Recently Answered Questions:

Hi Angela,

I am a new/old writer with a with two books on the market. Plus I am revamping a screenplay, learning how to get my songs on the web, etc.

My question is this: Despite taking an e-course in “Social Media,” I am only selling a handful of books. I have two Facebook groups and a web site/blog by the same name as my published book. I am tweeting. I am meeting contacts on LinkedIn. Yet, STILL I am not selling.

I’ve been at this for almost 3 months now. What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help!

-Frustrated with Facebook!

Dear Frustrated,

Successful online book promotion requires more than just social media postings. But, it doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you have a list of things to do, and a schedule to follow.

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

BookLocker authors get a copy of that book for free.

90 Days of Promoting Your Book Online



Cartoon Curse Word Characters: When Your Computer Ruins Your Online Marketing Activities
Reader Comments = Marketing Blurbs!
Free Excerpt – 90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan
One-Shot Book Marketing Does NOT WORK – But THIS DOES!

My publisher inserted a disclaimer in my book. I got upset and asked that it be removed. They refused. I don’t understand why I have to admit to readers that I’m not a licensed financial advisor. My book contains good advice. PJ O’Rourke’s book “Eat the Rich” didn’t have to admit he’s not a chef. And, my book includes humor!


I looked at PJ O’Rourke’s book and it does have a disclaimer, but it’s about the statistics used in the book. In his book, he is talking about the history of the global economy. He is not giving financial advice to individuals. And, of course, it’s not really about food so he doesn’t need to mention that he’s not a chef.

Just because you use humor in a book doesn’t mean people won’t take the advice you provide seriously…and then sue you when those things don’t work out for them.

Your publisher is right about this.

Any readers who’d like to see sample disclaimers (I have three of them – medical, financial, and other), can contact me HERE.



How to Avoid Giving Yourself (and Your Publisher) LEGAL Nightmares!

When “Industry Experts” Give Out ILLEGAL Advice! Stealing/Altering Others’ Images and Text on Pinterest (and Elsewhere) is NOT Okay!!

I Got Scammed, Legally, by a Writing Website

Can I Legally Use Clipart In My Book?

Can You Recommend A Legal Resource For Authors?


Hey Angela,

I contacted an old client a few weeks ago as I’m officially back in the freelancing game. My contact there said they no longer work directly with freelance writers, but outsource all their content to (name removed). I checked out this website, feeling that my old client’s recommendation might mean it was actually a legit place to find paid writing work. I was, instead, sadly disappointed to see jobs advertised for 2.4 cents per word, on down to fractions of a penny per word. The editing work advertised there was even worse! Out of curiosity, I looked up another freelancing site only to find that you have to purchase credits in order to put in quotes on the jobs listed there. Credits I would purchase with my real dollars to put in quotes on jobs I might or might not get? Huh?

What are your thoughts on these sites, and over the years have you heard from writers who’ve managed to be paid well through them?

Many thanks in advance!

– Not Paying To Bid!

Dear N.P.T.B,

I always advise writers to avoid those bidding sites, and to find clients the old fashioned way. Not only are these bidding sites significantly lowering writers’ incomes but they are also dumbing down the industry because many are hiring writers who, quite frankly, SUCK.

You get what you pay for and professional writers aren’t going to be giving away their services for a fraction of a penny per word. Only the desperate do that.




I recall an article about writing serials but cannot find it anymore. Can you help?


Here are some articles that cover serialization:

Should I Serialize My New Novel BEFORE It’s Published?

Promoting Your Book with Twitter

Also, check out:

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




CONSIDERING SELF-PUBLISHING IN 2015? – How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?


BookLocker – 121 COPIES (setup fees: $675)
CreateSpace – 200 COPIES (setup fees: $1,151)
Lulu – 233 COPIES (setup fees: $1,089)
Infinity Publishing – 250 COPIES (setup fees: $1047)
Xulon Press – 250 COPIES (setup fees $2,396)
Dog Ear Publishing – 252 COPIES (setup fees $1,998)
Llumina Publishing – 280 COPIES (setup fees: $1,338)
Xlibris – 304 COPIES (setup fees: $1,673)
iUniverse – 316 COPIES (setup fees: $1,449)
Trafford – 342 COPIES (setup fees: $1,424)
AuthorHouse – 361 COPIES (setup fees: $1,799)
Outskirts Press – 790 COPIES (setup fees: $1,595)

Fees are based on the least expensive package offering similar services. Details HERE.

Q –

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


A –

If you know you are owed royalties, and have proof of such, please contact the law firm that has filed class action lawsuits against Author Solutions HERE.

Hello. Was wondering, if I did not win the contest, can I submit my story to a magazine or other publishing company? 

Hopeful Future Winner!

Dear Hopeful,

For the top three winners of each quarterly contest, we only ask for non-exclusive electronic electronic rights so we can publish their stories on WritersWeekly. All other participants own all rights to their stories. In fact, you can read how one participant spun their entry into a entire series HERE!

To read about the contest, or to enter the next one, click HERE.

1st place: $300

2nd place: $250

3rd place: $200

+ 85 other prizes!


Dear Angela,

In 2002, my book was published by (a traditional publisher). It’s a book on creative writing for teachers.

I don’t think the publisher could afford marketing and I did not have time with my job at a museum. Any ideas for how to promote?

Thank you,

Abandoned By My Publisher

Dear Abandoned,

A book’s sales potential depends entirely on: 1. the book itself; and 2. the authors’ marketing savvy and efforts. Just listing a book on a particular website like Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or even having your book in the bookstore systems, won’t generate sales. Unfortunately, that’s all many traditional publishers do now.

The author must 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 and they run with the ones that do, while generally abandoning the ones that don’t. Of course, the ones that do succeed are usually written by well-known authors, or are the ones being creatively and consistently promoted.

For easy and affordable book promotion advice, please see:
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan

90 days authors get a copy of that book for free. 😉


About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees). - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - 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. - "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.

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

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.


BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!


Hi Angela!

I have a children’s book ready to publish. Do you offer press releases and, if so, what is the cost?

Thank you so much!

New Children’s Author

Dear New Children’s Author,

There are lots of publishers (and other firms) that will gladly and greedily ask you to plunk down a lot of money to create and distribute a press release (that they know will likely cost you more than any resulting book sales). Many of them boast “email lists” of thousands. Of course, sending out a press release via email to a large list will result in spam filters kicking in and blacklisting by ISPs. And, if a firm is sending out lots of press releases that way, you can bet many recipients not only delete them unread, but personally blocked that spammer’s email as well. And, yes, many people believe that sending out unsolicited marketing emails en masse like that (even disguised as a press release) IS spam! Authors should not risk their reputations by being involved in those types of activities.

At and, we do not offer in-house press release services because we know that, unless an author is a celebrity, traditional press releases usually don’t sell many, if any, books. We instead provide our authors with a free copy of 90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online.

If you must send out a press release, you should disguise it as a new artcle. If you want to learn how to do that, see: Press Releases Are Boring – News is Not

Incidentally, at, we offer color-interior publishing of children’s books in paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats.

Examples of BookLocker’s Children’s Books:







Information on, and prices for, our color-interior program are HERE.

Information on our black-and-white-interior programs are HERE.

– Angela



Hello Angela,

My friend (who is a marketing major) and I are trying to organize a book signing. We are considering various things to make more sales. However, to do that, she said Barnes and Noble told us that the book has to be sold in that store in order for them to host my signing.

But, they aren’t currently stocking my book, and they haven’t ordered it and may never, so what can I do?


Hopeful Author

Dear Hopeful,

If Barnes and Noble is asking for terms your publisher can’t accept (for example, returning unsold books, or demanding an unrealistic discount), you can buy copies at your author discount (assuming your publisher offers you one), and offer to sell them directly to the store on consignment.

Some authors have book signings because, let’s face it, it’s flattering to have people ask for your autograph. Unfortunately, most book signings lead to an author sitting alone, watching people pass by, their eyes purposely averted to avoid a sales pitch. So, book signings can be equally flattering…and embarrassing as well.

If you’re scheduling a book signing to make money, I would strongly suggest you research that before spending significant time and money promoting an event that may only sell 5 to 10 copies, if you’re lucky.

The sad fact is, unless you’re a celebrity, or unless you’ve somehow managed to bring dozens or hundreds of people into their store just to buy your book, you aren’t likely to sell enough copies to pay for your expenses and time.

Many bookstores expect authors to do most, if not all, of the promotion for their own signing. So, don’t expect your local bookstore to run ads in the newspaper to alert people of your upcoming event, or to much of anything else. Expect to pay the bookstore a large percentage of each book sale, and expect them to return the unsold copies, all in exchange for YOU bringing people to their store…people who will likely browse, and buy other authors’ books, and for which you will receive zero compensation.

A far more efficient (and less stressful) way to sell books is reaching out to your readers directly online and there are many free and FUN ways to do that!

Hi Angela,

I’m wondering if you can help me with a question I haven’t found an answer to on any other site.

I’ve been freelance writing for several years.

At the beginning of my freelance career, I wrote primarily about music. A lot of my social media posts use speech and vernacular common in that industry (some profanity, outspoken opinions, etc). I am write and tweet about sensitive subjects like race, class and politics–sometimes all three at the same time.

As I move towards higher paying (read: corporate) markets, I am wondering what impact of my social media posts might be on editors at these markets. For example, could an editor take a look at my Twitter page and decide my tweets are too controversial for their magazine to feature my byline?

A friend advised me to make my Twitter private but that would remove the possibility of me using it to promote my work.

I’d love your opinion on this.

Social Media Rebel

Hi Rebel,

Yes, an editor could look at your Twitter page but it’s doubtful they will, especially if you don’t provide a link to your Twitter account.

I have hired thousands of writers over the years and I have NEVER, not even ONE TIME, looked at their Facebook or Twitter pages during the vetting process. I simply respond to their query with an acceptance or rejection.

If someone is a good writer, and if they have pitched an idea that I know will resonate with my readers, then I really am not concerned about their personal use of social media.

If you do want to distance yourself from your rebellious social media activities, use a pseudonym for your freelance work and, when the contract or payment is due, only then give them your real name. By that time, they’ll have already assigned the piece to you. And, it’s not that unusual for freelance writers to use pseudonyms.


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