Angela’s Desk

Common Themes in Our Latest 24-Hour Short Story Competition By Angela Hoy

I've been making notes about common themes that are emerging in the entries for our Summer 2008 24-Hour Short Story Contest. I thought I'd share these with you today so you can see how difficult it is for some writers to come up with completely original variations of a common theme. …

Aaarghh! I Wish I’d Googled That Deadbeat’s Name! By Angela Hoy

Through WritersWeekly Whispers and Warnings, we publicize deadbeats, scams targeting writers, and even lowly spammers (who also target writers). The names of these jerks pop right up on google, through our Whispers and Warnings posts, and also through other websites, like ripoffreport.com. They are ripe for the picking by any writer willing to take the time to google a potential client's name. Sadly, I hear from writers all the time who type a varying version of this: "Aaarghh! I wish I'd googled that deadbeat's name before working for/with him/her!" …

Some POD Publishers: “Buy a Manuscript Evaluation So We Can Upsell You on Our Editing Services!”

Last week, I received an email from an author who was perturbed that we didn't offer something similar to what he received via email (spam!) from another POD publisher. What was it? A $199 manuscript evaluation. If you paid and then decided to use that POD publisher later, you could deduct $199 from your setup fees. They could (probably do!) then upsell you on their expensive editing services that their manuscript evaluation very likely will say you need. Now, come on. Do you really think they're going to tell you your manuscript is perfect? No way... …

How Much Should You Spend To Publish Your Book?

Lots of authors are turned on by the bells and whistles offered by some of the POD publishers. They seem to think if they just buy this, that, or the other, their book will be a success. Before they know it, they've spent several hundred to several thousand dollars... …

How Many Bookmarks And Personalized Pencils Make A Best Seller? None!!

Yesterday, after work, while flipping through the mail, you find a postcard from Author Anne. It's a pretty postcard. It shows her book cover on one side, and has a brief description of the book on the other. But, you receive marketing postcards everyday...and you can't pick up the book and thumb through it. You're not online right now so you can't click to read more about the book. You leave it on the counter and forget about it. Later, you use it to push some crumbs into the sink and then you throw it away. …

Vacation

Amazon / BookSurge Lawsuit Update Angela is behind after taking a long weekend off. Her column will return next week. NEED AN AMAZON / BOOKSURGE UPDATE? You can see what's happening with the Amazon / BookSurge lawsuit here: http://antitrust.booklocker.com/

BookLocker Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Amazon.com By Angela Hoy

This article appeared in Monday's Special Edition of WritersWeekly.com. You may reprint this article or quote from it at your discretion. You can read/post comments here: http://antitrust.booklocker.com BookLocker.com has filed a class action lawsuit against Amazon.com in response to Amazon's recent attempts to force all publishers using Print on Demand (POD) technology to pay Amazon to print their books. …

Vacation

Angela is recovering from taking a few days off. Her column will return next week. …

Blogger PODdy Mouth Posts False Statements, Violates Copyright Law, Refuses to Correct Numerous Published Errors/Inaccuracies

$500 Reward Offered for Information Leading to the REAL Identity of PODdy Mouth Imagine being contacted by one of your customers one day and being alerted to a blogger who is posting false statements and insults about you and many of your competitors on a continuing basis. Furthermore, the blogger is writing under a fake name...which previously belonged to someone else in the industry - a respected person - who had recently retired. To add insult to injury, when you approach this blogger to correct some of the numerous errors in their blog, they post more false statements about you, attack you personally, call you names like "ugly" and "self-masturbatory", and then blacklist you so you can no longer post comments in your own defense...all the while continuing to post false statements and refusing to correct the previously published inaccuracies. This situation is occurring right now. Read the entire story on Preditors & Editors HERE. ~~~~ REWARD!!! If you are the first to tell us the real identity of PODdy Mouth (not the original POD-dy Mouth, but the one mentioned above), and can provide verifiable proof of his/her identity, we will send you $500. We will, of course, respect your identity, but you must tell us who you really are because PODdy Mouth may very well try to trick us into implicating someone else. Please spread the word. If you know who PODdy Mouth is (or even if you want to weigh in with a guess for fun), contact: angela - at - writersweekly.com If you or your business has had a similar unfortunate experience with PODdy Mouth, we'd like to hear about that as well. Three industry executives, when recently asked on separate occasions who they think PODdy Mouth is, all immediately gave the EXACT same answer... …

It’s Getting HOT IN HERE! Amazon Under Fire in the U.S. and Abroad

It’s Getting HOT IN HERE! Amazon Under Fire in the U.S. and Abroad

Since WritersWeekly broke the Amazon Ultimatum Story two weeks ago, news has traveled quickly across the globe and it didn't take long for everyone, including book buyers, authors, publishers, and writing organizations, to weigh in against Amazon's actions... …

IT’S NOT OVER! Amazon Tells Publishers, Pay Us To Print Your Books…Or Else

Tuesday, April 1st, was the rumored deadline Amazon.com gave to some POD publishers to sign an agreement allowing their printing division, BookSurge, to print each publisher's book to be sold through Amazon, or risk having their "buy" buttons turned off on the Amazon.com website... …

Amazon.com Telling POD Publishers – Let BookSurge Print Your Books, or Else…

Some Print on Demand (POD) publishers are privately screaming "Monopoly!" while others are seething with rage over startling phone conversations they're having with Amazon/BookSurge representatives. Why isn't anybody talking about it openly? Because they're afraid - very, very afraid... …

ONLINE BOOK MARKETING THAT WORKS – Part VIII: Subtly Promoting Your Book on Major News Sites

This week, we're going to subtly promote our book(s) while posting comments on major news sites. I don't know about you but I love reading Letters to the Editor in newspapers and magazines. The letters section is one of the first places I look when I'm reading a periodical. The great news is, in increasing numbers, newspapers, magazines, and other news websites are allowing readers to post comments about articles, often instantly, on their websites, directly under each article. You can find a list of the nation's 100 largest newspapers right here... …

ONLINE BOOK MARKETING THAT WORKS – Part VII: Subtly Promoting Your Book on Other People’s Blogs

In case you're a newbie, a blog is a regularly-updated personal journal that is posted online. Special software enables bloggers to post their comments instantly online. No HTML! Yea! Blogs have exploded in recent years because they make publishing online so easy and because they are usually of a more personal nature than professional websites. Blogs seem to attract the voyeur in all of us... …

ONLINE BOOK MARKETING THAT WORKS – Part V: Free Advertising For You / Free Content For Them By Angela Hoy

This week, we're gonna drum up some free advertising in ezines, blogs, websites and maybe even some magazines. If you can't/won't spend money to place ads in magazines, ezines, blogs and websites, you might still be able to get them to mention your book. How? By offering them free content to publish. Remember the book excerpts we formatted during Week II? Well, let's see if we can get those published in some periodicals that are already serving your book's target audience... …

ONLINE BOOK MARKETING THAT WORKS – Part III: Post to FreeBookExcerpts.com!

Last week, we discussed how important it is to offer a free excerpt of your book. We also shared URLs to "free article" websites where you can post your excerpt as an "article." Unfortunately, fiction authors are sometimes left out in the cold in this area. How do you turn a fiction excerpt into an "article?" Well, good luck with that. The good news is now you don't have to! …

ONLINE BOOK MARKETING THAT WORKS – Part I By Angela Hoy

This week, we're going to start a new series on successfully marketing your book online. If you have any unique or lucrative online marketing ideas to share, please send them along to me at: angela - at - writersweekly.com SAD ASSUMPTIONS AND IRRATIONAL EXPECTATIONS There once was a pencil maker named Peter who puttered around popping out pretty pencils from his place in Pennsylvania. After many months of hard work, he finally finished his first box of pencils and Peter the Pencil Pusher was now enthusiastically pushing those pencils on local store owners and some online stores as well. Peter finally managed to get the local pencil store to carry his box of pencils. He went in there, week after week, but his pretty pencils were still there on the shelf, gathering dust, surrounded by thousands, perhaps millions, of other people's pencils. Nobody bought his pencils! Peter didn't understand! His pencils were so special! Why didn't anybody pick up and pay for his pretty pencils? Peter also listed his box of pretty pencils for sale on the biggest online pencil store in the world... …

Who is Responsible for Marketing Your Book, Less Than Half of Books Sold are Purchased Through Bookstores, Paying to Make Your Book Returnable, and More! By Angela Hoy

I received the following letter last week: I was interested in your article on book return policies. Recently, I published a book with AuthorHouse and was expected to contact bookstores myself. When they found out there wasn't a return policy in place they wouldn't order my book. AuthorHouse then came out with a fee (currently $699) for book returns. They wouldn't cooperate with advertising either even though it was part of the package. The publisher would not help with the most important part of the presentation of my book. Both publisher and bookstores expected me to do it all myself.

Do You Have More Book Ideas Than Time to Write? Me, Too!! By Angela Hoy

Do You Have More Book Ideas Than Time to Write? Me, Too!! By Angela Hoy

This time of year, most of us are feeling ambitious and thinking about ideas for new books we want to write. It always happens to me, too. New Year's Day = New Book Ideas! I can't help it. They come spilling out of my brain faster than I can process them. In fact, I have a "book ideas" folder in my email box. It's filled to the brim with ideas for books that I will never, ever have time to write. …

Holidays

Angela's column will return after the holidays. …

Holidays

Angela's column will return after the holidays. …

Frowns

Angela is sad about her friend and just can't muster any wit or wisdom this week. We hope you understand. Her column will return after the holidays. …

More Inexpensive Holiday Crafts/Gifts By Angela Hoy

Last week, I wrote about paper sculptures, personalized dolls, and personalized snow globes. The snow globe materials arrived this week but it's slow going so I don't have any pictures of the finished goodies to show you yet. We took photos of the children that make it appear they are holding their breath and swimming in the globes.. I originally took photos of the backs of the children, too, so there wouldn't be just white photo paper on their backs. Well, that didn't work... …

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