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Urbania Magazine, Issue #001 -- Black and White Issue
September 16, 2005
Welcome to the world of Urbana

Welcome to Urbania Magazine: Media and art from an urban point of view. If you have questions, comments, suggestions, or submissions, contact the editor

How to Utilize Galleys for Best Results
by Chris Willitts

Once your book hits bookstore shelves, you've got approximately eight months to produce sales. If your book doesn’t prove itself after the eight months, it will almost certainly get pulled. So the time to do your marketing is way before your book even thinks about hitting the shelves.

Thousands of booksellers and librarians found their buying decisions on reviews. But the major review journals (i.e. Library Journal and Publishers Weekly) will only review your book if you send them a bound manuscript – a.k.a. bound galley - three to four months in advance of your targeted publication date.

A galley is a compilation of unbound signature pages of your book. The contents of a galley can be photocopied or printed from your computer.

A bound galley is a galley that has been bound into book form. Bound galleys are generally produced after a manuscript has been typeset but before proofreading.

If you plan on sending out more than 25 pre-publication review copies and you do not have access to a photocopier, it may be more cost-effective to make bound galleys. This is because galley printers typically charge less per page than your local copy shop.

The majority of reviewers are content to read books in manuscript form, but it is worthwhile to get them bound in some way – a visit to your local Kinko’s® should do the trick. A small amount of reviewers do object to bound manuscripts, since they are usually more bulky than galleys.

Make sure the galley or bound manuscript includes this information either on the cover or first page:

* title * author * publication date * ISBN * number of pages * price * trim size * hardcover or softcover * number of illustrations and/or photographs * publisher name and contact information * distributor name and contact information * publicist name, address and contact information * print something like this on the cover: “Uncorrected proof. Galley copy only. Do not quote without prior permission from the publisher.”

Electronic galleys (egalleys) are the next stride in the evolution of the printed galley. Egalleys can have the same contents of printed galleys – they are just in ebook format. Egalleys are faster, easier, and cost much less to produce than printed galleys.

Egalley invitations can be emailed to everyone you'd send a bound galley: reviewers, catalogs, libraries, journalists, resellers, Websites, bookstore buyers, and other agents of influence.

My suggestion: Use a combination of both printed and electronic galleys. Send bound galleys to the most significant reviewers while using egalleys to expand your marketing reach to independent bookstores, smaller publications, and international markets. If possible, send the reviewer/buyer the version they prefer.

© copyright 2005 Chris Willitts

Chris Willitts is the Founder of™. For the Latest Self-Publishing Tips and Unspoken Book Marketing Secrets, visit Special Gift: Be sure to get your free Self-Publishing Action Plan (it's a $19.95 Value) when you stop by.

Chris Willitts may be contacted at or
Why Self-publish?
by Ceci Miller

Why Self-publish? by Ceci Miller, President of

When I meet an author with a great book concept, one who’s definitely the right person to write that book, right away I’ll often encourage her to self-publish. This is because I know that, if that author is thoroughly invested in what she has to say, and if she is determined to create a buzz about her message, she’ll discover 5 Fantastic Benefits of Self-publishing

1. Control. When you enter into a contract with a major publishing house, you’re signing an exclusive agreement that prevents your having input into most of the important decisions that will affect your book’s perception by the public, and its sales. You’ll have very little say about the look and feel of your book cover, the endorsements that appear on the back of your book, or the wording of your press release, for example. And since all of the above elements are critical to giving your book its best chance for bestseller status, such loss of control can pose significant problems. “But don’t publishers know better than I what to do to sell a book?” you may ask. Not necessarily. Authors usually know more about their book’s subject—and hence, about their target audience (market)—than anyone else. Hey, they wrote the book!

More food for thought about signing with a major publishing house: If for some reason your book doesn’t sell quickly and the publisher lets it go out of print, there’s often a “waiting period” before the author is allowed to self-publish the book to get it back on the shelves. In the meantime, the reading public sees that your book is “out of print” and a great deal of word-of-mouth damage is done. Self-publishing means that you are at the helm of your book project. Of course, it also means that the responsibility for its success rests in your hands. But when you believe in your message and know that you’re going to do everything in your power to get that message out to your target audience, isn’t it a good feeling to know that you’re the one driving its success in the marketplace?

I suggest a balance of control and delegation. The right publishing ally can coach you through the process of writing and editing your book, and will also advise you to design and market your message in a way that gets optimum results. Your publishing ally may be a book editor, a publishing consultant, a published author, or all three. If she’s worth her salt, though, she’ll know what it will take to get your book published, and she’ll know how to help you make it happen. Reputable help can be found in Literary Market Place (online or in your local library). LMP is the publishing industry’s by-nomination-only directories––here you’ll find book editors and publishing consultants with a proven track record.

2. Money. Why does it make good business sense to self-publish? Consider the following: a contract with the book publisher doesn't give you an ironclad guarantee that your book will ever and upon the shelves. If you’re a new author, your publisher will allocate zero marketing dollars to promote your book. It's sink or swim! If your book does sell well, it will be due to your own hard work and ingenuity—and your reward will be a tiny fraction of the book’s total profits. Self-publishing admittedly involves more capital risk, but it also means that the extensive footwork you do to market your book will go to producing income for the person who most deserves it. After all, you’re the one who’s doing all the work to ignite word-of-mouth about your book. Not only that, you wrote it! Don’t you deserve to reap 100% of the profit?

Makes sense, doesn’t it? One of the greatest perks I experience collaborating with authors is seeing our self-published books consistently create more reader excitement and interest than their traditionally published counterparts.

3. No Waiting, No Rejection. The Cinderella story of the little book that gets discover by a publisher and becomes an overnight bestseller is mostly just that—a fairytale. Yes , it happens. But it hasn't been happening a whole lot lately. In the current publishing climate, with major houses paying gigantic advances to celebrity authors—their “cash cows”—not much is left to spend on developing new talent. Let's be honest: a publisher isn't going to spend a dime marketing a book by an as yet unknown author. To get your book considered for publication in the first place, you'll need to have an extremely convincing marketing strategy in place which you intend to implement on your own, at your own expense! Such as the case in every genre from children's books to alternative health to historical novels. First-time authors are being turned away en masse. And since many nonfiction book projects are time-sensitive—well-placed offerings intended to respond to a specific market trend—their authors often while way their precious window of opportunity waiting for agents or publishers to respond to a proposal. It isn't impossible to get a major publishing house interested in a book by a first-time author, but it’s getting more difficult all the time. Self-publishing removes the wait (and the accompanying weight from your shoulders) and the discomfort of rejection from the process of getting your book into print.

Why wait? And why bother wading through a mountain of rejections?

4. Independence. Self-published authors are usually people with confidence in their message. Many have already developed a following by giving talks and seminars in areas where they live and work. Experts know when they have a powerful personal message—they don’t need a publisher’s approval to pump themselves up. Such authors, many of whom are already seasoned professionals, self-publish their books because they love being in the driver’s seat of their book project. Rather than gamble that a big corporation will treat their book with the respect it deserves, such an author takes the publishing reins to ensure that her message reaches the widest possible audience.

No one cares more about your book than you do. Get someone on your side who will help you get your book the attention it deserves. A good editorial and publishing consultant knows how to (a) make your book irresistible and (b) market your book efficiently and effectively to your target audience.

5. Power of Belief. The power of belief in our words is what makes promises good and turns dreams into reality. Authors who self-publish their books believe deeply that others will benefit from reading what they have to say. They have unshakable conviction. Such authors often tell me, “I had to write this book. I just have to get it out there!” Deep belief is the selfless power that drives all true service and makes a difference in the world. Authors with a strong sense of purpose know that they can make their books succeed. They don't want to wait around for a publishing house to “accept” their work. Aware that time is precious, such authors create their own publishing opportunities. They get behind their own message. They launch a campaign fueled with belief in the creative power of intention.

A good publishing consultant knows that the best way to make your book a true success is to help you create and market a message that both of you will be proud of for years to come. Creating uplifting books is a passion. Make it yours, and every one of your books sold will be a vote of confidence in humanity.

Copyright ©2005 Ceci Miller

Ceci Miller is President of CeciBooks Editorial & Publishing Consultation, a firm with a world-class professional marketing and design team devoted to creating uplifting, first-quality books and giving those books their best chance of success in the market. CeciBooks Editorial & Publishing Consultation is listed in Literary Market Place. Please visit or call 206.706.9565 for a half-hour consultation at no charge.

Ceci Miller may be contacted at or
Everyone's a Critic or At Least They Could Be
by Heather Wallace

Imagine a job that is tons of fun and, if you follow the advice outlined below, is probably one of the easier routes to becoming a household name. It is the job of Movie Reviewer. Just think about how wonderful it would be to get paid to munch on popcorn and watch films.

This is one job that every single one of us has been training for our entire lives. Your willingness to tell anyone who will listen that a particular movie was overrated or that a certain movie star's last performance was Oscar-worthy already makes you a movie critic. The only difference between you and the pros is that they get paid for their opinions and their names are known the world over.

Becoming a movie critic is easily accessible to everyone. All you need is a love of the cinema, the ability to write and share your opinions, and the drive to parley your reviews into fame and fortune.

Stop The Presses

The fact of the matter is that the majority of newspapers aren't going to give you the time of day without some previous experience. That is where the Internet comes in. Your first step to becoming a critic is creating a web destination. Set-up a web site and post reviews to it on a regular basis. By doing this you will be able to hone your skills, discipline yourself to write regularly, and another added bonus is that you will gain a following of loyal readers. This is a must if you want to become a famous critic.

Spread the Word

To really get your name out there you absolutely must syndicate your reviews. You can get your reviews on other web sites in a number of ways, but the two best and easiest are to:

1. Sign-up as a content provider at and sites similar in nature.

2. Join and submit reviews to the following sites:

Ya Gotta Have a Gimmick

If you plan on writing reviews it would be a good idea to come up with a gimmick. A straight forward review just isn't going to garner you much attention or be that memorable. A review with a twist, on the other hand, will keep people coming back to read what you have to say and it will cement your name in the minds of the masses.

Whenever you hear "Two Thumbs Up" who do you immediately think of? That is a perfect example of a gimmick.

Who are the worst dressed celebrities? Just ask Mr. Blackwell. He may not be a movie critic, but he does us a gimmick to make himself memorable. His variety of gimmick is known as "throwing a brick". No, not literally, but saying something negative about a celebrity will certainly garner attention. Joan Rivers is another person who uses this type of gimmick to gain attention for herself. After all, who could forget her scathing remarks on the red carpet?

The rating system at Rotten Tomatoes that was created for their compendium of reviews is another fine example of a gimmick.

You should avoid closely copying the gimmick of another well-known critic as you will merely be viewed as a pale imitation. Although, if you can come up with an inventive and original twist on one of their gimmicks, then by all means give it a shot.

Show Me The Money

In the beginning your main goal should be to make your name well-known and synonymous with movie reviews. Once you have achieved a modicum of fame then you can parley that into a paycheck. There are a of couple ways that you can turn the experience and celebrity that you have achieve online into cash and recognition offline.

1. Contact newspapers in your area. Find the email address for these newspapers and write to them asking if they would be interested in having you write reviews for their publication. Be sure to write to the appropriate editor. In most cases this will be the entertainment editor.

When writing for a newspaper it is vital that you don't sign a work-for-hire contract. If you were to do this then the publication would own the copyright to all of your work, which means that you would not be able to publish your reviews on your web site or anywhere else as the newspaper is now the copyright holder.

2. Another offline venue that you should explore is radio. Public radio is probably your best bet, but you should approach mainstream radio stations as well. You could suggest doing reviews on the morning show of a Top 40 station or, perhaps, bite-size reviews that could be played all through-out the day. --

Heather Wallace is a writer whose work has been published in national, regional, and online publications. Additionally, she has written articles as a newspaper correspondent. Visit for more information on becoming the next Roger Ebert or Leonard Maltin.

Heather Wallace is a writer whose work has been published in national, regional, and online publications. Additionally, she has written articles as a newspaper correspondent.

Heather Wallace may be contacted at

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