Angela’s Desk

P.O.D. SECRETS REVEALED: PUBLISHERS PROFITING FROM AUTHOR ERRORS! – Angela Hoy

At BookLocker.com, whenever I notice a mistake in a book, I alert the author. If I notice a few, I will send them a list. These errors can range from the occasional misuse of a word (their vs. there, for example), or a formatting inconsistency (Chapter 1, Chapter Two, etc.), to something like the author's misuse of the term Prologue at the end of the book (should be Epilogue). Since we send the formatted file back to the author for any final changes, they have the opportunity to make any corrections at no extra charge at that point in the process. Alerting the author when we notice an error helps them avoid future reader complaints and, of course, bad book reviews. Here's a dirty secret you won't hear anyone talking about among P.O.D. publishers. Some of them see mistakes, and purposely allow them to remain in the book... …

WORLD’S WORST QUERY LETTERS

Today, I'm going to share snippets from some of the worst query letters we've received over the past couple of months. Yes, we can learn from others' mistakes! Featured below are real quotes from query letters submitted to WritersWeekly.com... …

Authors Beware! “Gifting” Your Kindle E-Books May BACKFIRE! By Angela Hoy

I received an email from an author last week asking why he never received his "royalties" for a Kindle "gift" ebook he bought for someone. It was his own book and he had documentation proving he'd purchased the ebook version from Amazon. I checked Amazon's reports and they didn't show the sale for that month. I wrote to Amazon and the author was not happy with their response... …

Topic, Common Themes, and Winners of the WritersWeekly.com Fall, 2013 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

For the past six weeks, we've spent every spare moment judging the hundreds of entries submitted for the WritersWeekly Fall, 2013 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 online. 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. 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... …

13 Signs You Shouldn’t Include That Risky Content In Your Book

13 Signs You Shouldn’t Include That Risky Content In Your Book

Some people look for easy, unethical ways to make money and, for some of those people, filing frivolous lawsuits against authors and others is how they attempt to line their pockets for retirement. There is no shortage of slimy lawyers who will happily file such lawsuits, hoping you'll cave and settle...or hoping they can at least make you desperate enough to fear possible bankruptcy if you don't play by their rules... …

Are Book Signings Big Book Sellers? Not Usually…

Based on a survey we did several years ago, most authors who had done a book signing were disappointed with the results. Most reported selling fewer than five copies of each title, and also reported they spent far more time and money preparing for the signing than they earned in profits from book sales. We wanted to see how things have changed so we sent out a call for information last week. Here are four of the responses... …

WORLD’S WORST QUERY LETTERS

Today, I'm going to share snippets from some of the worst query letters we've received over the past couple of months. Yes, we can learn from others' mistakes! Featured below are real quotes from query letters submitted to WritersWeekly.com. …

Topic, Common Themes, and Winners of the WritersWeekly.com Summer, 2013 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

For the past six weeks, we've spent every spare moment judging the hundreds of entries submitted for the WritersWeekly Summer, 2013 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 online. Entrants must be registered before the contest begins and there is a limit of 500 entrants per contest. Participants then have 24 hours to write and submit their stories. 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. Keep reading as this peaceful summer day melts into mayhem... …

Your Book As a Movie? Watch Out for Snake Oil Salesmen!

Your Book As a Movie? Watch Out for Snake Oil Salesmen!

I recently received the following question from an author: What advice can you give to a self-published author about getting OPTIONED (film and television). I want to sell my book online, and plan on taking your advice on marketing online, but one of my primary goals is to get my book into the hands of producers and directors who will want to turn it into a movie, and will want to "option" it. Here was my response... …

11 Fatal Query Letter Mistakes – Angela Hoy

Several times a week, writers send us query letters, hoping to get published in (and paid by!) WritersWeekly.com. Today, I want to share with you 11 common mistakes writers make when approaching us (and other publications). …

A TOUCHY SUBJECT: Conceited Authors…and their opposites – Angela Hoy

Writers are a funny bunch. It seems they either have very low self-esteem...or far too much of it. That's probably true of workers in most professions but, since writing is such a personal matter, writers can appear to go to the extreme with these emotions. Unfortunately, these feelings can lead to some unattractive actions that can harm or even ruin a writer's opportunities for success... …

TANTALIZING SUBJECT LINES! How to Make Almost Anyone Open and Read Your Email/Blog/Article

As the owner of WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker.com, writers and authors frequently add me to email notifications they send out when they update their website or blog. I'm happy to receive these and I often find interesting and intriguing tidbits in these individuals' posts. Unfortunately, some of them have great blog posts or website articles but very boring email notifications... …

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc. – Angela Hoy

Complaints about AuthorHouse, Complaints about Xlibris, Complaints about iUniverse, Complaints about Trafford, etc., etc.  – Angela Hoy

Earlier this month, Author Solutions was (finally) sued by a group of writers who are unhappy with their services. Author Solutions is the parent company of AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford, WordClay, and other properties. The suit is seeking class-action status. At WritersWeekly, we have received numerous complaints from unhappy Author Solutions authors over the years. Each year, it seems to get worse... …

Are Your ISP’s Spam Filters Harming Your Business?

It happened again today. I received a query from a freelance writer, and sent an acceptance email to her. Her ISP immediately kicked back an automated message saying my email to her was rejected as spam. The writer never received it because it was hard filtered by her ISP... …

WORLD’S WORST BOOK PROPOSALS

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

Why Must Americans Pay More Than Others for American Books?

Several people sent me the link to THIS ARTICLE by Scott Turow, president of the Authors Guild. The article criticizes the recent Supreme Court decision to allow foreign editions of books to be purchased and shipped here. The way the article is written made some believe he was referring to illegal copies of books (pirated editions). He wrote "since they will be sold in a secondary market, authors won't get royalties"... …

Books That NOBODY Should Publish – Angela Hoy

Each morning, after I pour a cup of coffee, I check the headlines. One caught my eye this week. Remember the Olympic bomber? He went to court to try to get the royalties for a book he self-published. It's his autobiography. In my opinion, 100% of that money should go to the victims' families. This week, U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith agreed, saying he forfeited that right in his plea deal. Which self-publishing firm stooped to publishing a book by this murderer? Keep reading to find out... …

Can Your Ebook Formatter Be Trusted?

Over the weekend, I purchased the ebook Women in the Middle Ages by historians Frances Gies and Joseph Gies for my Nook. I started reading the book and found two words stuck together...and then two more...and then two more. It was pretty distracting because each merged set of words made me pause in my reading. There were other errors, too, like inconsistent indents. I, of course, assumed the book was self-published because there were so many errors. I was wrong. It was published by HarperCollins, "HarperCollins E-books" to be exact... …

Ebook Conversion Services – You Get What You Pay For…Sometimes!

Ebook formatting and conversion is not easy. The trick is to know what items in a manuscript will cause problems before you start so you can either eliminate them or change them to minimize the cleanup on the other end. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the errors in numerous ebooks on the market, lots of publishers just push raw manuscripts into software and then put whatever emerges up for sale... …

How to Compile and Publish an Anthology – Part II – Angela Hoy

I have published a few non-fiction anthologies over the years and they have all been successful, both from a research and publishing standpoint in the beginning, and a sales standpoint later. There is a right and wrong way to collect and publish stories contributed by others. In Part I, we discussed how much to pay contributors and what rights to request. Today, we're going to discuss contracts, how to find contributors for your anthology, paying your writers, and more... …

When Traditional Publishers Become Vanity Publishers

The publishing world was all abuzz last week when Random House announced they were going to not only take rights (NOT just ebook rights!!) to authors' books for four new ebook imprints, but they were also going to charge authors some up-front fees. After being raked over the coals online, they changed their terms but, in my opinion, they're still not good enough... …

1 5 6 7 8 9 18