Friday 20 December 2019

Post-Publication Check-list

Image by kalhh from Pixabay

This is where the publisher and the writer cross over a little.  There are certain routine things that need to be done after a book is published. They are not exactly heavy marketing tools but they nevertheless improve the book’s visibility and make author and publisher look professional.


Public Lending Right
Register your book for PLR.  Even if you’ve only written a chapter in a book, you can get some PLR. Don’t forget to register for Irish PLR at the same time. The amount varies from year to year. But it means that you get about 6p every time your book is borrowed from the library, up to a maximum amount of about £6,000 per author. They use sample libraries to monitor this and then apply the same findings to similar libraries throughout the country. Soon technology should be able to monitor every single book individually.       


Author’s Licensing and Collecting Agency Register here. This can be very lucrative as well for any articles or academic papers you have had published. There is a pot of money that is divided between all authors registered and you are also given specific amounts according to how many times your work has been recorded or photocopied. It also gathers PLR from other countries on your behalf. It uses a similar monitoring system to PLR (see above). Not long ago the university where I worked was monitored. Every time we photocopied from a published book we had to photocopy the title page and write on it how many copies we’d made and pop the page into a box.
“I hope my MA supervisor appreciates this,” I said to a colleague. I’d just made twenty copies of a couple of pages of his book.
“You should copy some of your own,” said my colleague.
Now That sounds like cheating. However, I do often use my own work with students, so why not?            

Other web sites

Are you a member of a professional organisation such as the Society of Authors or the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Are you attached to a university and might they consider this research? They encourage you to list your publications.  

CV and Publication list

Update this every time as you get out get new publications. It’s not a bad idea to keep your CV on Linked-in. Download a copy every time you update. 

Your own web site

Not got one yet? There are arguments that say you can have one before you’re published. Certainly as soon as you’re published you should have one. Weebly, one-com, Blogger and WordPress offer cheap / free solutions. You really want one that you can author yourself, though it’s a good idea to get advice form an expert when you set up the template. And do get a proper domain name.  

Set up a Facebook page

You might consider having one for you as an author and then a separate one for each book. Keep it going forever. Have a call to action button on the landing page i.e. a link to where visitors can buy the book.
Facebook reminds you if you haven’t been to your page for a while. 


Consider writing a blog if you don’t already. It might be about writing or it might be about your book. You might keep a blog for posting excerpts of your work. You might keep separate blogs for separate items – I do. You can also share posts with other bloggers and go on blog tours.           


Make a book trailer for each publication. This is so easy with Vimeo.  Post it on You Tube,  Take care not to use copyright material. Free pictures are available at Free Pics    and free music at Free Music Archive. 

Book Bub

Another place to advertise your books. It's also good to join as a reader. You can  sign up for deals to get your book on to lists that are emailed out.  

Author Central

Register with Arthur Central. This is on Amazon and allows Amazon readers to find you. Add each publication as it comes out and you’ll soon have real evidence that you are a writer. If you have a chapter in a book or a story in an anthology you may have to prove this to Amazon. However, this is quite straight forward. You can mention where you are listed as an author in the book or if they’re still not convinced can ask your publisher to write to them. We always list our authors in such a way in our books that Amazon often finds them anyway.      

Good Reads

You can create an author profile on Good Reads. You can link this to your blog so that people who find and follow you on Good Reads. Don’t forget to be a reader here as well. It learns your reading preferences and recommends texts you might like. It’s a good place for getting and posting reviews. Be generous with your reviews if you want people to be generous with you.       


Amazon Associates

This is where you can earn a little every time someone clicks on a link from your book. You can paste just the cover of your book – small medium or large – on to your blog or web site. Or you can use an image plus text or just text. You can also of course advertise other people’s books if you wish. I’m intrigued that with my own account people frequently buy such items as dog food or lawn sprinklers. They buy books as well, thank goodness, and on those books I also get a royalty from the publisher.  
Find Amazon Associates here.          


Make postcards. Book covers look so good on a post card. Vista Print is a good option. They’re also good for business cards. If you run out of business cards have the next set made with the cover of your latest book and a link to where you can buy it on one side of the card.    


Linked in

You can and should list your publications on Linked in. Why not also write a post about each new text?  


Twitter List

Mention your book from time to time on Twitter. Remember the 20/80% rule, So every time you mention your book you should post four other tweets about something else.  

As a publisher and an editor I go through a shortened version of this list:
Linked in publisher site   
Twitter List   
Facebook page   
Good Reads, where I post a review even though I’m the publisher. Good Reads doesn’t mind. Unfortunately you can’t do this for Amazon; they don’t like “connections”.

For my own short stories I also use a shortened list:    
Twittter list 
Publication list
Website GillJames Writer
Facebook page
Linked- in

It’s routine stuff really and can be a bit tedious. But why not play some good music as you do it and just remember it’s making you more visible and helping you to come across as professional.


Monday 25 November 2019

Girl in a Smart Uniform The cost of publishing processes

I thought you might be interested in seeing a break-down publishing costs. This is what we have for this book:

Distribution 2019

IPG 2019

Set up




British Library



This has been a slightly more expensive book to produce that most of our titles. This  is because we have bought in more services as this is a book I have written.

So here is an explanation of what the terms on the chart mean.

Distribution 2019

We pay £8.40 a year per title to have our books hooked up to major distributors, wholesalers and retailers. This is an absolute bargain. It would take hours and hours of our efforts to get this done and not all would accept us. Because we do this through Ingrams / Lightning Source we have access to their visibility and good will within the industry. The figure includes VAT. But it is £8.40 we need to cover each year per title.  


We are members of the Independent Publishers Guild which is a source of advice, information and opportunities. We divide our annual fee by all the titles that are currently in print. This figure goes down each time we add a new book.  

Set up

This is the same price for all print paperbacks and includes VAT. It costs £25 to upload the inside of the book and £25.00 to upload the cover. We pay £21.00 for a proof copy. There is an option to accept an electronic proof but we prefer to see the actual physical book. A particular point is how the colour blue translates from the screen to print. For full colour books an escalating rate is paid. Oddly though, our two full colour books, Magical Christmas and Who Will Be My Friend? both cost less to set up than the standard paperback.


We commissioned a cover here as this is one of a cycle of six books with similar covers. We pay £250 to artists and photographers if we use them but more often than not we design the cover in-house, using copyright-free images form Pixabay.      


Normally this is done in-house and we don’t pay ourselves but take a share of the profit. We’ve started using a few other editors, and have started paying them £180 for three stages of editing, as an advance, then once that is earned back awarding them part of the publisher’s profit share. In this case a professional freelance editor gave us mates’ rates.


We have to deposit five hard copies of each book with the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries.

British Library

We have to deposit one hard copy of each book with the British Library.

We have applied to be allowed to deposit electronically both to the British Library and the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries. We are still awaiting a decision.

We’re shortly going to start paying our in-house editors, designers and marketers an advance. This will create greater set-up costs. This won’t affect the share of net sales that goes to authors but it will mean that a new book will only be taken on once a book has recouped its set-up costs.    

Saturday 26 October 2019

Allison's Latest - October 2019

Just to say I'm almost at the end of the final editing stage on the book I'm working on as an editor at the moment.

The whole process has been enjoyable and I know I'm taking in things that will benefit my own writing. For example, editing someone else's work has reminded me to check for things that are easy to overlook in the understandable excitement of getting your story down and then out there!

How often do you check if your paragraphs are indented (a) properly and (b) consistently? Hmm...  this kind of thing is the final polish to your work before submitting it anywhere. But it is easy to rush that final polish or to forget it altogether (especially if you're close to a deadline!).

An important part of editing but it is not the only thing. Pixabay image.

What do you think of when you hear the word editing?

Looking out for typos, grammatical errors and so on? Yes, that is all vital, but so is checking that the structure of the story and the collection it is in makes sense. Collections have to have a sensible running order.

Some stories feed into others beautifully and you want a nice "flow". Readers do pick up on that. I know I appreciate it when I read stories that flow well together like that. It just adds that something a little extra special to the book and author, editor, publisher and, ultimately, reader will all want that.

Editing work needed here I think!  Pixabay image.

Monday 21 October 2019

Other Ways of Being

Okay, so this is a collection of my own stories. Most of them have been published elsewhere or listed in a competition. Again, just like the collection I mentioned last time, this book went through all the same processes that all of our books go through:
·         Three stages of editing
·         Proof read (in this case I was a proof-reader and another in-house person proof read)
·         Design
·         Cover designs that produces a cover that looks attractive, is technically sound and speaks to the market place
·         First level marketing

So, here’s the blurb:

"Other Ways of Being" is an anthology of stories that ask us many questions about:
otherness: Is a stranger a threat or is he just trying to help? It may be as clever as being a fortune-teller but is it helpful?

  • other times: Is the wild woman really a little girl that she used to know? Will they be safe now or should they worry about the bright soldiers marching? Which horror does the deep sleeper hide?
  • other histories: Who was that strange child? How did they manage to feed so many people?
  • other worlds: Can a couple remain together even when their natures threaten to keep them apart? Is a seemingly incompetent wizard cleverer than he seems? What happens when an alien makes a mistake and almost gives himself away? Do animals help each other in their struggle against the damage that humans are doing? Who exactly is the lady in blue? Is Bradley’s the best story ever?
  • our near futures: Can a man survive in a dystopian future if he has no more human contact? What can ATMs do when society goes moneyless? What happens when the money runs out? Just how smart will the smartphone get? Or driverless cars for that matter? Where will we find sanctuary when the extremists start winning? What happens to the clones when the blueprint gets sick?
  • other sexualities and genders: Will we get used to Toni?

Sunday 6 October 2019

Because Sometimes Something Extraordinary Happens

This is a book we put together for our very own Debz Hobbs-Wyatt. All of the stories have been published before or have own competitions and now she has the rights back. They only needed the lightest of edits. So working with this book was different.

Debz anyway is an editor herself, but even so, it’s hard to edit your own work. Besides this work had already passed several gatekeepers. So, there was just a light copy edit and proof-read. I wasn’t involved in proof-reading so this delightful volume is waiting in my to be read pile. I’m familiar with some of the stories but not all of them. I’m looking forward to it.

Debz provided her own ideas for the cover and this involved a photo of her grandmother. My goodness, Debz doesn’t half look like her.

Meet a mixture of beguiling narrators, from seven-year-old Leonardo Renoir Hope trying to change the past so his dad doesn’t die, and George and his carrot-growing friends on an east London allotment waiting for the world to end, to Amy Fisher who realises that her husband, after his sudden death, is not who she thinks he is… but who is the other Mrs Fisher? This one adds a touch of medical horror to the mix.

All of the stories are about ordinary people when extraordinary things happen to them.
As usual we need reviews.

Find it on Amazon here