Byline Blog

Byline: The Art of Writing and Business of Publishing

Peter DeHaan

Discussing the art of writing and the business of publishing

Do Readers Want Digital Instead of Print?

For magazine publishers, there’s a lot of hype and excitement about reading magazines and books electronically. All variety of statistics are being bandied about to support the deluge of digital. Studies are being conducted and consultants are consulting. There is euphoria over electronic reading. But is it warranted? While digital reading is a tantalizing development … Continue reading Do Readers Want Digital Instead of Print?

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Why Printed Books Are Still Relevant

Though e-books receive all of the hype, printed books are still important, for both readers and authors People like to talk about what is new, what is exciting, and what is fresh. That’s why the book publishing industry has so much buzz about reading digital books and listening to audio books. I’m not going to … Continue reading Why Printed Books Are Still Relevant

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Just Because You Can Self-Publish a Book Doesn’t Mean You Should

As the price barrier to book publishing lowers, too many books show up with too little quality I once read a self-published book by a “NY Times Best-Selling Author.” I’ll let him remain anonymous. It was a short story anthology of “the best” short stories in a certain genre. I expected much and received little. … Continue reading Just Because You Can Self-Publish a Book Doesn’t Mean You Should

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Putting Blog Content in a Book: A Writing Q & A

Question: Can you book your blog? If a blog has a specific focus, could you compile this information in a book and sell it? A conference speaker said you shouldn’t sell anything you’ve offered free. What’s your view? Answer: I understand what the speaker said. Basically, he or she thinks you won’t be able to … Continue reading Putting Blog Content in a Book: A Writing Q & A

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Should You Be a Writer or an Entrepreneur?

Authors are advised to treat their writing like a business If you write solely for the fun of it or treat writing as a mere hobby, then don’t read this post. Seriously, it will just make you mad. But if you want to succeed as a writer, regardless of how you define success, then this … Continue reading Should You Be a Writer or an Entrepreneur?

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Do You Believe in Print?

Despite Interest in Audio and E-books, Don’t Write Off Print As writers our books can appear in three primary formats: printed books, e-books, and audio books. Audio Books Audio books have enjoyed a resurgence of late. Gone are the days of books on tape. Now it is digital files that readers listen to from their … Continue reading Do You Believe in Print?

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A Book Need Not Be Perfect to Succeed

A few years ago, I finished a novel I was reading, the first in a series. The first chapter grabbed me, but by the second or third, some of the scenes began to irritate. They were unrealistic at portraying real-life situations. Likewise, some of the dialogue didn’t work too well for me either. It was … Continue reading A Book Need Not Be Perfect to Succeed

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Know Your Target Book Length Before You Start Writing

When pitching my book at a writers conference, one industry person said my length was perfect, while another wanted it 20,000 words longer, and a third said it should have at least 25,000 more words. That’s a huge difference. Finding the Ideal Book Length There is no universal answer for the ideal book length, but … Continue reading Know Your Target Book Length Before You Start Writing

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SEO Tips and Tricks: A Writing Q & A

Question: I hear a lot about SEO (search engine optimization). Should I be concerned about keywords? Answer: That’s a great question, one with two answers. If you’re talking about using the keyword metatag, don’t worry about them. This is because Google says they ignore them. Therefore, I don’t waste any time thinking about metatag keywords. … Continue reading SEO Tips and Tricks: A Writing Q & A

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Researching Competitive Titles

A common part in many book proposals is a “competitive works” section. I recently researched competitive titles for one of my book proposals. What I saw enlightened me. Traditionally Published Books To research competitive titles, I first looked at books from traditional publishers. They gave me pause. I had to think a bit to determine … Continue reading Researching Competitive Titles

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Do Indie Authors Need to Follow Publishing Conventions?

Have you ever flipped through a book and sensed there was something odd about it? Though you couldn’t identify what was different, you knew something was off. It felt wrong. This has happened to me. Perhaps the feeling was so strong that you opted not to read the book. Again, this has happened to me. … Continue reading Do Indie Authors Need to Follow Publishing Conventions?

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Great Article on Book Cover Design

Several years ago, Karen Saunders wrote an excellent article “How to Make a Book Cover Design that Flies Off the Shelf!” Today, her suggestions are still just as valid. However, there is one I would elevate in importance: “Seek the services of an experienced book cover designer.” I don’t view this as an option or … Continue reading Great Article on Book Cover Design

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The Two Extremes of Self-Publishing: Both Are Wrong

With changes in publishing and advances in technology, it’s never been easier to publish a book. This isn’t to imply publishing a book is easy, just that the barriers are disappearing and the costs are dropping. This emerging reality leads to two extremes of self-publishing for do-it-yourself authors who want to publish their books. Extremes … Continue reading The Two Extremes of Self-Publishing: Both Are Wrong

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Top 10 Posts about Writing and Publishing from Peter DeHaan

Check out my all-time, top 10 posts about writing and publishing: Based on your input, the top 10 posts are: Why Printed Books Are Still Relevant The Nine Errors of Self-Publishing 6 Writing Tips to Quickly Pick-up Where You Left Off and Not Waste Time 12 Tips for Better WordPress Content Creation Are You a … Continue reading Top 10 Posts about Writing and Publishing from Peter DeHaan

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Don’t Be an Idealist If You Want be a Self-Published Author

I once heard about a self-published author who criticized other self-published authors for having professionally designed covers and hiring editors. He accused them of selling out. He claimed it wasn’t truly self-publishing if you didn’t do it all yourself. Rubbish. No one can truly self-publish a book all by him or herself. Have you bought … Continue reading Don’t Be an Idealist If You Want be a Self-Published Author

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Writing is an Art; Publishing is a Business

Consider all the really great books that don’t sell. Consider some of the poorly written books that do. Although this is unfair, it is also reality. Fortuitous timing aside, these two situations point out the fact that producing and selling books is part art and part business. I’ve been in business much of my adult … Continue reading Writing is an Art; Publishing is a Business

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Why We Should Always Have Four Books in Our Book Pipeline

Some authors start writing their book, focus on it until completion, work to publish it, and then promote it. Then they start their next book—assuming they have an idea for one. They have one book in their book pipeline. Other authors are working on so many books that it’s hard to accomplish anything. I fall … Continue reading Why We Should Always Have Four Books in Our Book Pipeline

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Why We Need a Book Proposal for Every Book We Write

I’ve never met an author who likes to write book proposals, yet if we hope to sign with a traditional publisher, we need a book proposal—a really good book proposal. Aside from being tedious and time-consuming, parts of a book proposal are challenging, such as researching competitive titles, selling ourselves as the ideal person to … Continue reading Why We Need a Book Proposal for Every Book We Write

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Identifying Speakers in Dialogue: A Writing Q&A

Question: What is the best way to identify speakers in dialogue? Answer: Many writers ask about this. I think the answer lies with your writing voice (style). Here are some options: 1. Tag your dialogue with any descriptive word other than said, such as exclaimed, interjected, sputtered, yelled, and so forth. I learned this in … Continue reading Identifying Speakers in Dialogue: A Writing Q&A

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What Do Readers Care About?

When book readers consider our book, few will bother to look to see who published it. They won’t care if a major publisher, let alone any traditional publisher, produced it. When it comes to publishers, there is little brand loyalty, let alone much brand recognition. The imprint is of no consequence. How the printed book … Continue reading What Do Readers Care About?

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