Tag Archives: authors

Book Publishing: Eat, Prey & Kind of Love …

Eat, Prey & Kind of Love …

First of all, I have to tell you . . . I did not like Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love. Oh, there’s no question that the author is talented. It’s well written—about a married women who doesn’t want to be married. She’s got to do a re-direct on her life to find herself, so she’s taking a year off and schmoozing, speaking Italian and eating in Italy, praying in India, and loving in Indonesia.

Did I mention she does love her husband, David—the one she doesn’t want to be married to? What scares the hooey out of her is having a baby—something that, in the early days of their relationship, they agreed they would do when the big 30 hit. Fast forward to now; it’s approaching and our author is a blabbering mess.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the book and the author: she did not communicate to hubby that babies weren’t her forte and that it wasn’t going to work for her. Then the two could have come to closure instead of her dumping him for a new language, some pasta, and eventually meeting a guy who wasn’t interested in increasing the population.

What’s this got to do with authoring and publishing besides the book itself? Everything. Let’s start with clear, effective communicating, which is what many of the iUniverses, AuthorHouses and those who package publishing projects don’t do. My favorite thing about AuthorHouse is the coining of the word “authorcentric”—it’s a very cool word and one that I embrace. I wish AuthorHouse did. Then there’s iUniverse, which claims to be the champion of “supported self-publishing.” What’s supported self-publishing? Per iUniverse (via its website):

Self-publishing your book with the support of iUniverse is a professional, affordable, and fast way to get your book into print. Compared to publishing on your own, it costs you control of some aspects of the publishing process, but only in exchange for less hassle and expense. iUniverse professionals with book-publishing expertise will educate and guide you through the entire process for an affordable price. Supported self-publishing also enables you to test your marketing abilities and learn about the publicity process without emptying your bank account or making it your full-time career. And, because you control the rights to your book, you can get started with supported self-publishing but move to a traditional publisher—or choose to self-publish on your own—after you have experience and a track record.

Let’s look at the folks at AuthorHouse via its website:

AuthorHouse has grown into the largest self-publishing company in the world – responsible for helping more than 40,000 authors publish more than 60,000 books. AuthorHouse allows you to maintain creative and financial control of your book while receiving all the personalized attention and support you need – from publishing to promotion and everything between. AND AuthorHouse has  print-on-demand service that combines high-quality production with speed to market. Plus, formatting options and distribution capabilities can help set your book up for selling success.

Each boasts about its marketing services (very expensive), low cost entry into publishing for the author, generous payments (really?), distribution capability, etc., etc. AuthorHouse and iUniverse are just two of the many, many who proclaim themselves as “self-publishers” but who are, in reality, Vanity Presses. Period—nothing more, nothing less. They are huge and have a literal boiler-room approach, just like a hounding credit collection agency would—dial and re-dial … “If you don’t respond by today at two, our special offer will no longer be available … blah, blah, blah.” They eat, prey (on writers), and probably just love themselves. Communicate clearly? … nope. It’s grey everywhere.

They all use a POD model—which I’m the first to admit has a spot where it’s the right method for a quick print or end of life. But for the serious author/publisher, the one who intends on making money with a pBook format, this is a pass.

Self-publishers who are truly serious about their books and being successful need to step, no run, away from the term self-publishing. It no longer fits. The correct term is small press or independent publisher. Use it. Embrace it. Wear it with pride.

 

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd (www.TheBookShepherd.com) and the Founder of Author U (niversity (www.AuthorU.org), a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. She’s the author of 28 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.

 

 

Calling All Authors …

Calling All Authors …

Does the Early Bird get the worm? … only if she is hungry!

  • Are you hungry for solid, non-hyped authoring and publishing information?
  • Do you prefer to learn in a workshop environment that includes interactive exercises and participants’ real situations to demonstrate problems/solutions?
  • Would you like to be able to have a one-on-one discussion with a seasoned publishing and publishing provider expert about your book?

Answering “yes” to any of the above shouts out that the Author U Extravaganza is where you should be on May 6th-7th. Two amazing days with nine amazing presenters.

There are 3 ways to attend:

1          In person
2          Live video streaming
3          Live audio streaming

Details and registration at www.AuthorU.org.  Register today and save $50.

If you are serious about your book … if you are committed to be successful in publishing … there is only one place to be on May 6th and 7th.

Author U … for Serious Authors who want to be seriously successful. 

Will Borders Pay Authors for Books?

The recent announcement that Borders will delaying paying some of its vendors means that Borders won’t be paying some of the very people who create the products—BOOKS—that Borders sells.

 http://detnews.com/article/20110101/BIZ/101010322/Borders-delays-vendor-payments

When the news first hit that Borders financial trouble had continued to deepen and that some vendors shouldn’t be expecting checks in the near future, Borders stock plunged 22% on the last day of trading for 2010 in the stock market.

 http://www.marketwatch.com/story/borders-stock-plunges-as-crisis-deepens-2010-12-31

 What’s this mean for authors and publishers? First, be bloody careful who you sell your books to on consignment. The great majority of bookstores sell books on consignment—you sell and send to them at a discounted rate; they, in turn, pay you if sold, eventually. If they don’t sell, they send your books back. Hopefully, in a re-sellable condition (the savvy author/publisher puts that in writing up front). The financial problems of Borders is not new news … it has been in the book news circuit for years … most of us thought they wouldn’t make it through 2010. But, in the consignment business, deaths can be prolonged. For small press publishers, who are using distributors and wholesalers to rep their books to the bookstore world, make sure you have a discussion about the viability of their key accounts—Borders is certainly one. Start doing some homework. Google bookstores and bookstore chains that carry your books—information is on the Internet, a click away. If you are selling direct to a book store, Google away. Shorten your payment schedules—none of this six-month nonsense for returns. Remember, if you, as an author/publisher, desire to have your books in the bookstores, it’s your job to drive buyers there to buy them. Check on inventories. Make sure you are getting paid. Will Borders pay authors/publishers for books? Time will tell.