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The Business of Being An Author

Even if you're an accomplished writer, it takes more than a few hundred brilliant manuscript pages to become a successful book author. From writing an attention-getting query letter or book proposal, to understanding the clauses of a book contract, to marketing and publicity in the digital age, the business of being a book author is hard work and can be as complex as it is rewarding.

The Six Habits of Successful Authors
Whether it’s the dawn of a New Year for you, or just the cusp of a personal commitment to become a published author, here are some practical habits — and examples from pros — that can help you go from staring down a blank page to literally or virtually “piling up” the manuscript pages.

What (Not to) Expect From Being Published: Facts About Being a Book Author
Many people think that being a published author is a guarantee of money, book parties and book tours -- it's a common misconception that the average author can expect those things from his or her publisher. If you aspire to being a published book author, read about what to realistically expect from the publishing experience.

Taxes and the Book Author
Book authors face some unique issues when filing their taxes. From keeping records to deciphering what it means to be an "exception" to a key tax rule, read this round-up of tax-related issues that affect those who write books.

Tax Deduction Tips for Authors
When it's time to file your taxes as a book author, the more you know, the better. Sure — pens, computer printer ink and paper are deductible — but you might learn something new in these details and tips about book author tax deductions.

Hobbyist vs. Pro — Tax Guidelines for Book Authors
While many people are passionate about their writing and aspire to make a living at it, not every book author can claim to be a professional — "for profit" for purposes of their taxes. Read about the critical distinction the IRS makes between book authors who ply their craft for fun rather than write books for profit and depend on their writing...

Sales Tax Facts for Book Authors
Sales tax is a fact of retail life and authors who sell their own books directly to readers may be obligated to collect and remit sales taxes to their state tax authority. Read what you need to know about sales tax.

Book Advances and Royalties
Book royalties and book advances are the means by which publishers pay authors for their work and understanding how they work is critical to an author's business. Following is an overview.

Subsidiary Rights
"Subsidiary rights" refer to the rights an author grants his or her publisher to sub-license a book to third parties for formats and adaptations. Sub-rights can be lucrative, ancillary streams of income from your book's content. Learn more about subsidiary rights.

Resolve to Publish Well - A Round-up of Articles for Authors
Whatever your resolutions are pertaining to book publishing — whether it’s more effective writing and authorship or getting a job working with books — within the virtual pages of About Book Publishing, there’s a wealth of advice to help get you started and keep you moving toward your goals.

Reinvigorate Your Writing Life
Here are three “writing life” suggestions to reinvigorate your commitment and jumpstart the forward motion in your career — whatever stage it's in.

Writing Advice from the Pros
Here's some writing advice from successful pros like Erma Bombeck, Annie Lamott, Steven Pressfield and more.

Books on How to Write
For those who want to write or get published or self-publish, there is no shortage of advice. For those who want to go deeper, to immerse themselves in the sense that, while un-definable, the writing life at least acknowledged to exist, read this.

Getting Your Novel Published
"How do I get my novel published? That's the hardest question in book publishing. Everyone’s path is different and if that answer was easy, everyone's novels would be on bookstore shelves. But here are some tips to help.

Getting Feedback on Your Novel
The first draft of your novel is rarely ready for the prime-time of literary agents’ or editors’ in-boxes. For that reason, it’s advisable to get feedback, to vet your manuscript and revise it before you send it out for reading by a potential literary agent or editor.

Novel Writing vs. Screenwriting
Writer Shelly Gitlow gives insights into writing a novel and getting a screenplay produced.

Fiction Publishing Advice from A Pro
Publisher Lou Aronica talks about small presses and shares his insights on fiction "discoverability."

The Writing Life: Selling a Screenplay
Author Shelly Gitlow's screenplay led to a film-writing opportunity and, eventually, to the author becoming a novelist.

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month
About National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo - a November event in which writers write a 50,000-word novel in a month.

Book Authorship Insights from Write Advisors
Hankering to write book for personal or professional reasons? Read what Bonnie Daneker, CEO of Write Advisors, has to say about the potentially life-changing experience of book publication.

4 Book Publishing Realities — Great Insight from Write Advisor's Bonnie ...
Bonnie Daneker, CEO of Write Advisors, gives an in-depth picture of the resources necessary to more effectively write and publish a book and make the dream of book authorship come true.

Publishing A Book to Market Your Business
Does your business need you to write a book? For many companies, the answer is yes. Businesses can benefit from publishing a nonfiction book for use as a marketing tool that introduces your ideas, your company, and its offerings to its potential customers.

Becoming A Ghostwriter 101
If you're a writer interested in becoming a ghostwriter, here's you should know about this "invisible" writing profession.

How to Get (or Get More) Ghostwriting Business
If you're thinking of becoming a ghostwriter, or have done some ghostwriting and want to do more, here's advice on where to find ghostwriting work.

About Ghostwriting and Hiring a Ghostwriter
Ghostwriting is the practice of writing books (and other content) for and in the name of someone else. If you're an author who is considering hiring a ghostwriter for your project, read this article from Gotham Ghostwriters and learn about the ghostwriting process.

How to Be A Writer - An Interview with Author Gina Barreca, Part I
Ever wonder how writers work? In Part I of this two-part interview, authoritative, prolific--and brilliantly funny--author Gina Barreca elaborates on the pleasures, practicalities and privileges of being an author. She tells how she got her start, why authors should "be truthful" — and what keeps her going (hint: it has something to do with...

How to Be A Writer - An Interview with Author Gina Barreca, Part II
Ever wonder how writers work? In Part II of this two-part interview, authoritative, prolific--and brilliantly funny--author Gina Barreca elaborates on the pleasures, practicalities and privileges of being an author. She reveals what the profession is really like — and what, for her, is the most amazing thing about being an author.

Book Publishers - Different Types of Book Publishers
From trade book publishers to academic publishers to professional publishers to self-publishing companies, different book markets have different types of publishers. If you're looking to publish a book or to get a job in publishing, you should know about the different types of book publishers.

Book Proposals — About Book Proposals
A book proposal is the sales vehicle by which aspiring non-fiction authors and their agents sell book ideas to the people who are in a position to publish them. Editors and publishers are looking for every assurance that they will make a profit on the books they publish — a book proposal needs to convince them that they will. Read about the...

Book Proposals — Elements of an Effective Book Proposal
A book proposal is a sales document, the tool with which you pitch your book to an agent and, eventually, and editor. Here are the elements of the book proposal and what should go into each.

Writing Good Book Titles - What Makes a Good Book Title
Creating a catchy title for a book helps ensure it will stick in the minds of prospective readers. A good book title, like the book jacket, should be considered a marketing tool for the book.

How to Write A Subtitle
Subtitles make a non-fiction book title stronger. Read how they work.

Good Book Titles - The "Recipe" for a Better Book Title
A good title is a book's first marketing tool. Here's a "recipe" to help you write a better book title.

Good Book Titles - A Case Study for A Better Book Title
A good title can be important to the success of a book. Here's a case study that explores the thinking behind how an accurate (but limited) title became one that broadened the market of a book.

Editorial Costs for Self-Published Authors
If you are self-publishing a book, you’ll want to ensure your book is well edited and typo-free— and for that you’ll need to hire some outside help. Here's a guide to the most commonly requested editorial freelance services and a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay for them.

New Author FAQs: About Your Book Jacket and Advance Book Copies
Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions from new authors regarding book jackets and advance copies of books.

The Author Questionnaire - A Tool for Book Promotion
An author questionnaire is a key “internal” book marketing and publicity tool, used to target audiences for the book based on the author's background as well as the book’s subject. The information on the author questionnaire is used to craft materials for the media, for booksellers, and in order to ascertain the level of book marketing and...

Author Questionnaire Template - Part 1 - Book and Biographical Info
Filling out an author questionnaire is a key first step in book promotion and sales. In Part 1 of this author questionnaire template, you'll be guided through some critical philosophy about how to think about your biographical information for this marketing, publicity and sales tool.

Author Questionnaire Template - part 2 - Author Platform/s
An author questionnaire is one of a book publisher's “internal” book marketing and publicity tools, filled out by an author then used to disseminate key book, biographical and platform information to the various publishing departments. In this Part 2 of the Author Questionnaire, any author or prospective author will be able to assess the...

Book Publicity Basics from Your Publisher
One of the advantages of being published by a traditional publisher is that you’ll have the support of the publisher’s in-house publicity department. How much publicity support depends on many factors--but here are the basic elements of a book publicity campaign that an in-house publicity department will likely provide.

Book Marketing - What to Expect from Your Publisher's Book Marketing Department
If you're being published by a traditional publisher, your publisher's in-house marketing department will help the sales department get your book in front of booksellers. Here are the basic elements you can expect your book marketing department to provide.

New Author FAQs: About Marketing and Advertising
Publishing your book can be a daunting endeavor, even when you have a well-established book publisher behind you. This article addresses some frequently asked questions authors have about their book marketing.

New Author FAQs: Book Publicity
Many new authors ask questions about how their books get in front of the media. Here are some answers.

Advice for Author Appearances
A round up of articles to help writers ace any author appearance.

Media Interviews - Interview Planning Tips for Authors
For authors, media interviews can be great opportunities to spread the word about your book. Here are strategies for successful broadcast media interviews.

What to Wear for Author Appearances
What to wear for author appearances - how to dress to impress your readers and get more book buyers.

How to Dress for Author TV Appearances
How to dress for TV appearances - look good on television with these tips and advice.

Book Publicity: Rick Frishman gives an Author 101 Interview About Book Publicity
Author, publisher, and book publicity and marketing expert Rick Frishman has a 30+-year track record helping authors get published and to get their books promoted. About.com caught up with the busy book-publishing entrepreneur and asked him to share his some of his book publicity wisdom with our readers.

Twitter is Great for Book Promotion
Part of the business of authoring is book sales—and that means finding an audience for your book. Read how Twitter can help you connect with potential readers.

Book Publishing for Authors
Being a book author is a business--and, like any successful enterprise, involves having a good product (your book), a distribution channel (booksellers) and someone to get it there (your publisher's salespeople). You'll also need marketing and publicity efforts to get your book to customer (the readers). Read about the business of book...

New Author FAQs: Book Sales
Big bookstores, little bookstore, libraries — even Costco and Target. Here are some of frequently asked questions (and the answers) new authors have about their book's presence in bookstores and elsewhere.

Literary Agents: Do You Need a Literary Agent for Your Book?
Do you need a literary agent to get noticed by an established book publisher? Not always--but you want one. Here's why.

How to Get A Literary Agent: Six Steps to Finding an Agent to Represent You
How do you make your book query stand out from the hundreds--maybe thousands--of submissions a literary agent receives each year? Do your homework, be professional, say "thanks" early and often, and use the resources and hints in this article to learn how to get representation for your book.

Author Query Letters – What to Include In Effective Query Letter
Author Query Letters — what to include in your query letter to a literary agent.

FAQs About Getting Published - Common Questions from New and Aspiring Authors
The publishing process can be intimidating, even when you've got an established publishing team to guide you. Here are the answers to some common questions from new and aspiring authors as they approach—or are in the middle of—getting their book published.

How to Make Booksellers Love You
Whether you're an indie author or under contract with a traditional publisher, bookstores have the potential to be your partners in sales—IF you follow these DOs and DON'Ts of good author-bookseller relations.

Getting Your Book Into a Local Bookstore

How to Make Booksellers Love You - Part 2
Whether you're writing "indie" thrillers or are under contract with a traditional publisher, your local bookseller and other bookstores have the potential to be your partners in sales—IF you follow the DOs and DON'Ts of good bookseller relations.

Vanity Presses vs Self-Publishing Service — Publishing Your Own Book
While vanity presses have long been around, today's print-on-demand and ebook technologies, internet sales channels, and social media marketing make it possible for many more authors to successfully self-publish their own books.

Book Readers and Book Writers Gravitate to Genres
Book genres are the general thematic areas that help identify certain fiction and authors to their likely readership, as well as to the book publishing marketplace. The most popular of the genres, broadly, are: romance, inspirational, mystery, and science fiction/fantasy.

Small Press Advantages – Added Value for Authors
Small press or indie author? When given the choice, should an author publish his or her book with a small press, or go the self-publishing route? Read this to help decide.

About Blog Book Tours
A blog book tour is a marketing and publicity tool that allows authors to connect with potential readers of his or her book through other peoples' blogs. "Virtual" and virtually cost-free, blog book tours are effective promotional vehicles for authors on a budget.

Author Blogging Group — Writerly Community and A "Cyber Front Porch"
About author blogging groups - how writers like Southern Belle View Daily authors share a blog to engage readers and create community.

How to Organize an Author Blogging Group
How to Organize an Author Blogging Group - The Southern Belle View Daily writers discuss the rules they blog by

Promoting an Author Team Blog
Promoting the Author Team Blog - Group blogging makes you part of a writer's community where you help promote each other' work.

Self-Publishing Your Book: Reasons to Self-Publish Your Book
Today, self-publishing a book has become a widely accessible option for many writers. Whether your self-publishing goals are personal or professional, whether your desire is to reach a large audience or just to make your Mom smile, it makes sense to take stock of your expectations before you self-publish. Then, when you hold your book in your...

Have you self-published a book? Tell readers about your experience:
See submissions

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP)
Dedicated to both the study and practice of creative writing, since 1967 The Association of Writers & Writing Programs has supported countless students, instructors and literary writing programs.

Don't Pigeonhole Mo Willems
From children's television to best-seller-dom and beyond, writer, illustrator, producer and perennial award-winner Mo Willems answers questions about his multi-faceted career and his artistic process.

Mo Willems and the Artistic Process:
In Part 2 of this Q&A, best-selling and award-winning children's book writer and illustrator Mo Willems reveals how he develops his characters, explains why sometimes he chooses to work with other illustrators and more. Read his expert thoughts about the process of developing an illustrated children's book.

Writing Children’s Books - An Introduction to Children’s Book Publishing
Children's book publishing generally operates very separately from adult publishing, even within the same publishing house. Books for kids are categorized by age range and are often illustrated. Due to these and other factors, there are unique considerations for those who want a career in the children's publishing industry--whether as an...

Self-Publishing Children's Books
Have you thought about self-publishing your own children's book or ebook? If so, you might learn from the experiences of authors who decided to launch their children's books themselves.

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is a non-profit professional organization for writers and illustrators in the fields of children’s and young adult literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. Founded in 1971, SCBWI is a powerful advocate for its members, and acts as a network for the exchange of...

Children's Book Awards and Grants from the SCBWI
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators bestows a number of children's book awards and grants each year to writers and illustrators, both published and unpublished. Read about the awards grants from the SCBWI and their accompanying prizes.

The Young Adult Book Market
Facts and figures about the Young Adult book market.

Resources for Young Adult Authors and Writers
Writing and marketing resources for Young Adult Authors and Writers

The Authors Guild — Advocacy and Benefits for Working Authors
The Authors Guild is the nation's oldest and largest professional society of published book authors. The organization provides advocacy for authors on issues such as copyright, taxation, and freedom of expression; and provides its members with access to legal contract review, health insurance, and other career-enhancing benefits.

Joining the Author's Guild: A Best-selling Writer's Says Why You Should
In an open letter to authors, published here in its entirety, the bestselling novelist Richard Russo describes why he feels it's a good idea for writers to join the Authors Guild.

2014 – 2016 Authors Guild Board
Officially elected the 2014 – 2016 Authors Guild Officers and Members of the Council.

Evaluating a Book Publishing Conference

Mystery Writers of America (MWA)
Mystery Writers of America (MWA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to those who write mysteries and/or about crime in any form. Membership also includes professionals like publishers, editors, librarians, agents, booksellers and producers who support the genre, as well as aspiring mystery authors.

Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar® Awards
The Edgar® Awards are bestowed each year by the Mystery Writers of America to recognize writing achievements in the literary genre of mystery and crime, as well as achievements outside of the scope of writing that support the mystery genre, such as in publishing or bookselling.

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) 2012 Edgar® Award Honorees
The nominees, winners and other honorees of the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, awarded by the Mystery Writers of America

The Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award
The Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award honors important contributions to the mystery genre. Read about the award and see the list of past and present MWA Grand Masters.

2013 Mystery Writers of America Edgar® Awards Nominees and Winners
2013 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards - the complete list of nominees and winners, including Grand Masters, Raven Awards, Mary Higgins Clark Award, and other MWA annual awards.

Romance Novels — About the Romance Fiction Genre
The romance novel market is arguably the largest in book publishing—it's a billion dollar a year industry that boasts a core audience of 29 million regular readers. Read why publishers are in love with romance.

Romance Writers of America® (RWA)
Romance Writers of America® is a non-profit trade association dedicated to the support of romance authors' careers and the advocacy for the popular romance book genre.

RWA Conference — Romance Writers of America® Annual Conference
The annual Romance Writers of America® (RWA) annual conference is an opportunity for current and aspiring romance writers to enhance romance writing, book marketing and other applicable skills, as well as network with their fellow romance writers.

2013 Romance Writers of America Awards — RITA Awards page 1
A listing of the 2013 RITA Award winners and finalists in the categories of Best First Book, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Single Title Romance, Historical Romance, and Inspirational Romance.

Romance Writers of America® Awards — Coveted Awards for the Romance Industry
Romance Writers of America® (RWA) presents a number of awards each year to romance writers, both published and unpublished, as well as to booksellers, librarians and volunteers who support the romance novel writing industry and the RWA organization.

2013 RWA Golden Heart and Contribution Awards
2013 RWA industry award winners and the 2013 RWA Golden Heart Awards

2013 Romance Writers of America Awards — RITA Awards page 2
The list of the 2013 RITA Award finalists and winners in the categories of Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, Paranormal Romance, Romance Novella, Long Contemporary Series, Short Contemporary Series, and Young Adult Romance.

Romance Writers of America® Awards - 2011 RWA Award Winners
The winners of the 2011 RITA Awards, presented by the Romance Writers of America (RWA)

2012 Romance Writers of America Awards — Golden Heart and Contribution Awards

2012 Romance Writers of America Awards — RITA Awards page 1
With their RITA Awards, the Romance Writers of America promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas. Here's a complete listing of the 2012 RITA Award finalists and winners in the categories of Best First Book, Contemporary Series Romance, Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure,...

2012 Romance Writers of America Awards — RITA Awards page 2
With their RITA Awards, the Romance Writers of America promote excellence in the romance genre by recognizing outstanding published romance novels and novellas. Here's a listing of the 2012 RITA Award finalists and winners in the categories of Novel with Strong Romantic Elements, Paranormal Romance, Regency Historical Romance, Romance Novella,...

Have you written a romance novel?
Romance is a popular genre with writers as well as with readers. Have you written a romance novel? If so, we'd love to hear about your whys and wherefores... Writer-to-writer—share your process and writers life—and please tell us about your books!See submissions

Fifty Shades of Book Publishing Success
Fifty Shades of Grey is a sexually explicit novel with sadomasochistic themes that came from modest fan fiction beginnings to become a record-breaking book publishing phenomenon. Read the spicy success story of this erotic romance.

The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA)
For 200 years, Jane Austen's books have been sources of bookseller profits. The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) is a literary society dedicated to the organization dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of the classic author Jane Austen and is a source of information for Regency Romance writers.

About the James Beard Foundation Book Awards
The James Beard Foundation Book Awards are among the highest honors for cookbook authors as well as for all food and beverage professionals working in North America. Read about the history, qualifications and voting for the awards.

The National Book Awards
The National Book Awards are annual literary prizes “from writers to writers,” presented each year by the non-profit National Book Foundation in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and Young People's Literature. Additional National Book Awards recognize lifetime contributions to books and literature.

The Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize is a major literary award presented each year to the best full-length novel written by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. The Man Booker Prize is significant in the American book market as well as the United Kingdom’s because the winning titles generally enjoy greatly increased sales. Learn...

The Man Booker Prize Winners - 1968 to Present
The Man Booker Prize winners get bragging rights to one of the most prestigious literary awards in the English-speaking world—not to mention a whopping cash award and big bump in book sales. Read more about the Man Booker Prize and check out the list of winners since the award's 1968 inception.

The National Book Critics Circle - The NBCC
The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) is dedicated to honoring outstanding writing and fostering a national conversation about reading, criticism and literature. They also bestow the annual NBCC Awards for books. Read about the history and details of the NBCC.

The 2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards
The annual James Beard Foundation Book Awards are coveted by cookbook authors. Here are the details of the 2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards.

2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award Nominees and Winners
The James Beard Foundation Awards are among the highest honors for food and beverage professionals working in North America. Read about event as well as the nominees and winners of the 2013 James Beard Book Awards.

About the IACP Cookbook Awards
The International Association of Culinary Professionals honor excellence in cookbook publishing with the annual IACP Cookbook Awards. Read about the history of the awards and their submission and judging process.

IACP Cookbook Awards - Categories for the IACP Cookbook Awards
The prestigious annual IACP Cookbook Awards are presented by the International Association of Culinary Professionals in a number of distinct categories. Read about the wide range of IACP Award-eligible cookbooks and food-related book subjects.

2012 IACP Cookbook Awards
Read about all the finalists for the 2012 IACP Cookbook Awards, presented by the International Association of Culinary Professionals

2013 IACP Cookbook Awards
Read about 2013 IACP Cookbook Awards finalists, presented by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

2013 IACP Cookbook Awards - page 2
Read about more finalists for the prestigious 2013 IACP Cookbook Awards, presented by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is a non-profit professional organization for authors who write in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and related sub-genres. SFWA advocates on behalf of its member authors in matters of the business of writing, and also offers support for their science fiction and fantasy writing craft.

Nebula Awards — Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Annual Prizes
The Nebula Awards are among those presented each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Read about the most prestigious prizes for authors in the speculative fiction genre.

Book Awards
Literary awards add cache to a book — and are a great marketing tool, as they build awareness among the reading public and, ultimately, help generate sales for the title. Following are some of the most prestigious awards available to book authors.

The 2012 National Book Critics Circle Awards
The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Awards are the only book awards given by book critics. Read about the 2012 finalists and winners of the coveted NBCC Awards.

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