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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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  • Thursday, June 29, 2023 1:01 PM | Linda Austin (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 | Linda Austin (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 | Linda Austin (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 | Linda Austin (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 | Linda Austin (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 | Linda Austin (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 | Linda Austin (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 | Linda Austin (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)

    Publications

    Writer’s Market

    Writer’s Digest

    Poets & Writers

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

    Online

    Facebook groups

    LinkedIn groups

    Twitter

    Instagram

    TikTok

    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

    Do

    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

    Don’t

    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 (www.writerruth.com, Ruth@writerruth.com) 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.

  • Saturday, February 12, 2022 1:03 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    Writers are always hearing about "show don't tell," but the concept can be difficult to understand and incorporate. Some telling is needed, but too much can be boring and keeps the reader outside the story looking in when we want them to be inside and involved. This month Ryan Lanz's "A Writer's Path" blog features an interesting article by author-journalist Lissa Oliver:

    Five Things Authors Can Learn From Drama Classes

     

  • Sunday, January 09, 2022 12:17 PM | Linda Austin (Administrator)

    With 2021 in the rear-view mirror, many might say good riddance. Don't let this happen with your book, though! On the Story Reading Ape Blog, Kristine Nannini gives examples of ways to end your book to satisfy readers - or pique interest in a sequel.

    Examples of Narrative Endings Infographic

    (PS: If there is a lesson or moral, do NOT spell it out. The reader should realize it on their own, perhaps with indirect reference at the end.)

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