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Author's-Eye View of the Book Publishing Industry


Being a book author is a business--and, like any successful enterprise, involves having a good product (your book, whether printed or electronic), a distribution channel (like bricks-and-mortar booksellers, e-retailers, online e-book delivery, etc.) and someone to get it there (your publisher's salespeople--or your handy-dandy internet connection). You'll also need marketing and publicity efforts to get your book to customer (the readers). If you're a book author--or aspire to be one--read about the business of book publishing as it applies to authors.
  1. The Author's Life
  2. Agents, Proposals & More—Selling Your Book to a Publisher
  3. The Business of Being an Author
  4. Manuscript to Finished Book: The Editorial and Production Process
  5. Creating A Good Book Title
  1. Publicity and Marketing for Your Book
  2. For the New Author
  3. Ghostwriting & Ghostwriters
  4. Becoming a Self-Published Author
  5. Awards for Authors

The Author's Life

Make Mine a Double by Gina Barreca

From sitting down at your desk to write to signing your first book contract; from standing in front of a bookstore audience to read your work to Tweeting your heart out to boost book sales, the author's life can be, alternately, solitary or exhilarating; satisfying or frustrating. Get moral support and practical advice here.

Agents, Proposals & More—Selling Your Book to a Publisher

Man with sunglasses and cigar

Agents are essentially sales people--they sell book properties (in the form of manuscripts or proposals) to publishers, through editors. Query letters and proposals are the sales documents that get you in the door to agents and editors. Read more about them.

The Business of Being an Author

adding machine - vintage

Practical advice—like tax tips— to help you run the business of being an author.

Manuscript to Finished Book: The Editorial and Production Process

A marked-up manuscript after the first pass by an editor

After you hand in your manuscript, it goes through the editorial and production processes. If you're working with a traditional publisher, likely it will go through the hands of dozens of dedicated people before it emerges as a finished book.

Creating A Good Book Title

The Good Book

Your book's title is its first marketing tool, so choose it carefully. Here's some information on book titles and subtitles that will help you craft a better book title.

Publicity and Marketing for Your Book

Romance author Sharon Lathan autographs for a reader at RWA

As nearly any published author will tell you, writing the book and getting the book contract is only half the battle--finding readers for your book is the other half. Whether you are being published by a traditional publishing house (like author Sharon Lathan at a book signing, here) or going DIY with a self-publishing service, a large portion of publicity, promotion, and marketing will fall on your shoulders. Read about what to expect and how to maximize your book's exposure to readers.

For the New Author

Publishing your first book is exciting, but can be daunting as you're immersed in new processes and an unfamiliar business. These "101" articles might be especially useful to first-time authors.

Ghostwriting & Ghostwriters

Writers Hands on Computer Keyboard

Ghostwriting is the practice of writing a book (or other content) for and in the name of someone else. Whether you're a busy entrepreneur who is looking for someone to write your book, or writer who is considering becoming a behind-the-scenes scribe as part of your authorial repertoire, here are some important facts, figures and resources regarding the "invisible" world of ghostwriting.

Becoming a Self-Published Author

My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking

There are many reasons for an author to self-publish rather than seek a traditional publishing path--and there are many self-publishing success stories. But the self-publishing process takes time and resources--editorial, art, distribution, marketing and publicity, to name a few. Self-publishing is an investment in yourself and your work and, like any investment, if you want to have a good return, you need to do careful research beforehand. It makes sense to learn as much as you can before you sign with a self-publishing company; here's some information developed to help you.

Awards for Authors

The Edgar Award statue, coveted by mystery writers

Prizes and awards can add cache to a writer's bio. Read about some of the most coveted awards for authors.

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