Angela’s Desk

Be Back Next Week

Angela's blog will return next week. …

Book Sales Down? Don’t Give Up!

I used to think I had seasonal book selling fluctuations all figured out. November and December were always pretty busy because of the holidays. Things would drop off in January and February. Revenues would pick up in the Spring, but drop off in July and August when people were on vacation. They'd pick back up again in September because school would be back in session and people would be getting back to business, and so on. Major news items like 9-11, the start of the Iraq war, and even the recent hurricanes affected us, but in a very minor way and for only a day or so. But, this summer, all my theories were proven wrong. …

When Writers are Jerks

When Writers are Jerks

I was pretty disturbed to receive the following email last week... …

Watch Out For This Scam Targeting Writers!

How often have you seen this statement? "All submissions become the property of XYZ Company?" What if you saw that while you were applying for a freelance (or full-time) writing job? If you do, be very wary. …

10 Things NOT to Say in Your Book Proposal

At Booklocker.com, we receive several book manuscripts each week from authors wanting to get their books into print. While we're not a traditional publisher, we are concerned about offering a high-quality inventory. Therefore, we publish less than 5% of incoming submissions. After another agonizing week of seeing the same mistakes by authors made time and again, I thought we'd try to help those of you who are sending your manuscripts to publishers, traditional and other. Perhaps we can help you avoid one of these common mistakes (and give you a smile at the same time!). …

Turn Your Hobby Into a How-To Book By Angela Hoy

Turn Your Hobby Into a How-To Book By Angela Hoy

Last year, while perusing ebay.com for antique dolls (one of my hobbies), I stumbled upon a category of dolls I'd never seen before. They're called reborns. Reborn dolls are regular baby dolls that have been seemingly transformed into living, breathing, adorable infants that nobody can resist! …

Is Your Publisher Upselling You? By Angela Hoy

When being tempted by a publisher who is trying to upsell you on marketing products and services, you should balance the cost of the service with the income you expect it to generate. And don't fool yourself. Very few of these expensive products and services are going to generate enough sales to warrant the initial expense. …

Don’t Give Your Baby (your book!) to A Naughty Publisher! By Angela Hoy

I've compared prices and services at the major POD publishers and it's appalling what some people are charging for the same print run...literally! All the major POD players use the same printer! It's even more discouraging that most of them aggressively try to up-sell authors for worthless marketing products and services. Here's a checklist to help you avoid the naughty ones... …

A Family Business is Like a Marriage By Angela Hoy

Before I became a business owner, I'd heard stories about mom and pop businesses that failed when mom and pop got sick of each other and got divorced. I'm often asked how Richard and I manage to stay happy while working side-by-side all day long, every day. Not only do we work side-by-side, but we work at home, so we work and live in the same space. We've abandoned the home office for the time being because it's too hot in there this time of year. So, we work in the bedroom during the day and watch TV in there together at night (with all the kids lounging around, too). Come to think of it, the only time I'm not with Richard is when one of us gets up to go to the bathroom. We even go to the grocery store together (that cabin fever sets in every few days). …

When Dumb Lawyers Take on Crooked Clients By Angela Hoy

When Dumb Lawyers Take on Crooked Clients By Angela Hoy

We recently ran a warning under WritersWeekly Whispers and Warning about an individual who owed a writer money. It wasn't a huge sum, but enough to feed a small family for a month or so. Shortly after the warning ran, I started receiving a string of emails from this individual (I'll call him Deadbeat Dan). The emails were poorly written, almost illegible because of the spelling errors. I couldn't believe this person supposedly published a line of magazines. One funny thing about his emails is that he inserted a copyright statement under his letters. That made us laugh out loud. I guess he'd never heard of paraphrasing and I guess he figured we'd never be able to share his words with our readers if he copyrighted his "work." …

Don’t Fool Yourself About Poor Book Sales By Angela Hoy

Don’t Fool Yourself About Poor Book Sales By Angela Hoy

Authors can come up with some pretty creative reasons to convince themselves of why they're book isn't selling. When you know as many authors as I do (more than 800) and you see the variety of successful and not-so-successful marketing techniques used today, there really are only two excuses for poor book sales...bad marketing or just a plain old bad book. …

Back Next Week

Angela's writing blog will return next week. To see an encore presentation of this column (that's a fancy, French way to say "repeat"), click here. …

When Bookstore Managers are JERKS

Last week, I received a credit card order from a bookstore...by mail. I was curious why they'd sent it by mail instead of ordering online or by fax. But, they did. When I read the scribbles on the side of the order form, I was stunned by the insulting nature of the correspence. Without even asking for a quote on shipping, he said our price for shipping was "ridiculous" and that he "wouldn't pay more than $10" to ship UPS Ground (for 40 copies). …

Reasons NOT to Sell Your Own Book

Reasons NOT to Sell Your Own Book

Is customer service devouring your writing and marketing time? At Booklocker.com, we are frequently approached by authors who are weary of all the problems they've encountered while trying to sell their books themselves. While they started out wanting to write for a living, they now find they're spending most of their time on website repairs and upgrades, customer service, troubleshooting, fulfillment, and even dealing with credit card fraud and bounced checks. …

Are You Going to Pay Me…or Scam Me?

Are You Going to Pay Me…or Scam Me?

I received a disturbing email this week from a writer who was published, but not yet paid. You see, the publication was located in another country. They refused to pay her by check or money order and also refused to pay her via Paypal. How did they want to pay her? They requested her bank information so they could transfer the funds to her account... …

Your Child – Published Author

With the affordability of print-on-demand (POD) publishing, there is something you can do to encourage creativity and communication with your child, while teaching your child about the publishing process and giving their self-esteem a boast as well! …

Dirty Marketing

When someone boasts their book is a bestseller on Amazon.com, can you trust them? When someone brags that they've sold 10,000 copies in a month, are they being honest? When you type in a website URL and a competitors' pop-up ad appears on your computer screen, do you assume they're in business together? When someone says you're winner, are they trying to fool you into spending money? …

Writing to Help Others, Not to Make Money

I am adamantly against donating your time and writing to companies that seek to profit from your efforts while not sharing cash with you. However, if you are managing the distribution of your free work and it's for a good cause (and nobody's greedily profiting from your free work), then that's an entirely different scenario. …

When Your Customer Commits Fraud

Ordering something with no intention of paying for it is fraud, plain and simple. Unfortunately, there is a growing problem with this online that I want to make you aware of. The typical scenario is the customer orders a book, claims it's lousy, demands a refund, and threatens to report the author to the authorities if they don't comply. I recently received a letter from an ebook author who was the victim of one of these jerks. This week, I'm sharing her letter here along with my experience dealing with these types of criminals. …

Still On The Road

Angela is still on the road and her column will return next week. …

See You Next Week

Angela's column will return next week. …

Real Lawyers Weigh In on Phony Ones

I didn't realize that attorneys are the single most impersonated professionals! Of course, it is a crime to impersonate an attorney. I not only heard from others who were victims of phony lawyers, but I also heard from four, yes four real attorneys. I was thrilled! …

Is That Lawyer Who’s Threatening You…Really a Lawyer?

Is That Lawyer Who’s Threatening You…Really a Lawyer?

A year or so ago, I was contacted by an attorney representing a firm that is listed in the Whispers and Warnings section of WritersWeekly.com. He said he would sue us if we didn't remove the complaints about his firm from our website. His emails were quite menacing...so menacing in fact that we became suspicious. Aren't attorneys schooled in the art of subtle manipulation and vague threats? Aren't they trained to keep their cool at all times in order to prevail as the more intelligent animal in any debate? …

Don’t Miss This Great Job Board!

This week, I want to bring your attention to a stellar publisher who, despite his popularity and fame, always makes times for his readers and for other publishers and editors as well. …

When Editors Get Lazy

I think it's pathetic that some of the major freelance writing sites are too lazy to keep their boards clean and keep the information on their sites accurate... …

Six Prestigious Places to Get Your Book Reviewed

In Angela's blog this week you'll find book review submission information for Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Midwest Book Review, Los Angeles Times Book Review and Hollywood Inside Syndicate. See Angela's writing blog HERE. …

Want to Get Your Press Release Published?

Personalize, Localize, Editorialize and Sensationalize! What makes a press release end up in print instead of in an editor's garbage can? Many marketers resort to pleading to get their products and service in the public eye for free via the press release. You, too, should offer PLEAS to editors, which means your press release should Personalize, Localize, Editorialize or Sensationalize... MORE >>

Frigid Weekends Great for Fiction!

It's going to be terribly cold here this weekend. The weather will be perfect curling up with my big pillows and reading some great fiction! MORE >>