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Category Archives: Book Contracts

Did You Write a Kindle Single?

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Kindle-Single

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Many writers have taken a strong 70-page idea and stretched it into a weak 300-page book because that was what the industry demanded. Amazon gave short formats – Singles – an identity.
Any writer can approach Amazon directly, as Stephen King, a prominent author, did with Guns,  a nonfiction essay too long, at 8,000 words, for most newspapers or magazines. Another hit was his Single Mile 81, a top seller.

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Amazon’s Sub-Store
In January 2011, Amazon launched a sub-store on its US website to sell something it called a “Kindle Single” : “Compelling Ideas Expressed At Their Natural Length”, as they call it. The internet giant Amazon pays 70% royalties, for Singles priced between 99 cents and $4.99. “Typically between 5,000 and 30,000 words, Kindle Singles are editorially curated and showcase writing from both new and established voices – from bestselling novelists and journalists to previously unpublished writers.”

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The Guardian explained:
“It may not sound like a call to revolution. But Kindle Singles are. Writers can seldom express ideas “at their natural length”, because in the world of traditional print only a few lengths are commercially viable. Write too long, and you’ll be told to cut it (as Stephen King was when The Stand came in too long to be bound in paperback). Worse, write too short, and you won’t get published at all. Your perfect story is 50 pages long – or 70, or 100?  Good luck getting that printed anywhere.  Commercial print publishers have never liked novellas or novelettes, authors always have. Indeed, many writers have done their best work at that length, despite the difficulty of finding publication.  Hence the revolution.  Because the new length exploits this hole in traditional publishing.”

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How Much Do Kindle Single Authors Earn?
The top-ten list of bestselling Kindle Singles includes a number of big-name writers. But how is the format working for writers who don’t have the brand of a Stephen King or Jodi Picoult? Gigaom.com offers well-researched insights from their interviews:

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Author: Oliver Broudy

Bio: Former managing editor of the Paris Review; writer for Men’s Health
Kindle Singles: “The Saint,” $1.99 (3/2011), “The Codex,” $1.99 (10/2011)
Sales: “The Saint”: 41,826 copies, “The Codex”: 5,009 copies (both figures through January 2012)
Estimated royalties ([price * number of copies sold] * 0.70): $65,241.16

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Author: Frank D. Gilroy
Bio: Author of the 1965 play “The Subject Was Roses,” which won the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award
Kindle Single: “Lake,” $1.99 (11/2011)
Sales: 12,500 as of February 2012
Estimated royalties ([price * number of copies sold] * 0.70): $17,412.50

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Author: Mishka Shubaly
Bio: Musician; bassist for The Freshkills
Kindle Singles: “Shipwrecked,” $1.99 (4/2011), “The Long Run,” $1.99 (10/2011), “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” $1.99 (3/2012). “The Long Run” is the ninth-bestselling Kindle Single overall, by units.
Sales: “Shipwrecked”: 21,024 copies, “The Long Run”: 60,567 copies, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”: 11,406 copies.
Estimated royalties ([price * number of copies sold] * 0.70): $129,544.82

Read the whole story by Laura Hazard Owen in her post: “Exclusive: How Much Do Kindle Singles Authors Make?”

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If You Want to Have Your Single Published
Amazon criteria’s – Submission Policies – are:
• Original work, not previously published in other formats or publications
• Self-contained work, not chapters excerpted from a longer work
• Not published on any public website in its entirety
• Currently not accepting how-to manuals, public domain works, reference books, travel guides, or children’s books
“A Kindle Single can be on any topic. So far we’ve posted fiction, essays, memoirs, reporting, personal narratives, and profiles, and we’re expanding our selection every week. We’re looking for high-quality writing, fresh and original ideas, and well-executed stories in all genres and subjects. You also can write to our editors at kindle-singles@amazon.com”
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The latest Kindle Single Bestsellers in a variety of genres can be found at Amazon’s “Singled Out” page.
If you are an author and already published a Single at Amazon, let us know about your experience and success.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

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The Traps in Publishing Contracts

ebooksinternational:

The key to a good publishing contract is clarity. For authors, it is helpful to keep in mind that most contracts are not take-it-or-leave-it propositions. Be courteous. Be tactful. Knowing what to ask for is critical. Use an agent or attorney who understands the parameters of the typical publishing deal to negotiate your contract. Working through an agent or attorney allows the author to preserve his creative relationship with the editor or publishing house, explains Attorney Lloyd J. Jassin on his website.

 

Originally posted on Savvy Writers & e-Books online:

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Traps-in-Publishing-Contracts
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Traditional Publishing Contracts – Part Two of a Series 

There should be a large neon sign that says: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER sign a contract without having your contract lawyer going over it and explaining it to you in detail – sentence for sentence. The contract clauses described here in this blog post are the “norm” in publishing. It is difficult to see how your publishing agreement will play out in the long term, what you sign today could have profound, long term consequences.

Contract attorney Ivan Hoffman explains in his blog:
“In the US, many contracts that consumers commonly sign, such as for mortgage or auto loans or to
obtain a credit card, are subject to statutory requirements for fairness, clarity, etc.  If some of the clauses and drafting techniques commonly included in publishing contracts used by publishers were found in consumer contracts, those provisions would be…

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Less than Minimum Wage for Authors?

ebooksinternational:

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Are you thinking about approaching an agent or publisher for your next book? Do you know what clauses publishing contracts usually contain? How do you read a publishing contract? What your income will be – compared to author-publishing? This blog post and the following two will help you to “take the con out of the work con-tract”.

Wikipedia explains: “A publishing contract is a legal contract between a publisher and a writer or author, to publish written material by the writer or author. This may involve a single written work, or a series of works.” And as with every legal contract, authors are faring better when consulting a lawyer that is specialized in publishing contracts – BEFORE – they sign it.  

 

Originally posted on Savvy Writers & e-Books online:

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Justicia

Justicia

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Traditional Publishing Contracts – Part One of a Series

You might remember an article How Harlequin Publishing Deceives Their Authors from last summer in this blog, about the planned class action suit against the publisher. Today I stumbled about a sequel of J.A. Konrath’s blog: Harlekin Fail, Part 2, where he explains the contract practices of the trade publishers in general, and how they deceive their authors. From today on we will look more closely into these practices.
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When offered the opportunity to publish traditionally, about two-thirds of self-published authors are interested. The supposed prestige of a traditional publisher, the wide distribution a publisher can generate and help with marketing, are the reasons, cited in surveys.
However the perception of traditional publishing is often not up to date in public, as the way of book marketing (and the whole traditional publishing business) has totally…

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7 Reasons You Are Better Off Self-Publishing

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Book Staple
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Are you eager looking forward to get a publishing contract or happy you received one?  Finding a publisher who will consider your book idea and then getting your manuscript published is time-consuming and can often be a frustrating experience. Going with a big publisher is not easier than author-publishing.  You will be surprised to learn about the following facts, often the hard way:
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Your Book Has Only 3 Months to Fly Off the Shelves
If your book does not sell within the first three months of its bookstore life, it will be returned to the publishers ware house and disappears from bookstores and could end up at “A Buck a Book”.  Shocking: 90 to 95% of books don’t pay back their advance. Royalty will only be paid if the authors advance is paid back. What you get upfront as an advance is usually all you will ever get.
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Screw Up on Your First Book?  You Are Out!
If you do well with it, publishers will be eager to see your next title.  But if you don’t sell a lot of books, your agent or publisher will not want to read your manuscript when you will offer your second book.
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Traditional Publishing is Very Slow
Unless you wrote a political tell-all, your book is going to ”be in the making” for up to two years until it goes into the bookstores.  You need to be sure your topic is timeless and that you will be interested in publicizing it years from now.
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No Foreign Rights 
Unless you have a savvy agent (preferably speaking several languages) who is trying to sell your book abroad, there is little chance that your publisher actively tries to find buyers in foreign markets.
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Most Likely You Will Only Receive Your Advance
You can get as little as $5,000 or as much as $500,000, but either way, you will have to pay 15% of this amount to your agent, and the remainder will be paid in thirds or quarters over the next couple of years. So you first need to “earn out” the advance, before any royalties will be paid to you.
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Slowest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
Breaking into big money publishing is like becoming a movie star – being talented definitely helps, but luck plays a big role and the odds might not be in your favor.
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No Publicity for Your Book
Until a decade or two ago, publishers did some marketing for books.  Now, in the best case, they might send out some galleys and wait to see if anyone is interested. Then they focus all their publicity on the books they expect to be a bestseller.  If you want your book to be a success, YOU will have to do ALL the publicity yourself!
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Books don’t sell themselves, as most writers sooner or later find out – often too late. If you are interested in making money or selling your book for a long time, better consider e-books and self-publishing. But in any way, marketing skills or at least the willingness to learn about marketing and PR to promote your book, are essential for an author.
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Self-publishing Seems to be Easy
- if you know what your are doing. Sure, anyone can become a small publisher.  YOU call the shots. YOU retain the rights to your book.  And YOU take home a much higher royalty than you would normally get from a traditional publisher – IF you sell any books… And that’s often the problem.
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Books are Not Sold Automatically
We get emails, often several per day, from writers who have just recently published a book, with the question “what we can do for them.” Well, in almost all cases we have to start with Adam and Eve. And explain to them how exactly (author-) publishing works.
Think and learn first how to publish professionally, so that readers see you as a “real” author.  And learn how to establish your platform and how to market your book – before writing it. You would never start building a house with the roof, before even building the foundation, the frame and walls. Why would you then do it in your new publishing profession?

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars  Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,020 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

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Foreign Book Rights: Multiple Sales of Your Manuscript

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Europe
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Foreign Rights as well as translations into other languages can be a great way to leverage the value of your manuscript – but don’t expect big numbers right away. Revenue will be an advance and approximately 6 – 10% royalty of the retail price, minus percentage for the agent. It’s also a long-term project as it takes around 18 months until the book is translated and finally available online and in bookstores.

Foreign rights belong to your book’s subsidiary rights.  Like other sub-rights, such as audio, movies, book clubs, paperback reprints, electronic rights, foreign rights can be sold and separated from your book’s primary rights – which you totally own anyway as an independent author-publisher.
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Before you sign a contract: Always first contact your national writers’ association for further information and get legal advice from a lawyer who is specialized in copyright. This could save you several thousand dollars – if not more.

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Let’s Start With the Revenue You Can Get from Your Book’s Retail Price:
Earning possibilities for your book.

  • If you sell your book on your own website ca. 90 – 95%
  • Selling through Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple or other online retailers: up to 70%
  • Selling your manuscripts to a trade publisher, earns a (small) advance and ca. 8 – 10% royalties – but this will be subtracted from the advance and only if you “earn out” your advance, which means the book is really selling well, you receive royalties.
    For most authors the advance is all they really earn.

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If You Want to Let Your Book Translate in World Languages
You can certainly just translate your book and sell it through online retailers worldwide. Most spoken languages beside English (albeit not necessarily e-book readers) are Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, German, Russian, Russian, Portuguese, Bengali, Japanese according to Wikipedia.
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Start With Maximizing Your Foreign Presence – For FREE
To maximize your presence in overseas Amazon Kindle stores, just set up an Author Central account in each of those country-specific sites where your book is available.  As Amazon divided the world in single countries, announce your Countdown Deals, new book launches or Free Kindle KDP Days in several languages: Order at http://www.Fiverr.com a short translation of 10 tweets in Spanish, French, German etc. for $5 / 200 words. The countries with the most usage of eReaders, according due to a survey of Bookboon are USA, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark etc.
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A good idea would also be to join ALLI   
New rights services are growing up online to help authors meet rights buyers directly without having to travel to a book fair and using technology to extend reach. ALLi now has an arrangement with one of these, Pubmatch. Members have access to Putmatch’s premium service through ALLI (usually $79.99) at the deeply discounted rate of $9.99.  Pubmatch will facilitate communication, data warehousing and the simplification of rights marketing for publishers, agents, authors and others, making it the go-to place for the international publishing community to find new titles and new talent.
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International Book Fairs
Do not just turn up at an international book fair, hoping to sell your book. Meetings are arranged well in advance (4-6 months) with acquisitions editors at international publishing houses, to whom new projects are pitched, and new potential publisher customers can be discovered.  
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Top Publisher for French Foreign Rights
If you want to talk about foreign rights with a French publisher one of the biggest in the world, Hachette who are also partnering with Phoenix Publishing & Media Group in China and holds a 25% share of Atticus in Russia.
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Top Publisher for Spanish Foreign Rights – Good for U.S.A. too!
Planeta leads the world’s Spanish-language publishing markets in Spain and Latin America. The company has further strongholds in Portugal and France, where it owns Editis, the country’s second-largest group. Grupo Planeta is present in 25 countries, with more than 100 imprints and a catalogue of 15,000 titles.
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Major agencies, specialized in Foreign Rights:

http://knightagency.net/

http://nelsonagency.com/foreign-rights/

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Choose your foreign rights agent carefully!
Most agents charge 20% (or sometimes even 25%) on foreign sales. This 20% rate is justified because normally two agents are involved (the second one being in the foreign country), and they end up splitting the commission. If you are not represented already, why not try to find agents or even publishers yourself in other countries, especially if you speak more than one language?
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There are things to watch when negotiating foreign rights deals – hopefully an agent will keep an eye on these, but it’s worth knowing about it:

  • Term of the deal:  Five years is most common, anything longer then you should be expecting a premium from the publisher.
  • Country / Territory for the contract: You might sign away Portuguese language rights without realizing that it will include publication in Brazil (and Mozambique, Angola, Macau, Cape Verde etc).  Also, giving worldwide Spanish language rights could cause friction with any United States publishing deal, as there is a large Spanish reading audience in the US.
  • Tax situation in your and the potential publishers country: While there are now many treaties which allow for uninhibited flow of money between countries, you could lose some of your advance to a foreign government’s tax.
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Before signing a contract with an agent or a publisher, how can an author tell if the company is good with foreign rights? Ask about their previous sales!  Contact authors who work with that publisher or agent and ask them about their experience. It’s also possible to find out the name of foreign publishers and go to their web sites and see what books they have recently published.

Find out what authors the agency represents overseas, then ask those authors about their own experiences. Again, foreign rights are only a portion of an author’s income, so that’s something to bear in mind. Check your agreement with a translations rights agent carefully.  Never, ever! give world rights away as standard, and you should also insist in a large upfront payment.
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Read more:

How to Sell Foreign Rights
http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/how-to-sell-foreign-book-rights/

In Gwen Ellery’s article are tips from foreign agents about the cultural difference – something very important!  http://www.gwenellery.com/your-books-foreign-rights/

John Penberthy, a successful writer, who searched the internet, found contact addresses of agents in other countries and contacted them directly.  http://axiomawards.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/selling-foreign-rights-around-the-world/

Morris Rosenthal gives also great, detailed tips in his article about book contracts. http://www.fonerbooks.com/contract.htm

Importance of Foreign Rights
http://www.columbinecommunications.com/articles/the-importance-of-foreign-rights/

How You Can Sell your Rights or Split Your Book into Single Articles: http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/why-you-should-split-your-book-apart/

John Kremer sells helpful lists and reports for authors and an e-book with an extensive list of foreign rights agents  http://www.bookmarket.com/foreign.htm

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Comparison of Trade Publishing – Vanity – Author Publishing

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Comparison

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Every writer, no matter if they author-publish (self-publish) or if they have sold their manuscript to a publisher, has to do their own marketing. But how can you promote your book, if you are at the mercy of a publisher – trade or vanity?  What if you don’t own the ISBN and if you have no access to the retailers’ publishing / author pages, such as Amazon, B&N or Apple?  We had clients whos publishers were not able to properly set up the Amazon page, did not choose the proper category, took weeks to make changes to a wrong price and months to add the images and text the author had provided for their Goodreads or Amazon page.
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This is a huge problem (among many others) that authors face after they have given away their work for a pittance – or worse, have paid thousands of dollars to a vanity publisher. So, what’s the difference between both, beside the fact that they make it difficult for their authors to market their books?
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TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS

  • Author needs to have a platform
  • Trade publishers accept very few submissions (average: 4%)
  • Authors might have to pitch dozens or hundreds of puplishers / agents
  • Authors receive a small advance and even smaller royalties
  • They do not use POD (single or few books), rather print large quantities
  • Authors have barely any say to cover image, publishing date etc.
  • Authors cannot decide the sales price, e-book prices are often un-competitive
  • It takes very long until the book is published (12-18 months average)
  • Publisher pays for printing, editing services and cover image
  • Distribution services are covered by the publisher
  • Professional marketing services available – but only for celebrity writers
  • They own the ISBN for the book

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VANITY PUBLISHERS

  • Author needs to have a platform
  • Accepts almost ALL submissions
  • Author never receives any advance in this “partnership
  • Author contracts are often worse than those of trade publishers
  • Author pays for printing or ebook-formatting, editing services, cover image
  • Authors have barely any say to cover image, publishing date etc.
  • Authors cannot decide the sales price
  • Mostly Quick turnaround and Print on Demand (POD)
  • Barely any distribution services, compared to commercial publishers
  • Vanity publishers don’t live from book sales, they live from printing/author services
  • No professional marketing services
  • Very few royalties – if any at all
  • They own the ISBN for the book
  • Your book has only 3 months time in bookstores to sell – before being discarded!
  • Bookstores generally are wary of vanity books (except maybe local writers)

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AUTHOR-PUBLISHING

  • Authors needs to have a platform in order to build a brand
  • Needs to learn about the publishing / book distribution industry
  • Needs to plan the publishing / marketing process
  • Authors have to find / compare author services (POD, distribution, formatter, designer)
  • Authors pays for printing or ebook-formatting, editing services, cover image
  • Authors can decide everything: cover image, publishing date, retail price etc.
  • Authors can do their own or hire marketing services
  • Authors get up to 70% from the books retail price (or 100% if sold from own website)
  • Authors own their ISBN – which is FREE in Canada! and low-cost in other countrie
  • Bookstores generally are wary of author-published books (except maybe local writers)

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Conclusion:
If an author has all these challenges, waiting times (or costs to cover, in the worst scenario) – and cannot even do the necessary marketing without huge problems, what is the point in having or even paying a publisher?  Why not author-publish / self-publish in the first place, and be totally independent when it comes to your marketing?
Whatever you will decide, take your time, don’t rush in anything and don’t let you sell any services, before you have thoroughly evaluated them. It does not matter if your book launches a month or a year later – important is that you have a platform as a writer and that you find a way of publishing that suits you and that gives you the freedom of your own decisions. If you decide to go with a publisher, don’t forget: Real publishers sell to readers – vanity publishers sell to writers!

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites:  We offer all this and more for only $ 179 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.international-ebooks.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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Top Languages and Top Social Media Networks

Top Languages on the Internet
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OK, you transferred your book into print, digital and into an audio book.  Now, how else can you leverage your hard work?  Let it translate into other languages, or sell foreign rights of your book. Sell your rights separately and if you still own all the rights for your book, also consider to split it apart, in order to sell it in single articles, especially if it is a non-fiction book. 

The reason to show you this info graphic is to point out the possibilities for writers to either translate (let translate) their work into foreign languages, such as Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, German etc.  - or to sell the foreign rights to their books.
The info graphic lists the top languages on the Internet, countries highlighted are chosen due to the official status of a listed language in the country. Also included are tables on internet penetration by language and world population of language.  Another consideration is which Social Networks to use to market your books worldwide.  Let the person who translated your book also translate short articles for Google+, Facebook, Pinterest  and Twitter.  This enables you to get the attention of potential readers for your translated book.
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Top Social Media Networks / Languages
Jeff Bullas, Social Media & Blogging Guru wrote: “Twitter with its short and snappy messaging is very dependent on mobile usage and smart phones. The rise of the visual web is making Pinterest and Tumblr the fastest growing social networks on the planet. Facebook is where we share with friends and family. Google+  is embedded in Google’s web assets including Gmail, local check-ins and the mobile Android ecosystems. Google is getting the data it wants from Google+. Demographics, usage and content popularity. Meaning into it’s RANKING of SEARCH RESULTS and much more.”Here are the latest social media facts and statistics provided by the latest study by GlobalWebIndex for the second quarter of 2013. It shows clearly:

  • Google+ is catching up to Facebook
  • Google+ dominates on monthly visits
  • Active usage is highest on FB, then Google+ and Twitter
  • Pinterest is the fastest growing social network
  • LinkedIn is the most popular for older users

Don’t forget that on Google+ you can show cover images of your book as often as you want – contrary to other Social Media where it is only possible once a day!
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Matterhorn-Switzerland.

Foreign Right Sales
It is not that easy to sell your foreign rights without an agent or a publisher, but it’s not impossible. Women’s fiction author Kay Raymer did the whole agent query routine in 2000, but nobody would look at her novel, Hannah Street. So she sent the manuscript to her attorney, who happened to know someone at Bertelsmann / Germany. Bertelsmann made an offer on the book, and her lawyer helped arrange the contract. As a result, Raymer’s first novel appeared in Germany in 2001, a paperback original called Das Rosenhaus.
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Choose your foreign rights agent carefully!
Most agents charge 20% (or sometimes even 25%) on foreign sales (including British and translations). This 20% rate is justified because normally two agents are involved (the second one being in the foreign country), and they end up splitting the commission. If you are not represented already, why not try to find agents or even publishers yourself in other countries, especially if you speak more than one language? I just found a blog post from a successful writer, who did just that: searched the internet, found contact addresses of agents in other countries and contacted them. He wrote. Read more here.  and here.  How you can sell your rights or split your book in single articles can be found in this blog post: http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/why-you-should-split-your-book-apart/

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-Book-PR.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 890+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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