Start free trial


Follow EditionGuard on Twitter

Protect eBooks from Piracy

Protecting ebooks from piracy is about more than just copyright infringement. As an indie author or publisher, you may already be very familiar with the frustration of book piracy. Not only does it have a financial impact with lost revenues, but there is an emotional cost for the author as well. When you pour your heart into your work and rely on book sales to keep fueling your passion, the last thing you want to have happen is for someone to steal the content and make it freely available to anyone who is unscrupulous enough to download the PDF.

Digital Publishing and Piracy

While piracy is not a new topic (we’ve all seen the FBI warnings at the beginning of DVDs), it has become more prevalent in the age of digital publishing. In the ebook industry alone, piracy accounts for losses of more than $300 million. It’s extremely difficult to get control of piracy after the fact – websites pop up and disappear, change owners, and change domains with such frequency that it could become a fulltime job to keep up. The only way to protect ebooks is to employ these recommended security measures.

Publish Your eBook in All Common Formats

One of the reasons ebook piracy happens is because an ebook is only available in a specific format. For example, it might be easy to just self-publish on Amazon, but if someone uses something other than a kindle, they may be tempted to simply download a free PDF version. By broadly publishing your ebook on a variety of platforms, including Kobo, Smashwords, etc., you can prevent theft. Even more useful is controlling sales of your ebook through your own website but offering it in a variety of different formats there.

Monitor Your Book

You can set up Google alerts to monitor mentions of your book. This is a good practice for marketing and engaging with your audience anyway, but by monitoring mentions, you’ll also know immediately if your book has been pirated. If it has been, it is worth filing a DMCA complaint. A DMCA takedown notice allows content creators or publishers to request that an ISP, web host, or other web manager removed copyrighted material. In order to initiate a DMCA request, the content creator or publisher must identify the pirated content and prove ownership. It’s advisable to take time-stamped screenshots of the pirated content to preserve evidence. The request is then sent to the service provider’s DMCA agent, which all providers must appoint and register with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Protect eBooks with Digital Rights Management (DRM)

One of the most effective ways you to protect ebooks is by using DRM to prevent the ebook from being inappropriately shared or distributed. Implementing DRM protects your ebook from being pirated. The level of e-book protection you use depends on the type of book you are publishing, your audience, and how you distribute it to readers.

Here’s a rundown of the 3 most commonly used, industry-standard DRM solutions:

Password Protection

Using various apps, such as Adobe Acrobat or the native MacOS alternative, Preview, you can password-protect your PDFs and e-pubs. There is no flexibility in terms of what users can access – they either have the password to open the file or not. This can deter users, but the encryption is less than industry-standard and can easily be removed for free using various services and solutions.

Watermarking or “Social DRM”

Social DRM is implemented in various ways but typically involves imprinting your PDF or e-pub with a visible or invisible watermark containing the user’s personal information. This discourages sharing, as a file with your personal information attached to it means any copy of it is trackable and attributable to you.

Industry-Standard DRM Protection

DRM protection with secure encryption and the versatility to control what users can and cannot do with your PDFs and e-pubs will cost you money. The security of these services relies on them constantly being one step ahead of the thousands of people attempting to decrypt their solutions for their motives, be they business or personal.

We delve further into protecting your content here.

If you are an author or publisher looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard offers industry-leading DRM solutions at affordable, fixed monthly installments.

Learn More 

Learn More Path 2 Created with Sketch.

Is Collaborative Publishing the Future?

Self-publishing turned the publishing industry on its head, but in the last decade we’ve learned that most self-published authors don’t make a lot of money, that the companies who charge them to publish their books keep a lot of the profits, and that even though the author may be able to lay claim to the status of having a book published that it’s definitely not letting them quit their day jobs.

Writing and Publishing an eBook Is Not Enough

Anyone can write and publish an ebook. All it takes is a basic word processer and an internet connection and you can write anything and upload it. But it’s the gap between writing and publishing that often needs to be filled with a team of experts who can help turn what you publish into something that will be purchased.

Write, Publish, SELL

An author is good at writing. That doesn’t make him or her magically capable of design work, marketing, formatting, editing, proofreading, optimizing, building a website, or engaging potential readers on social media. It’s in these other areas – whichever ones are not the author’s forte, where collaboration can lead to more sales.

Benefits of Collaborative Publishing

Every author would love to get a publisher interested enough in their book to offer a six-figure advance and take care of making sure the book earned back every penny and more. But with only a few viable traditional publishers left and agents being inundated with queries and manuscripts, it’s easy for a great book idea to be overlooked. It shouldn’t deter you, but that doesn’t mean you should go it completely alone, either. Collaborating with freelancers or a small publishing house in order to have access to experts who can help you edit, design, and market your book is essential if you’re trying to earn a share of the profits that are out there. The benefits of collaborative publishing are:

  • The end result of your ebook is something of higher quality, making it more likely that you’ll not only sell more but get better reviews on what does sell, which in turn drives more sales
  • Expert help in targeting your niche audience so that you can maximize your marketing effort and get the best return on your investment
  • A partner whose expertise and point of view complement your own so that your books are more comprehensive and well-developed
  • Constructive criticism that will challenge you to improve the quality of your book and ensure better success

Today’s indie authors and small publishing houses have a unique opportunity to transform the digital publishing landscape with a collaborative approach that improves the quality of each individual book as well as the quality of the industry as a whole.

If you are an author or publisher looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard offers industry-leading DRM solutions at affordable, fixed monthly installments.

Learn More Path 2 Created with Sketch.

How Do Publishers Select Authors?

How do publishers select authors

Large or small, a publishing company is a business, and to stay in business, it must be profitable. Regardless of how well you write or how clever your story is, the one reason a manuscript is chosen by a publishing company: it’s marketability. So how can you, as an author, make sure your manuscript has the best possible chance of being selected?

Write Well

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, be sure you are pitching the publisher a solid and compelling story. In fiction, this means well-developed characters and full story arcs; it means a plot that moves and resolves. In nonfiction, it means taking even a dry business topic and making it relevant and interesting to a reader.

Know the Audience

A publisher is more likely to see the potential in your book if you know it has an audience. Do your research. Know who is likely to read your book, how big the market is, and other tangential markets that might also be interested in the book.

Prove Your Credibility

Sure, there are publishers who will work with a completely unknown author, but you can make it more likely to be accepted if you can demonstrate that you are active on social media or involved in the industry about which your book is written.

Be Flexible

Every author wants that $100,000 advance against their future book. Be flexible about what you can really extract from a publisher if you are a new author. Take a smaller advance in exchange for a higher percentage of royalties (share in the risk).

Recognize the Advantage

Having your book published by a publishing company versus publishing independently adds a level of credibility that can boost sales. There is also an advantage of the in-house services offered by your publisher, from editing and proofing to cover design and more extensive market – things you would have to pay for yourself without a publisher there to help.

Partner with Publishers

Be willing to do what it takes to market your book, from speaking tours and book signings to establishing and maintaining a presence on social media. The more you are willing to help sell your own books, the more likely a publisher will be to select your book.

EditionGuard works with publishers of all sizes. We use Adobe’s DRM system to protect content, which is compatible with many e-Commerce systems. In addition, you can use our APIs to build out any kind of business solution that involves the secure distribution of eBooks.

If you are an author or publisher looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard offers industry-leading DRM solutions at affordable, fixed monthly installments.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you protect your revenue.

Learn More Path 2 Created with Sketch.

Digital Publishing Industry Poised for Growth

The digital publishing industry continues to change even as most authors and publishers are still reeling from the changes of the last decade. But one thing is clear going forward: publishing a book takes as much tech experience these days as writing skills.

Tech Skill: Marketing

Advertising and marketing is a game of numbers, chance, and understanding Google algorithms. It’s no longer enough to get the book published; long before you even get a book on a shelf (digital or physical) there are all kinds of marketing efforts you’ll need to have in place: social media, website, a blog, subscription marketing, and more. For the indie author, there may not even be time to write after all that.

Tech Skill: Formatting and Digital Publishing

We would all like to think that if we write the book and upload it that it will magically look perfect on every reader and be a great experience for every reader. But if you include anything extra – images, charts, graphs, multiple font sizes, or chapter headings, you’re likely going to need to adjust the formatting to make it work for everyone.

Tech Skill: Converting Your Book

One of the best ways to reach a larger audience with your book is by converting it – to a podcast, an audio book, or even a screenplay. All of these conversions take a diverse skill set but can result in a much wider reach and bigger audience, which means more sales.

Tech Skill: Digital Rights Management

Digital locks, or also known as digital rights management (DRM) technologies, are measures employed by copyright owners and their publishers to protect their intellectual property and control how their data, software or hardware is used by others. In the publishing world, DRM is mainly used to prevent unauthorized access to or copying of digital files.

Indie Authors Need Indie Digital Publishing Partners

These tech skills aren’t always the forte of someone who just wants to write books. Luckily, one of the biggest trends to come into play this decade is the growth of small, online publishers, often in niche categories, who can partner with authors to provide the tech skills they need to have better success with their books. In addition, having a publisher can provide the author with more credibility.

Publishers will be able to leverage economies of scale by working with groups of authors and providing the marketing they need. They’ll benefit from the aggregate data they’ll be able to gather, which will help them provide comprehensive services, including sophisticated websites that help their authors stand out.

Publishers Partner with EditionGuard

EditionGuard works with publishers of all sizes. We use Adobe’s DRM system to protect content, which is compatible with many e-Commerce systems. In addition, you can use our APIs to build out any kind of business solution that involves the secure distribution of eBooks.

If you are an author or publisher looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard offers industry-leading DRM solutions at affordable, fixed monthly installments.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you protect your revenue.

Learn More Path 2 Created with Sketch.

How to Become a Digital Book Publisher

become a digital book publisher

Have you ever thought of becoming a book publisher? There is an opportunity to step into a potentially lucrative market while helping independent authors get published at the same time. When you think about how to become a book publisher, the first few steps are no different than they would be for any other business: form an LLC or corporation and put together a business plan.

Why Become a Book Publisher?

Today’s book publisher is not quite the same organization as the traditional book publisher. There is a much bigger emphasis on digital publishing and audiobooks today than on traditional print publishing, and that’s why we think there might be a gap in the market that will allow new publishers to enter. Yes, the traditional publishers have caught on and are entering the digital publishing space out of necessity, but along the way, many publishers went out of business or consolidated because they didn’t respond quickly enough to the changing market.

Authors Still Want and Need a Publisher

Here’s a little secret: for every independent author who is happy to do everything on their own to publish their books, there are a dozen authors who just want to write and are happy to hand everything over to a publisher who can help get the book edited and proofed, design the cover, handle the marketing, and in most cases, ensure more sales and far more credibility.

Special Considerations in Publishing

One of the most critical differences when opening a publishing business versus other types of business is to make sure you’ve protected yourself. An inadvertent usage of a licensed image or a passage of material in a book you publish that has a copyright infringement can quickly escalate out of control. Protecting your business with great legal advice and solid liability insurance is essential.

Managing Intellectual Property

Ask any independent author who thought publishing their book independently was an easy way to get rich quick and they’ll tell you: Most indie authors only make a few dollars to a few hundred dollars a year on sales. Worse yet, many of the authors end up finding their book available illegally on questionable websites as a PDF. As a publisher, you can not only help increase sales by providing professional cover designs and marketing services, but you can help your authors protect their works by providing a cost-effective DRM solution.

Why Publishers Partner with EditionGuard

EditionGuard works with publishers of all sizes. We use Adobe’s DRM system to protect content, which is compatible with many e-Commerce systems. In addition, you can use our APIs to build out any kind of business solution that involves the secure distribution of eBooks.

If you are an author or publisher looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard offers industry-leading DRM solutions at affordable, fixed monthly installments.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you protect your revenue.

Learn More Path 2 Created with Sketch.

How DRM Helps Book Publishers Remain Profitable

book publishers

What kind of advantages, as a publisher, can you offer a promising author in today’s self-publishing world that they cannot get by publishing independently? How do you communicate the competitive advantage an author gains by working with your publishing house? And how do you, at the same time, manage your costs to remain profitable?


Virtually anyone can publish independently. But having a book meet the stringent requirements of a publishing house, thereby deeming the book worthy of publication (based on its salability), can elevate the stature of the author. Simply put: Authors who are published through publishing houses are often taken more seriously.

Supported Marketing

Because book sales not only benefit the author but also drive profitability for the publisher, the publisher can provide more extensive marketing than the author is typically capable of doing for themselves. From billboards and bus advertising for major authors to mass email marketing and digital advertising for smaller authors, publishers offer a larger marketing budget and more marketing expertise.

Author Support

Many authors simply want to write their books. They don’t want to have to think about the editing and publishing process. Most authors probably don’t have the creative skillsets necessary to design a marketable cover, and they don’t want to deal with all of the other steps that come between writing and publishing. The more of these services you can provide (either in-house or outsourced), the more profitable you can be.

Where Does DRM Fit In?

Establishing your own digital book repository is one of the best ways to provide high-end services to your authors, allowing their books to be read by the largest number of readers (no exclusive Kindle-only rights required).  One of the things you will have to do is ensure that your authors’ books are protected from digital piracy and file sharing. If you are considering becoming a digital publisher, it’s imperative that you understand and employ digital rights management (DRM) to protect yourself and your authors. Our guide, The Ultimate Guide to Digital Rights Management for Publishers, is a great place to start.

If you are an author or publisher looking to safeguard your digital assets, get in touch with us to start a 30-day free trial. Our services are easy to integrate with your website, with the more popular e-commerce environments supported by our turnkey solution. EditionGuard offers industry-leading DRM solutions at affordable, fixed monthly installments.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you protect your revenue.

Learn More Path 2 Created with Sketch.

Benefits of DRM for Digital eBook Publishing

Think of DRM as a digital lock

Digital locks, or also known as digital rights management (DRM) technologies, are measures employed by copyright owners to protect their intellectual property and control how their data, software or hardware is used by others. In the publishing world, DRM is mainly used to prevent unauthorized access to or copying of digital files.

In the same fashion as a lock on the door protects your business from theft, DRM ensures that only customers who pay for a license will gain access to the digital content. In turn, the DRM license protocols ensure secure promotion, sale, and distribution of e-books and offer a myriad of business benefits, including reduced publishing costs, compliance with business processes, new revenues, and better control of IRP.

Digital publishing is growing rapidly, but it needs to be protected

The main business advantage of enabling DRM on your eBooks is the extra layer of  protection it offers. Electronic publishing can produce huge reductions in costs, which coupled with the relatively low cost of online marketing, makes it an increasingly popular option. However, to take full advantage of the benefits e-publishing offers to your business, you need to have the proper privacy protection in place. Digital locks and DRM technologies are as necessary to prevent intellectual property theft as physical locks are to protect personal property.

What’s more, DRM technologies also ensure the authenticity of the content you distribute. Unlike physical books, eBooks can easily be changed, modified and passed off as originals to unsuspecting customers. With a digital lock in place, the authenticity of your content is protected, which in turn adds credibility to your brand and protects your business reputation.

Another huge advantage of the DRM is IRP control. In the digital publishing world, ensuring only the right people can view the digital information is just as important as controlling what happens to the digital content in their hands. Some eBooks may have a defined life cycle, and the content inside should no longer be viewable after the date in question has been reached. This can only be achieved with the proper DRM technology.

EditionGuard: full-featured DRM without the costly licenses

EditionGuard has created extensive access control features for its customers. Device limitations, content expirations, print restrictions and even tracking of fulfillment on a per-user level. All of this is automated when an asset is fulfilled. This usage data can help you undertand your users behaviors, what they prefer, and indeed, creates a contract that is trackable so you know how and when your content is being accessed.

We’ve reduced the cost and overhead traditionally needed to get started with digital asset protection and fulfillment. For a simple monthly cost you’ll have enterprise-grade protection and automation for your digital content. Check out our pricing. 

In a highly digital world, DRM and digital locks are no longer a luxury but a necessity. By placing a digital lock on your content, you protect not only your revenues by minimizing the chances of illegal access or copying of the content, but your business reputation and client base too.

Start a free, full-access, 30-day trial of EditionGuard today.


The 22 Best Writing Contests with Cash Prizes

All writers begin their journey for their own reasons. Some seek fame and fortune, while others simply have a story that is worth telling. At EditionGuard, we have worked with writers and authors from all walks of life, writing about a wide assortment of genres.

Although not all writers strive to strike it rich, being rewarded for their craft is always appreciated. Based on our experience, most writers hope to be paid-in-full for the work they produce. However, they also want recognition for their content. For both of these reasons, EditionGuard provides industry-standard DRM solutions at a price accessible to self-published authors.

With this week’s post, we want to continue protecting the writers we work with by providing them with a reliable resource on writing courses. Since it is difficult to know whether or not a writing contest is legitimate, we decided to create a shortlist of reputable contests—and ones that come with a cash reward.

These 20 Writing Contests Are Definitely Worth Your Time

Whether you specialize in writing science fiction short stories or live for nonfiction, these writing contests are well worth checking out. Not only can they help you gain recognition, but these contests hand out a nice chunk of change. After all, who doesn’t want to be paid a respectable cash prize for doing something they love?

The following annual contests are actually worth the time it takes to enter. Not only are they legitimate but they also celebrate the art of writing and the writing community itself.

(Source: Adobe)

1. The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition

You may recognize the name, as Lorian is no other than Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter. For over 35 years, Lorian and her panel have supported the talents and efforts of writers from around the world. There are three cash prizes — $1,500 for first place, followed by $50 for both the second and third-place winners.

  • What to write: Each story must be an original, unpublished work of fiction. Although there are no restrictions on the theme, each submission may not exceed 3,500 words.
  • Deadline: With a deadline of May 1, 2018, this year’s contest has already passed. However, writers can already submit for the 2019 competition. Learn more about submission (including the $5 fee here).

2. Colorado State University’s Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction

Run by the Colorado State University’s Center for Literary Publishing, this competition is open to both U.S. and international writers. Established in 2004, in memory of Liza Nelligan, one outstanding author is awarded each year. The winner receives a $2,000 honorarium, and their story is published in the Colorado Review.

  • What to write: Each fictional story must be at least ten pages (or 2,500 words) but no more than 50 pages (12,500 words). Once again, there is no restriction as to genre, and all stories must be previously unpublished.
  • Deadline: The contest will open this year on December 1, 2018, and the deadline is March 14, 2019. The winner will not be announced until mid-June 2019.

3. The Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition

For more than 85 years, Writer’s Digest has recognized up and coming writers across all genres. What is unique about this contest is that nearly 500 winners will be chosen. Cash prizes are awarded to the top ten writers in each category, in addition to a grand prize of $5,000 (plus exposure, a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, and more).

Those who place first in their category win $1000, followed by $500 for second place, $250 for third, $100 for fourth, $50 for fifth, and $25 for sixth through tenth.

  • What to write: The maximum word count varies depending on the category chosen and the exact final word count must be typed at the top of the manuscript. The categories include Inspirational Writing, Memories/Personal Essay, Magazine Feature Article, Any Genre Short Story, Mainstream/Literary Short Story, Rhyming Poetry, Non-Rhyming Poetry, Script, and Children’s/Young Adult Fiction.
  • Deadline: May 4, 2018, was the early bird deadline and the final deadline (which costs slightly more) was June 1. This means you can start preparing your outline for next year’s competition.

(Source: Adobe)

4. The Glimmer Train Press Very Short Story Award

When Glimmer Train first began in 1991, their goal was to provide new writers with a real chance of being published. They were also interested in memorable stories that genuinely reveal what it means to be human. The journal’s co-founders are two sisters who continue to read every submission themselves. First place wins $2,000 and publication, followed by $500 for second place, and $300 for third. If the second or third place writer is chosen for publication, they will win $700 instead.

  • What to write: Any length up to 12,000 words is welcome. They have since opened this contest to all writers, requiring a short story of your choice. They also run a “Fiction Open” contest, where stories can be from 3,000 to 28,000 words.
  • Deadline: This contest runs twice annually, with a deadline of April 30 and August 31.

(Source: Adobe)

5. The Roswell Award

This contest recognizes emerging science fiction writers and is organized by the Light Bringer Project, who believe that science fiction is a unique and inspiring medium that encourages great thinkers and pushes human achievement in relation to scientific innovation. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three writers, offering $500, $250, and $100 respectively.

  • What to write: All science fiction stories must be 1,500 words or less. It is suggested that you write an engaging story with an emphasis on mood, imagery, tone, themes, and strong characters.
  • Deadline: Submissions are free and open in fall 2018.

(Source: Adobe)

6. Arizona State University’s Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest

This is an interesting contest that is solely themed around climate change. Judged by science fiction legend Kim Stanley Robinson, an award-winning author who has written many pieces on climate fiction, first place receives $1000. The remaining nine finalists are awarded $50 each.

  • What to write: Writers must explore the impact of climate change in relation to the Earth or its impact on humanity. Scientific knowledge can be used to develop or exaggerate fictional situations and conditions.
  • Deadline: Open to all nationalities, this year’s deadline was on February 28.

7. L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest

This contest runs every three months, awarding winners prizes of $1,000, $750, and $500. There is also an annual grand prize of $5000 that is up for grabs. This is an excellent opportunity for new writers of fantasy, dark fantasy, and science fiction.

  • What to write: All entries must be up to 17,000 words in length (no poetry or works intended for children will be accepted).
  • Deadline: This contest has four quarters, beginning on October 1, followed by January 1, April 1, and July 1. This year will end on September 30 with a deadline of 11:59 pm PST.

8. Drue Heinz Literature Prize

If you would like to challenge yourself, you can win $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press. All writers must submit a collection of short fiction.

  • What to write: Submit an unpublished manuscript of two or more novellas, short stories, or a combination. In total, your word count should be between 150 and 300 typed pages.
  • Deadline: Annual submissions must be postmarked on or after May 1 and on or before June 30. Winners will be announced in December or January, and the contest will continue in 2019.

9. New Voices Award

Lee and Low Books presents this award for a children’s picture book manuscript. However, this competition is only open to American authors of color, as well as Indigenous writers. The idea is to nurture new talent who write for an audience of children between ages 5 and 12. The Award winner will receive $2000 (plus a publication contract which includes royalties) and the Honor Award winner will receive $1,000.

  • What to write: Submissions may be fiction, nonfiction, or poetry and should be no more than 1,500 words.
  • Deadline: You may submit your manuscript between April 1 and August 31, 2018.

10. Nelson Algren Short Story Award

This award is presented by the Chicago Tribune, recognizing writers of original short fiction. One grand prize winner receives $3500, followed by $1000 for the remaining four finalists, as well as $500 for the five runners-up. All stories are considered for publication in Printers Row.

  • What to write: Stories must be fiction and previously unpublished, with a word count that is no more than 8,000 words.
  • Deadline: The 2018 deadline was in February, and the 2019 deadline has not yet been announced.

Some additional contests that are worth your attention:

  1. FutureScapes Writing Contest
  2. The Diana Woods Memorial Award in Creative Nonfiction
  3. Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize
  4. The Writing District Contest (runs monthly)
  5. 2018 Platt Family Scholarship Prize Essay Contest (this year’s deadline is July 31)
  6. Castle Craig’s 30th Anniversary International Essay Writing Competition (deadline is December 30, 2018).
  7. Poetry Nation Contest (this year’s second deadline is December 31)
  8. The Yale Drama Series (for emerging playwrights)
  9. The Plough Prize (deadline is October 31, 2018)
  10. NUHA Foundation Blogging Prize (deadline is October 13, 2018)
  11. The Marfield Prize (deadline is October 15 of each year)
  12. Inkitt Writing Competition (ongoing competition, submit your novel for a potential future publishing deal)

For additional support as an aspiring or professional writer, please visit our blog. We offer insight into everything from self-publishing to online course development to guide you along your writing journey. After all, Stephen King said it best, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all: you have to read a lot and write a lot.”


Learn More Path 2 Created with Sketch.

How to Edit Your E-book in 10 Steps: The Ultimate Checklist

“Good writing is bad writing well edited,” wrote author and innovator Kevin Ashton in his book “How to Fly a Horse.” Your first draft needs to go on a long journey through revision, editing, and proofreading before it’s ready to become an e-book. But working with a professional editor can be expensive.

Freelance editors generally charge between $30 and $60 per hour, according to the Editorial Freelancers Association. This means having your e-book edited professionally can cost you thousands of dollars. If the cost of editing services is prohibitive to you, you will need to edit your own e-book.

Even if self-editing cannot entirely replace working with a professional editor, there are several tools you can use to bring your e-book closer to publication. A self-editing checklist is one of them.

Before You Start Editing Your E-Book


When your first draft is complete, put it aside for a few weeks. Letting some time pass between writing and editing will allow you to be as objective as possible when you start editing.

Some writers put their draft away for more than a year to be able to look at it from the perspective of a reader. However, this might not be practical if you need to meet a deadline. Whether it’s a few days or a few weeks, leave as much time as possible between writing and editing.

10-Step Editing Checklist


The editing checklist we developed has 10 steps — and many editing tips for writers. But every book is unique, so you may want to adapt this checklist to fit your needs.

Though editing fiction and editing nonfiction entail different things, you can use our checklist no matter what genre you write in. That’s because the goal of editing is the same: to ensure your e-book is effective in transmitting your message to the reader.

1. Identify Major Flaws

Before you start editing your book for grammar or style, you need to fix any major flaws that you might have missed during writing or revision. The errors to look for include logical fallacies, repetitions of ideas, contradictions, and missing information.

To identify these flaws, read the draft in one go if you can. During this first step, you need to focus on the forest, not on the trees. So, try to resist the urge to correct the spelling or punctuation mistakes you come across.

To spot the major errors in your draft, read it in a quiet place, away from distractions. By finding and resolving any significant issues at this early stage of editing, you’ll avoid rework and frustration later.

2. Check Your Facts

Whether your e-book is about finance, travel or wellness, presenting correct information to the reader is essential if you write nonfiction. If you write fiction, your story needs to be credible, and fact-checking helps you create a realistic setting for your story.

Verify all things that can be verified — numbers, statistics, and names of organizations, people, and places. Also, check that all web links work and point to the right site.

If you’re new to nonfiction writing and fact-checking, Poynter’s News University has a free course called “Hands-on Fact-Checking: A Short Course.”

3. Edit Your E-book for Grammar

“Bad grammar produces bad sentences,” said Stephen King. To correct the grammatical mistakes in your draft, you need to know the rules and when it’s OK to bend them. Subject-verb agreement errors, dangling participles, misplaced modifiers, and parallel structure errors are some of the most common mistakes writers make.

There’s no substitute for a good grammar book, but apps like Grammarly or Hemingway help you identify errors you tend to miss. An e-book free from grammatical mistakes proves you care about your writing.

4. Edit Your E-book for Spelling

While most readers will turn a blind eye to a few typos in your e-book, a publication full of spelling mistakes will harm your credibility. Typos in a book make people think that it contains not only sloppy spelling but also sloppy research. Also, some typos can be offensive, so be very careful when you check your e-book for spelling.

Once you’ve manually spell-checked your book, use a spell-checker to find and correct any remaining typos. But don’t rely on spell-checkers, because no app can find all the mistakes in your book.

5. Check the Punctuation


Just like spelling and grammar, punctuation is an essential tool in your writer’s toolbox. Use exclamation points, ellipses and dashes sparingly, and use italics — not all caps — for emphasis.

Grammar checkers can detect some punctuation errors, but not all of them. Mastering punctuation rules and correctly applying them is the only way to make your text clear and easy to read.

Incorrect punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence, so punctuate your sentences the right way to prevent confusion.

6. Edit Your E-Book for Style

An e-book with flawless punctuation, spelling, and grammar can still be very hard to read if it has many stylistic errors. Some of the most common mistakes that beginner nonfiction writers make include starting many sentences with “there is” or “there are,” not noticing redundancies (such as “restored back” or “see the finish line in sight”) and using biased language. Beginner fiction writers often use “she shouted,” “he whispered” and “they explained” instead of “she said,” “he said,” and “they said” for speech attribution. They also dot their writing with adverbs and adjectives.

All these and many other stylistic mistakes may not be easy to spot if you’re a new writer, but books such as Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, as well as style manuals, are valuable resources. Having an e-book free from stylistic flaws will help ensure people enjoy reading it.

7. Improve Concision

As well as editing your book for style, to strengthen your writing you also need to find out if there are any words or expressions you used too many times in your book. An online word frequency counter will show you how many times certain words appear in a text.

If, for example, you discover that a particular phrase appears in 10 sentences in the same chapter, consider rewriting some of those sentences. This doesn’t mean you should eliminate all repetitions — repetition is a powerful literary device — but try to find better alternatives for more powerful and concise sentences.

8. Format Your E-Book

A draft full of formatting mistakes will not put you in the best light, no matter if you self-publish your e-book or send it to an agent. If you plan to have a proofreader work on your edited draft, you don’t need to worry about every detail, but format your manuscript consistently.

Get rid of all those formatting mistakes that annoy editors and publishers. Some of these mistakes include multiple spaces between sentences, misuse of capitalization, overuse of italics and inconsistent paragraph spacing.

Format your text according to the publisher’s guidelines or use the industry standard for manuscript format. The result will be a professional-looking draft that is easy to read.

9. Is Your E-Book Complete?

Now that you’ve edited your e-book, verify that it is complete. Check that the text, photos, tables, captions, footnotes, and other resources are all there. The goal is to make sure you didn’t leave out anything during editing. Printing your document as a PDF helps you get an idea about the final look of your e-book.

10. How Does It Sound?

This last step is the opposite of step 1 on our checklist: During step 10, you need to focus on the trees, while during step 1 you focused on the forest.

Scientific American reports that, according to researchers, even when we read silently, we “hear” the words in our head. This is why experienced editors say good writing has good rhythm.

Read your book aloud to spot unintentional rhyming, tongue-twisters, expressions that are hard to read, and words that are difficult to pronounce. If you read on a screen, increase the font size, or zoom in if you work on a PDF, so that you can focus on one sentence at a time. If you don’t want to — or are unable to — read your e-book aloud, use an app that converts text to speech.

When you read something you wrote, you tend to see things you meant to write, not what you actually wrote. In contrast, when you hear what you wrote, it’s easier to spot any mistakes. By fixing any problems with the way your writing sounds, you’ll ensure that the text is a pleasure both for the eye and for the ear.

An Edited E-book Is One Step Closer to Publication

From correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation to good style and rhythm, all aspects of your writing work in concert to create a strong manuscript. Use our checklist when you self-edit your e-book to make your job easier.

At EditionGuard, we know how much effort writing and editing an e-book requires, and we want to help authors protect their work, which is why we offer digital rights management (DRM) protection for e-books.

Learn More Path 2 Created with Sketch.

20 Writing Communities That Support Aspiring Writers

20 Writing Communities That Support Aspiring Writers

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” – E.I. Doctorow

At EditionGuard, we’ve worked with many talented authors and have seen firsthand, the level of passion and drive they have. Each individual writer brings something new to the table, which is why we wanted to focus on the incredible community surrounding aspiring writers.

Regardless if a writer is creating their first e-book or their seventh novel, they all have one crucial thing in common — the drive and motivation to continuously learn.

If you are currently focusing on “finding yourself” as a writer, you’ve come to the right place. From support and encouragement to marketing and security advice, why not reach out to those who were once in your shoes?

Are You An Aspiring Writer? Consider Joining These 20 Writing Communities

The team at EditionGuard works with writers on a daily basis, helping them take their goals to the next level. Although we mainly help authors sell their e-books securely online (ensuring higher profitability and long-term success), we are also familiar with some of the most common pain points in which our clients face.

If you are an aspiring writer and are looking for community support, you need to check out the following 20 writing communities. After all, writers understand other writers; and in order to be successful, you need to interact and consult with those who appreciate your passion (and relate to your struggles).

1. Almost an Author

pasted image 0 3


As a writer, you never stop learning: This allows you to continually hone and master your craft. For those of you who are aspiring writers, Almost an Author is an excellent place to start your journey. Whether you are writing a romance novel, are interested in screenwriting, or any other genre in-between, this community will help you kick-start your career.

Where to start:

  • Grammar and Grace (includes everything you need to know to become a more seasoned, professional writer).
  • Writer Encouragement (give yourself a boost by learning how to refocus, how to avoid common pitfalls, and so much more).
  • Marketing & Platform (from social media strategy advice to the importance of SEO, it is time to master your online presence).

2. Ann Kroeker

pasted image 0 13


Ann Kroeker is an author and a writing coach. Her goal is to help writers reach their goals so that they can maximize their creativity and productivity. Even if you do not invest in one-on-one coaching, there are a plethora of resources that can help you take your writing career to the next level. Ann also has a significant following on Twitter, which can assist you in connecting with other aspiring writers.

Be sure to check out Ann’s:

3. Writers Helping Writers

pasted image 0 2


As the name suggests, Writers Helping Writers is your one-stop shop for writer support. Packed with innovative tools, writing help, and resources, this platform empowers all types of writers. All posts allow for writers to comment, which often encourages informative discussions. With so many free resources available, this community is indeed a hotspot for aspiring writers.

Some helpful resources include:

4. Helping Writers Become Authors

pasted image 0 6


When you first visit Helping Writers Become Authors, it is suggested that you start here. Winning Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers three years in a row, this is a platform and community that you can trust. If you are into story writing and in turn, require advice on story structure, be sure to access this database.

On that note, here are some additional in-depth resources:

5. Publish a Profitable Book

pasted image 0


Ensuring that our clients achieve profitability is one of our core goals at EditionGuard. That is why you need to reference Publish a Profitable Book. This is the perfect platform and community to access if you are currently writing your first book. Although you can invest in one of three amazing courses (which cover everything you need to know about writing, publishing, and launching your book), there are also many excellent free resources, including:

6. Standout Books

pasted image 0 9


Already written your book? Well, then Standout Books is for you. Offering everything you need to know about editing and publishing, you will be able to market your book like a pro (and feel confident doing so). In addition to informative blog content, you can also access a list of trusted tools.

If you are looking to up your game, check out these stunning sample author websites. You do not need to purchase anything, simply look at the layout, design, and functionality of the provided examples in order to inspire your own little piece of online real estate.

7. A Writer’s Path

pasted image 0 1


If a true writer’s community is what you’re looking for, A Writer’s Path offers a “Writer’s Club” unlike any other. Whether you seek an editorial review of your book or would like to advertise your book (or writing service) effectively, this community will help you achieve your goals.

To gain an inside perspective, you can also check out author interviews. For example, Publishing Tips with Kameron Hurley and Writing Historical Nonfiction with Kelly Matthews.

8. Booksie

pasted image 0 10


Within the Booksie community, you can publish your content for free. This is a great way to test an idea, as readers will review the content you share. Perhaps you would like to share a snippet of your novel or an article that highlights your book’s theme? Either way, this community is highly supportive.

  • You can also enter writing contests and competitions here.
  • Interact with other members here.
  • And access the Self-Publishing Advisor 2018 here.

9. Fiction Writing

pasted image 0 4


Fiction Writing is a Facebook group that now has close to 60,000 members. An excellent community for first-time authors, you will learn everything about the different stages of writing and publishing. Each member is allowed to post one purchase link on the date they release their book. By sticking to these guidelines, authors benefit from a supportive community (without having to deal with spam).

10. Insecure Writer’s Support Group

pasted image 0 8


Whether you are experiencing writer’s block or overwhelming self-doubt, it’s time to pick yourself up and reignite your passion for writing. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group has created a community of support for writers in crisis. This award-winning community also offers a vast amount of writing tips, self-publishing advice, and marketing solutions.

11. She Writes

pasted image 0 12


Join the 30,000+ members on She Writes: The largest writing community for women. Representing every genre and every generation, this is a dynamic, growing community that will help you share your work and connect with others. Once you build your profile, you can then follow tags and people that interest you. To get started, begin here.

Although there are over 36,000 articles for you to access, the best place to start is with these trending articles.

12. Storywrite

pasted image 0 7


Another great community for getting your work critiqued is Storywrite. If you are just starting out as an aspiring writer, you will appreciate the friendly feedback you receive. When you are ready, you can then access more detailed critiques. You can also join focus groups, as well as private forums.

All writers can publish their stories, some of which will be featured. Of these features stories, some have won national contests. Overall, this is a great community, full of experts who are willing to support and encourage amateur writers. With more than 50,000 active members, you can easily connect with others to improve your writing.


pasted image 0 5

(Source: is a free community that has been around since 2000. Here, writers gain creative inspiration all while accessing unique writing tools and writing opportunities. Each writer is able to display up to ten items on their online portfolio — which is a great way to network with like-minded writers. To begin, head to 101.

14. Now Novel

pasted image 0 11


Looking for more step-by-step support to write your first book? Well, Now Novel has got the goods! They support writers and authors so that they not only start their book but even more importantly, finish it. After you read all of the blog content that is relevant to you and your writing journey, it will be time to start your novel. Once you sign-up, you can gain access to more personalized mentorship, as well as supportive community groups.

15. The Creative Penn

pasted image 0 14


Developed by Joanna Penn, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, The Creative Penn offers inspiration and information on writing, self-publishing, and marketing. Be sure to check out these tools, these podcasts, as well as these courses.

Some additional writing communities worth investigating, include:

16. Publetariat


18. Positive Writer

19. Jenny Bravo Books

20. Scribophile

Don’t Forget to Secure Your E-Book

At EditionGuard, we want to help ensure that after you work day and night to write and publish your book, you are financially rewarded. If you have questions about how to make your first e-book and digital content more secure, please contact us to inquire about your options, or simply sign up for a free 30-day trial.

Learn More Path 2 Created with Sketch.

Get your e-books secured with DRM

30 day free trial, no credit card required


By continuing you agree to Privacy and Terms