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Ask Bethany

Here Bethany covers questions big and small that effect authors and publishers

A little about Bethany 

Bethany Brown started her publishing career at Adams Media as an editorial assistant working on career books. Four years later, she was the Senior Editor in charge of acquiring for, and developing, The EVERYTHING® series and brand extensions. She was also responsible for new series development in partnership with parent company. Looking to help a smaller press grow, Bethany moved to Chicago in 2004 and served as the Senior Editor and Editorial Manager at Sourcebooks, Inc. in charge of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, the Sourcebooks’ bestselling parenting book program and several other branding and publishing initiatives. During her time there, she also overhauled editorial, production, and sales workflow processes resulting in the dramatic increase of sell-in and sell-through. Bethany joined The Cadence Group in November 2008 and became the principal in 2012.

Bethany enjoys sharing her industry knowledge with clients, potential clients, writers, and writers conferences. She has participated in IBPA events, The Space Coast Writer’s Conference and conducted sessions for individual writers groups. To book Bethany for a conference or speaking engagement, please contact 708.689.0908 or

There are a number of frequently asked questions that prospective clients seem to have in common.  We’ve compiled the following list and provided answers that we hope will help you to determine if The Cadence Group is a good fit for you and your book.

What format should authors use when they begin writing their books?

I tell authors that whatever program they start out using, if they want to get the book published (by a traditional publisher, by a hybrid publisher, or by self-publishing), eventually the manuscript will need to be in Microsoft Word, so it's best to write the manuscript in Word. Standard publishing protocol is MS Word, 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. So ideally, the author will set up the manuscript that way from day one. If they're using a Mac, they can use MS Word for Mac.

However, some people don't like Word, so they look for other options. If they have a Mac, they can purchase the app called Pages, which is Apple's word processing program. Or anyone can use Google Docs, which is Google's free word processing program in the cloud. Documents created in Pages and Google Docs can easily be converted to MS Word files. A final option is Scrivener, which is a storyboarding program that can be really helpful for visually oriented writers. I've never used Scrivener, but I've heard lots of good things about it. 

Again, it's important to be clear to aspiring authors that editors and designers need to have the manuscript in MS Word before they can do their jobs. If an author writes the manuscript with an old version of WordPerfect or something, it's going to hold up the project until the author can get it converted to Word.

Bottom line: The author should write the manuscript in Word -- or write it in a program like Pages, Google Docs, or Scrivener and convert it to Word before sending it to an editor, designer, publisher, literary agent, etc.


What type of client is a good fit for your publishing programs?

Our “best” client is an individual who wants to “own” their publishing program. Their goals and vision for their book is bigger than what many self-publishing companies can provide. So they’ve decided to do it on their own. They want a book designed by a professional book cover designer—customized and positioned to stand out in their category. They understand that a professional edit is necessary—and no, no author is qualified to be their own editor. They understand that when the writing is done, the publishing process must begin. Whether it’s having a book to build their consulting business, coaching business, speaking business or professional services business, they understand that a well-designed, well-positioned, well-priced and well-packaged book is key to their success. Our services are built around helping authors build publishing programs not just self publishing a book.


Can you publish my book?

Unfortunately, no. We are not a publishing company. We are a publishing service provider dedicated to helping publishers, small presses and self-published authors make smart and strategic choices.


Can you work within my budget?

We can try! We will sit down with you to identify your goals, your needs and where you are in the process. If we can help within your budget, great! If we can’t, we’re happy to point you in the direction of someone who can.


Can you guarantee my book will be a bestseller?

No, we can’t. But we will be your biggest cheerleader if it is! Every author’s dream is to sell thousands of copies and end up on bestseller lists. We can’t, and don’t, make guarantees. What we can do is help you identify and put in place the pieces that will give your book its greatest chance of success.

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