Book editing services in India: Are you paying too much?

Freelance book editors provide services to authors before literary agents or publishers come into the picture. The assumption here is that the original manuscript has potential that can be accentuated with a little help.

There are many subjective and commercial aspects you need to consider before you decide to hire a book editor. Some of the subjective elements were covered in an earlier post titled ‘Hiring a freelance editor for proofreading & editing your book’. This one focuses on the commercial perspective.

Read more

Publishing poetry books: Will a traditional mainstream publisher sell your poems?

If you are a poet, you have probably thought about getting a poetry book published. Good poetry, many would argue, is tougher to write than prose. For the creator (the poet), it requires far more creativity and a much higher emotional quotient to write poems that inspire, move, entertain or compel the reader to think deeper.

But it is still a hell of a job to convince a mainstream publisher to print and sell your poetry book. Let’s look at why that happens and what options you have to get your poems published.

Read more

Should authors copyright their work?

Copyrights, patents, trademarks and other legal terms can be confusing for authors and those in creative professions. But it’s important to be aware of what they mean, where they apply and if / when they can help. If some of the sections in this post get a little too technical, step out for a breath of fresh air, hear some birds chirping (original sounds work better than mobile ringtones) and come back to complete it.

Read more

Average word count for books: How long should a novel be?

This question came in as a reader comment on one of the earlier blog posts. This question about average word count was on my mind as well, when I started writing my book. Most blogs and writer websites had the more-or-less the same advice – forget the length and the average word count of your novel. Write your story and forget the rest.

I wouldn’t dispute that rationale to a large extent. But the follow-your-heart recommendation needs to be considered in the context of commercial and business interests of the publishing company too. So I continued searching for the other side of the story. Where word count translates into a specific number of pages, which in turn influences how painful it would be to publish your book.

I found several high level guidelines on the internet. These were to do with whether the book would be categorised as a Novel or a Novella or an Epic or something else. In this post, I’d like to share some thoughts on word count considerations.

Read more

10 depressing facts about the book publishing industry

Steven Piersanti (President, Berrett-Koehler Publishers) recently published a top 10 list on the trends in the publishing industry. Though the numbers that are cited in the article are from the US, I’m guessing that some trends might be applicable to the world market as well.

First a quick summary of the post and then we move on to what new authors can do apart from popping anti-depressant pills.

Read more

Book publishing industry: How the revenue pie gets shared

In traditional book publishing, authors get the short end of the stick. You already knew that. We are talking about income in the form of book royalty.

So if an author does all the hard work of writing the book and the reader does the (harder?) work of patiently reading it, where does the rest of the money go?

This is where the supply chain comes into picture and it might help understanding the behind the scenes dynamics, so you are better positioned to write that bestseller.

Read more

New writers & authors: Ready to be a book salesman?

When it comes to selling novels, there is a common assumption (and practice) in the publishing world. After the author has received his share of limelight and media exposure during the book launch event, he goes back to his high pedestal to work on the next masterpiece while his humongous fan following flocks to the bookstores to buy the book.

As an author, while you put on the sunglasses to protect your eyes from all the flashbulbs going off in your face, the reality is – most book reviews and press exposure will fizzle out faster than you assume. Then it’s just you and your books lying on their respective pedestals gathering dust. Unless you do something about it.

So last week, I thought, let me try out an experiment.

Read more

Book promotion: Celebrity book launch vs low key event

In the era of information overload, when anyone wants to be heard what’s the best strategy? Shout. The louder, the better. Would you agree? Hold on to your answer till you finish reading the post.

Almost anyone in a profession that needs a big audience seems to feel screaming is the best way to get their message across. Actors, politicians, businessmen and of course, authors. And I don’t mean ‘shouting’ in the literal sense. There are ways to scream and get attention without putting your vocal chords in danger.

Read more

Pros and cons of choosing a small publisher

Most authors who have a novel or non-fiction book ready for submission, start the query letter process by listing out the traditional publishing houses – Penguin, HarperCollins, Hachette, John Wiley, Simon & Schuster Random House, you know the list. But for many authors, it’s like trying to swim against the current and it can take forever for the biggies to even consider a query letter and ask for the full manuscript.

Many of those authors who’ve either not been lucky with the big names or have a different strategy to get published start looking at the small publisher. Here are some pros and cons of working with a small publisher.

Read more

Hiring a freelance editor for proofreading & editing your book

Freelance editors work with new writers (or even experienced ones) to polish their novel or non-fiction manuscript before it gets submitted to literary agents or publishers. They could charge on a fixed fee or an hourly fee basis. Like in all fields, the editing business has a few good editors who know their stuff (and can really make a difference) and a whole lot of mediocre and opportunistic ones who’d be happy to take your money.

Here are a few perspectives for you to think about before you take the decision of hiring a freelance editor for your book.

Read more

How to write your first book and FINISH it

Advice on how to start writing a book is quite different from tips on how to finish a book. What genre your novel will fall in, how long it should be and what writing style should you follow are questions that the author is best qualified to address. The bigger challenge for most first time writers working on their novel or non-fiction books is about putting the lid on the project and completing the book.

Read more

Query letter rejections: How writers can deal with it

Query letters for books need a lot of TLC (tender love & care) to create. Getting the mailing list of the best literary agents and publishers to send your carefully crafted query letter takes longer. Waiting for the publishers and the book agents takes forever.

So no matter how determined you are in wanting to get your novel or non-fiction book published, rejections can be very disappointing.

How you deal with rejections and move on is an important part of the learning curve. Here are a few things you can do to help you put things in perspective and improve your book proposal or query letters.

Read more