Welcome to Book1Blog

Welcome to Book1Blog, a blog started in April 2010 and dedicated to providing helpful information for those interested in short run book self-publishing.

The content for posts published in this blog is based on the knowledge and writings of several of the most respected and knowledgeable professionals in the book publishing industry: people like Dan Poynter, founder and President of ParaPublishing.com and author of many books; Danny O. Snow, founder of Unlimited Publishing, LLC; Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier, co-authors of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing; Karrie Ross, a book designer and branding specialist, Dana Lynn Smith, The Savvy Book Marketer; Karen Hodges Miller, author of Finish Your Book and newly released Sell Your Book; and Bobbi Linkemer, author of How to Write a Nonfiction Book. Well over 150 posts have been published since our beginning, offering some tremendous insights into how to successfully write, publish and promote self-published books.

A new post is published each week. We hope that, as new articles appear, you will send us your comments, feedback and ideas. Whether you are an aspiring author, a professional in the book publishing arena, or just someone who has an interest in self-publishing, we encourage and would appreciate your input.

If you would like to be a guest author by submitting a post, you can do so by contacting us by email. Book1Blog receives no income from any of the book sales links listed in our right sidebar. Rather, it is our way of saying thank you to the authors for allowing us to use some of their content.

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It Takes a Team to Publish a Nonfiction Book

It Takes a Team to Publish a Nonfiction Book

by Bobbi Linkemer

 

While it’s true that writing a book is a solitary process, publishing and promoting one are not. In fact it takes a team, sometimes just few people, sometimes a crowd. Listed below are seven of the most essential professional partners every author needs.

  1. Administrative Assistant

An administrative or virtual assistant will become your right hand. At every stage of the process, there will be correspondence, permissions, research, bookkeeping, organization, filing, inventory, publicity, and myriad other necessary details to attend to. You have two choices: do it all yourself, or hire someone to help you.

  1. Attorney

An attorney serves several functions, from analyzing contracts to advising you on copyright law. A lawyer will keep you from signing anything that is not in your best interest, help prevent potential litigation, and do the footwork to register your work.

  1. Editors

Editors fall into specialized categories because they work at different stages of the project. A developmental editor helps you think through your premise and organization. A content editor looks at the big picture, including writing style, structure, and flow of ideas, language, and accuracy. A copy editor checks for grammar, punctuation, and consistency and is the last person to read your manuscript before it goes to print.

  1. Graphic Designer

Graphic designers turn your ideas into visuals. Often, the same artist can handle both cover design and page layout. Sometimes, however, you will need two separate people. Readers spend only seconds looking at a book … first, the cover; then, inside. The interior is very important, so important, in fact, that many experts advise using a graphic designer who specializes in books.

  1. Printer or Publisher

Your book must be printed in some form, and you have many choices. If a conventional or independent publisher is publishing your book, this won’t be your responsibility. If you are self-publishing, obviously, it will. The kind of printing you select will range in both sophistication and price. At one end is taking the file to a quick-copy store and telling them how many copies you want. At the other end of the spectrum is a high-quality, four-color printer.

  1. Publicist or PR Person

Not every author has a publicist but if you want national exposure, it’s a good investment. The important point is that you must market your book, usually well before it finds its way into print. A publicist saves you a lot of legwork by arranging for travel, radio and TV appearances, book signings, interviews, and articles in various publications.

  1. Reviewer

Reviewers are usually affiliated with some form of media. They assess the quality of the writing, how well and logically you cover the topic, and how readable the book is. A positive review is like gold that can be mined in many ways, one of which is to quote the reviewer on the cover.
Even though writing is essentially a solitary process, producing a book is a team effort. Every member of the team contributes a different area specialization. You do the writing; they do the rest.

Bobbi Linkemer is a writing coach, ghostwriter, and editor, as well as the author of eighteen books, six of which are on writing. Her passion is helping writers at all levels convey their messages through books. She has launched a successful online course and guided twenty-four published authors through the steps of writing, publishing, and promoting their nonfiction books. Bobbi can be reached at WriteANonfictionBook.com, bobbi@writeanonfictionbook.com, or 314-968-8661.


The Secrets of Good Writing

 

Zinsser

“The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb that carries the same meaning that’s already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what—those are the thousand one adulterations that weaken the strength of a sentence.” — William Zinsser, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

If I could write a book about writing that boils down to a single point, that point would be SIMPLIFY. Many writers have a tendency to overcomplicate their writing for one of three reasons:

  1. They want to sound erudite, smart, articulate.
  2. They don’t understand what they are writing about.
  3. They’ve never learned to write a simple sentence.

As an editor, I am sometimes faced with whole paragraphs full of words that say nothing, or if they do say something, I have no idea what is it. The purpose of writing is to convey a thought, an idea, or a message. That is not a simple matter. If the reader cannot translate what you have written into something that makes sense to him, you have not achieved your purpose.

Communication in any form is fraught with ways to fail. Consider this: As the sender of the message, you know exactly what you want to communicate. So you say it or write it and assume that the receiver understands your meaning. Maybe she does, but maybe she doesn’t. Unless she checks with you by asking, “Is this what you meant?” she will assume her interpretation is correct. If it is, you’re off to a good start. If it isn’t, you’ll have to restate it. But if she never checks her understanding, neither of you will know that your communication has gone awry.

Unless you are instant messaging (IM), you won’t get that that kind of feedback on your writing. You’ll just send out the message and hope that the reader “gets it.” The simpler and less cluttered your language, the more likely it is that it will be understood. The more extraneous words you throw in, the greater the possibility that the reader will become tangled up in your verbiage. What’s worse is that you may never know.

This is hardly a new problem, but for writers it is a serious one. If you adhere to the rule that every writer needs an editor, someone else may catch your convoluted wording, but it is really your job to turn over to an editor a clear, well-written manuscript. Believe me, it will still have to be polished, but at least you will have done your job as a writer.

 

Bobbi Linkemer is a writing coach, ghostwriter, and editor, as well as the author of eighteen books, six of which are on writing. Her passion is helping writers at all levels convey their messages through books. She has launched a successful online course and guided twenty-four published authors through the steps of writing, publishing, and promoting their nonfiction books. Bobbi can be reached at WriteANonfictionBook.com, bobbi@writeanonfictionbook.com, or 314-968-8661. 


5 Mistakes New Authors Make

5 Mistakes New Authors Make

 

If you don’t know your way around the publishing world, you may make wrong turns and unnecessary blunders, but you can avoid them if you know in advance what they are. Here are 5 mistakes new authors make and to avoid them.

Mistake #1
You mention to people that you’re writing a book, and they become instantly fascinated. “You are? That’s terrific. What’s it about?” they ask. Can you answer that question in one sentence, or will you talk your listeners into a stupor while you explain your subject? Of course, you want to tell anyone who will listen all about your book—its content, its purpose, its potential for becoming a best seller. Resist the urge. The mistake many new authors make is talking about their books, rather than writing them. Capture your topic in a single sentence: “My book is about …” Then, stop talking, and go home and write.

Mistake #2
You proudly print out your manuscript and read what have written. Does it still make sense or have you rambled on or completely forgotten everything you ever learned about English grammar? The mistake many new authors make is assuming you only have to write your book once, that your first draft is your final draft. If you have showed your book to friends and family, and been showered with praise, you’re good to go … right? Well, Not quite.

Mistake #3
Even if you have been selective about those you asked for input, are any of those people professional editors or subject matter experts? Have they given you constructive comments on content, organization, accuracy, grammar, punctuation, consistency, length, or readability? Probably not. The mistake many new authors make is failing to hire a professional editor to review their work and provide objective, knowledgeable feedback.

Mistake #4
You are to ready publish, but you are torn between sending your book to a major New York publishing house or using one of the POD “publishers” on the Web. Do you have any idea how many unsolicited manuscripts big publishers receive every day, and how few they even glance at before they throw them into the “slush pile”? Do you know what POD “publishers” really do and how to evaluate the quality and costs of their services? The mistake many new authors make is not thoroughly researching publishing options in order to make educated decisions on how to publish.

Mistake #5
At last, you are holding your book in your hands. It’s tangible; it’s real. You are a published author. Now, all you need is sales. But there are a few things you should have done before you reached this point, such as identifying your ideal readers and the best way to reach them, writing a marketing plan, launching a website, and registering for social media sites. The mistakes many new authors make is waiting until their books are published to begin thinking about how to mount a successful marketing campaign.

These mistakes are avoidable once you are aware of them. The question is how to learn what not t do when you are a novice? There are many sources of such information: authors and publishers’ associations, more experience authors, books on the publishing process, and classes, among others. Take the time to ask questions, and don’t ignore you own common sense. If you question the wisdom of some activity, pay attention to your own doubts.

 

Bobbi Linkemer is a writing coach, ghostwriter, and editor, as well as the author of eighteen books, six of which are on writing. Her passion is helping writers at all levels convey their messages through books. She has launched a successful online course and guided twenty-four published authors through the steps of writing, publishing, and promoting their nonfiction books. Bobbi can be reached at WriteANonfictionBook.com, bobbi@writeanonfictionbook.com, or 314-968-8661.