Category: writing

Find a new, streamlined website domain among 600 choices!

Trying to find a grabber website domain ending in “.com” that contains less than an arm’s length of letters is a near-fruitless treasure hunt. You probably can’t use “.org” and will anybody come if it ends in “.net”? The hunt is over. Last February, the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), an international […]

Where self-publishing and ebooks stand in late 2014

(1) “Ebooks have grown exponentially and reached a healthy balance by 11/14,” says Mark Coker, head of Smashwords in a no-nonsense delivery at BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publishers Assn) on Nov. 8. Here is a much-abbreviated summary of Mark’s very enjoyable 10-point presentation. When Mark began Smashwords, about it 8 years ago, ebooks accounted for […]

The new Nook Press isn’t an “open” publisher

Nook Press just announced its new paperback and hardback print service. Its features look similar to those of “open” publishers, like Create Space, Kindle, Smashwords, and others (including Nook ebooks). But here you simply build your book, prep the files, and upload the print-ready PDFs for the interior and cover. They print the book and […]

14 key ebook publishing tips

Mark Coker started Smashwords when a quarter of 1% of U.S. books sold were ebooks. Now it’s 35% of the total, and he’s a top spokesman in the field. Last year Smashwords authors sold ebooks worth $30-million at retail. Last Saturday (11/8/14) Coker spoke to BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publisher Association) in Novato, CA (near […]

Niche books are very profitable. How are their authors chosen?

I publish to niche markets, in my case to K-12 school administrators. All of those who write books for my firm must have a specific field of expertise of interest (and meet needs of) K-12 school administrators. Two examples, our two latest books, are The Art of School Boarding: What Every School Board Member Needs […]

Querying magazine editors in late 2014

Here’s the scenario. You have a great idea that you think X magazine’s readers would love to read about on its pages. But you don’t know the editor and you don’t know how to break the ice or make the suggestion. What do you do in what order? Things haven’t changed much in the past […]

Submitting a final first draft manuscript to an editor…

Let’s say you have a super book, a novel or a dandy nonfiction winner, that you have shopped to a publisher—and to your horror they said “yes, get it in final form and send it to us.” Or you have a book in final first draft form and you are having a firm prep the […]

Non-fiction books should shout with benefits and authority

What do you want your book to do? Probably (1) get bought–or at least read; (2) make you money; (3) if self-published, get snagged by a “big house” and do more of [1] and [2]; (4) establish you as an “expert” or “authority” in its topic field; (5) get potential readers to want to know […]

Writers: ideas for creating top-selling nonfiction books

I think of top-selling two ways. The most obvious is to sell more copies of your book than any other book like it in the market. If you sell 10,000 copies of the book, you outsold a person who sold 5,000. Duh. The less obvious way is to measure the effectiveness of your book’s sale. […]

5 kinds of consulting (and mentoring) for nonfiction writers and publishers

I’ve been an editor and nonfiction consultant for writers and publishers for at least 20 years, so I was grateful when an association client asked me to break down in greater detail the kinds of consulting I do. I guess it was much clearer in my head than on my services data! Then when I […]