Recently Answered Questions:



You’d be surprised how many people ask me to share my email lists with them…for free. I won’t even do it for money!! They want the THOUSANDS of email addresses of my WritersWeekly subscribers. They want the THOUSANDS of email addresses of our BookLocker authors. Heck, some have even asked me for a list of my friends’ and family members’ email addresses!

Rest assured that we would never, EVER share your or anyone else’s email address with anyone!! Any company that does this instantly loses the respect of their customers. And, I have a moral obligation to protect my subscribers and authors from unwanted emails even if I think the product is something they might want.

What’s appalling about these requests is that these people actually think it’s a-okay to spam anyone and everyone. And, get this, they get MAD at me for refusing to share the email addresses of others!!

I have been offered lots of money over the past 20+ years from companies wanting my lists but I have refused every single request.

What is Spam exactly? Different definitions abound but, in a nutshell, it means to send someone an unsolicited email of a marketing nature. Whether it’s a mass email or a single one doesn’t matter.

Sending out spam can not only harm your reputation, and get you added to spammer lists (meaning your emails will be flagged in the future – even legitimate, non-commercial ones), but you can also lose your email address altogether. And, if you’re using an ISP to host your website, if there are enough complaints, that ISP can shut you down. Permanently.

There are numerous ways to promote your book online FOR FREE that are ethical, legal, and even welcomed by potential readers.

Download this FREE EBOOK:

55 Dos and Don’ts of Book Selling

Merry Early Christmas! 😉

And, get a copy of our very popular book, 90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online.

Use this DISCOUNT CODE to get 20 PERCENT OFF every book you purchase from BookLocker:

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90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy

Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!





7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition


At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.

And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!

Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!



Read more here:


https://writersweekly.com/books/5635.html





Angela,

My webmaster is adding information about my book to my website. I know my book is available at lots of websites now but which ones should I have my webmaster include on my website? I know adding all of them would be too much.

J.W.

I hear from authors on occasion who want me to send them every single link where their book is for sale. I don’t do that because, as you said, it would be too much. And, offering too many options will only confuse buyers.

At BookLocker, our books are distributed by Ingram, the largest book distributor. They send a feed to thousands of their retail clients across the globe. It would be downright silly to list thousands of links on a website.

Here are the links you’ll definitely want to include, and make sure the links go DIRECTLY to your book’s page on each website.

PRINT EDITION
Amazon.com
BarnesAndNoble.com (People who boycott Amazon – and there are many – can shop here instead)
Your Publisher’s Website (if you have a publisher that isn’t selling your book directly on their website, find a different publisher)
Chapters.Indigo.ca (for your Canadian readers)
BooksAMillion.com
Powells.com

EBOOK EDITION
Amazon.com
BarnesAndNoble.com
Apple
GooglePlay
Kobo
Your Publisher’s Website

If your publisher doesn’t distribute your ebooks to all of those sites, again, find a different publisher.


Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

ANGELA ON TWITTER
https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy

ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
https://www.facebook.com/angela.hoy.750

ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-hoy-39071978/

Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
https://24hourshortstorycontest.com/







HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!









Angela,

There is, on Facebook, a popular group that does reviews of articles, books, etc. (and their focus is on the same niche topic as my book). I sent them an inquiry on how to submit my latest historical novel. They responded by telling me that, per their rules, they will not accept “self-published books.” I found that frustrating and, in a way, a bit discriminating.

I wrote back telling them that I’ve read a lot of books in my lifetime (I am 74 years old), both traditionally published books and self-published books, and I have not seen any difference between the two, especially in their quality.

I know that I, personally, have never turned up my nose at any self-published books, nor do I believe very many customers when they decide to purchase a book, put those back on the store shelf when they discover it was self-published, nor do I believe that most customers can even tell that a book was self-published.

Please, if you don’t mind, enlighten me as to what the problem is with self-published books, a least from your standpoint.

I am still waiting for their response, which I doubt will happen. Personally, when I shop for a book I never look to see if it was self-published, but instead, I look at the quality of the book overall, and, mostly, I look to see if the story interests me. I am thankful that both online bookstores and brick and mortar book stores do not refuse to put books on their shelves simply because they are self-published, at least to my knowledge anyway.

J.J.

Physically, it’s true that you can’t tell the difference between self-published books and traditionally published ones. The reason is because many traditionally published books are printed now using print on demand technology. Self-published books look just like traditionally published ones.

Where you can find the difference, however, is in the text inside. A book can look stunningly beautiful. But, if the writing is bad, nothing can save it.

There are lots of author meat markets out there selling pretty much anything and everything (garbage). Doing that gives a bad name to all self-published authors and, yes, it’s entirely unfair. The large publishing services companies will publish just about anything if the author has enough money in their wallet.

That organization on Facebook should at least agree to take a look at your book before deciding whether or not to review it. It’s unfortunate they are judging your book based solely on the actions of author meat markets.

Some bookstores and libraries do indeed refuse to sell books published by some publishers. See #10 in THIS ARTICLE for an example.

At BookLocker, we do not publish everything coming over the e-transom. No retailer or library has ever refused to purchase any of our books just because they were self-published. But, that’s because we’re not an author meat market.


Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

ANGELA ON TWITTER
https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy

ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
https://www.facebook.com/angela.hoy.750

ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-hoy-39071978/

Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
https://24hourshortstorycontest.com/







HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!









Angela:  

I have a question that may be out of left field, but since you’ve been in writing a long time, I’d like your view to something I posted in my local Facebook writers group: 

“For those of you who have significant others or are dating someone, they will know you are a writer rather soon, right?  Well, how much do you expect them to be as excited about wanting to read what you write?  If they don’t show much enthusiasm about you being a writer or what you write, can that be a hindrance in your relationship or potential relationship?  

Obviously, significant others or those we are dating have their own lives and jobs and have to balance all that on top of spending time with us, and on the flip side, we may not get that excited about their jobs either, right?

We as writers do love people reading our work and liking it, and it’s exciting when people closest to us take the time to read our stuff, too.”

Your thoughts, please. 

Thanks, 

R.B.

Nobody in my family (including 2 husbands!) nor my adult children have read all of my books. I write in a genre they are not particularly interested in – about writing and publishing.

For Brian’s memoir about him being a cop, Blue Lives Matter: The Heart Behind the Badge, everybody in his family read it cover to cover and his mother read it twice.

None of my books are memoirs with that kind of excitement!!

Writers need to understand that our loved ones may not be interested in what we write and that’s okay! I would not be interested in following my son around all day for his welding job. I’d be bored out of my mind!! All of this certainly doesn’t mean family members can’t still get along.

Many writers and authors (not all!) are sort of like narcissists. And, I say that in the most loving way. We love reading our own writing more than anything else. We may not understand why a loved one does not want to read the brilliant words we’ve written. But, we need to check our egos at the door. If we need feedback that bad, we need to join a writer’s group. A writer will get far more honest feedback that way anyway.


Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

ANGELA ON TWITTER
https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy

ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
https://www.facebook.com/angela.hoy.750

ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-hoy-39071978/

Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
https://24hourshortstorycontest.com/







HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!









We are seeing lots of complaints online from authors (published by a variety of publishers – including Amazon!) who are claiming Amazon has recently raised the price of their books by $8, $10, or even more. Yes, that’s PER BOOK.

After doing some research, this is what we found:

Amazon is going through some MAJOR changes right now.

1. They are closing warehouses that they built and overstocked during the pandemic.

2. Because of the economy, their sales are way down.

“The company reported a second quarterly loss of $2bn compared with a $7.8bn profit for the same period in 2021. Amazon reported a $3.8bn loss in the previous quarter.” – The Guardian

3. Their stock (like others) is plummeting. As of this writing, it’s dropped $50 per share in the past year (31%).

4. They are obviously tightening their belts in some areas. Previously, if I placed two different orders on the same day, the items would be shipped separately. Now, Amazon combines the orders into one box when possible.

5. They are pricing products very low in the warehouses they are closing. We are seeing prices of some books in the $3 to $4 dollar range – books that Amazon purchased brand new. Amazon is losing a significant amount of money on those sales but they’re losing even more by having warehouses they don’t need.

6. For some reason we can’t understand, they are pricing other print books sky high. There are numerous reports among publishers and authors all over that Amazon has raised the list prices of their paperback books by $8 or $10…or even more! This is even happening to many authors who had Amazon KDP publish their books!

7. Some surmise it’s a database error that Amazon may or may not fix in the future. Some believe that Amazon is trying to encourage people to use third party sellers on its site as, with Amazon’s latest price increases, many third party sellers are selling books for less (though still, typically, more than the list price the author/publisher originally chose). Others believe Amazon is trying to get more people to buy ebooks so that less warehousing will be needed in the future. Of course, they tried that before and people still favored print books over ebooks by a very high margin.

What everyone is sure of is that Amazon won’t be giving any firm answers to anyone anytime soon.

What can you, as an author, do? If you see that Amazon has jacked up the price of your book, ask your publisher to contact Ingram, the distributor. Ingram sends an automated feed to Amazon and other retailers. If Amazon’s prices are deviating from that feed, Ingram can “open a ticket” with Amazon to ask a real human to fix the problem. Amazon may or may not comply. And, it’s their business. They can legally price a product at whatever they want.

And, know that, if Amazon does sell the book at the higher price, you do NOT get the excess profit. Neither does your publisher. Amazon keeps it all. You will only get the agreed-upon percentage of the list price that your publisher offered you in your contract.

In the meantime, we are strongly encouraging all of our authors to refer their readers to their book’s pages on BookLocker.com and BarnesandNoble.com. You might consider asking your readers to purchase directly from your publisher (if they sell direct) and from BarnesandNoble.com, too. BarnesandNoble does not play the same nasty games that Amazon does.

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90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy

Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!





BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K - $100K Publishing Contracts - by Angela Hoy



Peek over the shoulders of highly successful, published authors to see how they landed publishing contracts worth $10,000 to $100,000! An enticing yet professional book proposal is the key!

BONUS! Successful ghostwriter, Anton Marco, shares his secret for landing ghostwriting clients. Don’t miss Anton’s real ghostwriting contract at the end of this book! It provides an example of what he charges and the payment terms he requires from each client.

Q –

Hi Angela,

I will hopefully have my newest book finished in a couple of weeks. That being said, I’m traveling and won’t be able to do preorders or signings. Do you recommend waiting to release (we’ll be traveling for a year or so) or doing something virtual? I’m open for suggestions.

Thank you,

L.


A – 

The world of book sales is completely different than it used to be. Many authors assume that, if they’re not available for appearances, they should wait to release the book until they are. The fact is, getting “appearances” is getting more difficult. Bookstores are going out of business left and right. And, even if you do land an appearance, nobody attending that is going to care if your book was previously published. Nobody really pays attention to the words “new release” unless they’re talking about a celebrity author.

So, no, I definitely do NOT recommend waiting a year to release your book. That will be an entire year of zero sales. You should also know that bookstore signings for unknown authors typically sell no more than a handful of books (one handful, not two!).

Special event signings are far more lucrative but you should not wait to list your book for sale online just because you haven’t lined up any events yet.

For more advice, please download this free book:

55 Dos and Don’t of Book Selling

Also, this book is very popular. It’s free for BookLocker authors but it’s available for purchase by others:

90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online!

Click to access 90DaysofPromoting.pdf

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90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy

Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!



Q –

Angela,

I received a voicemail from a (name removed), group researcher in the (name removed) company’s marketing group, asking if I would be interested in their further marketing my book. Phone (removed). I looked them up online and found that they do exist but I did not return her call. I was wondering if you have any knowledge of or experience with this company.

Thank you for your feedback.

B.


A –

Rule of thumb is, if a “marketing” company is resorting to telemarketing to promote themselves, run far far away.

I looked them up, too. They are also a so-called publisher. Their next pitch was probably going to be asking you to pay them to republish your book. They’d tell you they can make it better, prettier, etc. Those “republishing” companies are the bottom feeders of the industry.

Another warning sign is they are only two years old. And, of all their employees, they only have “15 years of combined experience.” And, I doubt even that is true. It’s far more likely that somebody thought publishing books sounded easy, and opened up a website to try to make a few bucks. Those companies usually don’t stay in business long. And, their authors are left with nothing but lighter pocketbooks when they go belly up.

And, finally, their website has lots of typos.

AVOID. AVOID. AVOID.

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Angela,

I name a couple of companies in my book, both airlines. The characters are passengers on their flights. I also mention two specific vehicles as the characters travel in them. Is this allowable?

Have a great weekend.

R.F.

 

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney concerning your specific situation. 

That said…

It depends on the usage and how the companies and their products are portrayed. Also, there are trademark issues to be considered. Most companies will be happy to have a fictional character mention or use their product or service, provided that product or service is not portrayed in a negative light. For example, my character could be out on a hot day, and enjoying a tasty, refreshing, ice-cold Coca Cola. I really don’t think the Coca Cola Company would mind that (though you should still ask). You know what WOULD bother them, though? If my character got food poisoning from their product.

And, let’s say my character has a first class ticket on United Airlines. If the cabin is clean and the crew is friendly and the flight isn’t delayed, etc., United Airlines probably wouldn’t mind being included in your book. But, what is the plane crashes in your book? I imagine United Airlines would not be happy about that. Again, asking up front is the best course of action.

Again, I urge you to consult with an attorney. Or, simply make up different company and vehicle names.

For example, United Airlines could be Untied Airlines.

Toyota could be Yotota, Chevrolet could be Chuvralow, etc. Readers will know that you’re playing word games with real companies and that’s okay. 😉


Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

ANGELA ON TWITTER
https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy

ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
https://www.facebook.com/angela.hoy.750

ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-hoy-39071978/

Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
https://24hourshortstorycontest.com/







HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!









 

Q –

Hi Angela,

I’ve just ordered 150 copies of (my book). My plan is to start sending out copies to school system superintendents to hopefully generate bulk sales. Your thoughts?

S.R.


A-

That’s a great idea but I strongly suggest doing research into each school district, and target the folks who are doing the actual buying for the schools. In some cases, it might be a school district member. In other cases, it could be the school librarians.

I definitely do not recommend blindly sending copies to folks who may be uninvolved with purchases. That would be a huge waste of your time and money.

Also, be sure to include a letter with each package (addressed to that specific individual – no form letters!) that introduces you, explains why you wrote the book, has a short description of the book, and information on where the school district can purchase more copies. Creating a personal connection (between the potential buyer and you) in your marketing materials will sell far more copies than just sending them a book description and a copy of the book.

RELATED

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90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy

Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!

Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!



Q –

You recently wrote that you didn’t recommend book signings. So, what’s can I do if I want to get out into the public eye?

J.


A –

I never said book signings were not recommended. I don’t recommend bookSTORE signings because those typically don’t sell many (if any) copies.

Many authors hold signings at special events, other retail outlets, craft fairs, clubs, seminars, their own signing parties – the list goes on and on. One author I know, W.W. Brock, consistently sells out of his copies at gun shows. He writes novels about hunting. Creativity is the key! You can read an article by him at the first “related” link below.

Also, consider offering to speak to specific organizations. They can either charge people to attend (and, in that fee should be the price of a copy of your book for each individual) or you can set up a table for selling and signing books when your talk has ended. That’s actually an EXCELLENT way to get people to buy your book. Again, get creative. Nursing homes, local businesses, volunteer organizations, local civic organizations, churches – the sky’s the limit!! 🙂

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