FEATURE ARTICLES by Angela Adair-Hoy

Reprinted from Writersweekly.com


BYTE ME! Excerpt from Profitable Email Publishing
How to Be a Starving Writer: Write for Pay-Per-Click Sites!
Bad Book Reviewers
State of the Ebook
You're So Vain: Traditional Vanity Publishing
Where Can I Sell my Ebook? Comparison of Epublishers
Publishing vs. Self-Publishing vs. E-Publishing
How to Get an ISBN and Get on Amazon.com
Make Money with Your Own Emag
Finding Markets On-line (my little secret)
How to Win a Writing Contest (or at least increase your chances)

FILLERS
"Reprinting" Queries

EXCERPTS
"Competition" from How to Publish a Profitable Emag
"What to Charge for E-books" from How to Write, Publish and $ell Ebooks


BYTE ME! Excerpt from Profitable Email Publishing
by Angela Adair-Hoy


Excerpt from Profitable Email Publishing, a free eserial.

 TO RECEIVE CHAPTER ONE RIGHT NOW, send any email to: [email protected]
BYTE ME!
Ah, I've heard it all by now, mainly from my ex-husband and ex-inlaws. "You spend too much time on the computer." "You'll never make any money at that thing." "There are too many competitors. You'll never catch up." "Give up now before you lose everything you own."
Thank God I never listened to any of them. In the beginning, a part of me knew they might be right, so I kept quiet and worked more but talked less about what I was doing. As I started to turn a profit, I smugly laughed at their criticism.
And now, after going from being penniless to being a paper millionaire, what would I like to tell all of them?! BYTE ME!!!
SELLING YOUR EMAG
 
 

If your emag is very successful, you will probably be contacted by a large firm that wants to buy it. Sure, they'll offer a lump sum of cash, but consider the consequences.

1. You will lose your entire customer-base. You will no longer be able to run free ads in your own emag promoting your own products to your own highly targeted readership. You sales will ground to a halt.

2. You will, of course, be asked to sign a non-compete agreement. This means you won't be able to start over using your current subscriber list.

How much is your emag worth?
Expert opinions vary, but a likely expectation is to determine your revenues for three years. If your emag generates $40K per year in revenues, a reasonable selling price would be about $120K. Some e- mag owners ask a flat dollar amount per subscriber. What ultimately determines the price of your emag is how much someone is willing to pay for it. See the link below for emags that are currently for sale.

When to Sell

  • Your emag income is starting to decline because of market conditions or because your topic is no longer of interest.
  • Due to current events or changes in technology, your topic is no longer relevant.
  • You just can't keep up with your competitors.
  • The time you devote to your emag is just not worth the income it generates.
  • You've grown tired of your emag and want to start something new.
  • Someone offers to buy it for a ton of cash.

  • Offers I've Had
    I've had three serious offers from people wanting to buy WritersWeekly and Booklocker.com. I've turned them all down…so far. The first infringed on my integrity. They wanted to turn all of our content into free content and wrap advertising dollars around it. What's wrong with this? Nothing at all…except they wanted to do it with other authors' ebooks as well. No way.
    Another firm wanted to pay a very tidy sum for the whole corporation, keep me on as an employee, and primarily use my mailing list of freelance writers as an advertising vehicle (say SPAM). In layman's terms, they offered a paycheck in exchange for my name endorsing their products (say Name Whoring). Nobody tells me what to write and say and I'd like to keep it that way.
    One company offered us stock in lieu of cash. I highly discourage accepting an offer like this from a start-up that hasn't even gone public yet. Chances are you'll lose everything.
    For a list of e-zines/emags for sale and articles on buying and selling online publications, see: http://ezinesforsale.com/articles
    YOUR PUBLISHING FUTURE
    It doesn't happen overnight. Even I don't have to tell you that. If I knew then what I know now (what I've shared in this book), the business would have grown much faster. It's tough to turn a profit when you're making up everything as you go...which is what I was doing. There were no books on emags when I started WritersWeekly.
    MY TIMELINE
    June, 1997 - Launched The Write Markets Report and the website while working full-time at another company. Sales remained steady for several months, spiking when I released new products but never exceeding a few hundred a month. Nice pocket change, but it sure took a lot of work to get that change jingling!
    January, 1998 - Started taking credit cards. Sales increased 80% but still not making enough to live on full-time.
    July, 1998 - Separated from husband. Amount of time I spend working on my emag becomes a major issue in the divorce. I make him sign over all rights to the company to me. He laughs at me, calls me a loser and signs on the dotted line. (I bet he's sorry he did that!) By now I'm working 8 hours/day at my real job and about 8 hours/day on my emag and website. Ex-husband isn't paying child support so the extra income is now a necessity, not a luxury.
    Sales are decent, but still not enough to live on. I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong at this point. I finally admit to myself that I am terrible at selling ad space. I can sell anyone a book on anything, but darn it all if I can't sell one single classified ad. Sales are impressive considering it's a one-woman company, but still not anywhere near the amount of my salary (the amount I think I need to earn to live a comfortable lifestyle). So I continue to plod onward. I start dating Richard who I had known for 3 years but who didn't ask me out until I was separated.
    February, 1999
    Got a huge raise at my job. Didn't matter, though. I still wanted to eventually work at home full-time. Little did I know it was coming sooner than I expected.
    May, 1999
    My refrigerator breaks. I am suddenly unemployed. No child support, no savings account and no salary. The only money coming in now is from the emag. I'm broke. Richard tries to give me money. I adamantly refuse to take money from anyone, including him. I, of course, am now working full-time on the emag and website.
    Changed National Writers Monthly from a monthly to a weekly and renamed it WritersWeekly. Sales quadrupled! Hmmm!!!
    Desperate for an infusion of cash (the kids are eating their cereal with powdered milk because of the broken refrigerator), I write, publish and start selling How to Write, Publish & $ell Ebooks. Desperate circumstances have suddenly made me one of the most talented e-marketers on earth, or so it seems. I am instantly bringing in several hundred dollars every day.
    Late May, 1999
    Richard and my family throw me a surprise wedding (no, I'm not kidding). Now that he's helping to support the kids, I feel even more desperate to succeed. I am horrified that his family might think I am one of those women who lands a man just so he can take care of her forever. I work harder than ever. We move to Massachusetts and I'm still working more than I've ever worked in my life. But, I'm growing as well.
    September, 1990
    Up to 20K subscribers. Whoo hoo!! The owner of Booklocker.com calls and asks if we want to buy the site. We do and it is immediately profitable.
    October, 1999
    Epublishing icon MJ Rose calls me only days after her appearance on The Today Show. She's impressed with me, I'm ogling her press coverage, and we decide we're a perfect team. We write and publish a book in only seven weeks and sell it at auction to St. Martin's Press for a high-five-figure advance only 2 months later. We credit the success of the ebook with its success at auction.
    March, 2000
    Less than a year after our move to Massachusetts, Richard and I decide that it's time for him to make the big move, too. He quits his job to work with me full-time running Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com.
    Today
    Less than one year after I was penniless, the media is calling me a paper millionaire. We have relocated to Bangor, Maine, and have set up our offices in a huge 100-year-old home overlooking the Penobscot River. Profits increase steadily every month. We occasionally entertain offers from companies that want to buy the corporation. We will eventually sell and retire, but only if/when the terms are according to our specifications and in a way that will only help (not hurt) the WritersWeekly.com and Booklocker.com authors. They are the ones who helped us grow into one of the top epublishers in the world (and perhaps one of the very few that are actually turning a profit!).
    HOW TO GROW STEADILY LIKE ME? TAKE MY ADVICE!
    Keep Selling Yourself
    Continue to spend 50% of your time marketing your emag. Don't ever stop. The more you market yourself, the higher your circulation will climb. The higher your circulation, the higher your profits. It's that simple. Subscribers equal profits, whether from secondary products sales, affiliate sales, or advertising income.
    Scheduling and Discipline
    Write a marketing schedule (I've provided one for you in the next chapter) and follow it. If you don't, you will fall behind in marketing your emag. You'll know when you fall behind…because your sales will drop fast.
    New Products
    Keep a list of potential secondary products and produce them as quickly as you can. Your products must be of the highest quality. Do not disappoint your readers or they will stop buying from you.
    Excerpt from Profitable Email Publishing, a free eSerial. To start receiving this book for free, send any email to: [email protected]. Angela Adair-Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring freelance jobs and paying markets. New subscribers receive the FREE ebook, How to Be a Freelance Writer (with 103 paying markets). Surf to: http://www.writersweekly.com. WritersWeekly.com currently serves more than 37,000 freelance writers. Join us!

    HOW TO BE A STARVING WRITER: Write for Pay-Per-Click Sites!
    by Angela Adair-Hoy


    Authors Note: I was going to name writers in this article, but most didn't want their names used. Many said they were embarrassed. I was also going to name names of pay-per-click sites, but none of the writers who responded to the survey said anything that made me want to endorse any of the firms. If I were impressed with any of the sites reported on, I'd have mentioned them. Unfortunately, I was not. Even if only one writer had written in about impressive income from a pay-per-click site (none did), they would have been the extreme exception to the rule. To be more than fair, I am posting the most positive response we received as this week's Freelance Success Story.

    - - -
    I received an email yesterday titled "Everyone can write, publish & earn rewards." Sounds like an ad for frequent flier miles, doesn't it? I knew what it was about, so I opened it feeling anxious to slam a site that believes writers don't deserve to earn money for a living.
    The first line read, "I thought you would be very interested in a new website that has just launched…" It goes on to say the site "allows" writers to contribute their work in any area that interests them, that it doesn't moderate the content it publishes (meaning the content is likely crap) and that you can earn rewards for letting them publish your work. Hoo boy! I take out all my frustrations for an entire week on companies like this!!
    So, you know what I was thinking the whole time, don'tcha? Yes, I was thinking what an idiot this guy was for actually approaching me with this garbage. Then (surprise!), I found an identical email in my Booklocker.com emailbox. So not only are they taking advantage of writers, but they're spamming blindly to boot! Here's my response:
    We never endorse sites that pay writers per click. We only endorse sites that pay writers real money for real content.
    We'll be sure to tell our readers to stay away from your site, though. Let us know when you can afford to pay people enough to keep their families fed. Writers are professionals, too, and deserve more than a few pennies per read. Real publications and websites pay writers real money. You should, too.
    And here's the first line of his response…UNEDITED:
    Dear Publisher,
    I am sorry you feel this way, from our experience we know there are allot of writers that do not have an opportunity to be payed for all their work.
    Yeah, right. Are you laughing as hard as I did? I wouldn't trust my mouse pad with this guy.
    WHAT ARE PAY-PER-CLICK SITES?
    Pay-per-click sites typically pay contributors (writers) a percentage of the advertising revenue, or a flat fee, for every unique visitor that clicks through to the contributor's article online. The fees range from a penny or less to a dime or more. Some of these sites offer to divide advertising revenue among their contributors depending on which articles get the most clicks.
    HOW DO THEY MAKE MONEY?
    Writers are usually encouraged to drum up their own traffic. In this sense, writers not only have to write, but are also thrown into a sales and marketing position. Writers are told to refer people to their articles to increase traffic that generates advertising revenue for the site. This is like saying, "I'll pay you for this magazine article if you can drum up some subscribers for me and make me more attractive to advertisers."
    Last month, a woman sent me multiple emails asking me (and everyone on her mailing list) to click on her article at (a site I've heard LOTS of complaints about lately) because she'd earn a lousy dime if we did. I finally asked her to take me off her friends and family spam list. It was insulting and, frankly, she came off looking like a beggar.
    WHAT ABOUT SITES THAT PAY A FLAT FEE?
    Pay-per-click sites are not to be confused with sites that offer a flat fee per month or article. Promising a flat fee and paying it is fine because this method of payment doesn't promise fame and fortune, just a steady (albeit usually very low) paycheck. (At least you know what you're getting every month!)
    THE SURVEY
    We ran a survey in June asking readers, "If you write (or previously wrote) for a pay-per-click site or one that pays writers a percentage of ad revenues, we'd really love to hear from you. Let us know about how much money you've made along with how long you've been writing (or wrote) for the site. An estimate of how much you've made per article, per word, or by the hour would also be extremely helpful. We'd also like to know if writing for the site did indeed land other paying assignments for you."
    RESPONSES!
    I'm letting the contributors of pay-per-click sites speak for themselves:
  • "I wrote two articles for a pay by click site and made about 12 cents a month for about three months (WOW) - but it did land me my first published clips and, because they were online, I could include the link when I queried non-fiction writing jobs by email."
  • "I've written for several sites that have some kind of pay-per-click or ad revenue cut, etc. deals. Start-ups that never did, websites that don't work, or whatever - never received a check from any of them. I have written contracts with some. The only good news is I have a bunch of articles done, and I'm not afraid to offer 1st or reprint rights to others."
  • "I have earned $2860.12 at this moment. Sadly, your questions required me to divide $2860.12 by 263 [articles] = $10.88 per. Ugh. I had high hopes that by now I would be earning far more."
  • "I was excited when I first heard about the company I've been writing for (which shall remain nameless), but since November, I've made a whopping $5.08. Although it is good for the exposure and by-line factor and has helped me to land other writing jobs by being able to point to 'actual writing experience,' I will concentrate my efforts in the future on markets that truly do pay a decent wage. It just isn't bringing in the money I was hoping it would. I'm too disgusted to figure out what all that breaks down to when applied to my time spent researching and writing articles. I'm sure it's something like 0.00002 per click. Ugh."

  • Yes, these pay-per-click clips have occasionally led to other, higher-paying gigs, but we only received a handful of letters stating so.
    BEGINNERS DON'T NEED TO WRITE FOR FREE!
    You don't need to write for free or almost-free to collect clips. There are lots of legitimate, paying websites and magazines that pay real money to new writers who have no clips. Don't believe me? Simply search for the words "welcomes new writers" at my paying markets page at http://www.writersweekly.com/payingmarkets.htm.) I did and found 51 paying markets that welcome new writers. And that's only the first page of our markets!
    More common responses we received regarding exposure and being discovered were like this:
  • "I also had high hopes I would be discovered for my brilliant prose and insightful observations, not to mention my keen wit and accessible vernacular. Alas. Not one freelance job offer has come my way."

  • Let's face it. Reputable editors that pay respectable fees to writers are not surfing the 'Net looking for writers! They have enough query letters on their desk to keep them busy for months!
    RIGHTS
    One writer wrote to say she not only was paid very little, but also found her articles on another website. Without her knowledge, the site sold her articles to another. Some pay-per-click sites take rights away from writers. The site is then free to sell the articles to other companies and there's nothing a writer can do about it after signing their contract. One writer told me she found her material on a syndicate website where it was posted for free. She was making nothing per click there, but she had signed a contract and she was out of luck. Some sites might not take all your rights away, but may instead limit your future sales.
    "...I made a mere pittance on several articles although most of my articles were rated "Highly Recommended" which is the highest honor the site has. They don't allow you to sell your (articles) to other Internet sites which I don't think is really fair considering the low pay rate."
    I WONDER…
    One day, shortly after the survey was announced, I received about a dozen emails from writers who all write for the same pay-per-click site. They all arrived on the same day. That's when I got suspicious. I suspect someone who is involved with the site wanted me to say something good about them. And, sure enough, one woman said another woman had distributed the survey to them. Their plan backfired. Most of the letters started out gushing praise…but then, when the contributors started tallying their income, their tone changed. Here are two comments from their contributors:
  • "It isn't a lot of money per article but it is better than nothing."
  • "This means I've earned about $0.35 per hour for my efforts…"

  • HOW MUCH MONEY?
    So how much money are writers really making at pay-per-click sites?
    33 CENTS
    "I put four previously-published articles on (a website) about 6 months ago. It's a pay-per-pop-on-advertising site. So far I've made a total of 33 cents. Glad I didn't invest any writing time."
    87 CENTS
    "I've only earned .87 for my 4 (articles) after 3 months."
    $1.37
  • "The long and short of it is, in the months my three articles were online, I received one check for $1.12. I think I currently have $.25 waiting for me if I want them to cut a check. I ought to. So my work's been with them about a year now (although two of the articles have vanished), and I've made a grand total of $1.37 for about 2,000 words."

  • $10 PER ARTICLE
  • "I've made over $320. That's a tad over $10 per (article), or $60+ per month. To be fair, however, some of my (articles) have earned just over $1, while others have earned over $50."

  • $16.20
  • "I've got 8 articles live at the moment. These average 400-600 words each. (snip) Earnings so far are $16.20."

  • ZERO
  • "I never received a cent."

  • $350 A MONTH FOR 30-40 HOURS PER WEEK
  • "The job was set forth as a writer's job - but it soon became apparent that it was really a webmaster and a whole bunch of other stuff. We were promised all the really big money would come 'very soon'. Well, it didn't come and everyone started bitching. Several of us threatened to leave and by this time I was so fed up with them I can't even begin to explain it. Each day there were more and more duties and we were looking at 30 to 40 hours a week to maintain this thing. They always claimed that there were those getting mega thousands. If they existed I never met them. When I left, I was #19 out of 700 sites (pages on the site). Every day I thank God I finally got the nerve to leave. For some reason, I kept thinking they would come through and I'd make it big - but they never did."

  • IN A NUTSHELL
    Websites need content to survive. Content costs money. Content generates money. Sites that pay-per-click promise content providers money later…after delivery of the content and delivery of clicks. It's a vicious cycle and a game that poor people shouldn't play. Companies that can't afford to pay their contractors (writers) should NOT be in business.
    The most anyone who responded to our survey made (see above) was almost $3,000…for 263 articles. Do the math. We ran the survey for two weeks in a row to more than 30,000 freelance writers. Our distribution to mailing lists and discussion groups is estimated at twice that number. Nobody who responded to our survey has made enough to feed their family.
    If you saw all the complaint emails I receive about pay-per-click sites, you'd jump on my soapbox, too. In addition, I am appalled at the amount of spamming going on by their contributors. Writers are begging people to click so they can make a few pennies. This is not real writing. This is a travesty.
    One writer wrote to tell me the only people clicking on her articles are the site's other contributors. The writers swap clicks to help each other earn money…one dime at a time (oh, if the advertisers only knew!). Writing for pay-per-click sites is no different than posting your freelance paycheck online for the world to see. Thank you for that dime, sir! May I have another?!
    AND FINALLY…
  • "I am one of the fallible (I hope) few who have fallen prey to the lure of (a very well-known pay-per-click site). I'm angry (and embarrassed) to be associated with them right now."
  • "Maybe other people have made more money, but my first foray into pay-per-click will also be my last."

  • ANGELA'S RANT!
    Whoever came up with the idea that writers are different from every other professional? Why must writers work for payment for pennies-per-click, or for nothing at all, when everyone else gets paid a real paycheck for what they do? Why is getting published considered an honor instead of a good day's work? No matter how many times I smack my palm against my forehead, I just can NOT understand how this perception every came to be! But I damn well know what I can do to change it! And I'm doing it now.
    REAL publishers pay writers REAL money. Join me in shutting out the rest.
    FOOTNOTE: WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN THEY SAY THEY'RE "HIRING WRITERS" --

    Run...run really fast, if they say:
    We'll pay you IF someone clicks on your article
    We'll pay you IF we sell any ads this month
    We'll pay you IF...anything!

     Do you only pay your babysitter IF you sold an article this week?
    Do you only pay your doctor IF you get well?
    As with every other profession, you deserve and should EXPECT a decent wage for your blood, sweat and tears. Only write for publications that offer real money for your work, either by the word, by the article, or by the hour. You're worth it!
    To find publications that pay real money for real content, see our wealth of paying markets here: http://www.writersweekly.com/payingmarkets.com. Many markets listed on our markets pages warmly welcome new writers. No clips required.
    Angela Adair-Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring freelance jobs and paying markets. New subscribers receive the FREE ebook, How to Be a Freelance Writer (with 103 paying markets). Surf to: http://www.writersweekly.com. WritersWeekly.com currently serves more than 36,000 freelance writers. Join us!


    BAD BOOK REVIEWERS
    by Angela Adair-Hoy


    Like it or not..somebody out there is NOT going to like your book. And, that somebody might be a book reviewer. But, sometimes, that person is not qualified to review books, has another agenda in mind, or is just plain ignorant.

    KATY'S EXPERIENCE
    One of our Booklocker and WritersWeekly books, It's a Dirty Job...Writing Porn for Fun and Profit (http://www.writersweekly.com/index-dirtyjob.htm), was poorly reviewed by another writing ezine. We've had nothing but rave reviews since it was published, but hey, you can't please everyone. Bad reviews don't bother me if they're honest.

    However, once I read that review, I knew it wasn't a review of the book. This was a character review of the author. The "reviewer" went so far as to make a statement about writers whoring their wares. She even used profanity. I told Katy, "Hey, let it go. It is so blatantly obvious that this is a Katy Review, not a Book Review.

    MY EXPERIENCE
    Someone I know used the book page for The Secrets of Our Success at Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1929072244/o/qid=952618207/sr=8-2/104-7195397-6454857) for a blatant self promotion of a website. Professional review? Hardly. Reviewers who use high-traffic web pages to promote themselves while pretending to review a book are unprofessional, rude and amateurs. They need to consider reviewing their marketing methods instead of other peoples' books.

    SELF PUBLISH LIST
    I moderate the Publish List that networks more than 350 self-published authors. We're a happy bunch, we're a hard-working bunch...but sometimes we're a desperate bunch. When a so-called book reviewer joined our group and asked for free copies of ebooks to review, lots of our members jumped. Noone thought to ask, "Who the hell are you?"

    After she complained loudly and offended many members blaming them for not sending what she wanted, sending what she didn't want and sending it in the wrong format (she was quite rude), I surfed on over to take a look at her site. Book reviewer?! Hardly! Her personal web page was awful and I doubt she's had a dozen visitors to her name. I banned her from the list.

    WARNING SIGNS
    Delete that "book reviewer's" email if:
    1. They are your competitor. Think you'll get a fair review? Think again!
    2. The URL in their signature takes you to a personal webpage.
    3. You don't recognize any of the publications they claim to have written for.
    4. They ask for a copy of every single book you've ever written or published.
    5. Their attitude is flippant, rude and commanding.
    6. They offer no credentials whatsoever and don't tell you who they're writing for.

    Remember that there are many people claiming to be book reviewers that just want a free book. If you publish a really great book and 20 people request a free "review" copy, you'll be lucky to get one published review out of the bunch.

    THE MIND OF AN AMATEUR REVIEWER
    Real book reviewers read and judge books with an open mind. Amateurs don't actually read the entire book. They just skim the pages and look for something really good or really bad to say about the book. Sometimes they don't even open the book. They write a review based on what appears on the back cover and then they give the book away at Christmas time.

    The ones who say good things are do-gooders. Gotta love 'em. Want to please everyone! But hell hath no fury like a reader who buys a really bad book based on a really good review.

     The reviewers who say really bad things in a very unprofessional way are God-like creatures wanting all poor authors to bow down before them (after they get their free book, of course).

    HOW DO I REVIEW?
    I do things differently. I actually BUY the books I review. It's alot easier to reach out and grab a book off the shelf at Barnes and Noble than to go to the trouble of actually picking up the telephone and calling the author or publisher. Once I have a book to review, I read the ENTIRE BOOK, word for word. I write all over the book, underline sentences that affect me, and write in the margins. I've usually made quite a mess by the time I'm finished with the book.

    I then forward the review to the author FIRST. I want to ensure that I have not misunderstood anything (this is usually in cases where I feel the author may be wrong about something or when I strongly disagree with something an author has said). Hey, misunderstandings happen...especially when you're trying to read a book late at night while a child throws up next to your bed and the cat is in heat and there's no toilet paper left so you have to jump up to find paper towels. What I'm saying is...I'm not always right and I give the author the benefit of the doubt. Better to do that than to look like a real JERK later on by publishing incorrect information (hope you amateur reviewers are listening!).

    SHRUGGING IT OFF
    Unfortunately, there's really nothing you can do about a bad review. Amazon won't remove them, and neither will most other sites, unless you can prove gross negligence or that the review somehow violated that site's policies (i.e. use of profanity).

    Remember (after you've mentally chopped the reviewer up into small pieces in your mind) that all publicity, even bad publicity, is good publicity.

    And, never, ever send your book out for review until you check out the reviewer's qualifications! These days, on the Internet, chances are good they're a fraud.

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.


    STATE OF THE EBOOK
    by Angela Adair-Hoy


    Where will readers, writers and publishers end up in this new industry now known as electronic publishing?

  • Writers are embracing epublishing as a way to get their books noticed by readers and publishers.

  •  

     

  • Publishers are embracing epublishing as a new medium of delivery for their inventories and a new way of discovering unknown yet successful authors.

  •  

     

  • Readers are embracing epublishing as a way to obtain the information they need instantaneously.

  • The best selling ebooks at this time are non-fiction, how-to books. This is the result of the instant gratification needs of consumers. Readers who are looking for how-to information want it right now. With ebooks, they don't even need to get out of their chair to drive to the bookstore and they don't want to wait even one day for the Federal Express man to bring them the information they want right now.

    Instant gratification is the primary reason why non-fiction ebooks became so popular so quickly.

    Fiction ebooks do not sell well yet. However, sales for electronic fiction are much better than they were just three months ago. Acceptance from readers is growing quickly.

    Consumers still prefer to read fiction from a print book for leisure because of the convenient size, enabling them to take their book wherever they go.

    However, as soon as a company produces a hand-held reader that is affordable, we will all be able to lug our "books" to bed, to the doctor's office, or anywhere else we choose.

    We have also found that most of Booklocker.com's customers (we estimate 80%) print their ebooks after buying them. One of our customers even has his own ebook library in his bedroom.

    WRITERS EMBRACING EBOOKS
    Writers are embracing ebooks because they can self-publish their works and start selling them online for little or no money whatsoever. This is a far cry from vanity publishing packages that cost thousands of dollars.

    PUBLISHERS EMBRACING EBOOKS
    Publishers, while hesitant at first because of new competition, are now embracing ebooks as a new form of inexpensive delivery of their inventories.

    Publishers are also keeping their eyes open to see what self-published ebooks are profitable so they can make an offer. What better way to test the market than to let the author test it themselves?

    If sales for a self-published ebook are good, the publisher knows there is a market for the book (and also knows the author knows how to sell themselves). This not only makes the slush pile at their office easier to paw through, but also provides the successful author with a larger advance and more favorable contract terms.

    CASE IN POINT
    The Secrets of Our Success: How to publish and promote online (an ebook), co-authored by myself and MJ Rose, was sold at auction on Wednesday, Feb 29th to St. Martin's Press. They outbid Harper Collins in the final hour.

    Considerations taken by the publishers when bidding included not only customer reviews appearing on Amazon, but also ebook sales figures. (Authors need to keep accurate accounting records of their sales. These will be requested by the publisher if sales volume is a primary reason they are making an offer.)

    The Secrets of Our Success was released in December as a self-published ebook and sold to a major publishing house on 2 1/2 months later. Lightning speed in the publishing industry!

    This is not the first time this has happened. We (Booklocker.com) were just notified that a major book club wants to purchase book club rights to a self-published book "discovered" on Booklocker.com. The book will likely also go to auction. Booklocker now has an agent to handle these requests because most self-published authors do not yet have an agent. And, Booklocker receives NO MONEY when authors are discovered through us.

    All of these scenarious prove that ebooks have already made a serious impact on the publishing industry.

    AND, FINALLY, THE MOST IMPORTANT PART...THE CONSUMERS
    Are readers embracing ebooks? Yes! And enthusiastically! Whether they read it on their monitor, read it in bed on their laptop, purchase a hand-held reader, or print the book themselves, the phenomenal growth in ebook sales is proof that ebooks are here to stay. Booklocker.com's revenues increase an average of 40% every month.

    The market for ebooks is growing daily as more and more people hear about them. Readers no longer ask, "What's an ebook?" They now ask, Where can I buy one?!"

    ONE MORE PIECE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
    I'm the author of five ebooks, all for freelance writers. Sales from my ebooks alone now average more than $5,000 per month. 95% of my sales are for downloadable ebooks. Printing costs are non-existent and postage is rare (as in CDRom orders from Amazon.com). This means the rest is pure profit in my pocket.

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.


    YOU'RE SO VAIN: Traditional Vanity Publishing


    Standard industry opinion states that vanity publishing (shunned by industry professionals) is when an author pays to have their book published. But, is this assumption correct? What is vanity publishing, really?

    Vanity: An inflation of mind upon slight grounds; empty pride inspired by an overweening conceit of one's personal attainments or decorations; an excessive desire for notice or approval.

    Synonyms for vanity include egotism, pride, emptiness, and worthlessness.

    Is vanity publishing footing the bill to have your books printed? Sure it is! Is it giving up rights to have a Print on Demand (POD) publisher print it? Uh huh.

    Vanity publishing is also giving something up (money, rights) just to see your book in print (an excessive desire for notice or approval), even if there is no guaranteed print run, no marketing budget for your book, no advance, and small royalties.

    Wait! That last scenario is traditional publishing, not vanity publishing...or is it?

    ARE YOU VAIN?
     
     

  • Would you hand over all rights to the book you spent months or years writing...just to see it in print?
  • Would you accept a standard contract of pittance royalties and a small or non-existent advance with no guarantee of a marketing budget for your book?
  • Would you accept contract terms that demand you return the advance even if your publisher does nothing to promote your book?

  • Okay, now that we've all admitted we're vain, let's move onto what really goes on after you sell your soul to your publisher and your book rolls off the press.

    IS YOUR BOOK PAYING TO PROMOTE ANOTHER BOOK?
    Publishers sacrifice the profits from all books to support and promote a small number of books. For example, let's say the publisher is disappointed with the sales of your book. If sales are dismal, he is NOT going to spend the sales dollars for your book to promote your book. He is going to pool his resources from all non- and semi-profitable books to promote a select few. Smart business, yet disappointing for unknown authors who assume the publisher is promoting their book.

    WHAT REALLY DETERMINES A BOOK'S SUCCESS?
    Sometimes the quality of a book will determine its success. Sadly, more often than not, the author's name and/or the publisher's advertising budget are what put a book in the spotlight. Do you think Oprah goes searching for unknown authors at the corner bookstore? Heck no. Publishers pay for press releases, contacts, man hours, and phone calls to get the attention of someone...anyone who knows somebody who's related to anybody who works for Oprah. Is your publisher doing this for your book? Probably not. Is he doing it for any of his books? Probably so. Is he using the profits from your book to promote another book? Most likely...yes.

    OUT OF PRINT = DEAD BOOK
    If you're sitting around with a box of books in your trunk waiting to get discovered, consider this: If you don't spend time and money to get yourself noticed, your books will grow mold. If you've sold out to a publisher who is not promoting your books, ditto. I receive letters every week from authors wanting to cancel their publishing contracts because their publisher is doing nothing to promote their books. Their books eventually go out of print and, if the author has signed over all rights from here to eternity, their book is dead.

    NO REWRITES, NO REBIRTH, NO NUTHIN'
    Think you can just write another book and sell it to someone else? In all likelihood, your publishing contract states that you can't write a new book that competes with your old one.

    YOU LINE THEIR POCKETS
    If the publisher refuses to promote your book, it's all up to you. Then, after you spend time and money on self-promotion, your publisher gets to keep about 85% of the revenues from sales you generate.

    WHAT'S AN AUTHOR TO DO?
    If you're already locked in a situation like one of those above, there's nothing I can do to help you. I can, however, offer advice for your future publishing endeavors.

    First, don't let your vanity intrude on your common sense. Don't sign a contract that makes you lose sleep at night. Only sign a contract that will leave no regrets. Consider the consequences of your actions today on your self-esteem and peace of mind tomorrow.

    Second, there is one way to counter the future results of a stale print book. Authors should demand they be allowed to personally sell electronic versions of their own book. Not only will you control your own income, but you can also ensure that your book will never go "out of print."

    NO CONTRACT YET? SELF-PUBLISH AN EBOOK!
    Some authors think that publishers aren't interested in ebooks because they're already "published." This is entirely untrue! Just yesterday a major publisher voiced interest in buying print rights for one of my ebooks that has been on the market for 11 months now. And, I'm not the only one!

    VANITY PUBLISHING FOR FREE
    It's now easier than ever to electronically publish your book for nothing more than the cost of your time. (Read contracts carefully!) Self-publish your book as an ebook, start pounding that virtual pavement and market it far and wide. If you have any doubt about the viability of ebooks and their future, don't. Ebooks have already made a major impact on the publishing industry, and they're here to stay.

    It's a whole lot easier to pique a publisher's interest with a couple thousand book sales under your belt, even if they're ebooks. Those ebook sales will likely result in not just a standard contract offer, but a bidding war, a large advance, higher royalties and, more importantly, the marketing of your book paid for by the publisher. Once a publisher calls, do NOT handle these negotiations yourself. Hire an agent. Any agent will take your book if publishers are asking for it.

    OVERRIDING VANITY
    After this happens to you, you will know your worth as an author and your common sense (and self-esteem) will override your vanity.

    Am I vain? Perhaps. But income and pride are higher priorities for me than fame. And they should be for you, too. Don't let your vanity intrude on your common sense. Don't assume that a printed book automatically results in fame and fortune. Don't accept anything less than you deserve. And, don't give up all electronic rights!

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.


    Where to Sell my Ebook? Comparison of E-publishers
    by Angela Adair-Hoy


    Warning! Read contracts before signing! Some publishers change their contracts overnight.

    We have omitted e-publishers who:

    Contract Period
    Most of these firms request their contracts exist for a specific period of time ranging from one to five years or more. However, Booklocker's contract can be terminated immediately on request, which is a helpful alternative for authors who have been contacted by traditional print publishers. One of our authors clinched a contract with a big publisher this week! We removed her books from the site within hours.

    Impartial?
    Hardly! Yes, we own Booklocker and it's listed first...but it is the best e-publisher in the industry. If you doubt my completely biased opinion, read the contracts at the links below and compare the benefits to authors.

    NON-EXCLUSIVES

    E-publishers requesting non-exclusive electronic rights allow authors to post and sell their books at other sites. Links below are to contract pages, where available. Post your book for sale at as many non-exclusive e-publishers as you want! The more places you're listed, the more exposure your book receives! Firms are listed in order of author-friendly terms...in my opinion.

    BookLocker.com
    http://www.booklocker.com
    70% royalties on GROSS sales
    PAYS MONTHLY
    Non-exclusive rights
    Screens all manuscripts for quality.
    Charges $20 to convert ebooks not already in .pdf or .exe format. However, anyone can convert 10 documents for free to .pdf at http://www.adobe.com. And, if you don't know how to convert documents to .exe format, I will email the PC instructions to you. For information on getting your ebook epublished by Booklocker.com, send any email to [email protected], or visit the site.

    EMatter/Fatbrain
    http://www.fatbrain.com
    Booklocker's primary competitor. This firm has generated a ton of publicity and gives authors high-exposure. We like Ematter/Fatbrain's generous terms, their efforts to advance the acceptance of ebooks, and their customer service.
    Effective Jan. 1, 2000:
    Pays 50% royalties
    Charges authors $1 per month for every book listed.
    Pays Quarterly
    Non-exclusive rights
    Does not screen manuscripts. Anyone can publish anything.
    The monthly fee is automatically charged to your credit card.

    Erotic-Ebooks.com
    http://www.erotic-ebooks.com
    Erotic literature and non-fiction books dealing with sexuality.
    Anxious for new authors. They have six under contract writing books specifically for the site right now..but the authors will, of course, be allowed to list and sell their erotic ebooks elsewhere. Reprints of erotic articles as anthologies warmly welcomed, as long as author has retained rights. A link to author guidelines is in left-hand column after you enter the site.
    50% royalties
    Non-exclusive rights
    Still under construction and not yet "released" to public, but already processing orders even though there are only three ebooks listed on the site!

    PC Books, Inc.
    http://www.pc-books.net/PUBLISH.HTM
    Charges $40 set-up fee
    40% royalties
    Non-exclusive rights

    1stBooks
    http://www.1stbooks.com/newbooks.htm
    Non-exclusive rights
    30% royalties
    Charges substantial set-up fee, but pays 100% royalties until that fee is met.

    The non-exclusives listed below are in no particular order
    because no royalty information could be found at their websites:

    Archetype-Press
    http://www.archetype-press.com/contract.htm
    For initial product upload, password, and editing privileges, charges $45 for first 5,000 words; $75 for 5,000-30,000 words; $95 for manuscripts over 30,000 words. Also charges a $10 per month membership fee. No royalty info. at website.

    CyberNet Books
    http://www.cybernetbooks.com/authorw.htm
    Royalties not provided at website.
    Non-exclusive, but authors may have to wait up to six months for contract termination.

    M-Pro
    http://www.m-pro.demon.co.uk/bookstore.html
    Royalty percentages vary and include a flat-fee. This is an ebook reseller.

    EXCLUSIVES

    WARNING: If you place your e-book for sale with any of these e-publishers, you can't sell it anywhere else. They take exclusive rights. This means you can't even sell your e-book from your own website. In most cases, if you want to send your ebook to reviewers, you are required to "buy" copies of your ebook from these epublishers. Ridiculous, but true.

    AGoodBook.com
    http://www.agoodbook.com/publisher/agree.htm
    OUCH! Charges $250 reading fee! No wonder their inventory is so small. Pays "a royalty of 20% of the selling price for all copies sold, less a reserve for credit card disputes (unfair!). Initially, this reserve will be 10% of royalties and will be adjusted up or down based on actual, documented experience." Won't sell new books for more than $4.95.

    Bibliobytes
    http://www.bb.com/contract.cfm
    35% royalties
    Exclusive electronic rights

    Book-on-Disc.comhttp://www.book-on-disc.com/author's1.htm Doesn't publish royalty information.
    Exclusive electronic rights

    Books-End.com
    http://www.books-end.com Only pays author $1 per book sold!
    Rights not specific at website.

    Crossroads Electronic Publishing
    http://www.crossroadspub.com/contrac.htm
    50% royalties
    Exclusive rights

    Cyber-Pulp Houston/USA
    http://come.to/cyberpulp
    50% royalties
    Exclusive electronic rights

    DiskUs Publishing
    http://www.diskuspublishing.com/Contract.html
    40% royalties
    Exclusive electronic rights

    Dreams Unlimited
    http://www.dreams-unlimited.com/contract.htm
    Royalties not specified
    Exclusive electronic rights

    Electric Works Publishing
    http://www.electricpublishing.com/index.htm
    40% royalties on average. Deducts 10% for works they edit.
    Exclusive rights

    Hard Shell Word Factory
    http://www.hardshell.com/contract.html
    30% royalties
    Exclusive rights

    Hyberbooks
    http://www.hyperbooks.com/submit.html
    "My price for this service is to have the exclusive right to publish your work for one year, and a 50% cut for that year."

    Nitelinks, Inc.
    http://www.nitelinks.com/Authors/AuthorSupport.html
    10-40% royalties
    Exclusive rights, but offers an "out" clause "if a paper publisher wishes to publish the work."

    Petals of Life Publishing
    http://members.tripod.com/~PetalsofLife/authorcontract.html
    50% royalties
    Exclusive rights for two years

    PreviewBooks.com
    http://www.previewbooks.com/oaktree/agree.html
    Pays $2.00 flat fee to author for books sold. First half of book is given to readers at no charge. Second half is "sold" to the reader. Neat concept, greedy terms.
    First electronic rights.

    Pulpless.com, Inc.
    http://www.pulpless.net
    25% royalties
    Exclusive rights

    Star Publications
    http://www.starpublications.com/ctsample.html
    35% royalties
    Exclusive electronic rights

    Treeless Press Publishing
    http://www.treelesspress.com/writers.html
    20% royalties
    Exclusive electronic rights

    Word Wrangler Publishing
    http://www.wordwrangler.com/contract.htm
    35% royalties
    Exclusive rights

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.


    Publishing vs. Self-Publishing vs. E-Publishing

     by Angela Adair-Hoy


    Thanks to the Internet and technology, we no longer have two options to consider when authoring a book.

     More writers are self-publishing their own e-books and having success. I receive daily e-mails and phone calls from writers wanting advice on self-publishing. This is what I share as I explain publishing options to budding authors.

     TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING
    If I went the traditional publishing route, received a $3K advance, worked my fingers to the bone, and saw my book in print, things would be looking pretty good, right?

    Well, not really. Let's say my publisher offers me a 5,000 printing with a list price of $10.00. The most my book could gross, barring a reprinting, would be $50,000. I get 10% royalties (which are taken out of the advance I received), totaling $5,000. That's it. There's nothing more.

    If you've ever written a book, you know that calculates to a very low hourly rate.

    SELF-PUBLISHING
    Now, let's say I publish my own book, print 5,000 (at a cost of $2.50 per book for 200 pages), and sell them all. My profit would be $50,000 minus printing costs of $12,500, totaling $37,500.

    But, would I be able to afford the printing costs? Uh, no. Even if I could, would I be able to sell all my books on my own? Probably not. So, things still aren't looking too rosy.

     Sure, I have lots of pretty books stacked in my garage to show off to friends and family. They don't call it vanity publishing for nothing.

    E-PUBLISHING
    Now, let's say I e-publish my own book. There are no printing costs and no minimum order. (I can 'sell' as many file attachments as I want.) My expense was my time to write and format the book. The rest is pureprofit.

     This week, I sold books to readers in the UK, Australia, Canada, and even Grenada. That's not including the hundreds I've sold in the US in the past month. My website's global reach far exceeds the exposure I would receive from a distributor. And, my books aren't lined up on a shelf sitting cover to cover with my competitors.

    The Internet has made it possible for small publishers to venture out on their own. We no longer have to depend on a distributor to deliver our books to large bookstores. There's a whole wide world of readers out there that will buy our books online. The Internet has changed our options, and things are looking grand!

     But, how do you find those readers? How do they find you? My advice is to publish a free e-mail newsletter on your book's topic. Start the newsletter before you start the book. Letters from your readers will give you ideas for your upcoming book. You'll know what they want and what they need. They, in turn, will trust that you have the answers, because you are the expert in your field. And,they will buy your book.

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.


    How to Get an ISBN and Get on Amazon.com
    By Angela Adair-Hoy


    Well, I finally did it! All of my self-published books and software databases are now available at Amazon.com. I'm patiently waiting for those big checks to start landing in my snail mailbox. Want to know how I did it?

    ISBN's
    The cost is steep for an independent self-publisher exceeding a couple hundred dollars depending on how big of a block of numbers you need.

    "The cost is a flat fee charged for processing each publisher application for an ISBN Publisher Prefix; it is NOT per ISBN. There is no other fee involved. A publisher is assured a minimum block of ten numbers (it could be more, based on the title information provided by the publisher at the time of making the application, which the Agency requests)."
    -Don Riseborough, Senior Managing Editor, U.S. ISBN Agency

    What does this mean? Once you receive your pubisher prefix, you can enter Bowker's site and add products as they become available, as well as make updates to your existing products. Your products are then published in Bowker's periodicals. You DON'T have to pay $195 for every new product you publish.

     "The U.S. ISBN Agency is responsible for the assignment of the ISBN Publisher Prefix to those publishers with a residence or office in the U.S. and are publishing their titles within the U.S." -R.R. Bowker

     R.R. Bowker is the US agency. However, Bowker's website provides linksto foreign registry agencies as well.

    Publishers enter the site and begin filling out a series of forms that register their publishing company and all the current products they have for sale. Then, they wait ten days for their publisher's prefix. You have the option of paying an additional $50 to expedite your application which brings your ISBN publisher prefix within three days instead of 10...but what's another week, eh?

     Have your credit card handy and order your ISBN publisher's prefix here:
    http://www.bowker.com/standards/home/isbn/

     You can also find their contact information online if you prefer to pay by check. You can't register with Amazon until you have an ISBN.

    AMAZON.COM
    Thanks to the Internet, we small publishers can now give the entire globe access to our products. No longer must we fight to have our products carried by the large book distributors. And, it's free!

     Amazon's terms state that they pay you 45% of the list price of yourbook. You have to pay the shipping to send your books to them.

     Amazon makes it easy to track sales by providing sales and inventory reports, automatic reordering by e-mail, hassle-free fulfillment, andquick payment terms. If you want to stock your books in your garage, theystate that your title will be shipped in 4-6 weeks. However, you can send a box of books to them and your book page will state that the book will be shipped to the customer within 24 hours. Amazon also offers assistance via their Marketing Research Center.

    For more information about registering with Amazon, surf to: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/subst/partners/direct/advantage-for-books.html/ref=wl_31/002-6216341-1160461 If you have additional ISBN questions, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] I'll help if I can.

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.


    MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR OWN E-MAG
    by Angela Adair


    Many e-mags (or e-zines) are profitable, but there are thousands in existence and hundreds more appearing every day. How to you create one and make it profitable?

    REVENUE SOURCES FOR E-MAGS

    AD SALES
    This will be your main source of income. Sell premium ad space at the top of your e-mag, and sell classified ad space at the end. For samples of rate cards online, surf to your favorite search engine for rate card, rate sheet, advertising rates and other variations of these words.

    SPONSORSHIPS
    This is similar to a company paying you to produce the e-mag. They may be your sole source of income, but they pay a higher rate than advertisers for the exclusive right to target your readers. Unfortunately, some editors bow to the sponsor's pressure as to the kind of editorial content provided.

    SUBSCRIBERS
    Will readers pay for your content? If you provide valuable and reliable information in a timely, professional format, readers will pay for your wisdom. For example, The Write Markets Report (http://www.writersweekly.com) started out as a print pubication. This established our presence as a serious competitor in the industry. We then experimented with electronic issues, offering them to readers at a reduced price. To our surprise, 90% of all new sales were for the electronic issues. We are now electronic only. We eliminated postage and printing costs, were able to slice the price in half, and sales soared. Is The Write Markets Report profitable? Yes indeed!

    WHERE TO BEGIN?
    1. Find your niche
    2. Check our your competitors. Find out what they do best and do it better.
    3. Build your readership. Offer a free, teaser issue every month (like this one). Offer it for free. You will be able to sell ad space in your teaser issues as well.
    4. Start advertising your for-cost e-mag and start building your publishing business.

    INSPIRATION
    The following are links to subscription forms of for-cost electronic publications.

    Food and Health Writer
    http://www.booklocker.com/newsletters/food.html
    Monthly by email. $12/year.

    The Daily Stock & Option Picks Service
    http://www.booklocker.com/newsletters/wallstreet.html
    Daily by email. $70/year.

    Market Insight for Playwrights
    http://www.booklocker.com/newsletters/playwright.html
    Monthly by email. $35/year.

    The Write Markets Report
    http://www.writersweekly.com/index-orderform.htm
    Monthly by email. $11.97/year

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.


    FINDING MARKETS ON-LINE
    (my little secret)
    by Angela Adair


    Ssssh! I know a secret!! I stumbled upon it quite by accident. I found writer's guidelines and editorial calendars posted at websites that not many others had found. Want to know how?

    Start With the Search Engines (of course)
    This is the obvious first step, but do you really know where to start? Follow me and I'll show you my technique.

     My favorite search engine for finding guidelines is NorthernLight. Yes, they've received some bad press of late, even from us, but they do have a darned good product. Keep your mail window open while you open your web browser and surf to: http://www.northernlight.com

     Okay, now search for this: "writers guidelines" (include the quotes). NorthernLight doesn't register punctuation. That's why I left the apostrophe out. You'll get the same results either way. Keeping up with me? (My computer is running really slow today. How `bout yours?) Ah, here we are. 4,792 items. Hmm, bet most of them don't pay. Now add the word pay after "writers guidelines" - after the quote. Now we're down to 1,023 matches.

     Next search:

    "authors guidelines" - 3,448 matches.

    Want another one? Here's a few!

    "contributors guidelines" - 703 matches

     "guidelines for writers" - 2,267 matches

     "guidelines for authors" - 4,427 matches

     Catching on yet? "guidelines for contributors" - 1,220 matches

     I'm sure you can think of many more variations that I. Now, have you always wanted to know what editors need for future issues? Try searching "2000 editorial calendar." 378 matches!

    Most editors post their editorial calendar for advertisers. But we writers can take advantage of this information as well!

    "Dear Editor, I have an idea for a piece to complement your December, 2000 issue covering....."

     The Internet can be a valuable tool for finding additional markets for your works. You just have to be creative in your surfing. Make a list of variations like the one above, and you'll find thousands of markets that have been hiding from you and your fellow writers.

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.


    HOW TO WIN A WRITING CONTEST
    (or at least increase your chances)
    by Angela Adair


    Want to Win?
    It's easier than you think. Be different. Don't write about what everyone else will write about. Your first topic thought is probably not the best. If a contest has a set topic, the vast majority of entries will start to sound the same to the judges. Go one step further, or take a tep back, and make your entry stand out from the rest.

    Twists and Turns
    Write a short outline for your entry. Then, rewrite it. Change the obvious directions of your manuscript and make them not quite so obvious. A reader who knows where the story is going, and is then surprised to learn they were wrong, is a happy, fulfilled reader. Always keep the reader guessing, and you will hold their attention.

    The End
    Aside from the hook (the opening), the ending is the most important part of your manuscript. I have read so many articles and stories that were great throughout (where I'm thinking, "We have a winner!") only to have the ending fall apart. Those are as bad as a great movie with a really bad ending. A surprise ending is always best.

    Typos and Grammos This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Run your spell checker, and then have someone else read your entry as well. They will pick up typos and grammatical errors (grammos) that you have overlooked. Writers know how hard it is to check our own work. We read it so many times that we don't see the errors after awhile. Have somebody else do the checking.

    What the Judges Do
    Judging writing contests is a very hard task. My process includes distributing the entries to a number of judges. They are each given guidelines with which to judge and pick their top ten. The guidelines include:
    1. Is the hook great? Do you want to keep reading after the first paragraph?
    2. How is the content? Did you get sleepy in the middle or did you want to read really fast to see the ending?
    3. Were there typos and grammos? Too many of these show a judge that the writer did not care enough to check their work.
    4. How was the end? Were you bouncing out of your seat with glee, or were you groaning?
    5. Finally, on a whole, was it a good piece?

    Finale
    If it is an exceptional piece of work, judges will usually dismiss the typos and grammos. The final judgement, whether fiction of non, is based on whether the writer is a good storyteller or not.

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.



    FILLERS



    "REPRINTING" Queries
    by Angela Adair-Hoy


    Last month (while waiting for the cable man), I submitted 20 queries in about an hour by e-mail...all on a whim.

     The query topic was was the same, yet targeted to each publication's audience (i.e. interviewing online office supply firms for an office supply magazine; interviewing online computer firms for a computer magazine). I changed two essential words in the query letter, added each editor's name, and hit send.

     Much to my surprise, I received a $300 assignment in less than an hour. A week later, I received another $300 assignment, and this week (almost a month later) I received a $500 assignment.

     These assignments all resulted from the same query letter. Obviously, my query is a good one.

     I'm planning to "reprint" my query this afternoon and send it to more editors. You should do this, too! Pull out the last query that resulted in an assignment. Refocus, reslant, and "reprint" it for other magazines.

     A good query can go a long way!

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.




    EXCERPTS FROM ANGELA'S BOOKS




    Excerpt from:
    How to Publish a Profitable Emag
    by Angela Adair-Hoy


    COMPETITION

    "Borrowing" from the Competition Get online and find all the e-mags that will be your competition. Subscribe to them and see what they do best. You can do it better. You should also review the print publications you will be competing with to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

     Using Competitors to Find Your Niche
    When I launched The Write Markets Report (http://www.writersweekly.com), I ordered sample copies of every writing magazine I could find. What I discovered was a large gap in providing current, paying markets. As a writer, I knew that was what writers wanted most. I could provide it. I also discovered that far too many writing magazines teach writers how to write, while none focused solely on teaching writers how to sell their services and manuscripts. I had found my niche.

     Have you ever wondered why a certain magazine doesn't provide a certain type of information? You can probably determine gaping holes in your competitors' e-mags as well. Make a list of what you know your readers will want. Figure out which of these items are not offered by your competitors. You now have your niche!

    Pssst! Borrow Advertisers!
    I frequently scout competing sites and e-mags to find out who their paying advertisers are. I then send a personal e-mail to the firm telling them about WritersWeekly.com. (i.e. I saw your ad in xxx and I am writing to introduce you to WritersWeekly.com.) I also have an ongoing database of potential advertisers' e-mail addresses that I have collected from print publications for writers. Most potential advertisers won't even know of your existence until you introduce yourself. Don't be shy. I've never been accused of spamming potential advertisers. They are happy to hear about an inexpensive, profitable home for their advertising dollars.

     See Detailed Chapter Listing and another excerpt at: http://www.writersweekly.com/index-ezines.htm Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.


    EXCERPT FROM:
    How to Write, Publish and $ell E-books
    By Angela Adair-Hoy


    What to Charge for E-books

    I now make more than $5,000 every month selling my e-books through my website and electronic newsletter. I currently have five e- books available. Not bad for a new medium of delivery!

     Why do people really buy e-books? Don’t they want a nice pile of paper on their lap to read? Something to lug to the bathroom? Well, not really. The answer is simple. People buy e-books for instant delivery! When you go shopping for a black skirt or shirt, you want to buy it TODAY. When people go shopping for information, they want it RIGHT NOW.

    What are people willing to pay for e-books? Readers will pay your listed price, as long as:
     
     

  • The price is at least reasonable for your readership
  • They really want or need what you’re selling
  • They trust you will deliver a high-quality product
  • They trust you will deliver what you’ve promised and more
  • They know they will get immediate gratification (immediate delivery)

  •  Here are some e-books currently on sale and their prices:
    Secrets Never Told – How to Avoid Greedy Lawyers - $8.95
    The Inner Structure Of Tai Chi - $8.95Handbook to A Happier Life - $7.95
    George and the Jeannie - $9.95
    How to Be A Syndicated Newspaper Columnist (the e-version of my book, includes the newspaper database) - $10.95

     I can assure you that the majority of books with higher prices have less pages. They are non-fiction and they are usually how-to. But, they are more sought after…more needed by the market they are targeting.

    What should you charge for your e-book?

    Determine your price by considering:
    1. the need for your book
    2. the income of your audience

     If you are the first to write a book on your specific topic, you will be able to charge a higher price. Likewise, if your book's audience encompasses a high-income readership (i.e. lawyers), your book price can reflect the ability of your readers to pay for the information.

    I try to find hot new topics that haven't been covered by the publishing industry yet. But, my books are priced low enough to be affordable for writers (we are all starving artists, aren't we?).

    Changing the Price
    You can also experiment with pricing. For my book, How to Be A Syndicated Newspaper Columnist, I sold more books at $14.95 (the print version) than any other advertised price, all higher and lower. I experimented with different pricing structures for months before settling on $14.95. The e-book is priced at $10.95. 90% of the syndication books I sell now are the e-book edition. Needless to say, that surprised me. I began my research into e-book sales...hence, my NEW e-book (this one!). (Remember, my syndication book includes a database of newspaper markets, so don't use this price in determining yours. You'll have to experiment with your title, too.)

    Last year, when I raised the price of my syndication book to $19.95, sales stopped…completely. Change the price periodically over the first few weeks of sales and distribution. It’s better to start high and work your way down. Don’t do it backward the way I did. Your readers will get angry if they wanted to buy the book last week, but it costs twice as much this week.

    Perceived Value
    Sometimes, a higher price gives the impression of a higher-quality book. Readers assume the book is worth that much, or that the book is the only source of information for that topic. Again, experimentation is the key.

    How to Write, Publish and $ell E-books will show you everything you need to know about e-book publishing, including writing, formatting, online sales, merchant accounts (accepting credit cards), e-mail delivery, how to sell your book with a free e-mail newsletter, writing ads that sell, and more. It can be ordered online at: http://www.writersmarkets.com/index-orderform.htm

    Angela Adair-Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com and WritersWeekly.com. Booklocker (http://www.booklocker.com) lists ebooks for authors for free, pays 70% royalties, and only requests non-exclusive rights. Authors are free to list and sell their ebooks elsewhere. WritersWeekly.com (http://www.writersweekly.com) is the FREE marketing emag for writers featuring new freelance jobs and paying markets delivered to your emailbox every Wednesday.

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