Monthly Archives: May 2012

Amazon Calls for Submissions from Script Writers

Amazon Studios invites film script writers for submissions.
They will have a chance to earn either $10 000 or $200,000 with their scripts.

Amazon Movie Studios?

Yes, Amazon is accepting scripts and full-length movies from amateur filmmakers, with Amazon intending on producing theatrical films from the winning ideas.

By submitting a script to the program, the writer grants Amazon Studios a free 45 days option on the script (down from 18 months, a steep reduction). If the script is deemed interesting by Amazon, they might then buy an 18 months option for $10 000. If they then decide to turn it into a movie, they buy the rights to a movie for $200 000. All money resulting from prizes won by the movie goes to the writer and if the movie makes over $60 million in US box office, the writer gets an additional $400 000.

If a revised script is selected, the writer keeps the initial $10 000 or $200 000 fee for his script and shares any prize money with the reviser on a 50-50 basis.

For scripts passing the first hurdle, Amazon Studios will run tests with the public to find out it the script generates interest. Based on the feedback from the public, Amazon Studios will decide whether or not to turn it into a movie. The rational behind their system is to create a crowd base selection system for script as opposed to the current selection system through agents and production companies.

For a book writer, this means that they retain all rights on the book and are only selling the rights to the script. When looking for a publisher, being in a position to say that the script based on the book has been shortlisted by Amazon Studios catapults the chances for a lucrative book contract to the top.

But that’s not all:  Amazon is calling artists too!

You could get paid up to $3,000 to design characters for an animated test movie of For Sale By Superhero.
Submit your portfolio to apply.

Read more



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E-book sales in Great Britain rose by 366%


Philip Jones wrote about the latest surveys: “E-books are really going global, sales rising worldwide”. Consumer e-books accounted for 38% of Britain’s publishers’ digital sales in 2011, up from 13% in 2010, and compared to 2% in 2009.

This is a hefty shift in the market, and one that will impact pretty much every part of the trade book business: bookshops, agents, commissioning, and of course, writers. However the digital migration had minimal impact on the overall children’s bookmarket, taking only just over 1% of value share of children’s books.”

From scholarly publishing to trade e-books, the industry is facing an unprecedented level of upheaval, some of it being pushed through by the internet, and the huge tech giants such as Amazon, and Apple.

Australia and India have joined the UK and the US in leading the world in e-book adoption rates, according to Bowker Market Research’s Global eBook Monitor with adult fiction the main target of book buyers in Great Britain and Australia, while in India and South Korea the concentration is on both professional and academic/textbooks.

According to the research 24% of respondents in India have bought an e-book in the six months prior to the survey, putting that market ahead of Australia (21%), the UK (21%), and the US (20%). Respondents in France and Japan were the least likely to have purchased an e-book, at 5% and 8% respectively.

The report reveals that the market for e-books is set for a rapid increase in Brazil and India.
Over 50% of respondents from these two countries said that they were likely to buy an e-book in the next six months, a prediction that would double the number of e-book buyers in India, and triple the number of e-book buyers in Brazil. About a third of respondents in the UK and US say they have plans to purchase an e-book soon, compared to one in five in France, and one in seven in Japan.

Purchase rates in India, Brazil, the UK, US and France are highest in the 25–34 age group, with Australia, Spain, Germany, South Korea and Japan highest among 18-24 year youngs.

“The market for e-books is experiencing exponential growth internationally, with news each week of new e-readers and specialist e-retailers,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice-president, Bowker Market Research. “Publishers and retailers must adapt to a very changed landscape.”


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5 Laws Writers Should Know to Avoid Getting Sued




As a blogger or internet writer, do you know how to stay on the right side of the (copyright) law?  You don’t have to be legally trained or a lawyer to understand the laws that govern internet content and blogging. Here are the most important ones:

1. Use of images from other websites and blogs
You do not have permission to use just any image you find on the internet.  But how can you legally use images?  You can simply buy royalty-free images and not have to worry about copyright. Or you can ask for permission to use it when you find an image you like on someone else’s website. A sign of good manners and a thank you to the creator is to have a link to his site and/or giving him credit.

Another great source to find free images is to visit the Creative Commons photos on sites such as Morguefile or Flickr. These photos do not have copyright restrictions and show Creative Common attributes, such as “share” or “non-commercial use.”  No matter which photos you use, it’s still polite and shows professionalism, to link to the original web page or give credit to/naming the photographer.

2. Disclose paid endorsements
Bloggers and internet content writers must be open with the fact that they are being paid to use, promote, or review a product.  Do not claim to be an objective third-party when you are not.  Make it perfectly clear which information is editorial and which is advertising. This could mean labeling links that drive to your Amazon affiliates, or building a page that explains all of your affiliates and relationships.

3. Deep linking and framing
It may surprise bloggers and internet content writers whether deep linking is even legal.  Deep linking is where you write a blog post and then link to another website in that post. However, you don’t link directly to the homepage: you link to a page buried on the site.  From the perspective of a blogger, it makes more sense to link directly to the page that you are referring to than it does to link to the home page, and then hope the reader can find the information you are referring to.
On the other hand, deep linking and framing are such accepted SEO practices that there is no reason you should worry that someone might sue you if you deep link to their site. In fact, most people encourage the practice since it brings exposure to their site.

4. User-developed content
Comments, reviews or guest posts on your blog, you do not own the content: – the original author owns it. The best way to deal with this issue is to create very clear terms on how you will manage user-developed content. State in your site’s terms of use: you will take the liberty to do with the comments as you please, or that you will remove them if someone requests it. You also can require a minimum amount of information so you can avoid anonymous comments or that you will delete comments if and when you close your blog. If these terms are stated clearly and openly, you shouldn’t have much of a problem when it comes to the law and user-developed content.

5. Protect visitor’s private information
Privacy on the internet is a huge issue and people are worried that their identities will be stolen, bank accounts will be drained or that the government will watch their internet path if they don’t protect their privacy. What is your responsibility when it comes to your user’s information? Of course if you run an e-commerce site, you need to protect their information with secure pages. But what if you are simply collecting an email address?  Have a clear privacy policy on your website. It could be as simple as “We promise never to rent, sell or share your email address.” Or it could be more elaborate, with an entire page dedicated to it, depending on how much information you collect.

However what should you do when someone steals YOUR internet content?
If you are creating compelling content, someone might take it and uses it on their site. Sometimes they do it without knowing that they are breaking the law. They may even give you credit and link to your website. If you want to protect your work, send them an email and let them know that what they are doing is copyright infringement. If you are dealing with a reasonable person, they will probably apologize and take your content down.  If you’re dealing with somebody who does not comply, you might consider pursuing legal action which is often difficult and expensive.

Register and you will receive compensation for legal costs etc.
How can you protect yourself from plagiarism?  Invest $35 in your book and obtain a registered copyright. You will then be able to command a higher claim from a thief of your content/images: you can collect “Statutory Damages”  plus all your Attorney fees.

You can usually discourage people from taking your content by putting a copyright symbol on the footer of your website so it appears on every page, also your work is protected by copyright law the moment you publish it. Even if you don’t have a copyright symbol, you are still protected.
On the other hand: some authors consider the value of spreading their work through copying to be worth more than protecting and defending their rights.



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Looking for the Perfect Gift for Your Mother?

FREE at the Kindle store in the UK and USA 

May 11-13 (Friday to Sunday)

A Book of Kells – a story of a war bride from Great Britain, marrying a minister who lives in a very remote northern Cree reservation… ebook/dp/B00440DQNA/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325308566&sr=1-6

Your mother doesn’t need an e-reader, she can also read it on a tablet or on a laptop.

Read some of the reviews:
Sigrid Macdonald: “A Book of Kells is a fascinating account of the early lives of the author’s parents – how they met, the nature of their courtship, and what they did with their lives before and after they had children. Margaret Kell’s father, John, was a farmer turned minister. Her mother came from England and together they became missionaries of sorts, being one of the first people – if not the first – to bring the Word and the Bible to the Cree Indians. These parents were strict and devout, living through the Great Depression and the days of the milkman’s wagon.

The book is a wonderful historical account of hard-working, devoted Canadians, with powerful scenes such as the parents kayaking and logging for 40 miles in the brutally cold northern Manitoba wind: so cold that the father’s nose froze.”

Diane Beckett: “This is a wonderfully personal tale of one family that sweeps through Canadian history from the 1800’s onwards. The descriptions of the ordinary details of life, as well as the big events and traditions, puts the reader into every scene. But the strength of the story is a grown woman searching her family’s past for an understanding of her parents’ and her egos and souls. It’s both a historical and a psychological story.”


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Looking for Freelance Writing Jobs?




Here is an eclectic list of magazines where you can expect decent pay:

Canadian Wildlife Magazine
Canadian Wildlife celebrates the country’s unique wildlife and habitats, and explores the conservation issues affecting our natural world. Published 6 times per year. (Available in French as Biosphère magazine.) Pays around 50 cents/word for articles up to 2,500 words and departments of up to 1,400 words.

Southern Boating
Key to the success of the magazine is its enduring focus on cruising destinations and articles that celebrate the boating way of life, presented in an entertaining and eye-pleasing format. Within our pages you’ll find everything from practical “how-to’s” and new gear to inspired cruising features; trend articles and interesting people – even delectable onboard recipes and news and notes from the entirety of the boating and yachting realm. Pays up to $650 for articles of600 to 1,000 words. Covers only the southeastern waters of the US.

Texas Highways Magazine
The official travel magazine of Texas. Covers scenery, history, small towns, and out-of-the-way places as well as personalities. Photography is a key component. Query. Features are 1,200 to 1,800 words. Pays 50 cents/word. Note the strong blog. Pitch there as well.

Toledo City Paper
Covers arts, entertainment, events, politics, and social issues of Toledo, OH. A weekly paper and online presence. Note the blog. Pays up to $350 for up to 800 words. Email for detailed guidelines. Prefers full manuscript.

Virginia Living Magazine
An upscale lifestyle magazine written for Virginians. Covers the arts, dining, travel, history, places, and personalities. Pays up to $500 for articles up to 2,000 words and columns up to 800 words.

Early American Life Magazine
Since 1970 Early American Life has been the source for information on early American style, decorating, and traditions. In addition, we cover both antiques and reproductions made by crafters working in period styles with traditional tools. We also feature stories on gardening with a focus on early America. A one-page story in Early American Life, such as “Worth Seeing”, runs about 750 words. A typical feature may run 2,500 words. We would estimate $500 for a first feature from a new writer, more if you are an experienced, skillful writer. If we assign a story to you, we will negotiate the rate before you begin work.



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Discover How You Can Profitably Self-Publish a Book

Get all your publishing questions answered – self-publishing that is – at the 4th annual Self-Publisher’s Online Conference (SPOC) May 8-10, 2012 

Expert speakers include: Dan Poynter, Chris Garrett, Peter BowermanJoel Friedlander, Dan Janal, Sandra Beckwith, Susan Daffron, James Byrd, Dana Lynn Smith, Penny Sansevieri, Joshua Tallent, Carolyn McCray, Roger C. Parker, Andrea Vahl, Gary Barnes and Kathy Goughenhour.
Read about these speakers (they are the “who is who” in publishing advice) at

Each day has a “theme” that is designed to help you reach your publishing goals.  Note: ALL Times are PACIFIC time.  SPOC is a virtual conference, so you can attend in your pyjamas if you like.



9-10 am (PDT)
James Byrd & Susan Daffron
The Big Picture: How to Bring Your Book into the World

11am -12 noon (PDT)
Chris Garrett
Be More Productive and Build Your Authority

1-2 pm (PDT)
Writing & Publishing
Q&A Roundtable

3-4 pm (PDT)
Peter Bowerman
The “Write Way” to Publish and Promote

5-6 pm (PDT)
Joel Friedlander
Publishing Strategies for Self-Publishers


9-10 am (PDT)
Dan Janal
Build Your Brand and Get More Prospects with Publicity

11am -12 noon (PDT)
Sandra Beckwith
What’s Your Hook?

1-2 pm (PDT)
Book Promotion
Q&A Roundtable

3-4 pm (PDT)
Dana Lynn Smith
Top 10 Book Promotion Strategies for Authors

5-6 pm (PDT)
Penny Sansevieri
Fans, Followers and Friends: Maximize Social Media to Sell More Books


9-10 am (PDT)
Joshua Tallent
Ebook Design, Formats and Workflow

11am -12 noon (PDT)
Carolyn McCray
Maximize Your Book Sales on

1-2 pm (PDT)
Ebooks & Beyond
Q&A Roundtable

3-4 pm (PDT)
Roger C. Parker
Leveraging Your Book into Prospects, Products, & Profits

5-6 pm (PDT)
Andrea Vahl
Build Your Expert Status with a Powerful Social Media and Publishing Combination.

All passes give you access to the virtual SPOC Exhibit Hall and seminar recordings. They will give you access to the SPOC Exhibit Hall and seminar recordings.

$147.00 – SPOC 2012 Standard Pass.
Enter the coupon code FFW12 at checkout and you will save 10%!



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