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Dear Angela,

(A relative of mine) wrote and self-published a book with Xlibris. She is a first time author, and is currently turning this into a trilogy. The issue we have now is the contact we are getting from Xlibris to spend 6,000-17,000 dollars to market the book. Do you have any comments/suggestions for us? We are in the process of getting a website together but are very, very reluctant to spend that kind of money for marketing especially when I can’t even see Xlibris as a publisher with a book represented in Ingram’s catalog! Thank you so much for any help you can give.

 

Xlibris is owned by Author Solutions, which has been the subject of two class action lawsuits. Allegations against them online have included complaints about their promotional tactics, their marketing products/services, and much more.

If you spend $6,000-$17,000 on marketing products and services for a book, my bet is that you will never see enough book sales directly resulting from those marketing products/services to pay what you did for them. Not even close.

I’d be interested in hearing from authors who have spent thousands at Author Solutions’ firms, including Xlibris, AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford, and others. You can see a list of companies involved with Author Solutions HERE.

If you have spent thousands at one of the Author Solutions’ firms, please contact me HERE. We will, of course, not publish your name or other identifying information without your permission.

RELATED:

UPDATED Print on Demand (POD) Price Comparison!

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

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.

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

Disturbing Allegations In The New Author Solutions Lawsuit!

Was Author Solutions Sold at a Loss? We Think So!

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!



 

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Q. –

Hey Angela,

I have been offered a contract by a regular publisher but, because I am not a known author, they want me to commit to purchasing copies up front for a total of $4200. I realize that they want to get all of their costs back up front but that seems kind of high to me. What do you think?


A. –

Well, for a $4200 up-front investment, I think you are getting RIPPED OFF.

That is NOT a “regular” or traditional publisher. They’ve found a creative way to make authors pay for the up-front publishing expenses. Using the “you’re not a known author” excuse is ridiculous. Traditional publishers do not do business that way.

I checked them out online. They’re using the old bait ‘n switch tactic. On their homepage, they appear to be a traditional publisher. They told you they’d be paying part of the publishing costs, making it appear to be a co-op deal. Trust me. They’re not. To make matters worse, they claim to be a Christian organization. If you ask me, I don’t think Jesus would approve of their marketing methods.

There are plenty of complaints about them online, too.

If you can’t land a traditional contract, and if you need to self-publish, see our POD price comparison HERE. None of the companies on that list pretend to be traditional publishers.

RELATED:

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

POD SECRETS REVEALED Series

CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS – PART IV

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

More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First!

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.

Archived Q&A’s are featured HERE.

 



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!



 

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Angela,

A publisher that I and many other authors used to publish our books sold out to another company last year. They rarely respond to emails and I haven’t received a royalty check in ages. They either offer lame excuses for non-existent payments, or they don’t answer us at all.

Can we all move our books to another publisher?

 

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. I’m just someone who’s been working in the publishing industry for 18 years, and who has fielded thousands of complaints about a variety of industry bad-actors in that time. Please consult with your attorney if you have legal questions, or need advice on this subject.

I looked up the name of the publisher you sent. It appears they take all rights from their authors and there are lots of complaints about them online. I believe they have stopped their regular day-to-day operations but, since they use print on demand technology, the books are printed elsewhere, and shipped directly to retailers and customers. The books are still selling and they’re still getting paid for those sales. They’re just not sending the authors their portion. This is all too common among new publishers who either don’t know what they’re doing, who get in over their heads, or who set out to scam authors from the get-go.

It’s much easier to move a book elsewhere if a publisher has a non-exclusive contract. Unfortunately, yours does not.

Only the termination clause in your contract can dictate how and when you can legally terminate. The only other option is to demand they terminate your contract under the threat that you plan to hire an attorney because they breached the terms of your contract. If it was me, I would definitely threaten them with legal action. If they don’t respond, you might consider contacting an attorney because your book could be in limbo for years. And, all the while, THEY will be collecting royalties for any copies that sell (and not sending your portion to you, of course).

Worse, if you go ahead and publish with another firm, the original naughty publisher could then sue YOU, and try to get a portion of the proceeds from your new edition. You can see how things could get very messy very fast. Your contract with them also has a non-compete clause so re-publishing the same book, or publishing a similar book, or one that could in any way whatsoever compete with the first, could land YOU in legal hot water.

You can try contacting their printer but, since the printer’s contract is with the publisher, and not with you, that will probably be a dead end as well. The printer is under no obligation to stop printing your book and any distributors or retailers who are profiting from the book are also not under any obligation to you since all their contracts are with your publisher, not with you.

If there are enough victims, an attorney might agree to represent all of you on a contingency basis. But, if the publisher is truly having financial problems, it might not be worth the attorney’s time and expense to pursue them because it’s unlikely any financial settlement will occur. Even if you sue and win, it’s unlikely you’ll ever collect on the judgment.

I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this. I know it really sucks. Unfortunately, it’s all too common these days. Anybody with a computer can now call themselves a publisher. I advise authors to only sign with a firm that’s been in business for a decade or more, and one that has an excellent reputation.

BookLocker.com has published more than 9,000 titles in the past 18 years. And, we’re still going strong! 🙂

RELATED:

How BookLocker Has Remained Profitable for 17 Years…when so many others have failed

BookLocker’s packages and prices:

Print on Demand Price Comparison:

POD SECRETS REVEALED – How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?

POD SECRETS REVEALED Series

CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS – PART IV

More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First!

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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!



 

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“I’m looking for a publisher. How do I know I can trust you?”

 

I receive this question all the time from authors who are considering publishing their book with BookLocker.com . Unfortunately, they are probably asking the same question of each publisher they approach. The funny thing is…do they really think any publisher is going to say no? Asking this question is akin to asking for a hard sell.

Here are the facts:

1. Almost all firms will say, “Of course!” Why would they state otherwise?

2. A crook will have ready-made answers that lead the author down a rabbit hole on their website. The author will be immersed in marketing messages and, of course, will emerge believing that particular publisher is the best thing since sliced bread.

3. A crook may also ignore the question, sending a canned marketing message in response.

4. What a crook will NOT do is tell you to do your own independent research online.

5. A crook may have a list of false references from previous “customers,” usually with no last names, fake names, or no names at all.

Here’s how I responded to the author who asked the question above:

There are numerous publishers to choose from. I encourage you to independently research any firm with which you consider doing business – publishing or otherwise. If you’re also a freelance writer, even publications you plan to write for should be researched. There are lots of scams targeting writers and authors online. Read warnings signs for those HERE.

At BookLocker, we never solicit testimonials from our authors. But, many send them in after their book is published. You can see numerous unsolicited testimonials sent in by our authors HERE. Each one has the author’s name, book title, and book page link. You can Google any of them to find their personal homepage and/or email address if you want to ask them personally about their experience at BookLocker.

HERE ARE TWO UNSOLICITED THIRD-PARTY REVIEWS ABOUT BOOKLOCKER:

According to The Independent Publishing Magazine, “Overall, BookLocker offers a very particular kind of POD publishing service, honest, upfront, a quality product, but no unnecessary frills. This model may not suit all authors, but their personalized approach and focus on book sales is worth all the value alone.”

“As close to perfection as you’re going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I’ve ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and has put together a package that is the best in the business. You can’t go wrong here. Plus, they’re selective and won’t publish any manuscript just because it’s accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors’ books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know.”
– Attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing

Also, please see the POD Price Comparison HERE.

And, see: SELF-PUBLISHING? – How Many Book Sales Needed to Recoup Your Investment?

RELATED:

POD SECRETS REVEALED Series

MORE CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS (Part IV)

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

More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First!

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.

POD SECRETS REVEALED: You Pay…But THEY Own the Rights?!

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!



 

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I am just starting out and my book is generating some local interest. A bookstore wants to give me a purchase order, and pay me next month. I have to purchase my books up front from my publisher and I really don’t want to wait to get reimbursed. But, I also don’t want to lose the sale. And, what about libraries? Should I accept purchase orders from them, too? Do you have any advice?

At BookLocker.com, we do NOT offer credit to any firm wanting to purchase books from us directly. Here’s why.

When we first started selling print books back in 1999, we offered credit to everyone. We accepted purchase orders from bookstores across the country, libraries, and even schools. That turned out to be a very bad idea.

Bookstores – While we didn’t accept returns, one large bookstore chain (Borders) would return unsold books to us anyway, and they would deduct the amounts for those books from our future payments. They did this despite the fact that our order form, which required a signature, specified that they would not return books. Other large and small bookstores paid very late and some never paid at all.

Libraries – Libraries turned out to be worse at paying their bills than bookstores. Some paid, and did so on time, but most paid slowly. Some never bothered to pay at all.

Schools – These were, by far, the worst offenders. We would receive purchase orders from school districts, and even from individual teachers. Some districts avoided paying their bills by claiming that the person who sent us the purchase order wasn’t authorized to do so. Others simply didn’t pay at all, and ignored all our collection efforts. Threatening to scar the credit rating of a school just doesn’t hold any weight. Of course, small claims court would have been a complete waste of time and money on small orders like that. I figured the schools knew all of this and that’s why so many of them never paid their bills.

After a year of wasting WAY too much time on collections (and countless hours of frustration and anger because we knew these outfits were purposefully stealing from us), we said enough is enough. We started requiring all retailers, libraries and schools to pay up front for all purchases. We set up a wholesale order form on our website that they were all required to complete before we would process their order, which specified our “no returns” policy.

And, guess what? When we did that, sales did NOT drop! Best of all, once we initiated that requirement, we were never again out any money on any order. And, we no longer had to pay an employee for several hours of collections work each month.

We still get purchase orders sent to us via mail, fax, and email. When we do, we quickly send them a link to our online order form https://secure.booklocker.com/booklocker/wholesale/order.php with this statement: “We require pre-payment on all orders.”

RELATED:

Offering Credit to Bookstores Can Be VERY Risky

How I Accept Credit Cards At Book Signings And Other Events!

STOP GLUTTONOUS PURCHASING PRACTICES BY BOOKSTORES! Why ALL Books Should be Non-Returnable!!

How to Sell Books on Consignment to Bookstores and Other Retailers

Another Shocking Reason to NEVER Accept Book Returns!

Do NOT Sneak Your Self-Published Book Onto Bookstore Shelves!

Marketing to Bookstores – Still a Waste of Time?

Archived Q&A’s are featured HERE

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!



 

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Hi Angela,

After MONTHS of twice weekly (file) rejections from CreateSpace for the most piddling reasons, I have had it and found your site through Google.

I have been a small press for 38 years and this is the first time I decided to try Amazon (which owns CreateSpace). Their publishing arm is a nightmare.

CreateSpace has put us in a very bad light with our customers now. This book was a Kickstarter campaign and we are now six months late. The complaints are coming daily.

We have only a few things left to format (caused by CreateSpace tearing apart the files).
I need immediate help to finish this project off and get copies in the hands of the backers.

Please let me know what you folks can do. I am at wit’s end right now.

I can Dropbox over the complete book (in the new uncorrected version) so that you can see the project. To fulfill all the backers and contributors I need 100 copies ASAP. I have used virtually every POD and regular printer in my 38 years but this time I need to get quick assistance to complete what CreateSpace had us destroy.

 

Yes, numerous complaints have been posted about CreateSpace over the years. Their submission process can be daunting (they can simply reject files, over and over again) and some authors get so frustrated that they end up paying CreateSpace’s ridiculously high setup fees to help them finish the job.

For authors who have designed their own interior and cover files, BookLocker offers a DIY publishing program for only $76. That includes an ISBN, barcode, and the print proof (the first printed, bound copy of your book, which our printer sends out via UPS Next Day Air). The author can use their own ISBN if they want. Of course, we review the author’s files, and send them a detailed list if there are any problems. At BookLocker, authors don’t receive automated rejections from an annoying database. We work one-on-one with our authors. And, we don’t have call centers in other countries like some of the “other guys” do. In fact, we don’t have call centers at all! We detest telemarketers and spammers!

BookLocker also offers a two-week Expedited Publishing Program and, of course, our most popular “At Your Service” Program, which gets a book to market within a month, affordably, and with a friendly, professional (and real!) human being working with you during the entire process.

There’s a pre-holiday sale running this week for the latter two programs. You can get $150 off using this discount code:
WELOVESANTA

But you need to sign up by midnight on Friday.

Read more about it here:
http://newsletter.booklocker.com/get-150-off

To see which POD publishers charge the least expensive setup fees, study the POD Price Comparison HERE .

RELATED:

CREATESPACE COMPLAINTS – PART IV

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

More Lulu Complaints – Thinking Of Using Lulu To Publish Your Book? You Might Want To Read These Authors’ Complaints First!

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

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.

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!



 

 

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Hi Angela,

I’ve just landed my first copy editing job through your recommendation. I’m wondering whether you have any sample contracts that you use or recommend for freelancer copy editors.

Thank you.

JG

 

– CopyEditing.com has just what you need! Please see:

https://www.copyediting.com/freelance-sample-contract/

 

And, congrats on the new gig!

🙂

 

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Absent a Contract, Who Owns the Rights?

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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!



 

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***There are millions of people with fascinating stories to tell. Unfortunately, many of these survival stories deal with abuse. I receive numerous emails like this one each year. The email below has been anonymized by me. The actual facts revealed in the email were horrific.

~~~

Hi Angela,

I would love to be able to share my life story. I have been told for years to write a book. Thing is, I have no idea on where to begin.

I am the single mother of four children. I got pregnant the first time when I was 16. My mom died in car accident when I was pregnant so I ended up raising my three siblings. My dad was driving that night and, after years of abusing my mom and us, we suspected he wrecked the car that way on purpose. The pole he hit was on her side of the car. He had minor injuries. The day after the funeral, he moved in with his mistress and we hardly saw him after that. He got all the life insurance money and gave nothing to me and my siblings. He spent it all before the courts could intervene.

The abuse didn’t stop there. Even after I became an adult, and moved out on my own, he would come to my house and beat me up. Once, he did it in front of my children. I didn’t turn him in all those years because he was the only parent I had left. After he abused me in front of my children, I finally got smart, and got up the nerve to get an order of protection against him.

My dad and his wife are still alive. Recently, they stole an inheritance from another relative.

There is so much more to tell. I want to write a book, partly to tell my story and also so I can make some money from it since I’m a single mom.

Where should I start?

 

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. The information below is my opinion only. Please consult your attorney for questions about the legalities of writing and publishing non-fiction, especially where abuse is concerned.

Your story does indeed sound very interesting and I’m sure it would be of interest to many readers. However, there is a pretty significant legal liability associated with publishing such a story. I am sure that your father and/or stepmother would like nothing more than to file a lawsuit against you if you publish such a story. Many mean people (and their lawyers) assume that all authors and their publishers are wealthy. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. But, even if you’re broke, that won’t stop a slimy lawyer from filing a lawsuit against you.

If I were you, I would publish it as fiction based on actual events, and anonymize EVERYTHING in the story. The book could still tell the story, and provide lessons for people who read it, while not identifying or revealing you or your family members’ identities. Unfortunately you would need to keep the fact that you are the author a secret from everyone. If even one person reads the book, and can identify your father or stepmother or anyone else who was criticized in the book, they could sue you, even if you don’t name them. Please read the following articles for more advice but, again, you need to discuss this with an attorney.

 

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!”

How to Novelize Your Life Story or Family History

 

 

RELATED:

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!



 

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Angela,

A few years ago, you published an article on how to make extra holiday money through writing. Can you post that again, or give a link?

Thanks.

 

I have several holiday-related goodies to share! Here ya go:

Make Money Writing Santa Letters

The Holidays = Article Ideas in Abundance!

Your Creativity As a Loving, Inexpensive (and Funny!) Holiday Gift!

H-O-L-I-D-A-Y-S can spell W-O-R-K for freelancers

Beat the New Year’s Cash Crunch – Rev Up Marketing Now for Ongoing Pay!

Five Ways to Boost your Holiday Income

The P.O.D. of Christmas Past: Self-Publishing in 1843

In next week’s Publisher’s Desk column, we’ll be featuring Paying Holiday Markets for Writers, so stay tuned!

 

RELATED:
Search paying markets for writers here:

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!



 

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Angela,

I am not sure how this happened, but ever since my new book hit the market, a different publisher has been calling my office, and sending emails.

Their sales representative was very much ‘to the point’ about what they wanted from me (my next book) and how much they wanted to produce it at reduced rates. Those “reduced rates” range from $2,000 to $6500!

I had a good laugh with the first sales rep — I talked her ear off about the (non-existent) “upcoming musical and movie.” They kept contacting me and, after that, I simply said ‘no’ to others that called, and hung up. I do not have the time for their crap. Why would any author want to pay $2,000 to $6,500 to a firm that bombards them with telemarketing calls and spam?

This is on-going. Have any of your other authors experienced this – the moment their book hits the market, another publisher descends upon them?

 

Yes, this is, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon. We call these so-called publishers “bottom feeders.”

Please see:
POD POACHERS! When Bottom Feeders Lure Authors Away from Their Existing Contracts, and Charge Thousands More!
Unfortunately, these bottom feeders can find newly released books on Amazon, and spend just a minute or two of research to find the author’s website, email address, and even their phone number. Then, the spamming and phone calls begin.

I agree with you. I never do business with any firm that uses spam or telemarketing as a sales tactic.

RELATED

“I Just Landed a Traditional Contract…Or Did I?”

When Traditional Publishers Become Vanity Publishers

ARE YOU, TOO, GETTING SPAMMED TO KINGDOM COME BY THOSE “GET PUBLISHED” EMAILS?

Are Traditional Publishers Getting Kick-Backs, Err… Commissions, from Some POD Publishers?

Should I Pay A Marketing Spammer To Review My Book?

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!



 

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