Readers’ Letters and Comments for 04/12/18

Readers’ Letters and Comments for 04/12/18


“When someone buys my self-published book from Amazon (or elsewhere), do I have to pay to print that copy?”

Angela Quote: “Authors should definitely avoid publishers who require them to purchase and store numerous copies as this is no longer necessary with today’s book printing and distribution technology.”

That cannot be emphasized more strongly. I once knew someone who went through a publisher who demanded that he buy a thousand copies at $10 each. That’s $10,000 and a garage stuffed with books. That so-called publisher need not do anything more. It had already made a large profit selling his book to him.

That’s not the only scam. More recently, a friend contacted me about a daughter whose now-departed father’s books had fallen out of print. She wanted to bring them back on the market. When she contacted a mid-level, traditional publisher, it told him that she’d have to give it a $10,000 in advance for each book it put back in print.

I told my friend that was absurd in today’s publishing world. Those books could be scanned and a page-by-page facsimile brought out via POD for a few hundred dollars, even if all the work was contracted out. Even the cost of using OCR to create a new text and reformatting the result into a new book could be kept to a few thousand dollars, particularly if the daughter handled the proofreading.

There’s also another factor that shouldn’t be forgotten when bringing back long out-of-print books. Today’s online used book market is incredibly efficient at linking seller to buyer. A new book that can’t be sold for less that $15 plus shipping may be available used for about $8, including shipping. It is hard to compete with that.

There’s another factor. If you get stuck with a sorry buy-and-distribute-as-the-author publisher, you’ll be the one who’s forced keep restocking (from your garage) the shelves at Amazon and the like. The shipping costs will be a nuisance and cut into your income. From the book management side, print-on-demand means publish-and-forget. There’s no worrying about inventory. The book prints when it sells.

In short, unless you’re a successful author whose books are guaranteed to sell thousands of copies, you’re better off with POD. And if your books do take off, Ingram has a mechanism in place to print copies using traditional means. Above a couple of thousand copies, traditional printing becomes significantly cheaper than POD. But you need assured sales to justify the larger upfront cost of printing in bulk and storing until sold.

Michael W. Perry, co-author of Lily’s Ride

Of course, authors should abide by certain rules and must definitely avoid publishers that require them to purchase and store numerous copies of their books.

– WritersWeekly Reader


PUBLIC FIGURES AND LIBEL: “I want to write a tell-all book about a celebrity I once knew. Can a public figure sue me?”

Wonderful explanation! I hope the person writing this question heads your sound advice.

– Pamela Allegretto
Bridge of Sighs and Dreams
Nazi-occupied Rome sets the stage for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, where the lives of two women collide in an arena of deception, greed, and sacrifice.

Of course ANY writer with a bombshell story should see a lawyer, and this isn’t legal advice, but…actually, people can say just about anything about anyone and get away with it. There are affirmative defenses that are unassailable: truth (and that means YOUR truth)…for example, I know this person smoked dope because we did it together; opinion…for example, in my opinion, this person treated me like a piece of crap and I think that stinks… And in the interest of public service. For example, I was there the day Joe was convicted of child molestation, so beware of Joe. Also, how “judgment proof” is the writer? He won’t be thrown in jail, so if he has no assets (and if he does, judgments can be written off in bankruptcy! and the person would be an unsecured creditor at the back of the line), you can’t get blood from a turnip. The question of good taste and whether the writer wants to get a reputation for as a blabbermouth is another story. Who wants to be friends with a blabbermouth? Not me. Unless someone messes with me or my family. You only have to read social media to know people get away with just about anything. So, CAN he write it? Of course. SHOULD he? That’s a personal/moral decision only the writer can make.

Jenean McBrearty


Read More Letters and Comments


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One Response to "Readers’ Letters and Comments for 04/12/18"

  1. El McMeen  April 14, 2018 at 7:49 am

    In answer to the typo contest, Satan won’t be in heaven, but undoubtedly someone named “Stan” will be. 🙂