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Thinking About Self Publishing Your Book?

Learn How The Fine Print of Self­-Publishing Will Save You Time & Money—Guaranteed

When it comes to self-publishing there are no guarantees, except this one: The Fine Print of Self-Publishing will help you navigate the indie publishing landscape better and armed with more insider knowledge than any other book you’ll read on the subject.

Since 2004, the five prior editions of The Fine Print have consistently been one of the best selling books about self-publishing. Plus, my 15 years as an indie author and 10 years as CEO of a book publishing company help make The Fine Print a book that I hope you’ll put on your self-publishing reading list. If you don’t love the book, just email me and I’ll refund 100% of the money you paid to buy it.

Here’s what you’ll find inside the 2016-2017 edition:

  • Side-by-side comparisons of 30 major self-publishing companies reviewed like CreateSpace, IngramSpark, BookBaby, AuthorHouse and more, detailing:
    • The royalty amounts each publisher pays you for print and ebook sales from resellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
    • How much each publisher marks up book printing (it’s eye-opening!)
    • Which companies return your original production files and which ones won’t
  • The do’s and don’ts of publishing your book
  • How to determine what those self-publishing company contracts are really saying.
  • A self-publishing checklist (from manuscript through distribution)
  • 10 characteristics all top self-publishing companies have in common. A book marketing checklist
  • Details about ebook publishing, file conversion, distribution and royalties
  • The pros and cons of DIY publishing platforms like CreateSpace, Ingram Spark, and Smashwords and examples of how my book looked after being formatted by these companies.
  • Plus, easy-to-read charts that provide an apples-to-apples comparison of all 30 companies on book printing fees for various print volumes (1-500), author ebook and print royalties, the return policies for book production files.

Added Bonus: If you make it all the way to the “Conclusion” you’ll discover how to get a free 30-minute publishing consultation where we can discuss your book, your publishing plans, companies you’re considering working with, or any other question you have about self-publishing.

Not convinced yet? Download my Author’s Bill of Rights and get a free 15-minute publishing consultation. And, yes, you’ll get another 30 minutes, if you buy The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.

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indie authors to watch

Holy Sh*t! Your Self-Published Book is #2 on Amazon

Even if you won’t say it out loud, you hope, wish and maybe pray that the day you pitch your self-published book to 50 media outlets, all 50 pick it up and 50 more pick it up from the original 50. You also hope, wish and pray that as your book becomes the “it” book for a few days and your Amazon sales rank is moving so quickly that your books sales leave Harry Potter in the dust. I’m not talking about one of those Spam-Everyone-You-Know-And-Hope-Enough-Buy-Your-Book-To-Make-You-#1-on-Amazon-for-a-Minute scams peddled by publicity hucksters. I’m talking about the real thing–when people around the world are buzzing about your book and sales are pouring in. It was the fastest self-publishing success story I’ve ever witnessed.

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$4,000 worth of Sci-Fi Domains Being Given Away to Authors

Below are some great domain names I’m giving away in the next few days.  Yes, giving away.  Like free.  Totally free. Next to each name, you’ll see the appraised value of  each name. It’s not the gospel on value, but just an indication. So, these freebies could be worth some money for you in the future.

Some cool thing you could do with these domains:

  • Direct them to your current domain
  • Use them for a new website
  • Use them as your email address
  • List them for sale (I’ll even show you how).

Domain Names for Science Fiction Writers / Authors: ($1,600) ($783) ($1,680) ($35)

General Publishing Related Domains ($1,100) ($1,200)

So why am I giving away valuable domain names?  Well, I own thousands and I create certain metrics around which ones I’ll keep and which ones I’ll let expire. So, instead of letting these expire in the next few days, I’m just giving them away on  first come first serve basis.  You will have to pay the transfer fee at your registrar (unless it’s Godaddy and then I can just push into your account).  The transfer fee for Godaddy (and most other places) is the cost of a registration (around $10 per name).

So, if you’re interested,  email me ASAP.

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book marketing

How to Win, Appraised at $800


You read the headline correctly.  I’m giving away to anyone who has published a book in 2014 or 2015.

And, it’s valued at $800 as you can see:



So, why am I giving it away?  Because I want  to encourage authors and writers to think about domain names and how and why they are valuable to your overall publishing strategy.  I’ll have more in the coming weeks on this.

Here’s how to enter the contest to win:  Be the first author to respond to this post or tweet me @publishingbuzz.

That’s it.  Contest ends on 4/30.

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indie authors to watch

How An Unknown Indie Author Sold 2,100 eBooks in 45 Days

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In the 12 years that I’ve been working with self-published authors, I’ve talked or emailed with thousands of them.  But, my phone call with David McAliley a few days ago blew me away for two reasons.  The first was that in all of my years in publishing, I had no advice to give.  An unknown novelist who sells 2,100 eBooks in 45 days spending virtually $0 on marketing, doesn’t need any help from me.  The second reason I was so blow away was because until our call, David didn’t realize that book sales at this clip was special.  He’s as humble, gracious, and appreciative of a person as you’ll ever meet.

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ebook publishing

How Ebooks Make Reading Easier

The obvious observation is, “Well, of course, ebooks make reading easier.  You don’t have to lug around a heavy book.  You just need to whip out a few ounces of technology.”

A recent survey by a UK charity called Quick Reads provides some interesting findings, including:

  • 48% of people surveyed said using ereading devices (tablets and ereaders) say the technology has made them read more, with the average adult spending six hours per week reading;
  • 41% of people surveyed said that being able to look up words they didn’t know (while using the ereading device) made reading easier;
  • 51% of people surveyed said that being able to adjust the appearance of the text to a size they liked also helped; and
  • 62% of those surveyed said that access to free ebooks has allowed them to read books they wouldn’t have otherwise read.

One of the more interesting results of the survey was that those over 65 years old are the highest adopters of of ereading devices with 19% saying using a device was their main way of reading a book.

More interesting facts from the survey can be found here.


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book editing book marketing

Ebook Sales Smackdown: Indie Authors vs. The Big Five

You have to see the evidence yourself to believe it.  When you do, you’ll feel proud to be an indie author and if you don’t already have ebooks published, you’re going to want to get moving on that.

In its 7K Report,  provide the most detailed information on ebook sales, I’ve ever seen.  The report is long and my post only touches on some of the highlights.

Genre fiction (mystery / thriller /suspense, sci-fi/fantasy, and romance — we’ll refer to them as “Genre Fiction”) is the place to be.  According to the report, of the top 2500 bestselling Genre Fiction on Amazon, 86% of those are ebooks, 7% paperback, 4% hardcover, 2% audio books, and 1% mass market paperback.

And when it comes to selling these Genre Fiction ebooks, indie published authors collectively are selling more ebooks on a daily basis than the Big Five do (39% vs. 34% — and when you add in one-off single authors, that number jumps to 43%).

On a daily gross sales amount, the Big Five takes in 52% of the revenue compared to 24% taken by indie published authors.  But, that number is a bit deceiving since the Big Five typically charge more for their titles than us indie authors do.  When you look at the daily revenue paid out to the authors for Fiction Genre ebooks, indie authors and uncategorized single-author publishers are earning 49%  of all revenue  from sales of Genre Fiction ebooks on Amazon.

The most amazing part of the 7K Report is indie authors and single-author publishers (combined for purposes of the information below) earn more per year than their traditionally published counterparts of ebook Genre Fiction in almost every earnings bracket:

Number of authors who earn $10,000 per year selling Genre Fiction ebooks:   800+ indie authors compared to 400+ traditionally published authors.  At $25,000 in earnings per year, it’s 450+ indies compared to 290+ traditionally published.  At $50,000 in earnings per year, 350+ indies compared to 190+ traditionally published authors.  Even at $100,000 per year, indie ebook authors of Genre Fiction are still earning more than their traditionally published counterparts –  150+ compared to 90+.  It’s not until earnings get to $500,000 a year, do the traditionally published authors take a slight lead in revenue.

I urge you to read the full 7K Report.  It’s excellent.  Thanks to Brandy Jensen at for showing me this report.



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book marketing

What I Learned About Book Marketing from Chocolate Chip Granola

Last week while shopping at Whole Foods, I stumbled upon what turns out to be the best chocolate chip granola I’ve ever had made by Jessica’s Natural Foods.  Last night after dinner, I was enjoying several handfuls and reading the packaging.  It was obvious that Jessica’s was a small company that got shot at Whole Foods (at least in Minneapolis, it’s the only place that carries the brand).  I saw Jessica just like I would an independently published author — someone who has a great product (book) and is out there competing against the big boys (traditional publishers).

I love it when a reader takes the time to write me and let me know how much they enjoyed my book,  The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.  And, anytime someone posts about my book, it helps sales.  So, I posted on my Facebook wall how much I loved this granola.  A bunch of friends commented and liked the post.  If someone takes time to post about how much they like a brand of granola (and they have no connection to the company), you know that person has some strong feelings.

After posting on Facebook, I went to the company’s website and sent an email via the contact form.  About two minutes later, I got a response from Jessica herself thanking me for taking the time to write and asking me if she could put my comments on her website.  I agreed.  I received another email from Jessica a few minutes later thanking me for that and offering to send me a few bags of the chocolate chip granola I love so much.

So, what are the takeaways from this?  I thought it was cool that Jessica took the time to write me personally (I also like that her company is that small, so that kind of stuff is possible).  That is part of why Jessica’s is and will continue to be successful.  The other part is that Jessica gets that a few bags of granola is going to turn a guy with 500 Facebook friends into a brand preacher.  That’s some grassroots marketing.  Cheap and effective.

How does this apply to authors?  I always reply personally to every email that comes through my site and this attached blog.  Since the fifth edition of my book just came out, I’m still getting emails from people who just read the fourth edition.  I send every one of them a free copy of the new edition.  It’s my two bags of granola.

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The Domain Name Spammers are Back!

If you own domain names, you may have seen emails from “Paul Harris” and “Kelly Smith” asking “Do you want to grow your business? Do you have serious, defined sales goals?”

Of course I do, so I responded to Paul, Allie and Kelly immediately through all of the email addresses below:

I’m pretty sure that “Paul”, “Allie” and “Kelly” are with the same “SEO” firm that employed “Ivan Ballard” and “Stella Fair” and “Ramon Elliot.”  If you don’t remember them, check out my posts When Does Email Marketing Become Spam? and Spamalot Starring an SEO Firm Near You.

The problem is that when I respond and tell Paul and Kelly how I need their help to grow my business, I get no response (as of yet).  This is why I’m confident that my email address has been blacklisted by the folks behind “Paul” and “Kelly.”

I’m posting this in the hopes that someone out there has played along and gotten a response, so we can figure out whose behind this.

This is one of the most annoying parts of owning a portfolio of domains.

2/5/14 UPDATE:  At least two new members of the spam team has emerged:

John Wilson at the following email addresses ,,,,, and  “John’s” email states, “Want more clients and customers? We will help them find you by putting you on the 1st page of Google. Email us back to get a full proposal.”

And, Steve Davies at or  “Steve’s” message is, “We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.”

I respond, but I think they’re on to me.  So, blogosphere folks out there, if you can identify who is behind this, please comment here.

 2/13/14 UPDATE:  As these new spam addresses come in, I will continue to post them in this original post.  I’m pretty sure the same company is behind last year’s group of spammers, but I think they’ve flagged domains owned by my company.  I keep responding hoping to get an email, but I don’t.  So, please let’s help identify who is behind Steve, John, Allie and Kelly.

2/25/14 UPDATE:  Donna Gabriel and Stella Fair are back!!! They have these new and exciting email addresses:

“Donna Gabriel”  (she’s a real busy girl with all of her email addresses)

Stella Fair (she’s busy, but with less email addresses — maybe she is still using some of her old ones too)

UPDATE 2/27/14:  In the past 24 hours I’ve received 63 emails (collectively) from Kelly Smith, Donna Gabriel, John Wilson, and a new guy “Davis Moore.”  All spam, of course.  With such subject lines as:

  • “Want more clients and customers?   We will help them find you by putting you on the 1st page of Google. Email us back to get a full proposal.”  (Kelly Smith and John Wilson)
  • “Do you want to grow your business? Do you have serious, defined sales goals? Reply back to get a full proposal.”  (Donna Gabriel)
  • “We can increase rankings of your website in search engines. Please reply back for more details.”  (Davis Moore)

Problem is that I can’t get them to email me back, since they know I’m already on to them.  So, if you’re reading this post and have received an email from them, please email them back.  You will then get an email from a U.S. company trying to set up an appointment.

Here are some of the additional email addresses:



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ebook publishing

Where Should Your Ebook Price Be?

I read a very interesting blog post, entitled “10 Things You May Not Know About Ebook Prices”  on the ebook comparison site,  Luzme captured a significant amount of ebook price data, including pricing preferences for both US and UK ebook buyers.

In the US, the most popular price ranges was $1-$2, but the most revenue was earned by ebooks priced in the $9-$10 range. In the UK, ebooks didn’t sell well at all above £5 ($8.21 USD) and the most popular price range was under £1 ($1.64 USD).

Just as interesting was who the ebook buyer is (at least according to  There are avid readers who buy a lot of ebooks weekly and are looking for cheap books in the genres they read. Then there are the readers searching for a particular ebook, don’t buy many ebooks, and are not as price conscious if they immediately can get the ebook version of the book they want.

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