Angela’s Desk

More World’s Worst Book Proposals and Query Letters! By Angela Hoy

More World’s Worst Book Proposals and Query Letters! By Angela Hoy

Today, I'm going to share another installment of our popular column, World's Worst Book Proposals and Query Letters. Yes, we can learn from others' mistakes! Featured are real quotes from query letters and book proposals submitted to us over the past few weeks... …

EMBARRASSING! When Friends and Family Lie About Buying Your Book By Angela Hoy

EMBARRASSING! When Friends and Family Lie About Buying Your Book By Angela Hoy

Well, it happened again. An author accused us of not paying royalties on friends and family book sales...that never occurred. He was unable to provide copies of receipts from the loved ones he claimed had purchased his book. In addition, he refused to provide any information about the purchases, nor the buyers, nor the stores where the purchases had (not) occurred. Even though he had zero receipts, and even though he didn't forward any correspondence to me from those individuals, and even though he could not or would not give information about even one "missing" sale, he insisted I get the money... …

AUTHORS BEHAVING BADLY – A Rant

AUTHORS BEHAVING BADLY – A Rant

Sometimes you just gotta rant! At BookLocker.com, we have published more than 6,000 print and electronic…

Publishing Other People’s Non-fiction Stories Can Get You Sued!

We were contacted by an author who is working on a very intriguing book. It's almost finished. I can't give you any details because it is such a great idea and she is likely taking steps to remedy the current problem. It's one of those books that you just can't help but open up, and dive into. All I can tell you is that it involved true crime, with details written by the criminal himself. Unfortunately, she can't publish the book as-is because it comes with a great deal of legal liability. Here was my response to her...…

More World’s Worst Book Proposals And Query Letters! By Angela Hoy

Today, I'm going to share another installment of our popular column, World's Worst Book Proposals and Query Letters. Yes, we can learn from others' mistakes! Featured below are real quotes from query letters (and two book proposals) submitted to us over the past few months... …

Topic, Common Themes, And Winners Of The Writersweekly.com Summer, 2014 24-Hour Short Story Contest! By Angela Hoy

For the past six weeks, we've spent every spare moment judging the hundreds of entries submitted for the WritersWeekly Summer, 2014 24-Hour Short Story Contest. In case you're not familiar with our quarterly contest, this is how it works. On the date of the contest, at start-time, we send out the topic for that specific contest to all registered entrants, while also posting it on WritersWeekly.com. Entrants must be registered before the contest begins and there is a limit of 500 participants per contest. Entrants then have 24 hours to write and submit their stories via email. The stories "must deal with the topic in some way to qualify" and they must not exceed the pre-assigned word count, which is announced with the topic. After reading the entries for each contest, we can see how difficult it is to come up with a unique plot when working with an assigned topic. But, inevitably, a few writers do manage to successfully break away from the pack. …

Bigots Need Not Apply! 9 Offensive Ways To Lose A Publishing Contract By Angela Hoy

This is a an example of the types of emails we occasionally receive from authors. They're greatly abbreviated, of course. This type of offensive correspondence can, of course, result in a breakdown of negotiations, or not receiving a contract offer at all. And, just because you've already been offered a publishing contract doesn't mean you can't lose it through bad behavior... …

Is Your Book Description Killing Sales? By Angela Hoy

It happened again today. I asked an author for a short description of her book for Ingram, the world's largest book distributor, which sends an automated feed to the online and physical bookstores. The feed is used to create book listings on sites like Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and other stores. The author responded right away. This was last line of her description - Read on as justice is served and police take down the vicious killer. Yep. She gave away the ending. Who wants to buy a book if you already know what's going to happen? Giving away the ending will definitely hurt future book sales! …

SELF-PUBLISHING CONTRACT FINE PRINT EXPOSED: Who Can Keep Selling Your Book For A YEAR After Termination? By Angela Hoy

Good news! You just landed a traditional contract for your self-published book! Better news!! Your current self-publishing service (a POD publisher) has a 30-day termination clause. That's good because the traditional publisher offering you a nice advance isn't going to want to wait for you to get out of another contract. Some traditional publishers require proof that an author's book is no longer under contract elsewhere, and no longer for sale. In fact, if you can't provide that proof, they may rescind their offer, and offer that contract to a competing author instead. Guess what? If you're an Xlibris, AuthorHouse, or Trafford author, terminating your book isn't as simple as their "30-day" contract termination clause may appear... …

29 Reasons Your Books Aren’t Selling By Angela Hoy

29 Reasons Your Books Aren’t Selling By Angela Hoy

You're depressed. You're confused. You're thinking about giving up writing altogether. Why? Because the only people who have bought your book are your mom and your Aunt Bertha. With more than a million books published each year now (most of those self-published), there is lots of competition. However, many authors earn enough in book sales to feed their families. How do they do it? Some of this may be hard to hear (I mean read) but, if you clicked on this article, you're obviously seeking the truth. So, here it is... …

Cartoon Curse Word Characters: When Your Computer Ruins Your Online Marketing Activities By Richard Hoy

Cartoon Curse Word Characters: When Your Computer Ruins Your Online Marketing Activities By Richard Hoy

Have you ever submitted text to be posted online, and later discovered odd characters in the place of punctuation? For authors, this can be detrimental to book sales because a book description with errors can make readers think the book itself might have errors too. For writers, this can harm a reputation, especially if the post can't be edited. What causes these anomalies, and how can you avoid these types of unintentional and embarrassing errors? …

Are You Blacklisting Yourself with Your Online Behavior? By Angela Hoy

Are You Blacklisting Yourself with Your Online Behavior? By Angela Hoy

After 15 years of publishing an ezine for writers, and publishing more than 6,000 print and electronic books for authors, I'd like to say I've pretty much seen it all but, unfortunately, I know I haven't. Occasionally, authors and writers make mistakes, BIG mistakes, that can result in getting blacklisted by a publication or book publisher, meaning that firm will not work with that individual on anything at all in the future, no matter what. Here are some things you should be careful about when doing business with others... …

POD SECRETS REVEALED: How Much Do Some POD Publishers Profit from Ingram’s “Channel Distribution” Fees? Plenty! By Angela Hoy

POD Publishers that use Ingram's printing division to print their books incur an annual fee, which is charged by Ingram for each title/ISBN. Ingram calls this their "Catalog Fee." It provides: "Access to our worldwide distribution channels (the largest portfolio of wholesalers, distributors and booksellers worldwide)." Basically, this means they send out an automated feed to bookstores that includes all the available titles. It typically costs publishers $12 per year to keep a book in Ingram's system... …

POD SECRETS REVEALED! – “100% Royalties?!” Don’t Be Fooled! By Angela Hoy

POD SECRETS REVEALED! – “100% Royalties?!” Don’t Be Fooled! By Angela Hoy

Most authors assume, when they read "35% royalties" or "50 royalties," that they'll be getting that percentage of the list price of the book each time a copy sells. And, with many POD publishers, that is the case. But, some have confusing clauses in their contracts that state the percentage is actually based on the publisher's net income... …

More World’s Worst Book Proposals And Query Letters

Today, I'm going to share another installment of our popular column, World's Worst Book Proposals and Query Letters. Yes, we can learn from others' mistakes! Featured are real quotes from query letters (no book proposals today) submitted to us over the past few months. …

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

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

The next quarterly 24-Hour Short Story Contest is right around the corner! Despite the fact that our guidelines have a list of hints for writers, many either don't read it, or ignore it. After more than a decade of hosting and judging quarterly writing contests, we're sharing some hints on how to get a leg up on the other contestants... …

PROLIFIC AUTHORS! Which Publisher Gives the BEST DEAL to Authors of Two or More Titles? By Angela Hoy

You're an author with two or more manuscripts ready to go (or books you want to re-publish), and several more in the works. After you go through a publisher's process the first time, the second time is naturally easier, for both you and for the publisher. You know what to expect, and what they expect, and the publishing process goes much more smoothly. Shouldn't you be rewarded for this by receiving a deep discount on setup fees for your second and subsequent books? Yes, you should! Which P.O.D. publisher offers deep discounts to "returning authors?" …

P.O.D. SECRETS REVEALED: “Free” P.O.D. Services Can Be Very Expensive!

P.O.D. SECRETS REVEALED: “Free” P.O.D. Services Can Be Very Expensive!

Tempted to sign up with one of those P.O.D. publishers that are claiming to be FREE? You'll first need design experience so you can layout a professional book interior, and create a professional cover. In addition, if you really want to get your book published for "free", in some cases you can forget about having an ISBN (which online and brick and mortar bookstores as well as libraries require), forget about being distributed by Ingram, the world's largest book distributor, which distributes book listings to online and physical bookstores across the globe, and forget about a lot of other things as well, including a print proof to check before your book goes to market... …

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