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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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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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