Questions to do with fiction or nonfiction tomes, either professionally- or self-published.

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29
votes
6answers
2k views

Writing first programming book

I was recently asked if I was interested in writing a book for a pretty reputable publisher, which of course I accepted. I am not a writer by trade, I am a software developer with some technical ...
28
votes
8answers
6k views

Why do hardcover books retail for more than three times the cost of softcover books?

One thing I've noticed while browsing bookstores is that hardcover books tend to cost more than softcover ones. Oftentimes a hardcover book that's five times the price of a paperback doesn't have ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What book review sites allow authors to send a copy of their books for reviews?

Since I'm published with smaller publications, getting reviews is often one of the best ways to make sales. But what professional book review sites out there will write a review in exchange for a copy ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

Is there a rule of thumb about the number of pages a work of fiction should have?

To be considered a "real" book, is there a rule of thumb about the number of pages one should have? If it has too few then people call it a short story (e.g., Fahrenheit 451) and if it has too many ...
13
votes
1answer
13k views

What binding and paper should be used on a self-printed novel?

The last time I printed a book I just needed something done cheaply and quickly. The print store used very bright, glossy office paper (the same that they use for office documents) and used ...
9
votes
4answers
478 views

How do I successfully structure a long fiction piece?

I’ve ‘completed’ three novels – a thriller, a coming-of-age story, and a mystery. I’ve had expert readers for all three including Sue Grafton who read two of them. All the expert readers have the same ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What is a good methodology for researching a historical novel?

I'm having difficulty with the research aspect of my historical novel. This question was originally going to be "how much research should one do to write a historical novel?" to which, answering my ...
8
votes
5answers
453 views

Our note in footnote of a book

How do I designate the footnotes that are mine inside a quote? I tried "our note", "note ours" and "remark is ours". Which one is the correct one and most commonly used? Or is there some other way? ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

Is there a standardized size for Books?

I noticed that my softcover/paperback books are all roughly the same size, but have slight differences. Are there standardized sizes (and are they different between US and Europe, just as US Letter ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

Can a book be published by more than one publisher?

1) Some books are published by more than one publisher. For example, if you go to Amazon or Flipkart and search for 'The Interpretation of Dreams' by Sigmund Freud, you will see many of them from ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Write to the finish, or edit as you go?

Someone asked this question in another forum, and I thought I'd bounce it around in here to see what kind of responses we get. If you are working on writing a new book, is it better to just write all ...
6
votes
9answers
658 views

Problems with character development?

I'm 1/4 through my first novel, with a pretty solid 12 page outline of the whole thing. After years of reading books about story structure, I think I have a good grasp on how to make a plot work. My ...
6
votes
2answers
689 views

How important is scenery when you are writing?

When you are writing a book (or reading one for that matter), how important is it to closely detail the scenery or the setting? Does it just depend on the setting or the type of story, or is it always ...
6
votes
6answers
374 views

Is it possible to write a novel completely devoid of dialogue?

I am in the process of writing a novel, and I'm just trying to get some ideas and thought on this. I am not sure yet if I want to completely remove all dialogue, but at this point I feel that dialogue ...
6
votes
4answers
232 views

ISBN - is it possible to have one and a title before publishing?

i am currently writing a book but would like to know if i can pre register an ISBN and Book title. I am little concerned someone might call their book the same as mine before i finish it. So i really ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

How does copyright apply to illustrations and cover art?

Is a paid-up-front illustrator entitled to royalties? If I hire an illustrator for artwork, and I pay up front on a per-illustration basis, what copyright gotchas should I be aware of? Does the ...
5
votes
4answers
148 views

Bogged Down with Legends of Wind

It's not that I have a lot of writer's block, it's the mash-up of stories I'm compiling that all have to fit together in some way. I have outlines and I have a heap of unfinished stories, all going ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do authors usually put a reference section at the end of a book when they are not referenced throughout the entire book?

In the references list (usually at the end of a book), I've noticed that authors like to include references to other materials. However these materials are not so-called "referenced" or "linked" at ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Website to know about books something similar to IMDB for movies? [closed]

I just started reading books I have completed chethan bhagath's(Indian author) books and other books like Godfather,notebook. I want to know what are new/good books i can read. Is there any website ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What books should I read before writing a non-humanoid point of view story? [closed]

I know there are some great books told by animals: i.e Black Beauty or White Fang. I want to write a good story told by a traffic lights. But I need a good example. Are there another books told by ...
4
votes
7answers
221 views

Works of literature that are (ostensibly) about the act of writing

A response to this question. What short stories, poems or other works of the literary art reflect (directly or indirectly) an author's experience as a writer? What messages do these pieces convey? ...
4
votes
4answers
416 views

Which traditional presses publish poetry?

I would like to publish a poetry folio through my university press. My ex-poetry professor at my alma mater says that is possible, but the university will only publish me if I already have a book ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Simple rules for separating paragraphs in books?

I'm writing a fiction book and noticed that my paragraphs seemed excessively long, most having three or more sentences in them. The Online Writing Lab's page "On Paragraphs" is helpful, but as a new ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How to Create Barcode from ISBN Number

I have published some story books for kids and I have already bought the ISBN numbers for the same. But I am confused on how to get those ISBN numbers as barcodes on covers of books. What is the ...
4
votes
2answers
376 views

Are TOC and appendix part of total word count for books?

Do table of contents, appendix, and chapter titles count toward the total word count for a book? For example, if a book is 50,000 words, what is not included in the count? This is for a nonfiction ...
4
votes
3answers
285 views

Designing a book

A friend of mine writes lots of poems and some of them have even got published in local magazines here. His birthday is coming up and I am thinking of putting all those poems in a book form and giving ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Must one have a book cover designed before to publisher?

I have finished a fantasy novel I have been writing for the past few years and I am now in the process of meeting with representatives from publishing companies toward the goal of publishing my book. ...
4
votes
5answers
134 views

If I use a real location for the setting of my book - Do I have to use existing schools or can I make them up?

I'm writing a book and want to set the story in an existing location, such as Manchester, England. Does that mean that I have to use an existing school from Manchester, or can I make the school up? ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Is it possible to tweak a book title after it's got an ISBN?

We organized an ISBN for a book last year, while it was still in the planning stage. As the book develops, it looks like the title we gave with the ISBN isn't quite right, and another title would be ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Writing a PhD thesis. Question about (an informal) introduction

I am preparing scientific thesis for the degree of PhD. It is a mathematical thesis. It is usually very difficult to tell your colleagues and friends what are the things you exactly work on with ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How are citations formatted in serious non-fiction (proposals)?

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about scholarly work of the sort that might be published by a university press. I'm talking about work by people like Goodwin, McCullough, or Larson. These kinds of ...
3
votes
2answers
302 views

Should a piece of fiction be made of 100% concise writing?

I recently finished reading William Strunk's Elements of Style. The book mostly teaches how to write concise paragraphs (e.g. by removing, changing, and rearranging words). So I decided to apply that ...
3
votes
5answers
732 views

I'm shy to let my friends read my books

All the books I have wrote, I've always been shy to show my friends. I don't want them to think poorly of me with what I write. Any advice that could help me?
3
votes
1answer
308 views

What is the best publisher for a computer science book

I'm a newbie... I've some material I want to submit to an editor for evaluation feedback about content relevance and quality and the possibility of publishing a book... What is the best way to face ...
3
votes
3answers
25k views

Minimum (realistic) word count of non-fiction book

What is a reasonable estimate for the minimum length, in word count, for a non-fiction book? I'd guesstimate that non-fiction books "generally" (yes, this is very rough) run perhaps 150-450 pages, ...
3
votes
2answers
156 views

Sequels and avoiding sequelitis

Many of you have probably read a sequel to a book and have found it to be worse than the original book. I am writing a sequel and would like to know if there is any way to avoid this "sequelitis". ...
3
votes
3answers
496 views

George Orwell (1984) - Monologue [closed]

I have a homework task which is to write an interior monologue on the character of Syme. For those that have read 1984, I was just wondering if it would be plausible to make his character as someone ...
3
votes
3answers
111 views

Which are the Best resource to learn comedy screenwriting?

Can anyone suggest me the best resource to learn comedy screenwriting for movies? I have read sydfield's screenwriting book and learnt a lot from it. But I know that comedy genre follows entirely ...
3
votes
1answer
260 views

Use of Registered trademark

I'm writing a book on Windows and I need some guidelines. On the cover of the book, as part of the subtitle, may I include Windows® in it? Inside the book, do I have to use the ® every single little ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Is there a quality difference in purchased hardcovers?

Is there a difference in quality between a hardcover book offered at WalMart (I have heard these described as "mass" hardcovers) and the same book sold through a bookstore?
3
votes
1answer
59 views

How does one go about self-publishing their first book?

I am an avid reader who loves a good story. As such, I have many book ideas swirling in my head constantly. I have one book idea that keeps coming to me. My wish is that I could write and publish ...
3
votes
2answers
65 views

When you submit a manuscript for a picture book, where do the pictures go?

I am currently making a picture book, but it has pictures and I don't know where in the manuscript they should go.
3
votes
1answer
236 views

Perspective and Balance with Multiple Characters

I am working on a piece of fiction and am having some difficulty locking down which perspective/s to utilize. The main issue at hand is that I have 4 characters that will play "lead" roles and ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

permission from the building owners needed to depict a drawing of it on cover of novel?

Do I need permission from the owners of a building to depict a drawing of it on the cover of my novel?
3
votes
2answers
154 views

What referencing style is this?

I was reading a book and I’m curious about the referencing style that is used. When you go to the reference page it is sorted by chapters and then it lists then the references for each particular ...
3
votes
2answers
151 views

How to get permission for using software screenshots in book?

I am writing a book which includes a review of old software and I would like to add a couple of screenshots for some of them. How do I go about this legally or, alternatively, does this qualify as "...
2
votes
3answers
182 views

Is it acceptable for a tech book to consist of only 2 chapters?

I am interested in writing a book on a particular class of natural products. It would discuss the products' isolation and biological functions - these are the two chapters that I can fit into the book....
2
votes
5answers
394 views

Are 'how-to write fiction' books full of it?

I built and sold a business during my first decade of adulthood. During that period, I read a lot of business books published by the popular press. Typically, these books propound a particular method ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Author's notes: yay or nay?

Should a writer include author's notes in their book that either express thanks to the reader or provides background information on the book itself? If so, should these be at the front of the book or ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Is it worth reading book to learn more about topic of my story

The story I am writing involves the 10 steps of turning a democracy into a police state. And to make it more real, I thught the people who are doing it should explain it to the main character ...