Can you name 5 ways to get your book published?

By Barbara A. Fanson, author, graphic designer

Most people can name the two most common methods for publishing a book: traditional publishing and self-publishing. But, I have published over 30 books in five different ways.
If you’ve written a story that would be interesting to others, you could research publishing companies that are seeking book submissions in the same genre or writing style. You wouldn’t send a children’s book to a company that only publishes science-fiction books. You follow their instructions about whether you can submit by email or mail and whether to submit a sample chapter or two. And wait. It can take up to six months for the publishers to read your book and respond.
You could publish the book yourself and pay all the expenses up front. Hire an editor, illustrator, layout artist, and a printer that specializes in printing and binding books. Self-publishing has become more popular in recent years because you can print one copy or 2000 copies yourself.
A traditional publisher would print a minimum of 5,000 copies because the printing price decreases with quantity. They already have connections to get your book into bookstores, libraries, and schools across Canada, the U.S. and the rest of the world. They already have a website for promoting and handling online sales.
If you self-publish the book yourself, how will you get it into bookstores? Phone, visit, or email each one? How will you get your book into libraries and schools? It can be done, but it requires a lot more research and work on your end.
Often, the writer gets ten percent of sales, so if your book sells for $14.95, you get $1.49 for each sale.
If you self-publish a book, you get 100% of any profit the book might make. After you subtract printing, editing, and illustration costs, then you have to subtract promotional costs: mileage to bookstores or speaking events, postage, and setting up a website. Who is doing the promotion? Who is writing and sending out press releases about your new book and speaking events? Who is preparing the artwork for social media posts for Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks? Suddenly, you’re learning everything you can about the size of the artwork and what makes an appealing Facebook post that people will notice. Are you paying for ads in print publications or online social media sites?
If you choose to self-publish your book, you have to do a lot of research and legwork yourself, which a traditional publisher has already figured out and has the staff to perform.
But, there are other ways to get your book into other people’s hands. Have you considered teaming up with a company to distribute your books? If you’ve written a book that might interest a fitness centre or a print shop, why not team up to produce a book. Almost any business can benefit from an eBook or printed book. Approach a college, university, or training centre if you’re an expert on a particular topic. Either you can write a book for them to publish or you sell books in their bookstore.
Everyone has a story, but how will you tell it? Barbara Fanson is one of the several authors at the Local Authors Fair on Saturday, October 28 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at the Welland Library, 50 The Boardwalk in downtown Welland. Ask any of the authors questions about writing or publishing a book. Check out their website:

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What is the difference between a brochure and a flyer?

Brochure FlyerThe short answer: a brochure is landscaped and folded into panels. A flyer is a portrait sheet of paper that is usually printed on one side only and not folded.

A flyer is a single, unfolded printed sheet that is used to promote an event, service, product or idea. A flyer (or flier in the U.S.) usually contains a simple message conveyed quickly. A flyer is usually 8½“ wide x 11”, though it can be designed any size. Often, flyers are only printed on one side of the paper, though you could print on both sides. Flyers are sometimes called leaflets, handbills, inserts, or circulars. It usually has a short lifespan so they may be printed on cheaper or thinner paper. A flyer can be inserted into a newspaper or handed out at a tradeshow.

A brochure is usually printed on both sides and folded to create panels. A brochure can be any size, but the most popular size is 11” wide x 8½“. Most brochures are printed on glossy or heavier paper so they’re more durable and last longer. Brochures tend to be saved and referred to. They should be printed in full colour to enhance the perception of quality. Since more money is invested in a brochure than a flyer, they are usually not given out as freely as flyers. A brochure must be top quality since it is used to promote a company or service.

Both flyers and brochures are important marketing tools which can be used by any business or organization. We can assist you with the design and printing of your piece.

—Barbara, Graphic Designer

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Vector Drawings versus Raster Graphics


There are 2 types of drawing programs on computers: vector or raster. Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and CorelDraw are vector drawing programs, which can be enlarged, and they maintain their shape. Adobe Photoshop, CorelPaint, and SuperPaint are raster graphics, which are made up of pixels. If the image is enlarged, the pixels become enlarged and you can see them more easily. Photoshop and scanned images are dependent on resolution.

If you are going to use an image on a webpage, Facebook, or email blast, then a low resolution like 72 ppi (pixels per inch) is okay since they will be displayed on low-resolution monitors. But for printed materials, we require a higher resolution such as 300 ppi.

g-illustratorThe letter “g” was typed in Photoshop and Illustrator. Both are 72 pt. Arial Bold. They look similar when viewed actual size. But when you enlarge them, you can see the pixels in the Photoshop image. The edges of the Illustrator image remains crisp.

If you are designing a banner or poster in Illustrator, you can design it smaller and print it larger, as long as it doesn’t contain a placed image.

If you are designing a banner or poster in Photoshop, you have to design it the actual size you need in 300 ppi, or maintain a link to the original image when you place it.


Author Barbara Fanson has been a graphic designer for over 30 years.

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Pantone’s colour of the year: Greenery


pantone-greenery-15-0343Every year, Pantone, the global color authority, selects a colour of the year. Greenery is a fresh, bright green that evokes the natural world – and it’s Pantone’s color of the year for 2017. But how can you use the new Greenery 15-0343 with your Adobe applications?

If you go to Pantone’s website, you can download ase files to use with Adobe applications: A folder of colours will appear in your Downloads folder.

You can drag the Greenery folder from your Downloads folder into the Swatches folder, in the en_US folder, in the Presets folder of Adobe Illustrator folder that is in your Applications. Do the same for Adobe Photoshop and InDesign.

Now, you have to load them separately into each program, but they will show up separately—not in the folder.

In Adobe Photoshop, click on the sub-menu in the top-right corner of the Swatches palette and choose Load Swatches. Find the folder that you downloaded. It may be in your Downloads folder.

In Adobe Illustrator, click on the sub-menu in the top-right corner of the Swatches palette and choose Open Swatch Library and go across to Open Library. Find the folder that you downloaded. It may be in your Downloads folder.


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Use contractions for “friendlier” writing

Sterling FB ContractionsContractions are shortened forms of words and phrases. Let’s is the contracted form of let us. An apostrophe is used in place of all omitted letters.

Contractions—such as “don’t” instead of “do not”—can make writing and speech sound friendlier. Contractions in dialogue make it more natural sounding and mimic how people actually speak, which helps to keep the reader captivated by the story.

Read your story aloud. Does it sound natural? Contractions create a conversational tone that makes a story easier to read.

If you’re writing a children’s book, look at the dialogue of any recently professionally published children’s book to see if they use contractions. Or if you’re writing an adult fiction novel, see how they handle contractions.

In an older Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat (1957), contractions were not used:
“And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We can not pick it up.
There is no way at all!”

In a newer Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Rain Forest (2003), contractions were used:
“Down at the equator
I’ll show it to you.
Your mother won’t mind
very much if I do.”

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Important Dates for Authors and Bookstores

Here is Barbara Fanson’s list of special dates in 2016 to include in your promotions. Please note that three of them have not posted new dates for 2016, so get the news as we do. Follow our blog: SterlingEd

Jan. 27                    Family Literacy Day

Feb. 24                   World Read Aloud Day

Mar. 2                     Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss’ birthday

April 7 – 10           GritLit, Hamilton’s Readers and Writer’s Festival

April 30                  Canadian Authors for Indies Day

May 7 to 14           Children’s Book Week in Canada:

May 2 to 8             Children’s Book Week in U.S.:

May 13                   Forest of Reading in London, Ont.

May 17 & 18         Forest of Reading in Toronto, Ont.

May 27                   Forest of Reading in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

June 11                  Robert Munsch’s Birthday

June 27, 2015       Flash Fiction Day (no date for 2016 yet)

Sept. 18                  Telling Tales Storytelling Festival,

Sept. 18 – 24         Lifelong Learning Week, Adult Basic Education

Sept. 27, 2015       The Word on the Street (at Harbourfront Centre) (no date for 2016 yet)

October                  Canadian Library Month, Libraries Inspire

Oct. 19                    International Print Day

Oct. 18–24, 2015  Ontario Public Library Week (no date for 2016 yet)

Nov. 7 – 11            National Young Reader’s Week is 2nd week of Nov.

November is National Writing Month

November is Picture Book Idea Month PiBoIdMon

Nov. 25                   Black Friday

Nov. 28                   Cyber Monday

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How many errors can you spot?

This paragraph was written with several intentionel mistakes to see how many my word processor will spot and to test some free online programs.   Some times I type to fast and put three spaces after a period, that effects my layout. Lets’ see if Microsoft Word or Grammarly spot at least 7 errers.

A professional editor would spot 8 errors; how many did you spot?

Microsoft Word spotted 4 errors: 3 possible spelling mistakes and one grammar.

Here are the results when I pasted the paragraph into some free online programs:

  • spotted 3 spelling errors and 1 style error (was written) in the free version; the paid Premium version may have spotted more.
  • Ginger Software spotted 6 errors: intentionel, many, Some times, to fast, effects, errers.
  • spotted 3 errors.
  • spotted 3 errors.
  • spotted 3 errors.
  • spotted 3 errors.
  • spotted 4 spelling errors and 1 grammar error (was written)

A professional editor would spot 8 errors:

  • 2 spelling errors: intentionel, errers
  • 5 grammar errors: was written is passive voice, Some times should be Sometimes, effects should be affects, to fast should be too fast, Lets’ should be Let’s.
  • 1 Typographical error: 3 spaces after a period should be 1.

 Conclusion: We still can’t rely on software programs or apps to catch all mistakes; nothing tops a good editor.

How about you? Have you tried any online spell checkers?

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My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015

My-Top-10-2015If you haven’t read some of these posts yet, now is a good time. I have three different blogs, so narrowing it down to my favourite 10 blog posts was not an easy task.

  1. 32 clever ways to get notice in a Facebook newsfeed

  1. Top 10 mistakes businesses make on Facebook

  2. 8 ways to get viewers to scroll downto view your whole email

  1. Use your book to gather email addresses and social media followers

  1. Look for speaking events in less obvious places

  1. Looking your best in author photos

  1. Nametags are an essential networking tool

  1. Add fresh content to your website

  1. 9 types of social media posts guaranteed to attract readers

  1. Submit upcoming events to newspapers

I have 3 blogs; subscribe to all 3:

Promoting Your Book 

Writing and Design     

Computer and Design Tips

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Use Find and Replace to remove extra spaces

Word Find ReplaceYou can use the Find and Replace feature in most software programs to spot extra spaces. Sometimes, if you type too fast, you can get an extra space or two. Professional book publishers and designers use one space after a period.

If the text is justified—aligned on both sides—the extra space shows up even more.   A professional designer aims for consecutive word spacing—the space between words.   Why should some spaces be bigger than others?

Did you notice the extra spaces? There are 2 spaces after the word “two” and three spaces after the words “more” and “words”.

After typing your story and running a spell check, do a Find and Replace.

  1. In Microsoft Word, choose Edit > Find > Replace.
  2. In the panel, click in the first text field and press the Space bar on your keyboard twice.
  3. Click in the second Replace With text field, and press the Space bar on your keyboard once.
  4. Click on the Replace All button to replace all double spaces with one space.
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Wider margin in print book not desirable in PDF version

PDF-with-wide-margin-web4By Barbara A. Fanson
I was reading the PDF version of a book recently and realized that every time I scrolled down to the next page, I also had to shift the page left or right. After some time, it became a little annoying. Why can’t I just scroll down to the next page? Because there was a wider margin on one side of the page, but on the next page, it was wider on the other side.

Often, we make the inside margin a little wider in a print book because we know it will be bound and become slightly smaller. The binding edge or gutter or inside edge is the left side of a right-hand page, but the right side of a left-hand page. The binding could make the inside edge 1/8 inch smaller or so, so we often make the inside edge a little larger.Page Margins

It’s acceptable to have a wider margin on one side of the page of a print book, but do we need this on the PDF version or e-Reader version? No. Why not copy and paste the story into a new document with identical margins and use this new document to create PDF and e-Reader editions?

Usually, left-hand pages have an even page number and right-hand pages have an odd number in reader’s spreads—the way a reader views the book. That’s how books have been laid out for decades, but now we have more writers laying out and self-publishing their own books without realizing the industry standard.Word Margins Mirror sm

You can change the margins in Microsoft Word by clicking on the Layout tab at the top of your screen. Click on Margins and you can choose from several pre-formatted margin sizes. If you choose Mirrored, the inside margin will be wider. If you’re on a right-hand page, the left margin will be bigger. If you’re on a left-hand page, the right margin will be bigger.

My newest book Tragedy on the Twenty is a standard 6”x9” novel with inside margins of 1” and an outside edge of .75”.

In Adobe InDesign, you can change the size of the book and the margins when you create a new document.

InDesign New Doc Margins Print sm

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