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Steph Post’s New Author Survival Guide

A guest post by Steph Post. Today marks the one year anniversary of the release of A Tree Born Crooked. The past year has been a roller coaster of a ride, with fortunately more highs and lows, and the learning curve has been steep. In honor of my first book's first birthday, I'm offering a gift of sorts: Steph Post's New Author Survival Guide! (Also known as a list of things that have kept me off the ledge during this…

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Books and Amazon’s New Third-Party Seller Policy

Recent changes to policies and fees for third-party sellers who sell Media products on the Amazon Marketplace on has elicited questions from book resellers and small presses. Here is a sampling of articles and threads discussing those changes:   "Small publishers in particular are dependent on backlist sales for their livelihood. Amazon is a Herculean player when it comes to backlist sales because bookstores favor front-list books. If you’re looking for a book that’s a year old or more,…

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Beginner’s Guide to Building an Online Platform

A guest post by Marla Sherman. Most of my experience in the world of publishing has been helping friends and colleagues to get their work published, so I never had the need to create a social media presence for what I do. But when I decided to go pro, I realized that my business was going nowhere without an online platform. Starting an online platform from scratch is a lot of work with little return, at least in the beginning.…

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Direct Submissions: Traditional Publishing, No Agent Required

A guest post by Jennifer Bort Yacovissi. It’s hard to overstate the changes to the publishing landscape over the last decade. The doors to the gates that regulated who got published have effectively been blown off their hinges, and authors are now awash in possible avenues to get their work out into world. For those trying to navigate their way through all the choices, the field seems to narrow to two primary options. On one end of the spectrum is…

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Downsizing To An E-Reader

My family is filled with serious readers. When together, we collect books, trade books, talk books. Even the little humans among us refuse to go to sleep without their favorite stories being read to them. Recently, during an all-hands-on-deck session to help a family member with a move, while packing up about 20 shelves crammed with books, I got to wondering. Remember how, back in the old days (and by “old,” I mean the pre-Kindle days), the worst part about…

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Amazon Vs. Hachette

Let me open this blog post by clearly stating my position: I am not for or against Amazon. I am not for or against Hachette. I am on the side of the marketplace. Sometimes, this is the toughest position to be in. Loyalty pulls in one direction while, often, practicality pulls in another. Consider: I am an avid reader of books. If I find myself in a store that sells books, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of me leaving…

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The Dumbest Thing I Ever Heard…Is True

In early 2010 I attended an event called “Eat, Love, Write.” It was a fundraiser featuring bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert and her sister Catherine Gilbert Murdock as the keynote speakers. Catherine is a successful author in her own right—specializing in young adult novels. During the question and answer session, someone asked, “How do I get an agent?” Catherine began to respond practically but then she interrupted herself and said, “Focus on the writing. If a book is meant to be…

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The Power of Good Enough

  I’ve read amazing authors, from Ken Kesey and John Steinbeck to James Lee Burke and Harper Lee, whose perfect, seamless prose carried me away to those wonderful, far places where books transport us. I never imagined I could be one of them. They never inspired me to write. My inspiration came from a very forgettable culinary mystery I got from the library. So forgettable that I can’t recall the name of the book or the author. I only remember…

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Choosing A Book Genre: Spice Girl

I have spent the last few months preparing for the launch of AVA. During this time I have experienced mild, but recurring, stress about the proper genre for my novel. Depending on which source I choose to trust, my book is either romantic thriller, romantic suspense, family saga, literary light, or chick lit. In order to make my decision, I combed industry sites, looking for expert opinions. My mouse clicked on RWA, ITW, AWWC, Writer’s Relief, and WIKI, among others.…

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Self-Publishing: Happily Ever After

I read romances. In fact, I’ve read hundreds of them including books written by Nora Roberts, Judith McNaught, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, Carla Neggers, Johanna Lindsey, Catherine Coulter, and Heather Graham. I read this genre, and these authors, because they are guaranteed to take me on a semi-unpredictable ride to Happily Ever After.  I say “semi” because I already know, at the time of purchase, that the man and woman will fall in love and ride/sail/bike/drive off into…

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