Friday, May 30, 2008

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" Special Anniversary Edition

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," the first book in J.K. Rowling's phenomenally best-selling series, will be released in a special anniversary edition on September 23, 2008. The book, published by Scholastic, will feature exclusive bonus material from J.K. Rowling as well as new cover art and a four-color frontispiece by Mary GrandPré.

The special anniversary cover of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine; $30.00) depicts 11-year-old Harry looking into the Mirror of Erised, which Harry comes across in his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and learns that the mirror shows you what you most desire.

"It's a real treat for me to get another chance to visually bring Harry back to his fans in not only a new scene, but in a new light," said American illustrator of the Harry Potter books, Mary GrandPré. "Going back to draw the first cover for the anniversary edition was an opportunity for me to show another side of Harry... a vulnerable side. Having come to know and love Harry the way we all have, after experiencing the whole series, I think we can appreciate him even more on an emotional level."

Published in the United States in September 1998, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was praised by The New York Times as, "... as funny, moving and impressive as the story behind the writing. [J.K. Rowling] had wizardry inside, and has soared beyond her modest muggle surroundings to achieve something quite special." There are currently 28 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in print in the U.S. alone, and 375million copies of the seven books in the Harry Potter series have sold worldwide in 65 languages.

For more information about Harry Potter visit

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Black Author Brings New Voice to Science Fiction and Fantasy

With his detailed narrative, gripping plot, and compelling characters, African American author R. A. Baker is a fine newcomer to the literary playing field. However, there is one thing that sets Baker apart from most black writers: he writes science fiction. In 2008, R. A. Baker joined the ranks of black science fiction/fantasy writers like Charles Saunders, Steven Barnes, Octavia Butler, and Nalo Hopkinson, among others. They are part of a small, but growing group of writers, specializing in genres previously the exclusive domain of their white counterparts. It's a trend poised to add a new perspective to fantasy and science fiction storytelling.

Baker, who wrote the sci-fi/fantasy novel, Rayna of Nightwind, says that he knew at an early age that he wanted to write sci-fi/fantasy. "I've always loved speculative fiction, which includes both sci-fi and fantasy," he says. "It allows for so much creative freedom--it is the only kind of fiction I would ever want to write."

With the commercial success of the Harry Potter novels, and movies like The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, there is little doubt of sci-fi and fantasy's appeal. African American writers like Baker believe there is also a demand for a fresh approach to these popular genres. "I believe African Americans can bring a lot to the table and take speculative fiction in exciting directions it has never gone before," he says.

Baker says he does not see himself as a pioneer, but simply as a member of a special, and often misunderstood group. "When I tell people I write sci-fi/fantasy, I sometimes get strange stares, like they are thinking to themselves, 'black people don't write sci-fi'," he says. "It can be a little disheartening, but I know the best way to deal with attitudes like that, is to be as successful in my field as possible. In a way, it has made me a better writer, because I know I can never give up or stop writing. I would never want to give the naysayers that kind of satisfaction."

Additionally, Baker points out that diversity should be sought in all areas. "If Tiger Woods had decided early in his career to abandon golf because it was uncommon for a black person to play that sport, we would have missed out on a phenomenal golf player, and a great role model," he said. "I think it's time we shattered some old stereotypes about black literature, and be open to explore different avenues".

To aspiring African American sci-fi/fantasy authors, Baker offers the following advice: "There is a world of possibilities to explore, so explore it your way. When I wrote Rayna of Nightwind, I stayed true to my voice and my particular writing style. Don't let preconceived notions about your race influence how you write, or what you write about--let your imagination decide."

R. A. Baker is the author of "Rayna of Nightwind", the first novel in his new Taren series(published by Apollo House Press), which is available for purchase on


BRIO Empowers Authors to Reach Their Dreams

BRIO is the last frontier of publishing freedom. The Minneapolis-based publisher is proud of its efforts in a world where corporate publishing houses reign supreme. "We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional results," said Managing Director William Reynolds. "We enable our authors to be successful and retain their independence."

BRIO has a simple philosophy: Education and sound advice pave the way to publishing success. Based on this philosophy, BRIO has thrived. In the past five years, the publishing company has guided numerous authors through editing, design, print layout, and material distribution. "We think of ourselves as the light in an otherwise dark and unfamiliar place," said Reynolds. "BRIO allows first-time authors to enjoy the accomplishment of being published without intimidation and stress."

Now, BRIO is making another change -- the inclusion of marketing and public relations. BRIO will assist its authors with marketing techniques and media outreach such as book signings, media reviews, and tactics to handle the press during an interview. This ensures an author is confident with the public perception of their work.

Examples of successful BRIO publications include "Raising Brandon": a mother's battle to ensure her autistic son can live independently. The book gives parents tools to help their children overcome everyday challenges associated with autism. "Our Undiscovered Universe: Introducing Null Physics" discusses why the universe exists and what it is made of at the smallest levels.

So if you have a story to tell, make sure to contact BRIO because it is publishing made simple.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Foolish Fiction Writer Launches Serialized Blog Novel Two Years After Rejection

In 2005, Eileen Cruz Coleman's novel entitled, Sweetwater American, garnered the attention of a New York literary agent who signed Cruz Coleman after having read the first one hundred and sixteen pages of the then unfinished novel. With her then agent's support and input, Cruz Coleman finished writing Sweetwater American in late 2005.

Sweetwater American landed on the desks of six publishers in early 2006. After all six publishers failed to take the novel on for publication, Cruz Coleman put Sweetwater American away and got to work on other writing projects.

With a new novel on the way, the premise of which only Cruz Coleman's closest writing friends are privy to, Cruz Coleman decided to pull Sweetwater American out of her forgotten hard drive files and give it new life by taking advantage of blogs and their ever-growing popularity.

But before moving forward with her serialized blog novel ( idea, Cruz Coleman decided to seek the input of her writer friends on Backspace: The Writer's Place, ( an online community for writers. Cruz Coleman started a thread entitled, Publishing Unsold Novel on a Blog, and asked fellow members to offer their thoughts on the idea. After digesting everyone's input, Cruz Coleman decided to pull the trigger.

Cruz Coleman launched Sweetwater American on May 9, 2008. The first three chapters are up on the blog and Cruz Coleman plans on adding chapters on a weekly basis.

"The novel is dark and writing it took a lot out of me. It left me emotionally beaten. By serializing it on a blog, I hope to engage with readers in a fun, creative, and relaxed way," said Cruz Coleman. "I'm always encouraging writers to use the Internet to get their work out to potential readers. Well, I'm finally taking my own advice," she said.

When asked what the phrase Sweetwater American means, Cruz Coleman said, "You'll just have to read the novel to find out."

Cruz Coleman is not giving up on someday publishing a book by traditional means. In the meantime, while Cruz Coleman works on her secret project, she plans on having fun in the world of blogs.

Already, Melanie Lynne Hauser, author of Confessions of Super Mom (, has blogged about Sweetwater American. Cruz Coleman hopes that others will help spread the word via their blogs and Websites.

"It's definitely not without risk. People may hate my writing. But hey, there's no point in spending months or years writing a novel if no one is going to read it," Cruz Coleman said. "The first three chapters are up and I am not looking back," she said.

Over the course of a few years, Cruz Coleman worked on a documentary film about Latino immigrants with Ed Sanchez, co-director of The Blair Witch Project.

The film, itself, was never made. But out of it came, Sweetwater American.

Excerpts from Sweetwater American have been published in short story form in The Saint Ann's Review, Bathtub Gin, Thought Magazine, Rosebud Magazine, Sundry: A Journal of the Arts, In Posse Review, Small Spiral Notebook, and Slow Trains Magazine.

Prose from the novel has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won third place in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers.

Cruz Coleman and her husband also run a blog called Blundering Fools. ( "We started Blundering Fools because well, we are a couple of fools ourselves. We're dream chasers, if you will. And we wanted to connect with other dream chasers--people who have taken risks, blundered along the way and wouldn't have it any other way," Cruz Coleman said.

Final words from Cruz Coleman, "Take life up a notch and blunder on."

Last Chance For Entering Mind, Body, Spirit Award

New Zealand writers have less than two weeks left to enter their work in the 2008 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Book Awards.

Published books must be submitted by 31 May 2008, should be 48 pages or longer, and must have been published between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008.

The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust, in association with the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA), will present a single award of $10,000 to the category winner, one of the largest prizes awarded for literature in New Zealand.

Tina Shaw, Programme Manager, The New Zealand Society of Authors, says that as well as rewarding excellence in writing, the awards support and encourage writers to further their careers whilst promoting growth in mind, body, spirit literature.

Judges for the awards this year include Jennifer Eddington, Stephen Stratford, New Zealand author Richard Webster, and Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust trustee Adonia Wylie.

In addition to the published book award category, the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust and the New Zealand Society of Authors are also presenting an award for unpublished manuscripts. Entries for this category closed on 31 March 2008.

Both awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust’s own venue, Hopetoun Alpha in Auckland in August.

To be eligible for the awards, authors must be New Zealand citizens. Submission forms and entry details are available from The New Zealand Society of Authors national office or via post, PO Box 7701, Wellesley St, Auckland 1141.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

MSN Games premieres the first interactive experience from best-selling author

Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Games and I-play, the publishing division of Oberon Media Inc., today unveiled "Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet," the first interactive game based on a story and characters by best-selling author James Patterson. The first in a planned series of games based on Patterson's massively popular "Women's Murder Club" ("WMC") books is debuting exclusively on MSN Games, one of the world's leading casual gaming sites, in collaboration with the game's creator, leading casual games publisher I-play. "Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet" is available exclusively on MSN Games through May 29.

The game, which features the characters from the "WMC" books and an all-new, never-before-seen storyline, is a thrilling seek-and-find adventure designed by award-winning game designer Jane Jensen in collaboration with Patterson. Its storyline lets fans experience the suspense of James Patterson's stories interactively for the first time as they solve a chilling series of murders in San Francisco.

The game will be promoted extensively throughout the MSN network, including on, MSN Games, MSN Entertainment and MSN Shopping, as well as on

"Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet" is available exclusively at MSN Games from May 15 through May 29. Visit for more information. Lets You Publish In Minutes

Today, YouPublish launched its much-awaited website, allowing users to publish any file or combination of files on the Internet in a matter of minutes.

The Company has been accepting user registrations during the two months prior to launch, in which time it attracted users from 26 countries and 6 continents, ranging in age from 17 to 75. Some 40% of the site's users are located in Asia, but also come from such places as Slovenia, Brazil, Samoa, and Iceland.

Unlike such existing sites as YouTube and Amazon, the new content portal supports a wide variety of file types, so users can upload books, music, audios, videos, photographs, spreadsheets, animations, CG files, seminar packages or even software. And, the site supports any file type, in any combination, free or paid. is the perfect combination of the self-publishing aspects of YouTube, the social networking features of Facebook or MySpace, and the selling features of Amazon or iTunes, all rolled into one. The site will be adding to its networking tools in the weeks and months ahead.

There is great flexibility and power in being able to publish any file type, upload both free and paid content, publish or un-publish a file at any time, and having your own page within the site.

This unique fusion makes YouPublish a one-stop publishing and file sharing destination and allows creators of all types to effortlessly manage, publish, and distribute their materials in one location and reach a massive audience worldwide. Additionally, YouPublish pays content providers 50% of their sales (compared to 11% to 35% that is typical elsewhere). All other functions are free.

For consumers, YouPublish provides an opportunity to find great content and useful files not available anywhere else on the Web, to collaborate with their favorite creators and likeminded friends, and to build and share a library of their favorite works.

Every author has their own unique URL and home page where their works are showcased, and in the near future YouPublish will allow users and creators to communicate and build communities around the documents they find on the site. Each file on the site has a unique URL too, making it even easier to share files with friends or customers.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Authors Team Up to Donate $500,000 Worth of Books

Thirty Canadian authors, from six provinces, have joined together with publisher That's Life! Communications to produce a groundbreaking anthology that will be presented to women across Canada as part of FaithLife Financials Girls Night Out events.

Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stir the Heart and Warm the Soul is a 296-page collection of personal experience articles, short stories and poems. While there are similarities to the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Hot Apple Cider has its own unique character and content, with a variety of stories from the lighthearted and humorous to those dealing with serious real-life issues.

The authors included in this book are professional members of The Word Guild, an association of more than 325 Canadians who write from a Christian faith perspective. They represent more than 20 Christian denominations.

In an unusual arrangement, the authors donated money to print 30,000 copies of the book to be contributed at no charge to World Vision, a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization. Retail value of these books is almost $500,000.

World Vision will give Hot Apple Cider to women who attend 80 FaithLife Financials Girls Night Out events hosted in communities across Canada. Girls Night Out, which is managed under the planning and guidance of World Vision and its partners, offers women an enjoyable evening of music and inspirational speakers. During the evening, the needs of millions of children affected by the HIV and AIDS pandemic are also presented.

Hot Apple Cider was edited by award-winning author N. J. Lindquist and journalist/editor Wendy Elaine Nelles. "Creating a powerful, high-quality book while at the same time helping World Vision made this a perfect project," said Lindquist.

The book will be formally launched at the Canadian Christian Writing Awards Gala June 11th at World Vision headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario.

Retail copies of the book will be available through normal channels in the U.S.A. and Canada.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cheap or Just Thrifty? Be Both at

There has never been a better time to start you own business, earn extra income from home, even make yourself world famous. In these tough economic times, inventiveness is key, and thrift is in., which has been named by the website Associated Content as one of the "Top 10 Web Sites for Cheap Bastards," emphasizing creativity over, ahem, cost.

When money is scarce, what better time to finish that novel you're always talking about? Not going on vacation this year? With Lulu Studio, you can make a high-quality photo book of those pictures from last year's trip at a low cost. Spending more time in the kitchen and less at restaurants? Why not compile all of those creative, money-saving recipes into a cookbook?

"I am very proud of this distinction, even if not exactly what I had in mind when I started," says Bob Young, CEO. "Lulu customers have always known that in economic times good and bad, Lulu is there for your personal publishing needs.", the premier online self-publishing digital platform and marketplace, is free and fun. With, not only can you publish at no cost, but you can also sell your own product and even make money! With the easy-to-use self-publishing process, you can upload your product, design it online, create your own storefront, and get tips on publicizing and promoting your content, all at no cost to you. is all about you, whether you consider yourself a cheap bastard, downwardly mobile, or just cost-conscious.


After mutual challenge, English professor and son each to publish a book

A couple of years ago, University of Florida English professor Sidney Homan was walking through Central Park with his son Danny, an aspiring novelist studying for his master's degree in creative writing at Texas State University.

With all the arrogance of youth, Danny was busy explaining that his father was a "dull academic," Homan said.

Danny jokingly accused Homan, who has published 10 books on Shakespeare and the modern playwrights, of simply feeding off the creativity of others and challenged him to write something original.

As for himself, Danny was at that point inexperienced and unpublished, yet convincingly unconcerned, Homan said. He would sit amid publishers' rejection letters and confidently tell his father that someday, someone would want to read his work.

Fast forward about two years. A son's good-natured challenge has materialized into his father's first book outside the scholarly realm, and Danny's self-assured perseverance has paid off in the form of a soon-to-be-published fantasy novel debut.

"A Fish in the Moonlight," a collection of stories from Homan's childhood as told to pediatric cancer patients during his participation in the Shands Arts in Medicine program, is due for release from the Purdue University Press in June.

Danny's "The Queen of Hearts," a fantasy novel rife with allegorical undertones of current events ranging from the war in Iraq to the Pinochet regime in Chile, will be released by Prime Books in November.

Ever since that day in Central Park, the father-son pair has profited from a symbiotic creative rivalry.

"I never would have tried ‘A Fish in the Moonlight' if it weren't for the kid saying I was a dull academic," Homan said. "When you're challenged by your kid, you respond."

But it wasn't all competition. Homan and his son have provided valuable perspective for each other as co-editors.

"You need someone else to be a critic of your own writing," Homan said. "We agreed from the beginning that we would be honest with each other."

The two spent many hours reading each other's work aloud, taking turns reading each new paragraph to stay focused.

"A Fish in the Moonlight" isn't fiction per se — the events Homan talks about did actually happen. For example, his beer-bellied, black-sheep Uncle Eddie really did show up drunk to Uncle Arthur's funeral and jump into the coffin with his dead brother while the family looked on in horror. But Homan isn't about to pledge that every detail and quotation is exactly accurate. There may be some embellishment. These are stories, after all.

Homan said writing a book like this required him to fundamentally change the way he thinks and writes compared to his scholarly approach to books on the theater.

"It demands a different kind of language, a different kind of vocabulary," he said. "When you are writing for yourself, the options are tremendous."

Homan's effort, however, has paid a handsome wage.

"'A Fish in the Moonlight' gives me more pleasure than anything I've ever done," he said. "As thrilling as it is to work in the theater, it's so pleasurable now to just sit in front of my computer and create my own worlds."

Where to go from here? Homan isn't sure, but he has a sequel in the works and no plans to retire.

"You go in one direction your whole life, and then you change," he said. "I have no idea where this book is going to take me."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pricing Strategies For Your Book by Victor Epand

Setting the right price for your book is crucial to its success. If you do not set the right price, you may do more harm than good to your sales. When pricing your book, you need to take into consideration many factors.

There are generally two methods that you can use to arrive at the price tag of your book. The first is the traditional or the bottom up method. It is called bottom up because you start your calculations from the bottom and gradually go upward to get the best price for the book.

In this method, you first take the production cost of your book, add the trucking costs and multiply the sum by eight to arrive at the magic figure. The reason to use this high multiple factor is to cover the commissions/profits of distributors, wholesalers, and stores, all of which demand a heavy cut of the list price of the book. Without the support of this distribution channel, you will be unable to deliver your book to the reader/buyer.

Usually a distributor's cut is about 66%, wholesalers take up to 55%, and stores take 40% of the list price. Then the costs involved in promoting your book have to also be taken care of. Promotion is an expensive business and you will need to shovel back nearly 25 to 30% of the gross amount.

The least expensive way of promoting your book is to seek reviews. They are one of the most effective means that also costs the least. However, they involve sending review copies of your book to various newsletters, magazines, newspaper columns, and other opinion molders.

Remember that these review copies are books that are not sold, and therefore you do not get paid for them. They are sent free and the cost involved is considered promotional advertising expense. Depending on your subject and target audience size, you may have to send out hundreds of copies. One important factor that has overriding priority over the cost of production, while considering the final price, is the genre/category of the book.

Another method is the top down method. The principle here is to price your book according to the price of similar books in the market. The price that is given on the back page of the book should be in line with other books in the market, because retail prices are established not by the cost of production, but by the marketplace.

To find out market prices, visit bookstores that stock similar books and check the prices. You also need to note other points like the shape, quality and type of paper, and binding to determine what your reader/buyer is prepared to spend.

You must also keep in mind the target buyer segment when determining the price of your book. If it is targeted at teenagers, you need to make it low priced with a soft cover. Books for professionals like lawyers, doctors, accountants, technical experts etc. should be hardcover editions with dust jackets and can be priced higher, say around $80 to $100. Business books should be priced at around $35.

Pricing a book is a subjective issue and there cannot be any hard and fast criteria to fix the price. However, what is discussed above can enable you to proceed in the right direction while determining the price of your book.

Victor Epand is an expert consultant about books. When shopping for books, we recommend you shop only at the best bookstores for used books, autographed books, and vedic books.

Author Debuts Book with 90-Day Plan to Writing a Bestseller

Ask any Christian, and you'll find that most have a God-inspired story in them. However, when it comes to putting pen to paper, that's where many of them falter. Xulon author Henry Abraham has all the answers both new and experienced Christian authors are looking for. In his newest release, How to Write a Book in 90 Days God's Way: Empowering the Christian Writer to Be Heard (paperback, 978-1-60647-150-0; hardcover, 978-1-60647-151-7), readers will learn the professional way to write a publishable book by following an inspirational and biblical process while exploring their creative potential. Writers can discover and develop their authorial voice as they draw closer to God in this 90-day plan.

Readers will learn how to discover and explore their writing potential, focus their topic, arrange chapters, write a draft, and revise their work to strengthen and develop their ideas that will quickly get their book into readers' hands. Utilizing a unique 12-step writing process based on biblical principles, Abraham's book is an extraordinarily written inspiration for all writers.

Christian author, teacher, and leadership coach Abraham says, "This book combines the biblical and professional approach to writing a book in 90 days. Following 20 years of professional speaking, personal writing, and biblical leadership coaching, I feel it is time to share my insights with aspiring Christian authors."

Henry Abraham currently resides in Evergreen Park, Illinois.

Website: Xulon Press (

Saturday, May 10, 2008

How To Categorize Your Book by Victor Epand

Categorizing your book is one of the biggest challenges you may face when you try to get your book published. Whether you place your book with an agent or publisher or you publish the book yourself, to ensure its success it is essential that you are able to correctly categorize it.

While categorizing, you will find what you have written fitting into any one of the following nine categories: trade, professional, scholarly and university press book, college text book, elementary high school text book, juvenile book, mass market paperback, subscription reference book and religious book. You can rightly categorize your book if you are conversant with the general parameters for each category. Read on for details.

Trade book: Books that are written for the general reader having fictional or non-fictional content are placed in this category. They are known as trade books because their distribution is targeted through retail store sales, rather than through book clubs, mail order or premium sales. Fictional trade books include romantic novels, thrillers and literary novels. Trade books that are non-fictional would be bibliographies, self help books, how to or DIY books etc. In short, anything that is sold through retail stores with a typical trade discount.

Professional books: These are books that are written for members of a specific profession and would include law books, books on professional training, books of regulations, medical books, etc.

Scholarly and University press books: These books are usually written by teaching faculty of educational institutions and are not aimed at members of any specific profession. They are based on scholarly research on specialized topics.

College textbooks: College books concentrate on teaching a subject and not just reviewing information. They are written in sophisticated language for advanced level students.

Elementary High School textbooks: These textbooks are meant for teens and younger children who are learning a subject area for the very first time. Written using a fairly simple language, they include a lot of illustrations, graphics and examples.

Juvenile books: This is one category of books that would include everything used for light reading by children or teens. Picture books for toddlers and novels for young adults all would fit into this category.

Mass market paperbacks: These are small paperback novels sold at book stores and discount and grocery stores as well. These are usually paperback versions of books that were already successful in hardcover.

Subscription reference books: These are books containing sensitive reference information and need to be updated and replaced annually. One good example of such a book is the Physician's Desk Reference.

Religious books: All books on any religious subject would be covered under this category and would include books on Islamic studies, Bible studies, Judaism and other spiritual books.

Knowing how to categorize your book increases the chances of your book's commercial success by letting you target it to the right audience.

About the Author:
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about books. When shopping for books, we recommend you shop only at the best bookstores for used books, autographed books, and vedic books.

Scribd Wants to Find Out Who Has The Most Interesting Hard Drive

Scribd, the online document publishing and sharing site, began a quest today to find the most interesting new unpublished content out there. Scribd's "Most Interesting Hard Drive" contest will tap its nearly 20 million monthly unique visitors, and is offering great prizes, such as a MacBook Air to the first place winner.

Everyone has hundreds if not thousands of documents sitting on their hard drives, and Scribd's mission is to unlock this information by making it really easy for anyone to publish it online. This contest turns this mission into a game, and judges whose hard drive is the "most interesting" by keeping track of whose content accumulates the most total views in a specified period of time.

Users can upload all kinds of content, such as old school work from high school or college, business and legal documents sitting on their hard drives, cool out-of-copyright texts that have been collected over the years, funny and entertaining content, and any other quality documents that Scribd's community will appreciate. Most of the viewers of content will come from search engines like Google, but users can also promote their own work by submitting it to Digg or embedding it in their blog.

To enter the contest, users must upload new and original documents that they have rights to distribute, and start by signing up at Once the documents are up on the site, Scribd will track the number of page views each document receives and award prizes to the three contestants whose material garners the most views.

The grand prize winner will receive a MacBook Air. The second place finisher will win a Kindle from Amazon. Finally, the third place winner will receive an Apple iPod Nano.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

How to Write a Book Like a Pro and Profit Sooner by Earma Brown

You already have what it takes to write your book. And like other professionals you can create or increase your passive income stream each month. Your professional competitors wish you would never discover these secrets.

You may be asking "What if I'm not a professional writer?" You can still write your professional book and start earning in a few months. I am convinced your audience is waiting on your insightful expertise to help solve their problems.

All it takes is a little know how to write your book like a pro. Start by solving your readers' problems using your expert knowledge. You know the articles, speeches and reports already in your files.

Expand one of your articles or speeches into a short book by adding short stories and some practical how-to steps. If you want to write your book like a pro and increase your income, read these five secrets and apply them:

1. Secret One. Write a short book first to build your confidence. I know short doesn't mean the same thing to every person. For books, let's agree 50-100 or so pages is short, even 140 sounds less intimidating than a 200-300 page book. Your future customers are busy and usually read only what takes the shortest amount of time. For example, a friend of mine wanted to learn how to conduct tele-seminars. He said he didn't hesitate buying a short book of 70 pages at $19.97 to help him learn the ropes of tele-seminars.

Make your book simpler, shorter, and punchier. Shorten your sentences, stories and analogies. Your professional format will include a strong heading (question) your reader needs answered and the answer. This professional formula presents the problem and solution quickly without a lot of words.

2. Secret Two. Focus on one topic in your book. It's a known fact bestsellers focus on one main topic. Focus on one topic then write each chapter to support that subject. When you overload your reader with information, you come across as disorganized, wordy and flat. Instead of including everything you know, stick to one how-to subject and include plenty of simple details with examples to make it useful to your reader.

3. Secret Three. Brand yourself, your business and your book. Think about the greatest benefit that you offer through your book or service. Consider your book and chapter titles. Now think about your keywords and headings on your website. Do you see a repeating word that stands out?

For example, the book "Win With the Writer Inside You" the author threads some form of "win" throughout her materials. Ever heard of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series? The title changes in its audience but the Chicken Soup brand stays the same. For example, there's a Chicken Soup for Teen-agers, Chicken Soup for Mothers, and so on.

4. Secret Four. Get a professional editor or book coach. Yes, its o.k. and you should get feedback from family, friends, local writing group, etc. But you need to get a professional viewpoint of your work to weed out the passive voice, bad grammar and all the things that slow your readers down to a standstill.

Copy that appeals to the emotions of your reader sell your books. Your future customers want word pictures that they can respond to with their emotions.

5. Secret Five. Target and get to know your audience. Let's face it not everyone will want to read your book. Most uninformed authors write what they feel is a great book; spend tons of time and sometimes money looking for people to buy it. Instead match your expert knowledge with an audience you can serve.

Consider their needs, problems and how you can help solve them. Business people are a hot audience right now. They are hungry and willing to buy what will improve, make profitable their life and business. Right now think of one to three preferred audiences in your area of expertise. Then write the book your customers will be looking for.

It's faster to write a book if you know how. People are looking for practical information and knowledge that you have. Don't let your ideas, knowledge and expertise fade away. Put it to work for you in a book. Remember, if you need help contact a professional book coach or take an e-course to inform yourself.

Earma Brown, 12 year author and business owner helps small business owners and writers who want to write their best book now! Earma mentors other writers and business professionals through her monthly ezine "iScribe." Send any email to for free mini-course "Jumpstart Writing Your Book" or visit her at

12 Months of Posh Handbags, Stuffed With Stylish Fiction

A leading publisher and a handbag maker are partnering to launch "Book in a Bag," a year-long giveaway of chic handbags filled with the newest fashion fiction.

The promotion -- featuring books by popular Avon A authors such as Meg Cabot, Marian Keyes, and Kathleen Tessaro, and handbags from the fashion-forward SAK -- "is our salute to the fans of style and stylish fiction," says Liate Stehlik, Avon's publisher. The SAK is a brand known for using signature textures and textiles, and has been featured in fashion and lifestyle magazines like People Magazine's Style Watch, Allure, and Self.

Kicking off the promotion in May 2008, 15 lucky entrants will win three of Avon A's new release fiction titles -- Jean Reynolds Page's "The Space Between Before and After," Kerry Reichs' "The Best Day of Someone Else's Life," and Elizabeth Noble's "Things I Want My Daughter to Know" -- in a trendy Silverlake Canvas Convertible Satchel.

June's monthly giveaway will feature The SAK's fashionable Bennett Rope Small Tote, brimming with the following books: "Queen of Babble in the Big City," by Meg Cabot; "This Charming Man," by Marian Keyes; "Not Another Bad Date," by Rachel Gibson.

Acclaimed author DeLaune Michel, whose book, "The Safety of Secrets," will be featured in July's "Book in a Bag" giveaway, enthusiastically endorses the promotion, saying, "I love those bags and the books -- it is beyond thrilling that my book will be in such company."

After the promotion kick off's in May 2008, entrants can preview and register monthly to win a fashion-savvy handbag from The SAK and the newest fashion fiction offerings from Avon A by visiting (from May 1 to May 15, 2008); or (from May 15, 2008 through April 30, 2009).

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How Anyone Can Write a Children's Book -- And Get it Published

So it seems we've discovered the deep-down desire of every celebrity in the world: writing a children's book.

And, of course, what celebrities want, celebrities get. That's why the children's book section of your local bookstore seems like an extension of a tabloid magazine. Professional athletes, singers, actors, politicians, fashion models, royalty...everyone, it seems, who's famous is a newly minted children's author.

For the rest of us, the burning question becomes:

* Is it still possible for a non-celebrity to write and publish a children's book? *

Thankfully, the answer is "Yes" -- but it's not so easy. You need to know how to vault over the scores of other aspiring writers to grab that elusive contract reserved for non- famous.

That's the info the new, free eReport "The Non-Celebrity's Guide to Getting a Children's Book Published" provides. The report is a fun, irreverent, no-nonsense primer on how it's done, with tips on how to leap over the "slush pile" of unsolicited submissions at a publisher, sell yourself in a query letter, find niches with less competition from other writers and much, much more.

The report was created by the editors of Children's Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children's Writers, and is available for instant download at absolutely no cost or obligation. To download a copy, just visit:

More Than One Hundred Countries Publish Their Documents Online For Free

YUDU Freedom, a service that lets anyone publish documents online for free, has produced over 1500 digital publications for individual publishers in more than 121 countries in its first week. The service available from lets anyone make professional digital publications - such as e-Books and e-Zines - from a PDF in seconds.

One in three visitors published were from the US and the UK but other countries such as Spain, Finland and Slovakia saw a very high interest. Other parts of the world publishing online include: Bulgaria, Japan, Argentina, Columbia, Hong Kong, Israel and Kazakhstan.

Thirty-six per cent of those visiting the site went on to publish their documents with the most popular publications being e-Zines, e-Books, Corporate brochures, and newsletters. Other publication types include reports, thesis’, creative writing showcases, CVs and portfolios.

YUDU Freedom converts your PDF into a Flash publication which is simple to upload to a website or blog or distributed via email. YUDU publications are also hosted for free and publishers have the comfort of knowing that their work will be read in a professional page-turning format with all the benefits of a website, including live links.

The site also features PDF help and advice and links to software that will convert your document into a PDF if it isn’t in that format already.

SEO Friendly

Documents created with YUDU Freedom are also search engine accessible, helping individual publishers get their work noticed online. Links to external websites can also be included so that it is possible to direct traffic to a blog or website straight from the publication.

For the comfort of all publishers and readers YUDU Freedom ask that the content does not breach the copyright of others; is not offensive; and is not adult in nature.

YUDU Freedom can turn your PDF into something that is professional and attractive and is flexible enough to be distributed worldwide, embedded on a site or kept for personal use.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Print Publishers - Do Writers Need Them Anymore? by Bob Younce

The debate over print publishing versus internet publishing is ongoing. Traditional publishers, who provide content for magazines, newspapers, books and other media, are vastly different than blogs and writing sites. Still, there is a place for traditional publishers in the day of blogs and writing sites. Here are some of the things that traditional publishers bring to the writing game:

* Accessibility. The fact of the matter is that the majority of people in the world don't have Internet access. As developing countries continue to advance, they will be more and more able to purchase print materials. However, computers are becoming more and more widespread, and eventually it is possible that the majority of the world's population will have Internet access.

* Quality control. Traditional publishers provide some degree or another of editing expertise that often is not found on blogs and writing sites. This doesn't mean that print writing is always of a higher quality than blogs and writing sites, only that, on average, print writing tends to have a more reliable system of separating quality material from non-quality material. Writing sites like Helium are on the vanguard in this area, however, as the ratings system helps to insure that the best writing on a given topic eventually rises to the top.

* Versatility. Sometimes, a given piece of writing or artwork is much more fully experienced in a print medium released by a traditional publisher. Electronic images of some forms of writing aren't nearly as enjoyable as print images. As computer monitors become bigger and better, this may change. As time goes on, fewer and fewer types of writing or artwork fall into this category.

Traditional publishers aren't going the way of the dodo any time soon. In addition, many traditional publishers have decided to cover all of their bases and expand into online publishing. This doesn't mean that traditional publishing is any better than blogs or writing websites, and it doesn't mean the opposite either. It merely demonstrates the way that the markets are changing.

Bob Younce is a professional Internet writer living in Linwood, Michigan. Bob loves helping new writers improve their craft, avoid the most common sorts of Internet Writing mistakes and fully realize their dreams. Visit his blog at

An Underutilized Sales and Marketing Strategy for Authors by Kathleen Gage

Most authors are on the lookout for effective ways to gain visibility for their books and spark the interest of potential readers/buyers. One method that is gaining popularity is for the author to offer a chapter from their book to the reader at no cost. The most effective way to do this is with an instant download from the author's blog or website.

Although a great way to gain exposure for a book, most authors will not realize much marketing success with this strategy for a couple of reasons.

First, many authors simply give the chapter away without requesting a name and email address in trade for the chapter. Granted, some potential readers may leave the site without getting the chapter, but the ones who do leave their contact information are obviously interested in the author's work.

Collecting the names and email addresses allows for back end marketing. You can make announcements of book signings, teleseminars, new book releases and special events your are hosting.

Another reason an author may not optimize their marketing efforts is that more times than not there is no contact information or a link to a site where the book can be purchased.

To increase your opportunities be sure to have your contact information at the end of the chapter. If people read the entire chapter it means you held their interest.

Additionally, have a direct link to an online location your book is available at. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Kathleen Gage is an Internet Marketing Advisor for Speakers, Trainers, Authors, Consultants and Entrepreneurs. Access her E-Book The Truth about Making Money on the Internet at