Friday, August 29, 2008

The Savvy Self-Publisher, September-October 2008

Tip of the Month

If you have a book in production during October, November or
December, use a 2009 Copyright date rather than 2008. This way,
in January your book won't appear as if it's "last year's" book
when it's actually still fresh and new.

Lead Story:
Booker Prize by Phone: a Lesson for the Future

Britain's oldest and most prestigious literary award will be
posting extracts of leading books to cell phones starting
September 9. Both text and audio will be available. FMI:

Why is this important to writers? Because it's the wave of
the future! We all love traditional tree-Books made of paper
and ink... but e-Books made of bits and bytes are here to
stay. Moreover, we predict a growing trend toward reading
on multipurpose, handheld devices. Why?

-- Who wants to sit in front of a desktop computer for hours,
reading a book?

-- Laptops are portable, but most are fragile and weigh more
than a book.

-- The mighty iPod can now display text, but the screen is

-- Will millions of people pay $200 to $300 (plus the cost
of books) for single purpose devices, and books in formats
that don't work elsewhere?

Enter the iPhone and its ilk: it's a phone, a PDA, an
e-mail device, a Web browser, a TV... and now an e-Book

Fictionwise has released eReader 1.1, the first of several
upgrades of the eReader software for the trendy iPhone:

Last year, half of Japan's top ten sellers were "cell
phone novels" meant to be read as text messages:

If the staid, traditional old Booker Prize recognizes
the trend, so should we. For years, Poynter and Snow
have held that e-Books are virtually guaranteed to play
a growing role in the book world, and that portable,
multi-purpose devices will prevail as the leading
vehicle for delivering them.

Freebies and Discounts

Thanks to the popularity of our book and Web site, we are
now pleased to offer a growing number of free and discounted
services, exclusively for readers:

Please check back periodically for new specials, coming soon!

Additional Stories for September-October 2008

The Problem - And the Solution

In the article below, Richard Laermer explains why he believes that traditional
book publishing is dead. But as Poynter and Snow explain in our book, using new technologies to slash costs, and using grassroots marketing methods to reach readers more directly, still works!

Recommended reading:

Ad: Prove Your Market Before Printing in Bulk

Special services for visitors help you prove the
market for your book BEFORE you invest in bulk printing:

Don't get stuck with a garage full of unsold books! Test your
book's public appeal at little or no cost before placing big
print orders.


The Publishers Marketing Association has changed its name to
the Independent Book Publishers Association... new name, same
great benefits for members. Join IBPA, SPAN and SPAWN whether
you are new to publishing or a veteran:

Reminder: The Writer's "Secret Weapon" Arrives

Is "there" or "their" or "they're" the right word?

New software takes over where Word's spell checker stops:

Money back guarantee. Reviews from early adopters wanted at where you can share ideas with
fellow authors and publishers.

News to Use

Good advice on getting published from Judith Kelman:

Please feel free to forward copies of this bulletin to your
fellow authors and publishers. This is a fre@ resource that is
available to anyone in the book world upon request. We don't
accept paid advertising, endorse or guarantee products or
services, nor accept fees for mentioning them without full
disclosure. Please visit to subscribe.

e-Rights v. tree-Rights

A new article by intellectual property lawyer Ivan Hoffman
discusses the difference between print rights and electronic
rights, a subject of growing importance to writers in the 21st

DIY Book Festival Contest

Deadline: Oct. 25, 2008. Grand Prize $1500. Entry fee $50.
Many catagories. Details:

Quotation of the Month

"Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which
there is a market demand - a business as safe and commendable as
making soap or breakfast foods - or it should be an art, which
is always a search for something for which there is no market
demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic
and have nothing to do with standardized values."

-- Willa Cather, 1876–1947

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Monday, August 4, 2008

The Savvy Self-Publisher, August-September 2008

Lead Story: Book Title Tips and Tricks

As explained in "Writing Nonfiction" by Dan Poynter, choosing
an effective title for your book is a BIG key to success.

Think of it in terms of a company name listed in a phone book:
suppose you run a veterinary clinic in San Francisco... would
you name it "San Francisco Pet Hospital" or "Pet Hospital of
San Francisco" instead? The latter choice is better, because
your prospective customers are MUCH more likely to look in the
phone book under "Pets" than "San Francisco."

The same is true for books. When people search online for a
book, they may not know a specific title or author... but they
do know the subject of the book they want to buy. For this
reason the subject MUST be part of your book's title for best

Dan Poynter's book "Writing Nonfiction" practices what it
preaches: it's almost always shelved correctly in bookstores,
and is the #1 listing for Google Book Search when readers
search "writing nonfiction" or "nonfiction writing." Use
Poynter's success as your guide, and pick a title for your
book that readers will find, even if they don't know your
name or book title!

The Writer's "Secret Weapon" Arrives

Is "there" or "their" or "they're" the right word you need now?

New software takes over where Word's spell checker stops:

Money back guarantee. Reviews from authors wanted.

How We Become Writers

If you are hesitant about becoming a published author because
you fear that you are not qualified, you should read about how
other writers got started. Writers become writers in some
strange ways. One noted animal writer, for example, was helped
by the divorce of a famous actress. Another writer got his
start when he applied for a job he was totally unqualified to
get. "How We Became Writers" tells how writers, some well-known
and others not well-known yet, got published for the first time:

Our newsletter links:

Read excerpts online:

Get full issue by e-mail:

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Guest Column

Bookstore Distribution: Self-Publisher's Dream Come True?
Or "The Emporer's New Clothes?"

by Ron Pramschufer of

Mainstream booksellers return unsold books to you for a refund
on a regular basis. There are better outlets!

Self-Published Authors in Action -- Success Story

Hal Runkel, author of SCREAMFREE PARENTING self-published his
book. He invested $25,000 in media outreach with Planned
Television Arts. PTA got him 60 radio interviews, lots of local
tour media and a regular gig on TV's The Daily Buzz, which led
him to a deal with Random House and a $500,000 advance. FMI:

Quotation of the Month

"No passion in the world is equal to the urge to alter someone
else's writing."

-- H. G. Wells
(re-worded by D.O. Snow)

When will the e-Book World Learn from Music?

Amazon is rumored to have a new version of the Kindle e-Book
reader ready to ship as early as October. Meanwhile, the buzz
over growth of e-Books continues:

Our predictions:

Single purpose devices won't prevail. Already there are real,
full featured computers like the ASUS that are the same size
and same price... but do much, much more.

Another battle will be fought between proprietary formats like
Amazon's Mobipocket versus cross-platform formats like PDF.

From music, we already know that copy protection won't work.
Amazon and Sony are trying to keep a captive market, while
music sites are now selling freely copyable MP3 downloads at
low prices.

From the success of iTunes we know that consumers will pay for
legal downloads if they're reasonably priced. And they want
files that work on different devices, without technical hassles.

When will e-Book leaders learn the lessons of history?