States of Mind front cover

Seven tips for powering through permissions

After spending the past few months sourcing over 90 works of fiction, non-fiction and art for inclusion in Wellcome Collection’s new anthology, States of Mind: Experiences at the Edge of Consciousness, I’ve learned a few tricks about acquiring copyright permissions. Here are my top seven tips:

KU Big Read logo

How we chose a book for KU Big Read

This is a guest post by Alison Baverstock, Associate Professor and Lecturer on the Kington Publishing MA. Along with a team of students, Alison co-ordinated the hugely successful KU Big Read, whereby every new student is given a free book to create a shared sense of community upon starting a course. Here she tells us more about the scheme and how they went about choosing the shortlist for the #KUBR2.

Crispin covers

Designing book covers for a series: Stuart Bache interview

Stuart Bache is Art Director of Books Covered, a design agency for publishers, independent authors and literary agents. Here Norah Myers interviews him on designing book covers for a series and more.


Bootstrapping your book

There are basically three ways to start a business. You can use your own private fortune, you can pitch to investors for funding, or you can bootstrap: start at the beginning, plough the early profits back into the business, own and earn every scrap of the company. None of them is intrinsically ‘better’ than another, each has its pros and cons, they’re just right for different people in different situations.

EMC Design

Why design matters: Collaborating with your designers

For many, design can be seen as a luxury – particularly for publishers who are finding it hard to maintain profit margins. Design for us is our passion. Making books more beautiful is of fundamental importance. However, design (and its processes) has many other functions, and we believe these really matter.

cover, type, Ryan Ashcroft

Writing on the outside: Maximising the function of cover text

While the author is best placed to write the cover content, it’s the designer’s job to maximise its effect. This collaboration works better when the author sees things from a design and marketing perspective.

As a cover designer, I understand that what I’m creating isn’t necessarily a piece of art in itself but more an advert for someone else’s art, in this case – a book. And in any effective advert, a key part of that message lies not only in the actual words but how those words are presented. So what kinds of text can we find on book covers and how can it be used to maximise a book’s marketability?

Norah Myers

How not to blog: 7 tips

Norah Myers works on the editorial side of marketing. She sources narrative non-fiction for an independent publisher and interviews lovely publishing folk for BookMachine. Here, she shares the guide she would follow if she was just setting up a blog for the first time.


Blook your blog: How to turn your blog posts into a book

Turning blog posts into books (or blooks) is on the rise, with companies like Blurb even offering specific production and print services. But the style, format and very nature of blogs brings new challenges to the editorial process.

BookMachine have been plotting for the next blook in the Snapshots series, Snapshots III, BookMachine on Publishing: The Next 5 Years. For the third year in a row, we’ve teamed up with Kingston University Press who have appointed a production team of students from Kingston’s Publishing MA course to design, typeset and proofread a selection of our best posts.

Having just finished collating, formatting and copy-editing the manuscript, here are 10 tips for tackling this new editorial territory.

Angela Clarke

4 tips for hitting #1 on Amazon’s Best Seller list

This is a Guest Post by Angela Clarke on building author brands, social media and Amazon’s algorithm. Angela is the Amazon Fashion Chart bestselling author of Confessions of a Fashionista. Her first crime novel, Follow Me (Avon), is out this December.


How to quit your job to blog for a living

This is a guest post from Monika Lee. Monika is a Senior Commissioning Editor at Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education, executive coach and published author. You can follow her on Twitter @Lee_Monika

Have you ever wondered how long it takes before you can make a living from your blog? Charly Lester, who writes the, has done it just in two years. Incredible, given that the amount of online content doubles every 9 to 24 months. Keen to learn how to become a pro, last week I went to Charly’s Guardian Masterclass on ‘How to turn your blog into a brand’ to find out what it takes.

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