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Category Archives: Publishing

Your Books First and Maybe Only Impression

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Book-Cover

First Impression: A great cover!

REMEMBER:  You never get a second chance for a first good impression!  Your books’ title and its appearance is the first, and perhaps only impression you make on a prospective reader.  A great image on your book cover will undoubtedly catch your reader’s imagination, wondering what lies beyond it. A fantastic opportunity to draw readers in.
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Not that an appealing cover means automatically a great book, but a book that is accurately and even interestingly represented by its cover, is more likely to catch the eye of someone who is going to enjoy reading it.  Interesting covers are going to get more time on shelf-displays, online and off-line.  We are a visual culture; naturally that is going to influence our book-buying habits.
A stunning book cover is one of the best marketing tools for any writer!
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Bali Rai wrote in one of his blogs:  ”In 2002, as one of the judges on the Guardian’s Teenage prize, I remember a book called Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett.  It’s a simple yet wonderful story of 1930′s Depression-era Australia, and it went on to win the award. However, it was not my choice for winner, simply because I thought the cover illustration would deter people from reading it. It was drab and old-fashioned in my opinion and had I not been reading and judging the book, it would have put me off completely.”
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Here are some points you should discuss with your designer.

  • Use bold or complementary colors
  • Use light on dark for dramatic effects (if it fits to your book content)
  • Test the cover in thumbnail size to make sure it looks good at Amazon’s website
  • Use not more than different two fonts in total
  • Use not too wide vertical spaces between lines of text
  • Use few shadow, bevel, gradient or glow – keep it subtle
  • Align the cover text – centre, left or right
  • Place text on plain background to stand out
  • Use the same fonts for all your books and readers will be able to identify them easily
  • People read left to right, top to bottom. Position your elements in appropriate levels of importance.
  • Never, ever, use a white background for your book! White on white is barely visible and on websites your book will not stick out, as the sites’ background are almost always white.

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E-books are bought online, usually displayed on a page with many other books. Therefore clarity, simplicity, brightness and information must jump off the screen.  A simple and arresting graphic element and bold clear text for the title and the authors’ name must be easy to read on the tiny online image.
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A book that is brilliantly written, but lacks a good quality cover design will remain unnoticed and undiscovered.  It is absolutely crucial to have a book cover that grabs the attention of readers and book buyers and shows the heart and the soul of the book in one single image

Read more:

Lousy Book Covers
http://lousybookcovers.tumblr.com/

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“23 Creative Book Cover Designs and their Story” is a showcase of creative book cover designs, indicating the typefaces used for the title or text:
http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/inspiration/creative-book-cover-story
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Joel Friedlander wrote a great blog about brilliant book titles in one of his blogs:
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/06/how-to-write-book-titles-for-people-robotsJoel
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“40 Extraordinary Photoshop Text Effects” shows detailed tutorials, how to create amazing book title effects, step by step and using lots of screen shots.
http://www.problogdesign.com/resources/40-extraordinary-photoshop-text-effects

Fonts for book titles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typeface
http://www.dafont.com/themes.php
http://www.1001freefonts.com
http://www.identifont.com

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,070 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Want to Write for Glory? Or for Money?

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Writing-Query-to-Publisher
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At a recent meeting of independent writers I met a young women, who told me about an event she wanted to visit: the “path to publishing”.  The highlight will be a literary agent who accepts query letters from participating aspiring writers.  I asked her why she is querying to publishers. “Do you want to write for glory – to see your book for a couple of weeks in bookstores – or do you want to earn money with your writing?”  I admit, a bit provocative.  I explained her what she can expect as “published” author including the minimal royalty of only 8-10% what an author gets – compared to 70% (or almost 100% for sales from the authors website).  
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  1. Having an established platform and an idea how to brand yourself
  2. The first book has to be successful from day one!  Bookstores give only a couple of weeks for success
  3. Expect an exclusivity clause in your contract for series / similar topics
  4. But first of all:  Proof the publisher you and your book will be a success
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There are some questions that trade publishers and literary agents frequently ask writers before they sign them up. The problem is most writers are caught off guard by these questions and don’t always answer them the way they would’ve liked. So prepare ahead of time!
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Why do you want to be published?
Seems like a simple question, right? The agent isn’t just interested in your answer but your attitude. Let’s take a look as how some of your answers COULD be perceived…
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Answer #1: I just want to get my story on paper.
Agent’s reaction:  Then you don’t need me. If you’re not going to take this seriously and consider writing your new career, I’m not interested.
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Answer #2: I want to share my stories with the world.
Agent’s reaction:  Why would anyone want to read your stories? What makes you more special than any other writer out there? If you don’t know what’s unique about you and you can’t sell yourself, how am I supposed to?
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Answer #3: I want to become a bestseller and make a bundle.
Agent’s reaction: Get real.  Do you know how hard it is to become a bestseller? Do you understand how much work is involved? Why do I get the feeling you’re not interested in the writing, just the possible financial benefit.  Oh, did I mention you will make next to nothing with your first book and possibly every book after that? If you want to become a millionaire, buy a lottery ticket. Your odds are probably better.
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Answer #4: I want to be famous.
Publishers reaction:  That’s not going to happen overnight. Are you willing to put in the time and sweat?  What if you don’t amount to more than being a mid-lister?
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Here are more questions, which could come in many forms:

  • What’s your next book about?
  • What else are you working on?
  • Where do you see this series going?
  • What is your blog about?
  • How many followers do you have on your Social Media sites?

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What Are Publishers / Agents Expecting?  They want to know you’re committed, that you understand this journey is hard, long, and not always rewarding. They want you to dream and to set goals, but they need to believe you are willing to work to attain those goals.
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Must-Read Blog to learn more about agents and how to approach them
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
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How to Write a Query Letter
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
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Less than Minimum Wage for Authors?
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/less-than-minimum-wage-for-authors/
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Successful Query Letters
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/5-tips-for-successful-book-submissions/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,070 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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The 10,000-Hour Rule for Writers

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The-10,000-Hour-Rule

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Expectations? Lower them!
Ian Irvine, an Australian bestselling author wrote: “Feel free to write the most beautiful, thought-provoking words in the English language. The public will feel equally free to ignore them. Rarely, someone will write a book and get it published straight away.  I was once in a roomful of writers when that question was asked, and only three writers raised their hands. Most writers work for 5-10 years before getting their first book published (my first took 9 years.)

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Remember the 10,000-hour Rule
“That’s roughly how much work and practice it takes to become accomplished in any field, whether it be sporting, creative or professional. 10,000 hours is 5 years of full time hard work. To become a virtuoso, triple that.”

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Bestseller Authors Need Years
Building up their audience takes lots of time, so it is surprising, that authors dream of their first book as a potential bestseller, and don’t realize that it takes a long time and hard work to get an audience, one reader at a time – especially if they did not do the ground work to build a huge following at Social Media, in reader forums or in real-life before they start publishing.

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Author-Publishing is Like a New Profession
And professions need to be trained! It takes years to become an excellent writer and it also takes years to become an excellent publisher. It involves lots of skills and knowledge business-wise, marketing skills, not to mention, learning constantly new internet techniques and get to know the latest changes in publishing.
Many authors have unrealistic expectations when it comes to the time required for effective book promotion and to make meaningful connections with readers. They expect wonders from a single sales campaign, and don’t understand that under-pricing or “selling” for free is not a marketing strategy.
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Take Advantage of their Knowledge
A book marketing professional has to learn years and years. Why, as an author, not take advantage of their knowledge to keep your head free for writing and interacting with readers? No one would start
catering business without learning to cook, and knowing how to present food or how to find customers.  Writing a book does not make for a publisher. Take the time to build your author platform and establish a brand, it will eventually give you an advantage in the market, no matter if self-publishing or going with a trade publisher.
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Did You Learn About Your Readers?
It is staggering how few authors think about their future readers – and about their competition. Authors often do very little research – if any at all – to really understand their audience. Asking: “Who is your audience and who is your competition?” one might receive only vague answers … Topics, that are not only very important for self- publishers, but also for authors who want to go with a traditional publisher. They need to proof to the agent or publisher that they have done their homework.
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How Can You Research Your Competition?
First of all make a long list with possible keywords that readers might use to find a similar book.  Check out the complete categories / genres at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, Apple, Sony, Google
Books, Waterstones etc. and study all the books, that could be similar to your future work. Visit several public libraries and book stores to find similar books as the one you want to write, learn about your competition. Borrow the most interesting ones, not only to read them, but also to study the book layout and design. Read the online reviews of their books carefully!
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Can You Answer These Questions?

  • How many books of this topic / keywords have been published already?
  • Where are these books sold and for which price?
  • In which format are they offered: e-book, print, audio-book?
  • Who are the customers of these competing books?
  • How are these books received and which ones are bestselling?
  • Which categories did they choose, and which keywords?
  • In which categories / genres are these competitive books listed?
  • What cover designs have been chosen for these books?
  • Which author represent him/herself and their book the best?
  • Did you study their Amazon and Goodreads author page, their website or blog?

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More and More Competition for Authors
According to a new report from Bowker, the number of self-published titles in 2012 jumped to more than 391,000, up 59 percent over 2011.  The 2012 numbers will be published soon, but they might be even much higher – which means: more and more competition for authors.

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Marathon – Not a Sprint:
Becoming an author-publisher is a long-term commitment and requires hundreds of small steps on the path to success! Before you start writing, create yourself a road map. Take your time, see your writing & publishing as a long-term project and don’t have unrealistic expectations. First create a professional looking book, do the ground work to build up your author platform, and then have fun, winning one reader at a time.  Becoming an author-publisher is a marathon, not a sprint, and it will require hundreds of small steps on the path to success!  Before you start writing, create yourself a road map.  Bowker explains: “The most successful self-publishers don’t view themselves as writers only, but as business owners. They invest in their businesses, hiring experts to fill skill gaps and to gain more time for writing.”

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Read More:
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/writing-is-an-art-publishing-is-a-business/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/what-publishers-wont-tell-you/
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/success-for-your-book-in-non-traditional-markets/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,060 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
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Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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It’s this Time of the Year

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Income-Tax

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Benjamin Franklin said that “nothing is certain but death and taxes.”  It’s that time of the year again when we all must sit down and face the reality of just how much we did or did not earn during the last twelve months. Many writers are not aware of how they should be reporting certain income to get the greatest benefit.  Writers can get away with business tax deductions that ordinary people can’t get away with. Michael N. Marcus wrote a great article and showed samples of “tax avoidance”:
“If you are an author or a journalist, the key to creative tax avoidance is to write about things you like.”

 

  • If you like to travel, write about travel, and then deduct the cost of traveling.
  • If you like cars, rent some really cool cars, and write about them.
  • If you like to eat—and who doesn’t?—go to lots of restaurants, attend cooking schools, stock your pantry, and write about food.

Read his whole blog article here:  It’s Time to Think About Taxes

 

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Writers are presumed to be a professional if their writing made a profit in at least three out of the last five tax years, including the current year. Which means:  Not more than two years of expenses that are higher than the author income. Profits from your writing cannot be used to offset other income for tax purposes, such as a day job or other means of income, if you have more than two years of losses.

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Considerations of Profitability
There are a couple of other considerations that revenue agencies, such as the IRS, are listing, for example:

  • Have you made a profit in similar activities in the past? If you have a successful book under your belt — or even a series of articles in paid publications, such as newspapers, magazines or online publications, which can be a predictor that you are a professional writer.
  • Do you have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business? How much do you know about running that business? Are you running it like a business, keeping records, keeping an eye to profitability? Did you take classes/seminars about the publishing business (e.g. marketing or tax etc.) no matter if online or offline?
  • Have you created a professional book marketing and publicity plan? This might even be shown by including affiliate programs on your website/blog. If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond your control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?

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Expenses You Can Deduct
Always try to pay from a separate account, set up for your writing business, to make book keeping easier. Keep receipts or / make copies of payments to contractors, freelancers and agency fees for book production, such as:

  • Proofreading
  • Editing
  • Illustrations
  • Photos
  • Graphic Design
  • Book Layout
  • Printing costs
  • eBook Formatting
  • Advanced Copy reviews
  • Book Trailer Design
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Book Promotion Costs, e.g.:

  • Advertisements, online and offline
  • Giveaways (free books, review copies, pens etc.)
  • Flyers, brochures, business cards, book marks
  • Book Fair expenses
  • Costs for newsletters (AWeber, MailChimp etc.)
  • Entry fee for writing contests
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Other costs, such as:

  • Transportation costs (note the dates, distance, reason)
  • Rental for book readings
  • Office rental or mortgage, heating, electricity for your home office by square feet
  • Phone / Internet / e-Reader costs
  • Website / blog costs, such as hosting or development
  • Office Supplies
  • Meal expenses: in the USA full for public events you might host, and 50% if it is for a business purpose (interview, writers conference, meeting with book professionals, publishers, agents etc.)
  • Transportation to meetings, events
  • Research costs
  • Copyright registration and ISBN fees
  • Your tax preparer or tax lawyer.
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Keep all your expense slips sorted by date and neatly filed to make it easier to find them
If you pay anyone of the above listed more than a couple of hundred dollars, you would need to include the contract and a form (in the United States it is IRS Form 1099-MISC). Note for each meal/entertainment expense the names, number of people participating and reason for meeting).

Further Reading:
http://www.freelancetaxation.com/deductions-writers
http://www.bus.lsu.edu/accounting/faculty/lcrumbley/tax_aspects.html

Disclaimer: These tips are meant to give general insight into tax information to writers, especially in the USA, and to give you an entry point so you can research further. While every effort was made to ensure the information in this article is accurate at the time it was written, we are not tax experts. Anyone filing taxes should consult a qualified tax prepare r for updated tax laws and further specifics on how these rules might apply to your individual tax situation.

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for 3 months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials or your KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1.070 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

 

 

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Celebration – and Thanks to All 500,000 Readers

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500,000 Readers

… in Less Than 3 Years.  501,354 exactly as of today.

Thanks so much to everyone who reads and subscribes to our blog http://SavvyBookWriters.wordpress.com

 

Today is the big day for this blog: The 500,000 reader mark is reached.  What a number!  500,000

Thank you for signing up, thank you for commenting on the blog and through Social Media, and thank you to the guest bloggers on this site!

I couldn’t have imagined this in 2011, when SavvyBookWriters started very slowly.  Sometimes, there where only five or ten blog readers a day, no wonder, as I had no social media presence whatsoever.  And I must admit that English is not my mother language and I often struggle with my writing. But writing every day improved it – I hope.
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Two things helped, and they will help you as an author of books as well:

  1. Persistence – don’t give up, even if you have a very slow start
  2. Get enough audience, join Google+, Twitter, FB, Goodreads …
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My goal for future blogs is to bring you fresh and valuable information. Take advantage of these free tips on publishing and marketing your books and subscribe, just click on FOLLOW.  As a blogger feel free to re-blog one of the 1,060 articles that you think are useful for your own readers. Yes, and interesting guest blogs are certainly always welcome!

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,060 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Great Benefit of Beta Readers

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Beta-Readers
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… and where you can find them.
You might ask: “what’s the difference between a beta reader, manuscript editor and a proof reader?” or “Why should I give my manuscript to a beta reader instead of my trusted friends or family?” Contrary to friends and family member, beta readers are often writers themselves. Maybe even in the same genre and they ought to give you honest feedback, no sugar coating, and constructive critique – while your beloved ones are often afraid to hurt your feelings, and might not be objective. Dealing with another writer you can exchange in beta-reading each others manuscripts. And both of you can learn from the others’ weak points.

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Online Writing Forums
For writers looking for very specific feedback from knowledgeable readers Online forums are a great place to find them. Because participants tend to cluster around particular topics of interest. These are just a few of the online resources available that can help writers to connect.  The most popular one seems to be Wattpad which has now 24 million members.  Even celebrity authors, such as Margaret Atwood, post there from time to time. ‘If the work on Wattpad is public, the authors often are not. As many as half its writers are anonymous or pseudonymous. The traditional publishing industry is watching Wattpad closely, not only as a source of new talent but also for techniques to increase reader engagement”, writes David Streitfeld in a NewYork Times article. Brittany Geragotelis has been “discovered” this way.

  • Wattpad.com
  • Scribt.com
  • Writers’ Café
  • the Red Room
  • Nothing Binding
  • Figment.com
  • WritingForums.org

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Writing Groups
Many creative writing groups focus on critique. While Beta Readers are working through your entire finished manuscript, that’s often not possible for writing groups as time is only constraint to a few pages. Try to find a beta reading exchange with other members – aside from the regular meetings of the group.

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Beta Readers at Google+
Google+ offers a variety of fantastic communities for writers looking to connect with like-minded
authors. Join these groups, and look out for new ones regularely.

  • Writers’ Critique Group
  • The Writer’s Discussion Group
  • Writers’ Corner
  • Poets of G+
  • JLB Creatives
  • Aspiring Authors
  • Writers, Authors, Bloggers
  • Authors – Blatant Promo 4 Writers, Blogs!

Why not establish your own Beta Reader Group?
As more Beta Readers you have, as better! Different people catch different errors.

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MeetUp Groups and Workshops
I recently attended quite a few manuscript critique / beta-reading author meetings, and was impressed by the friendly, constructive suggestions of these Meetup members. They can be mostly found in cities, and include a variety of groups for writers. Some gatherings are dedicated to critique and to beta reading. This is a great avenue for those writers who prefer face-to-face interaction, and who are also open to meet new writer friends. Don’t find a beta reader meetup listed for your city? Organize your own!

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Once you’ve found a handful of Beta Readers to share your work with you, the result will be a manuscript, which is ready for the editor. Beta Reading might save you a lot of money, if the editor is charching by the hour. Beta Reading also helps to polish your book before the first reviewer or readers gets their hand on your book.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,050 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

http://www.e-Book-PR.com/

http://www.international-ebooks.com/

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

.

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