Whether you are an aspiring author, a published author, a publisher or one who provides services to those who publish, the purpose of this SLPA Blog is to provide information and resources on a full range of author/publishers issues and ideas.
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  • Sunday, February 11, 2024 3:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Blogging on your website is a way to attract attention to yourself and your books. Posting regularly keeps your website fresh to search engines. But most people eventually fail at blogging. How can your blog successfully capture interest? 

    Top 5 Blogging Tips for Success

  • Friday, January 12, 2024 7:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The most important part of book marketing is to know your audience! What do they want to know about or hear about, relating to your book? They do not want to constantly hear about your book, rather the topic or themes of your book. Jane Friedman has a guest article on her website that will help you craft posts that will get noticed by the ideal readers of your book.

    Avoid Random Acts of Content by Stephanie Chandler


  • Thursday, June 29, 2023 1:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our last post was about the importance of authors having a website and even a blog. Here is a link to a post telling ways to impress a first-time blog reader - so they will follow your blog and maybe even share your posts on social media, thus sharing YOU!

    22 Ways to Impress a First-Time Blog Reader

    (If you are not following "A Writer's Path" you should be.) 

  • Saturday, June 03, 2023 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Authors should have a website, their "home page" online, but do they really need to have a blog, too? Well, blogging keeps your website fresh for Google Searches, helps you find your audience, and gives you something to post about on Facebook or any other social media. Ryan Lanz's A Writer's Path website features Robin Houghton's post:

    10 Reasons for Authors to Blog

  • Monday, May 08, 2023 7:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many (most?) authors dream of finding a traditional publisher for their book. Reasons vary, but number one is the cache of saying they've "been published." Also, a traditional publisher takes care of all the business of providing editing, design, and getting the book into distribution - no extra cost to the author, and if there is, that is not a traditional publisher but a publishing services company for hire. 

    Ryan Lanz's The Writer's Path website features author Ryan J. Doughan's May 5, 2023, post "Why Choose Indie Publishing." 

  • Tuesday, April 11, 2023 9:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Novels tend to be more difficult to write than nonfiction because novels create worlds and characters that have to make sense and be consistent. This is especially important for those who write fantasy or sci-fi. Professional editors cost money, so best to first try a little self-editing on your own to make their job easier and hopefully cost you less.

    The Alliance of Independent Authors has a post about how you can work on self-editing your fiction. The post is a bit complex, but you can glean important tips:

    How to Self-Edit Your Novel: What You Can Learn From Professional Editors

    (Always get a professional editor after you think you have your final draft, and prior to that if you need help developing the story)   

  • Wednesday, December 21, 2022 9:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Author and self-publishing mentor Shayla Raquel was our November featured speaker presenting on social media for authors. She has a YouTube video advising on creating one document to hold all the marketing details about your book - efficient to find everything important in one place. Start the new year off right by organizing!

    Organize Your Book Marketing Copy

  • Sunday, June 12, 2022 11:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you heard about hybrid publishing? What is that?

    Traditional publishing means the publisher takes on all the costs of producing your book and usually gives the author some upfront money (an advance). As the book sells, the the author starts receiving royalties (small percentage of sales) ONLY after sales compensate the publisher for that advance money.

    In hybrid publishing, the author pays the publisher to produce the book but the author then immediately earns a much larger royalty from book sales. It costs a lot of money to edit, format interior, and design a cover so hybrid publishing can cost the author a lot of money - about what it costs a self-publisher to manage on their own IF they want their book to look and read as good as a traditionally published book.

    Either way, traditional or hybrid, the author does not have to be concerned  with the work of producing the book - what a relief! The author always owns the copyright, but the publisher owns the rights for the physical book and probably the ebook.

    With hybrid publishing the author needs to "buyer beware" that they are not being excessively charged or promised great sales or sold an $$$$$ marketing package that is not worth it. Read the contract and walk into it with fully opened eyes. Jane Friedman has an article on her website about what to look for with a hybrid publisher, and why or why not you might want to work with one.

    Is Hybrid Publishing Ethical? by Meghan Harvey of Girl Friday Productions

    (Follow Jane Friedman on Twitter at @janefriedman or on Facebook)  

  • Friday, May 06, 2022 9:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Authors must often juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities on the journey to publication and beyond. Brian Feinblum, creator of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, addresses the common complaints and problems many authors face. His April 8, 2022, blog post shares hard truths and practical advice for authors at every stage.

    The Truth That Authors Need to Hear

  • Tuesday, March 01, 2022 11:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our SLPA online Vendor Showcase is March 9 where we feature a number of publishing services professionals (editors, designers, coaches, etc.) you can meet with and ask questions. Ruth Thaler-Carter, SLPA member and writer/editor/proofreader, has written a helpful article:

    Finding and Working With Publishing Service Providers

    Every author — whether well-published or still aspiring, independent or traditional — needs support from professional editors and proofreaders, and sometimes from indexers, graphic artists/illustrators and cover artists, and layout professionals, as well as agents and marketers or publicists. Here are some tips on finding ones who will help smooth your path to publication, and how to work with them. (These are also good resources for colleagues interested in becoming such service providers.)

    Organizations (to join or consult)

    St. Louis Publishers Association

    St. Louis Writers Guild

    Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

    National Association of Independent Writers and Editors

    Editorial Freelancers Association (for finding service providers and seeing common rates charged by members)

    ACES: The Society for Editing

    American Society for Indexing

    Association of Authors’ Representatives

    The Writer’s Ally (Allyson Machate)

    Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)


    Writer’s Market

    Writer’s Digest

    Poets & Writers

    The Paper It’s Written On, by Dick Margulis and Karin Cather (about contracts)


    Facebook groups

    LinkedIn groups




    Beware of

    Super-cheap providers

    Publishing platforms —

    -Providers might not be skilled or experienced,

    -contact between author and provider often limited

    Writing or grammar software programs —

    -Often wrong!

    How to ask for writing, editing, proofreading services

    Provide genre, number of words, timeframe, budget

    Request and contact references

    Request sample edit/proof — short; ideally paid; same sample for every candidate!

    How to pay

    By the word, hour, page (1 page = 250 words!), project, image — every provider is different

    Advance/deposit; increments by chapter, pages, hours, etc.

    What to provide

    Full, finished manuscript in Word, 12-point type size, black “ink,” 1-inch margins,

    -double-spaced, no fancy formatting or multiple typefaces,

    -artwork indicated with captions but not in the manuscript

    -(Some editors will accept a manuscript in progress so the author can learn from and correct basic errors as they write more.)

    Your contact info

    Advance/deposit against fee (It’s OK to pay in increments rather than all at once when done)

    Marketing/publicity plan or ideas


    Start saving now for services

    Learn about levels of editing, difference between editing and proofreading.

    Learn about the publishing process

    Join a critique group to get feedback on your book before sending it to an editor

    Check references

    Pay appropriately — you get what you pay for


    Send a first draft

    Do your own design/layout

    Pester the service provider for updates

    Rewrite while editing, proofing or design, etc., is underway

    - - - - -

    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (, is a long-time, award-winning freelance writer/editor/proofreader. She is the owner and creator of Communication Central’s annual Be a Better Freelancer® conference, to be held this year in St. Louis in October at the Moonrise Hotel in U City, and also owns the An American Editor blog and A Flair for Writing publishing company.

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