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7 Book Layout Errors You Will Want to Avoid

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Joel Friedlander wrote a great article “7 Formatting Errors That Make Your Book Look Unprofessional”, helping self-publishing authors to get to know the in- and outs of book layout. This is not the only useful post, a whole cornucopia of advice for authors who want to create print books can be found on www.TheBookDesigner.com, Joel’s website.  He asks: “Although our books may be self-published, we sure don’t want them to look sub-par, do we?”

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Books Should Look Like from Traditional Publishers

Writers certainly try to launch their books without the long delays or the uncertainty if they get a traditional publisher contract. The best way to have a great book layout is through a professional.  However, some authors don’t want to use a book lay-outer, or don’t want to fork out the costs involved.  Another way to solve a lot of these print book formatting problems while also getting a well-designed, industry-standard book, is to use a book template.  Joel Friedlander created this fantastic solution. Find out more and see the available designs at: BookDesignTemplates.com.

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More and more writers are taking advantage of the new tools of Print-on-Demand and create and publish their own books.  Authors becoming “do-it-yourself” book lay-outers need to avoid an amateurish look of their books.
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Joel Friedlanders List of Errors to Avoid
“Some of the errors I see when reviewing self-published books are very easy to correct, if you only know how:”

  1. Putting page numbers on blank pages.
    Blank pages have no text or images on them, and that means they should be truly blank.
  2. Using running heads on chapter opening pages or blank pages.
    Just like page numbers, running heads (the type at the top of a page that shows the book title, author name, or chapter title) have no place on a blank page, just leave them off so the pages are truly blank.
  3. Using “rag-right” typesetting.
    This means that the left and right margins of your page are straight and all lines except the last line in a paragraph are all the same length. This is what your readers expect to see in your book, so make sure you give it to them.
  4. Double spacing between sentences.
    Only one space between sentences.
  5. Using both indented AND block style spaces between paragraphs.
    If you add spaces between your paragraphs, make sure you don’t also indent the first line.
  6. Putting the odd numbered pages on the left.
    When you open a book, it just makes sense that the first page is page number 1, and that has to be a right-hand page. This rule is absolute, and you should never, ever number your pages with even numbers on right-hand pages.
  7. Making super small margins to save pages.
    CreateSpace and other print-on-demand services charge based on number of pages. But that’s no reason to shortchange your readers by making your page margins too small just to save money. Small margins will make your book hard to hold and difficult to read, never a good result.

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He adds: “Paying attention to these details of book formatting will help ensure that your books look and work the way they are supposed to. Your readers will thank you for that, and it’s your readers you should keep in mind throughout the publishing process.”

My advice:  Just visit a bookstore and browse through traditional book titles, or check out the first pages of Amazon print books and you will likely not find any of these seven errors listed by Joel Friedlander. Making it right from the beginning will save you an amazing amount of time and frustration, and your reputation as a self-publisher.
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Understanding Fonts & Typography
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/understanding-fonts-typography/

Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/08/book-layouts-page-margins/

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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 1,100 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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Who are Your Readers – and Your Competition?

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Authors often do very little research to really understand who their potential audience is – or could be.  Asking them: “Who is your audience and who is your competition?” one might receive only vague answers …  However, these are essential questions 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 the 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 akin to your future work. Visit several public libraries to 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!

  • How many books of this topic / with the same 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 – via their Amazon and Goodreads author page, and on their website or blog?.
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Don’t Give Up!
Bestseller authors often need years and years to build up their audience, 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 Completely New Profession
And professions need to be learned! 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.
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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 your readers? No one would start an accounting business without learning the ropes, and knowing how to create a revenue / expenses sheet or fill out income tax forms. Writing a book does not make for a publisher, no matter how clever businesses want you to imagine. Take the time to build your author platform and establish a brand, it will eventually give you an advantage in the market.

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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 1,100 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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How to Get Your Book into Stores

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Books a Million

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Getting your self-published book into stores is one of the toughest nuts to crack when it comes to author- publishing, compared to how easy it is to get your print book into Amazon, Barnes&Noble or Apple. And then there are discounts, returns and commissions… not to speak of waiting times till your invoice is paid. Book distributors & wholesalers will take care of all this – for a price.
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POD print and distribution
For small amounts of print books, say less than 2,000 books, an author is better off to have it “printed on demand”, done by CreateSpace or by LightningSource, who are also the distributors. The printing might be higher priced, but you can decide on discounts and there will not be any returns from book stores for unsold books, which can be costly. POD produces only after receiving orders.
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Distributors
Let’s assume your book sells like hot cakes and you would like to have it distributed to book stores. So, how to find a book distributor? And should you go with a big, national or a smaller distributor?
An advantage to small distributors (often specialized in certain genres) is that they often know their bookstores better than larger distributors. The orders tend to be smaller but more realistic. Returns with larger distributors to bookstore chains can be very high: 30% returns is expected, but it can be as high as 70%.
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Partner With a Medium-sized Publisher
Another option is to make an arrangement with a medium-size publisher who already has a distribution deal and a sales team. For a percentage of the sale, they could include your book in their catalog, which goes out with the sales reps to book stores across the country, and their sales team will present your book. Some publishers may want all the attention for their own titles, but some may like the idea: there’s no printing cost for them, for instance. Their catalogs are produced 5-6 months in advance.
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Booksellers are Reluctant to Stock POD
Most booksellers will generally not stock Print-on-Demand books because they can’t return the book if it doesn’t sell and the percentage they get is lower. Printing one book at a time is more expensive per book (usually twice as expensive) than publishing a few thousand. That’s why many self-published authors can’t get their books into the large chains. It’s all about non-returnability. Bookstores only order the blockbuster titles they know they can sell. Books-a-Million, one of the book store chains, for example states it does not allow POD books into it’s stores at all.

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Many large US Book Distributors won’t take you on before you have at least five to ten books in print.
 They might also want you to have a sales team who will present your books to booksellers, to show that you are willing to move those books. They also prefer a contract for a certain number of years. Another issue with full service distribution is that they take a minimum of 20% commission, but it will often be closer to 30% if you’re a small publisher. Check them out before signing with any book distributor. Talk to their customers (both publishers and bookstores) to verify they would be a recommendable company for you to work with.
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Selection of Book Distributors in the U.S.A.

Small Press United

Publishers Group West

Partner Publishers Group

National Book Network

Legato Publishers Group

Independent Publishers Group

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Be Aware of these Book Industry Distribution Arrangements

  • Discounts: Bookstores get ($8 when a $20 book sells) or in percent, a 40% discount from the distributor, big box stores often get 45%.
  • Returns: Bookstores can return books back for credit against future orders, on average, about 30% of their initial sales might be returned. Paperbacks are not “stripped” so they can be shipped out again when another bookstore orders them. However, distributors may charge for warehousing of returns.
  • Commission: Sales reps work on commission and only gets paid when books “sell through” (sold to the consumer). The distribution company also works on commission, which is one of the reasons they are so picky about taking on non-validated clients: if the books don’t sell through, they lose the money they have spent storing and shipping the books, their commission is usually 25-30% ($5-6 on a $20 book).

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Direct Sales via Your Website
There is an even more lucrative way to sell your print book and distribute it: through your own website. You keep 100% of your revenue, and you know exactly who bought your books. Valuable data that you can use for promotion of your next book releases. The only “work” you have, is to stuff envelopes and ship your books once or twice a week – or more if you sell a lot. Setting up a PayPal account and an ordering form on your website is pretty easy. Direct selling means that you can make almost three times the amount per book than you can make, compared to a sale through traditional bookstore distributors.
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Book Fairs
Comb the Internet and regional newspapers for Book Fairs. Rent a booth or share one with other writers and have fun to meet readers in person, sign your books, maybe even meet library buyers and book store owners – and keep 100% revenue. Authors could even band together and exhibit at national and international book fairs, such as New York, Edinburgh, Leipzig, Bologna or Frankfurt. If ten or more authors for example share the cost for exhibition, travel and accommodation, it seems to be visible.
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Consignment at Bookstores
Some local independent bookstores will take books on consignment. A 60% to you, 40% to them split might seem a bit unfair to the uninitiated, but it’s the standard in the book trade. If sales are really good, some bookstores will offer to buy your book or you offer it to them which saves on paperwork and hassle. In this case you might offer them 50% discount.
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e-Book Distribution through Kobo
Kobo has partnered with the American, as well as and British Booksellers Association. 3,000 book stores, including 1,000 independents, in the UK and Ireland will carry Kobo’s e-readers in the future and sell e-books directly to Kobo users.  Participating stores will receive a commission of every sale.
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Fazit:
Small publishers and author-publishers with at least 3 books might be better off with LightningSource / Ingram and CreateSpace combined – until their book sale numbers are into the several thousands – also due to the print on demand possibilities that both companies offer.

Lightning Source connects you with the world’s largest distribution channel of book wholesalers and retailers. In addition to distributing books through their parent company Ingram Books, they print to order, which means, your book is printed and ready for shipment in 12 hours or less. With over 30,000 wholesalers, retailers and booksellers in over 100 countries your titles will gain the maximum exposure.

Lightning Source / Ingram work  with over 28,000 publishers of all sizes around the world. They deliver digital, print, wholesale and distribution services through a single source, and makes it easy for you to reach more customers in more places.

CreateSpace has slightly lower print on demand fees and set up fees per book, but it doesn’t get you into Ingram worldwide distribution. They offer something, called the Expanded Distribution Channel: “the “potential” to distribute your book to a larger audience through more outlets including: retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, wholesalers, and distributors.” Well “potential” which means actually nothing! If a bookstore is really willing to order a single book because a customers wants it, they will deliver…
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Whole Sale and Book Distribution in USA

  • BCH Fulfillment & Distribution – BCH is also a vendor for Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. BCH offers 24/7 telephone order taking, an on-line catalog, representation at major trade shows, and more.
  • Atlas Books - Distributes online, via wholesalers, and commissioned sales reps. AtlasBooks is the distribution and marketing arm of the BookMasters Group which represents small to mid-size publishers.
  • Midpoint Trade Books – works with small and medium size publishers. No catalogs, so they can take on new titles any time of the year.
  • National Book Network – Distributes for 85 publishers, they offer Print on Demand, starting at 20 books
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Book Whole Sale / Distribution in Canada:

  • North 49 – trade book wholesaler with an inventory of over 3000 bestselling books from more than 500 publishers from Canada, UK and USA
  • Librarybound – a wholesaler delivers Canadian books to libraries (fulfillment orders only, no warehousing)
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More resources:

Distributors and Wholesalers, compiled by IBPA, Independent Book Publishers Association
https://www.ibpa-online.org/resources/distributor-wholesalers/#.UWlwW7VO-So

Create Space Vs Lightning Source
http://write2publish.blogspot.ca/2011/02/why-create-space-is-better-than.html

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How dealing with Lightning Source exactly works can be learned “by the book”, actually two books, written by Aaron Shepard: “Aiming at Amazon” and “POD for Profit: More on the NEW Business of Self Publishing”.

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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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So You Want to Self-Publish?

6 Questions to Ask Yourself First
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Julie Israel asks writers: You want total control? You want freedom? You want to be 100% in charge of your own destiny? Then go for it. You might end up finding that it’s the most fulfilling thing you have ever done – or you might end up with fifty one-star reviews and a permanent hangover.  Despite the fact that every person and their dog thinks that they can write a book, living the life of a writer is not for the faint of heart.  And whether you choose to publish through a traditional route or independently, the road to success is not an easy one.  Like I said, not for the faint of heart.”

Read Julie Israel’s blog  “6 Questions You Should Ask Yourself First“, such as:  Are you chasing someone else’s dream?  What are your intentions?  Do you have the stamina?  The money?  The talent and the drive to write book after book and publish them? 

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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 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, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 980 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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Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Self-Publishing

 

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Are These YOUR Five Excuses?

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Power-or-sleep

Power or Sleep?

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The new year is just a month old, but what about your resolutions?  Are you sticking to them or do you have excuses why not? The less commitment you have to your resolution, the less likely you are to keep it. Are you really committed to write more – books, articles or blogs – and to establish your author platform and brand?  
Believe me:  it is do-able!  This is by chance my blog number 1,000 in 30 months. Sitting every day for an hour or two and write, 7 days a week, took me a couple of weeks or months to get used to, but soon it became a daily habit to write about a variety of topics – and have fun doing it : )
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Are These Your Excuses:

“I cannot find the time to write.”
Well, this is the truth: There’s no such thing as “finding time”. When you plan to write a book, you need to block out parts of your time to get it done. It might mean to avoid TV watching or to get up at 5am to write. Set up your writing as a priority! You have to create time focus on your project. If not, then forget about writing a book!
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“I don’t know where to start on my book …”
Make a layout, a frame of your novel, note details. Research, research, research… Where do you start?  Sitting in your chair every day at the same time. Start writing. Keep sitting. Write more. Your brain will come to expect it. Your mind will begin to loosen up, and cooperate.

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“I need to be inspired, in order to sit down and write.”
Truth: Inspiration often strikes while we write. So, sitting down and starting to write, or at least to make a layout, or write a short story is a great start to get into the “mood”. If you want to be a good writer, start by writing every day for at least a couple of hours

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“I don’t have time to market my book … I don’t know how or don’t want to do Social Media …” 
You can write as a hobby, no one forces you to sell your book!  And if you have lots of money, just buy advertising on TV or in magazines or hire a media publicist for thousands of dollars – even so they take on authors only, with huge amounts of followers on Social Media and lots of 5-star reviews for books.
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“I don’t have time to learn about the publishing business”
Why not just take on writing as a hobby – and forget about publishing!
Regardless of whether or not you work with a publishing consultant to learn about the business, it is something that MUST be done to ensure your book reaches the public. To have the most success: Before you write or at least before you finish your book.
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Starting a book (business) takes huge amounts of hard work and time, so you better enjoy doing it. Building a business is all about learning new subjects, you are eager to work on, or in hiring a bit professional help and together creating something you will be proud of.
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Psychologist Gary Foster, gives these tips for New Year’s resolutions:

  • Set small goals that are realistic, achievable and clearly defined.
  • Set specific plans that are simple, achievable and can lead to short-term success
  • Aim for and celebrate small short-term successes.
  • Build a simple and structured plan that answers the what, when, where and how questions.
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“Don’t let your New Year’s resolution flop (again). If you want to succeed, plan your goal in 12-week increments,” advise Brian Moran and Michael Lennington, co-authors of 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months.  “It is much more feasible to keep a commitment for 12 weeks than to keep it for 12 months. At the end of the 12 weeks you reassess your commitments and begin again,”
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Another consideration:  Are you a writer first? Or are you writing for money first? If you are writing for immediate income, writing that pays quicker, then choose writing for magazines, the internet or for newspapers, copy writing, resume writing, grant writing etc. which will provide much faster income.

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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 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, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 980 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+
http://pinterest.com/111publishing/

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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Publishing, Social Networks, Writing

 

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How to Cultivate Professional Publishing ?

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Book-Editing

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Authors are now often forced to hire their own editors – before even submitting their manuscripts for publication. Toronto literary agent Anne McDermid saw the landscape changing two years ago, when a publisher told her: “I cannot purchase a book (manuscript) for which I need to spend 40 hours editing. We are now advising our authors that the material they present has got to be closer to the final draft than it ever used to be.”
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Sometimes the agents themselves act as pre-editors. The biggest-growing sector in Canadian publishing (and in other countries as well) is the freelance editor. With more than 1,600 members, the freelance-dominated Editors Association of Canada is “the largest membership organization in the Canadian arts community.
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Along with booming self-publishing services that offer various levels of editing as value-added options, a cottage industry of independent contractors is quickly replacing the fabled tastemakers who once shaped literary destiny …
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Read the whole article from Globe&Mail:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/where-have-all-the-book-editors-gone/article565446/

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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 $159 for three 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, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 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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Posted by on December 29, 2013 in editing, Publishing, Self-Publishing

 

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How to Let Publicity Work For You

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News-Media
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Have you (and your book) been mentioned in a national newspaper, such as USA Today, Chicago Tribune or the NY Times? Or your hometown newspaper? Have you been interviewed by a local radio station? Endorsements of traditional media, even if it’s simply mentioning your name, is marketing gold if you are trying to get a book into more readers hands. Don’t miss to let everyone know about it:

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Post it on Your Author Pages
Authors barely ever use all the space they get on their Amazon or Goodreads author pages. Scan the article or parts of it and add it as a photo to your page. If it was a video interview, get a copy to place it on YouTube and all free video sharing sites and certainly on all your author pages at online retailers.
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Let People on Social Media Know
No matter if it was an article or a taped interview, post it on all the forums you are a member with, including a link, an image or a quote.
This can be done more frequently on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – and with images on Pinterest. You can even mention and promote upcoming shows on your site – and on theirs. And certainly post after the show how awesome it was.
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Add it to Your e-Book
Why not adding snippets of the article (quote or image of the article, or a link to the video) as endorsement into your e-book, either in the first introduction pages or at the end of the book?
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Post it on Your Website and Blog
The endorsements implied by recognition from the media make you appear more trustworthy and credible – and thus more appealing – than your competition.
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Use it as Reference for Speaking Engagements
When applying you will greatly boost your chances of getting the gig if the people, hiring speakers know that you have received media attention. Make sure it’s on your speaker profile and in your marketing material.

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Whether you have paid someone to help you get media exposure or you have done the work yourself, you have made an investment in Public Relation. Get a great return on that investment and leverage the rewards for a long time, provided, you put it to work for you!

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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 $159 for three 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, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

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