Articles posted by the Wheatmark Team.
16 September, 2009

Copyediting: A Touch of Chicago Manual of Style

By |2023-06-09T11:39:06-07:00September 16, 2009|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Copyediting: A Touch of Chicago Manual of Style

One of the drums that we hit constantly around Wheatmark is the “you need professional editing” tom.

Wheatmark offers several different levels of editing for authors. We also have an editorial analysis that will determine what level of editing you really need.

The differences between the editing options can be confusing. In order to better understand them, let’s use a high-end department store as a parallel.

Developmental Editing

The most in-depth level of editing is the developmental edit. Think of the developmental edit as a personal shopper service some department stores offer. The client hires the personal shopper-who keeps track of every season’s best looks-to provide incredible personal service and say, this is what looks good on you and here is your size.

A developmental edit does the same thing. During the developmental edit, a content editor makes comments and suggestions to help the author develop the content of their manuscript. Not a light undertaking, […]

15 August, 2009

Cover Design for Maximum Impact: Title Length

By |2023-06-09T11:39:14-07:00August 15, 2009|Design, Resources|Comments Off on Cover Design for Maximum Impact: Title Length

A book title’s length can have a big impact on the quality of the cover.

Many authors try to pack as much information as possible into their titles. It’s an understandable instinct. The cover is the first thing potential readers will see, so you want to tell them exactly what wonders await them if they peek inside. Also, the more words you use, the wittier you can be. Right?


Here’s the problem. Say you’ve written a detailed historical record about keyboards-the kind you find on typewriters and laptops.

You’ve decided to call it The Quick Brown Fox Jumps over the Lazy Dog: A History of Keyboard Interface from QWERTY to DVORAK. You’re very proud of this title. It’s cute and clever and gets your general concept across.

It’s also unlikely to draw the eye when crammed into a relatively small space-see the first image above.

Think it’s not that bad? Try the thumbnail directly […]

11 August, 2009

Should You Use Your Middle Initial On Your Book’s Cover?

By |2023-06-09T11:39:37-07:00August 11, 2009|Design, Publishing, Resources|Comments Off on Should You Use Your Middle Initial On Your Book’s Cover?

Should you use your middle initial on your book’s cover?

Don’t! Unless … well, read on:

Let’s say your name is Francine Lambert (I just made this up.) All your friends, relatives, and people you come in contact with know you as Francine Lambert. You introduce yourself at events as Francine Lambert. Basically, you are … Francine Lambert.

You write a self-help book on how to save money in a tough economy and it’s time for your publisher to put your name on the cover and into the necessary bibliographic databases. “How would you like your name appear on your book’s cover?” the publisher asks.

You’ve decided you will not use a pen name or pseudonym, which is wise in your case. However, after you blurt out “Francine Lambert” you pause and say, “Actually, make that Francine J.Lambert.” You believe your name with a middle initial looks and sounds more authoritative on your book […]

8 July, 2009

Amazon Rankings Explained

By |2023-06-09T11:39:42-07:00July 8, 2009|Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on Amazon Rankings Explained

For many authors, checking their Amazon ranking is an addictive daily activity.

For others, it’s a confusing statistic they don’t understand (which is probably why they have time to do things like shower. When you understand it, it can become an obsessive hobby that causes you to forsake all other daily activities).

So here it is, the meaning of your Amazon rank, plain and simple:

Your rank is how many books on Amazon are selling more copies than yours.

Let’s break what this means down a bit.

Your book is ranked 14,000.
This means that there are 14,000 other titles on Amazon that have sold more copies than you.

But is that a good number?
Absolutely. There are a bajillion titles on Amazon and there are more and more listings added every day. If there are only 14,000 titles selling more copies than you, that’s a gold star for you!

How can other books have the same rank as […]

1 July, 2009

What Is an Editorial Analysis and Why Do You Need One?

By |2023-06-09T11:39:46-07:00July 1, 2009|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on What Is an Editorial Analysis and Why Do You Need One?

One of the first steps many of our author manuscripts go through is an Editorial Analysis (for those who want to geek out Wheatmark-style, we call it an EA around the office).

What is an Editorial Analysis and why do you need one?

An Editorial Analysis helps determine what the likely usability of an author’s book, in its current form, will be by identifying its strengths and weaknesses.

The EA is designed to determine if the book is written in a way that will speak to its intended readership, if the book is written with excellent English usage, proper grammar, punctuation, and if it is written in an organized manner. It also looks at how well the book follows Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) formatting. Successful, correctly done books are formatted to a particular style that dictates how parts of the book are formatted, including even how commas are used and where the […]

15 April, 2009

Endorsements: Pros and cons for the self-published book

By |2023-06-09T11:40:01-07:00April 15, 2009|Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on Endorsements: Pros and cons for the self-published book

Many self-published authors fret over not having endorsements for their book. Do you really need endorsements for your book to sell?

It depends.

An endorsement is only as good as the person who wrote it. If the endorsement is from your neighbor whose only claim to fame is the endorsement on your book, it won’t provide the goals of the endorsement.

The goals of endorsements are three-fold.

First off, they establish credibility to buyers saying, “Someone else has read this book.”

Secondly, they offer insight into the quality of the book. For example, one Wheatmark title, The Big Gamble: Are You Investing or Speculating has an endorsement by Donald Trump. Yes, that Donald Trump. If The Donald likes it and thinks the book is of value, there is a pretty safe bet that you will not be taking a gamble purchasing it.

Finally, an endorsement is great for comparing your taste to someone else’s. Wheatmark recently […]

17 March, 2009

Can Your Readers Find You? Provide Author Contact Info

By |2023-06-09T11:40:08-07:00March 17, 2009|Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on Can Your Readers Find You? Provide Author Contact Info

When you publish your book you are entering a conversation with your readers. Because you are starting a conversation, your readers–your conversation partners–will want to get in touch with you and provide you with valuable feedback that will move this conversation along.

You should add your author contact info to your book so your readers could get in touch with you!

We as book publishers receive lots of requests from readers to pass messages on to our authors, which we do as a courtesy to you. This is proof that your readers need to be able to contact you, otherwise it’s just a one-way conversation.

What should you include as contact info?

The single most important contact information you should include in your book is the link to your website. For example, you could say, “To contact Jane Doe, visit her website at” Naturally, the website would list either phone, email address (email […]

23 December, 2008

5 Tips for the Short Story Writer

By |2023-06-09T11:40:14-07:00December 23, 2008|Resources, Writing|Comments Off on 5 Tips for the Short Story Writer

  • Know what constitutes a short story. A short story is about 10,000 words. Much longer and it becomes a different animal. You may be asking, “How many page is that?” The answer is, use your word count. When your story goes to layout, it could be just about any amount of page numbers depending on the interior layout style.
  • Limit your scope of time or character. A short story is not a lazy novel. In fact, a short story is often harder to write because it is a small package that must remain within its own confines. You shouldn’t try to tell someone’s life story in a short story unless it is about a fruitfly.
  • Try to keep your short story time frame as a snippet. Need some back story? Great! But make sure it doesn’t go on and on and on. Another way to limit your scope is […]
10 September, 2008

How to Hire an Illustrator for Your Next Book

By |2023-06-09T11:40:19-07:00September 10, 2008|Design, Resources|Comments Off on How to Hire an Illustrator for Your Next Book

Guest article by Gayle Martin

Finding the right illustrator for your next book can be a daunting task. Here are some tips from a former graphic designer to make the process easier.

There are times when clip art just won’t do, and the illustration for your book’s front cover is one of those occasions. If you write children’s books or romance novels an artist’s illustration on the front cover is a must. Those of you who don’t write in those genres may also want to consider having an eye-catching illustration with your front cover. It would give your book unique look, and who wouldn’t want their book to stand out from all the others on bookstore shelves? But how and where do you find a good illustrator?

A good place to start would be with your publisher. When I published my first juvenile novel, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral: Luke and Jenny Visit […]

2 July, 2008

Glossary and Definitions of Publishing Terms

By |2023-06-09T11:40:24-07:00July 2, 2008|Publishing, Resources|Comments Off on Glossary and Definitions of Publishing Terms

If you are not familiar with some of the common publishing terms, check out this glossary of publishing-related words and phrases.

Acid-free paper: Alkaline paper, free from chemicals that destroy paper. It lasts longer, but costs more and is generally used for library books.

Advance copies: First books sent to those who ordered, requested or were promised a book, generally before the book goes into distribution.

Alignment: The position of text lines on a page. Left alignment means that the left margin of each line down the page is even, and that the right margin is ragged or uneven; right alignment means that the right margin is even down the page, and the left margin is ragged or uneven. Alignment can also refer to margins being justified, which refers to both left and right margins being even down the page, causing extra spacing between words when necessary. Center alignment means that the lines […]


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