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All the news that's fit to print--or not.  Check in here for our latest articles and updates about anything in the ePublishing world.

 


Writerspace Identity Theft

Members of Writerspace, Alert!

If you haven't heard, and you were EVER a member of Writerspace, read this now....

WRITERSPACE, a website that's been around since the dawn of time, has apparently been hacked by Lulzsec, and has had over sixty thousand (60,000) usernames and passwords released into the wild.  Given the propensity of so many of my clients to use the same username and password for everything (you know you do--you all tell me about it when we're yakking on the phone), and the age of WRITERSPACE, which has been around since the 90's, it seems like a good idea for me to tell you about it.  If you haven't heard about it, haven't read about it, and don't know that people can use this info to try to hack into your FB, Twitter, etc., accounts, then you should get to reading here

Coincidentally--or not--writer and immensely successful "how-to" author Holly Lisle, whose website is a beehive of activity, emailed everyone just 48 hours ago to tell them that her FB account had been hacked, and that thousands of people had been spammed.  I wonder if Holly is a victim of the WRITERSPACE hack?  Her situation is dire, as Facebook--being themselves--of course seem to have simply denied her access to her own account, so she can't even attempt to fix it.  Before this happens to you:  change your passwords.  I know, I know...but do it anyway

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SHAKEN: STORIES FOR JAPAN

SHAKEN is a collaborative effort; an anthology of 20 short stories contributed by top-selling authors from around the globe, edited by 2011 Edgar Best-Novel nominee Timothy Hallinan.

6/10: UPDATE: SHAKEN is now #10 in the Kindle Store for Fiction->Short Stories and #17 in Books->Literature & Fiction->Short Stories!!

I'm really proud to announce SHAKEN: STORIES FOR JAPAN. SHAKEN is a collaborative effort; an anthology of 20 short stories contributed by top-selling authors from around the globe, edited by 2011 Edgar Best-Novel nominee Timothy Hallinan. This book is being published by the Japan America Society of Southern California, with 100%--absolutely 100%--of the proceeds going directly to earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan. The authors, the editor, and my Crew all donated our services to bring this book to fruition.

It's going to be available on Amazon sometime today, I hope--and I sincerely hope that everyone who reads this, and sees the blogs and tweets about it around the Net will rush to Amazon to buy it. Please tell your friends--tell anyone you know. As soon as I have a link, I'll post it here and I'll be tweeting it, too.

This collection was born out of the writers' concern for the people in the disaster zone. SHAKEN: STORIES FOR JAPAN is an attempt by writers to pool their talents to help people in need, as musicians and actors so often do.

The book contains original stories by Brett Battles, Cara Black, Vicki Doudera, Dianne Emley, Dale Furutani, Timothy Hallinan, Stefan Hammond, Rosemary Harris, Naomi Hirahara, Wendy Hornsby, Ken Kuhlken, Debbi Mack, Adrian McKinty, I.J. Parker, Gary Phillips, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jeffrey Siger, Kelli Stanley, C.J. West, and Jeri Westerson. As a group, these authors have won every mystery award there is and sold hundreds of thousand of copies. They're all working at the top of their games in this volume. SHAKEN; STORIES FROM JAPAN is art for heart's sake, and the purchase price will help those who are struggling to repair, or at least soothe, these terrible losses.

SHAKEN
SHAKEN: Stories for Japan is a collaborative effort of over 20 writers to raise money for survivors and victims of Japan's devastating Tsunami.
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Did Lulu and Bookbaby Really Lose Their Bite At the Apple?

Rumors are swirling that Bookbaby and Lulu have lost their distribution deals with Apple's iBookstore.

A little birdie tells me--the same little birdie that alerted me to the Kobo deal some months back-that both Bookbaby and Lulu have lost their status as Approved Apple Content Aggregators. Now, no word on this, overtly, is forthcoming from Apple, of course; but a quick check of Apple's approved list of Aggregators shows that Lulu and Bookbaby are glaringly absent.

Sources say that Apple's sick of dealing with content upload problems, and is paring down their exposure to Aggregators to the companies consistently delivering quality content. Other sources state that while Apple claims that it wants to "own" the ebook space, it also has no desire to own Amazon's staffing requirements, put in place to deal with the Niagara of self-publishing authors. For the purposes of this post, we'll ignore the cognitive dissonance those two goals invoke. So for now, only a very few channels remain for self-publishers and indies to get their content on Apple--Ingram, InScribe Digital, InGrooves, and Smashwords...and there's heavy money being bet on Smashwords going the way of Bookbaby soon. The lesson here? Before deciding on distribution deals (in the biz, "distro"), make sure you've signed with a firm that can bring something to the table...and last through dinner.

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Exclusive Kobo-InGrooves Deal Announced

Did Kobo's pricing discounts really affect you?

Everyone reading this news article has probably read or heard about the furor over discounting at Kobo (an ePub distributor, e-bookseller, device-maker and reading application maker), and how it's affected Amazon pricing and commissions.  Many authors have removed their titles from Kobo, not wanting Kobo's discounting to reduce their Amazon prices, and thus their commission structure.  But customers distributing their ePubs through InGrooves no longer have to worry about that, and are getting a better commission structure through InGrooves!

This past week, Kobo executives agreed to provide commissions to InGrooves' distribution partners that exceed their normal commission structure for self-published authors.  Instead of the 50/50% deal that is normally offered, InGrooves' authors will receive a 70/30% commission structure, resulting in a net royalty to them of 65%--a 20% increase.  In addition, Kobo has agreed to cease discounting without the express permission of the author, eliminating the Amazon-pricing "Death Spiral" that has recently caused significant income loss to Kindle authors. 

Contact me if you need further information about this development. 

 

Update:  This article no longer relevant as of year-end, 2011. 

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Phone Call Alert! 

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Old Timey Switchboard Operator Cartoon

 

Due to the COVID-19 onslaught, we currently cannot take incoming phone calls.  

And since nobody reads anything, I've simply removed the phone number from the site.  

A notification about phone calls:  due to the COVID-19 plague, we've significantly increased our incoming inquiries--nearly double our usual volume--and the number of incoming inquiries by phone has been literally overwhelming.  Although most writers will say that their call "will only take 15 minutes," the truth is, that after 10 years of doing this, most author inquiry calls take an hour.  45 minutes at best. I'm currently receiving 7-10 calls/day, and due to that, I've had to stop accepting incoming phone calls, which my voicemail will tell you. You can leave a message--I can't call you back without one--and if a call is needed, I will of course call you.  But we have very complete and extensive email replies, handouts and our website is very informative. Almost all the questions that I receive during a call are actually already answered on our site, or are, in fact, publishing questions, not questions about our services, what we do, what we offer, or the like.  I already handle between 90-130 emails/day, as it is. I can't handle that many emails and take 7-10 hours of calls each day. I can't. So, in order to be able to answer this huge email volume, to help the greatest number of people, with my time, I've had to stop accepting calls.  I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. I'm in the process of setting up a call-appointment function, for free 15-minute calls to answer questions from new prospective customers and longer paid sessions for folks who generally want consulting on "publishing," generally (and for prospective kids' book publishers, as a special category of paid consulting).  But that functionality isn't yet set up. I hope to get that working the 3rd week of July, sometime.  

Thank you for your understanding.