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The BPS Books Blog

Become a Better Writer.
Understand the Publishing World.

How to Write An Acknowledgments Page: An Example

An earlier blog responded to a reader’s request for tips on writing an acknowledgment page. In follow-up to that, here is a good example of an acknowledgments page from a book BPS Books recently published, Finding Matthew: A Child with Brain Damage, a Young Man with Mental Illness, a Son and Brother with Extraordinary Spirit by Donna…

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How to Write a Dedication: A Few Pointers

A reader of this blog has asked for advice in writing a dedication to a book. As you will see below, dedications vary a great deal in content, length, and style. Nowadays, most dedications are short. About the only advice I would give is not to use “Dedication” as a title on the dedication page, or…

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Debunking the Myth of the Self-Publishing Lottery

Self-publishing is often touted as a ticket to a good living, perhaps even stardom. Indeed, some self-published authors have become extremely successful, going on to earn lucrative book deals with large publishing houses. A notable example in Canada is Mary-Ann Kirkby, who in 2007, having been rejected by numerous publishers, self-published her book I Am Hutterite: The Fascinating True…

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The Book Editor’s Seal of Approval

“He gawked. Literally.” I like the concept of writers taking their work through a pre-editing process, a process that is well described in a recent Wall Street Journal piece.  I feel a little ambivalent about this, because I earn a living as an editor. However, I needn’t worry. The English language is rich but unkempt;…

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The Secret to Getting More People to Read Your Blog Posts

Widely credited as being the father of modern-day advertising, David Ogilvy brought research-based method and insight into an industry that had long been shrouded in mystery. He revolutionized the advertising world. Never heard of David Ogilvy? When Fortune ran an article about him entitled “Is David Ogilvy a Genius?” he promptly asked his lawyer to…

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How to Write an Acknowledgments Page: 5 Quick Pointers

Recently one of our blog readers posed a question about writing the acknowledgments section of her book. In response, here are five pointers that may help authors get to grips with their own acknowledgments section. If you have any other questions on this topic drop us a line in the comments. 1. Acknowledgment pages are…

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Social Media: Fad or Permanent Fixture?

Perceptions of social media are changing. What used to be considered a fad — just another obsession for teenagers with too much time on their hands — has become an integral part of the marketing efforts of some of the biggest brands in the world. Authors and publishers are taking note. The largest publishing houses…

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BPS Books Titles Now Available via Espresso Book Machines

BPS Books is excited to announce that it has extended its reach to Espresso Book Machine customers. BPS Books titles are now available for purchase via the revolutionary Espresso Book Machine. Espresso Book machines are situated in selected bricks and mortar bookstores and they allow those stores to offer around a million titles that are…

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Why You Must Be a Good Reader in Order to Become a Good Writer

Some writers absorb the books they read into their own craft. It is instinctive and subconscious on their part. As gifted artists, they take the given into the workings of their own creativity. They are not fully aware of how books are put together or at least cannot verbalize their knowledge. Other writers are keenly…

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Social Media Tips For Authors

In addition to our usual focus on writing tips and publishing, we’ll also be chiming in every so often with our musings and tips about online book marketing. This short post will get the ball rolling. Whether you’re a published author, or an aspiring one, you’ll be aware that social media platforms have taken on…

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Writing Tip: Seven Common Weaknesses You Can Fix in Your Non-fiction Writing

I have worked on so many non-fiction books that I sometimes feel like a family doctor who has cared for so many patients he can diagnose a problem almost before it hoists itself up onto his examining table. Here are seven problems that I often encounter as I read manuscripts. The manuscript is just not…

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Uneasy Writers: Working at the Craft of Writing

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” We had Christmas late this year – a few weeks into January – because right around Christmastime two of our children flew off to London, England, and two to Winnipeg, and then my wife and I also visited London. And so it came to pass that I received from…

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Writing Tip: How to Write a Winning Blurb

I sometimes advise authors to write their own blurb about their book in progress, to see if that helps them focus on what I call their book’s premise and promise, whence they can build a clearer structure overall. (This also helps them, and me, to come up with a description of the book for my own…

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A Treasure Trove of Tips on Writing Part 2

In my last post I mentioned that two of the best ways to improve your writing skills are to study good books (more on that in my next post), and to read books that discuss writing. I shared some inspiring quotes from the The Paris Review Interviews, a collection of conversations with some of the world’s foremost writers….

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A Treasure Trove of Tips on Writing

If you would like to hone your writing skills but lack the funds or time to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree in creative writing, you can “correct” for this by attending writers conferences or workshops. Even less expensive and more convenient are the two methods I describe below. They’re cheap because you can do…

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Writing tips: Fiction Writers, Stop Obscuring the Reader’s View

Fiction writers are often anxious that their readers will not see what they want them to see. This anxiety can be creative, but it can also be destructive: It can cause them to actually block readers from seeing what they’re describing. One way writers do this is by avoiding the perfectly good and simple dialogue tags of he…

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Submitting a Non-Fiction Manuscript to a Publisher? Four Questions to Ask Yourself First

You’re writing a non-fiction book proposal or may be writing the actual book. Here are four questions to ask before you send your work to a publisher. (Hint: These are some of the questions publishing house editors ask when they consider proposals and manuscripts.) First, is my manuscript well written? (Related questions are: Is it as…

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Writing a Non-Fiction Book? Here’s Some Advice to Save You Time and Stress

“Bastian, you buried your lede again.” That’s what Max Crittenden, the chief copyeditor of the Catholic Register, sometimes told me when editing my first news articles for that paper, way back in the late 1970s. Max, an Australian who had made his name as an editor on Fleet Street in London and on the major dailies…

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Which Publishing Alternative is Right for You?

I feel for authors these days. In days of yore if you wanted your book published, you put together a proposal or sample manuscript and mailed it to various publishers. It’s true that you then sat by the front door waiting for the post to come in – in most cases with form-letter rejections. It’s…

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The Main Reason Canadian Publishers Won’t Take Your Non-fiction Book

Many non-fiction writers in Canada are perplexed by the rejections they receive from publishers to whom they have submitted a proposal or a manuscript. They have read the books of advice regarding how to construct and submit a proposal. They have done their research to determine which publishers are in the market for their type…

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Manuscript Writing: How to Organize Your Manuscript Using the Premise/Promise Formula

My wife and I like to watch Law and Order reruns together. Okay, that may be using the word “together” a little loosely. And the word “like,” too. June rarely makes it to the screen for the very beginning of the program. “You’re going to miss the premise,” I cry out in editorial anxiety. Of…

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What’s the Difference Between a Foreword, Preface, and Introduction?

Avoid false starts As a non-fiction editor for close to thirty years, I have helped many an author meet the challenge of establishing a clear, comfortable entry into their book – comfortable for themselves as well as their readers. Whether writers compose the introductory elements of their book at the beginning of their project or…

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cooperative Publishing

My two previous posts dealt with the advantages and disadvantages of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Now it’s time to put cooperative publishing under the microscope. Two quick preliminary points. First, what do I mean by “cooperative publishing”? I see cooperative publishing as the middle way between traditional publishing and self-publishing. It typically uses print on…

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Publishing

Before looking at the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing, let me first make few distinctions between two types of self-publishing: Old vs. New Self-Publishing Old-style self-publishers create their book by hiring an editor, designer, and typesetter or they may do all those tasks themselves. However, they are disconnected from the Internet and the bookstore and…

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Traditional Publishing

THREE ADVANTAGES OF TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING 1. QUALITY CONTROL. To be published, manuscripts and their authors must successfully jump through the hoops of literary agencies, acquisitions editors, contractual negotiations, editing, production, and marketing. Books are chosen by editors and marketers who more often than not know a good book when they see one. Manuscripts that get through a publisher’s rigorous screening…

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