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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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10 email subject line ideas for your next newsletter (and other web tips for authors)

10 email subject line ideas for your next newsletter (and other web tips for authors)

Website tips for authorsOnline marketing tips for writers

Summer is almost over and I’ve let the whole season slip by without posting one of my usual monthly HostBaby Blog recaps! To make up for it, here are a number of articles from June, July, and August, all about boosting your web traffic, building your readership, and selling more books — starting with some tips that will help you increase the open rates of your email newsletters.

[Keep in mind that some of these articles are written with a general artist focus, rather than being author-specific. Other articles are written with musicians in mind; but the advice still applies to writers, so whenever it mentions giving away a free MP3 or featuring a music player, just imagine a sample chapter of your book.]

Here are the most recent HostBaby Blog articles:

10 email subject line ideas for your next newsletter

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A writer’s residency where you can stay forever

A writer’s residency where you can stay forever

writehouselogoHow would you like to own a newly renovated home and writer’s space — for free?

Write a House, a non-profit based in Detroit, has found a novel way to support literary arts, vocational education, and neighborhood stabilization in their city.

With the help of donors, volunteers, and trainees in a local construction program, Write a House is rehabing vacant buildings and then giving them away to low and middle-income writers around the country. You pay the taxes and the insurance, but so long as you maintain the property and live in at least 75% of the year, Write a House will grant you the deed after two years.

That’s right, FREE houses for writers of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, plays, and screenplays. All you have to do is apply (and be chosen by their selection committee).

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What trait does every successful writer possess?

What trait does every successful writer possess?

10-things-every-serious-author

The blog Writing in a Dead World posted this funny list last week, and it got me wondering, what DOES every serious writer need? Is there one trait that is shared by all successful writers?

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How to sell more eBooks with BookShop

How to sell more eBooks with BookShop

BookShop: How to sell more eBooksBookShop — the free direct-to-reader sales-tool created by BookBaby to help independent authors sell more eBooks

In a nutshell, BookShop is your eBook’s online home; it provides you with a webpage for your book AND a robust ecommerce solution all in one place. All your book’s vital info is showcased within BookShop’s elegant design; BookShop takes just minutes to set up; and you can make updates whenever you want.

That being said, it’s not like you’re going to just turn the switch and start selling millions of eBooks through BookShop overnight (unless you already have millions of readers eagerly awaiting your next release).

Yes, BookShop makes your job as an author easier (allowing you to streamline some of your promotional and retail efforts), but it can’t do all the work for you. That’s why we put together this list of ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of BookShop — because when you’re promoting your book effectively, we want you to be set up to capture every sale possible.

12 ways to boost your book sales with BookShop

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Flavorwire’s 10 Stunning Writing Studios

Flavorwire’s 10 Stunning Writing Studios

10 stunning writing studiosOnce again, Flavorwire has compiled a list for writers that will probably stir up some inspiration AND envy.

We’ve already gotten a glimpse of the world’s best bookstores and the world’s most beautiful libraries.

Now we get to see 10 stunning writing spaces — woodland cabins, backyard sheds, renovated barns, suspended studios, wetland retreats, and more. 

Check out these little sanctuaries of words at Flavorwire.

Where do YOU go to get your best writing done? 

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The most popular writing app right now is from the 19th Century

The most popular writing app right now is from the 19th Century

Well, the app itself obviously isn’t from the 19th century, but it’s meant to mimic a technology that first came to use in the late 1800′s: the typewriter, and it even has the look and sound (if not the feel) of those charming old devices.

It was created by Tom Hanks (yes, THAT Tom Hanks) and it’s called Hanx Writer. This typewriter-on-your-iPad is now #1 in the iTunes App Store thanks to a bunch of nostalgic writers, curious youngsters, and ironic techies.

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