Recently Answered Questions:


I am in the process of preparing a contract with a potential client who has handwritten about 10 pages he wants to publish in a book. This is my first venture into such a project and need to give him a reasonable fee for helping him put this book together.

I have been an ad copy writer for over 20 years and have experience as a broadcast journalist, which should be taken into account regarding setting a writer’s fee. For now, I have negotiated an hourly fee of $45.00 an hour, which is half of what I usually charge for writing ad copy–in English and Spanish.

I have not written up the contract yet and would like your advice about the hourly fee. We have agreed to meet weekly after I “re-write” his handwritten material, using a CD recorder for a series of personal interviews. I will then use the taped footage to prepare the rest of the text.

Charging a flat fee would be difficult from my point of view, but perhaps it would be more practical as opposed to an hourly fee.

I thank you in advance for your consideration and help.

– Name not published on request

I definitely recommend charging an hourly fee. Projects like this can balloon rapidly and you don’t want to get stuck working for a flat fee when a client may start (and keep) changing their mind, which is an experience that is quite common for ghostwriters and biographers.

Also, please see:
The Mathematics of Freelancing: What’s Your Hourly Rate? By Ghostwriter Rich Mintzer



Ghostwriting: Know Your Clients By Rich Mintzer
How Much Should I Charge For Ghostwriting?
The Art Of Ghostwriting By Rich Mintzer (or so I say)
Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates: Do Both at Once!
Hourly Rate Or Flat Fee?

Read More Ask The Expert

So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter - How To Make Money Writing Without a Byline

Many freelance writers find it difficult to break into the publishing world. What they don't know, however, is that there's a faster and easier way to see their words in print. It's called ghostwriting, and it's an extremely lucrative, fun, and challenging career.

But how do you get started as a ghostwriter? How do you find new clients who will pay you to write their material? How do you charge? And what kind of contracts do you need to succeed? All these questions and more are answered in So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter...How to Make Money Writing Without a Byline.

Read more here:


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:

Get Published in About a Month for $675

Hi Angela,

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



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.

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.


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


Authors – Avoid Being Victimized by Bookstores
Mailing “Free” Books To Bookstores And Libraries Can Backfire
When Bookstore Clerks are Jerks
Offering Credit to Bookstores Can Be VERY Risky
Do NOT Sneak Your Self-Published Book Onto Bookstore Shelves!

Read More Ask The Expert

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.


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. :)


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.


WHO’S THE FASTEST? (Two- to four-week turn-around!)
NEED YOUR BOOK PUBLISHED ASAP? Who’s the Fastest/Least Expensive? Price Comparison of Expedited P.O.D. Publishing Services
Are you getting ripped off by your POD publisher?
Missing royalties? Incessant upselling? Bad editing? Denial of refunds for poor service or bad books?

Read More Ask The Expert

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,

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


Do I Need Permission To Quote Others In My Book?
Featuring Real People in Your Writing? Protect Yourself From Lawsuits!
Well, Excuuuuuse Me for Trying to Protect You From a Lawsuit!
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
What Might Get You Sued? Using Real People On The Cover Of Your Book, Regardless Of The Source!

Read More Ask The Expert

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?


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, we don’t do business that way. :)


Getting Paid To Read  –  10 Paying Book Review Markets
KARMA! Man Who Sold Book Reviews Is Shamed Online
Can You Republish Amazon Reviews? Maybe, or Maybe Not…
Why Does Hardcover Edition Appear Above Paperback on Some Online Bookstores?
Amazon Ebooks Are NOT Outselling Paperbacks!

Read More Ask The Expert

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.

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?


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.


How to Compile and Publish an Anthology
Who Gets Your Book(s) When You Die? – Yet Another Case of Heirs Fighting Over an Author’s Copyrights
POD SECRETS REVEALED: You Pay…But THEY Own the Rights?!
When Companies Take Creative Rights from Employees
Self-Published Book Leads to Traditional Contracts and Foreign Rights Sale

Read More Ask The Expert

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,

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!!


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, 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,



When Authors Die-What Happens To Their Books? By Angela Hoy
Who Gets Your Book(s) When You Die? – Yet Another Case of Heirs Fighting Over an Author’s Copyrights
Never, Ever Assume You Can Use a Deceased Person’s Work
When An Author Dies, The Vultures Will Rise!

Read More Ask The Expert

Ask Angela About Print On Demand and Self-Publishing

Angela is the Publisher of and co-owner of the POD firm

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.


QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments
You Want ME to Write for FREE?! Ha Ha Ha!!!
Another Day, Another Cheapskate “Publisher” Looking for Free Labor
Think Twice Before Giving Away Your Entire Book Online For Free
Red Flags in Freelance Help Wanted Ads

Read More Ask The Expert

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?


Hi Don,

Use the search box at the top of the markets page, which is here:

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.


QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments
Paying Culture-related Markets For Writers!
10 Paying Creative Non-fiction Markets For Writers
Use Magazine Vendor Websites To Find New Paying Markets For Writers
8 Paying Health Markets By John Riddle
17 Paying Christian Markets for Writers by Laura Yeager

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.”


Lots of Imprints and Lots of Complaints! Could You Unwittingly Crawl into Bed with Author Solutions?
Disturbing Allegations In The New Author Solutions Lawsuit!
Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.

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

Read More Ask The Expert

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