Archives for August 2016

Why Money for Online Ads Might be Wasted


Rob Eagar, a book publishing consultant, author of “Facebook is holding your Readers Hostage”, wrote another eye-opener about online book advertising and why it doesn’t work.

Ad-Blocking Software is Growing Rapidly.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported, that “Over 25% of U.S. internet users now employ online ad-blocking software on their desktop computers, according to new research commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.”
The New York Times reported that ad blocking software is even more popular overseas: “The figures are even higher in Europe, where 77 million people use versions of the software.”

People Don’t View the Ads They’re Supposed to Receive.
A pioneering online eye-tracking study by the U.K. research company, Lumen, revealed that only 9% of online ads are viewed for more than one second by consumers.  In other words, 91% of online ads were never seen at all or they were scanned in less than a second without any cognitive connection or engagement occurring.  How is this possible?

According to the Lumen Research, the Online Advertisement

  • May not load in time.
  • It may be ‘below the fold’ where it can’t be seen.
  • It may be the result of fraudsters who send a pixel that registers as a ‘response from a web server to a page request from the user browser’” trying to simulate human behavior.
  • 46% of online ads that Lumen studied were not even visible to consumers.

Just because publishers are buying online ads doesn’t mean people are looking at the ads.  To make matters even weirder, what if the “people” viewing the ads aren’t really people?”

The Robots are Taking Over.
Fans of science fiction like to fantasize about doomsday scenarios where robots take over the planet.  We’re getting close that reality on the Internet.  In the end of 2015, robots or “Internet bots” accounted for almost half of all Internet traffic according to a study by Imperva Incapsula.

Some marketers mistakenly believe that dedicated advertising platforms, such as Facebook Ads and Google Adwords, are less susceptible to bots and fraudulent behavior.  Again, the research paints an ugly picture.  A study of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook by Oxford BioChronometrics in January 2015 yielded these results:
“Between 88% and 98% of all ad-clicks were by a bot of some kind, with over 10% of these bots being of a highly advanced type, able to mimic human behaviour to an advanced extent, thus requiring highly advanced behavioural modelling to detect them.”

So, what can you do as an Advertiser?
Rob Eager provides several steps that advertisers can use to make sure their marketing dollars are not wasted.  It’s time for the online ad industry to admit the corruption that exists and clean up their act!  Read the full article here

My own advice for years to our clients has been: CONTENT MARKETING.
It doesn’t cost a cent if you are a writer: to “advertise” your books just write more.

  • Write short e-books (free or 99cents)
  • Write magazine and newspaper articles
  • Write useful email newsletters
  • Write guest blogs
  • Write lots of reviews for other writers
    … and most important: write your next book.


Book-Production in Easy Steps

Book Production

Are you exhausted after finishing your manuscript? 

You invested so much time and talent into your book – and you have a lot of book marketing ahead of you.
Now let the professionals finish your book production:
editing, book layout and cover design.
In the meantime get advanced reviews for the editorial review part of your Amazon page and the back jacket of your print book, prepare your book launch, and spruce up your social media networks.
A Word of Caution:
NEVER, EVER use the “service” of vanity presses, subsidy “publishers” or “self-publishing” companies.  There is no need to sign away your rights and to pay over-priced book production services.
To give you just one example: Using a vanity company, who has the ISBN for your book and who set up your Amazon presence, you are totally limited in your marketing efforts.  You can never control your book marketing, such as sales campaigns, book giveaways, create a professional author page, or change distribution channels.  Don’t forget: these are no real publishers (even if they call themselves publishers), they charge a fortune for their services and are shunned by most book stores or librarians. Vanity companies make their money with expensive book productions – and NOT with the sale of books.  Authors will neither safe time nor money, and will sell their soul to the devil.
Do Your Research!
Find out who edited, printed, formatted and distributes the titles and who did the layout among the bestsellers in your genre.
Ask your writer peers, your social media friends in forums and communities, or just type in your search words at your social media sites.  Most of these editors, formatters and layout-ers have a presence there.  It is easy to find lots of professional service providers to finish your book.

You Get What You Pay For…
Don’t shop for the cheapest, rather the best partners.  We provide here just an overview what’s involved in book production, read Joel Friedlander’s really helpful blog article: Why Self-Published Books look Self-Published

The Editing process:
Even though many authors are talented writers and often spectacular at grammar, they should never be the book editor of their own project. You might have logged long hours going through your manuscript with a fine-tooth comb, read, write, delete, re-write, re-read, delete…  Then, after carefully reviewing the spelling and grammar and fact-checking the document, you may have even handed the manuscript over to your your former English teacher and every member of your writing group, however none of this is equal to a professional edit.

Contact editors whose sites inspire confidence and ask about their work process, rates, time frames, and any other information you need to know.  Request a sample edit from the respondents you like.  Samples are often free, and around five 250-word pages.
The editing process is not meant to offend you or detract from all of the perfecting you have already done.  Rather, an edit is meant to increase the quality and success of your book, regardless of subject or genre.  There are several steps involved in editing and professional trade publishers often employ special editors for each of these steps:

  • Line editing
  • Content Editing
  • Copy Editing
  • Proof Reading

The Book Cover and Title.
The correct title can really help to ensure the success of your project.  Or not… A great cover will raise the attention of potential readers. And yes, books are judged by their covers.

  • It must be easy to understand and speak.
  • It should ideally be less than 32 characters (plus the subtitle).
  • You must be able to purchase the exact URL for the title.
  • Buy your Author name domain also.
  • The title should clearly demonstrate to readers what they will discover in this eBook.


For e-Books:

  • Keep the design clean.
  • Use a focal point to orient the user
  • Make sure people can read it without glasses.
  • Make the design match the content.

For Print:

  • Use the spine properly.
  • Include a photo of the author.
  • The largest font size is used on the information that is most important


Joel Friedlander has a great blog post series about book layout mistakes to avoid. You can learn almost everything about book design by following Joel Friedlander’s blogs and by reading his books, to be found at  Technical information can be obtained at Basic Book Design or answers to your basic book design questions.

Pre-Publishing Services:


Susan Uttendorfsky Adirondack Editing

Daniel Kenyon Editing


Samita Sarkar


Two BOOK COVER DESIGNERS, I can personally recommend:

Anitra Jay

Laura Wright LaRoche

David Cassidy


… another important step in creating an e-book that should be done by real professionals,
here are two proven e-book designers:

After going through the pre-production stages – the editorial and design part – your next step will be distribution of your new book, covered in the next blog post. However, while your book is at the pre-publishing service providers, don’t forget to actively market your upcoming book!
Prepare your author pages on Goodreads and Amazon, start Goodreads and LibraryThing Giveaways. Get as many pre-orders and reviews as possible, plan and invite all your potential readers to your book launch – virtual and in person. Lots of more tips can be found at 111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free.


Why Trade Publishers Become Absolute


International Bestselling Author, Speaker, Creator of The Bestseller Academy, Kallen Diggs recently listed all the reasons why traditional publishing is becoming dinosauric in his fabulous article The Inevitable Death of Traditional Book Publishers and in detail at his blog: 
Reaching the Finish Line.

Trade Publishers: Why Enter the Vanity Publishing Sector?
The first reason might be to “eliminate the competition” and to control self-publishing authors – and secondly to make lots of money out of them, however not with book sales, but rather with production and “marketing” fees.  Publishers don’t have to pay advances anymore, and the book productions costs are fully, even over-paid, by the author.  If there are any book sales, the publisher cashes in again.

During the last five years many of these “Big Five” Trade Publishers were opening dozens of Vanity Publishing Imprints, offering wannabe “published” authors low royalties and grabbing the author’s publishing rights.  They are sticking out the carrot for writers to be “published” by any of the Big Five – famously Penguin, who used notorious’ Author Solution’s imprints.  But at the end of the day, these trade publishers are one more company to take advantage of author’s property rights even though they are mostly not exercising the film, TV (“book-to-screen” services) or foreign rights.  “Just in case” a book is discovered by Hollywood, so they can cash in again …

If Authors Signed up With:
AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse,Trafford Publishing, Palibrio, and Booktango, they fell into the trap of Author Solutions, once owned by Penguin and in the meantime sold. According to Wikipedia: “AuthorSolutions also maintains partnerships with traditional book publishers Simon & Schuster (Archway Publishing), Thomas Nelson (WestBow Press), Hay House (Balboa Press), Guideposts (Inspiring Voices); as well as with Writer’s Digest (Abbott Press).

Authors hoping to self-publish were misled by the “self-publishing” companies, offering a range of services and charging large sums of money to publish those new books.
Self publishing is the business of charging authors to have their books published.  Author Solutions and its subsidiaries are some of the biggest, and Author Solutions’ growth during this time reflected this trend” … which is now somewhat down I might add, thanks to the bad press they received over the last couple of years.

But that’s not all: Harper Collins also entered the author-exploding “business” with their imprint Harper Legend, and Hachette banded with Perseus, which owns ten imprints alone.  So, there is no shortage on traps for writers who want to be “published”.
The term “self-publishing company” is an oxymoron anyway: Either someone self-publishes independently or not.  Read also a former blog post we wrote: How to Identify a Reputable Publisher.
Desperate Trade Publishers?
Is the publishing industry so desperate that they need to set up self-publish imprints?  “Major publishers are going to have to compete with the 70 percent earnings offered by Amazon’s KDP, margins are going to get squeezed and they will have to compete with indies on price, which means getting squeezed on the price side too.  As middlemen, their role is not only going to get smaller as self-published authors bypass them—their profit margins are going to shrink as readers and authors demand better prices and pay” explains bestelling author Hugh Howey in an interview.
More Confidence Please!
And for authors: why do they think they wouldn’t be able to produce and market their own books?  Finding an editor, formatter / lay outer and cover designer is really easy – and compared to the fees of “self-publishing” companies – it will cost much less.  The biggest advantage to go “totally indie” are the much higher earnings (often eight to ten times more), and that authors are independent and true SELF-PUBLISHERS.
Credibility for and the quality of self-published books is raising from year to year.  Maybe one day we look down to trade publishers in disgust… Find a lot of valuable tips for your book production in the next blog article here on SavvyBookWriters.

Kallen Diggs who compared the earnings of self—publishers to those of “published” authors will be an eye-opener.  Take his advice: “Learn the art of sales. After all, that is what ultimately matters in the end. Focus on selling more books.”  And I am adding : “If you love writing that much, sell more books to be able to write full-time.



Writers: Earning Money on Wattpad?

Wattpad Futures gives the platform’s more than 2.3 million writers a chance to earn income in-story.  “In-story ads are placed strategically in chapter breaks of some of the most popular stories on the platform.”
Kind of Affiliate Program.
Through the Wattpad Futures program, writers can choose to insert ads between chapters of their Wattpad story; every time a reader views an ad, the writer earns money.
Porter Anderson of Publishing Perspectives explains: “ When an ad is available between chapters of a work on the platform, what the reader sees is an invitation to view it.  Writers are paid according to views. 90 percent of readers are engaging on mobile.  The Toronto, Canada, based Wattpad Stars is a stable of particularly popular writers on the platform.  More than $1 million was paid out to them last year, company officials say, for their abilities to draw traffic to their writings.”

“Readers have always encouraged their favorite storytellers with messages, comments, and votes.  Now, they can support Wattpad writers in a way that increases the writer’s income, without having to pay out of pocket.”

About Wattpad – if You Are Not a Member Yet…
Wattpad was established in 2006.  Today it has more than 45 million members spending an average 30 minutes on the platform per visit.  There are more than 130,000 signups daily.  The service is offered in English, Spanish, Danish, Polish, Italian, Swedish, German, Turkish, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Catalan, a total of more than 50 languages.

Wattpad Stars, an Accelerator for Top Writers.
The program helps writers take their skills to the next level, and provides brands and publishers with an opportunity to tap into Wattpad’s roster of talented digital influencers.
Wattpad describes their program that improves writers careers: “Wattpad Stars” are commissioned by top brands to write stories that entertain and engage audiences and some even see their work in print or as screen adaptations.  They also receive marketing and support from Wattpad to increase their presence and advance their careers.  A few notable writers whose writing careers have skyrocketed thanks to Wattpad include:

Anna Todd:
Anna turned her love for Harry Styles into one of the biggest social media phenomenon of 2014.  After receiving one billion reads on Wattpad, the company helped her land a six figure publishing deal and film deal with Paramount.
Rebecca Sky:
Commissioned to write for the Athenos campaign and featured in the New York Times.
Apryl Baker:
Commissioned by Universal Pictures to write for the Ouija and Unfriended film promotions.
Edward Mullen:
Commissioned by USA Network and A&E to write for the launch of the television series DIG and The Returned.

See also our article 15 Million Reads Before Her Book Was Even Published & Available.

Wattpad writers who’ve built their online presence, with a knack for creating fun, serial stories, now have direct route to the Wattpad team to jumpstart their careers.


You Could be Paid Twice for Your Book


If you are a Canadian writer, publisher or visual artist, you could be paid more than once for your writing with the help of Access Copyright.
This organization believes you should be fairly compensated when your books or articles are copied.  A study found that 80% of all copies made on copy machines are from books!  By becoming an affiliate of Access Copyright, you will have access to services that will help maximize your royalty income for the secondary use of your works.  Get detailed info on their website.
Becoming an Access Copyright affiliate is FREE!

Benefits of Being an Access Copyright Affiliate:

  • Royalty Payments: They ensure that our affiliates are fairly compensated.
  • Affiliate Outreach: They make sure the interests of their affiliates are heard by policy and decision makers on important issues, such as intellectual property.
  • International Network: Access Copyright has reciprocal agreements with reproduction rights organizations (RROs) from around the world.  When their affiliates’ works have been copied in a country with which they have an agreement, they distribute the royalties to them.
  • One of the benefits of being a small publisher or trade-published writer in Canada!  However you must have set up a small publishing business in Canada, if you are not with an established (not Vanity!) publisher.

Writers Around the World.
In the United States, the CCC, the Copyright Clearance Center compensates publishers and creators / writers for the use of their work. They claim: “In the past ten years, we distributed $1.5 billion in royalties to content owners on six continents.”

Their subsidiary “RightsDirect” does the same in several European Countries.  German authors and publishers join VG WORT, to be precise:  only members of the European Union and authors who have Germany as their place of residence.


AudioFile: 38,500 Audio-Book Reviews


Are you in the planning stage for an audio-book version, or do you have already some produced?  Get tips from AudioFile Magazine, which was founded 23 years ago, since then recommending and reviewing audiobooks, profiling audio-book narrators and authors.

In an interview they explained ACX rights holders how to cast the best voice for their book, and share how to submit for a review.  Their – up to 50 reviews a week – are published in a print bi-monthly magazine, weekly e-newsletters, on the website, at, and featured by content partners who sell audiobooks.  Listeners, library purchasers, authors, narrators, and publishers are their readers.  AudioFile’s editors and reviewers even create podcasts about top recommended titles using sound clips from the audiobooks.  SoundReviews let you hear why these audio-books are worth your listening time!  Subscribe directly in iTunes, or follow them on SoundCloud.

Robin Whitten, Editor & Founder of AudioFile Magazine:
“We receive review copies from all major publishers and in increasing numbers directly from authors, rights holders, and narrators. Our AudioFile reviewers –about 120 individuals from all over the country with a few scattered around the world—help us create 40-50 professional reviews each week.”

He Explains the Professional Review Process:
“A professional or editorial review is often different from a user-review.  Editorial reviewers step back and consider each audiobook from a wider perspective.  They use their audiobook listening experience to evaluate and assess the quality of the narration, the overall performance, and the alignment with the author’s intent.  A professional’s critique is considered alongside the many other audio-books they’ve experienced. AudioFile reviews very specifically focus on elements of the performance, and what sort of listening experience to expect.”

Tips to get Your Audio-Book Accepted for Review:

  • Listen for more than “a great voice.”
  • Choose a narrator whose vocal style and tone is aligned with your written style and tone.
  • Make sure the narrator emotionally connects to your intent.
  • Think about how much “performance” you want from your characters.
  • Consider whether big accents will define your characters or distract from them.
  • The choice of the right narrator is essential.
  • Sound quality is also something noticed by all listeners.

Audiobook Review Submissions:
“AudioFile strives to find the best audio-books to recommend to our subscribers and visitors. If you follow our advice above and end up with a great audiobook, we’d love to hear it! Please send it in for review.”

Send audio-books for review to:
Editor …. at AudioFile
37 Silver St
Portland, Maine 04101

For the current list with names of the editors check their web page.  For digital audiobook submissions: Please email with a download link (Dropbox, Hightail, etc.) or a link to your title on  Please include the high-res audio-book cover art (300 dpi), ISBN, and distribution information.

Short Excerpt from our upcoming book:  

111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews: Best Strategies for Getting Lots of Great Reviews.



Intl. Book Fair 2016 Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurter-BuchmessePhoto K. Johansson

The most important publishing industry event of the year, takes place in 2016 from October 19 to 23: The Frankfurt International Book Fair. During these five days in October, it is THE PLACE TO BE – for authors, publishers, and book lovers.
With 275,000 visitors, 7,275 international exhibitors and 9,300 journalists and bloggers Frankfurt is a great platform to show books, including self-publishers. Present your title, book a slot or participate at one of the discussions and workshops. 15 insider tips for exhibitors at book fairs can be found in one of our blog articles:  Planning to Exhibit at a Book Fair?

The internationalization of the publishing sector continues to accelerate rapidly, a fact reflected in the strongly cosmopolitan networking pursued at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the most important in the world.

30th Frankfurt Rights Meeting.
For 30 years, the “Who’s Who” of the international trade in rights and licenses has been meeting and networking at the Frankfurt Rights Meeting (formerly International Rights Directors Meeting). This year is all about Surprising Successes in Challenging Times. High profile speakers will look at this intriguing topic from an array of different angles, providing the audience with valuable insight into their strategic thinking. Different success stories, one promise: Market knowledge, inspiration and network!

Guests of Honor
Flanders & the Netherlands together will be the Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2016.  A look ahead: In 2020 most likely Canada will have this pleasure – a wonderful opportunity and an unprecedented boost to Canada’s literary industry with a year-long spotlight on the country’s cultural sector.

Industry Insights, Inspiration, International Trends.
International experts present and highlight leading trends and forecasts for the media industry.  Business Ticket holders have the opportunity to meet international decision makers and pioneers in the industry.  Get connected; every day in the Business Club starts with a Business Breakfast and ends with a Happy Hour (sounds promising, doesn’t it?)

Get an Impression of the Fair.
See a life Video from the International Frankfurt Book Fair on YouTube

More Tips for your Visit:

To make your book fair visit even more pleasant:

  • Wear Comfortable Shoes
  • Bring Water Bottles and a Sandwich or Chocolate (long lines, high prices)
  • Don’t forget your Business Card (lots of Fishbowls to win something)


Two different tickets for trade visitors are available:
Trade visitor ticket: Book before 31 August 2016 and save 20% PLUS: Subscribe by 31 August 2016 for the Business Club Newsletter and get the chance to win one of three 6-day tickets BUSINESS! Go to the registration form:
Access to the Frankfurt Book Fair 9 am – 6.30 pm



Tickets include free Public transport in Frankfurt/ Rhine-Main area.  It is very easy to use the many subways and trams in Frankfurt. No need to book an expensive hotel room near the center.  There are great hotels in cities and towns around Frankfurt, such as Wiesbaden, Offenbach, Bad Homburg and each one has a fast-train connection to the fair.  One year I stayed at a beautiful castle in Darmstadt for a low price and reached the fair in less than 30 minutes – very comfortable and convenient.

Stay at Least Two More Days in Frankfurt.
There is so much to do and to see, from the famous medieval city centre “The Roemer” to the “Goethehouse”, the “Palmgarten”, modern art museums and certainly day-trips into the Rhine Wine villages with their many enchanting castles . Get some suggestions here.
Last but not least, try the local fare and the famous apple cider.


Book Lovers Can Be Found Here:


You might have already posted your book’s cover on Pinterest, Google+, Flickr, Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram, and other image-based social media sites with some success.  Sometimes readers are even able to order your book right away from these sites, such as from Pinterest.

But you can do more: most reader / writer book communities and forums are also places to show your books cover, and meet future readers, and find even reviewers for your books.  Always read carefully the guidelines on forums you want to join, and their policies.  Some are very generous, such as many Google+ communities, others are stricter, and you can only show a stamp-size picture of your book.

Popular Meeting Places for Bibliophiles:


More book forums and reader communities can be found under 99 Top Forums.

After you joined a group, contribute and be an active part of conversations.  Don’t sign in and start immediately talking about your own book.  Other members will find out about it from your profile.  To be more engaged in discussions is the key for success on these places.  There are many ways to provide writing advice and book recommendations.  Offer to become a beta reader for others writers.  Ask members for their favoured books.  Your suggestion to read your book will be welcomed more once book lovers get to know you – especially when you announce your giveaway to the group.  Do write lots of book reviews for other writers – it will make you and your books popular!

Find Not Only Readers, but also Reviewers:
Goodreads comes to mind, where are ten-thousands of groups await readers and writers, and also reviewers.

Google+ has a dozen or more book lovers / reviewer communities.  They built a large community of users online, sorted by interests – for example these communities of reviewers and authors:

Book promo-review group
“Writers/readers/bloggers group. Join if you love to read, write, review and promote books. There are for example two sections: ‘Books Need Reviews’ and ‘Readers Offering Reviews’.”

MODERN GOOD READS Free Ebooks 4 Review
“FREE ebooks available to all, but please leave an honest review.”

Indie Author Book Reviews
“The Place to promote and be promoted. Modelled on the Indie Author Review Initiative on Goodreads, this is the place to write and get reviews for your Indie published books.”

Book Reviewers.
“For readers, writers, and reviewers. This is a place to introduce your books, share your reviews, post giveaways, author interviews, or just simply be creative.”

Join at least a handful of online communities or forums to find beta readers, mentors, book buyers and writing buddies.  Contribute through comments, messages, friending, and active participation in forum discussions.  Spread the good Karma!


How to Sign Up for LOOK INSIDE


When browsing in bookstores, potential buyers of your book do not only see the cover, but also editorial reviews on the book’s back matter and they can even read a bit to find out if the book is worthwhile to buy – unlike at some online bookstores.  However, to give online shoppers almost the same experience, Amazon Kindle titles are automatically added to the program within a week of the on-sale date and need no additional sign up or any content submission.

Print Books are a Different Matter.
To submit books to be included into the LOOK INSIDE program, you must hold the merchandising rights for the book(s) you wish to submit in the region (country) you’re submitting for.

Amazon advices: 
“Sign up for Look Inside, go to Look Inside! Publisher Sign-up.
Look Inside will be activated on your book’s main detail page within 7 to 10 days if there are no errors in your files.”

One More Reason to Have Your OWN ISBN.
“Any books you submit for LOOK INSIDE must have a valid ISBN and be listed in the Amazon catalog with that ISBN.  We cannot process books with an s(typically starting with a “B”).  If you have large files or if you submit high volumes of titles, we do offer an FTP upload option.  For details, contact your Look Inside representative or email”

“Note: The files you submit must correspond to books already in the Amazon catalog, though you can submit the file before the publication or on-sale date and request the book to not go onsite prior to that on sale date.”

LOOK INSIDE on Facebook.
Find a quick tutorial on how to add an Amazon Look-Inside for your book to your Facebook Author page using Static Html app.  This will allow people to read the first 10% of your book directly on your Facebook page and they can also click through to buy on Amazon.

When it comes to book marketing, authors benefit from the Amazon program, due to the increased visibility of their books.  According to Amazon, books with the LOOK INSIDE feature sell seven! percent more in average than titles which are not in the program.  The more a potential buyer knows about a book, the more likely they are going to buy it and be happy with their purchase.


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