Recently Answered Questions:



Hi Angela,

Would I approach a Barnes and Noble with a consignment agreement or there’s too much red tape for that?

Thanks!
Kelly

 

Hi Kelly,

First, it’s far easier for a local author to get their books into a local store than it is to get placement in all their stores. This is true for all bookstore chains.

With more than a million new books hitting the market each year, in addition to all the existing books, mid-list titles, classics and best sellers, there are just far too many books for stores to stock now. And, most books are purchased online anyway.

Unless you’re a celebrity or a best selling author, asking Barnes and Noble to stock your book in all their stores just isn’t going to happen, no matter what type of terms you offer. But, you can increase your chances of getting your book into a local bookstore if you remove the financial risk from that store. How? Offer to sell your book on consignment to them.

Please see:
How to Sell to Books on Consignment to Bookstores and Other Retailers

You should know that, in most cases of unknown authors, the time and expense spent trying to get two or three copies on the shelf of a local store may not be worth it. The books are likely to be returned to you later, dusty, bent, and perhaps unsellable.

See:
Marketing to Bookstores – Still a Waste of Time?

It’s usually more lucrative to spend your time marketing directly to the public online. Most of those folks will, in turn, also order your books online.

See:


Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90…and beyond!



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Get Published in About a Month for $675


Good evening, Angela,

It is an honor to be able to email you. One of your authors recommended me to your website and I am very impressed. I have been told that I should write a book by many and it is a dream of mine to publish a book someday. However, I am very intimidated by the whole process. I have no clue what to do except write!

 Please forgive me if this does not sound professional. I am being real. I was just wondering, is it pretty easy to get started on your website? Do you give details of how to do it or is it like a “self learning” book I would read? Sorry for the questions.

I hope you have a blessed day.

Sincerely,
Reina

Hi Reina,

We actually receive these types of questions all the time. Since publishing is new for so many, it’s natural to wonder how the process works, and even to be intimidated since there are so many publishing horror stories online now (for self-publishing and for traditional publishing!). A few years ago, I came up with this list to show authors how easy it is to work with BookLocker. :)

THE POD PROCESS

After a manuscript is accepted for publication:

1. Author submits our online contract, and fills out a form to choose the book type, size, and paper color (white or creme), etc.

2. Author uploads final manuscript for formatting by BookLocker. Author also starts corresponding directly with our cover designer to ensure their cover is exactly what they want.

3. We format the file, usually within 1-5 days.

4. We send the formatted file back to the author for any final changes or comments. (NOTE: Some POD publishers start charging authors extra for changes at this point. We do not. At BookLocker, authors always get a final chance to make changes and we give them their file so they not only have a copy of their own, but they can also easily make any edits they want rather than sending us a time-consuming list of changes to make.)

5. Author uploads their final manuscript to us.

6. We do a final formatting check, convert to pdf, do some clean-up there, and send it to the author for approval, along with a POD Final form. This form asks for the author’s approval, and asks them for a description for the bookstore sites, the list price, categories they’re interested in, etc. We also determine final spine width at this point, and send that to our designer (if the author ordered cover design from us), or to the author (if they have hired their own cover designer).

7. Author responds to POD Final form with answers to all the questions.

8. Designer or author submits cover to us, which the author has already approved.

a. If Booklocker’s designer submits cover, files are ready to upload to the printer.

b. If author submits cover, we check the cover, and notify the author if there are any problems. If there are problems, we wait until the author submits the corrected cover.

9. We set the book up in the printer’s system, and upload the files to them.

10. The printer processes the files, and ships the print proof (the first printed, bound copy of their book) directly to the author. This usually arrives in about 5 business days.

a. If they author has additional edits they want to make after seeing the book in print, the process goes back to #4 above.

b. If the author approves the print proof, we send them a final form to complete to add the book to our website. It usually goes up for sale within 1 business day.

11. Once the author approves the print proof, we approve it in the printer’s system. This kicks off a rapid chain of automated events whereby the book is added to Ingram’s system (Ingram is the largest book distributor). Ingram then sends a feed with the book’s info. to the online bookstores. It usually takes just a couple or a few days for the book to appear on third party online book retailers (like Amazon, B&N, BooksAMillion, etc.). Each store works on their own schedule.

12. If an author has signed up for epub/mobi (ebook) formatting/conversion/listing, that process begins after the print proof is approved, and usually takes about two weeks. Waiting for this step saves the author from needing to pay twice, to change two sets of files, if they find changes they want to make after seeing the book in print. (Some authors notice editorial items they missed when they are able to hold the book in their hands, and read it that way. Some POD publishers force authors to go through the print and ebook process simultaneously, and then force them to pay to make changes to both later, if they find edits they want to make.)

At BookLocker, we usually get a print book to market within a month of the author sending their final file to us. We also have a rush, 2-week publication package. Authors often tell us how easy and quick our process is. After 17 years of publishing books, we have it down to a quick and easy science.

And, of course, I’m always happy to answer any questions authors may have.

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POD Price Comparison


Hi, Angela.

Would you know if I am violating any intellectual-property laws by quoting a person who died more than 50 years ago? For my next self-published project, I hope to use 100 quotes from a famous person, and then elaborate upon the wisdom contained within. I think I’m within the public domain, but wanted to check with you.

Best regards,
Marlene

Hi Marlene,

I’m not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Always consult an attorney for any legal needs you have.

That said…you’re probably fine.

Please see:

When Do You Need to Secure Permissions?
Public Domain Law
Fair Use Law

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Boldly Assuming You “Can’t Be Sued” Will Likely Lead to a Lawsuit
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Get Published in About a Month for $675


My self-published book is in paperback and hardcover formats. I know the hardcovers are more expensive but I think they are more impressive, and might garner more attention from reviewers. I am looking at this from a business perspective – ROI. What has been your experience?

Best,
Bob

Hi Bob,

Yes, hardcovers are nice but I think the expense will outweigh any benefit. Even paperbacks that get nice reviews may not lead to many, if any, book sales. Please see:

Throwing Away Your Money on Review Copies?

Many POD publishers would LOVE to convince you that buying a pile of hardcovers for book reviewers will lead to significantly increased book sales but that’s just not the case. They’re just trying to get more money out of you. At BookLocker.com, we don’t do business that way. :)

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Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90…and beyond!





Get Published in About a Month for $675


Could you give me your opinion? Last summer, I sold a short story to a publisher who put it into an e-book anthology. The contract I signed said that I retained the copyright, but the publisher had exclusive rights to publish the story in hardback BOOK form, paperback BOOK form, electronic BOOK form, and audio BOOK form. I found somewhere that pays well for previously published stories, and sells them as e-stories. My husband said it would be the same as an e-book, and would violate my contract. I say that it is like an old 78 rpm single–just one song from a record album. What do you think?

Thank you.
Mary

Angela’ first response:

Hi Mary,

How are the e-stories being sold by the new publisher? As anthologies? Single stories? Are they downloadable from sites like Amazon?

Angela

Mary’s response:

The first publisher I sold my short story to published it as an e-book anthology, along with four or five other stories. The anthology is for sale as a download on Amazon.

The place I was looking at submitting my short story sells downloads of short stories as single stories for an e-reader device.

A few months ago, after a little prodding, the publisher of the original anthology did say it was within my rights to submit my story to a magazine or a contest. But she probably thought it was unlikely that I’d find someplace that wanted previously published work. She didn’t say anything about the possibility of me selling it as a downloadable single story. I’m kind of afraid to ask, to tell you the truth. She was on the fence about me including my story in a book of all my own work, and I didn’t want to push her. But, it would be nice to make some more money off that story!

Thanks for your help.

Angela’s answer:

I agree with your husband. The new outfit would be selling your story as an ebook, albeit a small one. You can’t do that based on your contract with the original publisher.

One option is to contact the original publisher to ask if you can do this. If you offer to add a line to the story that says “originally published in XYZ Anthology,” they might let you republish it. But, of course, the new publisher may not want to include such verbiage so you’d need to clear it with them, too.

This is one of the risks when selling rights to another firm. While they allegedly claimed you retained copyright, they actually purchased ALL book rights from you. So, you’re “copyrights” are not worth much.

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Hi Angela,

I may have already asked this of you…I don’t remember!!! If I have please excuse the repeat. My son self-published several Christian books with (I think) Lulu and Amazon carries them. On June 24, my son died suddenly from a heart attack. My question is…is there some way I can get copies of his books made through your company, BookLocker.com??

Several people, churches, etc. have asked to purchase his books and I’d like to be able to have the books myself to sell them. Is this possible? Is it even ethical? I don’t mind selling thru Amazon, but I want his wife and child to get the royalties, etc.

Thanks so much for your time!!

Sincerely,
Sue

Dear Sue,

I am so sorry you lost your son and my heart hurts for you, my friend. :(

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Please ask your attorney specific questions about copyrights and beneficiaries.

Only the recipient of your son’s copyrights (his heir) can republish the book elsewhere. That is likely his wife and/or child. Of course, you can ask her for written permission (you will need a legal release) to republish his books. And, yes, if you obtain that (or if she contacts us directly), we’ll be happy to do that and it would qualify for a discount since it was previously published elsewhere.

But, if you just want to buy copies and you don’t want anything changed, it would be easiest to simply purchase copies from the current publisher, provided they’re still selling them, of course. There is no need to republish the book all over again. Almost all POD publishers offer authors (or whoever is controlling the author’s book and/or author account) discounts when they buy copies of their own books.

Your daughter-in-law should contact the current publisher about assigning future royalties to his heir(s). She may be required to provide a copy of the death certificate, as well as other legal paperwork proving she’s the rightful heir to his copyrights (and, thus, future royalties).

At BookLocker.com, our contract has a beneficiary clause. When one of our authors passes away, we automatically contact their beneficiary, and switch the author account (and future royalty payments) to them so that there is no delay in payments, and no need to wait for the probate process.

I’m right here if you have any other questions.

And, I’m sending big healing hugs and prayers your way,

Angela

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Ask Angela About Print On Demand and Self-Publishing

Angela is the Publisher of WritersWeekly.com and co-owner of the POD firm BookLocker.com.

According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is:

"As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Got questions? Ask Angela about Print On Demand and Self-publishing.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages.


Follow BookLocker on Facebook to keep track of self-publishing news and marketing resources.



I really like your new format!  Thank you!!!!!  I am a contributing editor for a small Catholic newspaper but it’s an unpaid position.  I am hoping that one day to be paid for my writing.  It’s like I’m black-listed or something, know what I mean?  I have tried women’s magazines, religious magazines, etc., but no luck.  Do you have any tips?  

Again, thank you.

– L.

Unfortunately, if an editor knows you’re working for free elsewhere, they’re going to be greedy, and expect the same benefits. Imagine a yard mowing service coming to your door, offering their services, and saying, “I’ve been giving away my services elsewhere but I’m expecting you to pay me.”

Not very professional and, to be honest, you’d have to wonder about the quality of their service. Even if you’re an excellent writer, if you’re giving away your work for free, it makes people think you don’t have a very high opinion of our own work. If somebody else is making money from your writing, but you’re not, you’re getting a very raw deal and your continued acceptance of such treatment is, forgive my frankness, the sign of an amateur.

I would omit any “free” jobs you’ve worked from your resume, and only mention gigs where you got paid. In my opinion, you should also NEVER offer to write for free again. Writing for free not only degrades your value, but it also degrades the value of our entire industry. The more writers work for free, the less the industry is willing to pay for quality writing work.

Please also take a look at our bestselling book of all time, QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments. You’ll find copies of real query letters that never mention writing for free. Instead, they landed assignments worth $2,000, and more each!

– Angela

Have a question for Angela (writing/publishing) or Richard (marketing)? Contact us here.

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Copies of real query letters that resulted in writing assignments worth $2K and much more!





Ms. Hoy:

I’m an old retired newspaper guy who’s been getting your weekly announcements for some time, and has even submitted a few queries.

I love the outdoors and writing about the outdoors. I did so for several years for The Milwaukee Journal, now the Journal Sentinel.

How can I find paying markets for these types of topics on your website?

Don 

Hi Don,

Use the search box at the top of the markets page, which is here:
http://writersweekly.com/find-paying-markets

I just used it to look for “outdoors” and these paying market listings popped up:
Salt Lake (Pays $0.45/word. Payment for photos varies.)
Sierra (Pays $1.00-$1.50/word. Pays extra for photos.)
Rack (Pays $100-$325. No extra payment for photos.)
Trapper & Predator Caller (Pays $250. Pays $50-$200 for photos.)

You can use several different words to find appropriate markets. I’m not sure exactly what outdoors topics you write about but you can search for hunting, fishing, etc.

For fishing, I found:
Houseboat (Pays $200-$400. No extra payment for photos.)

For hunting, I found:
Lost Treasure Magazine (Pays $0.04/words. Pays $5-$100 for photos.)

Please know that we are still adding markets to the new database.

We send out thousands of questionnaires each year, and even offer a free subscription to The Write Markets Report to those who respond. Unfortunately, very few do because so many editors are already buried in their slush piles.

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Have a question for Angela (writing/publishing) or Richard (marketing)? Contact us here.

Read More Ask The Expert

I haven’t been paid by Author House Indiana (for) approx. 8 years. Please advise by email if possible.

If you have complaints about AuthorHouse, or any of the firms owned by Author Solutions (you can see a list HERE), and if you are not able to work out a solution with them, contact the law firm that has filed (and settled) two lawsuits against Author Solutions.

Despite the settlements, it appears the law firm is still seeking individuals who feel they have a claim against AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford, of other firms owned by Author Solutions.

According to the Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart website, “If you have spent over $10,000 in marketing services with any of Author Solutions’ imprints, we wish to hear about your experience. Please fill out the form below. Examples of marketing services include, but are in not limited to, email campaigns, Hollywood packages, publicity services, book fairs, and book reviews.”

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Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.
PUBLIC COMPLAINTS ABOUT AUTHORHOUSE

Have a question for Angela (writing/publishing) or Richard (marketing)? Contact us here.

Read More Ask The Expert

Dear Angela,

Recently I submitted a 1,400-word interview to a local newspaper after confirming that the editor would like to see it. I did not hear back from them for six weeks, and sent a polite e-mail last week asking if he still wanted to use the story. I received no reply.

Today, a story ran about the same person, written by someone else – and nicely done I might add. It seems that this editor might have let me know that he could not use my article. I’ve certainly had others turned down. I did have another market but since the story might not appear until next year, I felt it would be timely and appropriate to run it in a local paper.

Anyhow, I’d like your opinion – I’ve worked for other newspapers but not sure I’d like to submit more work to this one. Am I wrong to have expected some correspondence from this editor – and it was my idea!

Thanks for listening!

Warm regards,
Florence

Hi Florence,

It’s possible the editor liked your idea so much that he/she assigned the article to one of their reporters. And, to make it look like the idea wasn’t stolen, perhaps he/she then ignored all your correspondence, pretending they never saw it.

Unfortunately, what he did was entirely legal (though, in my opinion, not at all ethical).

I would definitely not pitch to that paper again. You obviously generate great ideas. Share your talents with more ethical and appreciative publications.

Angela

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Have a question for Angela (writing/publishing) or Richard (marketing)? Contact us here.

Ask The Expert Archives