BookCamp Round-up - Part 2

October 5, 2010

The following consists of miscellaneous notes from various sessions. I bopped around between sessions a bit so they are less in-depth.

eBooks

Only stayed a few minutes here as this was more publisher-centric.

You can start from a Word document, then go to XML format where it's cleaner and easier to make changes quickly.

Alternately, the manuscript goes to InDesign, then to an EPub & PDF.

The recommendation is NOT to print then scan (which seems like a "duh" tip to me, as conversion from scanning sounds like a huge amount of work). Although this is still done in many cases.

Keep track of versioning and keep the book on a shared server if multiple people have to do the editing.

Essentially, don't expect that hitting the big shiny Export button gets you a clean eBook - you WILL have to proof extensively.

Working with Agents & Editors

If writing for magazines, you will be brutally edited for style, grammar and space. Don't get upset by this, it's part of the game, so take the money and run. :-)

A good fiction editor, however, should be a career builder, in the sense that if the relationship goes well, they should want your follow-on books.

Google Books

Jenna Newman

This was a really in-depth presentation by someone who's read the settlement extensively backwards and forwards. I don't have many notes because the subject matter was quite complex.

However, it's important to note that Google's partner and library programs are separate from Google Editions, which is in fact an addition to the partner program. All authors will want to make sure they register their books with Google properly in order to see revenue. Exactly who registers (author or publisher) depends on how the electronic rights are structured in your publishing contract.

The key a-ha moment for me was realizing the whole $60 per work settlement fee covers PAST revenues generated by a scanned book prior to 2009 (I think, I might not be remembering the date correctly). If you register yourself as the rights holder for a book, future revenues accrue to you based on a percentage of ad revenue.

Author Promotion

The Book Broads (Angela Crocker, Peggy Richardson, Kim Plumley)

Buy the .com for your full name, or the name you publish under. Essential, bare-minimum stuff. Make sure you have a website.

Buy the .com for the title of your book. Consider re-titling the book if you can't get the .com that matches the title.

Network, network, network.

Get good head shots and editorial shots (these are more interesting shots of you in action somehow, or in an interesting setting).

Work on your elevator pitch. Hone it to the bone.

If promoting yourself on social networking, follow the 80-20 rule. Talk about yourself or direct promote only 20% of the time. The other 80% of the time, point out new things to your readers, or talk about other people or things. Your readers will get to know you via these other 80% items, and you won't come across as a complete narcissist.

Book trailers and audio or video podcasts might seem like a lot of work, and aren't for everyone. But do note that Google indexes pages with video content higher than text-only pages.

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