Sunday, March 30, 2014

Must Attend Workshops at the IPNE Conference


Tim Brookes

Swiftly coming up.  


April 4-5 is the annual Independent Publishers of New England Conference in Southbridge, MA. Whether you are an experienced publisher or just starting out, if you are within easy travel distance of the conference, there is a lot to be learned there.  IPNE Conference

First, let's talk about keynote speaker Tim Brookes and the work he does with the Champlain College Publishing Initiative. He and Taylor Covington will be speaking about the work they have been doing around the globe to help individuals get their work published. They focus on publishing in the 21st century and taking advantage of social media and other modern means of publishing.

Several of his students will be workshop presenters at this conference. I've attended workshops headed by his students. They were amazing and I'm certain these leaders will be.  You can count on it!


Some workshops that will be worth catching are the following:

Social Media by Charlotte Pierce (friend and IPNE member): With the prevalence of Facebook, twitter and other social media outlets, it is necessary to understand how each platform works and how to achieve the best success on all of them.

You've heard of a movie trailer, right? Stop in to Margot Mayor's workshop on Saturday to learn about book trailers. She'll go over a variety of styles and talk about the good, the bad and the ugly.

Most authors think they need to get their books into bookstore in order to make sales. Brian Jud will explain some of the ways to sell your book outside a bookstore. Events, corporations and other means to make the sale will be covered in this workshop. I've spent time with Brian and I know he will give useful information.


For a complete listing of the conference schedule, check out the website here.
Next week, we'll be discussing the things we learned at the conference, so stay tuned for more information. 

Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, publishing Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project—building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: nerandolph@jstwrite.com.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Just Write Books Submission Guidelines

Just Write books is not accepting new manuscripts for the first six months of 2014. 

However, once that time is up below some guidelines to use when preparing your book for publication. 
People have asked how to prepare a manuscript for submission to Just Write Books. Always before, I have said, "Print in a reasonable font size with 1-inch margins." I felt that would give people enough information. 

I was wrong. 

So I developed the following guidelines for manuscript (ms) submissions. If you want to submit your ms to other publishers; subscribe to writersmarket.com. There you can search and find publishers and each publishers submission standards.

Just Write Books does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. We care about the amount of trees used in the world for paper. Call, write or email to tell us about your book. 

Publisher Nancy E. Randolph will want to speak with the author to learn about the book, the author and why this book should be published. Only a few manuscripts evolve into a book with Just Write Books.

Just Write Books does not return manuscripts. We carefully shred them.


  • Don't send us your only copy. If your manuscript is rejected for publication; we carefully shred it. The cost of return (of packaging and shipping/mailing the manuscript) far outweigh the cost of reprinting.
  • No reading fee but a donation. Beginning in 2014, Just Write Books asks that you donate to the Androscoggin Riverwalk or the Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org when sending us a manuscript to review. Upon being invited to submit your ms, please send a copy of your check (to one of the two nonprofits above) with your manuscript. $25 for 1-99 page manuscript. $50 for a manuscript of 100 pages or more.
  • Before printing your manuscript, complete a thorough edit. It will survive another round or two of edits at Just Write Books. Please read it aloud and spell check. Both of these things will help prevent your manuscript from going through the shredder.
  • Your manuscript must be a computer-generated printout. No handwritten submissions. Use clean, white 8 ½ by 11 inch unlined paper of average thickness. No designer paper. Use an easy to read font. Most computers have Times New Roman. Please do not use different typefaces or sizes. Don't try to make it look "good." You'll only irritate the reader. Our preferred font size is 11 or 12 points. Left justify the print. Do not right justify, center or fill the line to force a right flush. Do not format or insert photos. Just the text please. Use a one-inch margin: top, bottom, right and left. Indent each paragraph by .3 or .5 inch. Do not leave a blank line between paragraphs. 
  • Double space the entire document. 
  • Create a running head with the title of the book and your name. 
  • Place page numbers centered at the bottom of each page. Ensure that the document is set to automatic numbering.  If you do not know how to do this; ask a friend or a friendly computer geek for help.
  • Do not 3-hole punch, staple or otherwise bind your manuscript. We might take only 20 pages to read away from our desk.
  • Provide a list of photographs or illustrations and include a couple of printed samples of the same  (photocopies will do).
  • Check every page for clear printing and that every page printed.
If you have followed the above suggestions; our reader will be able to read your file, make comments, edits and suggestions without straining her eyes or developing a migraine headache. In addition, when it is time to make your manuscript into a book, it will be in the right format for flowing into desktop publishing software.

  • Do include cover letter. (By this time, we've already told you to mail a copy.) This will allow you to mail the manuscript via Media Mail through the US Postal Service. (If you want to send a cover letter; mail it separately in a first class envelope or email anything you want to tell us. Remember do not email the manuscript.

  • Double check everything before mailing, including our mailing address.

Just Write Books, 14 Munroe Lane, Topsham, ME 04086. Seal and drop in the mailbox.

If you haven't heard from us in 2 months; send a postcard, email or simple letter. That's polite and non-irritating. 

I hope this helps clarify things for the authors.


Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, publishing Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project—building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: nerandolph@jstwrite.com.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

State-of-the-art in publishing in Maine

"Instant Books" the latest in publishing comes to Maine

Come join Maine authors and others gathering in South Portland to learn more about the Espresso Book Machine. 

What: Booksigning and demonstration of the Espresso Book Machine
When: Saturday, March 22, at 2 p.m.
Where: Books-a-Million, 430 Gorham Road, South Portland
Who: Maine authors (published by Just Write Books) and the staff of Books-a-Million welcome the public.
Why: The only machine of its kind in Maine producing a high quality book in minutes.
How: Come as you are. The event is open to the public.
Special: Free drawing for a chance to win your choice of seven Maine books.


Article in the The Times Record details the plans for the event.

FMI: Call 207-837-0588 or email jstwrite@jstwrite.com

Just Write Books offers Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Purchase a great Maine book to read at Just Write Books



Sunday, March 16, 2014

Guest Blog: So You Think You Don't Need A Professional Editor

This week's guest blog is from Dave Griffiths regarding the need for a professional editor.

Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.”


“Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store.”

“Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”


Thanks to Fortune magazine for those fine examples of resume writing that are likely to end up on a bulletin board but not lead to a job interview. About 20 years ago, when I was on the journalism faculty at Penn State, I started looking into the nascent field of psychology that deals with human error. Why, researchers were asking, do otherwise intelligent people make foolish, expensive, even fatal, mistakes?


Why do nurses put the wrong medication in an IV? Why do doctors operate on the wrong knee so often? A few years ago, about eight wrong-site surgeries were voluntarily reported each month to the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, but they represented only the most serious cases, with 70 percent of them resulting in death, according to the Los Angeles Times.


On a less serious note, but more to the point for our purposes, why do so many writing blunders reach readers, leaving a potentially harmful impression of he or she who taps away at the keyboard? As I tell my writing seminar participants, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Any critical reader—and writers should always assume that the audience is reading their text closely and carefully—has a right to ask, upon seeing an egregious grammatical or spelling error (particularly someone’s name): “What else is wrong with this? Can I even trust the content to be accurate?”

A psychologist pioneering in human error research (sorry, but I don’t remember his name) told me that he and his colleagues had learned that errors emit from our brains randomly. For lack of a better term, they called these emissions “erronium,” and they tend, not surprisingly, to accumulate under stress. But he added that the errors don’t have to go into actual use or production, so to speak, thanks to redundancy.


To illustrate: In one of my journalism jobs before Penn State, I covered civil aviation, particularly airline safety. Over the decades since World War II, airline cockpits have gone from four aviators (pilot, copilot, flight engineer, and navigator) to three (minus navigator) to two (take out the flight engineer)—all thanks to advances in avionics, or aviation electronics. But I seriously doubt that we’ll ever go to just the pilot. No matter how automated the cockpit, safety still demands two sets of eyes and two brains to monitor the system.


The same can be said for the control panels at nuclear power plants and the nurse assigned to make sure that the orthopedic surgeon is about to open the correct knee. But nursing positions are often understaffed, which leads to stress, and therein lies the problem.


What about writing? Redundancy is at the heart of any newsroom, with at least one editor and usually more scrutinizing copy from even the most seasoned reporters. And considering the thousands of words that flow through the process every day, the system works fairly well.


But then there’s you, the writer. How can a single individual be redundant? The answer is that you can't, not if you take your work seriously. Hemingway was dead on when he said, “Everyone needs an editor.” The stark truth of the matter is that we invest so much of our ego in our writing that we can't be objective about what flows through our fingers onto the keyboard.


So don't count on yourself or a friend to “give it a read.” Hire a pro. Next time, I'll discuss different types of editing.


Finally, I can’t resist another resume entry from Fortune. Editing isn’t the problem, but the thinking that went into it is intriguing: “Personal interests: donating blood. Fourteen gallons so far.”


Dave Griffiths Bio
Dave Griffiths a free-lance writer and editor who travels widely to do writing and media and presentation skills training for clients ranging from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to the Veterans Administration to nonprofits such as the Red Cross and private companies needing help with technical writing and written sales proposals. His professional background is journalism, covering national security for Business Week magazine and teaching at Penn State's College of Communications. Dave has a degree in English from the University of Virginia and a Master in Journalism from the University of Missouri.



Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Bookspublishing Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk projectbuilding a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: nerandolph@jstwrite.com.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

10 Ways to Tell If Your Book is Worth Publishing


Every person who hopes to be an author wonders at some point if their idea, story or memoir is worth reading or publishing. At Just Write Books, we've come up with a list of ten reasons that may help you decide if you want to publish.
1. Is there an audience willing to read your story? Consider what you've written from all angles and determine if there is a group of people who would be interested in what you have to say.
2. Are they willing to pay to read it? This is related to item number one above. While some people may want to read your story, in order for it to be worth publishing, they have to be willing to pay. Otherwise, it is not worth the cost and effort of publishing.
3. Is it related to your business? If your book helps explain something that you do for a living, it can act as your calling card in business circles. A relevant book is worth publishing.
4. Is it related to someone else's business? Does what you've written relate to a business or organization that would be willing to purchase your book in large quantities? Think books on yoga for a health center, town history books for specific history societies and other relationships.
5. Do you have a family to share your story with? Sometimes publishing your book can be a small affair for you and your family. If you want to share your life story with family members and future generations, you may find publishing a good format for it.
6. Does what you're writing about relate to a larger event? There are many stories written about individuals during World War II. Just Write Book's Only One Child tells the story of a British couple who sent their children to America for safety reasons and the long term affect it had on the children.
7. Is your story related to current events? News trends change every year, but if you are able to capture an important topic and write something relevant to breaking story, your chances of being published are greater.
8. Is your book educational? If your book helps people's understanding of a complex topic or you're sharing your knowledge of a less widely studied topic, your book may be worth publishing. Wild Plants of Maine is a great example of this with its companion, Forager's Notebook.
9. Is there a niche market for the topic you want to write about? If a lot of people have written about your subject, there may be people interested in reading it. Do some research. Find the questions people are asking on Google related to your book. If there aren’t a lot of answers, your book may be it.
10. Is having your name on the cover of a book an item on your bucket list? Sometimes it might just be a matter of wanting to have your story published. I spoke with someone this week who said he had spent three years collecting rejection slips. He had great comments from the readers but couldn't find a publisher.  When there was a special offer, he finally went to CreateSpace and uploaded his book, created a cover and published 10 copies. He's happy he did that.

Why do you want to publish your book? Why is it important? 


Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Bookspublishing Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk projectbuilding a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: nerandolph@jstwrite.com.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Maine Authors get a Real Taste of Print On Demand


Book being removed from the EBM. Clip from EBM YouTube video
 by  On Demand Books use with permission.
The public is invited to experience 21st Century Print On Demand (POD) technology as Maine authors published by Just Write Books gather for author visits and book signings March 22 at 2 p.m. at Books-a-Million! (BAM!) 430 Gorham Rd, South Portland.


Maine authors published by Just Write Books and BAM! have joined together to provide a state of the art "show and tell" to book lovers.

POD is the technology that allows books to be printed in small quantities—even a single copy at a print.

Books-a-Million! has gone one step beyond. An Espresso Book Machine (EBM)was delivered late last year to the South Portland store. Since that time Jean Jackson of BAM! has been printing books at the customer's request.

Just Write Books authors Paul Betit, Robert Chute, Barbara Kent Lawrence, Norma Salway, Tom Seymour and Susan Lebel Young will be available to meet with readers and sign books hot of the press—actually directly from the EBM.

According to a Books-A-Million! press release, "The EBM is the only digital-to-print at retail solution on the market."

"In the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee," according to Jean Jackson of BAM! the EBM can produce a bookstore quality paperback with color cover, in any standard trim size providing easy access to over seven million titles instantly through the EBM distribution system. These titles are available through partnerships with publishers and distributors such as Lightning Source.


The Man in the Canal
by Paul Betit
Paul Betit will be signing copies of his latest book THE MAN IN THE CANAL. THE MAN IN THE CANAL is third in the John Murphy trilogy of mystery-suspense stories. In his latest mystery-suspense novel, John Murphy of the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Division goes undercover in Sweden during the summer of 1971 to find a murderer believed to be hiding among the group of American military deserters who took refuge in the Scandinavian country during the Vietnam War.

Robert Chute's latest book published by Just Write Books is EXCUSE FOR BEING HERE: Life Among Thoreau's Reflections. Timed for the 200th anniversary of Thoreau's birth, Excuse has three parts: Robert M. Chute's most excellent poetry, a memoir of sorts and the story of a life relating to Henry David Thoreau beginning in a one-room schoolhouse and continuing today as Chute lives a simple life in Maine.

MAINE-LY PEOPLE: SHORT STORIES AND TALL PHOTOS by Paul Cunningham is a compilation of character and photo essays of Maine people at their fines from Cunningham's three decades of photojournalism in Maine.

Barbara Kent Lawrence will sign her novel ISLANDS OF TIME. Linda Greenlaw said about Islands, "I really like it. The story about a girl from away falling in love with a year-round kid from Maine, then coming back as an adult to reclaim herself, resonates with me. It’s also a love song to the people and landscape of Maine.


Wild Plants of Maine:
A Useful Guide
by

Tom Seymour
I'M JUST A KID, YOU KNOW! by Norma Salway offers stories of the lessons that a Salway learned from her students. Cry, laugh and squirm but enjoy this book of kids in the classroom and the teacher whose heart was touched by many over her three decades of teaching.

Tom Seymour's WILD PLANTS OF MAINE: A USEFUL GUIDE is a perennial favor outlining how to find, how to use wild plants of Maine. This revision has added plants and mushrooms and photos and more uses for nearly a dozen plants. It was good before. Now Tom Atwell in the Maine Sunday Telegram says, " A lot of information is jammed into this book’s 164 pages."

Susan Lebel Young will meet her fans and sign FOOD FIX: ANCIENT NOURISHMENT FOR MODERN HUNGERS.Food Fix offers a series of stories about her life, lessons she has learned about food, mindfulness and living

Just Write Books is a publishing house offering Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Titles published by JWB are available at your local bookstore, at jstwrite.com and other online retailers.

To learn more about the Espresso Book Machine go to: http://ondemandbooks.com/ or watch a video about the EBM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDe_Jy4HnMY

To contact Books a Million!, South Portland call: (207) 253-5587

For more information about any JWB author go to the publisher's website jstwrite.com and follow the links for author blogs and websites.

FMI about Just Write Books or this event contact:

Nancy E. Randolph
Just Write Books
14 Munroe Lane, Topsham, ME 04086

 p. 207-729-3600  f. 207-729-4600 c. 207-837-0558


Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Bookspublishing Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk projectbuilding a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: nerandolph@jstwrite.com.