Indie Publisher Lists Five Editing Errors Many Aspiring Authors Make

SBPRAEditingImagePublish-on-demand (POD) printing has forever changed the way authors approach book publishing. But just because everyone can easily publish a book doesn’t mean every book will meet the high standards that traditional publishers (and their readers) expect.

Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA), an independent publishing company, has identified five major editing errors that prevent authors from having their books accepted by the publishing industry:

Neglecting to proofread the work before submitting.
Thoroughly review your work before submission. Go over it objectively, remembering that this is a marketable product. If you have a propensity to use certain words and expressions repeatedly, be aware of them and take pains to avoid them. Don’t submit manuscripts with duplicate or missing chapters.

Overlooking typographical, punctuation, and grammar errors.
This could be an endless list. Some of the most common mistakes.

  • Using “it’s” instead of “its,” and vice versa
  • Misusing or omitting apostrophes (Bills dad is incorrect; so is Dad’s bill’s)
  • Using hyphens when dashes are required
  • Inconsistently formatting numbers, dates, and times of day
  • Capitalizing Every Word In A Title Or Subtitle. Standard publishing practice dictates the capitalization of only important words, not articles and short prepositions
  • Confusing the spelling of homophones, such as lightning and lightening, or complimentary and complementary.
  • Using inconsistent capitalization, such as capitalizing “Bible” in some places and making it lower-case in other places.
  • Using US and UK spellings and style in the same manuscript, resulting in humor and color in some places and humour and colour elsewhere.
  • Using “that” instead of “who” when referring to people.

Failing to Obtain Permission to Use Copyrighted Material.
It is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission for the use of all materials included in the book (not just text, but illustrations, charts, graphs). As the author, you must also ensure that all citations from other works are correctly quoted and that the sources are correctly cited.

Failing to Include All Material in a Single File.
Along with the main text, the manuscript file should include the “front matter” (title page, copyright page, epigraph, dedication, table of contents, preface, foreword, and introduction) as well as the “back matter” (bibliography, glossary, and endnotes or footnotes if used). Nobody will ever know if you intended this material if you don’t supply it with your manuscript. Adding it after the page layout has been completed is time-consuming, inefficient, and potentially expensive.

Failing to Develop a Professional, Yet Individual Style.
This is a really big one. So many authors don’t make the effort to learn how to write effectively. To compensate, they load their prose with “filler” phrases such “It is important to remember” or “I want to take this opportunity to say” instead of just beginning with the essential statement. Or they try to appear up-to-date by using slang like “What’s up with that?” or “homeboy”—clichés that are bound to sound dated a few years after the book is published.

The Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA) has the experience, expertise, and international network that can help authors be more successful in today’s evolving publishing industry. The firm offers book publishing services and comprehensive marketing support.


Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency


A&I Studios Helps Independent Publishers of Fine-Art Photography Books

PHOTOGRAPHERS. Publishing photo books can be a wonderful way to show your work to more people. As HP Pro Photography blogger Wayne Cosshall observes: “Compared to exhibition prints, photo books are readily usable, inexpensive, and can be widely distributed.” In terms of the type of photo book you might want to produce, you have more options than ever.

If your goal is to present your art to specific audiences, or to show your photographs in a finely crafted book, check out the independent-publishing services that the A&I Books division of A&I Studios in Hollywood, California offers in partnership with Great Circle Books.

The publishing experts at the boutique publishing imprint Great Circle Books can provide whatever level of support you might need to help set your book apart from most self-published books. Their goal is to help you maximize the value and impact of your print-on-demand book.

“Our publishing services could include anything from very basic proofing all the way up to advice on how to market and publicize the book,” explains Rex Weiner, editor-in-chief at Great Circle Books and head of publishing for A&I Books. You can get the benefit of designers, experienced editors, an all of the auxiliary services that contribute to the success of a traditionally published book.” As an independent publisher, you retain the copyright and full control over the contents and look of your finished book.

Specific services include:

  • Conceptual strategy to help focus your theme and explore marketing opportunities and publicity potential.
  • Image selection and sequencing to show your work to its best advantage.
  • Copy editing of your biography, introduction, and captions.
  • Editorial writing of bios or opening essays that talk about the aesthetics of your work or place it in historical context.
  • Proofreading to avoid misspellings, dropped words, or incorrect cross-references.
  • ISBN-number-registration for commercial distribution of your work to bookstores or libraries.

You can choose an ISBN number registration that identifies your publisher as A&I Books, Great Circle Books, or your own imprint.

Photo: John Livzey,

A&I’s indie publishing services start with a free half-hour consultation, so you can consider ideas that might not have occurred to you. Some recommendations will depend on what you are trying to achieve with the book.

Weiner says some photographers use print-on-demand publishing to create a prototype book that can help them land a deal with a mainstream publisher. Others choose to produce 32-page softcover gallery exhibition books to fill the middle ground between a show catalog and coffeetable book.

“Some photographers and artists produce higher quantities of softcover books for sale to consumers, and limited-edition hardcover books that can be numbered, signed, and sold as collectible items,” says Weiner.

Proof Book

One benefit of print-on-demand book publishing is that the first book can be used as a proof book. Take it home, pass it around, let others make suggestions, then return to A&I Studios. After you make the suggested adjustments, you can then make multiple copies as needed.

Photo: John Livzey,

Like many photo labs and commercial printing services, A&I Studios use HP Indigo digital presses to produce the photo books. But A&I takes pride in doing all of their printing and most of their bookbinding in house.

“A&I customers know that when they return for additional copies of a book, they can expect the quality to be consistent from one book to the next,” explains Weiner. This may not always be the case with photo-book publishers who outsource their printing and binding to different suppliers.

A&I can also help you design and produce custom books with case binding, fine-finished covers in a variety of leathers and materials, saddle stitching, foil stamping, or embossing and debossing, and other effects. Custom books are available in sizes up to 11 x 17 inches.

Legacy Photo Lab

Another thing that differentiates A&I Studios from other photo-book publishers is their long history of working with photographers.

“We’re a legacy photo lab. We come from the world of photography. We don’t regard ourselves as just another print shop,” says Weiner. “When we do a photography book, we look at it from the point of view of photographers. Our fearless leader Baret Lepejian grew up working in the darkroom with his father Isgo Lepejian, who was one of the top photography printers in Hollywood.”

Photogorapher Jeff Sheng used A&I's publishing support services for his “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” photo books about men and women affected by the policy that banned gays and lesbians from openly serving in the U.S. military.

While Baret Lepejian helped their staff make the transition to the digital age, Weiner says, “He encouraged us to preserve the intimate exchanges that occur when a photographer wants to express his or her vision on the printed page. It’s very personal to each photographer and artist, and we take their needs seriously. We believe in the process as much as the result.”

Veronica Thomas, A&I’s director of marketing and business development, says that, “Our Indigo press operators are wonderful. They are artists themselves, and play that machine line a violin.”

The quality of books produced by A&I Books was confirmed in a test conducted by the New York Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers. When they submitted an identical “test book” to 18 different print-on-demand publishers of photo books, the book produced by A&I Studios received the highest average score from the dozens of professionals who judged the quality of the 18 books without knowing which company produced them.


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HP Pro Photography Blog: Photo Book Publishing Comes of Age by Wayne Cosshall

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