Friday, November 07, 2008

Writer Beware

This is reposted from a letter I receive from Jerry Simmons. I have to admit...the item about is rather unnerving.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ - Certain companies do business without regard to the authors they supposedly service and profit from. is one such company, let me share a story with you.

It was recently brought to the attention of an author that their eBook had been placed on without their knowledge and was being offered for free. When the author approached the company to ask the eBook be removed, they refused. They told the author that proof would have to be provided that they were in fact the author before they would remove the eBook. Since the account was opened under another IP address and not that of the author, proof was required before any action would take place. The author provided all requested information and here is the final response from

We have looked into your query of copyright claim; at this time, you haven't supplied proof of copyright, which is the issue here. For all we know, you could have purchased the ISBN and given it to someone else. The LOC account doesn't do much for us. The tax identification does tie you to the entity you say created the ebook, but you still haven't established the publication date or anything yet. We advise you to find a copyright attorney and then you should be in a better position to provide copyright proof. This email is being sent to the person who created the account as well.

There are many questions with this issue but why would any author go to the trouble of removing a product that did not belong to them? This kind of treatment to authors is completely off the charts in my opinion. I cannot imagine for one minute why anyone would want to do business with As far as I’m concerned, they are among the worst and should be avoided at all costs!

Question to Consider - Q - I love the cover on my book, but seldom do readers “get it.” Should I be concerned? Did I make a mistake?

A - If readers aren’t “getting it” then your cover does not identify your book. If there is one thing that New York publishers do extremely well, it’s package books. They know what catches the eye of the consumer and moves copies. If you place your book on a table among a dozen other books and it stands out then you probably have done a poor job of packaging. Your book needs to blend in with the other books and the title and subtitle should quickly and easily tell the reader what it’s all about. If you try and be too clever then you will miss the opportunity, however brief, at catching the attention of someone who just might enjoy reading your book. The cover, title and subtitle, as well as price do matter in publishing. Consumers do in fact judge a book by it’s cover.

Marketing Wisdom - From New York Times bestselling author and marketing expert Seth Godin, from his blog.

Who's telling you the truth about your online personal marketing?

Yes, it's true. People judge you. They judge you especially harshly online. They judge you by your teeny picture on Facebook (named, after all, after the original quick judgment document) and they judge you by your email sig file and your domain (Hotmail?!) and by the look of your bio on Squidoo or Linkedin or the number of typos in your instant messages. They even judge you by the typeface and ads on your blog.

So, are you getting good feedback on your brand presentation? Would it hurt your feelings if I told you that your picture made you look dumpy? Or that it was boring? Or way too outre? It seems like it's better to hear this from a few trusted people than to continue to stumble without knowing why.

I'm not proposing that you let the crowd dictate, or that you work hard to fit in. Far from it. I'm proposing that you know the impact your choices are having and act accordingly.

Pictures are the easiest. Post three or four and let trusted people vote (and tell you why). Don't pick the winner, but read their reasons. And yes, if connecting online is important to you, go ahead and spend a few dollars and get a good photo.

This isn't about ignorance as much as it involves effort. Once you pay attention to this, it'll get better.

NBlog - I’ve been fortunate over the past year to have attracted a number of agents and editors to my web site Nothing Binding. They browse the pages looking for product and authors who appear to have what they call “marketability.“ However, many of the comments I receive from these folks are that too many of the authors on my site seem to take their role as writers less than serious. They upload pictures of their pets or other unmentionable items in place of their personal photo, and of course that presents the wrong message to agents and editors. In addition the personal profiles are glib and clever and not serious to attract the kind of attention you want as a serious writer. I ask you to reconsider this and read Seth’s blog above, people do judge harshly online so make the most of your opportunities.

Free Subscription - My PUBLISHING INSIDER blog (NBlog) is available for subscription, here is the link:

TIPS for WRITERS - When opportunities present themselves, will you be able to recognize them? It’s important to prepare yourself as an author and marketer to not only spot the right opportunity but be in a position to seize the moment for you and your writing. Read Can You Spot Opportunities? by clicking the title or cut and paste the following

Book Awards - If you haven’t tried one your should, I recommend the Indie Excellence Awards, now accepting submissions. Here is the website, check it out

Did You Know? - Book proposals include such elements as an Overview, About the Author, Promotional Ideas, Marketability, Competition, Memberships & Affiliations, Publications and a Market Analysis. Also edited sample chapters should be included. Proposals are typically from 25 – 50 pages, depending on the subject matter. If you are considering one and would like professional help, contact me, I have the perfect person for you .

The Headlines - Issues “WORTH READING” in the publishing business.

The Future of Publishing by Peter Osnos, The Century Foundation

In April 1960, Nan Talese, then a young editor at Random House and now a publishing sage, came home and said to her husband, Gay, a reporter at the New York Times, “Oh God, it’s the end of publishing.”

“Why do you tell me that?” asked Gay.

“‘Well, I heard a rumor that Random House is buying Knopf. And if that happens, the whole sky is going to fall.’”

Gay chased the story. The sale went through. Knopf has been a part of Random House for nearly fifty years and, by all accounts, is doing fine.

The anecdote is contained in The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Publishers, Their Editors and Authors (St. Martin’s Press) by Al Silverman, a former head of the Book-of-the-Month Club in its heyday and a publisher at Viking. On the same day Silverman’s book went on sale, New York magazine featured an article called “The End,” by Boris Kachka, with this keynote: “The book business as we know it will not be living happily ever after. With sales stagnating, CEO heads rolling, big-name authors playing musical chairs and Amazon looming as the new boogeyman, publishing might have to look for its future outside the corporate world.”

And so it goes. The end of publishing is pretty much always nigh. To some extent, the perennial predictions are valid. Like everything else in the worlds of information and entertainment, transformation is ongoing as companies are bought and sold, technology evolves and big money is spent at the top while most authors hunt for a niche. Independence tends to be overwhelmed by consolidation. Silverman’s affectionate and lively account of the good old days and Kachka’s dour assessment of the current scene pretty much conform to stereotypes: things never seem to be as good as when we were young (and probably never quite were) and certainly look better compared to whatever is happening today with dire consequences for tomorrow.

So here’s a different view of book publishing that acknowledges all the pluses of Silverman’s gauzy take and Kachka’s litany of unearned millions on advances, corporate beadiness, and competition for readers’ time. Publishing’s future is at least as bright as its past, depending on the creativity of practitioners, from writers to publishers to booksellers to readers. Why? Because books are not at the mercy of the biggest bugaboos of the rest of printed media, where advertising is being siphoned off to other platforms and subscriptions are declining. Books never had advertising and are sold one at a time. Technology actually provides book publishing with an historic opportunity to address the practical problems of inventory management and excess.

his probably seems much less interesting than the demise of the languorous publishing lunch or the rise of corporate hegemony. But it is much more relevant. Books (like story telling since time immemorial and information sharing for just as long) have an essential place in culture. What are possible now are solutions to the most serious issues publishers face: How not to waste money and resources on unsold books and how to find all the readers interested enough in the contents to buy them. Over the next ten years, the delivery of books will almost certainly move to an on-demand model. Whatever you want will be available as an e-book to be read on ever improving hand-held devices or printed on order at a store (now a showroom with unlimited capacity) or even at home on high-speed printers. Audio books can be downloaded, chapters sampled, and pretty much every book ever published will be accessible through search engines and their digital scanners.

Marketing? If publishers can take advantage of technology, they will have the money and momentum to spend on finding readers on Web-based networks and through the best time-honored means of communication, word-of-mouth.

To repeat: creativity is always at risk from change and the power of consolidation over independence. But entrepreneurship among artists and distributors is also eternal. Amazon and Google, two of the most powerful contemporary factors in publishing, are barely a decade old. They represent an enormous threat to tradition and a great opportunity for expansion. The end of publishing as we know it is not going to happen unless the people involved in it give up their commitment and values because they see only see things as they were or despair over how they are now.

Peter Osnos is Senior Fellow for Media at The Century Foundation.

Commentary - No doubt the business is changing and I’m hopeful that the biggest publishers will position themselves to take advantage. Regardless, there are tremendous opportunities for writers in today’s marketplace, all you need to know is how to recognize them. That’s why I wrote my book and why I continue to write this newsletter and blogs, to bring some insight into the business of publishing.

Interesting Articles About Authors & Publishing -

How to publish without a publisher By Diane Evans
McClatchy Newspapers ( (MCT) - If there were many roads to Rome a thousand years ago, think what it's like now with global communications. There is a reason book publishers fret about the future: It's because authors and readers are finding ways to connect to each other in new and direct ways. Consider the story of writer Scott Campbell.

Campbell experienced the familiar story of not being able to find a publisher for his book. Instead, he found an award-winning German film director who bought rights to his manuscript, intending to make a movie in Hollywood. What happened: After facing roadblocks in Hollywood, the film director took the manuscript back home to produce a movie in German, which recently premiered at the International Film Festival in Toronto. Now Campbell, who needs subtitles to understand the film adaptation, has decided to publish his book through his Web site.

Campbell's story exemplifies what it's like to get published if you're not a celebrity or an author with proven sales. It also shows how it's possible to find alternatives to traditional channels. Campbell, it would seem, had an advantage over many writers. His position as director of communications at MIT's School of Architecture and Planning gave him a measure of instant credibility. He even had a well-connected agent.

His agent, while trying to find a publisher, discovered an opportunity to sell film rights to the awarding-winning German director Caroline Link. A previous film by Link, titled "Nowhere in Africa," won a foreign-language Academy Award five years ago.

Campbell's book, titled "Aftermath," became "Im Winter ein Jahr (A Year Ago in Winter)" in the film adaptation set in suburban Munich.

The book is based on the true story of a wealthy Boston couple facing despair after the death of a son. Campbell learned of the story after a friend of his who had been asked to paint this portrait. The parents wanted the painting to include their deceased son along with their surviving daughter. The story in the book is told from the perspective of the painter, who experiences his own emotional struggle, especially as he forges a bond with the daughter and learns of her own inner turmoil. Eventually the painter helps the girl come to terms with her identity.

"Whatever Caroline did, she really captured my journey as a painter through Scott's book," Campbell's friend Louis Briel told the Boston Globe. Briel's homosexuality is clear in the book but not as much so in the film.

ABOUT THE WRITER - Diane Evans is a former Knight Ridder columnist and is now president of, a new interactive online magazine on books for writers and readers. © 2008,

Make Yourself A Success Story - Today Show Producer Gives Tips for Authors. Jaclyn Levin, Senior Publishing Producer for NBC News, is responsible for all the books/authors on TODAY (both Weekday and Weekend) and Dateline. She's been a television producer for almost 20 years. She took over the book beat at TODAY about 3 years ago.

1) What makes a great author appearance on the Today Show?

First and foremost, an author has to be comfortable talking on television. I tell people all the time, "you can have the best, most interesting book in the world, but if the author is not good on TV, it won't help either of us..." Also, I try to encourage book publicists to think outside the box when pitching me...meaning, don't just look at this as the chance for another "author interview on TODAY." Rather, think about how we can enrich the segment with footage, pics, other voices....

2) If your publicist has said the Today Show passed, is there any way to turn that


Absolutely....sometimes timing is everything. I may have passed on a book months ago, but perhaps there has been a new development in the story, or something has happened in the news that it can be pegged to or a publicist was able to flesh out the story more for me beyond what was initially pitched...I'm open to repitches if they warrant it.

3) Is it possible for a self-published author to get on the Today show?

Absolutely...I have always said books are another vehicle for us to find great

stories/segments, and if one happens to come from someone who published on their

own, that's fine with me as long as all the facts in the book check out. If an author

has the wherewithal to find me and pitch me, good for them, but at the same time,

they have to be able to handle a "no" without having that buffer called "a publicist."

This article was provided by my friend and author Jeff Rivera, .

Interesting Fact - Books Industry is still Growing in 2008

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- announces a new market research report related to the Book industry, titled: Books: Global Industry Guide, here are the highlights:

The global books market grew by 4.6% in 2007 to reach a value of $127.5 billion.

In 2012, the Global books market is forecast to have a value of $160.7 billion, an increase of 26% since 2007. Sales of general trade & consumer books account for 63.4% of the global book market's value. Americas accounts for 47.4% of the global book market's value.

The book publishing industry comprises publishers of academic, professional, general and other trade (fictions, non-fiction etc) books. This industry excludes magazines or newspaper publishing. Market value refers to the domestic sales of books only at the retail sales price (RSP). Any currency conversions used in this report are at the 2007 constant annual average exchange rate.

For the purpose of this report the Americas comprises Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the US. Europe comprises Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Asia-Pacific comprises Australia, China, Japan, India, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The global figure comprises the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Author’s note: these figures comprise “gross sales” and do not account for returns. Always keep that fact in mind when reading media reports about “growth in publishing.” If you read the fine print on this report it will tell you that future predictions are based on the growth in the number of titles being published each year on a global basis.

The Prediction - Publishing will change in the near future. It has to change to survive. The important question is: how much input will the fastest growing segment of publishing, the independent segment, have in the change? If you follow the leaders in NY you will miss your opportunity. Be bold, create your own change, force the market to follow you….it’s not only possible, it needs to happen.

New Way to Sell Books - You Tube Unveils Ecommerce Platform -

The You Tube eCommerce Platform will be rolled out on a larger scale over the coming months to allow partners across all industries including music, film, TV, and publishing to generate additional revenue from their content beyond the advertising we serve against their videos. Just as You Tube users can share, favorite, comment on, and respond to videos with a single click, now users can click-to-buy products – like songs, books and movies – related to the content they’re watching on the site.

Based on the Above Fact - Now you can get a 90-Second Web Trailer for under $400. If you are interested in promoting yourself through a professionally designed web trailer, now is the time. For more details contact me .

Special Audio Book Production Offer - From now till December 31st, 2008, John Mahoney, owner/producer of Raven Audio Books, a professional experienced audio book recording studio located in Peoria, Arizona is offering authors a special price. Should you be interested in creating an audio book, please feel free to contact me. This is a link to some statistics on audio books that may be of interest. or visit their web site, you can reach John by phone 623.215.8654.

Another Special Offer - For anyone interested in using press releases to spread the word about their book, here‘s a deal between now and December 30th.

If you purchase the $89 video release service from 24-7 and enter the special code below, you'll get $20 off your release. You'll pay only $69. These $89 releases look awesome. And you can include 4 pictures (book covers, yourself, etc.) AND a 2 minute video (book trailer, podcast, etc). If you have an event coming up or news that you want to promote, this is the time.

This code is active now and expires: December 30, 2008. Visit:, select the $89 release and be sure to enter the code: ckt123008

Upcoming Book Fair - Sunday November 16th from noon to 4:00, SSA will be holding a BOOK FAIR at the Sheraton Four Points Conference Center, 1900 E. Speedway, Tucson. Admission is FREE, there will be door prizes and refreshments. In addition to 60 local authors, award-winning authors Rhys Bowen and Virginia Nosky, are featured. Don’t miss it! For more information contact

Mark Your Calendars - BOOTCAMP FOR NOVELISTS: WRITING POPULAR FICTION - Instructor: Connie Flynn

Do you have a novel in your filing cabinet that's been collecting rejections? Or maybe you stuffed it in a drawer and gave up hope. The Bootcamp 4 Writers was designed for you. Bring you book (or at least the outline), a pen, and your rolled up sleeves. By the end of the day, you'll see why your characters and plot broke down, and have all the pieces to put it together and write a winning novel..

DATE: Saturday, December 6, 2009. TIME: 9:00am to 5:00pm
LOCATION: Scottsdale
TELEPHONE: 480-946-7321 EMAIL: bootcamp for
REGISTRATION FEE: $85.00 - Pay by November 20 and take a $10 discount
Go to for registration form.
Mail registration to Connie Flynn, 1739 N. Miller Road, Scottsdale AZ 85257.

My Services - I have 30 years of publishing experience and offer a complete line-up of professional services. For more details click here. Or cut and paste the following link:

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Finally - Your comments and feedback are really important, please tell me what you think and what can be improved. Send me an email .

Free Information – You may quote from or use any of the information, all or in part, under the conditions that: (1) The republication is not resold or used for any other commercial use, and (2) The author, Jerry D. Simmons and website are prominently referenced. All written material 2008ÓJerry D. Simmons.

Acknowledgment – My audience is writers and authors. Please accept the fact that this newsletter and TIPS for WRITERS are not edited. There may on occasion be grammatical, syntax, and spelling errors. I acknowledge the fact and apologize.

Jerry D. Simmons -

Author, Publisher, Speaker


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