Tag Archives: publisher

This is why book publishers want details about potential authors’ blog and social media footprint

2016-12-17

If you already have had an opportunity to talk to a book publisher or an agent about your terrific book concept, you may have been asked about your blog and social media presence. For you, they don’t necessarily have anything to do with your aspirations as a writer. Maybe you don’t even have a blog and your social media is mostly about watching cat videos on Facebook. Here is the thing: when a publisher is estimating the size of the market for your book concept, the audience you are able to reach yourself can be a significant factor.
man thinking what to write on aptop
Let’s take an example. You have been living and working in Berlin, the capital of Germany, for a year. You have learned so much about the culture, country and people that you are planning to write a cultural guide to other foreigners who intend to move to Germany. If you have a travel blog where you discuss about the country, the city, the language and the way Germans behave, you probably have an audience. Your blog or other social media contribution is also a quick way for publishers and agents to browse how and what topics you write about. If, on the other hand, you have only updated your Facebook page that your family and friends read during the year, it really doesn’t count as an audience.

Without going into details of blogging, tweeting, instagramming or whatever will be the next big thing in social media, the key thing is: how many people you can reach on your own?

Many experts in the publishing business call this the Author Platform. For an extensive explanation on the Author Platform (also known as the Writer’s or Marketing Platform) and how to build one for yourself, read this article at Writer’s Digest.

The Platform concept is particularly useful for nonfiction writers. Publishers and naturally readers expect that the writer knows what he or she is talking about. The writer must be an authority of the topic of the book. This doesn’t mean that he or she should be a world-renowned expert, but should have the credibility so that the audience can trust the information in the book. Experienced, professional writers can write just about anything, but they have plenty of techniques and contacts for verifying the information they write.

If we use the cultural guide to Germany as an example, living and working for a year in Berlin gives enough experiences to write a book, but probably means that the guidebook won’t dive very deep into the local culture. If the aspiring author writes the manuscript in Berlin, it may take another year, and the authority only grows.

So, these two key things are the reasons why publishers and agents are interested in writers’ footprint (both in the real world and on the Internet):

1. Audience
2. Authority

When we discuss about writing and book publishing, we easily neglect an important factor that impacts both the publishing decision and the whole book project. Especially nonfiction books are not only about text, but also about photos, schemas, tables, drawings, and today also (thanks to ebooks) about animations and videos. If you can shoot decent photos or videos, draw pictures or put together smart data tables, it is a big advantage for you.
photographer taking a photo in flower field
If you have a plan for a nonfiction book, and are looking for an ebook publisher, read this as well.

A publisher caught loaning its own ebooks from library for profit

2016-11-21

In some countries, like Sweden, public libraries have an advanced system for citizens to loan ebooks. All parties, libraries, citizens and publishers have been happy to the system, because it works, allows budgeting for libraries, and enables some business for publishers. Now, a Swedish publisher has discovered an old-school method to cheat the system. The publisher’s family members loaned as many their own company’s published ebooks as they could from the library in order to generate revenue from the loans.
acer b3-a20 tablet, 10 inches, Android 5.1
This is how the library system works in Sweden. Digital media distrubutor Axiell maintains a platform that connects publishers and libraries. A publisher uploads ebooks they want to make available for libraries to the system, and sets the price per loan for each book. Libraries search the system for ebooks. When they discover what they want, and the price is right, they make the ebook available for their community.

Each loan of an ebook generates a small amount of revenue for the publisher of the book.

That is exactly what the family of the small publisher in southern Sweden had been ordered to do.

Helsingborgs Dagblad reported that the scheme was discovered in the library of small community Burlöv in South Sweden. The community is so small that library staff took notice of strange peak in loans on the first day of each month. That’s when six family members of the publisher loaned as many ebooks as they were allowed to loan each month. They could borrow 36 ebooks altogether, but in a small community, they had already consumed half of the monthly budget that library had reserved for ebooks.

Family members had been able to get library cards to other nearby libraries as well. They had implemented the same routine in three libraries, at least.

So far, the estimated total profit the publisher had managed to generate is less than 10 000 euros (82 000 Swedish kronor). More libraries may discover they have been cheated as the news spread.

Police report has been filed, and what-went-wrong analysis has started. Publisher’s all ebooks have been removed from the library system.

The case may not be as straightforward as one might think. The family members had legal library cards. They used their right as citizens and library card holders to loan ebooks from public libraries.

Surprisingly, the platform provider Axiell recalls a similar case that happened in 2014. A publisher had loaned its own ebooks, got caught, and was reported to the police. Axiell, however, didn’t modify the platform to detect behavior like this. When asked why, Axiell representative responds that the platform doesn’t store any personal information that could be used to track users.

Axiell has informed libraries that it will fully compensate them, and pay the estimated loss 82 000 krona back to libraries. Obviously, Axiell seeks to settle the case with the publisher in or out of court.

This is why Table of Contents is so important part of a nonfiction book proposal

2015-08-10

So you have the world’s greatest idea for a book? It is not an idea for a novel but a nonfiction book that will make your own and the rest of humankind’s lives better. Excellent. Publishers are listening to ideas like yours. Pretty soon, however, publishers will request a table of contents for the book from the author. Here is why it is so important.
Apple iPad, ebook, eyeglasses, books,
If you have looked at book proposal forms that big publishers want authors to fill in, you have noticed that they require plenty of information. At some stage during a book project, all that information may become useful, but in the early stages, it is really three key points that matter when drafting a book proposal:
1. Theme of the book.
2. Target audience.
3. Table of contents.

First, you have to be able to explain why your book idea is so compelling that it must be written, published and marketed. A short argument that is easy to understand is usually better than one that requires long explanation.

Second, the first thing that writers learn at a writing course is that you should always write to a predefined target audience. Once you have managed to narrow down your target audience, it actually makes writing easier. It is time well spent when planning a book.

Third, table of contents (TOC) tells a publisher many things:

  • What the book really is all about. Exciting ideas are appreciated, but a TOC really has to nail down the essence of the book.
  • The scope of the planned book. The author always has to draw the line somewhere – everything about a topic can’t be included in a book.
  • The focus of the book. The TOC has to reflect the key themes of the planned book.
  • Headings indicate author’s style. If the headings and structure resemble a scientific paper, it is likely that the outcome will be scientific as well. If the headings are smart and witty, the chances are higher of getting a manuscript that features creative writing.
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    So, if you have been brainstorming ideas for a book, but you are not sure which one will stick, draft a table of contents for each one. If you can create a credible TOC that looks like something people would want to read about, you may have something that’s worth pursuing.

    Amazon Kindle ereader on PC keyboard

    The Best Ebook Self-Publishing Services as Rated by Authors

    2015-01-03

    Ebooks not only generate income for established authors, but they have also enabled thousands of new authors to kickstart their writing careers. New ebook publishers, like Klaava Media, and new self-publishing services provide opportunities for writers to get their works in front of large audiences.

    The Independent Publishing Magazine has collected an extensive list of self-publishing services, and also ranked the services. Authors who have used self-publishing services themselves have provided the ratings for the list.

    The Independent Publishing Magazine
    The Independent Publishing Magazine.