Recently Answered Questions:



Q –

Hi Angela,

I have hundreds of blog posts on my website and I’d like to turn them into a book. Do you have any advice on how to do that?

– M.B.


A –

Blogs with a loyal following can lead to book sales later! Lots of people would much rather read information in book form rather than click, click, clicking repeatedly on somebody’s online blog. And, of course, you can later use your blog to promote your book(s)!

There are several different types of blogs. The most common are:

A. Blogs that contain posts on one main topic

B. Blogs that contain posts on a variety of topics (or those that feature short pieces of fiction or poetry)

C. Blogs that contain posts in chronological order (i.e. travel stories or non-fiction coverage of life events)


A. ONE TOPIC BLOGS

If your blog contains posts on one main topic, you will need to arrange your posts in a reasonable order by sub-topic. After reviewing the titles of your blog posts, I recommend creating a preliminary table of contents (which may, of course, change as you work on the file). Create a new word processing document (i.e. MSWord, WordPerfect, or other) and inserta new page/section (Chapter) for each sub-category.

Then, copy/paste the text of your blog posts into that file, each in the appropriate chapter. After you finish the base foundation of text for your new book, you can move posts around during the editing process, if need be.

Don’t worry too much about formatting at this stage. Your publisher or publishing service can help you with that. Focus on getting the posts into the most reasonable, easy-to-follow order.

B. MULTI-TOPIC BLOGS or BLOGS FEATURING SHORT PIECES OF FICTION/POETRY

Choose which topic you’d like to publish your first book under and, using the information from “One Topic Blogs” above, create your manuscript. Use blog posts that are in some way related to a specific or even broad topic, and organize them into a reasonable, easy-to-follow order.

TIME-LINE BLOGS

These are the easiest blogs to turn into books. Using the information from “One Topic Blogs” above, copy/paste your posts, in the order they were posted to your blog, into your word processing file. During the editing process, you can insert chapter breaks and titles where appropriate. For a travel blog, you might have a chapter per day, or a chapter per city. If your blog chronicles a particular time in your life (i.e. a health crisis, your experiences in a cult, etc.), you can group different posts in chronological order, and insert chapter breaks where you think they are appropriate.

After your manuscript is complete, submit it to BookLocker.com for consideration! We’re always looking for great books. 🙂

RELATED:

From Blog To Book! The Journey From Blogger To Author By Neil Tortorella

IS THERE TOILET TISSUE ON YOUR VIRTUAL SHOE? 10 Embarrassing Things Readers Won’t Tell You About Your Blog!

HOW TO COMPILE AND PUBLISH AN ANTHOLOGY

HOW TO MAKE MONEY GUEST BLOGGING

Blogging to Sell Books

Self Publishing Service Price Comparison

 



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-

Your stand on outsourcing to third world countries is admission of your being racist. Would you mind explaining why you detest dealing with such a huge chunk of humanity?

                                              – B.

~~~~

 

A –

Many of our competitors (publishers) exploit cheap foreign labor. We don’t. We have a very small staff and we do have two non-U.S. folks working for us, directly under my supervision. But, we pay them the same wage as we pay our American employees and contractors.

At BookLocker.com and WritersWeekly.com, we don’t outsource to foreign call centers that pay their workers pennies on the dollar. We don’t have any call centers at all. We don’t have an “author marketing department” overseas that employs telemarketers to up-sell our authors on worthless products and services. We don’t have an “author marketing department” at all.

We don’t up-sell our authors in that manner because we know most of those products and services cost far more than any resulting book sales they might bring in. Let’s face it. If those products and services really sold books, wouldn’t those publishers be offering them for free?

At BookLocker and WritersWeekly, we have a personal relationship with every one of our employees and contractors and we pay them all directly, at a fair U.S. wage. I don’t think that makes us racists. If you prefer to work with a publisher who utilizes foreign labor, and whose foreign workers will be happy to upsell you to the tune of thousands in marketing products and services, look at THIS LIST . Some of the firms listed there do business that way. BookLocker and WritersWeekly do NOT.

RELATED:

Print on Demand Price Comparison

The Romantic History of WritersWeekly and BookLocker

Q & A – “I’m looking for a publisher. How do I know I can trust you?”

DON’T BECOME ANOTHER VICTIM! When Amateur, Start-up POD Publishers Take Your Money…and Go Out of Business

HELP! MY PUBLISHER IS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS!! How Can I SAVE MY BOOK Without Going Broke?!

How to Test Your POD Publisher’s Sales Reports

 



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!



 

 

Read More Ask The Expert

 

 

This is, BY FAR, one of the most interesting questions we’ve ever received at WritersWeekly! 😉

Q – 

My friend and I have been collecting (bleep!) pics that men have been sending to us by text. We want to make a coffee table book out of them. How would we go about doing this? Thank you for your response in advance!

A – 

I’m not an attorney so this isn’t legal advice. Please consult with an attorney concerning your specific copyright questions. That said…

The person who took each photo is, legally, the copyright owner of that photo. Unless you obtain a written, legal release from each copyright owner to use their photo in your book, you can’t use the pictures.

 

 

RELATED:

Want to Get Sued by a Model? Put His/Her Stock Photo on the Cover of Your Controversial Book!

Can You Publish Other People’s Emails and Letters? by Harvey Randall, Esq.

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

Have I Committed Copyright Infringement? Yes, You HAVE!

Help! I Can’t Find The Copyright Owner Of This Piece But I Need To Use It!

Somebody Stole My Photos…And They Ended Up In A Book!

Read More Ask The Expert

 

 





 

 

Q –

Hi Angela,

I’m interested in writing an anthology. My main question is – how do you get people to send you their stories? In other words, through what means do you advertise for them? Facebook? Some other online ad? I’m concerned about doing that, and having someone else take the idea and do it that may have more knowledge than me. I really appreciate your help.

Thanks so much.


A –

Please see my three-part series on this topic here:

HOW TO COMPILE AND PUBLISH AN ANTHOLOGY

If you decide to publish your book through BookLocker.com, let me know and I’ll give you a discount code.

🙂

Angela

RELATED:

Anthology Can Help Support Writing Group

Sample Anthology Contributor Contract

Is Anthology Creator the “Author”?

An Anthology Used My Story Without Permission

BookLocker’s Prices:
http://publishing.booklocker.com/packages.php

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!



 

Dear Angela,

(A relative of mine) wrote and self-published a book with Xlibris. She is a first time author, and is currently turning this into a trilogy. The issue we have now is the contact we are getting from Xlibris to spend 6,000-17,000 dollars to market the book. Do you have any comments/suggestions for us? We are in the process of getting a website together but are very, very reluctant to spend that kind of money for marketing especially when I can’t even see Xlibris as a publisher with a book represented in Ingram’s catalog! Thank you so much for any help you can give.

 

Xlibris is owned by Author Solutions, which has been the subject of two class action lawsuits. Allegations against them online have included complaints about their promotional tactics, their marketing products/services, and much more.

If you spend $6,000-$17,000 on marketing products and services for a book, my bet is that you will never see enough book sales directly resulting from those marketing products/services to pay what you did for them. Not even close.

I’d be interested in hearing from authors who have spent thousands at Author Solutions’ firms, including Xlibris, AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford, and others. You can see a list of companies involved with Author Solutions HERE.

If you have spent thousands at one of the Author Solutions’ firms, please contact me HERE. We will, of course, not publish your name or other identifying information without your permission.

RELATED:

UPDATED Print on Demand (POD) Price Comparison!

Considering Self-Publishing? How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.

Lots of Imprints and Lots of Complaints! Could You Unwittingly Crawl into Bed with Author Solutions?

Disturbing Allegations In The New Author Solutions Lawsuit!

Was Author Solutions Sold at a Loss? We Think So!

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!



 

Q. –

Hey Angela,

I have been offered a contract by a regular publisher but, because I am not a known author, they want me to commit to purchasing copies up front for a total of $4200. I realize that they want to get all of their costs back up front but that seems kind of high to me. What do you think?


A. –

Well, for a $4200 up-front investment, I think you are getting RIPPED OFF.

That is NOT a “regular” or traditional publisher. They’ve found a creative way to make authors pay for the up-front publishing expenses. Using the “you’re not a known author” excuse is ridiculous. Traditional publishers do not do business that way.

I checked them out online. They’re using the old bait ‘n switch tactic. On their homepage, they appear to be a traditional publisher. They told you they’d be paying part of the publishing costs, making it appear to be a co-op deal. Trust me. They’re not. To make matters worse, they claim to be a Christian organization. If you ask me, I don’t think Jesus would approve of their marketing methods.

There are plenty of complaints about them online, too.

If you can’t land a traditional contract, and if you need to self-publish, see our POD price comparison HERE. None of the companies on that list pretend to be traditional publishers.

RELATED:

Considering Self-Publishing? How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?

POD SECRETS REVEALED Series

CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS – PART IV

Lots of Imprints and Lots of Complaints! Could You Unwittingly Crawl into Bed with Author Solutions?

More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First!

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.

Archived Q&A’s are featured 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!



 

Angela,

A publisher that I and many other authors used to publish our books sold out to another company last year. They rarely respond to emails and I haven’t received a royalty check in ages. They either offer lame excuses for non-existent payments, or they don’t answer us at all.

Can we all move our books to another publisher?

 

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. I’m just someone who’s been working in the publishing industry for 18 years, and who has fielded thousands of complaints about a variety of industry bad-actors in that time. Please consult with your attorney if you have legal questions, or need advice on this subject.

I looked up the name of the publisher you sent. It appears they take all rights from their authors and there are lots of complaints about them online. I believe they have stopped their regular day-to-day operations but, since they use print on demand technology, the books are printed elsewhere, and shipped directly to retailers and customers. The books are still selling and they’re still getting paid for those sales. They’re just not sending the authors their portion. This is all too common among new publishers who either don’t know what they’re doing, who get in over their heads, or who set out to scam authors from the get-go.

It’s much easier to move a book elsewhere if a publisher has a non-exclusive contract. Unfortunately, yours does not.

Only the termination clause in your contract can dictate how and when you can legally terminate. The only other option is to demand they terminate your contract under the threat that you plan to hire an attorney because they breached the terms of your contract. If it was me, I would definitely threaten them with legal action. If they don’t respond, you might consider contacting an attorney because your book could be in limbo for years. And, all the while, THEY will be collecting royalties for any copies that sell (and not sending your portion to you, of course).

Worse, if you go ahead and publish with another firm, the original naughty publisher could then sue YOU, and try to get a portion of the proceeds from your new edition. You can see how things could get very messy very fast. Your contract with them also has a non-compete clause so re-publishing the same book, or publishing a similar book, or one that could in any way whatsoever compete with the first, could land YOU in legal hot water.

You can try contacting their printer but, since the printer’s contract is with the publisher, and not with you, that will probably be a dead end as well. The printer is under no obligation to stop printing your book and any distributors or retailers who are profiting from the book are also not under any obligation to you since all their contracts are with your publisher, not with you.

If there are enough victims, an attorney might agree to represent all of you on a contingency basis. But, if the publisher is truly having financial problems, it might not be worth the attorney’s time and expense to pursue them because it’s unlikely any financial settlement will occur. Even if you sue and win, it’s unlikely you’ll ever collect on the judgment.

I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this. I know it really sucks. Unfortunately, it’s all too common these days. Anybody with a computer can now call themselves a publisher. I advise authors to only sign with a firm that’s been in business for a decade or more, and one that has an excellent reputation.

BookLocker.com has published more than 9,000 titles in the past 18 years. And, we’re still going strong! 🙂

RELATED:

How BookLocker Has Remained Profitable for 17 Years…when so many others have failed

BookLocker’s packages and prices:

Print on Demand Price Comparison:

POD SECRETS REVEALED – How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?

POD SECRETS REVEALED Series

CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS – PART IV

More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First!

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’m looking for a publisher. How do I know I can trust you?”

 

I receive this question all the time from authors who are considering publishing their book with BookLocker.com . Unfortunately, they are probably asking the same question of each publisher they approach. The funny thing is…do they really think any publisher is going to say no? Asking this question is akin to asking for a hard sell.

Here are the facts:

1. Almost all firms will say, “Of course!” Why would they state otherwise?

2. A crook will have ready-made answers that lead the author down a rabbit hole on their website. The author will be immersed in marketing messages and, of course, will emerge believing that particular publisher is the best thing since sliced bread.

3. A crook may also ignore the question, sending a canned marketing message in response.

4. What a crook will NOT do is tell you to do your own independent research online.

5. A crook may have a list of false references from previous “customers,” usually with no last names, fake names, or no names at all.

Here’s how I responded to the author who asked the question above:

There are numerous publishers to choose from. I encourage you to independently research any firm with which you consider doing business – publishing or otherwise. If you’re also a freelance writer, even publications you plan to write for should be researched. There are lots of scams targeting writers and authors online. Read warnings signs for those HERE.

At BookLocker, we never solicit testimonials from our authors. But, many send them in after their book is published. You can see numerous unsolicited testimonials sent in by our authors HERE. Each one has the author’s name, book title, and book page link. You can Google any of them to find their personal homepage and/or email address if you want to ask them personally about their experience at BookLocker.

HERE ARE TWO UNSOLICITED THIRD-PARTY REVIEWS ABOUT BOOKLOCKER:

According to The Independent Publishing Magazine, “Overall, BookLocker offers a very particular kind of POD publishing service, honest, upfront, a quality product, but no unnecessary frills. This model may not suit all authors, but their personalized approach and focus on book sales is worth all the value alone.”

“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 has 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.”
– Attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing

Also, please see the POD Price Comparison HERE.

And, see: SELF-PUBLISHING? – How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?

RELATED:

POD SECRETS REVEALED Series

MORE CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS (Part IV)

Lots of Imprints and Lots of Complaints! Could You Unwittingly Crawl into Bed with Author Solutions?

More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First!

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.

POD SECRETS REVEALED: You Pay…But THEY Own the Rights?!

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 am just starting out and my book is generating some local interest. A bookstore wants to give me a purchase order, and pay me next month. I have to purchase my books up front from my publisher and I really don’t want to wait to get reimbursed. But, I also don’t want to lose the sale. And, what about libraries? Should I accept purchase orders from them, too? Do you have any advice?

At BookLocker.com, we do NOT offer credit to any firm wanting to purchase books from us directly. Here’s why.

When we first started selling print books back in 1999, we offered credit to everyone. We accepted purchase orders from bookstores across the country, libraries, and even schools. That turned out to be a very bad idea.

Bookstores – While we didn’t accept returns, one large bookstore chain (Borders) would return unsold books to us anyway, and they would deduct the amounts for those books from our future payments. They did this despite the fact that our order form, which required a signature, specified that they would not return books. Other large and small bookstores paid very late and some never paid at all.

Libraries – Libraries turned out to be worse at paying their bills than bookstores. Some paid, and did so on time, but most paid slowly. Some never bothered to pay at all.

Schools – These were, by far, the worst offenders. We would receive purchase orders from school districts, and even from individual teachers. Some districts avoided paying their bills by claiming that the person who sent us the purchase order wasn’t authorized to do so. Others simply didn’t pay at all, and ignored all our collection efforts. Threatening to scar the credit rating of a school just doesn’t hold any weight. Of course, small claims court would have been a complete waste of time and money on small orders like that. I figured the schools knew all of this and that’s why so many of them never paid their bills.

After a year of wasting WAY too much time on collections (and countless hours of frustration and anger because we knew these outfits were purposefully stealing from us), we said enough is enough. We started requiring all retailers, libraries and schools to pay up front for all purchases. We set up a wholesale order form on our website that they were all required to complete before we would process their order, which specified our “no returns” policy.

And, guess what? When we did that, sales did NOT drop! Best of all, once we initiated that requirement, we were never again out any money on any order. And, we no longer had to pay an employee for several hours of collections work each month.

We still get purchase orders sent to us via mail, fax, and email. When we do, we quickly send them a link to our online order form https://secure.booklocker.com/booklocker/wholesale/order.php with this statement: “We require pre-payment on all orders.”

RELATED:

Offering Credit to Bookstores Can Be VERY Risky

How I Accept Credit Cards At Book Signings And Other Events!

STOP GLUTTONOUS PURCHASING PRACTICES BY BOOKSTORES! Why ALL Books Should be Non-Returnable!!

How to Sell Books on Consignment to Bookstores and Other Retailers

Another Shocking Reason to NEVER Accept Book Returns!

Do NOT Sneak Your Self-Published Book Onto Bookstore Shelves!

Marketing to Bookstores – Still a Waste of Time?

Archived Q&A’s are featured HERE

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!



 

Hi Angela,

After MONTHS of twice weekly (file) rejections from CreateSpace for the most piddling reasons, I have had it and found your site through Google.

I have been a small press for 38 years and this is the first time I decided to try Amazon (which owns CreateSpace). Their publishing arm is a nightmare.

CreateSpace has put us in a very bad light with our customers now. This book was a Kickstarter campaign and we are now six months late. The complaints are coming daily.

We have only a few things left to format (caused by CreateSpace tearing apart the files).
I need immediate help to finish this project off and get copies in the hands of the backers.

Please let me know what you folks can do. I am at wit’s end right now.

I can Dropbox over the complete book (in the new uncorrected version) so that you can see the project. To fulfill all the backers and contributors I need 100 copies ASAP. I have used virtually every POD and regular printer in my 38 years but this time I need to get quick assistance to complete what CreateSpace had us destroy.

 

Yes, numerous complaints have been posted about CreateSpace over the years. Their submission process can be daunting (they can simply reject files, over and over again) and some authors get so frustrated that they end up paying CreateSpace’s ridiculously high setup fees to help them finish the job.

For authors who have designed their own interior and cover files, BookLocker offers a DIY publishing program for only $76. That includes an ISBN, barcode, and the print proof (the first printed, bound copy of your book, which our printer sends out via UPS Next Day Air). The author can use their own ISBN if they want. Of course, we review the author’s files, and send them a detailed list if there are any problems. At BookLocker, authors don’t receive automated rejections from an annoying database. We work one-on-one with our authors. And, we don’t have call centers in other countries like some of the “other guys” do. In fact, we don’t have call centers at all! We detest telemarketers and spammers!

BookLocker also offers a two-week Expedited Publishing Program and, of course, our most popular “At Your Service” Program, which gets a book to market within a month, affordably, and with a friendly, professional (and real!) human being working with you during the entire process.

There’s a pre-holiday sale running this week for the latter two programs. You can get $150 off using this discount code:
WELOVESANTA

But you need to sign up by midnight on Friday.

Read more about it here:
http://newsletter.booklocker.com/get-150-off

To see which POD publishers charge the least expensive setup fees, study the POD Price Comparison HERE .

RELATED:

CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS – PART IV

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

More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First!

Lots of Imprints and Lots of Complaints! Could You Unwittingly Crawl into Bed with Author Solutions?

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.

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!



 

 

Ask The Expert Archives