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Book publicity

Branding: 5 Ways to Publicize with Purpose

This is a guest blog post from Danielle Barthell. Following her completion of the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation, Danielle began interning at Writers House. While there, she realized she wanted to put her English degree and love of the written word to work at a literary agency. She worked as a full-time assistant for three years, and continues to help keep the New Leaf offices running smoothly in her role of Coordinator of Team and Client Services. Follow Danielle @debarthel

In today’s market, more and more publishers and agents are asking their authors, “What is your brand?” in terms of marketing and publicity. But what exactly does that mean, and how does branding help your career? Determining your brand gives you the chance to convey your style and career goals in just a few words, phrases, or images. It’s the perfect way to tip off your audience as to how you want to be seen in the literary realm, without giving them paragraphs of explanation. My colleagues and I at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. are constantly thinking about this for our authors; here are five of the important points that will hopefully help clarify this topic a bit for you.

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Editing tips

5 Tips from the Secret World of Editing

This is a guest post by Abbie Headon. Abbie joined Summersdale Publishers in 2010. In her role as Managing and Commissioning Editor she writes, edits and commissions content across a broad range of trade non-fiction titles. Her book Poetry First Aid Kit was published by Summersdale in 2013, and her Literary First Aid Kit is due to hit the world’s bookshelves in August 2015.

Editing is one of the Dark Arts of publishing. For proofreading and copyediting, there are books and courses that explain all the quirks and twists, but editing – and by this I mean structural editing, where you take somebody’s manuscript and help them make it better – does not fit this model. For me, editing is where the magic happens. And editing has a lot in common with magic: it takes a lot of practice, and it works best when you see its effects, but not the details of how it was done.

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author payment

Is a royalty-only system the way forward for author payment?

Jasmin Kirkbride is BookMachine’s new blogger. Jasmin is the Editorial Intern at Tenebris Books. She is a freelance editor and published author.  You can find her on Twitter @jasminkirkbride.

Last year, The 2014 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey revealed that of the traditionally published authors who took part in the survey, 59.3% earned less than £600 per year. A report from the Authors’ Licensing & Collection Society (ACLS), What Are Words Worth Now?, furthered that average author earnings were below £11,000 per year, down almost £3,500 from the previous report in 2005. Not enough to live on and well below the minimum wage.

The debate over how we pay our authors was hot all year, and it looks not less important as we enter 2015. Clearly, many authors are not making enough money to live on, but is this because we’re paying them unfairly or because their content isn’t selling?

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Sara Donaldson - Freelance

5 tips to break the freelance famine

This is a guest blog from Sara Donaldson. Sara is a freelance editor with an eye for a mystery. When not editing a range of projects (mostly non-fiction) she can be found with her Sherlock hat on as a professional genealogist. You can find her on Twitter @psychodwarf

No matter how hard a freelancer likes to pretend that they have a full schedule – all of the time – for many freelancers there are times when there is no work coming in. It may be because a project has unexpectedly failed, it may be because work naturally comes in waves (imagine the rush to get stuff out for Christmas, then nothing in January), or it may be that there is just no work coming their way. Sometimes it’s all down to lack of marketing and ‘getting yourself out there’ but sometimes it’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Whatever the reason, at some point, even the most in demand freelancer will find themselves twiddling their thumbs and looking at a blank slot in their diary.

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author payment

The future of Twitter in 2015: Panic stations?

Jasmine Kirkbride is BookMachine’s new blogger and this is her second blog post. Jasmin is the Editorial Intern at Tenebris Books. She is a freelance editor and published author.  You can find her on Twitter @jasminkirkbride.

Tweeps are panicking about the future of Twitter as, in recent months, its famous reverse-chronological timeline, has come under threat. Discussions are now underway on the possibility of introducing algorithmically curated timelines to sort the Tweet from the chaff – but is this really a good thing?

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Tom Chalmers

Licensing Seminar highlights the Hasselhoff effect

This is a guest post from Tom Chalmers, Managing Director at IPR License.

Late last month we hosted our inaugural Global Licensing: The Bigger Picture conference which saw a host of leading figures from a range of creative sectors highlight how they maximise licensing revenue, combat copyright infringement and piracy in the digital world and what lessons could be learnt by the publishing world. Plus a debate over the future of book fairs and a focus on emerging new markets for licensing.

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Belle and Sebastian co-founder Stuart David writing YA novels

It takes a lot of effort to be a die-hard Belle and Sebastian fan, what with all the myriad side projects and new endeavours undertaken by band members past and present: soundtracks to imaginary musicals followed five years later by an actual musical, tour diaries, collaborations with beings of pure gravel, excellently titled solo albums, stage shows, not to mention the assorted LPs, EPs and singles that make up the band’s core discography. Now, add a couple more items to the pile for completists: founding member Stuart David is set to release two YA novels.

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Let the YouGov profiler do your market research for you

If you’ve been on Twitter at any point since the weekend, chances are that you’ve come across the YouGov profiler, a jolly little plaything/terrifying cross-section of all the privacies we wilfully surrender that allows users to input the name of ‘any brand, person or thing’ then presents them with a picture of a typical fan of said brand, person or thing courtesy of the titular market research firm. It’s by no means exhaustive (apparently there weren’t enough fans of Yo La Tengo to constitute an appropriate sample size, which is of course just how Yo La Tengo fans like it) but it’s certainly an enjoyable way to pass a few minutes confirming your existing prejudices engaging in some low-level market research. With the profiler’s help, then, BookMachine proudly (?) presents a guide to the demographics you need to pitch to if you want to make it big in publishing [puts feet up on desk, taps out cigar ash].

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Self-publishing

FACT: Self-publishing is not all about fiction

This is a guest post from the team at CompletelyNovel, sponsors of BookMachine Brighton (photos here).

There has been a lot of media attention on self-published fiction titles that have gone on to success. Hugh Howey, E. L. James and Bella Andre – to name a few – have all proven that self-publishing is a viable way to reach readers. At CompletelyNovel.com we saw an initial wave of customers focused on fiction (largely, I imagine, due to our name!) but it’s interesting how your customers can start using your service in ways you didn’t necessarily expect.

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