DEADLINE: DECEMBER 24, 2014
The Midwest Independent Publishers Association is an affiliate of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). As such, MIPA members are eligible to apply for a scholarship to attend the IBPA Publishing University. One scholarship per affiliate is awarded each year. Scholarship covers the registration fees for the university (an estimated value of $400). All food functions and special events are also included. More information about the scholarship.
MIPA STIPEND: But that’s not all. The winner of the scholarship also receives a $500 stipend to offset the cost of hotel and travel expenses. This stipend is awarded by MIPA and comes from MIPA funds.
EVENT INFO: The 2015 IBPA Publishing University will be held April 10-11, 2015 at the Sheraton Austin Hotel in Austin, TX. For more information about PubU.
The purpose of the scholarship is to help independent publishers and self-published authors grow their publishing program. This is a huge educational opportunity for independent publishers to learn about trends in our ever-changing industry, to make contacts and network, and to reignite their passion for publishing great books.
Scholarship applicants must:
- Be a member of both MIPA and IBPA.
- Agree to share information learned at the Publishing University with other affiliate members through a newsletter article(s) and/or live presentation(s).
- Be actively participating in the publishing process as a publisher of their own or others works. Vendors to authors or publishers (or past scholarship recipients) are not eligible for the scholarship.
APPLICATION FORM: Contact Sherry at email@example.com to receive an application form. Do not use the online application form on the IBPA website.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: All applications from MIPA members must be submitted to the MIPA Board. Please return your application to MIPA by December 24, 2014. Send all applications by email to MIPA President Sherry Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We realize this is short notice. So don’t wait to apply.
A great cover captures the reader’s interest, and great interior design keeps the reader reading.
At the November MIPA meeting, held Nov. 13 at the Carondelet Center, three professional designers described the book design process and why it is so important to send your books out into the world with the best impression.
Linda Koutsky, who has been designing books for 25 years including 15 of those with Coffee House Press, said, “Book covers are like billboards. You have an eighth of a second to capture people’s attention.” Koutsky is always on the lookout for great images to put on the cover of books, and she shoots many of her own.
“Tone is a quality, feeling, or attitude,” Koutsky said. “That is really what a book cover is all about.”
Interior book designers, Dorie McClelland of Spring Book Design, and Sherry Roberts, of The Roberts Group, discussed the importance of creating beautiful, inviting, and consistent book interiors. McClelland described a book interior as like a river: “Open a book, start at the beginning. It has a flow, a way of inviting you in from endpapers, to half-title, to title. It introduces you to the content, then brings you into the text. Timing takes you through the text, with some ebbs and flows but always within the banks (structure) and successfully brings you to the conclusion.”
“A well-designed book makes the reader feel comfortable,” said Roberts. “It’s this invisible connection between story and reader. It dissolves on the page and yet also guides the reader.”
Poor book design automatically stamps a book as “amateur.” The presenters not only talked about what good design is, but also what it is not. They discussed why Word is not a good tool for book design, how to use typography to avoid the “ransom note” effect, and handling widows and orphans.
For more information about the presentation, download this great handout, which also includes a list of 26 things that guarantee a book is identified as amateur.
As tradition, MIPA does not have a December meeting. Members instead gather for holiday party. Monthly meetings will resume in January. See the calendar.
Step 2 in the publishing process is editing. Beth Wright from Trio Bookworks, Pat Morris from Book Architects, and Sherry Roberts from The Roberts Group led a discussion titled "Professional Editing Sells Books," at the Oct. 8 MIPA meeting, held at the Carondolet Center in St. Paul.
Their presentation began with a discussion about the importance of editing. "Whether your book is fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, or a memoir, you will need a professional editor," said Wright. "Your editor is a consultant who will help make your book the best it can be."
Wright shared that the stages of editing include self-editing, developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading.
A developmental editor is someone who can get involved in the project before the writing process even begins to offer suggestions on how the author can accomplish his or her goals for the book. Advice can be offered in the areas of character development, narrative voice, pacing, style, and language.
Copyediting happens when the manuscript is in its nearly final stage. During this process the editor improves formatting, style, and accuracy of the text. Wright explained that she often will create a list of characters and places mentioned in the book during this phase, and as she makes her way through the read make sure the story stays consistent.
Proofreading is where the text is checked for typos, grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. This is done at the page proof stage.
Both Wright and Roberts suggested that all authors self-edit their manuscripts as well throughout the process, and preferably do at least one round before they turn their manuscript over to an editor. "It's a good idea to read the text out loud," said Roberts. "I will often catch things that need to be changed in my own books by doing that."
"Errors are frustrating to readers. You need to make sure the book is perfect before you put it out there, and the only way to do that is to hire an editor or team of editors to help you," said Pat Morris from Book Architects.
The presenters also offered this important advice:
- Ask the editor you are considering hiring for a sample page or two so you can get an idea of how he or she will go about editing your work.
- Find someone you feel comfortable with and can trust.
- Inquire about the editor's rates before you get started. Rates range from about $14/hour to $125/hour. Keep in mind, an editor may read a manuscript two, three or more times.
Handouts: Download handouts from this presentation.
November Meeting: "Step 3: The Secrets to Good Book Design and Eye-catching Covers" will be on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Carondolet Center in St. Paul. Please join us.