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Why Are Standard Book Sizes Important?

Posted by Xavier on

Why Are Standard Book Sizes Important?

There are a lot of different book sizes on the market. In fact, book sizes vary so much that it can seem like that the entire publishing industry is a free-for-all. But the truth is, there are some pretty specific book sizes that are known as “industry standards sizes” that almost every traditional publisher out there uses. You also find these standard sizes with many self-publishing services. The reason that these book sizes exist has to do with them fitting on the shelves mostly, but there are other advantages to going with standard book sizes as well. Let’s take a look at the reasons why standard book sizes are important.

 

Customers Are Used to Standard Book Sizes

While not the most important reason, one of the reason hat publishers stick to these sizes is that customers are able to recognize their legitimacy as actual books. When you go into a bookstore, a book that is a lot smaller or larger than industry sizes – or is oddly shaped – might draw some attention as a novelty, but people may not take that book as seriously as they do the more standard sizes. People are simply used to seeing certain sizes for books, hardcover and paperback, and that’s the best way to get readers to buy them.

Industry Catalogs Will Not Carry Non-Industry Standards

Another thing that you will notice if you go look at the sizes offered by a self-publishing service like CreateSpace is that there are other sizes available for printing, but as CreateSpace will tell you, you are not able to use their extended distribution options if you choose a non-standard size because the industry catalogs simply won’t carry them. Catalogs like Baker & Taylor or Ingram, which service libraries, schools & bookstores, will only carry books that fit established industry sizes because that is what the people ordering from them expect. Without being listed in Ingram, you have no almost no chance of getting bookstores to put your book on the shelf.

Standard Sizes Are Required for Print-on-Demand

While CreateSpace offers non-standard book sizes for their print-on-demand service, most of the POD companies out there do not. Most of them stick to industry standard sizes – and in fact – only offer a limited number of those. That’s due to the nature of print-on-demand. Since each book is printed and bound when it is ordered, the more sizes that a POD company offers, the more difficult it is for them to fulfill orders because they may need additional equipment to serve those sizes.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that standard book sizes are important. If you publish traditionally, your publisher will determine which of the standard sizes are important. If you are self-publishing, then you need to carefully consider whether you want to go outside of industry standard lines; understanding the risk that comes with not publishing to industry standards. If you don’t have a good reason to choose an unusual size, then you probably should stick with standard.

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The Benefits & Disadvantages of Pictures in Chapter Books

Posted by Xavier on

The Benefits & Disadvantages of Pictures in Chapter Books

If you are writing chapter books for children, one of the things that you might have considered is adding pictures. This is something that is done quite often in traditional children’s book publishing but not so much in self-publishing because publishing a book that includes pictures can has certain disadvantages. However, there are also some pretty big benefits to adding pictures to your chapter book. Let’s take a look at both of them so that you can decide whether you want to include pictures with your self-published chapter books.

Image result for reedsy childrens book

Pros

First, let’s take a look at the advantages. There are three main advantages to using pictures in your self-published chapters books, whether you are publishing age 6-8 chapter books or for older middle-grade students.

Pictures Can Extend the Length of Your Book: the first thing you should be aware of is that pictures can extend the length of your book and make it a little longer. If you have written a chapter book like a middle grade novel that is only around 15,000 words, adding pictures can extend the book length making it more attractive for buyers.

Pictures Can Make Children More Willing to Read Your Books: pictures can also make children more interested in reading your books. When a parent presents a child with a chapter book that has pictures in it, the odds of it being read have increased.

Pictures Can Make Your Books More Attractive to Parents: obviously, adding pictures also makes books more attractive to parents. Since it is parents that I books for their children, you definitely want to appeal to them as much as possible.

Cons

However, there are also a couple of disadvantages to using pictures with your self-published books that you should be aware of as well.

Pictures Can Be Expensive: you should know though that adding pictures to your book can be expensive. That’s because, unless you are an artist yourself, you are going to have to hire someone to draw pictures for your book. This can get really expensive, especially if they charge you a commercial license.

You Make Less on Books With Pictures: you also make less money on digital books with pictures due to the larger file size. Amazon and other platforms charging more and pay you less royalties when you have a book that is full of pictures because it cost them more bandwidth to send the book to someone when they purchase it.

Pictures Can Be a Formatting Nightmare: finally, be aware that having pictures in a book can be a formatting nightmare; if you are creating a digital book with pictures, you are probably going to spend weeks formatting it and tweaking things to get it right; formatting is easier if you are simply creating a print book, but almost all chapter books these days have a digital companion and that is going to require a massive amount of formatting to get the pictures to display properly.

 

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The Danger of Vanity Publishers

Posted by Xavier on

The Danger of Vanity Publishers

Those that are interested in self-publishing sometimes get caught in the traps laid by vanity publishers. A vanity publisher is a company that exists to try to convince you to pay as much as possible to publish your book, often producing low quality products and costs you hundreds or thousands more than you would have spent by self-publishing. In fact, the truth is that you can self-publish books for nothing if you really want to. But vanity publishers prey on the uninformed and let you think that they are going to make you a best-selling author

What Vanity Publishers Promise

To understand vanity publishers and why they can cause major problems with your book publication process, you have to understand what vanity publishers actually promise you. Vanity publishers target authors who have written a book but know almost nothing about the publishing industry. Some vanity publishers may even try to convince you that every author pays for their book to be published. This simply is not true. If someone is charging you to publish your book, then they are not a traditional publisher. Traditional publishers pay you to publish your book.

But vanity publishers often promise to do everything that a traditional publisher does. They may say that they will advertise your book, make sure he gets into bookstores and schools, do all of the editing and cover design work, and various other things that a traditional publisher does. But the problem is, the fine print on these services is really difficult to understand. Some of the tricks that vanity publishers use include calling something in editing service when it is simply something similar to the same spellcheck that you get in Microsoft Word. They may provide you with a basic cover, based upon templates that they have available, but it will not be quality and there will likely be tons of other books that have the same cover. Plus, vanity publishers charge for all of these services. Their goals are to get you to spend as much money as possible.

What Vanity Publishers Deliver

So, what do vanity publishers actually deliver? In most cases, not much. Suppose you opted for the most basic package that they had, which usually cost somewhere between $300 and $500. This package might come with their spellcheck service, access to their templates to create your cover, and a few copies of your book for you to give out to your family and friends. Even if they do provide you with actual printed copies in quantities large enough to be able to sell them, it is usually less than 100, and you will have to do all of the work to get people to buy them yourself.

But vanity publishers also try to get you to sign up for additional services. For example, they might try to sell you enhance distribution services, which simply means that they will fill out the request form to get your book listed in the industry catalogs. But these catalogs know vanity publishers, and are not going to list your book. These are just a few examples, but hopefully they will give you pause if you are thinking about going with a vanity publisher.

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5 Ways to Avoid Cliché Characters

Posted by Xavier on

5 Ways to Avoid Cliché Characters

One of the problems that writers sometimes have when they begin the writing career is developing characters that are real. Many writers tend to write cliché characters that are two-dimensional and do not make people want to read the story. So how do you avoid this problem? Here are some tips to help you avoid cliché characters.

Characters Talk like Real People

The first thing that you need to know is that characters do not talk like characters; characters talk like real people. Every writer has to learn this, and every writer has to listen to other people talking in order to learn how to write dialogue. If your characters do not sound like the people that you have observed in the grocery store, then you need to rewrite your dialogue.

Characters Have Flaws

You also need to understand the characters have flaws. Even the protagonist in your novel is going to have flaws. No one becomes a hero without overcoming their own personal demons. Understanding your character is supposed to represent a real person that has overcome their own personal issues to become this hero. It is perfectly okay for characters to have flaws, because it makes them seem like they are actual human beings and that makes people want to read about them even more.

Characters Make Impulsive Decisions

Something else that you need to understand is that sometimes your characters are going to make impulsive decisions. Sometimes, they’re going to make the wrong decision because that’s just how people work. You need to make sure that you are modeling them after real people, and not robots who weigh the consequences of every decision. Sometimes, characters are going to make impulsive decisions that make no sense whatsoever. As long as this moves the story along, this is not a problem. Of course, you do not want them decisions to go against the characters morals or already stated beliefs.

Characters Have Developed Personalities

Another thing to keep in mind is that characters are going to get into their own personal biases because they have developed personalities. Every human being on earth has developed personalities, even if you are writing about children. That means that you need to allow for this developed personality in the decisions that you make. While not every character is going to follow their personality completely, you do need to make allowances for this development when you give characters free reign to run in your world.

Characters Experience Emotions

The next thing you need to understand is that if you’re going to write characters as if they are real people than they need to experience emotions. Real people experience emotions such as sadness, happiness, depression, jealousy, hate and everything else that you can imagine. People are complex and you should write about your characters as if they were experiencing the array of emotions that actual human beings experience if you want them to be three-dimensional and leap off the page.

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11 Book Marketing Ideas that are out of this world

Posted by Xavier on

11 Book Marketing Ideas that are out of this world

Whether your book has been published in the traditional fashion or you are a self-published author, there’s one thing you need to do in order to gain success (besides writing a great piece): get your book to sell.

No matter how well-written, though-provoking, and moving your novel may be, if your books aren’t selling, you aren’t going to make it as an author (sorry to be so blunt). But have no fear! With the right marketing strategy, you can set yourself up for major success.

Below, we share some proven strategies that will boost the sales of your book and affirm your status as an author.

Image result for reedsy book marketing ideas

  1. Establish a budget for promoting your book. Don’t forget to allow some wiggle room for unexpected expenses. Things come up and you want to make sure that you have the resources to cover them.
  2. Familiarize yourself with your audience. The better you know your target market, the better you’ll know how to reach them. Where do they hang out? What piques their interest? How do they prefer to shop? Find the answers to any pertinent questions that relate to your audience. Doing so will make it promoting your book easier and more effective.
  3. Devise an effective marketing strategy. Pinpoint your goals and establish steps that will allow you to reach those goals.
  4. Get creative! Use the details of your book to make marketing easier. For example, you can use the occupation or hobbies of your characters and market toward people who have common careers or pastimes.
  5. Create an author website. Make sure you choose a clever domain name that relates to your book; the title, the theme, the plot, etc.
  6. Make sure your website is well designed and easy to navigate. It will be more engaging for your audience and make it easier for them to purchase copies of your book.
  7. Link a blog to your site! A blog is a great way to share your story – the ins and outs of the creation process, what inspired you, the trials and tribulations you experienced. A blog will make you more relatable as an author and will excite and intrigue your audience.
  8. Don’t forget to pen a compelling author biography. Your biography will let your audience get to know who you are as an author and will establish your authority, compelling your target market to purchase your novel.
  9. Take advantage of social media! Social sites offer an incredible opportunity to connect with your audience and really engage them. Share links to your website and blog on your social media profiles to make it easier for your followers to buy your book.
  10. Come right out and ask your readers if they would be willing to write reviews of your book and post them on your website. Readers love to share their opinions and book buyers rely on reviews to influence their buying decisions.
  11. Host a contest or a giveaway. You’ll create a major buzz and sell more copies of your book in the process.
Publication

How to convince a book publisher to publish your travel book?

Posted by Thaddrave on

How to convince a book publishing company to publish your travel book?

There is no 100% assurance that your book got published with our tricks and tactics, but we can tell you some ways which will increase your chances of getting your book published.

Do you know thousands of aspiring authors wish to get their book published and out of this aspiration thousands of unsolicited manuscripts land on the desk of several publishers each year? Do you fall in the same category? Do you want to get your book published? Indeed to get your book published is tough but the good news is if you consider certain things, your manuscript will stand out of the crowd and catch the eye of the publisher.

What approach is needed?
There are two ways of getting a book deal:
(1) Submitting your idea directly to a publisher
(2) Or securing the services of an agent.

Improving your odds
Take care of specific things to improve your odds, and probable chances are there that you will be taken seriously by agents and publishers both.

A professional proposal
Publishers and agents don’t have the time to read every manuscript sent to them. Try to hook them on the very first chapter otherwise; they won’t go any further. The good idea is to put together a proposal to make things easy for them and beneficial for you.

A reasonable proposal is consisting of three parts:

The first part: It is a marketing proposal and includes an overview of the book, introduction about yourself and mention to whom the book will appeal.
The second part: It is made up from ‘chapter outlines,’ write a short paragraph about what will happen in each chapter.
The third part: It should include 2-3 sample chapters. It will give the idea to the agent or publisher about your writing style.

Put all this in a folder, keep it very professional. Try to use bright colors, as it could attract the attention of the work experience kids.

Always remember, all different departments use an excellent proposal during the life cycle of your book.

Make a name for yourself
You need to get published to have credibility. For this, write articles for newspapers and magazines. Strat your blog, contribute to other travel websites. For the majority of them, you need to work for free, but this will build your portfolio of published work.

Final words
If you got picked by agent or publisher at your first attempt, you are damn lucky! But luck will not support many of the authors. Chances are there that initially, you face rejection, but do not get stressed out of it. Sooner or later, you’ll get your break, and your book got accepted. Alternately, you could try self-publishing. Companies like Reedsy have software and marketplaces that make self-publishing easier than ever before. Self-publishing is free, but if you want a stellar launch, you’re going to have to make everything count. See here for more information on How to Publish a Book