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Book Sales Down Since Last Year

Book sales down compared to last June

Although total unit print book sales are only down 1% compared to last June (outlets reported to NPD BookScan). A 4% drop in adult fiction was a main factor of the decline. The 4 % drop exactly matched the sales drop of the 100 bestselling titles in adult fiction. #1 was again The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, which sold more than 60,000 copies. The small uptick in adult and juvenile nonfiction segments was not enough to make up the over all loss in the print sector.

Elin Hilderbrand’s newest book, The Perfect Couple, placed second on the category list, selling almost 33,000 copies. A new book finally took the #1 spot on the adult nonfiction charts, leading to a 2% increase in unit sales in the category. The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia sold more than 24,000 in its first week, beating out Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Table.

Unit sales of print books rose 4% in the juvenile nonfiction category over 2017. #1 on the list was Everything You Need to Know to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook, which sold more than 10,000 copies in the week.

Unit Sales of Print Books by Channel (in thousands)

Jun. 25, 2017 Jun. 24, 2018 Chge Week Chge YTD
Total 12,055 11,935 -1% 2%
Retail & Club 10,565 10,490 -1% 3%
Mass Merch./Others 1,490 1,446 -3% -0.3%

Unit Sales of Print Books by Category (in thousands)

Jun. 25, 2017 Jun. 24, 2018 Chge Week Chge YTD
Adult Nonfiction 4,792 4,865 2% 4%
Adult Fiction 2,793 2,679 -4% -4%
Juvenile Nonfiction 1,117 1,158 4% 7%
Juvenile Fiction 3,057 2,958 -3% 3%

Unit Sales of Print Books by Format (in thousands)

Jun. 25, 2017 Jun. 24, 2018 Chge Week Chge YTD
Hardcover 3,034 3,091 2% 6%
Trade Paperback 7,184 7,028 -2% -0.2%
Mass Market Paperback 1,034 1,050 1% -3%
Board Books 501 495 -1% 10%
Audio 69 40 -42% -27%
Source: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/77419-more-fiction-softness-leads-to-dip-in-units-in-late-june.html
Need help self publishing your manuscript? JourStarr Self Publishing Services can help get it to the finish line. We offer custom interior print designs, cover designs, custom typography and much more to the self publishing community.

What Type Of Editing Do I Need?



Once you have finished your manuscript you are going to want to have a professional editor take a look at it before you take it much further. I have seen many new authors posting in the Facebook writing groups asking what type of editing do I need or what are the differences between the different types of editing? I would like to explain it to everyone so there is no confusion.


The Four Main Types of Editing.

Substantive (developmental) editing.

This is the most intensive type of editing. Your editor will review your manuscript as a whole, evaluating structure, organization, coherence, and logical consistency. This means your editor may suggest rewriting parts or reorganizing the structure of your plot. Changing, adding or dropping characters. Making sure you have given enough information early enough so the reader can understand what is going on later in the story. The editor will also make sure nothing conflicts with other facts in the story such as names or dates and times of when events happened.  Grammar and spelling are not scrutinized much, but that won’t stop many good editors from pointing out common misspellings or punctuation.

Copy editing.

This type of editing will not evaluate the developmental structure of your plot like a substantive edit will but it will track and note discrepancies. Copy editing looks for grammar, spelling, style, repetition, word usage, and jargon.


Proofreading is the lightest form of editing. Only minor errors are corrected. Minor errors usually include:

  • grammar and style (e.g., verb tense, units such as ml, use of numerals and words such as “5” or “five”)
  • capitalization, punctuation (e.g., the use of commas, semicolons, colons, periods, dashes, apostrophes)
  • spelling and word usage (e.g., to/too, affect/effect)


Differences Between Line and Copy Editing

Ok so also see line editing mentioned, What is that?

Heres where there is some overlap. It really depends on the editor some consider a line edit to be an expanded form of proofreading and copy editing a slimmed down version of a substantive edit. Let me try to clear this up.

Line Editing.

A line edit focuses on writing style, content, and language on a line or paragraph level. The purpose of a line is not to comb through your work for errors but to evaluate the way you use language to convey the story to the reader. Is the language clear, fluid and pleasurable to read?

An editor may draw your attention to:

  • Run-on sentences.
  • Words or sentences that are extraneous or overused.
  • Redundancies from repeating the same information in different ways.
  • Dialogue or paragraphs that can be tightened.
  • Scenes where the action is confusing or the author’s meaning is unclear due to bad transitions.
  • Passages that don’t read well due to bland language use.
  • Tonal shifts and unnatural phrasing.
  • Confusing narrative digressions.
  • Changes that can be made to improve the pacing of a passage.
  • The need for certain words or phrases that may clarify or enhance your meaning.


Copy Editing.

  • Corrects spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax
  • Ensures consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization
  • Flags ambiguous or factually incorrect statements (especially important for non-fiction)
  • Tracks macro concerns like internal consistency.

An example of internal consistency:  Say early on in the book a character dies. It wouldn’t make much sense if suddenly that same character was at a party that happened after his or her death. Or at one point you describe someone’s eyes as “sparkling blue” then on page 256 they are “deep brown like a good cup of coffee”.

“There is one other reason that line editing and copyediting aren’t the same job: copyediting should always come after line edit, never at the same time or before. The page-by-page, sentence-by-sentence content of your manuscript should be completely finalized before being fine-tuned on the level of a copyedit. Because what is the point of spending time (and money) proofreading portions of an early draft that might be significantly altered, or even completely cut, by the time the final draft rolls around?”  – nybookeditors.com


I understand the confusion a lot of new authors are having. Trust me I have been confused about it as well. I still to this have to go back and check the difference sometimes. Here’s the thing I can’t tell you that your plot is a mess and you need a substantive edit or if you can get away with just a proofread and a file copy edit without reading the manuscript. But I will tell unless your story is very short or you are a very experienced writer a single round of editing is usually not enough. I have paid thousands for a general edit expecting a perfect final copy, boy was I wrong. As a new author, you have to know what you are paying for when you hire an editor. Make sure it is clear what the editor will be looking for and what they will or will not fix.

I hope this helps everyone understand the editing process a little better, there are many more examples that can be found doing a search “editing examples” showing what was changed after different types of editors have reviewed the text.

As always good luck and happy writing!


JourStarr Quality Publications does not offer editing services to self-publishers. We do however offer many other services to the self-publishing community. Visit JourStarr Self Publishing Services for more information.


Online Writers Camp – Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NanNoWriMo

Do You Have What It Takes To Attend Camp NaNoWriMo?


So your probably saying to yourself “What the hell is NaNoWriMo?”. To be specific it stands for National Novel Writing Month.

“National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.” 


But NaNoWriMo is so much more than just a writing competition in November each year! They also are a 501C non-profit “that believes your story matters.”  Here is their mission statement from their website:

“Our Mission Statement

National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.”

Source: https://nanowrimo.org/about

So what is this Camp I’m talking about, well each year in April and July NaNoWriMo holds a virtual writing retreat online for writers of all ages. They call it ” An idyllic writers retreat, smack-dab in the middle of your crazy life”. Here is an excerpt from campnanowrimo.org

Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and creativity. 

We have Camp sessions in both April and July, and we welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. In addition, writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories.

Do you accept the challenge?  NaNoWriMo has dared you to join the official Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018 challenge!

Visit https://campnanowrimo.org  to sign up and attend the virtual writing summer camp!

‘JourStarr Quality Publication is an official supporter and volunteer of NaNoWriMo. Inspiring others to write and create amazing stories is what it’s all about. Camp NaNoWriMo starts July 1st. Ready! Set! Write!

Happy Writing!


Looking to self-publish but need some help? ‘JourStarr can help! We offer a wide range of design, consulting and publishing services at ‘JourStarr Self Publishing

What Kind of Book Should I Write?

what kind of book should I write

What Kind of Book Should I Write?

This is a question a lot of new authors pose to themselves sometime early in their writing career. Here’s the thing, I can tell you what genres sell the best and try to forecast what the upcoming trends that are soon to be coming up on the horizon. But if you are a novice writer trying to force a story into one of these categories you will most likely fail!

Best selling book genres of 2018.

Children’s Fiction – By far children’s books outsell their adult counterparts 3-1 this has been a trend that is not likely to change anytime soon

Romance/Erotica –  These books have always been high on the charts due to a high percentage of readers in the demographic, Women

Mystery/Crime/Thriller – Books in these categories sell well due to its wide demographic. They can appeal to men and women alike. Although be careful there is a lot of competition in these categories. Your book needs to stand out if it is going to be a success.

There are more that I could list, but there is a sharp drop after mystery/thriller. Horror is only posting up numbers one-tenth the amount of the other more popular genres. Last but not least is Teen Fiction while it has been close in sales to horror it has sharply risen following major book to movie series such as The Twilight Saga. More teens than ever have been picking up books or listening to them through such services as audible.

Write what you write!

I know that may sound stupid, but what I mean by that is don’t try to force your stories into a particular genre. By all means, if you write romance, write the best tear-jerking, heart-wrenching, tingly-feeling romance you can write! Just don’t make the mistake that many do and try to write something you have no familiarity with. Know your market, know the specific type of reader your story will appeal too, know the competition.

I know your saying but I’m a writer, not a book salesman or marketer. That needs to change if you want to be a successful author. Write first, but knowing your audience and competition is the best advice I can give aspiring writers.

As always, Good Luck and Happy Writing!


New to Self Publishing? Let ‘JourStarr Quality Publications help you publish your book! We offer interior book designing, premade book covers, and more at on our new Self Publishing Services page.

10 Reasons Why Your Book Isn’t Selling

Reasons Why Your Book Isn't Selling

10 Reasons Why Your Book Isn’t Selling


So you have finished your book, you have completed your interior design, the cover and back matter. You have done some marketing but you have only sold a handful of books, what gives? What will if anything help sell your books? If this is your first book or even your first self-published book, you have probably made some mistakes along the way. Don’t worry all is not lost. Most of your problems can be fixed with a little work. I will sort out the easiest to fix and most important at the top of the list. Let’s get started!

  1. Your Cover. Is it boring, off target or doesn’t fit your genre? You know that old saying don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, that is very true books are judged by their covers. It can make or break your book. If you can spare the money have a professional design a cover for you. This is very important. Make a good first impression on your readers.
  2. Pricing. Is your 185-page novel priced at 30 dollars. Sometimes we rationalize the price due to the amount of work we put into the book. While you may deserve 30 dollars per book most readers are not going to pay that price, would you? Research other books in your category, compare length and price.
  3. Marketing. You did market your book, didn’t you? I know this can seem like a bottomless pit you just throw money down. But if you expect your book to sell you must invest a little in marketing. Try a few different techniques spend a little, and then double down on what works. Don’t forget Social Media. This can drive hundreds or even thousands of sales for little more than your time sharing your posts.
  4. Available in the Correct Format. Today’s readers have a choice of formats print, ebook, and audio. Make sure your book is available in every format.
  5. You expected to sell more books more quickly than what is realistic. Be patient. If you are unknown it will take time before you work will get any recognition.
  6. You forgot to research Keywords and CategoriesMetadata in all its forms has become more and more important to make your books visible online.
  7. Writing where there’s no Market. It’s wise to see what other similar books are in the marketplace. If there are very few or no books even close to the one being written, it could signal that no market exists for it. The book may be too unique to attract sales.
  8. You hired an Editor, didn’t YOU? This is one step you cannot scrimp on. You need a professional editor, this will give your book the polished look it needs.
  9. Writing without an Author Platform. If authors don’t have a following on email, blogs, social media, and mass media eager to read what they write—usually referred to as an author platform—sales will be slow or nonexistent since a following must be built after the fact. Create the market, then create a book for it.
  10. Is the book just BAD? I’ve saved the worst possibility for last. Many self-published books are just bad. Sometimes I’m just embarrassed for the author! This is the worst scenario. There is not much you can do at this point. All you can really do is go back to the drawing board.

I hope this helps new authors understand why their books are not selling. It’s too bad there isn’t a one size fits all fix. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater if your book isn’t selling, Unless you have been told you need to rewrite by more than a few. Don’t take their criticism negatively they are really just trying to help! Good luck and Happy Writing!

Don’t forget to check out our New Authors Writing Guide. Also, JourStarr has a new Self-Publishing Services page, Offering interior book design, ebook formatting, book covers and much more.

Sources: https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2018/03/15-reasons-book-isnt-selling/


Finding it hard to be CREATIVE?

Creativity, I lost mine. Can I have yours?

I haven’t posted anything yet this week, but to be honest, I have been so busy working on our new self-publishing services I just haven’t had the time. Not to mention I have lost 2 computers to catastrophic failures in the past 10 days. It was their time they both had far outlived their respective lifespans. At least both hard drives are still good and the desktop must have matched my other spare desktop close enough all I had to do was slap the hard drive in and to my astonishment Windows 10 booted right up. Albeit with no sound but that’s another story for another time and place! Enough with my bad luck back to what I was saying. Um… Right… Creativity that’s right.

Music, thank god for music. All I have to do is stick my headphones in and it seems like the ideas start flowing. At least with my more visual artistic side if you can say I have one. But writing is a different story, It seems like my thought processes are much deeper when it comes to writing. I can’t have any distractions or I lose my train of thought!  That is an impossible feat with a house full of teenagers. Unless of course, it’s 2 AM then I only have to yell at one to turn his Xbox down. Ah…the joys of parenting. I would love to hear from my fellow artists and writers out there. Do you have your sanctuary somewhere you run off to when you are putting that keyboard time in?  Or could the hurricane of today’s life just swirl around you and your screen, but you wouldn’t know any different?

Wish me luck! As I dive back into photoshop.

Self-Publishing Services Announcement

We quickly realized that there are way too many good manuscripts out there to offer publishing contracts for every one of them. It would be an injustice to let these works go unpublished. JourStarr would like to help the burgeoning self-publishing community by offering reliable, reasonably priced publishing services.

I have worked on this expansion of services now for almost 6 months. Since the idea was first proposed I have been circling the wagons so to speak….

I am very proud to announce JourStarr Quality Publications will be launching our new self-publishing services website Monday, June 11, 2018.

JourStarr will be offering a wide range of interior design, ebook formatting, cover design, typography, and publishing services.



10 Book Marketing Tips for Self Published Authors

10 Book Marketing Tips For Self Published Authors

  1. Don’t try to sell – Market your book. Headlines or ads with “check out my book” or ” my book is free today” often get confused with spam and passed over. Market yourself, selling is all about brand recognition. Join groups, offer to review others books, be an active member of your local reading community. By building your “brand” you will gain much more than just spamming ads.
  2. Social Media is a must. This goes back to #1. You need to market yourself, Network with readers and other authors. Join book groups and be an active member of those communities.
  3. You must have a blog. Marketing yourself and your books is like pushing a large rock up a hill. The minute you stop that rock is going to roll back down. You must keep yourself in front of your audience. Post engaging content that will hit a note with your readers.
  4. Give away free ebooks. Even if you only have one title under your belt. You will build are reader base for books 2,3 and so on. Giving away ebooks should never be seen as a loss but as an investment in marketing
  5. Budget appropriately for paid advertising. Pay for promos but within reason. Experiment a little and measure your ROI (return on investment). put money where it performs the best.
  6. Keep your cool. Arguing, criticising and being obnoxious are sure-fire routes to failure. Never ‘flare’ on the Internet as comments made in a temper will last forever and tarnish your reputation. Ignore bad reviews, nasty comments, and trolls. Rise above their level, always.
  7. Keep writing. Not every book is going to be a blockbuster or even sell 10 copies. Write more, your skills will grow and chances are you will actually see some good sales figures.
  8. Stay Positive. Don’t check your sales figures hourly, that can be depressing. Just keep plugging away at your marketing and networking then at the end of the month you might be pleasantly surprised.
  9. Build a website. In addition to your blog, build your online store with links to buy your book and follow your work.
  10. Collect emails for marking later. Through whatever platform your choose build a mailing list of your fans and potential fans this can become the directory to your reader base. It will help you contact your fans with marketing info on your new book.

Remember marketing is a long game. Keep plugging away with blog posts and using paid advertising wisely.

source: https://justpublishingadvice.com/book-marketing-tips-for-self-published-authors/

10 Secrets To Write A Better Story

I often find difficulty when constructing my stories. Most of the time is it problems with repeating facts or remembering the reader already knows this or does the reader need to know this now?  Giving readers the necessary facts to understand what is happening later is essential to building a great story. Here is a list of 10 secrets to writing better stories.

  1. Write in one sitting. if you are writing a novel this is impossible. Try to develop your first rough draft and outline within a couple days. It will help keep the facts straight while it’s fresh in your mind.
  2. Develop your protagonist. A protagonist is your main character. while this can be a process within its self it is crucial to develop his or her traits properly. Remeber to use other characters to help develop your protagonist.
  3. Show. Don’t tell. Whenever something happens in your story remember to show the readers what has happened. You have to paint the scene include every detail.
  4. Create suspense and drama. Leave your reader wanting more. It’s best to set up a dramatic question. “Will he be able to save her life?” or “Will they make it out alive?”  This is why it is critical to restrict the information given to the reader early on. Nothing can kill drama more than oversharing.
  5. Write good dialog. This is where you can get lost in rewrites, Writing good dialog can be very difficult for a new author. Although dialog can be a useful tool to get out information to the reader that would seem awkward to just say in a statement.  Be careful with speaker tags i.e.  “he said, she said”  “he exclaimed” they can become distracting and unnecessary.
  6. Write about death. How many of the last few good novels have you read that include death? I’ll bet almost all of them. Death is a useful, relatable theme. Everyone has experienced a loved one or close friend dying.
  7. Write at least 3 drafts. Most professional writers will write at least three drafts. The first draft is for exploration, don’t share it with anyone just figure out where it’s going. The second draft is for major structural changes and clarifying your characters and plot. Avoid trying to polish it much at this stage. The third draft is for polishing your story this is where it gets fun and exciting. everything will start to gel and come together.
  8. Know the rules, then break them. Most professional writers don’t just break the rules because of its fun. It’s because a good story needs its own set of rules. Respect the rules but remember you serve your story and your readers, not the rule makers.
  9. Break the block. Most writers experience writer’s block, the trick to overcoming writer’s block is to just write. I know that sounds stupid, but what I mean is don’t overthink it, just write and you will soon find out the ideas come streaming out.
  10. Share your work. I know this can be scary for a new author, but criticism is great for developing yourself as an author. Try entering a writing contest or starting a blog. Don’t be afraid of failure you will fail many times over before your craft an amazing story.

Write, Write, Write. As they say, practice makes perfect. Don’t get caught up in the do’s and don’ts on your first draft. Try something new and remember don’t be afraid of criticism.  For more writing help download our free Writer’s Guide.

Happy Writing!!!

Source: https://thewritepractice.com/write-story/

Top 10 Writing Tips From Authors

Writing Tips From Authors

For new writers, these tips can be essential to growing and developing your writing. I have compiled a list of my top 10 writing tips from published authors.

  1. “Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.”  Zadie Smith
  2. “Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea forever.” – Will Self
  3. “The first draft of everything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway
  4. “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”   George Orwell
  5.  “Read it aloud to yourself because that’s the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out—they can be got right only by ear).”  Diana Athill
  6.  “In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it.”  Rose Tremain
  7. “Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless!” – Joyce Carol Oates
  8. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King
  9. “Prose is architecture, not interior decoration”. – Ernest Hemingway
  10. “Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.” – Lev Grossman  

The biggest thing to remember you will try and fail many times before your first major hit. Even then those stories were not failures after all. You were just developing your inner writer. The greats all got rejection letters and harsh criticism in their careers just imagine if they would have stopped writing because a few people didn’t like a particular story. What great works would humanity of missed out on?

Remember we have a free New Authors Writing Guide available for download

Happy Writing!!!