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Radio is a fantastic marketing tool for every self-published author. Read on to learn how to get yourself on the radio by writing a great radio pitch letter. Even though radio and TV have suffered at the hands of social media, and the audience has changed dramatically since before the digital age. However… Both platforms, and especially radio (both traditional and internet radio) are fantastic platforms for authors to promote their books. The goal is to pitch your idea to the right stations, to the right radio producers, in the right way, that you and interviewing you on the station are a no-brainer. This means you need to frame your pitch in a way that makes the producer’s job easier – and essentially sets up the idea, tone, and angle of the interview.

Below are the five steps to creating the perfect radio pitch letter.

Five Steps to the Perfect Radio Pitch Letter – Identify the “angle” of your radio pitch

The world of radio has become highly fragmented. When taking in to account internet radio, there is literally a station for every market segment or idea. While this means the number of listeners may be fewer per station, it also means the right audience will the highly interested in your ideas. Fragmentation in the radio market, and the growth in internet radio, also means more producers need more specific content. If you’ve written a good book marketing plan, then you should be well aware of who your target audience is – the more clearly you know your audience, the more convincing argument you will have for a producer adding you to his or her show.

– Communicate your idea clearly

Communicating the value of your book to your intended audience is paramount in importance to getting radio interviews. Something that is “just an ad” for your book will never get you attention. Remember that radio stations charge for advertising. Your value proposition needs to be something that will get listeners to tune in and not ‘turn the dial.’ Radio producers are desperate for ideas that will fill their airtime – and ar attracted first to ideas that seem an easy fit and require little work on teh part of the producer or host. Your radio pitch must communicate your idea quickly and clearly. Use an effective headline to do this.

– Understand to whom to send your radio pitch letter

A pitch letter sent to the wrong station and the wrong person AT the station is wasted effort. Blasting your radio pitch letter to every station you’ve ever heard of, or to “all the big ones” is a waste of everyone’s time. Your book doesn’t appeal to “Everyone” (really, it doesn’t… remember that section in writing your book marketing plan about audience?) Only send your pitch to places you actually know your audience hangs out. Make sure you are targeting producers, not hosts. The producer usually understands far better what will make a great guest. And listen to the station. Nothing will offend a producer or host more than having absolutely no idea what the program is actually about.

– Make choosing you an easy decision

We are all overworked and underpaid. It’s part of the human condition. Radio producers are no different. Anything that appears to indicate you will be an easy guest, with an easy interview to set up will make you an attractive choice. Your radio pitch should indicate some discussion points that will be easy fodder for interview questions. Don’t make the producer struggle to find ways for you to interact with the host. A common strategy is to use leading questions – you can fill in the blanks below for almost any topic:

  • How / Is / Are [topic] [action statement] [result]
    • This is the classic ‘tension’ opener or statement – for example:
      • “How [your fad diet] [is actually] [making you less healthy?]”
      • “Is [your teenager] [ruining] [your marriage?]”
      • “Are [computer antivirus programs] [letting the government] [spy on your computer]?”
  • The [benefit or pain point] [cause amplifier] [solution teaser]
    • Sounds complicated, but it’s not – you’ve read this a thousand times in email subjects and heard it over and over on TV and radio – for example:
      • “The [5 proven strategies] [car dealers] [don’t want you to know before buying a car]”
      • “The [real reasons you aren’t happy at work] [that your boss][can fix if you’d only speak up]”

Introductions, subjects lines, or even bullet points like these within your radio pitch give the producers plenty of ideas of how your story will play on the air.

– Keep your radio pitch short and sweet

Don’t make the producer spend more time reading your pitch than you’ll actually be on the air. Keep is short and to the point – they aren’t called ‘sound bites’ for no reason. No one you reach out to has time for idle chitchat. If you can’t keep it short and to the point, you won’t get your pitch read, much less a booking.

Final thoughts on your radio pitch

Be persistent – keep a great attitude and keep reaching out. Understand that you may need to be very flexible with timing, days, or even the nature of the interview. Understand that last minute is often the name of the game in media – a last minute spot that needs filled might be just the chance you need. Have your pitch, interview ideas, and even a rehearsed monologue ready to go, just in case you get the last minute call.

Radio is every author’s friend. Follow these few simple steps with your radio pitch, and you’ll be ready to take that call!

The post How to Write a Radio or TV Pitch Letter appeared first on Dog Ear Publishing.

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Dog Ear Publishing by Ray Robinson - 5M ago

Children’s books have always been a staple of the self-published community. Now, with ReadAloud every author’s children’s book can fully come to life!

Dog Ear Publishing ReadAloud Sample - Dinosaurs from Head to Tail - YouTube
Example of Dog Ear Publishing ReadAloud technology

ReadAloud adds narration and guided reading highlights to your book, creating a dynamic and exciting e-book. Guided reading highlights help early readers learn new words and pronunciations. This  is truly a revolutionary technology now available to self-published authors.

Dog Ear Publishing’s ReadAloud service will provide a choice of narrators, and the proprietary technology will follow along and highlight the words as they are being read.

Available now exclusively on Overdrive.com (the largest distributor in the world of e-books to libraries and schools), Apple iBookstore, and Kobo.

ReadAloud Children’s Book Narration & Guided Reading – $600

The introductory pricing for the ReadAloud service includes the following:

  • Educational consulting where applicable (for educational products)
  • Casting of voice talent, 3 options provided based on author input
  • Narration of up to 1,500 words (additional words charged at $0.20 per word)
  • One round of re‐recording of narration
  • Sound engineering, proofing, and mastering
  • Creation of HTML-based epub from book PDF
  • Synchronization of audio to text
  • Addition of guided reading text highlighting
  • Development of ReadAloud product
  • Upload to Overdrive.com, Apple iBookstore and Kobo

The post Introducing ReadAloud appeared first on Dog Ear Publishing.

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Use Giveaways to Build Sales Momentum The Power of Positive Reviews e-Book Promotional Giveaway Bundle – $399

Word of mouth is still the most powerful selling tool for books. And book reviews on sites like Amazon and Goodreads are the key ‘word of mouth’ strategies that show potential readers that others are talking about your new book. When you giveaway a book, many of those winners write book reviews. Early reviews will create awareness and excitement for your book, which translates into increased sales!

How to Capture Reader Attention

Capturing the attention of book buyers and market influencers is more challenging than ever. The noise in the market is intense and harder to breakthrough than ever. Don’t worry though, Dog Ear has the exact solution to give your book an edge this holiday season.

To create awareness and develop positive reader reviews for your book, Dog Ear Publishing wants to run Amazon and Goodreads Giveaways just for you!

Customer reviews are a critical part of promoting your book online. It’s not just potential buyers that value other readers’ opinions, reading recommendations, and input. Customer reviews also feed the algorithms used by retailers like Amazon to decide discoverability of a book through their platform. Further, customer reviews can be the determining factor used by coveted ebook promotion services, like BookBub, when deciding whether or not to blast news of your book deal to their list of buyers.

Book Giveaways Drive Book Sales

Running Book Giveaways on Amazon and Goodreads is a fast and cost-effective way to get more followers to your author page, drive more traffic to your listings, boost your book’s rank and discoverability, and ultimately score more reviews from customers. We’ll handle all the details. Through Goodreads, we’ll run the campaign for a month and have 100 copies awarded to interested readers. For Amazon (unlike Goodreads), we’ll purchase the copies we’re awarding. To help drive additional Kindle sales (to readers who didn’t win a free copy), we’ll temporarily lower your Kindle price to $0.99. This lower price will expand the impact of the giveaway by reducing any purchase price barriers. Once the promotion has ended, the Kindle price  will return to your previously set retail.

All told, Dog Ear will charge $399 for the service. This will include up to 4 weeks of promotion to Amazon and Goodreads users. As an added benefit, Dog Ear will sponsor a post through Facebook that we’ll pay to boost and schedule tweets to help drive traffic.

Below is a breakdown of everything included this Book Marketing service.

e-Book Promotional Giveaway Bundle – $399
  • Amazon Giveaway setup and monitoring
  • Deliver 20 copies of your e-book to winners of the Amazon promotion
  • Goodreads Giveaway setup and monitoring
  • Deliver 100 copies of your e-book to winners of the Goodreads promotion
  • Social Media promotion of your giveaway via the Dog Ear Publishing Facebook and Twitter feeds
  • Email marketing to our list announcing your promotional giveaway

**Must have a completed Kindle e-book to participate.

The post Maximize Book Sales Using Amazon & Goodreads Giveaways appeared first on Dog Ear Publishing.

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Dog Ear Publishing PROFIT PLUS Program Get a bigger return, faster –and grow your media enterprise!

Congratulations! You’re a published author. Your book looks great. Now you’re fighting the good fight, promoting your book to new readers, potential reviewers, and trusted industry professionals.

Your talent and hard work has helped you gain traction in the market. Folks are finding your book’s website, the social media feeds you manage, and the enhanced book and author pages you’ve contributed to on Amazon and Goodreads.

The ads you’re running through Amazon, Google, and Facebook are generating real book buzz, as are your guest bookings on local and national radio programs. You’re raising awareness big-time and scoring sales through distribution.

And then reality hits. Traditional sales channels can be, and are, dreadfully slooooow and seemingly archaic in reporting sales data and remitting payments for book sales. Combined with processing time, this can lead to delays of 6 months or more to receive profits from your hard work. We feel your pain; it’s our pain, too. We’ve heard your voice! We want to help and have a new opportunity to keep up all the good mojo and momentum you have going. Don’t let the slowness of the market be a book buzz kill any longer.

We’ve got the fix.

We call it the PROFIT PLUS Program.

Our goal is to get you a bigger return for your book sales, faster –and continue to help grow your media enterprise! Below are the three ways we’ll do just that.

Contact us today and we’ll add up to 20% to your accrued and unpaid profits and convert them to unlimited potential and exposure with buyers and readers worldwide. ANY profit accrued and not yet paid out – even through the most recently completed sales month – is eligible.

Three Ways to Boost Profit and Maximize Your Book’s Future:
  1. Turn Profit into Book Marketing Services – We’d like to offer the opportunity to turn current author profit into additional services at a 20% increase. For example, if you had $100 in Author Profit due, it would become $120 worth of additional services. ALL our services qualify (not just marketing), here’s some suggestions that have a strong impact on book sales:
    • Add Book Returns  – Give bookstores the greatest possible opportunity to stock your book by offering a returnability option. This program identifies your book as ‘Returnable’ in the Ingram Title Database and means that a bookstore is able to return unsold copies of your book.
    • Add Book ReviewsNetGalley, Kirkus, and ForeWord all offer fantastic (and trusted) book review services. Getting positive reviews from reputable sources is a major way to increase your chance of discovery by retail buyers, entertainment industry insiders, literary agents and most importantly—readers.
    • Add Amazon Optimization – Amazon is the world’s second largest search engine. The Amazon Optimization Program maximizes product details, categories, keywords, and associations with related products so that new readers can more easily discover your book and authorship through Amazon.
  2. Turn Profit into Books – Turn current author profit into printed books in any of your formats at a 10% increase. Same example as above, if you have $100 in Author Profit due, it would become $110 worth of books at regular author print prices.
  3. Turn profit into Publishing Packages – Earned profit, plus 20% can be deducted from any new publishing package purchase. This may even be combined with any other active promotion.

Don’t wait. Contact us today. All you need to do to immediately receive your accrued author profit in books or services is send us an email asking for our PROFIT PLUS Program details. We can also get you any additional info and/or service recommendations you may wish.

The post Dog Ear Publishing Profit-Plus Program appeared first on Dog Ear Publishing.

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Self-Publishing Book Cover Design: A Guide to An Amazing Book Cover

When self-publishing book cover design is nearly as important as your content. The cover of your book is the first visual your audience will have of your book, and the old adage “first impressions” could not be more true when it comes to having your self-published book taken seriously. Every book, regardless if it came from a traditional publisher or an independently published one-book author, has to be wrapped in something that catches the reader’s eye and communicates the books message nearly instantly.  For your book, as an author who is self-publishing, your book cover design must be just as good as any book on the ‘shelf’ – even more so, since self-publishing book cover design is something that, if your book stands a chance at succeeding, has to match or, if possible, exceed what the best traditional publishers are releasing. Your book cover design should stand out, rise above, and simply not begin to warrant the pejorative label, “This looks like self-publishing book cover design skills were used.”

Dog Ear Publishing has been building book covers for both independent authors and traditional publisher for nearly 15 years. Our goal is to provide every author with the skills, knowledge, and resources to help us build an amazing cover that exactly matches your dream AND fits the bill of making your book jump of the shelf (or Amazon page) into the future reader’s hands.  The trick is to help you learn how to collaborate with the Dog Ear design team in creating a great book cover design.

The Basics of Self-Publishing Book Cover Design

Book cover design is far more than just slapping a title over an image and fitting it to the correct trim size. True book cover design is an art, balancing all the various elements that create a great book cover: art, text, and style. It requires a book cover design professional who understands how readers view a book cover, how the brain processes information when presented visually, and how to set the various ‘priority’ of each element on the cover.

Helping Your Book Cover Designer Build the Best Book Cover

There are several ways you can help the design team build your book cover. Each of them helps the designer visualize what you want and what your book needs. Remember, designers are VISUAL people – it may appear contrarian, but the person MOST responsible for getting readers to pick up your book is truly a VISUAL person. The see the world as interconnected images, all relating to each other, all communicating tone, quality, intent, value and many other adjectives.

Visually Inspire

The first role of a book cover is to immediately connect with the intended reader. This is done visually, in the first micro-seconds that the reader sees your book, and long before she or he has turned it over to read your book cover copy. Find images (and even other book covers) that you know immediately create the feeling you want the reader to have about your book. It doesn’t have to TELL the reader what your book is about, it just needs to create a visual connection.

Don’t be shy about mimicking bestselling titles in your genre and sub-category. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or so the saying goes. In reality, you can borrow some of the millions of dollar worth of research that big publishers have put into their book cover designs. Just don’t stray from your heartfelt ideas.

But, make yours unique. What you don’t want is to create market confusion (or get sued) by copying a book cover design. You’re going for an overall impression or tactics to borrow, not stealing some book cover designer’s work.

Decide on cover format

Text only, front cover image only, full cover image wrap, illustrated, photographic – all of these terms describe different ways to use imagery (or lack thereof) on your book cover. Do you want NO image on your book cover? How text-heavy are your front and back cover? Is your cover copy more important than the cover image? Will you be adding an author photograph?

Creating a great book cover design is really more art than science, but some general rules apply. Non-fiction titles usually need more text than images – you need to catch the reader with the design of your book title. Fiction books rely heavily on the cover image to communicate what’s inside the covers.

How much text will you need on your back cover? Do you want the image wrapping all the way around or do you need more space to ‘tell’ the reader what is inside your book? Does your author photo really contribute to the sale of your book (meaning would seeing you on the cover inspire readers to buy the book, or is it just ego?) or is the real estate better used to give more details?

Choosing Type

After the cover image, the style of the type in your book cover title is the next visual trigger. Make sure you work with the book cover design team to get the typography set correctly. Choosing the right font, setting up the right sizes and position for your title and subtitle, are all things novices struggle to do correctly. Remember that fonts are so varied because they COMMUNICATE a feeling or impression of the text they are representing. Make sure the ‘message’ your font is communicating matches the impression you want the reader to have of your book.

Make sure that the font you use and the sizes you use for your text match with the importance of the information it is relaying to the potential reader. For example, Tom Clancy quite rightly puts his name on book covers even larger than the title – his NAME is what sells. In almost all cases, an author creating a self-publishing book cover design isn’t quite that famous yet. Your book title, then subtitle, will be what sells the reader on buying the book. Put your name somewhere that is easily seen, but not distracting.

    Don’t use more than a couple fonts – one for the title, maybe another for the sub title. Pick something that matches your text font INSIDE the book for cover copy.

Ask for more than a single round of design

Since book cover design is a visual and subjective art, it may (and probably will) take more than a single design round to get the book cover right. Use a ‘focus group’ to help you pick a book cover design that communicates. Don’t – just DON’T – get caught up in letting others ‘help’ you design your book cover. Just ask for opinions and what they like best. It’s almost always best to just ask them to point to the one they like. As contrary as it may seem, when you ask too many questions, you get too many answers – and book cover design by committee is NEVER effective.

Learning how a book cover design is best created, it’s time to discuss why Dog Ear Publishing’s book cover designers are exactly what an author needs. You can see nearly every book cover we have ever design on either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Over 10,000 cover designs. Not all of them are from the Dog Ear Publishing cover design team – authors do, on a regular basis, bring along their own design. (I joke that if you like the cover you see on Barnes & Noble, then we designed it; if you don’t it came from the author…) Of our 10,000 plus titles, over 7,200 of those books had covers designed by the Dog Ear team. And, our cover designers have been with us for 15 YEARS. That’s a lot of covers per designer (there’s only 4 of them). They have, to say the least, a bit of experience. So take a look through our massive portfolio – and when you find a cover you like, we can point you right to the exact designer who created it, all to apply their skills to YOUR book.

The Book Cover Design Document

Helping your book cover designer understand what you want is an art unto itself. And it’s why we ask EVERY author to write down what they want for a book cover design. Asking an author to WRITE a cover design document forces him or her to truly think about what they want, then see it written down.

Use visual words, use bullet points, only a short paragraph to describe what you want. Getting into TOO much detail means YOU are actually designing the cover or forcing the artist to try and exactly implement your instructions. Usually not a good tactic to get the best from your designer. Often authors have specific ideas, but remember that the book cover design team has done this for many years – let them apply their skills and creativity to at least the first round. You might be very surprised at what comes back. Use a list of other book covers you find attractive – this visual cue will help the cover designer ‘see’ exactly what you like.

A word about stock images

Dog Ear Publishing’s book cover designers almost always work from stock images acquired from sites such as iStockPhoto.com. Even the vast majority of traditional publishers start with some sort of stock image. Unless you are looking for a custom (and expensive) cover illustration, this will be a cost-effective and very efficient way to create your book cover design. As a Dog Ear Publishing author, you will have access to a library of millions of images through iStock. Once you’ve chosen an image, we will license your chosen image  (or images – many covers are made up of more than a single image) and move onto your book cover design.

Using your own photography

As digital cameras and even cell phones improve the quality of image capture, many authors choose to use an image they have taken. If you feel your own photography communicates exactly what you want for your book cover, then by all means, use it!

The book cover design process should be an enjoyable and inspiring part of the book publishing process – and our goal at Dog Ear Publishing is to build exactly the book cover you want and that your book needs. Working together, we will do just that: creating self-publishing book cover design imagery that sells books!

The post Self-Publishing Book Covers appeared first on Dog Ear Publishing.

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How To Get A Book Published

The paths to getting a book published are more varied than ever in the history of book publishing. Any author exploring how to get a book published will be met with myriad paths and literally millions of search results. This article will help identify one of the many answers to the question of “how to get a book published.”

There are three ways to get a book published:

Traditional Book Publisher

Traditional book publishers purchase the rights to a book from the author. A royalty is negotiated, a book contract is written up, and the traditional book publisher takes on the responsibilities and costs of getting the book published. In the past, this has been the dream of every author.

When seeking out a traditional book publisher, you will need to first secure an agent and persuade them that your book is worth marketing to the traditional publishers (authors cannot approach traditional publishers directly). The author writes a query letter, perhaps a marketing outline, and the sends queries to agents. If an agent accepts your work, they will attempt to market your book to publishers. If a publisher is interested, they will pay you for the right to publish your work. All of the costs will be covered, and you’ll receive some sort of advance against future royalties.

But it’s a LOT of ‘ifs’ – and less than one percent of manuscripts submitted to agents and publishers are ever accepted for publishing

Thankfully, times are changing, and it’s only one of several ways  to get a book published.

Hire a Book Publisher

There are literally thousands of companies that an author can hire to help get his or her book published. Like any large industry, self publishing companies have a variety of services and costs. The main rule to remember is that you will be footing the bill for the cost of publishing.

Truly “Self Publish”

Some authors have the desire to manage each and every aspect of the publishing process, from editing to design to distribution to marketing. These authors hire all of the independent parts of the process themselves, relying on freelancers or other contractors to produce the book. They then establish relationships directly with distributors and retailers to sell their book.

So What’s the  Best Answer to “How to Publish a Book?”

For MOST independent authors, hiring a book publisher is going to be the most effective and efficient manner to get a book published.

And whichever method you choose, there are still just five basic steps to getting a book published.

The 5 Steps of Book Publishing

Before an author should approach publishing, he or she needs to follow five basic steps. This will ensure that the entire publishing process moves fluidly and accurately for your specific book.  These five steps all occur AFTER you’ve written your manuscript.

  • Identify your target audience / category / genre
  • Choose how to get your book published
  • Prepare the materials you will submit to the publisher
  • Identify the best book publisher for your book
Identify your target audience / category / genre

Fiction or nonfiction is the easiest piece to identify. It gets a little more challenging from here, and really involves writing a book marketing plan. In all cases it really is best if you’ve finished writing. Choosing a genre / category for your book will help your publisher identify effective ways to market your book to readers. Be careful if you cannot categorize your work – while it doesn’t mean it isn’t a great book , it does mean it will be challenging for a publisher to market. A great way to find the right genre / category for YOUR book is the browse the Barnes & Noble book categories in your local store (because I love ‘real’ bookstores and the experience they deliver to an author) or the B&N website.

Choose how to get your book published

There are many ways to the market, as discussed above. Each requires a different approach, but the materials used are very similar. It’s a matter of honestly evaluating what you WANT to do, what you CAN do, and exactly how much time / effort / control you would like over the process. The good news is that you can explore all the paths to getting a book published pretty much at the same time. Don’t be shy, ask questions, make calls, and do your research.

Prepare the materials you will submit to the publisher

All book publishers require very similar materials when you submit your book for publication. And even if the publisher you choose doesn’t specifically ask for everything you’ve created, having it will make you a more informed and better-marketed author.

Here are the ‘start-up’ materials you should prepare as you search for a company to publish your book:

Book Marketing Plan

– This multi-page document outlines the core details of your expectations and goals for your book. It identifies reader, market, and opportunity. Your book marketing plan becomes your bible for marketing your book. It is a living document that will evolve as you book is published.

Book Synopsis

– Your summary. Elevator pitch. It’s NOT your back cover copy (because it reveals the ending). All of these things rolled into one so that everyone involved in the process knows exactly what your book is about. Here’s an article on writing book cover copy.

Author biography

– Your biography as an author. Your bio should focus on who you are as a writer, and not wander into details that aren’t relevant. You DO want to create a relationship with your reader, but don’t stray too far from what makes you the exactly perfect person to write the book you wrote. Here is another article on writing back cover copy.

manuscript

– The all important part. Make sure you follow standard formatting rules, and we outline these here.

Identify the best book publisher for your book

Choosing how to publish a book is closely follow by how to find a good publisher of books for your manuscript. Choosing WHO to publish your book is as critical as any part of the process.. It’s a long a convoluted conversation, but some basic rules apply. I’ve written extensively on how to choose a publishing company, and you can see that article here.

The things you MUST consider when exploring how to find a publisher are:

  • Contract
  • Control of Retail Price
  • Author Book Cost
  • Author Profit
  • Publisher Staff Expertise

You should discuss each of these in detail with your publisher.

Closing Thoughts on How to Get a Book Published

Every author dreams at some point of holding a book in their hands. A physical, tangible, smells-link-ink-and-glue book. And every author dreams of seeing their  book on a bookstore shelf. The paths to getting there are complex, and challenging, and often frustrating. But the reward is incredible. Pursue your passion for publishing your book, and in many ways the rewards will be truly worth the hard work. Good luck, and if you have any remaining question on how to get YOUR book published, feel free to reach out.

Why Dog Ear?

Promoting your book and your brand may be new to you, so having experts to guide you in developing a solid marketing strategy is an invaluable resource. With more than 50 years of traditional publishing experience, Dog Ear Publishing knows what it takes to promote authors and their books. Our team of experienced editors, proofreaders, and designers can help refine your work into a top-notch finished publication. Your book should be a quality reflection of who you are as an author. Call us today at 888-568-8411 to take control of your publishing destiny.

The post How To Get A Book Published appeared first on Dog Ear Publishing.

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The Most Affordable Way to Market Your Book

There is really no secret to book marketing. And finding affordable ways to market a book is no different. It’s all about creating a relationship with customers and engaging your readers ways that create a long lasting relationship.

The act of engaging a customer (your reader) in a relationship with your book is called “engagement marketing” and directly engages your reader by inviting and encouraging him or her to be part of the growth of your brand (you and your book.)

How do I Create Engagement?

Think of the reader of your book as your best friend. The same attention you would pay to a good friend is really the same attention you need to pay to the readers (and potential readers) of your book. Creating positive incentives, giving potential readers a reason to consider your book, finding ways to build interest in exploring your website, blog, and book are all ways to create a relationship with your reader.

Sounds easy, right?

Actually, it can be easy to create this relationship – and build an incredible powerful, very affordable way to market your book.

Engagement is about developing value with current and potential readers that keeps them coming back for more. This might come in many forms, and usually involves reaching an emotional connection with customers. Below are a number of ideas for creating long-lasting engagement with your audience and drive affordable book marketing success.

Consider Giving Away Books – digital AND print

Letting ‘influencers’ have access to your book – with the promise of writing a review or letting others know about it – is a great way to create a relationship that lasts. This might mean review sites, readers, libraries or even just offering a free chapter download from your website. If you’ve got an interested reader on your website, why not give them a taste of your book by allowing them to download a freebie? Freebies work, and most of the biggest sites, including Amazon.com use this strategy to attract customers. All of this should be centered around building a mailing list so you can alert your loyal fans when your book is finished or a new one is on the way.

The Power of the Autographed Copy

Lots of authors have taken to crowdfunding sites to attain the funds needed to publish a book. And something ALL of them seem to have in common is offering an autographed copy of the book for investing. Every single reader values an autographed copy. It creates a connection with the author that goes far beyond a generic e-book or print copy. There are many ways to get signed copies into the hands of your readers, below are a few as examples.

Book Signings

While book signings are typically not your go-to for large scale book sales, they ARE one of the most intimate ways to create a connection with readers. And, bookstores love them (don’t forget to approach other ‘non-traditional’ outlets for book signings; you might be surprised at the results).

Website Giveaways

Most authors offer their books for sale through their website. It’s fun, and might even command a premium, if you offer special “personalized and signed” copies in addition to the more basic regular product.

Surveys, Contests and Giveaways

Social media has gotten very sophisticated in creating surveys, contests, and giveaways. Use your Facebook, Twitter, Blog, or MailChimp account to create a contest. Name a new character, most creative review of your sample chapter, alternative endings – all are ways to build engagement with your reader and build affordable book marketing. The reward for participating is of course a signed copy!

Good Old Email Marketing

Email marketing gets a bad rap because all of us get more junk than anything else. But your readers already LIKE you! Give them more of what they liked by engaging them in the process. Announce new content on your site, let them know of the contest we talked about above, ask them questions. And ask if they might like a signed copy of your book – personalized for them or as a gift. However, don’t inundate your readers and don’t just advertise. That will do the opposite of engaging them.

Social Media

Creating engagement via social media is all the rage. Social media is the darling of the marketing universe, and in many ways for good reason. It’s also one of the most affordable ways to market a book. Every reader wants a connection with the author of the book they are reading. Use your social media accounts to talk to your readers openly and honestly. Remember that not everything is appropriate for your ‘public’ author persona – so maybe don’t use your personal account. But, readers DO want to know you as a person. So not everything needs to be solely about your book. Talk about the experience of writing, talk about ideas you have for new books or directions you might have taken. All of these create a connection and an opportunity for engagement. Make your readers feel as if they belong. As if they are sitting in your kitchen over a cup of coffee with you.

Ways to Use Social Media

– Instagram

The de facto photo sharing site is great for creating visual insights into your world. Your office, your yard, your inspiration. Heck even your dog. All of these things builds your persona in the mind of your reader.

– Facebook

Facebook is great for sharing little snippets of news, and amazing for re posting content, and works mighty nicely for video goodies. Readers don’t really need to know what you had for breakfast AND lunch, unless it inspired something amazing in your newest book.

– Twitter

It’s the equivalent of sending a text -quick bits of news about you and your book.

Ask for Engagement

Everyone likes to help those we know and like. When  your readers like your book, they would love to be asked to leave positive reviews on various sites. Goodreads, Google, Amazon. Rotate who you ask for what so that you keep a consistent set of reviews across platforms. You’d be surprised how infrequently readers think of leaving reviews – especially positive ones. Don’t be afraid to ask!

And, every time a reader leaves a review, you’ve created a connection – we all like to share things we love, and when we do we have built an investment in seeing them succeed. The act of getting a reader to leave a review creates an advocate who will be invested in your book’s success.

Engagement = Affordable Book Marketing

Creating engagement with your reader will be the most affordable way to market a book. All of the ideas above just begin to scratch the surface of how to market a book with little to no cost. Remember that no one can market your book as well as you can! It’s your baby – we can help create the framework and a variety of tools, but in the end it’s your perseverance and ability to connect with your reader that will define success.  And, let you build your book sales and book marketing success through ALL your books.

Why Dog Ear?

Promoting your book and your brand may be new to you, so having experts to guide you in developing a solid marketing strategy is an invaluable resource. With more than 50 years of traditional publishing experience, Dog Ear Publishing knows what it takes to promote authors and their books. Our team of experienced editors, proofreaders, and designers can help refine your work into a top-notch finished publication. Your book should be a quality reflection of who you are as an author. Call us today at 888-568-8411 to take control of your publishing destiny.

The post Affordable Ways to Market Your Book appeared first on Dog Ear Publishing.

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How to find a book publisher

How do I find a publisher? The million-dollar question with so many answers it’s mind boggling.

While the question itself, “how to find a book publisher” appears on the surface to be quite simple, the answer  is not nearly so. This post is intended to help authors really discover how to find a book publisher that is right for her or his specific book.

While there are many ways to get a book to market, this specific bit of content will focus on the world of self publishing. All with the goal of discovering how to find a good publisher of books for the intended needs and audience.

The ways that book publishing companies describe themselves is incredibly varied. In the end, they all do the same thing – allowing an author to focus on writing and leaving the business of publishing a book to the experts.

There is a tremendous difference in what each of these companies do for authors. It’s not really the services provided, but how each company approaches servicing (and charging) their authors. Most self-publishing companies bring a tremendous value to most authors. There are certainly always exceptions, with many authors deciding to take another route and go into business for themselves. And every author looking to go this route must get informed about what he or she needs, and exactly how each company might provide a path to publishing the book. For most authors  learning how to publish a book, a significant amount of frustration, time, and money can be saved by using a self-publishing company.

Even in the day of e-books and print-on-demand, most authors still hold to the dream of books stacked on a bookstore shelf. Perhaps published by one of the ‘big 5’ US book publishers. The gap, for many new authors, between the success a ‘big 5’ book publisher might bring versus choosing the self publishing route is narrowing rapidly. Even traditional publishers have adopted many of the strategies and technologies of the self publishing world.

On the path of how to find a book publisher, there are several items that are critical  in choosing a book publisher.

Publishing Contract

There is a shocking range of publishing contracts in the self publishing world. An author should be able to keep all rights and  terminate the agreement at any time without penalty. The book publishing contract should be short, easy to understand and available on the publisher’s website without having to pay money or sign up first. A publishing contract, when the author is footing the bill, should never have a “duration” that locks the book with the publishing house for some duration. An author must have the option to leave without penalty, at any time. Be wary of publishers who offer a single dolllar to purchase the rights to a book, or who might claim they refund the publishing fees at a certain level of sales. In all cases it is a nice sales tactic but is rarely if ever achieved. In the end, the author must own every single piece of content produced, from the copyedited manuscript to the files used to print the book, and should have access to said files at any time.

Retail Pricing

Setting the retail price of a book is part science, part art, and should be fully under the control of the author. Watch out for publishers that dictate the retail price, because usually that publisher will force the author into ridiculously high retail prices.book’s retail price at only about 2.5 time the author cost. Any distribution outlet (retailers, distributors, etc) will in all likelihood require at least a 50% discount. Many time, the author also pays freight. This means the author also needs good details on book costs to make an informed decision. The book publisher in this model is a resource, but mustn’t be forcing the final decision.

Book Printing Costs / Author Costs

The cost the book publisher charges an author to purchase his or her own books is typically based upon any number of factors. Often it’s a discount from the retail price of the book (so the item above is even more important here.) Even the retail price of a book is in many ways a function of the book printing cost. When a book costs more to print,  the retail price needs to be higher just to break even. When trying to find a book publisher, the author must get all the details around how she or he will be charged to purchase the book.

Author Profit / Royalties

Author profit. Book royalty. Net sales profit. All of those terms address the same thing – how much an author makes from the sale of the book.  When choosing a publisher, authors must be aware of how compensation works. Quite frequently publishers will offer large perceived royalty percentages, and at the same time force an unreasonable retail prices on the book. It makes no sense to get a “50%” royalty on a book that will never sell. Be aware of book publishers that increase the author profit by reducing wholesale discount. A follow up question is on what is the author profit determined? It should be paid on the net sale, not the retail price. And the final big question – when choosing a publisher, why wouldn’t the author look for a publisher who gives all the profit from a sale? Why should a publishing services company receive a greater profit when all the author did was increase the retail price on the book. The publisher’s costs are a fixed number. There is the same effort and cost in printing and distributing a 100 page book that retails for $10 as a 100 page book that retails for $50! Authors should aim to find a publisher that pays author profit based upon a ‘fixed cost’ basis.

Book Publishing Knowledge & Customer Service

What the book publisher’s staff actually knows about book publishing is incredibly important. This is the group of people that authors will entrust to guide them through choosing both a book publisher and choosing book publishing services. When an author makes that initial call to discuss publishing a book, is the person on the phone (or answering the email) someone who actually possesses a high level of knowledge about book publishing. Not just sales techniques for the services offered, but actual knowledge of what works and how things work in the world of book publishers. Another key is having access to “decision makers” that can make things happen along the road of publishing the book.

Book publisher business model

Every business is in business to make money. Book publishers are no different, and that’s what keeps a business successful. The question is what is the business model the publisher chosen uses to make money. Are there  hidden charges, or charges that show up just to actually create an effective and salable book for you.

Creative control

Creative control is having final say over the book and cover design. It does NOT mean that the author must provide said designs. Too many book publishers utilize a standard template or charge extra for customization. Every author must make sure her or his input is listened to and that the book publisher found provides valued input and follows the design ideals for the book.

With all this said, there is a ton of information available to help authors make a sound decision as they are spending time on how to find a publisher. Do the homework before choosing and finding a publisher will be a much easier process.

Why Dog Ear?

Promoting your book and your brand may be new to you, so having experts to guide you in developing a solid marketing strategy is an invaluable resource. With more than 50 years of traditional publishing experience, Dog Ear Publishing knows what it takes to promote authors and their books. Our team of experienced editors, proofreaders, and designers can help refine your work into a top-notch finished publication. Your book should be a quality reflection of who you are as an author. Call us today at 888-568-8411 to take control of your publishing destiny.

The post How to Find A Book Publisher appeared first on Dog Ear Publishing.

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W.L. Hoffman & “The Soulstealer War” series at BookExpo and BookCon

“The Soulstealer War: The Splintering Realm” continues author W.L. Hoffman’s fantasy and sci-fi novels, chronicling the adventures of his reluctant wizard – Kenneth McNary – across the magical Realm of Weir.

Hoffman is excited to once again appear at Book Expo and Book Con in New York City, and to interact with fans at Booth 1343 throughout the 4-day event.

“The Splintering Realm,” the next epic Fantasy and Sci-Fi installment in “The Soulstealer War” novels is finally available. Author W.L. Hoffman continues the adventures of his reluctant wizard – Kenneth McNary – across the magical Realm of Weir, and now into the exciting reality of Book Expo / Book Con at the Javits Center in New York City. Booth 1343.

When asked about the event, Hoffman explained:

“I’m thrilled to return to Book Expo, which rolls into Book Con. As an author, this is the place to make connections and let the synergies fly … it’s the show of shows for publishers and book buyers, and it includes a savory hodgepodge of librarians, reviewers, writers, film makers, game designers, marketing groups, and readers of all genres!”

Hoffman has previously been quoted on his favorite aspects of this series:

“Fantasy books should entertain, but I hope mine will also leave readers wondering about reality. What is the nature of human existence beyond Earth and after death? Is true magic possible? Secondary to these big-picture questions, I love building layers of fact and myth…every culture has its folklore, and therein can be found the secret narratives.”

Hoffman briefly added:

“The Splintering Realm will also have extras, like the Lexicon from Aristorn sa Amontyr (Librarian of the Elder Race), and readers will be introduced to that feline prankster of myth – Tabby Mittens!”

About the Book

The Nosferu draw nearer to achieving their dark ends in the fantastic Realm of Weir, with Earth soon to follow. War looms across the ill-prepared Realm, threatening the eternal soul of every creature.

Human Kenneth McNary has been transported to Weir by the First Mother, tasked with uniting the Elder Race, and much more. Now, the Realm’s magic continues to dwindle and Ken is hunted relentlessly by the monstrous R’Kesh. To fulfill his charge, Ken has been gifted with armor and the ability to wield Elder magic, but both may consume him. With such burdens, can he reconcile his star-crossed love for the half-immortal Dalia? Can a mere human shift the balance of power among Gods in The Splintering Realm, or will the newly minted wizard fall before his enemies?

About the Author

W.L. Hoffman is the author of “The Soulstealer War” series, as well as other fantasy and Sci-Fi stories.

Hoffman’s interest in reading was voracious from an early age. He received his BA in English from Duke University and attended English literature classes at New College at Oxford University in England.

Hoffman then obtained his JD from Cornell Law School. He edited and wrote as an associate on the Cornell International Law Journal and, between legal treatises, his dreams wandered into strange realms as he quested for life’s higher meaning. Thus was born the foundation for “The Soulstealer War” and a literary career, which both lingered until Hoffman left a successful law practice to explore new horizons.

Writing late night, after the work day ended and the children were asleep, the Realm of Weir flourished and characters blossomed into wondrous multi-layered reality.

Hoffman currently resides in central New Jersey with his wife and daughters. He enjoys spending time with his family, exploring mountain wilds, and telling tales to the next generation of dreamers and writers.

You can find him at www.WLHoffman.com, along with hidden rewards.

“The Soulstealer War: The Splintering Realm”
W.L. Hoffman
Published: March 16, 2018 – Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN-13 (Paperback): 978-1457560187
Price: $17.95 – 346 Pages
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-1457562457
Price: $27.95 – 346 pages

The post Dog Ear Author W.L. Hoffman at BookExpo / BookCon in NYC appeared first on Dog Ear Publishing.

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What exactly do editors do, and more importantly, how can we help you work through the writing process? Stephanie and Angela discuss the numerous facets of editing, from mentorship and motivation to story arc and character development to revisions and citations. No matter what phase of writing you’re in—and no matter what issues you’re facing—editors are here to help!

Stephanie: Today, we’re actually going to discuss how editors can help you through the process, through the entire writing and revision process, from before you ever put words on the page all the way until your book is printed.

Angela: Exactly. Editors do a lot more than you think. I think the overall goal for any editor is to make the manuscript, or article, or whatever they’re working on more accessible and easy to understand by the readers.

Stephanie: Yes.

Angela: That’s how we work. That’s our goal that we work with. Everything from before you’ve ever set a word down on the page all the way through the post production when you’re doing your revisions and stuff, we can help kind of with everything, right?

Stephanie: Right, absolutely.

Angela: When I was working on a book several years ago, one of the reasons that I reached out to an editor in the beginning is to find out for this genre that I’m working in how many pages is typical. Some other things like what’s popular right now. They can help you figure out the goal for what you’re writing.

Stephanie: Yes.

Angela: If you have enough of an idea for an entire book, where you can go to do your research, so different libraries that have archives and things like that. One interesting thing is … I want to use the term mentorship. Not just like helping you find writing classes and such, but helping you, I guess working with you on your strengths and weaknesses in your writing so they can help you become a better overall writer.

Stephanie: Right. I think it’s important to point out that it’s not just editors who can help you with this obviously, but that we are definitely a resource that can help you with a lot of those things, because in our experience we do have not access to but we encounter and use a lot of resources that I think a lot of people don’t ever think about.

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: Like you said, helping you with that information. There are editors who don’t like to do the writing coaching aspect, but there are editors who are very good at that and definitely do enjoy that.

Angela: Well, I think every editor has their own specialty.

Stephanie: Yes.

Angela: Some are going to be better at like I would say almost not really the business side of things, but helping you figure out your outline, and the research aspect, and things like that. Some are going to want to work with you all the way through. Some are going to want to wait until you’re already finished. If you can find like a good overall editor that can help you all the way from the beginning to the end, that’s awesome, but if different editors work with different things, you can also find ones that work with different parts that you’re needing help with.

Stephanie: Right, or you can find that editor who can start you on the process and put you in the right direction to other editing resources.

Angela: Exactly, exactly.

Stephanie: Yeah. I think it’s important to point out too that some editors also are ghostwriters.

Angela: Yes.

Stephanie: For those people who feel they have that idea in mind, have this great idea and a few great phrases, but just feel completely overwhelmed by the idea of writing, you can work with ghostwriters. Again, some of them are editors, some are ghostwriters. Those who are editors/ghostwriters can actually I think probably work with you in a nice hybrid combination. Whereas a typical, if there is such a thing, the typical ghostwriter will write everything for you by having an interview with you, an editor who is also a ghostwriter might just rewrite and revise aspects with you after you’ve already written the original.

Angela: Exactly, exactly. I think, like you said, just for all the pre-production stuff, just kind of helping you get on track and find the resources that you need. I don’t ghostwrite myself, but I know that I can or have the resources to help authors find ghostwriters. The same thing, like we talked about, for research or writing classes. If we don’t do it, we can help you find someone who does.

Stephanie: That’s right. Dog Ear for example, we do have at least one ghostwriter on hand that we can refer people to-

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: Who has been working with us for several years now. Then we also get to, thinking of this through the whole writing and revision process, then we also do developmental edits.

Angela: Yes.

Stephanie: Which you can see the descriptions on the website of what this entails. In my time at Dog Ear, I’ve seen things come in for developmental edit all the way from really there’s just an outline and the author wants input on how to flesh it out all the way to it’s really in great shape but the author wants ideas on how to make it better in some way. There’s that whole range. Our developmental editors really can help you through that whole process by sending you to those resources, by making suggestions. It’s just the developmental edit process again can encompass that huge range there-

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: From beginning to end.

Angela: Well, because sometimes even if you have an idea for a book or you’ve got kind of a rough outline, it’s still really intimidating to really I guess kind of cross the starting line, and start actually chugging along, and getting the words down. Sometimes you just, I don’t know, like you almost need somebody behind you going, “Yeah, you can do this. Yeah, the idea’s good. Yeah, there’s a market for it,” and things like that. I think that’s one of my favorite things actually as an editor. I don’t know how other editors feel about it, but just being able to kind of cheer lead a little bit, and motivate, and let the authors know, “Yeah, this is working. This is getting better, and we’re making progress. You’re there. Let’s keep going.”

Stephanie: Right. I think there are those editors who really just want to come in, fix the text, and move on.

Angela: Yeah, yeah.

Stephanie: They just come in, and those editors tend to be your copy editing and especially your proofreading specialists, you know those ones who just come in, clean it up, and move on.

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: That’s fine. We all have a place, but you’re right. It is nice being able to, for me as well, being able to guide people through the larger process and say, “Yeah, we’re getting there. You’re making progress. I promise you can do this.”

Angela: Exactly, exactly. Well just seeing how things progress from, like you said, if somebody comes in with an outline and then months later you have this finished book, and it’s something they feel really proud of, and it actually turned out really well, it’s incredibly gratifying I think for everything.

Stephanie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Angela: Do we have anything else that we need to cover on pre-production stuff that we can help with?

Stephanie: Nothing else comes to mind honestly.

Angela: Okay. Well, so let’s move to actually production, when authors or writers are actually in the process of writing. I think of ways editors help. If you’re having issues with your story or character arcs, how many characters you’re using, your subplots, and again staying on track, like mentorship, motivation, and then another big one I think is citations.

Stephanie: Yes.

Angela: They’re the fun part that everybody loves, making sure that when you are not necessarily even quoting but bringing an idea that isn’t yours into a story, or book, or article, that you have the citations and they’re readable and understandable by your audience. I think the whole point of those is that if a reader is reading the book, they can go to that citation and look up what you’ve written, and they can find it easily and quickly.

Stephanie: Right.

Angela: That’s one thing that we definitely work a lot on, we were talking about it this morning actually, is making sure citations are accessible by readers.

Stephanie: Right. This is something that, like Angela said, has come up recently and for some reason has happened to her more than with others, that issue of plagiarism as well.

Angela: Yeah, yes.

Stephanie: An editor is really good. Sometimes you are so involved in writing as an author, you’ve read these facts and figures so much that they have become just a given. They just are in your world. An editor can help really bring in that separate eye, that separate perspective, to say, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Is this an assumption? What’s your source for this?” They can really help be that naïve reader who has very little knowledge about your field or about your specific topic and can really pop in and raise questions that your reader may raise. That’s one thing actually I love to do is stop and say, “Wait a minute. I don’t understand this. Are you sure your reader is going to understand this?”

Angela: Exactly. Well, I think that’s the whole point of what editors do is just to make it understandable by the audience you’re trying to reach.

Stephanie: Exactly, and like you said accessible earlier.

Angela: Yeah, yeah.

Stephanie: I love that, making it accessible to a wider audience. Again going back to that plagiarism thing, we’re going to say, “Okay, wait a minute. This does need to be cited somewhere,” even if it’s just to say this is widely accepted within this field. Usually, you can make a few citations.

Angela: Exactly. I see that a lot, like, “Many people think,” or, “Studies show.” That’s where I always leave the comment of like, “Okay. Can you cite a source that actually proves this,” because you’re asking a lot, I think, of your reader to trust you. Like where did the information come from? Why do I trust that what you’re telling me is correct? If you have those citations to back you up, it helps a lot for the reader.

Stephanie: Right. When I was in grad school and I taught not speech but how to give speeches, how to build, write, create, give speeches, that’s one thing that you focus on is building your credibility. As an author, especially if you’re doing nonfiction, you have to build your credibility, and some of that is showing that you do know the information that’s out there, that you have done your research, not just saying, “Oh, I know this. Here are the facts and figures,” but showing that I have read this, I know this information is right here. Even if you don’t know these things off the top of your head, the whole point of writing this book is to point people, to provide this information to people and point them in the right direction.

Angela: Exactly. I know a lot of people are … well, even me actually. Citations are like that source of just dread, but I think that’s one of the cool things about Dog Ear. Do you want to explain how we work with citations, about continuity?

Stephanie: Sure. Because Dog Ear is not a traditional publishing house, we don’t have a set style that we use for citations. We do use the Chicago Manuel of Style for our style, like for the guidance that we provide in how you use grammar and punctuation, et cetera. But when it comes down to citing your sources, I don’t want to say we don’t care.

Angela: No. That’s now what she means.

Stephanie: We don’t care which one you choose.

Angela: That’s not what she means, yeah.

Stephanie: We don’t care which one you choose. What we do is make sure that you are internally consistent so that every time in your reference list and, for example, every time you cite a book you’re providing the same type of information in the same order so that it’s easy for your readers to understand what’s going on. For example, making sure that you provide the author’s name, and the title of the book, and the year of publication, and usually the publisher, at least those basics, but that you provide them in the same order every time and use the same punctuation every time, because that’s very helpful in the reader being able to figure out what they need to find and how to find it.

Angela: Right, right.

Stephanie: We also then try to make sure that you’re citing them the same way in the text. Some citation styles use parenthetical references with an author name and a year. Some use a numerical system, a footnote numerical system. There are so many options out there. We’ve talked about citation systems before. There are so many style guides on citation systems. What we do is not try to force all this work that you’ve done into one type of citation system, but to ensure that you’re being consistent internally.

Now, editors who specialize in a certain citation system, obviously if say they’re American Psychological Association. I never remember what the P stands for in APA, if it’s psychological or psychiatric, and I don’t have the book with me. I think it’s psychological.

Angela: I think it’s psychiatric actually.

Stephanie: Okay. I never remember.

Angela: Both are right today. It’s magic day.

Stephanie: But it’s APA.

Angela: That’s right.

Stephanie: A specialist is going to know. They’re going to be able to fix those references in their sleep. If you have to have something in APA, you can request that you have someone who is a specialist in APA. Again, we come back to that editors have specialties. Some are scientific editors. Some are children’s book editors. Some are AMA, which is the American Medical Association. Yes.

Angela: Well, I think-

Stephanie: At Dog Ear, we let you. We’re just trying to make sure that you’re consistent for the reader no matter what. Then if you are using a particular citation system, you can let us know that beforehand so that we can make sure then that you are following that citation system specifically.

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: I do have authors who do that, who say, “I am using the CMS,” and specifically the CMS has two or three citation systems, citation styles that they can use, or they say, “I use APA,” or AMA. That’s wonderful, because then we can absolutely guarantee that we will keep you consistent with that.

Angela: Exactly. I just always think that’s one of the cool things about Dog Ear too, because citations, like we said, people tend to panic.

Stephanie: Oh, my gosh.

Angela: We’re not looking for perfection. We’re not looking that it fits some specific style to the letter. We just want it to be readable by readers, that they can look at the citation and go, “Okay, now I can go find where this information came from.”

Stephanie: Right.

Angela: Yeah.

Stephanie: Every citation style does have its own recommendations and says the whole point is that your readers can find your information, so you always have to have this basic information. But then obviously the format for a book is going to be slightly different than for an article in a journal, and that’s going to be slightly different from a website, but they are all going to be in the same basic format so you always know that the fourth part of the entry is the title or whatever.

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: That is always the key is being helpful to the reader.

Angela: Right. Like she said, I mean we’ve said several times now, you can find an editor that can help you with what you need. I guess the key is like don’t panic. Citations do not have to be overly complicated.

Stephanie: Exactly.

Angela: As long as you know where it came from, work with the editor and you can get through it.

Stephanie: If you don’t know what citation style you want to use, then ask an editor. We can tell you typically what type of citation system is generally used in your area of expertise-

Angela: Yeah, or the genre you’re writing in.

Stephanie: If you don’t already know, right.

Angela: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I guess again we come back to support. You should have access to an editor. You’re not peppering them with questions every second of the day, but compile your list, work with them, and let them help you, and don’t be afraid. This is true, there is no stupid question, because there is so much information out there and things change all the time.

Stephanie: Yes, absolutely.

Angela: Number one, you’re not going to hit us with something we haven’t heard before most likely, and we’re never going to laugh at you. Well, we may, but we will do it very quietly and with respect.

Stephanie: We will try to laugh with you.

Angela: That’s right, slightly. Slightly. A chuckle if you will.

Stephanie: Again, remember that everyone has to start somewhere.

Angela: Yes.

Stephanie: The things that we take … Here we go again. The things that we take as a given, not everybody’s going to know because we are specialists in our field and there are new people being born every day.

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: You learn as you go through the process. That’s one thing that we keep in mind all the time.

Angela: Well, none of us, no editor was born knowing how to edit. Trust me.

Stephanie: Exactly.

Angela: We have had our trip ups and our stumbles along the way just anybody else, and we’ve had to-

Stephanie: We-

Angela: Yeah, learn by doing and screwing up a lot.

Stephanie: We still make mistakes.

Angela: Yeah.

Stephanie: It happens.

Angela: Yep, it does. We are human.

Stephanie: I always hate to say it. The odds that you’re going to get a completely clean edit back-

Angela: Yep, not going to happen.

Stephanie: They are definitely not 100%.

Angela: Right. We go into it with best intentions, and we work really hard though.

Stephanie: Yes. Right, exactly. We are specialists, but most people are not perfect all the time.

Angela: That’s true.

Stephanie: Clearly.

Angela: Not most people, nobody.

Stephanie: Exactly.

Angela: If you know anybody that’s like that, we would love to hear from you. That would be awesome to meet.

Stephanie: Who absolutely is perfect.

Angela: Maybe a cat or a dog, but not necessarily a human being.

Stephanie: Well, cats think they are.

Angela: That’s right. Yes, they do. They do. Okay, so that covers production. How about let’s talk about what happens after the book? You put the last period, you type The End, and you close the document, and you think you’re done.

Stephanie: Right.

Angela: I feel like this is where the meat of editors really kind of comes into play. I don’t know if meat of editors is even a saying, but I just made it one, so you’re just going to have to deal with it today.

Stephanie: The meat of our work.

Angela: Yes. My brain is chugging along.

Stephanie: When you use production here, you’re talking about the writing, the basic writing process, right?

Angela: Yes, yes.

Stephanie: That’s done, so now we’re in the revision phase.

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: Okay.

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: Sorry. I want to clarify, because as the managing editor, I’m part of pre-production, production, so they mean different things for us.

Angela: That’s true. Post production, it’s a bit of a misnomer in this case. I was separating them out like in my head. I guess production of the writing of the book.

Stephanie: Of the text, yeah.

Angela: Yeah, the writing of the text, but exactly what you said. Revisions, spelling, continuity, grammar, fact checking, even as far as going into helping you come up with a query letter. We’ve done a lot of those. When you decide self publishing, either you’ve done self publishing and you’re moving past that now-

Stephanie: Or were you using it as a stepping stoner.

Angela: Exactly, exactly. I don’t like the word past there. Maybe trying a different avenue is a better way to say that.

Stephanie: Sure.

Angela: But want to talk to some agents, or even smaller publishing companies where you don’t have to have an agent. We can definitely help craft query letters that get attention.

Stephanie: Right. I don’t really think that we need to talk a lot about what we do in this stage, because I think this is where really most of our articles and our other podcasts come into play where we talk about what an editor does-

Angela: Exactly.

Stephanie: Is really in that phase once you’ve written the book. We are in the revision stage where we are helping you clean up everything.

Angela: Right, exactly. Yep, you’re absolutely right. Every Editor’s Corner article, every podcast we’ve done goes extremely in depth into those. I actually don’t have much to say about that part of the process.

Stephanie: Right. Then the next step of the process then … because I’m saying then a lot. The next step of the process is the … I can’t ever remember. I think post production proofread is what we like to call it.

Angela: Yeah, we do.

Stephanie: I think that’s what Dog Ear calls it. I guess I should know better, shouldn’t I?

Angela: Yeah, managing director. Yeah, I think it might be important to know.

Stephanie: Well, this is where unfortunately not a lot of people who self publish take advantage of this, and I understand that because it does add cost to things. This is where traditional publishing houses have this as automatically part of the process. When you start, for example for when you come in to a traditional publishing house, if you come in as an intern or just a newbie, this is probably where you’re going to start as an editor is being a proofreader, a post production proofreader. This is the person who reads the proofs to make sure, to catch any of those spelling errors, or sensical errors, anything that got missed in the process. Or when your book gets laid out, there’s a lot of stuff going on in computer programs. I’m sure we’ve all had instances where we know we typed something, and then somehow a whole paragraph got deleted, or half a paragraph gets deleted, right?

Angela: Yes, yes.

Stephanie: Post production proofread looks at that. You’re reading all the text, making sure everything is there, nothing is missing, and also then looking at the physical aspect. See, I’ve done a lot of this. I..

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