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Publishing Guide

There is probably no single book that a writer could read to discover all there is to know about publishing. Yet we offer our little POCKET GUIDE TO PUBLISHING to help authors sort it all out. It is not exhaustive or complete. But if it helps you find your way, then we are grateful and delighted.

We are giving it away from this website and you are welcome to it. Below is part of the introduction and the table of contents, which goes a long way in showing all that we cover.

Bon appétit!

INTRODUCTION

All we wanted to do was create a long list of the things that writers should consider before publishing a book, things they needed to know if they were going to self-publish or if they were courting a traditional or hybrid publisher. We firmly believe in transparency, not tricks or upselling or slight-of-hand or editing services from dubious sources. We figured that sharing knowledge about the book trade—both the bad and good—would spawn healthier collaboration between writers and the team of editors, designers and distributors who ultimately give a book life. There should be a feeling of trust and shared ownership when the printer’s ink finally dries on the pages.

We figured a list of dos and don’ts would be especially eye-opening for debut authors. We’ve learned a lot about this business and figured we would offer our collective mistakes and wisdom as a compass to guide aspiring authors through the tricky, sometimes treacherous seas of book publishing and decipher the industry’s mumbo-jumbo jargon. We often ask those considering self-publishing a book, “Really, are you sure you want to tackle this?”

If you do it right, publishing can be rewarding and maybe even fun. To avoid the dark side, you need to know yourself and your limitations and interests. Not everyone has the skill or temperament to fix a leaky sink. Sometimes it’s wisest to hire a plumber.

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Our company has published hundreds of books since 2010 and has, through trial and error, by mistake and by luck, experienced the perils and rewards of publishing. We’ve helped scores of authors, some with traditional publishing contracts, some with hybrid deals and others who we assist with self-publishing. In fact, we embrace all three forms of book publishing. Each has its place in the world; each has its benefits, and each has pitfalls.

There is no right solution to publishing, but there are best solutions.

—Joe Coccaro and John Köehler

Table of Contents

Foreword 03
Introduction 07

  1. Publishing Evolution, Revolution 20
  2. Publishing Options 25
  3. Traditional Model 25
  4. Hybrid Model 25
  5. Self-Publishing 26
  6. Our Model:

    Emerging Authors Program 30

  7. Author Relations 31
  8. Contracts, Royalties & Respect, Oh My! 32
  9. Sample Contract 36
  10. Publication Agreement 36
  11. Pay-to-Play 53
  12. Paying for Publishing 56

    Editing: Tough Love 59

  13. Types of Editing 63
  14. Line Editing 63
  15. Copy Editing 68
  16. Proofreading 69
  17. First Impressions 71
  18. Manuscript Preparation: Looks Matter 78
  19. Formatting Your Manuscript 78
  20. Submitting Your Manuscript 81

    Design 83

  21. Front Cover 85
  22. Back Cover 88
  23. Description 88
  24. Author Biography 88
  25. Pricing and Bar Code 89
  26. Spine 90
  27. Cover Wrap 90
  28. Cover Styles 92
  29. Perfect Binding 92
  30. Hardback with Dust Jacket 93
  31. Hardback Case Laminate 93
  32. Interior Text Design 95
  33. Book Size 95
  34. Margins 95
  35. Typefaces 95
  36. Pagination 96
  37. Copyright Page 96
  38. Front Matter 97
  39. Chapter Pages 97
  40. Back Matter 97
  41. Fiction vs. Nonfiction 98

    The Production Process 99

  42. Checklist and Timeline 100
  43. Title Preparation 102
  44. Signed and Executed Contract 102
  45. Author Questionnaire 102
  46. Manuscript Formatting 102
  47. Welcome Call 103
  48. Creative & Production 103
  49. Front Cover Design 103
  50. Marketing Call 104
  51. Editing 104
  52. Text Layout 104
  53. Copyediting 105
  54. Cover Wrap & Text Layouts 105
  55. Client Approval 105
  56. Tip Sheet 105

    Printing and ARCs 106

  57. Advanced Review Copies 106
  58. Author Purchases 106

    Distribution 107

  59. Online Print Presales 107
  60. E-books 107
  61. Print Production 107
  62. ISBN 109
  63. IngramSpark 110
  64. E-book Production 110
  65. Distribution 111
  66. Print 112
  67. Digital 113

    Marketing 117

  68. What the Publisher Does 118
  69. Book Web Page 119
  70. Author’s Questionnaire 119
  71. Title Management System

    Title Management System (TMS) 119

  72. Tip Sheets 119
  73. Advance Review Copies 120
  74. Author Purchases 120
  75. E-book Campaigns 121
  76. Catalog Inclusion 121
  77. Vote the Cover Campaigns 121
  78. Audio and Foreign Rights 122
  79. What the Author Does 123
  80. The Right Mindset 123
  81. Marketing Call 123
  82. Social Media 123
  83. Author’s Website 124
  84. Blogs 125
  85. Facebook 126
  86. Facebook Forum 126
  87. Twitter 126
  88. LinkedIn 127
  89. YouTube 127
  90. Amazon Author Central 127
  91. Goodreads 127
  92. BookBub 128
  93. NetGalley 128
  94. Conventional Media 129
  95. Advanced Review Copies 129
  96. Book Talks and Events 130
  97. Blog Tours 130
  98. Share the Wealth 130
  99. Hiring A Pro 131
  100. Author Questionnaire 131

In Closing 141

About the Authors 144

Here’s our gift to you.

GET YOUR FREE EBOOK

Pocket Guide to Publishing: 100 Things Authors Should Know

“A clever and candid look under the hood of today’s publishing vehicle.” —Shari Stauch, CEO and creator of Where Writers Win “I wish Pocket Guide had been available when I started out.” —Betsy Ashton, author of The Mad Max Mysteries, president of the Virginia Writers Club “A real no nonsense guide for authors that cuts to the chase about publishing.” —William Hazelgrove, bestselling author of The Pitcher and twelve other books Ooh, I need this!