Recently Answered Questions:



Q –

Angela,

What do you recommend for authors when they are creating a marketing website-their name or the name of the book, or something else?

Rich


A –

I recommend using your name so you can use the website to promote future books as well. Think about it. Imagine needing to create a brand new website for each book you publish. That would be a huge pain. It’s a much better idea to create an author website, and then create pages on that site to promote each of your books.

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33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters



I admire any writer who wants to tackle a blind character. But so many writers take up this challenge and FAIL. They research blindness by reading other fiction books, by observing their blind colleagues and acquaintances, and by tying on a blindfold and pretending to be blind themselves.



I understand the challenges your characters face, their triumphs, their hopes and their fears, because I've lived them. I work with people who have varying degrees of blindness every day, so I've seen every challenge, every situation you could imagine.



Let me share my knowledge to improve your writing. You can create blind characters that readers will fall in love with.

~Stephanie Green



Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed


A systematic approach to writing that generates better quality quickly!


Chock full of ideas, tips, techniques and inspiration, this down-to-earth book is easy to read, and even easier to apply. Let author Jeff Bollow take you through a process that brings your ideas to the page faster, more powerfully and easier than ever before.




Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/3695.html









Fall 2020 24 Hour Short Story Contest


Q –

Angela,

I am confused. First rights means the publication is buying the right to be the first to publish the piece.

If they buy one-time rights, they are allowed to print it once, but not necessarily first.

If the piece has already appeared elsewhere, they can buy reprint rights.

I understand this except – 

If they do not accept the article, can the writer submit it to other publishers? Or, is the article dead to print again?

If they accept the article, but never print it, can it be sold to another publication?

If they print the article, can you send it to other publishers for them to print also, or is the article dead to print again?

To submit a query letter, do you only send the letter, or attach the article and photos?

I know this upsets you on repeating the same things over and over. If you are too busy, just ignore it until later.

Thank you,

D.D.


A –

No problem at all! I’m here to help!! 🙂

You have questions about two topics: Rights and Querying.

RIGHTS

On Spec
If an editor assigned an article to you on spec (meaning they would only pay you if it’s accepted), but then rejected it, and never paid for it, you own the rights. If you submit an article to an editor on-spec, without an assignment, and if they reject it, you own the rights.

Paid For…but Never Published
If an editor paid you for an article, they own whatever rights they purchased (check your contract), regardless if they end up publishing it or not.

If they purchased first rights, and then never published the article, they probably won’t care if you sell the article to another publication but you must still ask. Contact the editor to tell him or her that you are planning to allow another publication to publish the article since the first publication isn’t going to use it.

Reprint Rights
If you sell reprint/second rights to an editor, you are usually permitted to sell it again, and again. It would be unusual for an editor buying reprint rights to also demand all future rights.

All Rights
If you have sold all rights to an editor, and if they paid you per the contract terms, they own the entire piece forever and ever, whether they publish it or not. Even if they never publish it, they still own it. You can ask them later if you can sell it elsewhere. They may or may not allow you to do so. This is why I recommend writers demand more money for all rights to an article.

QUERY LETTER VS. COMPLETE MANUSCRIPT

A query letter is used to pitch an idea for a future article to an editor. This is typically a one page (or even shorter) letter or email. See: Query Letters That Worked

A query letter should NOT include the entire article and photos.

If you plan to submit an article and photo(s) on spec (not a query letter), you should first obtain permission from the publication before sending them an email with attachments.

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The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing


Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.



The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.





Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/6712.html



How Many Copies Of Your Book Would You Have To Sell In Order To Break Even?




 

 

Q –

Angela,

What are the benefits of going with a hybrid publisher vs POD?

EK


A –

hy·​brid | \ ˈhī-brəd

“A hybrid is a mixture of two different things…” (Vocabulary.com)

Such a cool sounding word, right? But…

Be very wary of the term “hybrid publisher.” Many companies use that term to trick authors into thinking that the company itself is footing part of the bill for book publishing. However, when you look at the numbers, the author is the one paying all of the fees.

For example, a so-called “hybrid publisher” may quote the author $5K in fees, but say that the publisher is also investing $5K in the book publishing project. In reality, they are NOT. It does NOT cost $5K to publish a book. Not even close.

A true hybrid publisher is a firm that pays all of the up-front publishing fees, but does not lock an author into an exclusive contract for decades. However, a hybrid publisher will typically not set up book signings without charging the author to do so, they will not send out press releases without charging the author for it, etc., etc.

A hybrid publisher will take a chance on an author, and invest funds in the project, but they’re not going to risk going broke in the process if the book does not take off. That’s why the contracts for hybrid publishers are usually for much shorter periods of time than those offered by traditional publishers.

POD (print on demand) is simply a method of printing a book only when it is ordered. Many hybrid publishers, as well as traditional ones, use POD technology now.

Abuzz Press, which we own, is a true hybrid publisher. Authors pay nothing up front and the contract is exclusive for only three years. However, authors are responsible for book promotion. And, Abuzz Press accepts only a handful of submissions each year.

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Fall 2020 24 Hour Short Story Contest


How Many Copies Of Your Book Would You Have To Sell In Order To Break Even?






The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession


Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?



Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.



Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:

  • Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
  • Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
  • Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
  • Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
  • Create marketing that will attract those clients
  • Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer


Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:

  • Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
  • The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
  • Awesome Freelance Website Template

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Please consult with your attorney for any and all legal questions you have. 


Today’s post is not in Q&A format because, well, you’ll see…

It happened again. I had to cut another author loose for potential legal liability. Why?

1. The author shared VERY personal information about friends and family members, including the illegal activities performed by one of them.

2. The author claimed she changed everyone’s names…but she didn’t change her own.

3. The author would be promoting the book under her own name so anyone who knows her would probably be able to figure out who the other people in the book are.

4. She refused to get a signed release from those friends because she KNOWS none of them will ever sue her.

Yeah, she really wrote that.

I have previously written about this topic using different scenarios from questions I’ve received in the past. Those posts include:

What still always shocks me is when authors assume that someone who is their friend today will still be their friend tomorrow. We’ve heard of family members suing authors for what was written, even when names were changed. Heck, we’re pretty sure we’ve seen and heard just about every possible scenario with regards to libel in books just from our research for WritersWeekly’s In the News column over the years.

So, when authors come to me with these problems, I’m always gobsmacked when they flat refuse to take my advice even though I tell them they’re about to step into a big steaming pile of legal poop.

On a similar note, one author told me this week that he’d have never signed our publishing contract if he’d known there was a libel clause in it. Just…WOW.

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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!
Fall 2020 24 Hour Short Story Contest




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:


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





Q –

Angela,

I’m thinking about getting rid of the paperback version of my book and only offering the hardcover one. I make more money on the hardcover but most people are buying the paperback. If I get rid of the paperback, people will buy the hardcover one instead and my profits will increase.

Is this a good idea or not?


A –

That is a very bad idea. People are buying the paperback because it costs less. The hardcover edition will probably be out of most people’s price range, especially in the current economy. Lots of people are out of work. Book sales are at historic highs because people are looking for an affordable escape from the state of the world.

I guarantee you’ll end up making less in the long run because your book sales would plummet.

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles







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!

The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing


Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.



The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.





Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/6712.html





TRAVEL WRITING 2.0: Earning Money from your Travels in the New Media Landscape - SECOND EDITION


Completely revised edition of the ground-breaking travel writing book that provides a road map to success in the digital age. It dives headlong into the entrepreneurial world of blogging and digital books, while still acknowledging the real money to be made in declining print forms.

Drawing on interviews and survey responses from more than 100 successful travel writers and bloggers, this is the definitive guide to creating success instead of waiting for permission. Written by a veteran, award-winning writer with two decades of experience as a book author, online publisher, freelancer, and blogger.

Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/4814.html







The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession


Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?



Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.



Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:

  • Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
  • Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
  • Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
  • Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
  • Create marketing that will attract those clients
  • Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer


Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:

  • Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
  • The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
  • Awesome Freelance Website Template

Q –

Angela,

I’m helping a friend assemble a baseball book and he wants to include photos of Topps Baseball cards and note that they are “From the collection of…..” Is this legal under copyright laws?

Thank you


A –

Hi George,

Baseball cards receive the same copyright protection as other creative works.

Please see:

When Do Trading Cards Enter the Public Domain?

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!

HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY


Angela Hoy's popular online class is now available in book format!


Remember Your Past
Write It and Publish It
in as little as 12 weeks!



Angela Hoy's book will get you started!



  • Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years
  • Record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook
  • Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography!
  • Also works for biographies and memoirs!

Read more here:
http://booklocker.com/books/4764.html





 

Q –

Dear Ask the Expert,

A person asked me to review his self-copyrighted 30-page synopsis of a book he wanted to publish and wanted me make it book form. I agreed and offered to develop the first three chapters to see how he liked my approach and style at no cost. He disagreed on my approach. We said our goodbyes and that was it.

I recently retrieved my dusty copy of the original synopsis and first chapters I produced and decided I wanted to continue to make it into book. I have tried to contact the originator by letter and email with an offer to purchase his rights. I received no response to numerous attempts to contact him.

I have developed the text to more than 16,000 words with new and significant changes to the original synopsis. I plan to have at least 50,000+ words upon completion. I have changed most of the original content like locations, names, events, etc. I do not know if he is dead or living the good life on a sunny beach somewhere.

Can I proceed with the book’s completion without fear of copyright infringement?


A –

I’m surprised you went to that much trouble without first obtaining permission from the copyright holder. If you can’t find him, he can’t give you permission so you can’t use it.

If you do, yes, he or his heirs can sue you for copyright infringement.

Authors must come up with their own ideas. Trying to piggyback on someone else’s idea is not only only a violation of copyright laws, it’s just plain wrong.

REMINDER: The WritersWeekly.com Spring, 2021 24-Hour Short Story Contest is ONLY 9 DAYS AWAY!

See the link below for all past topics and winning stories. Only 500 participants are allowed per contest so don’t delay if you wanna play!

WE CAN’T *WAIT* TO SEE WHERE YOUR IMAGINATION TAKES US!

1st Place $300 + a Book Publishing Package from BookLocker.com! (Value: $875)

2nd Place: $250

3rd Place: $200

+ 80 other prizes!

We’d LOVE to have you join us!! 🙂

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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.

The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing


Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.



The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.





Read more here:


http://writersweekly.com/books/6712.html



Q –

Angela,

Another author published a book in 2015 that has the exactly same title as my book, which was published in 2010. Both books are love stories about interracial couples but the synopses are different.

Can I sue that author?

Can another author use the exact same title as another book that’s already for sale?


A –

Book titles can’t be copyrighted. In fact, there are thousands of books on Amazon that have titles identical to other books on Amazon.

There are also numerous books (likely thousands) on Amazon about interracial couples.

Please see:

Think Someone Copied Your Book? You Might Be Wrong… – by Harvey Randall, Esq.

And:

Help! My Book Title Has Already Been Used!

Where you can get into trouble is if you include a trademarked term in your book’s title. You can search registered trademarks in the U.S. RIGHT HERE.

RELATED

Q –

Hi Angela!

I’m sure you’re super busy with your move to Georgia right now, but just in case you get a minute, I have a quick question for you … I received an email from [name removed] on March 19th, offering to “help authors connect their books to major book publishers.” They included the title of my book, and said it fit with what they were looking for.

I self-published my book back in 2006, and republished it in 2009 (like, almost 12 years ago!).

Because I hear so many horror stories about companies like this agency scamming authors (and yes, they approached me first!), I’m extremely hesitant to reply to this woman. She gave a phone number and a website. She asked if I wanted to schedule a phone call to have a discussion about their services. She never mentioned a cost or a fee. I couldn’t find the company listed anywhere online.

So, I thought I would check with you to see if you’ve ever heard of this agency or this woman and if they are legit or not.

Thanks, Angela, and I look forward to hearing from you!


A –

Your suspicions are very much warranted.

Real literary agents don’t go looking for old books to sell to traditional publishers. Their slush piles are far too deep. This outfit was going to try to reel you in, and then promise you the moon and the stars (to make YOU a “star!”)…for only a few thousand dollars, or more.

Run away from that outfit. FAST.

RELATED

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The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession


Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?



Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.



Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:

  • Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
  • Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
  • Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
  • Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
  • Create marketing that will attract those clients
  • Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer


Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:

  • Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
  • The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
  • Awesome Freelance Website Template

How Many Copies Of Your Book Would You Have To Sell In Order To Break Even?








Q –

Hi Angela,

I currently have an illustrator designing illustrations for my newest book which is a children’s poem/story. Do the illustrations have to be in a specific format for publishing? He is a fantastic artist! Fees will run me $90/hour so I want to get it right the first time.

Thanks! 


A –

This is an excellent question! I can’t count how many times I have received illustrations for a book that can’t be used in the book.

First, if the illustrations are being done manually, they need to be on the absolutely whitest paper so there won’t be any shadows in the background when they are scanned. The paper must also be completely flat because wrinkles will show up in the scan as well. Erasure marks will also show up. For all of these reasons, digital illustrations are often preferred. Also, the scans must be at 300 dpi.

Second, they need to be the correct size for the book size you are publishing, with some bleed (I recommend 1/4″ all the way around). Don’t have anything important in the bleed area. For example, if the character is holding out his/her hand, and if you don’t want fingers getting sliced off during the trimming process, don’t have that hand anywhere near the bleed. Just include the background of the image in the bleed.

Third, if digital, the illustrations need to be created at 300 dpi. Most publishers will require they be in CMYK. Your illustrator will know what that means. If they don’t, use a different illustrator.

RELATED

Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

Fall 2020 24 Hour Short Story Contest








The Fearless Freelancer: How to Thrive in a Recession


Want to Recession-Proof Your Freelance Business?



Freelancing in a recession doesn’t have to be scary. The Fearless Freelancer gives you a proven, step-by-step process for getting steady, high-paying clients—from a freelancer who’s thrived during two recessions.



Whether this is your first recession or you’ve been through this before, discover how to:

  • Boost your confidence so you can stay calm and focus
  • Stand out in a sea of freelancers so clients choose you
  • Make freelance marketing as easy as tying your shoes
  • Find high-paying clients that still need freelancers now
  • Create marketing that will attract those clients
  • Succeed in a recession even if you’re a new freelancer


Free Bonus Content
Also get dozens of checklists, templates, and other tools to help you recession-proof your freelance business, including:

  • Simple Strategic Plan for Surviving the Recession
  • The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers
  • Awesome Freelance Website Template





Ask The Expert Archives