Books’ Prices and Writing’s Value: Careful What We Asked For?

23 May 2016

From Writer Unboxed:

Blurring ‘Our Dignity, Our Value’

“The biggest issue is one that will be difficult for us to recover from…the degradation of our worth as creatives.”

That line is from a piece here at Writer Unboxed a year ago, in May 2015. Our colleague Heather Webb, in As Writers, What Are We Worth?, was anticipating a groan heard ’round the world.

Last month, when I led a round-table discussion at Berlin’s Publishers’ Forum, our topic was “Re-Thinking Ebook Sales and Understanding the Consumers.” But what drew the biggest response was book pricing.

“The consumer,” one of our publishers said, “is in perpetual confusion. No way to understand what a single book costs or how to value our authors’ work.” And at the influential publishing house Bastei Lübbe AG, executive board member Klaus Kluge is calling book prices “staggeringly low” in an interview with Sabine Schwiering Tert at

In the UK in January, Penguin Random House CEO Tom Weldon told my Bookseller colleague Benedicte Page: “”One of the biggest challenges in 2016 will be e-book pricing: how do we maintain the value perception of our quality content and maximize revenues across all formats for both authors and publishers?”

. . . .

What have we done to the idea of writing’s value? How fuzzy is this math going to get?

That’s my provocation for you today. How are today’s pricing problems affecting what Webb characterized here last year as “our dignity, our value, and the viability of this industry”?

Books were always commodities of a kind, and buying second-hand romances by the grocery-bagful didn’t start yesterday.

. . . .

With both the trade and the self-publishing sectors in rampant over-production as they are today, you’re facing a sheer rock face of competition for every glance your book might get, let alone a read, let alone a sale. Your price is in free-fall.

And we can look to our cohorts in Hollywood for a little guidance here, too. You may not remember what the advent of Blockbuster video and then Netflix did to film. But those of us who watched those developments roll in know. Suddenly there were films everywhere, peopled with actors who are not quite the stars they look like speaking dialog that’s as wooden as they are, in strangely unsatisfying knockoffs of other films.

We can’t entirely blame independent authors for this gauzy focus on pricing in books. As the indie insurgence began to impact the trade a few years ago, authors who had never been able to get past the agents and editors, the dreaded gatekeepers, found that they could self-publish in our digital age. But self-selling was a different thing.

When you have no marketing department behind you, when you’re not even listed in a publisher’s catalog or recommended to a Barnes & Noble buyer—and no one’s ever heard of you in the world of books—the one way you might turn the head of a potential buyer cruising Amazon is offer a low price. Or no price.

. . . .

If the trade was aghast at Amazon’s institution of $9.99 as a viable price for the ebook version of a hardcover hit, it’s tempting to mutter “all is forgiven” now. I know many authors who’d love to get $9.99 for their ebooks. Free downloads by the hundreds might feel exhilarating, but your take-home pay? And while it’s popular to hunker down in the bloggoria and shoot the breeze about the “sweet spot” between $2.99 and $4.99, what frequently is not mentioned is frequency: how many of those things do you have to sell at $3.99—even if you’re getting 70 percent—to put together an income?

. . . .

And nobody forced the industry to follow the self-publishing sector in driving the car right on over the cliff. For a time, a UK publisher staged a 20-pence promotion on some of the hottest titles of the year. Now, the bigs are in “new-agency” pricing contracts with Amazon that somehow have them charging high “this price set by the publisher” prices for ebooks at the very moment that the industry needs to energize its digital investments, not price them out of reach.

Link to the rest at Writer Unboxed and thanks to Kristian for the tip.

PG says successful indie authors are very savvy about pricing their books at a level that maximizes author income. And more than a few earn their living from their writing. And nearly all authors who were traditionally published earn more as indies.

Yes, there are exceptions, but PG hears and reads success stories often enough to feel confident these are reasonably reliable generalizations for mid 2016. Simply put, in 2016, an author is much more likely to be able to support themselves as an indie than as a traditionally-published author.

The “pricing problem” that bothers Big Publishing is centered around the unfortunate reality that ebook prices which will maintain an indie author in fine fashion don’t generate nearly enough money to support a large publisher, regardless of how little it pays its authors.

One of the pivotal stages in a disruptive innovation comes when low-priced producers learn how to satisfy an economically significant portion of the overall market and use that position and their low prices to keep garnering more and more customers. These customers are satisfied with the quality of the product the low-priced producers offer and the low-priced producers have reached a point where they sell enough products and earn enough money to continue their business without interruption and without infusions of new capital. In short, the low-priced producers – indie authors – aren’t going away.

Speaking generally, more and more purchasers of ebooks are making purchasing decisions that say they don’t see enough added value from large publishers to justify the higher prices they have to pay. If $2.99 buys them an enjoyable reading experience, why would they pay $14.99 for an enjoyable reading experience?

The more enjoyable reading they experience for $2.99, the less likely they are to ever go back to paying $14.99. They’ll spend time digging around in the $2.99 bin to find a good book instead of paying $14.99. If they get stuck with a $2.99 clunker, they won’t give up on $2.99 books because experience has taught them there are more than a few good reads available at this price.

The question that Big Publishing can’t afford readers to ask is “Will I get five times more enjoyment if I pay $14.99?”

PG has been in the tech business for long enough to see the disruptive innovation process play out in many different markets. In each case, the incumbent market powers believe they add some special sauce to their products for which customers will always be willing to pay incumbent prices. Names like Novell, Lotus 1-2-3, Digital Equipment and Sun Microsystems come to mind, names once associated with the finest products, products that customers were happy to buy at the prices these companies set.

Today, major publishers assume today’s market will support the same prices as the book market of 2-3 years ago. They want to believe customers will agree that ebooks should be priced like printed books. They want to believe that ebook purchasers pay close attention to how much printed books cost and will use that price to determine the reasonable price for ebooks.

PG says these publishers do not understand consumer behavior.

Referring back to the OP, the relevant question in 2016 isn’t “As Writers, What Are We Worth?”

The real question is “Publishers, What Are They Worth?”


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David’s books get thumbs up from the USA

21 May 2016

From the Dewsbury Reporter:

David Jester, 31, will re-release his online hit An Idiot in Love in June alongside five other works after American powerhouse Skyhorse Publishing signed him up.

His DIY debut novel topped Amazon’s book charts in both the UK and US, fetching 6,000 downloads within the first 24 hours of self-publication.

It went on to sell more than 10,000 copies in its first month of release in 2012 and remained at the top of the Amazon best-sellers list for 12 months.

Mr Jester said: “I’ve been writing since I was 18. I tried to get published the traditional way for the next eight to 10 years with no luck.

“In 2012 I decided to self-publish and the first book was An Idiot in Love. That was a big success.

“Even after the sales of the books I still couldn’t get an agent in the UK or get people to read the books.”

But San Francisco literary agent Peter Beren spotted Mr Jester’s off-beat talent.

This led to him signing the six-book deal with Skyhorse Publishing, which boasts Nobel Prize-winning novelist Samuel Beckett and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel on its roster.

All of his e-books will be re-released by the publisher.

Link to the rest at Dewsbury Reporter

How to hit the bestseller lists with a book series

19 May 2016

From author Toby Neal:

How to hit the bestseller lists with a book series began with leaving Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription program, which was the scariest risk I’ve taken since my journey as an author began.

It was also awesome.

I’ve made a six figure income and hit the USA Today bestseller list with the last three titles in my series since I made the move. How is that better than the income made in KU? Bigger exposure worldwide, that’s how, and “un”limited growth potential!

Here are the steps I took, in case they’re helpful to you in charting your path to bestseller status:

  1. Write a series in a popular genre, minimum of five books, before expecting to make any real money. This is a known strategy with lots written about it, so I won’t belabor the point.
  2. Write well and collect as many reviews as you can. The best thing you can do when you’re starting out is keep writing the next book, improving your craft and collecting reviews on the ones you have. This will provide a steady base for all that comes later to rest upon.
  3. Build a base of readers, income, and sales numbers in KU. Lei Crime Series entered Kindle Unlimited when the program first began in July 2014, and were in the program through ups and downs, thick months and thin, flat rate through pay-per-page until November of 2015, when my agent got me a deal for distribution on a new phone reading app. Taking that deal would violate Amazon’s exclusivity clause, so I made the difficult decision to leave KU. (I was petrified. Amazon had begun to feel like a “home” to me, and the income from the lending program, while having ups and downs, was solid and steady. I was a four time KU All Star, earning bonuses! Everything I read about the other platforms seemed daunting to navigate for uncertain benefit, but my friend Emily Kimelman of the Sydney Rye Series assured me she was doing well in the IBookstore particularly. She recommended using Draft to Digital for distribution because they were a faster, cleaner, better tech platform than Smashwords, a nimble company, and could help me gain attention for my books with the main distributors. So, in November of 2015, I began updating all my older manuscripts and moving them out of Kindle Unlimited as their terms ended. I eventually enrolled 20 books on Draft to Digital’s all-platforms-except-Amazon distribution program.

Link to the rest at Toby Neal

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

The future of publishing is in the hands of indie writers

18 May 2016

From Venture Galleries:

SO YOU’RE an indie writer.

What’s wrong with that?

So you don’t have an agent?

What’s wrong with that?

So you don’t have a big-time New York publisher.

What’s wrong with that?


Absolutely nothing.

However, it seems that so many writers, through conversations or blogs, want to apologize for being an indie. They are ashamed they don’t have an agent. They are embarrassed and feel like a second-class writer, maybe even third class, because they don’t have a high-dollar or even a low-dollar New York publishing deal.

They cling to the past. But the past is past. Their brain is aware that digital publishing is rapidly replacing traditional publishing, but their heart still wants and agent and a publisher.

In my opinion, the past was never as good for writers as we all think it was. It’s easy to think, “Well, my book is on Amazon. But will anybody find me?” In the old days, authors said, “Well, my book in the bookstore. Will anybody find me?”

. . . .

Two or three decades ago, there were a bunch of hotshot screenwriters and directors running loose in Hollywood. They had their fingers on the pulse of theatergoers simply because they spent a lot of time in the movie houses.

They had to. Big studio executives wouldn’t give them the time of day.

Sound familiar? New York publishers certainly don’t give unknowns the time of day.

Did the independent screenwriters and directors feel rejected?


Did they quit?


Instead of feeling ashamed and apologizing because they did not have a big studio deal, they said, in so many words: “We don’t need the studios. The guys who run them are old and stodgy and out of touch.

“They may have clout.

“They may have the money.

“But we have the best ideas.

“We’re better than they are.”

A good friend of mine, Tobe Hooper, shopped a little horror film named Leatherface around, but no one was interested. No studio would touch a horror film unless, of course, Alfred Hitchcock was at the controls.

Tobe decided to do it himself. He made the independent film for less than $100,000, cast a bunch of unknowns, changed its name to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and grossed almost $50 million, which was a lot of money for a film, big or small, back in 1974.

Across the country, the indie directors went to work. Tobe found a crack in the door. The indies kicked it open.

And here came the raw, unbridled genius of Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater, John Carpenter, Robert Altman, David Lynch, John Cassavetes, the Coen brothers, John Sayles, and Wood Allen.

They didn’t need the studio.

They didn’t want the studio.

They could write and direct movies without anyone looking over their shoulder to tell them: “Sorry, you’ll have to change the script, the lighting, the direction. And, for God’s sake, don’t experiment.”

Link to the rest at Venture Galleries and thanks to Celine for the tip.

Learn to Self-Publish

18 May 2016

From Delano:

Girls In Tech Luxembourg and Amazon Luxembourg are hosting a workshop on how to independently publish with the online vendor. Guest speaker Martin Gehmacher will teach participants everything they need to know about self-publishing with a hands-on introduction of actually publishing a book.

A former TV and radio journalist from Austria, Gehmacher crossed the Atlantic to discover North America and ended up in Seattle working for Amazon. He joined the Kindle Direct Publishing team in 2010, just before they launched Kindle annd Kindle Direct Publishing in the UK and Germany. In 2012 he moved with his family to Luxembourg, where he works mainly with independent German top authors and literary agents who publish via Kindle Direct Publishing

Link to the rest at Delano

How the Mid-List Died

15 May 2016

From Cemetery Dance Online:

Stephen Graham Jones signed his new novel, Mongrels, at Bookworks in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this week. I’ll be signing at that same store next month. There’s a reason both of us—and many of our peers—chose that store. If you think of the retail bookselling market as a geographical location, it currently resembles the wasteland from a Mad Max movie. But Bookworks, and hundreds of other independent bookstores, are bright, colorful oases sprouting from that formerly toxic ground.

What happened? What caused the apocalypse? And what is allowing these indie bookstores to flourish? Two things: corporate stupidity and the changes in publishing.

Once upon a time, Dorchester Publishing was America’s oldest mass-market paperback publisher. They published horror, romance, western, adventure, mystery, and other genres. When they imploded a few years ago, most of the mid-list collapsed with them. What is the mid-list, you ask? Easy. Take yourself back in time ten or twenty years ago. Imagine walking into a Waldenbooks or Borders bookstore. At the front of the store, you had big cardboard displays or “end-capped” shelves featuring the latest guaranteed bestsellers—fiction by folks like Stephen King, James Patterson, and Danielle Steele; non-fiction by Glenn Beck, John Stewart, and Rachel Ray; memoirs and advice books ghostwritten for reality television stars, athletes, and politicians. Walk past these, and you got to the shelves, where you found perennial sellers—classics by Shakespeare, Dickens, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Thompson, Bukowski, and others. The mid-list existed in the middle of these two groups. It was primarily composed of paperback genre fiction with a smaller print run than the manufactured bestsellers—sold in bookstores and airports and newsstands, impulse buys with a maximum shelf life of one to three months, after which the unsold copies had their covers unceremoniously ripped off and sent back to the publishers for a full credit. That’s right. Publishers spent money manufacturing and producing the books, sent them to bookstores, and the bookstores could then damage the product, rendering it unsaleable, and the publishers didn’t see a dime from it. Hell of a way to run an operation, right?

That was the mid-list. It was where most of the authors you read lived. We could make a living working there. Not a great living, but a reliable middle-class wage. It was the land of Ed Gorman and Bill Pronzini, of Richard Laymon and Jack Ketchum, of William W. Johnstone and Ruby Jean Jenson, of Tom Piccirilli and myself and hundreds of others who you’ve read and enjoyed. And we never moved beyond it because the system was rigged.

. . . .

When Dorchester collapsed, it took a lot of the mid-list with it. It is never coming back.

Neither are Borders or Waldenbooks.

I have many friends who were booksellers or managers for Borders and Waldenbooks, and they repeat the same story. The demise of those chains was down to corporate stupidity—of executives trying to sell books the same way one sells soft drinks or cement blocks or blenders, of not understanding and anticipating their customer’s needs, of turning their stores into libraries where the public could browse the merchandise and drip coffee all over it and then leave without making a purchase, of the books being pushed further and further to the back of the store to make way for toys and plants and all sorts of other non-book related ephemera that they thought they should sell instead. I don’t know about you, but when I go to a bookstore, I don’t want to buy plants or toys.

. . . .

I have friends who currently work as booksellers or managers for America’s two surviving chain bookstores—Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million, and they tell me confidentially that the situation is the same in their stores. I predict it’s just a matter of time before the same rot that whittled Borders down to nothing does the same to them.

The mid-list is gone. Borders is gone. But that doesn’t matter, because over the last twenty years, we’ve had a new thing come along—something called the Internet. With it came Amazon, and suddenly, mid-list writers didn’t have to play a rigged game anymore. Our books had a shelf life beyond that one to three month span. Readers could find us, discover us, and find our backlist. If your local chain bookstore didn’t have our latest, you could buy it online.

. . . .

To understand why, you need to consider the changes that have taken place in publishing over the last twenty years, particularly those that took place after the demise of the mid-list and the closure of Borders. After those things occurred many mid-list, cult, or genre authors decided to take advantage of the advances in digital and print-on-demand publishing and do it for themselves. They cut out the publisher, cut out the chain stores, and marketed directly to the readers. For example, Bryan Smith, who was inarguably one of Dorchester’s most popular horror writers, began self-publishing via Kindle and CreateSpace and has since made more money from that than he ever did through traditional publishers. Other authors, such as myself, decided to diversify their publication routes. Since Dorchester’s fall, I’ve routinely divided my releases between self-publishing (via Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle), the small press (via publishers such as Deadite Press and Apex Book Company), and mainstream publishing (via big publishing conglomerates such as Macmillan). I do this because I don’t like having all my eggs in one basket. Your mileage may vary.

Link to the rest at Cemetery Dance Online and thanks to Scath for the tip.

Going Independent

14 May 2016

From TPV regular Dana Stabenow:

By 2009 I had sixteen books out of print [OOP]. I begged, repeatedly, for my publishers in NYC to bring those books back into print and they, repeatedly, weren’t interested. Not in e, not in print. Nothing to see here, move it along.

And I wanted to write an historical novel about Marco Polo’s granddaughter traveling the Silk Road west between the years 1322 and 1327. Again, zero interest. ‘We don’t want to have to re-invent the Stabenow brand.’ A direct quote.

I tried my hand at uploading seven of my OOP titles to Kindle with $25 covers I bought from an indie artist, but the uploading of books to Kindle wasn’t a perfect process, that about halfway through the text turned to gobbledygook. My own fault, as I’d only gone in about thirty pages on each book to see if all was well.

. . . .

One smart thing I had done from the beginning of my career (on the excellent and forever after cherished advice of Greg Bear) was to monitor the publication status of all my books and to get the rights back to them the instant they were declared out of print.

Note: It is far more difficult to retrieve your rights now because ebooks never go out of print and you have to make a case to your publisher that sales have dropped to the point where they are willing to revert your rights. How few copies of ebooks sold defines an ebook as being out of print? Answer: To be decided upon after much agent/author/publisher bloodletting, and not anytime soon.

But I had the rights to my books, or to those OOP sixteen in my backlist. What I didn’t have was the digital files of the final drafts. The publishers had those and I didn’t bother asking for them. Scott says, “We outsourced scanning to India a couple times at the very beginning, but the results were so horrible we ended up doing all the rest in-house. That meant buying the hardware and software, chopping the spines, and scanning those suckers ourselves.”

. . . .

Then in 2009 Apple introduced the iPad and people were like “Oh yeah, gimmee me some of that right now” and ebook sales went baaaaZOOOOOOM.

And right after that was when my ebooks went up. The first of my sixteen OOP books,Fire and Ice, the first Liam Campbell novel, came back into print as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, and iTunes in November 2010. The last one of the sixteen and the ninth Kate Shugak novel, Hunter’s Moon, went up in October 2011.

. . . .

All of my most dire forebodings were utterly confounded. I can’t remember how many of the Kates hit the Amazon.US bestseller list but three of the Kate Shugak novels wound up on the Amazon.UK bestseller list on the same day. My income quintupled and in September 2012 I paid off my mortgage, which I had not a hope in the world of ever doing just a year before.

I think it was also right about this time that my traditional publisher made me an offer for two more Kate Shugak novels. It was very generous, well above the last offer, but they wouldn’t budge from 25 percent e-royalties, as in 75 percent to them, 25 percent to me, and my agent’s 15 percent commission came out of my share.

Let me totally dumb this down for you. Say I have an e-book for sale on Amazon for $5. If it’s just me, publishing my own stuff, I get 70 percent, or $3.50 for each copy sold. If I let my publisher sell it, they get 75 percent of that $3.50, or $2.62, and I get $.87, less my agent’s 15 percent commission, 13 cents, making my pre-tax gross income from a traditionally published $5 ebook–ta dah!  Seventy-four cents.

$.74, or $3.50. However shall I choose.

Link to the rest at Dana Stabenow

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

Library’s “Write On” Celebrated the Difficult Path of Writing and Publication

10 May 2016


Two Fridays ago, on April 29, the Ellwood City Area Public Library hosted an authors’ fair. There were 22 published authors, which only represented about half of the total authors in the area. That alone is an impressive figure, and it was matched by a decent turnout of supportive Ellwoodians.

Even though my current literary ambitions are on a hiatus, I appreciate the recognition from the community, as I’m sure my 21 colleagues do.

Becoming a published author is no easy task. Getting published by a major publishing house is a nigh unobtainable feat.

. . . .

And the masses of struggling authors should have no pretensions. Your first book will probably be sub-par, there is a minuscule chance it’ll get published and even if you self-publish, you’re lucky if you earn more than a few hundred dollars.

Because of Amazon CreateSpace and other alternatives, self-publishing is accessible to everyone with Internet.

Of course, that means you have to proofread yourself, study typography theory and learn how to use CreateSpace. While you’ll get the satisfaction of seeing your book in print and have friends and family read it, that will probably be your only reward.

However, all authors imagine their book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. The most effective, and common, way of achieving this is through querying literary agents.

. . . .

Once you sign with an agent, she has to find a publisher, which isn’t a guarantee. Even getting a contract with a publisher can result in less than hoped. Your royalty checks may still amount to one tenth of your day job’s paycheck.

Reasonably, if you plug away at it for a few decades, you may end up with a modest fanbase and supplemental income.

Link to the rest at

Through self-publishing, local authors take control of their literary fate

8 May 2016

From The Baltimore Sun:

Traveling from her home in Mainz, Germany, to work in Frankfurt meant a two-hour train commute for multilingual writer Elodie Nowodazkij. But the 34-year-old used her time wisely, typing page upon page about young adults falling in and out of love and finding themselves in the process.

Her work resulted in more than 200 pages that she’d later try to publish, submitting the work to more than 30 agents in 2013, only to wait months before receiving stacks of “kind” rejection letters. That’s when Nowodazkij decided to take matters into her own hands.

“I decided to choose my own magic and publish my book,” said Nowodazkij, who self-published her first romance novel “One, Two, Three” in 2014. Since then, Nowodazkij, now a Glen Burnie resident, has published four more romance novels using Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, which produce both e-books and physical copies, nearly all of them translated into at least two languages.

. . . .

More writers are ditching the idea of working with big publishing houses and opting for the self-publishing route in a bid for more creative control and flexibility when it comes to the publishing process and their book’s fate and design.

But despite being able to create their own schedules, where and how a book will be published, and deciding on a book cover look, self-publishing isn’t easy. Editors, copy editors and, in most cases, graphic designers must be hired to make sure the book is publication-ready. Marketing begins before the book is released, and the books don’t always, or in some cases ever, make a profit.

. . . .

For independent urban fiction author Vince Smith, 41, of Gwynn Oak, who goes by the pen name Vince D’Writer, it was one bad experience with a publishing company that led him to self-publish.

“They told me lies in reference to the support that they would give … and giving me the necessities I needed to make the project a success,” Smith said.

He began to publish his own books soon after, hiring editors and a graphic designer to design his book covers. He printed his books through 48 Hour Press and used Kindle Direct Publishing to sell e-book version and the CreateSpace platform for people interested in ordering paperback versions of his book.

“The process can be stretched out by months if you attempt to go through a publishing company,” Smith said.

. . . .

Self-published romance novelist Patty Sroka, 52, of Woodbine, who goes by the pen name P.J. O’Dwyer, said she had always wanted to be an author but wasn’t sure how to pursue it, and she found the search for a publisher frustrating.

“You’re kind of left out there thinking, ‘Are they interested or are they not?’ It was the not knowing that was driving me crazy,” said Sroka. “I knew that if I want to control my own destiny, then it’s going to be up to me.”

. . . .

At the University of Baltimore’s creative writing and publishing master’s program, learning the ins and outs of self-publishing is a crucial tool for writers, said Kendra Kopelke, associate professor at the university’s Klein Family School of Communications Design.

“The whole process, from the first word you put on the page … it’s all creative. Every moment of it requires something of your imagination. None of it is prescribed,” said Kopelke, who is also a publisher of Passager Books, a small press for writers over 50. “We believe that by making the book yourself, you learn a lot about who you are as a writer. It sharpens you. It teaches you a lot.”

. . . .

“I say to clients, ‘Think of the self-published book as a business. Give it three to five years,'” she said. “Successful authors, they’ve been doing this a really long time.”

With plans to publish at least three books over the course of the next two years, Nowodazkij wants to build her book sales by releasing more books in a shorter time frame, a tactic that Woods and Sansevieri say can help.

“These readers like consistency. … It’s fine to have one book, but unless you really want to write one book, like a memoir, you need to start thinking about multiple book titles,” Sansevieri said.

Link to the rest at The Baltimore Sun and thanks to Meryl for the tip.

The Star Trek Writing Contest Was a Feeder Pool for Vanity Press Author Solutions

7 May 2016

From The Digital Reader:

When Simon & Schuster revived the Star Trek: Strange New World Writing Contest last October, I was dismayed to learn that S&S was letting its vanity press business partner, Author Solutions, run the contest.

This gave the impression that S&S was less interested in recruiting new authors to publish than in finding new victims for Author Solutions’ high-pressure sales tactics, and that impression was reinforced last month by the form email sent to contest participants.

Everyone who signed up for the contest received the following email:

Thank you for your recent submission in the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Writing Contest. We were honored to consider your short story. We received many imaginative tales that took us on different journeys through the Star Trek universe. After diligently considering each and every entry, we have selected the winners. Unfortunately, your submission was not included in the final group of stories.

If you enjoy writing, Archway Publishing can still help you share your personal or other sci-fi stories as a published book. And because you participated in this contest, you can save 20% on select packages.*

Authors would be wise not to take Archway up on its offer; they will regret it.

. . . .

ASI partners include Barnes & Noble, Lulu, Penguin Random House Spain, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hay House, Penguin India, Penguin Singapore, and Penguin Africa.

Link to the rest at The Digital Reader

Fifty ways to screw the writer.

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