Monthly Archives: November 2011

Writers and Artists in Residence


Seaplane Maine

Seaplane Maine

Mount Desert Island Maine

Artist-In-Residence Program at Acadia
The Artist-in-Residence Program at Acadia National Park offers professional writers, composers, and all visual and performing artists the opportunity to pursue their particular art form while surrounded by the inspiring landscape of the park. In the spring and fall, the park provides housing to participants for two-week to four-week periods.

In return, participating artists are asked to donate to the park collection a piece of work representative of their style and their stay. These creative works will be displayed on a rotating schedule or shared with the public through other appropriate means during the upcoming seasons. Artists are also asked to participate in one public program per week of their residency such as demonstrations, talks, exploratory hikes, or performances. In the fall, artists will be working with fifth and sixth grade students. Programs can be tailored to your medium, interests, and experiences, and only consume a few hours of your stay.

How to Apply
Applications for the program are accepted beginning October 1 and must be received by January 7 for consideration for the following season.

Catoctin Mountain Artist-In-Residence

This program offers visual, literary, and performing artists an opportunity to work in a natural and historic setting to advance art, nature, and history education and appreciation.

The Artist-In-Residence will spend two weeks immersed in the natural and cultural resources of the Catoctin Mountains. During this residency, the artist will produce a novel work and share the artistic process with the public.

The Catoctin Forest Alliance conservation area (namely: Catoctin Mountain and areas within two miles of its base, from the Pennsylvania border to the edge of Frederick) boasts many compelling subjects. Here the artist may find many historic sites, farms, quaint villages, rivers and streams, waterfalls, lakes, and other scenic views.

There are three residencies each year in May, August, and October.
Spring and Fall accommodations are in a historic log cabin in the woods of Catoctin Mountain Park. The cabin is rustic, but includes fully equipped kitchen and bath. Laundry facilities are available for the artist.
Amateur and professional artists of two- and three-dimensional arts, photographers, videographers, writers, and poets are encouraged to apply. In the future, we expect to open the program to musicians and other performing artists.

The Catoctin Forest Alliance will accept applications no later than January 15 for spring and summer residencies, and no later than June 15 for fall residencies.


Leave a comment

Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


The Top 6 Tips to Successfully Publish and e-Publish


Beat the POD industry!
Are you ready to publish your first book? Follow these tips, and you will find the path to success much smoother!

Don’t wait to start marketing until your book is finished.
Many first-time publishers focus on the publishing process, and put off thinking about the marketing until they have books in hand (or in their garage). A book – no matter if it is an e-book or a traditional paper book – will succeed or fail on its marketing plan. Before starting your self-publishing project, find out who your audience is, and where and how you will find them. Move forward on a publishing project only after you have finished your marketing plan.

Bookstores don’t buy POD books.
Many novice publishers are opting for the heavily-advertised Print-On-Demand companies, which promise publication at low fees. For a niche book with an easily-found audience POD this can be an option. But what the POD companies won’t tell you,  is that neither bookstores nor libraries will generally buy a POD book. However, if you are savvy enough, you can find the right wholesale arrangement through Lightning Source / Ingram and Baker& Taylor as outlined in Aaron Shepard’s website and book But don’t expect to get the same retail discount from “brick and mortar stores” as with Amazon.

You can judge a book by its cover.
That’s what most people do.  You never get a second chance for a great first impression!  You can get a decent cover for as little as $100 and a fantastic cover for around $ 500 or more.  Just shop around and find out who makes great covers.

Act like a professional publisher.
Nothing is more embarrassing as finding reviews of your book on Amazon that complain about typing and grammar errors in your work. Make sure your book is complete, well-edited, and thoroughly proofread. Use spell checks, let it copy-edit, content edit and proofread by professionals – not your family or friends.  These services provide you with a manuscript that makes you look like the professional you are.

Don’t use the print shop down the road.
Search for a printer that specializes in printing books. You will not only have fewer problems with production, but the prices will be much less expensive.  You should be able to print 300 copies of a 250-page soft cover book for approx. $ 2.50 per copy.

Get 100 ISBNs if possible.
ISBN is the acronym for International Standard Book Number, and every book sold in bookstores and at most online retailers must have an ISBN. They are the global standard for identifying titles and used world-wide as a unique identifier for books. They simplify distribution and purchase of books throughout the global supply chain. Without an ISBN, you will not be found in most book stores, nor online.  In the U.S. ISBNs are available only from, and you can buy them in blocks of ten, 100, or 1000. The fewer you buy the less it costs, but buying just a block of ten marks you as a one-book publisher. And everyone in the publishing industry can figure out how many ISBNs you’ve purchased by looking at your ISBN number.

Self-publishing can not only be lucrative, it can be a lot of fun too. But you need some careful planning to really enjoying true self-publishing.  A very helpful book when starting out the independent publishing route is “The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days” (Kindle Edition) by Fern Reiss that gives you valuable technical tips during your publishing process.


Tags: , , , , ,

Entrepreneurial Authors and Self-publishing

The e-book revolution is a blessing for both, readers and authors, entrepreneurial authors have the highest success of all when self-publishing.  I am predicting that e-Readers soon will be more common than a TV in households.

The old monopoly of agents and publishers controlling what and who gets published is totally broken. History proves that this elite is no better at judging the quality and potential success of books than the reading public.

Only a few bestseller authors are chosen by traditional publishers for the royal treatment —  often those who don’t need the support. Their books are everywhere. At the same time, though, the volume of online review sources has exploded. And the number of reviewers who review self-published and/or indie authors is climbing.  In addition, there are a host of websites that will feature your traditionally published novel. So it’s not as if promotion and support isn’t there–  it’s just moved online.

“During the last weeks, HarperCollins has seen its ebook sales growing almost 10 percent, week-on-week”.  And Random House: “We’ve seen e-book growth outstrip our total sales.”

Don’t forget: E-book readers tend to buy more books than none-ebooks readers.





Hyper Smash


Tags: , , , , ,

Copyright and Fair Use of Online Images

Maple Tree

Do you understand the term fair use?
Just because you provide attribution and/or a link back to the original doesn’t mean you’re free and clear. Fair use has nothing to do with attribution. That’s an issue related to plagiarism – different from copyright.

A classic example of fair use of an image to use online is product reviews. If you want to review a book, a new piece of technology, a food product or whatever widget, you’ll likely want to include a photo.

Fair use basically means you’re allowed to infringe on someone’s copyright and they can’t do anything about it. If your use is covered by fair use, you don’t have to provide attribution anyway (although it would be nice). The question is:

  • Why are you using the image?
  • Did you transform the image?
  • How much of the image are you using?
  • Are you willing to risk your site being taken down?

Read the whole article here:




Tags: , , , , , , ,

Why Did I Self-Publish?

Book "The Happiest Person Alive"

Book "The Happiest Person Alive"

James Altucher, formerly published by such traditional houses as Wiley and Penguin wrote in one of his blogs:

Publishers claim they do a lot of marketing for you. That’s laughable. Publishers do nothing to help 95% of their authors to build their platforms and their own brands. This would increase author loyalty and make the lack of a meaningful advance almost worth it.

I’ll give you a quick example. I have published five books with major publishers. The majority of books now are sold through Amazon. Not a single publisher told me I can log into:

  • Amazon’s Author Central
  • create an author’s page
  • link my author’s page to my blog
  • upload a Video
  • have my Twitter feed in there
  • have an FAQ in there

and all the other basic tools Amazon uses to market your book.

Why? This is the world’s biggest bookseller. Why wasn’t I told about a basic marketing platform I could use?  I just learned about it last week after writing books for eight years. Now I have it all hooked up and I have a feeling I’ve only begun to explore the Author Central area and what Amazon can do for me.”

Read all the other reasons why he self-publishes:



Hyper Smash


Tags: , , ,

Economic Suicide – Good morning America

Wake up!
Hope you survived Black Friday and haven’t been hurt while shopping at this Chinese outlet (aka Wal-Mart) and found at least some Made-in-America items at the Small Business Saturday.
Start thinking!  
What many American, Canadian and European citizens don’t grasp is this: The flood of artificially cheap Chinese goods, putting America out of business has been a down payment on these countries present and future UNEMPLOYMENT. And unemployed people have less purchase power, meaning less business for retailers in the long run.

Still reading “Death by China” about the demise of our economy.  Why don’t we use our power as consumers, if the politicians are so stupid and ignore the long-term disastrous effects of outsourcing North American jobs?




Leave a comment

Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Bestsellers


Tags: , , ,

Are you confused about so-called Royalties?

10%-30% from list, 10% of the wholesale price, 20% of the payments received by the publisher, 30% of the price as it’s listed on our website, 50% of net receipts, 45% minus printing costs, 60% from gross… One of the most confusing aspects you must face when choosing a POD printer is trying to figure out what they mean when they speak of “Royalties”.

POD printers that are paying a percentage of the retail price as “Royalty” are straight forward and you have the advantage of knowing where you stand and what to expect. You get what they say, usually 10% from wholesale sales, 25-30% from retail sales – hopefully more…

There are other printers who are a little less straight forward. For example, uPublish pays you 20-40% from your retail price, but they won’t pay you any royalties at all for the first three copies sold each quarter. Is this a fair “hidden” charge? It depends on the number of copies you are selling each quarter. If you sell less than 10 books, then it’s very high, if you sell 100 it becomes almost negligible.

You might get an offer for a fixed percentage of the retail price that seems to be extremely attractive (30-35%)… before you jump on board, make sure that they work through Ingram and other distributors. If they can afford such royalties because they only sell their books through their site you could end up losing money..

Some POD printers offer you a percentage of your retail price, but only for direct sales. When it comes to wholesale sales they give you a percentage of the wholesale price. Infinity Publishing is such a company, they will pay you 20% of your retail price on direct sales, and 10% of the wholesale price on books sold through other channels.  For a $15.00 book with a 40% wholesale discount it would be $3.00 on direct sales and $0.90 on wholesale – not acceptable! 

Even if you can buy your paper book at a discount in order to resell it, you’ll still have to pay other charges, and how can you offer it for a competitive price to bookstores?  But why do you have to buy your own book? You already paid for the printing, didn’t you?  It means you pay TWICE for your book… and on top of that bookstores can return books if they are not sold within a certain time.

Consider this:
CreateSpace / Amazon offers do-it-yourself publishing packages for free upload of your paper book but you need to create your own cover and interior and submit it correctly edited to CreateSpace. CreateSpace recommends its free do-it-yourself packages for people with design experience (or you just hire a graphic designer).  CreateSpace offers packages that are similar to publishing packages offered by other self-publishing/POD companies, but starting for only $299. 

CreateSpace eStore 20% of list price per sale, this means if someone orders it from CreatSpace’s ebook store on your authors page, you will receive 80% (minus the production/printing cost, mines tax and shipping) 40% of list price per sale means you get 60% of the list price per sale (minus the production/printing cost, mines tax and shipping).

Expanded Distribution Channel 60% of list price if ordered by bookstores, libraries etc.

But as with all POD companies, you pay for printing and then you have to give them a percentage of your sales for the distribution and the rest that is left is called a “royalty”.


Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: