The Importance of Catalog Representation for Your Book Marketing Plan

ibpa-default-article-coverOne of the biggest questions authors ask me is: “My book has been published for over a year, now what do I do to help keep it going?” Our advice is similar to what it would be for a newly published author, some of which includes:

  • Work on getting professional reviews and blog write ups
  • Blog content directly from your book on your blog or website
  • Build up your social media presence
  • Build up your contact list

Another effective strategy is to try to get your book into as many catalogs as possible. The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), in which SDP is a member, offers several channels to promote your book to libraries, booksellers, reviewers, and the media. The IBPA’s cooperative book catalogs come in both print and digital.

Catalog Options:

  • Library Market E-Blast – Members present their titles alongside only 14 others in a special e-blast sent to 5,000 qualified collection development librarians. Three options: Public Library, K-12 Library, or College Library.
  • Books for Review E-Blast (new) – Members present their titles alongside 11 others in an email blast sent to approximately 3,000 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers across the U.S. Each title featured includes multiple links that allow reviewers to reach out to members via email and request books for review.
  • Books for Review Catalog – Members add information about their title (cover image, short description, contact, and ordering information) to a four-color catalog. The catalog is mailed to newspaper, magazine, and media book reviewers throughout the U.S. Cost is $210 per title.
  • Bookstore Catalog (new) – Members add information about their title (cover image, short description, contact and ordering information) to a four-color catalog. The catalog is mailed to approximately 3,500 booksellers throughout the U.S.
  • Books for Review/Bookstore Catalog Bundle – Members add information about their title (cover image, short description, contact, and ordering information) to both the Books for Review AND Bookstore Catalogs. The four-color catalogs are mailed to newspaper, magazine, and media book reviewers as well as approximately 3,500 booksellers throughout the U.S.

Click here to find out more about their list of marketing services and catalog publishing schedule.

Not yet a member of IBPA? Click here to join: http://www.ibpa-online.org/join/.  We highly recommend the “Books for Review/Bookstore Catalog Bundle.” Please contact us for more information about these programs so that we can help get you on your way for maximum exposure in 2015!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

 

google.com/+Sdppublishingsolutions

Author Corner: Phyllis Brown, Author of Help Me! I’m Slipping, Talks about Finding Solace in Writing and Her Hope that her Book Will Help Caregivers

9780989972383-Perfect_cover_HelpMe_04-24-14.inddPhyllis Brown has played many roles in her life – mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother, chemist, and caregiver for her husband who had Alzheimer’s disease. Her latest edition of Help Me! I’m Slipping is a memoir about her relationship with her husband before he succumbed to the disease.

Combining personal narrative and facts about Alzheimer’s, Brown’s book is a comfort to caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as anyone coping with a loved one’s illness. She turns this emotional story into an honest and inspiring book that will be sure to help caregivers learn to cherish the wonderful moments amid strenuous hardships. In our interview, Phyllis talks about finding solace in writing and her hope that her book will help caregivers of those with chronic diseases.

A brief description of Help Me! I’m Slipping:

“At its core, this is a love story. Brown started her journey with Bert at 17 and continued on for 65 years, remaining devoted to her soul mate the entire time. As a loving wife and caregiver, Brown recalls the final years of Bert’s life and the difficulties that came with them: side effects of various medications, trouble finding the right aides, and problems with communication. Even with the difficulties, Brown emphasizes the highlights, including visits with family members and friends along with moments of laughter and love.”

Could you tell us a little bit about why you decided to write this book?

“The nurse coordinator where I live told me I should write about some of the things that I did with my husband, who had Alzheimer’s, because it’s a little different than what other people do as caregivers. I guess I was also feeling a little lonely. It was almost like free association; I just sat and it poured out. That’s really how I got started. It just came to me during the writing process. It started out to be a brochure to help caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. But I couldn’t do that without giving some background, and it just sort of grew into a memoir from there.”

Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did you start?

“I have authored numerous scientific papers, which is an entirely different genre from this book. When I retired I thought I would write a children’s book, Grandma is a Chemist, or something about women in science. There are a lot of misconceptions about women in science. I am currently writing a book about my career in science. For a long time, I was the only woman in my specialty area of chemistry. I went back to school to get my PhD after my youngest was in first grade. I had been out of school for 18 years! I think my next book will be called, A Life with the Boys.”

Which writers inspire you?

“One author that I thought was great on this subject is Linda Genova. Her book is called Still Alice. It’s about Alzheimer’s from a patient’s point of view. She writes about a neuroscientist who’s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.”

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

“I hope that the main audience will be caregivers. I hope younger people will read it too. A lot of them are going to be caregivers in the years to come because the number of Alzheimer’s patients is probably going to continue to increase. I hope it will assist them. In the end, I wanted to show that the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s isn’t a terrible tragedy. It is a tragedy on some level, but my husband and I were also able to have a lot of good times together that we didn’t have before.”

How was this publishing process compared to past experience?

“I would’ve gotten Lisa at SDP Publishing as my publisher right from the start. I used somebody else and it didn’t work out well. Lisa and her staff have provided me the kind of support I needed. Sometimes it’s difficult to see that the first draft isn’t always the best. You need to work through several drafts. You need someone to discuss it with, someone who can help you through the whole process. The difference between the right company and wrong company is night and day.”

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

“The book sounds like me, like I am talking, which is what I wanted. And, after going through this process, I am more willing to take criticism, direction, and correction.”

What is the hardest thing about writing?

“I had a hard time ending the book. The last chapter didn’t come in the beginning. I just put it aside for a while, and then sat down one day and it came to me.”

What is the easiest thing about writing?

“Once I start, it seems to flow. But sometimes, it can be hard to get started, as I explained about my difficulty with the last chapter.”

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get around it?

“I find that the words come if I wait then all of a sudden it comes to me. If I force it, it’s never right.”

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

“Follow your voice. I got a solid background in English when I was in college. I was trained well. We had to take many writing courses, typing courses, and public speaking courses. It was so hard to get your foot in the door those days, which I think has helped me in the long run.”

How can we contact you or find out more about your books? How can readers discover more about you and you work?

SDP Publishing: http://sdppublishingsolutions.com/bookstore/help-me-im-slipping/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/help-me-im-slipping-phyllis-r-brown/1112213533?ean=9780989972383
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Phyllis-R.-Brown/e/B00KI1A29A/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/436960

Press Release: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1143653

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/910126.Phyllis_R_Brown

Can you talk a little bit about the process of working with SDP Publishing and going through the process of self-publishing?

“You need to find the right company. It’s so hard to know which one is right. My daughter-in-law helped me find Lisa, which I am so grateful for. Always use your network to find the best fit for your needs!”

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

“I’m happy that I was able to write something that will hopefully help others. I hope this book will reach a large audience so that it can be helpful for others. I hope that it gives them hope for life before and after Alzheimer’s. It also applies to other chronic diseases – like Parkinson’s.

I am very lucky. I had a career, a marriage, and four children, who are all great kids. I am a grandmother with nine grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.”

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Author’s Corner: Paul Janson, Author of Mal Practice, Talks Medicine and Mystery

PaulJansonSDP Publishing Solutions helps authors in all genres – children’s books, fiction, non-fiction, business, and more – to independently publish their books. We love to keep our readers updated on what’s going on here at SDP, including recently published titles and the authors we work with. In this post, we’re joined by Paul Janson.

Janson spent five years practicing as a physician in the coal mining, Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky. He now lives on a small farm in rural Massachusetts with his wife and children and practices medicine in an emergency department. He is the author of a children’s picture book about the adoption of his two daughters. Mal Practice is his first published novel, and it was recently named a winner of the “Independent Publishers of New England” book award.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? When did you start?

College. I was an engineer and turned to medical school when my job disappeared. When I got into medical school I wrote a piece about the transition from Engineering to medicine and got it published.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I find that most of life is interesting. It more a matter of paying attention to what is happening. Most people are more interested in themselves than in other people and so they miss the excitement.

Which writers inspire you?

I will have to say that many current writers do not excite me. I like Sue Grafton and Janet Evanavich, but much of literature is violence and sex and offers no solace or inspiration.

What have you written besides Mal Practice? (Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.) Where can we buy or see them?

I blog regularly on WordPress, and write for Emergency Medicine News. The former is spiritual and the latter is political. I have a total of eight novels complete, but unpublished and a book of poetry. I have also written a screen play titled The Manuscript about a literary agent no less.

Give us an insight into your main character in Mal Practice. What does he/she do that is so special?

Joe is in many ways what I would like to be. He is curious, and thoughtful but quiet in his approach to problems. (There is no MEDICAL malpractice crisis, Malpractice is a LEGAL crisis. The lawyers not the doctors must solve it.) That he solves the crime comes almost as a surprise.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

If Meryl Streep would play either leading lady, I would want to play Joe.

Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

Mal Practice a mystery of medicine and murder. A pediatrician is the defendant in a malpractice case when he discovers that his patient was murdered. Soon someone is trying to murder him and he must avoid the murder and the police to bring justice.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Anyone with a love of mysteries and who enjoys the intricacies of medicine will enjoy this book. My background in medicine “shines” according to the Kirkus review, and I think I agree (modestly) with them.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

I like them all in their own ways. One of the things not yet obvious is that I like to give characters from my other books small cameo spots in other novels. Laura, who easily unravels the computer for Dr. Nelson (Joe) is one of my favorite characters in my other novels and I loved giving her a piece of this one. Of the leading characters, I think I like the sassy Carolyn, but my respect goes to Joe and Natalie.

How about your least favorite character? What makes him less appealing to you?

Lawrence Marshall. He is the CEO which places him in a group of people that I find myself at odds with and he is … well, a man who kills a four-year-old for money. What else can I say?

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

I have been told that the solution is obvious early in the novel. I would have to agree in that there is only one person that the reader really wants to be guilty, perhaps. A little more mystery might serve well, but on the other hand the enjoyment is the unfolding of the story and so the change might not be so good a thing. In the end, I decided to write another novel and let Mal Practice be what it is.

What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?

Much of Robin Cook’s writing has a similar cast to it. The plots hinge on the understanding of medicine and he manages to explain it well. This is something I have tried to emulate.

What are you working on right now? What’s it about?

The novel I am working on now is titled Scratch. It is about a cat that knows when people are sick and scratches them so they go to the doctor and are diagnosed and treated. The target audience is young adult.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I was advised once and will offer the same advice: If you wish to write; write. Every piece I write is better than the last and I have yet to write my best work. I enjoy it too, which is great.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

I do not like writing about violence. In one of my novels, I had to describe a rape scene and I found it almost intolerable. The lady was not raped, never even injured or disrobed in the sequence, and she was rescued before she was pulled more than a few steps, but I found it possibly the most difficult scene to write about.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

The dialogue just seems to fall out of the character’s mouth sometimes. I cannot even keep up with what they are saying.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get around it?

I don’t think I have yet had writer’s block as described by my colleagues. When I can’t think of what to write, I sit and let the characters write it for me. They always do.

What book/s are you reading at present?

Embarrassing to admit, but right now I am studying the empires before Alexander the Great. The Egyptians. Hittites, Ur etc. History has always fascinated me.

In what formats is your book available?

Soft cover, and e-book, both Kindle and Nook

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write, and write some more. Marketing is important, but you can get very competent people to help with that. First, you must write and write well.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books? How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: pauljanson.com

Blog: http://pauljanson.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/malpractice.mystery?fref=ts

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-janson/7b/aa5/906

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Janson/e/B00D2N3DFQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5774843.Paul_Janson

What can we expect from you in the future?

Another novel soon

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Write a review of the book. They always help.

Can you give us a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?

One of my favorite scenes is when Joe is talking to Carolyn’s brother Douglas. He says: “If you do this Douglas you will be so famous you will be able to run for president except Carolyn won’t let you.”  You want to know what Douglas has to do and why he wants to run for president. Have to read the book then.

Can you talk a little bit about the process of working with SDP Publishing and going through the process of self-publishing?

Lisa was very helpful particularly for the novice writer that I was. This is a difficult process and the expert help is what is needed.

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Author Corner: An Interview with F.G. Capitanio, author of Mariner’s Hollow, on Finding Inspiration, Independent Publishing, and More

FGCapitanioSDP Publishing Solutions helps authors in all genres -children’s books, fiction, non-fiction, business, and more – to independently publish their books. We love to keep our readers updated on what’s going on here at SDP, including recently published titles and about the authors we work with. In this post, we’re joined by F.G. Capitanio, who answers questions about his novel Mariner’s Hollow, where he finds inspiration, how he works through writer’s block, and the process of publishing his novel.

Capitanio is the author of several published poems, essays, and short stories. Mariner’s Hollow is his first published novel. He has spent several years in various departments of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He lives year round on Cape Cod, while continuing to work on his second Justice Worth mystery and a number of other projects.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? When did you start?

I started writing when I was in 3rd grade. I remember trying to write two novels: Jaws 3 (before I knew there had already been a Jaws 3) and Jurassic Park 2 (before I knew there was going to be a Jurassic Park 2). I had seen the movies and wanted to write sequels for them. I only got about two chapters in! But I was always looking for new stories to make up, and I had a really large imagination.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I have several projects I’d like to put out there, but Mariner’s Hollow, my first novel, was inspired by an old whaling log I read for a job I had working in historical research pertaining to the American whaling industry. I read a log where a captain was worrying about his son, Justice, who he had left behind to go whaling. It made me wonder what makes a father name his son Justice, what the boy was like, and whether he had been named as a reminder of something in the Captain’s life that had required some justice. Originally I was going to write about the boy as he was in the 19th century, but he ended up being a modern day character.

Which writers inspire you?

P.D. James inspired me directly for this book as far as style; I love her writing and she has a way of making murder mysteries more than just about the facts but about the psychological depth of each character. Its more fantastical and paranormal elements were definitely inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, among a few other YA supernatural novels, and its mystery driven plot was inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to create a novel that combined this-worldly mystery with other-worldly elements and all these writers contributed to parts of that.

Give us an insight into your main character in Mariner’s Hollow. What does he/she do that is so special?

MarinersHollow_FrontCover_tam-150x200Justice is internally special. What I mean by that is, on the inside, he’s much more philosophically oriented than most other teens, and he’s more apt to engage his mind artistically, philosophically, and emotionally. This comes from growing up as a single child who was given to a lot of reading and contemplation. He’s also incredibly smart. On the outside, however, he’s a lot like other kids, especially before the horrors that he comes across in the book. He can have a surly attitude, he’s often self-centered, worries about fitting in, and all he wants to do, now that he’s a bit older and actually has more friends, is hang out with them. It takes the trials he goes through to mature him and allow his interior life to surface.

Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

Mariner’s Hollow is a Young Adult supernatural thriller.

A mysterious and desolate island. A devastating turn of events. A secret that will reveal the true meaning of Justice.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

The intended audience is teens to college-age readers, but the audience shouldn’t be limited to just young adults. The book is purposely written with a style that combines the sentiments and language of a teenage life with more literary and rich imagery that allows adults to both enjoy the writing and enter into Justice’s story. The main thrust of the story, what pushes his struggle forward, is the inability of the adults around Justice to understand his world and to believe his experiences, along with his own inability to trust the adults around him. Consequently, a lot of people get hurt. My goal in Mariner’s Hollow is to provide a place where both teens and adults can meet and learn from the themes and experiences described in the book and hopefully attempt to better understand each others’ worlds.

What are you working on right now? What’s it about?

I have an outline for the second Justice Worth mystery, and I’d like to have that completed by spring or summer of 2015, but I haven’t started the actual writing yet. Right now I’m working on an adult horror/thriller entitled, Caleb Meyer. It’s my attempt at a literary vampire novel, which will hopefully take back the sanitized image of the vampire from the Twilight groupies and bring it back into Stoker’s realm. I have a life goal of redeeming the vampire as a meaningful and philosophical literary element.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

My confidence as a writer increased dramatically. I started Mariner’s Hollow six years ago, almost as an experiment to see if I can do it. Now that I’ve gone through the process of writing, editing, and publishing, I feel confident in my ability to create a story much faster than the time it took me to finish this book. I also learned what I like and what I don’t like, so I don’t have to waste my time repeating the same mistakes I did while first writing Mariner’s Hollow. This is why I edited it so extensively; a lot of unnecessary parts that detracted from the story’s core.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

I know this varies writer to writer. For me, due to my personality, the hardest thing about writing is finishing. I have a creative (and I think explosively creative would best describe it – not necessarily a good thing) mind. This means I can produce a lot of interesting ideas and plot-lines that I want to explore with little effort. If I start writing down one idea, I’ll have five others by the time I’m done outlining the first one. I have two other unfinished novels, which I’m trying to get back to. This is the problem. Often, what takes a creative mind to start something also requires a disciplined mind to finish when the excitement dies down and your initial idea has already been replaced by 10 other “better” ideas. You have to get through it and finish the book and write even when you don’t feel like it. This is very difficult for me.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

As stated above, it’s definitely coming up with new ideas, at least for me.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get around it?

As you might imagine by now, I get writer’s block when I’m in the middle of a book (hence the unfinished novels on my desk). I never get writer’s block the first quarter of a book. I get discouraged and I start second-guessing the “greatness” of whatever idea I’m working on and by the middle of the book, I’m trudging slowly through mud. Every step feels heavy, deliberate, and forced, and I feel like I’m never going to get to the end. I run out of ideas on how to move the plot forward. The only thing I’ve done to get around it is simply keep writing, usually stream of consciousness, and hope that what comes out helps the story. I can always go back, after I’m done, to edit.

In what formats is your book available?

Mariner’s Hollow is available in paperback through Barnes & Noble, on their online store, and through Amazon.com. It’s also available as an ebook that’s compatible with Kindle, Nook, and other ereaders.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

You need to have a healthy dose of realism mixed in with your idealism. Everyone wants to be the next great American novelist. The chances of this happening are slim. Competition is terribly difficult, and the payback may be very little, if anything at all. Therefore, if you write only because you want success, then you’ll most likely find at the end of the journey that it was a big waste of time. If you write because you love to write, however, then no matter what happens to the end product, you’ll have used your time well. Do it because you love it, do what you know to do to succeed, and if you do end up succeeding, well, that’s just icing on the literary cake.

What can we expect from you in the future?

You can expect more Justice Worth mysteries (I’m initially planning a series of three), which will really expand the themes and plot elements of the first book into a larger, more epic story. I’m also planning to write more adult genres, such as the vampire novel, Caleb Meyer, and another novel I have partially completed, a comedy of errors, Very Bad Things.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Word of mouth is key. You can have a great product but if no one hears of it, it’ll do no one any good! Spread the word about Justice. If you read the novel and enjoy it, tell any book-lovers you know. Reach out to teens in your life who might like to read it, and tell them to tell their friends. Another helpful response is Amazon reviews. You can review the book even though you may not have purchased it through Amazon. This helps the book gain more attention from Amazon’s search engines.

Contact/Follow-up Information:

Website: justiceworth.com
Facebook: facebook.com/justiceworth
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fgcapitanio
Amazon Product Page: amzn.com/0988938197

B&N Product Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mariners-hollow-fg-capitanio/1117372227?ean=9780988938199

Goodreads: goodreads.com/fgcapitanio

Can you give us a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us?

The book cover says it best with its plot summary:

Fifteen-year-old Justice Worth is summoned to the house of Eleanor Burby, an unknown aunt living on Mariner’s Hollow Island, miles off the turbulent Maine coast. Events transpire that are much worse than spending winter break apart from his friends back home, and turn his visit into a nightmare. A blizzard slams the island in all its fury, and in its midst, his aunt dies of an apparent suicide. Trapped in her island home, stalked by ghosts within and a murderer outside, Justice begins to unravel not only the truth behind his aunt’s death, but the family secrets threatening to destroy his perception of those he loves most.

Little about Aunt Eleanor’s death makes sense, but as Justice probes the lives of those closest to her, suspects multiply and new dangers arise. Through it all, island spirits continue to haunt him, pushing him towards the family’s dark secrets, before the only living person who knows them all silences him forever, burying the truth in the one place where it may never be found: Mariner’s Hollow.

Can you talk a little bit about the process of working with SDP Publishing and going through an independent press?

It’s been an amazing experience. Working with an indie press helps me have the hands-on creative control over much of my book, in a similar way to self-publishing, but at the same time I get to work with a publishing staff that gives me advice, answers my questions, and actually does the work of production for me, something that self-publishing can’t get you. The large traditional publishers will also own the copyright to your work but an indie press allows the novelist to retain the copyright to his or her own work. This is a huge deal, especially when it comes to sales and creative development. Working with SDP has helped me to go through the publishing process step by step with a great design staff and an editorial staff that helped me rework the book until it was presentable and professional. If you go the self-publishing way, you’re on your own. With an indie press like SDP you have a team working with you to bring your book to a wider audience in a more effective manner.

Do you have any suggestions to help other writers who are thinking about going through an independent publisher or self-publishing? If so, what are they?

Don’t spend the money self-publishing and producing a book that has had no feedback from editors, a publishing staff, or anyone in the industry. Going independent is a good choice, and will help you learn the ins and outs of publication, all the while walking down the sometimes scary road with a great team. Put in the effort to excel artistically with what you put out; if you put out a great product, you’ll have more of a chance of attracting not only readers but agents and traditional publishers, if you still are looking for that big publishing contract to come your way. Listen to the advice given to you by the publishing company you work with; they know what works and while, with an indie press, the final choice as to what you’d like to see happen is up to you, don’t squander the opportunity to heed the suggestions of people who know the industry.

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leading provider of independent publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self publishing and independent publishing solutions for our authors. Located south of Boston, from literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – we provide the best solutions for authors worldwide. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

 

What Editing Really Means and Why It’s Especially Important in Self-Publishing and Independent Publishing

EditorGoing it alone seems to be inherently built into the terms self-publishing and independent publishing. So, it might seem funny for us to be writing a blog post about the different types of editors you will want to consider working with as you embark on your self-publishing or independent publishing journey. However, these publishing industry terms really refer to the business structure of how a book is published rather than the idea that you have to go it alone. In fact, any good author knows that during the writing and publishing process, you need a team to help you to reach and cross the finish line. And different types of editors are among some of the most important members of the team you should put together.

Developmental editor – Someone to help you shape the book – to organize your thoughts and plan your project. They can help you create a theme that will attract your target reader, eliminate redundancies, and ensure the content is clear and concise.

Substantive editor – Someone who can take your completed first draft and help you cultivate it, which may include honing your voice, developing or deleting characters, rewriting sections, or reworking the order of sections or chapters.

Copyeditor – Someone to correct the final manuscript – to perform line-by-line editing, and ensure good grammar and readability for your target reader. The copyeditor will catch the things the developmental editor might otherwise miss.

Proofreader – Someone to give a full proofread of the text after the layout is complete, correcting any errors that may have been overlooked and cross-check that changes have been made correctly.

Sometimes, the lines may cross between these roles. But remember, not all developmental editors are good copyeditors! Not all good proofreaders are good copyeditors! These are very distinct editorial roles. We highly recommend at least two separate editors. Several pairs of professional eyes will ensure a perfect manuscript. Working with a third-party professional proofreader to give your book that final read-through before publishing can make a huge difference with the final product.

Successful indie authors often work with experts – a team who can help you manage all of the moving pieces throughout the life-cycle of the publishing process. Working with a team of experts can help an author focus on what they do best – writing. Other professionals you might want to enlist for your team include:

  • Designers – Someone to help with the layout of the book – creates a professional interior design and eye-catching cover design.
  • Proofcheckers – Someone to double-check the design and content, ensuring all content is there, no conversion issues, and the design is consistent throughout the book.
  • Production experts – You will need to determine whether you want to publish your book as an e-book, print book, or both. It can be helpful to have experts in these areas to guide you through the process and figure out which option is best for you.
  • Marketing and PR experts – You will likely need help with publicizing and creating marketing campaigns for your book. You want to develop your book as a distinct brand, targeting and cultivating the appropriate audiences. Activities you’ll want to think about may include setting up a website, social media presence, SEO, and press relations.

As you build your team, you should tailor it to your specific needs and the requirements of your work. If you have any questions about the skills and team members you might need to successfully launch your book, please contact SDP Publishing. Also see, “Free 45-minute Consultation with SDP Publishing Solutions and Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher.”

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leading provider of independent publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self publishing and independent publishing solutions for our authors. Located south of Boston, from literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – we provide the best solutions for authors worldwide. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Five Writing Resolutions You Can Start at Any Time of the Year

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” 

~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

All the festivities of the holidays and New Year’s Day have come and gone. And it’s likely that all of those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions have come and gone also. For most of us, we’re now back in the swing of the things as 2014 rolls ahead. Back to business as usual, which means the resolutions fall to the wayside. According to statistics from the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8% of people who make resolutions actually achieve them. Not very encouraging; however, they also report that: “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Now, that’s a little more encouraging!

At SDP Publishing, we’ve come up with some resolutions that you as a writer can start today (or any day) to help you stick to your goals of writing more and maybe even publishing a book in the near future. While most people like to have some sort of clean slate, and a new week or a New Year can bring that sense of tabula rasa, the really remarkable thing about positive change, like committing to writing, is that it doesn’t have to wait. It can happen at any moment. Even right now! SO get going!

Call Yourself a Writer

If you write, even if it’s not your full-time job, you have every right to call yourself a writer. Putting yourself in this frame of mind and owning the label can help you feel to like more of a professional. Saying it out loud to other people may help you feel more of a responsibility to actually be what you say!

Make Time to Dedicate to Your Writing

You need to find time in your day to write. Forget the excuses. We can all make them until the cows come home. If you’re really going TO BE a writer, you need to write. Do whatever you have to do to make writing a priority in your life. Get up a half hour earlier. Don’t take lunch. You can find the time. Start with 10 or 20 minutes a day for the next 30 days and write no matter what. Soon you may find you’re writing for an hour a day without even trying. Think of it this way: every day that you don’t write is a missed opportunity.

Read More of Anything and Everything

Great directors have seen hundreds upon hundreds of movies. Great musicians listen to other musicians. Almost every great writer has a famous quote about reading to improve their writing. It’s one of the best ways to learn the craft of writing. Here’s a great one from William Faulkner: “Read everything–trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out.”

Enter Writing Contests

We’ve previously written about the importance of entering writing contests. If you win, it can help you gain exposure as a writer. If you don’t it helps you to get past the hurdle of finishing, editing, proofreading, and polishing your work for submission, which will help you in the long run. Don’t be afraid of rejection. It’s part of the territory. Many amazing writers have been rejected hundreds of times before someone takes notice.

Join or Start a Writers’ Group

Participating in a writing class, attending a writing workshop/retreat, or joining (or starting) a local writers’ group can be a great motivator. While writing is often viewed as a solitary endeavor, it can be helpful to be around people who can provide support. These types of activities can really help get the juices flowing, provide ideas for how to keep it going, and provide camaraderie for like-minded writers. It can also help you with your accountability to your writing when you have other people looking over your shoulder. The support you find could be immeasurable.

As writers, writing – whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, a children’s book, a young adult book, a novel, a volume of poems or short stories, a self-help book, a cookbook, or a business book – is something that we feel we need to do. Maybe it has been a long-time dream, maybe you’ve come up with a great idea that you want to share with the world, or maybe you want to promote your business. Whatever it is, you have an obligation to yourself to do it!

Remember, tomorrow is today!

SDP Publishing is currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Latest Titles from SDP Publishing Solutions!

SDP Publishing Solutions helps authors who work in all genres – children’s books, fiction, non-fiction, business, and more – to independently publish their books. We are thrilled to announce some of the most recent publications from SDP Publishing Solutions, including Unhinged by Dr. Gary McCarragher, Treasure Hunt by Heidi Martin, Thou Shall Not Allow a Witch to Live by Laura Jo DeMordaunt, and Mariner’s Hollow by F. G. Capitanio.

Unhinged

Searing anger breeds bitter vengeance. A story of choices, consequences, and a life transformed. Dr. Richard Chase is a renowned physician at the peak of his career. He is betrayed by a jealous colleague and becomes obsessed with seeking revenge. Dr. Chase’s actions threaten to destroy all that he holds dear-his career, his family, even his life. Unhinged probes deeply into the psyche of an emotionally traumatized man, exposing the harrowing personal and social consequences of obsession, anger, grief, vengeance, and guilt, but also reveals the enduring power of the human spirit to seek redemption in the face of tragic circumstances. Searing anger breeds bitter vengeance. A story of choices, consequences, and a life transformed.

About the Author

Dr. Gary McCarragher was born in Montreal, Canada. He received his medical training at McGill University and enjoyed a successful career as a gastroenterologist in the Tampa Bay area before becoming a hospice physician in 2009. As part of his passionate advocacy for hospice care, Gary has a website dedicated to hospice and has published numerous articles on palliative care. Visit Gary’s website at www.garymccarragher.com.

Gary also enjoys the arts, music, and performing in community theater, where he received an award for Best Actor. He is a member of the Land O’ Lakes Book Club. He currently lives in the Tampa Bay area.

Treasure Hunt

Treasure hunt, treasure hunt, on our way … And so the adventure begins in Heidi Martin’s playful story. Readers take off with a group of curious school children who have embarked on a field trip of exploration which takes them over the river, through the woods, and into a dark cave in search of an unexpected treasure. Children of all ages will delight in the lyrical text and vibrant illustrations as they follow along and discover just how much fun a treasure hunt can become!

About the Author

A Minnesota native, Heidi Martin spends her days as an educator, tutoring students in reading, writing, and math. She began writing as a hobby, and was inspired to create a children’s book by her own two children when they began exploring in their yard one sunny afternoon. Watching their excitement, Heidi scratched down a story about a treasure hunt, which she read to them. They enjoyed it so much that she decided to make it into a book. Heidi lives in Massachusetts with her husband and children.

 

Thou Shall Not Allow a Witch to Live

Poor crop yields, epidemics, war’s desolation, natural disasters, and festering jealousies-these were the cataclysmic tensions and ill omens to a pious Puritan priesthood of God’s displeasure and punishment to their “city on the hill” and their wavering, flagging parishioners. God had deserted the Puritans, leaving fear of the devil and witches amiss in the New England villages. The strict Reformed Puritans were very intolerant, not only of witches, but also of any deviation from their Puritan orthodoxy and civic order. Bridget Bishop was a rebellious outsider who deviated from the Puritan standards for women. She was constantly under suspicion ’cause of her strong will, flamboyant life style, and outspoken tongue. Her livelihood as ordinary keeper and her thrice marriages brought criticism and scorn from her Puritan neighbors and the Puritan clergy. Cotton Mather’s June 1662 document advised and urged the Court of Oyer and Terminer to speedily and vigorously prosecute “such as have rendered themselves obnoxious.” Bridget Bishop was not the first to be accused and arrested, but she was the first to be prosecuted ’cause her lifestyle met the criteria of “very obnoxious.”

About the Author

Laura Jo DeMordaunt has been a lifelong student of the history of New England. With ancestors arriving on the Mayflower, others in 1626 and thereafter, a good portion of her lifetime has been spent researching and writing histories of their struggles and triumphs in the New World, specifically Salem, Massachusetts. Her ancestor, Bridget Bishop, has been a 35-year research project. The vaults of many of New England’s museums, public offices, libraries, and genealogical societies have become her friends.

After encouraging her six sons and one daughter to achieve advanced degrees, Mrs. DeMordaunt returned to college at the age of 57 and graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho with a Bachelor of Science degree, emphasis in Education. She loves to serve in her church, flower garden, travel, and spend time on the family cattle ranch she shares with her husband, Roger. She is very proud of her 27 grandchildren. Roger and Laura Jo have just celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary.

Mariner’s Hollow

A mysterious and desolate island. A devastating turn of events. A secret that will reveal the true meaning of Justice.

Fifteen-year-old Justice Worth is summoned to the house of Eleanor Burby, an unknown aunt living on Mariner’s Hollow Island, miles off the turbulent Maine coast. Events transpire that are much worse than spending winter break apart from his friends back home, and turn his visit into a nightmare. A blizzard slams the island in all its fury, and in its midst, his aunt dies of an apparent suicide. Trapped in her island home, stalked by ghosts within and a murderer outside, Justice begins to unravel not only the truth behind his aunt’s death, but the family secrets threatening to destroy his perception of those he loves most.

Little about Aunt Eleanor’s death makes sense, but as Justice probes the lives of those closest to her, suspects multiply and new dangers arise. Through it all, island spirits continue to haunt him, pushing him towards the family’s dark secrets, before the only living person who knows them all silences him forever, burying the truth in the one place where it may never be found: Mariner’s Hollow.

About the Author

F. G. Capitanio is the author of several published poems, essays, and short stories. Mariner’s Hollow is his first published novel. He has spent several years in various departments of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  He lives year round on Cape Cod, while continuing to work on his second Justice Worth mystery.

SDP Publishing is currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

 

Physician Author, Publish Thyself

What do Arthur Conan Doyle, Anton Chekhov, Khaled Hosseini, William Carlos Williams, and John Keats have in common? Well besides the fact that they are all world-famous writers, they were all trained as physicians. Of course, research and writing have almost always been a part of the academic side of the medical profession. But all of the physician authors listed above are considered some of the best-of-the-best in fiction and poetry. Ethan Canin, an author, educator, and physician who has published six novels, says: “Everyone has an expressive urge, but it’s particularly pronounced in those who pursue medicine. It’s like being a soldier. You’ve seen great and terrible things.”

Whether you want to publish medical books and journals, forensic mysteries and psychological thrillers, or even children’s books, independent publishing offers a great opportunity for you to get your writing out to the world. At SDP Publishing over the years, we have worked with many physician authors, who have turned to writing, as a means of creative expression based on their fount of knowledge. Becoming a doctor author is much easier than you might think, as you are surrounded by several ready-made audiences that are eager to read what you write.

Through educational titles, you have the opportunity to serve as a mentor to medical students throughout the world who crave your guidance and seek to be led past the professional pitfalls you may have encountered. Other physician authors have gathered stories from their patients about how they have lived longer lives or have overcome life-threatening diseases and conditions. Still others have written creative fiction and children’s books, based on their years of working the medical profession.

As you embark on this next journey of self publishing your book, you want a relationship with a publishing company that is as close and specialized as your relationships with your patients. Launched as a sister company to Modern Graphics, Inc., we have been helping medical professionals become successful doctor authors for more than 40 years, producing textbooks and reference materials for the medical and educational marketplaces. Our team of savvy editors, designers, and marketing specialists has earned an outstanding reputation for putting these books in the forefront of the sales channels where interested and passionate readers will find them.

SDP Publishing Solutions has extensive experience helping physician authors match their unique background and stories to one or more market niches and their audiences who won’t be able to put down your current book or wait for the next one.

Check out some of our recently published physician authors:

Dr. Gary McCarragher, Unhinged

Dr. Lewis Lefer, Blood

Dr. Steven I. Dahl, Chicken Fried Steak, HOA Gold!, Kick the Can, Picasso’s Zip Line

Gleeson Rebello, M.D., DareBone’s Big Break

Dr. Richard Blomberg, Warpath

If you’re interested in learning about how you, as a physician, can self publish your writing, please contact SDP Publishing. We are currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!