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February 2014

What Makes Up Back Matter In A Book?

By Bobbi Linkemer

Earlier in the year we published a post about what front matter in a book is. In this post, we will discuss back matter, the information that is published at the end of a book and follows the chapters or basic text.

Although there are no must-adhere-to rules, you will find that back matter generally includes specific information. The following identifies the most common information found in back matter.

Bibliography. If you have read other books and quote other authors and professionals, a bibliography is a way of acknowledging these sources - this in addition to noting the sources in your copy or with footnotes. A bibliography also gives readers a list of references to read if they wish to dig more deeply into your subject.

Appendices. Sometimes, you have so much background information or detail that if you included all of it in the main body of your work, you might overwhelm your reader. That is what appendices are for. Appendices offer a good place to put scientific data, charts, reports and detailed explanations without disrupting the flow of your text.

Glossary. This is an optional, alphabetically arranged dictionary of terms peculiar to the subject of your book. 

Epilogue. If you have "one last thought," this is the place to express it.

Index. When a book is filled with facts or topics a reader might want to find quickly, an index is the fastest way to find them. There are two types of indexes - subject matter and detailed. The best recommendation is to hire a professional indexer instead of using the index feature of your word processing program.

Building a book is like building anything else. Adding back matter to your book is one way to enhance the reading experience of your book.

[The majority of this post  was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from How to Write a Nonfiction Book, from planning to promotion is 6 simple stepswritten by Bobbi Linkemer. To visit her website, go to http://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.]


The Science and Art of Pricing Your Book - Part 2

By Karen Hodges Miller

One of the primary reasons I suggest authors develop a public speaking program is the direct sales that can be generated from attendees at the back of the room.  The upside is that such sales earn the author the greatest return per book. The downside is the limited number of people who can be reached directly. It therefore makes great sense to have a variety of methods to enable people to buy your book.

Royalties

Most book publishers have a book royalty system set up for books  that they sell for you. These royalties  can vary greatly from publisher to publisher. Although the percent royalty may appear small when compared to direct selling, when comparing it's important to consider the printing, shipping, storage and processing cost you no longer would incur.

Wholesale Pricing

Bookstores must buy your book at a wholesale price in order to make money. The problem for many small publishers and individual authors is that bookstores want wholesale prices (40% discounts or more) when they may only be purchasing a dozen or so of your books at a time. Producing small quantities of books makes it more difficult to provide wholesale discounts to these book sellers.

Realizing a smaller profit from wholesale pricing may appear to be poor strategy. However, also consider would you have made these sales without the bookstore? While the profit may be small, it may still be worth it from a credibility and public relations point of view.

Returns

It is a tradition in the book industry that books are returnable. This means that bookstores are essentially selling on contingency. For this reason, it is important to read sales agreements carefully. Are you selling on contingency or consignment? For how many months can a buyer return books? Working with bookstores and other retailers can be an excellent way to increase your market reach. Be sure, however, to evaluate how returns can impact the pricing of your book.

Intangibles

Writing a book can increase your credibility and visibility. It can bring you clients for your business and recognition for you. If you look at your book as a marketing tool, breaking even or getting a small profit may be acceptable. If your goals include some of these intangibles, then they also need to be considered when pricing your book.

 [This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written byKaren Hodges Miller, founder of Open Door Publications.]


The Science and Art of Pricing Your Book - Part 1

By Karen Hodges Miller

It has been said that pricing a book is both a science and an art. And to many authors, it can be a daunting challenge. Price too high - no one will buy it. Price too low - you make no money. Here are some tips that might help you when it comes to pricing your book.

Cost vs. Profit

When thinking of cost, there are a number of items to consider - things like editing, cover design, proofreading and printing, just to name a few. These are all fixed costs. Add these numbers up and divide by the number of books you expect to sell. Your answer is a break-even sell price for your book. Your profit will then be based on how much over the break-even you price your book.

But there are other costs to consider. 

If you are selling your books directly, you'll have additional cost such as packing materials, shipping cost and the time it takes to package and ship.

One way to get around direct shipping and handling costs is to use a printer who also offers storage and shipping services. There will be a cost for this service, but the convenience factor may make it worthwhile to look into these services.

A book distribution service that warehouses you books and ships them out when ordered is another alternative. Because there is a cost associated with this service, you'll need to determine how many books you must sell through this distributor to make it affordable.

Market Research

Before you decide on the final price of your book, do a little research. Head to the nearest bookstore and find a shelf with books in your genre - particularly those that are closest in size and type of information to your book. How will your price compare with these books? If you discover the competitive pricing to be between $10 and $15, pricing your book at $19.99 might be a mistake.

There are a number of other factors you need to consider when pricing your book. In Part 2, we'll look at direct sales, royalties, wholesale pricing and returns, and the impact they can have on pricing.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written byKaren Hodges Miller, founder of Open Door Publications.]

 


How Can A Book Coach Help You?

By Bobbi Linkemer

Perhaps you have never considered using a book coach to guide you in your book writing project. However, it is not uncommong for a writer, especially someone who is working on his or her first book to hire a book coach - and for a number of good reasons. Here are just some of the ways a book coach can help an aspiring author.

1. A book coach is a teacher, partner and personal cheerleader. You may not even know, when you begin, how much you may need someone to fill those shoes. A book coach can help you stay focused over the long haul.

2. There is a prescribed process for successfully writing a nonfiction book. A book coach will guide you through every step of the process.

3. Before you begin writing, there are questions you must be able to answer. A book coach will ask you all the right questions during the planning process.

4. Writing a book is a long-term project, and it is essential to set achieveable goals to mark your progress along the way. A book coach will help you set realistic goals and create a schedule for meeting them.

5. A book coach will work with you on polishing your manuscript. Regular feedback from your coach will not only keep you on track, but provide an objective and knowledgeable outside perspective.

6. A book coach will help clarify available book publishing options beyond just what conventional publishing may offer.

7. A book coach helps you promote your book before and after it is published. It is important to remember that whether you are snapped up by the best known of the "big houses" or start your own publishing company, much if not all of the marketing and promotion is going to be your responsibility.

If you are planning to write your first book, hiring a book coach may be a perfect strategy.

[The majority of this post  was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from How to Write a Nonfiction Book, from planning to promotion is 6 simple stepswritten by Bobbi Linkemer. To visit her website, go to http://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.]