Recently Answered Questions:



Q –

“I just checked my books on Amazon and they have sliced the list prices on all of them. Some are so low that they won’t even pay for the printing costs. What’s going on over there?”

– Joseph


A –

We are hearing this from a lot of authors right now. There are three possible reasons:

1. Amazon may be trying to dump some inventory.

2. Amazon may be trying to severely undercut the competition, even at a loss.

3. Amazon may be experiencing database errors.

Regardless of the reason, this should not affect your royalties because Amazon must still pay the distributor or publisher the list price less the discount Amazon receives from those firms. In most cases for self-published books, authors are paid a firm percentage of the list price that is set up in the distributor’s system.

Some authors have “fixed” their Amazon pages by simply ordering copies at those ridiculously low prices. Sometimes, Amazon prevents the author (or any buyer) from ordering too many copies at the reduced price. Other times, they don’t. And, sometimes this sudden flurry of activity for the book may spur Amazon to fix the list price on their website. Perhaps that’s what makes them realized they’re losing money on every copy of the book sold at that price.

If you contact Amazon about this, you’ll likely receive a form email response from them that basically says they can do what they want with regards to product pricing.

RELATED:

Enter the Winter 24-Hour Short Story Contest RIGHT HERE.

Perceived Value – Pricing Your Product and Services Too Low HURTS Your Business!

“Why do Amazon’s resellers have my book priced too high/too low?”

Why Does Amazon Have My Book Listed At A Fraction Of The List Price?!

Royalties Based on List Price vs. Net Profit

UPDATED Print on Demand (POD) Price Comparison!

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



90+ DAYS

BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED

Q –

I have signed up for all of your recent quarterly short story contests but I can’t remember if I signed up for the next one. Can you check?

– Larry


A –

Since there are three months between each contest, I get this question a lot. If you can’t remember if you signed up, feel free to FIRE A MESSAGE my way and I’ll check for you. 🙂

Please note: You must be entered in the contest before the topic is posted at start-time in order to submit your story. You cannot write your story first, and then enter the contest. If the contest fills up (only 500 are permitted to participate each time) before start-time, we’ll have to cut off new registrations until the next contest.

The next 24-Hour Short Story Contest (Winter, 2018) is only 8 days away! Start-time is at 12:00 p.m. (noon) central time on Saturday, January 20, 2018. You can read how it works RIGHT HERE.

RELATED:

Enter the contest RIGHT HERE.

List of ALL PAST TOPICS and WINNERS of the WritersWeekly Quarterly 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Topic, Common Themes, and Winners of the WritersWeekly.com Spring, 2016 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

From WritersWeekly Short Story Contest Winner to Simon and Schuster Contract!

14 Tips To Give Yourself A Leg Up In Writing Contests!

More Q&A with Angela!

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

 



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



 

Q –  (unedited, of course) –

Hi Angela! 

Sorry to bother you. I need something from you…could you please write a short blurb for my forthcoming book – (title removed). A paragraph of the blurb will be written by (a journalist), another paragraph has been written by (a geographer) and i would appreciate if you jot down a blurb for my book.


A –

I do not know you. I have never read your book. Why would I put my name on a promotional statement for a book I have never read? Furthermore, I do not review books, and never have. Please do the honorable and ethical thing by only requesting blurbs from people who have agreed to read your book, and then to write about it. Do not request free blurbs from people who do not know you and who have never read your book. And, don’t expect people to buy a copy if you’re seeking promotional blurbs. You should send these folks free copies in exchange for the time and effort they’ll need to expend to assist you with your marketing activities.

When I receive requests like this, I know that the blurbs about the book are fake. And, of course, I would never buy and read a book with fake blurbs. Sending out an email like this can greatly harm the reputations of you and your publisher, as well as those who have written fake blurbs about your book.
Please see: 90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan
and
Throwing Away Your Money on Review Copies?

RELATED:

KARMA! Man Who Sold Book Reviews Is Shamed Online
THIS MAKES ME SICK! Company Admits Buying 5-Star Book Reviews!!
Should I Send Paperbacks or Hardcovers to Book Reviewers?
Never, Ever Argue with a Book Reviewer! 
Book Reviewing Authors Furious With Amazon – But I’m Not 
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 –

Good evening Angela,

I published a book back in 2010 and I am currently finishing up my second book. My previous publisher dropped me without notification of doing so. What can I do about getting my book back in print?

Thank you for your time and your help.

– J.


A –

You didn’t provide much detail but, regardless, any author who is upset with their publisher is eligible to move to BookLocker, and is qualified for our Disgruntled Author Special. This provides a $158 savings off our At Your Service Package, but with the exact same services.

The costs would be:

$250 setup (Disgruntled Author Special)
$18 First year annual file hosting fee
$250 ORIGINAL cover design (optional). No ugly templates!
$199 Basic epub/mobi (ebook) formatting/conversion/distribution (optional)

These are the same prices we charge our returning authors on their second and subsequent books so you can use this link to sign up:
https://secure.booklocker.com/booklocker/returning-authors/intro.php

You can see what’s included HERE.

RELATED:

Print on Demand Publishing Price Comparison

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

How Much Do Some POD Publishers Profit from Ingram’s “Channel Distribution” Fees? Plenty!

Print on Demand SECRETS REVEALED Series

COMPLAINTS ABOUT SPECIFIC PUBLISHERS

More about Print on Demand

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’ve published four other books under a pen name with another publisher, (name removed), and they never charge an annual fee to keep my books current with the printer or their system. Why do some publishers charge an annual fee while others don’t, especially since they’re all using Ingram for distribution?


A –

The annual fee you are referring to is Ingram’s “Channel Distribution” fee, which must be paid if a publisher wants to keep a book in Ingram’s system. Different publishers call this fee a variety of different names.

BookLocker.com charges $18 per year, per title to keep a book active on our site, and in the printer’s and Ingram’s systems. Some firms charge upwards of $75 or more per year for the exact same fee, meaning they’re jacking up the price quite a bit! Some publishers get a price break on the fees from Ingram, based on the number of active titles they have in Ingram’s system.

But, what about those firms charging no fees at all? Well, to figure out how they get away with it, you need only look at their extremely high setup fees. You’ll likely discover that dozens of years of annual fees are built in, and that authors are required to pay those fees up front when they pay those ridiculous setup fees.

For a paperback/ebook combo, your other publisher charges $999.

With BookLocker’s discount code, the fee for the same service is only $695.

The difference: $304.

If you divide that by BookLocker’s $18/year annual fee, that’s 17 years of annual fees that they collect up front. It looks like their building several years of those fees into their up-front costs to authors, which is not unusual now in the industry. They also know that it’s unlikely your book will remain on the market, or that you will remain their author, for 17 years.

And, since so many publishers are going out of business these days, authors who are forced to pre-pay these fees through higher setup fees might end up losing everything they paid anyway.

At BookLocker.com, we never force authors to pre-pay something for years when the author would prefer to pay it annually, as long as they’re interested in keeping their book on the market. And, of course, any incoming royalties offset those fees so authors who have sold books don’t receive annual invoices. They can login and check their author account 24 hours/day and they can also request we terminate their book at any time, thus saving them the cost of future hosting fees if their book is no longer selling or if they’ve retired from writing and book promotion.

Always read the fine print (and ALWAYS compare prices!) before you choose a publisher.

Also, please read How BookLocker Has Remained Profitable for 17 Years…when so many others have failed.

 

RELATED:

How Much Do Some POD Publishers Profit from Ingram’s “Channel Distribution” Fees? Plenty!

Abuzz Press – This Hybrid Publisher Charges No Setup Fees!

POD SECRETS REVEALED Series

COMPLAINTS ABOUT SPECIFIC PUBLISHERS

Print on Demand

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!



 

QI’m having a book digitized to be ready to print in the next month and a half. It will be 10″ x 12″ with many colour pictures, about 200 pages and a cover design. I want to do print-on-demand. Can I do this through BookLocker.com?

– C.


A – At BookLocker.com, we use the largest Print on Demand printer in the world and they do not offer that size. It’s a good idea to check out publishers and printers before deciding on a size for your book.

And, I implore you to also decide on a publisher before you pay someone to design your book. You must have the printer’s specs before you begin the design process. Many authors make this mistake, and end up needing to pay the designers all over again to fix their files later. Unfortunately, some designers don’t warn authors about this…knowing they can bill the author double later.

Please see:
DON’T Hire a Designer BEFORE Choosing a Publisher!

RELATED:



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 –

My publisher is trying to sell me a trifecta review service. Specifically, this consists of three reviews, by Kirkus, Clarion and Blue Ink. It’s pretty pricey but I want to sell books. Is this a good idea?

– CR


A –

I checked this out and, in my opinion, this is a TOTAL RIP-OFF! They are going to charge you almost $4,000 for this service. Let’s get real here. Do you REALLY think you’re going to earn back that much in royalties as a result of those three fee-based book reviews? Unless you’re already a celebrity, or you land some major press (which will be a result of YOUR marketing activities, not book reviews), it is EXTREMELY unlikely that you’ll earn back that $4,000 back as the direct result of those reviews.

Incidentally, if you ordered those reviews yourself, instead of allowing your publisher to be the middle-man, you’d spend:

Kikus Indie Reviews: $425
Clarion + Blue Ink (they have a partnership): $695
TOTAL: $1120

So, your publisher was going to pocket $2700 of your money.

It took me literally three minutes of Googling to figure out how badly your publisher is scalping its authors. And, yours is not the only publisher selling this service at such a ridiculous price.

Authors, please don’t fall for the snake oil!

You should NEVER pay for book reviews. Read why HERE.

And, do yourself and your wallet a favor by reading this:

How To EASILY Get Awesome and Honest Book Reviews That REALLY Carry Weight With Readers!

RELATED:

Outrageous Upselling by POD Publishers!

Throwing Away Your Money on Review Copies?

Can You Republish Amazon Reviews? Maybe, or Maybe Not…

WHO ARE THE REAL STARVING WRITERS? Book Reviewers!

KARMA! Man Who Sold Book Reviews Is Shamed Online

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,

Just wondering what you know about FastPencil? Infinity just aligned with it and I can’t determine if it is a good thing.

Thanks,

-B.


A –

I researched FastPencil.

TheIndependentPublishingMagazine.com  gives them only 6.7 out of 10.

An author on there was complaining that shipping 1 book (paperback) cost her $14 in shipping costs alone. You can read more complaints about them in the comments under that article.

I also found this on RipOffReport:

FastPencil Inc. Fastpencil preys off of budding writers, steals royalties, refuses refunds

FastPencil has a C- rating at the Better Business Bureau.

There are 3 reviews of FastPencil on Amazon and all of them give the firm only 1 star.

And, you might want to avoid Infinity Publishing, too. They have an F rating at the Better Business Bureau. Read more complaints about Infinity Publishing HERE .

RELATED:

Self-publishing? Here’s a price comparison!

Considering self-publishing? How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?

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.)

Complaints about specific publishers

Self-publishing advice

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 really am confused on exactly what to do. I have no files or anything from Tate. The only thing I have is some versions of two of my books. I had a lifetime contract with them to  publish as many books in my series as I could write. They did all – editing, illustrations, printing. I am a writer, but no artist, and would not know how to begin to illustrate my books.

I look forward to hearing back from you as I have more books in the series written with no one to help me with them.

– B.


A –

It’s our understanding that Tate Publishing, whose owners have been charged with felonies, is no longer responding to authors. I recommend first sending them a certified letter, demanding copies of your production files. They may or may not comply. Some authors have reported success in getting their files without paying the $50 fee.

If they don’t respond within a month, unfortunately, you’ll probably need to start all over.

If you have printed copies of your books with the edits intact, I recommend hiring a college student or jltyping.com to retype your manuscripts into a word processing program.

If you have 300 dpi versions of the illustrations, those can be used. If you have printed copies of your books, you might be able to have those scanned at 300 dpi (at a place like Office Depot) to see how the quality comes out. Worst case scenario is hiring an artist to recreate those for you. I do have a list of freelance artists and illustrators if you need it.

Angela

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.)

Self-publishing? Here’s a price comparison!

Can’t Get Your Book Files from Your Defunct Publisher? Here’s what you can do…

Why Hasn’t Anybody Filed a Class-action Lawsuit Against Tate Publishing? Here’s the Likely Answer…

Victim of defunct Tate Publishing doesn’t want to pay Tate’s (unfair) $50 for her production files. Can she just use the files they sent her for approval before the book was published?

Considering self-publishing? How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?

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’ve written an art book – 12 x 14 with many color pictures, about 200 pages. My designer has already designed my files and my cover. I’m now looking for a publisher. I won’t need to pay any design fees because the files are already ready to print. I can’t make any changes to my files because my designer will charge for that. I want my book to be print on demand so I won’t need to keep them in storage, and ship them in batches to Amazon.

– Jeannine


A –

We use the largest print on demand printer in the world and they do not offer that size – not even close. I hate to break the bad news to you but you did the process backwards. And, your designer may have known all along that he or she would be able to squeeze more money out of you later because the book size you chose is so unusual.

Authors should always choose a publisher first. If they then want their own designer to design the book, at least they’ll have the correct specs before beginning the job.

For more information, please see:
DON’T Hire a Designer BEFORE Choosing a Publisher!

RELATED:

BookLocker’s Cover Designer is a Rock Star!
BookLocker’s Cover Designer Knocks It Out Of The Park Again!
Did You Include “Work-For-Hire” In Your Contract? No? You May NOT Own All Rights!
Print on Demand Secrets Revealed
Print on Demand Facts

 

Read More Ask The Expert

 

 



7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition


Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!

Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/5635.html





 

 

Ask The Expert Archives