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    Saturday
    Mar042017

    Is an offer from a N.Y. publisher a good deal? You be the judge.

    An author we worked with to design and independently self-publish a book called recently. He was very excited. A New York publishing house, not one of the big 5, but a New York publisher nevertheless, had contacted him offering him a contract to purchase the rights to his book and publish it. He wanted to know if it was a good deal. Help him decide.

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    Tuesday
    Feb212017

    Should You Use a Template to Publish Your Book?

    There are a lot of template based publishing sites on the net that offer one-stop shopping where you can lay out your book’s interior, create a cover, and print your book. Should you use one? Stories To Tell’s founder and chief book designer offered this advice to a website visitor.

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    Saturday
    Jan212017

    It’s like getting a Master’s Degree on how to be a successful author!

    Good news! Our popular self-publishing classes will now be offered online! We have partnered with other writing and publishing experts to create the Profitable Authors Institute. Twelve experts have contributed cutting-edge video instruction to guide new, emerging, and experienced authors. “It’s like getting a Master’s Degree on how to be a successful author!” Enroll by July 22 to get a 50% Discount.

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    Thursday
    Jan052017

    Are You Better Than iUniverse? Yes We Are! (Part III)

    This is the third post in a three part series answering a question posed to us at the Miami Book Fair International. "Are you better than iUniverse?" Today we'll explore our differing approaches to book marketing and promotion.

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    Monday
    Jan022017

    Are You Better Than iUniverse? Yes We Are (Part II)Are You

    This is the second post in a three part series answering a question posed to us at the Miami Book Fair International. "Are you better than iUniverse?" Today we'll focus on the quality of the author services: editing, book interior and cover design.

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    Thursday
    Dec292016

    Are You Better Than iUniverse? Yes We Are!

    A woman strode up to our Stories To Tell booth at the Miami Book Fair last month and asked, “Are you better than iUniverse?” She was the first of four people at the Fair to ask the same question in one form or another. Our booth was in the same aisle as the Author Solutions signing booth so dissatisfied authors who published with iUniverse (and other Author Solutions imprints like Author House, Xlibris, Tafford and others) were likely to find us. Nevertheless, the unhappy authors were vehement enough in their complaints to convince us that we should answer their questions in a way that would be available to other writers as well as those with whom we spoke. So, here’s our response: Yes we are. That’s the short answer, but what’s really important for authors to understand is why, so let’s focus on the specific reasons.

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    Friday
    Dec162016

    What's the Best Way to Write About History?

    I have recently read two excellent pieces of historical fiction. They raise some interesting questions for those of us want to write about history or family history. The first is Graham Moore’s The Last Days of Night. The second is Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon’s Moonglow. Let's explore some of those questions.

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    Monday
    Nov142016

    Three Tips for Managing Source Notes in Your Book

    If you are writing an academic, technical, or family history book, the source notes may be as important as the text itself. Here are three tips to help you manage source notes.

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    Sunday
    Nov132016

    Steps to Successful Self-Publishing

    As authors grow close to finishing the writing of their book they are also often anxious to get it into print as soon as they can. The impulse is easily understandable, however rushing to publication can not only result in a book of lesser quality than the author hoped for, it may actually result in higher costs, and cause the process to take longer than it needed to. Successful self-publishing is not a process of doing multiple things simultaneously; it is a process of following a simple plan one step at a time.

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    Saturday
    Nov122016

    Point of View - Seeing Your Book Through a Telescope

    Most writers have been admonished to show and not tell. Far fewer understand how to manage their narrative’s point of view while showing what happened. Handling point of view well is essential, because your choice of a point of view character or characters establishes several things you must do in telling your story, as well as creating a list of things you shouldn’t do. Let's take a look at both.

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    Friday
    Nov112016

    Why Write a Family History If Nobody Wants to Read It?

    Researching and writing your genealogy or family history is a strange bug. It bites some people, but leaves other members of their families untouched. I feel a bit sad when I talk with a person who says, “I’ve been researching my ancestors for years, and I would like to preserve my family’s history in a book, but none of my relatives care about it.” The truth is it doesn’t have to be that way. Let's look at some ways to make sure it isn't.

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    Friday
    Oct212016

    Miami Book Fair: What’s Your Story?

    We are looking forward to the Miami Book Fair International, just about a month away. Hundreds of authors and thousands of visitors will attend a full week of book events from November 13th -20th. We’ll be exhibiting at the Street Fair November 18th – 20th. It’s a great event with half a dozen blocks of downtown Miami shutdown to celebrate nothing but books. One of the things that makes the fair such fun is that organizers plan events throughout the year leading up to the November celebration. Here’s one we can all participate in.

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    Wednesday
    Oct052016

    Storytelling Helps Elders with Memory Issues

    An innovative program called TimeSlips uses creative storytelling to improve the lives of elders. TimeSlips has had remarkable success with people suffering from memory issues by opening up storytelling to everyone and replacing the pressure to remember with creativity and the freedom to imagine. Let's look at how.

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    Sunday
    Oct022016

    Editing Tool to Sharpen Your Writing

    C.K. MacLeod on Tech Tools for Writers recommends the Hemingway Editor, a tool which “will give you something to correct in your first draft, just minutes after you’ve written it.” The app designed by Adam and Ben Long is a standalone program available for $9.99 for Mac or PC. You can also try the free online version. The creators promise that the Hemingway Editor will “make your writing bold and clear.” It’s easy to use. Put in the text and see where you can simplify your prose.

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    Thursday
    Sep152016

    Do Judge a Book By Its Cover - The Stargazer’s Daughter

    This is one of an ongoing series of commentaries on trends in book cover design by Stories To Tell Founder Nancy Barnes. She discusses the cover of The Stargazer's Daughter.

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