Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Writing Advice

Nathan Bransford wrote about 1st person narratives.

Rachelle Gardner wrote about lessons learned in the gym about writing.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Contests and eBooks

Nathan Bransford wrote All About Writing Contests.

Rory Maher and Henry Blodget wrote an article at TBI research on eBooks and who's making a profit on them.

Kristin Nelson wrote about a new Random House policy on eBook rights.

Rachelle Gardner wrote about self-publishing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Book designs, likable characters, and critiques

Nathan Bransford wrote How to Respond to a Manuscript Critique/Editorial Letter.

Jessica Faust wrote about Likeable Characters.

Peter Ginna wrote about The Publisher's Secret Weapon: Book Designers.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Money Making and Marketing

Nathan Bransford wrote The Economics of Publishing.

Jim Rubart wrote Four Major Marketing Principles: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Writing and Promotion

Rachelle Gardner answered questions about the Finances of Publishing.

James Scott Bell wrote Tips for Revising Your Manuscript.

Donald Maass wrote 4 Techniques to Fire Up Your Fiction.

Gail Carson Levine wrote about adding suspense to your story and about self-editing.

Camy Tang wrote about How to Plan a Blog Tour.

Stacy Deanne wrote about Online Book Promotion for Novels.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Writing, Author Websites, Deadlines, and Critics

Rachelle Gardner wrote All About Backstory.

Matilda McCloud wrote about avoiding predictable or cliche writing.

Jessica Faust wrote about things authors should consider including on their web sites and about Deadlines.

Cynthia Leitich Smith wrote Note to Debut Authors About Hurtful Online Reviews.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Royalty Statements, Writing, and Self-Publishing

Sorry for the late post; I've been sick.

Kristin Nelson wrote Royalty Statements: Lack Of Detail and Sales By Accounts.

Rachelle Gardner wrote Back to the Basics of writing.

Jessica Faust wrote Which Tense Is Best.

Maya Reynolds wrote Should You Self-Publish?

Monday, October 19, 2009

More on Writing, Publishing, and Promotion

Mary DeMuth wrote What It Takes to Become a Master Writer.

Jessica Faust wrote about how she analyzes manuscripts when considering whether to represent them or not, if category romance authors need an agent, and What Do Publishers Bring to the Table.

Kristin Nelson wrote about Nuts & Bolts: Royalty Statements: Accounting Periods, A Look At Random House, and Reconciliation To Print.

Rachelle Gardner wrote Protocol - When an Agent Offers to Rep You.

Eric wrote Co-Opportunities.

Joe Konrath wrote about Kindle Numbers: Traditional Publishing Vs. Self Publishing.

Nathan Bransford wrote Should You Pay Someone to Edit Your Work?

Monday, October 12, 2009

On Vacation

I'm on vacation for a week, so I don't have a post of interesting links for this week. I'll be back and posting links again by next Monday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting in the publishing door

Megan Crewe wrote about the myth of needing connections to get published in The publishing connections myth: Results!

Jessica Faust wrote Shoot for the Stars and Never Give Up and about knowing when your work is good enough to start querying.

Nathan Bransford wrote advice to Previously Published Authors who are querying agents and about Submitting to Editors Without an Agent and What Do Literary Agents Do?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Queries, agents, and writing

Kristin Nelson wrote Response Speak about what the various types of rejection letters mean.

Jessica Faust wrote about Choosing a Title and Writing the Rules.

Nathan Bransford wrote Will Authors of the Future Need Publishers?

The Rejecter wrote about Established vs. Less Experienced Agents.

Rachelle Gardner wrote an agents view of writer's conferences and Help! An Agent Relationship Gone Bad!

Daniel Menaker wrote about the challenges faced by editors in today's publishing industry in Redactor Agonistes.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Writing, Publicity, and Publishing

Victoria Strauss wrote about the Writers' Myth: "You Have To Know Someone."

Jessica Faust answered a writer asking How Close Am I? and The Importance of Writing Credits.

Janice Dunlap wrote about how One Thing Leads to Another in finding publicity opportunities for your books.

Kassia Krozser wrote about what she's learned about being a ebook publisher.

Natalie Whipple wrote about Beating Revision Fatigue.

Rachelle Gardner wrote Maybe You Shouldn't Quit Your Job Just Yet about advances and More on Advances.

Jennifer Deshler wrote In Support of Book Marketers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Nothing! *Gasp*

Shockingly, I didn't find any links this last week that I thought would be great to share. Then again, it's been a very busy week, so I haven't read much beyond my main-stays. Maybe you can use the extra time to read some old posts on this blog. To my USA readers, enjoy your Labor Day!

Monday, August 31, 2009

About the Publishing Process

PJ Nunn wrote about things an author needs to keep in mind about what happens after the book is published.

Nathan Bransford wrote How a Book Gets Published.

Kristin Nelson wrote What Agents Talk About When We Talk about Auctions.

Margot Starbuck wrote A Few Do’s & Don’ts of Writing Memoir.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Book Trailers and more

Victoria Strauss wrote Publishers' Kill Fees, and Why They're Bad For Everyone.

Rachelle Gardner wrote Myths vs. Facts of Publishing and Should You Go to a Writers' Conference?

Kristin Nelson wrote Why We Have A Marketing Director at her agency and How To Get Money Out Of A Publisher for promotion.

Jessica Faust wrote Before You Sign and answered Random Questions.

Shelli at Market My Words wrote about what authors can do to market their books.

Jennifer R. Hubbard wrote about creating tension by avoiding conflict.

Lisa Gottfried wrote about Book Trailers That Answer the Buy Questions.

GalleyCat wrote How Will Your Book Trailer Upend Readers' Expectations?

Linda Lane wrote about Powerful Verbs Bring Boldness and Vigor to Our Writing.

Peter Terzian wrote Kill Your Darlings cover designs.

Bok Market has a list of Twitter Tools for Finding People.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Writing, Publishing, and Social Networking

Helen Ginger wrote about Oh, Those Details! (creating atmosphere).

Patricia Stoltey wrote about Self-Editing: How to Identify Dragging Narrative.

Kristin Nelson wrote Do You Run Your Writing As A Business? (Part 1), (Part 2), and (Part 3).

Jessica Faust wrote about Obtaining Cover Blurbs and Hiring a Publicist.

Nathan Bransford wrote a Book Publishing Glossary.

Sonia Simone wrote The 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging.

Rachelle Gardner wrote about Two Things That Don't Help a Query (Part 1) and (Part 2). She also wrote Tighten Up Your Manuscript! and Social Networking in 15 Minutes a Day.

Walt Shiel wrote about Book Design vs Typesetting and recommended some Books on Book Design.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Advice for Authors

Jessica Faust wrote about Ghostwriting.

Rachelle Gardner wrote on Fiction Writing: Craft and Story.

Leon Neyfakh wrote an article in The New York Observer on Note to Author: Make Your Deadlines!

Alan Rinzler wrote Why a video will help sell your book.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Submissions and Writing

Jessica Faust wrote Submissions 101 for the basics on query letters, etc. and Be True to You in your writing.

Carly Wells wrote about Working With Your Partner, The Writer for what the spouses of writers can do to help.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Publishing, Writing, and Marketing

Rachelle Gardner wrote about the journey through the publishing process From Proposal to Publication: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and Part Five.

Maggie Dana wrote about How Book Design Affects Readability.

Jessica Faust write about typical word counts for various genre and I Stop Reading Your Query When...

Editorial Anonymous wrote how to tell whether a manuscript will be acquired.

Jane Friedman wrote How to Prevent Reader Boredom in Your Novel (Plot-Protagonist Secret #1).

Twitter 101 for Businesses is a guide to help people use Twitter effectively to reach people about your book, etc.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Writing and Promotion

Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen wrote 17 Reasons Book Manuscripts are Rejected.

Susan K. Perry wrote 11 Types of Bad Writing Advice: Rotten writing advice gets in the way of creativity & success.

International Thrill Writers website has several posts by debut authors on how to get published and lessons learn once published.

Victoria Strauss wrote Authorfail: When Authors Attack.

Janet Kobobel Grant wrote How Covers Can Go Wrong and What to Do About It.

Eric wrote Book Sales Demystified.

Jessica Faust wrote about what agents/editors mean when they say they're looking for a unique or different book.

Rachelle Gardner wrote 10 Things Editors Look for in Nonfiction.

Thomas Umstattd wrote 6 Things Readers Want from Your Author Website and How to Avoid Lame Author Portraits.

An article on Microgeist discusses 10 Crucial Basics For Driving Blog Traffic.

Tim Ferriss gives 8 Blogging Tips.

And, if you want to know how Twitter users get icons into their tweets, go to TwitterKeys.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Writing, Revising, and Marketing

Rachelle Gardner gave advice on creating your Elevator Pitch.

Jennifer Fulwiler wrote How to Build Traffic on Your Blog, Part 2

Alan Rinzler wrote Choosing a freelance editor: What you need to know.

On Hatrack, we're discussing articles and such on medical research that might help with writing a Sci-Fi story.

Monday, June 29, 2009

How to Have Fun on Twitter

Some people don't use Twitter because they're not comfortable with computers and have trouble using the service. Others have considered Twitter and decided they don't have time for or interest in doing more social networking. For this post, I'm assuming neither is true. Instead, you simply don't understand why some people think it's so fun. Here's how to have fun on Twitter.


If you haven't already done this, you first need to sign up for Twitter. Once you've created your account and are signed in, click on "Settings" in the top right-hand corner and fill in the information. Use your real name (not your User ID) in the name section so that your friends can easily find you, and make sure to list some of your interests/hobbies in the bio section.

If you need a basic orientation to using Twitter, read The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter and/or The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.


Idea 1: Click on the "Find People" link in the top right-hand corner. Search for "Mr. Tweet" and click on the "follow" button. (@MrTweet is at the top of the search results.) Mr. Tweet will recommend people to you who have similar interests. Follow other people in your industry or with similar hobbies or people who just sound interesting to you.

In "Find People," also try searching for the names of your friends or favorite celebrities. Or search for your favorite non-profit organization and follow their tweets.


Idea 2: Start networking in your industry. Try a web search for Twitter directories. For example, if you're interested in the publishing industry, check out A Directory of Book Trade People on Twitter and A Directory of Authors on Twitter.

Pick a few people that sound interesting and start following them. Feel free to interact with and occasionally ask questions of professionals doing business tweeting but don't bug anyone or they may block you.

In my case, I can rarely travel to writer/publishing conferences. I can usually find out what's going on at those conferences, though, by following an agent, publisher, or writer who's going to the conference. Conference attendees often report on what's going on. Hashtags (see below) also help with this aspect of networking.


Idea 3: Go to WeFollow. If you love to hear news as it happens, type #news in the search box at the top of the page. The search will bring up a list of news stations that are on Twitter. You can click a name to look at their Twitter feed and see if you like it. If so, you can click on the follow button (assuming you're still signed in to Twitter). You can find interesting people on WeFollow by typing in key words of topics that interest you.


Idea 4: Install a Twitter application like TweetDeck or Twirl so that you receive updates as they happen in real time. You don't have to have the application going every moment of every day, but it's so much easier to interact with people and follow events in real time.


Idea 5: Follow hashtags using Twazzup or other Twitter search engines. Hashtags are word(s) or acronyms with # attached to the front. They are a way to talk about certain topics with people who share an interest but who don't follow you.

Hashtags aren't standardized, so you'll find people tweeting using the #book or #books hashtag and #giveaway or #giveaways hashtag, etc. Search for hashtags on topics that interest you, but try several variations when randomly searching. Here are some ideas:

Have trouble coming up with things to say? Then answer other people's questions by attending a chat like #writechat or #followreader or #litchat. (You can find more chats on all subjects at Twitter Chats.

Are you interested in outer space? Search #space or #NASA. Or you can follow an astronaut, @Astro_127, who's getting ready to launch in July and who will Twitter from space.

What to see history being made? Follow #iranelection or someone like @persiankiwi or @LaraABCNews. (Though this topic is getting quiet now.)

Want to talk books? Follow #reading or #books and chime in with what you're reading.


Idea 6: Here are a few social "rules of thumb" that may make Twitter more fun for you.

(1) You don't have to follow a stranger just because they follow you. Look at their Twitter page to see if they're talking about things that interest you and update their Twitter page at a rate that you're comfortable with. If so, follow them. If not, don't follow them. You won't hurt their feelings if you don't follow strangers back. However, family, friends, and people that you've asked to follow you will probably get a bit miffed if you don't follow them back.

(2) Tweet about what interests you, not about what you're doing. (I know what the prompt says, but that's a relic from Twitter's not-so-distant past.) What interests you will probably interest others. On the other hand, people rarely care what you're currently doing unless it's interesting. Twitter isn't about entertaining other people with brilliant tweets (though it's great if you can do that). It's about talking with people who share your interests.

Since you'll probably ask: Yes, you may occasionally talk about the weather, what you ate, and other mundane topics, but try to refrain unless they really matter or are interesting. For example, "I just had the best Italian meal of my life at a local restaurant named ____" or "Wow, I just heard the tornado sirens go off. Gotta go!"

(3) Ask simple questions of your followers to get to know them and make friends. If they take the time to respond, say something back even if it's just "thanks for responding!" I discovered that what tea I'm drinking can start quite a discussion. Experiment, but try to vary things from day to day so you don't get boring.


Now, go out, experiment, and have fun.

Social Networking, Marketing, Publishing

Andrew Zack wrote The Lie that is Bookscan.

Nathan Bransford wrote about querying your novel when it's like a best-seller.

Barry Eisler wrote It's The Marketing, Stupid about writing your author bio.

Chip MacGregor wrote Ten Marketing Questions Authors are Asking.

Charlotte Abbott wrote Do Twitter and Blogs Really Drive Book Sales?

Jennifer Fulwiler wrote about How To Build Traffic on Your Blog (Part 1).

Brian Clark wrote Is Commenting on Blogs a Smart Traffic Strategy?

Mr. Tweet wrote 10 Tips For Managing Twitter As Your Usage Increases.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Variety of Topics

Nathan Bransford has created a Writing Advice Database of his previous posts.

Brian Clark wrote The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words.

Rachelle Gardner wrote about The Dreaded Author Platform and Questions to Ask an Agent when you get "the call."

Arsen Kashkashian, a book buyer for a store, wrote Random House's Hail Mary Pass about deciding which books to purchase for the store and how many.

Beirut wrote 25 Hard Learnt Twitter Survival Lessons: Dos and Don’ts!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Promotion, Revision, and Query Letters

Colleen Thompson wrote about "Secrets” of the Selling Romance Synopsis.

Alex Sokoloff wrote about Top Ten Things I Know About Editing.

Nathan Bransford wrote a Revision Checklist.

Since we're into revision/editing today, I'll include an old post of mine on How I Revise.

Jessica Faust wrote about how self-publishing affects your querying.

Rachelle Gardner answered the question: Query via Email or Wait for Conference?

Maria Schneider wrote about A Pain Free Method of Self Promotion.

Brandilyn Collins posted a bunch of respectful rants writers had about reader behavior...so now you know what to look forward to.

Booksquare University has a video explaining The Truth About Twitter (i.e. what it's good for).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Backups and writing

Sarah Rees Brennan wrote Because It Really Could Happen To You about backing up your author blog/website just in case someone hacks into it.

Clarkesworld magazine has an interview by Jeremy L.C. Jones called The Story is All: Ten Fiction Editors Talk Shop.

Jessica Faust has posted Publishing Dictionary Expanded.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Agents, Marketing, and Good Writing

Nathan Bransford wrote about Taking a Chance on a Young Agent and A Day in the Life of a Book Marketing Manager.

Victoria Gallagher wrote about why good book titles are important for good covers.

Kristin Nelson wrote about The Number One Thing important to good book openings.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Queries, publishing, and learning how to write

Kristin Nelson wrote So-N-So Recommended Me about mentioning referrals in your query letter.

Jessica Faust wrote about Re-Pitching Agents.

Nathan Bransford wrote about Re-querying an agent.

Moonrat wrote about royalties, advances, and rights sales.

Rachelle Gardner wrote How Do You Learn to Write?

Hatrack River Writers Workshop has a post going about reality mistakes in books and movies.

More Social Networking Links

Leah Jones wrote a great article about There's theory behind that there Twitter about why Twitter is an effective way to social network.

Mr. Tweet wrote a post about Twitter called How to Use Hashtags.

A great Twitter search engine is Twazzup. And a great URL shortener service is tr.im.

Jennifer Van Grove shared HOW TO: Exchange Business Cards With Twitter @Replies.

James Mallinson wrote The Fine Art Of Balancing Your Twitter Conversations.

Ari Herzog wrote about 6 Twitter Search Services Compared.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Writing Tips and Publishing Answers

GenReality wrote a post on Mistaking Action for Plot.

Writer's Digest has an article on 5 Easy Tips to Strengthen Your Scenes.

Kimberly Davis wrote Character in Fiction.


Moonrat wrote what's safe to syndicate online? about how much of your story it's safe to post online without losing electronic rights.

Kristin Nelson wrote about how agents submit manuscripts to editors.

Dana Lynn Smith wrote 7 Common Mistakes Authors Make in Social Marketing.

Victoria Strauss wrote about Agent for a Day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Queries and Pitch Sessons

Kristin Nelson wrote Get Specific Names about telling your agent which publishers you've previously submitted your query to.

Janet Reid wrote Pitch sessions suck, it's true; yet, you can make them worse on big no-no's when pitching your manuscript.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Writing and Query Letters

Rachelle Gardner wrote Anatomy of a Winning Query.

Therese Walsh wrote Help for a query hater on writing query letters.

Rakesh Satyal wrote about Finding Time to Write.

The Professor wrote 10 Ways to Become a Better Writer which contains a number of excellent links for free books, free writing courses, links for research, and so on.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Publicity, Writing, and Query Letters

Colleen Lindsay wrote about the differences between publicity and marketing and How to work effectively with your publicist.

The Rejecter wrote The Death of a Contract about how a publishing contract signed by both parties can still be severed.

Toni McGee Causey wrote How Do You Know When To Quit?

Chuck Dixon wrote about Stupid Gun Mistakes EVERY Writer Makes.

Jane Friedman wrote about Avoiding Red-Flag Mistakes on Your First Page.

Rachelle Gardner wrote about Giving Reasons for Rejections.

Jessica Faust wrote more on when to stop submitting a Query Letter.

Nathan Gransford wrote about Be An Agent for a Day: The Results!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Writing and Promotion

Author Matthew Cheney wrote If Only I'd Known: Writing Advice to My Younger Self.

Holt Uncensored wrote about Ten Mistakes Writers Don’t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do).

Shrinking Violet Promotions wrote about Worst Advice for Introverts.

Michelle McLean wrote about Research Tips: How to Find Your Information Without Losing Your Mind.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lots of Links on Lots of Topics

Rachelle Gardner wrote on What Your Query Says About You and 10 Things to Expect from an Agent.

Kristin Nelson wrote about The Pain Merchants Title Saga, Guest Blog: Janice’s Editor Donna Bray On The Pain Merchants Title Change, Janice Hardy's Query Pitch, and linked to an inspiring video she called Know no limitation.

Sarah talks a bit about marketing and publicity at a publisher.

Yen describes the difference: Advertising vs. publicity.

Allison Winn Scotch wrote about the reasons To Tweet or Not to Tweet…

Shrinking Violet Promotions wrote about Workshop Proposals for giving workshops at conferences and such.

Jessica Faust wrote about Earning Royalties.

randfish wrote about 21 Tips to Earn Links and Tweets to Your Blog Post.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Agents and Writers

Alexander McCall Smith on the intense personal relationships readers form with characters and the ways that complicates the lives of authors.

The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter.

Jessica Faust has an Authorpass and Agentpass Day where she talks about what she appreciates from an author.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Publicity and Writing

Nathan Bransford wrote On Conflict in stories.

Jessica Faust wrote on What Can Authors Do to Sell Books.

Charlotte Abbott wrote about To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Twitter Basics for Publishers and Authors about promoting books in 140 characters or less.

Kristin Nelson wrote You’ve Got Google Questions? Authors Guild Has Got Answers.

Randy Ray wrote about 50 Useful Blogs for Writers.

Jay Lake started a blog discussion asking published writers How many rejections have you had?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Writing and Networking

Nathan Bransford wrote about character motivation in What Do Your Characters Want?

H. L. Dyer wrote about Social Networking Basics.

And, for those using twitter, Sarah Perez wrote about a service that will explain What Does that Hashtag Mean?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Writing, Marketing, Publishing News, and Social Networking

Jessica Faust wrote about Selling Yourself in query letters.

Shrinking Violet Promotions wrote about Swagology 101.

Penny Sansevieri wrote about 50 Things You Can Do to Promote Your Book.

Kristin Nelson wrote about publishing news about the company Anderson News.

Rich wrote about To return or not to return: is that the right question?

Toni Andrews wrote about Confessions of a Contest Judge, Part 3: Thinking Like a Point of View Character.

Cathy Witlox wrote about Editors' Pet Peeves.

Nick O'Neill wrote about 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know.

David Niall Wilson wrote about using the internet to promote yourself or your company.

Michael Hyatt has written The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.

Sherice Jacob wrote about 10 Twitter Tools that Help You Work Smarter and 10 MORE Must Have Twitter Tools.

And here's instructions on how to How To Opt-Out Of Receiving Automated Welcome DMs on Twitter.

Tim Ferriss wrote about How to Use Twitter Without Twitter Owning You - 5 Tips.

Laurel Touby talked about doing online book parties and using twitter hash tags to have book parties in The Book Party in the Digital Age.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Book Design

Here's some videos on book design:

Book design history:
C.S. Richardson on Book Design, Clip 1

Modern Interior Book Design:
C.S. Richardson on Book Design, Clip 2

Book Cover Design:
C.S. Richardson on Book Design, Clip 3

Queryfail, Novelfail, Marketing, and Writing

Agent Rachelle Gardner wrote about Prepare Yourself for Success.

Shrinking Violet Promotions has a post about You Don’t Have To Go It Alone--Marketing Co-ops.

Kristin Nelson wrote about what to do when your book gets a bad review in So PW Hates Your Book.

Tara Lazar wrote about Query Fail: How Not to Land an Agent. (Agents shared in #queryfail specific lines from queries that turned them off from a query. Tara Lazar read these and picked out some reoccurring themes and gave specific examples from the #queryfail twitter feed. Due to complaints by authors who apparently made these mistakes, she's now diluted the post so people can't see specific lines to avoid, but the post is still helpful. The specific examples should still be available at: #queryfail mainly posted on March 5, 2009.)

There is also a #novelfail where there are tweets about where and why a writer lost an agent as a reader.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Writing, Getting Published, and Making Money

Angela Scheff at Zondervan guest blogged about Being Proactive about Your Cover and Title. If you want some influence on these factors, read her advice.

Jessica Faust at Bookends wrote about Quotes on Books, Query Statistics, and Error-Free Manuscripts.

Nathan Bransford wrote about The Art of Summarizing Your Work and Sympathetic vs. Unsympathetic Characters. He also wrote about the Book Revenue Breakdown (posted on Feb. 23, 2009), but the post doesn't seem to want to be linkable. To quote it:

There were also some questions about how much an author receives from a book sale, so I thought I'd provide a handy dandy breakdown. This varies greatly depending on what discounts the publisher is extending to booksellers/distributors/wholesalers etc. and what royalty the author is receiving from the publisher. I'm not going to get into what is a "typical" royalty, and please don't consider the below as such, because I can't discuss proprietary info. But here's a basic (and rough) rule of thumb to help with your calculations:

Start with a $24.95 hardcover.

Discounts to booksellers vary, but for a rough estimate figure that the publisher receives around 50%.

Let's say the author has a 10% retail royalty, and the author has an agent who receives 15% of the author's share. This works out to (again, roughly):

$12.48 to the bookseller (50%)
$9.98 to the publisher (50% minus author/agent share)
$2.12 to the author (10% of retail minus 15%)
$0.38 to the agent (15% of 10%)

For another example, let's take a $14.95 trade paperback where the author receives 7.5% retail. That translates to:

$7.48 to the bookseller
$5.83 to the publisher
$0.95 to the author
$0.17 to the agent

So there you have it. Note that the author (and agent) do not actually receive the above money until the advance has "earned out," meaning until all those little $0.95s per book have exceeded the amount the publisher paid as an advance. Subrights revenue, i.e. first serial (excerpts in periodicals), permissions, electronic, etc. also go towards paying down that advance.

Also note that this (thankfully) doesn't include rights the agent/author might have reserved, such as audio rights, foreign, and dramatic rights, which can be very important in helping authors earn enough for a new couch to sit on as they frantically write their next book in the hopes of landing the money for a new coffee table.


Kate Elliott wrote on DeepGenre about Writing Process: Writing With A Craft Goal In Mind.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Book Covers and other things

Jessica Faust at Bookends wrote Networking through Submissions.

Kristin Nelson wrote advice on writing synopsis.

Orbit posted two articles on what goes into making a book cover: The Making of an Urban Fantasy Cover: Part I and The Making of an Urban Fantasy Cover: Part II

A number of agents have critiqued the first 250 words of completed but unpublished novels over at Miss Snark's First Victim.

Angela James wrote an article on the pros and cons of epublishing.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Editors Comments on Beginner Writing

I just saw this article (Agents and Editors: A Q&A With Four Young Editors by Jofie Ferrari-Adler) and wanted to post this excerpt:

On the flip side of that, give me some things that you find beginning writers doing wrong.

NASH: Not listening. Not listening to the world around them.

GARGAGLIANO: Trying to sell stories that aren't really a book. They're not a cohesive whole. There's no vision to the whole thing that makes me feel like this person has a reason for writing a story collection other than that they had twelve stories.

NASH: Assuming that having an attitude equals...anything.

CHINSKI: Or assuming that good writing is enough. I'm sure we all see a lot of stuff where the writing is really good. It's well crafted and you can tell that the writer has talent. But, again, you don't really feel like the writer necessarily believes in his or her ability to open it up into a novel. I know the old adage "write what you know." I'd kind of rather somebody write what they don't know. And figure out, beyond their own personal experience, why what they're doing should matter to the reader.

BOUDREAUX: I've always wanted to give people that advice too. "Do you have to write what you know? If you know it, I might know it. Which means I've already read it. Which means that your book is the nineteenth novel about a mother-daughter relationship. And I. Don't. Care." The crudest way to put it is the "Who cares?" factor. Why, why, why do I need to read four hundred pages about this? The necessary thing, and the authentic thing, and the voice thing are all much better ways of saying it than the "Who cares?" factor, but it's basically the same thing. "What is the necessity of reading this? What are you doing that is different?"

CHINSKI: I'd rather somebody be ambitious and fail a little bit than read a perfectly crafted, tame novel.

NASH: I have published novels, especially first novels, that I knew failed on some level because of what they were trying to do. I felt that that was okay.

CHINSKI: That's more exciting.

NASH: But what would be the version of that that actually answered your question?

CHINSKI: "Have courage"?

NASH: Don't try to be perfect. Don't be boring.

CHINSKI: That's really what it is 99.9 percent of the time—good writing, but boring. And it's the hardest thing to turn down because you think, "This is good. But it doesn't do anything for me."

BOUDREAUX: That's the thing. You're like, "There's nothing wrong with this. I've got nothing to tell you to do to fix it. It's just...there."

CHINSKI: And that's a hard rejection letter to write, too. Because it's not like you can point to this, that, and the other thing that are wrong with it. It just doesn't move you in any way. It doesn't feel necessary.

Monday, February 16, 2009

eBooks, Publishing, Promotion, and Writing

Kristin Nelson wrote about When An Imprint Goes Bye-Bye how it affects an author with that imprint. She also explains what Co-Op means and how it's done.

Jessica Faust wrote Rules of Writing and Post-Rejection Protocol and writing The Synopsis.

Nathan Bransford wrote about What Should (ebook) Content Cost.

Alan Rinzler wrote about How successful writers keep up their confidence.

Mike Elgan wrote Here Comes The Ebook Revolution which covers the history of and current motivating forces behind moving to ebooks.

grace_draven wrote about book covers and why their appearance matters.

CJ Lyons wrote about Building Your Brand.

Nice-Mommy-Evil-Editor wrote a post about the Epublishing Business Model.

Laurel Touby spoke about promoting your book through online avenues, which includes information on how to use Twitter to host a book party.

There's a discussion on Hatrack River Writer's Workshop on curse words in fantasy novels.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Bunch of Topics

Jessica Faust at Bookends wrote about What the Editors are Looking For, Sex and Fiction, Dissecting the Form Rejection Letter, and Trying to Get an Agent Just Sucks.

Nathan Bransford wrote about It's the End of Publishing As We Know It.

Shrinking Violet Promotions interviewed author Susan Wiggs about promotion and marketing from an author's viewpoint.

Evil Editor wrote about why you have to research the facts when you're writing fiction.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Twitter and Social Networking

If you've heard about Twitter, Jennifer Tribe is creating a A Directory of Book Trade People on Twitter. She also describes how to use Twitter.

GalleyCat is also conducting a poll on the Best Social Networking Books Site (including such sites as GoodReads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Covers, Writing, Staying Published

Jessica Faust at Bookends wrote a post about why Attitude Matters in staying published. She also wrote Be Careful of Assumptions about why your query letter or manuscript was rejected.

Kristen Nelson on Pub Rants wrote about author consultation on book covers and What We Say When We Talk About Covers.

On Hatrack River Writers Workshop, there's a discussion on What constitutes publishing? (specifically, if some writing was posted online, would it hurt future publishing opportunities).

Evil Editor explains backstory and how to do it well.

Madeleine Robins explains on DeepGenre why sometimes it's okay to put cliches in your writing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Book Proposals and Book Promotion

Shrinking Violet Promotions interviewed Jennifer Taber of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt about how to promote your book.

Jessica Faust at Bookends wrote about What Is a Book Proposal for Fiction Writers.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Book Proposals and Working in Publishing

Jessica Faust wrote about how to write a Book Proposal for Nonfiction Writers. She also wrote about Packaged Fiction.

Nathan Bransford wrote about How To Find A Literary Agent and Word counts.


Anna Genoese wrote about How Does One Get Started in Publishing?