Comments – wpDiscuz. Gravity Forms. A long time ago, I used Disqus for comments, but the load time and reliability weren’t so great. Redirection. Google search prioritize results that are mobile friendly, so everyone should have a site that looks great and works well on mobile devices. Note from Jane:   This post is occasionally updated to keep up with changes in the WordPress ecosystem and reflect the evolution of my own site. This used to be my go-to plugin for forms until I bought the premium plugin Gravity Forms. WordPress Plugins I Highly Recommend

WordPress SEO by Yoast. (See next items). This is pretty much the standard and free version that most people use. The AMP plugin accomplishes that without you having to know or do anything fancy. If you’ve been blogging for a long time, or have large volumes of content available on your site that people need to search/sort through, Relevanssi is an invaluable plugin for helping streamline the search functionality of your website. AMP. This makes sure that the AMP plugin plays well with your Yoast plugin, plus gives you customization options for AMP. Try it for free by downloading the “lite” version. If you add Stripe functionality—also available from Gravity at an additional cost—then you can accept credit card payments through your Gravity Forms. Gravity is hands down the best plugin for building advanced and feature-rich forms on your site. You can avoid the “bad” ones by choosing highly rated and popular plugins that are frequently updated. Email Address Encoder. A Few Others I Like

Magic Action Box Pro. Much of the functionality you need, someone else needs, too—which means there’s probably a plugin that provides it, without you having to hire additional help or learn how to change the WordPress code. This plu-in is like a friendly SEO expert looking over your shoulder (in a good way), to help you optimize your pages, posts, and site metadata. Poorly written plugins can be buggy and present site security risks. But before I get to the list of plugins I love and recommend, there are some risks to using them:

First, plugins can sometimes conflict with your WordPress theme. Without further ado, here’s my list of indispensable WordPress plugins. Image Widget. What WordPress plugins can’t you live without? Again, add them carefully and study the results. This helps manage 301 redirects and keeps track of 404 (page not found) errors. Basically, this means that if permalinks of my pages or posts change for some reason, I can redirect people easily and quickly. Akismet. (Anything that hasn’t been updated in more than a year is best avoided.)
Plugins can make your site run more slowly, but the trade-off is usually worth it. This is the solution I chose, and I like it much better. As every WordPress site owner knows (at least those of you who self-host), plugins are one of the most wonderful and useful things about WordPress. Every site should have a contact form. This is the plugin developed by the WordPress folks themselves and is kind of like getting about two dozen plugins in one. Contact Form 7. If you manage contributors to your site, or use outsiders to help edit or manage your content, this plugin can help you manage what permissions they have behind the scenes. This is a simple plugin that easily allows you to add images to the widget sections of your website (usually the sidebar and footer). You should add them carefully and one at a time—and ensure that everything works the same as it did before. Plugins may also interfere with each other. Relevanssi. One way to do that is to optimize for AMP (Google’s initiative to make websites load fast on mobile). Jetpack. If you upgrade Jetpack, it c an also provide you with security scanning and backups of your site. OK, now it’s your turn. Essential for stopping comment spam and might even be pre-installed for you. User Role Editor. I use Jetpack for lots of functionality across my site, such as: sharing buttons at the end of blog posts and pages, show related content after posts, brute force attack protection (makes your site more secure), better image loading, and downtime monitoring. You can make it as simple or as complex as you like, and also create multiple contact forms. If you don’t actively use a plugin, it’s best to deactivate and delete it. This premium plugin creates call-to-action “boxes” at specific places on your site—e.g., at the beginning and end of every blog post or static page, or wherever you manually add it. If something “breaks” soon after you add a plugin, that’s the most likely cause of the problem. Read more about it here. Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP. This plugin is ideal even for people who don’t know what SEO means—in fact, it’s a good place to start. Just make sure your site is secure (has an SSL certificate) before you accept payments directly through your site. This ensure that spammers and other bad actors can’t scrape your email address from your website. If you consistently have a range of books or products to offer your readers, you’ll love this.



In just under four minutes, the Jamaican artist packages a story of corruption into a catchy song that allows the message to sink in deeper with each replay of the single. SHARE / Jul 25, 2017 01:44 pm

Today, Protoje brings his words to life with cinematic visuals for his latest single. Protoje’s single “Blxxd Money” is definitely the latter. Director, Che Kothari explains that “Blxxd Money” had the instant energy of a soundtrack. Many of us only picture the beautiful, carefree side of the tropical island but “Blxxd Money” tells the tale of two cities by bringing attention to the darker realities that are swept under the rug.“There is a lyric in the song that says: ‘If what you see nuh really phase you, then you are the problem that we face too,’” Protoje explains. “The visual is aimed to enhance the storytelling found in the song, illustrating how corruption at the top will inevitably make its way to the ground,” says Kothari. However with every corner of the globe at his fingertips, Protoje is careful to consider the impact of his words and in turn, uses his platform as a means to highlight topics that are near to his heart. Protoje Delivers Cinematic Visuals for Powerful “Blxxd Money” Single

by Contributed
There are some songs that need interesting visuals to make it more appealing, and others that are so vivid that the entire picture instantly paints itself within each listener’s mind.  It’s easy to create quick, formulaic music that only aims to keep the party going. “The song itself speaks more about corruption on a high level, but with the video we wanted to illustrate how corruption seeps through all levels of society, and how we often become complicit in its perpetuation.”



SHARE / Jul 21, 2017 10:35 pm Watch Reggae Sumfest 2017 Live! by Biko Kennedy
Be a part of the Reggae Sumfest 2017 experience!



Probably the best mindset to have when approaching social media is flexibility and patience. What should authors do on social media? If you only show up when you have a book to promote, you’re not going to be effective. It takes time to develop relationships and build trust—to belong to a community—through social media. Your communication may exhibit less curiosity and interest in others, and be more focused on book sales—not to mention you’ll be entering social environments where you’re a stranger in a strange land, unaware of the local “language”, etiquette or history. However, Facebook is by far the biggest social media network and is considered the most important for authors of general-interest works that appeal to the traditional demographic of book buyers (adult women). Mostly, it needs to be sustainable, or something you can continue doing indefinitely. If so, which social media sites should I use? Once you do have a baseline of interest, here are some posts to help you become more strategic in your use:

How to Be Active on Social Media Without Losing Your Mind
How to Run Short-Term Social Media Campaigns
How to Use Facebook Contests and Giveaways to Build a Fanbase
When Less Is More on Social Media

Parting advice
There’s a ton of bad advice out there about book marketing and promotion, and lots of it relates to social media. It won’t be cheap over the long run, and it may not give you much return on investment, but if it seems a “must” that you have something (because your publisher or agent says so),   then hire out its care and maintenance. Do authors have to use social media? It works best as part of a holistic book marketing and promotion strategy. However, to ignore social media entirely is to ignore where the majority of your intended readership is probably showing up on a daily basis. There isn’t a single answer to this question that works for every author. Social media rewards you showing up, consistently, with a voice, personality, or message that will become identified with you over time. Take the long view—which is always your best bet with any social media activity. For an author looking to reach the most people in one place, and gain excellent marketing insights and advertising opportunities, it’s hard to do better. If you only show up to talk about yourself, you’re not going to be effective. Photo credit: lilongd via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA
When I work with authors who have a book launch coming up, and they’ve so far kept social media out of their life, three questions immediately arise:

Do I have to use social media? There’s unfortunate Catch-22 for every author in this situation: If your only motivation to use social media is that you feel you must to market and promote your book, your efforts are likely to be undercut by your own means-to-an-end approach. For first-time authors especially, the existing social media community is rarely clamoring for you to join them and talk about your book, unless you already have an audience or readership (a developed platform) through some other means. To gain more insight on using Facebook:

Facebook for Authors: Getting Started Guide
The Pros and Cons of Using a Facebook Profile But Not an Official Business Page
Best Practices for Author Facebook Pages and Groups

If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, or if your content is very visual or multimedia driven, then it’s worth considering Instagram or Tumblr. Just as you wouldn’t ask someone for $20 right after meeting them at a party, you wouldn’t ask people on social media to make a purchase right after becoming acquainted. If you only show up because you’ve been told to, you’re going to become boring or insufferable—the No. If you hate, dread, avoid, or rail against social media, don’t use it. No. There are other things you can do: write guest posts or articles for website and blogs, be a guest on podcasts or vlogs, do your own audio or video content, teach online classes, organize in-person events or signings, participate on private message boards, be a guest at book clubs, and reach out personally to people in your network through a personal email (which is always underestimated and undervalued as a marketing and promotion tool). You won’t be alone in doing so. As is often repeated, it’s called social media because it’s supposed to be social. Pinterest is a strong choice for nonfiction work in the categories of crafting, home decor, fashion, and other stereotypically female-dominated interest areas. Or what you should be curious or care about. Or what you should do with your free time. It’s an opportunity to learn about your readership as well as better establish your platform—but not necessarily an opportunity to hard sell the book you’re about to release (assuming that release is less than six or twelve months away). In the end, social media is just one component of your author platform, and not necessarily the most important component. Assuming you have the funds, you can also hire someone to create and manage social media accounts for you. Which networks should authors use? So where does that leave you? Plus, the social networks themselves are ever-changing, and everyone has to adapt their techniques over time. Serious nonfiction writers and journalists—or those writing anything with a predominant current events angle—should consider Twitter. Let’s answer those three questions more directly. It depends on the work(s) you’re writing, what your strengths and interests are, and where your audience might best be engaged. Whenever I’m asked this, my mind goes blank, maybe because it’s like asking me how you should be as a person. While there’s no harm in copying other authors’ approaches or strategies on social media, or experimenting with the advice you read or hear about, I find that every author ultimately has to come up with their own unique model that works for them—which evolves over time as your career grows and as your experience grows. I have no idea. 1 cardinal sin of social media. What should I do on social media? When authors ask me “What should I post?” they’re likely thinking there’s some marketing playbook or strategy guide they need to follow in order to produce results. While that can be true once you have a foundation established—once you have work out there, some kind of following, and a readership that’s interested in what books you’re releasing next—at the beginning stages of your activity, what you should post is a fairly personal consideration.



To the best of your ability, try to approach the pitch process as part of the business of being a writer. Rather, it’s all the years of work leading up to that moment, and how someone’s years of experience give them the appearance of success—that feeling that they’re on the verge of breaking out. This is your chance to have a meaningful conversation with an industry insider about the market for your work. So come up with a 30-60 second pitch for your work using one of the following methods. Stop at a moment of tension and wait. Because of this, some conferences wisely provide special rooms writers can retreat to after an appointment or pitch, staffed with knowledgeable folks, who talk them through the emotional high or low they’ve just experienced. If you can, try to elicit answers that would help you develop next steps after the conference. When agents and editors meet you and feel like they’d love to work with you, even if the project you’re pitching isn’t a good fit, then you’re on your way to breaking out. Brevity is your friend! In today’s publishing environment, agents and editors look for people they’d enjoy working with, who are focused on long-term career growth and success. “Education” or “course correction” are not the dream. But this mindset is tough to adopt. While I’d try memorizing it, don’t hesitate to write it down and read it from an index card. If you’re inexperienced in pitching, you are more likely to walk into the meeting nervous and anxious—and unsure what to expect. Develop a specific list of questions that, if answered, would help you better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your project or position. Agents and editors are human, too, and don’t want to reject you to your face. That’s exactly what you   don’t want to do. Dedication is often assumed; salability is not. Photo credit: World Relief Spokane via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND
This summer, I’ll be speaking at the Midwest Writers Workshop (Muncie, Indiana) and the Writer’s Digest Conference   (New York City). They demonstrate curiosity and engagement. Option 3 (novels/narratives)

Character name/description
The conflict they’re going through
The choices they have to make

Nonfiction pitches (not narratives)
Answer the following three questions:

So what: What is the relevance of your topic and why is it important? Never talk for as long as possible—it can take a mere 15 seconds to deliver a convincing storyline. Most writers, just like the ones who cold query, get rejected in a business-like fashion upon submitting their materials. Just because you have three minutes (or 5 or 10) doesn’t mean you should take up all the time. I’ve attended several hundred conferences over the course of my career, and listened to perhaps thousands of pitches. It also puts you in the extremely unfavorable position of having to   rush to get something done and possibly not put forth your best work. You don’t want to be in that panic, trust me. Don’t rely on an emotional approach or appeal. If you demonstrate flexibility and openness to feedback during the pitch, the agent or editor will remember that. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Whose problems will it solve? Sometimes just five minutes of very insightful professional advice can change your perspective, approach, or slant. What keeps him from getting it? Some writers expect their heart and their passion for their book to carry the pitch. Breakout folks tend to ask smart questions. If you become overly focused on this mythic opportunity—and hearing that “yes” or “no” verdict—you might miss out on the biggest benefit of the pitch experience, which is getting instant feedback on your project. People who have that breakout feeling look and feel prepared, and demonstrate a kind of easy confidence that makes them a pleasure to talk to. But this number is ultimately meaningless. Some writers place too much importance on the pitch, treating it as the official verdict on whether they should continue as a writer or continue with a particular project. The truth is that in-person pitches have about the same success rate as a cold query, less than 1 percent typically. When is the right time to pitch agents? Here’s how to make it a little easier on yourself. Who are you: Why do you have the authority, credibility, and/or platform to be the author of this book? Compensate by overpreparing. That said, if you’ve pitched before you should have, I think it’s much better to take the time you need to prepare and polish your work before sending. Many writers compare notes with each other at conferences, to see how many manuscript requests they scored. It’s just how the business works, and you have little control over how agents or editors respond after the fact. Option 2 (novels/narratives)  

What does your character want
Why does he want it? I don’t recommend pitching your work unless you have submission-ready material—a completed, polished manuscript or book proposal, ready to go. Demonstrate openness to feedback. Who cares: Who is this book going to help? But whenever engaging in a business conversation (which is what a pitch is), it’s important to have some distance and perspective. Agents and editors can tell they don’t have to fear saying the wrong thing around such a writer, or hurting their feelings. And perhaps most important, they appear flexible but resilient when dealing with the business side of publishing. They know that getting an idea shot down isn’t personal, and they’re more likely to be receptive to a conversation about the marketability of a project and alternative routes to success. Be prepared for this, no matter how well the pitch went. It’s normal to be nervous. You want to hear their feedback and reaction. They may find it easier to say in person, “Sure, send us X pages.” And this is the dirty secret of pitch appointments: there’s a very high rate of agents and editors requesting materials. For all those writers who walk away disappointed from a pitch experience, remember that success is rarely attained in those specific five to fifteen minutes. The good news is that agents/editors know too well the pressure you’re feeling, and they’ll be very forgiving of your nerves. And all of that anxious energy can detract from the quality of the pitch, particularly if you haven’t prepared what you’re going to say. That’s why I find it’s usually a pleasure to be pitched by authors who have a business or marketing background. You have to know how to position and sell yourself, rather than stress your dedication to your work. A writer who’s too invested in a single project, and seeks validation for a book they’ve worked on for a decade or more, can be a red flag. Even worse, sometimes there is no rejection at all, just silence. Rather than talk and talk, remind yourself that it’s OK not to explain all the details or the final outcome. There’s not really any way to fake that, and it’s what agents and editors are ultimately looking for. The dream is “get an agent” or “get published.”
Writers often experience the pitch as a highly intense, emotional, and personal process. Keep it short. While it’s important to get out there and interact with professionals and understand how to pitch your work—and treat your publishing effort like the business that it is or can be—pitching can be a difficult task for the new writer. All you can control is your professionalism during the pitch, and how you steer the conversation while you have the agent or editor’s ear. Option 1 (novels/narratives)
I have a completed   [word count][genre]   titled   [title]   about   [protagonist name + small description]   who   [conflict]. Take the pressure off: it really isn’t a make-it-or-break-it moment. Bring questions with you. Unfortunately, feeling passionate about your work doesn’t always translate into a persuasive pitch. If possible, let the agent guide the discussion; find out what’s caught their attention or what piece is missing. It doesn’t do you much good to get an invitation to send materials, then not be able to follow up until the agent or editor has lost enthusiasm or forgotten all about you. Rushing isn’t good for anyone in the end. The longer you talk, the less time the agent or editor is talking. It’s a sign of a writer stagnating rather than growing. But it’s harder for them to help if you haven’t come prepared with a focused pitch. Such information can dramatically reduce future frustration and shorten your path to publication. Be prepared for a lukewarm (or no) response afterward. When I was an acquiring editor, writers who pitched me would often fill the first few minutes with apologies for being nervous, or rambling about inconsequential details of their personal life or writing life. Both events involve agent/editor appointments, and few things instill such a high level of anxiety in writers as an agent pitch.



And whether you really need to request permission depends on whether your use would fall under fair use guidelines. So, putting something in your own words or paraphrasing is usually okay, as long as it’s not too close to the way the original idea was expressed. If you’ve gone above and beyond in your efforts to seek permission, but cannot determine the copyright holder, reach the copyright holder, or get a response from a copyright holder (and you have documented it), this will be weighed as part of the penalty for infringement. Also, permission is generally granted for a specific print run or period of time. What   if you don’t get a response or the conditions are unreasonable? Ideas are not protected by copyright, but the expression of those ideas is protected. If you decide not to seek permission because you plan to use a fair use argument, be prepared with the best-possible case to defend your use of the copyrighted content in the event that you are sued. If you’re seeking permission to quote from a book, look on the copyright page for the rights holder; it’s usually the author. It’s hard to say, but when I worked at a mid-size publisher, we advised authors to be prepared to pay   $1,000–$3,000 for all necessary permissions fees if they were quoting regularly and at length. However, there is something known as a “good faith search” option. Determining what’s fair use is a gray area, and depends on your risk tolerance. Sample Permissions Letter For example, if you seek permission for a 5,000-copy print run, you’ll need to secure permission a second time if you go back to press. If it’s in a newspaper, magazine, or an online publication, you should seek permission from the publication if the photo is taken by one of their staff photographers or otherwise created by staff. It will be less necessary if you’re contacting publishers, who often have their own form that you need to sign or complete. Therefore, how you handle copyrighted content depends on how risk averse you are. Here’s a flowchart that can help you evaluate what you might need to ask permission for. Harpercollins permissions   information
Penguin Random House permissions portal
Macmillan permissions
Simon & Schuster permissions
Hachette permissions

Will   you be charged? (And if you publish a second edition, you’ll need to seek permission again.)
If you’re under contract with a publisher
Just about every traditional publisher provides their authors with a permissions form to use for their project (be sure to ask if you haven’t received one!),   but if you’re a self-publishing author, or you’re working with a new or inexperienced house, you may need to create your own. You can also try contacting the author or the author’s literary agent or estate. If you want to use copyrighted material in your own published work (whether a print book, magazine, or online venue), then it may be necessary to request formal permission for its use. To request permission from a publisher, visit their website and look for the Permissions or Rights department. If you want to consult with someone on permissions
I recommend my colleague Kelly Figueroa-Ray, who has experience in permissions and proper use of citations. If you seek permission, you need to identify the rights holder
Once you’ve decided to seek permission, the next task, and probably the most difficult, is identifying who currently holds the copyright or licensing to the work. To help you get started, I’ve created a sample permissions letter you can customize; it will be especially helpful if you’re contacting authors or individuals for permission. The only way your use of copyright is tested is by way of a lawsuit. With a little editing or reworking, it may possible for you to abide by fair use guidelines; in such cases, you don’t have to seek permission. However, assuming the book is currently in print and on sale, normally you contact the publisher for permission. It will not always be clear who the copyright holder is, or if the work is even under copyright. She has also been invaluable in her insight and feedback on the information offered in this post. If you’ve found the photo online, you need to figure out where it originated from and/or who it’s originally credited to. (Generally, it’s best to go to whomever seems the most accessible and responsive.)
If the book is out of print (sometimes you can tell because editions are only available for sale from third parties on Amazon), or if the publisher is out of business or otherwise unreachable, you should try to contact the author, assuming they are listed as the rights holder on the copyright page. Here are your starting points. Generally, you or your publisher will want nonexclusive   world rights   to the quoted material. Sometimes, the best strategy is to avoid seeking permission in the first place. This is not protection, however, from being sued or being found guilty of infringement. Here is an excellent guide from Stanford on how to search the government records. Here are links to the New York publishers’ rights departments, with instructions on how to request permission. First, verify the actual source of the text. That is, there is no general policing of copyright. To eliminate all possible risk, then it’s best to either ask for permission or eliminate use of the copyrighted material in your own work. Sometimes writers use quotes from Goodreads or other online sources without verifying the accuracy of those quotes. Two important caveats about this chart

Nothing can stop someone from suing you if you use their copyrighted work in your published work. You can also check government records. (Try using Google Image Search.) When in doubt, seek permission from the photographer, keeping in mind that many photographers work through large-scale agencies such as Getty for licensing and permissions. If you can’t wait to hear back, or if you can’t afford the fees, you should not use the work in your own. (Publishers don’t cover permissions fees for authors, except in special cases.) If you’re seeking permission for use that is nonprofit or educational in nature, the fees may be lower or waived. (As someone who is misattributed on Goodreads, I can confirm: people are misattributed all the time.)   If you don’t know the source, and you don’t know the length of the source work, and you don’t know if what you are quoting is the “heart” of the work, then you are putting yourself at risk of infringement. Photo permissions can get complex quickly if they feature models (you may need a model release in addition to permission) or trademarked products. Most published books, as well as other materials, have been officially registered with the US Copyright Office. For photo or image permissions: Where does the photo appear? “Nonexclusive” means you’re not preventing the copyright owner from doing whatever they want with the original material; “world rights” means you have the ability to distribute and sell your own work, with the quoted material, anywhere in the world, which is almost always a necessity given the digital world we live in. That’s unfortunate, but there is little you can do.



(Episodes of premium or paid content do not carry ads.) Tapas primarily uses Google AdSense and Facebook Audience Network to power the ads. When I first started writing, it was for my own personal entertainment. Not many American authors are familiar with Tapas Media, probably because it first gained its foothold in South Korea—plus, its primary niche has been comics. The platform   has more than 1.6 million readers, primarily in North America. Tapas alerted me to two creators in particular who have started pulling in meaningful audiences and earnings:   Goh Chun Hoong (of DarkBox) from Malaysia who produces a webcomic, and Jessica Chapman in the United States who writes fiction. My story was interesting enough to quickly gain me readers on this new platform despite starting from the bottom once again. Last year Tapas offered to publish us as premium paid content, and we started to earn an average monthly income of $2,000. Jessica Sanchez replied to my first email in just a couple of hours, and she was just so nice and friendly that it made me wished I had joined sooner. Did it kind of happen by itself, or did you market and promote what you were doing elsewhere? What are the earnings from? Then you come to realize that’s probably going to be near impossible, given the competition and your own lack of experience, expertise, and connections. Both are good in their own way, but I honestly prefer Tapas overall. I do still practice cross-promotion with long time followers on Wattpad, who still check out my story sample and come over to Tapas. Since its launch in October 2012, Tapas Media has gathered about 23,000 creators; readers spend about 30 minutes per month reading in the app, and they open the app about 20 times per month. Heck, I think most young and budding authors do. They were gracious enough to answer my questions about their experience so far. We respond to every single private message and wall post on our social media, and we appreciate readers’ effort to write to us. I plan to move most of my Wattpad books over, and add all my new ideas on to this site exclusively. Still, Tapas’s senior director of growth, Josh Bakken, says, “If the Tapas community likes something, they’re usually not shy about rewarding it. Our editors are spending a lot of time there now. How did you develop a readership? Trending is a combination of Subscribers, Reads, Likes, and Comments over hours. Do you expect to keep working with Tapas? We work very hard on our work and we observe readers’ comments and responses closely. How much do you engage with the readers, if at all? I make sure to keep them up to date with any new promotions and sales, which some do participate in. This usually includes giving out free keys to unlock chapters or doing a sale on the entire book. Some genres perform better on one platform than another. I found that the site and app were well put together and easy to navigate, which in my mind is a great indication of how good the site is. To this day I still haven’t gotten a reply to a request I sent to the Wattpad team. However, I’ve been particularly interested in Tapas because of the way it might help monetize serials or short works through a mobile and web platform—kind of like Wattpad, with some e-commerce and gamification added. No big-time agency is likely to give new talent like you the time of day, no matter how good your work is. I never expected to gain fans or readers, but I did, and Tapas has helped me to reach a new level in my career. Goh:   Tapas understands that besides breathing to live, artists also need to eat and pay their bills. Even though I was popular on Wattpad, it didn’t exactly get me anything tangible. All creators who self-publish start out by offering their episodes for free. To create a free account at Tapas, visit the   Tapas website, and be sure to check out   Tapas’s terms of service. However, a few have still noted their appreciation of my acknowledgment of them, which I think is very important because I truly do value and appreciate each reader. Overall though, I think the majority of my readers come from Tapas. Readers can tip the creator using the app’s virtual currency. Jessica: I heard about the site from a fellow Wattpad author a few months ago and decided to look into it. This typically takes the form of a small banner ad at the top of each episode’s comment section, and/or ad placement at the end of free episodes. Their method of monetizing for creators is innovative. I found that refreshing, as I usually expect to wait about two weeks for a reply from most any other place. (Heck, most major store retailers can’t make a decent page to shop at.)
After that I contacted Tapas for more information, they patiently and promptly answered all my questions. On the reader-facing side, Tapas offers bite-sized stories and the ability to try any story free before purchasing or “unlocking” installments. It has also been a great encouragement to me as a writer, because everyone hopes to make money off their passion, but not everyone finds a way to. Jessica:   Mostly my revenue is from purchased chapters. It’s good that the creator tries them out and finds the best platforms that suit their genre. Are you publishing new work on Tapas or work that’s been previously published elsewhere? Goh:   We are publishing mainly on Tapas, Line Webtoon and 9gag. I did also try Amazon self-publishing for a bit, although it was not exactly productive. Jessica:   I do. (I didn’t see any red flags, but always be fully informed.) I have lots of upcoming story ideas, and they will most likely only be debuted on Tapas. Goh: We   used social media to engage with the readers. However, after moving the books to this new platform exclusively and seeing its quick success, I decided that I will also be adding my other works, and new original ideas to Tapas that have never been posted anywhere else (not until later this year though). Tapastic [the previous name of Tapas] is one of those sites. (Here’s a recent interview with Weir and Sarah Andersen about their new fantasy comics collaboration for Tapas.)
In May, Tapas announced new functionality for creators to self-publish through their platform. We had a 24-hour tipping event in February where the goal was for readers to tip 2.5 million coins to their favorite creators. In less than a month, I made more on Tapas than from my last full-time paycheck. After we published on Tapas with its unique ad revenue sharing with creators, we started to make some small income. How much have you earned and how has this made a difference in your life (professional or personal)? This is a great help since I work to help support my mom and disabled little brother at home, and can only manage to find a minimum wage job that usually offers less than full-time with no benefits. Jessica:   Wattpad is the only other site I use, though it’s no longer my main focus, and will soon be down to just a few books for my longtime loyal readers. However, while Tapas is quickly growing into a popular webcomic and now fiction site, the competition is still far less than that of other places. They ended up tipping over 4.5 million!”

Leveling up to premium content. Tapas is also helping a lot on promoting Silent Horror on their portal. I’m a very creative person, and it’s not hard for me to develop brand-new concepts and run with them. Surprisingly, not every author participates in these, fearing they’ll lose money instead of realizing they will hook new readers, so honestly this has also helped me stand out over others. To unlock new installments, a reader might invite friends to read, watch ads, complete some other offer, or simply wait. At the end of each book I plan to do a short author’s note to thank them all again, which hopefully prompts them to like and follow me, not just my books. Which is a shame, because I have seen so much talent get left in the dust. Bakken says, “The easiest way to grab the attention of the content team is to have a Trending or Popular title in our Novels section. Publishing online at venues like Tapas helps not bad writers, but good ones gain exposure they might normally never receive. How quickly did a readership develop? To us, Tapas is the best platform for indie creators. Goh:   It takes time, hard work and persistence to develop readership and fans. In short, I think traditional publishing has simply become too difficult. I love talking to my readers in those ways, showing them I’m not just someone who wants money, but that I’m a real person who simply loves to write! This has been way better than any of my other online experiences, and I think it’s ideal for any new and serious author. Jessica:   I have no online presence aside from my Wattpad. Most of those were gained by readers watching ads and not direct purchases. Depending on various factors, the creator earns between 60 and 85 percent of the real-world monetary value of the tip. Our main focus is to expose our work to as many readers as we can. Creators can elect to have advertising displayed in their work and receive 30 percent of the revenue. That’s why I’m so excited to post my work on a site where I actually see progress, both in gaining popularity and in developing an income. Goh:   In the early stages, we published our work on numerous free hosting sites like many other creators did. Headquartered in San Francisco and Seoul, Tapas has received more than $5 million in funding to date. At one time I had dreamed of getting published traditionally and having my books printed in stores. The whole team is just so helpful! Do you participate on any other publishing platforms or self-publish your work? Goh:   Currently we are publishing all latest and premium content with Tapas. But the value of the virtual currency, as you might imagine, is rather small—a fraction of a cent. I try to talk to almost all my readers like I used to on Wattpad, but not all of them chat back. I do receive tips, but they are not as consistent so I can’t really count their value yet. Popular is similar, but over days.”

It’s been about two months since the platform was opened to all, and authors are starting to see returns on their effort. Jane: Why did you begin publishing on Tapas, or what drew you to it? Goh:   We earned zero income in the first year. Aside from that, the Tapas team does their own promotions for authors who are interested, which I always am. Jessica:   The first book I published on Tapas, The Dragon Prince’s Bride, was once my main series on Wattpad, and gained almost 2.5 million reads in less than a year. Jessica:   Since my debut on Tapas just last month, I’ve gained 11,000 subscribers, and over 140,000 reads. Last year, a new startup, Tapas Media, joined the US digital publishing scene, hoping   to offer a viable business model and distribution platform for authors and publishers to profit from serialization. Since my book gained popularity on popular lists and the site’s front page, I get a lot of interested people, even those who usually don’t read novels on there. But Tapas says they will move stories that show promise to their premium model, where readers have to pay to continue reading episodes. Honestly, since so many people use their computers and phones for everything nowadays, I think in time online publishing, not necessarily self-publishing, might overtake traditional routes, giving people the chance to read awesome books they would never be able to find on a store shelf. In 2016, Tapas announced a partnership with Andy Weir of   The Martian   as well as Hachette to release serialized content. Tipping. Up until now, it was only possible to publish your work on the platform by submitting it to the Tapas content team; now any author can create an account, set up a new work, and begin uploading episodes of either a novel or comic. Monetization currently happens in one of three ways:

Advertising.



He lives in San Francisco, California. Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Ultimate Illustrated History documents Marley’s and the Wailers’ role in spreading reggae music around the globe. Their evolution from an early-60s Jamaican ska group to international superstars was not just improbable, but unprecedented for an act from a third-world nation. With over 75 million albums sold worldwide, an appeal that spans generations, and still influencing artists today, their legacy is something most other acts only dream of. Unterberger is also the author of The Rough Guide to Music USA, a guidebook to the evolution of regional popular music styles throughout America in the 20th century, and The Rough Guide to Jimi Hendrix. Author Richie Unterberger examines all aspects of their career, from the early days, their recorded output, as well as the roles and careers of other Wailers, most notably Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. The resulting package is authoritative but also beautifully designed and illustrated, featuring 300 images of rare memorabilia, as well as fantastic performance and candid off-stage photography. Additionally, Unterberger delves into the influence of the Rastafari movement on the musicians’ lives and music, and on controversial incidents like the breakup of the original Wailers in the mid-1970s; the attempted assassination of Marley in 1976; and his premature death in 1981. He is a frequent contributor to MOJO and Record Collector, and has written hundreds of liner notes for CD reissues. BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS: The Ultimate Illustrated History

by Contributed
The new book, BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS: The Ultimate Illustrated History (Voyageur Press, September 1, 2017 / US $35) documents the Jamaican legends’ crucial role in establishing reggae’s global popularity and  enduring influence with socially conscious lyrics that made Marley a global symbol of pride and justice. 

SHARE / Jul 6, 2017 03:37 pm

More than three decades after Bob Marley’s death, Bob Marley and the Wailers remain among the most famous bands of all time. This big, hardcover book illuminates Bob Marley and the Wailers’ life and times like no other history of the band. Richie Unterberger is the author of numerous rock history books, and his most recent book is Fleetwood Mac: The Ultimate Illustrated History. He teaches courses on rock music history at the College of Marin, the University of San Francisco, and City College of San Francisco.



Give yourself time to digest it and let the emotional reaction dissipate. 6. Then you’ll have distance and be in a position to make the best decision for the work. I’ve found that writers, if they trust the source, generally respond in a few key ways. Know when you’re seeking a second opinion because you’re looking for additional clarity or dialogue (because it always helps to talk these things through), and when you’re trying to get someone else to make the hard decisions for you. This is the stereotypical response of the inexperienced writer, who gets prickly and looks for ways to defend their work or excuse the weaknesses. I’ve often heard experienced novelists say that when they receive feedback that makes them angry or upset, they immediately put it away and don’t act on it. Their work is more enlightened because it’s not blindly following in the footsteps of all the other mediocre work out there. You ask questions. 1. This is not a bad idea, assuming you have the time (and the resources, budget and/or necessary relationships). Its success isn’t a surprise to me because writers who receive criticism, constructive or otherwise, almost never forget it—and this post gave writers of all stripes an opportunity to sigh with satisfaction and say, “I knew it all along. Whether you react to feedback with ease or anger, it’s always wise to sit on feedback for at least a few days before making any big decisions about it, or even responding to it. Such changes can rarely be made overnight or even in a week or month. (And it’s right to do so—not all feedback is useful.) But you also should consider evidence that the feedback might be right. Worse things could happen. Some writers do exactly the opposite of defend their work: they immediately look for ways to fix the problem. At some point, the writer’s first chapter was criticized. But easy or fast fixes tend to have a high failure rate. 3. No shame in it. “My writing group loves this” is a common defense. If you pull on one thread in a story, or reconsider something as seemingly simple as your first page, you’ve suddenly got a rewrite on your hands. You sit on the feedback for a while. Not just that, they try to fix the problem within 24 hours of it being pointed out. But they could be. Or, “I worked with [another] professional editor.”
It’s perfectly normal to think of all the reasons the feedback might be wrong. (And that’s why writing groups can be more dangerous than helpful.)
But how about cases where the person offering feedback is an experienced professional—someone who makes a living at offering and selling informed feedback? And hiding from it may mean abandoning the project, either temporarily or for good. But it can put responsibility on other people—who may not be appropriate—to figure out the best way forward with your work. Alternatively, writers may cite other positive opinions they’ve received. This is my theory as to why so many prologues exist in unpublished manuscripts. With any piece of feedback you receive, whether positive or negative, there were a million choices that went into crafting that feedback. This can be as problematic as ignoring feedback because it results in cosmetic changes that don’t really affect the quality of the work. (Like myself?)
Let’s assume (and I know it can be a big assumption) that the experienced professional is self-aware and careful, and can offer feedback that’s useful and isn’t delivered in bad faith—that it’s an accurate and fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the work, at least from a market perspective. If the feedback is discouraging or overwhelming, sometimes you just want to hide from it. Writers can argue that they’re trying to work against formula, or break the mold of what’s typically done. They’re not likely interested in having an argument or defending their position; in the end, you are the arbiter of what’s best for the work. One of the most popular guest posts at my site this year is How to Spot Toxic Feedback,   which discusses signs that the writing advice you’re receiving may do more harm than good. Sometimes we’re not ready to complete the projects we start and have to return at a different time. 2. Let me know in the comments: What strategies have you found successful for using feedback to improve your work? The solution: add a prologue! You get a second opinion. Writers build on their strengths, and you want to know what parts of your work ought to be preserved. You give up or move onto something else. But some writers don’t have the patience or fortitude for that. This is the “special snowflake” argument; the writer becomes the exception to the rule. You rush to make changes. You defend what you’ve done. Looking for the pattern of your response can be useful in understanding if you’re getting the most from professional feedback, or if you’re inadvertently sabotaging progress. But there are more subtle ways that writers defend their work without looking defensive. 5. Such-and-such critique was invalid and harmful and I should’ve been ignoring it.”
That might be true when it’s inexperienced writers or readers offering the critique.   Avoid taking your second (or third…) opinion back to the first person who offered you the feedback. Then, after a week or two, they go back to it, and see that much of it was correct. Just ask, especially during moments in the feedback where you wish: “Boy, I want to know more about that.”
After discouraging feedback, a good follow-up is always: What am I doing right that I can build on? Quality feedback can lead to large-scale revision or edits. 4. Some things were left unstated; some matters were not expanded upon.



Designing an Ebook Cover
There are a number of special considerations for ebook cover design. When you do pay upfront, usually in the case of a distributor (such as BookBaby), you earn 100% net. Also, you can take a look at Joel Friedlander’s book template system, which offers a way for total beginners to prepare ebook and print book files that are ready to be distributed and sold. When agents start publishing their clients’ work and taking their 15% cut of sales, a conflict of interest develops. With Ingram Spark, it generally takes 2 weeks for the book to be available through all their channels. Some of the services I reference, particularly CreateSpace, offer fee-based services related to editing, design, and marketing. The Most Common Ways to Self-Publish Today
There are several ways to self-publish in today’s market. What follows is an explanation of how to self-publish once you have a final, polished manuscript and/or printer-ready files. wholesaler, Ingram. You can upload your work at any time and make it available for sale; you can also take it down at any time. If you have more money than time, and have no interest in being a full-time career author, this may best service your needs. You also need to anticipate your appetite for handling the warehousing, fulfillment, and shipping of 1,000+ books, unless a third party is handling it for you, which will reduce your profit. You, the author, manage the publishing process and hire the right people or services to edit, design, publish, and distribute your book. When Ebooks Can Be Problematic
Even though ebooks are the best-selling format for self-publishing authors (especially fiction), ask these questions before you begin:

Is your book highly illustrated? This is by far the most popular way to produce print copies of your book because it reduces financial risk. Most self-published authors earn the bulk of their money from ebook sales. 7. Whatever your perspective, just understand that, if you’re an unknown author, your competition will probably be priced at $2.99 or less to encourage readers to take a chance. Pros of offset printing

Lower unit cost
Higher quality production values, especially for full-color books
You’ll have plenty of print copies around

Cons of offset printing

Considerable upfront investment; $2,000 is the likely minimum, which includes the printing and shipping costs. 2. Investing in a Print Run: Yes or No? I Want to Pay Someone to Self-Publish My Book
Here are high-quality, full-service publishing providers that I trust. Cons of print-on-demand

The unit cost is much higher, which may lead to a higher retail price. Here are the characteristics of major services:

Free to play. Useful tools for formatting and converting ebooks include:

Calibre: Free software that   converts and helps you format   ebook files from more than a dozen different file types. Where you’re driving sales. Service packages and publishing arrangements tremendously vary, but the best services charge an upfront fee, take absolutely no rights to your work, and pass on 100% net sales to the author. This is an introductory guide to how to self-publish (both print and ebook), and how to choose the right services or approach based on your needs and budget. The biggest and most important of these is Amazon’s   Kindle Direct Publishing. Given the pace of change in the market, it’s not a good idea to enter into an exclusive, long-term contract that locks you into a low royalty rate or into a distribution deal that may fall behind in best practices. A Quick History of Self-Publishing
The Most Common Ways to Self-Publish Today
Self-Publishing: The DIY Approach I Recommend
How Ebook Self-Publishing Services Work
Creating Ebook Files
How to Self-Publish a Print Book
Investing in a Print Run: Yes or No? Again, it’s important to emphasize: By using these services, you do not forfeit any of your rights to the work. Self-Publishing: The DIY Approach I Recommend
Today, anyone can get   access to the same level of online   retail distribution as a   traditional publisher, for both print and ebook editions, through services such as Amazon KDP, Pronoun,   Draft2Digital, CreateSpace, and IngramSpark. Note: Nonfiction authors should price according to the competition and what the market can bear. Read his review before using any service. Important to note: There is a difference between formatting and converting your book files. Examples of good assisted services include Matador, Mill City Press, DogEar, Radius Book Group, Book in a Box, and Girl Friday Productions. Ultimately, you do have to use POD regardless if you want to be distributed by the largest U.S. To use a traditional printer, you usually need to commit to 1,000 copies minimum. While you cannot export an EPUB file from a Word document, you can save your Word document as a text (.txt) file, then convert and format it using special software. A Quick History of Self-Publishing
For most of publishing’s history, if an author wanted to self-publish, they had to invest thousands of dollars with a so-called “vanity” press, or otherwise learn how to become an independent, small publisher. With ebooks, the same factors are in play, plus the following:

If you check the ebook bestseller lists, you’ll see that independent novelists charge very little for their work, often somewhere between 99 cents and $2.99. Example of Print-on-Demand Earnings
This is for a $14.99 standard 6×9 paperback, about 240 pages. Anyone can make their ebook and print book available for sale in the most important market—Amazon—without paying a cent upfront. You can also hire him for a consultation if you need expert guidance. Work with a “hybrid” publisher. 8. You should avoid companies that take advantage of author inexperience and use high-pressure sales tactics, such as AuthorSolutions imprints (AuthorHouse, iUniverse, WestBow, Archway). If such an opportunity should arise, then you can always invest in a print run after you have a sales order or firm commitment. However, if you use Ingram Spark to fulfill orders through Amazon, you will reduce your profits because Amazon offers more favorable terms when selling books generated through CreateSpace. For many authors, the majority of sales will be through Amazon. Nearly all ebook retailers offer to distribute and sell self-published ebooks through their storefront or device, then take a cut of sales. How Ebook Self-Publishing Services Work
The first and most important thing to understand about ebook retailers and distributors   is that they are not publishers. Also consider if you’ll want significant quantities to distribute or sell to business partners or organizations, stock in local/regional retail outlets or businesses, give to clients, etc. Such books will almost never be stocked in physical retail bookstores, although in some rare cases, it may happen. Here are the most commonly used formats for ebooks:

EPUB. Self-publish by hiring a services company to basically act as your publisher. Typically, the more well known or trusted you are, the more you can charge. One designer I frequently recommend is Damon Za. This is considered a global standard format for ebooks and works seamlessly on most devices. Vellum: popular ebook formatting software for Mac users
I’ve listed more tools here. I offer a checklist for the book publication process here. But this is very different from actually selling your book into bookstores. Girl Friday Productions
Radius Book Group
Winning Edits Most assisted publishing services have different packages or tiers of service, while others offer customized quotes based on the particular needs of your project. One popular approach for independent authors is to sell and distribute directly through Amazon KDP, then use a distributor like Pronoun or Draft2Digital to reach everyone else. Every step of the way, you decide which distributors or retailers you prefer to deal with. Sometimes prices are just as high for digital editions as print editions in nonfiction categories. I will explain how and when to use these services throughout this post. Self-publish completely on your own, hiring only the freelance assistance you need, and work   directly with retailers and distributors to sell your book. Ebook adoption in the children’s market is in the single digits, unlike the adult market. For the basic information on how to establish your own imprint or publishing company, read Joel Friedlander’s post, How to Create, Register, and List Your New Publishing Company. They make money on charging authors for the services provided (editorial, design, marketing, and so on), not on copies sold. Author Nicholas Erik maintains an excellent beginner’s guide. Maximizing Your Book Sales
With print books, your success is typically driven by the quality of your book, your visibility or reach to your readership, and your cover. Bookstores almost never accept or stock titles from any self-publishing service or POD company, although they can special order for customers when asked, assuming the book appears in their system. Such practices are controversial because agents’ traditional role is to serve as an advocate for their clients’ interests and negotiate the best possible deals. Each hybrid publisher has its own distinctive costs and business model; always secure a clear contract with all fees explained. 4. Creating Ebook Files
Nearly every service asks you to upload a final ebook file that is appropriately formatted. In their defense, agents are changing their roles in response to industry change, as well as client demand. Setting Up a Formal Publishing Company
You don’t have to set up a formal business (e.g., in the United States, you can use your Social Security number for tax purposes), but serious self-publishers will typically set up an LLC at minimum. traditional publishers are produced through offset printing. The best and most expensive services (which can easily exceed $20,000) offer a quality experience that is comparable to working with a traditional publisher. Most major ebook retailers and distributors accept a Word document and automatically convert it to the appropriate format, but you still must go through an “unformatting” process for best results. Because standards are still developing in the ebook world, you may find yourself converting and formatting your book multiple times to satisfy the requirements of different services. Pros of   print-on-demand

Little or no upfront cost, aside from producing printer-ready files
Your book can be available for sale as a print edition in all the usual online retail outlets (Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, etc), as well as distributed through Ingram, the largest U.S. At-will and nonexclusive. How to Publish an Ebook: Resources for Authors
The Basics of Self-Publishing by David Gaughran
Mick Rooney’s Independent Publishing Magazine offers in-depth reviews of just about every publishing service out there. MOBI. This is the format that’s ideal for Amazon Kindle, although you can also upload an EPUB file. book wholesaler. Also, think through the paradox: Print-on-demand services or   technology should be   used for books that are printed only when there’s demand. To check the reputation of a service, visit   Mick Rooney’s Independent Publishing Magazine. Before I explore that process in detail, here’s an explanation of the other choices you have. All major services offer step-by-step guidelines for formatting your Word documents before you upload them for conversion. Little technical expertise required. Self-publishing on your own means making decisions about your book’s editorial, design, and production quality. You can upload new versions; change the price, cover and description; and you can sell your work through multiple services or through your own site. A note about ISBNs: While an ISBN is not required for basic ebook distribution through most retailers, some distributors and services   require one. Services vary widely in the types of files they accept. What’s Changed Since 2007
Just as traditional publishing has transformed due to the rise of ebooks, today’s self-publishing market has transformed as well. However, there is even one ebook distributor that charges nothing upfront and still pays 100% net: Pronoun. If you don’t pay an upfront fee, then expect a percentage of your sales to be kept. It’s often easy to convert files, but the resulting file may look unprofessional—or even appear unreadable—if not formatted appropriately. Most e-publishing services fall into one of these two categories:

Ebook retailers. Your Amazon page may be the first and only page a reader looks at when deciding whether to purchase your book. 3. Self-publishing services may claim to distribute your book to stores or make your book available to stores. Not everyone is comfortable investing in a print run. Therefore, to maximize distribution, you’ll need an ISBN for your ebook. Self-publish by hiring a service company
This is what I call the “write a check and make the headache go away” method of self-publishing. (More info below.)
What your budget is like. Help might consist of fee-based services, royalty-based services, and hybrid models. 6. Outfits like iUniverse, Xlibris, and AuthorHouse (which have merged and been consolidated under   AuthorSolutions) offered a range of packages to help authors get their books in print, though most books never sat on a bookstore shelf and sold a few dozen copies at best. Increased risk—what if the books don’t sell or you want to put out a new edition before the old one is sold out? How to Self-Publish a Print Book
There are two primary ways to publish and make a print edition available for sale:

Print on demand (POD)
Traditional offset printing  

Print-on-demand technology allows for books to be printed one at a time. I comment more on that here. These services primarily act as middlemen and push your work out to multiple retailers and distributors. If a traditional publisher or agent were to approach you after your ebook has gone on sale, you are free to sell rights without any obligation to the services you’ve used. These package services may work OK for your needs, but I think it’s better to hire your own freelancers and always know who you’re working with. Some argue this devalues the work, while others say that it’s appropriate for   an ebook   from an unknown author. Every time a copy of your book is sold, the retailer takes a cut, and if you use a distributor, they’ll take a cut, too. Major services offer automated tools for converting your files, uploading files, and listing your work for sale, as well as free guides and tutorials to help ensure your files are formatted appropriately. Giveaways are an important part of ebook marketing and sales strategy for indie authors. You don’t “pay” these services until your books start to sell. It needs to be readable at all sizes and look good on low-quality or mobile devices. Most books printed by U.S. The most popular ebook distributors in the United States are Draft2Digital, Pronoun, and Smashwords. Optimization of this page—the marketing description, the book cover, your author bio, the reviews, and more—is critical for driving sales. 10. I do not recommend investing in a print run because you think bookstores or retail outlets will stock your book. Most people cannot tell the difference between a POD book and an offset printed book—at least for black-and-white books. PDFs can be difficult to convert to standard ebook formats. If you’re driving your customers/readers primarily to online retailers, you can fulfill print orders with less hassle and investment by using POD. Conversion refers to an automated process of converting files from one format into another, without editing or styling. Is your book for children? Using CreateSpace (a division of Amazon) to produce a POD edition for Amazon sales. As soon as your printer-ready files are uploaded, POD   books are generally available for order at Amazon within 48 hours. The benefit is that you get a published book without having to figure out the service landscape or find professionals to help you. wholesaler, Ingram. It’s not a recommended starting point for ebook conversion. Print-on-Demand Recommendations
If you choose print-on-demand for your print edition, then I recommend the following:

Use Ingram Spark to produce a POD edition for all markets except Amazon. While it can be fairly straightforward and inexpensive to get a print book in your hands via print-on-demand services, virtually no one   can get your book physically ordered or stocked in bookstores. When the truck pulls up to your house with several pallets piled high with 30-pound boxes, it will be a significant reality check if you haven’t thought through your decision. Furthermore,   85% or more of all US ebook sales happen through a single online retailer, Amazon. If   your ebook has special layout requirements, heavy illustration, or multimedia components, you should probably   hire an independent company to help you (eBookPartnership is one option). This post will expand on how to self-publish completely on your own. Ebook distributors. The 3 key factors are:

How and where you plan to sell the book. CreateSpace
IngramSpark

Unit cost (to print the book)
$3.63
$3.94

Your earnings if sold at Amazon
$5.36
$2.41

Your earnings if sold outside of Amazon
$2.36
$2.41

9. You’ll have plenty of print copies around—which means you have books to warehouse and fulfill unless you hire a third party to handle it for you, which then incurs additional costs. They could be low cost because—without print runs, inventory, and warehousing—the only   expense left was in creating and designing the product itself: the book. More Resources
You can read more about self-publishing at the following posts:

Should You Self-Publish or Traditionally Publish? But if your book is mostly straight text—such as novels and narrative works—then you might be   able to handle the conversion and formatting process without much difficulty if you’re starting with a Word document or text file. That all changed in the late 1990s, with the advent of print-on-demand (POD) technology, which allows books to be printed one at a time. Does it require color? If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the idea of converting and formatting your own ebook files, then you may want to use a distributor or service that’s customer-service oriented in this regard,   such as Draft2Digital. That means they take no responsibility for the quality of your work, but neither do they take any rights to your work. (If you’re US-based, you can buy through MyIdentifiers.com.)
What ebook retailers pay

Ebook priced at 99 cents

Author receives per unit sold

Amazon
33 cents (35%)

Nook Press
40 cents (40%)

Apple iBooks
70 cents (70%)

Kobo
45 cents (45%)

Ebook priced at $2.99

Author receives per unit sold

Amazon
$2.09 (70%)

Nook Press
$1.94 (65%)

Apple iBooks
$2.09 (70%)

Kobo
$2.09 (70%)

Ebook priced at $12.99

Author receives per unit sold

Amazon
$4.55 (35%)

Nook Press
$5.20 (40%)

Apple iBooks
$9.09 (70%)

Kobo
$9.09 (70%)

5. Regardless of how you proceed, look for flexibility in any agreements you sign. Because none of these services demand exclusivity, that’s possible. This helps reduce the amount of work an author must do; instead of dealing with many different single channel services, you deal with only one service. Publish through a “hybrid” company
Some self-publishing (or assisted publishing) services have started calling themselves “hybrid publishers” because it sounds more fashionable and savvy, but such companies may be nothing more than a fancy self-publishing service. If you frequently speak and have opportunities to sell your books at events, then it makes sense to invest in a print run. By doing so, your book will be listed and available for order through the largest and most preferred U.S. This is but a scratch on the surface of the world of ebook marketing. For these reasons (and many more), it’s best to hire a professional to create an ebook cover for you. You have to do your research carefully;
I discuss hybrid publishing in more detail here. That means the   full-service POD publishers that used to   make a killing are now largely irrelevant to most self-publishing success, even though you’ll find them advertising against Google search results for “self-publishing.” Don’t be immediately lured in; first understand your options, explained below. You rarely pay an upfront fee. Some self-publishing services will provide you with an ISBN, or you can obtain   your own ISBN. As you might imagine, independent bookstores aren’t crazy   about ordering books provided by CreateSpace/Amazon, their key competitor. You may have very few print copies on hand—or it will be expensive to keep ordering print copies to have around. As with self-publishing service companies, you will fund book publication in exchange for expertise and assistance of the publisher; cost is often in the thousands of dollars. People may see your cover in black and white, grayscale, color, high-resolution, low-resolution, thumbnail size, or full size. PDF. Your book is not going to be nationally distributed and sitting on store shelves unless or until a real order is placed. I recommend using both Ingram Spark and CreateSpace to maximize your profits and ensure that no one is discouraged from ordering or stocking the print edition of your book. If so, you may find there are   significant challenges to creating and distributing your ebook across multiple platforms. So it’s much more advantageous financially to use CreateSpace—but limit the scope of that agreement to just Amazon orders. Agents Who Offer Self-Publishing Services
Increasingly, agents are starting to help existing clients as well as new ones digitally publish their work. Fees dramatically vary and quality dramatically varies. Print-on-Demand Recommendations
Maximizing Your Book Sales
More Resources

1. You retain complete and total control of all artistic and business decisions; you keep   all profits and rights. As a result,   many POD publishing services arose   that provided authors with low-cost self-publishing packages. Ebook-only work will struggle to gain traction. You may receive better royalties than a traditional publishing contract, but you’ll earn less than if self-publishing on your own. Ebook retailers do not offer any assistance in preparing your ebook files, although they may accept a wide range of file types for upload.



A special sound system presentation from New York favorites, Deadly Dragon Sound kicked off the evening’s activity with music from the extensive Greensleeves catalog in between performances. The energetic and diverse crowd moved towards the stage when Addis Pablo began a melodica performance of songs ‘Road to Addis’ and ‘Call of the Righteous.’ He also performed a set of his father Augustus Pablo’s hits including the popular ‘Java’, backed by the Positive Vibration band. reggae label, Greensleeves Records. 

SHARE / Jun 29, 2017 07:44 am

Italian born reggae star Alborosie delivered his first New York concert performance, while roots reggae sensation Queen Ifrica headlined with her full band before continuing her U.S.                                                                                         Greensleeves Records, founded in 1977, created a legacy of respected reggae artists such as Yellowman, Barrington Levy, Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, Mr. Shortly after, Alborosie invigorated the venue more with crowd favorites such as ‘Poser’. Their work with domestic and international artists helped develop the reggae genre in the U.K. and Europe and set a standard for presenting the music and culture with quality and respect. The label was purchased by VP Records in 2008.                             Multiple album projects are scheduled to commemorate the Greensleeves anniversary including; Alborosie “Freedom In Dub,” King Jammy “Waterhouse Dub,” “African Dub Chapter Two” by Joe Gibbs plus classic re-issues from Hugh Mundell, Augustus Pablo, Keith Hudson, Sylford Walker, Linval Thompson and more. “Addis Pablo represented his father’s legacy on Greensleeves, Alborosie represented the labels current roster and Queen Ifrica represented VP Records. Kings Blues Club in Times Square, New York held an epic night of international roots reggae and dub to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of historic U.K. Closing the show, Queen Ifrica blew everyone away with ‘Trueversation’ from her latest album “Climb”, in addition to songs ‘Lioness on the Rise’ and ‘Below the Waist’ from previous albums. Already released titles include Suns of Dub “Riddimentary – Suns of Dub Select Greensleeves”, 40th anniversary editions of Culture “Two Sevens Clash,” The Congos “Heart of The Congos” and the forty-track “Total Reggae – Greensleeves.”                               “The recent concert at BB King is an excellent example of the quality of music that has been put out on Greensleeves over the past 40 years,” said Richard Lue, Director of Business Development at VP Records. tour to promote her recent #1 album “Climb.” Musician/producer Addis Pablo opened the evenings performances with a selection of songs including a tribute to his late father, dub reggae legend Augustus Pablo, whose work was closely associated with the Greensleeves label internationally. Before wrapping up his 45-minute set he brought Lady Ann on stage to join him to perform her 1980’s hit song ‘Informer’. 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF GREENSLEEVES RECORD LABEL CELEBRATED WITH NEW YORK CITY CONCERT

by Contributed
On Wednesday June 21, 2017, VP Records and the famous B.B. Vegas, Shaggy, Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man and more. Together they put on an amazing show.” Greensleeves nurtured the music in Europe from dub plate to download.



In Complex Hustle’s new documentary, a light is shined on how much of an impact the Caribbean had on hip-hop’s early stages and where it fits in today.There’s also a focus on the contributions that immigrants make to American culture, and hip-hop is a perfect example of that. The documentary also features commentary from Doug E. Fresh, French Montana, Fat Joe, Zuri Marley, Kranium, DJ Evil Dee, and more. Complex Media   Breaks Down the Caribbean’s Impact On The DNA of Hip Hop

by Contributed
Complex unfolds the often under-reported story of how important the Caribbeans are to Hip Hop music, the creation of the genre and where today’s culture would be without the influence. SHARE / Jun 29, 2017 08:13 am

Hip-hop spans five decades, and while its history is rich, there are some aspects that get overlooked.



New Leaf10. Do What You Got To Do11. Survival System2. From Syria to Chicago, Ukraine to Jamaica, we endure, we survive. Praise Jah12. Keep Dreaming Ours meaning mankind,  it’s that human thread worldwide that give us endurance to make it through financial hardships, personal struggles, health issues, war crisis, abuse, we all survive. Table Turn9. We documented our stories while delivering messages of survival through music..” – EarthKrySURVIVAL 6/30/171. Move On4. Live Good6. Liberation Time8. SHARE / Jun 27, 2017 09:20 am

EarthKry “The Making of Survival” was recorded and edited by Georgiana Chitea (reggaelize.it) at Tads Recording Studio and Harry J Studio in Kingston, Jamaica.” SURVIVAL songs were written by experiences, these are our daily stories. Mini-Documentary: Reggae Band EarthKry, The making of Debut Album “Survival”

by Contributed
As EarthKry prepares for the release of their anticipated “Survival” debut album June 30th, and a summer tour kicking off on International Reggae Day, July 1st, the reggae band has taken fans and music lovers into the making of their inaugural anthology. Wild Fire7. Philosophy3. Wake Up and Live5.



You can register for all five sessions, or just individual sessions. Email marketing is the No. Rather than being driven by trends (or what your friends are doing), we’ll look at how you can make the best decision for you. Click here to register for individual session
Session II (8/8/17): The Author Website: Your Most Important Storytelling Opportunity. I’m delighted to announce I’m offering a month-long master class in author platform this summer, in collaboration with Writer House in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is an in-person class only, held on Tuesdays in August from 6 p.m. 1 overlooked means of reader engagement when authors evaluate their overall platform. This session will cover best practices of email design and content, strategies and tools for securing sign ups (to pop up or not to pop up?), as well as what email service providers to use. Click here to register for individual session
Session IV (8/22/17): Social Media for Authors: How to Make It Worth Your Time. Time is one of the most precious resources   anyone has, so it’s a smart writer who asks, “Is this social media stuff really the best use of my time?” While it can be a highly subjective matter (every career has different needs and phases), we’ll talk about how to quantify your activity on social media, analyze its impact, and make the best choices for the short term and long term. For writers who want to see their online writing and activity pay off,   it requires some high-level and strategic thinking about who that writing is meant to reach and who you want to attract over the long term. Click here to register for individual session
Session III (8/15/17): The Email Newsletter: Your Most Important Engagement Tool. We’ll also touch on the basics of search engine optimization. Being able to directly reach your readers, or most avid fans,   is a powerful capability that every author should have. Learn about best practices for design and content, the most important areas to focus on (what do visitors see first or most often—and how can you take advantage of that?), plus valuable online strategies to help grow your career. Click here to register for individual session
Session V (8/29/17): Content Strategy and Content Marketing: How to Attract Readers to You. Writers are often baffled by platform because it’s seen as a marketing and promotion mindset—antithetical to the artist mindset. to 8 p.m. Most authors have heard about blogging, but they don’t have a clue what it means to develop a content strategy or participate in a content marketing effort. This session will look at key strategies and principles for producing content in a way that’s productive and even monetizable—and how to think beyond the blog and beyond the book to the different ways you can deliver your writing to readers. However, there is a way to approach platform that isn’t about selling, but rather understanding human behavior—including your own! Thankfully, it’s easy to get started with e-mail newsletters, and it doesn’t require technical know-how. Whether your website is one day old or ten years old, you want to make sure the resources   you’ve put into your site will pay off with more readers, more sales, and more opportunities for your career. Session I (8/1/17): The Art and Business of Platform: A Working Philosophy and Approach. Here’s the registration page. We’ll discuss how you can make informed and meaningful decisions about how to best spend your time, and what advanced platform-building looks like for an established author. Session descriptions below; don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the class. During this session   you’ll learn what it means to have a focused, consistent,   and meaningful effort over a long period of time,   in way that doesn’t exhaust you, but leads to finding high-quality readers who love what you do.



When I failed, the failure wasn’t as important as the next steps I took. The capitalist pursuit of passion is the new horrible form of enlightenment we’re told to chase. What activities or interactions do you value or prioritize on a daily basis? Shouldn’t I be? Or did you always want to work in publishing? As someone who has probably listened to too much Alan Watts, the answer didn’t come as a surprise, maybe because Watts encourages you to peel back every layer you have to find yourself, to help you realize that there’s no “there” there—the Buddhist belief that there is no self to find. (Time stops; you’re in the flow.)

These questions pave the way to a happier or more satisfying life. If you don’t have a passion, you may be closer to the truth of who and what you are than anyone else. Patterns emerged. Circumstances and serendipity dictated a lot of early life. I recognized and built on my strengths. (There’s a reason, and don’t feel guilty about it.)
What activities or interactions do you most look forward to, anticipate, and hope for more of? In Zen, students are given koans—a puzzle or a problem to solve—that’s meant to bring awareness, or literally wake you up to the true nature of life. Photo credit: pirate_renee via Visual Hunt / CC BY-ND
Here’s a word I have eliminated as fully as possible from my information and advice lexicon for writers: passion. Is that properly termed passion? The truth is: I have no idea. I’ve also met many who seemed unable to do anything but write, to the detriment of their health, families, and/or long-term financial stability. You’ve probably heard a koan even if you don’t recognize the word. What if I fail at my passion? Ask:

What are you avoiding? Is that properly termed passion? They seek some external validation that they’re not wasting their time. Endless books and courses advise people on how to turn their passion into a full-time career, and I meet many writers who say they are (finally) returning to their “passion for writing” after long careers in business, finance, real estate, law, and other occupations commonly chosen for financial stability. Is that properly termed passion? And in the current cultural moment, the word has become ever more fraught—it’s tinged with a value judgment, that there’s something wrong if you haven’t discovered your passion and found the way to make it into your career. They made bad decisions for little in return, in the name of becoming a writer or being recognized as one. Looking at myself, I have always felt rather boring when faced with the quintessential questions from an interviewer that look for the origin story, e.g.: When did you know you were a writer? Such people I can’t discourage. There are also people who show up at the desk every day and treat their writing like a profession, who are willing to bend their work to the market, to be entrepreneurial and ensure that they earn a certain dollar amount per hour. You don’t have to be Buddhist to take a page out of its book and set this particular anxiety aside. Forget about passion; go for self-awareness instead. But is this really my passion? Yet, at the same time, such writers ask for an evaluation on whether it’s worthwhile for them to continue pursuing this passion. What activities can you get lost in? This is partly why I avoid the word “passion.” It is an excellent way to stoke someone’s anxiety: What if I’m not pursuing my passion? A popular koan: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
A koan of my own, that’s been on my mind for the last decade: “What is passion?” And also: “What is my passion?”
I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t have a passion.



However, more and more images are being issued by rights holders under Creative Commons rather than traditional copyright. Discusses song lyrics, mentioning famous people, what constitutes fair use, and much more. You also do not need to seek permission when you’re simply   mentioning the title or author of a work. Learn more about Creative Commons. Major legal battles have been fought over this question, but there is still no black-and-white rule. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the entire quoted work. If your use of the original work affects   the likelihood that people will buy the original work, you can be in   violation of fair use. There are four criteria for determining fair use, which sounds tidy, but it’s not. The four criteria are:

The purpose and character of the use. Finally, if your use falls within “fair use,” you do not need permission. Most publishers have a formal process that requires a signed contract. But be aware you can still be found in violation of fair use, and guilty of copyright infringement, when paraphrasing. No permission is needed to mention song titles, movie titles, names, etc. These criteria are vague and open to interpretation. That’s why opinions and guidelines vary so much. You do not need permission to include song titles, movie titles, TV show titles—any kind of title—in your work. Remember that   crediting the source does not remove the obligation to seek permission. For more help

12 Copyright Half-Truths by Lloyd Jassin at CopyLaw—addresses mistaken beliefs commonly held by authors; Jassin’s entire blog is very useful and worth reading
Citizen Media Law: Works Not Covered By Copyright
Is It Fair Use? To search for such images, you can look under the “Creative Commons” category at Flickr or VisualHunt. Facts cannot be copyrighted. To seek permission means contacting the copyright owner of the work (or their publisher or agent), and requesting permission to use the work. But understand this is a gray area, and every case is different. Some people say 300 words. In short, it’s a controversial issue. For example, a distinction is often made between   commercial and not-for-profit/educational use. You can also try to restrict yourself to using work that is licensed and available under Creative Commons—which does not require you to seek permission if your use abides by certain guidelines. Andrea Costa Photography / Flickr
Whenever you decide to directly quote, excerpt, or reproduce someone else’s work in your own—whether that’s a book, blog, magazine article, or something else—you have to consider, for each use, whether or not it’s necessary to seek explicit, legal permission from the work’s creator or owner. You need explicit permission. 7 Questions to Ask Before You Use Copyrighted Material by lawyer Brad Frazer
Copyright Office FAQ: very helpful—addresses recipes, titles, ideas, names, and more
Very helpful interview with Paul Rapp, an intellectual property rights expert, over at Huffington Post. More creative or imaginative works generally get the strongest protection. But there is an unfortunate Catch-22 here. That is: If you quote the material extensively, or in a   way that the original source would no longer be required,   then you’re possibly affecting the market for the quoted work. This is where we enter the trickiest area of all when it comes to permissions. Any time you state unadorned facts—like a list of the 50 states in the United States—you are not infringing on anyone’s copyright. This isn’t always a simple matter to determine, but any work published before 1923 is in the public domain. Unfortunately, quoting or excerpting someone else’s work falls into one of the grayest areas of copyright law. The nature of the copyrighted work. It’s also fine to link to something online from your website, blog, or publication. It is expected that you always credit your source regardless of fair use; otherwise, you are plagiarizing. There is no legal rule stipulating what quantity is OK to use without seeking permission from the owner or creator of the material. But any rules you find are based on a general institutional guideline or a person’s experience, as well as their overall comfort level with the risk involved in directly quoting and excerpting work. How to avoid the necessity of seeking permission
The best way to avoid seeking permission is to not quote or excerpt another person’s copyrighted work. For understandable reasons, you might be seeking a   “rule” to apply to   reduce   your   risk or reduce time spent worrying about it. Furthermore, each and every instance of quoting/excerpting the same work may have a different answer as to whether you need permission. Typically, you have to pay licensing or royalty fees for any photos or artwork you want to use in your own work. If a negative review   would dissuade people from buying the source, this is not   related to the fair use discussion in this post.)

To further explore what these four criteria mean in practice, be sure to read this excellent article by attorney Howard Zaharoff that originally appeared in Writer’s Digest magazine:   “A Writers’ Guide to Fair Use.”

In practice, if you’re only quoting a few lines from a full-length book, you are most likely within fair use guidelines, and do not need to seek permission. Ultimately, when disagreement arises over what constitutes fair use, it’s up to the courts to make a decision. So I hope to provide some clarity on those principles   in this post. But it makes your case less sympathetic if you’re borrowing a lot of someone else’s work to prop up your own commercial venture. Probably the   biggest “rule” that you’ll find—if you’re searching online or asking around—is: “Ask explicit permission for everything beyond X.”
What constitutes “X” depends on whom you ask. Once you start asking for permission—to reduce your risk—that gives the creator/owner of the work the opportunity to ask for money or refuse to give permission, even in cases where the use would actually be considered fair. If you can’t find or contact the rights holder for an image, and it’s not in the public domain, then you cannot use it in your own work. You do not need to seek permission for work that’s in the   public domain. Often, you are charged a fee for the use, anywhere from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. If the purpose of your work is commercial (to make money), that doesn’t mean you’re suddenly in violation of fair use. However, it’s still fine to use song titles, poem titles, artist names, band names, movie titles, etc. That’s because if the portion quoted is considered the most valuable part of the work, you may be violating fair use. If you need help,   I recommend my colleague Kelly Figueroa-Ray, who has experience in permissions and proper use of citations. I’ve written a separate post explaining the process for seeking permissions, with a sample request form. When do you NOT need to seek permission? But: be very careful when quoting song lyrics and poetry
Because songs and poems are so short, it’s dangerous to use even 1 line without asking for permission, even if you think the use could be considered fair. Some say one line. These are facts. When should you   seek permission? (Don’t confuse this criteria with the purpose of reviews or criticism. So you can get taken advantage of if you’re overly cautious. The same rules apply to work published online as in more formal contexts, such as print books or magazines, but attitudes tend to be more lax on the Internet. Are You Worried Your Work or Ideas Will Be Stolen? It simply means they are usually cheaper to pay for and overall less of a hassle. It’s like citing a fact. What about using images, art, or other types of media? The same rules apply to all types of work, whether written or visual. Read this guide from Stanford about how to determine if a work is in the public domain. Some say 10% of the word count. If you use someone’s copyrighted material in such a way that it might not be considered fair use, then you should ask for explicit permission. Some works published after 1923 are also in the public domain. You can also include the names of places, things, events, and people in your work without asking permission. That said, most publishers’ guidelines for authors offer a rule of thumb; at the publisher I worked at, that guideline was 200-300 words from a book-length work. If you need personalized assistance
With more authors publishing independently than ever, this can be a tough issue to navigate without having an experienced editor or agent to guide you. Linking does not require permission. When bloggers (or others) aggregate, repurpose, or otherwise excerpt copyrighted work, they typically view such use as “sharing” or “publicity” for the original author rather than as a copyright violation, especially if it’s for noncommercial or educational purposes. What about using work from websites, blogs, or in other digital mediums? I’m not talking about wholesale piracy here, but about extensive excerpting or aggregating that would not be considered OK otherwise. The effect of the use on the potential market for or value of the quoted work. What constitutes “fair use” and thus doesn’t require permission? So there is no one rule you can apply, only principles. Note: If you find “rights-free images,” that doesn’t mean they are free to use. The law does not offer any percentage or word count here that we can go by. Some believe that paraphrasing or summarizing the original—rather than quoting it—can get you off the hook, and in some cases, this may be acceptable.



Yet literary journals still operate and market themselves as if we were all starved for high-quality literature. When they consider what distinguishes them from their peers, what is their answer? It’s finding time to read the great many wonderful things that are published. They do things “right” and treat writers well. Each journal has a print subscription available, combined with some online offerings. And they all suffer from the same problem: They distinguish themselves based on delivering high-quality literature. If I stopped acquiring new reading material tomorrow—if I canceled all my subscriptions and turned off the internet—it would take years before I exhausted my supply of high-quality literature. And the third has just released its first issue and is in the beginning stages of establishing a readership. It already has an admirable roster of contributors. The moving power of our words, the clarity and meaning of our reporting, the brilliance of our wit, the counterintuitive nature of our insights, the elegance with which we sum up the world’s problems; these things, we imagine, will leave the universe no choice but to conjure up an audience for us each day. Here’s a description of three of them:

One of the journals is a household name in the literary community with lots of subscribers—a strong brand in an enviable position. The short answer is you can’t unless readers are willing to pay and/or someone is willing to gift you into existence (e.g., grants or institutional support). … The audience for quality prestige content is small. (For a publishing operation that has considered these questions meaningfully, take a look at this post from Coffee House Press.)
The bald truth is that no one cares about a high-quality literary journal, just as they don’t care about high-quality writing, as pointed out in this excellent piece by Hamilton Nolan:
Many writers believe that our brilliant writing will naturally create its own audience. To be fair, some have been around for decades and established their missions during a very different era. We look through our slush! There is no magic solution or sustainable model for the garden-variety “high-quality” literary journal. It’s doing well compared to its peers. The result: These journals become indistinguishable from one another. Today, our problem is not finding more great things to read. They engage with the literary community online. But now that we’re in a transformed publishing landscape, how many journals have meaningfully revisited what they do, why they do it, or who they’re doing it for? As Nolan says, “I am here to tell you that it will not work.” In fact, this imaginary Universal Law of Writing—“Make something great and the readers will come”—is false. The problem is that nobody ever bothers to inform the audience. Even smaller than the actual output of quality prestige content…
At the 2017 AWP, I sat on a panel about money and transparency, and someone in the audience asked how they could turn a publication based on volunteerism and free contributions into one that paid staff and writers. Of course, this speaks to my many years of acquisition and the particular demographic I belong to, but the primary audience for high-quality literary journals is more similar to me than not. (I remember fondly The Formalist, an erstwhile poetry journal that published only formal poetry.) But a publication that wishes to grow and flourish by positioning itself as a high-quality literary journal? There may be a meaningful audience for high-quality writing that’s focused on a particular issue, cause, or movement. And whether readers pay you or patrons do, everyone looks for something deserving of their dollars, that has some kind of unique or inspiring place in the market, something beyond “quality.”
There is no meaningful audience to which you can market high-quality writing, at least outside of the AWP Bookfair. Here’s a sampling of statements from a few well-known journals that describe what they publish or who they publish for:

Has a long tradition of cultivating emerging talent
Has published many great writers
For the many passionate readers
Publishes quality literature
Devoted to nurturing, publishing, and celebrating the best in contemporary writing
Finds and publishes the very best writers

These journals often take pains to emphasize, “Hey, we publish great writers, but we also publish undiscovered writers, too!” That’s really not any more distinctive than a dedication to high-quality literature. Or a publication that is unfailingly focused on promoting and celebrating a specific style of writing. Another has been around for several years and has established a good reputation. For many I’ve talked to, the answer is to reiterate “quality” and how that quality gets sourced. Over the last year, I have consulted with a range of literary journals at very different stages of development. It’s just high-quality literature from a different source, while appearing perhaps more gracious, enlightened, or hard working.



As far as the student who sent me the 15 generic questions, I did respond. There’s a saying, attributed to Malcolm S. The majority of queries that agents receive are from people who will never attend a conference or educate themselves on proper etiquette. They have committed one of two misdemeanors (or both). And I have a responsibility to that community—to help others and share what I have. Early in my writing and publishing career, I was invited to speak to an undergraduate class about research and interview techniques. I was immediately sorry I had let down my guard. Here, I likely diverge from Pressfield. The question stymied me—why wouldn’t someone respond to a polite request? Most authors choose specific and meaningful ways to give back to the community, and answering unsolicited emails can be a thankless, invisible, and time-sucking task. Recently, though, I did, to a brief and well-written request, and when the follow-up came, it was about 15 very generic industry questions—probably sent to half a dozen other people as well. Forbes: “You can easily   judge   the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” Assuming for a moment this is true, then in the Internet age, how could one live up to this maxim without considerable sacrifice, given how easy it is for public figures to be exposed—and expected to respond—to the communications of the many? It states that if it takes me a few minutes to respond to a message, I will; if it really requires a business transaction (a consultation), then I will not. I was still eager to check my inbox. And I receive at least one or two requests per week from students who are researching a dissertation or class assignment. First, they have demonstrated that they have no respect for my time—and no concept of the value of what they’re asking me for. Without question, my contact page pushes against the clueless ask. What authority, status, and success I have is partly (maybe wholly) the result of those who have granted it to me. If you read the comments under Pressfield’s post, you’ll see what I mean. Because when I walk I don’t just dangle my legs in empty space. You don’t get the good parts without the more annoying. Last week, I read a post by Steven Pressfield: Clueless Asks. “What is the future of publishing?” they ask. The clueless asks never go away, but perhaps there’s a better way to handle them than to judge or dismiss them entirely. One of the student questions was, “How do you get important people to respond to an interview request?”
I failed to offer any advice beyond the obvious: Write a good request letter. So   what I’m doing at the moment is not completely described unless your being here is described also. Maybe it’s a small thing, but at least it’s acknowledgment. Airing such a complaint can be a terrible idea, as few are likely to be sympathetic (except other successful people). We and our environment, and all of us and each other are interdependent systems. It seemed the students—by the very fact of being students—had difficulty getting their requests taken seriously. Perhaps it helped this was during a different era of email, around 2000 or 2001, prior to social media, when I was still crafting emails the way I did handwritten letters—long, drawn out affairs. Pressfield defines clueless asks as requests coming from strangers who send him unsolicited work, want to schedule a “pick your brain” lunch meeting, or ask questions they could find the answers to themselves (among other things). Or, “How has the publishing industry has changed over the last 10 years?”
Often, I don’t respond. That said, anyone—including myself—who receives clueless asks already knows the most frequently asked questions. We know who we are in terms of other people. I didn’t respond to every question, and sometimes I simply linked to relevant and publicly available articles I’ve written. What was my responsibility to this person? Answering them thoughtfully was going to consume an entire afternoon. So in describing my talking at the moment I can’t describe this just as a thing in itself because I’m talking to you. How could they overcome that hurdle? I’m reminded of an Alan Watts lecture, where he says:
You can’t talk about a person walking, unless you start describing the floor. Back then, I responded to every email and request I received when working at a publishing house, as it was flattering to receive any attention at all. It reminds me of a similar phenomenon with agents who never stop admonishing: “Read the submission guidelines! There is no easy answer that I can see, but at least we can reflect on and recognize what choices we make—where we draw the line. He writes:
These are not malicious asks. … The real ask in these cases is “Can I have your reputation?” In other words, “Will you give me, for free, the single most valuable commodity you own, that you’ve worked your entire life to acquire?”
As someone on the receiving end of many clueless asks, what Pressfield says resonates with me deeply. Yet at some point (it’s irresistible), it seems every successful person (at least those who blog) eventually write a post that can be summed up as: “Please, for the love of God, be smarter about the questions or asks you’re making.”
The thing is, it’s pretty rare that one’s pleas will reach the people who need to hear it or would listen. So in order to describe what I’m doing when I’m walking I have to describe the room, I have to describe the territory. Yes, I see you. It also helps to remember what it was like when no one answered my emails (yes, I’ve made some clueless asks myself). Only submit what I actually represent!” It’s a valid admonishment, but probably 99 percent of writers who go to conferences or read publishing guidebooks know that already. Today, even before I open my email, my blood pressure spikes thinking of all the requests, problems, and complaints I’m likely to find. And that makes it straightforward to create standard responses that can be sent in less than a minute, even by an assistant, that offer next steps, resources, and information on how the asker can help themselves. His post is the sort of thing I might have written, and certainly not a week passes when I don’t privately share a clueless ask with my partner and express frustration. I’m sure he’s accepted that “clueless asks” are a feature of the successful person’s life. You exist. It seemed a good compromise. If I am a publishing expert, it’s because you say or believe I am. My reputation is not something I own; it is something that has been formed and granted over time within a community. The professor jumped in, as this was a problem that annoyed her as well. I move in relationship to a room. But Pressfield may be letting us both off the hook a little too easily. I did what I could to meet her halfway. This doesn’t answer the question, though, of what responsibility the successful might have toward others—or what is owed. This is not to say that I am doing better than Steven Pressfield, or that he is abdicating responsibility in some way. First, and most obviously, this is a complaint of the successful and privileged few. They know the pattern of request. They’re just clueless. But because it’s the thing that annoys agents day in, day out, they can’t help but admonish the people whose ear they do have. … We define each other, we’re all backs and fronts to each other. The writers who send them are nice people, motivated by good intentions. Still, for the community of people I reach, email is the tool of those of very little means, and I feel I’m doing some good through those I do answer. What I have was not created solely through my own hard work. Pressfield is the author of The War of Art, as well as the more recent Turning Pro—some of the best insights into writer psychology.



Many authors change only their last name so they don’t have to remember what first name to use at conferences. Remember what happened to J. Second, the life of the copyright will be shorter: 95 years from the year of first publication or 120 years from its creation, instead of 70 years after your death. For example, the American Bar Association and the California State Bar would consider my book Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook a “client communication” and “advertisement.” Therefore I must disclose my real name according to ethical rules. Identity theft involves intentionally acting to impersonate someone for financial gain. If you happen to use the name of a real person, you are not committing identity theft. The simplest pen name would be a variation of your own name, such as a middle name, nickname, or initials. Licensed Professionals Using Pen Names
Using a pen name for a book containing professional information may not be permitted by the rules of your license. Don’t use a pen name to avoid a pre-existing contract. If you become very famous under your pen name, then you might have other options. Photo credit: Thomas Rousing Photography via Visual Hunt / CC BY
Today’s guest post is by attorney Helen Sedwick   (@HelenSedwick) and is adapted from her newest edition of   Self-Publisher’s Legal Handbook. You may register the copyright of your work under your pseudonym, your real name, or both. You are still breaching your obligations. Even then, someone will know who is behind the corporation, and word may leak out. Try to avoid using the name of a real person. Never claim credentials you don’t have. Usually, you will not be able to hide your real name from your publisher since contracts are signed in your real name. I recommend that authors register their pseudonymous works under both their real names and pen names. Research the name. Plus, you need to keep track of which identity to use in what context. David Savage (a pen name) did that with his bio for his book How the Devil Became President. 3. This is the most expensive alternative and may require an attorney. Some authors are more discreet. Do not use the name of anyone famous. If you write a book under the pen name Taylor Swift or Derek Jeter, you may be accused of trying to pass yourself off as the celebrity. This creates a permanent record of ownership, and few readers are going to research copyright records and find out the author’s real name. If you found this post useful, I highly recommend Helen Sedwick’s   Self Publisher’s Legal Handbook. There is no way to “claim” a pen name as exclusively yours. 6. 2. The higher the level of secrecy, the more complicated the process. They try to maintain their privacy, but not to the point of lying. Once you decide on a list of possibilities, do the following. I also suggest a trademark search through the U.S. Buy available domain names. Place the pen name on your cover and your copyright notice: © 2017 [your pen name]. For a bio, they use their own life story, but told in generic terms. Don’t expect a pen name to protect you completely from defamation claims. First, it may be difficult to prove ownership of the work at a later date. Most authors choose to be open about their pen names. If you have granted a traditional publisher first-refusal rights or have signed a confidentiality agreement as part of a legal settlement or employment agreement, a pen name won’t change anything. There are downsides to registering the copyright under a pseudonym only. Claim the name. Rowling? K. Search the internet and bookselling sites. 5. She tried to keep quiet about her pen name Robert Galbraith, but it was leaked by, of all people, her lawyers. But if your writing affects the real person’s life, consider changing your pen name. Other authors put up roadblocks. Using made-up credentials, especially to market an advice book, would be a misleading business practice. Be open with your publisher. If that happens, you should engage a lawyer to help you. In this internet age, secrets are almost impossible to keep. You may go through the process of filing an FBN Statement, but that gives you the right to use that name, not the right to stop others from using the same name (unless they happen to be doing business in the same county as you). Maintaining secrecy is difficult. For example, Dean Koontz lists his various pen names on his website. Choosing a pseudonym can be as daunting as naming a character, especially since the character is you. The exception is when you form a corporation, LLC, or other entity, but even then, most publishers want to know their authors. 4. Some authors put the copyright notice in both their pen name and real name, but it is not necessary. What Not to Do

Don’t go overboard in creating a fake identity. If you use the name of registered trademarks, you risk getting a cease-and-desist letter. In some jurisdictions, you may have to add the word Books or Publications after your pen name because the local jurisdiction won’t accept a Fictitious Business Name that looks like the name of a real person. Register your copyright. Most likely, you will be found out either through legal process or technology. Secrecy and Pen Names
You should consider how secret you want to be about your true identity. Trademark Office. File a Fictitious Business Name Statement (FBN Statement) if you will be getting payments made out to your pen name. 1. Avoid any name already used by a writer, since that is likely to confuse readers. They don’t put photos on their books and blogs, do not link their websites, and limit public appearances. You will want to buy a website domain for your pen name. Use the name. They set up corporations and trusts to hold the copyrights and contracts. If I were writing a novel, I would have more freedom to use a pen name because readers are not relying on my legal credentials. At book signings, they use their pen names, but at writers’ conferences they use their real names with a reference to their pen names.



Why waste countless months or years trying to please this or that picky agent/editor when you can easily get your book available on Kindle (or as print-on-demand) at almost no cost to you? The publisher gets to decide the cover, the title, the design, the format, the price, etc. During any formal appointments or critiques, plan to talk about 10-20% of the time. It’s tough to achieve objectivity. Novelists and memoirists often face the biggest battle—there’s enormous competition. It must reveal the ending. You must persuade them to accept your work by delivering an effective pitch or manuscript. It’s essentially a sales letter that attempts to persuade an editor or agent to request a full manuscript or proposal. You can find out more about protecting your rights here. Read in your genre, practice your craft, and polish your work. While I think writers   should undertake this task for themselves, if you prefer to hire someone to find appropriate agents and publishers for you to submit to, try Grad Student Freelancers. Here’s how to write a   query for a nonfiction book. Almost no agent or editor accepts full manuscripts on first contact. This is “the dream”—what most writers imagine when they think about getting published. Submit your materials. It depends on what you’re selling. Agents and editors do not want you (a non-client or author) to visit them at their offices. Seek out a   writing critique group or mentor who can offer you constructive feedback, then revise your story. Every agent and publisher has unique requirements for submitting your materials. (More on this below.)
Novel synopsis. While you need support, you also need to ignore what these people are telling you. PublishersMarketplace.com. Publishers, editors, and agents support authors or projects that will make money and provide a good return on investment. Rather, you must already have the platform and authority, and thus be qualified to write a book. You mature and develop. About 200 publisher listings and 1,000 agent listings. Some authors are rejected hundreds of times (over a period of years) before they finally get an acceptance. Geared toward the literary market; very useful if you’re shopping around poetry, short stories, essays, or literary novels. Perhaps most important, agents negotiate the best deal for you, ensure you are paid accurately and fairly, and run interference when necessary between you and the publisher. Subscription required. Sample chapters. A good critique partner can be invaluable to your growth as a writer. Again, be aware that most New York publishers do not accept unagented submissions—so this list includes where to find both publishers and agents. Protecting your rights
You have nothing to fear in submitting your query or manuscript to an agent or publisher. Ultimately, though, some manuscripts have to be put in the drawer because there is no market, or there isn’t a way to revise the work successfully. If you wish to publish a book, you have more choices than ever to accomplish your goal, and the path can be confusing when you’re new to the publishing industry. Traditionally, agents get paid only when they sell your work, and receive a 15% commission on everything you get paid (your advance and royalties). A request for the full manuscript. You’ll be far more attractive to a publisher if they believe you’ll be an active marketer and promoter of your book. A little self-reflection might be in order before you chase after an agent or publisher. Your writing gets better with practice and time. Work that doesn’t fall into a clear-cut genre is sometimes called “mainstream fiction.” Literary fiction encompasses the classics you were taught in English literature, as well as contemporary fiction (e.g.,   Jonathan Franzen, Margaret Atwood, or Hillary Mantel). Determine your work’s   genre or category. If your project doesn’t command a sizable advance (at least 5 figures), then you may not be worth an agent’s time, and you’ll have to sell the project on your own. Be knowledgeable for any chance conversations you have; having this knowledge will also spark questions you could ask during panels or social hours. In 99% of cases, there’s no reason to rush. For most nonfiction:   Rather than completing a manuscript, you should write a book proposal—like a business plan for your book—that will convince a publisher to contract and pay you to write the book. If you’re not sure if you should traditionally publish or self-publish, here’s how to make a decision. Be   confident that you’re submitting your best work. You have to go through rounds of revisions and will likely have to change things you don’t want to change. Nonfiction book proposal. About 1,000 agent listings and an excellent community/resource for any writer going through the query process. This is what “No unsolicited materials” means when you read submission guidelines. You’ll gain an understanding that’s often impossible from just reading about it. Some books are “big” books suitable for New York traditional publishers (e.g., Penguin Random House, HarperCollins), while others are “quiet” books, suitable for mid-size and small presses. It usually takes a few   books out on the market before you can really   gain momentum, and most   first-time authors   don’t like to hear that—they’re not that committed to writing without an immediate payoff or some greater validation. Traditional publishers assume all costs and pay you an advance and royalties. If you come to the table with media savvy or an established platform (audience or readership), you’ll have an easier time getting that first deal. They have inside contacts with specific editors and know better than writers what editor or publisher would be most likely to buy a particular work. Most authors don’t sell their first manuscript, but their second or third (or fourth!). When sending sample chapters from your novel or memoir,   start from the beginning of the manuscript. Select a conference where you can meet with a specific author, editor or agent who is absolutely ideal for your work (after lengthy and intensive research). Some writers really dislike conducting this research. You’ll mess it up. (Just being blunt here.)
If you’re worried about protecting your copyright, then I have good news: your work, under law, is protected from the moment you put it in tangible form. Make your questions count. Novelists (fiction writers) follow a different path to publication than nonfiction authors. That said, independent authors are   fiercely passionate about their work and their process, and some are much happier and satisfied going it alone. The self-publishing option
Typically, writers who get frustrated by the endless process of submission and rejection often look to self-publishing for satisfaction. So … do you need an agent? Do not plan a visit to New York and go knocking on doors, and don’t ask an agent/editor for a lunch or coffee appointment if you don’t have a relationship already. There is not an industry standard definition of what a “novel proposal” is. If you don’t have it, you will get frustrated and give up. If you want to be published by one of the major New York   houses (e.g., Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, etc), probably. Preparing your submission materials (a query letter, usually). Do you have to “know someone”? (If they do not accept queries, that means they are a completely closed market.)
After you send out queries, you’ll get a mix of responses, including:

No response at all, which is usually a rejection. 4. Agents are motivated to represent   clients based on the size of the advance they think they can get. Duotrope.com. AgentQuery.com. Subscription required. It’s tough to make progress without a mentor. Finding appropriate agents or publishers for your work. Mostly what this game boils down to is patience. If you write nonfiction, the marketability of your idea (and your platform) often matter as much as the writing, if not more so. If you have an   appointment or consultation with a publishing professional, it will shorten your path to publication. And why rush it if you’re new to the publishing business? The best agents are career advisers and managers. However, almost every agent or publisher will accept a one-page query letter unless their guidelines state otherwise. Read my post 3 Questions Every Creative Person Must Ask. These are complex documents, usually 20-30 pages in length, if not double that. Do not attend any appointment expecting to be offered a deal or representation. Here’s how to write a novel synopsis. Find publishers and agents. This is important. And especially if you’re trying to identify, from a market or commercial standpoint, why your work is appealing to agents or editors, a great amount of distance is required. When you finish a significant manuscript or proposal that took a long time to complete, you need time away and distance to assess it without feeling attached. If you put years of time and effort into a project, don’t abandon it too quickly. This is a brief summary (usually no more than 1-2 pages) of your story, from beginning to end. Here’s my definitive post on writing a query for a novel. 1. It’s easy to take validation from family and friends as a sign you ought to write and publish. Unless you live under a lucky star, you will get rejected again and again and again. There’s no one right answer for everyone, but I discuss considerations and guidelines here. You need to write because you can’t do anything else. Self-publishing requires   significant and persistent effort into marketing and promotion, not to mention an entrepreneurial mindset. A request for a partial manuscript and possibly a synopsis. For more explanation, see my comprehensive post. This is a 1-page pitch letter that gives a brief description of your work. No, but referrals, connections or communities can certainly help! Get a critique session or an appointment—but only if you feel like you’ve taken your work as far as you possibly can on your own. We’re talking about years of work. Delve deeper. Read more about this issue here. Agents are experts in the publishing industry. The query and submission process takes enormous dedication and persistence. There are many types of publishing services out there, some cheap and some expensive. The quality of the writing may only need to be serviceable, depending on the category we’re talking about. Novels and memoirs:   You must finish your manuscript before approaching editors/agents. Never call an agent or editor to query or ask questions (or just chat) if you are not a client or author. How Long Should You Keep Querying? Prepare your submission materials. If you’re worried about protecting your ideas, well, you’re out of luck—ideas can’t be protected under copyright, and no   publisher or agent will sign a nondisclosure agreement or agree to talk with a paranoid writer who doesn’t trust them. If you’d like an in-depth guide on getting published:

My book:   Publishing 101:   A First-Time Author’s Guide
My course: How to Publish Your Book, with The Great Courses Some of the most common novel genres are: young adult, romance, erotica, women’s fiction, historical, mystery, crime, thriller, and science fiction & fantasy. When to hire professional help
Should you hire a freelance editor to help improve your manuscript before submitting? The most common   materials you’ll be asked for:

Query letter. Hire a publishing service to help you publish your book. YOU bring the audience to the publisher, not the reverse. You can get a sense of what nonfiction categories exist by browsing Amazon’s categories (see their lefthand navigation) or simply visiting a bookstore. This post focuses on getting a   traditional   book deal. (See the next step.)
Deciding If You Need an Agent
In today’s market, probably 80 percent of books that the New York publishing houses acquire are sold to them by agents. See the related question below about conferences. Never query by telephone—and I wouldn’t do it even if the guidelines recommend it. Works that can be difficult to sell:

Books that exceed 120,000 words, depending on genre
Poetry, short story, or essay collections–unless   you’re a known writer, or have a platform
Nonfiction books by authors without expertise, authority, or visibility to the target audience
Memoirs with common story lines—such as the   death of a loved one, mental illness, caring for aging parents—but no unique angle into the story (you haven’t sufficiently distinguished your experience—no hook)
Literary and experimental fiction

If you write fiction or memoir, the writing quality usually matters above all else if you want to be traditionally published. In brief, no, you are not ruining your chances. Don’t be the person who asks the obvious question you could’ve figured out by paying attention to the program. In a traditional publishing arrangement,   the publisher pays   you   for the right to publish your work. Submitting your materials to agents or editors. Find out more   information on book proposals and how to write one. That’s what it is. But if you’ve just spent months (or years!) writing a manuscript, why rush it to an agent or editor, and why rush it to just ANY agent or editor? Finish the work first—make it the best manuscript you possibly can. (Don’t select a middle chapter, even if you think it’s your best.) For nonfiction, usually any chapter is acceptable. This is the best place to research literary agents; not only do many have member pages here, but you can search the publishing deals database by genre, category, and/or keyword   to pinpoint the best agents for your work. Posting your work online
Many writers wonder if they’ll ruin their chances at traditional publication if they self-publish   an ebook, use Wattpad, or put chapters on their website. The All-Important Query Letter
The query letter is the time-honored tool for writers seeking publication. Self-publish. If your work isn’t a good candidate for a New York house, don’t despair. Here’s how to find literary agents and how to evaluate them. Such options may afford you the ability to hold your book in your hands, but it rarely   leads to   your physical book reaching   bookstore shelves—which ends up surprising authors who’ve been led to believe otherwise. If you’re writing for a niche market (e.g., vintage automobiles), or have an academic or literary work, then you might not need one. Thousands of listings can be found here—it’s by far the best place to research book publishers. In short: It’s a ton of work, like starting a small business (if you do it right). But those who succeed and profit often devote years of their life, if not their entire lives, to marketing and promoting their work. Within the publishing industry, nonfiction is often discussed as falling under two major, broad categories:   prescriptive (how-to, informational, or educational) and narrative (memoir, narrative nonfiction, creative nonfiction). Because you would suffer if you didn’t. This is not an exhaustive list of where you can find   listings, but a curated list assuming you want to focus on the highest-quality sources. It used to be that this return on investment could happen over a period of years or several books. If you receive   no   requests for the manuscript or book proposal, then there might be something wrong with your query. So, you can self-publish, but it all depends on your goals and what will satisfy you. There are three primary paths to getting published:

Land a traditional publisher who will offer you a book contract. 4 steps to getting a book published
Getting your book traditionally published is a step-by-step process of:

Determining your genre or category of work. Here are 3 ways you can get the most out of your experience. This usually refers to your query letter, a synopsis, and perhaps the first chapter. The most important thing to remember is that not every book is cut out to be published by a New York house, or represented by an agent, but 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 large, traditional   publisher:

Genre or commercial fiction: romance, erotica, mystery, crime, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, young adult
Nonfiction books that would get shelved   in your average Barnes & Noble or indie bookstore—which requires a strong hook or concept and author platform. Some of the most popular nonfiction categories are: business, self-help, health, and memoir. Avoid agents who charge fees. Now, it needs to happen with one book and in less than one year. This is where you act as the publisher, and hire the help you need to publish and sell your work, generally through Amazon and other major retailers. But you must approach the process like a professional, not a high-maintenance artiste. Here is how to improve your query letter. Are you writing fiction or nonfiction? They’re not publishing professionals. Basic service is free. Rejections can be lessons to improve your writing. You just need to find them. You may be   very excited about your   story idea, or about having a partial manuscript, but it’s almost never a good idea to   pitch your work to a   publishing professional at such an early stage. When you don’t have the time or willingness to take enough steps back from your work, or see its flaws, others can offer a really hard push. Reasons you might fail to get published

You rush to submit your work before it’s ready. Closely study the backgrounds/bios of every speaker, agent, and editor who is attending. Before meeting, develop a specific list of questions that, if you had the answers, you would know specifically what your next steps are (for your project or your career) when you leave. It’s not likely your first attempt will get published. You will meet agents and editors, and start to see them as real people. Have your friends told you that you’re a brilliant writer? 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. This is my theory on why so many queries and proposals fail. Novel proposal. You can get the reasons, immediately, that an agent or editor may not be responding favorably to your work. What you really need (require) is your own inner conviction. For nonfiction authors: Don’t go looking for a publishing deal because you   need   the authority or platform that a book can give you. You can also purchase the print edition, which comes with free access to the online database. If you’d like to interact with an agent or editor, attend a writers conference. Do your children love your stories? Free. Why you should attend writing conferences
Your education and insight into the industry will advance exponentially. 2. Find   other titles that are competitive or comparable to your own; make sure that your book is unique, but also doesn’t break all the rules of the category it’s meant to succeed in. You’ll have to pay a modest monthly fee to access their database. Usually a New York publisher won’t sign a nonfiction book unless they anticipate selling 10,000–20,000 copies. Go for the learning experience and the opportunity to have a professional consultation. This is particularly true of writers who are dizzy with   excitement   after   having just completed their very first book-length manuscript. Repeat this cycle endlessly. QueryTracker.net. To learn more:   Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book. Don’t write (only) because you were given validation or permission by someone close to you. When working with a traditional publisher, you have to give up a lot of power and control. Once you know what you’re selling, it’s time to research which publishers or agents accept the type of work you’ve written. You need to methodically research the market for your idea before you begin to write the proposal. 3. Navigating the publishing industry

Publishing is a business, just like Hollywood or Broadway. But the main thing they have in common is that they charge you to publish. This post lays out the process in the simplest terms possible. Has your family encouraged you? Professionalism and politeness go a long way toward covering up any amateur mistakes you might make along the way. The work itself may be outstanding, but the writer hasn’t achieved the necessary distance to either evaluate or communicate the commercial merit of her own work. WritersMarket.com. Look at the rejection slips for patterns about what’s not working. Finally, most self-published authors find that selling their book is just as hard—if not harder than—finding a publisher or agent. If you succeed in getting your material   requested, but then get rejected, there may be   a weakness in the manuscript or proposal. Many writers are familiar with the reasons to attend conferences, but not all understand how to get more out of them. One of the biggest mistakes new writers make is rushing to get published. Also consider: What is your motivation for trying to get published? Your motivation to write has to come from within.