Insurance You May Need for Your Home Office

In 2019, the International Communication Research conducted a national survey. It established that more than 60% of home office-based businesses lacked an insurance policy that covered their businesses. Sadly, most of these home offices believed that if their companies suffered any losses, their renters, homeowners, or umbrella insurance policy would take responsibility and compensate them. 

But, on the contrary, rental and umbrella policies only cover a small percentage of losses. Moreover, such provisions would not even help one replace a damaged laptop.

Consequently, there is every need for you today to register your home office with an appropriate type of insurance for your business. 

This article helps you know which options are available. An insurance agent will tell you which one fits your business.

Property insurance

This type of insurance covers properties typically covered by the homeowner’s policy but held at home. However, since you use them for business, the homeowner’s insurance does not cover them, hence the need to get them the property insurance. 

It includes computers, data, paperwork, and any other thing you have at home and use for your home office and theft or vandalism of any of these properties.

For instance, in the event of a fire, your homeowner’s insurance policy will compensate you for the home, but not the home office. This is where the business property insurance cover comes in handy and covers losses.

Business interruption 

Sometimes, an interruption can occur and halt your business for an extensive period, interfering with cash flow and causing you significant financial losses. However, if your home office is covered with a business interruption policy, you will have nothing to worry about.

Of course, the terms might vary depending on the company you register your home business with. Still, most of them will cater to your income and help you evade negative cash flow until everything gets back to normal.

Business crime insurance

Many criminal cases characterize the modern world, and your home office is not immune to them. From time to time, home-based businesses are victimized with forgery, breaches, theft, security theft, stealing of sensitive information, and many others. 

Therefore, if you have compassionate parents, information, data, systems, patents, and processes in your home business, you should consider getting business crime insurance with a company of your choice.

Workers’ compensation insurance

The other type of insurance you should consider for your home office is workers’ compensation insurance, whose terms differ across states while still caring for employees. Generally, any business, whether home-based or not, with employees must be covered with the worker’s compensation insurance. 

This type of coverage takes care of employees’ liabilities, disabilities, death benefits, and treatment. But, again, since terms differ from one state to another, you need to establish your state’s provision under this insurance cover. And polish everything to ensure that you are in good books with the workers’ compensation insurance and have your employees covered.

Homeowner’s insurance.

Most people are under some form of homeowner’s insurance with a particular company of their liking. Though this may sound unlikely, some home offices lack the homeowner’s policy which provides an umbrella cover for your home. However, now that you have an office for your business, you need the homeowner’s surface more than ever. 

The types of business insurance discussed above will likely cover business interruption, crime, data corruption, and any liability, but not the home. Therefore, having the homeowner’s cover will come in handy. In addition, you will be compensated for the losses, especially if you had spent a fortune building this home.

Contents insurance

Generally, contents insurance should come with the homeowner’s insurance, although some homeowner’s policies do not provide for it. In addition, when you don’t have your own home and are renting the apartment you live in. You might have to consider the contents insurance since the rental policy does not cover it. If you use the same apartment in which you live as your home office, you need the contents covered even more. 

The insurance takes care of the contents in the apartment that you use for business and include paperwork, data, computer, or any other thing you deem essential for your business. In case they are stolen, damaged, or corrupted, the policy compensates you. The contents insurance also fits those who stock business equipment at home. However, they may not be using their home as a business office. 

Business auto insurance

Suppose you have a car that facilitates your home business activities like making deliveries, driving clients, and attending business meetings. In that case, you will likely need to register it with the business auto insurance. 

If you get involved while on a professional activity, the general auto coverage will not cater to the losses, which is why you need business auto insurance. Accidents could damage the business car, other cars, or passengers whose medical bills you must pay. Thus, making the business of auto insurance even more critical.

General liability insurance

Although this form of insurance has been mentioned last in this list, it’s, in fact, the most versatile form of business insurance you need for your home office. For example, suppose someone gets injured in your home office, or your home business product and equipment hurts him. 

In that case, general liability insurance comes in handy. In addition, this insurance helps with any legal issues, including copyright infringement or lawsuits against slander and libel. Besides, this insurance cover takes care of any legal expenses you might incur when your home office is issued for any reason.

The bottom line

Many businesses are run from home currently, thanks to the technological advancements we have today. Business liabilities also increase with the many home offices in place, and crime, copyright infringement, breaches, and robbery can victimize them. 

Don’t be swayed into thinking that the homeowner’s or the renter’s policy will take care of such losses. This article helps you familiarize yourself with the various forms of insurance you will need for your home business, and all you need is to contact an insurance agent to help you see which one fits your business the most.

Where to Get Free eBooks

Are you an avid reader and you’ve really taken a likening to reading digitally? Are you tired of having to pay a fee every time you want to read a new title? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! There are so many places where you can score large selections of high-quality eBooks in a wide array of genres by some of your favorite authors (and perhaps some authors that you don’t even know are your favorites yet). 

Want to learn where you can download and read free eBooks to your tablet, Kindle, phone, computer, laptop, or any other device? Keep on reading and get ready to expand your library!

Internet Archive

The mac-daddy of all free eBook sites, Internet Archive is an award-winning free eBook platform. The mission of the company behind the site is to provide readers with universal access to all knowledge. With more than 20 million titles available, it’s like the modern-day Library of Alexandria. On top of the 20 million free eBooks, Internet Archive also offers access to more than 410 billion web pages and 4.5 million audio recordings. Talk about a major score!

Google eBookstore

Offering access to more than 5 million free eBooks, Google eBook Store is an outstanding resource for your reading fix. This award-wining source is a service producer of Google, Inc. that was previously known as Google Book Search. Thanks to its significant selection of eBooks, it has become one of the biggest and most popular free eBook platforms around! You can access the site via the app, which you can download on both Android and iOS device. Once you do, accessing your next reads will be as easy as a few taps on a screen. You can search the site for free eBooks by title, author’s name, ISBN, or keywords. Once you select an eBook, you can download it by clicking on “free” at the top left corner of the screen, and then select “download” and your preferred format. 

Amazon Kindle Store

Amazon’s Kindle store is another fantastic and very popular resource for free downloadable eBooks. You can access the roughly 3.4 million free eBooks that Amazon offers for free on your Kindle device, your Fire tablet, or the app on your mobile device. You can access the Amazon Kindle store on your computer, too. You can search by title, author, or keyword. Once you find a book you’d like to read, you can download it via your Amazon account via the kindle app.

Open Library

Open Library is another well-known site that provides access to a wealth of free audiobooks and eBooks; more than 3 million titles, to be exact. The primary objective of the site was to establish a web page for every book published. There are several categories to choose from, including biographies, fiction, non-fiction, business and finance, and books by language. Once you borrow a book, you have it for 2 weeks and it will automatically be returned once that time expires. 

Apple Book Store

If you’re a fan of Apple, you can use the Apple Book store, formally known as iBooks, an Apple eBook library. The site offers more than 30,000 free eBooks, which is definitely an oppressive selection; however, the only downside is that you can only access the store via an iOS device or a macOS. There are two main sections on the site: free eBooks and special offer eBooks. Like the above-mentioned platforms, the Apple Book store offers a wide selection of genres from authors around the globe. Examples of some reader favorites include Winnie the Pooh, The Time Machine, and Murder in an Irish Village. 

What Are Literary Agents?

Professional sports players have agents, models and movie stars have agents. Even people looking to sell their home enlist the aid of an agent so it makes sense that authors will have someone to help them market their stories as well. For authors, a literary agent is often the best way to get their book published on a larger scale. To better understand how a literary agent can help with publishing, let’s take a deeper look into what a literary agent actually is.

The Definition of A Literary Agent?

In short, a literary agent is a person who will read a manuscript or book and then sign on the author if they feel that the book is marketable. While this may seem like a straightforward job, literary agents are paid a portion of the book sales and tend to be very selective of which clients they choose to represent. They work on pitching their client’s books to publishers and helping to negotiate attractive contracts with publishers for the benefit of the client, the book’s author.

What Do Literary Agents Do?

Once a literary agent takes on a client, the writer, they become their representative. Writers are selected in a variety of ways ranging from networking at literary events to direct submissions from aspiring authors themselves. After securing a contract to represent an author, they will then work with them to prepare their manuscript and create query letters that can be sent to publishing houses to pitch their material. Each agent will generally stick to a small range of genres which allows them to better serve the authors they represent.

Why Are Literary Agents Important For Publishing?

Writing a book takes a specific amount of skill, marketing that book to publishers takes a completely different set of skills. A literary agent has the skills and the industry knowledge that allows them to get manuscripts in the hands of people who have the power to launch writers’ careers. They also have a long history in the field and have been able to develop critical relationships that will help them match publishers and authors that can benefit mutually from a business relationship. A good agent can even generate enough interest in a manuscript that it goes to auction. During auctions, multiple editors can bid and therefore drive up the price, or advance that an author will receive for their manuscript.

A literary agent is critical in helping authors not only getting picked up by a publishing house but also ensuring they get fair contracts. Book contracts are extremely complex and cover a range of points such as royalties, payment types, amounts, percentages, and even their rights to their work. An agent will be able to guide and negotiate the best terms on behalf of the author.

Do You Have To Hire a Literary Agent?

It is possible to get published without the help of a literary agent, but the likelihood is extremely low. Authors can always self-publish on Amazon but in most cases, this is very expensive or only available on a smaller scale. A literary agent is a great way to get access to otherwise inaccessible editors and also help provide invaluable guidance in what can be an utterly confusing process. So, while you may want to avoid the hassle of finding an agent to represent you, it is worth the effort and ultimately may be the best and most expedient path to getting published. For those interested in becoming a literary agent, it is a great way to generate and income while helping upcoming authors realize their publishing dreams.

Do you need proofreading services?

If you’re anything like most people, you’ll have agonized over an important piece of writing at least once in your life — repeatedly questioning how to start your sentences, whether to choose “find” or “discover”, and wondering whether to write “oversaturated” or “over-saturated”. After reviewing your text approximately two million and ninety-five times, you’d think, all the typos, unforgivable spelling errors, and inconsistencies would be gone almost by default, no?

That’s not how it works. After a while, as you grow increasingly fatigued and bored of the text, your brain will inevitably start to see what you intended to write — rather than what you actually did. 

Hiring a professional proofreader is an integral part of your writing process for this very reason, whether you’ve penned a novel that’s already gone through developmental editing or writing an important white paper for your company. How exactly do you go about finding proofreading services and hiring a professional proofreader, though, and what do proofreaders actually do?

What Can Proofreaders Do?

Proofreading is the last stage in the editorial process. In some cases, like short blog posts or resume writing, it may be the only one. Other texts, like long-form journalism or academic articles, will have gone through meticulous editorial processes that include developmental and line editing before they ever reach a proofreader. Proofreaders will, in that scenario, literally “sweat the small stuff”. Your proofreader can:

  • Catch pesky typos that even the most advanced spellcheck software would never pick up on as they’d technically be correct, as well as more insidious spelling errors. 
  • Discover grammatical errors that everyone before them missed. If you’ve ever heard the unfortunate term “grammar Nazi”, proofreaders embody that concept for a living. 
  • Weed out inconsistencies in your writing. You may say “17.1%” in one place, and “58 percent” in another, for instance, or have inadvertently written both “US” and “U.S.”. A proofreader will make sure that kind of thing never makes it to your published version.
  • Look out for typographical and formatting inconsistencies, extra spacing, and excessive “word echoes”, in which similar words are artlessly used too many times in the same sentence or paragraph. 

Your proofreader will ensure that your writing is consistent with your chosen style guide, if any, and free of these persistent errors. They typically have a degree in a field related to English, such as literature or creative writing, and may also perform other types of editing.

How Can You Find the Right Proofreader?

The skill level you require from a proofreader depends on the type of writing you have done, as well as the length of the text. If you’re writing a fairly important email or personal blog post, for instance, you can probably do your own proofreading. Give yourself enough time to be able to distance yourself from your draft in that case, and you increase your odds of discovering your typos and inconsistencies. More important texts, from policy proposals to white papers, and short stories you are planning to enter into creative writing contests to entire books, call for a professional proofreader. 

You can:

  • Ask any stickler or English-degree holder at your workplace for help with proofreading short texts. 
  • Find independent freelance proofreaders online, through their own websites or dedicated marketplaces. Make sure to check their reviews before you make any hiring decisions, and test their skill with a shorter sample if you are still concerned. 
  • If you’re working on a book, ask industry contacts or developmental editors to recommend proofreaders. Personal connections allow you to narrow your choices down and ensure that you end up working with a professional.

Hiring a professional proofreader for around $10 per 1,000 words has become easier than ever, thanks to dedicated marketplaces on the internet, whether you require a quick once-over for a shorter project or an in-depth proof for a long academic text. The best proofreaders make working together easy and have an array of software choices at their disposal, as well as coming highly recommended.

Why Could Literary Agents Be Rejecting Your Query Letters?

Even some the most famous and celebrated authors have been rejected many times over before finally finding the right match — so if you’re desperately searching for that one literary agent who will help your writing career take off, you’re in good company. The agents who have reviewed your query letters might just have been too busy, or not right for you. As an aspiring author, you might also, on the other hand, be making rookie mistakes that are holding you back. 

Let’s take a look! Why are literary agents rejecting your query letters, and what can you do to fix that and land the right partner to get your book published? Landing a contract with a literary agent is a lot like job hunting, so with that paradigm shift in mind, here are some tips to consider.

You’re submitting your queries to the wrong agents

All literary agents have their own niches, so to avoid wasting anyone’s time — not to mention to put a stop to that endless rejection cycle — aspiring authors should thoroughly investigate what kinds of authors the agents they are sending queries to actually represent. Just like you wouldn’t apply for jobs that you’d never actually be able to do, you shouldn’t send query letters to agents who simply don’t work in your genre.

You think landing an agent is a ‘numbers game’

Your odds of landing the perfect literary agent do not increase with the number of letters you send. Authors hoping to get published don’t only need to make sure to research which agents would genuinely be a great match for them, but they also need to make a personal pitch. By sending the same generic, cookie-cutter, query letter to all potential literary agents, you miss the chance to truly connect. The agents who read your letter will pick up on that, and confine your pitch to their trash as effortlessly as you hit the “send” button. 

Personalize your query letters, and before you reach that point of no return by sending it, never forget to comb over the agent’s submission guidelines. Once you do, follow them. Don’t send in your first chapter unless the agent asks for it, and definitely don’t share your entire manuscript. This, again, has a lot in common with sending out resumes and cover letters; something no savvy job hunter would do without tailoring their application to the employer in question. 

You fail to help your book stand out

Here’s a sad fact — unless you get your query letter and synopsis right, your book is extremely likely to sound just like countless other books already on the market today. Literary agents are exposed to more book ideas than anyone else, so unless you rock at explaining what sets your book apart from all the others, they’re more likely to fall asleep at their desk than to feel excited to work with you by the time they reach the end of your letter. To grab an agent’s attention and keep it, make your book stand out, just like you need to sell yourself and your unique skills as you apply for jobs.

Your query letter is bad

If your query letter is sloppy — littered with typos, word echos, and lazy sentences — any literary agent who looks at it will assume that your book is going to be much the same. They won’t make it to your pages or even your synopsis, because agents will think you’re just not up to the job. We all know it’s intimidating to write query letters, as well as that excellent writing skills don’t necessarily make you a master marketer, but literary agents are simply too busy to contemplate those facts. The moral of the story? Never send query letters before important people in your life have reviewed them!

Being rejected doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing anything wrong, however. The literary agents who have been reviewing your query letters, your synopsis, and your first pages could also simply have disliked your style, plot, or characters. In that case, you should be glad that you were rejected. You want to land a literary agent who is every bit as passionate about your work as you are, after all!

How to Plan Your Storyline

How to Plan Your Storyline

So you have a brilliant storyline in mind now. It’s time to get writing. Even if you have a great idea on how to write a story, actually executing it into a great plot that will get heads turning can be incredibly difficult. Great storytellers often intuitively know how to put a plot together from reading a lot of books, but for most of us, it helps to have a little bit of guidance when it comes to structuring a plot storyline.

Learning the basics can actually go a long way in making a story more engaging. Every wonder why most books and novels manage to suck you in near the end? Many scripts and novels follow some of the basics.

Some basic outlining of your outline and work can be helpful at this stage. Try this stuff out when you write for fun whether it’s flash fiction, fanfiction, or short stories. As you get the hang of it, you’ll find that you will naturally be able to structure things better.

There are a few styles of story arcs that can be used. The most famous ones are film based but often apply to great book storylines as well. The two most famous ones are the three-act structure and the hero’s journey.

In this article, I’ll focus more on the hero’s journey.

Here are the basic summarized steps of the Hero’s Journey. This isn’t the exact hero’s journey but modified slightly for modern stories.

1. Introducing an ordinary person

There is where we learn about the character in a normal world setting. You get to see the character as a typical person in a typical world.

2. The problem occurs

This is when the problem appears and reveals itself to the character. In many horror stories, this is where the monster reveals itself.

3. Denial

This is typically where the main character feels qualms or resistance to taking on the trial and tribulation. In many cases, this might be when the character initially turns the adventure down. This is when Shrek says no to everything. In love stories, often times this is a denial of feelings.

4. Getting Advice

The main character usually has a mentor or teacher who gives sage advice that is relevant only later on in the story.

5. Starting the adventure.

Passing the first barrier of the problem. This can often be a mental gap that leads the character in the journey.

6. Fighting battles

A series of challenges that the character has to go through.

7. Approaching the greatest challenge

There is always a “boss” or a big challenge that the character has to face. There is always this build up. In the first Harry Potter novel, this is when Harry approaches Voldemort.

8. The Point of No Return

This is the point where in fighting the great challenge, everything that goes wrong, goes wrong. Everything seems hopeless. This is when Indiana Jones is about to die or there is a terrible break up that reverses all romantic progress in a romance story. If somebody cheated in the film, it’s likely that here is where that’ll come out. Many of the best short stories manage to pull the point of no return off extremely well. This is what makes the ending often so juicy.

9. The Resolution

In a miraculous finish, the hero manages to figure things out and solve the impossible problem. The character comes out better, learning key lessons, and victorious. (or in the case of a tragedy, it ends badly here). The bad guy is defeated and the good guys win in a wild finish!

Ebook Formatting Choices: Why You Should Convert Epub to Mobi

Ebook Formatting Choices: Comparing EPUB vs. MOBI Side-by-Side

In this article, we’re going to be examining two different common eBook formats side-by-side. The first is the EPUB format, which is one of the most common formats out there and is able to be used on multiple devices including your tablet computer. But we will also be looking at the MOBI format, which has a number of advantages that you may not even have been aware of if you are not in the ePublishing business currently. Understanding what these two formats entail, and what the differences are, as well as what sort of benefits you can get with each one individually, is going to go a long way towards helping you figure out which eBook format you should be publishing in.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of the EPUB Format

Now, let’s look at some of the advantages that come with publishing within the EPUB format. This is a particularly easy to publish in format, and it has widespread use across most of the E-reader applications out there and even some devices like the Nook. Some of the other advantages include the fact that you can include HTML with some of the more advanced EPUB formats. EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 have a lot of different formatting options for you to use in your book.

Really the only disadvantage of the EPUB format is that you are not able to read it on Amazon Kindle devices unless you get a third-party application. On some Kindles, this is not even possible, but on the ones that are more like tablets than solely E-readers – the ones that allow you to install applications – you can find an app that that you read EPUB books.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of the MOBI Format

We will also take a look at the advantages and disadvantages the MOBI format. MOBI is a file format used specifically for the Amazon Kindle. Although there are a couple of applications that read MOBI formats, none of them do it nearly as well as the Amazon Kindle. The MOBI format is a closed format and is specifically intended for use with Kindles.

Of course, the disadvantage of publishing in the MOBI format is that you are not able to have your book read on any other devices while it is in that format.

The Bottom Line – Use Reedsy’s converter between Epub to Mobi

The bottom line is that unless you are publishing on Amazon and enrolling in the Kindle Select Program (which makes your book exclusive to Amazon for 90 days) then you should probably publish in as many formats as you can – and particularly EPUB. You want readers to be able to read your book on their terms and not yours. You can get more help with understanding formats and at Reedsy. There are plenty of articles on everything from writing to publishing and everything in between. When it comes to self-publishing, getting as much information as possible is the best gift that you can give to yourself.

Need Help Finding the Best Coffee Maker? Look in here

You are able to ascertain the form of coffee maker you need by assessing why you will need java. The coffee maker is one which is not only updated with technology but also user friendly and user friendly. When it has to do with choosing the coffee maker for yourself you surely don’t need to purchase something which is worth less than that which it is actually.

Be certain the coffee maker isn’t tough to disassemble, take apart and clean. The best coffee maker is one with a heating element that is amazing. Make certain the machine also will have a warranty for replacement and you get the coffee maker from a manufacturer that is trusted should there be an issue.

Imagine having to jump from one kind of coffee maker to another simply because you have yet to get the perfect one! However you take a look at it a completely free coffee maker is equally as useful as a costly coffee maker. You might even feel that a completely free coffee maker will somehow be sub-par from the expensive ones. Purchasing the very best coffee maker can be challenging sometimes. If you wish to understand what the very best coffee maker for you is, you need to clearly ponder on your choices.

Coffee makers can be found in many sizes and shapes. So for you to begin with that ideal cup of coffee every day, you’ll have to start with select the best coffee maker for you. You’re likely to be in a position when you discover the most effective single cup coffee maker for your very own specific needs.

Finding the cup of coffee sometimes not as easy as it seem. For a good deal of us, coffee is critical to starting the day. It may be the most popular beverage in the world. It’s also great if you would like to brew two kinds of java in regular, decaf or the time.

You find yourself saved from wasting a great deal of coffee. Be certain you don’t store your coffee too. You should think of how much coffee you’ll need. Over time, coffee has been among the commodity that is most crucial and has been part of daily ritual to every person. It does not necessarily need to be regarded as a means to an end, meaning that it may be a decadent and delicious treat once you’ve got a machine to work with. Tells you precisely what sort of coffee maker you will need. When you would like to brew coffee that is mild the percolator is something you will need to consider.

All About Best Coffee Maker

Do not be concerned if your coffee maker does not arrive with one, you have the choice to purchase it. Another kind of coffee maker is your drip that is automated. Not many coffee makers reach that temperature shop carefully and be certain the utmost temperature is recorded. With professional evaluations accessible to read and consumer reviews, you need to have the ability to find just the coffee maker to fit your needs.

Coffee makers are not different. You would like your coffee maker to create coffee. There are various sorts of coffee makers available, all making different forms of coffee. If that’s the case you could benefit from learning about the new coffee makers today.

When you go to purchase a coffee maker there are many choices it’s tough to comprehend which to pick. You don’t wish to need to get a expensive coffee maker only for it to quit working because of a technicality but the spares aren’t simple to find. You must shop around until it is possible to locate the very best coffee maker which makes the coffee for you inside your plan. You are going to be surprised to find if you’re trying to find the single cup coffee maker.

If you’re looking for an espresso maker, you will see a catalogue of espresso makers valuable. Mr. Coffee Programmable Coffeemakers Many individuals love Mr. Coffee coffee makers not only due to its price but in addition due to its efficiency. Attempt to have a machine with better build quality, preferably one in case you would like to use your coffee maker at least one time particularly with more metal than plastic. A coffee maker doesn’t need to bust the bank.

If it comes to getting one that gets you through the hours, a coffee maker, there are a lot. In the end, as soon as you’re contemplating which coffee maker is ideal for you, it’s better to locate a model that’s user-friendly, and high-volume, heavy duty. By doing some research on  the different kinds and brands out there you are going to be in a position to get you the coffee maker. When you are selecting the very best coffee maker for RV, list the things which are essential for you and purchase.

Word Counts for Novels According to Genre

Word Counts for Novels According to Genre

Congratulations! You have an amazing idea for a novel that you think could really be the next big thing on Oprah’s Book Club!

You’ve figured out an amazing plot line, have some super enticing characters, and have a twist that will put all other twists to shame. There’s just one thing you might have forgotten to consider…

… How long it should be.

So, the question is, how many words in a novel?

The length of a book is one of the most important elements. In fact, some literary agents and publishers say that it is just as important as the story itself.

But why is the length so important?

Because you want to hold the attention of your audience… If your book is too long, you’re definitely going to lose their attention. Your novel may seem too long and drawn out, which can make it really hard for your readers to make it to the end.

Similarly, if your book is too short, your readers may be left feeling dissatisfied. They could be left scratching their heads and have a ton of questions that are left unanswered. Unless you are planning on writing a series and can answer all of those questions in upcoming books, that’s definitely something you don’t want to do.

Image result for reedsy novel length

So, How Long Should a Novel Be?

When it comes to determining the length of a novel, the genre is really going to play a key role. Different genres have different goals, and those goals can be met with word counts.

So, without further ado, here’s a look at what agents, publishers, and well-known authors recommend for average word lengths for different genres:

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels. Of all the genres out there, science fiction and fantasy tend to have the longest word counts. That’s because there tends to be a lot of plot building and detailed explanations involved in these stories. In fact, readers expect books in this genre to be on the long end. On average, a science fiction or fantasy novel should be between 90,000 and 120,000 words. You might be able to get away with as much as 150,000 words, depending on your particular story; however, you really don’t want to go far beyond that (or you may want to avoid it, if you can) because your readers patience will really be tested.
  • Romance. The average romance novel contains anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 words. If you’re writing your book for a younger audience, such as young adults, stick to the lower end of this recommendation. If you’re writing for an older crowd, you can safely get away with more words. However, do keep in mind that you want to avoid overkill.
  • Mysteries and Thrillers. If you’re writing a book that ties into this genre (including horror), a good length would be anywhere between 70,000 and 90,000 words. You can successfully build enough suspense in this word count without making it seem too long, drawn out, and boring.

Using J.K. Rowling’s Plotting Chart Like a True Writing Nerd

Using J.K. Rowling’s Plotting Chart

There is no doubt that JK Rowling is a master of plot. The Harry Potter books introduce elements in the very first page that become important by the end of the book and that goes for the series as well. Innocuous little elements that you don’t even register consciously become majorly important in later books. So, how do you keep all of these things straight? One of the tools that JK Rowling used when plotting the Harry Potter books was a series chart or plotting chart. She actually released one that she used for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which you can find here. We’ll be discussing why this chart works so well in this article.

Image result for jk rowling plot chart

The first thing you will notice as you open Rowling’s chart is that all of her major subplots are listed as the columns of the chart. The calm that she reserved for plot simply describes the action that is happening, but she also keeps track of other elements of plot – her subplots – like what is happening between Harry and Prof. Snape, the love triangle between Harry, Cho Chang and Ginny Weasley and plot points like Hagrid and Grawp.

Another thing that is really useful that rolling uses in her plot charts is a list of the time period when the events are happening. This makes sense because they take place over a normal school term at Hogwarts. However, even if you do not necessarily use time the same way that Rowling does, keeping track of when you’re plot events are taking place could be very useful especially when it comes to things like describing the weather or showing the time has passed.

You will notice, if you have read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that this plot chart does not follow the actual plot exactly. That’s another important lesson to keep in mind here. Just because you write it down in your plot chart does not necessarily mean that you need to stick to it. In fact, having a plot chart like this can give you more confidence when it comes to allowing your characters take a detour. Characters can often have a mind of their own, and letting them go their own way sometimes works out very well for the story. If you have a chart like this, then you can always bring them back on track.

The bottom line is that while some writers like to write by the seat of their pants without any plot whatsoever, and others like to plan out everything in great detail far in advance, there is a way to do both by finding middle ground between these two extremes. You can create a loose plot and then allow your characters the freedom to move around through your story. Even if you just write Harry Potter Fanfiction, you should get a lot of use out of this method. There is no doubt that a chart like this can be useful in that regard. There can also be no doubt that JK Rowling has been able to use this device to become the most successful children’s author ever.

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Can You Self-Publish a Picture Book?

Can You Self-Publish a Picture Book?

Lots of people want to write picture books. Part of the reason for this may be that they think that the task is easier because picture books are so much shorter than novels, but most of it probably stems from the fact that picture books are children’s first readers, and parents and other adults remember picture books that they loved as well as picture books that they read to their own children or young nieces and nephews. Whatever the motivation, many writers are not sure whether they can self-publish a picture book. The process seems much more complicated than publishing a novel. The fact is that picture books can easily be self-published, but you have to keep a few things in mind. This isn’t an in-depth look at the topic but if you’re looking for more information on how to publish a children’s book Reedsy has a pretty detailed article on the topic.

Image result for children's book reedsy

Picture Books do not Sell Well on Digital Platforms

The first thing that you should know about picture books is that they do not sell well on digital platforms. One of the reasons is that people prefer a physical book so that they can read it to the children at bedtime. It is pretty difficult at present to read a book with your child on a digital device because you need to both be able to see it easily. Books just make more sense for bedtime reading.

It Can Be Difficult to Format Picture Books for Self-Publication

Picture books can be a nightmare to format, which is why many people avoid self-publishing them altogether. While there are methods for getting them uploaded to digital platforms, the fact is that formatting the text and illustrations within a book for young children often requires an expert – and most people cannot afford this expertise. Reedsy has been working on novel writing software to make that process easier.

Picture Books Can Be Really Hard to Market

Picture books are difficult to market even when they are in physical form from a traditional publisher. One of the things that make them harder to market is the fact that Amazon and other retailers pay you a lower royalty due to the increased size of the book. The more pictures there are, the bigger your book size is and the less money goes to you. In addition, you are not going to be listed in the industry catalogs that libraries and schools buy from. This is where a significant percentage of children’s books are purchased, and getting listed in these catalogs when you are a self-published author is difficult and impossible if you are strictly digital. You will likely need to make sure you hire yourself a good book publicist to help.

Picture Books Are Harder to Write Than People Think

Most people think that writing picture books is easy to do. The truth is, Dr. Seuss was a genius not a two bit poet. It is actually quite difficult to write good children’s books, but many people think that they are good at it and editors have to sift through this pile every year to find the small percentage of authors who actually do have the talent to write children’s books. With self-publishing, and without an editor to guide you, you will have an even more difficult time.

5 Things You Must Include on Your Author Website

5 Things You Must Include on Your Author Website

Your author website is one of the most important tools that you have as a self-published author. It is a place where people come to see who you are and what you are about, as well as to check out what else you have written. When someone really likes your work, one of the things they might do is type your name into Google to find out more about you, and if you have an author website set up and optimized to be in the first spot for your name or pen name, then they will likely visit it first. But what kind of things should you have on your author website? Here are five elements that you absolutely should have.

Information about You

The first thing that you must include on your author website is information about you personally. That is what people are coming there to find out. People want to know things like where you live, how old you are, whether you are married or single, how many children you have and maybe some personal information like your favorite authors and books. Whenever someone thinks of you as a celebrity or someone that they would like to find out more about, you want to make sure that you oblige is much as you can, even if you are a private person.

A List of Your Books

You also want to have a list of your books available on your website, as well as a link with each one that leads directly to the Amazon page for that book so the people can buy them if they want. Having a good, high-quality picture of the book cover that is large enough to see as well as a basic blurb is a great addition to any author website.

An Opt-In Mailing List

You are also going to want to have an area where people can opt in your mailing list. This will allow you to email people whenever you release a new book, and have a list of your readers basically on speed dial so that you can send out news, tell them about specials that you are having or simply announce the release of something new.

Contact information

You are also going to want to have contact information on there. You can just have a contact form if you want, but you do want to leave both readers and other people way to contact you. Suppose a traditional publisher came along and wanted to contact you about a book deal or someone wanted to buy the movie rights to your book for some reason.

An Active Blog

Finally, you want to have an active blog. The reason for an active blog is that it provides more keywords for your website to be indexed for, and posting regular content improves your search engine optimization as well. Plus, the more blog readers you have the more potential sales you have for your books. If you need an author site made, check out this IT Support NYC company.

Reasons You Should Self-Publish

5 Good Reasons for Self-Publishing

If you are considering self-publishing your novel or non-fiction book, you are not alone. Lots of people consider self-publishing to be one of the best ways to get books out there these days. That’s because there are some really compelling reasons to self-publish. Let’s take a look at five of them.

Self-Publishing Means Higher Royalties

You actually get higher royalties when you self-publish; like a lot higher. For example, if you go with a traditional publisher, you could get a royalty between 10-15%. The publisher gets to keep the rest. But you don’t even get to keep that 10% yourself. Besides taxes, many traditional publishers will not even read your manuscript unless it comes from an agent – a practice known as only accepting solicited manuscripts. But self-publishing does not require an agent and your royalties will be a lot higher. For example, as long as your digital book is priced at $2.99 or higher, Amazon will give you a 70% royalty on every sale and only keep 30%. That’s a huge difference.

You Still Have to Promote Yourself

Even if you decide to publish traditionally, you are still going to have to do your own promotion. Publishing houses rarely do promotion these days and they never do it for brand new authors. The most promotion that you might get as a new author is a listing in the Baker & Taylor or Ingram catalogs, which goes to schools, libraries and bookstores. But you will have to do book tours yourself, as well as any other advertising.

People Read Self-Published Fiction

In the past, one of the major disadvantages of self-published fiction is that people wouldn’t read it. That’s because there was very little of it that was worth reading. But self-publishing today has created some major bestsellers, and even some of the biggest authors in the world have self-published work, so people are much more open to the idea of reading self-published fiction.

Self-Published Books Can Look as Good as Traditional Ones

Another advantage to be aware of is that you can make your self-published book just as good as traditional ones. You can get an amazing cover from a professional book cover designer at a fair price these days, and you can use the same formatting for the interior of the book as traditional publishers do. You can even hire an editor to make your book as good as possible before you publish it. Self-published books can be just as high quality as traditionally published books.

Self-Publishing is the Future of Book Publishing and a lot cheaper

You might also not be aware that self-publishing is going to be the way the book publishing is done in the future. For one thing, digital books have basically taken over the reading world. People read books on devices now much more often than they read physical books. Plus, even authors that have been traditionally published for decades are starting to move towards self-publishing because they make more money and have more creative control over the content.


A Couple of Nifty Exercises to Get over Writer’s Block

Exercises to Get over Writer’s Block

Writer’s block can be one of the hardest things to deal with for someone in the middle of a story or novel. When you get caught up in writer’s block, it can cause depression and make you think that all of the work that you put in so far means nothing. It can make you think that you are never going to finish the piece that you are working on. While most writers get over this condition by themselves, there are some exercises that you can do to get over writer’s block more quickly. Let’s take a look at five exercises to help you get over writer’s block.

Write a Different Scene or Chapter

The first trick that you can use to get over writer’s block is to try writing a different scene or chapter in your book or short story. Sometimes, the piece that you are currently working on is what is causing the problem, and if you come back to it later on after you have worked on a different part of the story, you come back with fresh eyes that may allow you to see if there was a problem or how you can continue the scene.

Enter Man with Gun

Raymond Chandler says that if you come across a snag in your fiction then you should have someone enter the room with the gun. Of course, Raymond Chandler writes mystery novels. You may write something completely different, but the principle still stands. If you find that you are stuck in a scene, have something unexpected happened to the characters and see where things go from there.

Get to Know Your Characters Better

Sometimes, writing fiction can be a struggle because you do not know your characters well enough. You may want to do a biography on your characters, or perhaps an interview format, in order to get to know them better and see if that solves your problem.

Work on a Different Project

You can also work on a completely different project instead. If you are having trouble with the story or novel that you are currently working on, then try to work on something else for a little bit. Don’t do it for very long, because you don’t want to lose track of where you are on the original piece. But there is no harm in taking a day or two and working on something different so you can come back to your original project with a new perspective.

Read Something to Inspire You

Finally, read something that inspires you to write. Sometimes this can get you over writer’s block quickly. You can either choose something fiction that you really enjoy and think is amazing, which inspires you to write something just as amazing, or you can read something that one of your favorite authors has written about the process of writing. Sometimes that is all that it takes to get your story kick started and get you back on track.