How to get your self-published books into book shops

Getting your book into local shops is a good strategy. Here is a post about how to get book shops to take your self published books.

It is a good idea to pay particular attention to the section on how not to do this job. Always remember that you are dealing with another human being. Thinking how you would react in their shoes is a very useful approach.

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Converting a Word document into an ebook

This is a subject that causes trouble all the time. People like to control the way their book looks. Well, that is perfectly reasonable, after all the effort you have put into it. With a hard copy, you can control exactly how the book looks, especially if you have a patient printer working with you.

The key things to remember are:

  • What you see on your screen when you look at your work is not the finished product. It is only part of the process.
  • For an ebook, much of the appearance is controlled by the reader. Their device will adapt to make the book fit the screen, and they will set the font size to make it legible.

Your goal when you have finished in Word is NOT to make it look pretty. It is to make a file that:

  • will work with the printer’s typesetting system, and
  • will work with the software that will make your ebook.

This post explains how to prepare your file to convert to an ebook. If you do not follow this sort of advice, your book will look very odd, with random spaces in it. Following the same routine will also help with preparing a printed book.

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Just des(s)erts

We all know what it means, but a lot of people are unsure about whether to use “just deserts” or “just desserts”.

This is a thorough post about a confusing phrase: just des(s)erts.

And once you know which word you want, then you might hesitate about the spelling. This is easy. The double s in dessert stands for “sweet stuff”, which is always found in a pudding, but is much harder to find in a hot dry place.

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How to calculate your book’s length before writing

Are you planning a book?

Planning is a useful process, giving you direction, helping you stay on track, and letting you see how far through the process you are.

Some plans are reasonably standard. You can pick a template, and adapt it to your needs. Book planning isn’t like that for most of us. The creative process isn’t always that tidy.

So while this  post about how to calculate your book’s length before writing has some useful points, you need to take it with a pinch of salt. Particularly with obvious points, like the mid-point should be 50% of the way through.

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Scrimshaw and seersucker

It is time we had some word history. This time there are some classic muddles:

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Using book design elements in your marketing

Any marketing bod will tell you that branding is important.

The trm brand coves all sorts of different things, but one of the main visible aspects is a consistent image. It is useful if people can tell it is you at a glance. It will catch the interest of your fans.

Many authors spend ages finalising their book design, but pay little attention to the rest of the campaign.

This post explains how to pick up elements of your book design and use them in other ways, to reinforce your brand.

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Embracing audio books

This week, I’ve found a piece about whether you should make an audio book of your work.

And if you agree that the answer is yes, here are some links to previous posts to help you create one:

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It pays to pay attention to current customers

This week, we have a reminder that we should focus on the customer.

The trap is that it is too easy to forget that we are very similar to everyone else.

An idea may be fascinating, special, or original.

That is not the point.

We need to think about whether others will notice that difference from the crowd in the split second before they move on.

Get right back into the competition with the knowledge from this post.

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When is a typo not a typo? In the wor(l)d of Ulysses

This week, I’ve come upon a rather unusual post about typos.

Well Ulysses is an unusual book, for all sorts of reasons. O that basis, I suspect it is perfectly reasonable to have some unusual typo stories about it.

Is Ulysses is a book you have read? I must say, I haven’t got that far yet. One day, perhaps.

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Publishing poetry in the digital age

In all the discussion about self publishing, the main focus is usually about novels. The theory seems to be that everyone has a novel in them.

Occasionally there is a discussion about non-fiction.

So this post is particularly useful due to the rarity value.

How To Self-Publish and Sell Poetry in the Digital Era.

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