Monday, September 16, 2019

Book Fairs and Author Scams

I can't tell you the number of scams involved that prey on a self-published author's dreams of seeing their work on display at the prestigious trade shows. There are too many to count.

Writer Beware® Logo

And the fact is they have been in operation in plain sight of the publishing industry, for the longest time.

The people running the major book fairs obviously have no problem taking money from companies whose business practice involves deceiving authors with false or overtly grandiose promises that, for just this price tag, their work will be on display for agents, movie producers, etc, in a respected way.

Vanity Publishing, indeed.

David Gaughran, an author and long-time advocate for other authors, and always on the lookout for shading practices, recently shared researched details about these practices and these companies in a post entitled: The Combined Book Exhibit and Author Scams.

"This is a considerable fee when you consider what the author gets in return, especially if you have seen these tired, unloved bookcases at industry events. The idea that an agent or editor or movie producer would peruse these shelves, let alone actually acquire something from them, is risible......Needless to say, this is quite a lot of money for some rather questionable return"
An image from David's original post - read the full post

"There are all sorts of scammers and weasels in publishing. And partnering with known and trusted entities is how they dupe authors in such huge numbers, particularly inexperienced authors, very young authors, or those of more advanced years – who make up the overwhelming majority of victims."
Header image from David's original post - read the full post
"Keep in mind that the Combined Book Exhibit isn’t an unknown entity operating at the margins of the publishing industry, it is right at the heart of the traditional end of the business, with long-standing partnerships with the most prestigious industry events and deep links with the likes of Publishers Weekly and some writing organizations too (who should know better)"

Again, I commend David for advocating for authors, and remind those who are considering forking over their hard-earned money to self-publishing services to please do some research, check sites such as Writer Beware®, do some simple Google searches on the company name to see what authors are saying about their experiences being duped, misled, and gouged.

I am posting about this, and re-sharing his detailed blog post, in order to help ensure that writers are made aware.

Friday, September 13, 2019

ALLI Self-Publishing Advice Conference

The good folks behind the Alliance of Independent Authors are hosting another virtual conference called The Self-Publishing Advice Conference starting tomorrow (Saturday Sept 14th)

I have been a presenter/speaker at this conference in the past and love how valuable it can be to authors to consume and enjoy at their leisure, without having to leave their home or office.

This is because, for this conference, the alliance host 24 video sessions over 24 hours, bringing authors the latest self-publishing news and interviews, webinars and presentations, live to authors everywhere. This year, their conference theme is Sell More Books.
There are going to be top authors like Brian Meeks, Michael Anderle and J. Thorn as well as top companies like Bookbub and Findaway voices, and all sharing their very best strategies, tactics, and techniques for selling more books.
At The Self-Publishing Advice Conference, you’ll learn:
·      How to grasp and master Bookbub’s CPM ads
·      How to copy write like a pro and crack your Amazon sales page
·      Why your book isn’t selling and what you can do about it
·      How to sell more audiobooks
·      Top tips for video marketing 
·      How to become an Instagram influencer
·      Who can benefit from AMS ads and how to master them.
And much more.
The best part?
The Self-Publishing Advice Conference is totally FREE to attend live and for the following 48 hours.
We all know there are a lot of courses, resources, and virtual summits out there for writers, but this one is unique…
You see, The Self-Publishing Advice Conference is focused exclusively on helping you sell more books.
This conference is about making YOU a better marketer, period.
To join in, all you need is a pen, some paper, and the drive to sell more books.
I’m really excited by the line up the alliance has managed to bring together to show you how to sell more books.

If you want to learn from people who have ‘been there, done that’ and can show you what to do (and what not to do) to achieve book sale success, then…
Check out “The Self-Publishing Advice Conference” (FREE for a limited time):
These conferences are free to ALLI members, but if you aren't a member, outside the window, an ALL-ACCESS PASS can be purchased for $199 and it offers access to this conference, previous and future sessions.
Having worked in this industry since 1992, I benefit from constantly learning. I know that I'll be learning more from this wonderful 24 hour virtual conference, and I'm sure that you will too if you check it out.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pausing To Reflect and Give Thanks

Last week I went out for lunch with a new friend.

Jan and I had been introduced via a mutual friend, Laurie Blake, who had long insisted me meet, because we were both writers, and, of course, did share a common past working in the Ontario tourism industry.

It took a while between Laurie's initial desire for us to connect and an actual in person meeting.

But when it happened, it was, as I should have known, a delightful experience.

Jan and I hit it off immediately, talking books, and writing, and publishing, and tourism.

And we also, of course, talked a lot about our mutual friend, Laurie, whom we both adore, admire and respect so deeply.

When I left that lunch, pleased with meeting such a wonderful person, I thought I should reach out to thank Laurie for that. But when I started to think about it, I realized that I had never thanked Laurie for all of those previous gifts he had given me over the years.

I also realized that he was likely unaware of just how much he had given me, just how much he had inspired me.

And, since my podcast is about reflecting on things I have learned, I adapted all those thoughts into a special new type of episode that I will roll into the regular feed from time to time.

I call the episodes "Thanks for the Inspiration" - the first one, of course, was: "Thanks for the Inspiration: Laurie Blake."

Laurie was a neighbour to me and my parents in the town where I grew up, Levack, Ontario.

He and his wife owned Fox Lake Lodge. I occasionally worked at the lodge, and had the wonderful opportunity to be a protege under Laurie both at the lodge and on some other wonderful experiences, such as being a back-up driver on a quest to Old Town, Maine, to bring back canoes.

Apart from the influence Laurie had on my character and perspectives on life, he also helped shape my skill in oral storytelling. Heck, a story that I've been sharing and have re-adapted countless times over the years, "The Legend of Prospero's Ghost" was derived from a deliciously atmospheric ghost story Laurie shared one night over a campfire and which I can still fondly conjure up each time I am sharing a ghost story.

That tale, which eventually evolved into a short story called "Prospero's Ghost" that I co-wrote with Kimberly Foottit for the anthology Campus Chills, is still one that I continue to play with an re-adapt in new ways when asked to share a ghost story.

I share all of that in my special recent podcast episode, and have made a note to continue to pause to acknowledge and thank those who have had a positive and profound impact on my own life as a person and as a creative.

I think it's important to pause and reflect and give thanks to those who have had a positive difference on your life and who likely never even knew that they did.