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Authors who hate social media

Authors who hate social media

Social media for authors[This article was written by guest contributor Nancy L. Baumann of Bookarma.]

If you’re an author, you may have come kicking and screaming into the world of social media — or perhaps you haven’t entered it at all. “I don’t like social media … I need more than 140 characters … It’s not communication … blah, blah, blah.”

Authors, it’s time to get over it! If you can string a few words together and click (and if you can’t, then don’t call yourself an author), then you better get out there. Social media is not a fad; it’s your best bet for marketing your book, and if you’re not in it, you are Out. Of. It.

It’s that important

Nobody’s hanging over the back fence and chatting with the neighbors or sitting down for long phone calls with their friends anymore. Our attention is diverted in a million directions, and we rarely have time for those luxuries.

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Should you get your MFA? Professional writers weigh in

Should you get your MFA? Professional writers weigh in

Is an MFA in Creative Writing Worth It?

The pros and cons of an MFA in Creative Writing

On the one hand, getting your MFA will (ideally) give you access to a strong community of writers, mentorship from published authors and poets, and the time and space to develop your own voice.

On the other hand, it’ll cost you a boatload of money (unless you’re able to get full funding from the institution), and you’ll graduate with the qualifications to — what? — hop from city to city as an undervalued adjunct and never pay off those loans?

Then again, having a couple years to work on your craft while surrounded by supportive readers does sound like Paradise. Hmmmmm. Decisions!

Writers and teachers give their opinions on the MFA system

So,… is it worth it? Should you get your MFA?  Flavorwire asked 27 accomplished writers whether they thought an MFA was necessary, helpful, and worth the expense. Click HERE to read what they had to say.

Is an MFA out of the question for you because of financial concerns or work/family obligations? Read our article about building an MFA curriculum for yourself (DIY-style).

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The twelve stages of writing

The twelve stages of writing

Stages of writing

  Oh, it’s funny because it’s true.

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BookBaby announces new president

BookBaby announces new president

Steven-Spatz-President-of-BookBaby-headshotWe’ve got some exciting news to share: Steven Spatz has been chosen as the new president of BookBaby. 

Spatz has been the Chief Marketing Officer for Audio Video Labs (our parent company) for much of the past 10 years. He’s been a driving force behind many of our new products, including BookPromo and BookShop.

“Steven has been an invaluable marketer for AVL on the music side of the business,” says AVL CEO Tony van Veen. “But he took a special interest in BookBaby from day one of this brand and we’re excited to see what he can do with the business.”

“I’ve watched this company grow from its origins as CD Baby’s little brother, to become a leader in its field,” says Spatz. “I can’t wait to devote 100% of my time to this amazing brand.”

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Printed Books 101: how to prepare graphic files for book printing, Pt. 1

Printed Books 101: how to prepare graphic files for book printing, Pt. 1

How to prepare graphic files for book printingYou want your printed books to look great. But in order to ensure the highest-quality printing for your book, you’ll need to send your book printer manuscript files that are pristine.

If you’re wondering how to properly prepare your manuscript files to ensure that your printed books look perfect, please read these instructions carefully — and be sure to provide your book printer with the highest quality graphic files possible for your book’s cover and body text.

[Also, if you're printing books with BookBaby and have any questions about the process, just give us a call or send an email. We're happy to guide you through it.]

STEP 1: Decide your trim size, binding style, and paper stock

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How publishers helped create a nation of readers by giving away 122 million books

How publishers helped create a nation of readers by giving away 122 million books

Free book giveaway helps create a nation of readers

When is FREE the right price?

Last week at the end of an Apple product launch event, the band U2 came on stage and played a song. They then surprised the world by announcing that every single iTunes customer (500 million people) already had a copy of the band’s new album in their purchase history, downloadable for free.

The music media went crazy covering the story, but what I found most interesting was that U2′s other albums all got a giant sales bump because of this giveaway. By flooding the market with a new product, they created new demand for their older catalog items too.

This music news reminded me of a story I read in The Atlantic about how American publishers gave away almost 123 million books to soldiers during WWII. Not just pulp fiction and comics — which is what many people assumed the troops would want — but also ‘serious’ contemporary literature, histories, classics, and more. It was both an act of patriotism (giving the GIs books to take their minds off the horrors of war, remind them of home, etc.), and a risky, self-serving maneuver that might potentially create future demand for softcover books.

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How to create a winning poetry manuscript

How to create a winning poetry manuscript

Poetry manuscripts: how to write a winning collectionJeffrey Levine, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tupelo Press, published an article back in 2011 that has become something of a standard in the poetry world,”On Making the Poetry Manuscript,” all about how to prep your poems individually and as a collection so they’ll command a reader’s attention. It’s a really fascinating look into the process of selecting manuscripts for publication, and how to increase your chances of winning a book prize.

Even if you don’t write poetry, many of the tips are applicable to other genres, so you just might find some new inspiration for your fiction or non-fiction. 

Levine, a reader of over 4,000 manuscripts per year (and a writer himself), has now decided to expound upon the 27 tips in the original piece. Each Wednesday for the next little while, he’ll be publishing a “new and improved” tip from the original list, offering more thorough explanations and specific advice in places where the previous space constraints necessitated brevity and generalities.

Check out his first two “new and improved” entries in the series below:

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The power of a BookBook

The power of a BookBook

Behold the power of a BookBook.

It’s like an eBook, but with actual pages you turn by hand. It’s like an app, but you can’t customize it. It’s like a…. Oh, you get it: it’s a book!

IKEA’s video ad for their 2015 catalog highlights all the reasons why physical books won’t be going away any time soon.

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3 things self-published authors should know about their audience

3 things self-published authors should know about their audience

Questions for WritersOnly a few lucky authors can try the let’s-throw-everything-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach to book promotion.

They’re able to cast a wide net because they have access to a big marketing budget and a pro publicity team. And no matter what the topic, or who the intended audience, when a great book gets exposed to tens of millions of readers, thousands of them are sure to be interested.

I’m assuming you’re not one of those lucky authors.

Then there’s the rare writer who is guaranteed to sell a boatload of books regardless of what their latest work is about or how it’s marketed. J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Malcolm Gladwell, Elizabeth Gilbert; these popular writers are long past the courtship phase with their readers. They are married to their audience. And because it’s a healthy marriage, the reader generally trusts the writer even when they’re taking new risks.

I’m assuming you’re not one of those lucky authors either.

No, you’re probably still dating your audience (in which case you need to keep wooing and wowing ‘em), or you’re just mustering up the courage to get into this dating game.

Either way, the same questions are important: What am I looking for in a reader? Who are they? What do I offer them? And how do I find them?

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Scribd’s eBook subscription service, one year later

Scribd’s eBook subscription service, one year later

Scribd logoIt’s been almost a year since Scribd launched its popular eBook subscription service. Since then, Amazon created Kindle Unlimited, Oyster expanded to all mobile platforms, and Apple has made several moves suggesting that an iBooks equivalent may be on the way.

Just as Netflix did for film and Spotify for music, Scribd is forcing us to change our ideas about monetizing the reading experience — from an Ownership model to an Access model.

This infographic shows what Scribd has been able to accomplish in just under a year:

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