Friday, November 27, 2009

The Savvy Self-Publisher, Oct-Nov 2009

Tip of the Month: holiday scam warning!

During early December, be selective about deciding who receives free review copies of your book, because there may be self-proclaimed "book reviewers" who are actually just trolling for free holiday gifts. It might be an urban legend, but one story says that a publisher received a request for "review" copies of several titles... concluding "And could you gift-wrap them please?"

Quickie: Tweeting for Fun and Profit?

Writers who use to promote their books saw it coming: yep, a company called "" is now paying twitterers (twits?) with big followings to post ads in their tweets. Meanwhile, anecdotal reports suggest a huge attrition rate among Twitter users, prompting us to ask "Are Twitters Quitters?" -- or is this trend just another symptom of today's ADD epidemic?

Lead Story: e-Books going wild?

Recent developments in e-publishing suggest that the growth of e-Books seen in 2008 - 2009 continues to gain momentum. Consider these reports:

Amazon has started selling the Kindle in Europe. There are reportedly now more than 3 million Kindles in use, and growing.

The iPhone and iPod Touch jointly boast more than 50 MILLION users. In October 2009, the Apple "Apps Store" reported more downloads of book-related items than game-related items for the first time. Rival smartphones like the G3-Android and the Palm Pre will add millions more users, hungry for content to download, in 2010. has announced new deals that will let its users sell their books at (a Barnes & Noble property) and Amazon, although they lack copy protection as of today. now allows users to upload EPUB files (as well as Word files, PDF files and other formats) then sell COPY-PROTECTED e-Books in Adobe Digital Editions format from their site. For now, Adobe Digital Editions with copy protection won’t run on the iPhone, but…

A senior executive at Adobe reports that copy-protected Adobe Digital Editions may soon run on the iPhone: "We have a number of partners who are looking to simply port… to the iPhone:

…Since we don't control development schedules of our … licensees, I don't have any exact dates for you. But, I expect that in 2010 there will be many iPhone apps which support PDF, EPUB and Adobe DRM."

Scrollmotion announced that it has partnered with Aptara Corporation to provide "one-stop shopping" for publishers who want to sell copy-protected e-Books for the iPhone. Stay tuned for updates as to whether this new service is suitable for authors as well as publishers. co-author Danny O. Snow has published two FREE e-Booklets (about 2000 words each) about current trends in e-publishing for the Society for New Communications Research in recent months:

Publishing at a Tipping Point


Mythconceptions: A Reality Check on e-Books from the Publisher's POV

If you are planning to enter the escalating e-Book market, these brief reports can help you navigate the complicated technical and business landscape of e-publishing as it stands in 2009, and where to focus your time and resources for 2010 and beyond.

POD for Dummies finally published

The long-awaited Dummies book about on-demand printing from and Wiley & Sons is finally out:

It's geared more for publishers than writers, but includes a treasure trove of info that savvy writers should know about how the "Big Boys" use POD to slash costs and boost revenues. co-author Danny O. Snow (a contributor to several sections of the new Dummies book) is offering free copies to the first three of this newsletter's subscribers who post meaningful commentary here by December 31.

Please help spread the word!

Please recommend this newsletter to your fellow authors and publishers. This is a free 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. See to subscribe.

Reminder: call for entries, 2010 Eric Hoffer Award:

$1500 grand prize, $45 entry fee. "Each year, independent publishers release extraordinary books to little or no recognition. The Eric Hoffer Book Award recognizes excellence in publishing." Categories: Art, Poetry, General Fiction, Commercial Fiction, Children, Young Adult, Culture, Memoir, Business, Reference, Home, Health, Self-Help/Spiritual, Legacy (fiction or nonfiction).

Entry deadline January 21st, 2010. Details:

The Write Stuff:

"They're" is strictly a contraction of "they are." The word "their" connotes plural ownership, as in "Poynter and Snow will soon update their book." But "there" indicates location, such as "put the book there." All three words sound alike, but are spelled differently, and mean different things. Check your manuscript carefully for usage of all three words before putting it in print!

By popular demand, this newsletter features a basic tip like this on word usage in each issue. Please don't be offended if they seem elementary to you; we have seen far too many books in print (some of them otherwise promising) with glaring errors in spelling or grammar.

Writers -- even professional ones -- are often so close to their own work that they overlook problems that might seem obvious to an outsider. It's always a good idea to get a qualified proofreader or editor to review any manuscript before it's published!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Savvy Self-Publisher, July-August 2009

Happy Independence Day - the right to publish our own books
is among the greatest freedoms we enjoy. Benjamin Franklin was
a self-publisher; so was Thomas Paine... why not you?

Tip of the Month:
Ever wonder why many books have TWO title pages?

It's a tradition retained from the days when books were reserved
for the wealthy (the poor couldn't read anyway) who had private
libraries. Books were custom-bound for each owner's library,
usually in leather, with a family crest.

The first title page, called the 'half-title' (or 'bastard
title') page, was to protect the rest of the pages for the book
binder. It was removed when the binding was completed. The
second title page, or 'full-title' page, remained bound inside
the finished book.

Today, the half-title page isn't really needed, but is often
retained... an interesting artifact of days gone by.

Lead Story:
New iPhone and Competitors Gain Momentum... BUT...

The new iPhone 3GS was released in June with a TON of buzz.
Competing smartphones like the Palm Pre and the Google Android
are also growing rapidly in popularity.

Smartphones are VERY important to authors and publishers, since
they may very well become the primary way that readers read books
in the not-too-distant future.

A few years ago, they could be overlooked, simply because relatively
few Americans used handheld devices for reading. But there were 17
million iPhones in use before the release of the 3GS... projections
for 2010 range as high as 35 million.

In Japan, where smartphones are nearly universal, five of the
top ten bestsellers of 2007 were cell phone novels:

This is good news for foresighted authors and publishers in the
US, most of whom are already moving rapidly to add electronic
versions of their books.

But the news isn't all good. AT&T still has a stranglehold on
the iPhone; Sprint has the Pre... this means that users are not
just buying a phone, but an ongoing service on which the phone's
functions depend. This is bad news for consumers, and those who
want to reach them:

In conclusion, if you write or publish books, NOW is the time
to get moving toward electronic distribution. Smartphones will
almost certainly be a big part of the future market for books.
Don't get left behind by offering your book only in printed

There are still many questions about which devices for reading
e-Books will ultimate prevail in the marketplace, the file
formats they use, who will sell them to the public, and more.
Please stay tuned to this newsletter for updates! Freebie:
Smashwords Re-Releases Snow's e-Book

Smashwords has re-released Danny O. Snow's 2002 collection of
articles on electronic publishing, titled 'Steal this e-Book!"

It is available as a FR@E download, in a wide variety of formats
for the Kindle, iPhone, Sony e-Reader and others:

For those unfamiliar with Smashwords, it is a new e-publishing
and bookselling site that provides fre@ online file conversion
from Word or RTF to every major e-Book format. It also provides
e-commerce, and online community networking services... also
at no charge to the author. Royalties are a whopping 85% of
net profits.

It does NOT however provide DRM (to deter piracy) of any kind.
Nor is it suitable for books with complicated layouts, complex
graphs, charts, etc.

But if you have written a book that is primarily simple text,
and want a way to make it widely available as a DRM-fr*e e-Book
without spending a dime, Smashwords is definitely worth a try.

The Write Stuff:

A "quote" is an cost estimate from a vendor or service provider.

A "quotation" is a reproduction of a person's statement.

The phrase "Here is a quote from Shakespeare..." is incorrect.
It should read "Here is a quotation..." instead.

By popular demand, this newsletter will feature a similar tip
in each issue henceforth.

DOJ Opens Formal Investigation of Google Settlement

You've heard the rumors before, but now it's official. The
U.S. Department of Justice has launched an anti-trust inquiry
of the much-publicized settlement in October 2008 that would
allow the release of MILLIONS of books online by Google:

Danny O. Snow's personal POV: Of course, no one wants a monopoly
in the book world, online or offline. Whether Amazon and the
Kindle (or Sony and the e-Reader) can effectively compete is
hard to predict. At the same time, I see no company but Google
with both the resources and willingness to take this historic
step forward in the history of the written word. The current
squabbling makes me imagine that a cure for cancer has finally
been found... but is delayed while pharmaceutical companies
and the FDA jockey for position. I'm sure that some parties
have valid reasons to question the settlement -- and they
deserve answers. But how long do we stall the dawn of a new
age for books? If not Google, who? If not now, when?

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Savvy Self-Publisher, June-July 2009

Tip of the Month:

The title of your book (or at least the subtitle) must include
key phrases used by readers when they use search engines to find
books. For example: "Writing Nonfiction" by Dan Poynter gets
top rankings from all major search engines. The "shelving code"
(such as "Language Arts and Disciplines / Authorship") should
also be part of the title or subtitle if possible:

Book publicity in the 21st century is increasingly driven by
Web exposure. These tips will help your book get more attention
from search engines. Read our guide for more good ideas about
online marketing.

Lead Story: BEA Bombshell: Google to Challenge Amazon:

[June 1 -- New York] At BookExpo America in New York over the
weekend, Google announced a program that would allow publishers
to sell digital versions of their books directly to consumers.
According to the NY Times, "The move would pit Google against, which is seeking to control the e-book market with
the versions it sells for its Kindle reading device." FMI:

As brick-and-mortar bookstores struggle, Poynter and Snow pre-
dict that Amazon and Google will capture more and more of the
$25 billion annual market for books. Meanwhile, e-Books will
represent a growing share of the total.

Two trends are intersecting: online bookselling is overtaking
brick-and-mortar bookstores, while e-Books (though still in
their infancy) are gaining ground on tree-Books.

A titanic battle is shaping up between Amazon -- which uses
proprietary hardware and software -- versus Google, which
favors "open platform" reading devices and file formats.

Whatever the outcome, we remind authors and publishers that
2009 and 2010 will be watershed years, as the book industry
follows music (and newspapers) into the digital world of the
21st century. Now is the time to anticipate dramatic changes,
and position yourself to sell books online, whether in print,
digital formats, or both!

275,232 Books Published in 2008:

A staggering 275k new books were published last year, down 3.2%
from 2007, according to a report this week from R.R. Bowker,
publisher of Books in Print. However, the number of POD books
grew 132% in 2008, further accelerating the boom that began in
2006: is a POD book, and it shows others how to use POD
to slash the cost of self-publishing. POD is increasingly used
by mainstream publishers too. POD makes book publishing more
efficient, greener, more democratic and more equitable to both
readers and writers.

Poynter and Snow predicted the POD boom as early as 1999. Now
it is rapidly becoming the dominant technology of the book world.
More changes are on the horizon; please read our books and reports
to keep ahead of the times!

Snow Joins IBPA Board:

Danny O. Snow has been elected to the board of directors of the
Independent Book Publishers Association (, the
largest association of independent publishers in North America.
IBPA represents more than 3,500 publishing firms coast to coast:

Snow adds: "Your suggestions for priorities will be welcome.
Please e-mail with ideas, and kindly
include a daytime phone number for follow-up questions."

The Write Stuff:

The word "media" is plural, though frequently mis-used in the
singular form -- even by members of the media! When a reporter
says "The media covers breaking news..." s/he should be scolded;
the correct usage is "The media COVER breaking news..."

By popular demand, this newsletter will feature a similar tip
in each issue henceforth.

Help from Bestselling Author:

Afraid that reading is dead? That printed newspapers and
books are doomed?

Dave Eggers, bestselling author of "A Heartbreaking Work of
Staggering Genius," will personally give you encouragement:

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Savvy Self-Publisher, May-June 2009

Tip of the Month:

If your book has been indexed by Google Book Search, you can
add a free "Look Inside" preview on your own Web site or
'Blog by adding just a few lines of code. Here is an example:

Detailed instructions will appear on our Blog soon, or see:

Lead Story: ATM for Books?

More than 80,000 different books will soon become available for
in-store printing while you wait, as part of a new pilot program
from POD giant LightningSource and On Demand Books:

Bookstores are dying in 2009 as online booksellers grow, as
reported in earlier issues of this newsletter. But is there
an alternative? Imagine that cool little bookstore 'round the
corner offering your choice from tens of thousands of selections
in the time it takes for you to enjoy a cappucino and browse
the shelves...

It could become a reality soon. More importantly, this concept
could expand to MILLIONS of books available for in-store printing
in the years ahead (read: Google Book Search) and yes, YOUR book
could be one of them!

Please stay tuned to for future updates. Perhaps
reports about the demise of brick-and-mortar bookstores (to
paraphrase Mark Twain) are premature?

The $359 Doorstop:

If your Amazon account is closed for any reason, your Kindle
stops working:

First Self-Publishing Book Expo Planned:

November 7 in NYC:

Please feel free to forward copies of this newsletter 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. See to join.

Great 'Blog about the Future of e-Books:

"If you wonder why bookstores keep going out of business and why
publishers are losing money, here is a clue..." Worth a look:

Snow to Speak in NYC in May -- Twice

Danny O. Snow will join the 'faculty' IBPA's 25th annual
"Publishing University," May 28 at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC:

The sponsor, the Independent Book Publishers Association
(formerly PMA) is an invaluable resource for anyone getting
started in publishing:

Snow will also join a panel on trends in POD book publishing
on May 29 at Book Expo America, sponsored by

Publishing U and BEA are landmark events, of interest to all
authors and publishers. More details will appear in the June
issue of this bulletin.

Update on Google / Book Rights Registry:

The New York Law School is launching a Web site dedicated to the
Google Book Search settlement that will include discussion
forums, a comprehensive archive of settlement documents and
related commentary:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Savvy Self-Publisher, March-April 2009

Tip of the Month:
Twitter in Plain English

Just when you thought that your MySpace or Facebook page might prove useful as a tool to promote your book(s), another flavor of the month has become the rage in social media: welcome to the world of Twitter.

"What are you doing right now?" might sound like a mantra for
those with too much free time on their hands, short attention
spans and little desire for privacy... but Twitter can help
writers cultivate a following from a grassroots audience by
sending "tweets" (limited to 140 characters each) about their
lives that could catch the attention of potential readers.

Or you can create a free Twitter page from the POV of the
protagonist of your story, and let her/him keep readers updated.

If you're a writer who is committed to riding the ever-changing
wave of new media to publicize your work, you need to explore

For a brief overview about Twitter in plain English, watch this
short video from Lee Lefever:

Lead Story:
Talking Kindle Fuels Debate

Amazon's new Kindle2 'read-to-me' feature turns text to voice.
It is under review by The Author's Guild due to potential
copyright issues.

Publishers typically negotiate separate rights for audio books
with authors, and pay them accordingly. "These are not audio
books," said Amazon spokesperson Andrew Herdener.

The Authors Guild also questioned whether the technology could
constitute creation of a new literature format that fell
under copyright rules now protecting e-book and audio books.

As a result, Amazon has pledged to modify the Kindle 2 so that
authors, publishers or any holders to a book's rights can
choose whether to turn on the feature, which takes written
text and converts it to human speech.

JT Duxbury, author of "Earth's Knell," licensed rights to
convert the 2004 edition of "" from text to
speech with permission from the publisher. We found it a
nice option for readers with impaired vision, and readers
on the go who may not have time to "read" a paperback:

Remember this tip from Poynter & Snow: WRITING the book
is the hard part; once written, it makes sense to deliver
your work to the public in as many formats as possible.
With today's technology, it's fast and economical to
turn a paperback into a hardback, large print edition,
e-Book or talking book. Why not attract readers with
special needs?

Last Call: Snow to Speak in NYC

"Print Publishing in 2009's Digital Landscape" is the topic of
an upcoming panel by Danny O. Snow at the 2009 Publishing
Business Conference, March 23-25 at the New York Marriott in
Times Square.

Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg of NPR, plus a host of book
industry leaders will deliver a diversity of workshops and
panels on the hottest trends in today's fast-changing
publishing world.

Subscribers to this newsletter can get a free pass to Snow's
panel. Visit then select
"Expo Pass Plus 1 Session – $195." Use the discount code
Snow09 to get a freebie courtesy of

It's "Read an e-Book Week," March 8-14:

In previous years, Poynter and Snow's books have been featured
by this foresighted outfit. Check out their site for the latest
news about the role of e-Books in the future of the written word.

There was a 119.9% increase in December 2008 e-book sales over
the same period one year ago:

New Site for Writers to Share Ideas:

Speak Without Interruption was created as a place where writers
can initiate and complete ideas. It has grown to include both
published and unpublished authors as contributors in a wide
variety of topics. Any writer may participate:

News to Use:

F R @ E book download available for authors titled "The Career
Novelist, by notable literary agent Donald Maass:

Tip courtesy of Jim Duxbury

Quotation of the Month:

"Beautiful credit! The foundation of modern society... [From]
the mouth of a distinguished speculator in lands and mines this
remark: 'I wasn't worth a cent two years ago, and now I owe two
millions of dollars.'"

-- Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910), and
Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) in "The Gilded Age."

This 'Blog presents only EXCERPTS from our newsletter.
Click the link below to get the FULL edition by e-mail:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Savvy Self-Publisher, February-March 2009

Tip of the Month:

Have you published a new edition of your book, or written a
completely new book?

Go to Worldcat and look up libraries that hold
the first one in their collections. Then notify the collection
manager (or acquisitions librarian) of each library that the
new one is now available.

Contact each librarian individually by name. (Do not spam
librarians!) Be sure to mention that the library already has
one of your books, and where they can order the new one.

Lead Story: Books are NOT Dead, but...

Educators and politicians often lament that young people don't
read enough, preferring TV and online entertainment.

But a new report from the National Endowment for the Arts says
that "literary" reading is growing, not shrinking, with 112
million readers:

Likewise, many in the publishing world fear that the printed
book is fading away, as more people read in digital form.
But books are not dying either:

But bookstores ARE dying as more and more readers buy books
online. This trend is virtually certain to accelerate in a
time of economic crisis and high fuel prices. Why drive to
a bookstore when you can browse online from the comfort of
your home or office, saving time, money and natural resources?

Likewise, the traditional publishing industry practice of
printing and warehousing thousands of copies of each new
book is fading away, as "Print-on-Demand" grows more and
more popular.

The traditional publisher's habit of overprinting, then
giving up big discounts to wholesalers and retailers who
return unsold books for pulping is wasteful, inefficient and
environmentally unfriendly. It will be replaced by more and
more authors self-publishing POD books -- then selling them
directly to readers.

Watch for dramatic changes in the book world this year. Some
will result from short-term factors triggered by the global
economic crisis. Others are coming after decades of unsound
business practices by mainstream publishers and booksellers.

But at the end of the day, the book itself is very much alive.
And everyday people are still reading them. Only the methods
used to print and deliver books are destined to change.

Podcasting: Revolution or Fad?

A podcast is like an audio book, except shorter -- usually just
a chapter. And usually they're free, intended to attract book
buyers. says that 45,000 podcasts are downloaded

Podcasting also benefits from the current trend toward delivery
of more and more "reading" material to portable devices, such
as the mighty iPod... and now the iPhone or Google Android.

For success stories of self-publishers who used podcasting to
land publishing deals, see the following article:,8599,1872381,00.html

Snow Signs with Wiley & Sons

The Book Industry Study Group is pleased to announce that Danny
O. Snow has been signed as a contributor to its upcoming
publication Print on Demand For Dummies (R), due out in May 2009. The book is being published in partnership with John Wiley
& Sons, publishers of the popular 'For Dummies' (R) series, and
will be available exclusively from the BISG Web site.

Reminder: Snow to Speak in NYC

"Print Publishing in 2009's Digital Landscape" is the topic of
an upcoming panel by Danny O. Snow at the 2009 Publishing
Business Conference, March 23-25 at the New York Marriott in
Times Square.

Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg of NPR, plus a host of book
industry leaders will deliver a diversity of workshops and
panels on the hottest trends in today's fast-changing
publishing world.

Subscribers to this newsletter can get a free pass to Snow's
panel Visit then select
"EXHIBIT HALL + 1 SESSION." Use the discount code Snow09
to get a freebie courtesy of

Please feel free to forward copies of this newsletter 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. See to join.

Quotation of the Month:

"Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to
better." -- Richard Hooker (1554–1600)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Savvy Self-Publisher, January-February 2009

Tip of the Month:
is a new social networking site for book lovers. It
could prove especially helpful to authors and publishers for two
reasons: a) most books sold by and are now
listed in its catalog; and b) it is now integrated with Facebook,
allowing FB users to recommend books to their friends.

For those unfamiliar with today's social networking phenomenon,
imagine that you have published a book and joined Facebook.
With WeRead, you can "chuck" (recommend) it to your circle of
FB friends, and ask them to do likewise. Each of your friends
has a separate circle of other friends who might be interested
in your book. Each of those in your friend's circle has more...
and so on and so on.

Facebook has more than 80 million users, so a "viral marketing"
campaign for your book could potentially reach a huge audience.

If you have a book on Amazon or Lulu (or both) you can join
Facebook and install the WeRead application at no cost. Build
a circle of friends, then chuck your book(s) to them -- and ask
them to do the same. Who knows? Your book might interest many
friends-of-friends who would otherwise miss it.

For more tips on using Facebook as a book promotion tool, see
the item from SPAN following later in this newsletter...

Lead Story: Are Bookstores Doomed?

On January 5, Borders appointed Ron Marshall as its new CEO,
as well as replacing other key executives.

The company's stock, which first tanked in March 2007, had
recently fallen to as little as 38 cents per share, down from
a 52 week high of $11.20. It soared to a whopping 59 cents
on the day following the announcement. (NYSE: BGP)

If Marshall can rescue Borders, he'll earn our applause.
But this would not, however, change the sorry state of the
conventional bookselling industry in general. To counter-
paraphrase McCain, "the fundamentals are NOT strong."

Return policies (stocking books on spec) are wasteful and
unfair to authors and publishers. Shipping the same book
five times between printer and reader is insane. Focusing
on a handful of trendy bestsellers at the expense of less
commercial books with legitimate literary merit is a shame
for everyone.

As Poynter and Snow have said for years: booksellers need
to remember the lessons learned in the music business
(Napster, iTunes, etc.) to survive. Book sales will
increasingly happen online, period. Books will move more
and more directly from author to reader, period. e-Books
will play an increasingly important role, period.

The upcoming re-release of millions of out-of-print and
backlist books by Google Book Search will intensify the
pressure on "brick and mortar" booksellers to catch up in
a changing world.

A few years ago, chain stores could argue "but we have
millions of loyal customers." (Just like Tower Records,
circa 1999.) Today, that claim rings increasingly hollow:

But bookstores might survive with in-store printing, or
possibly following the old Sears "catalog store" model
that lets customers browse in the store, then place
orders for shipment to their homes. However, using stores
as mini-warehouses (supplied from maxi-warehouses) will
soon be consigned to the dustbin of history.

We hope that Ron Marshall is successful in bringing
Borders back from the brink of ruin. Either way, we
also hope that the struggles of Borders will help drag
all mainstream booksellers (kicking and screaming if
neccesary) into the 21st Century.

Reminder: News to Use:

The Small Publishers Ass'n of North America (SPAN) has published
a good primer on how you can use Facebook to promote your book:

(Ad) You can also join SPAN with a *huge* "new member discount"
courtesy of To get the discount, you must apply
using the following link:

Snow to Speak in NYC

"Print Publishing in 2009's Digital Landscape" is the topic of
an upcoming panel by Danny O. Snow at the 2009 Publishing
Business Conference, March 23-25 at the New York Marriott in
Times Square.

Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg of NPR, plus a host of book
industry leaders will deliver a diversity of workshops and
panels on the hottest trends in today's fast-changing
publishing world.

Subscribers to this newsletter can get a free pass to Snow's
panel by sending an e-mail message to
by February 1. Please put "March Event" in the subject line.

for more information.

CreateSpace Now Offers Previews

Got a book in progress? Want feedback from readers before you
go to press?
now allows you to upload a public
or private preview, and invite up to 100 people to preview it,
rate it, and send feedback to five questions of your choice.

Professionals use "focus groups" to fine-tune other products
before public release. Why not fine-tune your book? Many
publishers circulate bound galleys to reviewers months before
publication, but this can be a slow and expensive process.

This is an effective way to "workshop" a manuscript without
paying to print and distribute advance copies. Or use it to
get "blurbs" (endorsements) from readers that make good
advertising copy -- especially if they are VIPs or experts in
your field.

As an added benefit, after you have evaluated the feedback
from early readers, revised your manuscript and are ready to
go public, you can also use Createspace as a POD printer that
accepts orders from the public, prints and ships your book,
then pays you a royalty on each sale.

Please feel free to forward copies of this newsletter 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. See to join.

Library Downloads Jumped 76% in 2008

Library patrons checked out 5.3 million e-Books (plus audio
and video) in 2008, using's delivery platform:

Stephenie Meyer was the most downloaded author at libraries
with her book "Twilight."

As Publishers Cut Back, Self-Publishing Is Better than Ever:

It was hard to land a traditional publishing contract BEFORE
the global economic crisis of 2008. Now it's even harder --
but self-publishing is easier and more effective than ever

In his highly informative post below, David Carnoy covers most
of the latest options in the POD and self-publishing landscape:

This report is highly recommended as a "quick start" roadmap
for authors who want to self-publish in 2009. For the advanced
course, get the upcoming 2009 edition of our book, which will
address many of the same options in greater detail.

Workshop for Texans:

Houston. $45 registration includes lunch. Call 713-937-9184
or e-mail for details. Bring your
marketing materials for the free display table. RSVP by 1/13.

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.

Quotation of the Month:

"The [wise] reader... is capable of reading between these lines
what does not stand written in them, but is nevertheless implied."

-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)