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Monthly Archives: November 2017

Home > Monthly Archives: November 2017

What Does The Extra Squeeze Team Think About SELF-e?

November 30, 2017 by in category The Extra Squeeze tagged as , , ,
The Extra Squeeze | A Slice of Orange

Question for the Extra Squeeze Team: I started to enroll to SELF-e to get my Ebooks into libraries. When I started to fill out the Agreement Form, I wondered if it’s a good idea. They want the right to copy, change, etc. material from the book. In lawyer’s terms, it states about preventing distribution of the books to libraries. I thought the idea of SELF-e was to get the Ebooks into libraries. Should I bow out or continue?

The article on SELF-e is in April 2017 Romantic Writers Report on page 18. It sounds good in the report. It says you can get out of it after you’re in SELF-e and says to write to the following address in the Agreement but then gives no address.

So, what does the Extra Squeeze Team think about SELF-e?

Rebecca Forster | Extra Squeeze

Rebecca Forster 

USA Today Bestselling author of 35 books, including the Witness series and the new Finn O’Brien series.

 

I knew very little about Self-e until this question arose and now I’m very curious about it. I will probably submit some of my books.

I actually contacted my distributor because I was under the impression that OverDrive took care of distribution to libraries. I was advised that it is very difficult to find indie books on OverDrive (who knew) and that my best bet would be to visit all the libraries in a ten mile radius of my home and introduce myself.

I think a Self-e submission sounds a lot more efficient. So, while I can’t recommend it because I haven’t used the service, I am personally going to be looking into it because libraries remain an important fact of a writer’s life.

Robin Blakely | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange

Robin Blakely

PR/Business Development coach for writers and artists; CEO, Creative Center of America; member, Forbes Coaches Council.

 

I think that the most important thing about Self-e to understand first is less about Self-e and more about your goals and aspirations as a business professional in the writing community.

  • What financial goals have you set for yourself?
  • How many books do you plan to sell this year, this month, this week?
  • Is your book a product or is your book a marketing tool for you, the brand?
  • How important is it to your strategic goals to gain access to the target market known as library patrons?

Self-e is one way to gain access to library patrons.  This is an innovative way to elevate your brand through the library.  Your particular strategy is what matters here. When you know what you want to do, you will know what will work for you. I love libraries and I am a big fan of the innovative services they offer.

However,  I do not have any clients who have elected to used Self-e….yet.

What are your goals and aspirations as a business professional in the writing community?

H.O. Charles

Cover designer and author of the fantasy series, The Fireblade Array


 

I’ll preface this by saying it’s a bit unfair for me to comment, since I haven’t used Self-e and therefore cannot properly measure the impact of exposure on a platform like that (which seems to be their selling point, since they take all income for themselves).

What I CAN say is that library sales have never figured that prominently in the years I’ve been selling my books online. Almost all my sales occur via B&N, Apple and Amazon.

I distribute through Smashwords to the first two, and SW give me a 45% cut after sales to Overdrive, but the proportion of sales (in terms of units distributed) I get from libraries overall is teeny tiny compared to the major book retailers.

I’m happy to continue distributing to library services, as subscription model libraries may one day be the norm for readers, but until they occupy a larger block in my annual sales reports, I see no reason to feature the rest of my work for free (my first book is already free!) with something like Self-e .

Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange

Jenny Jensen

Developmental editor who has worked for twenty plus years with new and established authors of both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and indie.

My radically unqualified legal opinion: I don’t see anything in the agreement document of self-eLibraryJournal.com that signs over the right to change any material submitted. What I do see is that by agreeing to their terms the author grants self-eLibraryServices the royalty-free right to distribute your content to libraries, so you won’t be paid even if 500 libraries accept your book for their e-book list. I do see that by agreeing you grant them the right to copy bits to include an abstract, or description of the content. And they do provide an address you can write to, and your work will be taken off the system within 180 days of receipt.

Library Journal ATTN: LEGAL DEPT
7858 Industrial Parkway
Plain City, OH 43064

Library Journal is the leading publication in the library market and their e-book service – pretty new, it was beta tested in 2015 – provides a fantastic opportunity for indie writers. This is a curated program, so your work has to pass the smell test. But it provides a grand platform for an indie writer to grow their audience and fan base. How many authors have you first met at the library and then sought their work in the bookstore?

If your work meets the quality standards of Library Journal, then it receives distribution among participating libraries nationwide. If not, you have options:

Option 1 – hire a good developmental editor to bring the work to its most fragrant state and resubmit the improved version. (There is a reason the work didn’t pass muster, and you’ll do yourself a favor to find and correct that.)

 

Option 2 – use self -e.libraryjournal’s ability to put your book in your state’s participating library system which probably reaches a wide local audience. (Be mindful here of why Library Journal did not accept it for wider distribution.) It feels like a win-win to me.

But Self-e provides a grand platform for an indie writer to grow their audience and fan base.

Libraries pay for every book that isn’t a donation. LibraryJournal.com does not appear to compensate authors who have agreed to allow them to act as distributor. There may be no monetary profit, but the reward is exposure, and every indie writer knows that discoverability is huge – how else can you build a readership? I, for one, am so glad to see librarians pick up the gauntlet of the digital book world and begin to offer this invaluable, public service to the indie writing world. Library Journal is not the only forum. There are several sites that work with indie authors to distribute their work to libraries: ebooksareforever and Overdrive.

Wonder what writing professionals think about issues that really impact your career?

Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.

Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.

Send your questions to the Extra Squeeze Team

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Sally Paradysz: November Featured Author

November 28, 2017 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , ,

Sally Paradysz | November Featured Author | A Slice of Orange

 

Author: Sally Paradysz

Sally Paradysz writes from a book-lined cabin in the woods beside the home she built from scratch. She is an ordained minister of the Assembly of the Word, founded in 1975. For two decades, she has provided spiritual counseling and ministerial assistance. Sally has completed undergraduate and graduate courses in business and journalism. She took courses at NOVA, and served as a hotline, hospital, and police interview volunteer in Bucks County, PA. She is definitely owned by her two Maine Coon cats, Kiva and Kodi.

A READABLE FEAST

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ONCE AROUND THE SUN

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A CHRISTMAS SAMPLER

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FROM SCRATCH

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70 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU TURN 70

65 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU RETIRE

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Please enjoy some of the many images Sal took around her Writing Cabin in the Woods.  If you would like to read all of the column’s Sal posted on  A Slice of Orange, please click here.

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Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh … It’s a Wonderful Life

November 27, 2017 by in category Things That Make Me Go Mmmrrh ... tagged as , , , , ,

Things that make me go mmmrrh ... | Geralyn Corcillo | A Slice of OrangeSPOILER ALERT: In this post, I discuss the ending of the 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life.

It’s that time of year when, once again, we can indulge in watching It’s a Wonderful Life to our hearts’ content. In the movie, town do-gooder George Bailey is finally bested by town evil-doer Mr. Potter when Mr. Potter steals $8,000 from George and his company, The Bailey Building & Loan. The bank examiner is on his way, and the missing $8,000 means the end of the business that decently houses the people of the town so that they do not have to live in Mr. Potter’s slums. The missing $8,000 also means jail for George – a man who has never gotten ahead in life because he has always worked tirelessly to make sure everyone else is okay.

By the end of the movie, George’s wife Mary has learned of the missing $8,000, so, on Christmas Eve, she goes around town telling people that George is in trouble, and the townsfolk open their hearts and wallets and donate, trying to raise $8,000. One of the townsfolks Mary alerts is George’s old boss, drug store owner Mr. Gower. Mr. Gower cables George’s old school chum Sam Wainwright, who made millions in plastics during the war. Will the town be able to raise the $8,000? Maybe. But Sam Wainwright ends up saving the day with a last-minute influx of cash. Why am I telling you all this? Because recently, I helped make It’s a Wonderful Life happen in real life. But first, here is the ending of It’s a Wonderful Life. The crucial part for this story happens at 1:30.

So what did I do to help make this kind of Wonderful-ness happen?A few weeks ago, I got word from fellow author Tracie Bannister that fellow author Gina Calanni posted a donation page on Facebook – her dog Schatzi was hit by a truck (that did not even stop!) and now needed life-saving surgery that Gina, who just made it through Harvey in Houston, could not afford. I donated, then I posted the donation page everywhere I could. I even sent a newsletter out to all my readers straight-up asking for donations. Some contributed, some sent well-wishes.

 

But one woman, Bernie, emailed me and Gina and offered to cover the cost of the

surgery and she told Gina to schedule the surgery right away.

 

The surgery happened the next day, went well, and Schatzi is recovering beautifully. Gina and her three sons are so so happy. Gina got through Harvey with Schatzi strapped to her back, and she has been able to save her beloved Schatzi again! Here are the boys with Schatzi the day Schatzi came home from the hospital.

In this real-life It’s a Wonderful Life, Schatzi is Clarence, but instead of wings, she needed surgery. Gina is George Bailey, the one who would get that surgery for Schatzi through her her own awesomeness and her community of friends. Tracie is Mary, spreading the word. I am Mr. Gower, who contacted the all-important Sam Wainwright. And the amazing Bernie is Sam Wainwright. Mmmrrh … I am honored and verklempt to have have been in the midst of this real-life It’s a Wonderful Life.

There is magic in the air, for real. And we can all be a part of making it happen. Don’t believe me? Frank Cross from Scrooged thinks so, too.

 

Tis’ the season, so feel free to check out my Christmas novel  A Drakenfall Christmas and my Christmas short story “It Doesn’t Show Signs of Stopping.”

Peace out and rock on! -Geralyn Corcillo

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Does Prolific Equal Growth as a Writer? @JenniferLyon

November 25, 2017 by in category From Our Archives tagged as , ,

Posts from Our Archives | A Slice of Orange

 

We occasionally run posts from our wayback archives. This post from Jennifer Apodaca (Jennifer Lyon) was first published in May of 2006. We think it’s still a timely topic.

 

Does Prolific Equal Growth as a Writer? @JenniferLyon

 


This is such an interesting question. It leads to some obvious points; do some prolific authors’ books seem like the same book over and over? It can happen. It’s really hard to make every book different, and some similarities will come through in every book. Those are usually part of the author’s “voice” and her style. An M.O. (Modus Operandi) if you will.

One of the most amazing “stretches” for an author that I’ve seen is Nora Roberts writing as JD Robb. Those books are totally different from her Nora Roberts books. The voice is edgier, the plots are grittier, and the suspense is darker. Amazing. Do I think she could have done that in the beginning of her career? Doubtful, although Nora Roberts truly has a “gift” in writing. She may not appeal to everyone, but the woman can tell a story.

So can Stephen King. And he has done some serious growth in his career. Off hand, I’d cite THE GREEN MILE as an example. Stephen King takes risks, and sometimes the reading public doesn’t like the result. But his books are rarely the same thing over and over. I believe he’s grown in his career and he has worked at growing. He tries new things. He doesn’t let fear or reader and publisher expectations keep him in a mold.


I’m not so sure the same could be said for John Grisham or James Patterson. I love some of John Grisham’s early works, but somewhere along the way I just plain old lost interest. That could just be a coincidence. I thought A TIME TO KILL was truly a compelling book. I stopped reading James Patterson when he stopped writing his own books. Enough said there.

There are many factors that can come into play here, branding, putting out several books a year, publishers demanding similar books, the author’s comfort zone, reader expectations…they affect how we write. I’ve known very good authors who had to fight, and fight hard, to expand and grow in their work.

We don’t have a lot of control over all the factors that come into play, but we can control our comfort zone. To grow, we have to push the barriers on what we “know” we can do. For instance, my mystery series has certain built-in parameters. Although I strove to find ways to challenge my writing and keep my characters fresh, by the fifth book, I knew I was pretty much in my comfort zone. To stretch a little I wrote a novella in third person (my mystery series is in first person). Then I wrote an entire book in third person (THE SEX ON THE BEACH BOOK CLUB) with much looser parameters. Trying new things is the only way I know to really flex and strain the writing muscle to see how much it can handle.

Growth does not happen in a vacuum. It’s impossible. We must feed the writing muscle to grow it. Get out from behind the computer and live a little. We need friends who support our dreams, hold our hand when the writing gets tough and slap us around when we doubt our ability.

While I don’t think volume absolutely equals growth, I do think we have to keep writing to grow. It might be uneven progress, sometimes we’ll have to compromise to meet a deadline (this is a business no matter how much we might like to romanticize it!), and sometimes outside forces will prevent us from stretching as much as we’d like. But I think every book gives us the opportunity to grow in some way. The trick is to be willing to take the risk, invest the time and effort, and believe in ourselves.

What about you? What authors do you think have really grown? And which ones write the same book over and over?

Jennifer Apodaca
http://jenniferapodaca.com/
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Author: Jennifer Lyon

Jennifer Lyon is the pseudonym for USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Apodaca. Jen lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than twenty books and novellas, won numerous awards and had her books translated into multiple languages, but she still hasn’t come up with a way to persuade her husband that they need a dog.

Jen loves connecting with fans. Visit her website at www.jenniferlyonbooks.com follow her at https://www.facebook.com/jenniferlyonbooks and sign up for her newsletter here http://jenniferlyonbooks.us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=073423e93d289ea062989ac07&id=7af76b3602

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