Category Archives: Publishing A-Z

Covering all aspects of the industry: traditional publishing, digital publishing, self-publishing, and everything in between.

Ask an Editor: Alexandra Cardia Answers Your Questions!

Posted by August 22nd, 2014

Book Country Ask an EditorWelcome to Part III of Book Country’s Ask an Editor blog series. Alexandra Cardia, Assistant Editor at Riverhead Books, talks about the most rewarding thing about being an editor and deciding whether to work with a particular manuscript. Read Part I and Part II of Ask an Editor.

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1.  Generally how far do you read into a submitted book before deciding it’s trash or good enough to work with? – BoJo Johnson

It really depends on the project. Nonfiction projects are generally submitted as a proposal, and I read proposals front to back; you need to, I think, to get a full picture of the work. For fiction, how far I read into a work is generally dependent on two things: First, if I connect to the writing. If I don’t, I’ll know that pretty quickly and know that the work is probably a pass for me. Second, if I like the writing, I’ll read for story. This can take anywhere from a couple dozen pages to the entire manuscript. Sometimes I’ll read an entire manuscript and only then know that it’s not the right fit for me. So it really does depend on the work! Continue reading

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The Book Publishing Journey: Interview with Senior Editor Beena Kamlani

Posted by August 15th, 2014

Hope you are enjoying Ask an Editor Month on Book Country! Watch this interview with Senior Editor Beena Kamlani of Viking Penguin Random House. Beena explains her role as a developmental editor and how she guides the author in the editing process. You can also watch an expanded version of this interview.

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Judging a Book by Its Cover: What Copy Is and Why You Should Care by Julianne Clancy

Posted by July 25th, 2014

Copywriting- Julianne Clancy

Just a few of the titles Julianne has worked on!

I am a copywriter. This is not to be confused with a copyeditor (who makes sure the gods of grammar are not angered) or a copyrighter (which I don’t think is a real thing, but I assume would be someone who enforces copyright law). I’m the person who writes what’s on the covers of books and retailer websites. Continue reading

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5 Things You Should Know About Modern Publishing

Posted by July 16th, 2014

1. You have lots of options

For decades, your only shot at getting your book into the hands of readers was to snag an agent who would (hopefully) get behind it and send it on to publishers. It was a daunting process with many gatekeepers between you and your readers. But with the advent of e-books and Print-On-Demand, the game has changed. The first step still is to write a great book; after that, there are many ways up the mountain, including small presses and self-publishing. It used to be over when the last house on your list said no. Now, it’s not over until you say it is.

Continue reading

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How BookBub Helped My Books Sell by Therese Walsh

Posted by July 9th, 2014

the moon sisters“It’s sort of miraculous,” one of my author friends said late last year of BookBub, a website/newsletter used to promote quality e-books with temporarily (and drastically) slashed prices. She had moved from traditional publishing into the world of hybrid-publishing—still accepting contracts with publishers but self-publishing older books that had gone out of print. When she decided to run a sale on one of her self-published books, decreasing the price from $4.99 to $1.99 for a few weeks, she contacted BookBub and was accepted for inclusion in a one-day email promotion. Sales increased once the price of her book dropped, she said, but truly spiked once BookBub’s e-blast reached its subscribers. The benefits didn’t end there; her numbers remained boosted for months after the end of the sale, and she began to sell more of her other novels as well. “It’s a whole new world,” she said.

I’d heard from other friends about the potential impact of BookBub, too, and so when my publisher decided to put the eBook of my latest novel on sale and utilize BookBub to get the word out to over 500k women’s fiction readers, I took a keen interest in the event. Sales for the eBook of THE MOON SISTERS had never really taken off. Though I didn’t hawk over my numbers, the best ranking I’d noticed on Amazon was in the range of 10k for the e-book. Nook numbers were similarly meh at Barnes and Noble. If the $10.99 price point—standard for an eBook when the bookshelf-book is a hard cover—repelled the e-book audience, would the $1.99 sale make a difference, and if so, how much of a difference?

BookBub1

May rolled around, and the two-week sale of the e-version of THE MOON SISTERS began. Though the BookBub announcement wouldn’t release until midway through the sale, word-of-mouth (and Facebook and Twitter) did a lot, and numbers quickly improved on the sales front. The day before the BookBub, numbers for the eBook of THE MOON SISTERS on Barnes and Noble were in the 900 range, and were in the 2k range on Amazon; a huge improvement.

I woke early the morning of the BookBub promotion and turned on my computer, full of anticipation. But nothing significant had changed. “Hang in there,” a friend coached. “My BookBub email hasn’t even arrived yet, and it’ll take a while for sales numbers to be reflected online, too.” Her reassurances made perfect sense, but I did spend a few hours wondering if I’d become the anomaly.

And then, boom. Continue reading

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What Writers Can Learn From BEA14

Posted by May 29th, 2014

BEA 14 collage

BEA14 is kicking off in earnest today in New York City, and, as always, it is quite an adventure for those of us who go to the show.

Book Expo America (BEA) is the preeminent publishing trade show and conference in the US. Booksellers, educators, publishers, authors, and librarians come from all over the world to take the pulse of the publishing business each may. The gathering is held at the Javits Center in NYC, with exhibits on new innovations in digital publishing technologies, panel discussions on readers’ buying habits, dozens of author signings, and much, much more. This year there is also a consumer day for kid and adult readers on Saturday, May 31, called The Book Con. Continue reading

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How to Create a Digital Footprint On Book Country

Posted by May 21st, 2014

Now that our lives are becoming more digitally based, we often find books by searching rather than browsing. That’s why it is so important for Book Country members–whether you are workshopping your manuscript on Book Country or you’ve published your book–to learn how to create a digital footprint. This will increase your readership and sales because it reduces the time it takes a potential reader to get to your book or manuscript–leaving more time for the fun part: reading your book!

how to create a digital footprint on book country

 

What does it mean to create a digital footprint?

You want to make it so that any reader who might possibly be interested in reading your work will be able to find out more about it on the Internet.

How?

  • Use your writing name consistently. Whether it’s the name you were born with, your married name, or a pen name you chose yourself, use the same name across all of your writing and social media platforms. If Book Country members get to know you on the Discussion Boards, then head over to the Bookstore to find your published eBook, they’ll likely search for you by what you call yourself within the community. If your Display Name doesn’t match the author name on your eBook, this potential reader will run into confusing search results, and might give up trying to find you. Similarly, if a member who read and loved your manuscript and wants to give you a shout-out on Twitter, it will be hard to find you if you use a completely different name as your handle. Continue reading
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Hybrid Author, Defined

Posted by April 24th, 2014

Hybrid author is one of those publishing terms you hear a lot these days. hybrid-authorWe wanted to define what it means so that writers can understand the conversation that’s happening around them.

The term usually refers to an author who has published with a traditional trade publisher such as one of the Big 5 (Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan) and then decides to self-publish (either through a service like Book Country or by forming an independent team).

We’ve also heard “hybrid author” applied to writers who self-published first and then sold to a major publisher.

We’ve seen authors who first published with a smaller press and then self-published (and the reverse) also use the term.

And, we’ve seen the term applied to authors who are doing both simultaneously. It’s common for a hybrid author to have a book for sale through a traditional publisher and self-publish a second title. We’ve even seen hybrid authors who have a traditional publishing agreement for one title and self-publish novellas or short stories using the same characters. (This is often done for promotional purposes.)

One final example of a hybrid author is an author who has self-published an eBook first. She then sells the print rights for that book to a traditional publisher while retaining the electronic rights.

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Publishing a Memoir: “I Wanted It So Much It Hurt” by Ingrid Ricks, author of HIPPIE BOY

Posted by March 21st, 2014

HIPPIE BOYI’d dreamed of writing and publishing a memoir for years. I wanted it so much it hurt. But though I dabbled on the manuscript, titled HIPPIE BOY, from time to time, I was full of excuses for why I couldn’t devote the necessary time to it. I told myself it wasn’t the responsible thing to do—not when my marketing business was so much more certain and lucrative, and when I had two young daughters to care for.

Then, in early 2004, I walked into an eye doctor’s office for the first time in my life expecting to walk out with a cute pair of red cat-eye frames—only to learn I suffered from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare degenerative eye disease that had already stole my night vision, was eating away at my peripheral vision, and would likely leave me completely blind.

In the terrifying, soul-searching weeks that followed, I suddenly began to understand the importance of embracing the present. As I pondered a future without eyesight, it occurred me to that no one is immune to death or disease, that all any of us has for certain is now, and that I’d better make NOW count.

It was the jolt I needed to start enrolling in creative writing classes and get involved with critique groups. But I still struggled to step back from the marketing business that was consuming my time. It took my daughters, the ones I was trying to be responsible for, to give me the final push I needed.

One evening in late November 2009, the two of them were goofing around and decided to do a parody of me as an old woman. They hunched over and pretended to be walking with a cane. Then, in the most decrepit, ancient voices they could muster, they both yelled in unison, “My book, my book, I have to finish my book.” Continue reading

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Literary Author-Editor Collaboration: Riverhead’s Manuel Gonzales and Megan Lynch

Posted by February 27th, 2014

THE MINIATURE WIFE coverThis weekend, Megan Lynch, a senior editor at Riverhead Books, will be joining her author Manuel Gonzales at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Seattle. They’ll be there for “Celebrating 20 Years of Extraordinary Fiction from Riverhead Books,” an unmissable reading on Saturday afternoon at the conference (Find more details here). Manuel will be reading from his short story collection THE MINIATURE WIFE, which Megan edited.

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LS: Why shouldn’t aspiring writers give up on the short story form or on the prospect of putting together their own short story collections?

Manuel Gonzales: The beauty of the short story is that everything has been done to the short story. It’s been turned into a shopping list, a set of twitter posts, a menu (Roxane Gay‘s “Contrapasso”), and a PowerPoint presentation. It’s been minimalized and maximalized; it can be as short as 500 or 100 words or as long as whatever Alice Munro wants to write and call a story. So there’s nothing you can’t do with the short story. As a writer, you’re free to do practically anything, can experiment or not, and there’s something exciting about all the possibilities open to you as a writer. But truthfully, if you write short stories, if you can’t help but write short stories, if that’s how narrative spills out of you–not as a poem or a novel or a script, but as a story–then that is reason enough not to give up on the form.

Megan Lynch: As a reader, I love short stories and always have. As an editor, their appeal is simple: they can be perfect in a way that even the most polished novel can’t touch. And getting to really perfect something in the editorial process is a true joy; plus it works different creative muscles than the kind of structural edit you might do on a novel. So I hope writers will absolutely continue to write brilliant short stories, but they should also be aware that not only can stories be perfect, they pretty much should be. I take on plenty of novels that need significant work, but can’t do that with stories. Continue reading

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