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Archive for the ‘Editing’ Category

Archway logoArchway Publishing, the self publishing service of Simon and Schuster which is operated by Author Solutions,  has offered some outstanding webinars in the past year to help authors understand what they need to do to make their books as good as they can be. One of the presenters was Abby Zidle, senior editor at Simon and Schuster who did a presentation titled Top Ten Mistakes Writers Make. The webinar is free and you can watch it by clicking here. As a sampler of what you can expect, Abby offers some helpful tips in this 90 second video titled Avoiding Mistakes First-time Writers Make. Definitely worth watching if you are in the proess of workig on a manuscript.

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Recently, I was asked what I believed to be the next big trends or issues around self publishing.  As I thought about it and shared my ideas, I thought it might also make a good blog post. See if you agree with my thinking and share your ideas in the comment section.

Editing is finally being recognized as essential by self-published authors.

This  seems like a “duh” statement,  but early on many self-published authors didn’t understand how critical editing was and so many books were not that good. All that has changed and most authors now work hard to find the right editor for their work.

Subscription models are cropping up everywhere. Authors have to figure out how to play. 

It seems like every week, there is an announcement about someone offering a subscription model for e-books. (See Scribd) It really isn’t that surprising when you see what happened in music. Books are simply following in the same path as the previous indie revolutions. The difference between music and books is you can sell individual songs from an album.  Not sure anyone would pay for individual chapters so how will authors participate?

Local stores like Books&books in south Florida are welcoming self published authors.

Local stores like Books&books in south Florida are welcoming self published authors.

Local independent bookstores are finally embracing and welcoming authors because they can create store traffic.

It wasn’t that long ago that bookstores would turn away any author who self published, but now bookstores are recognizing that a local author with a good book can drive traffic to the store.  So instead of rejecting them, they are welcoming them. That is unless you publish with Createspace. Most stores won’t accept those books because they believe Amazon has greatly undermined the retail market.

Hollywood is looking at self-published books more than ever for source material. 

A few years ago, I could not get any one in Hollywood to talk to me, if they were on fire and I had a bucket of water. But now the whole entertainment industry is looking for new ideas to feed the multitude of cable and subscription channels. And self-published books are a great source of new material. That is why we created The Hollywood Pitch database and the Book-to-Screen Pitchfest.

99 cents used to be a way to differentiate, but now every one is doing it so authors have to find new ways to use price.

Low price is always a purchase incentive and early on, many authors used a 99 cent price to build readership. Now it is a strategy that many authors employ so what will the next creative pricing strategy be to stand out from the crowd?  Time will tell.

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With the Indie Revolution in full swing, there seems to be quite a bit of chatter in social media about what it should cost to self publish. If you were to believe some of the loudest voices, you might think if you pay anything to publish you are foolish. Fortunately there are other voices entering the discussion that point out there are costs associated with publishing a good book no matter what method you choose.

Media shiftFormatting an e-book can be free, but publishing requires an investment.

PBS watches the self-publishing space and reports on it in the Media Watch section of their website.  Recently one of the columns was written by Miral Sattar with the title: The Real Costs of Self Publishing.

In this informative article, Miral, who is the CEO of Bibliocrunch,  lays out some key areas every author should consider when publishing a book. More importantly, she suggests a range of costs someone might pay for those services. Here are some of the things to think about and the range of investment you might need to make based on a 70,000 word manuscript. To read the complete article, click here.

  1. Developmental editing:  An editor will evaluate and critique your manuscript, suggest and provide revisions, and shape it into a smooth, workable piece. They’ll look at the big picture and make sure everything flows and is consistent. Expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $18,000
  2. Copyediting: Once your manuscript is in good shape, the next thing you need to do is hire another editor called a copy editor or line editor to go through and catch spelling mistakes and adjust for grammar, punctuation and consistency. Expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000
  3. Cover design: Yes, books are judged by their covers.  If you want to hire someone to make a custom cover design, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $3,500. The higher end is for award-winning designers who have done Random House- or HarperCollins-type covers. Expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $3,500
  4. Formatting for print and and digital conversion:  If you’re looking to hire an expert, you can find someone to do the print-on-demand conversions for as little as $150 or as much as $2,500 to convert from Word or InDesign.
  5. Getting an ISBN: An ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is recommended if you’re doing a print book or want it placed in a library.
  6. Distribution: Lots of options here. If you do the work yourself, it is usually free. If you hire someone, they will usually take a percentage of sales. That is not necessarily a bad thing, because you have to evaluate how much your time is worth. You can do this yourself by following the instructions to get your books distributed into the various retailers. However, if you use a third-party they do take a percentage of each book sold.
  7. Marketing & PR: This is probably the toughest part after you’ve written the book. If you have the time, you can do a lot of the marketing yourself. Also, good book publicists can get you radio spots and press pickups for anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per month.

What do you think of Miral’s assessment? Use the comment section to let me know if you agree and if there is anything she missed.

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