Marketing

How Do I Track Book Sales?

Q: Is there a way to find out the current sales for a given book that may (or may not) be in print? —Tony P. A: The short answer to this is no. Due to the volume of distribution channels, there is no outlet where you can find an accurate and...

Will Newspapers Review Self-Published Books?

Q: The book critic at my local newspaper mentioned in an article that she doesn’t review self-published books. Is this common procedure? Are there any major dailies that do?—Joyann Dwire A: Some newspapers won’t review self-published books simply because they’re concerned about legal issues. Self-published books aren’t subjected to the rigorous...

What is a Blog?

Q: While I’ve read several sites referred to as “blogs,” I’m not really sure what a blog is. What is a blog? —Christopher B. A: From writers at award-winning newspapers, to magazine editors to your neighbor’s teenage son, almost everyone seems to have a blog these days. But ask three people...

Novel and Short Story Word Counts

Q. How long is the typical short story supposed to be? How about novellas and novels? Are there guidelines with regard to word count for a first-time novelist? —Molly Heyl A. There are general guidelines for each literary category: Short stories range anywhere from 1,500 to 30,000 words; Novellas run from...

Hiring a Public Relations Specialist

Q: I’ve finished my book, landed a contract and have a publication date. Should I hire a public relations specialist to spread the word? –Ozzie G. A: While most of us don’t have loads of extra cash to drop on hiring a PR specialist, most of us don’t have a bestseller...

No Agent? No Problem

Q: I would like to know what an author is to do if a publisher were to offer up a contract to him or her when there is no agent involved?— C. L. FreireA: Negotiating a book contract is a lot like buying a car—there’s some give and take, not everyone...