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.