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Ultimate Overview of Self-Publishing

Ultimate Overview of Self-Publishing

Since I first got involved in self-publishing, I’ve wanted to share what I’ve learned with other interested authors. The information has taken various forms over the years. The latest is an outline that spans the entire process and also seeks to clear up some of the confusing areas. Self-Publishing from 2006 to 2017 I self-published Bread Science in 2006. There were few legitimate services back then, so I had to do much of the work myself. I read some helpful…

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Book Mapping

Book Mapping

I recently learned about book mapping. While the class was intended for developmental editors, I found the tool helpful as a writer. What Is Book Mapping? Book mapping is a method of plotting out the action or themes of a story, to help keep track of them. This mapping can be done visually or with text in a spreadsheet. Developmental editors can use a book map to visualize an author’s manuscript and get insights into what help it might need….

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Getting Through the Slush Pile

Getting Through the Slush Pile

Last Saturday, I attended the NC Writers Network’s Spring Conference in Greensboro. I’ll post soon about the whole experience, but today I’m thinking about the final event of the day: Slush Pile Live. What is Slush Pile Live? The conference planners invited attendees to turn in the first page of their novels, anonymously. Participants sat in a classroom. At the front of the room, someone read each submission to a panel of three editors. Each editor raised a hand at…

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The Cost of Editing

The Cost of Editing

When I started freelance editing, the rates charged by other editors seemed pretty high to me—more than I made at my day job, certainly. I figured these rates indicated the editors’ level of experience. I’ve since realized that the rates are needed because of the nature of freelance work. Freelance versus Salaried My day job was paying my health insurance; freelancers pay for their own. I had a company computer at my day job; freelancers supply their own equipment: not…

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How to Deal with UK English

How to Deal with UK English

When I first started editing, I dreaded getting an assignment that specified UK English. (I hadn’t even known there was a different version of English until I became as editor.) I knew the basics, but was sure I would miss something. I won’t give details here, as there are many websites that do (such as this one, or this one), but a few examples of the differences are the following: Spellings (behavior/behaviour, analyze/analyse) Diction (the hood of a car versus…

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Libel, and Privacy, and Copyright, Oh My!

Libel, and Privacy, and Copyright, Oh My!

An important step in writing a book, particularly if you’re self-publishing without the guidance of a legal team, is securing permissions. There are three types of material to consider for permissions: any material that might be copyrighted, any material that might infringe on someone’s privacy, and any material that might be considered libel. Each of these areas is complicated. For example, If you quote an email that someone sent you, the copyright of the material may belong to the person…

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What Is Hybrid Publishing?

What Is Hybrid Publishing?

Hybrid publishing is a new model of publishing in which an author works with a publishing company but pays to publish in exchange for higher royalties. Some in the publishing industry disregard this new category because the idea of paying to publish suggests (to them) poor quality, like the books that vanity presses produced years ago. However, hybrid publishing is not vanity publishing. The hybrid press vets books before agreeing to publish them and offers active distribution. The new model…

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Authentic Marketing

Authentic Marketing

When my first book, Bread Science, came out in 2006, I had a list of ideas on marketing from a guidebook I had read about self-publishing. I made a sell sheet, sent it to bookstores, and got no response. I tried to schedule readings at my local bookstores, also without much luck. But somehow the book started selling, and has sold steadily ever since. I attributed this to luck (meeting Peter Reinhart) and timing (artisan bakeries and home baking were…

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Book Distribution for Self-Publishers

Book Distribution for Self-Publishers

What is distribution? For a self-publisher (or as they are now sometimes called, author-publisher), distribution can be the most confusing part of publishing. This is because the term has various meanings. In general, it refers to the means by which books go from the publisher to the retailer (e.g., a bookstore), who then sells them to readers. Before self-publishing became so popular, the distribution system worked a certain way and was intertwined with publishing houses. Some publishing houses had their…

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