Self Publishing Success
For a new author in hardcover, you usually make not a percentage of the cover price, but a percentage of the wholesale price. The average rate is 15 . So if your publisher is giving a 40 discount to the book chain, you make 15 of 60 of the cover price, which usually comes out to about 1.40 a book. If I was a new writer and had a choice which is highly unlikely unless my advance was six figures, I would prefer to get published paperback first rather than hardcover. When was the last time you bought a hardcover book from a new author you never heard of Remember something very important if you ever do get published your work has just begun. If you want to make writing your career, you have your foot on the first rung and it's a hard climb up. Target your market Unless you are fortunate and skilled enough to have a bestseller, you are fighting for shelf space and time. You may not have noticed it before, but most books stay on the shelf a very short time. The person who cares the most...
The amateur, unpublished novelist may insert a scene early in her book in which the hero meets a doorman at a hotel, gets some information from him, and walks away to act on that information. The doorman may be an interesting minor character, but he will never-as the amateur novelist tends to see it -enter the story again.
Report established knowledge in the present tense, but new, previously unpublished findings (including your own results) in the past tense. For quoting published or unpublished information, consult the journal's house style and follow the reference style consistently. If no specific guidelines are given, use Vancouver style.
Most of us let slip a cussword once in a while. A few in a novel are certainly not going to shock anybody. But it's a rare, rare bird who has enough talent to sell a story or novel with a high percentage of those words in it. You might be able to mention several examples of books that prove such realism does get published. I can give you the names of dozens of talented people who never got published at all because they couldn't keep the garbage out of their characters' mouths.
I hope this helps you find a writers' group that will help you get published. Our main goal it to help each other get published. We do this by presenting and participating in workshops on our varied areas of expertise, by reading and critiquing each other's work, and by encouraging each other to submit finished works. We also provide networking, contacts with professionals in the field, and a chance to meet other local talents with similar interests. Some of our members have gone from unpublished writer to pro since joining, others have published in both commercial and small presses, and still others are just now beginning to submit work. Some are still learning how to finish work.
Proper use of tense in scientific documents derives from scientific ethics, i.e., we owe it to the scientific community to declare, by the choice of tense, whether we report established facts or new, previously unpublished data. When a scientific paper has been published in a primary journal (i.e., a journal that publishes only original data), the information communicated becomes established knowledge. This definition often creates heated discussion among my students as they point out, quite rightly, that so many a published fact will be proven untrue in subsequent publications. In this respect, established knowledge occasionally turns out to be a transient phenomenon. Nonetheless, validly published findings are regarded as knowledge as long as the findings have not been challenged or even disproved elsewhere. Q Report established knowledge in the present tense, but new, previously unpublished findings (including your own results) in the past tense.
He is Russell Galen, one of the founders of Scovil, Chichak, Galen, and one of the best agents in the business. I recommend him and the agency wholeheartedly. About what he is willing to represent, he says, There really are no limits on what we handle. SF and fantasy is the largest fraction of what we do but it's still a fraction, maybe 40 . I sell at least 25 nonfiction books a year and currently have a nonfiction bestseller in ANGEL IN THE WHIRLWIND THE TRIUMPH OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION by Benson Bobrick (Simon & Schuster). I do not like to be thought of as a SF fantasy specialist but as a generalist with a special love for and expertise in SF and fantasy. He does not represent poetry or short fiction. He prefers to receive queries from writers who have previously published fiction (either short stories or novels), but is open to queries from unpublished writers, with a couple of caveats. He says, we do take on things out of the slush, though of course very rarely. We found Terry...
The sequence in which you present your ideas is basic to the success of your paper. Attempt to get the sequence established before you begin the actual writing of the paper. This sounds easier than it is. Organizing a clear, lucid sequence can be difficult because in scientific research a number of things appear to need to be told simultaneously. Since they cannot be told simultaneously, this is beyond doubt the most difficult part of writing a first draft and one that needs to be solved before you start to write. If you do not get it solved, you may commit the worst possible crime in writing a research report which you hope to get published, namely your paper may contain repetition.
Because a good agent doesn't just sell your manuscript to your publisher. He also negotiates your contract to remove harmless-sounding but deadly clauses gets you more money for your work than you could ever hope to get for yourself tells you when it's time to move on to greener pastures sells subrights to foreign publishers hounds slow-paying publishers for the money they owe you tells you when you've ridden on your laurels for long enough and when it's time to write bigger, more challenging books helps you figure out what your next project needs to be keeps an ear open for editors who are looking for projects you'd be perfect to write and listens to you bitch and cavil about things that are going wrong in your life (but do keep the bitching and caviling to a minimum).
A lot of information is posted by educators as part of their teaching or sharing information with colleagues
An educator or student with an interest in sharing information may write an article and post it as part of his or her personal web site. Generally, these are unpublished articles--if an article is going to be or has been published in a scholarly journal, the journal may own the copyright and the author can't post it without permission. College professors also post information that they're using for a class. Sometimes if they've authored a textbook, you can find chapters or portions of chapters on a class web site.
The majority of successful self-published books are non-fiction and invariably fill a gap in the market. The advent of desk-top publishing has helped to bring production costs down, so this may not be too prohibitive, but distribution can still be a problem. Retail outlets are unenthu-siastic about taking self-published books, so you should consider setting up a mail order operation. Advertise in the appropriate trade press and on the Internet and providing you do not expect the project to make you either rich or famous, it can prove to be a very satisfying exercise.
(Note for the e-book edition This refers to publication in vanity presses, not in legitimate small presses, or self-publishing ventures. Both of those are outside of my current area of expertise.) Royalties are in the hands of the publisher, and if you ever see them (and don't assume that you will - most novels never earn out their advance), you will wait a long time before you do. The usual scheme for the payment of royalties goes like this. The publisher agrees to pay royalties in the first accounting period that comes after the end of the first full year after the book's publication. So if your book is published in January 1998 and your publisher's accounting periods are June and December, you might be able to hope for a royalty statement in June of 1999. Maybe. But it's not even that easy. Your publisher will probably do a print run of around 30,000 books for a first novel. That's about average for a mass market original (a paperback that has never been printed in hardcover or...
Possible permits some poor language to appear in even the best science journals. This is tragic for two reasons First, everyone wants the articles in widely-read journals to be understood clearly by readers all over the world, and second, no one wants new research to remain unpublished because editors simply did not understand the English in which it was written. Currently it is possible for good scientists in some countries or institutions to acquire an unwanted reputation for writing poor English. Don't let this happen to your country or institution. You are going to teach yourself to write so well that future editors will respond in joy when they see an article written by someone from your country.
Your editor may ask you for a list of conventions and bookstores you'll be visiting. Keep track of where you'll be going and keep your list current, because if she knows where you'll be a guest or signing books, she can send one of the publisher goody packages to the site. These packages can include such cool things as bookmarks imprinted with your book cover, posters of your book, the occasional cover-imprinted T-shirts for the staff to wear (so that they can advertise for you), a couple of bound galleys for the bookstore staff so that they will have an advance chance to get excited about what you've written, balloons imprinted with your publisher's name, and other things to generate excitement about you and your book.
Of course your writer's club may have a much-published professional as a member. If you can get advice from that person, it might be a fine thing. But most writers' clubs are filled almost entirely with unpublished writers, or those whose minor newspaper credits don't qualify them to judge your copy.
I have given you the rules and requirements of each modern category of fiction. In the chapter that follows this one, I'll discuss some writing techniques that are applicable to all the categories. When you've read all this, you can go out to the bookstore and purchase a dozen novels which, in some minor or major way, break one or more of these rules, fail to meet these requirements, and ignore some of these Dos and Don'ts. Writers break rules and still get published all the time. But these are writers who have published, for the most part, numerous other books people who have learned all the rules, have proved
Seriously, though, if we're talking novels for adult readers that are not series books for a specific line (like Harlequin Romances), if you write something that runs from 80,000 to 120,000 words you'll be in the prime marketability range. Shorter than that and the book will look thin on the shelf and have a harder time convincing readers to part with six or seven bucks. This is a thing called 'perceived value' and you will ignore it at your own risk. Longer than that and your publisher will have to invest more in paper and printing for each book, and if it's your first novel and he isn't sure it's going to be a blockbuster, he'll have to worry about getting his money out of it.
Usually a group put together by one pro and open to beginners. This is generally designed as a teaching group, with the pro as the teacher, and this kind of group can be either good or terrible, depending on the pro. If you have someone who loves to teach, who is genuinely interested in seeing the members get published, and whose work appeals to you enough that you think you could learn from him, then a Master and Slaves group will be okay. If, however, your existence in the group is solely to provide ego-boosts for the master, then you aren't likely to get much that will help you get published. Listening to the master read a new chapter of his book every week on the theory that this will allow you to see a work in progress, while never getting to present your own work, is a sure sign that you are in the presence of a raving egotist. Say bye-bye.
Each of these databases has limitations, however. Some contain only published research others, only unpublished research. As with searching the Internet, one searches the database by specifying keywords any mismatch between the seeker and the indexer is likely to result in missed articles. There can be a long time lag before references appear in an electronic index, because after publication the work must be identified and catalogued into the reference database. Thus, physically browsing for newly appearing information is still advisable. Furthermore, despite their claims, none of the online databases access all relevant journals on a topic. Use multiple sources.
When writing a series of papers on a subject, title each separately. Numbered series with the same title and differing subtitles are a headache to everyone, especially if the papers have slightly different sets of coauthors. Editors are unhappy with the implication that acceptance of one paper obligates them to publish successive ones. Readers, librarians, and cataloguers deal with unnecessary confusion, especially if Part 4 is published before Part 2, or Part 3 is rejected entirely. If you feel it is vital that everyone knows the papers are a series, link them by mentioning the others in a footnote on the title page or by citing them in the Introduction. If the typescript on hand is interdependent with another unpublished paper, remember to include copies of that other paper for reviewers when you send the document to an editor. Because of these conventions regarding tense use, a scientific paper usually should seesaw back and forth between the past and present tenses. An Abstract or...
I'm contradicting what I wrote in the last chapter. No, I'm not. What I'm talking about is those people who sit there and complain that their book is just as good as such and such and, damn it, they should not only be published but have a bestseller. Also, those people who look at book number 5 from a best-selling author and complain about how bad it is. Yes, there are many book number 5's from best-selling authors that if they were book number 1 from a new author, would not get published. But the primary thing that sells a book is author's name. I've always said Stephen King could write a book about doing his laundry and it would be on the bestseller list. Stephen King earned being Stephen King and to misquote a vice-presidential debate, I've read Stephen King and you ain't no Stephen King. Neither am I.
If you have an accessible publisher, he'll give you advice, too, but most publishers are invisible. i had one who was accessible, and he was great - i got some story ideas from him, and did a few books where he pitched the idea to me, and I found him willing to listen when I pitched ideas to him, too. It was very personal, and a fun way to work. Now my publisher is a name on a masthead and I'll probably never meet him. If your publisher is involved in your books, enjoy the fact. If he isn't though, don't worry about it. A good editor and a good agent are all you need.
If nothing else I tell you sticks, make sure this does. Your publisher doesn't need you. Your agent doesn't need you. And your editor doesn't need you. For every 'you' out there who has gotten far enough to have a book accepted and to think that now you have the world by the throat, there are ten thousand others waiting for a chance, with their manuscripts ready and their minds made up that this is what they want to do. If you have a shitty attitude and think you're God's gift to the field, well, one of them won't. And you'll find that your books stop selling and your agent stops returning your calls, and you can take full responsibility for your crash onto your own shoulders. Why should anyone have to put up with a jerk when there are people out there who write just as well as you do and who are
Important point - you'll have much less success with this if your book is self-published. In fact, in most places you'll have no success at all. Independent bookstores in small towns might give you a break, while the managers of bigger bookstores are likely to smile coldly and say 'no, thanks.' If your publisher is sending you on tour, you get to go along for the ride, and you don't have to do anything but show up. I haven't done a book tour yet. Is the problem something you can't help Did you find out that your novel sold less copies than Bert's Book of Pretty Okay Recipes for Guys Is your publisher cutting its lines. Did your editor change to a different house or a different job
I sold the first book and it did surprisingly well, winning me an award, getting me nominated for a couple of others, hitting the Locus Bestseller list for two months running (something of a feat for a first novel by a previously unpublished writer with no background in something like short fiction.) And it sold well on the stands, requiring a second printing in relatively short order. I sold the second book in the series, and it was a bit of a sophomore slump, but it was still a strong story. On the strength of the sales of the first book and the completion of the second book on time and in acceptable form, my publisher offered me a three-book contract.
We are now moving into dangerous territory. We're going to be talking about theories, styles and techniques. Most novice writers want formulas and rules. They want the answer that will make writing easy and get them published. Unfortunately writing is never easy and it takes much hard work to get published. Read the following words very carefully There is no right or wrong way to write. There are only the right or wrong ways to use techniques and the right and wrong times and places to use techniques. For example, I am not a big fan of self-publishing. But if your goal is simply to see your name on the cover of a book, then self-publishing might be the best move you can make. I'm not a big fan of book doctors, but I've had people get really irate at me for saying that. I know people who have spent over 1,600 on a book doctor and been very happy with the work done. I also recently read where the state of New York indicted a book doctor company and a bunch of agents who were...
One professor I listened to said you needed to write a million words before expecting to get published. I'm currently around word five million and still learning so much. Not only is it hard to get published, it is also hard to be successful when you are published. Nine out of ten first novelists fail. I've failed after six novels under one name. I failed after two books under another name. Failure comes because of a number of reasons but the sign of it is common enough books don't sell. I discuss this in the business section. That's another lesson I've learned you never know who you're dealing with so be courteous and open to all you meet. No matter what your mindset, listen to others and what they have to say about writing even if you disagree with them. You might find yourself agreeing a year or two later. In this book, you might find me appearing to be somewhat schizophrenic, taking several different perspectives, some of them seemingly opposed to each other, but remember, I began...
I'm a very good listener, I'm patient, and I'm interested in seeing beginning writers succeed. In consequence, I spend much of my time at conventions and writers' conferences leaned up against a convenient wall or doorframe, listening to the dreams and aspirations and tales of woe and book descriptions of unpublished or rarely published writers. These writers usually want a listener more than anything, so mostly I just listen. But from time to time, a hopeful writer will ask my advice. I always take my time, give the question my full attention, and try to offer the best answer I can, based on my experience and what I know of the markets and the industry. The problem with people who say But . . . is that they have already decided that they know everything they need to know about writing. They may be chatting me up in the hopes of networking, or because they want me to tell them that theirs is the most brilliant idea I've ever heard. But they aren't interested in getting published. And...
Least one of whom is a native English speaker. Each of these presents excellent information to use in your own writing. They lie before you, waiting for you to turn on your analytical skills. The friendly, personal model for contemporary scientific writing that can be created using this information would be of help both to scientists who are not native speakers of English and unpublished scientists who are native speakers.
And I do hate to sound like the Commercial Sell-Out from Hell here, but if you don't work to make your book as marketable as you can, you can kiss any hope of a full-time writing career goodbye. Publishers - all publishers - publish books in order to make money. If you aren't willing to help your publisher out by writing books he can hope to sell, he will simply stop buying books from you. Put your heart into your stories, and your soul, and the best of what you have to offer. Then be willing to reshape your stories to make them better, more marketable, more accessible. Keep the heart and the soul in there - don't get cynical, however easy it may be to get cynical. But keep your eye on the sales figures and the bottom line, too.
Academia houses a great deal of potentially valuable but largely unpublished material in the form of doctoral dissertations and masters' theses. Although many reference databases contain abstracts of dissertations, Dissertation Abstracts focuses exclusively on them. Both the printed and the computerized versions include records dating back to 1861. Increasingly, the full text can be purchased and printed. Alternatively, you may need to use interlibrary loan services to obtain a photocopy from the university at which the dissertation research was conducted.
For novel writing, unlike dentistry, there is no course of study you can pursue and, when finished, say I'm a novelist. You can get an M.F.A. in creative writing, or a Ph.D. in the modern novel, but that won't make you a bona fide novelist. To be a novelist, you have to get published. Being an unpublished novelist has about as much social acceptability as being a shopping bag lady. Should the word get out about you, your friends will snicker. Your neighbors will whisper about you. Your Uncle Albert will try to talk you into becoming a chiropractor. Your Aunt Bethilda will take you aside and lecture you on the grim realities and responsibilities of adulthood. Your creditors will break out in hives. Your mother will be sympathetic, but late at night her eyes will flood with tears as she tries to figure out where she went wrong. It's a sad fact of life, but to be an honest-to-goodness novelist you must have that honor conferred on you by a publisher. But remember this each and every bird...
References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as in press or forthcoming authors should obtain written permission to cite such papers as well as verification that they have been accepted for publication. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should be cited in the text as unpublished observations with written permission from the source.
How does this affect you and what can you do First of all, many amateur or unpublished writers take their writing far too personally. Whatever is said about their writing they take to apply to them as a person - as a scientist. Don't do this, for if you react this way, you may never get a paper in good enough shape to be published. The quality of your writing
You should also read more first novels, rather than the latest by a best-selling author. Since you are trying to get published, see what kind of novel it takes to get published at various publishing houses. Some best-selling authors can crank out anything which would not get published if a no-name author did it and have it become a best seller.
It is worth noting that the combination of desk-top publishing and the Internet has brought about a major change to the image of self-publishing. many advertisements for self-publishing companies in the writing press and on the Internet. However, if you are considering 'self-publishing' your manuscript through one of these companies, it is imperative that you check their credentials carefully to ensure that they are not simply vanity publishers in an updated, online form.
Materials used in the papers being reviewed. There are few examples of reviewers using such strategies - although it is clearly advisable to do so when writing the literature review in theses. Hartley et al. (1980) provided three such illustrations. One, by Macdonald-Ross (1977), concluded that Vernon's (1946) results on the effectiveness of diagrams arose largely as a consequence of her using poorly designed diagrams. Similarly, Elashoff and Snow (1971) were able to write a devastating critique of Pygmalion in the Classroom after examining the tests and procedures used by Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968). And finally, Klare (1976) read thirty-six studies on the effects of readability upon the comprehension of text. Nine of these were published papers, and twenty-seven were unpublished theses. Klare found that 100 per cent of the published studies contained statistically significant findings, compared with sixty per cent of the dissertations. This, of course, altered the nature of his...
Because you really don't know what the market is going to be in the two and a half to three years it will take you to get published. The bottom line is to write whatever you feel you want to. But remember if you want to sell it that you need to write it so other people will want to read it.
Before we get started, I want to be VERY clear about one issue that I know some of you are already sweating over. This doesn't have to be pretty. You do not get extra points for artistry. I'm showing you a technique for generating ideas and creating a story where you didn't have anything before, not trying to turn you into an illustrator. If you can't draw a straight line, no problem. You aren't going to need any straight lines. Wobbles are part of the process. Nobody but you ever has to see this map. Nobody but you ever has to know it even exists. It doesn't have to go in front of the book you're going to write, and if you decide you do want it in the front of your book, your publisher is going to hire an artist to redraw it, no matter how cool you made it look. so stop already with the complaining about how you can't draw.
I've met thousands of unpublished writers since I started selling my work. I've corresponded with at least a couple thousand more. I've heard every possible hope and dream about writing, commiserated with sad tales of rejection, cheered over jubilant good news, and listened to more plots than the FBI and more dirt than the parish priest sitting in his confessional.
Most writers hate the quandary that searching for agents put them in. They see the Catch-22 of I need an agent to get published but I can't get an agent unless I'm published. The agent is the business link between you and the publishers. Also remember, though, that the agent ultimately works for himself, not you. Remember, too that the publishers cut the checks, which go to the agent, who takes his her share and then renders the author his share. So if things start getting sticky between you and your publisher, your agent might not put his or her neck totally on the line to protect your interests simply because they have other authors that work with that same publisher and the agent wants to maintain his relationship with the publisher, perhaps to the detriment of your relationship, but this would be a rare case. Ultimately, agents' loyalty lies with their writers rather than the publishers. Also, of course, remember that the reverse is true your agent holds some power with the editor...
Another issue for e-books will be 'branding.' Any person who is willing to pay a couple of hundred dollars to one of the many sites that are springing up on the Internet can be 'published' in both e-book and print on demand. Their book can also be listed at Amazon. However who will determine which of these many, basically self-published, books have any quality write books as another tool. I do suggest reading a few though, just to get the common themes. It's like the commercial if eight out of ten how-to-get-published books say it, then it's probably true. Self-publishing They're called vanity presses for a reason. Pay if you simply want to feel good about having a bound book. A tiny fraction of self-published books turn a profit. If it was such a good book the odds are a regular publisher would have taken it on. Like literary agencies that charge a fee, vanity presses make their money off of you not the book. The real trap in self-publishing is marketing your book. Most bookstore...
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