Letters and Comments for 11/22/16

Letters and Comments for 11/22/16


The Cold, Hard, Ugly Facts about Traditional Publishing…and Why You Might Want to Avoid It Altogether

This may be too vague to be of any use, but I have a friend who edited an anthology for a small but traditional publisher. It’s been three years, and he has yet to receive his first royalty check.

– Johnny Townsend
The Mormon Inquisition
Mormons protest injustice both in and out of the Church.

The Tyranny of Silence
Mormons navigate both faith and obedience to extreme beliefs.

Despots of Deseret
When the Prophet has spoken, the thinking is done!


Angela: I trust you, and I always pay attention to what you say. But since your are focused on “cold, hard facts,” I have to add some from my own experience. I, too, am both commercially published and self-published. My one
and only commercially published book sold something like 35,000 copies as a mass-market paperback. I earned back my advance, and then some. Since then, I’ve self-published three novels. The numbers are too
inconsequential to keep track of, but all three books combined can’t have actually sold more two or three hundred copies. This is because I don’t know how to do all the things my commercial publisher had professionals taking
care of: marketing, distribution, professional booksellers, etc. Younger writers are almost certainly the ones you speak of who have done well as self-publishers: they know how to “game the system” of social media manipulation,
etc. But older writers–who may be the better writers (guess who I include in this group) –are out of luck.

– Barry Knister


Excellent! I appreciate your publishing savvy and generous detailing of the nuts and bolts of publishing!

– 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.


Angela — My first novel was traditionally published by a respected but small press. I got a $3000 advance, space on bookstore shelves around the country, dozens of reviews from ARCs also around the country (including the
biggies: Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Library Journal, The New York Times Book Review, and many newspapers), and support from their marketing staff for publicity materials (photos, posters, etc).

Sounds ideal, right?

And it was, to a point. Did you notice I mentioned sending ARCs to newspapers? Many published reviews BEFORE the book was released — eager readers even called me to find out how to get my book. Who knows how many
buyers I lost because of that error?

I learned a lot about publishing because of that. It wasn’t an awful experience, but I did learn from it. You’re correct in everything you say — some publishers will do more, others less, but in the end, it’s all going to come down to
how much promotion authors are willing to do themselves.

I’m now self-publishing, but not for the reasons you mention — I just don’t want someone making decisions for me about my book that I’d rather make myself. (Call me controlling… .that’s okay.) They might be the wrong
decisions, but at least I own them.

Thanks for a great post.

– Ellen



“My book hit the market and I’m now being bombarded with sales calls and spam…from another publisher!!”

How can someone get your phone number in the first place? People are way too open on FB and elsewhere. If the number reveal says no number or private, I click the phone on and click it off, period.



I had similar situations as you have just described.

In two instances — one, after publishing with Abuzz press, the other — after registering a movie Treatment.

I received calls from the publishers very soon after registering (Treatment) or publishing (book) — one was from I-Universe, the other was Archway Publishing (Simon & Schuster Partner).
I was quite surprised that anyone was mentioning the movie Treatment becasue I had only received my notification from registration about a month before the call.
In the case of the newly released ‘Highlander Imagine; Beyond Infinity’, by Abuzz press, I assume someone was scanning Amazon (or similar). In both cases the individuals tried to persuade me to publish again with them — or
publish this (strange) ‘Movie Treatment’ book with them.
The sales lady clearly had no idea what a Treatment was (it is NOT a book) and no one cared what I had published before.
The prices were spelled out immediately — and they were not cheep.
“Oh, no,’ I assured her — I only planned to publish the next book if I had a whopping advance, I said.
Now, I had some fun with the last person — I launched into ‘Mary Jane’ lines about glorious advances and a romantic star-studded career with my golden pen burning down Hollywood back-lots with action.
I think the woman finally caught on because she slammed the phone in my ear!
It was fun though.

I am surprised that Simon & Schuster (a once very reputable company) is into this questionable association.

– Wendy Jones
Highlander Imagine – Beyond Infinity
Duncan MacLeod must fight a South American Immortal at Teotihuacan.


It’s scary how much information about your address, phone number, etc. can be found on the Internet, even when you take great pains to keep that information off your websites and blogs and FB pages. I had a friend who had
lost my phone number look me up on the Internet. He not only found my home address and phone number, but also my voter registration affiliation. Hmmm…

– 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.


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