November, 2008

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What To Send to a Bookstore Buyer?


When selling a book to the bookstores, libraries, and chains, remember that the people seeing your book sales kit see hundreds of sales kits a day. They will choose a very small percentage of the books they see. Your kit can make the difference between a purchase order and a politely worded e-mail (We regret to inform you …). When you send a package to a buyer for consideration, it is your first and perhaps only chance to impress them. Here is a checklist of what is recommended for inclusion in your package:

  • Color printout of the cover on heavy, glossy paper.
  • A bound ARC/galley or comb-bound manuscript if the book is finished. Sample chapters printed out if it is not.
  • Fully outlined marketing and publicity plan
  • One-page title information sheet with :
    Author bio
    Author hometown
    100-word description of book
    Order contact information
    Book category
    Retail price
    Page count
    Trim size
    Ship date
    Publication date
    Print run
    Co-op and advertising budget
    Title and ISBN of previous books by author or in the series
    Title and ISBN of books similar to yours

Top Ten Reasons Why Your English Teacher-Mother-Neighbor-Friend-Church Secretary Cannot Edit or Proof Your Book


  1. An avid reader with a red pen is not a good substitute for an editor who knows how to polish and refine another’s writing.
  2. The amateur editor or proof reader does not know all the elements to look for.
  3. They have not developed the years of training it takes to catch almost every mistake.
  4. They do not know the proper arc and format of each type of book.
  5. They do not know The Chicago Manual of Style standards for book publishing.
  6. They do not know how to code a manuscript for the designers.
  7. Yes, they catch every spelling mistake in their daily lives, but they do not catch every spacing, line setting, page number, and margin error.
  8. They are not practiced in working in the publishing industry. They cannot offer the advice and guidance that a professional can.
  9. They do not have the software and computer skills to work as efficiently as a professional.
  10. Hire an amateur, and you will might lose your chance to publish a good book and end up publishing a could-have-been-good book.

You Are What You Think


Okay everyone… I mean it. It is time to turn off CNN and stop obsessively reviewing every news feed about the economy.

I know the book industry (and most other industries) are in the crapper and that there are huge losses being reported every day.

But it’s time to get down to business. I’ve had enough of the hand wringing. I am sick of the culture of panic that we have all agreed to live with.

If it is true that we are what we eat, that we become, in large part, a sum of what we put in our bodies, than I believe that it is also true that we become a sum of what we put in our minds. I am not a huge fan of mind-body-hooey and can promise you that I will never read The Secret, but I do know this: We create our own reality.

If we spend all of our time being afraid of the future, we will not have the energy to improve that future. If we spend hours each day talking to cohorts about how bad things are, we are wasting opportunities to make them better.

I plan on spending some time each day working on ways to help my small, fledgling business survive this “down-turn”. Not only do I plan to survive, I plan to thrive.

People are going to need books and companies will need help coming up with creative ways to make and market books.

I can spend the next few months blaming everything on the market or I can start believing that every day hold new opportunities, even in a recession. I can either wallow in depression and accept defeat before it has arrived, or spend my day happy and excited, doing my best.

How are you going to spend your day?


Julie & Julia


While I know the rest of the world has already read and celebrated the brilliance of Julie Powell, the author of Julie & Julia, I am just getting to it.

What a fantastic book! I have been laughing so hard outloud that people are looking over at me with disapproving looks.

Go get it. Read it. Enjoy.