Posts Tagged ‘books’

Espresso Book Machine: Print on Demand Bookmaker

11 Oct
espresso, print on demand, books

No, not THAT kind of espresso!

P.O.D. (Print on Demand) book machines have been in use in companies like CreateSpace and Lightning Source for years.  Using these machines they are able to print your books as they are sold – one at a time if need be -  instead of having to do print runs of thousands (or tens of thousands) of copies as a traditional offset press would.  That means you, the author/publisher, don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on printing costs up front and don’t have to pay for storage of the books while waiting for them to be sold.  Print them as you need them: what could be better?

A recent development in the world of Print on Demand brings this capability to a wider variety of businesses; even libraries.  Read the rest of this entry »

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When (and Why) to Print your eBook

15 Feb

books, print, paper, hardboundThere are now vast legions of new authors who are published in eBook form only.  Self-publishing allows an author to publish their manuscript directly to distributors such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Store, Kobo, and Smashwords for use on one or more reading devices.  All of these will handle eBook versions, Amazon and Barnes & Noble can handle print books as well.  But there are other markets where print gives you an edge over eBook.  Should you consider publishing to print?

Why Print?

There are still a large number of people who like the feel and smell of an ink on paper book in their hands.  Many prefer eBooks for novels but paper books for reference materials.  So if you write non-fiction, you need to be considering paperback at least.  Book discussion groups also tend to favor paperbacks.

Brick and mortar book stores and libraries specialize in print books – where most of these do not handle eBooks. Yet.  Distributors can use price comparisons between print books to make them appear attractive, price-wise.

But, rushing out to produce a paperback book to coincide with or follow closely on the heels of your eBook is not a great idea for several reasons.  Read the rest of this entry »


How to Start a Publishing Company

09 Jul

printing, publication, press, publisher, printing pressThere has been a fair bit of discussion in the forums lately about authors who open a publishing company to self-publish their work.  Much of that discussion centers on whether that practice is ethical: is this author trying to deceive the readers into thinking a publishing house picked them up or simply doing business in a business-like manner.  I contend the latter.  I make furniture, no one questions my decision to sell my furniture as a woodworking business.  Similarly, as an author who produces and sells books I see nothing wrong with my doing business with book retailers under a publishing business name.  Some distributors demand this: they will not deal with the author as the publisher. Read the rest of this entry »


Avoiding Self-Publishing Scams

02 Jul

The recent class action lawsuit filed against Publish America is just one more reminder that Indie authors need to be careful about whom they do business with in the process of publishing their books.  What follows is a list of red flags that may indicate caution is required if they pop up in your dealings with a so-called “publisher”.

Many so called self-publishing houses are what are referred to as “vanity publishers” because they offer to get the author’s books in print for a fee.  These often advertise that they “need” or are “seeking” new authors.  If you’ve ever tried dealing with a reputable publishing house you know that rejection is the normal order of things; they will put their imprint on and marketing efforts behind only those books that meet their standards.  Vanity publishers accept anyone and charge unsuspecting authors to publish their work, often producing books that are poorly written, have not been edited, have awful covers, and are (for all intents and purposes) virtually worthless in the commercial book market.  Worthless, to everyone except the vanity publisher, who makes thousands of dollars from the author.  Beware of these signs: Read the rest of this entry »


The Firefly Connection

16 May

Today, Dear Reader, I have the extreme pleasure of playing host to one of my most favorite Indie Sci-Fi authors: Mary Pax.  Her short stories, which include Plant Girl, Translations, and Small Graces hooked me with her dynamic writing style.  When she came out with the novella Semper Audacia my infatuation with her work only deepened.  And now that she’s launching her first full length novel, which will be the first novel of a series I’m practically salivating with anticipation.  Especially since I learned that her inspiration for The Backworlds was the TV series FireflyFirefly was and still is my most favorite TV series; I have the series and it’s spin-off movie Serenity on DVD and re-watch them frequently.  In today’s guest post, Mary explains how Firefly influenced and inspired her new book, The Backworlds.

One of the biggest influences on my creation of The Backworlds was Firefly and the fact I still mourn its demise. Read the rest of this entry »


Review Building an Author Platform that can Launch Anything: a Social Media Minibook.

19 Apr

author, platform, marketing, promotion, sales, networkingBuilding an Author Platform that can Launch Anything: a Social Media Minibook, by Toby Neal, is a concise yet information packed mini-book that gives straight-forward advice for authors on how to build an author platform (writer-speak for a system of marketing and promotional tools) that will build readership and excitement for both the author and their book.  The end result: sales!

Book Description:

Effective steps to building an author platform that can take advantage of free programs and launch any book into visibility and better sales.

Self published or not, today’s authors have to develop their own “platform” for reaching book buyers. This power-packed booklet contains tips based on author Toby Neal’s sales and psychology background and experience with her bestselling crime novel, Blood Orchids. These secrets maximize social media to build an author platform that can bring fast, wide-ranging visibility and increased sales to any book.   Read the rest of this entry »


Wander, Putter, and Create!

05 Apr

Today I am delighted to have as my guest, best-selling novelist Toby Neal.  In this guest-post she shares some thoughts and insights on the creative process and we introduce her latest book.  Please make her welcome…

clouds, dreaming, createWhat is the creative process?

Different for everyone, sure. For me, it’s connected to daydreaming, and then making and doing stuff.

Yeah, real scientific.

Mulling, wandering, chewing a bit of grass as I kick a pebble on my walk with my (small/fuzzy/ridiculous) dogs, I think of a new scene.

Tilting my head to spot a flamenco dancer in the shape of a cloud. I take an Istagram pic of it (find me at tobyneal0)!

Chasing the aforementioned dogs away from a mysterious dirt patch in the middle of the ball field just the size of a body, I see a future crime scene for my novel. Read the rest of this entry »


Book Review: Sullivan’s War, All Good Men Serve the Devil

02 Apr

Sullivan’s War 1: The Story

book review, Sullivans War, Michael K Rose

Cover art,

Rick Sullivan is an idealist, bent on ending a corrupt government’s strangle hold on his home planet of Edaline.  Sullivan is the bad-guy and not above killing people to accomplish his goal.

Frank Allen is an investigator in the equivalent of a galaxy-spanning FBI.  Someone killed a planetary assemblyman, Frank is part of the team sent to investigate.  This quickly pits him against Sullivan in a planet hopping game of hide and seek that comes to involve an assembly of colorful and often loathsome characters.  There is little regard for The Law among the fringe planets and Allen and his team meet with opposition even from among their own side. Read the rest of this entry »

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This Business of Writing: Setting Up Accounts

25 Feb
business, writing, authore, accounting, bookkeeping, All rights reserved by iStockphoto

All rights reserved by iStockphoto

This is the second in my series of articles on the business side of being a writer.  Originally I planned to use this series as part of a book on this topic, until I discussed the book with a CPA/Registered Investment Counselor/Author.  He thought the book was a needful thing, for many authors seem under-prepared to deal with the financial side of their chosen career, but he suggested that I market the book as a sleep aid.   Bookkeeping just isn’t exciting (unless you’re writing fiction about a bookkeeper who is a sex-addicted, vampire/zombie, who goes around murdering people.   That, people might buy.)  To see if he was right I decided to try out a series of articles here on my blog and judge your reaction to them.

As I was preparing this series I was contacted by Brigitte A. Thompson, President of
Datamaster Accounting Service, LLC and author of Bookkeeping Basics for Freelance Writers.  Brigitte offered me a series of posts on accounting for authors in exchange for the opportunity to promote her book.   Since she is an accounting professional and an author, her advice would be more accurate and
probably more valuable than mine.  So, starting with my regular post on Monday we’ll launch into Brigitte’s series on bookkeeping for authors.  But first, I’m going to slide (most of) the post I had written for Monday in here today because I think it has some things to say that some of you may need to hear and don’t seem to be covered in detail in the upcoming series.  Brigitte’s series starts on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »


A Visit from Toby Neal: 7 Things I’ve Learned About Writing

23 Feb

novel, crime, mystery, Hawaii, toby nealToday, Dear Readers, I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming published author, psych-therapist and island girl Toby Neal.  More about Toby in just a bit, but first she will share with us some important things she has learned about writing from her own journey.

7 Things I’ve Learned About Writing

  1. Notice everything. The world is filled with sounds, smells, textures, and fabulous stories unfolding all around you. Take the time to notice, and keep something handy to jot down new thoughts/ways to describe that sensory input as it comes to you. Sometimes, when I really let myself experience any given moment in time, I’m overwhelmed by all that’s going on. Life is a series of amazing moments. Read the rest of this entry »