POP Editorial Services LLC | The POP Newsletter, the blog home of POP Editorial Services, LLC and Katherine Pickett
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The PoP Newsletter

Self-Publishing: How Much Will It Cost?

If you're planning to self-publish a book, you need a budget. Without one, your project will stall as you realize this great, easy thing everyone keeps talking about actually takes some money. How much could it possibly cost? Well, $5,000-$7,500, in fact. For some, it could be much more.   You will soon discover the biggest expense you incur is the time you spend writing and marketing your book. Don't discount the value of your time. You may be spending a couple hundred hours just on marketing, and that's time you could be spending with family, friends, or a paying gig.   But what about monetary expenses? When self-publishing, the money you spend will largely be through the professionals you hire to assist you. From manuscript to book, you will require a variety of...

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The P Word: Why Plagiarism Is a Sin

All through high school and college English classes, I heard the P word at least once a semester. It was scandalous, a sin in fact. The one commandment of writing, I learned, is "Thou shalt not plagiarize." As a teenager I had difficulty grasping the concept, but the more I wrote, the more I understood: if you didn't write it, then don't pass it off as your own -- and changing a word here or there is not enough. This has grown into a passion of mine as an editor.   One small aspect of a copyeditor's job is to highlight for the author certain material that may require permission (another scary P word). Generally this comes up when an author has chosen to excerpt some material from another source. Although the...

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POP Is Moving!

You heard it here first (or second?): POP Editorial Services is moving to Silver Spring, MD!   Why, you ask? Well, my husband, Chris, wants to be an advocate for science research, and where better to do that than Washington, DC? So, then, why Silver Spring? It just so happens Silver Spring is immediately north of the district!   It's an exciting time. Chris started his new career July 18, and I'll be joining him in just a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to the fast pace of the nation's capital, along with all of the free museums and beautiful parks. Best of all, I can keep my day job. While my husband pursues his dream job, I am able to take mine with me. It's the beauty of being self-employed in an...

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Madame Bovary Is a Cautionary Tale

The first line on the back cover of this iconic novel by Gustave Flaubert reads, "The 1857 publication of Madame Bovary, with its vivid depictions of sex and adultery, incited a backlash of immorality charges." Always interested in banned books, I immediately knew I had to read it.   When I found a copy of Madame Bovary in a used-book store in Madison (they do exist!), I'd remembered hearing it was the scandalous tale of a cheating wife. For 1857 that seemed pretty progressive to me. And with the backlash of immorality charges, I assumed it was a glorification of adultery and immoral behavior.   Boy, was I wrong.   In fact, Emma Bovary is an entirely unlikable woman whose lying, cheating, and greed send her life spiraling into the ground. Quite simply, she marries a...

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Identifying Your Target Audience

"Sell Your Book!" writer's clinic, Saturday, September 17, 2011, 9 a.m. to noon   One of the major steps in the writing process is identifying the target audience for your book. Many authors want to say their book appeals to everyone, but that's not realistic and, honestly, not what your book needs. You want to narrow your audience so that you can provide readers with exactly what they are looking for. As they say, you can't be all things to all people. So choose which group of people you want to "be all things" for. Be as specific as you can. Consider demographics, location, education level. Then find out what it is they really want, align that with what it is you have to offer them, and deliver on it.   An interesting aspect...

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Wikipedia: An Author’s Friend or Foe?

Here's the deal: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia to which anyone can contribute. That means it does not always have correct information. (It's a lot like going up to the guy in the next cubicle who says he knows everything there is to know about Lady Gaga and asking him how much her meat dress cost. You might get the right answer, but you might not.) The site works hard to keep everything legit, but for authors who want to be taken seriously, that's not enough.   All of the major publishers for whom I work, which number 8 or 10 these days, tell authors straight away that Wikipedia is not an acceptable source. Wikipedia is huge. It has information on seemingly every topic and can give a nice overview of a subject....

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Procrastinator’s Special: You’ve Waited Long Enough

Okey-dokey. There are just three days left to register for the "Produce That Book!" writer's clinic and, believe it or not, some of you are not signed up. How could this be? Let's chalk it up to good old-fashioned procrastination.   Now I ask you, when is the last time anything good came out of procrastinating? When you waited until February to buy a calendar so you could get it at 75% off? That explains the Teenage Dream design you chose. . . . But that's a fine example: when you wait for the deal, it usually means you get the castoffs, the stuff no one else wants, the size 2 swimsuit or the size 42 jeans.   This time is different. This time you get the exact same enviable seat at the "Produce...

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Website Launch: SYB Workshop Series

P.O.P. Editorial Services is launching a new website for the Sell Your Book workshop series!   Yep, P.O.P. is now offering two workshops to help authors find success: "Sell Your Book!" and "Produce That Book!"   I know, that's a lot of exclamation points, but this is exciting stuff. And that's why I decided the best thing to do is to dedicate a whole website to it.   I've written a lot about the original SYB workshop, so I'll let you read the website or previous posts if you want to know more about that. This new one, however, is sure to be just as great. "Produce That Book!" covers the book production process from manuscript to bound book. For my editor friends, this is old hat. But for new authors, being able to navigate the...

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Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude

I just finished reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, and holy smokes, is that a good book! It has been a number of years since I read something so revolutionary in both writing style and content.   This book was my selection for book group a couple of months ago, but due to a crazy work schedule, I was only able to get about two-thirds of the way through it before the meeting. I often don't finish books that I couldn't complete before the discussion, since the ending is revealed and I tend to lose interest, but I knew this one I would finish. I was already falling in love with it by that point, and the comments from the rest of the group piqued my interest even more....

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