You’ve finally written your masterpiece. You’ve done it. You’re an author… But how will people read it? Well, Red Raven Books can help. Maureen Shelley shares the final post in her Blog series “10 Simple Steps to becoming a successful published author.”

Here’s the final steps of what you need to do:

1. Call The Copy Collective and a Red Raven Books’ editor will be assigned to collaborate on your manuscript.
Select how much you want to spend, what you want us to do and what you are prepared to do for yourself. You can stage your process so it suits you and you can pay over a period of time as each service is completed.
This is a fee-for-publishing service. You retain final control. You keep all the proceeds of your sales.
2. Select your package – you can choose some or all. Packages start at $870 through to a full print production with assistance at every step:

  • Editing.
  • Proof reading.
  • Book cover design and selection.
  • Print-ready manuscript (editing and/or proofing & typesetting) + ISBN + barcode.
  • Digital-ready manuscript (for Amazon (Kindle) & iTunes (iBooks) & Google Play.
  • Book app – Android and iOS.
  • Print management – typesetting, printer liaison (Australia), proofs & delivery.
  • Registration and lodgement to comply with the Copyright Act (1968).
  • Marketing plan – social and traditional media, registration with book distributors.

3. Work with your editor during a 4 to 6 week period to complete your draft manuscript.
4. Get the technical bits right: typesetting and design, including digital file preparation.
5. ‘Print’ execution: send to printers or submit to publishing platforms.
6. See your book in print, in the App Store or on Google Play.
7. Manage your launch/celebratory event, first conference presentation or elaunch – including media coaching, photography and support.
8. Digital media campaign – microsite development, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, TweetReach, CRM registration and HootSuite scheduling, plus eDM, GoodReads and genre sites registration and reviews.
9. Traditional media campaign: media releases, registration on news sites for Google News indexing, book tours.
10. Start working on your next manuscript.

Red Raven Books is the publishing and imprint arm of The Copy Collective. Find out how we can help you today.

Read on for six winning tips to prepare and draft your manuscript, in Part 5 of “10 Simple Steps to becoming a successful published author” blog series by Maureen Shelley.

1.How many words are enough?

Authors often ask how long their book should be; and it is true that once 52,000 words was a de facto standard. However, these days with self-publishing the norm rather than the exception what ever you write that covers your topic comprehensively and cohesively will work.

Remember your spine width may be the first thing your audience sees, so a book with a spine width the size of the first joint of your thumb will present a nice wide ‘canvas’.

There are plenty of self-publishing websites that can help you calculate spine width, so enter a few numbers and work out what a realistic length would be to achieve your goals for your book.

2. Size matters

Remember the number needs to be divisible by 16 if you are going to print and the last page should be blank. Aim for 300 or so pages for a Trade paperback B+ size, if you are writing a self-help or business book. This size also works well for novels.

Say your aim is to write 300 pages on your topic.  If you write 10 chapters of 30 pages, then you have a good basis for your book. An A4 page of type may equate to up to three pages in a book, depending on spacing, margins and font.

3. A word on fonts

I would recommend you go old school and use Times New Roman. Use the same font for your title, chapter headings, any footnotes, page numbers, headers or footers, table of contents, glossary or indices. This will make life a lot easier when it comes to file preparation for your printer and preparation of your digital file.

4. Use a custom template

If you are using a standard word processing program use the book manuscript template. However, you will need to adjust the style to use the same font throughout. Once you have ensured you have used a single font for everything, save it as a quick style (in Word).

5. A beginning, middle and end

Many authors ask how to write their manuscript. If you are really unsure, then a writing course would help. However, if you have a reasonable idea of what you want to say then start with a plan.  If you are going with my suggestion of 300 pages in 10 chapters, then start outlining your chapter headings. What are the 10 essential messages, key points or events that you want to explore?

If yours is a cook book, then starters, entrees, main courses and desserts are obvious choices for chapter headings. You can divide up main courses into meat and vegetarian or beef, lamb and poultry – work out a plan and write to that.

If you are writing a business book, then what is the solution you are providing for the reader? In your introduction, outline the issue, your proposed solution and the steps to get there. Then sketch the conclusion. Chapter 1 sets up the issue; Chapter 2 addresses your proposed solution. Chapters 3 to Chapter 9 then cover each step, and Chapter 10 provides the conclusion and summarises recommendations.

If you are writing a fictional work, then think about the dramatic arc that your storyline will take. Plan your plot points and where they will fall in the narrative. Writer Blanche d’Alpuget says to tell the story to just one reader. Picture that person clearly and tell them the story so that it is engaging. This creates a virtuous circle between the author and the reader, she says.

If you are tackling a family memoir you have choices of periods – pre-war, war, inter-war, post war; ages – childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, marriage, children, old age; or you can go with themes such as hope and joy, loss and grief. Whatever framework you choose, map it out, write your chapter headings and then write to each chapter heading.

6. The art of writing is to write

Treat writing like a job. Decide how many hours a day/week/month you are going to devote, set up a deadline before you start – you want it on sale by Mothers’ Day, by October to capture Christmas sales, by Anzac Day if it is a war memoir – and work out the rate and frequency of your writing. DO NOT spend a decade writing a book – or two years if you are a child – because you will only need to rewrite it.
I used to own a block of polished wood that had chamfered corners that I called my writer’s block. When I sat down to write, I would have it next to me. Then I would move it away as the writing started to flow, I would toss it on the floor and ignore it when things were going well; only to pick it up and cart it around when I was stuck.

Two years ago, I moved from a house to an apartment and I gave my writer’s block away. Now, I don’t worry about writer’s block. If I sit down and can’t write I will literally start with “The cat sat on the mat”.

As long as you are writing, it doesn’t matter if it is a laundry list – the art of writing is to write. Write. Start now.

June is Author’s Month to celebrate the launch of Red Raven Books. Red Raven Books is the publishing and imprint arm of The Copy Collective. Find out how we can help you today.

From office printing to the rise of Managed Services, Rest in Print launches as an easy-to-read guide to help businesses reduce costs of their office printing. We speak to author Mitchell Filby, who draws on extensive industry experience as a global industry expert, keynote speaker and publisher to examine today’s office printing practices and current trends.

The office printing industry is under pressure.
Office printing volumes are in their greatest decline.
Quite simply, the office printing industry is facing its greatest challenge of the past twenty-five years. And the big question is, which brand or manufacturer will survive?

Rest in Print – A guide for survival

Author Mitchell Filby calls for a transformation of the office printing and document-imaging industry through his new book Rest in Print. The book will help companies reduce their costs and burden from office printing, and help the overall office printing industry adapt from the printed page to digital content.
“I want to help businesses save thousands of dollars simply by following a few simple industry best practices,” Mitchell said, “while at the same time discover insights of how the industry has and continues to engage with its customers.”
“Rest In Print provides unique insight into the challenges, and the opportunities available, as print volumes decline and the industry transitions into a services-led model, such as Managed Print Services (MPS).”

So what makes this book unique?

Rest in Print launches as the first ever book to delve into the past twenty-five years of the print industry and examine how businesses will fight to stay relevant despite customer, market and technological changes.
Mitchell Filby has seen firsthand what companies will do to survive, and what happens when they don’t, from his time working and consulting for companies like Oce, Kodak, Fuji Xerox and Canon.
The book will give readers:

  • A useful, easy-to-read guide to understanding today’s practices and current trends.
  • Five factors businesses need to know in order to understand Page per Print contract and take control of printing spend.
  • How to improve business appeal so that customers fight harder for their business.
  • Up-to-the-minute tips to help spot sharp sales practices that cost money.


Who will read it?

Rest in Print was written for decision makers across both corporate and government businesses that actively have to engage, manage and require an insight of the print, copier, and document-imaging marketplace.
However it is expected the largest target market will be the copier, print and document imaging industry including many of the related industries that connect into or are now integrated into the print/copier industry, such as toner & ink supplies businesses, the hardware and software financing industry, IT distributors and resellers and the vast array of printer/copier sales channels and dealerships around the world.

Get your copy today

Rest in Print launched last month and was edited by our expert team at Red Raven Books, The Copy Collective’s new publishing, and imprint service.
Order your copy today.

About the author, Mitchell Filby

Mitchell is the founder and Managing Director of First Rock Consulting, Australia’s leading and most recognised independent Business Consultancy, IT Advisory and Media organisation. The business was specifically shaped and fashioned around supporting and servicing all the elements that interact and grow out of the office printing and document imaging industry in Australia.
Mitchell is also a media journalist, active industry blogger and a keynote speaker at numerous global managed print services conferences around the world.
Mitchell’s passion is to transform the office printing and document imaging industry but at the same time keep it accountable for its actions. His vision and goal is to help big business manage and bridge existing paper-based output content to a more effective and efficient digital content format.

June is Author’s Month to celebrate the launch of Red Raven Books. Red Raven Books is the publishing and imprint arm of The Copy Collective. Find out how we can help you today.

“10 Simple Steps to becoming a successful published author” continues with the importance of the author’s photograph, by Maureen Shelley.
The author photo is the most important piece of your marketing material. We recommend that you use a professional photographer. A professional portrait will range from $150 to $400, depending on the photographer.

What you’ll need:

  • You should ask your photographer to take portrait and landscape photos with a headshot, mid shot and full length.
  • You need to have these with a formal and informal look.  In one, wear a suit jacket and, if appropriate, a tie. The other can be more informal but should still be professional.
  • If you are writing a specialty book such as a cookbook, family memoir, children’s book then you may need different photo choices. You should discuss this with your editor, graphic designer or writing mentor or group.

Can’t afford a professional?

If you haven’t budgeted for a photographer, you can use a digital camera or phone camera to take the shot. Ask someone to take the photo for you or use a tripod. You can improvise a tripod using a flat surface.

Don’t take a selfie but you can use the controls on your headphones to give you a ‘remote’. Remember, to leave about 1.5m to 2m between you and the wall behind you, so that you control the shadows.

Also, if you can use multiple lights (standard lamp, desk lamp on the floor behind you – but out of shot), then do so. The more professional you can make the photo look the better.

Planning is essential

Multiple photo choices gives you more options for your book cover, marketing materials and digital assets such as website and social media pages.

Planning your shoot and thinking about your photograph options can ensure that your book looks like a professional production.

If you’re looking for professional help. In Sydney, we use Toby Zerna Photography, Asterisk Photography or UberPhotography. Any of these studios will produce a great shot at a reasonable price. Mention Red Raven Books and they will look after you.

June is Author’s Month to celebrate the launch of Red Raven Books. Red Raven Books is the publishing and imprint arm of The Copy Collective. Find out how we can help you today.

The Copy Collective’s resident wordsmith Maureen Shelley begins her new blog series: “10 Simple Steps to becoming a successful published author.

Today she unpacks the curious concept of proof reading.

What is proof reading anyway?
Proof reading is when a manuscript or other written work is submitted for checking of semantics, grammar and typographical errors.

This can be done by a proofreader or editor or, if you can’t afford a human, you can use online programs such as Grammarly. We use Grammarly to check for originality to ensure that work submitted for proofing or editing by us isn’t plagiarised by the writer.

So what are you trying to say? 
What programs such as Grammarly can’t do for you is actually understand what you are trying to say when your subject and object aren’t clear and then to suggest appropriate edits.

If as a writer you can’t even afford Grammarly, then you should at least use the spell checker in your word processing program.

Tips for top-class grammar when using Word:

  • Set the language to your choice first – Australian English, UK English or US English – they will all give slightly different suggestions for spelling of words. Then do a “select all (Control A in Word on a PC) and then F7 for a spell check. Do this repeatedly – you will be amazed at how many errors you find.
  • Turn on recommendations for grammar as well as spelling. It will come up with a few suggestions that you will need to ignore but should find most glaring errors.

June is Author’s Month to celebrate the launch of Red Raven Books. Red Raven Books is the publishing and imprint arm of The Copy Collective. Find out how we can help you today.

Guest Blogger Graeme Innes gives a bird’s eye view from yesterday’s book launch of “Hope in 60 Seconds”, Red Raven Book’s first title in print.

Crows Nest is a great place from which to launch a new bird.  So Northside Community Church in Crows Nest, NSW provided an excellent launch-pad for Pastor Graham Agnew’s first book, Hope In 60 Seconds.
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It was fitting that the driving force behind the launch, boosting the book into the stratosphere of sales, was new publishing house Red Raven Books, the imprint arm of The Copy Collective.

When I endorsed Graham Agnew’s (or GA to his friends) book I said:“A super-charged buzz is on every page of Graham Agnew’s Hope is 60 Seconds. The messages throughout this book will renew your hope. I’ve been riveted by his sermons, loved his radio messages, and his book will make a permanent appearance in my daily reading.”

In launching the book, world-renowned author and speaker Michael McQueencommented the book contains 100 stories each with that vital ingredient of hope. He smilingly encouraged those at the launch to buy and read the book, as one of the stories could be about them.

I met a man walking away from the launch with five copies of the book in his hands.  In response to my question about his bulk purchase, he said “I’ve bought five of these books to give to five kids.  If one kid reads one story in the book, and it changes their life, it will be $100 well spent.”

Hope in 60 Seconds can be obtained in print through Graham Agnew’s website: grahamagnew.com. It will also be available as an E-book in July 2014.

June is authors month at The Copy Collective. We will profile new titles published by Red Raven Books; the publishing and imprint arm of The Copy Collective.


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