Monthly Archives: July 2011

The near Future of Books

Kindle Reader

Kindle e-Reader

Myriads of articles have already been written about the Kindle, Nook and iPad and how they have revolutionized the way people read. Many experts are forecasting that more than 90% of books will go straight to a digital state in the future. More interactive, dynamic literature shows up on e-Readers. Consumers flock to these devices for their ease of use, durability, portability and the fact that they clear up plenty of space on living room shelves.

Authors will grow even more media-savvy
The gap between readers and their favorite authors becomes more and more narrow. Through Facebook, Twitter, foren and blogs, writers can completely bypass the agents and managers and publishers and go straight to the readers themselves. Authors feel as if the trend will continue, they need a viable internet life. Failure to do so, they fear, compromises their chances of getting picked up for publication and capturing the interest of readers — and their money. The industry will probably experience an upswing of writers eagerly embracing social media and blogging in order to promote their work.

Memoirs expand as a genre
Autobiography and memoirs have always been around, but over the past few years have enjoyed more and more popularity — even blending with other genres such as business and travel guides, self-help and how-to books, comics and plenty more. Books will no longer have a minimum length, writers now have a platform to release the works they want people to read on their own terms.


If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are more than 560 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, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

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And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris


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You Never Get a Second Chance

….. for a First Good Impression!


Book Marketing - Elevator Pitch

Tips for a Winning Elevator Pitch

What is an Elevator Pitch? This is the 30-60 second description of your book and why someone should work with you. It’s called an “Elevator Pitch” because it describes the challenge: “How would you explain your book or your business, if fate placed you in an elevator with your dream prospect and you only had the time it takes to get from the top of the building to the bottom?”

The purpose of an elevator pitch is not to close a deal. It’s to interest the other person in continuing to talk, or to get someone to want to hear more. That’s IT. There is no other purpose. It is one of the most important parts of the marketing strategy for your book (business).

• Your pitch should be 30 to 60 seconds, and it needs to end with a question, “call to action” or other appropriate closer. Consider a generic closer such as, “Does that sound like something you would look at or that interests you?” That lets the listener respond and if they are interested, they will ask questions. • Content is as important as your delivery. If the content of a pitch is uninspiring or uninteresting it won’t matter if it’s well-delivered and the perfect length.

• There are differences between verbal and written pitches, between the way people speak and the way they write. Many people have trouble with this. But as a writer you are able to write a dialogue then you are also able to tell your elevator pitch to someone in a natural and conversional way.

• Show your passion. Act like a parent showing off pictures of their newborn or their star little children’s fashion model. If you’re not excited about your project, nobody else will be.

• Use your time wisely. Most people are way too busy and constantly overloaded with information. They have to make quick decisions about what deserves their attention and what doesn’t. Grab their attention, work hard at making your pitch as compelling or intriguing as possible.

You never know when you are going to come across someone who will ask, “What’s your book about?” At conferences, there are mealtimes, hallway chatting times and countless other times when someone might ask you this question. Always have yours ready! Always be prepared: you never have a second chance for a first good impression!



Posted by on July 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


Jim Collins, e-book skeptic, has converted

From the Chronicle Herald, Halifax:

“Another e-book skeptic has converted: bestselling business writer Jim Collins.  Harper Business announced Wednesday that Collins has a new book coming out in October, Great by Choice, and will make it available for downloads.”  According to the publisher, in this latest book Collins will look into why “some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not.”

From Collins website:

Jim Collins Book How the Mighty Fall

Jim Collins How the Mighty Fall

Jim has authored or co-authored four books, including the classic BUILT TO LAST, which has been a fixture on the Business Week bestseller list for more than SIX years!!! and has been translated into 29 languages. His work has been featured in Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company.

Jim’s book, GOOD TO GREAT: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t, attained long-running positions on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestseller lists, has sold 3 million hardcover copies since publication and has been translated into 35 languages, including such languages as Latvian, Mongolian and Vietnamese.

His book, HOW THE MIGHTY FALL:  And Why Some Companies Never Give In, was published on May 19, 2009.


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A Magazine that provides information on all things Italian-American. It covers food, personalities, film, travel and culture. Half of the magazines content is freelance written. They will pay $250 for pieces of 1,000 to 1,500 words. Art work and photos will improve chances for acceptance.



Australian Publishers get connected

Melbourne, Australia

Lightning Source / Ingram, the major US book distributor is running its brand new Print On Demand facility in Scoresby, Melbourne, Australia, which signals a new boom not only for POD paper books but also for e-books in Australia.

Publishers in Australia who want to expand their reach can do so easily with Lightning Source, who manufacture these books in one of their US or UK facility and send them out through the appropriate resellers. By producing and shipping books in North America or Europe, Australian publishers avoid the expense and complication of getting physical inventory across borders. Order fulfillment is accelerated while freight costs are cut.

Lightning Source / Ingram, the global leader in POD (and book distribution) connects publishers – big and small – and has the world’s largest distribution channel of book wholesalers and retailers.


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Not Yet Convinced to E-Publish?



You CAN make money with e-publishing.
There are authors that made already a million with their e-books, but also authors that barely sell a hundred books per year – it all depends on the quality of your book(s) including cover art, layout and reviews – and how well they are marketed. Same how it works with paper books.

There is overhead cost in e-publishing.
Like paper books, e-books need proof-reading, editing, lay-out, cover design, an ISBN number plus converting in various e-book formats for e-Readers and most important: Marketing.

Editing is essential.
Some e-book authors don’t do it to save money, and some e-publishers do it minimal or not at all. But proof-reading and professionally editing is the most important part in publishing.

E-publishers have to invest in e-books.
…or they will fail.  Just because authors are rarely paid any advance (but rather higher royalties) doesn’t mean there are no investments to make. 

It is not so much easier to get your book out with a reputable e-publisher.
Professional e-publishing houses have their standards to carefully pick their authors in order to deliver quality literature. I am here not talking about vanity publishers that are also to be found in this field and easily can be recognized by charging authors beforehand. I read a good advice: “As an author the only place you should be signing a check is on the back to cash it.” 

It can be a stepping stone to traditional publishing.
Yes, there are e-book authors that have been picked up by the “big six” publishers – but with e-books becoming common-place as do e-Reader devices, in the future e-book publishing will for sure overtake paper book publishing – and the “big six” are coming along with it.

More and more people read e-books.
Also paper books will stay with us, there are many practical reasons for e-books: We don’t need to carry heavy stacks of books to the cottage or on the plane. And we can read at night in bed without using a bedstand lamp (my dog hates bright light in the bed room 😉


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Compare POD Offers

Great help for you with this search tool.  As an author who wants to self-publish, you are looking for information about Print On Demand offers such as:

  • POD company names
  • Their websites
  • Book cover layout
  • Formatting
  • Editing
  • Proof-Reading
  • ISBN
  • Review Copies
  • Book Price

Dehanna Bailee compiled a very valuable tool for authors in form of a PDF listing, last updated in June 2011.  All information comes from the websites of these POD companies.  You may print out the listing for your personal use.  But as always when dealing with any of these listed companies: Author Beware!



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Victims of Vanity Publishers

I just read another rather shocking contract from one  of these self-called “publishers” and it makes me really mad to realize how they screw writers, using the fact that it is very hard to penetrate the book market – at least it was in the past.  

Now with e-books and such distributors as Amazon, Google, Apple and many more it became easier for writers to self-publish. But as for paper books they are prone to fall into the trap of one of these scam artists.

Reading the ads of “publishers” very carefully, you will find out that in 99 percent of all cases they are VANITY PUBLISHERS or self-publishing firms, who lure in innocent authors with visions of best-sellerdom and who over-charge for their services.  Real publishing houses do not have to advertise, they are overwhelmed with pitches and manuscripts.

Real publishers sell to readers – vanity publishers try to sell to writers!

As soon as you, the author, is asked to pay ANYTHING, this company is NOT a publisher! Rather a savvy (and scrupulous) agent for printers, freelance editors and cover designers.

The expression “publisher” should be legally protected and it should be forbidden by law to call themselves publishers!

 Here are some voices of screwed and angry authors that I read in the past in chat rooms:

DO NOT USE …. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!  It is a mistake I will be paying for, for a long time. It took them 12 months to form my manuscript into a book. In that time they merged with ….. and after that time it was impossible to get anything done unless I kicked and screamed my way up to the Vice-President!  I foolishly signed the 10% royalty agreement because I thought they would incentivize the bookstores to buy my book, but they haven’t done any marketing of my book to this point. Only trying to sell their current authors more services… I paid for the Premier Plus option which was at the time the highest and most expensive service they offered and they have not fulfilled much of what they said they would do. I also think they are now screwing me on the sales of my books as well. I can’t get a royalty report from them and they say they have to wait until (months after the close of the quarter) to get their reports.”

“I am their client too and very much disappointed with the way my book is handled, unless it is the matter of grabbing money, it is difficult to get a response.”


“The flag ship of the vanity/POD industry is sinking herself. HMS …. is going down the toilet.”

“I wish I had seen this site (and many others popping up out there) before paying … to destroy my four years of hard work.”

“Stay away from those people, do not invest a penny in …. Save yourself time, money and frustration! Buyer beware! Author beware! Writer beware!


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Additional Income for Writers

Copyright Royalties

Everyone copies books and papers in schools, businesses and Government agencies to obtain the valuable content they need to get their jobs done. But are Authors of these works compensated?

Copyright Agencies in Canada, UK, Germany, USA, just to name a few, are collecting money, which goes to their registered members for secondary uses of their work. These include such things as photocopying, cable retransmission, digital reproduction and educational recording. All of this income is typically made up of small transactions that are difficult for individual writers to monitor, but can be tracked by these organizations.

They also campaign on behalf of writers, both on a national and an international level and ensure that writers receive fair and adequate payment for the use of their work.

By registering you will be paid whenever they find your works copied and will passing the royalties on to you.  Additionally, Canadian writers are also eligible to receive an annual Payback payment, depending on how much they contributed to the repertoire of works licensed by Access Copyright.




General Info of “The World Intellectual Property Organization” (WIPO)



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Posted by on July 10, 2011 in Uncategorized, Writing


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Once more: e-Book Royalties

“Publishers have been demanding control of ebook rights and the lion’s  share of the proceeds since before there were ebooks or proceeds, and now it really is a deal breaker.  Their contracts presently are giving their writers between 15% and 25% of the proceeds from ebook sales.

But Amazon and Barnes & Noble are allowing any writer, no matter if previously unpublished or blockbuster best-seller, to sell their own e-books directly on their sites and set their own prices within certain parameters.  And these self-publishing writers get up to 70% of the price of every ebook sale – not the 25%, which now seems to have evolved into the so-called “industry standard.”

Compare the numbers for an ebook put on sale directly by the writer at $9.99 and the same ebook put on sale by a publisher at  say $12.95. 
In the first instance, the writer makes $6.80 on each sale, in the  second, through a publisher and the “industry standard” only $3.25 …

Read this whole article by bestseller author Norman Spinrad:



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Valuable Marketing Tips

Key to Success

Key to Success: Savvy Marketing

Free “advertising” for you at Amazon

The Author Page on provides a great place for customers to learn about writers. Helping customers get to know you is an effective way to introduce your books.  Information you add on the “Profile” tab in Author Central appears on the Author Page.

On the Author Page, Amazon displays essential information about authors:

  • books they have written
  • biographies plus up to eight photos
  • author photos
  • up to eight videos
  • feeds to blog posts
  • a calendar of events, such as book signings

The Author Page is a good chance to tell readers something interesting about yourself, so make sure you include any details about your background, awards you have won, other books you have written, and personal details customers might want to know. Your author photo doesn’t need to be professionally created, but should be a high-resolution image for quality display.



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Posted by on July 3, 2011 in Marketing


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E-Book Sales

E-book sales are “far out-stripping even the most ambitious industry predictions”

Markus Dohle, chief executive of the worldwide Random House / Bertelsmann group, has reported triple-digit-percentage growth in digital-publishing sales, up 250% from the previous year. According to the company, some US fiction titles now have as much as half of their first-weeks sales in the e-book format.

The messages are clear here:

  • it is publishing globally, though with local expertise
  • it is investing in new emerging technologies, including apps and enhanced content
  • and is working to keep the established supply chain profitable

Marcus Dohle started an e-book offensive that will make thousands of additional Random House titles available in digital form. “The digital age is now. E-books are the format of choice for a steadily growing group of people who like to read books on a screen,” believes the Random House CEO. 

Random House



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Posted by on July 3, 2011 in e-Books, Publishing


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Free e-Books as Marketing tools

Create Contagious Marketing

You can use your ebook or parts of it – or a shortened version to tap a constant source of targeted prospects as a tool for generating traffic and leads…. Give it for FREE!

If you give permission to “share” (and sometimes without…), your “file” gets passed around from person to person!  Your e-book becomes a viral marketing machine!  People will download and distribute your free e-book, and spread it across the Internet like wildfire along with your author name / brand!  And since your eBook book (hopefully) contains lots of hyperlinks, they are given the opportunity to visit your site.

You can also offer your ebook:

  • As a gift to your current clients who participated in a survey,
  • As a prize in a contest you’re conducting with your affiliates,
  • As a “thank you” for subscribers who joined your newsletter
  • As a bonus to an existing offer and to build perceived value.

Your ebook subtly promotes you, your business or your expertise. Plus, your book is more credible since it doesn’t appear like an outright commercial! Ebooks can also become powerful lead generators, because those who visit your website after reading your book are already interested in the topic.



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Rejection Letter for your Book?

Rejection Letter in Mail Box?

Rejection Letter in Mail Box?

For you, the poor author trying to deal with another rejection, remember what Frank Sinatra once said: “The best revenge is massive success.”

Famous writers who got many, many times rejections from publishers before they hit it big:

  • Stephen King
  • John Le Carre
  • Anne Frank
  • J.K. Rowling
  • George Orwell
  • William  Faulkner
  • John Grisham
  • Irving Stone
  • R. Kipling
  • Margaret Mitchel
  • Marcel Proust

Writers must develop a coping strategy (a thick skin) for dealing with book rejections. It is an inevitable consequence of submissions, whether you are sending out articles or book proposals. Don’t take it personally!  Apart from that publishers are really sometimes “wrong” – in the sense that often they say no when they should say yes and sometimes they say yes when they will wish they’d said no.

Rejections also can have a positive side. They may make you dig deeper, opening up more and better markets, as well as other opportunities – think e-books and self-publishing.  Remember this too: if an editor rejects a piece of yours with a short note, take it as BIG encouragement.  If the editor also tells you why s/he declined your submission, fix the deficiencies and resubmit it. This response signals your readiness to revise and try again, as well as perhaps the beginning of a relationship.




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Pitching your new book


Let your potential publisher know how you plan to get your name out there.

  • Will you do book signings, contests, chats, online signings, book club readings or placement into independent bookstores.
  • Do you have a website? And / or a blog?
  • Do you participate in Twitter and Facebook?
  • Do you have any special groups that you know, who would be interested in this type of book?

This is called a promotional plan and a platform and more and more publishers require it. But in any way, it is always an asset. There are also a number of things that you should not do when submitting a manuscript:

  • Never send a manuscript without a query letter or synopsis. Publishers like to get an idea of what the story is about before plunging into a novel.
  • Make sure that the publishers guidelines are followed to the letter.
  • If the publisher specifies that all submissions should be double spaced in Times or New Roman font, save it as an RTF file. Do not send something that is single spaced in a gothic font, saved as a PDF.
  • Do not tell the publisher how wonderful your work is, or how much you think he or she will enjoy it. Stick strictly to the facts.
  • Do not write the publisher over and over again asking if they have yet read your manuscript.  Most publishers will list an average response time. Only after that time has passed should you contact the publisher for an update.
  • Make sure that your document is appropriately labelled with your name, pen name, title of the book, word count and your email address. When manuscripts are sent by email, your document is often saved in another location. This manuscript could quite possibly be passed to various staff within the company in order to find the line that best fits your title. If there is no identifying information on the Manuscript itself, a publisher cannot respond to you.

When you are submitting your work, remember to be professional, be kind, be respectful and be patient. The publisher is working hard to review works and put out the best quality pieces to our public.  As an author, it is your job to follow some simple guidelines when submitting a manuscript in order to allow the process to go smoothly and your work to be accepted.



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