Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We can publish ebooks for free?

Really? Let’s look at that. Publishing houses are quick to tell us that the only difference between an ebook and a print book is the actual cost of printing, that all of the other overhead and costs associated with the book remain the same. But an individual publishing a book does not have this overhead, right?

An individual doesn’t have office space and utilities and that sort of expense because they are already paying those as part of their living expenses, but computer and internet and printers and those sort of expenses would qualify as overhead.

The publisher has to provide levels of editing. Most books, no matter how good a person is at writing and editing really does need a third party to put an objective eye on a project and give it at least a good copy edit if not a substantive edit to be a publishable project. Too many self-published books do not do this which contributes to a reputation of lower quality books. Getting this edit done can be a substantial expense and that is definitely overhead.

The publisher involves people in titling and cover production. A good cover is vital in getting a book considered whether it is sitting on a shelf in B & N or in an online bookstore. If the author also happens to be good in graphic arts they may can reduce this overhead (if they already have the appropriate software) otherwise it has to be contracted out. That is a production cost and more overhead.

The big advantage of a publisher is sales and distribution. They pay significant amounts for good distribution channels and have people working in sales to get the book out. This is pure overhead for the self-publisher who has to try and replicate this activity by getting their name out, getting exposure, advertising if they can afford to do so. The publisher is spending money on staff to do this. The author is spending money as well if they consider their time worth anything. That is significant overhead and there are a lot of other things I’m not going into.

I’m not arguing against self publishing or doing ebooks, I’m doing some of that myself. I am cautioning those involved to recognize that they are not free to produce, however. Just as the big publishers have overhead to produce either print books or ebooks so does the individual doing it. We should identify that overhead and factor it in when we are considering doing it and as we proceed with such projects.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Meet our new great grandson!

His name is Micah Brody Henrichs, born 3/23/2011 at 8:22 am and made his appearance at 9lbs 5 0z. 21 1/4 inches long and sports blonde hair and blue eyes. He's our first great-grandchild and we are so pleased we could be there for it.

The parents are Kenneth and Shanda Henrichs and make their home in Rowlett, just outside Dallas Texas. The 21 and a half inches was no great surprise as both parents are over 6 ft tall. There were unconfirmed rumors that several college basketball scouts have been seen lurking about the hospital.

Saundra and I getting acquainted with him

I don't suppose this is really writing-related, but frankly I don't care. We are just so tickled and hated to go off and leave him but there are two capable sets of grandparents living very close to finish the job of spoiling him that we were unable to finish.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Guest Blog by Client Jennifer Hudson Taylor


Social Networking can either be a time consuming waste in chasing quantity over quality or a valuable opportunity to make connections that turn into relationships that convert into real sales. While it is true the larger your follower base, the greater your opportunity for making those connections, but it is also true that target networking is more valuable than blind networking

For years advertisers have known that it is best to invest in markets that target people who are interested in their products and/or services. Target Networking works the same. You need to network and create friendships and relationships with people that have the same interests as you do and in the products and/or services you provide. You may have 20,000 Twitter followers or fans on Facebook, but if none of them have an interest in the content, products or services you provide, every time consuming post you make, or paid ad you invest in, is a waste of time. Networking may be financially free, but free of time it is not. 

Each network site operates on a different strategy, and therefore, you need to have a different strategy for your method of networking on each site you participate on. Here are a few suggestions for the two most popular network sites.

If you have a business or as in my case, you're an author, it is best to create a unique page or group for your product that is separate from your personal Facebook profile. Here are a few reasons why:

1) You may want to post personal updates for family and close friends, photos of your children that you don't want available to the rest of the FB world--people you've never met and personally do not know.

2) Other people who do not personally know you may not want to friend you on FB, but they might be willing to join your page or group. It allows you a way to connect with them and reach them that you otherwise wouldn't have. 

3) Your personal profile has a limit of 5,000 friends, but there is no limit to the number of people that can join a page or group. 

4) You can only send one message to up to 20 friends on your profile, but you can send an update to all the people at once who have joined your page or group. 

5) You can create events on a page and invite people who have joined your page, as well as friends on your personal profile. Also, you can filter the invites based on friend lists you've created, or other groups people have joined who have also joined your page or group.

6) You can send personal messages, updates, and communicate with people--let them know you care about what is happening in their lives and accept some of the friend/page/group suggestions they send you. Share their posts and links if you think they are interesting or relevant to those who have joined your page. You are being interactive.

How to Target People Who Join Your Page with the Same Interests
1) If you choose to accept people as a friend on your personal profile who you do not know, check out their Info page and determine if they are interested in similar things, and check out their wall posts, if it is available, to see if they post offensive things, play FB games all day, or post gifts all over people's profiles. Accept people who appear to have good morals, who won't stalk others, harass you with games, who engage with others, who appear active, and who might be interested in the content of your posts, products or services. You can always suggest that a friend on your personal profile join your page or group. If anyone becomes a nuisance, you can always unfriend them.

2) If you take out a paid ad on your page or group, make sure you filter it with people who have interests in what you provide, but with whom you do not already have a connection.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is more about following people who post about things and news you're interested in. Each post is limited to 140 characters, no photos are allowed in posts, only links. People post a combination of statements, news, verses, quotes, personal status updates, or a list of other tweeters to check out. You can't send a private message, but you can send a direct message. You cannot prevent certain people from following unless you protect all your tweets, and require everyone to request to follow you.

While Facebook does have third-party applications, their use allows a higher chance of virus attacks and are mostly related to games. However, Twitter third-party applications are more geared toward how to better use Twitter and make the most of it rather than a bunch of useless games and time wasters like on Facebook. Here are a few of those valuable applications:

1) TweepML - Is a site that allows you to create and manage lists of Twitter users who are interested in and who post on particular subjects. This is a great way for you to "target" people to follow who may follow you in return. (

2) Tweeterfeed - Is a site that allows you to set up RSS feeds from blog sites that post on topics of interest or related to your content/products/services. You can set up these feeds to post on your Twitter account page. These will auto-post for you without you having to manually post them. You can continue to work, write, or do whatever it is you do. You still need to retweet other posts, send direct messages, and show that you are on Twitter so people don't feel neglected or that you aren't truly active or interactive. (

3) Friend or Follow - This site shows who is following you and who is not following you and who you aren't following, but is following you. You can choose to unfollow people who aren't bothering to follow you back, but you must do so one user at a time. The reason you might choose to do this is because they aren't seeing anything you post anyway. Unless their posts are extremely valuable to you, it is a one-way relationship--if you can call it a relationship at all. You aren't likely networking, educating, friending, or selling to someone you follow, but won't follow you back. (

4) Who Unfollowed Me? - This site allows you to see who unfollowed you and identifies a list of people are not following you back. (

5) TrueTwit - This site requires people to type in a key word to eliminate Twitter spammers. It will not accept new followers until they go through this process. Lots of tweeters use third-party applications to auto-follow people and auto-unfollow them. (

6) Twitpic - This site allows people to post photos on Twitter, but I haven't actually used it. I'm only including it because it is the #1 Twitter application. (

7) - A site that takes long links and shortens them and automatically posts them on Twitter for you. (

This is only a list of a few Twitter third-party applications as there are many more, but these are the ones I've found to be most helpful. Create lists of people who post on certain topics and people who follow you can also follow your lists. In fact, the more lists people include you on, your tweets are also being seen by those following their lists, even if they are not following you.

Please let me know if this post is helpful, and feel free to include any additional information in the comment section that you feel might be helpful to others.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guest Post by Client Raquel Byrnes

3 Reasons Why You NEED To Go To A Writer’s Conference

Book proposals clutched in their hands, appointment slip at the ready, writers everywhere are taking one step closer to their dream of publication with a trip to a writer’s conference. From horror writers to inspirational romance authors, they gather at conferences every year with their name tags and pitch sheets.  And I have three reasons why you should too.
  • Most agents meet their clients at a writer’s conference than by any other means.  Be it snail mail or email query, the best way to get the attention of a prospective agent is by meeting them. Nothing can replace the passion and excitement you have for your book as you talk about it face-to-face. It’s also a great way to size up what you want in an agent. During your meeting you can ask what their level of involvement is, in what genre they feel they have the best contacts, and how they communicate with their clients.
  • You connect with other writers. As an author, you cannot get better unless you get feedback. Plain and simple, you have to show people your stuff. If you’re not ready to meet with an agent, then sign up for a critique. Most conferences offer them. It will give you an opportunity to find out where in the publication process you really are. Are you polishing up a ready to submit manuscript or just starting out and finding your voice. Meeting with authors both published and unpublished in invaluable in growing as a writer.
  • You have access to the experts. The best things about writer’s conferences are the workshops. Classes to learn pacing, character development, crafting a page turner are all available to you and the best part? They are usually taught by authors you know and read.  How about learning about character arc from your favorite romance writer? The art of the red-herring from a mystery writer? You can learn so much not only from the class, but from the question and answer period afterwards.
Wherever you are in your writing journey, be it novice or seeking representation, a writer’s conference is a wonderful place to network, connect, and learn.  From face-to-face meetings with your dream agent to ‘How-To’ classes with a favorite author, if  you’re serious about writing you need to go to a writer’s conference.

Raquel Byrnes
writes inspirational romance with and edge-of-your-seat pace. Her first book in the Shades of Hope Series, Purple Knot, releases from White Rose later this year.  Visit her at or on her blog – Edge of Your Seat Romance at

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I've been missing in action

Yup, I've been working really hard trying to get as caught up as possible before we go on our cruise. I haven't been posting to my blog as often as I should. My apologies to regular readers. But how about me posting some good news blurbs?

Amy Alessio's "A Year of Programs for Teens2" due out from the American Library Association as is Mind Bending Mysteries and Thrillers for teens – has been set back but now final corrections being done – Her book “High Ground” is in the editing phase at 4RV Press.

Max Elliot Anderson has a three book “Sam Cooper Adventure Series” at Port Yonder Press and the first book “Lost Island Smugglers” is out. “Capt Jack’s Treasure” is in production and “River Rampage” is coming. Lost Island Smugglers” is also in production as an audiobook. At Comfort Publishing “Barney and the Runaway  is out and a contract for “When the Lights Go Out” scheduled Aug 1 release. In addition he has an 8 book contract to reprint his “Tweener Series” at Comfort and the first title “Northwoods Poachers” is coming soon. He is expected to have six books available at CBA and Comfort has released a new and very aggressive marketing campaign for him.

Tim Austin signed with Kristy at Comfort on "Exasperated Woman" for 2011 release – book is in production

Richard Brown's "Trusting God with the Rest of your Life" coming out soon from Crossover Press

Roger Bruner's "Found in Translation" Came out January 2011 and “Lost in Dreams” July 2011 from Barbour  They are considering further books in the series.

Raquel Byrnes has a 3 book deal with White Rose Books imprint of Pelican Ventures. Bk 1 is “Purple Knot” followed by“Ruby Dawn” and then “Bayou Blue.” A book trailer is up at

Tammy Barley’s first Trilogy  Love's Rescue,  Hope's Promise and book three Faith's Reward at Whitaker House is doing very well. All three books sold out the first printing inside of a month – they are really interested in her new trilogy and insisted on getting the first look at the proposal for it.

Bonnie Calhoun has signed her Abingdon contract for “Cooking the Books” and has a movie rights agent doing a full read on it. If he is interested in repping it we would co-agent with him.

Jim Callan full read at Comfort Publishing on his “”Cleansed by Fire” – considering for tentative slot.

Tim Champlin has signed a contract for a western The Secret of Lodestar from Berkley Publishing slated for March 2012, and has published two books with Pill Hill Press, Annie and the Ripper, and Tom Sawyer and the Ghosts of Summer plus he has contracted to write a six short story series for Echelon Press, and just received the cover on the first installment, Sounding the Reef.

Jim Dyet has signed a contract with Circle Books on his golf devotional book “Straight Down the Middle

Sherri Gallagher's "Turn" Contract signed with Comfort- releases in Fall 2011

Graham Garrison’s second book with Kregel “Prodigal Father” in production, slated to come out between Nov-Feb. The first book “Hero Tributeis out.

Deb Harper signed for a series of six serial short stories to Echelon Press

Steven Hutson's "Clarity" coming out from Crossover Press

Jean and Mary James’Sparrow on the Rooftop” in editing phase at 4RV Press.

Kevin Parsons - signed a deal with Judi Moreo (before our contract) for a story in her anthology, 'Pursuing Your Life Passions.'

Carolyn Huebner Rankin's second book "Falling Through Ice" (written with Ronnie Hoesli) is out now from Crossover Press. Book trailer at

Claire Sanders has signed a contract with Barbour for a novella Equally Yoked/A Quaker Christmas to go into a compilation book of several novellas and another New Garden’s Inspiration in the Quakers of New Garden collection.

Frank Roderus, RAFE  published by ThreeSixteen Press is now available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Tim Shoemaker signed contract from Zondervan on his bookCode of Silence

Paul S. Sturm signed contract with Brighton Publishing on his book “Whispers of the Dead

Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s book “Highland Blessings” is out and selling well. The followup to this book from Abingdon is her novel “HIGHLAND SANCTUARY”. But that isn’t all. She has signed a contract for “NEW GARDEN'S HOPE”, a novella that is part of a four-novella collection entitled "The Quakers of New Garden," to Barbour Publications for publication in February 2012. Her Novella “HEARTS INHERITANCE” has been accepted as part of the four-novella collection titled "Highland Crossings" by Barbour Publications. Still more? Her novels “FORBIDDEN CONQUEST”, “THE WAR WOMAN”, and “IMPERFECT PIECES” (MacGreagor Quest Series), are set in Scotland then showing the migration to America, Sold to Abingdon Press for publication in 2013 and 2014. Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s “Flaming Rose” still under consideration by Susan Downs at Summerside - Her "Love Finds You in Charleston" going at committee level at Summerside

Barbara Warren’s book “Murder at the Painted Lady” soon to release from Avalon

Bobby Weaver's "If It Weren't For Us Christians - There'd Be More Christians" released by Crossover Press and is IN TOP TEN on Amazon’s humor Christian list

·         60 active clients
·         93 book contracts
·         7 clients with three or more book deals - Amy 3, Max 15, Tammy 3, Raquel 3, Tim C 3, Mark (inactive) 11, and Jennifer 7.
·         52% of clients pubbed since signing on
·         251 proposals out
·         2729 incoming submissions worked