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What are the top 3 must-read books in your genre?

What are the top 3 must-read books in your genre?

Best 3 books in your genre?Imagine you get to create someone else’s “desert island” reading list, but only in one genre!

Author Richard Thomas created a fun list for Lit Reactor of the three essential books you should read in every genre. Well maybe not EVERY genre, but at least in Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Literary Fiction, YA, Crime/Noir/Thriller, and Short Story Collections.

These types of things are totally subjective, of course, but that’s what makes them entertaining. Get a dozen writers of the same genre together, ask them what their favorite books are, and no two lists will look alike. The differences between your essentials and mine are not only fun to argue about, they also give us a chance to reexamine our tastes and reading prejudices. We might find new inspiration in an author we’ve dismissed for years. We might discover a great, under-recognized book. We might be changed!

So let’s get this conversation going. What three books would you recommend to someone who has just been introduced to your genre? What makes these books worth reading?

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Printed Books 101: how to prepare graphic files for book printing, Pt. 2

Printed Books 101: how to prepare graphic files for book printing, Pt. 2

How to prepare graphic files for book printingIn order for you printed book to look as beautiful as you imagine it, you need to send your printer pristine files. If you have a lot of graphic elements (photos, graphs, etc.) in your book, check out Part 1 of this series, and then hop back here for step #2 below.

Preparing graphic files for book printing — Step #2:

Prepare your interior text PDF file

When you’re getting your interior text PDF file ready for printing:

• Interior text PDF files must be in a single page format and not in printer or reader spreads.

• The number of pages in the book should end on an even number.

• Left side pages should be even numbered and right side pages should be odd numbered.

— Saddle Stitched books need a page count divisible by four.

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10 tips to help writers stay focused

10 tips to help writers stay focused

How to stay focused as a writerThere’s no getting around the fact that as a writer you must produce your craft either on paper or on a digital device of some kind. Even if you subscribe to voice recognition software where your dictation becomes your written work, there is time and commitment involved in creating all forms of writing. How, then, does the serious writer stay on task?

In this world where we can click away and change our minds instantly, be distracted by cellular devices, multitask and attend to a wide variety of our needs almost simultaneously, how do we stay on the path of quality writing and be proud of our accomplishments, our creations, and inspire others through our words?

These tips are in no particular order, except the first one, which is absolutely essential! And along the way, here are a few online tools that can aid in your process.

1. Write, write, write

…and then write some more. Nike said it best with “just do it!” There is so much self-doubt and procrastination out there that the best mantra has to be to just write! It takes moments to criticize, but hours to create. Stick those words on a post it … and believe it.

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How to keep blogging simple — 5 tips for authors

How to keep blogging simple — 5 tips for authors

Blogging for Authors[This article was written by guest contributor Cari Bennette.]

It’s hard to know when to stop sometimes, isn’t it?  Over the last few years, it’s been drilled into our heads that we must deliver outstanding content to be a successful blogger.  If we don’t, Google will reject us.  And no one wants to be rejected by Google.

So we add a bit more, tinkering here and there in hopes of finding the right combination of eye candy to entice our readers.  But none of it really seems to work and what we’re left with is visual clutter, overworked posts, and unremarkable content.

So, how do we streamline our blogging process to deliver the relevant, quality content our readers demand?  Let’s see what the online authorities can share to help us in our quest for blogging simplicity.

#1.  Have a Personality

According to John Rampton’s online article in the Huffington Post “The best way to connect with your audience is to let them see the person behind the words.”  In a word, authenticity.

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Is your book cover holding you back?

Is your book cover holding you back?

Is your book cover holding you back?How to make sure your book cover grabs the attention of potential readers

Think about the way you scroll through your social media feeds, or surf through TV channels, or breeze through the aisles of a bookstore. If something doesn’t grab your attention within a few seconds you’re probably going to move on to something else, right?

Well, most people will give YOUR book the same treatment.

Before you’ve built up a big readership, your book cover is not just the first thing someone sees; it’s the ONLY thing someone sees — and they’ll have to decide if they’re going to investigate what’s inside your book based on their impression of your book cover.

To find out whether your cover has what it takes to capture the imagination of readers, check out my guest post on the Bookarma Blog all about how your book cover is your first and best promotion tool. 

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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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