Publishing Expert Tips

A Pre-Publishing Checklist

You’ve finished your book – congratulations! You’ve likely focused most of your efforts on the book block itself paying careful aChecklistttention to the plot of your novel, or focus of your non-fiction work. You’ve edited, re-edited or enlisted the help of a professional editor to ensure that the text flow. But before you hit submit, it’s important that you review some of the less prominent, but equally important parts of your work.

Below is a checklist developed by the Archway Publishing team of those other aspects of your work that you should review before submitting for publication.  Some of these may not fit your book, but it’s still good to take a look.

FRONT MATTER- all material in a book that precedes the text proper, as the title page, copyright page, table of contents, dedication, and preface.

  • Half Title Page- a page carrying nothing but the title of a book— as opposed to the title page, which also lists subtitle, author, publisher and similar data.
  • Title Page– the page at the beginning of a volume that indicates the title, author’s or editor’s name, and the publication information, usually the publisher and the place and date of publication
  • Copyright Page- the page in a book containing information about the current edition, usually on the back of the title page. It often contains a copyright notice, legal notices, publication information, printing history, cataloguing information from a national library, and an ISBN that uniquely identifies the work.
  • Frontispiece- a page displaying an illustration at the front of the book.
  • Endorsements Page- these may also go on the cover
  • Dedication- an expression of friendly connection or thank by the author towards another person.
  • Epigraph- a phrase, quotation, or poem that may serve as a preface, as a summary, as a counter-example, or to link the work to a wider literary canon.
  • Table of Contents- a list of the parts of a book or document organized in the order in which the parts appear
  • List of illustrations or maps.
  • List of Tables.
  • Foreword- a short piece of writing typically written by someone other than the primary author of the work, it often tells of some interaction between the writer of the foreword and the book’s primary author or the story the book tells.
  • Preface- an introduction to a book or other literary work written by the work’s author.
  • Acknowledgments- an expression of gratitude for assistance in creating a literary or artistic work.

Another valuable resource to review before submitting your manuscript for publication is the Archway Publishing FAQ page. It contains tips and definitions to commonly-used publishing terms.

Best of luck as you begin one of the most fulfilling adventures of your life –your publishing journey!



Publishing Expert Tips

Is my story complete?


It’s a very common question we hear from authors: “How do I know when my book is done?”

While  it’s important not to turn in your first draft, it’s equally important to know when you’ve given your book everything it needs, and it’s time to turn it in to the publisher.  Your book might feel like a child you’ve raised from infancy. The world is a scary place, and you don’t want your “little one” going out into the big, scary world without everything needs to be successful.  As a result, some authors engage in five, six, ten, or even more rounds of corrections before turning in their final manuscript.

But how do you know how much is enough and how much is too much?  Remember: as author, you’ll always know more about your story (fiction or nonfiction) than your readers.

First and foremost, be sure that things that are obvious to you aren’t overlooked in the story. Will readers be able to clearly distinguish character, follow the plot and understand any symbolism in the end?

Be sure not to end the story just because you’ve reached a certain page count or word count.  The story is over when you’ve resolved any issues or questions; when you’ve reached a meaningful, satisfying conclusion, or when you’ve fully conveyed the intended purpose of the book

Remember that being finished is more than having a good ending.  Every chapter needs to be a complete unit, with a starting and ending point.  Some parts will probably be more exciting than others, but every part should serve a purpose.  Here’s something to remember: If there was a part of the book that you thought was less interesting, and you just wanted to get through it to get to the “good parts,” chances are your readers will feel the same way.  Don’t short-change your story.

Publishing Expert Tips

Choosing a Book Title


Think of choosing a book title like creating an elevator speech. It’s a brief pitch to customers about the value of your book.

Sometimes choosing a book title is easy.  Some authors know the perfect title for their work before they even start writing their books.  Others spend years and years poring over their novel or documenting their carefully-compiled research only to reach the end have no idea what to name their literary offspring.  It may seem like choosing the perfect title is the easiest part of the writing and publishing process. Turns out that’s not always true.

As a team who’s collectively worked on thousands of self-published titles, we’ve seen all kinds of title for all types of books. There are those that the author has over thought. Those that don’t focus on their audience. Those that are just too indecisive.

If you’ve had an idea from the beginning of the work, use it!  Don’t over-think it!  Use the title was in your mind before you began the writing process, the title you’ve been thinking about has been a driving force throughout the entire process.  Or take the key topics from your book and transform it for a working title to the final title.  Make sure it is clear and concise.

Would “War and Peace” have reached the legendary literary status with the title “War, What Is It Good For?

Seinfeld-driven levity aside, the title is the first piece of building your book’stypewriter platform.  Consider:

  • Does your title help increase the brand that you are trying to create with your book?
  • When people hear the title, does it stick with them?
  • What keywords would someone search for in order to find your book?
  • Is the title clear and concise or would it confuse potential readers?
  • Is the title too long and “clunky” or  is it catchy and relevant to your audience?
  • Is your title unique?

Still can’t decide on a title? Why not ask your potential readers?

Sometimes self-published authors take to social media posting their ideas on Twitter or Facebook, asking their audience for feedback.  We’ve seen this method work for a number of Archway Publishing authors, after all, who knows what your target audience wants to hear more?  It’s a quick easy way to do market research.

Need more guidance? Keith Ogorek offers up seven things authors need to consider when choosing a book title on the Indie Book Writers blog. Whatever path you take; do your book justice and give careful consideration to finalizing your book’s title. After all “War What is it Good For?” might have sunk Tolstoy’s career…


Source: Lisa Genova Author Facebook page
Author Feature

“Still Alice”: From Self-Published to Silver Screen

“Still Alice” author Lisa Genova is living a dream. The night before the 87th Academy Awards, she posted a picture on her Facebook page all smiles, standing next to an ebullient Julianne Moore at a party hosted by Sony Entertainment. It’s an unusual setting for a Harvard-educated neuroscientist, to be sure, but perhaps an equally unlikely place to find a self-published author.

Long before Hollywood parties, celebrity meet and greets or a seat at the Academy Awards; Genova queried publishing’s gatekeepers, seeking a publisher for her novel, “Still Alice.” Agents and publishers alike told the unknown author the audience for a book about Alzheimer’s disease was too small. One agent even cautioned Genova that self-publishing her story would “kill her career.”

Despite that warning, Genova took the plunge and the book in 2007.

Fueled by her dedication to researching dementia and other neurological disorders, Genova tirelessly spread the word about her newly self-published work. Her diligence, and a little bit of luck, resulted in hitting the jackpot: a review in one of America’s top newspapers – The Boston Globe.

Beverley Beckham’s expectations for “Still Alice” were meager, but Alice’s story captured her: “It had arrived in the mail a week before; I’d promised to take a look and that’s all I was doing – just looking–but I couldn’t put it down,” Beckham wrote in her May 16, 2008 review for the Globe. Beckham led her piece with a ringing endorsement: “After I read ‘Still Alice’ I wanted to stand up and tell a train full of strangers, ‘You have to get this book.’

Fast forward to early 2009 – shortly after Beckham’s piece – a literary agent took another look and agreed to shop the novel and several publishers expressed interest. Simon & Schuster, owner of Archway Publishing, came to terms with Genova to acquire “Still Alice,” and to rerelease it through its Pocket Books imprint. Upon its 2009 rerelease, the book debuted high on the New York Times Bestseller List, where it would stay for more than 40 weeks.

In the ensuing years, Genova’s released two more bestsellers: “Left Neglected” and “Love Anthony,” becoming to novels about neurological disorders what John Grisham’s become to legal thrillers. The rise of Lisa Genova and “Still Alice” from self-publishing to silver screen feature film is not typical. Luck was part of the winning equation, but Genova did so much more to advance her book.

  • She wrote about a specific topic about which she had vast knowledge and a deep personal passion.
  • Despite warnings that her book’s appeal was too narrow, she developed and filled previously unrealized niche.
  • She believed in her work, ignored negativity, and took the self-publishing plunge rather than letting her manuscript gather dust on the shelf.
  • She was relentless. She networked, she spread the word. She convinced a reviewer from a prestigious outlet to glance at her book.

First and foremost though, Genova wrote an exceptional book; a book that is bringing attention and changing perceptions about a devastating condition.

And anyone who reads it will never, ever forget Alice.

– AWP –


“Gettin’ in Tune” w/ Twitter

By Kevin A. Gray
Archway Publishing

Apropos of nothing having to do with Twitter, I was listening to The Who (@TheWho) while writing this primer. For the record, the band has 441,000 followers at last check. Before you can become a Pinball…er Twitter Wizard, you’ve got to get started.

So without further adieu, and with the help of “The Who,” here’s a brief Twitter primer.

  1. Who Are You?: First you’ll need an account and a handle (name). Handles are limited to 15 characters (not including twitter bird
    the @). Using your name is one option, but it may not be available. Consider something that describes you or what you’re marketing. For example, if you were Tommy, your handle might be @PinballWizard.
  2. The Real Me: Your profile is important, but you’ve got a 160 character limit. Make it pithy, but professional. Briefly tout your credibility (“award winning” etc). Be creative. Don’t try to be funny, unless you are funny. Include your website/blog URL and invite others to follow. You can overcome the profile length’s limitations by including an appropriate photo that further tells your story.
  3. I Can See for Miles: Now that you’re on Twitter, look around. Follow some prominent tweeters to see what they’re doing. In fact, StatSocial recently released “The Top-100 Social Media Power Influencers, 2015 Edition. That’s a great place to start.
  4. Baby Don’t Do It: You’re going to be tempted to send out oodles of tweets about your book. Don’t. Spamming is a quick way to have your account suspended. Be strategic about who you engage. Roger Daltrey would never walk into a room and start shamelessly pushing albums. Twitter is a conversation. Know the rules.
  5. Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere: If you’re going to enter the Twitterverse, know that it’s a commitment. Tweeting once a day or once a week won’t cut it. Stay active and relevant.
  6. Going Mobile: Download the Twitter app to your Android or iPhone. Staying engaged is easier if Twitter is always with you, even if you’re embarking on your second or third farewell tour.
  7. However Much Booze: This may sound obvious, but if you’re knocking back beers backstage with your favorite band; it’s best to put Twitter away for the night.

These are just a few tips you can follow. How are you using Twitter to market your book?