Get Answers to Your Publishing Questions

What’s your biggest publishing question?

If writing a book isn’t hard enough, there are also the questions that surround what to actually do with your book when it’s ready to publish. How do you build a book that will appeal to publishers? How do you create a proposal or query an agent? Most writers neglect the actual business part of writing because of the sheer difficulty of it.

The business of being a writer is complicated. Don’t let it get between you and your publishing dreams.

You’ve got questions that need answers. Every writer does. Oftentimes those questions are what stand between you and achieving the next step in your publishing career.

But what if there was a way to alleviate those pesky questions?

At Author Coaching, one of the many services we provide is one-on-one coaching. You can book a meeting with one of our agents to go over the questions you have.

We teach and coach first-time and veteran authors interested in advancing their...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 2, Issue 2

Welcome back to our latest issue of the Yates & Yates Author Coaching monthly newsletter providing a brief update of the current state of the book publishing industry. As always, feel free to share.

THANKS, OBAMA! (for 2.5 million unit sales)

With the final 2020 year-end numbers now in, it’s official: 2020 was AWESOME!! Who’s with me?!

Well, at least it was for the publishing industry…and our 44th President. The year that none of us saw coming – nor will we ever forget—has turned in a surprising, record-breaking performance for book sales. With NPD BookScan reporting an astounding 942 million combined units sold of print and ebooks, 2020 finished 9% above good ol’ 2019 and tallied the most book sales ever in a single year since BookScan started in 2004. Print sales were up 8.2%, at 751 million copies—the most since 2009 (one year before the true emergence of the ebook). Likewise, ebooks were at their highest level since 2015, up 12.9%...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 2, Issue 1

Welcome back to our latest issue of the Yates & Yates Author Coaching monthly newsletter providing a brief update of the current state of the book publishing industry. As always, feel free to share with your friends, colleagues, or anyone else who might care.

IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE

Final 2020 year-end numbers won’t be out for a little while yet, but with the year that will be remembered in infamy finally behind us, the book market emerged as one of the economic sectors that came through relatively unscathed – in the aggregate (more on brick-and-mortar and employment numbers later). As of the week before Christmas, total print sales year-to-date were up 8.2% over 2019. If you’ve been following along at home, you’ve heard us say plenty of times that we all were quite fond of good ol’ 2019. It was a solid year for the publishing industry. To have bested 2019 in a year of such unprecedented calamity is down-right astonishing. It shows, anecdotally,...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 1, Issue 5

Welcome back to our latest issue of the Yates & Yates Author Coaching monthly newsletter providing a brief update of the current state of the book publishing industry. As always, feel free to share with your friends, colleagues, or anyone else who might be interested.

THE 800 POUND GORILLA 1100-POUND PENGUIN 

For nearly all of 2020, ViacomCBS has been shopping its publishing arm, the storied publishing stalwart Simon & Schuster, with two suitors emerging in recent months: NewsCorp’s HarperCollins and Bertelsmann’s Penguin Random House (welcome to a world dominated by international media conglomerates). When the bidding stopped, Penguin Random House was on top at nearly $2.2 billion. Cue the antitrust allegations.

A combined PRHSS (no idea what they are going to call this behemoth) would be over $3 billion in annual US sales—nearly triple its nearest competitor, the aforementioned HC. PRH claims that its acquisition isn’t an antitrust problem,...

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Why Your Word Count Matters

Your word count matters.

Should you be concerned with your book’s word count? Absolutely. Knowing and understanding why word count matters is an important indicator for your project. Let’s make sense of these numbers.

One of the scariest requests a writer can get is to add words to a manuscript she thinks is complete. Suddenly, what you thought was done or close to it, needs an extra chapter or (and this happens) an extra 5,000 or 10,000 words. That’s a lot of words to add to something you thought was done. But why does word count matter? Wouldn’t coming in with a low word count just mean the book will be shorter?

It’s not quite that simple.

There are two reasons why word count is important.

The first reason is word count helps a reader determine if your book is a fit for him. Every reader has an expectation for how long a book will be based on the genre they are wanting to read. For example, if you write a novel and it is long, like Russian literature...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 1, Issue 4

Welcome back to our latest issue of the Yates & Yates Author Coaching monthly newsletter, providing a brief update of the current state of the book publishing industry. As always, feel free to share with your friends, colleagues, or anyone else who might be interested.

BIG

And what’s bigger than Amazon?

Love him or hate him, we all secretly hope Jeff Bezos is our long-lost uncle. It should come as a surprise to exactly NO ONE that Amazon is having a momentous 2020. For the quarter ending September 30, 2020, Amazon exceeded already high expectations with a 37% jump in revenue and a near-doubling of net income ($69.1 billion and $6.2 billion, respectively).

Amongst the numerous business lines companywide (of which I expect the public only has a partial understanding), Amazon reported an increase in its online store sales of 27%/$48.3 billion, which was dwarfed by the increases in revenue from third-party seller sales (53%/$20.4 billion). It seems that while selling items...

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This Book Is for Me

Readers can be so selfish, right? Me, me, me.

At first, it sounds super selfish but thinking about what’s in it for your reader will change how your audience connects with your writing.

When a reader engages with a book, they are making a choice because they believe something is in it for them. It could be as simple as entertainment or as deep as healing past trauma. No matter what the book is, there’s an expectation from the reader that there’s something in it for them.

That’s why we want to share with you The Reverse Hook move.

Nope, it’s not a wrestling move or a fishing lure. The Reverse Hook is really an easy way of flipping around the question we talked about before when it comes to crafting a book hook.

Remember: The hook of your book is a sentence or two that is meant to tease the reader to purchase your book.  Check this out to learn more, "Give your Book a Hook".

A great way to sharpen or test your hook is to pretend to be your...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 1, Issue 3

Welcome back to our third issue of the Yates & Yates Author Coaching monthly newsletter providing a brief update of the current state of the book publishing industry. As always, feel free to share with your friends, colleagues, or anyone else who might care.


Onward and Upward
September picked up where August left off. After August saw a 5% increase over the prior year, September did one better – 1% that is. Juvenile Fiction remained on a tear. And Bob Woodward’s Trump exposé, “Rage,” sold over 450,000 copies in half a month. With essentially all genres outperforming last year’s numbers, September 2020 was clocked at around 6% above 2019.

Exceptions: Brick-and-Mortar Still Stuck in COVID Concrete; Scholastic Still on Detention
It’s not all good news. We’ve witnessed an incredible rebound in the publishing industry after the initial shelter-in-place shutdown. But there are still segments that are struggling. July numbers showed that...

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Don’t Judge a Book By its Cover…Unless it’s Your Own

The reason most book covers fail to attract readers is because they are lacking this one crucial design quality.

 If designing book covers was easy, we wouldn’t have so many examples of bad ones. You know what we are talking about. Think about the last bad book cover you saw. Did it have poor title treatment, making it hard to read? Was the image too loud? Not loud enough? Covers can be really tricky. Many times they fall into the Goldilocks paradox – it’s got to be just right. So what does that mean, “just right?”

 Besides the content and title, one of the most important elements of your book is the cover. We all know the age-old English idiom "don't judge a book by its cover." This metaphorical phrase means one shouldn't prejudge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone. You probably heard this once or twice from your high school English teacher.

The ironic thing is we do judge books by their covers all the time. Your...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 1, Issue 2

Welcome to our second installment of the Yates & Yates Author Coaching monthly newsletter, providing a brief update of the current state of the book publishing industry. As always, feel free to share with your friends, colleagues, or anyone else who might care.

Another Great Month

We continue to see a strong book-buying market as the Summer of COVID marches on.  After a horrendous spring at the hands of the Coronavirus, we have seen a very strong comeback.  While May and June earned back most of the “bear market” from the worst of the shutdown months, the rest of the summer has been as bullish as a Merrill Lynch commercial (yes, we know it’s a dated reference, but it still works, right?).

On the backs of Stephanie Meyer and Jeff Kinney for Team Fiction, and Sean Hannity and Mary L. Trump for Team Non-, August was a veritable firestorm. Several weeks in August saw double-digit week-over-week gains and were tracking more than 5% above last year. If you...

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