Posts tagged Preparing to Publish
How To Format a Book When Self-Publishing

There’s more to self-publishing than throwing your book up on Amazon and calling it a day. 

To become a successful independent author, you must treat your writing as a business. Your books are your products, and to sell well, they must rival books produced by traditional publishers. To do this, you must give ample thought to every element of your books’ production, from editing and proofreading to cover design, back cover copy, formatting, and more.

Does that sound overwhelming? You’re not wrong. Indeed, there are a plethora of book production tools, services, and resources available to writers who choose to self-publish. But not all of these options are created equal. Some are more trustworthy than others, while some are simply better suited to certain books or writers.

How do you decide which options are best for you? Rather than fall victim to analysis-paralysis, let’s break down the most popular ways that self-published authors produce their books, beginning with five common interior formatting options…

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Five Tips for Landing Your First Short Story Publication

One thing I love about being an online creator is connecting with fellow writers producing incredible work.

One such writer is Mandy Wallace, a blogger and writing mentor whose resources at Write or Die never fail to leave me feeling encouraged and inspired. Earlier this week, Mandy published Landing Your First Publication, a short story writing prompt and publication strategy guide for writers who refuse to rely on luck.

When Mandy offered to send me an advanced reader copy of the book to review, I jumped at the opportunity — and I’m so glad I did. Landing Your First Publication is a beautiful and insightful resource for any writer looking to stop wishing and start making their publication dreams come true.

Today, I’d love to share five key submission tips I gleaned from this incredible resource:

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Seven Submission Tips From a Literary Agent’s Slush Pile

I’m an aspiring author. That means that every day I write, edit, query, and write some more. It means I attend conferences, network, and sit in crowded rooms “speed dating” with agents, hoping that one will choose to represent my work.

I’m also a Literary Agent Intern. That means that I watch as other people are chosen for representation while I keep querying each and every day. It means that I slog through hundreds of emails a month from the slush pile, hoping I can make another author’s dreams come true. It also means that I see the realities behind publication — that it takes work, grit, and a willingness to accept a few honest truths.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned while playing on both sides of the publishing fence:

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How to Identify and Cut Your Story's Filler


Have you ever read a novel that was far too indulgent for its own good?

Perhaps the plot dragged on and on or the prose meandered or the author spent a highly unnecessary amount of time on world-building or the color of their characters' hair. Maybe you weren't exactly sure where the author went wrong, but you know the book could have been at least fifty pages shorter. 

A touch of fluff bears little consequence, of course, but too much filler can easily weigh a story down. Knowing how onerous such indulgent stories can be, it's time we took a look at our own manuscripts and the fluff that may be lurking within. How can you identify and cut your story's filler? Let's discuss today, writers!

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How to Find and Fix Your Story's Plot Holes

When spending so much time working on our stories, it can be difficult to see the forest through the trees.

This is a phenomenon we discussed in our recent article on the importance of gaining objectivity as we edit. When we're in the thick of revising our stories, we may find ourselves so focused on all the little details that we want to improve that we fail to see some of our stories' biggest weaknesses. And the biggest of all, perhaps, are plot holes. 

What are plot holes exactly? And how can you find and fix them throughout your manuscript? Let's break down everything you need to know today, writer!

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How to Improve Your Self-Editing in One Simple Step

Struggling to feel confident in your self-editing skills? You're not alone, writer.

Both big picture revisions and tedious line-edits demand that writers consider countless facets of their work, from plot and character arcs to settings, themes, character development, and world-building, then on to dialogue, diction, sentence structure, tone, voice, atmosphere, and beyond. It's no wonder so many writers approach self-editing with extreme trepidation.

And while there are many techniques that can help writers approach revisions and line-edits with confidence, there is one especially powerful trick that I want to break down with you today: maintaining an objective eye. What is objectivity exactly, and how can it help improve your self-editing skills? Let's dive in! 

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How to Build Pre-Launch Hype for Your Novel (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. Never heard of it?

#StorySocial is the weekly chat I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern on Twitter. Each week, dozens of writers get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we returned to our book marketing roots to discuss building pre-launch hype for our novels.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? No worries. I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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Why might agents or editors reject your book? (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we talked about common manuscript "mistakes" that raise your risk of rejection.

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? Forgot all about it? No worries! I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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An Epic Guide to Self-Publishing Resources


Are you ready to prepare your book for publishing?

Congratulations! Self-publishing a book is a thrilling process, but it's often an overwhelming one as well. Fortunately, finding the right publishing team to help you bring your book to life can make all the difference.

Below, I've put together an epic list of trusted and experienced companies and freelancers offering project management, editing, proofreading, cover design, formatting, and other helpful services. Dive right on in and find your perfect team!

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The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing Your Fiction

As with much of anything, there are both advantages and disadvantages to self-publishing your fiction.

A few weeks back, we covered the pros and cons of pursuing a traditional book deal as a means of publishing your fiction and building a career in writing. Today, we’re flipping the tables and discussing the very same for self-publishing!

Do you think self-publishing might be the right choice for your fiction?

If you haven’t already, I recommend first checking out the other self-publishing articles in our publishing series before getting started with today's breakdown. You can find these articles here and here.

All caught up? Fantastic. Let’s jump straight into the pros & cons of self-publishing today!

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Breaking Down the Cost of Self-Publishing

There are many ways to self-publish a book.

If you're simply looking to make your book available online for whomever would like to read it, it's entirely possible to self-publish without spending a dime. 

If, however, you're interested in self-publishing a book that can rival the quality of those produced by traditional publishing houses, a few expenses will indeed come into play.

Throughout our publishing series, we've taken a look at both traditional and self-publishing options as a means of launching our writing careers. With that in mind, let's break down the costs of self-publishing a professional quality novel today.

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An Introduction to Self-Publishing Fiction

Hey, writer! Have you considered self-publishing your work?

Welcome to the 4th installment in our publishing series! As I mentioned in our introductory article, there are many reasons why a writer may choose to publish. But if you’re hoping to build a career from your writing, you’ve come to the right place! 

When it comes to building a writing career, self-publishing is just as valid a publishing route as going the way of agents, book deals, and publishing houses. 

Despite the stigma, many authors have found success in building personal self-publishing empires, including fellow writing bloggers K.M. Weiland and Joanna Penn, as well as authors like Hugh Howey, H.M. Ward, Amanda Hocking, and James Redfield.

So how can writers use self-publishing to earn a full-time living? Let's break down an overview of this topic today!

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The Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing

Both traditional and self-publishing routes give authors the opportunity to share their stories with the world while building their writing careers. But which publishing path you pursue shouldn’t be decided on a whim.

There are disadvantages to working within the publishing industry just as there are for indie authors publishing online. Knowing the pros and cons of both publishing routes is the key to making the best choice for your writing career. 

Last week, in the second installment of our publishing series, we broke down the path debut authors are likely to experience should they choose to pursue traditional publishing.

If you’re brand new to publishing and are unsure of how traditional book deals work, I encourage you to check out that article first. Then, come back to today's post for an in-depth look at the pros and cons of working within the traditional publishing industry.

Sound good? Let's dive in!

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Traditional Publishing: How Fiction Writers Nab Book Deals & Get Published

Are you interested in traditional publishing?

Welcome to the second article in our publishing series here at Well-Storied. Today, we’re exploring the most common way authors get published: traditional book deals.

Originally, I’d intended this post to include a breakdown of how traditional publishing works, as well as its pros and cons. But when outlining, I quickly realized just how much info I needed to convey, so we're breaking things up. 

Expect to see a second article on the pros and cons of traditional publishing soon! 

There are, of course, many ways in which an author can go about gaining an agent and landing a book deal with a traditional publishing house. Ask a slew of published authors about their experiences in the industry, and you'll get a slew of different answers.

But for simplicity's sake, today I’m going to break down the typical journey a debut author is likely to experience when publishing their book traditionally.

Your own experiences may vary, but if you’re brand new to traditional publishing, this article should give you a strong idea of how traditional publishing works. Sound good?

Without any further ado, let’s dive in!

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Publishing Your Fiction: Things to Know Before Getting Started

Recently, a shift has taken place in my writing life.

In my first five years of writing, I focused on learning the craft and improving my skills. During these years, I almost never felt that I'd written something worthy of publishing. My work simply wasn't up to par.

But now, that's beginning to change.

I'm finally coming to a place where I'm happy with my storytelling and prose. There's always more to learn and more room to grow, of course, but now I'm beginning to turn my eye toward publishing in earnest.

To prepare, I've been reading and researching everything I need to know about the publishing process, and I'm finally ready to share what I've learned with you in a new series on publishing. Hurray!

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Choosing Between Traditional and Self-Publishing (a #StorySocial recap)


Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we explored the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing, as well as how to choose the best route for your stories!

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? Forgot all about it? No worries! I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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How to Grow Your Fiction Readership on Social Media (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we explored how to grow your fiction readership with social media!

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? Forgot all about it? No worries! I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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Use Your Ideal Reader to Better Write and Market Your Books (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we explored how to use your ideal reader to better write and market your stories!

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? Forgot all about it? No worries! I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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My 5-Step Guide to Finding Your Ideal Reader (a #StorySocial recap)

Hello, friends! Time for another #StorySocial recap. In case you're new here (or if you've just yet to hear about our chats), allow me to cue you in: #StorySocial is the weekly Twitter chat that I host every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern.

Each week we get together for about an hour to chat about a fun writerly topic. This past Wednesday, we explored how to identify your ideal reader!

Did you miss out? Couldn't make it? Forgot all about it? No worries! I'm sharing a recap of this week's chat below. Check it out!

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How to Write Chapters That Captivate Readers

So, chapters.

It occurred to me the other week that I’d yet to talk about them here on Well-Storied, despite the fact that I’ve been running this show for well over two years now. How could I have skipped something so crucial to the structure of a good novel?

I'll be honest. For a long time, I really didn't consider chapters to be all that important. Chapters give your novel structure, sure. But over the years, I've come to realize that that's not all they do...

Chapters also create a sense of pacing, of forward momentum, and---if you play your cards just right----a sense of page-turning urgency. Chapter breaks aren’t just places for readers to stick their bookmarks. They’re an opportunity for you, the author, to further captivate them!

So how can you make sure you’re writing captivating chapters in your own novel? Today, I’m going to break this topic down by answering five of your most popular chapter questions. Let’s go!

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