Byline Blog

Byline: The Art of Writing and Business of Publishing

Peter DeHaan

Discussing the art of writing and the business of publishing

Three Reasons Why Everyone Likes Anthologies

An anthology is a collection of selected writings by various authors. It seems anthologies are popular. Why is that? Readers Enjoy Bite-Sized Passages in Anthologies Anthologies focus on a theme, but within that subject, each author’s work is usually independent of the other contributors. Each chapter or section contains an autonomous thought. There’s no storyline … Continue reading Three Reasons Why Everyone Likes Anthologies

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The Nine Errors of Self-Publishing

For the past two months, I’ve blogged about the nine self-publishing errors. My list isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a great starting point. Nine Self-Publishing Errors Poor Content A Lousy Cover A Lackluster Title Poor Editing Poor File Conversion Font Abuse: Getting Carried Away With Fonts Having a Homemade Look Failure to Follow Conventions Publishing Too … Continue reading The Nine Errors of Self-Publishing

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The Ninth Error of Self-Publishing: Publishing Too Soon

In the Rush to Publish We Run the Risk of Sharing Our Words Before They’re Ready The final error of self-publishing for us to look at his publishing too soon. Too many authors frustrated over not being able to get a traditional book deal or find an agent make the mistake of jumping into self-publishing … Continue reading The Ninth Error of Self-Publishing: Publishing Too Soon

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The Eighth Error of Self-Publishing: Failure to Follow Conventions

There are certain standards established publishers follow. Though these conventions may seem arbitrary, a failure to follow them could make your book stand out in a bad way. For example: On the cover, the author’s name stands alone without the word “By.” Subtitles aren’t preceded by a colon but placed on a separate line from … Continue reading The Eighth Error of Self-Publishing: Failure to Follow Conventions

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The Seventh Error of Self-Publishing: Having a Homemade Look

To address the seventh of eight self-publishing errors, let’s take a step back. Let’s look at the bigger picture, that is, the book as a whole. Don’t self-published a book that looks homemade. In years past, this may have included photocopied pages, a simplistic cover, spiral binding (or three-hole punched for a binder), 8 1/2 … Continue reading The Seventh Error of Self-Publishing: Having a Homemade Look

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The Sixth Error of Self-Publishing: Font Abuse

I call the sixth error of self-publishing, font abuse. That not as prevalent and it once was, font abuse is using multiple font styles, with varying point sizes throughout a manuscript. The author may view this as creative formatting, but the only thing it accomplishes is irritating the reader. At best, this barrage of fonts … Continue reading The Sixth Error of Self-Publishing: Font Abuse

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The Fifth Error of Self-Publishing: Formatting Errors

If we avoid the first four errors of self-publishing (poor content, cover, title, and editing), we can still ruin our hard work with formatting errors. Just because a book looks good in Microsoft Word, doesn’t mean it’s going to convert nicely to an e-book. Even one conversion error will lower a reader’s esteem for our … Continue reading The Fifth Error of Self-Publishing: Formatting Errors

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The 4th Error of Self-Publishing: Poor Editing

After poor content, cover, and title, the fourth error is skipping or scrimping on the editing. Our books deserve quality editing. I’ve never met anyone who could self-edit with complete success. Yes, some writers are better than others. And, with time, we can all improve our self-editing skills, but we will never catch every error … Continue reading The 4th Error of Self-Publishing: Poor Editing

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What’s the Deal with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?

Discover How the GDPR Applies to Writers Outside the European Union I don’t think anyone fully understands the practical implications of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) for the European Union. This post explores the GDPR as it relates to writers. (Reminder: I’m not a lawyer, and this isn’t legal advice; this is my opinion … Continue reading What’s the Deal with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?

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The Third Error of Self-Publishing: A Lackluster Title

In past posts, we’ve covered the importance of content and cover. The next element is the book title. People browsing books (be it online or in a bookstore) generally look at the cover first. If the cover grabs their attention, then they’ll read the title. If the title reinforces the cover or further interests them, … Continue reading The Third Error of Self-Publishing: A Lackluster Title

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The Second Error of Self-Publishing: A Lousy Cover

Last week, I said that the primary error of self-publishing is poor content. The second error, almost as critical, is a lousy book cover. People do, quite literally, judge a book by its cover—and even more so when buying online. Don’t Make Your Own Book Cover Unless you make a living designing book covers—or have … Continue reading The Second Error of Self-Publishing: A Lousy Cover

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The Main Problem with Self-Publishing is Poor Content

I’ve read many self-published books and looked at even more. Too many of them scream “Self-published!” This distresses me. I love self-publishing and the many options it offers, but I loathe seeing it done poorly. This begins a series of posts on the Errors of Self-Publishing. The primary error of self-publishing is poor content This … Continue reading The Main Problem with Self-Publishing is Poor Content

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Quotes from Great Writers: Learn, Grow, and Write

Great writers can teach us about writing and inspire us to write with excellence Here are some of my favorite quotes from great writers and other famous people: “Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” -Flannery O’Connor “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” -Muriel Rukeyser “Having fun isn’t … Continue reading Quotes from Great Writers: Learn, Grow, and Write

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What Are the Chief Weakness of Self-Published Books

As I read more and more self-published books, I’m dismayed over a reoccurring theme: many lack robust editing. That’s not to imply these works had no editing at all, most did. It’s just that they lacked full editing. The first reminder to every writer is we can’t truly edit our own work. True, we must … Continue reading What Are the Chief Weakness of Self-Published Books

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E-Book Challenges: 5 Things That Are Hard To Do In E-Books

Last week I posted Five Things You Can Do With E-Books. Today I consider their limitations. Here are my top e-book challenges: Footnotes If a book needs references, I prefer footnotes to endnotes. However, with the font resizing aspect of e-book readers, displaying footnotes are challenging at best and impossible at worst. Charts and Tables … Continue reading E-Book Challenges: 5 Things That Are Hard To Do In E-Books

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Five Things You Can Do With E-Books

There is some writing that we almost never see in printed form, due to its length, content, format, market size, or other factors. When it comes to e-books these are no longer issues. Here are five things we can do with e-books that we seldom see in print. Novellas A novella is a work of … Continue reading Five Things You Can Do With E-Books

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UR Turn: Are You on Instagram?

Share photos and videos with friends on Instagram In past months we’ve talk about a lot of social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.  Another social media platform is Instagram, a place to share pictures and videos from your smart phone (and now computer).ur As far as social media … Continue reading UR Turn: Are You on Instagram?

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Three Perspectives on Hybrid Authors

A hybrid author is someone who uses both traditional publishing and self-publishing. Though the reasons for pursuing this dual approach are many, there are two base motivations: more sales or more income. Generally, traditionally published books are better vetted, have higher quality, enjoy wider distribution, and produce more sales. The benefits of self-publishing tend to … Continue reading Three Perspectives on Hybrid Authors

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Quotes About Books and Reading

Check out these inspiring quotes about books and the value of reading I recently shared some quotes about writing, and in the past I’ve published two other posts with quotes about writing here and here. My favorite of all these is what the Bible says about writing. Here are some quotes about books. Here are … Continue reading Quotes About Books and Reading

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When Should You Write? Find the Time that is Right For You

In developing as a writer, it is critical to write every day—or at least almost every day. We need to discover when to write. The first step is to determine the best time for you to write. If writing is important, then give it the best part of your day; make it a priority. Don’t … Continue reading When Should You Write? Find the Time that is Right For You

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