATALOG: Go to your Dashboard and click on the Channel Manager link where you must manually opt-in to the Smashwords-Apple distribution channel for each book. You will be asked to carefully review and agree to special terms, required by Apple, in order for them to list your book in the iBookstore.
WAIT: After your book is accepted to the Premium Catalog, and you’ve assigned your ISBN and have opted in to the Apple channel, then you must wait for Smashwords to distribute your book to Apple. It will usually appear in the iPad iBookstore within a day or two of shipping.
PROMOTE YOUR BOOK: Download the free Smashwords Book Marketing Guide for an extensive list of free book marketing ideas.
GET PAID: For all sales, you’ll earn 60% of the retail price. Smashwords pays quarterly on all monies received on your behalf by the end of each quarter.
Tips For Selling Books On The Kindle & Ipad
- Think about selling from the buyer’s perspective. As the author of an ebook, spend some time figuring out how readers will find out about your book or come across it among the thousands of books in the Apple and Kindle store. Then once they have found it, you must also ensure that they feel compelled enough to want to buy it.
- Hang out where readers of Kindle and Ipad books hang out. Spend time promoting your book on the internet, where your readers are hanging out. Join reader sites like GoodReads and subscribe to blogs and groups that cater to Kindle owners like KindleBoards, Kindle Forum, Kindlechat, or Kindle Nation Daily. Sign up to these sites and participate in the conversations. Your customized signature, with links back to your author website and or blog, and pictures of your book covers linked to your Amazon product page, act a bit like a business card. The more times a potential reader sees your name and book titles, the more likely they will type those details in when they are looking for new books to download.
- Your cover design, interior design and formatting are the most crucial elements to success. If you are going to shell out any money this is where to spend it. There are lots of freelancers out there with reasonable rates.
- Make sure your book is completely ready before you start to promote. Your product description needs to be well-written, your excerpt must be available, and you should have at least 4-5 reviews written by professional reviewers. There are more and more websites, blogs, and enewsletters that are willing to review ebooks. Most professional reviewers will then put their reviews on Amazon.
- Make your pricing competitive. Go to the specific categories in which your book will show up and look at the prices of your competitors. If you aren’t a big name, $2.99-3.99 is probably the safest price point for genre fiction.
- Don’t make your big promotional push prematurely. Banners on Kindle sites, promotional packages and paying for ads can cause a temporary bump in sales, but only if everything else is in place.
- Use Amazon’s browsing capabilities effectively. Make sure your book appears in the right categories on Amazon, so potential readers find what they’re looking for.
Hope all this helps in your quest to sell more books!
Love & Light
The Word Queen xx
Publishing your book on the Kindle is a must for self published authors, and the benefits are endless. Every month more and more people are buying a Kindle, and hence there are more and more book sales.
For those who don’t already know, the Kindle is a wireless device that makes it easy to purchase and download reading material. It does not have to be connected to a computer in order to connect to the Amazon store. And as it’s so easy, and relatively cheap to buy content, customers just keep on buying their favourite books in electronic format. That’s why you simply must consider publishing your book on the Kindle!
You can publish any book you own the copyright to on the Amazon Kindle platform, but please note that it must be formatted in the correct way…for a Kindle formatting service click here. Once you have the formatted version of your book plus a cover design, here’s a list of steps you can follow to publish your book on the Kindle:
1. Go to Amazon’s Desktop Publishing site. If you have an existing Amazon account, use that to sign in, otherwise, create an account and sign in. Amazon will have the right to promote your product by ‘making chapters or portions of your titles available to prospective customers without charge.’ This means interested buyers can read a free sample of your work.
2. Choose a payment method to receive the royalties on your book sales, then click ‘Save Entries.’
3. From the Dashboard, click the ‘My Shelf’ tab and then ‘Add New Item.’
4. Once you’re on the book page, fill in the title of your book. Under description, type in your ‘sales pitch’ for the book. Enter your book ‘blurb,’ a paragraph or two which tells readers what your book is about, plus editorial reviews and a brief excerpt.
5. Under Book Contributors, you must enter the name of at least one contributor, usually the author, or, in the case of a compilation work, the editor. You can always add multiple authors/editors later if necessary.
6. Enter the language the book is written in and an ISBN number if you already have one for the ebook. Do not enter the ISBN of the print version of your book. If you don’t have an ISBN for the ebook version, that’s fine as it’s not a requirement.
7. The next section is Publishing Rights. Your choice is between public domain rights and private, copyrighted material. You will usually choose private copyrighted material.
8. Next is the Browse and Search section. Choosing the right categories to list your ebook under will help it to be more easily found by customers. You may choose up to five categories in which to list your book.
9. Under the Search keywords section, you can enter 5-7 keyword phrases that apply to your book.
10. Now you must upload your book. First, you must upload your cover image. The cover image needs to be in JPEG or TIFF format, 72dpi, and a minimum of 500 pixels wide by 1280 pixels high.
11. Select whether or not you want digital rights management (DRM) enabled on your book. DRM is special formatting to make it difficult (though not impossible) to copy your book.
12. Now you will be taken to the Pricing and Publishing page. Here, you must select your Content Rights. If you are publishing a non-public domain title for which you hold the copyright, you most likely have worldwide rights to your title. If it’s a public domain title, or someone else has copyrights over it, you probably have rights only in certain territories.
13. You also need to choose your price and royalty option. If your book is priced in the range from $2.99 to $9.99, you’re eligible for either the 35% or 70% royalty. I would suggest choosing 70%, which means your royalty will be 70% of the selling price less a delivery fee, which is based on the size of your Kindle file. If your book is priced outside of the this range, you must select the 35% option, but there is no delivery charge. To decide how much to charge for your Kindle book look at books similar to your own and price similarly.
14. When you’ve finished setting the price, affirm that you accept the DTP terms and conditions, then click ‘Save and publish.’ Don’t worry, as you can always go back and change things later on!
After submitting your book for review, you’ll return to the main page, and you’ll see your book listed, awaiting review and approval. A new book is usually approved within 24-48 hours, but it can take several days for all the information, especially the description, to show up on your page. Once the ‘Buy’ button appears on the page, however, your book is officially for sale!
Here’s hoping that you make a huge success of publishing your book on the Kindle.
Love & light
The Word Queen xx
Authors have been self publishing their own books successfully for over one hundred years.
Take a look at this list of a few of the well-known authors who all began their amazing writing careers by self publishing their own book.
George Bernard Shaw
Christopher Paolini (Eragon)
So if they were able to do it, all those year’s ago, there’s nothing to stop you from doing the same. All you need is access to a computer and an internet connection.
There’s never been a better time for self publishing your book to sell it internationally. Not only can you use modern publishing methods to keep your book ‘in print’ for as long as you want, but you can expand your writing talent and publish more and more books every year, or even every month depending on how much time you have.
But remember, when self publishing your book you must carry out all the work that a traditional publisher would have done on your behalf. This includes printing, shipping, distribution and paperwork.
Here are some tips to help you along your self publishing journey:
- Make sure your book is proofread thoroughly. It will look bad on you and your book if it has typing errors and/or poor layout. It’s worth the money to hire a professional editor to read your book.
- Add a great description to your book. That way, it’ll attract more customers.
- Publicity is the key, so spend some time learning how to promote your book effectively and to the right target market. Note: Later lessons in this course teach you lots of ways to promote your book.
- Research has revealed that book-buying customers look at three things: The front cover, rear cover and table of contents. Take the time to make these three places sing and spend money on them if you have to – the time and money will pay off.
- List your books on Amazon.com. Allow plenty of time to write the ‘publisher’s comments’ and make sure the text is precise, grammatically flawless and well written. Potential book buyers will use this to make a decision about buying your book.
- Send two copies of the book to Amazon.com (following instructions at their site) so that the book can be made available on the ‘search inside this book feature.
- Write intelligent and interesting reviews of similar subject books at amazon.com, and create a signature.
Send free copies to anyone who may have an interest in this topic and ask that they write a review at amazon.com. Books with no reviews at amazon.com have a very low sales rank.
- Start a website and link it to the Amazon bookstore. Sell your books through your website.
- Aggressively market your book through press releases, articles blogs, websites, and any other way that you can think of because marketing is the core activity that will ensure that people know and buy the book.
- Get your book into book fairs like BookExpo America and the London Book Fair which will give you access to the traditional publishing industry – several third parties offer this kind of book marketing for a nominal fee.
- For best results, the subject (or shelving category) of your book should be part of the title, or at least the sub-title. This way readers will find it in catalogues and databases whether or not they know name of the author or book.
- Get a proof of your book before it goes to print. If you don’t like how your book looks, you can make changes before you pay a lot of money for 1,000 flawed copies.
Wishing you the best of luck if you decide that self publishing your book is for you!
Love & Light
The Word Queen xx
1. Ruby Package - This is The Word Queen’s basic publishing package. It includes full type-setting of your manuscript, full-colour cover design, a proof of your book emailed prior to printing, an ISBN number and bar code, 20 printed copies of your new book, ability to reorder your book at any time, and internet distribution via Amazon and online book sellers.
2. Emerald Package – Full type-setting of your manuscript, full-colour cover design, a proof of your book emailed prior to printing, an ISBN number and bar code, 50 printed copies of your new book, ability to reorder your book at any time, internet distribution via Amazon and online book sellers, a full copy edit and proofread of your book before it goes to print, the blurb written on the back cover of your book and a choice of five titles that will sell, a press release to begin your marketing strategy and 50 contacts.
3. Diamond Package - Full type-setting of your manuscript, full-colour cover design, a proof of your book emailed prior to printing, an ISBN number and bar code, 120 printed copies of your new book, ability to reorder your book at any time, internet distribution via Amazon and online book sellers, a full copy edit and proofread of your book before it goes to print, the blurb written on the back cover of your book and a choice of five titles that will sell, a press release to begin your marketing strategy and 50 contacts, a personal publishing contact to answer your questions when ever needed, outline marketing plan, five hours one-on-one marketing coaching via the telephone and an author website complete with domain registration and hosting fees for the year.
All authors, from those who are just starting off on their book-writing journey, right through to the more seasoned writers, have one thing in common; they all need manuscript editing services!
Manuscript editing services range from line editing, including spelling, punctuation and grammar, to a full critique of a book, or novel looking at aspects such as characterisation, sense of place, dialogue, pacing, structure, plot and marketability. Both fiction and non fiction works benefit from manuscript editing services in a similar way.
Since I began offering manuscript editing services via my position as The Word Queen I began to realise how much writers, both old and new, benefited from the guidance. And how imperative they are to lead writers on to the road to being offered a publishing deal, or landing a literary agent.
As a writer it’s incredibly difficult to edit and critique one’s own work. We literally become mentally super-glued to each word, each sentence, each character, each metaphor (no matter how ridiculous in some cases) and each dialogue exchange. When sometimes, in order for the book to work, they may need to go.
But don’t worry, I’m not totally ruthless when I’m engaged in my manuscript editing services. I always tell writers what needs changing in a positive, upbeat way. My ultimate goal is to improve the author’s manuscript so that it sparkles and shines to such a degree that a publisher or agent will snap it up faster than a croc’s mouth.
So if you need manuscript editing services and you want to ensure your book / novel is in tip top shape before you begin the submissions process, then send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give it a good going over…ooo errr missus!
I charge $250 per 20,000 words for an edit and critique or $200 per 20,000 words for solely an edit and I love what I do greater even than weeing in the sea in the middle of summer (and that takes some beating)
Love & Light
The Word Queen x
Before you begin planning your book you must spend some time considering the intended market. Your reader is the most precious asset. To escalate up the book charts, it must amaze your readers and have them wanting to read more of your work.
I’m always shocked at how many new writers set off on their book-writing journey and don’t stop to think about who will be reading the finished product. Before you begin writing answer this question:
Who are you writing this book for?
Is it just for you? Is it for your friends and family? Is it for your local community? Is it for the bookshelves? Is it for the whole world?
This isn’t a trick question. It’s simply to help you start thinking about your market. You might think, ‘but why do I have to think about my market already?! I haven’t even begun!’ Well, now is the perfect time to consider your market because this way you can sculpt the book to your market’s needs.
The worst thing that could happen is that you ignore this advice and you plough on with your book regardless. When you’ve finished it, you’ll no doubt send it out to publishers and agents in the hope of landing a book deal. Then the reality will hit home. You’ll receive rejection after rejection and now again one agent might be so kind as to suggest why your work was rejected. Time and time again you’ll hear ‘I don’t see how this book can be marketed. I don’t know who this book is for. I don’t know what genre your book falls within.’
Don’t allow agents and publishers to use this ammunition against you!
One piece of advice which I received years ago from a published writer was this:
‘A new writer writes for themselves, a published writer writes for their readers.’
This has remained with me ever since.
Now let’s now look at the steps to take to identify and determine your book’s market and genre.
How big do you want this book to become? Many people just want to write a book for their friends and family. I know my elderly neighbour did. I remember reading his book, which wasn’t written to a very professional standard. It was a confused mess of notes which didn’t make much sense to anyone who didn’t know him. There’s no way any publisher would have taken it on. But that was not his aim. He just wanted to get his memories down on paper, particularly the period of his life during the Second World War, in order to pass on to his grandchildren and a handful of friends. His memories meant something to him.
When you are writing a book for your family, or about your life in general be realistic about the outcome. I’m forever hearing people say, ‘my life would make a great story!’ That may well be the case. But will anyone else want to read about it? If you are serious about publishing your memoirs, then I recommend that you study successful autobiographies and take a memoir writing course.
But let’s say you’re a writer with a dream of getting published. You’ve written a novel and you want to see it in the bookshops. The next question to ask yourself is:
What Genre Is Your Book?
The answer to this question very much depends on who is going to be reading your book.
Imagine the bookshop in your local mall. You walk in and where do you see your book? Which genre / category is it in? Chick-lit? Sci-fi? Horror? Young Adult? If you can be clear about what ‘label’ your book has, then your job will be far easier when you try and sell it to agents and publishers.
If you’re not sure about the genre, or if your book is a mixture of genres, I’d strongly advise you not to write it at all. Agents will be confused and your manuscript will be slung on the ‘no’ pile in a jiffy. It’s not about narrowing down your market. It’s all about the positioning.
When you walk into that agent’s office, you want to be prepared. If you have no knowledge of the other authors in your genre, then this doesn’t look good. What are they doing? What are they writing about? How do they connect with their readers? What can you model from them? I’m talking basics here – from word count, chapter length, number of characters, typical storylines, etc. And I’m also talking marketing strategies – do they have a blog for their book? Who is their ideal reader? How do they reach them?
So, choose a genre, research it thoroughly and model the most successful authors within this genre.
Next, spend some time thinking about the impact you want to make on your market.
What do you want to get out of your book on a personal level? How many copies do you want to sell? Which countries do you want to sell to? What TV shows do you want to appear on? What radio stations do you want to be interviewed for? Which bestseller lists do you want to top? How much money do you want to make and within what timeframe? Do you see it in the future as a film?
It’s ok to think big at this point. Someone once told me this:
‘Reach for the stars and you’ll at least hit the moon!’
Also, consider the ecological impact of your book. How does it serve humanity and the world on a grander level? Writing is not just about you. A good book is meant to be read by millions. A good book is about communicating your message to other people.
Writing carries an element of responsibility. No one says writing a book is easy. If they do, don’t believe them. Writing a book takes courage, commitment, hard-work and patience…
Love & Light
The Word Queen xx
Starting off in self-publishing can seem like a perilous journey. Like any new venture, it is both exciting and scary. Exciting because it is something new, yet scary because you may not know what to do first, or how to sound like you know what you’re doing. But you pick it up soon enough.
As you move forward, you have to keep your bearings. That means you must remember your original destination – your goal – and keep aiming for it until you get there.
Here are 5 things that shouldn’t surprise you about self-publishing. They are realisations that surface after you’ve decided to publish a book.
1. Self-publishing is not a get-rich-quick scheme I think that’s been proven quite a few times by now, yet many new self-publishers have that gleam in the eye. They’ve read the stories, they’ve been to Lulu.com, so why not them? But I’m willing to bet you didn’t start writing to make a killing on the internet. Your intentions were different; remembering them will guide you well.
2. You will meet many wonderful people in indie publishing. Truly one of the great things about social media is that it’s so social. I’ve always been impressed by the collegiality of publishing. Maybe it’s because few books compete directly with each other, but people in publishing – particularly indie publishing – are extraordinarily helpful to newcomers. Don’t be discouraged by those who aren’t. And a bonus? They’re pretty literate, too!
3. You cannot imagine the variety of niches into which people are publishing.
Just wander around Amazon for a while and take in the richness of interests displayed there. For example, here are five titles plucked almost randomly from the millions of pages on Amazon:
· The Art of Making Fermented Sausages
· Unsigned Beauties Of Costume Jewelry
· Antique Sewing Tools and Tales
· Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming
· The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History
Whatever your interests, they’re probably shared by others as well. You just have to find them.
4. Nonfiction publishing almost always pays – over time If you really do your homework and publish a book with genuine value with just an adequate job of pushing it into the world, I think you will eventually be profitable if you keep at it long enough. Of course, you have to publish efficiently to start with, but as long as you do something to let people know your book is there and that it can address a real need, often it’s just a matter of time before someone finds it. Too many people quit trying when they haven’t sold out in a few months. See #1 above.
5. The single most important thing is to ‘Be the Market’ This is the clearest path to success for nonfiction self-publishers. If you are part of the market that’s interested in the subject you’ve written about, you’re at an advantage. You know what these people need, you know what questions they’re asking, and you know what was confusing when you first got into this field. That all adds up to a book with value, if you can translate your experience into teaching that helps people new to your field or to your level of expertise.
Well, there you have it. While none of these things may surprise you, they bear repeating. And remembering, too.
Joel Friedlander is the proprietor of Marin Bookworks, a publishing services company in San Rafael, California that has launched many self-publishers. Joel is an award-winning book designer, a self-published author, and blogs about publishing and book design. To learn more about self-publishing a book, book and cover design, and the intricacies of the publishing process, please visit Joel’s blog at http://www.theBookDesigner.com today.
I’ve received a lot of emails lately from writers asking how they should go about finding a publisher for their book.
Firstly, make sure you type your manuscript in the correct style and lay-out. Use a normal, plain font, such as Times New Roman, or Arial and double space your work. You’ll also need a title page with the title of your book, the word count, your name, address and contact details.
Before you start submitting your manuscript to publishers and literary agents get it proofread and critiqued by a professional, who is not afraid to tell you if something needs changing. A good critique will draw your attention to potential problems with your novel and it’s far better to get them ironed out before you send it off to publishers or agents. The cost of this varies and depends on the word count of your book. See http://thewordqueen.com/writing-services/book-critiques/
There are very few publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. Those that don’t must go through a literary agent, so getting an agent is a really good idea.
Visit http://www.firstwriter.com or, at the bookstore or library, look for Bowker’s Literary Marketplace, Writer’s Market 2010, or Jeff Herman’s Guide to Literary Agents. Search for agents that handle your genre, and are looking for new clients. Read, and follow, their submission guidelines.
Agents will generally want to see a few chapters of your manuscript, a covering letter, a synopsis of your book (a one page breakdown of the plot) and a relevant CV. Sometimes they will also want to see a market analysis of your book – specifics of who the book is aimed at.
Expect the whole process to take lots of time, and expect lots of rejections. When you are accepted by an agent, they will send your book to publishers, not you. Except for postage, the entire process of getting an agent is FREE, until a publisher buys your book. That is when the agent gets their cut, usually 15 per cent, of your royalties and/or advance.
If you have tried and tried to find a publisher or agent with no success, then you could always opt to self publish, which I will be discussing in a future post.
Love & Light
The Word Queen xx
So, you’ve slogged away for endless days (and perhaps also nights), writing, editing and polishing your manuscript until it’s ready to spill its words to the world.
But then a big question turns up…’Should I self publish my book, or should I go for the traditional method and send my work to agents and publishing houses?’
In the past most authors haven’t thought twice about this. ‘Why, a traditional publishing, of course! I want to land a six-figure book deal and my book to become an international best-seller within months.’
However, the truth is, these mammoth book deals are rather hard to come by these days. As a result many authors are deciding to go it alone and self-print their books. This way they not only earn 100 per cent of profits from any sales (rather than the average and pretty measly 5-7 per cent via publishing companies), but they also keep the full rights over their book, PLUS they have full control over marketing and advertising.
For the serious, self-published author their passion then turns into a profession; and a time-consuming one at that. They step out of the shoes of ‘creative writer’ and into the bigger (and usually smellier) boots of ‘sales person, events organiser and internet marketer.’
Because of the changing trends self-publishing then isn’t frowned upon as it used to be. Rather, it’s looked upon as an achievement, something to be congratulated for, a challenge for the strong-willed.
But before you embark on the mission of a lifetime and climb into the self-publishing boat to sail those uncertain seas, have a long and hard think about which method of publishing best suits your personality.
It’s not for everyone, but if it’s for you then congratulations…I wish you a pleasant journey!
Love & Light
The Word Queen