Recently Answered Questions:



Q –

Hi Angela,

I need 50 pictures from an old yearbook scanned to include in my book and on my blog. I am new at this book-writing business. Is there anything I need to know?

-G.S.


A –

I’m not an attorney and this isn’t legal advice. Please consult with an attorney with  your specific legal questions.

That said…

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, unfortunately, you can’t use yearbook photos without the written permission of each person who took each photo. Even if the yearbook wasn’t copyrighted, the rights to the photos still belong to each photographer. Also, in some cases, you would need to obtain permission from the people in the photos.

Even if the yearbook was copyrighted, and if you obtained permission from the school district to use the yearbook, they only own the rights to the entire compilation of the book. They don’t own the rights to the individual photographs.

I know there are companies online now that are scanning and re-publishing entire yearbooks (both online and off) after receiving copies of old ones from former students. In all likelihood, they are violating numerous copyrights. Think about it. The yearbook staff had a photographer (or more than one). Absent a work-for-hire contract, those photographers own the rights to those photos. Even if the school provided a contract to the student, they couldn’t legally sign it if they were underage. The parents would have been required to do so. It’s doubtful if many, or any, schools went to such lengths years or even decades ago. Also, all the rights to photos not taken by yearbook staff
also belong to the photographers, including those professional photographers taking senior and other class photos.

Old yearbook photographers could seriously get into the litigation business with all of the copyright infringement occurring through republishing of yearbooks and yearbook photos now.

So, my answer is no. Definitely do not use yearbook photos in your book unless:

1. The yearbook is in the public domain. Don’t assume it is! You must research it first.

2. You have contacted each individual photographer, and have obtained written permission to use each and every photo.

Please see additional information on this topic HERE.

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Author Linda M. Gigliotti draws from years of practice as a private
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So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter - How To Make Money Writing Without a Byline


Many freelance writers find it difficult to break into the publishing world. What they don't know, however, is that there's a faster and easier way to see their words in print. It's called ghostwriting, and it's an extremely lucrative, fun, and challenging career.

But how do you get started as a ghostwriter? How do you find new clients who will pay you to write their material? How do you charge? And what kind of contracts do you need to succeed? All these questions and more are answered in So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter...How to Make Money Writing Without a Byline.

Read more here:
http://writersweekly.com/books/49.html





Q –

Angela,

Hello! I’m very new to the writing business of things. I have written a few stories and I’m in the process of writing others. I would love to publish a book of my short stories but I have no idea what the proper steps are. I don’t want to make a mistake and lose my work. Can you please give me advice on how to get started? Thank you so very much for your time!

 -B.C.


A –

There’s an article I wrote that can help. Here ya go:

The Most Common Question I Hear: “I want to write and publish a book. Where do I start?” 

If you have a collection of short stories, the same advice would apply but it would be easier because you already have the content on hand. You would just need to figure out the order in which you want to feature the stories in your book.

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More Q&A with Angela!

Q –

Hello Angela,

I have been subscribing to your newsletter for several years now, and have found it be to extremely helpful.

As a freelancer for the past 14 years, I recently came upon an issue for which I’d appreciate your input. One of the magazines that I write for (on a per-article basis) has since changed editors. Very recently, the new editor began holding meetings looking for editorial input. I attended the first, but now these have become more regular (once a month).

My question is: Should we expect compensation for attending these meetings? While some of the contributors are employed by the parent publishing company, many of us are not. We are freelance writers simply trying to make a living. It’s an awkward position to be in since the fear of not attending may translate to not being considered for future assignments. At the same time, these meetings take up at least three hours (in addition to travel to and from to the office) and that is not reflected in my payment scale.

So, it boils down to this: Speak up and run the risk or alienating the editor, or just keep my head down and try to attend when possible?

I’d welcome your thoughts.

Thank you,

-B.P.


A –

It’s clear from your email that on-site meetings were not part of your initial contract with them. And, this requirement is completely unfair and may even be illegal. More on that later.

Think about it this way. Let’s say your neighbor, Big-Headed Bernice, wants to hire an electrician to re-wire her entire house. He draws up the plans, and gives those to Bernice, along with an estimate. They both agree for him to do that project. And, Bernice just might have future work for him as well.

The following week, Bernice decides she wants his input on some other home improvement projects. She tells him she needs him to come to her house for a “meeting” at 1:00 p.m. on the third Monday of every month. Each meeting will take approximately three hours. He lives an hour away so that would require two hours of driving per month as well. Bernice offers him no compensation because it’s understood (wink wink) that he might continue to get ongoing work from her if he attends. Also attending will be her plumber, her pool gal, and her landscaper. (Yeah, Bernice is loaded!)

Bernice has big plans for the future of her home and she’ll need creative input from EVERYBODY who works for her…on an ongoing basis. And, of course, there’s no guarantee that any of them will get the assignment for each new project idea. Oh, and have I mentioned that Big-Headed Bernice like LOTS of attention from people that she occasionally pays to work for her?

Do you know of any electrician, plumber, pool or landscape professional who would agree to such a time-sucking requirement just in the hopes of getting possible future work? And, what if the pool gal comes up with a great new idea for a fountain during one of the meetings…but Bernice hires the plumber to install that instead?

This entire scenario is completely ridiculous and so is the on-site meeting attendance requirement of freelance writers!

With today’s technology, there is no reason whatsoever that any freelancer should be forced to attend an in-person meeting in order to keep getting assignments. Furthermore, they should be paying you at least an hourly rate plus mileage if you are required to attend meetings in order to keep writing for them. You should be paid to attend virtual meetings as well!

It’s been my experience that people requiring their freelancers or contractors to show up for meetings are usually full of themselves. They simply like having a live audience. When they’re surrounded by underlings, and in control of the meeting, it feeds their ego. In addition, their requirements are likely violating federal labor laws. If they are controlling when (scheduled meetings) and how (in-person attendance) you work, the federal government may very well consider you an employee. If that is the case, you may be entitled to back-pay by this firm.

Start charging them to attend the meetings. Even if you CAN get them to let you attend virtually, you should still charge by the hour because that’s  time you’re working for them and not somebody else! If they hem and haw, you might want to let them know that they may be violating federal labor laws. They might then quickly change their minds. Or, they might “fire” you. If they do, you might want to consider contacting the Internal Revenue Service.

According to the I.R.S. –

Need for on-site services. Requiring someone to work on company premises—particularly if the work can be performed elsewhere—indicates a possible employment relationship.

Flexibility of schedule. People whose hours or days of work are dictated by a company are apt to qualify as its employees

If they “fire” you for refusing to attend the meetings, this might also come into play:

Control over discharge. A company’s unilateral right to discharge a worker suggests an employment relationship. In contrast, a company’s ability to terminate independent contractor relationships generally depends on contract terms.

I know having a long-term client when freelancing is a plus but don’t let your clients take advantage of you in this manner. If you add up the number of hours you’re writing for them per month, plus your travel expenses, AND your time spent sitting through meetings, you might just find that you’re earning less than minimum wage. Even if you aren’t, you’re still earning far less than you deserve, and far less than what you budgeted when you first agreed to write for them.

READERS: Please chime in using the comments box below! 🙂

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We have received the following inquiries about Stonewall Press:

I got another call today about publishing my books. The name of the company that keeps calling me is Stonewall Press.

E.H.


Angela,

Thank you for the warning about Solo Press. Another company approached me – Stonewall Press. A guy with a heavy Filipino accent from Maryland offered to market my book, including interviews, radio appearances and more. He sent me promotional materials. Do you know them?

Val


Hi Angela,

I have been contacted by a company named Stonewall Press. They want to publish and market my book. Is this company legit?

Rande


We call these types of companies bottom feeders. They find authors of previously published books, call them (or spam them), and offer to republish and/or promote their book….for a fee, of course. Why in the world would you pay someone all over again to publish your book when it’s already on the market?

If you’re considering doing business with Stonewall Press, you’ll want to read this:
https://stonewall-press.pissedconsumer.com/review.html

And, be sure to read the numerous comments under the third complaint!

Once your book is published, expect the bottom feeders to come out of the woodwork. They’ll use flashy sales blurbage and, in the end, it’ll cost ya. Big time! Again, why in the world would anyone pay a company to republish a perfectly good book? Here’s a hint. In one of the complaints at the link above, the authors claims that Stonewall wanted to “redesign” her book cover – for $700!! Geez!!

If someone approaches you, criticizes your book or cover,and then wants you to pay them to make it better, RUN!

If you truly want to pay a firm to promote your book, don’t pay a company that also wants you to republish your book. Pay a professional book promotion company that isn’t going to try to convince you to buy services you’ve paid for previously – that you really don’t need.

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Q –

Angela,

Someone from the UK publishing and printing company “Solopress” left me a message. They invited me and my book to participate in some international book trade show. Is this a scheme?

Val


A –

Solopress prints brochures and other marketing materials. Their site even states they can print your novel using their “perfect bound brochures” (whatever that means).

Before you (or any author) does business with Solopress, you might want to read the 26 one-star reviews about them on SiteJabber.

Also see ComplaintsBoard.

In addition, there are a couple of “reviews” about them from their employees at Glassdoor.com.

I always caution authors about spam and telemarketing calls they receive after they’ve published a book.

Rest assured that BookLocker.com never, ever shares their authors’ names, email addresses, or other contact info. with these types of firms, nor anyone else.

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Q –

How can I get my books from Tate Publishing? I paid for the publishing and editing. I cannot order copies to sell. I am not getting any royalties from Tate currently either. Amazon is selling copies. I have people who have ordered from them. I paid a whole lot of money with a promise of 1000 books printed.

E.


A –

We posted an update about Tate Publishing a couple of weeks ago. We also added additional lawsuits filed against them to THIS PAGE.

Several of their properties were seized, and given to Bankfirst after Tate failed to pay on several promissory notes. It’s highly unlikely their authors will get any refunds for services or books, nor royalties, and certainly no more copies of their books. I hope you have filed a complaint with the Oklahoma Attorney General. The more complaints they receive, the more charges that could be filed against Tate. And, more convictions could mean more jail time.

If Tate really is still selling your book on Amazon, advice on getting Amazon to remove your book is
RIGHT HERE.

Your only real option is to publish your book elsewhere. Advice on how to do that is in this article:
YOUR PUBLISHER WENT BELLY-UP? Six Ways to Get Your Book Back on the Market ASAP!

I also recommend changing the title of your book so readers won’t get confused, and try to purchase the old edition. There may be used copies of the previous edition for sale on some websites.

And yes, readers, we noticed the graphic used for this post resembles to Richard Tate. 😉

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Victim of defunct Tate Publishing doesn’t want to pay Tate’s (unfair) $50 for her production files. Can she just use the files they sent her for approval before the book was published?

COMPLAINTS ABOUT TATE PUBLISHING

More Q&A with Angela!



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



 

 

Q – 

In the last couple weeks, I have been inundated by calls about the opportunity for my “excellent book” to be heavily marketed at (a very popular book fair).

The caller mentioned a fee of $750, “with only 30% due now, the remaining to be paid in installments up to the end of the conference.” He then started talking up the book fair, and the importance of my book being included with their “superior” marketing. He then asked what ideas I had about what audience would be more receptive to my book. He became a little ingenuous when I pointed out the book was published five years ago.

I realize this all fits under the “too good to be true” category. However, I have a friend who lives hear there and it would be a great excuse to go visit her.

Have you heard of this book fair? Or, is it just another scam waiting to separate new writers from their money? I made him send me a proposal so can send that to your Facebook account if you need a laugh.

– M.T.


A –

Avoid! Book fairs are designed to make money for the firms that host those fairs. At that particular book fair, your book would be surrounded by millions of other books and chances are you will sell zero copies. Spending money to actually fly there would be an even bigger mistake. And, don’t expect to be able to attend for free just because you paid to have your book displayed there. Not gonna happen.

I never recommend authors participate in book fairs. The expense involved just isn’t worth it. You’ll sell far more books marketing directly to readers online.

Don’t even get me started on the “superior marketing” skills of a firm that found you (a “new author”) online through Google, and then had one of their telemarketers call you. I detest junk phone calls even more than I do spam. Never do business with a firm that must resort to telemarketing or spam. That right there tells you their marketing skills are substandard. Don’t trust them with your money or your book.

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Q – 

A company found my book for sale online and contacted me, offering $300 to review my book, “guaranteed sales,” and submission of my book to contests across the country. Is this a good deal?

D.S.


A –

AVOID AVOID AVOID! Bottom feeders look for “new books” on Amazon, google the authors, and find their contact info. online. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll never get your $300 back. If they must resort to spam or telemarketing to sell their services to you, they suck at marketing.

And, think about it…how can they “guarantee sales?” They can’t.  When you go back some day asking for your refund, they’ll be long gone.

That’s just another sign that it’s a scam. Finally, if they’re going to submit your book to contests, they’ll probably want YOU to pay THEM to print those copies. That means they’re going to try to get you to pay them to republish your book all over again. This entire “deal” reeks. Avoid ALL firms that spam or call you after your book is published.

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Q –

Angela,

I was reading (a popular) writing magazine, and saw an ad from a vanity publisher trying to sell marketing
services to authors through another company. I think they’re related. It said it’s important for authors to
market their books before they’re finished writing. Then, it tries to sell those marketing services to
unpublished authors.

I thought you said we’re NOT supposed to market our books before they’re published?

– G.Y.


A –

Our BookLocker.com competitors HATE it when I share this advice with authors. Why? Because it really cuts into their bottom line. But, authors need to know the truth about these types of marketing ploys.

Pre-marketing of books only works for celebrity authors, and others well-known in their particular
industries. If nobody knows your name yet, they’re not going to remember your book next month, or six
months, or even a year from now when your book is finally released.

Think about it. Fans of celebrity authors get extremely excited about a new book being released by their
favorite author, and are going to remember that a new title is coming out, and when. They’re probably even
going to mark the release date on their calendars.

I was reading the news recently, and saw that a new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book is being released on October
30th. Over 200 million copies of those books have sold. I told Mason (age 11) about it. He has read the
previous 12 books in the series and he got SUPER EXCITED! He asked me to write the date on my calendar and
I did.

If I saw a new kid’s book by an unknown author that looked interesting, and if I told Mason about it, he
might seem interested but he wouldn’t have been ecstatic about it, and he and I both probably wouldn’t
remember the book’s future release date (nor the book at all!) come October.

Last week, I read an interview with an author I’d never heard of about a book that was just released on May
29th. Max (age 16) is a huge history buff, and is particularly interested in North Korea lately because of
the recent headlines. Since See You Again in Pyongyang: A Journey into Kim Jong Un’s North Korea by Travis Jeppesen was already released, I ordered it for him. Had I read that interview a few months ago, it would have been long forgotten by now – both the title and the author’s name. Since the interview was published after the book
was released, the author was able to SELL copies of his book THAT VERY DAY, rather than hoping people would
remember his book weeks or months later.

People who read a published press release about an author they’ve never heard of might be interested. But,
by the time the book is released, they’ll likely have forgotten about it. And, that book by that unknown
author isn’t going to make the headlines so it’s doubtful the person who read about the book months ago on
social media, or in a press release, will hear about it again when it’s released.

Think about it. You could spend an hour a day promoting an unpublished book…which takes an hour a day
away from your writing and editing of that very book. That can delay your release date by weeks, or even
months. And, if you’re an unknown author, all of that marketing time and effort may have been for naught.
Even worse, you could pay someone thousands to promote it for you when it can’t even be purchased yet!

A much better idea would be to continue writing and editing, get that book on the market a soon as
possible, and THEN promote it, which will bring in ACTUAL SALES.

The ad you saw in that writing magazine is simply a marketing ploy to sell marketing services. Don’t fall
for it. I’d be willing to bet that unknown authors using that service are spending far more money on those
expensive marketing services than they’re earning on any resulting book sales. And, that firm is likely far
more interested in their own bottom line than they are in yours. They have little to no incentive to share
the advice I’ve shared with you here because, if they waited until their prospective clients finished their
books, they’re client-base would be far smaller today.

The sad fact is a lot of authors start but never finish their books. Some of them even pay for marketing
services, and still never finish the book. Some unethical marketing services know this, but continue to
market to unpublished authors. Again, they care far more about sucking money out of authors’ wallets than
they do about whether the author actually finishes their book, nor if any copies of that book will actually
sell in the future.

Why waste time (AND MONEY!) on book promotion that nobody is going to remember when your book hits the
market? For new or otherwise unknown authors, your time is far better spent getting that book FINISHED so
you can start actively SELLING COPIES.

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Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.



About The Author

AngelaPortrait72dpismall_400x400

Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.

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

BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
http://www.facebook.com/booklockerbooks

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

ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/angela-hoy/78/719/390

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



Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE

 



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


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





 



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



Have you been contacted by LitFire Publishing? If so, you might want to click on the link at the end of this article.

Below are a few of the messages we’ve received from authors who have been approached by LitFire Publishing after their books went on the market:

Message from Jessica:

I just had an interesting call from Litfirepublishing. Have you come across this outfit?

Message from Leigh:

Angela, I received a message from LitFire Publishing. Michelle. She wanted to speak with me about my book – to showcase it in an exhibit. You probably have had other clients receive this call.

Message from Georgette:

Hi Guys, Just to let you know I received a message from LitFire Publishing because they thought my book had great “international potential.” I am not calling them back.

Message from Don:

Hello Angela, I just received a call from a company called “LitFire,” and they say they want to promote my book. What do you know about this company?

Message from Eric:

Hello, I was approached by “Litfire Publishing” about promoting/marketing my book in a few different avenues. Of course this comes with a cost. I was wondering if you had heard of, or know anything about them.

Message from Allan:

Sorry to bother you cause I know you’re swamped, but a company called LitFire called me and offered their advertising “expertise” to promote my new book. I’m not going to do anything with them but I was just curious to know how they knew my new book was coming out. Any thoughts?

Message from Belinda:

A self-publisher called Litfire Press phoned my mom asking for me, wanting to discuss plans for my book, but didn’t give a title. I got the msg from Mom this morning. When I phoned them, they wanted to sell me book marketing services and said they’d gotten my info from BookScout, a third party organization. I haven’t lived with my mom or used her number as mine in 30 years.


Someone using a Litfire.com email address accessed BookLocker.com this week, and partially completed the online form for submitting a manuscript. They wrote the word “test” on it. We looked up the IP address. It’s in the Philippines.

I recognized the company name, and sent them an email with links to NUMEROUS complaints about them posted online. I was going to post those online here but somebody already beat me to the punch so I’ll give credit where credit is due. You can see the list RIGHT HERE.

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Copies of real query letters that resulted in writing assignments worth $2K and much more!





Ask The Expert Archives