Recently Answered Questions:



Q –

Lots of people (42 on one) liked my book promo post but still I see no sales. Why?

– L.


A –

Having 42 “likes” on social media but no sales is not at all unusual. Friends and family like to support authors with “likes” and “retweets,” etc. but they rarely go so far as to order a copy of the author’s book if it’s not something they’re truly interested in. You should not take it personally. Many friends and family members even lie to authors about buying their books so as not to hurt their feelings. You can read more about that unfortunately phenomenon here:

AWKWARD HOLIDAY GATHERINGS! When Relatives Say They Bought Your Book (But They Didn’t)

If you purchased an ad on social media, there are a few reasons why it might not have generated any sales:

1. People must usually be exposed to an ad multiple times before they will actually purchase the product. With social media, you never know who is seeing the ad, nor how many times they’ve seen it.

2. The ad may have been too plain. Perhaps it wasn’t tantalizing enough, or the graphic wasn’t eye-catching.

3. I don’t know how many people actually saw your ad but 42 likes isn’t that much, and certainly not enough to expect a sale. A mere fraction of those who see an ad actually buy the advertised product.

4. Lots of people on social media click “like” on a variety of things with no intention of ever buying any of them. Heck, some people click “like” on every post they see just because they want to be nice and make friends.

Spending a few dollars on a social media ad isn’t going to sell many books. You need a well-rounded marketing campaign, which is actually very easy to do yourself if you have the right tool. Please see:

90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan

RELATED:

BOOK MARKETING E-SERIAL PART 1

Reader Comments = Marketing Blurbs!

The Biggest Marketing Mistake New Authors Make!

What’s a Book Marketing Cheat Sheet?

How to Go Broke AFTER You Publish Your Book! (Hint: Buy your publisher’s worthless marketing products and services…)

More Q&A with Angela!



The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication


Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.

http://writersweekly.com/books/4693.html



 



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



 

Q –

Angela,

I have a friend who has written over 15 novels in the past 30 years and, though he has had a few agents who tried to sell his books, he remains unpublished. Three months ago he sent out a query letter and the first chapter of one of his books to an agency overseas. The agent responded favorably, and agreed to try to sell it, but didn’t offer an agency contract. My friend went ahead and sent her the whole book.

After 3 months he was curious if the agency had any luck with the book so he sent a “send update” email. The agent who had the book responded quickly, but said she was unable to find a publisher who was willing to take on the project. She listed a litany of reasons, and then wrote, “Rather than letting your book sit on a shelf collecting dust, I could publish it for you.” That seems to me to be a definite conflict of interest for a literary agent but my friend, who’s ready to give away the store to this agent, doesn’t see this. Am I correct in my viewpoint?

Thanks,

P.


A –

Yes, it’s definitely a conflict of interest, and extremely unethical. I’ve heard of this happening many times before. Please tell your friend to avoid this bottom feeder!

Some small-time publishers pretend to be literary agents in order to attract authors. These snakes have no intention of helping an author land a big contract. Rather, they claim to have no luck with publishers, and then offer to publish the author’s book themselves…for a hefty fee of course.

In other cases, they instead “recommend” the author use a specific fee-based publisher, and get a kickback from that “publisher” on the fees the author paid to get published.

One fake literary agent in the past (who used a fake name as well) would “refer” authors to a publishing services company that she herself owned. If I remember correctly, she ended up serving jail time for fraud.

If any literary agent tries to sell an author anything at all (including editing services), run for the hills! The only legitimate up-front fees that a real literary agent should charge authors are the printing and postage fees for sending out manuscripts to traditional publishers.

RELATED:

BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K – $100K Publishing Contracts

Is This Publisher / Editor / Literary Agent Legit? NOPE!

How Can I Find A Literary Agent?!

Should I Try to Land a Literary Agent?

Study Potential Literary Agents As Thoroughly As You Believe They’re Studying You

Negotiating Author’s Subsidiary Rights By Jeffrey Poston, former literary agent

More Q&A with Angela!



The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication


Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.

http://writersweekly.com/books/4693.html



 



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



 

Q.

Hi Angela!

This might be the wrong venue to ask this question but I will try anyway! I am not a writer but I have been tossing around the idea of either writing a book about my life (in public service), or having someone else write the book. I’ve experiencing some interesting and unique situations. Do you suggest trying to write it myself or is there someone I should talk to that could be interested in writing it? Also, do you think this would be an interesting topic worth writing about…


A.

I receive emails like this all the time from people who have a story to tell, but don’t know how to go about telling it. Unfortunately, most of them go something like this: “I was a victim of child abuse,” “I was railroaded by the government,” “My ex-husband tried to kill me,” “I have a really great idea for a novel that would also make a great movie,” etc. However, you provided me with additional details and, you’re right. Your experiences would be great to read in a book! I would definitely buy it.

Hiring a ghostwriter can be VERY expensive. Many people make the mistake of assuming a ghostwriter will offer their services for free up-front, with the promise of a share of the royalties later. That’s not going to happen. They’re either going to charge you by the hour, or quote you a flat fee for the entire project. Either way, you’re going to need to pay a down-payment in the beginning, with installments due incrementally as the project progresses. If a ghostwriter requires 100% payment up front, run as fast as you can away from them.

A good ghostwriter can charge thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to research, write, and edit a good book. Ghostwriting a book for another person, based on their life, can take hundreds of hours due to the time required for interviews, research, writing, and editing. And, of course, the client (the person being written about) will always have numerous additions, deletions, and edits they’ll want to make toward the end of the project. This adds even more time to the project, which is why so many ghostwriters charge by the hour.

If you have the time, you might want to consider writing it yourself, and then hiring a freelance editor. That would be a far cheaper way to go.

If you don’t land a traditional contract, or if you’re thinking about self-publishing, please submit your manuscript for consideration to BookLocker. Even if you have it published elsewhere, please let me know when the book comes out so I can buy a copy. 🙂

Please also see:

The Most Common Question I Hear: “I want to write and publish a book. Where do I start?”

RELATED:

12 Ways to Avoid Getting Sued When Writing Your Memoirs
Don’t Invite a Lawsuit with Your Memoir
Don’t Invite Lawsuits by Real People Featured in Your Book! (Hint: You Can Still Be Sued Even If You Don’t Name Them!)
Boldly Assuming You “Can’t Be Sued” Will Likely Lead to a Lawsuit
Publishing Other People’s Non-fiction Stories Can Get You Sued
Want to Get Sued? Write About Your Ex
Am I at Risk of Being Sued?
Did Your Lawyer Say, “You Can’t Be Sued?” BEWARE
When Relatives Say, “Don’t Write About Me!”

Read More Ask The Expert



The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication


Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.

http://writersweekly.com/books/4693.html



 



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



 

I was contacted last week by two individuals who assisted a foreign man in getting false citizenship documentation, harbored the criminal for years, committed welfare fraud to benefit him, and more. They claimed to be his caregivers, and helped him fool people into thinking he was much younger than he actually was.

While lying about his age (he was in his 20’s), he had a sexual relationship with a young teenage girl. It was also later reported that he had committed other crimes, and had the potential to be violent. He allegedly made threats about attacking a nearby institution. He and his caregivers were all prosecuted. And, they all pled guilty.

The couple is now looking for someone to write their story, and to help them land a publishing contract.

Here’s how I responded:

You do realize that it’s illegal for you to profit from your crimes, right? It would not only be very expensive for you to hire someone to write your story, but any profits would then end up being given to the victims of the crimes you committed, including the government entities you ripped off, as well as the young girl who was tricked into having sex with the adult criminal you were harboring. Publishers know this as well, and won’t want to risk having their future profits taken by the courts.

Shame on all of you. I pray you are forced to serve your full prison terms.

RELATED:

What Might Get You Sued? Using Real People On The Cover Of Your Book, Regardless Of The Source!

Don’t Invite Lawsuits by Real People Featured in Your Book! (Hint: You Can Still Be Sued Even If You Don’t Name Them!)

Don’t Invite a Lawsuit with Your Memoir

Boldly Assuming You “Can’t Be Sued” Will Likely Lead to a Lawsuit

Publishing Other People’s Non-fiction Stories Can Get You Sued!

Q –

After reading your article, Who REALLY Controls That ISBN You Bought? Probably Not You!, I have a question. Because you’re the only one I’ve found who has posted something that questions the ISBN system, you’re my best hope.

Why does R.R. Bowker (the organization responsible for ISBN assignment in the USA) charge for ISBN numbers in the first place? Some ISBN registrars (for some countries) do not charge anything.

Thanks,
M.


A –

R.R. Bowker charges for ISBNs (and charges way too much!) because the government lets them. I’m not a fan of R.R. Bowker. You can read my experiences with them here:

Bowker Isn’t Happy with Angela’s ISBN Article

 

RELATED:

Should I buy my own block of ISBNs if my publisher includes one in my package? No.

DO I NEED A DIFFERENT ISBN FOR EACH EDITION OF MY BOOK?

Some Naughty Companies Are Reselling Single ISBNs

ISBN or ISSN?

Self Publishing Secrets Revealed

More Q&A with Angela!



The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication


Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.

http://writersweekly.com/books/4693.html



 



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



 

Q –

I am currently working on a workbook of questions (fill in the blank, true or false, etc.) and I would like to know if there is any demand for this type of book. It is about religion. I also write 10- to 20-page booklets. Any input as to demand for this type of work would be greatly appreciated.


A –

For your 10- to 20-page booklets, I recommend compiling those into 1 or 2 books. You can make each “booklet” a chapter. It wouldn’t make economical sense to publish a book with only 10 or 20 pages (unless it’s a children’s book, of course).

The religious market is huge. But, that doesn’t necessarily translate into instant sales. Far from it!

I am frequently approached by authors who tell me about a book idea they have, and ask me if I think it will sell. I must always throw a question back to the author –

“How hard are you willing to work to promote your book?”

A book’s sales potential depends entirely on:

1. The book itself

2. The author’s marketing savvy and efforts

Listing a book on a particular website like Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com won’t generate automatic sales because that book will be surrounded by thousands of competing titles. The author must aggressively promote the book in order for it to be successful. This is true for self-published and traditionally published titles. Traditional publishers do little to no promotion for unknown/new authors now. They take a gamble that a book may or may not take off. They run with the ones that do, and generally abandon the ones that don’t. Of course, the ones that do are the ones whose authors are promoting them creatively and consistently.

Every BookLocker.com author receives a free copy of 90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online.

Anyone can buy the book, of course, but BookLocker authors get a copy for free.

Many POD publishers up-sell authors to the tune of thousands of dollars on marketing products and services that will never result in enough book sales to pay for those products and services (which is why those publishers don’t offer those services for free). We call those POD publishers author meat markets – they suck as much money as they can out of an author’s wallet before moving on to the next author.

If you want to pay someone to promote your book, it’s a better idea to pay a book publicist directly than to hire a fee-based book publishing service to perform marketing duties. If you need a referral to a book publicist, please let me know.

RELATED:

Print on Demand (POD) Price Comparison – Compare the prices of 15 different publishing companies!

SELF-PUBLISHING? – How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?

90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan

BEFORE YOU PAY TO PLAY: Ethical Book Promotion

Sign Books BEFORE You Eat the Fried Chicken

Hugs to all,
Angela

ANGELA ON TWITTER
https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy

ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
https://www.facebook.com/angela.hoy.750

ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/angela-hoy/78/719/390

Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
http://24hourshortstorycontest.com/



 

 



HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY


Angela Hoy's popular online class is now available in book format!


Remember Your Past
Write It
and Publish It
in as little as 12 weeks!





Angela Hoy's book will get you started!

  • Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years
  • Record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook
  • Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography!
  • Also works for biographies and memoirs!

Read more here:
http://booklocker.com/books/4764.html



 

Q –

Hi Angela,

The original author of a book I’ve been working on passed away a few years ago. The publisher, a well-known, traditional one, shifted me from being an editor to a contributor (and put my name on the front cover instead of buried inside the back). The original author’s name has remained there, but on a few variations of the book we’ve worked on, mine has appeared as the author and his has appeared as the contributor.

I just found out that, in the next editions of all the books in this series, only my name will appear on the cover and the deceased author’s name won’t appear at all.

Could this be a problem?


A  –

You provided additional information stating that, while the book has been heavily edited and expanded, much of the author’s original work also still appears in the book.

I’m sorry for your quandary but I have to admit I got pretty excited today because, in 18 years, I’ve never seen this question before!

If it was me, I would be very concerned about getting sued by the author’s estate. If some of his original words still appear in the book, yet his name is removed, that would could be copyright infringement. And, the penalties for that can be severe. Perhaps the publisher has negotiated with his estate already (I seriously doubt it) or perhaps the publisher has owned all rights all along, and has no obligation to list him as an author at all.

If things go south, you could also be the subject of a lawsuit since your name will appear on the cover of a book that was previously written by someone else, despite the fact that it’s been expanded and revamped.

I would insist they keep his name on the cover until such time (through new editions released over the years) that NONE of his work remains in the book. It would make far more sense to list you as co-authors than to remove his name entirely from the cover.

RELATED:

Can Your Publisher Get YOU Sued For Copyright Infringement? Yep!!

When An Author Dies, The Vultures Will Rise!

WHO’S SCAMMING GRANNY? Snakes That Prey on Elderly Authors

Tracking Down Copyright Infringers – A Painful But Necessary Task

“Amazon Won’t Remove My Book! Are They Violating My Copyright?”

More Q&A with Angela!

 



The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication


Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.

http://writersweekly.com/books/4693.html



 



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



 

Q. –

Hi Angela! I am a big fan of your newsletter. I am writing because I was just offered a position as an editor for short stories in a specific genre. I have never done this on a professional level and I am not sure what my rate should be. I would like to get compensated well for my time, but I want to make sure it is a realistic amount. Please advise. Thank you!

After I wrote back for more information, the freelancer sent this response:

Thank you for responding so quickly. Well the person who offered me the position does it on the side so it is not an actual company. She works with writers, plot makers, and editors to make novellas. I chose the editor position and submitted a sample edit to a story. She offered me a project for next week. The stories would be 25k-35k words. I would be doing it part-time to start. She asked how many I could do in a month and what the turn around time would be.


A. –

I would charge them by the hour – whatever you think is fair, or what you want to earn each hour. I would also only do one at a time, or even half of one, and request payment in increments to avoid getting ripped off. A job of 25K-35K words is a pretty big risk if there’s a potential for non-payment. If she hasn’t formed a company yet, and if she’s offering a new service, there’s the potential that should could very quickly go out of business. And, there are sooooo many scammers out there so protect yourself!

Angela

RELATED:

When Writers Contribute to a Scammer’s Success

Top 10 Signs You’ve Been Scammed Into Writing for Free

Just Published? Great! Now, Get Ready for an Onslaught of Scammers!

Another Possible Scam Targeting Writers

WHO’S SCAMMING GRANNY? Snakes That Prey on Elderly Authors

More Q&A with Angela!



The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication


Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.

http://writersweekly.com/books/4693.html



 



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



 

 

 

Q-

Can you point me to advice about the best way to mail a single copy of my book for gift, review, sales?

Plain 6×9 envelope? Bubble wrap envelope? Etc.

Any other mailing advice?

Len


A –

I have, in the past, bought sturdy yellow envelopes (11 x 14), put my book inside, folded them in half, taped the loose sides, and stuck labels on them. They’re cheaper than bubble envelopes and doing that gives the packages some extra protection. You can ship these via first class mail, which is cheaper than priority mail. I definitely do NOT recommend using media mail as those are un-trackable, un-insurable, and prone to vanishing en route to their destination. If that happens, you won’t get any compensation from the post office whatsoever.

You can also use priority mail flat rate envelopes, which are cardboard, and free. The USPS offers flat rate priority mail envelopes and you can walk into the post office, grab a handful, along with the labels, and walk out so you can fill them out at home. You can also use your own labels, or even write the recipient’s name and address by hand on the envelope. You can buy stamps for those but you MUST drop them off at a post office (actually hand them to a clerk), or hand them to your mailperson, if the package weighs more than a pound. And, most books shipped like that do.

I have found that shipping a single copy via the US Postal Service is cheaper than using UPS. However, if you’re shipping multiple books to a single location, UPS is cheaper. Of course, Fedex and other carriers are options but, in our area at least, post office and UPS locations are more plentiful, accessible, and convenient. Of course, there are also other mailing services but those require a visit to their location.

It’s far easier to simply hand a priority mail flat rate envelope to your mailperson when he or she arrives with your mail. You can even notify them that you have a pick-up by completing the online form HERE. There is no additional charge for package pick-up.

If you are planning to sending books to reviewers, please read this before you do:

Throwing Away Your Money on Review Copies?

RELATED:

Authors Beware! “Gifting” Your Kindle E-Books May BACKFIRE!

Library “Gifts” And Copyright Harvesting – AUTHOR BEWARE!

“Special Event Signings” Sell Far More Books Than Bookstore Signings! (Or “Why Should I Order Copies Of My Own Book?”)

“Free” Review Copies and Other Headaches for New Authors

“How many copies of my book can I expect to sell?”

More Q&A with Angela!

 



The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication


Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.

http://writersweekly.com/books/4693.html



 



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



 

Q. – 

Hi Angela,

Several months ago, I was invited to speak at a conference in another state. They promised to buy copies of books from my publisher, and have them on hand for a book signing after my presentation.

On the day of my speech, it was determined that there were no books there for me to sign or sell. The conference organizer blamed my publisher but, on further investigation, it was discovered that the organizer didn’t place the order for the books until less than a week before the event.

I paid my own travel expenses and, while they paid me a modest speaking fee, it in no way came close to my travel expenses. I was counting on book sales to help with that and now I’m screwed.

I’m planning to do more speaking. How can I avoid this type of embarrassing and costly fiasco in the future?


A. –

I have seen this happen many times before. One conference organizer waited to order the presenter’s books until just a few days before the event, and then balked at the cost of rush printing and UPS Next Day Air shipping. Luckily, the author arrived with a box she’d purchased herself but she was furious.

My advice is to always carry plenty of your own copies on hand, which you should be able to purchase at your author discount from your publisher. Then, you can sell those directly to readers or to the conference folks. If the conference wants to purchase and resell them, you should DEFINITELY demand a check on the spot. If they can’t be trusted to buy inventory in time for an event, they can’t be trusted to pay their bills later. Selling directly to conference attendees is a safer alternative.

If you purchase copies yourself, at least then you’ll know the books will be on hand when you need them.

RELATED:

Marketing Your Book to Conference Attendees (when you’re not even there!)

Bathroom Pitches Are Bad! How To Make A Good Impression At A Writer’s Conference

Five Ways to Make (Not Spend!) Money at Conferences

What to Do When Your Book Event Organizer FAILS TO ORDER YOUR BOOKS!

Add to Your Income by Covering Conferences and Trade Shows

More Q&A with Angela!

 



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



About The Author

AngelaPortrait72dpismall_400x400

Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

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."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

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 HERE.

ANGELA ON TWITTER
https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy

BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
http://www.facebook.com/booklockerbooks

ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
https://www.facebook.com/angela.hoy.750

ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/angela-hoy/78/719/390

Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
http://24hourshortstorycontest.com/



Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE

 



The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication


Practical resource outlining the self-syndication process, step-by-step. Packed with detailed information and useful tips for writers looking to gain readership, name recognition, publication and self-syndication for their column or articles.

http://writersweekly.com/books/4693.html



 



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



 

Ask The Expert Archives