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Publishing tips and tricks

BookMachine’s blook: the project and the process

So, you may have heard, BookMachine have teamed up with Kingston University Press to publish a collection of blog posts. It’s called Snapshots: Bookmachine on digital, discoverability and collaboration and will be available in print and as an ebook. The blook was edited, designed and produced by a small team of students with next-to-no experience in book production, and they had just 7 weeks do it in. Sounds like a tall order? This is how we did it …

Lecturers Anna Faherty and Judith Watts from Kingston University’s Publishing MA course instigated, organised and have overseen the process. Without their round-the-clock dedication this project wouldn’t have even made it out of the pipeline.

They appointed an editor and project manager from the course (myself) to contact the 46 authors and contributors, collate the manuscript, brief the students and communicate with everyone (a lot).

Entrusted with content from some of the biggest names in the industry, what the student production team achieved in the given time was no mean feat. They took the basic manuscript and copy-edited, designed, typeset, proofread and converted it into an ebook – all the while juggling their other deadlines, internships and jobs.

And the result? We now have a professional-looking product that will sit proudly on our bookshelves (and e-readers) for years to come, and the practical knowledge and experience we need to fuel our future careers.

So take two amazing tutors, a dynamic and future-focused client and students with buckets full of enthusiasm, and you can get a lot more done than you might think.

You can read more about the blook here, or meet the team and get a sneak preview at BookMachine’s event at The London Book Fair.

Fifty Shades of Backlist Fiction

Judith SummersThis is a guest post from author Judith Summers, who is currently storming the Kindle charts with her book Dear Sister.

I’ve been a No.5  bestseller in the past, I’ve  been a No.4 bestseller – but it’s taken thirty years of being an author, ten published books and the advent of Kindle  for me to hit  the No.1  spot . Now I’ve finally scored – and with my  first published novel. Continue Reading →

The mysterious art of book rights

Tom-pic1Tom Chalmers is Managing Director at IPR License.

Are all authors fully aware of all the rights they hold to their work? Are too many missing out on potential revenue streams by ignoring overseas markets? How many understand their ownership of worldwide book rights?

The sometimes apparently mysterious art of book rights can often be misunderstood or simply ignored. Writers write and then the book sells in vast quantities all over the world. That’s how it works, doesn’t it? Continue Reading →

5 books to read before running the London Marathon

Co-instigator of BookMachine, Gavin, is running the London Marathon on 21st April in support of Book Aid.

It’s very tempting, when training for a marathon, to spend as much time reading about the theory of running, as actually running. If you’ve fallen in to this trap, and I certainly did for a while, you’re as well to make sure that you’re reading the right stuff. Here are my top 5 must reads about running… Continue Reading →

How publishing for different devices impacts design [SPONSORED POST]

Many design companies, like us here at HL Studios, come from a print or web-based background and have had to do some serious upgrading (of software, equipment and especially skills) to keep up with the multitude of digital devices available on the market today. Designing for these devices is quite complex, as each device has different characteristics that impact on the user experience. Continue Reading →

Top 10 Tips for new ebook assistants

ArundatiThis is a guest post from Arundati Dandapani, who has degrees in English and Publishing and has studied, worked and travelled in India, USA and the UK. Today she finishes a fixed-term tenure at Lion Hudson as an ebooks assistant in Oxford, and is gearing up for the e-launch of her first novel and the actual launch of her second. Follow @itadnura on Twitter and LinkedIn.
 

I have spent the past three and a half months working as an ebooks assistant for an Oxford based Christian publishing house producing books that aim to illuminate, detail, debate, commodify, beautify, and question the Christian faith in non-fiction and fiction offerings, and with over 300 ebook titles already selling on all major retailer/online portals.

Here are my top ten tips for anyone freshly entering the ebooks arena. Continue Reading →

6 questions for Katie Nicholls – Scout at Badcock & Rozycki Literary Agents [INTERVIEW]

Katie NichollsIf you were to job swap for a week; could you do what your colleagues do – and do it well? Could you manage a schools marketing campaign or an author tour? Could you line edit a cook book with consistency, while taking in changes from a live photo shoot?
 
How about the lesser known side of publishing? Think you could manage the rights sales for a third of the world for a week? Could you manage the production of a multi language printing? Or generate interest in a new launch just through your network of contacts like our interviewee below?
 
Katie Nicholls, of Badcock & Rozycki Literary Agents takes us through one of the more opaque sides of publishing: Scouting. Dib dib dib. Continue Reading →

What we’ve learned from writers on CompletelyNovel – a ‘read-this first’ for self publishers

Anna LewisThis is a guest post from Anna Lewis, who co-founded the book technology company CompletelyNovel with Oli Brooks in 2008. Since then, they have created CompletelyNovel.com, a community powered book-publishing platform bringing modern publishing tools to an online network of readers, writers and publishers. You can follow Anna on Twitter via @anna_cn and @completelynovel.

 

There is endless advice that goes out to self-published authors about building their brand, identifying their audience and how to promote their work. This is all vital in the success of a book, but writers shouldn’t let it detract from other parts of the self-publishing process – namely, the technical and project management (let’s be honest, slightly more boring) side of things.

Working with self-publishers on CompletelyNovel has been massively inspiring. Every day we see new writers produce something that they have often been waiting many years to see in print. The advent of new tools on the internet has opened up so many doors. But, like anything, it throws up new challenges as well. So here are some dos and don’ts for aspiring self-publishers and their mentors to mull over, learned through watching the experiences of others. Continue Reading →

It’s good to talk: How networking saved my book bacon

Jamie-Lee Nardone is Publicity Manager for Duckworth Publishers and is on Twitter: @JamieBookPR. She never turns down a glass of red or Ben’s cookie. Duckworth are always looking for people interested in work experience so feel free to get in touch: Jamie@duckworth-publishers.co.uk.

Some might say I was a late bloomer when it comes to the publishing industry. At the tender age of 24, my eyes were opened to the world of book PR via a small pub event. As I began to mingle, I realised how much I enjoyed talking to everyone about things that I really cared about-rather than just smiling and nodding. At the time I was doing work experience in events and paying the rent by working in a dog grooming salon. Nevertheless, I thought that I could reignite my childhood passion for reading (I was a proper bookworm) and combine it with talking a lot, meeting people and chin-wagging over a glass or two of vino. Subsequently, I decided to hound a Publicity Director I’d met-and three weeks later started working for her and never looked back.

That was just over two years ago, and now I am fortunate to have a job I love, great colleagues and friends I have made in my short career, alongside a swift education in social media. I get to meet amazing authors, journalists and fellow publishing folk, and despite the taboo subject of pay (publishing is notorious for this), I wouldn’t swap it for anything. Admittedly no expert on employment and a relative newcomer myself, here are my personal top tips for getting into book PR. Continue Reading →

Why Copy-Editing Skills is the ideal course for anyone looking to break into publishing…

When I left university I knew I wanted to work in publishing. I jumped straight in and got in touch with The Publishing Training Centre and luckily secured an internship. One attractive benefit of being an intern at The Publishing Training Centre is that you are allowed to attend a course of your choice. Having editorial work in mind, I chose Copy-Editing Skills, a three-day intensive course that covers everything you could possibly need to know about proofreading and copy-editing, which are two of the main duties of editorial assistants.

Continue Reading →

The Art of Bundling Short Stories

Felice Howden has been writing short stories for online publications for several years. Here she talks about the re-emergence of the short story. 

In the style of so many 90s TV shows, the short story is making a comeback, and if you think Captain Planet is cool as hell, you ain’t seen nothin’. While huge publishers like Random House, and… booksellers, Amazon, are now discovering something most of us have known for years (that short fiction is the greatest writing there is) there are a bunch of publishers out there who have been promoting the form for longer than I’ve been alive.

Continue Reading →

There’s no E in book: 5 non-digital book-based innovations

Printed books will never really go away. They’ll be superseded by e-books, sure. They’ll become a minority interest. They’ll be treated as relics of a bygone age, one where you had to actually leave the house to, y’know, get stuff.

But just as vinyl records have survived in the sweaty-but-carefully-dust-gloved hands of music geeks, and cinephiles are ignoring the convenience of watch instantly video streaming in favour of the hi-def glories of a decent Blu-Ray restoration, there will always be an audience, however small and specialist, for a nice binding and a dog-ear, ready and waiting for publishers to peddle their wares.

Alternatively, publishers could decide they’re not content to punt such simple pulp-and-ink pleasures, and instead chuck gimmick after gimmick at the reading public until something sticks. Either way. Here’s five of the latter. Continue Reading →

How to get in to the mobile app game without losing your shirt

Andy Roberts

 

Ustwo’s Nursery Rhymes iPad app by most measures is a success. An innovative interactive ebook, by mid-June after less than four months it had shifted over 37,000 copies, was subject to rave reviews and benefited from being promoted several times by Apple itself. Most developers would be extremely pleased. The only downside: £60,000 spent, £24,000 in income; it is still a long way off from breaking even.

There’s little doubt that their app will eventually make a decent profit. Ustwo was remaining fairly philosophical about the situation: “Innovate now, don’t think this is about making money now. It’s about pushing the medium forward. Have a lot of fun and you’ll benefit in the future.” A view I highly applaud, but a view which many publishers will understandably be weary of. There’s no shortage of avenues where money can be spent with no return! But mobile apps need not be one of them.

I’ve worked on a successful series of apps for an educational publisher. Below are my views about how publishers can get into the right frame of mind to approach the app market and avoid common pitfalls. Continue Reading →

5 things authors should know about bookshop events

Becky Hearne

Becky Hearne  is a former bookshop Events Coordinator, and has run book launches, talks, school events  and unusual book-related fun, such as literary speed dating. She now does freelance editorial and PR work for various publishers and authors, including Carnegie-longlisted author Nicola Morgan. She’s on Twitter: @bookshop_becky

1. I’ll start with the obvious: being nice matters.

Events are a lot of work for booksellers, and much of that time will be unpaid. Often, the bookseller will have  liaised with some of (or all of) the following: your publicist, your agent, your publishers’ rep, a wholesaler, librarians, teachers, head teachers, parents, the venue staff, and local newspapers/media. And, of course, you. Bookshops make money from events, but not that much when you consider the time put in. If booksellers like you, they will hand-sell your book; if they don’t, it’ll go in the returns box the morning after. Continue Reading →