Not-So-Christian Publishing Schemes

by Cathi Stevenson There are "creative" ways to get your book on the best sellers' lists without the bother of having to wait for sales, reviews or even writing a book that's popular. This is a repetitive scandal that breaks again ever few years or so with different players. I've seen it so many times since I started working in the self-publishing industry 15 years ago, that I hardly bat an eye any more. The writers of this article did their due diligence though, and it shows how using these questionable method can backfire. The Huffington Post covered the buying of reviews last year. You can actually get a review on almost anything for $5. Another article about buying reviews ran on The New York Times site back in 2012. Many retailers have made attempts to thwart both practices, but even after exhaustively weeding out the cheaters, it's only a matter of time until someone reinvents the wheel, or comes up with a new spin for it.

Buzz Around the Web (Part 3)

by Cathi Stevenson Resources Worth Checking Out Here are some resources from other countries, or older resources that still have a lot of valuable insight and information to share. The Guardian (UK news source) has expanded greatly since launching on the Interwebs and they have an entire section dedicated to self-publishing. Many well-researched and interesting articles Dan Poynter is referred to as "the guru of self-publishing." He was doing it back in the '70s, before it was cool. He has a newsletter that allows authors to introduce new books, ask for subjects to interview and lots of useful, short articles. Check out ParaPublishing.com If you're looking for an editor (or any book production professional) who has proven herself, then check out the awesome freelancers at Mediabistro.com. The downsizing of publishing houses can work to your benefit. The brightest and the best are going freelance.

Buzz Around the Web (Part 2)

by Cathi Stevenson When Authors Go Bad Article here about an author behaving badly. Describes how author Kathleen Hale targeted and stalked a reader for giving her a one star review. Yikes!! And double yikes!! to this "humorous" piece Hale herself wrote about killing animals. In case you're into this sort of thing, here's another interesting story about an author chasing down a reviewer, with far more serious results. The reviewer claims the author actually attacked her and hit her on the head with a wine bottle. You don't have to do much to attract this kind of attention it seems. In June, I judged the e-Book Cover Design Awards over at The Book Designer and received a series of very weird e-mails in response to a casual comment I made about a cover. I've also been the subject of two blog posts — one about a project I had nothing to do with (a fact the writer never bother to confirm) and another from a competitor who read a very, very general article I'd written about images on book covers and took it personally. I'd never heard of him before, nor had I seen his book covers. I bet he thinks those TV commercials are really about him, too. Who Is This Mysterious Author? And because we seem to forget there is an entire world of books out there, some even written in languages other than English, here's an interesting guessing game surrounding the real identity of best-selling Italian author Elena Ferrante. (Relax, the books have been translated into English).