Archives for February 2016

Signing a Publishing Contract: Calculations?

Advance

There are lot of reasons why authors want to go with trade publishers.  They don’t want to do the work. They want books on the shelves.  Or they want the prestige.  They think a trade publisher will do a better job in marketing.  They want reviews in major print publications.  Great expectations and wishful thinking… But how will you fare money-wise in the end?
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Imagine you have two publishing offers:
One has a advance of $5,000 and 6,5% royalties against the advance, the other publishing contract presents $2,500 advance and 9% royalty you will earn out against the advance. Which offer do you take and why?

Money earned today is worth more than money earned next year…
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You could take the money you earned today, put it in the bank, and have more money next year – also not in a savings account with these whimsical interest the banks are paying, you would need to invest it smarter.  So, if you are thinking about the rights you are giving up to a publisher, consider their value for 35 years, and take into account the time-value of money.  Luckily, economists have been doing this kind of calculation for years. It’s called a net present value calculation.
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How much is Money Worth over Time?  
Money today is worth a lot to you.  Money earned in a couple of months is not worth nearly as much.  If you’re carrying credit card debt at a 19% interest rate, money today is worth a lot more to you than it is to someone who has no debt at all.

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Let’s Take the Example:
You are offered $2,500 advance for a book.  What would it take for the net present value of your self-published earnings to come out to $2,500?  Using for example 2% as an interest rate, a contract that offers you $2,500 is the equivalent of earning approx.  $109 a year for 35 years, which is making you in the neighbourhood of $9.97 a month.  That’s what $2,500 book advance means roughly.  What kind of steady sales would you need to equal that advance over time?  A $2,500 advance is an absolutely pitiful investment by a publisher.  They will earn back their money in short time.

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Bestselling Author C. Milan Calculated:
“What if you were offered $500,000 for a book?  A huge advance.  A self-published book that has the same net value is one that makes $19,750 a year, $1,645 a month – which means selling about 633 copies at $3.99 a month every month.  Put another way:
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A book at $3.99 that falls somewhere between Amazon rank 5,000 and 10,000 for 35 years is worth $500,000 today.
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Whether your books are still performing well in 35 years will probably depend on whether you are still writing new books at this time, and what you’re doing to promote and push your books in Year 35.”
You also have to take into account that you can earn out your advance on your traditionally published books.  If you’re offered an advance of $2,500 for a book, you will earn out your advance over the course of your publishing career unless your book was unprofessionally produced and priced. How long will it take you to earn out? How much will you earn per year after that?
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Let’s assume you self-publish the book at $3.99.  That you sell 2,000 copies of the book a year for the first five years (the lower price point combatting whatever marketing the publisher may or may not do for the book) and 500 copies a year for the next 30 years of comparison.  And let’s suppose that you must spend $2,000 to get your book on the market.

The first year, you will make $3,200 – $5,200 income minus $2,000 in expenses.  From year 2-5 you earn $5,200.  Years 6-35 you make $1300. The net value of self publishing your book is in the vicinity of almost $50.000.

If you want to know what your rights are worth,
you should think of the value over time for 35 years.

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Why go With a Trade Publisher?
Have at least some sense of what this is costing you.  If you are offered an advance of $2,500, look at people from this particular publisher who are similarly situated, and ask what kind of marketing they are really getting.  How much is it worth?

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Another Consideration:
“Ebooks are Forever”. It might be true in the strictest sense of the word. Yet ownership rights in your ebook will terminate seventy years after your death – no matter if you self publish or work with a publisher.  However, if you sign a traditional publishing contract, your publishing rights are not tied up forever if you are an American author.  All U.S. authors have the statutory right to terminate a grant of rights 35 years after publication under 17 U.S.C. 203.  Self-published authors and publishers can relaunch books at any time.  Traditionally published authors sometimes get the opportunity to relaunch a book when their publisher reverts a book’s rights back to them.
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Let your heirs know this too and mention it in your will or give your family copies of your contract, just in case! Thirty-five years is a long time, but it’s not forever.

 

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Great Alternatives to BookBub

 

Alternative
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SelfPublishingReview compiled a great list of alternatives – or better choices to the 800-lb Gorilla in book advertising via email newsletters – also called the “Groupon for ebooks”: Bookbub is very expensive (between $65 and US$2.400 in average) and accepts only 10-20% of book applications to advertise, mostly during free Kindle ebook or reduced-book-campaigns.

Their dreaded email answer looks something like this: “The editorial team reviews all the submissions that meet our minimum guidelines for a certain category and price point, and selects the titles within that group that they believe will perform best with our subscribers. Other titles the editors reviewed were a better fit for our readers’ current tastes, so they have not chosen your book for a feature…”
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Not the Only Game in Town…
SPR (SelfPublishingReview) explains: “The reason their newsletter recommendations are so effective is because they’re very selective. Their reader base knows they’re getting a good deal on a good book, not just another 99 cent book with no track record.”  A more important reason: BookBub entered in affiliate programs, and only commercially successful books makes them money – additionally to the expensive ads.

SPR records sites for paid listings on their blog, not free books, and advertising via newsletter.  Requirements of most sites are: a great book of at least 100 pages, price not higher than $5.99 maximum, a great cover and at least 4-5 reviews from verified purchases – and the book should be discounted.
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SPR Lists the Top 35:

http://booksends.com/
100,000+ subscribers min. 5 reviews cost: $10 – 125

http://bookgorilla.com/
100,000+ subscribers min. 5 reviews cost: $40 – 75

http://thefussylibrarian.com/
100,000+ subscribers min. 10 reviews cost: $5 – 16

http://bargainbooksy.com/
50,000+ subscribers ~ cost: $25 – 50

http://ereadernewstoday.com/
~ ~ cost: $15 – 25

http://kindlenationdaily.com/
167,000+ subscribers ~ cost: $99.99

http://ebooksoda.com/
~ min. 8 reviews cost: $10

http://fkbt.com/
150.000+ subscribers min. 4 reviews cost: $25 – 100

Read More and Get the Whole List Here at SPR
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So, Why Was Your Book Ad Rejected?
Very easy: with new books, even if they have several 5-star reviews they cannot make enough money through BookBub’s affiliate program with Amazon.  Only books that are already bestsellers are accepted by their “editorial staff” (whoever this might be and whoever their qualifications are…).  Maybe not a loss, as we hear from so many writers that the success with them is dwindling rapidly…

During a research of book advertising companies I came over their website, studied it carefully and read several press releases that they had blasted out.
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No Answers to my Questions.
As a trained business and marketing professional, I asked them several questions, e.g.:

1. What are your Nielsen numbers? An industry standard in media…

2. Are your email lists acquired or genuine through many years of reader contacts obtained?

3. How can you proof the subscriber numbers?

4. Are you belonging to an affiliate program with Amazon or other online retailers

Answer for question 1:
Only through persistence and several emails later, I got half-answers:
No, the amount of advertisers is not confirmed by Nielsen stats or any other organization. I also was wondering about their relatively low number of followers on Social Media and very few tweets or posts to promote their customers, considered what these writers pay for.
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Answer for Number 2:
no comment from them, despite several emails.
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Number 3: See number 1:
The amount of email subscribers can and will not be verified.
Their subscriber forms contains a dozen or more categories / genres that people can choose – and if someone is interested in several (or all genres) they get newsletters for all of them. Which means in turn, they might be “counted” as not only one subscriber, but as many as they choose genres.  So much about inflating subscriber numbers… And they don’t work with independent analyzing companies, who rate the amount of advertising / subscribers
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Answer to my Question Number 4:
It took three emails with inquisitive questions, until they confessed to work with affiliate programs.

Until last spring, advertisers who were enrolled in Amazon’s affiliate programs, earned up to 7% for each downloaded book in the KDP Select free book campaigns (maybe even for Prime members lending). Now these commissions are only paid for books that are at least 99cents.

They are obliged by FTC rules to let each customer and advertiser know that they make additional commissions, aside from the advertising fees –  without disclosing this!

On March 12, 2015 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its guidance for advertising disclosures in a guide called .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising….  Which should be clear and conspicuous. Here are some of the highlights from the guidelines:
Consumer protection laws such as the FTC’s prohibition on unfair or deceptive acts or practices apply to all media, including mobile devices.  Disclosures (for Affiliate programs) must be placed as close as possible to the claims.
To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.

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Beware! Read What Fellow Writers Can Teach You

publishing contract

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Brooke Warner, author and publisher, writes on Huffington Post: “Most writers have traditional publishing aspirations.  They want an agent to fall in love with their project and champion their work; they’re looking for the external validation of being accepted by a publishing house; their fantasies about getting published involve a red carpet experience that’s increasingly elusive in this industry.”  But she also cautions: “Be vigilant, self-advocating, and savvy during this process.”
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Caveat. Scriptor: Let. the. Writer. Beware! 

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Be Careful What to Wish For.
Following blog posts of “published” writers, you might have read similar remarks as I found on the website of a bestselling author, who went for many years with traditional publishers.  She explains in her blog that she has never been paid on time.  She had to threaten her publisher more than once to pull her books, in order to get her royalty payments that were months overdue.  This author sometimes had to wait only for her royalty statements two months.
But that’s not all: “The production on my last two books ran so late that there were no review copies sent to major markets and reviewers. I had turned in my manuscripts early, so the problem was entirely on the publisher’s end.”  For her latest book she had to remind them for the copy edit because the book – its launch was only two months away – had no copy editing, proofing, or Advanced Review Copies (ARC’s). Her e-book came out nine months after the print book…

She is talking here only about book production and payments. Another example how unprofessional publishing companies are handling the book promotion and sales pages of their authors at online retailers, can be found in two of my recent blogs :

http://www.savvybookwriters.com/test-yourself-how-professional-are-you-publishing-part-1/
http://www.savvybookwriters.com/2nd-part-of-test-yourself-how-professional-are-you-publishing/

Book Rights And Wrongs And Traps To Avoid


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Check the Publisher Before you Sign an Agreement.
Talk to a variety of authors who work with this publisher, bestseller, mid-list and first-time writers, but also with authors who left the publishing company and are now self-publishing.  Ask these writers:

  • Has the publisher lived up to its contractual obligations?
  • Has the publisher tried to change the terms of the contract after signing?
  • Does the company pay on time (within 30 days of the payment’s due date)?
  • Does the company issue royalty statements on time?
  • Has it published the books in a timely fashion?

Before you ever contact a traditional publishing company, do your research.  Start with Publisher’s Marketplace, and don’t forget to google the publishing company with the added word: “complaints”.

Websites that are stating complaints and are giving advice what to look out for:
The Fine Print of Self-Publishing
Predators and Editors
Author Beware Thumbs Down Publisher List
So far you will not only find complaints and cautionary stories about trade publishers, but also about Vanity publishers.
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Vanity Publishers or so-called “Self-Publishers”.
“Self-publishing companies” – the worst of predators – are really an oxymoronic: you are either self-publishing or someone is publishing you.  Paying someone to be your publisher is like hiring someone to take a vacation for you so you can stay home and work.  Read my former articles about Vanity publishers:

Five Worst Publishers
Comparison of Trade/Vanity/Author-Publishing
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Here is the definition for the term, “publisher.”  A publisher is an entity that invests in and assumes the risks for the producing and distributing a piece of media, such as books, e-books or audio-books.  And you as an author license the copyright (or parts of it) of your manuscript.

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What to Look for in the Publishing Contract?
Find out if the trade publisher company:

  • will negotiate certain points of its contracts
  • will reserve the right to revise my manuscript
  • will try to buy all book rights
  • will want to own all rights to any pen name used by the writer

There are many more traps in publishing contracts, such as mentioned in these blog posts:

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/the-traps-in-publishing-contracts/
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/do-you-understand-your-publishing-contract-2/

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NEVER, NEVER, NEVER sign a contract without having your contract lawyer going over it and explaining it to you in detail – sentence for sentence.
“There is no consumer-type protection for authors, the laws governing (publishing) business contracts assume that each party to such contracts will watch out for themselves.  
If both parties sign a contract, the strong presumption is that each party understood what the contract meant and voluntarily agreed to be bound by it.  In extreme cases, if a lawsuit were filed, a contract might be deemed unconscionable and voided in whole or in part, but that is a high (and costly) hurdle to clear.”

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Why Share Your Google+ Posts “Privately”?


Google+

I just found a great and very useful post of one of my favored peers on Google+ and clicked on the SHARE icon – which is a right-turning arrow on Google+, when a window came up:
This post was originally shared privately. Be thoughtful about who you re-share it with. You can’t reshare it publicly.”
Well, I should have seen it, before hitting the sharing button: under her name appeared “Shared privately”.
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Going back to her timeline, I found this “Shared privately” on all her articles she published on Google+ recently.  This Google+ pop-up window prevented me to share this great article with all my followers (and their followers and the public).

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Why Share Only Privately?
As it was a post about book cover design, I assumed, it was just an oversight and contacted the author.  She was surprised to learn that everything she posted on Google+ goes only to her followers, but not to “extended followers” and certainly not to “public”.
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Usually if one chooses “circles, extended circles and public”, these buttons stay put at future posts.  Usually you don’t have to click on them again before posting.  However, if you “emptied your computer’s cache” or if you have several email addresses, and you change the address that is related to your Google+ account, the chosen circles disappear and when you return to your Google+ page later, you have to set your posts once more to “extended circles” and to “public”.
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The greatest advantage of using Google+ is having your posts immediately in Google’s Search Engines.  Your content does not need to be “found” by the search engines, it is already there.

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Posts are Indexed Almost Immediately.
Try this out – provided you are on Google+ for a while and you have posted there before: publish a short article or a headline and link on the side, copy your headline and go to Google’s internet search function.  You will find your own article on page one of Google Search.  There is more: If you like a post and click on +1, this article will also show up under your name in Google’s Search Engine.
Cyrus Shepard from Moz.com explains: “1’s ARE NOT used in Google’s algorithm, but the secondary effects are quite significant, such as:”

  • Google+ passing PageRank
  • Google+ passing Anchor Text
  • Google+ helping indexation
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”Posting content on Google+ that folks share is just like earning a link.  And if the post is widely shared and earns authority on its own right, then it’s just like earning an editorial, high-authority link, and should be treated so.”
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Alphabet-and-Google
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How to Avoid “PRIVATE” Posts?
Assuming you are on Google+ to reach as many people as possible, and to get immediately into the search results, even trying to get your message viral – you need to set your posts to

  • Public
  • Extended Circles
  • You even get the option: “Also send emails from you to Your circles” – which should be sparingly used, for example only when you launch a new book.

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When you place your message / post in your timeline, you will see directly underneath the field all the icons for photos, link, video, event and poll.  The next line ask you to share to “Your circles” – which means you will sharing it only PRIVATELY. When you click on public and extended circles your post might get picked up by ten-thousands of people all over the Internet, as your post can be found immediately in Google’s search engines.

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SearchMetrics‘ and Moz’s Studies on Google+
Other studies have found similar results: “After Page Authority, a URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor.  In fact, the correlation of Google +1s beat out other well known metrics including linking root domains, Facebook shares, and even keyword usage.”
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More about the benefits of Google+

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/5-tips-for-a-successful-google-presence/
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/the-best-reasons-to-be-on-google/
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/5-google-tips-for-advanced-users/
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/how-to-import-your-linkedin-contacts-to-google/

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Got the Blues? 3 Writers Who Will Motivate You

Winter Blues

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Jack Canfield has launched 47 New York Times Bestsellers and sold over 500 million books worldwide – on the NYT bestseller list. Time Magazine called it the “publishing phenomenon of the decade”.  If not him, who else could motivate you?  Enjoy this 7-minute video with tips for new authors from Jack Canfield.  He tells how he went from inner city school teacher to bestselling author, persevering through 144 rejections, until a small, self-help publisher in Florida called HCI, published the book.  The rest is history …
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Jack Canfield Even Offers 3 Free Video Training Courses:
http://www.bestsellerblueprint.com/how-to-write-a-book/

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1. Foundations & The Author’s Money Tree.

  • Key things you need to know to get started as an author
  • Ten often-overlooked ways to profit from your book.
  • A strategy you can copy which provided $24,000/month in much-needed cash flow in the early days of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul.’
  • What it takes to hit the New York Times Best Seller List (and all-too-common mistakes that cause even authors who sell lots of books miss making the list).
  • Key ways to structure your book to increase its appeal … and MUCH more
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2. 10 Keys to A Bestselling Book

  • Things the most successful books have in common, which often aren’t immediately obvious.
  • How to make your book concept compelling.
  • A common mistake all too many authors make with their first book.
  • How to create a catchy title for your book.
  • A key thing Jack has done for each of the 47 New York Times bestselling books he’s launched … and much MORE!

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3. Thinking Big As An Author + Marketing Strategies

  • A simple thing Jack did which helped him launch his first bestseller.
  • How to achieve your own dreams with your book.
  • A strategy for selling your book before it comes out (and how that was critical to the success of Jack’s first book).
  • Clever ways to make your book appealing to the media and how one author landed a national TV appearance for his book.

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Get Even More Motivation from 2 More Video Series:
Both, Tim Ferris and Tony Robbins have written several Bestsellers, also both admit that they are not passionate writers, but nevertheless have the passion to pen their self-help books.

It makes them a perfect fit to motivate other writers to persevere and carry on with the task of finishing a great book.  What’s more, they inspire authors with lots of ideas on how to market their books.  One doesn’t need to be such marketing talents as Ferris and Robbins, who are both famous motivational speakers, to succeed.  There are lots of steps for shy writers as well.
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Tim Ferris
He is best know through “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5”, which is now for years in the bestseller lists.  See these motivational videos:

Timothy Ferriss and The 4-Hour Workweek
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owAat3D3tHk

The 4-Hour Method at Oxford Union
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvYitCV9m84

Best of all:
Get a FREE audio-book of The 4-Hour Workweek on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hiNWwPAfV4
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Tony Robins
Tony Robbin’s book MONEY is #1 Best Seller in Motivational Self-Help, 689 pages – all proceeds go to charity!

Tony Robbins motivation for success – Words Of Wisdom
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZD0dzlG27s

Tony Robbins’s Top 10 Rules For Success
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9F19ban7A4

Tony Robbins at Oprah’s Lifeclass – LIVE from NYC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BevbnirdsCk
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Writers are working in a lonely occupation with usually not much motivation from friends and family, let alone inspiration!  Listening to or watching these videos during breaks, on your way to the day job or while hanging out on the beach will encourage you and help you to write more great books, blogs and articles and publish them successfully.

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What Writers Can Deduct from Taxes

Income-Tax

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April 18, 2016 … You know what this deadline means for US-citizens?  Yes, income tax return!  They are due latest on this day.  And it’s only a couple of weeks until then… Tax season is already in full swing.  Don’t wait until the last minute.

Writers are presumed to be a professional if their writing made a profit in at least three out of the last five tax years, including the current year. Which means:  Not more than two years of expenses that are higher than the author income.
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Considerations of Profitability
There are a couple of other considerations that revenue agencies, such as the IRS, are listing, for example:

  • Have you made a profit in similar activities in the past? If you have a successful book under your belt — or even a series of articles in paid publications, such as newspapers, magazines or online publications, which means you are a professional writer.
  • Do you have the knowledge needed to carry on the activity as a successful business?  How much do you know about running that business?  Are you running it like a business, keeping records, keeping an eye to profitability?  Did you take classes / seminars about the publishing business (e.g. marketing or tax etc.) no matter if online or offline?
  • Have you created a professional book marketing and publicity plan?  This might even be shown by including affiliate programs on your website / blog.  If there are losses, are they due to circumstances beyond your control or did they occur in the start-up phase of the business?

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Expenses You Can Deduct:
It’s important to find every deduction to which you are entitled. Always try to pay expenses from a separate account, setup only for your writing business, to make bookkeeping easier.  Keep receipts and make copies of payments to contractors, freelancers and agency fees for book production, such as:

  • Proofreading
  • Editing
  • Illustrations
  • Photos
  • Graphic Design
  • Book Layout
  • Printing costs
  • eBook Formatting
  • Advanced Copy reviews
  • Book Trailer Design
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Book Promotion Costs, for example:

  • Advertisements, online and offline
  • Giveaways (free book review copies, pens etc.)
  • Flyers, brochures, business cards, bookmarks
  • Book Fair expenses
  • Costs for newsletters (AWeber, MailChimp etc.)
  • Entry fees for writing contests
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Other Costs, such as:

  • Transportation costs (note the dates, distance, reason)
  • Rental for book readings
  • Office rental or mortgage, heating, electricity for your home office by square feet
  • Phone / Internet / e-Reader costs
  • Website / blog costs, such as hosting or development
  • Computer / Copy Machine / Scanner / Router
  • Office Supplies
  • Meal expenses: in the USA full for public events you might host, and 50% if it is for a business purpose (interview, writers conference, meeting with book professionals, publishers, agents etc.)
  • Transportation to meetings, events
  • Research costs
  • Copyright registration and ISBN fees
  • your tax preparer or tax lawyer.
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Keep all your expense slips sorted by date and neatly filed to make it easier to find them.
If you pay anyone of the above listed more than a couple of hundred dollars, such as editors for example, you would need to include the contract and a form (in the United States it is IRS Form 1099-MISC).
Note for each meal/entertainment expense the names, number of people participating and reason for meeting)
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Publishers Weekly Gives this Advice:
“Income from an S corporation is not subject to Medicare tax,” says Robert Pesce, a partner in the media and entertainment group at Marcum LLP. “Only the salary an author is paid by the S corp is subject to the tax. So, an author with an S corporation who is earning $1 million and pays him- or herself $200,000 (a very reasonable salary at that earnings level) will only pay $6,000 (3%) in Medicare taxes, while an unincorporated author (sole proprietor) would pay approximately $30,000.”

However, if you are just starting out with less than a handful books, a sole proprietorship might be sufficient: Lawyer Helen Sedwick advices: “They are simpler to operate and subject to fewer arbitrary rules than the C corporations, S corporations, and LLC’s.”

 

Further Reading:
http://www.freelancetaxation.com/deductions-writers
http://www.bus.lsu.edu/accounting/faculty/lcrumbley/tax_aspects.html
Income Tax Rules for Non-US Authors
Ten Things Not to do While Completing Your Taxes

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Disclaimer:
These tips are meant to give general insight into tax information to writers, especially in the USA, and to give you an entry point so you can research further.  While every effort was made to ensure the information in this article is accurate at the time it was written, we are not tax experts.  Anyone filing taxes should consult a qualified tax preparer for updated tax laws and further specifics on how these rules might apply to your individual tax situation.

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33 Tips on How to Get More Followers on Social Media

Followers

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Did you know that only 1% of all your followers will see your tweet or post at any given time?
So, joining Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook is only the first step in creating an author platform.   Social media growth is more likely to happen when you are focusing on sharing amazing quality content that you know your audience loves.  To make these sites really work for you is only possible if you have lots of followers, friends or people in your Google+ circles.  

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One of the first questions of every literary agent or publisher will be: What is your platform?”  In other words: do you have a popular, well visited website or blog, and lots of followers with whom you interact on social media.

  1. Place social media sharing buttons (Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.) on your website and blog that will appear on each page.  Make sure you include these social media share buttons on each blog post, not just in your landing page sidebar.  All these sharing button links should also show up on “About Us” pages.
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  2. Put Follow buttons on your website and blog, that are appearing on each page.  Give your readers a way to connect with you. Don’t use only Twitter and Facebook, but also icons for all other social media site you are on: Google+ (the most important), LinkedIn, Pinterest, Goodreads etc.
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  3. Check out Twitter suggestions: “Who to Follow” on your left bar of your Twitter page.  Click the “refresh” button for more suggestions.
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  4. See who other Tweeps are following or who is following them. Do the same on Google+, click on “About” at one’s site and you will find the window “People” where you click on “in her / his circles”.  Then follow those who have the most interesting introduction.
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  5. Connect all your social media sites with each other.  When you post on Google+ or Pinterest your content should automatically appear on Twitter, and from there to all Twitter timelines you have on Goodreads, Amazon, your website etc.
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  6. “Bundle” all your social media accounts, your websites, blogs etc. in one single link, using http://about.me/
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  7. Have an appealing and professional portrait and an attractive background on all your social media sites. No one will follow a cat or a dog or an egg…
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  8. Use Twitter’s hidden gem: the “Pinned Tweet”, a master tweet that always shows up on top of your other tweets. Decide which tweet is most important.  How to place it is explained in Discover Twitter’s Secret Feature.
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  9. Encourage your email newsletter subscribers three or four times a year to follow you on your social media accounts.  List links to all your sites that readers can click to follow.
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  10. Link to your social media accounts from your email signature. The easiest way to let your readers know about ALL your social media sites is to use “About.me”.  See this example: http://about.me/ebookPR
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  11. Link your Google+ page / follower listing to your own website (see on the right site of this post).  Get more recommendations for your site in Google search and grow your audience on Google+.
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  12. In my ebook: 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free, I am explaining in detail how to import your LinkedIn contacts to your Google+ site.
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  13. Goodreads allows you to import (max.) 800 of your followers each from Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Gmail, and Goodreads Friends of Friends.
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  14. Post tweets from your Bit.ly (link shortener site, e.g. for blog or book titles) to your Twitter account(s).
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  15. Regularly contribute guest posts to popular influencer sites and link to your social media accounts in your bio, using “About.me”.
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  16. Actively find new followers in your niche and engage with them. Use the search function on top of each social media’s timeline and type in search words for ideal followers, for example: readers, bookworms, avid readers, book bloggers, book reviewers etc. if you are a writer or publisher.
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  17. Choose up to 25 (maximum on most sites, Google+ allows up to 50) new followers per day. If you do this daily on 4 social media sites, several hundred people might follow you back per week.
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  18. Share, retweet, +plus and like your followers content, tag or mention them, or comment on their blogs. Build relationships, spread the good karma, they will return you the favor eventually.
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  19. Find out who are the influencers in your niche using for example Tapinfluence. They explain: “One of the fastest-growing areas of content marketing is influencer marketing, the idea of working with social influencers.
    Your content connects best when it comes from the people your readers are trusting.”   Their influencer marketplace connects you to thousands of content creators on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, Vine, and blogs. To learn more they offer a free ebook to potential customers.
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  20. Other professional tools can be found on Buzzsumo (free and paid versions).
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  21. Find the most influential and award-winning book bloggers recommended by Digital Publishing and follow them not only on your blog but also on social media.
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  22. Accumulating new followers and readers often comes down to how often your content gets shared.  Use Hootsuite.com, or Futuretweets.com to schedule your main posts throughout the day, freeing you time to engage with your followers in person, responding to questions and comments.
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  23. Tell stories in your posts and blogs: They are far more likely to be shared than promotional content.
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  24. Get beautiful images on free photo sites, such as Morguefile.com, Wikipedia.com or Flickr.com.  They will greatly improve your posts and entice followers to like, repost or retweet your content.
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  25. Evoking positive emotions through your posts is great for increased sharing.  Posting funny or happy content will give you more shadings.
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  26. Blog about interesting conversations taking place on your social media accounts.  Discuss social media conversations on your blog: Entice your blog readers to follow you on social media by crossing the blog/social network divide.
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  27. Join LinkedIn groups and post articles on LinkedIn: As you provide valuable insights, group members will be more likely to want to hear more from you on social media.
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  28. Include lots of quotes in your posts and tweets.  They are very popular and will be re-tweeted and liked a lot.
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  29. Become a source of trending content and breaking news: Follow leading newspapers and other sources on Twitter and Google+, and then share breaking news with your followers.
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  30. Once a week promote your other social media accounts to your readers and followers.  For example, tweet about your Google+ or Pinterest site, or let your Facebook followers know you are on LinkedIn and Goodreads as well.
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  31. Don’t forget to include a social media call to action on your business card or on your bookmarks (for print versions), such as “follow me on my social media sites” – or “go to my “About.me” page to find all my social media sites”.  Hand them out at book signings, networking events, and writer conferences.
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  32. Use “click-to-tweet” (in your books and blog articles) to encourage your readers and followers to spread the word to their followers and to let them know about your twitter account / website / book.
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  33. Never buy followers. These artificial followers won’t ever re-tweet you or buy your book, mostly they are not even real people, but robots.
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To have more followers also means people assume you are someone interesting or an expert.  It extends your popularity, influence and more book sales.  However, equally important than impressive numbers of followers is how engaged you are with them – and vice versa.  Once you have reached 2,000 followers, there is no further limit and you will see an increase in high-volume and more quality follower offers.

Read also: How to Get More Followers on Your Social Media Sites and How to Be More Social and Less Media

 

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How to Get an Author Radio Interview

Radio-Show

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Founded in 1996, ArtistFirst was the first radio network ever to use the combination of the internet, web streaming and podcast archiving to promote Independent Artists.  The current average listenership to “The Authors-First Show” on ArtistFirst Radio is over 84,000 per show and rising!  More than 220 million listeners have enjoyed ArtistFirst Radio in the past two years.

Authors-First Show is a LIVE one-hour prime-time worldwide radio broadcast about you and your book
on the ArtistFirst World Radio Network! 

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Join over 8,000 Independent Authors.
That’s how many writers have already shared the ArtistFirst Radio Network microphones, including numerous best-selling “big name” authors and celebrities.  I was surprised how many writers who I know from my social media networks have been interviewed already. Check out if you find any of your writer friends on their website.

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Listen to 4,000 Past Shows for Free.
You can tune-in on your smartphone, your PC, tablet, laptop, or any internet device, anywhere in the world, by clicking:
http://lin1.ash.fast-serv.com:7988/stream.mp3.m3u – or log on to http://www.artistfirst.com and click on the “On Air” button to listen to the author interviews, like over 150,000 people do every day.
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How ArtistFirst Host Interviews Work.
You will be interviewed LIVE on-air over the phone, for about an hour, all the time discussing your life, your book and why folks should buy it.  You need to send them some material in advance of the show, and their host will use those materials to make the interview interesting and engaging.
Listeners are directed to the author’s website, and the ArtistFirst Radio Network posts infos about the book on their website.
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Get a Free Copy of Your Show.
While the show is airing live worldwide, the station engineer is also recording a copy of the show.  A few days later the show copy will be posted to the archive section of their web site, where it will remain indefinitely.  Anyone can listen to the archive immediately for free. You are also free to download your show’s archive and post it to your website or anywhere else you want.
Once you have been interviewed by a radio station make every effort to leverage this opportunity and let everyone know about it. Endorsements of traditional media, even if it’s simply mentioning your name, is marketing gold if you are trying to get a book into more readers hands.  Find lots of tips how you can subtly announce your public appearance in one of our former blog posts.
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How Much Does it Cost?
There is no set fee, the ArtistFirst Radio Network only asks the author to make a DONATION to the station in ANY amount they choose.  Set your donation for airtime and a 1-hour showcase radio infomercial that will exist in cyberspace probably forever!
Your donation in any amount helps to keep the dream alive, and affordable for all Independent Authors.  By accepting a donation based policy, ANY author, regardless of financial status, can be included in this series.

If you would like to appear contact The Authors-First program by e-mail:
booking@artistfirst.com, or call the station at 1-330-823-2264.

http://www.artistfirst.com/authorswanted.htm

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Tips and Tricks for Success with Radio Shows:
For more about how to get lots of Radio Interviews read a detailed article by William A. Gordon, by Jacqueline Church Simonds, and Bonnie Harris:

“Follow up with a thank you to your contact, and stay in touch to let that person know what’s happening with the book.  Interviewers and producers tend to “adopt” new authors they like and can be extremely helpful.  Cultivate your media connections like a new set of friends.”

“Another note – don’t get snotty about which station you will be on. Many smaller stations communicate with bigger ones.  If they hear you’re a great guest they will suggest you.”

“To book radio you need to think like a producer, not like somebody with something to sell.  Provide real content, respond immediately and be a prompt, entertaining guest.  Radio can be the springboard to bigger things – more importantly it has an incredible reach all on its own.”

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Latest Author Earnings Report: ebook, print, audio

if-you-dont-build-your-dream

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The first graphic in the latest report by Author Earnings shows that in two short years, the market share of paid unit sales between indie and the “Big 5” e-books has more than inverted.
The Big 5 now account only for less than a quarter of e-book purchases on Amazon, while books by independent authors are closing in on a whopping forty-five percent.
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E-book dollars earned by Big 5 publishers also shrunk, despite the greater profitability of e-books over print books. Overall, US e-book sales have actually gone up in dollar terms.
“Data Guy” is presenting some of his methodical approach and findings in more detail onstage at the Digital Book World 2016 Conference, on March 9, 2016, in NYC.

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How Accurate are the Findings?
The “validation dataset” always end up matching the actual Amazon-reported total daily sales for the group to within 6%… and most of the time to within 2%.
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More “Full-Priced” than Discounted Books.
The share of indie self-published titles on Amazon’s bestseller lists, at 27%, has not changed since September 2015.  It is still more than double than those of the “Big 5” titles. Significantly, has changed the degree to which Amazon’s overall Top 20 Best Sellers, and even the overall Top 10, are dominated by self-published titles from indie authors — nearly half of them “full-priced” sales, at prices between $2.99 and $5.99.

Author Earnings Explains:
“On January 10, the date our spider ran,

  1. 4 of Amazon’s overall Top 10 Best Selling ebooks were self-published indie titles
  2. 10 of Amazon’s overall Top 20 Best Selling ebooks were self-published indie titles
  3. 56 of Amazon’s overall Top 100 Best Selling ebooks — more than half — were self-published indie titles
  4. 20 of Amazon’s overall Top 100 Best Selling ebooks were indie titles priced between $2.99 and $5.99

The day we pulled the data for this report revealed 20 of Amazon’s overall Top 125 Best Selling e-books were self-published indie titles NOT ENROLLED in Kindle Unlimited.”

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My advice: there is absolutely no reason
to discount or giveaway your book for free
to reach bestselling status.
Don’t devalue your titles!
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Print and Audio-Book Numbers.
Author Earnings measured not only sales of e-books, but also print and audio-books.  “As of January 2016, Amazon was selling roughly 119,000 audiobooks per day — about $2,100,000 worth — which were generating $204,000 a day in author earnings.”

“We think audiobooks will be a huge growth area for self-published indie authors in 2016.  We can’t wait to see what these audio-sales pie charts will look like, a year from now.
In 2016, the reach of indie self-published authors isn’t limited by any means to ebooks.”
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“Every indie author should seriously consider releasing print-on-demand paperback editions and — as soon as quality narration can be afforded or arranged — audiobook editions of their books.”
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Read the whole report with lots of details:
http://authorearnings.com/report/february-2016-author-earnings-report/

 

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Canadian Writers and Publishers are Spoiled!

Canada-Writers .

The Canadian government is supporting and fostering literature, writers and publishers – and even ISBN’s are FREE in Canada!  The Federal Government as well as the provinces are offering lots of benefits, there is a huge list of government grants and support for writers and publishers. For example:  
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PUBLIC LENDING RIGHT PROGRAM
Canadian authors receive approx. $10 Million per year/ in average $600, and up to $3,500.  The Canada Council for the Arts distributes annual payments to Canadian authors through the Public Lending Right (PLR) Program as compensation for the free public access to their books in Canadian public libraries.
The Canada Council for the Arts pays Canadian authors who have books that are available for borrow in Canadian libraries.  The payment is not based on the amount of times your title has been loaned out but on the amount of titles you have available in libraries.
They offer a whole range of benefits for professional Canadian writers, collectives and publishers.  In addition to providing support for the creation, translation, publication and promotion of Canadian literature, the “Writing and Publishing Section” funds among others for example author residencies, literary readings and festivals, as well as new areas of activity such as rap poetry, storytelling and digital literature.
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PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT BENEFITS
Just one of many provincial benefits for publishers is the Ontario Book Publishing Tax Credit, offering generous tax deductions as well as funding possibilities and grants to publishers, for example:

Book Fund
Export Fund – Book
Industry Development Program
Research Grants
Funding Recipients
Collaboration and Innovation Fund

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Funding and Grants, or tax credits listed above are for publishers in the province of Ontario.  Every province in Canada has their own funding program. Visit your province’ websites regularly not to miss the latest application deadlines.  More about grants and funding for writers and publishers can also be found at the Enterprise Canada website.
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ACCESS COPYRIGHT
A study found that 80% of all copies made on copy machines are from books!  As a Writer and first-time publisher, back in Europe in the early 1980′s, I was thrilled to receive a copy-royalty cheque for $180.00 from VG WORT.
Later I found out that the same system works well in Canada under the name ACCESS COPYRIGHT.  One of the many benefits of being a small publisher or trade-published writer in Canada!  However you must have set up a small business in Canada, if you are not with an established (not Vanity!) publisher, explains ACCESS COPYRIGHT on their website.  If you sign up (for free) with Access Copyright – a non-profit organization – you will receive payments if your work is copied or shared.  You only need to register once and if your work is eligible, they will send you a check at the end of the year.
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COPYRIGHT CANADA
What Every Writer Needs to Know About Copyright.  Register your manuscript or articles online to the Copyright Office, Canadian Intellectual Property Office Website (fee Can $50).
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FREE ISBN IN CANADA
Good news for Canadian authors and publishers: the ISBN application process is simple and free of charge – but only if you are living in Canada and your publishing company is registered in Canada.
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MEANWHILE IN CANADA…
Amazon is not the first company, Enthrill, a Canadian book distributer is running a successful in-store e-book sales program.  North of 49 parallel, customers can purchase e-books (cards) in drugstores, WalMarts, SaveWay grocery stores, Sears or Home Outfitters etc. – all in all over 3,000 stores! – since 2012.
Enthrill gift cards are redeemable on any device with no download of an app required.  With distribution to thousands of retail stores, consumers are using Enthrill cards to give the gift of reading. Retailers have the ability to sell $25 or $50 gift cards, which the consumer can redeem instantly for e-books that can be read on any device.
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CANADIAN WRITERS DON’T NEED AGENTS
“You must get an agent!” is an advice that aspiring authors hear and read everywhere.  Is it really true?  Not for Canadian writers!   Beacon Literary Services owner Julie Ferguson says: ”Publishing statistics in Canada demonstrate that it is simply a misconception caused by American influence.  In Canada, only ten percent of books / writers are agented.
Aspiring and established authors up there successfully submit the majority (10,000) of the titles published every year directly to editors.” Author Julie Ferguson wrote a great blog post for Canadian writers, explaining in detail how publishing “north of 49th parallel” works, with a link to Publishers.ca, featuring listings and contact information in Canada.

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WRITE FOR CANADIAN INFLIGHT MAGAZINES.
Writing for airline magazines, such as Air Canada’s enRoute, or WestJet’s WestJet Magazine, represents a real opportunity for every freelance writer.  Travel pieces are a staple of in-flights, yet airline publications also offer articles on technology, business, sports, and food, as well as lifestyle trends.  Find as much as possible of the articles online.

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HOW TO OPEN A PUBLISHING BUSINESS IN CANADA?
Authors are smart and able to start their own publishing business, REAL publishing, not POD and not Vanity Publishing: Finding and getting quotes or referrals for an editor, a book lay-out company or book designer, cover artist, e-book formatting company and a printer is not difficult.  Setting up their own company can be done online – in minutes.
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READING CANADIAN BOOKS and ARTICLES
English is English! – No! Not at all! Canada and America are two countries separated by a common language – this is how George Bernard Shaw’s statement could be converted.  Many American (and other) readers are surprised to learn that there are huge differences in spelling between English-speaking countries.  A book, written and published in Canada, needs almost to be “translated” into American English and vice versa.
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BERTON HOUSE Writers’ Retreat, Dawson City, Yukon Territory
Professional Canadian writers who have one published book and are established in any creative literary discipline(s) — fiction, non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, journalism — are all encouraged to apply for Canada’s most northern Writers’ Retreat.
The Writer’s Retreat offers writers time, and a remote location to pursue their professional projects.  The writer will be housed in the Berton House at no cost in rent or utilities.  Travel costs to and from Dawson will also be covered!  The writer is responsible for a public reading in Whitehorse and Dawson City and a summary of their stay at Berton House.
Applications may be submitted by mail or email to: jdavies@writerstrust.com
Berton House Writers’ Retreat, c/o The Writers’ Trust of Canada
200-90 Richmond St. East, Toronto, ON M5C 1P1
http://www.bertonhouse.ca/retreat.html

A monthly honorarium is provided to help cover food and other living expenses.  The competition to be a writer-in-residency during the 2016-17 season is now open.  An online application form is available.  Deadline for submissions is in October of every year.
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HAIG BROWN RESIDENCY
Published authors are being invited to apply for the Haig-Brown House Writer-in-Residence position.  The residency entails spending the mild Vancouver Island winter months (or a portion thereof) living in the Haig-Brown Heritage House, which is under the management of the Museum at Campbell River on Vancouver Island (BC).

The modest four bedroom house reflects the character of writer Roderick Haig-Brown and his wife Ann.  Located in a peaceful setting on the banks of the Campbell River on Vancouver Island, it contains a Heritage library and is surrounded by two acres of garden and 17 acres of public parkland.

The writer’s time will be divided between pursuing personal writing projects and providing literary advice and support to the local community, and participate in Museum winter programming.  Included is a stipend of up to CAN $2,000 per month, depending on funding.

Please include a resume (maximum two pages), a list of publications, a one-page proposal of anticipated community activities, and a sample of work in progress (20 pages); with reasons why the residency would further your work.  Forward your application package to Sandra Parrish, Museum at Campbell River, Box 70 Stn A, Campbell River, BC V9W 4Z9. For further information contact sandra.parrish@crmuseum.ca.
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CANADIAN WRITER ASSOCIATIONS

Writers Guild

Professional Writers Association of Canada

Canadian Writers Union

Canadian Authors Association and Branches

Crime Writers of Canada
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Canada is one of twenty-nine countries with an active public lending right payment program. Well, with all these benefits it is not bad at all to be a writer in Canada!

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