Recently Answered Questions:



Q –

Hi Angela,

I spent $2000 with (a large P.O.D. publisher). Three months of arguing with the design team. Finished up with what I consider to be a very presentable and engaging children’s picture book. I have spent $1200 with GoDaddy on something called a social media optimization team, which advertises the book to targeted and selected groups within society. I have sent a nice email to children’s bookstores all over the U.S. with an attachment of the cover.

Now, I have started to get replies, “No P.O.D.’s.” I am no expert but it has become obvious to me very quickly that there is a culture within the publishing industry of closing ranks against P.O.D. authors who challenge the status quo, much like the 70’s in England when they went from hot type to electronic printing.

How do I overcome this?

K.


A –

Many retailers and even book readers assume that P.O.D. means self-published. P.O.D. actually means “print on demand.” The technology allows books to be printed one-at-a-time, on huge rolls of paper, alongside various other titles that are also being printed to order.

Many traditional publishers now use print on demand technology, too. While the per-book cost may be more, there is no longer any reason to print and warehouse hundreds or thousands of books. For best selling authors, traditional printing still makes sense. But, for books by unknown authors, the limited initial printing investment can be smart.

Of course, most self-published authors use a publisher that has access to a P.O.D. printer. And, that’s where the association developed.

Discrimination against self-published authors is not new but, in today’s society, figuring out which authors are self-published is now much easier.

The large retailers and distributors know which large publishing services are charging authors, and which ones will publish pretty much anything and everything. A librarian once told me that they never order CreateSpace books because the quality of those authors’ books, as a whole, is not good. (Note: CreateSpace is owned by Amazon.) If a publisher publishes pretty much anything and everything, sooner or later the retailers and distributors will decide they may not want to do business with that publisher anymore. Any author who uses an author meat market runs the risk of being judged harshly based simply on the name of their publisher.

The publisher you’re using IS an author meat market so I’m not surprised to hear that you’re being turned away by bookstores.

At BookLocker (http://publishing.booklocker.com/), we are selective about what we publish so we don’t have the same reputation for publishing bad books. And, since we limit the number of books we publish, we not an author meat market.

How can you overcome this? You might consider moving your book to a publisher that isn’t running an author meat market. Smaller P.O.D. publishers fly under the radar of the large bookstores and distributors. And, if you publish future books, be sure to submit to a publisher that is selective about what they publish.

RELATED:

BookLocker Has a Fantastic Offer for Victims of Defunct Tate Publishing (and other firms)! Move to BookLocker for as little as $78! (And, get your book back on the market in as little as 2 weeks.)

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

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

BookLocker’s Prices and Packages

Print on Demand Price Comparison!

More Q&A with Angela!

ADS TO RUN



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 book, already published, but my publisher is out of business. So, I have a physical copy BUT no PDF copy. What can I do to get it back on the market?


A –

Unfortunately, many authors have found themselves in your shoes in recent years. BookLocker has been in business for 18 years now and we’re still going strong! (You can read why HERE.) But, we can only accept electronic files.

If you only have a printed manuscript or a printed, bound copy of your book, I recommend hiring a college student to type your manuscript into a word processing program so it can be easily edited, formatted, etc. to any printer’s specs.

Scanning pages of a print book creates HUGE files (each page will be a graphic) and, while there is software that can convert the words into a word processing document, they always create numerous errors so the file will need to be edited all over again anyway. The easiest solution is to simply have the manuscript typed into a word processing program.

Another is alternative is Janice Lullo, owner of jltyping.com.

RELATED



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



WritersWeekly is abbreviated. We will be back on our regular schedule next week. For details why, click HERE.

 

Read More Ask The Expert

 





Q –

Good morning, Angie.

I’m sending you my poetry collection to see if you think it is acceptable for publication. If you think it is, we can work out the details. My only source of income is social security. I tell you this because if you accept my work I’ll have to take out a loan from my bank.

-Name not published (for obvious reasons)


A –

I’m always happy to give my opinion about an author’s writing. However, there is something far more concerning in your note above.

Nobody else in the industry will tell you this (including most of our competitors, some of whom prey on elderly authors) but I definitely do NOT recommend taking out a loan to publish a poetry book. Poetry is one of the slowest-selling genres.

Sometimes, when I alert authors (poets) to this fact, they get very defensive, accusing me of squashing their dream. That is exactly the type of author who is fresh prey for our competitors. (One was even sued for preying on older folks.) I hope you are not that kind of author. I am simply trying to help you make a reasonable business decision.

I am not trying to diminish your spirit, or criticize your writing in any way. I just hate to see an author take a risk to publish a book that, in all likelihood, is never going to earn back the investment. Remember, most of those sales folks work on a commission. Once they pocket a percentage of your payment, they don’t care if you sell any books or not. And, like the proverbial used car salesmen, they’ll lavish false praise, and will lie to you repeatedly until your wallet is scraped clean.

If you are intent on publishing a book of poetry, you might consider a https://www.gofundme.com campaign. Perhaps friends and family (and others) might contribute to your future book?

Many poets know their books will not sell well but they want a record of their writing for friends, family, and future generations. If they have the funds to publish, and know the risks involved, and if the book is good, I am happy to publish their poetry. However, I would never advise an author on a fixed income to take out a loan to get published.

If you decide not to heed my advice, please be very, very careful. There are crooks in the industry that are experts at emptying authors’ wallets. In fact, not only will some of them lie to get you to sign up, but they’ll also have no qualms about convincing you to get an even BIGGER loan, and hard-selling you into buying a $10K marketing package, all the while knowing you’ll likely sell very few copies.

I am sorry for the bad news but I treat authors they way I would want to be treated (and how I’d want a firm to treat my parents). I simply can’t advise you to obtain financing to publish a poetry book.

RELATED:

Paying Markets for Poets!

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

Self-publishing Price Comparison

Lulu CEO Admits They’ve “Easily Published the Largest Collection of Bad Poetry in the History of Mankind”

Poetry Competitions = Poor Writer

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 –

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
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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



 

Ask The Expert Archives