Recently Answered Questions:



Q. –

“My three books (it’s a series) are on Amazon and other bookstore websites. I set up a small website. I have been mentioning my book to family and friends once a week on Facebook. So, why aren’t my books selling?”


A .-

I sent these follow-up questions to the author:

Are you collecting email addresses (opt-in only!) of people who are interested in your book’s topic?

Are you creating a weekly newsletter and are you sending that to your subscribers?

If you don’t have a newsletter, are you blogging at least once a week, and notifying your email list whenever you post a new entry?

Are you on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, or any other social media sites?

Have you set up a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media accounts that are dedicated solely to promoting your book?

Are you practicing “comment marketing” to promote your books?

Are you doing anything else at all to promote your book?

The author responded:

That all seems like a lot of work. I am currently working on book #4 of the series.

I responded:

It’s never a good idea to keep writing more and more books for a series that isn’t selling. You should take several months off from writing to promote the books you already have on the market.

My answer to your original question is simple. Your books aren’t selling because you are not promoting them. Putting a book on Amazon isn’t going to automatically result in book sales. Posting a weekly reminder to family and friends isn’t going to sell books. While this may be difficult to hear, they’re probably tired of hearing about your books by now. If they haven’t bought one yet, they’re not going to.

If you have a one-page website that doesn’t have a free excerpt, and other website sections designed to actively excite and engage your potential readers, nobody is going to come back to your website.

Find numerous creative and fun ways to excite and engage potential readers while promoting your books in 90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book’s Daily Marketing Plan.

RELATED:

What’s The Secret to Ongoing, Consistent BOOK SALES?

Does Facebook Trump Ezines for Book Promotion? No!

Book Promotion: Why Postcards Work

BEFORE YOU PAY TO PLAY: Ethical Book Promotion

HELP! I’m Failing at Social Media Book Promotion!

BookLocker’s Packages and Prices

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. –

“Do you have a guess on how well my type of book would sell?”

– George H.


A. –

I receive this question almost daily from new authors and it’s virtually impossible to answer. It’s like asking how many bluebonnets will bloom in a field without knowing the time of year, the condition of the soil, the weather forecast, or even the location of that field. There could be a thousand bluebonnets…or there could be none. No two fields would yield the same because there are far too many other factors involved.

Some authors think if they publish a book in a specific genre that they can expect sales similar to other books in that genre. But, other authors also serving that genre may have a pre-existing fan base, and/or may work much harder or efficiently at promoting their brand and their book. They may get lucky, and get significant press while other authors in the same genre are ignored. Two books that compete directly with each other can range from thousands of dollars in sales each year to zero sales, despite the fact that both may have excellent writing, plot twists, etc.

Bill Henderson, the author of Cancer-Free: Your Guide to Gentle, Non-toxic Healing, distributed a weekly newsletter, had a weekly online radio show, and offered phone consultations on his book’s topic. Sadly, he passed last year but his wife and a colleague have kept up with the book’s promotional activities. He sold FAR more books than authors of other books on that topic because, unlike most authors, Bill treated book promotion as a full-times business. He didn’t stop promoting a new book after two or three months, and start writing a new one. He wrote one book for the same audience, and spent years promoting it, never letting up, and never getting bored since the sales continued to roll in. He did release new, updated editions over the years, as well as a Spanish-language edition.

Online book promotion can have a residual effect because anybody searching for information on that topic can find mentions of the book years later. As a result, Cancer-free has been one of BookLocker.com‘s bestsellers since the first edition was published more than a decade ago! As I’m writing this, it’s still the #1 best selling print book on the site.

Unfortunately, most authors do little to no promotion. They may come out of the gate like gangbusters in the beginning but, if they don’t see immediately sales (building a brand can take awhile!), they may get bored, and move on to writing the next book.

Some authors expect fame and fortune to fall in their laps by chance. That just doesn’t happen. Some authors think dumping their book on Amazon will mean instant sales. That’s also not going to happen. Amazon has millions of books for sale. If you don’t promote it, nobody will know it’s there. Period.

A book’s sales potential depends entirely on: 1. the book itself; and 2. the author’s marketing savvy and efforts. Listing a book on a particular large website won’t automatically generate sales. 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. They run with the ones that do, and generally abandon the ones that don’t. Of course, the ones that do are by authors who are promoting them creatively and consistently.

Every Booklocker.com author receives a free copy of our book, 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 upsell authors to the tune of thousands of dollars on products/services that will never result in enough book sales to pay for those products/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. BookLocker.com does not do business that way. We know what works and what doesn’t and we’re not going to sell marketing products and services that are proven to be a waste of time and money.

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.

If you are self-publishing, find out how many copies of your book you’ll need to sell to break even RIGHT HERE.

RELATED:

Is Amazon REALLY Giving Authors Accurate Sales Numbers?? Read This!

There Are Really Only 2 Ways To Accurately Estimate Your Book Sales

Don’t Give Amazon (or anyone else) the Power to Put You Out of Business!

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

Don’t Fool Yourself About Poor Book Sales

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. –

I ordered cover design for my paperback cover. Now, my publisher is trying to convince me to buy a separate ebook cover. This doesn’t make any sense to me. I already have a cover! Am I just not understanding how the business works?

– Lisa


A. –

If your publisher has already created a print cover for your book (paperback or hardcover), and if they are now trying to upsell you on ebook cover design, you’re getting ripped off. Putting a cover on an ebook is as easy as copying and pasting the front cover only from the print cover file, saving it as a different file, and using that in the ebook, as well as on retailer websites, like Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and others.

Many publishers, desperate for cash since so many are going under these days, are finding very creative ways to upsell authors on completely worthless “services.” If you (or anyone reading this) ever sees something weird on their publisher’s website, or in their publisher’s correspondence, let me know. I’ll tell you if it’s a legitimate service, or if you’re about to get scammed.

RELATED:

Is Your Publisher Upselling You on Worthless Marketing Products and Services?

Authors Who Have Been Scammed by Publishers

Cons and Scams. Oh Me, Oh My!

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

Possible Scam – Smart Author Avoids Possible Dangerous Situation



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 just finished writing my memoir. One person I write about extensively in my book is in prison. Everything I wrote it absolutely true but he’s not going to like it. Since he’s in prison, he can’t sue me, right?


A.-

I am not an attorney. I’m just someone who’s been in the publishing business for 18 years and I’ve seen pretty much anything and everything, including authors getting sued after penning facts about past incidents in their lives. Please consult with an attorney for legal advice.

Just because someone is in prison doesn’t mean they can’t, or won’t, sue you. If they find out about your book, read it, and don’t like what you’ve written about them, yes, they can definitely sue you. And, since prisoners have a lot of time on their hands, he may very well decide to make your life miserable.

Not all attorneys are upstanding corporate citizens and many are happy to file frivolous lawsuits, hoping for a quick settlement and, subsequently, a quick payday.

If this person is violent, they may pursue something more daunting than a legal challenge to your book so you need to be very careful. Many authors, intent on sharing their stories with the world, insist that “telling the truth” will prevent any lawsuit but nothing could be further from the truth. The legal fees associated with just one lawsuit can bankrupt someone, even if you win in the end.

Before you decide to publish your book, I encourage you to hire an attorney to review your entire manuscript. You might consider writing under a pseudonym, and changing the names and locations of people and incidents in your story. However, even that won’t protect you if anyone reads that book, and can figure who he is. Another option is to completely fictionalize the events, and publishing it as a novel. You can even include a statement like this on the copyright page as part of your fiction disclaimer: “This novel is loosely based on actual events.” If you do that, I still encourage you to write under a pseudonym.

RELATED:

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

Well, Excuuuuuse Me for Trying to Protect You From a Lawsuit!

Featuring Real People in Your Writing? Protect Yourself From Lawsuits!

Don’t Invite a Lawsuit with Your Memoir

Read More Ask The Expert





 

Q –

My Amazon listing says this in the right side buy box:

Save an extra $13.96 (74%). Buy the Kindle Edition instead.

FREE Shipping for Prime members once available.

Usually ships within 1 to 2 months.

Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Why are they telling people that it takes 1 to 2 MONTHS to ship???!!! I have notified them that this is an error and they say they’ve contacted my publisher but they did NOT. It is confusing my buyers!


A – Back in 2008, Amazon started making phone calls to print on demand publishers, threatening to remove their buy buttons from Amazon.com if the publisher didn’t start paying Amazon to print their books. This meant the book would not be available for purchase directly through Amazon. Readers would only be able to purchase copies through re-sellers who had listings on Amazon. Buyers want to be able to buy directly through Amazon because they don’t know those re-sellers. Buyers trust Amazon, a name they do know.

At BookLocker.com, we received the same threatening phone call from Amazon. We subsequently filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon for (alleged) federal anti-trust violations. Our main concerns were: 1. Amazon’s printing division’s prices, and 2. The quality of their books was not acceptable to us. After a federal judge refused to dismiss the case, Amazon quickly settled our case, and paid our attorneys $300K. You can read more about our case, and the events leading up to it, HERE.

Things quieted down after that but Amazon appeared to be happy because many of our competitors had caved to Amazon’s demands, and signed their contract before our case ended up in front of a federal judge.

Over that period of time, Amazon was sending orders for print on demand books directly to Ingram’s printing division, which would then print and ship the book directly to Amazon’s customers, even using an Amazon.com return address label. (And, that printing division and Ingram recently confirmed to us that Amazon still does that for many orders.) Ingram was even shipping some books published by traditional publishers directly to Amazon’s customers. Everything was working great and customers were getting their books very quickly. Amazon didn’t even need to lay a finger on those books. The transactions were automated and Amazon was earning money on copies sold even when they didn’t need to warehouse or ship books.

Fast-forward a few years and, now, there are MANY more publishers and even more print on demand printers offering their services to authors. Obviously, Amazon isn’t printing books for all of them.

There is speculation in the industry that Amazon has found another way to try to get publishers and authors to use their printing services.

In a nutshell, Amazon is:

Listing print on demand books either as unavailable or “out of stock,” available only through third-party resellers, or available but with very long lead times that don’t accurately reflect how quickly buyers can really obtain that book, even if Amazon orders it from the distributor. For example, it does NOT take 1-2 months to obtain a copy of a print on demand book! Rather, it takes just a few days.

Amazon’s latest shenanigans have been affecting a variety of print on demand (and other) books for quite awhile now. Based on numerous reports we’ve received, this appears to be what’s happening when an author or publisher notices their book can no longer be purchased directly through Amazon (which is called “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Get it by (insert date here – some are available in a little as 2 days).”

Authors hear from their readers that people can no longer buy the book directly from Amazon. When those authors complain directly to Amazon, Amazon offers up a variety of excuses, including everything from “your publisher needs to open an Amazon account,” to “we can’t obtain any copies of your book from Ingram (the distributor),” and more. With print on demand books distributed by Ingram, those excuses aren’t flying at all. Ingram is, of course, not only denying the books are unavailable, but they are also happy to provide screenshots of their system, proving the book is indeed available. Publishers can simply login to their ipage account at Ingram to see the book’s availability. Of course, the same automated Ingram feed about the print on demand books goes to other stores as well, like BarnesandNoble.com, and those books are listed as available on those sites. Amazon is the only retailer we know of that’s altering the listing info. for print on demand books.

When confronted with proof (two screenshots) that one book in particular most definitely WAS available through Ingram AND their printer, Amazon continued to argue their case, but backed down when they were asked for a screenshot of what they were seeing on their end, claiming the information was proprietary. Magically, that book’s buy button appeared once again a week later, after the author got upset. During the discussions, Amazon pitched their printing division to that author. Their actions backfired. The author was so upset about the whole scenario that he has no interest in doing business directly with Amazon.

Based on reports from numerous publishers and authors, this appears to be what’s happening now with Amazon’s “availability” issues:

NEW BOOKS

1. A new print on demand book goes up for sale and the buy button on Amazon works just fine.

2. The buy button disappears a few days later, and is replaced by a variety of different things, like:

* Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we’ll deliver when available.
* Only 2 left in stock. Ships from and sold by (name of a third-party reseller on Amazon).
* 2 Used from $x.xx; 1 New from $x.xx (also from resellers on Amazon – and those “used” copies aren’t always used; in fact, many don’t even exist yet!)
* 10 used & new offers (all from resellers on Amazon)
* Usually ships in 1 to 2 months
* Usually ships in 1 to 3 weeks
* Usually ships in 1 to 4 weeks
* Usually ships in 5 to 6 weeks
and
* Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Get it by (2 days from now). FREE Shipping on eligible orders. (Some books remain available through Amazon with this listing. Perhaps they have been inadvertently overlooked. Who knows?)

Here’s the beef. All of the books I just looked up on Amazon.com to copy/paste the text above have the exact same publisher, printer, and distributor. And, Amazon can still have that printer and distributor ship those copies directly to Amazon’s customers, with 24-hour turn-around! Amazon’s availability quotes are incorrect and ridiculous and authors and publishers alike are FURIOUS because this IS affecting their book sales.

3. Publisher/author complains to Ingram’s printing division (the largest Print on Demand printer in the world).

4. Printer opens “a ticket” at Amazon.

5. Amazon appears to fix a very small percentage of those book listings very quickly after receiving those tickets, but appears to ignore most of the other ones. We know of “unavailable” books that were initially reported to Amazon seven months ago, and subsequently reported three more times over the following five months, and they still haven’t been “fixed” at Amazon. If Amazon fixes one book, and if that book has the same publisher, printer, and distributor as all the others, why hasn’t Amazon fixed ALL of those books?

6. Unfortunately, the printer does not appear to follow-up on all these old tickets and only resubmits them if the publisher and/or author complains again. We’re not sure what’s going on there but I imagine they have tens of thousands of ticket open with Amazon. They would likely need to hire more employees just to keep up with the incorrect listings on Amazon.

7. Some books that do get their buy buttons back can lose them again a few days or weeks later.

8. The author gives up on the publisher, printer, and distributor, and contacts Amazon directly.

9. Amazon’s usual response is to incorrectly blame the problem on the distributor or publisher, saying they can’t get the book from the publisher (not true – that printer is under contract with Amazon to print/ship the books to Amazon in 24 hours), that the publisher needs to open an account with Amazon (which is not needed since Ingram, the largest distributor, which ships millions of books to Amazon each year, also carries the book), that the distributor has the book listed as “unavailable” (and Amazon continues to insist this even when provided with screenshots from Ingram’s system showing the book is available), and more.

10. In some cases, Amazon pitches their own printing division to the author as an alternative. Sound familiar??

11. When the author signs up for an “Author Central” account (which they might think they need to do to complain to Amazon), they start receiving emails pitching Amazon’s printing division (which has numerous complaints posted about it online). Incidentally, Amazon is rolling out a “new” printing service that many industry folks believe is just an attempt to rebrand their old one. (If I had that many complaints about me online, I’d want to rename and rebrand myself, too!)

OLDER BOOKS

12. Some older books are still available on Amazon. Perhaps the listings are too old or too much trouble for Amazon to jiggle them around.

13. Some other older books lose their buy buttons just like new books.

14. Go back to #3 above.

PLAYING WITH DISCOUNTS

Some publishers have tried increasing their discounts on some of their books while others have not. They think giving Ingram and, subsequently, Amazon, a bigger chunk of each sale will change their book’s availability on Amazon.

Some books with new, higher discounts will remain unavailable while some will be made available once again. There is no noticeable pattern on which books Amazon will flip the switch on or not. The reactivated buy button on Amazon may have nothing at all to do with the initial discount, nor the changed discount. There is no set discount rate that automatically makes Amazon turn the buy button back on again.

Some books that don’t have changed discounts will suddenly pop up as available once again (this seems related to how loudly the publisher or author screams at Ingram and/or Amazon). Some authors have reported that purchasing copies of their book from Amazon (despite the long lead times) and/or Amazon’s resellers have spurred Amazon to make the book “available” through Amazon once again.

There’s no rhyme or reason to the process Amazon is using to remove the active buy buttons, nor for re-adding them, nor for leaving some old books alone vs. removing the buy buttons from other older book pages on their site. Neither Ingram nor Amazon is providing real, correct information to publishers or authors about what’s happening behind the scenes. Based on correspondence I have received from some employees at Ingram’s printing division, they are NOT happy with Amazon, which is a no-brainer since they’re the ones fielding the first round of complaints from publishers and authors, and they’re the ones processing countless “tickets” with Amazon support, with very little success.

I recently asked Ingram for an official statement about the situation that we and other publishers can give to authors about this situation. They stated they are under contract with Amazon to print/ship books to Amazon in 24 hours and that Amazon does still have the printer/Ingram print/ship books directly to Amazon’s customers. Amazon chooses where each order will be shipped.

Obviously, Amazon and Ingram are still butting heads. Perhaps legal action is brewing.

In the meantime, each time Amazon changes a book’s availability, that increases the chances that an author is going to complain directly to Amazon. And, once that author is in contact with Amazon, Amazon can then pitch their printing division to the author, thus bypassing the publisher (and Ingram) altogether.

What do you think? Has Amazon found a new way to play the “turning off the buy button” game with authors and publishers? They didn’t threaten to remove the buy buttons. They just did it, with no warning. And, now they have a way to contact those authors directly, opening the possibility of removing the publisher and Ingram from the picture entirely. And, if they are successful, then Amazon gets the printing business for that book.

On a final note, another publisher I know reported receiving the “switch to CreateSpace or else” phone call in 2016. Hmmm….

What are your thoughts on this situation? First, please check your book on Amazon. If you see these problems, immediately contact your publisher AND Ingram. Then, please contact me HERE with your comments. We will not publish our name on WritersWeekly (unless you want us to). I’d REALLY like to hear from an Amazon employee or two but I know the chances of that happening are virtually impossible. REPEAT: We will not publish your name on WritersWeekly. 


ONE AUTHOR’S EXPERIENCE:

I just came from your page, ‘Is Your Book Suddenly “Unavailable” on Amazon? Are They Up to Their Old Tricks Again?!’ YES, they are! The first book of my (title removed) series is listed as ‘Temporarily out of Stock’ on Amazon. That’s strange (again), since (name removed) IS the publisher of the first title, and (Ingram’s printing division, Lightning Source) DOES print books for us. I tried to phone their Customer Service Center (866.216.1072) — only to find out — they are NOT ACCEPTING my ‘kind of calls’. What exactly does that mean?

Today (3-16-2017) I get an automated reply that they are having ‘technical’ issues and can only respond to certain general questions. Anything specific— call back later. OK…so I did…just now.

I got a customer service rep who, the moment she found out what my complaint was, tried to get on a ‘chatty’ first name basis with me. That didn’t work out for her so she tried to transfer me ‘up the line’. Now I am on hold for 10+ minutes……zzzzzzzzzzz

While I wait,I wonder why people are so stuck on Amazon? Barnes and Noble have the books listed as ‘In Stock’ and their shipping is by far and away much cheaper. I actually asked people in our Facebook group to forget Amazon from the beginning, or cancel their orders and go to B&N.

Ah Ha — persistence paid off –a human being! Now the man claims not to know Lightning Source. The name ‘CreateSpace’ just came up and I just told the man that Amazon could take and #@%& CreateSpace, and don’t send them to me after this call is finished! Now he doesn’t know how to solve the problem of the ‘Out of Stock’ title. He just said, “Where am I going to send this? If it were as easy as CreateSpace…..”

That comment died quickly. Now I am in a ‘holding pattern’ (the Black Hole I fear) while he runs off to the ‘john’ for all I know. He finally returned to the phone.

“Take it up with Author’s Central,” he told me, “We can’t fix their problems.”

“Oh, but the problem is with Amazon — not Lightning Source or Ingram,” I replied.
“Well, I can’t help you,” he said and that ended the call.

So, in the end, the book is still ‘Temporarily out of Stock’, even though Lightning hasn’t run short of paper to print on, and the entire Ingram shipping department isn’t grounded. This is the blow-by-blow of what just now happened to me (3-16-2017 @5:45 pm).

Update: 3-25-2017

They are still listing (title removed) as ‘Temporarily out of Stock’, but ONLY in the USA (NOT in Canada, France, or Germany). So, a call to Amazon’s Customer service had no impact. The ‘CreateSpace ploy’ is still being touted as ‘the solution’ for all ‘non-traditional publishers, according to Amazon. If you do get into a new litigation with the 900 lb gorilla, I will be pleased to be involved.


ANOTHER AUTHOR’S EXPERIENCE:

Amazon shows (title removed) as available only through third party resellers. When I contacted Amazon, they told me that Ingram has listed my book as out of print (which is not true – this author was provided with screenshots from Ingram and Lightning Source that his books were available and they continued to be available on other sites, like BarnesandNoble.com). Amazon has not responded to my latest email. Amazon will only talk to Ingram, and continues to insist that Ingram informed them that the book is out of print (Amazon has refused to send me proof, citing their privacy policy and unwillingness to expose their internal processes). Other than Kindle sales and third-party sales, I have sold no books for six weeks.

UPDATE

I received a phone call from Amazon just now, and they insist that Ingram fix the problem. They said it was probably a technical glitch that the Ingram management or technical people can solve. Aagain, this was not true – the author had already provided screenshots to Amazon proving the point.)

THE EMAIL COMMENT FROM AMAZON WHERE THEY PITCHED CREATESPACE TO THE AUTHOR:

I understand that this is frustrating and we want to get this corrected as quickly as possible as you do too. The only other option is if you would like to publish this book through one of Amazon’s Print on Demand channels we can create a listing fulfilled by Amazon…

RELATED

Amazon Backs Down; Settles Antitrust Lawsuit Filed By BookLocker
(Note: BookSurge was later renamed CreateSpace by Amazon.)

CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS – PART IV

“CreateSpace has put us in a very bad light with our customers! I’m at my wit’s end! Can BookLocker get my book published right away?” YEP!

UPSET WITH CREATESPACE

“Amazon Won’t Remove My Book! Are They Violating My Copyright?”

Is Amazon REALLY Giving Authors Accurate Sales Numbers?? Read This!

After Cancer/Miscarriage, Amazon Employees Allege Disturbing Treatment

 



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 don’t have any publishing experience, and frankly speaking, I need your advice.

One thing that has been worrying me is that, if I share my manuscript with a publishing / self-publishing company, I want to ensure I am keeping the rights of my text. As I said, this manuscript is extremely important to me and it’s basically the culmination of my own life-long research.

How do I know they won’t take my rights, or steal my manuscript from me altogether?

Should I worry about anything? (I am very inexperienced in this!)

Thank you.


A –

Most of the firms that are charging authors to publish their books are author meat markets, meaning they’ll publish pretty much anything and everything. (Our firm, BookLocker, is selective about what it publishes.)

Author meat markets are primarily in the business of sucking as many authors through their virtual doors as they can, and then draining as much money out of those authors’ pocketbooks through aggressive upselling on (what I consider primarily worthless) products and services (that aren’t likely to lead to many, if any, additional book sales for the author).

After researching and publishing WritersWeekly’s Whispers and Warnings for over a decade, and after publishing more than 8,000 books in 18 years, we’ve never heard stories of any of the well-known print on demand/publishing services firms making it a practice of stealing manuscripts to sell later, without the author’s knowledge. Those make far too much money selling services to authors than they would investing their own money in publishing they’ve stolen book from an unknown author.

To see a comparison of how much these firms are charging authors, click HERE.

RELATED:

BookLocker’s Package and Prices

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

But…What If Somebody Steals My Book?!

When You’ve Been Violated: What To Do When Someone Steals Your Ideas or Articles

Did That TV Show Steal My Idea? Probably Not…

 



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,

I subscribe to WritersWeekly, and thought of you and your publishing service when I heard this story on NPR today.

Writers are now using what they call sensitivity readers to vet their novels for offensive materials before publishing. Some writers now consider it as important as hiring a copy editor before publishing their books.

Frankly, as a writer who would eventually like to self publish my novels, it doesn’t give me much confidence to publish my own writing if this becomes a trend, and even required by society at-large.

I was wondering if you knew about this and what you think of it as a self-published author and publisher.

Thanks for all you do for self-published writers.

Sincerely,
Andrea

A – I think the practice of hiring “sensitivity readers” is absolutely RIDICULOUS! Books are supposed to challenge readers’ thinking. They not only entertain readers, but also disturb, offend, spur people to action, expand our thinking, teach us about things, people, and societies that we would otherwise never be exposed to, and so much more!

This is pre-publication censorship, plain and simple.

I’ve heard about this happening at publishing houses and I received several comments on the subject through Facebook last week. Those publishers are censoring their own authors’ books because they “fear backlash from social justice activists.” Puh-lease!!!

Here at BookLocker, we publish Christian books, books by atheists, as well as “steamy” romance novels. We publish books on very liberal topics, as well as books that express very conservative ideas. We simply trust that readers are intelligent enough to  make up their own minds about what they read.

The political correctness campaign in our country has reached outrageous and even dangerous levels, spurring far more anger and hatred than there would have been without a “PC culture.” Everybody seems to be looking for things to get angry and complain about! Our children have already been dumbed down by our weak public education system. When we start censoring what they’ll be reading as young adults, we’re treading on very dangerous ground. When authors start censoring themselves, they need to consider quitting the craft! Seriously, if your book needs to be “censored,” so as not to offend any person at all, perhaps you should toss it in a drawer and forget all about it.

Obviously, George Orwell was a psychic.

That said, there are some books that should never be published, like the guidebook for pedophiles that CreateSpace (owned by Amazon) published a few years ago. There are books on the market that teach people how to perform other illegal acts. Amazon also sells how-to dog fighting books, which I personally find reprehensible. Any book that teaches someone how to torture a child or an animal SHOULD be censored.

But, those examples are a far cry from a pansy author needing to hire a ‘sensitivity reader’ to vet their romance novel for potentially offensive words, or the children’s storybook author who might offend readers because their main character dressed up like a person from (insert any culture other than his own here). Fact checking when writing about a particular culture is NOT the same as hiring a “sensitivity reader.”

Readers are going to criticize your work whether you’ve “offended” them or not. Criticism is part of the life of every writer. Hiring a “sensitivity reader” isn’t going to stop that criticism. In my opinion, writers who are so afraid of criticism that they hire a sensitivity reader shouldn’t be in the business.

As for these “sensitivity readers” (I am NOT talking about fact checkers)…well, it sure seems to me like some creative folks have invented a brand new profession to make an extra buck. I hope this absurd practice dies quickly.

RELATED:

Amazon Publishes Guidebook for Pedophiles – Do They Draw The Line ANYWHERE?

Books That NOBODY Should Publish

22 Signs That So-Called “Publisher” is an AUTHOR MILL!

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

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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 one question.. I don’t want to ask Tate Publishing for my files. Can I get my book to you without notifying them of my change? I don’t want them to sue me. Should I ask my attorney about this?

(Name not published…for obvious reasons.)

A –

You can read our coverage of the Tate Publishing debacle HERE.

You should ALWAYS check with your attorney about any legal questions or concerns you have. I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. I’m simply someone who’s worked in this business for 18+ years, and who’s seen pretty much everything, including publishers going out of business…while pinching their authors one last time on their way out the door.

That said…it’s my understanding that Tate’s contract was non-exclusive (but you need to check your version of their contract to be sure.) That means you and they can publish your book and sell the simultaneously. BUT, that does NOT mean you can use their files. You have to use your own (ones they didn’t work on). Based on our interpretation of their contract, Tate owns all rights to all files they worked on/created. If you want to use those files, you’ll need to pay them the (insulting!) $50 fee, and sign their (double-insulting!) contract, which releases them from all liability, says they don’t have to give you any refunds, etc., etc.

If you are submitting new files (not ones they worked on) for publication, you should be fine.

At BookLocker.com, here’s what we’re offering Tate Publishing’s authors for black-and-white-interior print books. We can get an author’s book(s) back on the market for as little as $78, and in as little as 2 weeks.


1. OUR DIY PROGRAM – ONLY $78.


If you want to wait for your production files from Tate, you probably qualify for our DIY program, which is ONLY $78. That includes you receiving the print proof of your book (the first printed, bound copy, shipped via UPS Next Day Air) for review. We will be happy to create a new copyright page for your book, and to insert it into your interior file. It will contain your new ISBN (you can use one of ours at no additional charge, or you can use your own) and all of Tate’s info. will be stripped from the page. Note: If you want to buy your own ISBN, that’s $125 at R.R. Bowker but, again, we’ll assign one of ours for no additional charge. Since we buy them 1,000 at a time in bulk, we get them for a little more than a buck each.

We might be able to remove Tate’s info. from the cover without much hassle. If that is the case, our designer will charge $95 to do that. If you want to do it yourself, we won’t charge anything. You’ll just need to upload your cover to us and we’ll quickly replace the barcode with one that includes your new ISBN. There is no extra charge for us to do that.

You will retain all rights to your cover and interior files (the production files). We don’t take rights from authors.

We do not profit on the setup for DIY books. Instead, we earn our profits (along with the author) in book sales later.

To sign up for our DIY service, click HERE.

or


2. OUR “DISGRUNTLED AUTHOR SPECIAL” – ONLY $268


Send us YOUR existing interior file (not Tate’s) as a word processing document. We will provide formatting assistance, assign a new ISBN, get a new barcode, etc., etc. If you’d like to make new edits to the manuscript at this time, that’s fine and now is definitely the time to do that! We will send you the formatted file for review so you can make your edits at that time. This is our “disgruntled author special” and we offer it to victims of other defunct (or just plain lousy) POD publishers all the time. You won’t find this level of service cheaper anywhere else.

As with the DIY program above, we might be able to remove Tate’s info. from your cover without much hassle. If that is the case, our designer will charge $95 to do that. If you want to do it yourself, we won’t charge anything. You’ll just need to upload your cover to us and we’ll quickly replace the barcode with one that includes your new ISBN (or ours). There is no extra charge for us to do that.

If you need a new cover, we can design a brand new, original cover for you. Cost: $250 for paperbacks; $350 for hardcovers. You can see samples of our covers HERE.

Click on each one to see the entire cover (front, back and spine).

Also, see the covers at the top of THIS PAGE.

Our covers are all original. We do not use templates.

You will own all rights to your cover and interior files (the production files). We don’t take rights from authors.

To sign up for our “Disgruntled Author” service, use THIS LINK.


COLOR-INTERIOR PRINT BOOKS


If you have a color-interior book, please contact me so we can discuss your needs. Those files are a bit more complicated but we might be able to help you for very little cost depending, of course, on the quality and format of Tate’s files.

You can see excerpts from just two of our color-interior books HEREand HERE.

We have detailed just a few of Tate’s “sins” (sorry, couldn’t resist because, to me at least, many of their actions haven’t seemed very Christian-like) HERE.

In that article, you can read personal information about us (BookLocker) and why we have remained in business, and profitable, for 18 years while so many others have failed.

We’d love to help you get your book back on the market FAST so please holler and let us know how we can help!

If you have any questions, contact me (Angela) RIGHT HERE.

RELATED:

URGENT NOTE FOR AUTHORS OF FAILED TATE PUBLISHING – Your “Production Files” Might Have Problems!

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.)

AUTHORS, REPEAT AFTER ME: “I will NOT give publishers ownership of my production files!”

Print on Demand Price Comparison

The Romantic History of WritersWeekly and BookLocker

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



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,

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!

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HOW TO MAKE MONEY GUEST BLOGGING

Blogging to Sell Books

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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