Friday, December 5, 2008

Book Sales For a Cause: Tales of Beedle And Bard Sales To Help Fund Children's Charity

Now I know we're not all rich like JK Rowling, and we don't have that great American Novel (or a tween version like Twilight whichever turns you on), but nevertheless doing something for a good cause is always uplifting.

I just read that sales of the volume of five fairy tales, with eight million copies in print worldwide, will help fund the Children's High Level Group (CHLG), a charity Rowling co-founded for Eastern European children vulnerable to autism.

What spurred this?

Four years ago JK Rowling was so shocked by a newspaper photograph of a small boy staring from his caged bed in a Czech care home that her first reaction was to turn the page. But, haunted by the image of Vasek Knotek (who was suffering from autism), the Harry Potter author went on to spearhead a multi-million-pound campaign to transform his and other children's lives across Eastern Europe.

It's nice to know some authors look for some meaning beyond personal gain. Darn! Now I have to go buy that book too.

Publishing a Collector's Edition: Learning From JK Rowling's Tales of Beedle and Bard

JK Rowling's "Tales of Beedle and Bard" started selling last December 4. The book soared to the top of the online bestsellers lists on and the Barnes&Noble Web site.

Rowling originally created only seven copies for friends, bound in Moroccan leather and embellished with silver talismans and mounted moonstones. One was put up for auction in 2007 and sold for $4 million to Now it's available for public consumption. Yey for us!

Tales of Beedle and Bard was mentioned in the final installment of Harry Potter, the seventh book "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and contains five fairy tales that helped resolve the last book as well as commentary (including extensive footnotes) by the great, late and gay Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, who brings his unique wizard's-eye perspective to the collection.

Discovered "among the many papers which Dumbledore left in his will to the Hogwarts Archives," the venerable wizard's ruminations on the Tales allow today's readers to place them in the context of 16th century Muggle society, even allowing that "Beedle was somewhat out of step with his times in preaching a message of brotherly love for Muggles" during the era of witch hunts that would eventually drive the wizarding community into self-imposed exile. In fact, versions of the same stories told in wizarding households would shock many for their uncharitable treatment of their Muggle characters.

Professor Dumbledore also includes fascinating historical backstory, including tidbits such as the history and pursuit of magic wands, a brief comment on the Dark Arts and its practitioners, and the struggles with censorship that eventually led "a certain Beatrix Bloxam" to cleanse the Tales of "much of the darker themes that she found distasteful," forever altering the meaning of the stories for their Muggle audience. Dumbledore also allows us a glimpse of his personal relationship to the Tales, remarking that it was through "Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump" that "many of us [wizards] first discovered that magic could not bring back the dead."

The book retails for $12.99, but a $100 collector's edition has been offered exclusively on skyrocketed from 778,576 to 22 on the site's "Movers & Shaker's" list, which tracks the biggest gainers in sales rank.

This Collector's edition idea is great for authors and publishers. Once your book has gained enough momentum, the next best thing would be to offer it in "Collector's Edition." You can sell it for about ten times higher than the usual price. Here are some of Tales of Beedle and Bard's special features as a collector's edition:

  • Exclusive reproduction of J.K. Rowling's handwritten introduction
  • 10 additional illustrations not found in the Standard Edition
  • Velvet bag embroidered with J.K. Rowling’s signature
  • Embellished book cover complete with metal skull, corners, and clasp; replica gemstones; and emerald ribbon
  • Collector's edition also includes a set of 10 ready-for-framing prints of J.K. Rowling's illustrations

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Philippine Local Book Pubilshing (RBS) Partners With Google Book Search

It's nice to know that the Philippines is managing to expand its knowledge base by partnering with Google Booksearch. Rex bookstore, one of the Philippines leaders in the industry, has joined the Google Book Search Publisher Partner Program.

The move will see thousands of titles published by RBS digitized and indexed on Google’s search engine in the months to come. That's so nice to know considering there are very few online resources that are available concerning Philippine heritage, particularly the local language/ dialects.

Google has been very kind about it too. "It’s an honor for Google to work with one of the most reputable publishing houses in the Philippines and a leader in local educational publishing," Erik Hartmann, head of Google Book Search Strategic Partnership Development for Southeast Asia, said.

"The ability to discover locally published titles, in both English and Filipino languages, when searching on Google is really important for our millions of users in the Philippines," Hartmann added.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why Stephenie Meyer is such a good writer

I'm reading the "Twilight" series and I have to admit that I am impressed with Stephenie Meyer's writing style. I read it and go, "I know exactly how that feels!" You see being a wannabe author, also means I like to dissect how other authors put their thoughts together and how they spill them on the page.

With Stephenie Meyer though, it's like reading through a girl's head it's amazing. She's written about stuff that all girls have felt but most girls can't even begin to explain. She has put to words feelings and scenarios that play everyday in a girl's head about love and life and the what-ifs of what's to come. This makes her such a great writer.

Sure "Twilight" reads more like juvenile fiction because it features high school kids (not to mention high school age vampires and werewolves), but it's so easy to read that just makes it even better.

I read "Harry Potter' because I felt it was such a recreation to read it, and this is why I'm reading "Twilight" as well. It's not comparison though. People shouldn't compare them too much. Harry Potter was made for kids and adults just ended up enjoying it because it became such a big hit and a power tale. Twilight on the other had is first and foremost a love story rather than a fictional one. That would explain why most of the readers and fans are girls.

It's nice to read about this wonderful guy (or guys - if you like both Edward and Jacob) and about this supernatural kind of love, it gives me an escape from reality. That is the mark of a great writer -- being able to take your readers where you want them and enthralling them in the world of your creation.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Holiday Promotions From Self Publishing Companies - Xlibris And iUniverse

Here are some holiday promotions from two of the biggest self publishing companies to-date - Xlibris and iUniverse.

  • Xlibris is going all-out with a "Christmas comes early" theme. All their publishing packages from their basic at $499 to platinum used to be $12,999 are now being offered at half price. That's 50% off publishing services this month.

  • iUniverse is providing authors with an option to get a discount or free books with an election theme, zooming in on the great political debacle of McCain and Obama.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Book Publishing In Trying Times

I have to admit, I've put the breaks on getting anything done in terms of book publishing. Somehow it just doesn't seem as important as paying the bills on time. The seems to happen a lot during trying times, we put off our dreams and aspirations so that our necessities can take precedence.

I'm all for that, but we still have to move forward with life. Deprivation isn't the solution. Book publishing after all can still be a money-making venture. If you work hard enough, and invest smart instead of investing a lot, then you could break-even or better yet, make a profit.

If writing is your passion then by all means write to your heart's content. The economy is bad enough as it is, we don't need suicides and human tragedy to add to that. Book publishing is now more affordable than ever if you decide to publish your work.

If you're looking into self-publishing, it can be done for free, provided you have some time and effort and skill to spare; it can also be paid if you'd like supported service from companies like Xlibris and Authorhouse. Just always think about the value for your money.

The key is to keep on writing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Writing For A Cause - Xulon Press "Support The Troops"

In a very stirring way, Xulon Press has captured my attention with this really nice anthology dedicated to American troops overseas. Going by way of marketing "for a cause" Xulon Press is looking for approximately 500 writers to pen a short, 150-word letter to men and women serving overseas this Christmas season.

Whether a it's a letter of inspiration and encouragement, a short prayer or poem, Xulon press will compile them and send copies to military chaplains serving in Iraq Baghdad, Taliban, Pakistan and in Afghanistan.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

iUniverse Dives To $399

Just a couple of days ago I received an email from iUniverse saying that up to the 31st of October, I'm eligible to get published for only $399. That's a pretty steep discount since their cheapest package is $599.

Times must be getting really hard

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Full Color Publishing Just Got Cheaper

I've been wondering these days about colored picture books. In the olden days, and when I say in the olden days I do mean about 10 years ago - you can only have your pictures developed through one of those kodak shops that charge you for developing the film and then for actual printing.

These days there are so many options and the prices are just more or less the same. There's even full color book publishing. I know a couple who had their kid's album published and laid out just like a book. It was very cute.

These days you can print photo books, travel book, baby books, scrapbook, business book, portfolio, cookbook and of course those seasonal books that people love to give out during holidays like Christmas and year books and just simple mementos for people who like to keep their memories in print.

Few years back, Xlibris - the self publishing services provider charged at least $999 to publish a full colored picture book. But now their minimum price is only $499. And you've got the full service - lay out and image enhancement too along with worldwide distribution and marketing support. It's actually not a bad deal. And for October they've got the whole "upgrade your service" promotion - so if you get their $499 package (basic), you'll be receiving the services from the $899 package (professional), which just means more add-ons and more images and more freebies.

This month too I noticed AuthorHouse’s Premium Color Paperback package is giving away a free Essential Color Paperback package if you get one of their regular publishing packages or there is this upgrade option that lets you upgrade to a second Premium Color Paperback package for $249.

Their promotions are looking more and more alike don't you think?

I also found this new site called Ink U Book ( that's also owned by Author Solutions (that's the same people that own Authorhouse & iUniverse actually). They specialize in photo book publishing. Apparently they're packaging it as an easy-to-use online photo book creation service that enables people to make photo books in minutes, sort of like Lulu and Blurb because they are relatively cheap - $13.95 to start. The software where you can make the book is free, pretty much like Lulu and Blurb. They just give you the tools so if you've got the skill and time to put the book together yourself, you're ready to go in minutes. The fee they charge depends on your book's size and number of pages. They don't have hardback yet so that's a bummer. But if you're just looking at getting a printed copy of your mementos then it's a pretty good deal.

Also similar to We Book (, they've got this whole collaboration thing going on, where different people can actually contribute to the making of your book. Friends and family can edit and vote on your work. I think that's a nice feature for people who are just writing for fun. But if you're doing it for the fame and glory though I would think some discretion and privacy at work would be more essential. Would be tragic if you're plot would be leaked. Remember Stephenie Meyer? That vampire book girl who was about to write an alternate version to her Twilight series? That would have been great had a portion not leaked out we would have been able to enjoy it in its entirety. Tsk Tsk

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Authorhouse Gives Away Your Age In Free Books

A promotion that was developed during the AARP’s Life@50+ Conference has led Authorhouse to start giving away free books that equal the number of candles on their birthday cake. That's quite nice.

More mature people who are now retiring and/or are experiencing "empty nests" so to speak want to publish a book as they reach the sunset of their lives. More personal dreams of documenting success and/or just relishing the memories come closer to view I guess when we get to that certain age. Publishing isn't a financial issue or even a professional issue but more a personal aspiration that people want to leave behind.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Xlibris Offers Wannabe Authors The Opportunity To Get Published Before Christmas

Xlibris, the self publishing services provider is having a limited publishing services offer that will allow writers to get published within the year. The email promotion I got mentioned that it will be available to the first 50 authors that will sign up this month.

The idea here being that you will have your book ready for sale in time for the holidays.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lauren Conrad Of "The Hills" Signs 3-Book Deal With Harper Collins!

"The Hills" star Lauren Conrad Soon To Be A Published Author Of Not 1, Not 2 But THREE Books.

For writers like me who just dream of getting published, that is just OUCH! Come on! Okay she might be good. But you have to admit, people are billing mostly on star power and not much else.

22-year-old reality TV star for "The Hills" has signed up with Harper Collins for a series of young adult fiction novels - sounds a lot like Stephenie Meyer don't you think?

The book will be entitled "L.A. Candy." The book will revolve around transition from regular gal to recognizable face. To be more specific the book will tell of the behind-the-scenes story of a young girl who moves to L.A. and unexpectedly becomes the star of a reality-television show. Hmmm.... autobiographical much?

You can tell I'm not so in to this book don't you? Can you blame me? I am green with envy so I may be way off and overly stereotypical, but really does she look like a writer to you? Anyway the book's first installment is due next summer

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Xlibris Labor Day Publishing Promotion - Get Published By Christmas And 2 For The Price Of 1

Xlibris celebrates Labor day by giving out a free publishing package for each manuscript you publish. A buy 1 take 1 promotion so to speak. They also have this nice incentive that allows you to complete the entire publishing process by Christmas. Their publishing packages include:

Advantage - Only $299
Streamlined and practical. Perfect for books with simple design requirements

Basic – $499, 2 for 1 or save $75
An economical service with multiple design options.

Professional – $899, 2 for 1 or save $135
Interior customization and graphics with hardback availability.

Custom – $1,599, 2 for 1 or save $240
Have total control over complex design and text formatting.

Premium – $2,999, 2 for 1 or save $450
A full-service package with an extensive marketing campaign.

Executive – $5,999, 2 for 1 or save $900
VIP service, full customization and up to 125 books.

Platinum – $12,999, 2 for 1 or save $1,950
An incomparable assortment of publishing, marketing, and editing services that will cater to your every need.

iUniverse Back To School September Publishing Promotion

Simply put, iUniverse is giving away free books this first half of September when you publish your book with them.

Promotion Description: Code*

Receive 60 FREE** paperbacks with every Premier Pro Publishing Package purchase. (40 Bonus copies plus 20 included with the package.)


Receive 30 FREE** paperbacks with every Premier Publishing Package purchase. (20 Bonus copies plus 10 included with the package.)


Receive 15 FREE** paperbacks with every Select Publishing Package purchase. (10 Bonus copies plus 5 included with the package.)


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Even Matthew McConaughey's Mom Is Now A Published Author

The woman on the right wouldn't be familiar to you, but you'd definitely recognize her son - Matthew McConaughey.

Banking on her son's fame as well (like many authors these days), it wouldn't take that much talent to get this book across.

Anyway Kay McConaughey has decided to pen her own book entitled, "I Amaze Myself!" apparently it talks about herself. Her life with her more famous son, her now deceased husband (who she openly claims to have died during sex with her) and about again her more famous son's new child.

She even set up her own website - I Amaze Myself.

Well I'm amazed that for sure. Good luck to her though.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Micheal Phelps - Swimmer, Olympic Gold Medalist, and now... Author?

When you're a success I guess the next big thing is to write a book about yourself. Miley Cyrus has done it, and now Simon & Schuster wants Michael Phelps to do it too. The book entitled "Built to Succeed,” will be published by Free Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in December.

Taking advantage of course of book marketing is the fact that Phelps is already really famous. So just saying his name would make dollars drop on the register I bet.

The book will focus on the Beijing Olympics and how Micheal Phelps won his eight gold medals there. Including the secrets of his success, how he trained and how he won. But it will also look back at his life and his childhood - what life was like being raised by a single mother and being diagnosed with ADHD - attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

If such a kid with a semi-abnormal existence got to grow up like Michael Phelps then I guess being psychologically impaired might be so bad for the rest of us.

The book is bound to have images - how did Michael Phelps get so hot and buff?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I got this letter in my mailbox recently about a new book marketing company called BookWhirl:

It has recently come to our attention that a company, by the name of BookWhirl,
has been contacting Xlibris authors and offering to provide internet book marketing
services to promote their book. While we encourage you to explore every avenue
available to you to maximize your book sales and exposure, we recommend that you
exercise caution when dealing with any company that has no discernible history or
that seems to appear overnight. To protect yourself, it is advisable to background
check any company that contacts you by visiting the Better Business Bureau
online at .

At one of our author’s behest, we took the liberty of doing some background research
on the aforementioned company and found that the address listed on the website does
not exist. Using an online research program, we were able to determine that there
is no building existing on the site, only a vacant space. Furthermore, our attempt
to send a letter communication by Federal Express was returned to us citing the
reason “No Address Existing”. In a subsequent exchange of e-mails with a BookWhirl
representative, we requested for a correct US address, but were given the same
address that appears on their website, and that was listed by Federal Express
as not existing.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Controversy Behind Why The "Jewel Of Medina" Was Never Released By Random House

One of the decade's most controversial topics is showcased in the book, "The Jewel of Medina." Said to be about Muhammad's child bride A'isha who was engaged to the prophet at the age of 6 years old and was speculated to be his favorite wife. Because of its rather sensitive topic, instead of the books becoming available on August 12, it has been postponed indefinitely I think.

Random House said it had been advised the book "might be offensive" to some Muslims, and "could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."

The decision was taken "for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel," said the company's deputy publisher Thomas Perry in a statement.

Which is a good call I think, although just like Dan Brown's publications (Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons) that caused a ruckus in the Roman Catholic circles, the controversial factor of the book's topic does make it more attractive and therefore more potentially profitable.

Xlibris Publishing Promotion - Customize Your Publishing Package With Additional Free Services Up To $5,000

Xlibris is trying to be a bit more original this month compared to self publishing company counterparts iUniverse and Authorhouse. Instead of going with the free books and/or percentage discount routes. Xlibris has decided to provide additional add-on and marketing services to authors who would like to purchase any of their publishing packages.

Reading from their website, Xlibris is giving up to $5,000 worth in free services. $5,000 of course comes with their highest package - the Platinum, which already has a lot in it (which it should since it's available for a cool 13 grand), I can't imagine anybody wanting more. But nevertheless the promotion breakdown goes like this:

  • Xlibris basic package which starts at $499 has an additional $250 worth of free services

  • Xlibris professional package at $899 comes with $400 worth of free services
  • Xlibris custom package that sells for $1,599, has $750 worth of free services
  • Xlibris premium package that costs $2,999, als comes with $1,500 worth of free services
  • And finally Xlibris' executive package that comes just below their platinum sold at $5,999, has $2,500 worth of free services.

So if you imagine that's a value of half the package that gets added back to your spending power. The fine print though which you should know mentions that entitlement to free services does not include printed marketing materials, leather bound editions and/or bookstore returnability.

As an added bonus, probably just to match or better the running iUniverse offer, Xlibris is also giving away an additional 20 free books until the 15th of August. This is a tiered offer of course so those getting the basic package will get 5 free books while those getting higher value packages will get more free books (on top of the free books already in the publishing package)

Authorhouse Giving The Store Away With A Lot Of Publishing Promotions This August

I was quite surprised when I took a look at all the different offers that Authorhouse has posted on their website. Aside from the Free Gas Card which they already started giving out last month, they're also giving out promotions on

  • Publishing packages -- save up to $300 or get up to 20 extra books on select publishing packages. This means though the offer may not apply to all their publishing packages so best to ask first
  • Book marketing -- Take advantage of Buy One, Get One Free marketing services. Authorhouse has seemed quite eager to push their book marketing services. This buy one get one offer sounds a little vague but I'm sure they probably should be of the same value or the free service might be of less value.
  • Book purchasing offer -- Get 10% free books and free shipping on author book purchases. This is the best offer I think, because not only do you save on your book costs (10% more) I presume over the usual author discounts they provide as well as free shipping. That's a nice combination.
These offers are running through the whole month of August.

iUniverse Olympic Theme - Publishing Promotion Free Books

Just in time for the Olympics in Beijing, iUniverse has patterned their publishing promotion theme with the Olympics.

iUniverse is giving away up to 60 free books with their publishing packages this August. In reality though if you read it closely, there's only really 40 additional free books.

Here's how you break it down:

  • iUniverse select publishing package has 5 free books, they're giving away an additional 10 with their August offer (coupon code 10AUGBOOK)
  • iUniverse Premier Publishing Package already has 10 free books, in August there will be 20 more (coupon code 20AUGBOOK)
  • Finally iUniverse Premier Pro publishing package has 20 free books (already in the package), they're giving away an additional 40 to equal 60 free books. (coupon code 40AUGBOOK)
So that's the real deal - 40 additional free books if you publish this month with iUniverse. This offer expires on the 17th, although I do expect that there will be a sweeter offer at the second half of the month as is usually the case for self publishing companies.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Twilight Hysteria! Breaking Dawn In Stores Today! How Did This Housewife From Arizona Do It? How Did Stephanie Meyer Get Published?

If you have just come out of a 3 year hibernation, then you must have missed Stephanie Meyers' great rise to fame now that her 4th and last book "Breaking Dawn" has been released

So who is Stephanie Meyer?

Before becoming a best-selling author, Stephanie Meyer was an ordinary home-maker, a native of Arizona. She attends Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which means she is Mormon and that there are no erotic scenes on her book.

She first released Twilight in 2005. It made the rounds on New York Time, Publishers Weekly, Amazon and Teen People. So even then it was acknowledged that she had the potential to even sell more books. An even more unexpected turn-out came when the sequel New Moon was released, and it was a hit ever since.

They're even making a movie! It's like every author's dream come true. Publication, a feature length film and one best-seller after another. Stephanie Meyer is now a household name. I should know, I'm a thousand or so miles away from the Unites States and I know who she is!

My friends have pre-booked their copies of Breaking Dawn weeks ago and we've been reading about her phenomenal successs day-in and day-out. Makes me wish I were a stronger writer.

How did Stephanie Meyer, virtually an unknown author 3 years ago become such a phenomenal best-selling author?

I had to do the research of how she did it. And I have to admit it sure didn't sound like it was easy. Stephanie Meyer started with a dream. Like all authors - she had "THE" dream. The dream that started her story - the dream that started "Twilight."

But not until she took the pain-staking effort to put everything together did she ever come up with a 500-page masterpiece. Sleepless nights with 3 bounding boys, she had to make time to write her chapters. She let her sister, Emily, read through chapter by chapter as she finished them. And Emily told her to get published.

Even Stephanie Meyer had a hard time getting published. She sent out about 15 queries to publishing houses and literary agents and Stephanie Meyer got 8 rejections - let me spell that out, Twilight got EIGHT REJECTIONS when Stephanie tried to get it published.

Now isn't that just a big relief? Knowing that even literary agents can be wrong.

But Stephanie pulled through when a girl from Writer's House came back to her and asked to read the first 3 chapters. The feedback was good and she was approached by Jodi Reamer who became her literary agent. They worked on the manuscript before sending it out to publishing houses, which by the way went out to 9 - yes NINE publishing houses before it even got any attention.

They had to polish it even more and rename the title (from Forks to Twilight) and eventually got the deal of a life time from Little, Brown and Company. According to Stephanie, the deal was so big she thought it was a hoax, and I do believe the deal is just going to get better.

Stephanie Meyer will release another book soon, still in the realm of Twilight but this time from the male protagonist's perspective - Edward, instead of the one from Bella - which is the topic of the Twilight series.

So just to put it all together, it took Stephanie Meyer approximately 2 years to write Twilight and get it published. It took a whole lot of determination and hard work, some guts and support from family and friends to bring the story of Bella and Edward into the millions of young adults all over the world.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sony ebook edges on Kindle

Sony ebook reader has expanded its acceptable formats trying to getting an edge on Kindle - which is quite heavily promoted on the biggest online retailer in the world. It's a rather smart move I think, since Kindle is tied to Amazon subscription and purchases, opening up the Sony ebook reader to a more varied audience will give it better coverage instead of only being limited to Sony's ebook store.

The new models coming out next month and those with upgraded firmware will be able to load
  • IDPF/EPUB - this is the XML-based standard format proposed by the International Digital Publishing Forum, all the major publishers like Harper Collins, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin are offering texts in the .epub format
  • PDF/A files - subset of the Portable Document Format that was designed for the purposes of long-term archival, with all fonts and images embedded into the document
  • The device previously supported BBeB (Marlin) Books, PDF, TXT, RTF and Microsoft Word files (converted with Sony's CONNECT software).
This will make the Sony ebook reader a more flexible product

Friday, July 18, 2008

iUniverse's Expands Author Marketing With Newly Appointed Director

The Bookseller posted that iUniverse just appointed a director for author marketing. What does this mean for writers and authors exactly?

Let's define author marketing first. Author marketing is when authors with published works decide to spread the word about their work through a variety marketing efforts, like marketing campaigns for books that happen online, in print and through media publicity.

The goal would be to get as many people know about the book's release, the book's theme that would get readers interested in buying the book.

iUniverse apparently wants to provide affordable services to help authors develop a platform and sell books through a broad range of quality marketing services for iUniverse authors

Friday, July 4, 2008

Xlibris Publishing Promotion - Dollar Savings And Free Library of Congress And Copyright Registration

It looks like self publishing companies are going all out this July. Xlibris' publishing service promotion has authors getting Library of Congress and Copyright Registration at no additional charge when they publish before July 16. Also enjoy an additional 5% on top of the discounted rate.

So you get dollar discounts when you publish plus the registration stuff

Choose from our comprehensive range of Black & White Book Publishing packages and find the one that is perfect for you.

Advantage - $299 (special offer does not apply)
Streamlined and practical. Perfect for books with simple design requirements

Basic – NOW $449, SAVE $50
An economical service with multiple design options

Professional – NOW $799, SAVE $100
Interior customization and graphics with hardback availability

Custom – NOW $1,349, SAVE $250
Have total control over complex design and text formatting

Premium – NOW $2,499, SAVE $500
A full-service package with an extensive marketing campaign

Executive – NOW $5,249, SAVE $750
VIP service, full customization and up to 125 books

Platinum – NOW $10,999, SAVE $2,000
An incomparable assortment of publishing, marketing, and editing services that will cater to your every need

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Authorhouse Gives You Free Gas Cards When You Purchase Marketing Services Or Books In July

You can get up to $100 in free gas cards when you purchase marketing services or books in Authorhouse. They're either brilliant or just desperate. Imagine giving out gas cards.

Although I can appreciate the effort. Gas prices are indeed expensive so the question here is what's the catch?

iUniverse Publishing Promotion - Offer Option, Save On Dollars Or Get Free Books

In a very aggressive and novel move, iUniverse just introduced 2 separate offers this month with which you can choose either dollar savings on your publishing package or free books

CHOOSE a special package price:
Promotion Description

Save $200 off the regular price of a Premier Pro Publishing Package. $1,299 NOW ONLY $1,099 -- JULPRO200

Save $150 off the regular price of a Premier Publishing Package $899 NOW ONLY $749 --- JULPRE150

Save $100 off the regular price of a Select Publishing Package. $599 NOW ONLY $499
--- JULSEL100

OR CHOOSE more free books:

Promotion Description

Receive 60 FREE** paperbacks with every Premier Pro Publishing Package purchase. (40 Bonus copies plus 20 included with the package.) --- 40JULBOOK

Receive 30 FREE** paperbacks with every Premier Publishing Package purchase. (20 Bonus copies plus 10 included with the package.) --- 20JULBOOK

Receive 15 FREE** paperbacks with every Select Publishing Package purchase. (10 Bonus copies plus 5 included with the package.) --- 10JULBOOK

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Getty Images Helping Authors And Book Publishers With Book Images

I know how it feels trying to find just the right image to compliment your thoughts, trying to find just the right illustration to convey how you feel... that one picture that speaks a thousand words to better emphasize your theme and help you tell your story. It is very difficult to find the right picture to compliment your words in just the way you want it.

So here comes Getty Images. They just opened a Book Zone that has tailored offerings for book publishers, including images, footage, music and more.

They have a specialized book team to help with everything from image searches to licensing with galleries across a broad range of book-publishing themes as well.

I think it's a very timely service, having the kind of database that they have. Getty Images though is a tad high-end so depending on your budget you should consider your options carefully

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Xlibris New Book Marketing Service Product - All About Search Marketing

Apparently Xlibris can win over Google with their new marketing services product for your book. Xlibris places ads on search results pages (SERPs) of Google for specific keywords that are related to your book.

The motive here is to drive visitors and would-be book buyers to your website or the bookstore that sells your book. The requirement here would be that you will need an online purchase location for your book. If you don't have one then this product will be rather useless to you.

Xlibris did not mention how much the product cost in their email - which must mean this might be expensive.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

iUniverese's Publishing Promotion

Promotion Description:

Save $150 off the regular price of a Premier Pro Publishing Package and get 15 extra FREE paperback books. ($1,299 NOW ONLY $1,149)

Code: JUNPRO150

Save $100 off the regular price of a Premier Publishing Package ($899 NOW ONLY $799)

Code: JUNPRE100

Save $50 off the regular price of a Select Publishing Package. ($599 NOW ONLY $549)


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Amazon Bullying The Publishing Market?

There have been news that Amazon is taking out the icon "buy now with 1 click" for several publishers. How important is this one button? Here's an explanation from the International Herald Tribune:

The button allows registered users to purchase titles instantly, with free shipping. Customers can still buy the affected books, but they have to navigate to an open marketplace that links them to third-party sellers of new or used books. And they have to pay for shipping.

Just recently it has disabled this button for British Web site with hundreds of books published by Hachette Livre UK, from back-list Stephen King novels to, naturally, "The Hachette Guide to French Wine."

According to Hachette's CEO Tim Hely Hutchinson, Amazon - one of the biggest online retailers, he said, was demanding a bigger slice of the "cake." Publishers traditionally sell books to retailers at a discount off the recommended retail price, but Amazon was demanding more than its existing 50 percent.

"Amazon seems each year to go from one publisher to another making increasing demands in order to achieve richer terms at our expense and sometimes at yours," Hutchinson said in the letter. "If this continued, it would not be long before Amazon got virtually all of the revenue that is presently shared between author, publisher, retailer, printer and other parties."

For now, the dispute remains unresolved. So the buy buttons are missing from older titles like "Labyrinth" by Kate Mosse or "Duma Key," by Stephen King, who still managed to get favored treatment for titles in his "Dark Tower" series. Many of Hachette's titles have also been dropped from Amazon promotions suggesting additional titles for customers in their favorite genres.

The dispute with Hachette is not the first in which Amazon has resorted to removing the "buy now" buttons for certain books. In the spring it started disabling the icons for some small publishers in the United States who resisted Amazon's demand that they use an Amazon-owned company, BookSurge, for print-on-demand services. Amazon is the dominant seller of such titles.

I used to admire Amazon a lot, specially the business model that Jeffrey Bezos put together. How they were consumer centric and user friendly. But now it seems it's all about the money.... tsk tsk tsk

Friday, June 13, 2008

Christopher Ciccone, Spills On Madonna In His Tell-All Memoir, "Life With My Sister"

I believe in every endeavor, it is to your advantage to have an edge versus your competitors. I think Christopher Ciccone found that edge by using his sister - world's one and only Madonna, not only is she an actress, she's a singer, fashion icon - she's THE celebrity. It's unfortunate that he's about to tell the world what she's really like. It would have been nice to retain that same image of Madonna, specially at this stage of her career.

I think Madonna will weather a character attack, should that be present in Christopher Ciccone's book, "Life with my sister."

The publishing house, Simon & Schuster, has ordered a monster first printing of 350,000 copies of Life With My Sister, set to hit shelves July 15.

It will sell a lot I'm sure. Madonna advocates will want to see what he has to say and Madonna critics will be excited to learn about the dirty little secrets it may have against Madonna.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Xlibris Launches New Website With New Features

Well if you haven't seen it yet, try checking out Xlibris' new website. It has some cool new features that you may enjoy.
  • Change font size feature - you can increase the main text fonts so that they become bigger or smaller depending on your taste
  • Easier access to their bookstore. You can click through to search their bookstore. Their bookstore isn't new though.
  • They had their "look inside an Xlibris book" before, but I still say it's a cool thing to have - the flipping book thing
  • An author's center that has lists of events, author resources as well as freelance experts that can help with publishing
I haven't gone through the whole site intensively, but if you find something else that's interesting, let me know.

iUniverse Publishing Promotion - Cash Discounts

iUniverse is taking a Daddy's deal offer this month to celebrate Father's day on June 15th - although their offer ends on June 17.

Promotion Description:

  • Save $200 off the regular price of a Premier Pro Publishing Package. ($1,299 NOW ONLY $1,099) Code: 200JUN
  • Save $150 off the regular price of a Premier Publishing Package ($899 NOW ONLY $749) Code: 150JUN
  • Save $100 off the regular price of a Select Publishing Package. ($599 NOW ONLY $499) Code: 100JUN

Friday, June 6, 2008

J.K. Rowling Speaks At Hogswart er Harvard

Harvard felt much like Hogwarts when their commencement exercise had none other than J.K. Rowling as main speaker.

It's weird when certain personalities are asked to speak in events like that. Harvard most of all has the most extravagant taste in celebrities, everyone from Paris Hilton to J.K. Rowling I suppose have guested there.

Nevertheless, even non-Harry Potter fans appreciated J.K. Rowling's message during the said affair, most of which devoted to the power of imagination, specifically the human ability to put oneself in another’s place. The author discussed her stint working for Amnesty International and how the letters sent to the office taught her about the horrors many suffered in distant places. Rowling then encouraged the graduates to use their intelligence and privilege to better the world.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Unorthodox Book Marketing, Tung Desem Waringin To Throw Away 100 Million Rupiah To Market Book

Some guy will throw away more than ten thousand US dollars out of an airplane this Sunday as his way of promoting his new book. I'm all for it, giving away free stuff is always a good way to promote yourself. Take a look at politicians!

Tung Desem Waringin, author and motivational speaker will be throwing 100 million rupiah ($10,740) from an airplane on Sunday as part of a marketing ploy for his second book according to a Reuters article.

A spokesman for the organizers, Diki Sidik, said Jakarta police had refused to issue a permit for the event but Tung would go ahead with the plan outside the capital.

"Rather than spend a lot of money for unsuccessful marketing, better give the money to the people," Sidik said.

The first time around, apparently this author rode around in a horse. It was said that he sold 10,091 books that day in Indonesia with the amount of publicity he got, he also reached out to companies. That's one aggressive guy. Most people just pay someone else to do their book marketing. Looks like he went the extra mile

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Xlibris Book Pubilshing Promotion - Memorial Day Special, Up To 250 Free Books

Xlibris has opted for a more somber look to commemorate Memorial Day. The Xlibris Memorial Day offer ends on May 23rd. They're giving away up to 250 free books and $13,000 in savings with a second book (I think that means it's free - the second book is free I guess)

There's also a special offer if you've only got 1 book to publish, and that's a 25% discount off the publishing package for that one book

iUniverse Publishing Promotion - Up To 60 Free Books

With a spring motif, iUniverse is offering free paperback books when you publish
Promotion Description: Code:*

Receive 60 FREE paperbacks with every Premier Pro Publishing Package purchase.
(40 Bonus copies plus 20 included with the package.)


Receive 40 FREE paperbacks with every Premier Publishing Package purchase.
(30 Bonus copies plus 10 included with the package.)


Receive 25 FREE paperbacks with every Select Publishing Package purchase.
(20 Bonus copies plus 5 included with the package.)


Taking Inspiration From Best-Selling French Author - Marc Levy's Humble Beginnings

Taking inspiration from the story of self-exiled French author Marc Levy, who has sold 15 million copies in 39 languages.

Marc Levy started out as a businessman, but with the birth of a son in 1989, he composed little stories for the boy until the child decided, at age nine, "television is better".

"I missed the writing," he said, so started a manuscript called "If Only It Were True".

His sister persuaded him to submit it to Laffont which replied in less than eight days. And "we are at three, four million copies today," said Levy.

In what sounds like a concession to his critics, he says "it was the best-selling book in 2000, but it was not the best. I was lucky. I was there at the right time, with the right story, in the right place."

In 2005, Spielberg's DreamWorks spotted the novel and transformed it into a US box office hit, the romantic comedy "Just Like Heaven".

Although still abhorred by French critics for his "commercial" work and love for Britons, he has remained one of the most popular authors in France.

Now if only some of us could be as lucky.

From Agence France Presse via ABS-CBN News

Friday, May 2, 2008

FREE Comic Book Day This Saturday In Dallas!

Each year, every major publisher puts out one or two issues specifically to be given away in comic book shops. This year's Free Comic Book Day will be Saturday, join the fun in the fourth annual Comics and Pop-Culture Expo, which is being held at Craddock Park near Zeus Toys & Comics on Lemmon Avenue, Dallas.

The Comics and Pop-Culture Expo will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Zeus Toys & Comics, 4411 Lemmon Ave., and at Craddock Park, just north of Zeus on Lemmon. Free. Guests include Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone, Marvel Zombies writer Robert Kirkman, World War Hulk writer Greg Pak and Wolverine: Origins writer Daniel Way. Info at

via Dallas News

Authorhouse Publishing Promotion - Dollar Savings and Free Books

Authorhouse also joined the publishing promotion escapade with their own dollar savings and free books special this month. They don't have a theme going on but they're pushing online book submissions it seems.

Xlibris Publishing Promotion - Publish 2 Book For The Price Of One

Well Xlibris also has the whole Mother's Day thing going on. Their offer is their 2 for 1 special where you get 2 publishing packages but have to pay for only 1 of them. As a mother's day special they're also giving away free books

  • Poetry, Basic or Professional – additional 5 FREE BOOKS
  • Custom or Premium – additional 10 FREE BOOKS
  • Executive or Platinum – additional 25 FREE BOOKS

iUniverse Publishing Promotion - Dollar Savings To Make Mom Proud?

iUniverse is taking the Mother's Day theme with their promotion this May. I don't really understand how the dollar savings will make mom proud. The book being published might though

Promotion Description: Code:*

Save $200 off the regular price of a Premier Pro Publishing Package. $1,299 NOW ONLY $1,099


Save $150 off the regular price price of a Premier Publishing Package. $899 NOW ONLY $749


Save $100 off the regular price of a Select Publishing Package. $599 NOW ONLY $499


Sunday, April 27, 2008

The State Of Self Publishing Books And Some Major Players

In an attempt to outline the growth of book self publishing in the United States, I found this article by Rachel Donadio entitled "You're An Author? Me Too!" It cites some stats on book publishing in the United States as well as some information on the leading self publishing companies like iUniverse and Xlibris.

Here's what she had to say on the state of book publishing:
In 2007, a whopping 400,000 books were published or distributed in the United States, up from 300,000 in 2006, according to the industry tracker Bowker, which attributed the sharp rise to the number of print-on-demand books and reprints of out-of-print titles. University writing programs are thriving, while writers’ conferences abound, offering aspiring authors a chance to network and “workshop” their work. The blog tracker Technorati estimates that 175,000 new blogs are created worldwide each day (with a lucky few bloggers getting book deals). And the same N.E.A. study found that 7 percent of adults polled, or 15 million people, did creative writing, mostly “for personal fulfillment.”
And here are some honest to goodness stats on iUniverse. It doesn't sound so nice seeing that an average author from iUniverse doesn't sell anything above 200 copies of his/her book:

IUniverse, a self-publishing company founded in 1999, has grown 30 percent a year in recent years; it now produces 500 titles a month and has 36,000 titles in print, said Susan Driscoll, a vice president of its parent company, Author Solutions. While some are “calling card” books that specialists sell at conferences and workshops, most are by ordinary people who want to get their work in print. The writers tend to be on both ends of the age spectrum. “As people get older, they have more time and more money and something to say,” Driscoll said, while their grandchildren are often driven by “that need for fame,” she said. “They may not be avid readers, but they certainly are writers.” Not that anyone is necessarily paying attention. Driscoll said that most writers using iUniverse sell fewer than 200 books.
Also she had some information from Xlibris, another self publishing company that highlights more promising sales for potential authors

Xlibris, a print-on-demand operation, has 20,000 titles in print, by more than 18,000 authors, said Noel Flowers, a company spokesman. It is “nonselective” in choosing manuscripts, he said, though it does screen “for any offensive or inappropriate content.” Xlibris’s top sellers include “Demonstrating to Win!,” a computer manual (15,600 sold, not including copies bought by the author), and “The Morning Comes and Also the Night,” which the company lists in the “religion/Bible/prophecies” category (10,500 sold).

The article continues to outline self publishing companies, their alliances and their costs but she ends her article with a note on how so many of these books are cluttering the reading atmosphere with noise rather than music.

Although I do think it's possible that all these books may be making it much more accessible for ordinary people to get published, let's not discount the opportunity to find the gems in the mines. That is why we mine right? To find the gems?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Authorhouse Responds To Amazon/ Booksurge Monopoly

Kevin Weiss, the CEO of Author Solutions that owns both Authorhouse and iUniverse just issued a statement that apparently shows their position on what he calls the Amazon/ Booksurge "situation." Even from the start there you'd notice that there is a lot of ambiguity going on.

The statement continues to say that basically nothing has changed and that everyone has seemed to have remained in the "status quo" just saying that they'll improve their services and systems to make lives better for authors.

The only clear stand I saw in the whole piece was this.

We do not anticipate any change to the current availability of our titles on Amazon, either in the short or long term. If there are any changes that we think will have an impact on you – either positive or negative – we will let you know directly.

Which means, nothing will change on their end and if something will - we'll let you know as soon as it does. Basically I guess no one knows. Is Amazon/ Booksurge bluffing? Or will it pull through and eventually take down all nonBooksurge self-published books from its shelf?

How Does Google Book Search Get All Those Old Books Digitized Into Their System?

Well even when it comes to the world's #1 Brand and possibly the most amazing and most advanced technological company, Google does some manual labor. Apparently the digital versions of some of the oldest most fragile books are digitally scanned - 600 pages a day and loaded up to Google Book Search. These books are scanned as two overhead cameras photograph the pages, but that means someone has to turn page after page and click. After which each digitized book goes through optical character recognition processing, which makes the text searchable.

Google, the Internet's leader in search and advertising, says the process it developed and is using for scanning the majority of the books in Book Search is proprietary.

Through Book Search, users can track down a book on any topic they're interested in and read a small portion. If the book's not protected by copyright, users can download the whole thing. If it is, or if they just want to read an original, they can use Book Search to find copies to buy or borrow.

Book Search has the support of many publishers, authors and librarians, including Cambridge University Press and Wisdom Publications. But some publishers and authors have sued, claiming the service violates their copyrights. Google says Book Search is aboveboard because Web surfers can retrieve only snippets of copyright material through the service.

Details care of AP

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Even Miley Cyrus a.k.a. Hannah Montana Will Publish A Book!

The New York Times just reported that Miley Cyrus, the 15-year-old star of the Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana,” has agreed to write a book about her early life in Tennessee, her move to Los Angeles and the influence of her parents — especially her mother — on her success. In a seven-figure deal, Disney Book Group acquired the rights to Ms. Cyrus’s book, to be published by the Disney-Hyperion Books imprint in spring 2009, when the Hannah Montana movie is also scheduled for release.

Jeanne Mosure, global publisher of Disney Book Group, said the company had already sold 15 million copies of some 60 Hannah Montana-branded titles worldwide, including novelizations and gift books about the show. She said the new book would have an initial print run of one million copies. “It’s rare that you hear from someone her age that they want to talk about their family,” Ms. Mosure said. “How she sees her family in light of everything that she’s exposed to on a daily basis is pretty incredible.”

Xulon Press Publishing Promotion

This month Xulon Press is offering you $1,000 OFF our regular price to get published. What's nice about Xulon Press is that they have this cool video on their homepage that explains what they do for you. It's weird though because their prices start at $999 but their discount is $1000 so the book publishing packages must be a whole lot more expensive than normal

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

National Poetry Month! Happy Poetry Writing!

Here's some info on National Poetry Month from

What is National Poetry Month?

National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets as a month-long, national celebration of poetry. The concept was to increase the attention paid-by individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our poetic heritage, and to poetry books and magazines. In the end, we hoped to achieve an increase in the visibility, presence, and accessibility of poetry in our culture. National Poetry Month has been successful beyond all anticipation and has grown over the years into the largest literary celebration in the world.

Who started it?

The Academy of American Poets has led this initiative from its inception in 1996 and along the way has enlisted a variety of government agencies and officials, educational leaders, publishers, sponsors, poets, and arts organizations to help.

When is National Poetry Month?

April. Every year since 1996.

Why was April chosen for National Poetry Month?

With input from booksellers, librarians, poets, and teachers, the Academy chose a month during the school year so that schools and students could participate fully. February is Black History Month and March is Women's History Month, so April seemed a logical choice. Also, there are many wonderful poetic references to April:

T. S. Eliot wrote, "April is the cruelest month." It is our hope that National Poetry Month lessens that effect.

On a lighter note, Chaucer wrote:
Whan that April with his showres soote
The droughte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veine in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flowr

Finally, Edna St. Vincent Millay asked, "To what purpose, April, do you return again?" For National Poetry Month, of course