Segueing from Self-Publishing to Traditional Publishing

Written By: Book Marketing International - Jan• 20•14

The advent of self-publishing is indeed upon us.  The success stories of self-published authors have been dominating the news in the past year.  From the children’s fare of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series to E.L James’ erotica sensation Fifty Shades of Grey (which earned her the #1 spot on Forbes’ Top-Earning Authors list), self-published authors are quickly becoming mainstream.

Often authors segue from self-publishing into more traditional publishing careers after having digital and grassroots success.  If you are able to sell around 10,000 copies of your book through self-publishing, a traditional publisher might take a close look at it to publish commercially.  Self-publishing has provided an effective avenue to bypass commercial gatekeepers and raise awareness about you and your work.

Tips for Your First Edit: Tying Up Loose Ends

Written By: Book Marketing International - Jan• 13•14

After you’ve finished the first draft of your novel, it is important to go through your story and pick out problems.  Whether you changed the name of a character or ignored a plot detail later on in your novel, your first round of editing should involve streamlining your storyline and tying up all the loose ends.

The well-known Chekhov rule comes into play during this stage.  If there’s a rifle hanging on a wall in the early scenes of your novel, it absolutely must go off at some point or don’t have it there at all.  Removing irrelevant details helps clean up your novel and makes the necessary elements even more important.

A few tips for identifying loose ends:

–       Identify all the objects in your book.  If you’ve introduced an object into your book, it needs to have a reason to be there and some inherent value.  Even the most inane items, like pens or shoes, should have a purpose, even if it’s as simple as signing a document or going for a walk.

–       Answer questions.  Read your novel in a way someone unfamiliar to your storyline would:  where did this come from, why is he doing that, what is the purpose of this character?  If the questions aren’t answered or implied at some point in your novel, they need to be addressed.

–       Determine fates.  Make note of all the characters in your novel and where they begin, go, and end.  Everyone’s fate needs to be accounted for, even if it is meant to be vague.

Once you’ve tied up loose ends and revised your story, you need to get a fresh pair of eyes.  Professional editors can help you elevate your writing, especially if you have done a lot of the basic developmental issues yourself.  Never underestimate the value of a professional who can direct you through the editing process.

How Critiques Improve Your Writing

Written By: Book Marketing International - Dec• 16•13

Writers are passionate about their craft. Hard work and long hours make them extremely invested in their writing, and therefore it can be difficult to listen to criticism.  Critiques, however, are essential to taking a book to its next level.

When receiving critiques from friends or other writers on reading your first draft or from your editor in the latter stages of revision, the most important thing you as a writer can do is listen.  Keeping an open mind and not responding emotionally will help you absorb the information and gain fresh perspective on your writing’s strengths and weaknesses.

Good critiques will spotlight problems in your manuscript, from weak characters to unnatural dialogue to the basic mechanics of your storytelling.  Your writing doesn’t always convey exactly what you are intending, and it’s important to get an outsider’s perspective.  Receiving a professional editor’s criticism can be one of the most helpful ways to elevate your writing, as long as you remain open to the process.

Share Your Expertise with the World

Written By: Book Marketing International - Dec• 12•13

Are you a professional expert?  Have you contributed something new or groundbreaking to your industry? It’s time to write your book and share your expertise with your targeted audience and the world at large.

Writing a detailed account of your career to share your expertise is a wonderful option for professionals.  Accomplishments in your career can serve as an inspiration to others in your field and sometimes beyond.  Trials and tribulations provide an in-depth look at the dedication and tenacity it takes to achieve your successes.  Showcasing your unique perspective and sharing your career’s ups and downs will help others to achieve their goals.

Publishing a professional book can be an extremely gratifying experience.  At Book Marketing International, we have a special division to help you publish and market your book.  Let us help you gain the recognition you deserve for fulfilling your business aspirations.

Memoirs: Leaving a Family Legacy

Written By: Book Marketing International - Dec• 11•13

Self-publishing is fast becoming a viable avenue for anyone looking to write and publish their memoirs.  Whether you desire to share your experiences with family and friends or you want to share your life story with the world at large, leaving behind your legacy is more feasible than ever.

If your memoir is intended for your family and friends, writing a thoughtful and intimate account of your life and experiences helps to share your legacy with future generations.  Children and grandchildren often become interested in their family members later on in life, when the opportunity to ask questions is no longer available—memories become hazy over the years, and people can pass away unexpectedly.  Leaving behind an account of you and your family history can provide invaluable information to those who matter most.

At Book Marketing International, we now have a special division specifically for those looking to publish their memoirs.  Whether your intent is to create a family history for your future generations or provide a personal account of your triumphs and tragedies, your life story is ready to be heard.

What Impartial Readers Can Offer

Written By: Book Marketing International - Dec• 08•13

Revisions are often the most challenging part of writing. It can be difficult to step outside the world of your story and examine your writing with critical eyes. An impartial reader, someone who has no emotional ties to you or your writing, will be able to give your story the scrutiny it deserves and help you see any issues you may not have noticed.

After investing so much time in your writing, you will know your characters and their world so deeply it will be hard to draw out the flaws in your story. An impartial eye can show you plot holes, under- developed characters, and other weak points in your draft you may have missed.

It is important to remember that you are writing for an audience. The parts of your story that speak the most to you may fall flat to other readers. By allowing an impartial reader access to your story, you will give yourself the opportunity to see your writing through fresh eyes, making your story stronger in the long run.

Professional editors are, of course, the best pair of impartial eyes for your book. They will be able to offer expert constructive advice on how to bring your book to the next level.

When it comes time to revise, keep the advice from your impartial readers in mind, and remember that it takes a critical eye to make a good book great.


Self-Publishing May Be The Right Choice For Your Book

Written By: Book Marketing International - Dec• 07•13

The self-publishing industry has grown exponentially recently. But what makes the choice to self-publish the right one for your book?

Here are some of the reasons to self-publish your book.

1. Self-publishing can be the answer if your book cannot be defined by one specific genre.

2. If there is no clear commercial market for your book.

3. If you have a specific, limited, or niche market that you know exactly how to reach, then self-publishing can be your best approach.

4. If you need to get your book into the market quickly. Commercial publishing can take around 9 months to get your book into the market. With self-publishing, this can be done in 4-6 weeks.

5. Self-publishing gives you a level of control and the ability to choose your front cover.

Whether you self-publish or commercially publish your book, you must build your own platform to gather followers and readers.

Print-On-Demand: How It Works and Why It’s Popular

Written By: Book Marketing International - Dec• 05•13

Print-on-demand is a process in which copies of your book are printed individually when there is an order placed, instead of in bulk.  This means that books can be printed one at a time, or on an “as needed” basis. Print-on-demand is the basis for self-publishing.

Used as a way to print books for a fixed price per copy, regardless of the size of the order, the monetary benefits make print-on-demand enticing. Since you are only ordering your book as needed, you have less money tied up. There are also no handling costs, as the books are sent from the print on demand supplier.

By printing on-demand, there is less waste. Because your readers are only ordering what they need from the POD supplier, you will not be stuck with large amounts of obsolete or out-of-date books. Therefore, there is no risk involved.

You also have the flexibility to make frequent changes to both the content and design of the book. This allows for test marketing and relatively quick adjustments to your book. There is also a faster turnaround with print-on-demand, as the books take less time to produce.

With print-on-demand, your book can be ready for sale immediately anywhere in the world upon completion and upload of the finished book. Especially in the world of self-publishing, print-on-demand can be the smart choice for your book.

The Importance of Cover Design

Written By: Book Marketing International - Nov• 30•13

In today’s market, readers often do judge a book by its cover. The finest books are strong, fresh, well-written stories, but to gain interest with readers—the best books need dynamic covers.

In this growing world of self-publishing, an attractive and eye-catching cover can be the difference between a reader choosing your book or not.

Aside from being the first impression, the cover of your book is also what will stick in reader’s minds. Cover choices, including colors, fonts, and images, create and affect perceptions of your entire brand.

To draw readers in, remember the most important aspects of your cover: simplicity, a clear promise, a professional design, smart use of color, readable text, and appropriate targeting. Use your cover to make a strong and lasting impression that speaks to both your book and your brand.

Show, Don’t Tell

Written By: Book Marketing International - Nov• 27•13

Many writers have received this advice, be it from fellow writers, teachers, editors, or agents. But, in practical terms, what does this advice mean?

One of the most common mistakes in writing is to tell the readers the events of the story or how a character is feeling, thus shattering the illusion of the reader being right in the story, seeing the events as they happen.

Take, for example, these two sentences:

Bob was scared.

Bob’s face went ashen. His breathing became ragged and his palms began to sweat.

Though they both convey the same idea, the latter is much more evocative and lets the reader see how Bob is feeling, experiencing his fear with him rather than simply being told.

View your writing as if through a camera lens – you want to conjure a picture for your reader, not tell them what they should be experiencing.  Showing rather than telling allows your reader to immerse him or herself completely in your story, forging an emotional bond between the reader and the book.

At its core, reading should be a visceral experience, which can be achieved by letting readers see your story.