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.