Episode 130 – Cupcakes, Signed Books, and Author Protection

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Question of the Week: Are you in support of a law that provides publisher transparency AND additional author earnings if companies turn enough of a profit? ALSO, who would you want to see speak at a live author event in 2017?

Jim and Bryan welcomed their first patron G.D. Leon to the show to talk about what he’s learned from the podcast. After thanking their patrons Jamie Arpin-Ricci (for the book The Last Verdict http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1523952687), Gillian Felix (for her service Plain Talk Book Marketing http://www.plaintalkbm.com/ ), and Emma Alisyn (and her book Character Sketch & Color https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692671463 ), the self-pubbed pub-lovers talked tips related to Nook Press, harassment, and cupcakes. News stories included reactions to the Merritt Tierce mail carrier piece, laws about autographed books, TOR’s indie marketing play, the Society of Authors’ request for income protection, the predatory vanity presses at major trade shows, and a new threshold for leaving reviews at Amazon. This week’s Question of the Week: Are you in support of a law that provides publisher transparency AND additional author earnings if companies turn enough of a profit? ALSO, who would you want to see speak at a live author event in 2017?
What You’ll Learn:
  • How authors can set their prices to free on Nook Press
  • What authors can do to take action in the face of harassment
  • How authors can self-promote with book launches, Patreon, and free content
  • What some authors are saying about Merritt Tierce’s controversial article
  • How new laws in California will affect authors’ abilities to sell signed books
  • How TOR may be taking a leaf out of the indie author marketing playlist
  • Why the Society of Authors wants the UK to accept EU directives
  • How predatory vanity presses rely on the London Book Fair
  • What impact incentivized reviews have on Amazon rankings
Question of the Week: Are you in support of a law that provides publisher transparency AND additional author earnings if companies turn enough of a profit? ALSO, who would you want to see speak at a live author event in 2017?

get show updates

  • Lavie Margolin

    Re: speakers- there are several well known speakers who’ve been making their way around the circuit. I’d be most interested in hearing genuine self-published authors who are doing so as their sole (or a healthy secondary income) and the strategies that they utilized to get there- as opposed to “service focused”.

    • Bryan

      Understood on that, Lavie. Getting the real-deal folks out there would be huge!

  • Anmarie Uber

    Thank you for mentioning this…welcome to the world of being a woman. We have to watch our backs a bit more then men. I had the same problem with a stalker in my massage business. Changed my name in the business website Facebook and everywhere else. Report to the police, so they are already alerted that there is a problem in case anything else happens.

    • Bryan

      Sure thing, Anmarie. It really is scary what some people will do with personal info. Glad you were able to take care of your own stalker situation!

  • Chris Shumate

    No, I’m not in support of a law that provides publisher transparency AND additional author earnings if companies turn a profit (key word being AND). Businesses are in business to make money for their shareholders. Authors are not shareholders in the publisher unless it’s their own publishing company. If I were a shareholder in a publishing company, as heartless as this sounds, I’d be more interested in a return on my investment than I would be paying out more in royalties to authors. It’s just business. The transparency part would be good, but not coupled with companies having to profit share with it’s authors. It’s nice in theory, though.

    As a writer and author myself, I’d be more interested in going where the money is which seems to be going indie and self-publishing. I would gladly be an investor in a publishing house as well as indie publishing my own books to make more money. I’m an accountant, businessman, and writer, however I’m an accountant and businessman first.

    I’d like to hear from Shawn Coyne, Tim Grahl, Leslie Watts, Clark Chamberlain, Shelley Hitz.

    • Bryan

      AND is definitely the key word there, Chris. I think it’s great that you’ve worn the business hat first. Many authors have to learn how to wear it on the fly! Oh, and thanks for the speaker suggestions.

  • Daniel Martone

    Well, besides Joanna and J Thorn, which would be very cool… I’d love to see Data Guy and Hugh on stage together. Since that’s such a long shot, I think having the different aspects of marketing covered would be perfect. Someone talking about way to build your email list and how to use email (there have been some cool methods and services popping up for building them). Someone there to talk about ads (FB, BB, etc.) and how to best utilize them. And then someone there to speak about how to attract readers with your book description, blurb, cover, and reviews. Yeah, I want a lot. 😉

    • Bryan

      J. Thorn for the win! Hung out with him not too long ago in Chicago and we had a blast. This is helpful stuff, Dan. Thanks!

  • Mark Goodwin

    No, I wouldn’t support such a law. Government regulation has far too many unintended consequences. As Thomas Jefferson said, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.”

    I second the motion for Hugh and Data Guy!

    On another note, I’ve been BBLing (backwards binge listening) to all the past episodes of SMBS. I’m on episode 7 right now and have really appreciated all the great info. A big thanks to Brian and Jim for all the ideas. Running with one of Jim’s ideas, I’m publishing my latest audiobook in one-chapter segments as episodes on my podcast in hopes that it will drive sales to my other audiobooks. Also, as you guys have suggested, I’ll be offering the audiobook directly through Selz, for listeners who want it now rather than waiting for the next episodes. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    • Bryan

      Liberty! Howey! Thanks for the comment, Mark. Enjoy the BBL and we’re so glad you’re enjoying the backlist! Definitely let us know how the audio idea goes.

  • Hi Jim and Bryon,

    Fortunately, amazon appears to be on the up and up.

    I believe in fair disclosure and royalty transparency. Sadly from all the publishing scams out there, it might be a Good idea for some sort of Accounting Standards for Traditional Publishers on when to and how to report royalties and sales on a timely basis to authors. The traditional publishing industry is in disarray and selfpolicing is not working. So I think your question applies more to traditional and vanity publishers and how poor their accounting systems appear to be set up to stack the cards against paying out their fair share to authors in a timely manner. You yourselves have spoken out against their poor accounting practices when reporting sales and royalties to their authors and the many scammers that exist out there who avoid paying their authors. Perhaps this might help clean up the industry … or not.

    Who would I like to see you invite? Probably, some of your publishing self help authors or patroens who you have had on the show or mentioned and a couple of genre specific successful of fiction authors to add some spice.

    • Bryan

      Would be nice to clean up those publishing streets! Thanks for the suggestions, JB.

  • Spider McGee

    It goes without saying that everyone wants to see Spider McGee speak at an author’s conference. It only seems natural, after all. But need I remind you that I am the fictional creation of an even more obscure author? I don’t even exist, sadly. I could kill him, sure, but then I’d get a cease-and-desist order from a Mr. Stephen King, and I have enough problems already. For example, shoes. Why don’t they make more styles with Velcro closures? That’s what I’m talking about!

    • Bryan

      Agreed! Everybody loves a Spider.

  • Honoree Corder

    Thanks for the shout-out Bryan & Jim! Jim – please have another Author Marketing Live (and have it in Austin)! I’ve always been bummed I missed the first one and would love to attend another event. I’d love to see Data Guy, Hugh Howey, Mark Dawson, Nick Stephenson…just for starters. 🙂 Thank you for such a terrific show, I look forward to listening every week.

    • Bryan

      You’re welcome, Honoree! Appreciate having you as a listener :).

  • I like @chrisshumate:disqus’s suggestions of Shawn Coyne and Tim Grahl from The Story Grid Podcast. Great guys story structure. I’d add someone like KM Weiland, too. We get a ton on how to write fast and more, and market and launch, but there’s not enough focus on quality of books these days.

    • Bryan

      Ooh, KM Weiland would be good too. I’m a big fan of hers.

  • Tim Adler

    Jim, please will you stop referring to Great Britain as “socialist” and America and “democratic”? Do you really believe that the birthplace of Adam Smith, the father of free-market economics; Mrs Thatcher; and even the concept of Parliament itself is “socialist”? The recent Brexit vote was partly a vote against the top-down, command-and-control of the European Union and only yesterday our Government said it wanted the UK to become “a world leader in free trade”. Right, rant over.

    • Bryan

      Thanks, Tim. As a rising politician, Jim’s gotta work on those international gaffes ;).

  • Margarita Morris

    The UK is not “socialistic” whatever that means. We have a democratic government and a capitalist economy. It’s true that we have the National Health Service but that doesn’t make us some kind of East European state from the days of the Cold War. I think the issue with publishers and royalties is that authors need to be extremely careful when signing contracts an not throw away all their rights, particularly those relating to film and TV rights. The article I read referred to Francesca Simon whose Horrid Henry books have gone on to make a mint for the publisher through TV deals.

    • Bryan

      Great point, Margarita. All authors should be careful with contracts. I knew the socialist thing didn’t sound quite right on the air, but thanks for clarifying!

  • Laura Martone

    Sorry for being so late to the party – I don’t know where my head’s been the last few weeks. I really hope the live event happens – and if so, I’m in favor of all the speakers mentioned in the previous comments (especially Joanna Penn, Hugh Howey, and Data Guy). But what about Mr. Bryan Cohen? Somehow, I think he’d make a pretty entertaining (and educational) speaker. 😉

    • Bryan

      I’ve heard good things about him :). Thanks!