Understand Traditional vs. Self-Publishing
Some of the most common questions I get asked working at a traditional publishing house are: Why go traditional in today's market? Why not self-publish? Aren't people making bank without all those hoops to jump through? My answer is always the same: There are pros and cons to both avenues. Here, I give you the benefits and drawbacks of each process and the information you need to decide what's the best route for you.
First, you need to know my background. I have worked in traditional publishing for six years, but I have also been heavily involved in the creation of a self-published book. This has given me enough knowledge, along with all the articles I've read on the subject, to speak on this topic. I have made a conscious effort to be as unbiased as possible. Without further ado, let's dive in, starting with the "traditional" route. ...
Addressing Snobbery in Publishing
I work with all different types of authors, those who are hoping to secure a publishing deal, those who are chasing the self-publishing dream and even a couple who have gone on to secure a deal with one of the big five (or six, or whatever it is). Some of these writers are brilliant, some are really talented, some are steady, dependable story tellers who can spin a good yarn, some aren’t that great, some have accepted help and advice and have improved in leaps and bounds, a few I have advised to go right back to the drawing board and there have been a handful who I have had to advise that writing is perhaps not the path for them (this is at the sample edit stage – I never take a penny from authors in this situation).
You might be surprised to know that most of the authors that I’d put in the first three categories are self-published.
Some of these have chosen this path and some have had it foist upon them, as it were, as they have been unable to find representation. Plenty of them are far better, more skilful storytellers than some of those that have secured representation and publishing deals. ...
Find the Perfect Title
As many of you know, this autumn Evolved Publishing will be releasing my first novel. The past few months have been a whirlwind of getting to know the Evolved team and editorial work. It’s been an eye-opening experience, and I’m so grateful to have the curtain lifted on this side of the business. But that’s a post for another day.
Parallel to the editorial decisions, there have been discussions about marketing, particularly cover and title considerations. This is a whole new ball game for me. Briefing a cover artist, what?! A title works in tandem with a book cover. They are like a pair of superheroes: Batman and Robin, Superman and Lois Lane, Danger Mouse and Penfold. They work together to attract your ideal reader.
Sometimes a title falls on your lap at the beginning of a project, and you know it is a perfect fit. More often, however, it’s a struggle to do justice to something you have been working on for months or even years. In these cases, a blueprint on how to find a title can be helpful. With the caveat that I’m no expert, I thought I’d tell you about my approach to picking a title. ...
Long Day’s Journey
When my first novel was accepted by HarperCollins — the HarperCollins, formerly Harper & Row, publisher of so many authors whom I adored — I thought that all my days of rejection were over. When my book began to be sold to foreign publishers via Harper’s Foreign Rights division, earning out the HarperCollins Advance within 6 months of acceptance, i.e., earning out its Advance before the book was published, I thought I was on the road to full-time writing. When the pre-publication and publication reviews for the first novel started pouring in — all good, and some absolutely stellar — I thought that all my years of hard work and ceaseless rejection had finally earned me a somewhat easier writing life.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The subsequent rejections started almost immediately.
With my editor. ...
Conquer the Internet [Infographic]
Writers hear every day how important it is to build our brand. When a reader buys our book, they’re also buying us. The same principle applies to freelance writers, editors, and anyone trying to navigate this crazy Internet to make a living. With the number of outlets and the amount of competition, building your online brand can seem daunting. But this infographic from Lifehack lays out everything you need to know. Follow this advice, and you’ll be an online superstar in no time. ...Read More
4 Reasons to Use a Pen Name
Have you considered using a pseudonym? There are a lot of different reasons a pen name might be a good idea. Sometimes it has to do with your life, and sometimes it’s best for the work itself. If you fit any of these descriptions, it’s probably a good idea.
1. Your writing is controversial and could affect your family relationships or day job.
When most people think of this situation, they think of erotica authors—which is a legitimate concern. Most of us wouldn’t want our grandmothers reading erotica we’d written. But there are plenty of other reasons you might want to keep your author side separate. Perhaps you’re writing about extreme political views. Or maybe you are a grade school teacher who writes about serial killers and don’t want your students’ parents to be uncomfortable. Whatever the reason, sometimes it’s best for your life as a whole to keep certain aspects separate.
2. Your real name is “taken.” ...