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  • 29 Mar 2011 10:02 AM | Anonymous
    You may already have some of your titles in eBook formats such as ePub for the iPad, or MOBI for the Kindle. If so, you've already navigated the vagaries of converting those manuscripts from print format. It's not tough, generally, but it's some work, and can eat up some serious time, unless you're paying someone else to do it for you.

    Either way is not an ideal scenario. Wouldn't it be great if you could just format the manuscript right in your word-processing software, then import it into your page layout program for print, and export it directly from your word processor to eBook format, with no more messing around?


    Well, now you can. Literature and Latte, a software company, has just upgraded its Scrivener program to do just that. And for those of you who may have been wishing you could use Scrivener but couldn't because you don't operate in a Macintosh environment, good news: with this upgrade, L&L has also released a version for Windows and Linux!

    Aside from this function, Scrivener has a lot of other cool functions, clearly designed with the writer in mind. There are even special templates, etc. for different types of writing, such as novels, screenplays and research papers, to save you formatting time.

    It's exactly what I've been looking for, since I have grown to loathe MS Word's growing bloatware problem, as its performance heads in the opposite direction. So I purchased Scrivener myself over the weekend, and can't wait to try it out. My first projects will be to import the original Word docs from our mystery series, stylesheet them, and export to both eBook formats. I'll keep you posted on my findings. Meanwhile, check Scrivener out for yourself, if you're so inclined.

    NOTE: I am not affiliated in any way with L&L, and I stand to gain nothing if you purchase this software. This blog post is not officially sanctioned by MBPA, nor does it necessarily represent the opinions of the MBPA board. Just wanted to share my joy at discovering it.

    Mary
  • 22 Mar 2011 11:22 PM | Anonymous


    That's right, folks -- today a bestselling author, Barry Eisler, announced that he would forego a half-million-dollar deal with publishing powerhouse St. Martin's Press to instead self-publish his next book!

    It's the shot fired over the bow of traditional publishing I think we all knew was coming, but nevertheless, seeing it finally happen is both gratifying and thrilling. There's a terrific post on Jane Friedman's "There Are No Rules" blog at Writer'sDigest.com today, featuring excerpts from a lengthy interview with the author. The entire interview is available for download as a PDF, but even if you don't have time to plow through 12,000 words, the blog post is certainly worth a read.

    Score one for authors taking their destinies into their own hands -- yay, US!
  • 05 Mar 2011 9:56 AM | Anonymous
    One of the strong advantages of belonging to an IBPA regional affiliate like MBPA is that we frequently receive invitations from our affiliate "cousins" in other regions to participate in their educational or promotional events, at the same prices they extend to their own members. This provides the ability for our members to attend educational events they may not have access to near home or that they may wish to attend between our own edu-sessions, as well as the ability to reach out beyond our own region to find new readers for their books.

    Right now, we've been invited to participate in

    The Bay Area Independent Publishers Association 2011 "Get Published!" Institute
    March 12th, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Nile Hall, Preservation Park, Oakland, CA

    How To Make Real Money Selling Your Books
    Featuring National Award-Winning Authors and Speakers


    Navigate to their website for a map to the meeting location, registration information and online payment. IBPA affiliates receive the BAIPA member price of $139, which includes lunch. Make sure to click the button for BAIPA members to receive this price.

    Speakers include:
    • Jim Horan: One-Page Business Plan
    • Brian Jud: How to Make Real Money Selling Books
    • Jon Tandler & Lloyd Rick: Maximizing Revenue
    • Lin Lacombe: From Passion to Publicity
    • Vicki Weiland: Working With an Editor
    • Kristen McLean: The Future of Children's Publishing
    • Pete Masterson: Book Design
    • Catharine Bramkamp: Your Book Starts Here
    This program is subject to change without notice.

    The BAIPA 2010 Get Published! Institute was a great success -- Read about it!

    For More Information, contact Margaret Speaker Yuan
  • 04 Mar 2011 2:13 PM | Anonymous
    For those of us who are also members of IBPA, our national parent organization, help has arrived in the form of a new, no-cost service for IBPA members. IBPA is partnering with the United States' sole book publishing industry agent, R.R. Bowker, to bring us access to Bowker's Manuscript Submission Service.

    This new online tool provides publishers and acquisitions editors with an efficient channel for reviewing unsolicited manuscripts. There is no cost for publishers to use this service, and for IBPA members only, Bowker has waived the requirement for a minimum number of titles in print to participate.

    The new service allows publishers and/or acquisitions editors a way to locate and clearly identify book manuscript proposals they find most interesting and marketable. Each proposal includes:
    • subject category
    • topic
    • book synopsis
    • writing sample
    • writer's background and publishing history
    This information can be easily filtered so you can target  manuscripts relevant to your publishing mission.

    IBPA has invited any interested members to participate in a Web demonstration, through which you will learn how to effectively use this time-saving service to identify potential manuscripts that may fit your publishing program.

    Join Bowker for a 30-minute demonstration for IBPA members:
    Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011
    Time: 2:00 pm ET

  • 01 Dec 2010 3:59 PM | Anonymous
    After both presenting and attending other presentations at the Cat Writers Association annual conference, and reading daily more and more about the impact eBooks are making in the market, I feel the need to post here about this subject.

    I can't remember the last time anything had such a profound impact on the way publishers do business since the debut of the Internet. eBooks currently account for just 3-4% of the entire book market, but don't let that fool you. A March blog post at Smashwords indicated a stunning 261% rise in sales between January, 2009 and January of this year. The fact that this comes from data reported by only the top 12-15 eBook publishers AND the fact that it was reported before the debut of Apple's iPad (which significantly changed the eBook landscape for good), means that even this eye-popping figure represents major under-representation of what's really happening out there.

    There are study after study to indicate similar massive growth, but the upshot is clear: Publishers of any size who aren't publishing their content in eFormats are already behind the curve and missing out on sales. Yes, the cost to produce a professionally formatted version of your book (especially if it contains a lot of graphics) in the major formats (.ePub, .mobi, .pdf) can be steep. But all things being equal (meaning you intend to support your eBooks with as much promotion and distribution effort as your pBooks), you may be pennywise and pound foolish by not spending on the initial formatting but losing many more sales than you might otherwise ever have made in print.

    I don't believe in Chicken Little-type pronouncements, but I feel confident that I'm not going out on a limb by saying small publishers who ignore the burgeoning eBook market do so at their own peril. Realistically, eBooks could present the most promising opportunity indie publishers have ever had to get on anything resembling an even market footing with the "big boys."

    If you haven't yet turned some serious attention in this direction, it's time to do so.
  • 07 Oct 2010 9:09 PM | Anonymous
    Annmarie Kelly plays Vanna White at the MBPA booth in Collingswood.


    Thanks to Annmarie Kelly and her partner, Joseph, for staffing the MBPA booth at the Collingswood Book Festival last weekend. She did a fantastic job of representing exhibiting members, successfully handing out all the literature bags to a steady stream of interested visitors throughout the day. She also reached out to several self-published authors who showed great interest in joining our ranks, so we're hoping for a bump in membership soon based on that.


    Roger and Eileen Mcintire hosted a slew of visitors to their booth.

    MBPA members Roger and Eileen Mcintire of Summit Crossroads Press had a booth on one side of the MBPA tent, and I exhibited my company, Word Forge Books, on the other side. We all managed to talk up MBPA to a few authors, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. MBPA member Lisa Paul also had a display there, but hadn't been aware of our plans for an MBPA block and so was located elsewhere on Haddon Avenue. She did stop by for a friendly visit in the afternoon, and we were glad to see her.


    It was kinda cool in the shade of the tent till the sun warmed things up.

    We will attempt, at all future shows where feasible, to arrange a physical block of MBPA member exhibitors. So don't be shy about letting Sheila Ruth, our Programs Chair, know if you're interested so she's sure to include you in such plans.

    We all agreed the show was a success in terms of book sales and outreach. Hope you can take advantage of the next exhibit opportunity -- one of your valuable member benefits!
  • 16 Aug 2010 12:31 AM | Anonymous
    Yep, it's been a hot beast of a summer, but MBPA members were cool and comfy inside the meeting room at the Columbia Public Library in Maryland on July 17. Despite the comfortable temps, our meeting sizzled with lots of networking and great information from our featured speaker.

    See our summer newsletter for a full description of the event, and check out our Facebook page for more photos! Hope to see you all at the next meeting on November 13 - watch for time and location details.

    Bill Hendrix of United Book Press was a guest of member Bernadene Davis.


    Carolyn Long chats up new member Joanne Aaronson.


    Board secretary Eileen McIntire gets to know Barbara Morrison.


    New member Missy Loewe talks with board vice president Annemarie Kelly.


    Featured speaker Phil Marcus discusses the art of
    successful negotiation with Carolyn Long.


    Board president Mary Shafer explains possible book marketing tactics with Irene Kendig.
  • 18 May 2010 8:44 PM | Anonymous
    We had beautiful weather for the Gaithersburg Book Festival on May 15, except for occasional heavy wind gusts that threatened to blow over the canopy. But luckily only a few books were blown over in the wind, and we just picked them up and moved on.

    The festival was very well organized, especially for a first year festival, and everything went smoothly. The tents were laid out in a way that encouraged browsing, and with food vendors at one end and author speaking tents scattered throughout the festival, the crowd flow was pretty good. The number of attendees did seem light, particularly in the early part of the festival, but it did get more crowded in the afternoon, and we had pretty good traffic at the booth. Overall, we were satisfied, and will most likely do this festival again.

    See more pictures on the MBPA page on Facebook
  • 07 May 2010 9:58 AM | Anonymous
    If you're on Twitter for your business (and I certainly hope you are!), follow MBPA's tweets at @mbpabookpubs! We share lots of great tips and industry breaking news. Worth a follow!

    If you don't tweet and want to know more about how to leverage this rapidly rising social media tool, let us know, and we'll look into providing some training for our members.
  • 04 May 2010 9:13 AM | Anonymous
    I subscribe to a great, FREE eNewsletter called The Savvy Book Marketer. It's put out by the Book Marketing Maven, Dana Lynn Smith, who has a consistent stream of good ideas. No one person can know all there is to know about marketing of any sort, but the Maven never fails to impress.

    Check out the January issue, which contains all kinds of pithy, pertinent info you can apply immediately to your own business, such as:
    • Making Time to Promote Your Book
    • Free Publicity Planning Calendar
    Better yet, sign up for your own free subscription and start learning now.*

    *This post is the opinion of the author alone and does not indicate any endorsement of the service by MBPA.
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