Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Absolute Write Catches a Crabbe…

Posted on: February 8, 2009

If you want to visit a top class writers’ site then you will do no better than ‘Absolute Write.’
AW covers every aspect of writing and is frequented by contributors from the entire spectrum of writing and publishing.
And yes, there is even a thread about YouWriteOn. Most of the contributors have a negative view of YWO ( at least of the latest publishing venture.) Some YWO members, including myself, have posted there with our reasons for choosing to publish as we have, but the dominant voices have been those of  experienced publishing types who have employed a vast arsenal of experience to attempt to discredit YWO, and young pretenders who, with somewhat less expertise and grace, are cutting their milk teeth on the subject.
Until now….
Enter (from stage right, or left, depending upon your perspective) champion of YWO, Kevin Crabbe.
Kevin has been putting up a staunch defence of Ted Smith which has created a very entertaining dialogue over several pages of AW.
I won’t give too much away, but contributors to the thread have had good reason to suspect that ‘Kevin Crabbe’ might even be Ted Smith himself.
In  my view, there are certain stylistic pointers in Kevin’s contributions which make his relationship to Ted quite clear- but look at the thread and decide for yourself.
I have been corresponding with Ted Smith this weekend about the wrong cover appearing on Amazon. He assures me that the right cover is with the right book at Lightning Source, and that the ISBN on Amazon is mine. I mentioned Kevin Crabbe, but he was typically ambiguous on this point.
He has my enquiry at the top of his ‘to do’ list for Monday.
So watch this space…




6 Responses to "Absolute Write Catches a Crabbe…"

Scott here again. Are we being burned, you think? I mean, I think they have done what they said they would do, and I guess the numbers account for the glitches so far. The copies of my book are pretty, and I actually had a local bookstore manager say that they were very well put together, compared to most POD products he has seen. The problem we are running into is that real bookstores won’t stock anything which is not returnable, so we are caught in a catch 22. I have to buy the books, and pay for shipping, which prices them high if one seeks to recoup costs. I think one needs to continue to hope that his or her book will be seen and appreciated by the people with clout.
Let me know your thoughts.
All My Best,
Scott M. Murray

I’ve just ordered some books to give to my nearest and dearest and to send as review copies. Shipping costs more or less swallow up the author discount, so I don’t know if bookshops are a realistic option- I’ll probably try Smiths and Waterstones though, as the book is on their system and people have been asking for it in Smiths since my press release.
I’ll also be blitzing every internet outlet I can find- just waiting for my cover to appear on Amazon, although Ted has assured me today that the ISBN there is mine and that the cover and interior match at Lightning Source.

Hi Allan and Scott;

I have ordered some of my books from Amazon, and above a certain amount ($ 39 in Canada), shipping is free*. That way, I hope to still receive my Author’s discount (60% did Ted say?), since the sale is on Amazon. I would thus be able to sell them to bookstores (likely as lost leaders) and in fairs etc for a small profit, or even break even. I understand that in marketing anything, you have to live with an initial loss, to get the product off the ground. Once one gets the ball rolling, then hopefully we would be smiling.

* PS: The BookDepository also ships for free “Worldwide!”

Waheed (Wally) Rabbani
Grimsby, Ontario, Canada
Author of, The Azadi Trilogy, Book I: Doctor Margaret’s Sea Chest
Available at all Amazon, B&N and other Bookstores

Hi Wally and Allan:
Wally, I must thank you for your suggestion about Amazon. That may be the answer for me, and because I live on the same side of the pond as you, shipping is what is killing me. I don’t think one gets the author’s discount buying through Amazon, but I may be wrong. Even without the author’s discount, the increase in book price is still a smaller number compared to the shipping, and I would think that the author’s royalties would somehow be conferred on the author. (I hope) That would still be selling at a loss, but not quite so great a loss.
All My Best,

Hi Scott;

Actually I’d meant the “royalty” (not author’s discount). Gosh I should get these terms right, or else may get a lecture from HPRW or someone on AW.



Here’s the lecture, Wally.

According to the contract, there are no author discounts on copies you buy yourselves from YWO, nor are any royalties paid in that situation. However, all books bought via Amazon should still earn you royalties, even if you buy them yourself, although you’ll obviously not get any discounts on these books.

While the royalty promised was 60%, this was calculated on the cover price AFTER printing costs (and, presumably, other costs) were deducted: one writer who commented on my blog has been told she’ll earn 79p per copy sold, based on a cover price of (I think) £6.99, which equates to a royalty of 11% of cover price.

While you’ve probably found the best way to get hold of your books cheaply by taking advantage of Amazon’s free shipping, that 11% isn’t going to leave you much room to discount your books: even the independent bookshops won’t take them at just 11% off cover price, so you’ve got your work cut out for you if you want to sell them at profit. Best of luck, and I hope that this lecture, at least, wasn’t too onerous.

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