Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Questions I've Been Asked Pertaining to Writing & the Candid Answers: Part 2

I've been asked a variety of questions over the years. Some questions been asked multiple times, some are a little odd, some are simple and only people not involved in the publishing business would seek the answer.  So below are some of those questions with simple, detailed and honest answers. You can find part 1 here.

Where does your cover art come from?

Simple answer: Skilled cover artists using royalty free stock photos edit the photos to make tantalizing book covers.

Detailed answer: The publishing house usually has cover artists on board to craft their covers for them. If I'm indie publishing a title, I'll "hire" a cover artist to design cover art for me. Each artist uses their own graphic editing software (like Photoshop or Gimp) and royalty free stock images to create sexy cover art. They usually work closely with you to try to design the cover as near to your vision as possible.

How do you get paid and how much?

Simple answer: See below

Detailed answer: I get paid royalties either quarterly or monthly by the publisher of the book, and it's usually a small percentage of the cover price. I'm paid out either by check, direct deposit into my bank account or through Paypal. For paperback titles, I receive 20 percent of the cover price for each book sold. For the same titles published through Kindle Direct Publishing *I receive 70 percent of the cover price of each book sold.

*The cover price of e-books is always cheaper than the paperback copies, as it should be (IMO). Every publisher offers different amounts of royalty percentages. There's no standard.

Do you just call your publisher when you want them to publish your book?

Simple answer: No.

Detailed answer: With the success of digital books and electronic publishers, e-mail is the better, quicker and preferred choice of correspondence between author and publisher nowadays. Also, being published with a particular publisher doesn't exclude you from having to submit to them. In my experience, you may be assigned an editor but just because you're an in-house author doesn't mean they'll publish whatever you got. You still have to write and format your work to the publisher's guidelines and they can ask for revisions before offering another contract. The good thing about being an in-house author is that usually you don't have to query, you submit your work to your very own editor and it's likely they'll accept subsequent manuscripts from you since they're familiar with your writing and professionalism.

Do you have an editor?

I believe this question was referring to a copy editor instead of a submissions editor at a publishing house.

Simple answer: When my book is published through a publishing house such as Breathless Press, that publisher assigns me an editor. Otherwise, If self-publishing, I have to pay for an editor myself which could be very expensive.

Detailed answer: At the start of my career I thought I knew it all (a common amateur belief). Now, I understand the value of a good editor. Editors are great to not only find typos or grammar mistakes I've overlooked, but to help make my work as polished as possible. Editors are great for helping eliminate redundancies, craft believable dialogue and characters and find other ways to make my manuscript crisp, polished and ready for the market. If I'm publishing an indie title and don't have the privilege of working with an editor from a publishing house, I now consider paying for one.

Are there questions you have that are not listed and you want the candid answers to?

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