Indie Publishing vs. Self-Publishing

Surreal Estate, a story about Palm Beach real estate corruption, was written by Sugar M. and published by Graham Publishing Group.

You’re heard the stories about the incredible success that The Martian and 50 Shades of Grey had after their authors chose to launch the books via self-publication. You’ve very likely heard of Hugh Howey and A.G.Riddle. They earned their wings via self-publishing as well. But if you asked these four very successful authors if they preferred the term “self-published author” or “indie author,” they would probably tell you that it all depends on your approach to the industry.

In some people’s eyes, self-publishing implies a less professional approach to the publishing world, where the authors do pretty much everything themselves. Some would say it infers a hobby, not a business.  Whether this is true or not is debatable.

Indie publishing implies that you have chosen to independently publish your book as well, but that you have also chosen to work with professionals in the areas of book design, book layout, marketing and sales, as well as distribution and fulfillment.  You’ve chosen to make the publishing and sale of your books a business from top to bottom.

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Pick the Right Book Designer for Your Ghostwriting Project

Blackhawk cover

Blackhawk, a story about a reclusive guitar legend, was written by Hayden Scott and published by Graham Publishing Group.

You have a book to write. A novel, biography, business book, or book of inspiration.  This is a lifetime dream for many of us, and you don’t need to be a writer.  You need the idea, and you need the passion.  A skilled ghostwriter, like those at Graham Publishing Group or Mark Graham Communications, can bring your book to life and do it in such a way that you are proud to have your name on the cover.

The next thing you need to know is that you will be published. There is no question. In this day and age, the power of publishing is no longer just with the big five publishers in New York. You have the same power. You first step once you’ve hired the right ghostwriter is to engage the services of the best book designer and publishing assistance group you can find.  Having the power means exploring your options and making an informed decision.

A powerfully written book at the hands of the right ghostwriter deserves the best possible book design group, the very best book cover designer, and someone who understands the importance of quality interior layout.  You’ve chosen your ghostwriter with care.  Now choose a book designer who shares your passion and takes pride in creating a print book and e-book worthy of your commitment.

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Ghostwriting a Business Book

Rings of Value was written Timothy M. Beglin, with book design and marketing Graham Publishing

You’re a business leader with a business to run.  You may also have a great idea for a business book that will, in fact, expand your business. The problem is moving from idea to words on a page. That is where a skillful ghostwriter can help. You have an expertise.  So do a select few ghostwriters; the expertise to bring your message to life and do so in a way that represents you and all the hard work you’ve put into getting where you are in your professional life. Be assured, there are many people excited to know what you know. Time to take the next step.

Lots of business people fancy themselves effective writers, and many are. But writing a memo or whitepaper or newsletter is not the same as writing a book with 40,000 words or more. A professional ghostwriter gathers the information you wish to put in your book via material you may have on your website, via blogs you may have penned, or via interviews that he or she will conduct with you.  Phase two is taking that information, giving it a form (usually in a chapter outline) and then find a voice, tone, and style that fits you.  This is so important.

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Hiring the Right Ghostwriter

Successful girl exulting while writing

Hiring the right ghostwriter is a worthwhile idea for anyone who has an interesting story to tell, a valuable message to deliver, or powerful tools to share.

If you’ve thought about writing a novel, biography, business book, self-help book, or screenplay and don’t quite know where to start, here are several important reasons why hiring the right ghostwriter might be the ideal solution for you

  1. The Right Ghostwriter has publishing experience

You might be a fine writer, but if you’re trying to get a piece published and have no publishing experience, a ghostwriter can help you tailor your work to make it more attractive to a publisher.

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Content Editing vs. Copy Editing

This tale of two travelers was written by both Joseph De La Cruz and Simon Vandekerckhove and was published by Graham Publishing Group.

Here is the question:  Is there a difference between copy editing and proofreading?  From a writer’s point of view, there is, but there isn’t.  Some will say that the copy editor is tasked with the job of checking written material for grammar, spelling, and word usage, which is exactly what the writer hopes his or her proofreader is doing.  Do I want my copy editor doing revisions or rewrites, or working on transitions? Do I want him or her adding color or tweaking dialogue? Do I want them toying with jargon or tinkering with the actually writing?  The answer is an emphatic no.  That is the job of a content editor or developmental editor, someone who is themselves a writer.

Writers cannot and should not try to copy edit or proofread their own work.  That is a skill that is unique to copy editors and proofreaders.  Copy editors and proofreaders are generally not writers, but they have an extraordinary eye of errors that most writers miss, even as they rewrite and rewrite.

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The Business of Self-Publishing

This true story of loss and courage was written by Bonnie Henriksen and published by Graham Publishing Group.

Every person who writes a book is an entrepreneur.  Yes, there is an aspect of art in writing a book, but there is an equal part which is all business. You embraced the art, now you have to embrace the business. And why not. The business end is how you let readers know that you have a book.  Once they know, they can then appreciate the art.

It may sound cool to be published by a mainstream publisher such as Harper Collins or Penguin.  But it’s only cool if they are committed to selling your book.  It is important to know that their commitment varies from book to book. Not because they don’t want your book to sell.  They make money when it does, so why not.  The problem is not their lack of desire to make a success of your book; it is having the wherewithal to make it a success that is the age-old problem.

The problem is even more pronounced in this day and age. There are a few very successful writers, and then there is everyone else. And among the category of “everyone else” are many very talented writers.

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Five Habits of Effective Digital Marketing

Mixology is the second book in a modern fantasy series written by Jennifer Byars and was published by Graham Publishing Group.

Don’t you hate that phrase: effective digital marketing.

Don’t you hate when you hear about how successful some guy or girl is in getting their product noticed; in the case of this blog, the book that you have written or had ghostwritten.

Here is what I know. It’s all about making your daily marketing routine into a habit; or more than one habit, as it turns out.  Here’s five to try on for size.

Habit One: The Best Laid Plan. 

Sorry to share the bad news, but you have to have plan and you have to be organized.  Whether it’s posting on Good Reads, tweeting, or penning out a press release, you have to be precise even as you’re being creative. You have to know your budget as well as you do the proper use of the active voice.  A campaign for selling your book will only goes as far as the best laid plan.

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The Future of Book Design

This fearless memoir was written by Patricia Gunn and published by Graham Publishing Group.

It’s not a stretch to say that great book design begins with a perfectly designed book cover.  Here is a collection of thoughts about the direction of future book covers.

Why Not a Collage?  Even as kids, we were encouraged to create collages. Out of newspaper, out of photos, out of wrapping paper, out of trinkets.  Think about the power and fun of those creations.  Think about how powerful and engaging a well-designed collage might transpose your book cover.  While this is a trend you will see more of, the key is making sure the cover speaks to what you’ve written and gets the reader to explore the words inside.

The Power of Art.  More and more, cover designers will be thinking like artists. They will be looking for color trends in fashion, in modern art, in sports.  Better to think like an artist than to study merely the trends. If pink is the new black, then why not experiment with pink and purple, pink and orange, pink and gold.

Subtle is OUT.  In today’s world of books, big is bold when it comes to book covers, and bigger is the perfect accent for big.  Make sense?  Don’t just go big; but go big in a creative way. Catch the reader’s eye with big and bold font choices, but sprinkle in texture and light that holds the eye and brings a smile.

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Gaining Exposure for Your Book

This extraordinary memoir was written by Heath Smith Callahan and published by Graham Publishing Group.

Here is the challenge that every self-published author faces; actually it is the challenge that authors who are working with mainstream publishers also experience.  How do you gain maximum exposure for your book?  You have to get it out there where readers know it is available.  Exposure means being online via social media. Exposure means having a presence in chat rooms. Exposure means creating podcasts or finding podcasts willing to feature you and your book.  It means exploring traditional media. It means considering PR relationships. It also means being willing to attend or present at any event that it pertinent to the business of selling your book and marketing yourself as an author.

Marketing your book has to be viewed as a business.  You have to be willing to invest in your business.  This investment may very well include giving your product away in order to create a long-term platform.  Think about this. What is your market? If you’ve written a health book, then consider sharing your book with chefs, with health food stores, with cooking classes, with culinary schools, with fitness centers.  This is a short-term investment that you hope to parlay into long term marketing opportunities such as seminars in culinary settings, guest appearances at your local gym, speaking engagements at the local Rotary, and podcasts targeting health and fitness. You get the idea.

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Five Steps in the Self-publication Process

The VISTA-Alaska Letters

This motivational book,filled with stories of people who turned their lives around, is a collaboration between Edward Wilson and Graham Publishing Group.

You’ve written an awesome book. It may be your first, your second, or your tenth. It may be a novel, biography, business book, or self-help book.

Now it is time to see your creation in print, in an e-book format, and perhaps even an audio version. There are Five Steps in the self-publishing process, also called independent publishing, and each is essential to the success of your book.

Step One: Creation.  It doesn’t just happen; you have to sit down every day and write the book of your dreams.  Or you can hire a qualified, talented, and knowledgeable ghostwriter.  Do your due diligence. Don’t skimp on credentials, talent, or experience.

Step Two: Editing.  There are three types of editing to consider: developmental editing, content editing, and copy editing.  The goal of developmental editing is to raise your book to it’s highest level of presentation. Content editing emphasizes the language of your book.  Copy editing makes sure the finished manuscript is as clean as possible before entering Step Three.

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