Posts Tagged ‘Getting Published’

Publishing Choices…


Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Every Wednesday I share some of the things I have found that worked well for me and some that didn’t work so well on my journey to publication, marketing and publishing again.  The sort of stuff I wish somebody would have told me back then…

 Publishing Choices


Traditional Publishing is still number one through six in sales, in publications and in best -selling titles, in the world. Those top six companies are:

Hatchette Book Group

Harper Collins


Penguin Group

Random House

Simon and Shuster (name owned by CBS)

Each of these companies also own dozens of smaller companies known as imprints. An imprint may be used when publishing in a narrow field such as sci-fi or fantasy. How it works:

Traditional publishers in most cases will only work with literary agents. If you want to be traditionally published you will first need an agent.

How it works:

Little girl looking at book through magnifier

Submit your finished, professionally edited manuscript to an agent

If they decide to sign you they will have you go through another round of edits

They will try to sell your manuscript to a publisher

They will negotiate a contract on your behalf

They will receive a percentage of your sales

Once they have sold your manuscript to a publisher:

You will go through yet another round of editing

A cover will be designed and a title will be decided on

Conceptual editing will be done (styling)

The Advantages of Traditional Publishing:

They put up the front money for editing, copyrighting, distribution, listing with vendors, ISBN number, marketing and advertising. They may even provide an advance. The big Publishers have connections w/ T.V., radio, Magazines etc… Prestige and credibility. Your book will be released in Hardcover and then 8 months to a year later it will be re-released in paperback. Chances are much better for international sales.

Disadvantages of Traditional Publishing: 

Lack of control over everything involving your book including style, title, where it is sold, how it is marketed etc…

Earnings- You do not get paid until your advance is paid back (if you received one), royalties tend to be paid at lower percentages than other types of companies

The process tends to be impersonal

If the Publisher does not make their initial investment back in two-years they may drop you

The time frame from signing to publication can take up to two-years

Independent Publishing

Independent Publishers tend to be smaller companies and can be imprints of a larger company. Most of them operate ‘under one roof’ meaning they have editing, marketing etc…in house.

There are hundreds of Independent Publishing companies with new ones starting up every day.

Advantages of publishing with an Independent Publisher:

Pic of Maya Angelou quote Writing

They may or may not require you to be represented by an agent, More author attention, Time from signing to publication can be as quick as one year,  Prestige and credibility, better royalty agreement.

Disadvantages of publishing with an Independent Publisher:

Less opportunity for international sales, not impossible but unlikely

You will need to do most of the marketing

Your book may be released as an e-book prior to paperback release. It may not be released in hardcover.

Boutique, Hybrid, Subsidy, Vanity, Print on Demand and Assisted Self- Publishing Companies

This is where the publishing water gets very murky. These companies charge fees for services. Some of them are very good companies that do exactly what they say they will do and some of them are very bad companies. Some of them are extremely choosy over what they accept for publication and others will print anything. If you choose this route for publishing you must research the company, have any contract looked at by a literary attorney, request author references and order a few books that the company published to check the quality.

These companies may offer different publishing packages ranging in price from $10,000 for complete preparation to release services, $5,000 for less services and $600 or less for assistance with self-publishing such as ISBN number (your books social security number) copyrighting and formatting for Amazon and Barnes & Noble on line listings.

Advantages to this type of Publishing:

More control artistically, the highest royalties paid,  a good option for special interest, regional, self-help, speakers, cookbooks and celebrities, quicker to release (less than a year.)


Some of these disadvantages are changing, rapidly. The stigma surrounding self publishing is eroding. To break through these barriers, write a good book and make sure it is professionally edited and professionally formatted.

Most libraries and book stores will not stock these books.

Lack of credibility.

Many professional reviewers will not review these books.

Some of these companies don’t handle returns and that is a distribution problem.

Keep Writing,



Writing Wednesday/ Preparing for Publishing


Writing Wednesday

Typewriter envy











On Wednesdays I like to share information I picked up on my path to being published, marketing and preparing to be published again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.



Preparing for publication?

No matter which type of publishing route you choose, Traditional, Independent or Self-Publishing, your manuscript will need to be professionally edited by a professional book editor, it will need to be complete and it will need to be formatted in standard publishing form. That form is:


One-inch margin on all sides

Use a title page (not numbered)

Use a header on each page that includes your last name, the title in all caps and page number. Use forward slashes to separate. Start each chapter on its own page-starting 1/3 of the way down the page

The chapter number and the chapter title should be bold and in caps

Indent five spaces for each new paragraph

Double-space the entire text

Use a standard 12 point font such as Times New Roman. Ariel and New Courier are also acceptable

Only use one space between sentences.

While this is the business standard each agent and or publisher may have their own specific instructions for submissions. Follow their instructions carefully. Many of them will not even read your query simply because it is not formatted correctly. It is so much easier to start with the correct format.

I cannot stress enough how important editing is. Most authors I know will write a rough draft. Once that is finished they will let it sit for a week or so and then they will go over each and every word, making changes, cutting etc… A memoir is approximately 90,000 words. A novel is at least 135,000 words but can be much longer.

Once you have finished your first edit you will want to have someone read your manuscript. A beta reader can be another writer that agrees to read your work in exchange for reading theirs. Finding a good one or two is invaluable.

Little girl looking at book through magnifier

While your manuscript is being read you might want to fine tune your proposal. I wrote about proposals here:

Another good idea while your MS is being edited is to write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Choose a current topic that you are passionate about. If it is chosen for publication, you are published!

Write a few short stories on your book topic. Enter those stories in contests or use them as guest posts. This will help to establish you as an expert on your

You want to work on is the ‘elevator pitch’ for your book. When someone asks you what the book is about you want to be prepared with a carefully crafted two or three sentence description. Not only should you write your pitch you want to practice saying it out loud until it feels comfortable.

Your beta readers will most likely return your manuscript with suggestions. You will need to weigh their suggestions and do what you feel is right. Once you feel like the MS is as polished as it can be it is ready to be professionally edited.

I cannot stress enough how important this step is and that it is one you need to invest in no matter which way you plan to publish but especially if you plan to self-publish. The editor should be a professional book editor because they know the rules. They also know what sells and what doesn’t. It isn’t all about spelling and grammar, not that that isn’t extremely important too. Before hiring an editor ask for references.

My advice would be to follow whatever instructions and make whatever changes your editor requests for the sake of argument.  If you are not happy with the results you can always change it back. Chances are you will be happy with the outcome.

While your MS is being edited work on your online presence. Most agents and or publishers will Google your name. What will they see? You want to make sure your online presence is appropriate. Be careful when it comes to spelling, grammar and judgment on all social media formats.

[I need to take my own advice.] You want to be professional and non-controversial. A little bit of debate can be a good thing if you stick to the issue. Personal attacks are always unprofessional and a publisher and or an agent may choose not to work with you if you engage in that type of behavior.

There is more..

Do you set writing goals for yourself?  If so what are they?


Thank you for reading!




Spotted on Facebook this week:


Giving up on a goal because of a setback is like slashing your other three tires

because you got a flat.


I would love to connect with you here too:





Writing on Wednesday, Proposals…


Writing Wednesday-

Typewriter envy











On Wednesdays I like to share what I learned, what worked and what didn’t work for me when it comes to writing, publishing and marketing along my journey to publication for the first time and as I prepare to be published for the second time.

I was always more a sit down and write kind of writer until I started writing books and taking on freelance work. I found myself procrastinating and easily distracted by new and shinier things that came across my laptop screen.

If I wanted to do this book writing thing full time I needed to get organized and get writing.

I now start with an outline for whatever I may be writing. A blog post, article, a book or a ghostwriting project all start with an outline.

Once I have a simple outline, I start working on the proposal. I do NOT like writing proposals. That is, until they are done. Once they are done I feel like my book could write itself. Trust me you will thank me later.

NOVA Trauma Tree quote

If you are writing or planning to write nonfiction you will need a very, very good proposal to send to agents and or publishers. If you are writing fiction you should at least have an okay proposal, for yourself. It will help you stay focused.

The first rule of proposal writing is to take your time and get it right. The second rule is it should be written before you write the book. I know, bad news but again you will thank once it’s done.

* You will first need a one page cover letter. Think business, resume etc…


* Next you will need an overview. It should answer these questions: What is your book about (think about what will be on the back cover of the book), who will care about this book, who are you and what credentials do you have that make you the best person to tell this story? No more than two pages.


* Table of contents. You may have to finish this once the proposal is finished but this is the place for it.


* Target Market: Who will buy this book and why. Do not say everyone. Pick one demographic and then one or two sub-demographics. Do not use statistics that are not specific.


*Chapter Outline: The title of each chapter and a paragraph on what each chapter is about. Take your time and try to come up with paragraphs that tell a condensed version of your book. A beginning, middle and an end. If you are worried someone will steal your idea, don’t.


* Competition: Pick three or four books that will be direct competition. Competition in the book business is a good thing. It means people are reading what you are writing. (think vampires) Do careful research here and explain why your book is different and will stand out from the competition.


*Author bio and platform: Your bio should only pertain to what you are writing and your experience. Leave personal information out. It should be short and sweet. More on platform’s next week. It basically means who you know, organizations you belong to and your online reach.


*Marketing Plan: You must convince an agent and or a publisher that you can bring the audience for this book not the other way around. Do not write what you hope to do but specifically what you can and will do. Be confident, realistic and firm. Use real numbers. Cleary define your market. List your accurate online stats for all of your sites. Do not just list followers, list your Google analytics. List your offline following, organizations or groups you belong to and any media contacts you have. Don’t get depressed you can do this. Get out and meet people in real life. Read and leave comments on many other blogs to increase your own comments and stats.


*Last but not least, in fact extremely important, add two of your meatiest chapters.


Now sit down and write that memoir, novel, instructional, health or whatever story you were born to tell!

Dont let someone dim your light


Fraggin Fantastic Friday and Getting Published…


The Fraggin Fantistic Friday Fragment Anniversary Celebration Continues …

Friday Fragmets Celebration

The Celebration is leading up to the 300th Edition of Friday Fragments. TODAY IS EPISODE 299

Did I mention Mrs. 4444 has prizes???

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems (hint: a notebook is helpful) and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post with Linky Tools and link back to our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

It’s not too late to join in on the fun…


My Fragments are a bit less frantic this week. Just a little bit less.


I finished the A-Z Challenge!! Having a theme really seemed to help me stay focused. It also helped to have a few posts written ahead of time. Next year I will definitely try to have even more written prior to the start. Our A-Z Reflection’s will be posted soon.

A few weeks ago I was invited to mentor some students who were interested in writing careers. I was SO nervous. They were amazing and I ended up having a great time. When I got home I told my husband I never, ever thought about being a teacher but that fun and the kids inspired me.

Read the rest of this entry »

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