Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Savvy Self-Publisher, July-August 2010

Happy Independence Day! Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine were independent publishers just like us. Join us in sharing the pride we feel from sustaining this characteristically American tradition!

===> Tip of the Month: <===

Martin Shepard of Permanent Press writes:

"There is a time and place for everything, and it's high time to turn the spotlight on book reviewers in this age of shrinking review space. Instead of alerting readers to significant ideas in new works of fiction and non-fiction, reviews are increasingly about popular culture and celebrity authors. It's time that critics face criticism themselves.

"To this end we've created The Donkey Award (Equus Asinus). An engraved plaque will be awarded for the Best Abuse Of Space For The Least Deserving Book; in short for the most asinine review of the year. 

"The award ceremony will feature various asinine reviews, which will be distributed to the press to illustrate our point, along with statements from the judges, most of whom will be in attendance. A donkey will also be present, if he is not too embarrassed to attend." More:

===> Quickie <===

We want to coin a new term: DIYP. Not just "self-publishing"but "Do-it-yourSELF-Publishing." It is intended to describe the process of those who use services like Blurb, CafePress, CreateSpace, Lulu, Wordclay, etc. where authors prepare books for publication themselves, rather than paying substantial fees to vanity presses.

DIYP does not replace the term "self-publishing" but adds a distinction between a) conventional self-publishing, where the author works with an editor, book designer, printer, etc.; versus b) DIYP; versus c) vanity or subsidy publishing.

===> Lead Story: e-Book Boom Continues <===

If you missed BEA and IBPA's Publishing University in June, shame on you. But you can watch a lively broadcast of experts discussing e-Books:

The trendy new iPad has now sold more than 3 million units. The Kindle has more than 5 million users. Barnes and Noble and Borders have both launched their own devices for e-reading...

But don't overlook smartphones. The iPhone and iPod alone boast more than 50 million users already, and could reach 100 million in 2011. The Google Droid, Palm Pre, Sprint Evo and others will add millions more.

Reading on handheld devices is growing rapidly. Estimates vary, but some observers believe that book related apps are the #2 leader at Apple's wildly popular App Store.

Stay tuned to this newsletter for updates!

===> Help Spread the Word? <===

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. To subscribe:

===> Donate Books for Children <===

The Madera County Child Abuse Prevention Council (MCCAPC) in California wants donated books for children. MCCAPC is a non-profit agency (ID # 82-0576184).

For the 14th year, MCCAPC will be hosting an annual community event. A popular activity is 'Story Time' where volunteers read stories to the children. This year they want to offer a free book to each child who participates in Story Time. Hopefully, receiving a book to take home will encourage the joys of reading. If you have spare books for children, please consider donating them.

-Barbara Bailey, Event Chair:

===> Quotation of the Month for Self-Publishers <===

"Without promotion, something terrible happens ... NOTHING!"

-P.T. Barnum

===> The Write Stuff <===

The word "misled" is sometimes mis-pronounced "myzelled" rather than "miss-led" but the latter is correct.

This is a regular feature of this newsletter, intended to help subscribers polish their writing. Got a pet peeve? Share it by e-mailing with suggestions.

===> News You Can Use <===

Concise and easy to use, "The Best Little Grammar Book Ever!" has the answers to the most common problems and grammar issues that stump and confuse us -- about 125 pages. For more information:

===> Reminder: Another Dog Rescue <===

Each month we post a dog adoption item from fellow self-publisher Jen Pavlovic, author of "8 State Hurricane Kate" and a brand new book titled "Not Without My Dog." Below is a new one:

Australian Cattle Dog Rescue of Illinois has some really NEAT dogs available for adoption! Some have herding ability, some play ball, and/or Frisbee (disc). Some have the drive needed for agility, rally, search and rescue, and more.

Come take a look! You'll surely take one home!

Please consider forwarding this to fellow animal lovers. We're hoping that the self-publishing community will pitch in to help Jenny continue her efforts to find homes for our four-legged friends, month after month.

===> Reminder: Self-Published Book Expo <===

Danny O. Snow will join a panel of 'visionary' publishers at the 2010 Self Published Book Expo, October 2 in NYC:

Snow's appearance will be in conjunction with the launch of a new program for self-publishing e-Books for the iPhone and iPad... a great way to reach an audience of 50 million worldwide, with no financial investment by the writer:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Savvy Self-Publisher, May-June 2010

===> Tip of the Month: Function Trumps Form <===

This e-mail bulletin uses the simplest possible formatting. Why? Because it is read by authors and publishers worldwide, who use a staggering variety of different computer hardware, operating systems, e-mail software, etc. And many of our subscribers regularly forward tidbits to their colleagues, who may in turn use completely different systems. We want them all to read this newsletter with ease.

Heavily-formatted e-mail (such as messages generated by AOL, some Web-based mail services, Microsoft Outlook, etc.) often introduces Web-like formatting that might look fancy to the original sender... but all too frequently appears choppy when read on other hardware or software platforms.

Our solution is to strip away the bells and whistles as much as possible, using plain text that's legible on nearly any computer. The emphasis is on CONTENT rather than APPEARANCE. For those who prefer a more polished presentation, we also re-post excerpts at (where subscribers can also post comments) periodically. But this e-mail bulletin itself, by design, is sent with accessibility and simplicity in mind foremost.

If you are promoting a book online, keep this strategy in mind... is it more important for your communications to prospective readers to look fancy -- or to actually get READ? The answer is simple; the choice is yours...

===> Quickie <===

Dan Poynter, Danny O. Snow and Steve Carlson of Upper Access Books will hold a panel titled "What Kind of Publisher Do You Want to Be?" at IBPA's 'Publishing University' in NYC, May 24.

The panel will compare trade publishing, self-publishing and POD publishing as different options for today's small press or micro publisher.

Pub-U is THE place for newcomers to the book world to get a crash course in publishing from some of the world's most authoritative sources. In just two days, you can learn how to publish a better books, avoid costly mistakes that often haunt the neophyte, and how to sell more books in today's ever-changing landscape:

===> Lead Story: Poynter Blasts Advance Review Requirements <===

From a recent post by Dan Poynter:

"Prepublication reviews are history because bookstore selling-seasons are history.

"Independent bookstores follow three selling-seasons per year: four months each.

"The purpose of pre-pub reviews [was] to alert the independent stores while the publishers' sales reps were out visiting them. Store owners could read the reviews, listen to the reps and make buying decisions.

"But independent book stores have been going out of business at the rate of two per week in the UK and three per week in United States. They can't compete with the online stores because their location, location, location is downtown where the rents are high. Goodbye Indies; the handwriting is on the wall.

"Without independent stores, there is no need for selling seasons. Without selling seasons, there is no need for pre-pub reviews."

The 'Other' Dan (Snow) adds: "Book reviews are still valuable to the reading public -- but wouldn't it be better if books were selected for review on the basis of merit, topic, or buzz... rather than mere newness? Let's hope that leading book review publications will soon drop requirements that force authors and publishers to submit copies months before public release."

===> News You Can Use <===

For his eighth book, "Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet," Shel Horowitz and his co-author, Jay Levinson, donated a small portion of the first month's sales to a relevant charity, Green America, and linked to the organization from the book's website. In return, the group featured the book in a newsletter sent to its 94,000 members. Visit Shel at for details.

Dan Snow adds: nearly ANY book holds some kind of connection to a worthy cause. Identify a good match between your book and a nonprofit, then offer to earmark a share of proceeds from orders placed by its members. If you use POD, you probably even create a customized special edition for this purpose. For the nonprofit, it's an easy, no-cost way to generate much-needed funds; for the author-publisher, it attracts potential readers with a direct interest in the subject; for the members, it's a good read about a topic they enjoy. Everyone wins.

===> Self-Published Book Expo <===

Danny O. Snow will join a panel of 'visionary' publishers at the 2010 Self Published Book Expo, October 2 in NYC:

Snow's appearance will be in conjunction with the launch of a new program for self-publishing e-Books for the iPhone and iPad... a great way to reach an audience of 50 million worldwide, with no financial investment by the writer:

===> The Write Stuff <===

The meaning of "nauseous" is CAUSING nausea, not experiencing it. The word "nauseated" means experiencing nausea. People who feel sick sometimes say "I'm nauseous," when they mean to say "I'm nauseated."

This is a regular feature of this newsletter, intended to help subscribers polish their writing. Got a pet peeve? Share it by e-mailing with suggestions.

Monday, March 1, 2010


===> Tip of the Month <===

The back cover of your book is best used to show prospective readers how
they will benefit from buying. The author's photo and bio can go INSIDE,
reserving the valuable "real estate" on the back cover for attracting buyers.

===> Quickie <===

March 7-13 is "Read an eBook Week." Visit for
freebies, product reviews, more.

===> News You Can Use: Book Signings <===

See for a concise discussion of book signings
from a veteran book industry observer and participant, Bob Spear.

===> Lead Story: e-Book Breakthrough? <=== is offering authors and publishers a fast and easy new
way to publish e-books for users of the iPhone, Blackberry, Droid and other
smartphones... more than 50 MILLION worldwide and growing rapidly. There
are NO up-front fees; they handle the technical hassles, and get the
finished e-Book set up at the Apple Apps Store and other outlets. You set
the price, and may change it at any time. For a special affiliate code
that gets you an extra 5% payout, see:

===> The Write Stuff: <===

Did you know that there are only three words in the English language that
begin with "dw?" Dwarf and dwell are two of them. Can you name the third?
(Answer in next issue.)

A "quote" is a cost estimate; a "quotation" is an excerpt from a piece of

===> Love Your Library <===

Literacy Link - Leamos is a volunteer tutoring program operating in a
small, rural community in Southwest New Mexico. They tutor adults and
children, read to children in classrooms, distribute information on the
importance of reading and provide resources to those who cannot afford to
buy books and supplies for themselves. E-mail (or call 505-538-2931) if you have books to
donate. FMI:

===> The e-Book Bandwagon: Fact and Fiction <===

Danny O. Snow will present a report on e-Book trends to the Bay Area
Independent Publishers Association on March 13. Preview:

===> Shameless Sales Pitch <===

The 2010 edition of is out. Sure, you've read an earlier
edition or two, but the publishing world is changing almost daily in
2010... don't you deserve the latest information? A single new tip could
save you MANY TIMES the cost of obtaining it. Please visit to preview.