Angela’s Desk

Sick

Angela's column will return next week. She's behind after a bout of weekend food poisoning (no, it wasn't the turkey) and catching a cold on the same day. …

Organization, Automation and Delegation – The Keys to Maintaining My Sanity While Running a Home-Based Business Part III By Angela Hoy

Okay, I need to confess something to all of you. I have a problem with... delegation, the act of entrusting another to MY work. That's right. MY work. I like to maintain complete control of our business at all times. From A to Z (accounting to Zach), I am convinced that if I am not controlling everything simultaneously then things will definitely and completely fall apart. I recognized this problem long ago, and I know the stress my little control problem causes is probably slowly killing me. But, I was always afraid to turn over my tasks to another person. And, it seemed the time it would take to train someone to do it would just take up even more time that I did not have! Over the summer, our business boomed and it got to the point where I had to finally say, "No more!" My breaking point turned out to be a blessing. …

More World’s Worst Book Proposals By Angela Hoy

I'm pretty backed up this week so I'm going to share another installment of our popular column, World's Worst Book Proposals. Yes, these are real! Enjoy! In the actual book - Chapter 1, Line 3: A person who practices witchcraft is indeed a witch, yet what is a witch and how does a witch practices witchcraft.

More Than One Way to Expose a Deadbeat By Angela Hoy

DISCLAIMER: Many deadbeats use legal threats and intimidation to try to scare their victims. These bullying tactics are common when you're dealing with psychotic, anti-social crooks. While anybody can sue anybody for anything these days, you should remember that they would have to open all their books in the event of a lawsuit and many deadbeats don't want to do this. In addition, they would likely have to sue you in your own state. And, defamation lawsuits are hard to prove and may be very expensive, especially if they are out of state. Ironically, some deadbeats would rather pay their attorney thousands than pay a writer the hundreds they legitimately owe. But, their legal hot air is usually just that - hot air. You may want to consult an attorney if you plan to take the action below against the deadbeat. We aren't attorneys and none of this should be considered legal advice. …

Radio Interviews = Poor Book Sales for Authors? By Angela Hoy

In last week's missive, I discussed disappointing book sales resulting from authors appearing as guests on radio shows. I inquired if readers have had similar or different experiences and asked you to to share your experiences. All but one of you reported poor book sales. The one positive email I received wasn't actually sent by the author himself, but by the radio host who interviewed him. However, some of you did report other good things that resulted from your radio interviews. Here's what you said... …

Can Radio Interviews Still Sell Books? By Angela Hoy

An author sent me a note this week inquiring about using an 800 number during radio interviews to sell books to people who are listening in their cars. I shared my opinions with him (see below). I'd love to hear from other readers who have attempted to sell books through radio interviews! Was it successful for you or were you disappointed in the results? Do you think ipods and satellite radio have made radio shows less lucrative for authors trying to market their books over the airwaves? Do you think my statements below are incorrect? Or do you agree with me? …

POD Secrets Revealed: Inflated Shipping Charges? By Angela Hoy

You did it! Your book is finally in print! After months of sweating over details like editing and cover colors and even the final list price, you're ready to start that marketing campaign! You've even figured out that you can make more money buying copies at your author discount and doing your own fulfillment at appearances than you would if you sent potential readers to your publisher's website. But, wait... You just tried to place an order for 100 copies of your book...and discovered that your publisher is charging you around $1 per paperback book for shipping and handling! Say what?! …

Vacation

Angela is on vacation. Her blog will return next week. …

Vacation

Angela is on vacation. Her blog will return in two weeks. …

Sick Day

Angela, Mason and Max all have a cold. Her column will return next week. So your click will not have been in vain, here's an interesting tidbit sent in by author Burt Close: …

Are You at Risk? When Publishers Go Out of Business By Angela Hoy

So, your book is finally being published! Congratulations! If you're like the rest of us, you envision yourself walking into your local bookstore and seeing your book on the shelves. You start to plan book signings and appearances. And you dream about how big your first royalty check will be! But, if your traditional publisher is a small one...or even a new, unestablished POD publisher, how long will it last, and how much money and time could you lose? …

We’re Raising Our Freelance Rates! By Angela Hoy

I have a confession to make. A couple of weeks ago, I looked up the rate of inflation over the past few years. I discovered that inflation has risen 20% since 2000. While we hadn't raised our prices at booklocker.com during all that time, we also hadn't raised the rates we pay freelance writers at WritersWeekly.com. I was mortified and embarrassed. Why hasn't anybody complained during all these years? We made an immediate decision. At WritersWeekly.com, we are raising our rates 20% for features and 33% for success stories... …

Catch-Up

Angela is playing catch-up from the holiday weekend. Her blog will return next week. …

Authors Who Avoid Traditional Publishers By Angela Hoy

Last week, we talked about how many self-published authors have landed traditional contracts only after self- publishing. This week, I'd like to talk about authors who avoid traditional publishing houses for some (or all) of their titles, and why. Years ago, I wrote and self-published a book with another author. It was a book about successful online publishing. We put the book up for sale as an ebook and it sold very well...so well, in fact, that it sold at auction to a large New York publisher a few weeks later. The initial advance was nice - very nice. It helped pay the down payment on our new home in Maine. But, there were quite a few downsides... …

Can Self-Published Authors Land Traditional Contracts? Heck, Yeah! By Angela Hoy

I keep hearing the same question: "If I self-publish, can I still land a traditional publishing contract?" Yes, you absolutely can! On Monday, I received a note from a fiction author who said an agent told him he can't land a traditional contract if he self-publishes. We told him that was hogwash. …

Catch-Up

Angela's blog will return next week. …

Catch-Up

Angela's column will return next week. She took the entire weekend off, and is still playing catch-up. …

Technology Steals Three Days From Me By Angela Hoy

I've chosen to whine long and loud this week about what happened to me last week. My laptop has had an electrical short for the past few weeks. The plug in the back would jiggle loose and I'd lose power. It also sucked the life out of two batteries. Sure, I had every intention of taking it in. But, as long as I could keep jiggling it back into working mode, I figured I could just put it off. Well, on Friday, it died for good. Luckily, I had backed up all my information the night before... …

Book Fairs – Worth The Effort? By Angela Hoy

I occasionally receive orders for books that authors plan to sell at book fairs. Unfortunately, in almost every case, the authors are sorely disappointed in the resulting sales. …

Writing…When You Don’t Think You Are By Angela Hoy

A couple of years ago, I decided that releasing books every single year just wasn't working for me. I thought that maybe planning and taking notes during odd years, and writing, editing and publishing during even years, might make more sense for me. If I hadn't written any new books for an entire year, I knew I'd be chomping at the bit to get some done the following year. …

Readers Weigh In…

Last week, I ran the following in WritersWeekly Whispers and Warnings: Creative TECHniques / creativetechniquesmag.com / All American Crafts Inc. / allamericancrafts.com - Writer alleges she's owed $350; publisher got upset with writer and terminated the contract...after the articles were finished and submitted. What do you think? Does the publisher owe the writer the money? WritersWeekly would love your opinion on this one! Quite a few of you wrote in with your opinions! Some of you agreed with my opinion while many of you didn't. The responses are great! Please read them here: http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=7250

How Some POD Publishers Milk Authors By Angela Hoy

I frequently receive emails from authors who have paid a company to publish their book, but who are later surprised by some of the terms of the contract they signed (that they usually didn't read), and are also flustered by the myriad of add-on services offered by their POD publisher. Understandably, they can't believe a company that they paid to publish their book has taken such liberties. There are some things you should never, ever agree to when paying another company to publish your book. And, there are optional extras that will cost you a small fortune, and will, in all likelihood, never be paid for with any resulting book sales. Here, I'm examining the contracts and add-on services offered by the most popular POD service companies - iUniverse, AuthorHouse, Xlibris, Lulu and BookLocker (the latter of which I own, by the way). All the information below assumes the book is a standard, black and white interior paperback with similar distribution (through Ingram). You wouldn't believe the ways some of these companies milk authors! …

Promote Your OWN Website, Not Your Publisher’s

Author Andy was so excited! His new book was finished and he'd just approved his print galley. It was time to start selling books! His publishing company put his book up for sale on their website and sent him the URL where he could send people who wanted to purchase his book. Andy didn't have his own website or blog, but he didn't think that would be a problem. Unfortunately, it was, on several fronts. And, while Andy and the other authors below are fictitious, the scenarios are based on real complaints we've received from authors over the years. In every case, had the author had their own website or blog, he or she would have lost few, if any, sales. …

Excuse Me But…Is This Name Taken? By Angela Hoy

One statement I often hear from new authors is, "Oh no! My book has the same name as another book!" This is actually a common problem. There are lots of books with identical names. While you can't copyright a name, you can trademark a name or phrase. Not many authors go to the trouble of registering a trademark. And, honestly, registering a trademark is pretty expensive so I wouldn't advise doing it, unless you plan to roll out an entire business or line of books using a phrase from your title (i.e. Chicken Soup for the Soul). …

Balancing A Large Family While Working At Home By Angela Hoy

I frequently receive emails from readers asking for advice on how we balance working at home with our home life. Here's the latest letter I received: I wanted to let you know what a great resource your weekly newsletter is to me and how eagerly I anticipate it in my e-mail inbox. Thank you for providing such a wonderful tool for anyone who will sign up to receive it. I am especially inspired by your personal stories from home, and I hoped you would share some tips on how you organize your day and get everything done. It seems amazing to me that you can manage a family (especially a young baby) and demanding (albeit rewarding) work and not be overwhelmed. Thank you, Amy

Readers Respond: How Much Would You Write For?

Last week, I wrote about the growing controversy over crappy writing jobs that pay only a buck or two per article. I also published an email I'd received that complained about a job I ran that paid $9/hour. I then wrote, "Is $9/hour low-ball pay or is that a home-based wage you would accept? What do you estimate you are you currently earning per hour on your writing jobs?" …

How Much Would You Write For? By Angela Hoy

There has been a lot of controversy lately about the crappy writing jobs posted online by people who will only pay around a buck or two for an article/blog posting. We've also been getting complaints about writers getting writing jobs and then subbing those jobs out to other writers, unbeknownst to the publishers, for only a buck or two. …

When Customers Write Bad Checks: My Successful Collection Technique by Angela Hoy

As promised, this week I'm sharing the steps I take when somebody sends me a bad check. Sure, I understand that bookkeeping mistakes happen, but by the time my bank has notified me of a bad check, the person whose check bounced has usually already been notified by their bank. If they haven't contacted me immediately to right their wrong, I have to assume their actions were malicious. …

How Writers Should Respond to Job Ads By Angela Hoy

While many companies are happy to have their market listings and job ads posted on WritersWeekly, I receive frequent complaints about how our readers respond to those ads. I want to address this ongoing problem here today. …

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