by Shauna Lynn--Word Branch Publishing Editor and Blogger
You've poured yourself into writing a book. You've spent hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even years working on it, so you decide to send a query to a publisher. You hope to have your book published. Then you receive the crushing blow that they aren't interested for one reason or another. Where do you go from there?
So your submission has been turned down by a publisher. Your first response is probably going to be disappointment, probably followed by anger. Your emotions are going to be all over the map in the first hours, days, or weeks after receiving a rejection. Keep in mind that this is not a personal rejection of your writing. There are several reasons that your manuscript may have been rejected. Think of this as a chance to tidy up your writing, work on your manuscript a bit more, polish it and make it shine. A book is never truly finished. A writer is never truly done with their work, they will go back to it time and time again and fine tune it like a machine. This doesn't mean to sit down as soon as you get it and fix everything they tell you needs "fixed". In fact, you shouldn't act right away at all. Give yourself time to think it through, a few days at least, then go back to it. You won't be as emotionally high strung as when you first receive the rejection. This also does not mean you should use every suggestion given to you or maybe you don't want to use any at all. This is your book, your work of art, so it's completely up to you.
Follow professional etiquette after you receive your rejection. Don't show up at the publisher's office demanding to see the person who rejected your manuscript. That really won't get you anywhere in publishing. In fact, you can pretty much guarantee that they are going to share that kind of experience with other publishers and they won't want to work with you either. If you decide to resubmit to the same publisher, wait at least a year to do so.
Use this experience as a learning tool. What did you learn? Did you learn that your book has structural problems, plot issues, slow points, moves too fast, has too many characters? Really think about it and use that to your benefit.
Whatever you do, do not give up because of a rejection. Whether it's one or several, it doesn't matter. Keep working at it. You never know if the next submission is going to be the one that accepts your manuscript.
Shauna Lynn, a talented writer, founder of Pickles and Peppers, and chronic illness advocate covers a wide variety of topics that she is passionate about. In her free time, she loves creating crafts with her family or creating a new and delicious recipe that she shares throughout the blogosphere. She loves animals and curling up with a good book too. Contact her at email@example.com to see what unique and engaging content she can create for you. Be sure to stop by her blog Pickles and Peppers for food, family, and fun with a side of reviews and giveaways.
Pickles & Peppers: www.pickles-n-peppers.com
Writing Your Company’s History
While creating a website, it is very important to write about the company’s history. It will play a huge role in building up the respect and trust, and in winning the customers. Almost each and every company goes through stages of inspirations, perseverance, hard work, and sometimes, luck. So, the company’s history should be one of the key elements on the website, and it should also include some significant achievements.
Importance of Company’s History
When the businesses post their history on the website or publication, it becomes an interesting read for the customers, and they will know that the company has a strong foundation. In fact, some of the companies also convert their corporate story in the form of a book publication, and present them to the employees and others. The corporate milestones, presented in ‘About Us’ page, can become the basis for the brand. The company’s history should include information such as, why the company was started, major turning points, inspirations, brief profile of the people behind the company, etc.
Give a Professional Touch
All this information should be presented in a delightful manner, which will make it appealing to the customers. And, for that, one should check out the professional service providers, who can help in writing the history. When you go for the professional writing services, they will study the background of the company, and weave out the magical words, and write in an amazingly professional manner. In fact, you can also check out the various websites, and find out how they have presented their company’s history.
Whatever be the content, the presentation is also quite important. So, even though, you might have the entire company’s history in your mind, if you don’t present it well, the customer might not even read it. While presenting the content, one should try to dig out the company’s highlights, and present it with zeal. When you explain the company’s achievements, it should look like the best thing to have ever happened. In fact, one can also take interviews of employees and the satisfied users, who can give an insight into the company’s growth. Another way of presentation is by creating a timeline. All the events should be recorded in the timeline. You can also post photographs, illustrating the company’s history.
The company’s history can act as a marketing tool, and should be presented in the right manner. Take professional help so that your company’s history looks magnificent, and great.
from Market Writer
The Three Most Important Elements of Book Design
What do you think is the most important aspect of book publishing? While most of us would say that it is “writing good content”, there are also other important things, which make a book sell. And, this includes the designing of the books, and marketing them. Even though, some books have great content, if their book designing is not good, it might be tough to sell them in the market.
Due to this, more and more importance is given to the designing, after writing. Book designing incorporates the style, content, design and format of all the components into a book. And, time and efforts need to be put on all these aspects.
So, what are the three most important elements of book design?
1. Book Structure: This includes the front matter, back matter and the body. The front matter is the smallest section of the book, and the pages are usually numbered in Roman numerals. Most of the books are divided into different chapters, while some of them have chapters with sections, as well. The first page of the book, contains initials and special design features. The back matter contains epilogue, in the narrators’ voice, afterword, and a conclusion.
2. The Printed Page: The layout of the book is carefully designed, with the font style and size, and with single or double spacing. The quality of the page is also important, and the gum is to be carefully considered. Another aspect of the printed page is the gutter, which is bound at the spine. There should be enough space, in the book’s spine, so that the text is visible.
3. The Cover: The front cover of the book has some images or graphics, along with the title and the author’s name. It is the first thing, which makes an impression on the reader’s mind, and makes him pick up a book. So, the front cover designing should be carefully done. The back cover contains the biographical content of the author. It also contains some quotes and news sources, who have appreciated the book. The book cover can also contain a brief summary of the book.
These were the three most important elements of book design. Once the content writing is done, and designing is complete, the book publishing will take place. The publisher should not adopt any shortcuts, when it comes to designing of books, as it will have a direct impact on the sales.
from Market Writer
What to Expect from a Book Editor?
Every writer’s dream is to get his book published by the best publisher. Even though, there are many publishers around, a good publisher would take a good amount of time in checking out the content, re-design it, if necessary, and will only then publish it. When, the book goes through a fool-proof process of editing, proofreading, and copy-editing, the finished product would be a bestseller, don’t you agree?
Publishing houses recruit some experienced and skilled editors, who are made responsible for the books. An editor will have a team of researchers, proof-readers and copy-editors, who would go through the book minutely, and give some suggestions for improvement. These suggestions could include inputs on the content, layout, designing, and other things. So, it is one of the most important process, and requires a very good editor at the helm. He helps in giving a shape to the book.
So, what can you expect from the book editor?
· A personal rapport and a sense of mutual trust: This is one of the most important attributes. If the editor is professional, and also shares a personal rapport, the author will feel comfortable in interacting with him. And, a sense of mutual trust will automatically develop, which will help the writer to come out with his best.
· Helpful Suggestions and corrections: An editor is not supposed to blindly accept the book. He has to delve deep, and give some useful suggestions and corrections to the authors. A good book will always be free of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, and would have undergone a thorough research, and would be relevant to the subject.
· Quick Responses: While some editors simply sit on the book, and concentrate on various other books at the same time, it would be a good thing to give out quick responses. This would be helpful for the author to take the corrective actions immediately. There is no point in delaying a book, as it would impact the market. If a technical book comes out late, it will lose all its value.
Well, these are some of the attributes, which one can expect from the book editor. So, if you are a new talented writer, and are looking out for a good Publishing company, then, Word Branch Publishing can give you the best solution. The company believes in giving a chance to the emerging authors, and help them in making their voices heard. The company does the editing, writing and publishing for companies, as well as for individual writers.
From Market Writer
What was Hidden Has Come Into The Light
Social stigmas and perceptions associated with the LGBT community have long prevented the LGBT literature from being talked about in the open. Whenever intellectual discussions revolving prize-winning or noteworthy literary works of the century are held on TV or during social get-togethers, the notable works of LGBT literature hardly get any mention, let alone praise and admiration. However, this has now changed as what was hidden has now come into the light, quite a bright and dazzling light to be more precise.
Projects such as ‘LGBT Books to Prisoners’, sending free LGBT literature to LGBT inmates in US prisons, and ‘The Stonewall Book Award’, rewarding writers and illustrators doing amazing work in LGBT literature, are now being talked about extensively. Journalists and literary bloggers too are compiling lists of the most enriching LGBT literary works, thus making LGBT literature a part of everyday conversations and people’s bookshelves.
The History of LGBT Literature
LGBT literature is not a new phenomenon. Members of the LGBT community often turn to literary works discussing and portraying attraction and love between same-gender individuals in order to find validation and peace, which they are often denied in the outside world.
Greeks are known to be the first ones to have contributed to LGBT literature through popular and notable works such as Plato’s ‘Symposium’and Aeschylus’ ‘The Myrmidons’. Ancient Greek mythology often portrays deep affection and attraction between few of the Greek Gods and talks of divine miracles that transformed genders. Petronius’ ‘Satyricon’, a 1st century AD Latin fictional work, depicting the adventures of two gay lovers, is one of the earliest works in LGBT Literature.
Earlier authors of 18th and 19th centuries would often use coded messages to depict same-gender love and their sympathy towards LGBT community as writing about homosexuality was largely illegal in many powerful nations such as UK and United States. However, 20th century saw a rise in more explicit depiction of gay lives in LGBT literature.
What is Changing Perception?
With increasing acceptance of homosexuality and transgender communities among societies, LGBT literature is finding itself being discussed more positively and openly.
Over the last few years, several changes have taken place which have compelled people to change their perceptions towards LGBT’s- same sex marriages have been legalized in a few nations, gay pride parades are held more frequently, several international celebrities have confessed about their homosexuality and non-profit groups for LGBT members are working actively to help gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people get equal rights as their heterosexual counterparts. All these changes have opened readers’ minds to LGBT literature in order to explore the world of LGBT.
What is the Future for LGBT Literature?
With exclusive literary awards being set up to recognize admirable LGBT works and critics discussing LGBT works in their blogs and columns openly, LGBT literature has a brighter future ahead of it. More and more readers, not only those who belong to LGBT but others as well, are expected to make LGBT literature a part of their reading lists. In many ways, LGBT Literature is expected to fuel further acceptance and understanding of LGBT community and its amalgamation into regular society.
from Market Writer
“How to get my book published?” is the question on every aspiring author’s mind and lips. After spending days, months or even years penning down that great story, an author hopes that publishers will be more than happy to take up the manuscript and turn it into a bestseller but sadly, that is hardly the reality. In the real world, one may face few or countless rejections before finally striking a fair deal. Getting a bookpublished takes time, effort, persistence, smartness and patience in equal amounts.
Here are 3 tips which will help you getting your book published faster:
Write What You May Be Interested To Read
A publisher’s main motive is to make money out of books and the only way to ensure this is to publish books that will interest readers and fly off the book shelves in right numbers. Hence, for you to grab a publisher’s attention, it is absolutely necessary that the content you are offering is interesting, unique and capable of indulging a reader’s mind or imagination.
Firstly, it is most important that you write from your heart and not out of other’s books. Forgery is unacceptable. Anauthor becomes successful only if he/she offers something to the readers that they have never read before. Hence, it is extremely essential that your work is fresh and has a unique identity. Secondly, when writing a book, you need to think from a reader’s perspective as well. Always write something that you will yourself be interested in reading.
Keep your work open to scrutiny and criticism. Accepting criticism in a positive manner will help you better your work after every rejection and will increase the chances of acceptance with the next publisher you will approach. Be receptive to constructive feedback and use it to make your work more admirable and interesting.
Harness the Power of Social Media
Social media is more powerful that you possibly know. A publisher is more likely to publish your book if you have thousands of followers on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Having popular social media accounts indicates that people enjoy what you write and that your work grabs people’s attention desirably.
All you need to do is set up your social media accounts and share snippets of your works with the world. You can also share short stories or articles. Actively respond to readers’ comments and initiate discussions. You can also follow other authors to know what they are doing better than you. More the number of followers on your social media accounts, better the chances of you getting published!
from Market Writer
If you are a writer, or an aspiring writer looking to get published, a query letter is something you should really take note of. Writing a great query letter can help get your foot in the door with some major publishers and on your way to having people view your book.
The main goal of a query letter is to the make a particular agent or publisher care enough about your protagonist and your plot that they want to read more. You are giving them just the right amount of information, without giving it all away, so they show interest in your book and want to work with you more on it. If you are a writer that writes fiction or narrative fiction, a good query letter is something you will definitely need to get an agent interested, and hopefully signing you to a book deal. A pitch, which is essentially what a query letter is, is all you have and what stands between your book hitting store shelves and it just sitting on your desktop. Although query letters are mainly for works of fiction, there are plenty of concepts in a query letter that a writer of any subject can learn from.
There are agents and publishers all over the world but it is important to note that they are all not looking for the same thing. One agent may be looking for a specific type of novel and another agent something completely different. It is important to do your research and know what the agent is looking for so you do not come off as generic and as someone who does not do their research. Agents in the very first line will look for someone who took the time to find out what the agent is looking for and what makes them relevant to be signed. They may be looking for a particular writer that is talking about a certain location, plot, idea, or type of book. All of these go together to help you create the perfect letter that tells the story of, well, your story. Your query needs to talk about what you have done, what you have accomplished, but most importantly what your book is about.
They need to know why your character is important, what they are fighting why, why they are fighting for it, and what their end goal is. All of this should grip the agent and once they are hooked, you are on your way to being published in no time!
by Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh: Word Branch Media
Every year I write a blog for Banned Book Week, and this year is no different, and, sadly, there is no shortage of banned and challenged books in the US as well as worldwide. But, on the positive side, we at least have this opportunity to showcase the seemingly growing problem of special interest groups attempting to control the speech, thoughts, and beliefs of all. When I talk to people about Banned Book Week and my passion to eliminate restrictions in reading, I’m sometimes met with shock. That surprises me, but I think education is the key to make others more aware of censorship.
For those not familiar with Banned Book Week, it is the annual event, supported by the American Library Association (ALA), that celebrates our freedom to read and protests the censorship of books. The ALA recognizes the potential danger of the restriction of reading and the historical and contemporary impact it has on civilizations. Click here to read more about the ALA’s involvement in Banned Book Week.
I think it is important to note that books that are banned and challenged in the US may not be what people think. We’re not talking about some dark pornography or terrorist manifesto; we are talking about American classics like The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird. We’re talking about beloved children’s books like Harry Potter and young adult favorites like The Hunger Games. We are talking about books that shed a light on racism and other social issues like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and The Bluest Eye. We’re talking about books that make us think and create, that lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and society.
The reasons that books are banned or challenged are many, and while it may be tempting to blame it entirely on fringe religious and political groups, often it is ordinary people who initiate the challenges. Sometimes it is just well-meaning folks who just can’t understand why others don’t think or act like them. Sometimes it is a misguided notion that you can protect children by restricting what comes into their world. Valid points . . . to some extent. While parents have a right to restrict what their children read, they certainly don’t have the right to restrict my children’s reading. One person’s religious or political views that control their own choice of reading material shouldn’t dictate what I choose to read and, by extension, think.
I get that some people think that The Color Purple, or similarly ranged books, isn’t appropriate for all age groups, and it is not. It is not the easiest read in the world, and it deals with some very adult subjects. But no one is suggesting that your second grader be forced into reading it, and even if you oppose your high school student reading Invisible Man as an assigned book, I know of no school or teacher that doesn’t have alternative books for students whose parents protest. But that doesn’t mean that other students shouldn’t be restricted from what is a learning and growing experience.
And you may say-what is the harm in taking The Sun Also Rises or Harry Potter out of libraries to keep these special interest groups from squawking? The danger is that when one first amendment right is chipped away at, it sets a dangerous precedent for others. I’m not suggesting that we are in imminent danger of becoming a real-life Fahrenheit 451 society (which ironically is on the banned list), but, as James Madison said: “there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
ALA Press Release: http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2014/09/affirm-freedom-read-during-banned-books-week-sept-21-27-2014
Notable First Amendment Court Cases:http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/censorshipfirstamendmentissues/courtcases
Frequently Banned and Challenged Books: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics
ALA Banned Book Week 2014: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek
by Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh: President, Word Branch Media
When I began doing research for this blog, which was originally about self-publishing versus small presses, I was a little surprised of the number of articles and blogs that listed do-it-yourself, small presses, and large publishing companies as “choices” for new authors. The idea that any of these is a given is unrealistic—and yes, I do mean to include self publishing, at least successful self publishing. While this seems like an issue solely for writers, this is good and bad news for readers too.
Most writers fantasize about being discovered by one of The Big Six (or Five depending on the day)[i], getting a six-figure advance, and having their book turned into a artsy, yet lucrative film—probably not going to happen. In fact, the odds are very much against it. Only one percent or fewer of a large press’s annual titles are from new authors and very few get any type of advance at all[ii]. The myth of a large publishing house spending oodles on marketing is a bust too. As markets shrink for print books, large publishers are also shrinking their marketing budgets. They only will spend what they think they can get back from sales. If you are a new author, then that will be low if any. With this unstable market and publishers going under or being sold at a rapid rate, they are taking very few chances.
I don’t want to come off sounding completely pessimistic—there are fairytale endings even in the publishing world. The author of Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James, turned a fan-fiction novel into a best-selling trilogy for Vintage, and Lisa Genova’s Still Alice was picked up by Simon & Schuster to rise to number five on the New York Times bestseller list[iii].
Five years ago, self-publishing came with a lot of stigmas, and many, including writers, saw it as something of a passing joke. People stopped laughing when Amanda Hocking made nearly a half million dollars in one month with her self-published series, The Trylle Trilogy[iv]. Self-publishing gives the power and the profits back to the author and allows new authors to test their wings without a stack of rejection notices.
But as most veterans of the self-publishing world find out, the path to success is fraught with roadblocks and pitfalls. While seemingly easy (write, upload, sell), it doesn’t take long for problems to arise. Many authors are completely vexed by art and font copyrights, the technical aspects of formatting for upload, book design not to mention ISBN acquisition, Library of Congress numbers, and BISAC classifications. Then comes selling . . . Creating a marketing plan is essential as well as understanding the limitations. When and where to put advertising dollars can be overwhelming to the novice and can bankrupt a modest budget in hours. Distribution avenues are often not offered to self-publishers as well as some venues, national chains, libraries, and others, won’t sell self-published books.
A new industry has sprung up to assist the self-published author get a book ready for publishing and marketing and selling afterward. Some of these are very expensive extravagances, and a few outright scams, but some are absolutely essential like editing, professional cover creation, and formatting for print and e-book.
Lastly is the small press. New technologies have given rise to numerous small publishing companies, like Word Branch Publishing, and, again, this is both good and bad news for authors and readers.
The bad news for authors is that the terminology, thus the results, are confusing. Although innovation is critical for success, some small presses are actually old ideas in disguise. I’ve listed a few types of small publishers below to help clear up the terms.
· Subsidy, or what used to be called vanity, publishers: The writer pays up front for all services like editing, proofing, and book design but keeps rights.
· Hybrid publisher: Doesn't charge for services, but may keep rights for books. Due to working with new authors, costs are kept low by contracting employees, working virtually, and using print on demand-POD. Distribution is sometimes limited, and marketing often falls on the shoulders of the writer.
· Independent publisher: The indie is a small scale version of a traditional publisher. They work with a salaried employees or small pool of contractors. They take care of all technical aspects, and usually have a marketing plan for each book in which they work in tandem with the author’s own marketing. They may use POD or short print runs depending on needs. They will often have wider distribution channels still depends on working in conjunction with the author for promotion.
In case you were wondering, Word Branch falls somewhere in between hybrid and indie. You can read more about it in Lynn Sarafinn’s article about WBP: http://www.crtwriting.com/1/post/2013/08/lynn-serafinns-blog-about-word-branch-publishing.html
Now, as for what all this means for readers is, again, both good and bad news.
Self-publishing has given readers a plethora of books from new authors. The amount of free and reduced price e-books means that an avid reader can fill his or her Kindle with reading material to last a lifetime for practically nothing. The bad news is that a lot of these books are just plain not very good. They sometimes are poorly edited, the author has not spent enough time rewriting, the cover is derivative or the story is stiff and unimaginative. However, more good news is that many diamonds in the rough are there for the reading, and it is a real joy to come across a really good author who you may have never discovered otherwise.
Traditional large presses will always have books that are in demand. Nearly all of the bestsellers come from the big guys, and they have the money and power to deliver the recognizable names. On the downside, they offer the reader a relatively limited pool of books that are salable to the masses. You end up reading what everyone else is reading[v].
Small publishers offer readers a choice usually at a pretty good price. Indies tap into a market that otherwise wouldn’t get notice and wide distribution. They are fairly selective in what they publish and have a personal relationship with the authors. Call or email a small publisher, and you will probably get an answer from the owner. However, due to a fickle market and the necessity of laying out large amounts of cash to get a book established, many small publishers go underwater leaving authors and readers hanging.
Large or small, new or old publishing companies, readers or writers—we have all been effected by the shakeup in the industry in the last five years. But I remain optimistic that we are going into a new renaissance of books and that the changes will benefit us all.
Suggested Reading and Links:
Word Branch Publishing’s sister companies assist writers with editing, covers, and formatting as well as marketing:http://www.crtwriting.com/ http://wordstreambooks.com
Why You Should Avoid Bestselling Books: http://theweek.com/article/index/261079/why-you-should-avoid-best-selling-books
The Wonderful World of E-Publishing: http://www.crtwriting.com/1/post/2012/06/the-wonderful-world-of-e-publishing.html
E-Books vs. ‘Real’ Books: http://www.crtwriting.com/1/post/2012/06/the-wonderful-world-of-e-publishing.html
[i] Hachette (publisher)
Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group/Macmillan
Simon & Schuster
by Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh: President, Word Branch Media
I originally created this for our writers at Word Branch Publishing, but I thought I would share.
The WordWeb Blog brings to you information, tips, trivia and more about writing, reading, editing and books written by experts in the field.