Quick Link: Fringe Highlight: Should Indie Authors Go KDP Exclusive or Go Wide?

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

For all you indie authors out there or even traditional authors who are curious, The Self-Publishing Advice Center has a great article/podcast on what you should think about when you decide to go KDP exclusive with Amazon or Go Wide.

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Fringe Highlight: Should Indie Authors Go KDP Exclusive or Go Wide?

By

As part of our new #AskALLi weekly podcast we’re releasing popular Indie Author Fringe speaker session highlights as podcasts. This means you can catch up on sessions you may have missed, and listen to them on-the-go or in your car. We are also publishing transcripts for those who prefer to read rather than listen.

This week, we’re showcasing the session between Pippa DaCosta and Susan Kaye Quinn. If you’re wondering about the pros and cons of being exclusive with KDP or going wide with as many retailers as possible, our show hosts will explain which model works best in different book distribution scenarios.

Susan is exclusively KDP, and Pippa makes her books available in as many outlets as possible and they deliver insights and experience from both ends of the spectrum.

Pippa DaCosta @pippadacosta is a hybrid author. Before securing a traditional publisher, she published the Veil Series (a x5 book urban fantasy series) independently in 2014. She has also published two science fiction books, with more planned for 2016. Pippa is traditionally published with Bloomsbury and Random House Germany. Her work has been featured in the Galaxy Chronicles anthology, part of the Future Chronicles series. Pippa continues to independently and traditionally publish her work.

Susan Kaye Quinn @susankayequinn is a rocket scientist turned speculative fiction author. She writes young adult science fiction, with side trips into adult future-noir and sweet royal romance. Her bestselling novels and short stories have been optioned for Virtual Reality, translated into German, and featured in several anthologies.

Read the full post on The Self-Publishing Advice Center

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Quick Link: How To Be A Writer: Traditional Publishing To Indie And Hybrid With John Birmingham

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Joanna Penn, of The Creative Penn, makes sure to cover all her bases. She doesn’t just do post, no she has podcasts – with transcripts. Someday I want to grow up and be her. All her posts are interesting and great and this one is no exception. Check it out in whatever format you want and let us know what you think.

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How To Be A Writer: Traditional Publishing To Indie And Hybrid With John Birmingham

by John Birmingham

Today I’m talking with Australian author John Birmingham about his journey from the dizzying heights of the traditional publishing scene, to deciding to go indie and hybrid and his insights into how the publishing industry has changed. It’s an honest and really fascinating interview.

In the intro, I talk about how we can deal with the political upheaval, and how, as Toni Morrison says, “This is precisely the time when artists go to work.” (Quoted in Brain Pickings).

Plus David Gaughran’s report on what Amazon cares about, and the latest KENP rate, which has dropped again. Remember, it’s your choice to choose exclusivity or to go wide, but if you want a healthy long-term eco-system for writers and readers, then you need to support the other vendors.

John Birmingham is an award winning and bestselling Australian author of science fiction, techno-thriller, crime, urban fantasy, memoir, and nonfiction. His latest nonfiction book is How to Be a Writer: Who Smashes Deadlines, Crushes Editors and Lives in a Solid Gold Hovercraft.

You can listen above or on iTunes or Stitcher or watch the video here, read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

Read the full post on The Creative Penn.

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Quick Link:How to Start Your Own Publishing Company

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Not every indie writer needs to become a publisher, but there are a lot of advantages even if the only books you publish are your own. But it is always nice to give back and if you have figured out how to self-publish, there are a lot of people out there who could use your help. In that spirit, Writer Unboxed‘s

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How to Start Your Own Publishing Company

Over the past few months, we’ve talked about what it means to be an ‘indie’ author and why some writers choose this path. Today we’ll discuss how to turn your writing into a business by starting your own publishing company. While today’s publishing platforms don’t require you to start a business in order to publish your work, doing so offers many advantages—maximizing tax write-offs, controlling and protecting your work, shielding your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit, conveying professionalism, and, of course, the pride of running your own business.

Indie Navigator founder Mary Shafer believes that starting a publishing company can create plenty of value for self-publishing authors, whether you’re about to publish your first book or you’ve been at this for a while. “Creating a publishing company does two main things: it establishes you as a serious indie publisher who may or may not handle the work of other authors, rather than simply a self-published author. It sends the message that you take the business end of publishing seriously, even if you only publish your own work. Second, it gives your products a professional quality that makes them a lot more attractive to book buyers, librarians, and other parties who may be interested in buying or licensing rights to your work. Plus, it makes your company a lot more attractive to buyers should you ever decide to retire. ‘Sun City Press’ is a lot more impressive-sounding and easy to market as an imprint than ‘Joe Schmoe Books.’”

In The News – Indie Authors to Finally See their Books on B&N Shelves

In The News – Articles Of Interest For Authors

This should be filed under about effing time, if it works out. I have been rooting for B&N to become competitive with Amazon and Apple. The more choices authors and readers have, the better. But B&N continually steps on their own feet.  There are quality based caveats on an indie author having their titles in the store,  which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But will B&N manage to make good this time? Head on over to Good eReader for the full story.

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Indie Authors to Finally See their Books on B&N Shelves

June 28, 2016 By Mercy Pilkington

barnes_nobleAbout three years ago, then-VP, Digital Content and GM of Barnes and Noble’s Nook Press division Theresa Horner sat down with GoodEReader at the Frankfurt Book Fair to discuss the state of the company, namely its self-publishing option and its ebook self-publishing platform. She posed the question as to what it would take to effectively compete with Amazon. Our response–which was not at all tongue in cheek–was for the retailer to stop banning indie authors’ books from brick-and-mortar stores. If Nook Press had developed a viable print-on-demand option and then told authors there was even a possibility of seeing their titles in their local bookstore on the condition that they pulled their books from Amazon’s exclusive KDP Select program, authors would have jumped at the chance.

Unfortunately, that didn’t come to pass and Theresa Horner is no longer with the company. The concept of opening the doors–and the shelves–to great self-published titles fell by the wayside.

Since that time, B&N has announced two print-on-demand options, both of which fell far short of meeting indie authors’ and small press publishers’ needs. One was to simply allow the upload and creation of print editions for what basically amounted to collectors’ editions and gift giving. The books were not listed for sale through B&N, and there was a significant upfront charge to produce them–unlike CreateSpace, just to name one example, that charges nothing to produce a print book then takes a portion of the sales price after it distributes the book to Amazon. Even though the Nook Press print option also included the choice to create a hardcover edition, there was no help in selling the print titles.

Read the full post on Good eReader

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Links: Turning Losing into Winning: The Kindle Scout Experience

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Have you heard of Amazon’s Kindle Scout program? I love it! Authors submit their titles to the program in hopes of winning a publishing contract through Amazon. Users vote on the different titles and if a book that they nominated is selected, they get a free copy.

But even if you are not selected for a publishing contract, authors can still win. The people that voted for you are notified when the book goes on sale at Amazon. I have purchased titles this way because I didn’t want to miss out on the story.  at Indies Unlimited has all the details.

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Turning Losing into Winning: The Kindle Scout Experience

Posted on

kscoutWhen I finished my latest book, Finding Travis, a time travel story, I sent it out to beta readers and prepared to self-publish as I always do. But then a friend began broadcasting the news that she had entered her latest book in the Kindle Scout program and was looking for nominations. I remembered that another friend had entered his book in the program months ago, and had won the coveted publishing contract with Amazon. Because I really, really liked this new book of mine, and because I had built up quite a decent fan base, I decided to try Kindle Scout for myself.

The Kindle Scout campaign is a two-pronged deal. Amazon evaluates the book on its own merit, but they also look at the number of nominations a book receives from potential readers. Because Amazon doesn’t ever tell us how it writes its algorithms or how it decides what’s a winning book and what isn’t, it’s hard to know exactly how to go after the win. The only things that were in my control were (1) writing a good book; and (2) getting as many people as possible to nominate the book. So that’s what I did.

Some people might balk at the idea of nominating a book they haven’t read. I totally understand. However, Kindle Scout creates a landing page for each book and includes the cover, a short blurb, and the first chapter as a sample for voters to read. Readers can then decide for themselves if they feel the book is a winner, or they might simply go on the author’s past performance.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Link: Royalty Clauses in Publishing Deals: How (& How Much) Authors Get Paid

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Admit it, you might write because you have a story that must be told but there is some part of you that dreams about becoming the next J.K. Rowling.  Bu unless you are lucky enough to have a publishing contract, the details might be a bit fuzzy. Lucky for us,  Susan Spann over on Writers In The Storm shares what happens in publishing deals. Did she miss anything? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Royalty Clauses in Publishing Deals: How (& How Much) Authors Get Paid

Money Money Money!
Money Money Money!

“Royalties” is the publishing industry term for money paid to an author (generally, by a publisher) on sales of a published work. Most authors receive the bulk of their writing income from royalties, which makes them a critical feature of publishing contracts.

How are Royalties Calculated?

Royalties vary from contract to contract, and across different publishing formats. However, industry-standard royalties are normally based on a percentage of either: (1) the money the publisher actually receives on sales of the author’s work, or (2) the sale price of the work. (Most commonly, royalties are based on a percentage of the publisher’s receipts.)

Royalty percentages are either calculated on a “gross” or “net” basis—but those terms can be tricky, because publishers and contracts don’t always use them consistently. Good contracts calculate authors’ royalties as a percentage of the publisher’s receipts – the money actually received from buyers or resellers (less refunds and returns). That’s a “gross” method of calculation.

Dangerous contracts allow the publisher to deduct certain costs (sometimes including marketing and advertising costs as well as publishing costs) from receipts before calculating the author’s royalties. This is “net” calculation, because the author’s percentage is calculated on “net profits” – meaning receipts minus some or all of the publishing costs. Traditional publishers don’t expect or ask authors to share the publishing costs, or the publisher’s marketing costs. No exceptions.

How Big is the Author’s Royalty Percentage?

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

In The News: Cory Doctorow: Peace In Our Time

In The News – Articles Of Interest For Authors

Are writer’s groups and libraries at crossroads with publishers over eBooks? Cory Doctorow, author and man about the web, believes so. He also believes he has some answers to help us all just get along in this article from Locus Online.

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Cory Doctorow: Peace In Our Time

E-books are game-changers, but not in the way we all thought they would be. Far from taking over print, e-book sales have stagnated at less than a quarter of print sales and show every sign of staying there or declining for the foreseeable future.

But e-books continue to be a source of bitter controversy that divides publishers from two of their most potentially useful allies: writers’ groups and libraries.

Below, I’ll present two thought experiments for how libraries and writers’ groups could find common cause with the Big Five publishers, using tech projects that would make a better world for writers, readers, literature, and culture.

First up, libraries. Libraries are understandably exercised about the high prices they’re expected to pay for their e-books – as much as 500% more than you and I pay on the major online services. To add insult to injury, HarperCollins makes libraries delete any e-book that has circulated 26 times, on the bizarre grounds that:

a) Its print books are allegedly so badly bound that they disintegrate after 26 readings (this is not actually true); and

b) This defect in the robustness of physical books is a feature, not a bug, and should be im­ported into the digital realm.

Libraries have tried to shame the publishers into offering better deals, through the Fair Pric­ing for Libraries campaign, fairpricingforlibraries.org. It’s had some limited success there, with Random Penguin, the largest of the Big Five, offering ‘‘flexible’’ prices that are a substantial improvement, but still far from perfect.

The libraries’ fight is hamstrung by their lack of leverage. Library patrons want e-books, publishers are the only source of the e-books patrons want, and libraries have to give their patrons what they want.

Read the full post on Locus Online

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Quick Link: Diversity Is About Inclusion, Not Exclusion

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

With the recent discussions about the Oscars (#OscarsSoWhite), especially trending on social media, this article from discussing race and publishing is relevant. Over at Indies United, she brings up some really good points in a well written, thoughtful manner. As always, let us know what you think in the comments. Do you feel there are issues with race in publishing?

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Diversity Is About Inclusion, Not Exclusion

Quick Link: Can Traditional and Indie Publication Live as Friendly Neighbors?

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Author Jody Hedlund speaks from experience; she has successful books through both traditional and self-publishing.  Jody brings her unique perspective to the traditional vs self-publishing debate with an attitude of perhaps we can all just get along. What are your views on the two, and do you think they can co-exist?

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Can Traditional and Indie Publication Live as Friendly Neighbors?

friendship-day_10062663-031914By Jody Hedlund

This year in 2016, I have FOUR books slated for publication. Three of them are being published through three different publishers:

Undaunted Hope, a historical romance through Bethany House Publishers (Jan. 1)

A Daring Sacrifice, a young adult medieval romance through Harper Collins (Mar. 1)

Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace, a historical through Random House (Oct. 1)

I’m super thrilled about all three of the books. While each of them targets a slightly different audience, my readers seem to be enjoying them regardless of the differences.

So far, I’ve had a very positive experience working with traditional publishers. I’ve learned a LOT about the ins and outs of how the whole process of publication works and varies between houses.

Since I’m in a super busy life stage (raising 5 kids), having a traditional publisher’s help with cover designing, editing, and marketing has really freed up my time to focus on writing. To be completely honest, I appreciate being able to hand something over to my publishers and know that the project is in good hands. It takes a great deal of stress off me.

Not only that, but working with a variety of traditional publishers has helped to get my books in front of different readers. Each of my publishers has different marketing strategies which has allowed my books a wider audience than if I’d attempted to publish them on my own. I’ve also appreciated the relative ease of getting into brick and mortar stores, libraries/library conferences, foreign print, large print editions, wide-scale blogger and reviewer programs, and many other venues.

However, as beneficial as traditional publication has been for my writing career, I’ve been itching to try my hand at indie publishing. I’ve heard so many positive things about it, that I wanted to experience it for myself.

Read the full post on Jody Hedlund

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

Publishing Advice – Practices & Principles

Today’s post is a bunch of helpful publishing tidbits offered by  on The World’s Greatest Book. While a hodgepodge offering, each bit of wisdom offered is worth the read. What publishing advice would you give a new author?

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Publishing Advice – Practices & Principles

Ready to get publishedThe following publishing advice is based on my own experiences and those of my clients. I hope you find it valuable and encouraging, even if it changes your expectations.

I’ve written and published 6 books, and I’m working on my seventh. I’ve guided many remarkable people through the process of telling their remarkable stories, and served as editor, typesetter, cover designer, web developer, and marketer. I love writing, publishing, and book design, but the least pleasant part of my work involves delivering “straight talk” that has popped many a shiny bubble. My experiences in publishing have been overwhelmingly positive, but I routinely hear from writers who have made expensive mistakes. Others are frustrated and stuck in the writing process. The good news is that with a bit of research, the right resources, and a few reality checks, problems can be avoided. You probably can’t do it yourself, and you probably can’t do it for free, but you can publish an excellent book and find the process rewarding.

Here are few snippets of writing, book design, and publishing advice:


Of course it sucks; that’s why it’s called a “rough” draft. Keep writing.


Many great books are terrible products. Many terrible books are great products. Write for the marketplace or write because you have something to say, but know where your book lies on the spectrum between art and business. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

Read the full post on The World’s Greatest Book

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com or leave a message below.

How The Literary Class System Is Impoverishing Literature

Today’s post is by Lorraine Berry, from the Literary Hub website, on December 4, 2015.  In her article, Lorraine examines the realistic views on the class system within the literary community. This is something can be expanded to cover the divide between “self-published” vs. “traditionally published” authors as well. While the self publishing world is making great strides, how much does having connections and opportunities help with getting a contract and attention with a publishing house? 

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How The Literary Class System Is Impoverishing Literature

On the Systemic Economic Barriers to Being a Writer

One of the things I was taught as an elementary school student in Illinois was that America differed from Europe in that it was founded as, and has remained, a classless society. These days, if politicians such as Barack Obama or Bernie Sanders bring up the disparities among the classes in America, they are accused by their political opponents of conjuring up class Piggy bankconsciousness in order to foment class warfare. Unfortunately, of course, Obama and Sanders are right, and my schoolteachers were wrong. And while class disparity manifests in all sectors of society, for those who seek careers in literature, class differences have a huge impact on who gets hired and who gets published. This, in turn has a real effect on the portrayal of class in literature, and in media depictions of the writer’s life.

In the past few years, countless essays, articles, charts, graphs, and surveys have been published making the case for greater gender and ethnic diversity in the literary world, that our literature might present back to us a truer accounting of the society in which we actually live. There remains a long way to go but we have slowly come to understand that by publishing more writers of color, by increasing the number of women’s bylines, by being more inclusive, we will increase the quality of our collective storytelling.

But very little has been explicitly articulated about the exclusion of the great American underclass, that perpetually poor group on the bottom tier of society that includes all races/genders/creeds. And as we winnow out opportunities for art about poverty, we lose so much potential for change.

One doesn’t learn to be a writer in college and then graduate with the same opportunities as everyone else. When it comes to looking for a job, or having the time to write, social stratification determines who gets the internships, and by extension who gets to forge the connections that help one find an agent, or get a job with a publishing house.

A colleague and I have the same argument at least twice a year, usually at registration time when he bumps into me in the office and complains to me about our students’ unwillingness to go after off-campus internships. Most of his scorn is directed at students who only want to do an on-campus internship, during the semester, rather than taking an internship over winter or summer breaks.

And, given that the college where I teach is a four-hour drive from New York City, he is brutal when discussing the failure of the students to feed at the Golden Corral of publishing internships that is Manhattan. And so, each semester, I have to remind him of the reality of our students’ lives. I start with the fact that NYC internships often pay at most a token salary of perhaps a thousand dollars per month. Apartment rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn cost more per month than that highest token salary, and even if you can find a sharing sublet for summer and live on Ramen, rice, and mac-n-cheese, most of our students must spend summer working as many hours as they can so that they can get by working part-time during the school year. A summer internship that has a negative impact on summer savings is out of reach for any student not supplemented in some way. Some students luck out because a relative lives in one of the boroughs and is willing to house them, but once again, while it’s not a guarantee of money, it is still the accident of having a relative live within commuting distance of New York City.

Read the full post on the Literary Hub website

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com

How to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book

Today’s post is by , off of her site janefriedman.com  on April 29, 2015.  With Nanowrimo ending (Hooray and congrats to all who entered!) it is time to think of next steps. Jane’s post gives some really good advice on deciding if you need a literary agent, and then what steps to take.

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Ready to get publishedWhen writers ask me “Can you find me a literary agent?” they don’t realize it’s kind of like asking me “Can you find me the right spouse?” This is a research process and decision that’s best conducted by you. I think you’ll understand why by the end of this post.

Understand Your Work’s Commercial Potential

There are different levels of commercial viability: some books are “big” books, suitable for Big Five traditional publishers (e.g., Penguin, HarperCollins), while others are “quiet” books, suitable for mid-size and small presses. The most important thing to remember is that not every book is cut out to be published by a New York house, or even represented by an agent; most writers have a difficult time being honest with themselves about their work’s potential. Here are some rules of thumb about what types of books are suitable for a Big Five traditional publisher:

  • Genre or mainstream fiction, including romance, erotica, mystery/crime, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, new adult
  • Nonfiction books that would get shelved in your average Barnes & Noble or independent bookstore—which requires a strong hook or concept and author platform. Usually a New York publisher won’t sign a nonfiction book unless it anticipates selling 10,000 to 20,000 copies minimum.

To better understand what sells, buy a subscription to PublishersMarketplace.com and study the deals that get announced. It’s a quick education in what commercial publishing looks like.

Also, check out Manuscript Wish List, where agents/editors specifically spell out what they’re looking for. It’ll keep you up on trends.

If your work doesn’t look like a good candidate for a New York house, don’t despair. There are many mid-size houses, independent publishers, small presses, university presses, regional presses, and digital-only publishers who might be thrilled to have your work. You just need to find them.

Decide If You Really Need a Literary Agent

In today’s market, probably 80 percent of books that the New York publishing houses acquire get sold by agents. Agents are experts in the publishing industry. They have inside contacts with specific editors and know better than writers what editors or publishers would be most likely to buy a particular work. Perhaps most important, agents negotiate the best deal for you, protect your rights, ensure you are paid accurately and fairly, and run interference when necessary between you and the publisher.

The best agents are career-long advisers and managers.

Traditionally, agents get paid only when they sell your work, and they receive a 15 percent commission on everything you get paid (your advance and royalties). It is best to avoid agents who charge fees other than the standard 15 percent.

So … do you need an agent?

It depends on what you’re selling. If you want to be published by one of the major New York houses (e.g., Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster), then you more or less need to have one—and want one on your side.

If you’re writing for a niche market (e.g., vintage automobiles) or wrote an academic or literary work, then you might not need an agent. Agents are motivated to take on clients based on the size of the advance they think they can get. If your project doesn’t command a decent advance, then you may not be worth an agent’s time, and you’ll have to sell the project on your own.

Read the full post on janefriedman.com.

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com

ALAN MOORE – advice to unpublished authors.

Today’s post is quick video from author Alan Moore with some great advice to unpublished authors and honestly authors in general. I love his accent <3.

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[quote]If you write everyday, then you are a writer[/quote]

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at paula@publetariat.com

Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published

This post by Jane Friedman originally appeared on her site on 1/28/12.

Publetariat Editor’s Note: We mostly focus on the indie and small press routes to publication here at Publetariat, but since the hybrid publishing model (a mix of indie and mainstream releases) can be very effective it’s never a bad idea to share information on how things work in traditonal publishing, too.

It’s the most frequently asked question I receive: How do I get my book published?

Unfortunately, when I hear this question, I know I’m dealing with someone who is at such a beginning stage that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

With this post, I hope to offer the most critical information and address the most pressing questions, as well as provide a starting point for more fully exploring what it means for you to try and get meaningfully published. I’ve also created an Amazon list of the best resources on this topic.

If you’d like an in-depth guide on how to get your book published, consider my book on the topic: Publishing 101: A First-Time Author’s Guide.

 

First: The Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction

Novelists (fiction writers) follow a different path to publication than nonfiction authors.

Novels and memoirs: You must have a finished and polished manuscript before you look for a publisher or an agent. While you may have heard of some novels or memoirs being sold based on an idea or proposal, this is rare for first-time authors without a strong publishing track record.

For most nonfiction: Rather than completing a manuscript, you should write a book proposal—basically like a business plan for your book—that will convince a publisher to contract and pay you to write the book. For more information on book proposals and what they entail, click here.

 

Read the full post on Jane Friedman’s site.