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judithmoose
09-08-2005, 08:33 AM
Good evening everyone. If you wouldn't mind I would like to pick your brains for a few moments. I am currently releasing my third book through Booksurge and have been less than thrilled with the service I've had all along but figured I would stay with them rather than have to search for someone else to publish these books. Because they are entertainment based I was turned down by countless traditional houses (they claim there's no market for television based books). I own an Entertainment Publicity firm that deals with several television personalities and fan groups along with authors who have also had to use a vanity press to get their books out (and they're selling very nicely) so I know there is a market despite the popular opinion of the publishing houses.

Which brings me to the reason for this message and this will probably be the first time that authors have been asked for their input before anything is put together. My company has been in operation for over ten years and I've decided that I would like to add a publishing division for authors who write material that is somehow entertainment related. It wouldn't matter if the book were based on television, film, music, personalities or a guide to break into the business. If it's entertainment based I'll take a look at it. After reading all of the material that I have so far I've noticed that many of you have specifics that you've been wanting in a vanity or PoD publisher. So here's the question: What are the main items you would want to see a PoD or Vanity Press offer and what do you consider fair and competitive pricing for those services?

If you would please either answer in this forum or e-mail me at signingstars@jmmediagroup.com I would appreciate it. Thank you for your time and assistance. I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,
Judith A. Moose
President
JM Media Group
www.jmmediagroup.com (http://www.jmmediagroup.com)

Epicman
09-08-2005, 11:18 AM
Judith,

Having just published my book with Diggorypress.com I did a lot of research on POD/Vanity publishers. As far as service they have exceeded all expectations and I have NEVER had any negative experiences to report. Nothing that is warned about on this forum happened - in fact - Rosalind at Diggory went WAY above and beyond what I expected as a best case scenario.

On Pricing they start at $50US to publish a book and items like an author provided photo can be placed on the cover for $20US. The ISBN, bar code, and distribution through Ingram's and all the on-line book vendors was $90US. I gave another $60US to be listed in Ingram's catalogue that goes to over 20,000 book vendors in North America. It is a NON-EXCLUSIVE contract meaning I can actively search for a 'traditional' publisher if I choose and can cancel with an e-mail. I get to price my books any way I want and choose any discount I may want to give to wholesalers. I get 200 copies of my 140 page book at $3.50US each and it scales lower or higher depending on the number I buy for signings and such or to fulfill orders through my web site. The price per copy for fulfillment of orders is $4.80US - I get the rest of the $13.95 cover price as royalties which are paid monthly if they exceed $200 in a month or quarterly otherwise.

I had my proof two weeks after I sent the files in and I was listed on the on-line vendors sites at the same time - as I requested speed. The quality meets or exceeds anything I have seen on a book store's shelves. My book is a 6x9 paperback - so you can match that to the prices - and they are the same for 5.5X8.5 too. Hard bound books are also available. I did not HAVE to place Diggory press anywhere on the cover. I had COMPLETE control over everything with the exception of some verbage that has to be included on the copyright page which in no way indicates a POD/VANITY/SELF-PUBLISHED book. I have CIP info through the British Library also - taken care of by the publisher. I do not have to purchase any of my books if I don't want to. My price per copy remains the same - no initial order 'specials' or any pressure at all.

I can claim truthfully that my book is printed simutaneously in the US and UK - all North American orders are printed in the US and all others in the UK. I think I covered a great deal here - I tried to address points that are commonly brought up here in the forums.

The bottom line for my book thus far:
Paid: $260 for services
My book is listed at 21 on line vendors so far - 3 weeks after I submitted the ms. My first order has been shipped - 190 books plus shipping = $697.60 paid.
I have pre-sold 137 to date on my web site at a $13.95 cover price + $4.00 s&h = $2459.15 received.
Thus far I am just over $1500 ahead 3 weeks after submitting the ms.

This is the kind of deal and pricing this author likes to see. The promotional packages I see at a lot of other publishers are rip-offs. I can print my own flyers and get a local printer to print 11X17 posters of my design at $3 each if I buy 10 - cheaper if I buy more. As far as press releases there are templates all over the net and where to send them is found out through a simple Google search of newspapers, tv stations, and radio stations wherever you want to send them to. I covered my state newspapers and tv stations with personalized releases in a little more than 3 hours (18 newspapers and 10 tv stations.)

I guess this gives a little more than you asked for but it will be useful when structuring your offerings and prices.

Good Luck.

Epicman
Glenn S. Hamilton
http://www.cometogetherbooks.com

Elwyn
09-08-2005, 04:31 PM
Epicman and Judith -

There's a story in the October 2005 issue of Writers Digest about an author who, after many rejections, finally decided to self-publish. The cover title is "From self-published to six figures: Author Philip Beard." Well, it seems that his efforts did pay off - but there was timing and luck involved.

Epicman - I think your timing is right. Here's wishing you some luck - and asking the Creator to lend a helping hand.

Elwyn

Aconite
09-08-2005, 04:58 PM
This thread probably belongs in the POD Self-Publishing forum (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=-1&f=47).

Maryn
09-08-2005, 05:04 PM
I agree with Aconite. Might a moderator be moved to move it? Thanks in advance.

Maryn, still socking down coffee

Cathy C
09-08-2005, 07:01 PM
I think that you're probably right that there's a market for it, Judith, but I would urge you to spent a great deal of time with an entertainment attorney to find out what liability you might have as publisher of a work based on movies, television, songs, actors, etc. Lawsuits are filed every day against publishers by people who feel they've been insulted, or maligned, or even mentioned in a GOOD way if it's unexpected. While the ultimate responsibility lies with the author, the publisher is right there in the middle of it, being forced to defend themselves from the accuser, and having to file court documents to bring it back against the author, etc. Even the simplest lawsuit can cost thousands of dollars to defend, and the court will expect you to show responsibility before putting words in print, meaning that you would have to hire a fact checker for vetting what the authors write.


Please take the time to be certain that it's worth the risk to get into this genre of publishing.
Good luck!

Sheryl Nantus
09-08-2005, 07:47 PM
this isn't fanfiction, is it?

because that's a BIG no-no...

judithmoose
09-10-2005, 11:00 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. I have now reviewed the contracts, terms and pricing structures of over 150 vanity and PoD publishers and came to the same conclusion with just about all of them. What justifies the huge mark-up on the services they're offering? It's safe to say that there aren't many (if any at all) fans of Publish America and I was referred to Virtual Bookworm by someone saying that they are far superior in pricing and services provided. After reviewing everything they have I still came to the same conclusion. What would make someone spend almost $2,000.00 to get one copy of their book and (with the exception of press release distribution) virtually a non-existent PR plan? With that in mind, I have come up with a new approach that will probably not make the competition terribly happy but perhaps they'll stop charging astronomical fees for every little detail.

Before I go further, I once again would like your views. The printing firm is already under contract with extremely reasonable rates and includes drop shipping. I have set up full distribution with Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, NASCORP, Gardners, Bertrams, Book Depository, Holt Jackson, Bertrams Library Service, Coutts & Dawson and several online retailers. I (and my staff) have over 80 years of combined experience in Advertising, Marketing and Publicity mainly in the Entertainment and Literary markets. So here's what I'm thinking... Flat Rate Publishing.

One price gets everything. When I say everything I mean the book is published (doesn't matter if it's hardback or paperback), editing and graphic support if the author needs help with no additional fees, a hard-copy printed proof is delivered to the author prior to printing for review, upon publication the author gets ten free copies, the distribution (with return allowances) to all of the above places is automatic, ISBN is assigned and barcode is created, author's copyright is filed with the Library of Congress (all rights shall remain with the author), book will be stored on a server as well as on CD for backup purposes, an e-book will be created if you want one and have the same distribution as the printed version, press release will be written and put out for distribution to over 18,000 media outlets worldwide, an interview will be conducted with the author so an article can be written for use by the author or assorted publications, a booksigning event will be set up in the city/town of the author's residence (or the nearest vicinity if there are no bookstores in the community), a minimum of 250 four-color glossy postcards will be delivered to the author before the signing event for promotional purposes, the media in the area around the event will be notified of the signing taking place, the store will receive full promotional support from me and my staff, the author will receive their own website for the book's promotion with my staff maintaining it for one year at no additional charge. Other items can be added in case I've left anything out.

Here's the fine print and the answers to the money questions -

Royalties - This one's easy. For retail sales: Take the price of your book and divide it by three. The printer is taking a third as their fee, I'm taking a third to pay my staff and you're getting the rest. For wholesale sales: Take the royalty payment for the retail and divide it in half because wholesale is 50% off the cover price. If there's an e-book produced with the package then you get 100% of the sale of the e-book.

Payments - Will be done by check on a monthly basis regardless of how much money you made that month. Checks will be cut on the last day of each month and if you only sold two books then that's what royalties your check will be for. Checks will be accompanied by a statement showing your sales for that month.

Submissions - Books will be screened for content. I will not accept books that promote violence, racial hate, eroticism, slanderous statements, or anything that will defame the reputations of any person living or dead. If there are photographs included in the book the author MUST obtain permission from the copyright owner before any photos will be used. This is particularly important when it comes to the television/film industry's material and the studios. If needed, I will assist in obtaining the licensing but the fee for said license is something that the author is to cover. Fees range from $50 to $5000 depending on what the studio insists on and whatever the fee named is the only amount that the author will pay. I will not charge a fee for my assistance.

Terms - The contract is non-exclusive and you can cancel the service with 30 days notice. The only reason the contract would be cancelled from my end is if you do something seriously damaging to the reputation of this firm or its staff. Respect is a two-way street and professionalism is always a must.

What's it going to cost - Considering that most of the other vanity presses and PoD firms are charging well over $2,000 for all of their services and they still don't offer everything that I've rattled off, I'm thinking somewhere around $1,500.00 is fair. If an author tries the service and likes us so much that they want to stick around, I'll knock off $100.00 for all future submissions.

So what do you think?

Epicman
09-11-2005, 08:16 PM
Judith,

Simply put - I sort of like your idea but - I could'nt afford it as you've priced it. I like the al-la-carte pricing system, and a bare-bones offer. Take for example my experience with Diggory Press:

$50 set-up fee (guidance was offered free on format, etc.)

$90 for a barcode, ISBN, distribution through Ingram's etc. and world-wide listings on all the Amazons, B&N, etc. Included is submission for CIP info and filing with the British Library.

$20 to insert one photo on cover

$20 to insert text on rear of cover

$60 for ad in Ingrams catalog distributed to over 20,000 vendors

$20 for shipping, handling, and cost of proof

That is what I chose for a total of $260

I then pay for my copies on a sliding scale that goes down with quantity. I've just received 190 copies of mine at $3.50 ea. My book retails at $13.95 so I get over a 75% discount in this quantity. The price is not based upon retail but page count of the book. Mine is a 140 page 6X9, the price is the same for 5.5X8.5 too. They offer any size you want and hardback/softback. They fulfill orders based upon page count: it is $4.80 per copy for mine. Out of that they pay the printer and keep their cut - I get all the rest. That is an over 60% royalty.

Speaking for myself only here is what I feel about your other offerings:

I want options like you offer but I want them to be options.

I would like the option of getting the list with contacts for thousands of media outlets. I like to personalize my press releases and then, in my case, look up the science editor/reporter or something close and send it with a personalized note to their name. I feel that is more effective.

I can set up my own signings so this is something I would not choose. The postcards are the same. I did my own website too. I think some folks may need or want these services but others may not so they should be individually priced.

As for payment of royalties: The major distributors all pay quarterly so I get paid quarterly. They do report monthly but not with payments. I think you may get into an issue if you get a big seller and have to pay royalties out-of-pocket till the distributors catch-up.

The non-exclusive contract is a must but Diggory gives me cancellation by sending an e-mail - I or the big time publisher who may have decided to take on my book doesn't have to wait thirty days.

I think I've addressed nearly all of it... As far as the price you offer it is just too much for me - and I think a lot of new authors - to afford. While an all-inclusive price like you suggest might be a good idea - I never would have given you a second look if you didn't offer a menu style of options I could choose from to keep it affordable for myself.

Before anyone starts to knock the fact that my publisher is in London... I can truthfully claim that my book is simultaneously printed in the US and UK. All N. American orders are printed in the US. My contact there is awake and ready to take my calls or e-mails from 3 AM my time to well into the afternoon. I think it is a plus that my publisher is not well known - it will keep all parties from immediately recognizing that I am self-published.

I almost forgot... I choose the retail price and the discount I want to give to the wholesale market for my book. I also had the choice of not to put my publisher's name anywhere on the cover.

Epicman
Glenn S. Hamilton
http://www.cometogetherbooks.com

logos1234567
09-12-2005, 11:43 PM
Judith - frankly, it is far too expensive set-up with the royalties too low. What you are offering is not a good deal.

Furthermore you say one third of the retail price goes to the printer, one third to you etc - aren't you forgetting for some low page count books more can be demanded for the retail price because of the genre so how fair is it that the printer's cut would be the same as a book count of double or treble the pages if it is based on retail price alone? I also think one third to you is greedy when you are taking $1500 for set up.

judithmoose
09-13-2005, 08:11 AM
Judith - frankly, it is far too expensive set-up with the royalties too low. What you are offering is not a good deal.

Furthermore you say one third of the retail price goes to the printer, one third to you etc - aren't you forgetting for some low page count books more can be demanded for the retail price because of the genre so how fair is it that the printer's cut would be the same as a book count of double or treble the pages if it is based on retail price alone? I also think one third to you is greedy when you are taking $1500 for set up.


Set up was not the only thing in the one price category. It consisted of everything that was listed including the entire executed marketing plan, executed PR plan with not only release construction but distribution to over 10 times the amount of media outlets that the standard PoD houses are sending releases to, a full interview for articles in local and/or national publications, a website with full e-commerce for purchases, maintenance on the site for a year and everything else listed above.

It really doesn't matter at this point anyway as I have taken Glenn's advice and am in the process of constructing tier pricing for those authors wishing to handle the marketing, publicity and internet sales presence on their own. As nearly any author could attest to: it's not always the content of the book that creates sales, it's the marketing and publicity that generates the interest for people to want to read it. Despite the fact that I love writing and have three of my own books out I am always a publicist first.

Thanks for your assistance everyone!

judithmoose
10-15-2005, 08:39 AM
Once again I want to thank everyone for their input. I've listened to everything you suggested as well as several others on assorted forums and it is my pleasure to present Signing Stars. I'm pleased to report I've already signed six authors including one former prime-time television celebrity who has guaranteed comfirmed appearances on Montel Williams, Live with Regis & Kelly and Oprah as soon as her book is on the shelves. She's also one of the current hostesses on QVC.

Please take a moment to visit the company's website (www.signingstars.net (http://www.signingstars.net)) and if you ever wish to try out my services, I would love to hear from you. Drake Robinson's "The Makings Of A Rainbow Warrior - A Master In Our Midst" and Edward Eugene Baskett's "I Call Him Christopher: My Letters To Chris Matthews of Hardball" are both releasing the second week of November.

When you view the site, you will notice that three of my current books and one new one is there. Yes, I do know that it's not always a good idea to go with someone who advertises their own books on their publishing site or that does publicity (can't help it, it's my profession). However, considering that I'm usually with Booksurge and they've basically done nothing, I've taken the books away from them and am handling them myself, the reason for which is below...

The last straw came when I checked my royalties last weekend and discovered that 246 copies of one of my books had sold in the matter of a few days (which I figured was because I'm doing a signing event next weekend). Two days later the royalty report is reading that only three copies sold. I e-mailed Booksurge wanting to know what happened and was told that the IT department made an error and that it was all the same order and was deleted. I have the printouts from Amazon.com showing each individual order that went through and not one of them was a duplicate. So, is it just a matter of checking my material on the wrong day or have I just been screwed out of over $1,100.00 in royalties?

Anyway, thanks again for all of your input. I hope everyone is well and has a wonderful weekend.

All the best,
Judith A. Moose

Mike Coombes
10-26-2005, 12:38 AM
As nearly any author could attest to: it's not always the content of the book that creates sales, it's the marketing and publicity ...

Despite the fact that I love writing and have three of my own books out I am always a publicist first.



Could you tell us, of your three novels, how many copies of each you have sold?

I'm sure those here with an interest in marketing and publicity - or considering entrusting their marketing and publicity to you - would be thrilled to know.

:)

judithmoose
10-28-2005, 01:29 AM
Together: A Sitcom Lover's Guide to Silver Spoons - 2700 copies since December 2003 with an additional negotiated deal with Sony to carry inserts promoting the book in the boxes of any future DVD release of the series. Erin Gray and Joel Higgins are also both clients of my PR firm and Erin takes a copy or two with her on assorted autograph convention appearances.

Another Time, Another Place: Quantum Leap - 1051 copies since December 2004. This one doesn't seem to be as popular as my co-author had assured me it would be but should pick up considerably when producer Don Bellisario has finished filming the new Quantum Leap movie.

Glamour, Greed & Glory: Dynasty has been out for presale only through assorted Dynasty sites. The press material and cataloging for bookstores and wholesale distribution houses is releasing next month. Through pre-sales taken over the course of the last month, there have been 267 copies ordered. I am currently in negotiations with Twentieth Century Fox to carry inserts in the remaining eight seasons of box sets for Dynasty on DVD and Suncoast Video to carry the book in their retail outlets.

I'm also in the process of sending press releases and ordering material out to over 7,000 bookstores nationwide promoting those three as well as the books of four authors I've signed in the past month and have already received stocking commitments from six stores specializing in items related to the Entertainment Industry.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks for your message and I hope you have a wonderful afternoon.

Judith

Mike Coombes
10-28-2005, 11:51 PM
Considering these are all shows with a big fan base, those sales are extremely disappointing.

Bearing in mind these are all, effectively, fanfic, if a writer entrusted an original literary work to you, what kind of sales do you think you might achieve and how would you market them?

judithmoose
10-29-2005, 07:12 AM
Considering these are all shows with a big fan base, those sales are extremely disappointing.

Bearing in mind these are all, effectively, fanfic, if a writer entrusted an original literary work to you, what kind of sales do you think you might achieve and how would you market them?

There are a two points that need to be clarified. First, none of these books are fan fiction. They were all produced with the full cooperation of the respective studios, cast, crew and creators of each series and to presume to brush them off as something other than an original literary work is insulting. Contrary to what it appears you believe, I didn't just wake up one morning and slap a book together. These take just as long to write as it does for someone to write a novel and I'm actually quite offended at that comment. I'm sure three of my authors would be as well considering they too write books on television and film. It's general opinions such as yours that made me decide to specialize in books related to the Entertainment Industry. There isn't a mainstream publishing company in this country that is happily willing to take on books based on television shows or manuals for people wanting to break into the entertainment field much less devote the entire company to it.

Secondly, as far as my three books go, there has never been a tremendous push to get any of them into stores because I was too busy negotiating with the studios to get them promoted in the DVD box sets. I also received no assistance whatsoever from the publishing company that originally put them out. So while I will agree that for the standards of a mainstream publisher the sales aren't spectacular, for a product that came from a POD publisher and was never advertised on anything other than a few fan-based websites, they aren't that bad.

That said, to answer your question on the sales figures for someone else's material will take at least a month or two. One must keep in mind that my new venture has only been in operation for a little more than three weeks but in that time I've now signed six authors. Check back with me in January and I'll have a much better idea on sales numbers.

Marketing and promotion is something that I can talk about now. I have distribution contracts set up with Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, NASCORP, Gardners, Bertrams, Book Depository, Holt Jackson, Bertrams Library Service and Coutts & Dawson. Each book put out also is assigned a Library of Congress Control Number for use by libraries and universities. I've compiled a list of over 50,000 independent book sellers throughout the United States, Canada and United Kingdom that have press releases and catalog updates sent via e-mail and fax on a weekly basis. Each author is getting a personal website with e-commerce built in for orders to be placed through them directly. Book signing events are being put together for each author with releases going to the media surrounding the event's location. Interviews are being conducted with each author for use in local, regional and national publications. Television appearances (if and when the opportunities present themselves) will be done on a per author basis. Internet promotion of the titles are already beginning to take place and negotiations are underway with MSNBC and SoapNet's shopping areas to carry three of the titles. The Sci-Fi network and I are negotiating on two of the other titles.

Quite honestly, I'm not claiming to have a huge publishing company. I'm not even claiming to have a huge publicity firm and I'm not out to win any popularity contests along the way. What I'm trying to accomplish is to have the ability to offer authors (like me) who have written material based on items related to the entertainment field and been turned away by mainstream publishing houses, the chance to be published. Each publicity and marketing campaign is different and depends on what the needs and strengths of the authors are. I have one who never wants to be put in front of a camera and another who spent part of her life in front of it on Knots Landing, Beverly Hills 90210 and QVC. I believe that publishing and publicity should go hand in hand and each campaign deserves to be as individually special as the person whose book is being promoted. I have conversations nearly every day with each of my authors to go over details of what marketing and promotional ideas are being put together and each of them has input on what they want to see done and tell me what they want to do to help make this a successful venture. It's a completely joint effort and it's a truly rewarding experience for all of us. We share a great outlook on the possibility of results: If the books sell out on their first day, week or month that's fabulous but even if they don't as long as we're happy with what we have accomplished and know that we've given it everything we had, that's all that matters.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mike Coombes
10-30-2005, 02:31 AM
Hi Judith

Apologies if you didn't like the comparisone with fanfic - it was a little below the belt, but my point was that books based on movies/tv series have a head start on unknown work because there is an existing fan base to sell to.

Although I have reservations, I wish you all the luck in the world. And thanks for sticking around to make your point - usually when the questions get difficult, the poster disappears, never to be seen again!

judithmoose
10-30-2005, 05:55 AM
I appreciate and thank you for your apology and good wishes Mike. To tell you the truth, I have reservations every single day but I know it's only because I'm nervous about venturing into the giant ocean of publishing companies that end up being slaughtered and am trying to figure out how to make sure that mine never ends up on a negative list somewhere. So far, I'm very happy to say that all my authors and I have formed a personal bond as well as a business relationship and personal involvement is something that I believe in very strongly.

So I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the future brings. Check back with me in January or February and perhaps both of our reservations may have gone away...LOL!

TheWriteStuff
03-14-2006, 12:27 PM
Hello Everyone,

Does anyone have any updated information or experience with Signing Stars? That is the name of the POD company that Judith Moose eventually started.

I found her website at www.signingstars.net (http://www.signingstars.net).

The latest post on here from October 2005 says to check back in January or February 2006 to see how she made out, but there is no follow up here. The website sounds good. In these posts, she was saying that she would be charging $1,500 minimum, but there is a package for $600. She obviously did take into account what people said here.

I am so leery of paying anyone anything for publishing a book because we've all had it drummed into us not to do that. I wonder if hers is reasonable because she is also providing publicity materials and publicity...something that we are also told constantly that traditional publishers never do properly for first time or midlist authors. Are we really getting publishing and publicity from one place? If so, is that actually a good bargain if we want to try to sell our book on our own?

Thanks.

judithmoose
03-18-2006, 09:50 AM
Hello and thank you for asking about the progress with my little company. Things are progressing nicely, although I have changed printers because the one I had originally selected did a hideous job on books with photos. Since I'm an entertainment publicist before anything else, I certainly couldn't let a book filled with celebrity photos go on the market if I didn't like the way they printed...

Aside from that, I'm pleased to report that two of my authors have just given interviews for a new website dealing with writing and publishing your own book and two others are in the process of also responding to an assortment of questions for the same site. The interviewer sent me copies of their responses to questions and I was extremely pleased and tremendously flattered at what they had to say about me and their service. The website that the interviews will appear on is the opening stages so I will supply their address as soon as they are live. In the meantime, I'm attaching the excerpts from Edward Baskett (author of "I Call Him Christopher") and C. Elizabeth Lalla (author of "Who's Who Of Stage & Screen").

We'll start with Edward's:

How did you find your current publisher?

When I decided to publish IHIC I went to Craigís List on the Internet. I found Signing Stars Publishing on that list. I contacted them and was received with open arms. I had become so disgusted with agents and publishers, that I decided this was the perfect one for me. She [the owner] is excellent, she knows exactly what is she doing, she is totally supportive and has a fantastic list of media contacts. Iíve been very pleased. The book has been listed online hundreds of times. It is carried by Amazon, the Forbes book club, Barnes and Noble along with a host of others.



Before I found my current publisher I sent out three hundred form letters to publishers with no results. That was a waste of money.



Did you send a proposal to Signing Stars?

I sent Judith Moose [the owner] a query letter linking to Omnibus.org which has an extract from the book on it.



How involved marketing are you?

Very. Any time I find website pertaining to humor I contact them. Also, I contact blogs.



And Elizabeth's:

Did you look for an agent?

No. I started out with a publishing company. It wasnít hard to find a publishing company. Just with the idea of the book, I hadnít even started the book, the first publisher I went to wanted to do it. I had an idea that the publishers would want this book. It was true. But I was very unhappy with the publishing company. I was with them for two years. They couldnít send me a galley that I was happy with.


How did you find your current publisher?

I had sent her (the owner of the publishing house) a request for information about Erin Gray, the actress. She was representing her. When Judith wrote me an email back, she said she had had some people come to her to do their books because they werenít happy with their publisher. And it was the same publisher that I was with! She asked if I was unhappy. I immediately picked up and the phone and called her. To make this a short story Judith said she would love to do my book. I fired the other company. Judith is a genius, she is wonderful. I started with her 4 months ago and my book is done, the other people had it for 2 years. What I like about her is you can work with her one on one. With a large publishing company it can take weeks to get a response. She is a wonderful person. I am so glad she asked to do my book.



How involved have you been in the marketing?

Very much so. I want to market the book. I want to get it out to every one. I have gotten ahold of bookstores. Judith is working on this too. I am involved in emailing people press releases, because I want this book out there for the fans to enjoy. I want the aspiring actors to get in the limelight. I love the stars, as well as the aspiring.



What kind of marketing has the publisher done for your book?

Weíve just gotten started with all of this. We are out there. Itís in book stores; B. Dalton, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and others. My book is being sold all over the world; France, Italy, Japan. Itís so strange to see it being sold on websites in other languages.



So while I'm hoping that Drake and Lar have the same type of wonderful praise, I'm starting to get a bit of an ego over here...LOL! As for my latest release, "Glamour, Greed & Glory: Dynasty", I ran across a website yesterday that's affiliated with ABC and was delighted to find it sitting in the number one position of books to purchase.

I'll be perfectly honest with all of you. Launching this company has been a roller-coaster ride of wonderful euphoria and days when I bang my head into the wall because the printer is running late. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything because I've helped an amazing group of authors realize a goal. Elizabeth and I are already in the throws of putting together Volume Two of "Who's Who" and between the two of us we've already got enough material to guarantee at least three more volumes after that. Edward's got another book that we're toying with the idea of releasing. Drake's hard at work on a sequel to "The Makings of a Rainbow Warrior". Lar is putting the finishing touches on "Get Started, Not Scammed" and there is another author named Marty Pearl whose book "Diary of a Bartender" is scheduled for release in the next two months and she and I are collaborating on turning a screenplay into a book instead of the other way around. Add to that all of the PR work I do for my celebrities and corporate clients and I guess you could say that life is good. Hectic, but definitely good...

Thanks again for asking and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

All the best,
Judith A. Moose
President
JM Media Group / Signing Stars Publishing

Prosperity7
02-12-2007, 11:27 AM
Judith,

Simply put - I sort of like your idea but - I could'nt afford it as you've priced it. I like the al-la-carte pricing system, and a bare-bones offer. Take for example my experience with Diggory Press:

$50 set-up fee (guidance was offered free on format, etc.)

$90 for a barcode, ISBN, distribution through Ingram's etc. and world-wide listings on all the Amazons, B&N, etc. Included is submission for CIP info and filing with the British Library.

$20 to insert one photo on cover

$20 to insert text on rear of cover

$60 for ad in Ingrams catalog distributed to over 20,000 vendors

$20 for shipping, handling, and cost of proof

That is what I chose for a total of $260

I then pay for my copies on a sliding scale that goes down with quantity. I've just received 190 copies of mine at $3.50 ea. My book retails at $13.95 so I get over a 75% discount in this quantity. The price is not based upon retail but page count of the book. Mine is a 140 page 6X9, the price is the same for 5.5X8.5 too. They offer any size you want and hardback/softback. They fulfill orders based upon page count: it is $4.80 per copy for mine. Out of that they pay the printer and keep their cut - I get all the rest. That is an over 60% royalty.

Speaking for myself only here is what I feel about your other offerings:

I want options like you offer but I want them to be options.

I would like the option of getting the list with contacts for thousands of media outlets. I like to personalize my press releases and then, in my case, look up the science editor/reporter or something close and send it with a personalized note to their name. I feel that is more effective.

I can set up my own signings so this is something I would not choose. The postcards are the same. I did my own website too. I think some folks may need or want these services but others may not so they should be individually priced.

As for payment of royalties: The major distributors all pay quarterly so I get paid quarterly. They do report monthly but not with payments. I think you may get into an issue if you get a big seller and have to pay royalties out-of-pocket till the distributors catch-up.

The non-exclusive contract is a must but Diggory gives me cancellation by sending an e-mail - I or the big time publisher who may have decided to take on my book doesn't have to wait thirty days.

I think I've addressed nearly all of it... As far as the price you offer it is just too much for me - and I think a lot of new authors - to afford. While an all-inclusive price like you suggest might be a good idea - I never would have given you a second look if you didn't offer a menu style of options I could choose from to keep it affordable for myself.

Before anyone starts to knock the fact that my publisher is in London... I can truthfully claim that my book is simultaneously printed in the US and UK. All N. American orders are printed in the US. My contact there is awake and ready to take my calls or e-mails from 3 AM my time to well into the afternoon. I think it is a plus that my publisher is not well known - it will keep all parties from immediately recognizing that I am self-published.

I almost forgot... I choose the retail price and the discount I want to give to the wholesale market for my book. I also had the choice of not to put my publisher's name anywhere on the cover.

Epicman
Glenn S. Hamilton
http://www.cometogetherbooks.com


May I ask how many copies you have sold through Diggory.

AndyPolyak
10-30-2007, 02:28 AM
Do you respect your writers' work, folks? If you do, then, it is not you who must pay for it - but it is you who must be paid. Money should ALWAYS flow from the publisher to the author. If a publisher wants authors to pay for their works, they may write books themselves.

Better to get self-published somewhere at Lulu then to let others make money on your books INSTEAD of you. Self-published but respecting own hard labour.