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!