When people are looking for new books to explore, there are three elements that get their attention: The cover The text at the back of the cover The introduction You’ll think about the first two elements after you write the book. The introduction, however, has no time to wait. All great books start with greatness. Do you remember the first sentence of Anna Karenina? “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” After reading that first sentence and the entire introduction, you just know that something extraordinary will follow. You know it’s more than just another love story. How do you get there? How do you craft the perfect introduction to hook the reader? We have few tips to offer.
In this article, we’re going to briefly cover the printing options for self-publishing – that is, if you want a hard copy of your book. Step 1: The Finished Text This means the book needs to be edited and proofread, with all the chapter headings in the right place, a preface and acknowledgements (if you want them) and any copyright disclaimers done. Make the text as perfect as you can. However, you don’t need to make sure the layout is perfect – if fact, it’s easier if it’s not! Make the margins all standard, and the font standard. This makes the next stage a lot easier. At this point, you can either turn the text into a print book or an ebook (or both!) Step 2: Typesetting This is the point that the text is put into a printable format. The important thing here is that typesetting is not word processing; it’s closer to artwork than it is to writing. The text positioning needs to be exact, and word processors (such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice) tend to skip the little details that make the text look nice on a printed page. There are several different pieces of software that can be used for this; one popular one is Adobe InDesign, but there are various free systems available as well. You can actually now use Word, but it’s a very different process to writing, and you usually need to use a template. Alternatively, there are a number of professionals out there who offer a typesetting service to self-publishers, often with additional services such as cover creation or proofreading as well. If you’re not too sure you want to get into the details of the typesetting process, it’s worth paying for this stage. Step 3: Thinking About The End Result There… read more →
In this article, we’re going to briefly cover the ebook creation options for self-publishing – that is, if you want an ebook copy distributed through any of the major stores. There are a couple of steps to think about before you can start with the creation process. The Finished Text This means the book needs to be edited and proofread, with all the chapter headings in the right place, a preface and acknowledgements (if you want them) and any copyright disclaimers done. Make the text as perfect as you can. However, you don’t need to make sure the layout is perfect – if fact, it’s easier if it’s not! Make the margins all standard, and the font standard. This makes the next stage a lot easier. At this point, you can either turn the text into a print book or an ebook (or both!) Formatting This is the point that you put the text into an ebook conversion software, and turn it into something that an e-reader can decipher. The text needs to be able to change size, font, color and layout, but still have breaks before chapters; the reader needs to be able to find the chapter headings on their navigation, and skip forward or backwards; and the book needs a cover and metadata attached to it in the file. While you can do this creation process yourself via software such as Calibre, Jutoh or Scriviner, this can be very time-consuming and you have to get the details right, as well as ensure you have all the formats needed (for example, Kindle uses a .mobi format, while most other ereaders need an .epub). Most self-published authors prefer to use an online platform such as CreateSpace or Lulu. We’ve provided some suggestions below, along with a brief description and some… read more →
What is Self-Publishing? You’ve written a book, and it’s the best thing ever! So, now you want people to read it. How do you get it to them? In our current publishing world, there’s three major options. You can contact a traditional big publisher, who – if everything goes well – will buy the rights to your book, edit it, put a cover on it, market it and send you money when it sells. You can contact a smaller independent (indie) press, who have the flexibility to take chances on unusual work, and who are more likely to involve you in the details of publishing – but who don’t have the same marketing reach as the big publishers, and won’t sell quite as many as the big traditionals. Avoid anyone who asks you for money to publish (known as ‘vanity press’) with the promise of royalties in the future – it’s very likely that you’ll pay a lot and not get nearly as much back. A publisher should always cover things like editing and cover art for you, even if that means your royalty share is smaller. Or you can self-publish. This means you’re the one responsible for everything – editing, cover art, formatting, releasing, marketing, selling – so you’re putting the book out under your name, and you keep the profits from it. You can sub some of the work out (eg. hire a proofreader, purchase cover-art) but it’s down to you to sell your book to the world. And the great thing is that there are plenty of ways to do that! Over the next couple of articles, we’re going to look at options for printing, ebook and online self-publishing. But first…. Things to think about if you’re considering self-publishing Have you written the best book that you… read more →
An ISBN is an International Book Standard Number. It identifies the book, and it’s usually printed with the barcode on the back and on the book’s title page. If an ISBN was assigned before 2007, it’ll be 10 digits long. If it’s after that, it’ll be 13 digits long. The ISBN records the book’s metadata – so the publisher, the title and the country that it was published in – and is unique to that book. This means it can be easily identified by any bookseller or library.
Everyone knows to “use” social trying to cover all the bases. So where do you begin as an author or small publisher looking to make your mark in a clustered book world? Know what they’re good for. Each platform serves a useful and largely individual purpose in terms of promotion and engaging people with what you do. Here’s a brief, basic run through of some: Twitter: Bitesize updates, good for socialising and interacting directly with people. Facebook: Good for slightly longer statuses and more concentrated discussion. Instagram: Visual. Got a book? Post it in well-crafted pictures. Got a dog? Definitely post pictures of them. Youtube: For videos. Regularity can work well here: weekly, fornightly, monthly updates. With vloggers, you need to make sure these are of a fairly high quality to compete. Blog: WordPress, Blogspot or your website are all great places to write longform pieces about topics that are relevant to or interest you, if you’re going for straight up blogging. Or… Tumblr: Can be used for blogging but also a GIF-kingdom. Full of fandoms, and offers a little more freedom than other blogging platforms, and a readymade community. Pinterest: Where you ‘pin’ images, links and more that you like in collections for people to view and pin again. Perfect for moodboards. Linkedin: CV. It’s good for professional networking and snooping people who work for companies that you’re looking to perhaps get in touch with. Snapchat: Temporary photos and videos sent to followers’ phones. Create stories. Periscope: Live streaming, can be integrated into other platforms like Twitter easily. Reddit: A massive community that covers anything and everything. You share things and comment, upvote and downvote. You need to get to grips with subreddits, though we’d assume you’re looking for /r/write. Emails: It’s often forgotten, but setting up a mailing… read more →
You should write every day. Learn the rules then break them. Variety is the spice of life and you’ll get stuck if you only have one project. You need a routine. Write whenever you feel like it! Write one thing at a time and make sure you finish it. Do 500 words a day and never end on a preposition. There’s so much writing advice out there that it sometimes feels overwhelming. I spent my first ten years as a writer feeling that I was Doing It Wrong. I don’t write every day, or write X number of words. I don’t really plot. I don’t have a routine. I just write as I want to, rather than analysing the language and trying to develop a feel for my themes. I don’t follow genre rules, I play fast and loose with my characters, and I don’t worldbuild before I write. I felt inadequate, amateur, and frankly as if all of my writing failings were stemming from my inability to follow several hundred pieces of contradictory advice. You know what? Screw it. It’s YOUR talent. Try things. See what works. People work in different ways – what works for someone else, even if they’re a best-selling and world-famous author, might not work for you. Experiment. Find your groove and make it work for you. If something isn’t working – if you’re not writing, not finding the time, haven’t got the inspiration, have an idea but don’t finish it, can’t get over that blank page feeling – then that’s the time to be looking at the advice. See if working for an hour in the morning makes you write. See if a routine helps. See if having six simultaneous pieces and working on each of them in turn means you Get Writing Done.… read more →