3 R for Publishing a manuscript

As a writer, you may be contemplating an approach to tell your story. Typically there are two approaches:

  1. Book length
  2. Short stories or Essays

Publishing a manuscript, with either of the above approaches, can be daunting (irrespective of how much are you thinking through the details). Based on experience of successful and not so successful authors, following tools are helpful through the process of publishing:

  1. Researching: As a writer one needs to be updated with relevant info in your field of interest. There are many tools which help you gather content without you hunting for it. One widely used tools is Feedly, it helps you compile per topic information available over the internet and send them to you at a frequency you want it. Similar tools with slight variance are Inoreader, NewsBlur, and InBox My Articles.
  2. Revising: While revising your content you may be thinking of how do I improve my style of writing or is my writing style similar to an Author I follow. Not to worry, following tools will help you revise and improve writing style – I Write Like, Hemingway App, The Writer’s Diet, The Up-Goer Five Text Editor, After the Deadline. While these tools cannot be a substitute for a professional editor, it sure will reduce number of iterations.
  3. Reviewing: If you are writing a long-form text which involves more than hammering away at the keys until you’re done, take a look at Scrivener. It is helpful while collecting research, ordering fragmented ideas, shuffling index cards in search of that elusive structure. For those who do not want to / cannot invest in a tool using Google Docs (part of Google Drive) or Offline Office (Microsoft One Drive). Few Publishers may ask for HTML version (or if you are web writer ) of your text. For such requirement, use Markdown (free tool).

Last but not the least, once you have your manuscript ready, you need to track you submissions. Tools like Submittable or Duotrope may help you depending upon which Publisher or Editors you are engaging with.

Happy writing!!

Once your story is ready for the world (i.e. completed eBook), you have a choice to leverage ReadMyStori platform for unbiased opinion and Author Analytics.

Kid’s mind during vacation – idle? Should they read? If yes, How?

While we all talk about kids to relax during vacation (especially in today’s cut throat competition), they also need to have fun.

Would you agree books are one such medium? With scorching heat outside during the day, would it be great to have a book in hand (printed or eBook) and something to sip on the side. As parents you would like to wish those mobile games should stop working for a while and let them pick up the books and enjoy the characters within. If your kids have less attention span short stories would be ideal. 

On one hand we know children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers. They become better writers with larger vocabularies, and most significantly, tend to develop stronger critical thinking skills. On the other hand, how do we ensure kids who shy away from reading (even if they can read) should enjoy the time reading books.

Of course an easy way, for most parents, is to keep nagging (read pushing), incentivising (read bribing), criticising his/her choice and many such methods, are going to deter the child from reading.

Now, the key question, how to turn their resistance into eagerness. Some of the following should work. Feel free to share your methods / tactics which worked for you. It might work for someone else too.

  1. Look out for topics which are related to their interests and hobbies
  2. Activity based reading (for e.g. make different parts of an aeroplane or windmill and then assemble them, also find information like, Are the wings of a plane smaller or larger than the body of the plane and Why)
  3. Let older children read to them, they enjoy showing off their skills to an admiring younger one
  4. Children should see you reading in your spare time
  5. Let them read aloud an interesting passage in a book or newspaper (don’t force them to read every word right)

Explore eBooks on ReadMyStori App, if you think our eBooks are good reads, do refer us to your friends and family. Look forward to hear from you on best practices which have worked for you to get your kid to read.

ReadMyStori Blog
ReadMyStori Blog

What are the best things based on children’s books?

While reading books, children are left with impressions of so many things. Some of them include:

  1. Characters
  2. Colours
  3. Animals
  4. Clothes
  5. Food (e.g. cakes, vegetables, etc)

…and the list can go on. Lets talk about what kids have access today, from picture books, comics, science fiction, to adventure. Most of them are very well illustrated or even interactive content including sound and light. Children 5 yrs or younger are attracted by colours. ReadMyStori App (Android / iOS) gives access to different books across different age group.

Lets address best characters which have been liked and appreciated by kids across generations. Sharing a few here:

  1. Charlotte’s Web, by E B White   (The New Yorker writer cherished for his elegance of style gives us an altruistic spider with exquisite manners, and a pig to make her proud. There are intimations of mortality, but a plot of fame and legacy thumbs its nose at the inevitable).
  2. Biscuit from the Biscuit series: Biscuit the sweet, yellow puppy, who is good at making friends, being playful, and learning new tricks
  3. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne : Characters begin days by visiting one another, and end up shifting houses, learning to fly or surviving floods
  4. Series of Mythological Stories (in India) listed at http://www.kidsgen.com/fables_and_fairytales/indian_mythology_stories/

Have listed some characters, look forward to hear from you on other things listed above and the classic books as reference.

2015 is projected as good year for Authors and Publishers

At the beginning of 2015, we at ReadMyStori appreciate:

  • Feedback and inputs from Readers
  • More than 10,000 likes on Facebook
  • Follow on Twitter and Pinterest
  • 130% increase in book downloads and even more reads

We have enhanced User Experience for Readers on Android platform, will soon be releasing ver 2.0 on iOS (Apple iStore). 2015 is projected to be a good year for Authors and Publishers  (including self publishing).  Sharing few selected insights below.

A) 11 key topics in the new Digital Book World:

  1. The book publishing industry’s digital transformation and how it’s still in its infancy, with numerous opportunities for innovators, change agents and book business entrepreneurs
  2. How ebooks will continue to open up new, greater audiences for publishers
  3. The aftermath of the Amazon and Hachette dispute, an opportunity for publishers to reflect and reevaluate the book distribution ecosystem
  4. Why publishers should embrace and maximize IT, data and analytics
  5. The importance of learning new skills to master mobile – the world’s fastest growing media platform
  6. How self-publishing will continue to grow as more options arise from technological trendsetters
  7. The educational publishing market’s transformation and the EdTech opportunity
  8. Why navigating the intricacies of international markets is essential for digital book publishers
  9. The role of content marketing in the publishing industry
  10. How dynamic communities, built around content, are supercharging the discoverability of books
  11. The value of partnerships and supply chain collaboration in the book publishing industry

Source: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/eleven-trends-and-opportunities-for-digital-publishers-in-2015/

B) Global E-book market accounted for approximately 12.6 percent of the Global Book Publishing market in 2014 and is expected to increase to 27.8 percent by 2019.  Source: http://www.technavio.com/report/global-e-book-market-2015-2019

C) e-Publishing, lit fests likely to rule the literary world. Last year saw more than 60 book fests, that is an average of more than one a week. Source: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/epublishing-lit-fests-likely-to-rule-the-literary-world-in-2015/521476-3.html

From playing Candy crush to reading eBooks

While at a restaurant, with family, have you observed kids playing with smartphones (or parents handing them their phones)? Some parents or slightly older kids bring their iPads / Tablets to ensure they are busy and not crib while everyone can peacefully talk / eat 🙂

We have received interesting inputs from few parents, these inputs have helped their kids to develop a habit of reading eBooks. They have have downloaded ReadMyStori app and set of books from Pratham Books. With parents handing over their phones (while at a restaurant or driving a car or in situations when they are busy and need their kids to be quite for sometime), these kids are engrossed in reading very well illustrated eBooks.

These inputs got us thinking. Are there any easy and yet good ways of inculcating habits of book reading? Sharing a few points (original article from Leo Babauta).

  • Set times. You should have a few set times during every day when you’ll read for at least 5-10 minutes.
  • Always carry a book. Wherever you go, take a book with you.
  • Make a list. Keep a list of all the great books you want to read.
  • Read to your kid. If you have children, you must, must read to them. Its never too late 🙂
  • Read fun and compelling books. Find books that really grip you and keep you going.

A big Thank You to readers who shared inputs with us. Other readers, feel free to share your inputs.

Steps to self-publish an eBook

Have you decided to publish an eBook? Are you skeptical? The good news is, it’s easy to publish than you think. Usually, for quick references, authors go through blogs and videos on YouTube to understand the process. If you ask Authors who may have gone through that path – they would say its not by just pushing a button.

Having done some research you may have put some thoughts into your strategy to self-publish. It will be fair to ask a question, how would a Publisher execute this effort i.e. what are the different tasks e.g. editing, marketing, publicising, and of course writing the book. You are headed in the right direction.

We recommend following steps (listed below) based on our research. Remember, ReadMyStori is not a Publishing platform, we enable you to reach out with your eBook to a wider audience and learn from analytics. Analytics enables you to take a more informed decision.

  1. Write a “Value to Reader” book: Gather your thoughts and start detailing them to ensure a reader connects emotionally or practically (depending upon the theme of your book).
  2. Get your book edited: Most successful authors get their books professionally edited (including Amish and Chetan). Get your book edited from “Book Editor”. Having said that, there are very few successful Authors who have edited their won books.
  3. Convert into an eBook: While converting into an eBook format (e.g. from MS Word to PDF or ePUB) the first thing you will notice is to create a book cover. Book cover should be attractive, as it has to stand out between a lot of eBooks. Formatting comes second (different types of layouts), followed by conversion (i.e. PDF / ePUB).
  4. Find ways of reaching out to the World: Approach distribution channels which can take your book in front of a reader base distributed across the world. Amongst others, Amazon has created an interesting program for self-publishing authors.
  5. Promote your eBook: While the first step is to write the book, you should also be thinking about promoting the book from day one.

If you have started to weigh your options to self-publish, hope this blog post gives you enough pointers to act on. Feel free to share your comments below or write in to us at readmystori@gmail.com.

Authors: Wouldn’t it be great to know about your readers?

About 5 years ago, an author would rely on methods like book retailer’s on the ground intelligence or a booking agent or a marketing agent. Now, with the increased use of internet over smart devices the market is driving in more means of gathering market intelligence. Such is the effect, that it is closing down good-old book shops. Readers started buying online, they started creating a list of books they plan to read (wish list), they get to compare books based on comments others have shared.

How would a writer / publisher find its reader base? A small sample of readers would follow you on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, etc). However, a larger set of readers would be available with either the physical book stores or online book stores (Amazon and Flipkart’s of the world). Now, online bookstores do not share demographics of the reader base (even with the Publishers). Not many people, in these online book store, know why to share readership info with the Publishers or Authors.
 Feel free to share your inputs.