When Should I Follow Up?

12 October 2016

From agent Jennifer Johnson-Blalock:

The short answer to the overarching question of this post—when should I follow up?—is never, unless you have an offer of representation or publication or you’ve decided to withdraw your manuscript for some other reason.

know that answer won’t thrill many of you, so let me explain. I’m going to try to be as transparent as possible here because I think publishing could use more of that. But before I get into the explanation, let me assure those of you who have followed up with me recently that you haven’t hurt your chances or made me angry or annoyed. Following up isn’t terrible; it simply isn’t productive. So here’s the long answer:

I’m behind with reading manuscripts. I currently have 106 manuscripts that need to be read; the earliest manuscript that I have yet to respond to is from June 17. Of those, 21 are full manuscripts, the rest partials of lengths ranging from 15-100 pages. A partial takes me about half an hour to 45 minutes to read, if I read the whole thing. (Yes, I will quit reading if I decide it’s not for me; with this volume, how could I not?) A full takes me several hours.

There was a time in the not too distant past when I was relatively on top of things, for publishing, anyway. I responded to partials in about a month, fulls within about two. Then life happened. Basically between conferences, my little brother’s wedding and all the events surrounding it, my younger sister’s illness, a home renovation that felt like it would never end (still waiting for the final DOB stamp of approval, actually), a family vacation planned long ago that I couldn’t cancel, etc., with all of that, I was gone more than I was here from May through August, and my scant days in town were overwhelmingly busy. I had very little solid, uninterrupted work time, and that which I had went to my clients.

. . . .

The reason I suggest not following up is because it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make you a higher priority; I won’t read your manuscript any faster. All it does is give me an email to reply to, which takes time away from actually reading. And there are some agents out there who read in a strict back-to-front inbox order, so following up actually drops you lower in the queue.

Link to the rest at Jennifer Johnson-Blalock and thanks to Valerie for the tip.

Oh, the Horror! Finding Your Dream Agent

10 October 2016

From The Verbs:

This is an actual conversation I overheard at a horror convention in 2011.

Nervous soccer mom : My son loves your work. He says he wants to be a horror writer some day.

A-list horror author : Tell him to be a plumber or pipefitter. Life will be a lot easier.

I’m going to assume you didn’t follow that author’s advice and have already written a tale of terror or want to embark down the dark path. This is for all the writers of the strange and macabre out there toiling away behind keyboards, attending writing workshops and reading every inspirational and how-to book they can find. It’s exciting, crazy, fun, scary, daunting, passionate. I’ve been there. In fact, I’m still there. For me, writing is like touching a live wire while standing in a puddle…of blood. I get that kind of charge from it.

There’s been much debate about whether an agent is necessary or not. Let’s just get this out of the way. For my money, hell yes, you want an agent! Who wouldn’t want an advocate, contract spelunker, wheeler dealer, cheerleader, editor, promoter, dry port in a storm? Agents do so much more than land writers book deals so they can get their 15%. So let’s find one so you can unleash that dark novel that will have everyone looking under their beds for the next four months.

Now, it’s a fact that finding an agent is just about as arduous a task as getting a book deal. Even more so for horror, the red headed stepchild of genre fiction. The list of agents looking for fresh horror talent is shorter than most. But short doesn’t mean nonexistent or impossible.

Link to the rest at The Verbs

A Real Book Contract

1 September 2016

From Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

[O]ne of my readers forwarded me an article from Locus Online about Hachette suing one of their bestselling authors. It seems that for some reason, Seth Grahame-Smith did not turn in the second book of his contract with Grand Central for the follow-up book after Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.After two extensions of his deadline, and a threat from Grand Central, Grahame-Smith turned in something that Grand Central found terribly unacceptable. They claim he appropriated a 120-year-old manuscript as part of the book.

Considering Grahame-Smith also wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a book substantially based on a 203-year-old novel, I kinda had a yeah-so? reaction to the 120-year-old manuscript thing. So I went and read the lawsuit, and realized a few things.

First, the deal was made in 2010, before a lot of the major changes in traditional publishing occurred. The handwriting was on the wall, but back then, this Pride and Prejudice and Zombies thing was hot, so Grand Central ponied up a four-million-dollar advance, paid in $500,000 chunks.

Grahame-Smith received at least 1.5 million of those chunks, maybe as much as 2.5 million before the relationship soured.

Grand Central’s parent company Hachette is suing Grahame-Smith for $500,000, the advance on that second book of this contract.

Figure this: The publisher believes it’s better to sue the author than it is to leave that $500,000 outstanding. There are several reasons that Hachette could have made the decision to file suit.

For example, the time has long past for the second property to ever earn what the first properties did.

. . . .

By 2016, it’s really clear that Hachette will lose money on this second book. Better to file suit and ask for the $500,000 plus interest than it is to pay out an additional 1.5 million owed through the contract. Legal fees won’t equal that amount, even if the case makes it to court.

The case is a pretty standard breach-of-contract suit, and from my glance, it looks winnable for Hachette. Even if it’s not, the contract will be canceled, and Hachette won’t owe Grahame-Smith another dime.

It’s pretty much guaranteed that Hachette wouldn’t have accepted a manuscript from Grahame-Smith for any reason in 2016. Hachette was looking at a major financial loss on the second book in this contract.

Expect more of these kinds of suits in the future. If the writers who got huge advances do not meet their obligations with the publishers, the publishers will cut their losses and run as fast as they possibly can.

. . . .

I’m going to tell you a few things.

  1. This is an agent-negotiated contract. However, the agency that negotiated the contract is William Morris. I can tell you from experience that William Morris has lawyers on staff. In theory, those lawyers advise the agents. So, in theory, William Morris had lawyers who talked to Grand Centrals lawyers while negotiating this contract.
  2. I don’t care what entity negotiated for the writer. Whoever the hell it was did a piss-poor job. I have had better contracts for novels paying me $10,000 than this multimillion-dollar contract. I have to admit: I’m shocked by this contract. It’s a midlist writer contract (for a writer with no clout) dressed in million-dollar clothing.

I scanned, but I didn’t see anything I would expect in a multimillion dollar contract. No escalators. No protections for the writer. Low royalty rates. Bad discount clauses.

Half the stuff I listed as dealbreakers in this series are better than many of the terms in this contract.

. . . .

And then…and then…oh, my God, and then!

The agent clause (p. 19-20). It is the worst agent clause I have ever seen. Worse than the ones I warned you about. It has this lovely addition, which is new to me:

The provisions of this paragraph 25 shall survive the expiration of this Agreement and are specifically included for the benefit of the Agent which is hereby named as a third-party beneficiary.

Wow. Just—wow. Go back to the agent clause post I did, and scroll through the comments. See what the lawyers who responded said about the duties of agents and how these clauses are most likely illegal.

From one of the lawyers answering a question on the post: “Yes [the agent clause] is illegal. (1) “Agent” is a legal term for someone empowered to act on behalf of another person. (2) A conflict of interest occurs when a person acting as an agent benefits from the transaction. If a lawyer did this, the lawyer would be [disciplined]….”

. . . .

[R]ealize that this contract isn’t the worst I’ve seen, and it certainly isn’t the best. It’s a really crappy multimillion dollar contract—the author should have received protection from his representatives, but we all know how good that representation is. (Or, at least, you folks know if you’ve been reading my blog.)

Then realize that traditional publishing is not really giving these big advances any more. The big-advance books aren’t earning out. Which is why Hachette is cutting its losses here.

So your chance of getting this kind of advance is pretty slim. And even if you do, did you notice the lovely clause about promotion?

The Publisher shall have the sole discretion to determine what, if any, promotional services the Publisher may perform for the work…

(I added the bold for emphasis here and below.)

That’s clause 8(d) (p.14) and while there are other clauses that apply to promotion, the operative phrase here is “if any.” It means all those other clauses are wasted typing. If the publisher doesn’t want to promote these books, the publisher doesn’t have to. Ever.

. . . .

[T]here’s another scary clause that favors the publisher in this contract, a clause that I had never seen before. The royalty statements don’t have to be accurate. It says so right in the contract. It uses a phrase I’ve never seen in any contract before.

It says:

The Publisher shall render semi-annual statements of “estimated net sales” and net licensing revenues…

“Estimated net sales.” That’s new to me. The Publisher then defines “estimated net sales” as “sales less actual returns and less a reasonable reserve against returns of the Work…”

“Reasonable reserve” is not defined, and if the author wants to know what the publisher actually is withholding, the writer has to ask, in writing, for that information. The writer also has the right to audit the publisher—at the writer’s expense, of course.

Oh, and—there’s no cap on returns, and no time limit on the reserve.

I had the misfortune of mis-negotiating a reserve on returns twenty years ago on a work-for-hire project. I still get royalty statements—on a book published in 1995—in which reserve against returns continue to be withheld. Even now! Twenty-one years later.

Link to the rest at Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Here’s a link to Kris Rusch’s books. If you like an author’s post, you can show your appreciation by checking out their books.

PG will note that the lawyers on staff for the William Morris Agency work for William Morris, not the author. William Morris lawyers were likely the ones who crafted the agency clauses that Kris rightly criticized as totally unfair to the author.

PG was not and is not involved with this matter in any way. Looking from the outside, he wonders if counsel for the author is considering a suit against William Morris for failure to properly advise the person who was supposed to be their client.

4 Types of Literary Agents

23 August 2016

From Books & Such Literary Management:

Recently I had a conversation with Dee, a potential new client, and our chat turned to four different approaches agents take to teaming up with authors. I explained to Dee some of those methods. I think they’re instructive in understanding how an agent can help to structure an author’s writing career.

Just-Show-Me-the-Money Type of Agent

This person is all about the business side of the equation and sometimes is indifferent to the creative side. She wants to work on the financial stuff and not cross over into the right-brain territory.

That means, in terms of career planning, that thecompass focus will be on getting more money for the next book. Such an emphasis is inevitable because the agent isn’t tuned into helping to shape the project so that it not only satisfies the author’s vision of what it should be but also appeals to the market. That’s more nuanced than this type of agent tends to want to be. In turn, that means the agent gauges only one way to grow the author’s career–through the size of the next advance.

. . . .

 I’m-in-for-a-Chapter Type of Agent

This agent agrees to represent one project at a time. If all goes well, then the agent wants to continue the relationship; if not, the agent is ready to slip away.

The idea is to try out the relationship to see how it works for each person. On the surface that sounds good, but in actuality, it gives the client no assurance that the agent is committed in the long-haul. I describe this as teaming up with a writer for one “chapter” of a writing career rather than signing on for the entire “book” of a career.

. . . .

Each type of agent appeals to different authors. If you don’t want your agent to mess with your creative business, then you want a Show-Me-the-Money Agent. Or if you want to make as much as possible on every project without being overly concerned about the future, than Show-Me-the- Money is for you.

Link to the rest at Books & Such Literary Management and thanks to David for the tip.

Agent Agreements

22 August 2016

From Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

We’re almost to the end of the contracts/dealbreakers series. I can’t tell you how pleased I am about this, because I feel dirty just looking at some of these contracts and agreements.

Most of you indie writers tuned this series out long ago, because you believed it didn’t apply to you. And yet, I read all the time about indie writers who sign with an agent to sell the print versions of an ebook and to sell foreign rights and auxiliary rights.

Bad move. Really, really, really bad move.

First, you’re signing traditional publishing contracts if you sell your paper book rights. You’re also signing traditional publishing contracts if you sell foreign rights. And I’m not even going into Hollywood options or movie deals or TV deals—

. . . .

Think about that for a moment: this writer hired an agent to represent all rights in the book, including movie and TV rights, and the agent had the writer sign a shopping agreement with a third party. Right there, that’s suspect. Because the agent should already have representatives from the agency (or a partner company) shopping the property.

This shopping agreement had no termination date, allowed the third party to shop the book to anyone who might make a film, a game, anything that moved, in technology developed or not yet developed, in territories around the world and the universe in perpetuity. For the duration of the agreement, the third party and the agent controlled all of those subsidiary rights in the project.

And the kicker? No money exchanged hands. The writer lost control of all subsidiary rights in her book project for no money and no reason, in perpetuity. All because her agent told her to sign the damn agreement. And the writer did.

And then she sent it to us as an example of the agent doing a good job.

. . . .

At first glance, these agent agreements, as they’re called, seem pretty benign. Most are no more than 3 pages long, and seem to be written in English. In fact, most of them are written in chatty language, usually in the form of a “letter,” so the writer thinks they’re signing something informal, when really, they’re signing a contract.

The worst one I’ve seen comes from a huge, very famous agency, whose chairman (and lead agent) apparently figured he could save money on legal fees, and cobbled an agreement together himself.

It looked like it was made of spit and glue, and had many unenforceable clauses. I’m sure it’s been revised since by lawyers, because I know two writers who challenged the thing in court.

But the version I have gave the agency 15% of the copyright in every project the agency represented. It said so flat out in the agreement. (I’m sure the updated version says the same thing, as well. I’m sure it says all the same things, except in better legalese.)

The agency also decided to cover its tushy by adding some version of this:

The writer agrees to follow any agent clause in a publishing contract to the letter.

In other words, that agent clause in your traditional publishing contract, the clause we discussed last week, the clause stuffed full of things that benefit the agent? Well, if you had no agreement like this with your agent, that clause is toothless.

If you have an agreement saying you will abide by the clause in that traditional publishing contract, then suddenly the clause has teeth. And so does every version of that clause you signed from the beginning of your relationship with the agent.

. . . .

The agreement I have before me, from a long-time agency, founded by one of the big name agents of the mid-20th century, has an agency agreement that looks like the chatty letter-type agreements I saw in the 1980s.

Until you read it.

And then you find clauses like this (the emphasis in bold is mine):

You hereby irrevocably assign to us and we shall be entitled to retain a sum equal to fifteen (15%) percent of all gross monies and other considerations paid to you or on your behalf with respect to any and all contracts negotiated and concluded under the terms of this agreement…

Well, you can delete the word “irrevocably” and the clause isn’t that bad, right? If they negotiated something, then they’re entitled to their percentage, right?

Um, the clause doesn’t stand by itself. Combine it with this baby:

This agreement is effective immediately and continues in effect until terminated by either party…We will continue to function as your agent and to receive our commission on all contracts negotiated and concluded during the term of this agreement, or within six (6) months following termination, if negotiations were commenced during the term hereof, and any modifications, replacements, extensions, and supplements of such contracts regardless of when made or by whom negotiated or when payments were received

So imagine this: you fire the agency because they screwed up your negotiation. Say, maybe, they tried to give a free option to a big name actor, or something stupid like that.

You do the negotiating yourself on the deal (with a lawyer back-stopping you), get a movie option for six figures, that’s then made into a film for seven figures, plus the book the movie is founded on stays in print, and becomes a bestseller, and you renegotiate the contract and, according to this stupid agreement, you still have to pay the f***-up agent her 15%. The agent you fired because she was bad at negotiating.

Link to the rest at Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Here’s a link to Kris Rusch’s books. If you like the thoughts Kris shares, you can show your appreciation by checking out her books.

Why You Should Query Agents For 6 + Months Before Promoting Your Self-Published Book

9 August 2016

From Writer Unboxed:

When approached by self-published authors for help with book promotion, I used to ask a single question:

“Do you have blurbs from at least two established authors?”

If the answer was no, I’d suggest they gather some before we speak.  Blurbs are an essential piece of the vetting process and vetting is crucial to gaining the media’s interest. All the more so for self-published books, which don’t have the benefit of a publishing house’s stamp of approval.

While I still request blurbs, I’m beginning to think there’s another question I should ask self-published authors considering a PR campaign:

“Did you query literary agents for at least six months before deciding to self-publish?”

. . . .

I’m not looking at agent interaction as a form of validation, since in the end, the only real form of validation from an agent is a contract.

Rather, the experience of querying agents provides crucial preparation for the experience of book promotion.

As we all know, the process of querying is charged with hope and expectation, trepidation and angst.  Each query letter contains a piece of our heart; each inevitable rejection letter — or lack of response — breaks our heart in its entirety.  The waiting and uncertainty break our spirit.  Yet from these wounds grow the emotional armor we need to keep at it, the patience and resilience that allow us to shrug in the face of prolonged uncertainty and above all, the deep humility that is fundamental to every writer’s survival, and success.

. . . .

When coverage does run, it can disappoint. Reviews are not always what we’d like them to be.  Reporters are notorious for misquoting and making factual mistakes. My list of examples is shamefully long.

Of course, sometimes media opportunities pan out quickly with brilliant, exhilarating results.  Just like in publishing.  But it’s crucial to know when going into the promotion process that often, they don’t; that paying a publicist does not guarantee instant and glorious success and that there simply are no shortcuts.  No matter how you cut it, in promotion–like in publishing–you will need patience, resilience, deep humility and very thick skin.

For this, there’s no better boot camp than querying agents.

Link to the rest at Writer Unboxed

Books Are an Agent’s Game

31 July 2016

From Inverse:

This week, we spoke with Molly Friedrich, a top literary agent with over thirty years in the game, having represented the likes of Frank McCourt, Sue Grafton, Terry McMillan, and Jane Smiley.

Because you’re so established, do you still feel the need to keep up with industry trends?

I would never run my business according to any kind of trend. At writers conferences, people talk about what’s selling. You see people poised with pens, and you think, “By the time you write it down, it’s going to be over.”

Do you usually try reading the book of the moment?

If three people tell me to read a book, and they’re not in publishing, I make a point of reading it. Sometimes, like with Fifty Shades of Grey, it takes ten days. Other times it can take years.

. . . .

You mentioned Fifty Shades of Grey — when that was at the height of popularity, people outside the book industry were bemoaning it. As someone in the industry, did you share those concerns?

No, there were people who have not read a book since college reading it. But, often with a book like that, you’ll see moms reading it, and then the teenage girls will read it. The idea that your first sexual experience would be anything like an introduction to sex as illustrated by Fifty Shades is really sad. But, any book that rises above and beyond itself is, to me, a cause for celebration.

. . . .

I sold one book where the editor said, “This is the book I’ve been waiting for all of my career.” And everything that happened with that book went wrong. It didn’t get great reviews, the sales reps didn’t love it as much as he and I did. It just didn’t work. A lot of times when books seem to work, the author has secret help. There’s advertising money kicked in, or the author has an uncle who is famous and that rolodex is being pushed around. But I’m talking about the pure debut when the author has no MFA, no set of connections; just the book. That’s disappointing when that happens, because you don’t have anything to do except try your hardest. Some books are more successful than others. Sometimes there’s something that gets perceived as an unfortunate step, and you rebuild. That’s hard but incredibly important to be able to do. That’s the business of calling upon relationships and being profoundly collaborative with the publishing house to figure out how we can resuscitate this person’s book career. It can be done.

. . . .

As the industry is changing with the rise of ebooks, has that impacted you much?

Ebooks have been very healthy for publishers. They have not been healthy for authors. Publishers are making a load of money — very little of which is going to the author’s statement.

Link to the rest at Inverse and thanks to Matthew for the tip.

Reserve, Rinse, Repeat

28 July 2016

From Brillig:

Here is a letter which I am sending today to the CEO of one of the major publishing conglomerates.  All authors and agents should feel free to copy and paste, put in appropriate specific details, and do the same.

Once upon a time, the reserve against returns was kind of necessary.  Books only sold in print.  All those print books were fully returnable.  Sometimes 70% of the copies were returned.

But now, books sell digitally, with very few returns on ebooks and downloadable audio.  Printed books are still fully returnable, but for a great many books, sales through channels that lend themselves to especially high return rates have dwindled.  I’m not saying reserves are entirely unnecessary.  I’m saying it’s time to push back on doing things this way because they’ve always been done this way, accepting reserves in any quantity when they no longer serve their original and intended purpose.

There are too many business practices tilting against authors, and we can’t continue to accept all of them.

Dear CEO:

I hate arguing about pennies, but I also don’t understand why publishers want to keep pennies from my authors for no reason, holding reserves on titles where none is necessary.

I’m attaching the summary page of the just-received royalty statement for [book by my client] by [client name], as the quintessential example of this.

Please notice the book earned $1750 in ebook royalties.

So how can you justify the 92 copy reserve on the trade paperback?

The trade paperback royalty per US copy is $1.20.  If the ebook royalties were to drop by half on [book by my client], [you] would still have $875 to credit to the author’s royalty account on the next royalty report.  That is a sufficient reserve to cover the return of 730 trade paperback copies. The actual returns on the trade paperback were 46 copies.

This isn’t reasonable.  It’s time for your contracts to acknowledge that, and to renounce the right to hold reserves against returns when ebook income can reasonably be expected to cover print returns, as is clearly and abundantly the case on this royalty report, and on so many others.

Link to the rest at Brillig

How to get yourself blacklisted

28 July 2016

From In the Inbox:

A man named David Benjamin was unhappy an agent rejected him. He wrote a bitter blog post.

I’m providing this because I want you to know that people like this exist. Agents frequently have to protect themselves from this kind of abuse. The industry is small and agents pass this kind of thing on to each other. Note that this is not his first bitter post about an agent who rejected him.

. . . .


Link to the rest at In the Inbox and thanks to Suzie for the tip.

PG’s initial reaction is, of course, that this guy should self-publish his ms and see how readers feel about it.

His second reaction comes from long legal experience with hundreds of clients and would-be clients. If a prospective client is someone who has hired and fired several attorneys before coming to PG, PG’s reaction is that even his unique PG-magic is unlikely to satisfy this particular client.

In some cases, this may be unfair to the prospective client, but every time PG has broken this informal rule, he has regretted doing so. On one memorable occasion, the local police had to drag a client out of his office.

Want to Get Published? NY Literary Agent’s Tips For Native Authors

21 July 2016

From Indian Country Today Media Network:

Native authors wanting to get their books published may have felt a jolt of inspiration over the past year as publishers and literary agents embraced such social media movements as #WeNeedDiverseBooks. Though many literary agents and publishers want to work with authors of diversity, most don’t know how to find them.

Eddie Schneider is a successful literary agent and Vice President ofJABberwocky Literary Agency, which he joined in 2008. Schneider says he is among those agents who wish to work with a greater selection of diverse authors, but says many aspiring writers don’t know how to navigate the submission process.

Schneider’s website and literary blogcites some sobering statistics about the lack of diversity in the publishing world.

“According tothis study of literary prize demographics conducted by the University of North Texas, 95% of Pulitzer Prize winners are white, 75% are male, and 85% of them live on the East Coast. When it comes to the National Book Award for Nonfiction, it’s only slightly better; 90% of winners are white, 70% are male, and 80% live on the east coast. The winners are being drawn from a pool where the numbers are stacked against women and minorities. Seventy percent of the submissions for these awards are for books authored by men.”

. . . .

“As obvious as it sounds,” writes Schneider, “the first thing that you want to do to get your work published is to write the manuscript (fiction) or the proposal (non-fiction). With fiction, one of the great pitfalls that authors encounter is finishing projects they start. Too often, the candle that burns brightly at the start goes out before all the wax has been used. With a new author, agents and publishers need to see that you can finish projects, and the way to demonstrate that . . . is by finishing a project.

“Non-fiction is a little different. What you need to succeed there are sample chapters that demonstrate you have writing ability, and a proposal that shows you have a strong concept for the book as a whole.

. . . .

 “If you’re near a bookstore, that makes things fairly easy,” says Schneider. “You can move around the physical space and look at the other books that might one day be your book’s neighbors, and see where your book fits in, as well as how it stands out within its own genre/sub-genre. Sometimes people already have a strong sense of which genre they write in, but sometimes this can be eye-opening.”

. . . .

Schneider says there are four things to remember when writing a query letter.

“First, is that your letter is going to capture the tone of your book. It will even if it feels to you like the business letter that it is and everything in you wants to break the mold and do something unusual to stand out.

“Second, it’s a good idea to have one or two catchy lines that don’t feel contrived. That sometimes shows up as a hook near the beginning of the letter, sometimes as some part of the plot summary that sticks with you later, sometimes in the final paragraph which is mostly just to say that you look forward to the agent’s (or publisher’s) response.

“Third, it’s best not to self-aggrandize and get too adjectival when describing the work.

“Fourth, the bio paragraph should contain information that’s relevant and not get all that personal. If you’re a nonfiction author, this is your first opportunity to show your platform. If you’re a novelist, list a few publication credits (if you have any) or mentions of relevant work, life, or college experience will suffice.

“When submitting the query letter,” says Schneider, “Send it simultaneously! And if an agent offers representation, let the other agents know. And be sure to follow individual agents’ guidelines. Usually they don’t differ too radically from one another, but we get hundreds of email messages and letters each month and if something comes in that has ignored our guidelines, well, we’re looking for excuses to trim down the size of our reading piles.”


Link to the rest at Indian Country Today Media Network

Or you could self-publish one or two or three books during the same amount of time it takes to go through the above-described exercise and immediately increase the number of diverse books available for purchase.

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