Friday, February 19, 2010

Formatting for the Kindle and EPub

DBW WEBcast Archives (BETA)

There's been lots of talk about this lately, and about the value of ebooks. I believe in ebooks. I believe they need to be priced reasonably, but I also think there needs to be a single format standard as that in itself would help publishers reduce the costs of producing them.

For all of you out there that thinks there is no cost, you are, quite frankly, wrong. There are costs, lots of them. Ebooks are not a cash cow for publishers. And they require, in many ways, more work to maintain the flow than a print copy does. Nor are ebooks just an additional. They are a product of their own and should be respected as such. Rant over.

 Digital Book World has lots of useful information, so I thought I would share.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Gwen’s Book Manuscript Submission Rules - Pre-Rules

Gwen’s Book Manuscript Submission Rules - Pre-Rules
A guide to increasing your chances of publication with your chosen publisher.

There are some really easy rules to follow when submitting your book for publication. You may find that others have a different opinion as to what is important, but after more than 15 years of reviewing submissions and publishing books, here’s my opinion on the process. Let me re-stress that. THIS IS ALL MY OPINION. I sent out to the Twitterverse a question on what people wanted me to talk about, and this was the number one requested topic. So, in my own way I’m serving up what you want. Do with it what you will, but I do hope that it will help in some small way get you on the road to publication.

There are a couple of pre-rules you should first address as a writer (you may note that I will use different language in these earlier posts to later posts as we move on to other topics). First is that I will use "writer" as a generic term simply meaning "unpublished writer". Once you achieve publication you move on to the land of "author." This to me is a logical progression, because being an author today involves a lot more than just writing. That though, will come up in later posts.

Before Submitting to Publishers: The Pre-Rules
Pre-rule 1. Write a book--a complete book. If it’s a series, you should have at least a full synopsis for each subsequent book. If this is your "first" book heading out to submission try to sell a standalone--or a standalone with potential. Trying to sell a series is difficult at the best of times and since you are an unknown quantity odds are really good you’ll get rejected if it’s presented as an incomplete series. The risk factor is simply too high for most publishers. Save the series for when you are established as an author.
Pre-rule 2. Edit the book yourself several times.
Pre-rule 3. Run spell check. Seriously. While not error-proof, it should give you a general run through and maybe catch obvious errors.
Pre-rule 4. Turn on the grammar function of your word processor and check to see what it says. I’m not advocating that you change everything to match the programs "rules" (because I really don’t want you to do that), but I do want you to LOOK at the suggestions it makes--the program has good reasons for making those suggestions.
Pre-rule 5. Send the book out to critique groups, peer review, writer’s groups etc.
Pre-rule 6. Re-edit based on feedback.
Pre-rule 7. Put the book away for a period of time. Say 30 days. Work on something else. Don’t peek, don’t tweak, don’t even think about it. Spend your time working on Pre-rule 8.
Pre-rule 8. Start building your community. That means social networking: Facebook, Twitter (forgive me the prod, but go buy All a Twitter: A Personal and Professional Guide to Social Networking with Twitter'>Tee Morris’ All a Twitter for help on getting started with Twitter, and start building your website. The sooner you do that, the better. You can do it blog style for free with a number of services out there, but do invest in your own domain name and email address.
Pre-rule 9. Re-read your manuscript and polish it up one last time. Tweak your synopsis (keep it short!).
Pre-rule 10. Decide on your publication route (I’m assuming you are choosing to attempt publication with a traditional publisher at this time otherwise you wouldn’t be interested in submission guidelines), and build a plan to achieve publication.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Website is moving

In preparation for a new site launch, we're switching hosts. Email may be down for a short while as we make the move. No panic... we're still here!

You can always reach us via Facebook or Twitter!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Scimitar Moon by Chris A. Jackson

At long last... the cover for Scimitar Moon, complete and ready to go! Actually, I have to give kudos to our new art direct, Alex White. The cover was ready darn quick and looked so cool - it was just regular production stuff that had us running tight to the schedule. We're trying to get Chris copies for Dragon*Con, so if you're going to be there, please visit his booth in the dealers room (Jax Books).
Chris and I talked for literally years about doing a book together. I'm glad that day has finally come.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Coming Soon!

We're in the final stages with the two books for August: Scimitar Moon by Chris A. Jackson, and Operation: Face the Fear (Volume 3 of the Declassified Files of the Team of Darkness) by Tony Ruggiero. That one's a bit of a mouthful, eh? Some days I think we hunt for the longest titles we can find. I should have final covers up shortly.

It's been a busy few months (they seem to always be!), and we've had great news: Madman's Dance has won the Silver IPPY - while it's not the top wins we got on the other two, it's unusual for a third volume of a series to win anything, so we're quite happy with that.

Philippa Ballantine (Chasing the Bard, Digital Magic) and Jana G. Oliver (The Time Rovers series) both sold books to big New York publishers... how exciting is that!?! Maggie Bonham (Lachlei and Howling Dead) just convocated with a Masters Degree.

I've got great authors. I can't say that enough. You all rock -- and now you're going places!

Friday, July 17, 2009

EMAIL is down, temporarily!

Moving our webhost over to a more updated server at our ISP. Please bear with us as the site may temporarily go down, and email is currently down (they said that wouldn't happen!). Oh well. You can always reach me on Facebook. Thanks!

Gwen Gades