Sunday, January 27, 2013

10 Things to Check before Sending an Email

Writing an email, while small in size, is no less important than an article, book or story you write. An email is your introduction, a request and a means to maintain connections in a busy world. Whether business or personal, below are a few things you should check before hitting the send button.
Is it clear? Read your message aloud and make sure it makes sense.
Is there a purpose? Why are you writing this communication? Make sure it apparent.
Is there action? What needs to be done and is there a due date?
Is there supporting evidence? Have you included everything that the recipient needs?
What’s the subject? Does the subject clearly and succinctly describe what the email is about? If you are responding to someone’s email, please write your own subject line or modify the one that came in on the original message.  It makes it easier to find information later.
Is the content correct? Make sure the email is well-written and clear. Make sure the information the recipient needs in included.
Is it functional? Check all the links that you include and make sure they work properly. Attach any supporting documents you reference in the email.
Is it going to the correct people? Make sure the people who need to be copied are included. Don’t copy too many people either. Just consider if one person hits “reply all.”
Is each person’s role clear? All of the people who are included should have some type of action to take as a result of the email. If they don’t have a role, maybe they don’t need to be copied.
Has it been edited? Make sure you’ve checked the spelling, grammar and punctuation. You don’t want your recipients to be distracted by poor spelling or a misunderstanding.
Following these steps may help each of your email do what you want them to do.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Publishing in the 21st Century

The latter part of the 20th century saw the rise of new means of distributing information and books to the masses. Just as Gutenberg’s press made it possible for the layperson to read and interpret their own copy of the Bible, the internet and other multimedia outlets have made books more accessible to the public. If you’ve written a book, you may be wondering what method is best for publishing your book. Here are the current options available to you along with a few advantages and disadvantages to each. (This changes as we speak and there may be other options if you are reading this after 2013).

Offset Printing
First of all, offset printing is still an option and most traditional publishers still use it. Usually there is a high copy minimum for this method of printing, but it does result in the lowest per copy cost.
Once you’ve paid the printing costs, you will then have to determine whether you want to pay to have the books warehoused or handle the storage and distribution yourself. If you keep the books yourself, you will be responsible for all sales or at least shipping to a distributor as needed.

Digital Printing
Otherwise known as (Print on Demand), digital printing has become very popular in the past ten years. The flexibility of digital printing means you can order one or one hundred copies at a time with no premiums for the smaller orders.
When selecting a digital printing company, also consider that many of them are also distributors and your book will be available to online booksellers, libraries and physical book stores without you needing to do all the work. While the per copy cost for digital printing may be higher than offset printing, you never go out of print and you only pay for the copies as you print them.

Electronic Printing
With the creation of eReaders such as the Kindle, Nook and any other tablet available for sale, it has become easy to carry hundreds of books around in one small device. As a result electronic books are in high demand. Should you choose digital publishing, many times the same file can be used for an ebook after it is converted into an ePub or MobiPocket format.

By electronic publishing your book, you can sell through the major booksellers and directly alongside your physical book. While the technology around ebooks continues to be in development, it is a great option for books that are mostly text. Images do not display perfectly in all platforms.

Just Write Books publishes using print on demand.  Many of our books are in ebook format for the Kindle. I picked Kindle because:
1.       the larger audience,
2.       the ease of creating Kindle book
3.       and no need to set up a delivery and storage system. Amazon does that for Just Write Books while charging only 30 percent of retail price.

I hope this answers some of your questions about publishing in the 21st Century.