Monthly Archives: October 2015

Author Solutions and German Publisher GABAL Establish GABAL Global Editions

30 October 2015

From Author Solutions:

Author Solutions, LLC, a Penguin Random House company and the world’s leading supported self-publishing services provider, and GABAL, a German publisher dedicated to publishing books for readers seeking knowledge about current issues in business and education, announced Monday the launch of GABAL Global Editions.

Offered through Author Solutions’ iUniverse imprint, GABAL Global Editions enables GABAL authors to publish their books in English for English-speaking readers worldwide. The service is an exclusive package offering available only to GABAL authors.

“Our authors are highly professional trainers, motivational speakers and outstanding leaders in their fields. Helping them expand their purview in a global market by engaging in English books as a strategic tool is part of our philosophy and our self-understanding as our authors’ partner,” commented GABAL publisher Andre Juenger. “We are proud to be one of the first German publishers who offer this kind of service to authors. And we are delighted to have iUniverse on board as our partner.”

Link to the rest at Author Solutions

Lest there be any doubt, PG advises against any association with Author Solutions.

Best Practices for Ebook Front Matter: Copyright Page, Part 2

29 October 2015

From Digital Book World:

The front matter of a book communicates a lot of helpful and important information to readers. But publishers and authors often find themselves wondering how to handle that information in their ebook files. In the current installments of my column here on Digital Book World, I am delving into some best practices, ideas and options for these opening and ending parts of your ebook. In my last installment, we started talking about the copyright page. We will continue that discussion below.

. . . .

Some books, especially older ones, have a colophon page that includes basic information about the publisher, including a logo, location and other details. This page is often combined with the copyright page in current publishing approaches, so you probably have that information on your copyright page.

The colophon also sometimes includes information about the paper and fonts used in creating the print book. If you have that information in your ebook, be sure it matches the actual details of the ebook itself. For example, saying “Printed on acid-free paper” is not really appropriate. You can change that to “The print edition of this book is printed on acid-free paper” or something similar, or you can just remove it.

Fonts are a common concern in ebooks, and many publishers do not use the same fonts in their ebook files as they do in their print books due to licensing difficulties and support across devices. If your copyright page includes information about the fonts used in the print book, be sure that still applies to the ebook you are creating.

. . . .

The CIP section of the copyright page contains information generated by the Library of Congress about your book. According to the Library of Congress’s website, “The CIP Program limits eligibility to titles that are most likely to be widely acquired by the nation’s libraries.

. . . .

It is also important to note that the CIP program is not available to “books paid for or subsidized by individual authors.” So if you are a self-published author who would like to register with the Library of Congress and get a CIP section, you will probably need to set up a publishing company first.

. . . .

Version numbers are common in software publishing, but less so in ebooks right now. That is changing, however, and you can benefit greatly from using them. A version number is not that hard to decipher. Take, for example, this one:

Version 1.2.3

If you were going to create a version number for your ebook, you would start out at “1.0.0” (or just “1”). If you need to come back and make a small change to the file, such as to fix a typo, you would increment the last number in the chain, making the new version number “1.0.1”. If you later found out that you needed to change a lot of things in the ebook at once you might update the version number to “1.1.0” to show that a lot of changes were made. If you decided to do a major re-write or make other major changes to the book, then you might change the version number to “2.0.0”.

Cling to the rest at Digital Book World

How an industry of ‘Amazon entrepreneurs’ pulled off the Internet’s craftiest catfishing scheme

29 October 2015

From The Washington Post:

Dagny Taggart spends her time traveling the globe, meeting new people and learning new things. She speaks more than 15 languages, including Latin, Russian and Chinese. In the past year, she has written a new book at the rate of about one every five days: 84 books in total. All of them have gotten glowing reviews from her hordes of Amazon groupies, who leave 5-star reviews on everything she does.

There’s only one problem with Dagny Taggart — she doesn’t exist. Evidence collected and examined by The Washington Post suggests that Taggart (who is named for a character in Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”) is a made-up identity used by an Argentine man named Alexis Pablo Marrocco. Marrocco, meanwhile — and other self-described “Kindle entrepreneurs” like him — form part of a growing industry of “Amazon catfish.”

The catfishing process varies according to the specific “entrepreneur” using it, but it typically follows the same general steps: After hiring a remote worker to write an e-book for the Kindle marketplace, Amazon’s e-book store, publishers put it up for sale under the name and bio of a fictional expert. Frequently, Kindle entrepreneurs will then buy or trade for good book reviews. (Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, also owns The Washington Post.)

. . . .

“Making money with Kindle is by far the easiest and fastest way to get started making money on the Internet today,” enthuses one video that promises to guide viewers to riches. “You don’t even need to write the books yourself!”

. . . .

When questioned about Taggart, Marrocco staunchly defends himself from any accusations of wrongdoing.

“I act and have always acted according to Amazon’s policies and rules, rules which prohibit the acquisition of biased or dishonest reviews,” he said. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a pen name for a book, or a book series. There is absolutely nothing wrong and unlawful about using a pen name … The key is always to provide value to the marketplace.”

Link to the rest at The Washington Post and thanks to Shelley for the tip

A Little Slow

29 October 2015

PP had a little surgery on his right wrist yesterday.

All went well, but he has a rather large  and very thick bandage on his right hand and wrist. Typing is slow, but, fortunately, PG has used voice dictation systems with some regularity over the years.

Dealing with the mouse is like wearing the world’s largest mousepad all the time, so that is a bit slow.

If posting is not as sprightly as usual, please understand the cause.

Only kings

29 October 2015

Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial “we”.

Mark Twain

Gay-romance novelist accused of plagiarizing straight-romance novelist

29 October 2015

From The Washington Post:

Any writer knows that finishing any book isn’t easy. It takes craft. It takes persistence. It takes guts.

But a romance novel isn’t exactly “Infinite Jest.” Though some bodice-rippers are dirtier than others, there is a formula — at some point, the wealthy heiress or the lady-in-waiting hooks up with the horse wrangler or the errant knight, and jeans come off or, well, bodices get ripped.

But the fill-in-the-blanks quality of some romance novels seems to have been quite the hurdle for Laura Harner. The self-published author of romances featuring gay people has been accused of plagiarizing the work of a best-selling author of romances featuring straight people — and, in a statement, Harner has all but admitted it.

. . . .

“I was just notified by a reader that she started reading M/M romance recently and read a book by another author that is almost VERBATIM my book My Kind of Trouble with the exception it’s a m/m book!! I need a recommendation for a good literary attorney fast!!”

It appeared “Coming Home Texas,” a work by Harner published in 2015, was a lot like McGraw’s “My Kind of Trouble” (2012). The similarities between the books were apparent from their opening pages.

“My Kind of Trouble“: “The only regret she had at the moment was driving her old pickup back to town instead of her BMW convertible. That had been a stupid, sentimental decision. Bessie had taken her out of town ten years ago, and Cassie thought it fitting that she should bring her back. Since she’d gotten the call from Imelda, the closest thing to a mother that Cassie had known since her own mother died when she was ten, Cassie had been in that mode. Once she decided she needed to come back, the memories she thought she buried ten years ago would not leave her alone. Thoughts of Luke Matthews would not leave her alone.”

“Coming Home Texas“: “His other regret at the moment was driving his old pickup back to town instead of his BMW convertible. That had been a stupid, sentimental decision – Old Blue had taken his sorry ass out of town nearly a dozen years ago, and Brandon though it fitting that she should bring him back. … Since he’d gotten the call from Isabella – the closest thing to a mother that he’d known since his own mom died when he was nine – Brandon seemed to be stuck on a never ending sentimental highway. Once he decided he needed to come back, the memories he thought he buried long ago wouldn’t leave him alone. Thoughts of Joe Martinez won’t leave me alone.”

Link to the rest at The Washingon Post and thanks to John for the tip.

On international ebook sales: ‘actionable insights’

28 October 2015

From The Bookseller:

Despite several articles declaring a stagnation, if not decline, of the ebook market, we have seen 8-percent growth in earnings for a cohort of publishers.

These publishers are a representative set and cover a range of company sizes and title-counts. The sales data generated by this cohort of approximately 200 publishers show that growth has been possible—and has in fact been accomplished—during this new phase of the ebook market.

These publishers stand out for not allowing their ebook function to be a passive add-on to their print houses. Instead they have regularly reviewed their global sales data and taken various actions such as targeting specific markets, experimenting with price promotion, and dedicating their time to finding the right price point for specific book-types in specific markets.

Interestingly, this 8-percent growth has been achieved with an average earnings-per-unit-sold figure that rose in the first eight months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.  The net impact is that publishers are garnering more earnings with less volume. For example, in May 2015 this group of publishers sold 8 percent less in terms of volume, but earned 21 percent more in earnings compared to May 2014.

. . . .

South America

Although coming from a low base, the growth experienced here cannot be ignored. Consistent monthly growth has yielded a 45-percent increase in year-on-year earnings.  Average earnings for sales in South America are less than 70 percent of the all-country average for these publishers, indicating a lower general price point.  However even at 70 percent of the overall average, the average earnings figure in South America has actually risen year-on-year.

As for what types of ebook are selling, the growth seen has primarily been driven by fiction, especially Spanish-language titles. But there is also an appetite for English classics, reflecting the desire to learn the language.

Australia

Sales down-under have yielded a 17-percent increase in 2015.  The average earnings figure for Australian sales has risen marginally this year, and the figure is also slightly higher than the all-country average, an indication that Australia is able to absorb a higher price point.

Fiction is unsurprisingly popular in terms of ebook sales, in particular titles dealing with family life. And a number of old-fashioned family sagas have done well for this cohort of publishers. But there has been extremely strong growth (58 percent) in the biography & autobiography classifications, albeit at a lower price point than the overall average.

. . . .

India

Similar to South America, the earnings figures are off a low base but have shown consistent growth and are currently 44 percent up on last year. The growth is driven mainly by volume but there has also been a 10-percent increase in average earnings. However, unsurprisingly, the average earnings figure for India is still much lower than the all-country average (60 percent of the overall figure).

The two leaders in terms of genre for this cohort of publishers are self-help and business & economics. And looking at the self-help genre in more detail, it is worth noting that books classified as “personal development” perform the best.

Link to the rest at The Bookseller

No passion

28 October 2015

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft.

H.G. Wells

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