Publishing Expert Tips

Six Tips to Successful Publishing

You know your writing process is your own process. You know that while all of your writing friends have a process, your process is probably yours, alone. And that’s fine. But have you looked at the similarities between your process and theirs?


Archway Publishing has found six common tasks that almost every writer has to combine in order to bring a book to market and make some sales. Continue reading

Publishing Expert Tips

People DO Judge Books By Their Covers…

Mom told us not to, but we do it, because…science!
Check out the FREE Archway Publishing webinar “Four Tips to a Killer Book Cover Design,” to help draw readers to your book.

By Kevin A. Gray

Mom always insisted “don’t judge a book by its cover.” In doing so, we might miss on meeting some great people, embarking on new adventures, or even worse, reading some great books. Now we’re not one to question mom (that never ends well), but the fact is people DO judge books by their covers.

The good news is, if you’re in the process of self-publishing a book, Archway Publishing has some free help for you when it comes to designing your book cover. More on that later.

Simon and Schuster is letting fans submit cover ideas for its upcoming "T-Swift" fan book. We knew including the photo from the contest page would help this post get more views, because people are visual creatures.

Simon & Schuster is letting fans submit cover ideas for its upcoming Taylor Swift fan book.
We think it’s a cool idea, and we knew including the contest’s promotion picture would drive more views to this post. Why? Because we’re all visual people and we all think “T-Swif”t is awesome.

First, let’s talk science. The smart people at Psychology Today, have written extensively about the psychology of “judging a book by it cover” — in both the metaphorical and literal sense. One easy read for us laymen is this great column, “Judging a Book By Its Cover: How wrappers affect our expectations about lies inside them,” by Dr. Alex Lickerman.

In it, Dr. Lickerman writes that we’re predominantly visual creatures, because the visual area — at the back of our brains — comprises 30 percent of our brain’s cortex. That sounds pretty important, even to those of us who aren’t brain scientists. In short, despite mom’s admonitions, we WILL judge people, products, and (most importantly for our purposes) books by their appearance. Because that’s how are brains are wired.

So, what does this mean for authors?

Generally speaking, traditionally published authors  will have some input on their covers; but ultimately, the publisher who owns the right to the author’s work has the final say. For these authors, that means letting go and allowing others to create the tangible visual manifestation of the authors’ personal vision. For creative folks, like authors, that’s got to be tough.

Self-published authors, including those who work with publishing services providers, like Archway Publishing, can have as little or as much input in their covers as they so choose. That’s a lot of pressure, especially if an author isn’t a “design person.” But it can ultimately be a fulfilling and exhilarating creative process (and successful, if you listen to input of the cover experts

Jason Heuer, associate art director at Simon & Schuster, laid out 4 Keys to a Killer Book Cover Design in a free  webinar hosted by Archway. We think it’s the best 33 minutes you’ll spend this week, especially if you’re writing a book, considering writing a book, like books or just want to learn more about “killer design” (we assume that’s an industry term).

Visit, enter your email address, and download the webinar. Once you’ve listened to it, come back here and let us know in the comments what you learned from Jason. We look forward to having a conversation.

If you’d like to learn more about Archway Publishing supported self-publishing services, grab a copy of the free Archway Publishing publishing guide.

– AWP –

Publishing Expert Tips

Keith Ogorek: Tips for Working with a Ghostwriter

Let’s say you have an idea for the next great American novel. Or your life story would make a compelling read that the American public shouldn’t be deprived of any longer.

Let’s also say you can’t write a lick. Your participles perilously dangle. Your subject-verb agreement makes Congress look harmonious. And your grammar…well, it ain’t got nothing to brag about neither.dark typewriter

Does that mean that your story should remain in your head, away from adoring readers? Not necessarily. Employing a ghostwriter might be your best move. Ghostwriters help countless storytellers make their books reality every year. The only caveat, the services of these talented scribes don’t come cheap.

If you’ve decided to make the investment in a ghostwriter, it goes without saying that gaining an understanding of the best approach for working with one would be prudent. Keith Ogorek of the Indie Book Writers blog interviewed a professional ghostwriter recently and shared some pointers for making the most of these literary alliances. Below is a link to Ogorek’s May 2 post on this topic.

Keith Ogorek: “3 Helpful Tips on How to Work with a Ghostwriter” >>

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…