The Flying Nun, Oprah, and Me – by John Riddle

The Flying Nun, Oprah, and Me – by John Riddle

When I was 17 and a few months away from graduating HS in 1970, our family lived in public housing projects in Chester, PA. While watching an episode of “The Flying Nun” one night, I was intrigued by the closing credits that were dedicated to one of the writers who had passed away. Right then and there I prayed, and asked God if he wouldn’t mind making me a writer one day.

Moments later, I felt inspired to write my own episode. Using an old Royal Typewriter (with a few bent keys), I created eight pages of what I thought was “great material.” However, when I showed it to my English teacher at the Catholic HS I was attending, he told me it was “the worst piece of crap” (he used a different word) that he had ever read and that I should consider a career as a ditch digger.”

Right then and there I vowed that, one day, I would see my name on multiple covers of books and that I would travel the country, inspiring and teaching other people to follow their dream of writing. A few months later I enlisted in the Navy.

Fast forward through seven years of collecting rejection slips and I finally sold my first magazine article! I had arrived!!! With no college degree, but lots of clips, I could not get a job as a “real writer” so I drifted from being a payroll clerk at the Dupont Company (seven years) to a few part time jobs after I left there to pursue my writing dream.

A few years later, I found myself working as a Development Director in charge of fundraising and public relations at a local nonprofit agency. It was the best of both worlds, allowing me to use my gift of creative communication to write grant and fundraising letters, and to create special events. For example, I tried to set the Guinness Book of World Records by having the largest number of people dance the twist with Chubby Checker!

After seven years at one agency, I took another Development Director job at an agency closer to my home. I raised a boatload of money for them in the first 15 months or so and they rewarded me by laying me off.

As I sat home, licking my wounds, wondering where I was going to find another full-time job, etc., I remember watching the Oprah show one afternoon. She was going through the phase of the show where she would have self-help experts come on and tell people, “If you want it, make it happen, etc.”

I finally had my “light bulb moment!”

Why was I wasting my time looking for yet another full-time job when, by this time, I had tons of clips (The Washington Post, among others)? Thankfully, the Internet was still in the early stages and I started reaching out to editors online.

As of this date, I have written and sold 34 books to traditional publishers, and have worked as a ghostwriter on numerous projects. My byline has appeared in major publications all across the U.S., and I have written articles for over 200 Websites.

And I’m not done yet…

RELATED

John Riddle is a freelance writer, author, and ghostwriter from Bear, Delaware. His byline has appeared in major newspapers, magazines, websites and trade journals all across the country. He is the author of 34 books, including a few health and medical titles, and has worked as a ghostwriter on numerous projects. John is also the Founder of I Love To Write Day, a grassroots campaign he launched in 2002 to have people of all ages practice writing every November 15. Last year over 25,000 schools all across the United States held special I Love To Write Day events and activities. He is a frequent speaker at both Christian and secular writing conferences, and recently appeared at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. You can obtain a quote for John’s ghostwriting services here: https://marketplace.writersweekly.com/ghostwriters

Have a Freelance Success Story to share? We pay $40 on acceptance, non-exclusive electronic rights only. Success stories run around 300 words but we're very flexible. Our guidelines are here:

https://writersweekly.com/writersweekly-com-writers-guidelines

>>>Read More Success Stories<<<





Get 10% off "Query Letters That Worked" when you use the code below at checkout!


QUERY10






It's A Dirty Job...Writing Porn For Fun And Profit! Includes Paying Markets!

Fact is, writing porn is fun! It's also one of the easier markets to crack and make money at while you're still honing your skills. "It's A Dirty Job..." is one of the only resources that can teach you everything you need to know to create your stories and target your markets.



Read more here:


It's a Dirty Job







Recently Answered Questions:



Q –

Good day, Angela –

How would you, and BookLocker’s attorneys, like to proceed with this inquiry?

R.S.

—– Forwarded Message —–
Sent: Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at 10:41:31 AM CDT
Subject: Collaboration Opportunity for Screen Adaptation of Your Book

I hope this message finds you well. My name is (removed), and I am a film executive with a specialization in commercials and films. I previously worked at (removed) for several years before its closure. Despite the studio’s shutdown, my passion and faith in the film industry remain unwavering.

Currently, I am an independent filmmaker looking to collaborate with like-minded individuals who share the same enthusiasm for storytelling. Last week, I came across your book, (title removed), and was deeply impressed by its potential. After some research, I asked my team to gather your contact details so that I could reach out to you directly.

I am writing to explore the possibility of partnering with you on a screen adaptation of your book. With your compelling content and my expertise as a writer and executive, I believe we have a strong chance of creating something remarkable.

If you are interested, I would be delighted to discuss the details further. We can also negotiate your compensation and royalties to ensure that this collaboration is mutually beneficial.

Please let me know your thoughts at your earliest convenience. I am looking forward to the possibility of working together.


A –

You don’t need our attorneys. 🙂 We don’t take rights from authors. You own ALL rights to your book and files (I think we are the only publisher remaining in the industry that still doesn’t take rights from authors in some form or another) and you can work any independent deal you want.

HOWEVER, I am glad you contacted me! This is very likely a scam. There are tons of scammers spamming authors like this now. as well as using telemarketing tactics. It’s highly likely this spammer has never read your book at all.

Scammers make you think that your book will be a movie at no cost to you….but those scammers then hit the author up for tens of thousands, or more later, while dangling the “movie deal” in front of them. Of course, the movie deal doesn’t happen.

I checked and the sender’s email is a URL that isn’t even a working website.

Please see:

How Today’s Most Common Publishing Scam Works, Step by Step By Neall Ryon

Your Book As a Movie? Watch Out for Snake Oil Salesmen!

“A marketing company says my book was ‘endorsed’ by movie producers but they want $5K! Is this too good to be true?”

No, CBS Studios Did NOT Just Offer You a Movie Deal for Your Book!

A Fake Literary Agent + a Fake Movie Studio = Another Scam Targeting Authors

SCAM ALERT: No, Netflix did NOT just email you about turning your book into a movie!

Angela

DON’T FORGET! THIS SATURDAY IS THE SUMMER, 2024 24-HOUR SHORT STORY CONTEST! It’s tons of fun so don’t delay if you want to play!! 🙂



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

Q –

My book, a young adult fantasy, is listed on the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It was self-published by 1st Books (now AuthorHouse) in October 2020. While at one time I marketed it a little, sent it to newspapers for review, it was part of a book club, and it is on Good Reads, I stopped following up. Since that time, I have received over 20 requests from marketers, some very persistent, to represent the book. Frankly, I have never known what to do with it.

On Friday, I received a call from Steve, then David – (979-232-2398). They knew the name of my book and what it was about (I think). They have a decent website with writers who aren’t bad. www.worldwidepublicists.com. For whatever the reason, I did speak to them and considered going with their services. Then my family and I did further research into them (I told them I receive your newsletter, about scamming and such) and found the whole thing fishy. I wrote to Worldwide this morning and rejected their offer to promote my book (David, David Smith by the way, both of these guys are “Smith” – I don’t think so). I might be contacted still by David on Friday, although I asked him not to call.

I am writing to you, Angela, because I trust you and respect your industry knowledge. I suppose I don’t want to take my book down from the sites because … well … it’s there. I reread it yesterday, and frankly, it holds up and I believe it to be good. By the way, I did contact AuthorHouse about two years ago, and received no satisfaction (nor any royalty checks if there are any or have ever been).

I suppose I am exhausted and/or beaten down by this process. As you can see from my website, I am far from a newbie writer.

Can you look into Worldwide Publicists just for my piece of mind (and others, since it seems that they are a start-up). Is there anything that I can/should do with my book? At the moment I am at a standstill, as the magazines I contributed to for years have gone under (Dig, Renaissance and the like).

Thank you, Angela, for any advice you can give to me.

Ellen S.


A –

Any so-called “publicist” who uses spam or telemarketing should be avoided at ALL costs. If they are using those methods to promote their own services, imagine what they might to do the reputations of you and your book. And, only desperate marketers use spam and telemarketing, which speaks volumes.

The Internet is FLOODED with these types of characters right now.

For your book, I recommend 90+ Days of Promoting Your Book Online PLUS 55 Dos and Don’ts of Book Selling. Anyone who wants a free copy of the latter can CONTACT ME. 🙂

If you are looking for a legitimate book publicist, CLICK HERE.

RELATED



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

 

Q –

Hi Angela,

My discontinued book is for sale on Ebay for many times the price I listed it for on Amazon. It cannot be a used copy as I know everyone who has bought one. Shouldn’t I be entitled to a royalty at least?

– CS


A –

The people selling those copies on Ebay don’t actually have physical copies of the books. Any firm with an Ingram account (that’s the distributor) can pick up Ingram’s feed, and start selling their books. Ingram sends that automated feed to retailers. It’s the same automated feed that third party sellers on Amazon receive.

Unfortunately, many of these small resellers don’t bother to update their listings when a book becomes unavailable.

You can try ordering a copy from that ebay seller. I suspect they will later contact you to say they can’t obtain a copy.

RELATED



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



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!

Q –

I am in the process of having my first non-fiction book printed…to be sold at a retail price to people around the USA and possibly in Europe and Asia.

My total net costs, including printing, envelopes and media mail is $22.00 per book. My intentions are to sell the book at a retail price of $45.00 or $49.00 to include shipping.

What tax implications am I looking at if I sell the book in my state of Arizona? And, if I sell books to other states?

Do I need a sales tax license?


A –

I am not a CPA and this is not tax advice. For specific tax questions, please contact your CPA.

That said…

If you are selling directly to your readers, there are some tax implications, depending on each state.

You will need to collect and remit sales tax in your own state for books shipped to that state.

Other states have thresholds where sellers are required to collect and remit sales tax for items sent to that state. Many of those thresholds are quite high.

This site has great information for each state.

If you don’t want to do all of that yourself, you can have your book published through a company like BookLocker and they will handle it for you.

RELATED



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

I often receive emails from our authors who are approached by scammers after their books have been published. Almost all of them are outright scammers, as you can see at THIS LINK.

However, every once in awhile, they stoop to a new low. Before I share the email I received, you need to understand that companies that are “Accredited” by the Better Business Bureau PAID for that “accreditation.” It means NOTHING to be accredited by the BBB other than the fact that the company in question paid for that word to be posted on their page on the bbb.org website. A company can have an F Rating on bbb.org, and still be “accredited.”

As I have shared for years, we refuse to participate in that nonsense. We have an A+ rating on bbb.org and AMAZING reviews have been posted there from our authors!

Here is the email I received:

There is a writer on Facebook who wants to help publish my book. I told him I was satisfied with your company. He called back and advised me that the BBB no longer accredited you. He called me back, and I told him there were no issues with BBB and your company, and that you have an A+ rating. He said, and I quote, “You know she is lying.” I responded, “Making that statement says a lot about you.”

If you are being contacted by these scammers after your book is published, know that zero percent of them can help you. They are wanting you to pay them thousands to do what’s already been done – getting your book published.

The ones offering marketing services are even worse! If they have to resort to spam and telemarketing to market their own marketing services, that means they are TERRIBLE!

Finally, if you are contacted by a spammer or telemarketer in the manner our author was above, where the scammer spews lies that are easily proven wrong, let your publisher know about it! I’m sure their attorneys will be very eager to contact the scammer, as ours were.

The only way to stop these scammers is to hit them in the pocketbook by:

1. NOT sending them any money at all

2. Making them incur legal fees when they commit libel, slander, or defamation

RELATED



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



 

 

Q –

Good afternoon. For a year I paid a book promotion company, Book Writing Experts, over $10,000 to promote my book for sales and, within that time, only one book was sold. Throughout the process, I was being told that, if I put down a certain amount of money for more promotion, it would reach a bigger audience of readers, which would help my sales. Is there any legal action I can take to get compensation back from the money I lost?

Thank you.


A –

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney for your specific needs.

Below my signature are some serious accusations, written by bbb.org, against the company, that I found on that website (where they have an F rating). If they are truly falsifying all of that, yes, I think you’d have grounds for a lawsuit. But, you need to consider several things.

1. Are they really located in the U.S.? If they are not, suing, winning, and receiving any judgment awarded to you would be almost impossible. That’s one reason to only hire publishing services that are actually located in the United States. BookLocker.com is located in Trenton, Georgia, and has an outstanding reputation.

2. Even if they are in the U.S., and if you win, do they have the funds to pay a judgment? Would you be able to collect assets of theirs in place of those funds? You could spend thousands in legal fees, and end up with nothing.

3. Lawsuits can be extremely stressful. We sued Amazon back in 2008 and, while we did eventually win, I can’t tell you how many nights of sleep I lost from the stress. Amazon played dirty. If you do sue Book Writing Experts, we’ll provide info. and updates to our WritersWeekly.com readers.

I did quite a bit of research into Book Writing Experts. I am not believing the 5-star reviews about them online. They may be fake. They just don’t jive with all the complaints.

Read specific complaints here:

TrustPilot.com

Also, check this out:

Beware: Book Writing Experts

(One person there reports the business address is a “virtual office” so they may indeed be located overseas. Another person reports that their domain name was registered by a foreign proxy company.)

Authors Guild – Search that page for Book Writing Experts

Also, the sales report you emailed to me has the name Page Publishing at the top of it. So, it appears the two firms are working together. I found nasty comments about them online, too, on yelp.com, trustpilot.com, and bbb.org. Remember that an A+ rating on bbb.org only means the company has responded to all of the complaints on the bbb.org website. It does NOT mean they’re doing good business.

Angela

THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

Current Alerts For This Business
Advertising Review:

On September 5, 2023, BBB Serving Los Angeles and Silicon Valley requested that the business substantiate, modify, or discontinue claims on the company’s website, https://bookwritingexperts.com/. BBB requested that the business clarify their relationship with various organizations advertised on their website. BBB also requested that the business substantiate, modify, or discontinue rating claims, images/depictions of published books, sale claims, and client testimonials.

BBB challenged these claims based on the following BBB Codes of Advertising:
1. Basic Principles of the Code – https://www.bbb.org/code-of-advertising#Basic_Principles_Of_The_Code

9. Sales – https://www.bbb.org/code-of-advertising#Sales

21. Layout and Illustrations – https://www.bbb.org/code-of-advertising#Layout_And_Illustrations

30. Testimonials and Endorsements – https://www.bbb.org/code-of-advertising#Testimonials_And_Endorsements

While the business initially responded to BBB and made some modifications to their advertising, as of October 4, 2023, the business has failed to substantiate, modify, or discontinue all advertised claims brought to its attention.

RELATED



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

Q –

Angela,

I took on a large project and the client paid me up front. The man has been nothing but mean, rude, and disrespectful. I have put many hours into the project but I just can’t continue to work with him. I don’t think he deserves a full refund but I’m willing to part with a portion of the money just to get him out of my life. What would you do in this situation?

M.A.


A –

Been there!! While it would be nice if everybody in the world was…nice, the fact is there are a LOT of jerks out there! You can do an outstanding job, and remain helpful and pleasant, and even finish a project early and jerks will still find a reason to complain. And, they can get downright abusive! In my opinion, these people are narcissists, have a few screws loose, and need to be on meds. He paid you to write. He did not pay you to be the victim of his childish behavior.

On our website, we have a statement that says, “If you are a jerk, you’d be better served by one of our competitors. We don’t work with jerks. We prefer to work with professional individuals…who have manners.” It’s an excellent filtering tool! Authors who are jerks get extremely offended by that statement. Nice authors think it’s hilarious!

I was at the doctor’s office a couple of weeks ago and the check-in window had a sign that said, “Verbally or physically abusing our employees is not permitted. If your behavior violates our policy, you will be removed from the premises and law enforcement will be called.”

Now, I totally get calling the police when somebody assaults someone else. I imagine that don’t do that for people who verbally abuse their employees. Long, long ago, people had manners, and remembered to use them. Some people just aren’t like that anymore. If you’ve ever watched any “Karen” videos on YouTube, you’ll know what kind of people I’m talking about.

We worked with an author to publish his three books. He was extremely sweet. Sadly, he passed a few months ago. I was recently contacted by his son. I checked the author’s contract. His wife was his beneficiary. I contacted her and she said it was okay for me to communicate about the books and author account with her son. When I was changing the contact information in the author’s account, I discovered he had a negative balance of a few dollars. The son said he would take care of it. We had sent a final notice to the author weeks prior, but hadn’t heard back from him. I kept the books active as I knew the author was elderly. The son saw the final notice email, and sternly told me not to send any more final notices. That was odd.

Fast forward a few weeks and I was going through our accounts again, and discovered the son had never paid the fee. I assumed he never would at that point so I terminated the books, and sent a termination notice. The son responded quickly, made personal insults about my character, and threatened legal action. I gave him my email address, and told him to have his attorney contact me. I added that I would give the attorney access to the author account, where he could spend several hours reading all of the emails we exchanged with the author over the years. Hey, if the son wants to pay a lawyer $300/hour rather than paying a few dollars, that’s fine with me.

The son finally paid the small fee (it was less than $20) and I sent him his father’s production files. Haven’t heard back from him again, nor from his lawyer.

There was no reason whatsoever for his son to react the way he did. And, his father’s books are no longer on the market because I refuse to work with jerks. That apple definitely fell far from the tree!

My advice to you is to calculate what percentage of the project you have completed, and refund your jerk client the rest. Explain in a professional manner that you can no longer work with someone who is being unprofessional. Tell him he’s welcome to hire a different writer to finish the project. Maybe, when working with the next writer, he’ll remember his manners. He’s going to react one of two ways. He’s either going to blow a gasket or he’s going to apologize, and beg you to continue. His behavior is highly unlikely to change so I recommend firmly telling him no.

RELATED



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

Q –

Authors Press contacted me about adding my book to its network for a fee of $800. It has good and bad reviews, but a good BBB rating.

Would you consider my book in your list of published books?

A –

The only thing a company needs to do to have a good rating on bbb.org is to respond to every review and complaint. They can copy and paste the exact same words over and over again into the response box on bbb.org and it’s still considered a response. Ignore the A+ rating and, instead, read all of the complaints about them.

Also, please see:
COMPLAINTS about Authors Press AND Westwood Books Publishing

That’s an investigative piece I did and you won’t believe what I found.

You wrote: “Would you consider my book in your list of published books?”

It looks like your book is already published. On BookLocker and WritersWeekly, we can only feature books we have published. I’m sorry.

RELATED



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

A reader sent this link to me last week from Fortune Magazine:

Local libraries are struggling as book publishers charge three times as much for digital books as physical ones—and they don’t even get to keep them

As with many things online and in the news now, headlines do not always accurately represent the article written underneath. The article provides lots of confusing numbers (if you’re not familiar with how the ebook/library process works), accuses publishers of charging libraries way more for ebooks than everybody else, and more.

Something didn’t smell quite right when I first started reading.

Then, I did the math.

The article states:
“Like many libraries, West Haven has been grappling with the soaring costs of e-books and audiobooks. The digital titles often come with a price tag that’s far higher than what consumers pay. While one hardcover copy of Cook’s latest novel costs the library $18, it costs $55 to lease a digital copy – a price that can’t be haggled with publishers.

“And for that, the e-book expires after a limited time, usually after one or two years, or after 26 check outs, whichever comes first.”

Gosh, that sure makes the publishers look greedy, doesn’t it? But, whip out your calculator, and dig in like I did.

If they pay $55 for 26 copies of the ebook, that means they’re only paying $2.11 per copy. That is more than fair! This article seems to imply that libraries should only have to buy one copy, and then be able to loan it to as many people as they want. I do have a problem with that because I don’t necessarily trust the software or security offered by some libraries. What’s to stop someone from sending a copy of that ebook to others? Furthermore, giving libraries the ability to share one copy of an ebook with as many people as they want, in perpetuity, is not fair to publishers or authors.

And this part:

“While e-books purchased by consumers can last into perpetuity, libraries need to renew their leased e-material.

Right! That’s because, when a consumer buys an ebook, it’s for that one consumer. It’s not for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people to read!

When a library orders a print copy of a book, they can only loan that book to one person at a time. If there is high demand, that library is likely to purchase multiple copies. Sure, they can loan that book out for years but, as with all books, demand will decrease over time and the book will eventually be sold at a library sale, or discarded. The publisher and author have earned a fair royalty for the sale of each copy of the print book purchased by that library.

With ebooks, the royalties are FAR smaller. While an author might earn a few dollars for the sale of each copy of his/her print book, they might only earn a few cents for the ebook. So, how is it fair if a library can loan out an ebook to as many people as it wants (including multiple people at one time) after only buying the license for one copy?

Furthermore, the article states:

“Librarians in several states have been pushing for legislation to rein in the costs and restrictions on electronic material…”

That legislation would conflict with copyright law. The United States is a capitalist, market economy country. Business owners should be able to charge whatever they want for a product, and to put security measures into place to prevent the theft of intellectual property.

If the information in this article is correct, that means some libraries are trying to get a lot of something for almost nothing AND that they want to the government to pass legislation so they can get what they want. NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

Oh, and this gem from the article:

“Imagine if a playground was built at a school with tax dollars, only to be taken down after two years of use,” librarian Colleen Bailie said at a recent public hearing.

A playground costs THOUSANDS of dollars! Not $2.11! What a RIDICULOUS statement!!!

And this one as well:

But Julie Holden, assistant library director for the Cranston Public Library in Rhode Island, said, “Taxpayers who fund our public libraries deserve better. Way better,” she said.

Actually, Julie, AUTHORS deserve better. When you start stripping authors of their royalties for “the greater good,” authors will stop writing good books. Then, you’ll only be able to offer “taxpayers” old good books, or crappy new ones. Oh, and I don’t see anything in your quote where you’ve offered to give up some of YOUR income for the greater good.

And, here is the smartest quote in the article!

“They (libraries) do have a funding problem, but the answer is not to take it out of the pockets of authors and destroy the rights of creators and pass unconstitutional legislation,” said Shelley Husband, senior vice president of government affairs at the Association of American Publishers, noting how more people than ever can access e-material that might otherwise have been purchased from booksellers.

RELATED



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



Read More "Ask The Expert" Articles

Fall 2023 24 Hour Short Story Contest


Q –

Dear Ms. Angela,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with my grandson regarding my nonpayment of my books (by Infinity Publishing). Growing up in Mississippi, I called Infinity Publishing a lot of times trying to get my money owed to me, but they never sent it. Each time I called they’d say someone will call you and we’ll send your money owed to you, but they never did. Can you please send me the Infinity Publishing and Fast Pencil address? Thank you in advance for doing so. My books are on the web, and I don’t receive any money from any of these online publishers. How can I get my books deleted from the websites?

-B


A –

We started warning authors about Infinity Publishing (later merged with Fast Pencil) as far back as 2017. We published another warning in 2020. After years of authors complaining about non-payment of royalties and more, Infinity Publishing/Fast Pencil finally decided to stop publishing books in late 2023. I’m sure all of the complaints posted about them online over the years contributed to their demise. HOWEVER, they are still doing business (a different type) under the name Opyrus.

Paying authors’ royalties isn’t that hard. When the customer, distributor, or retailer pays you, you put that money into a specific bank account to hold those funds. You then collect monthly reports from each payer, credit your authors’ accounts, and send them their payments. At BookLocker, we pay by the fifth business day of the month. It’s such an easy process that we often pay our authors early. For example, this month, we paid our authors’ royalties on the second business day of the month. Again, it is not a difficult process!

If, however, a publisher is spending their authors’ royalties on their own expenses, well, that would explain why they aren’t paying their authors, wouldn’t it?!

I recommend reporting them to their state’s attorney general. The online form is HERE. At least one author who contacted us was able to get his production files after threatening to do that. However, Infinity Publishing / Fast Pencil has been charging some authors for those, which is horrible because the authors already paid them to produce those files. You would think that, after what they’ve done to their authors, they’d simply send those files to each author for free. But, after all of the complaints I’ve read about them over the years, I’m not surprised by their most recent conduct.

The company could have also simply transferred their authors and files to another publisher to avoid all the problems they’re having now. In fact, they can still do that but I don’t think they will because, in my opinion, they took the easy way out, and figured out how to get even more money from their authors in the process.

Here is their address:

Fastpencil, Inc.
517 Boston Post Rd
Sudbury, MA 01776-7600

Since they no longer have the right to sell your books, I also recommend submitting a copyright infringement complaint to Amazon. Important advice on how to do that is HERE.



HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?

Angela is not only the publisher of WritersWeekly.com. She is President & CEO of BookLocker.com,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.

ASK ANGELA!



Ask The Expert Archives

2 Responses to "The Flying Nun, Oprah, and Me – by John Riddle"

  1. Amy Bartlett  May 4, 2019 at 2:46 am

    Great piece and great encouragement as always to keep the writer’s nose to the grindstone. Consistent message from one of the best freelance-process “coach”es in the biz.

  2. Roy Stevenson  March 30, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Nice inspirational piece, John! Good for you, for keeping on. I’m wondering if the 200 websites you have written for all paid for your work, or if you wrote for some of them gratis?