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Tom Corson-Knowles
Founder of TCK Publishing and #1 Bestselling Author
Founder of TCK Publishing and #1 Bestselling Author


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Six-figure advance! Huge deal for new series by beloved bestselling author! Novel by new author goes for crazy amount at auction!

Industry headlines scream about how much traditionally published authors can make—massive advances, bidding wars on books—but have you ever stopped to really think about how published authors get paid?

With self-publishing, it’s pretty easy to figure out. You create book, you get book professionally edited and produced, you put book into marketplace via CreateSpace and Kindle (along with other venues, if you really want to cover your bases), you make sales, you get money.

You had to pay the editor and book designer and cover artist, yes, but then all the money that comes in from sales belongs to you, minus some small fees for distribution in ebook markets and the production costs of having paperbacks made via print-on-demand.

In some ways, calling the revenue from self-publishing sales “royalties,” like Amazon does, is misleading. That’s because you haven’t actually licensed your book to them—they’re really charging a distribution fee for their services. Royalties are something else entirely.

Time to demystify traditional publishing payments!
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Authors have more options than ever when it comes to publishing a book. We can choose to self-publish, work with a contract publisher or packager, outsource most of the work, DIY everything, or pursue a traditional publishing arrangement. And we can mix and match among these for every book we create, choosing what works best for each unique project.

But in order to make the right choices, you have to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option. There are lots of reasons to choose self-publishing, and lots of reasons to pursue traditional publishing deals. It’s all about making the right choice for the right project at the right time.
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Why should a professional writer care about blogging?

The first and most important reason to blog is marketing.

Starting a blog can be an important part of your social media campaign for book marketing.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll only blog for the sake of marketing—it’s not very effective to have a “blog” that only consists of posts asking people to buy your book. If you want your promotional efforts to be successful, you have to write valuable content consistently.

You’ll write posts on various topics related to your niche and the interests of your audience.
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How are you pushing the boundaries of the craft?
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“Budget” is not a bad word.

Okay, so it brings to mind images of serious, scowling penny-pinchers who drain all the fun out of life by demanding that 99.994% of your income goes to paying down debt and saving for a rainy day.

But really, a budget can be the thing that unlocks a lot of opportunity in your life. It sets out a plan for where your money will go, letting you think about more important things (like writing) and, crucially for an author, lets you set yourself up for success with your next book launch.

Viewed from that perspective, a budget is an essential planning tool on your publishing journey—it lets you know how much actual profit you’re making from your books.

And that means that instead of being a ball and chain preventing you from having any fun, a book budget can turn into the very thing that liberates you from your day job and from your financial worries by allowing you to flourish as a full-time author!
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When you’re self-publishing a book, it’s important to pay attention to detail.

You have to do all the little things that readers expect from a professional book in order to attract attention and convince people to spend their hard-earned money and precious time on your book.

That includes getting a great cover designed, having your book professionally edited, and making sure that the interior design, formatting, and layout meet professional standards. If a book completely disregards these standards, readers are likely to be skeptical of the actual content—this is one case where the wrapping really does tend to reflect on what’s inside.

But what makes an interior design seem professional?

Let’s take a look at the major parts of a traditional book.
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Every author wants to see their book on a bookstore shelf.

Sure, the and Kindle stores are awesome (and it’s where most authors make the majority of our sales), but there’s something about seeing your book on an actual store shelf that just gets the ol’ heart pounding and drives home that you’re really a professional author.

But how books end up in bookstores anyway?

If you want to get into a major book retailer, beyond just your local indie shop, it’s a complicated, confusing process.

We’ll try to make it as simple and easy-to-understand as possible.

Let’s take a look inside and find out how it’s done.
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Writers’ conferences are amazing things.

You get to talk to other people who understand the joys and agonies of being an author, share tips for getting an agent or a publishing deal, find new beta readers, make new industry connections, and even get tips on how to find a cover designer or self-publish your book.

But when you’re around so many people who can help your career out, and you’re so excited about sharing your work, you can also accidentally goof up, making a misstep that makes you look less than professional and hurting your career instead of helping it.

Let’s take a look at 7 common mistakes writers make at conferences and how you can avoid them—and use the conference to boost your career instead!

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Although the options available to you as an author with a completed book are just this side of boundless, most ways to publish fall into three broad buckets:

You can go the traditional route by getting picked up and published by a traditional press.
You can self-publish via a platform like Createspace, Lulu, Kobo, or KDP.
You can hire a publishing services company.
Of those, you’ve probably heard and read the most about options 1 and 2. However, option 3 is a middle ground fewer writers have heard about, despite being a viable choice…if you avoid the most common mistakes, pitfalls, and scams.

Since this is the lesser-known option among most writers, let’s take this from the beginning, starting with the first question most people ask:

What Is a Publishing Services Company?
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Unless your writing habits are entirely limited to scribbling in a journal you keep locked in a drawer or hidden between your mattress and your box spring, there’s a high likelihood that eventually somebody else is going to read your writing.

For many first-time authors, this is a make-or-break moment, the first real test of their mettle as a writer… and quite a nerve-wracking experience to boot.

What if my story is no good? you might think—or, worse yet, What if they don’t like it?

But you, intrepid soul that you are, pluck up your courage and approach a colleague or a trusted friend, and place your first story in their hands.

And they read it. And read it again.

And then the dreaded response comes back:

“Well…” they say. “I liked it… except, there was this one part…”

The fact is, dealing with criticism of your writing can be incredibly difficult. But it’s an important and necessary part of any author’s life, as the clearest and most candid indicator of how your stories are coming across to an outside audience.

Here’s a 6-step process you can use to deal with negative criticism of your own writing, and become a stronger writer in the process.
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