Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘publish







I have been getting some very interesting comments recently through this blog. Take this one, for instance, from C.F. Jackson regarding my post on bookmarks:

 Great idea! Many authors get lost in doing those things that they can’t do and control. As a published author you’re now an entrepreneur who has to be in the mindset to “Always Be Marketing”.

 Whatever it is… let them know about you, your book, and how to find you.


Continue to make it happen! 
Won’t Be Denied,
C.F. Jackson.
So I replied:

Thank you so much C.F. Jackson for your encouraging remarks- my thoughts exactly. I wonder if you would like to contribute to my series: Tips from published authors. I am particularly interested in short articles on marketing from authors who have not gone down the ‘conventional’ path.

Best Wishes,

C.F. wrote back:
 Hey Allan,


 It’s my pleasure! I really enjoyed the insight you’re offering in a light and colorful way. I hope authors take the time to open up and do something new and different. I would love to add to your series. That would be awesome! ;o) Tell me what you’d like for me to do and we’ll help our fellow authors and writers succeed.

Thank you for the extraordinary offer…
I really do appreciate it.


Continue to have a great week!

 So I said:

Hi CF-

(Do you get called CF, or is there a name?) thanks very much for agreeing to contribute to my blog. My aim is to make it as varied as possible, so I’m asking for as many ideas on marketing as possible- particularly ones that have been found to work.
Have a look at the four ‘Tips from Published Authors’ posts on my blog. Send me something which says a bit about yourself and what you do, with a picture and picture of a book cover if that is appropriate. I’ll put it out with links to you.


 I particularly liked what you said about being an entrepreneur now- it hasn’t been quite put that way yet, but it is so true.


 My book is being published next week, so it will be all systems go. Thanks again for your encouragement- writing can be lonely, but I’m finding a big supportive network out there,


 Look forward to hearing from you,




Hey Allan,
It’s my pleasure! Many of my subscribers never thought about being an author as being a business or being an entrepreneur.


My desire is to open their minds to the bigger picture of being an author and all the benefits to creating a business.
Allan, I’ll be attending a 3 day conference on marketing online this weekend. I will be gathering some great content however you’re welcome to post any of the content on my site. I’ll provide you with each item you request early in the coming week. Yes, C.F. Jackson is the name I go by as an author and in business. One of the key things I learned is to ensure and keep everything easy to remember. ;o)


 I wish you much success with your book launch in the coming days and week. You have a topic that must be heard.
May I share a book marketing video series to you?  
Continue to have an awesome Friday!
 Live Life to Leave a Difference,
C.F. Jackson

P.S. Sign Up For Your Free Website
Makeover Workshop eCourse..




By this time it occurred to me that I was in touch with someone who really knew what she was talking about-

thank you so much for your generous offer and for sharing your gift with me. I’ve been listening to your ‘How to Market your book on the internet’ series- there are a whole bunch of new writers publishing POD books through YouWriteOn over the next couple of weeks who would find great value in these. Is it possible for me to share these through my blog/website- either the series, or if I could use the intro I could then point them to your site. I will also add a recommendation to the YWO message boards.

 Hope you are having a good conference,best Wishes,

C.F. replied:



Hope your week is going well. Today, I’m back on track after a 3 day weekend of seminars. Thank you for watching the video series and finding value in them and desiring to share them with other authors and writers. I would appreciate the sharing of the video with your community and with the YouWriteOn community.

I’ve attached the embed code for the first video that you can post into your blog posting for your site. Should you have any questions or any thoughts please feel free to ask.


So I set about embedding the video into this post, only to find that WordPress doesn’t support this. But never mind: what I will do is direct you to C.F. Jackson’s site, where there are all sorts of things for people wanting to promote their work, such as the How to Market your book on the internet.


 Go to:

 …but once you’ve been there, please don’t forget my humble little blog!


 C.F. Jackson is a website makeover trainer and a fellow author. She helps authors who are non techie / non web designers just like you understand and better utilize book excerpts, subscriptions forms, book reviews and videos on websites, to capture more subscribers, readers, and sells. She has helped many authors generate more sells and subscribers. With Website Makeover Workshop, you can more effectively sell online by learning how to market your book online by creating a website with a purpose. The question is this: What if everything you believed about your website was wrong?


 Won’t Be Denied,
C.F.  Jackson






There is such an air of expectancy- and a significant amount of anxiety- on the YouWriteOn website and message boards at the moment.

Is Publishing Your Book an Uphill Struggle?

Is Publishing Your Book an Uphill Struggle?



 Firstly, there was an announcement that writers will be being contacted next week (Between 9-12th December) with information about the publication of their books.

 Secondly, some books have already started to appear on Amazon- they cost £7.99, although I’m not sure what length they are. According to Ted Smith priority has been given to a number of writers who had managed to arrange book store signings. One has apparently also gained the attention of the national press.There is also a question of whether the books will be available from Amazon before Christmas.

 Thirdly, YouWriteOn is giving 10% of their profits to the ‘Sightsavers’ charity. (See: )

I have blogged before about authors associating their work with a charity:

  Not only does the charity benefit, but it also provides additional publicity, which provides more sales, which benefits the charity etc. etc. etc.




Thanks to Jane for the following:

Allan, Wally asked who was going to print the books–that’s Lightning Source, based in Milton Keynes. Legend is just assigning ISBNs as far as I can see: they don’t print any of their own books.

And so far NO ONE who is publishing via YWO has explained to me why they think it’s better to hand 40% of the profits over to YWO rather than signing up to Lightning Source and keeping all the money for themselves. Anyone can do it, after all. And ISBNs can be bought cheaply: I just don’t understand why people think it’s better to go through YWO, and would love it if someone would explain.

The only think I can think of is that some of the people submitting assume that the Random House editors who read YWO’s top ten are going to get involved in the publishing side of things. As far as I can see, that’s a completely separate scheme and there’s going to be no crossover between the two: the Random House editors have their own slushpile to read, and won’t have time to consider reading YWO’s too.

You can read  Jane’s informative blog on YouWriteOn at:

Jane’s comments have led me to some soul-searching, which is never a bad thing, and I will add something about my motivations to use YWO in a later blog. Meanwhile, here is Wally’s reply:

Hi Jane;
The reason I choose YWO over others, such as Lightning Source, etc (we have some
good “do it yourself publishing” shops here on this side of the Pond as well)
was, to be fair, YWO does have a “name.” I have some writing friends in
Australia; I checked with them, and sure enough they’d heard of YWO and have a
good opinion of this site. So, hopefully belonging here would give us some
recognition. I have been a member here for a while and am impressed with the
quality of writing and critiques. Also one gets to discuss things here with
knowledgeable people, such as yourself, and learn by exchanging ideas. At a
“print-shop” one would be just a number, much like an ISBN.


PS: By the way, there will be a difference between the Random House’s slush
piles and YWO’s books. We are “published” and people will be reading our novels
and writing reviews. The other Publishers’ is just that, a static slush pile for
their interns to read on a lonely Sat night.

Thanks also to Paul Ekert for this response:

It does seem as though the world and his wife are now against the YWO deal. Some of the arguments make sense, some of them smack of “people with too much time on their hands”… I have the image of radio 4 being boring and so a number of “Disgusted from Surrey” start writing in…

There has been some anger too, I think mainly the result of the anti-YWO’s being frustrated that some people will still want to be involved and from the Pro-YWO’s who want to be treated as adults making adult decisions.

Here’s the point. No one wants to see someone else ripped off, this is human nature, but at the same time, no one likes to feel bullied for making a specific decision or told they are stupid for doing so.

Yes there are disadvantages for publishing this way, but there was also this wonderful carrot and stick approach that forced writers to focus their minds and get the book published.

Perhaps we have all made a huge mistake. If so, then we will have lost 39.99 at most and really it will not be that tragic. And it will be our own mistake, made willingly.

I hope now the Anti-YWO’s will leave us all alone and go find another battle to fight. Preferably one worth fighting and one that is any of their business!

Once in a while something happens which renews your faith in human nature and in the belief that we are all really here to help oneanother regardless of our differing viewpoints.

Anyone who has been following my blog over the past week will be aware of the debate in the Blogosphere around YouWriteOn, particularly on Jane Smith’s ‘How Publishing Really Works.’ In my last post I bemoaned the lack of support in the forums from anyone in the publishing industry, and also mentioned the need for advice on marketing for the 5000.

Help has come from a most unexpected source- Jane Smith herself. In her comment on my last post she said that despite her opposition to YouWriteOn she knows that the only way that any of the 5000 will go anywhere with their books is through publicity and marketing through  ‘non-bookshop’ outlets. Jane has marketing experience and will be asking some of her contacts in the field to put posts on her blog. So if you are one of the 5000, or the author of a self-published book, keep your eye on

Also, if you are one of the people waiting for the publication of your book by Legend Press you will probably have been, like me, thinking how you can get your book out to as many people as possible. I will be blogging about the ways in which I intend to do this, and would like to invite as many contributors as possible to add their ideas, so that there will be a repository of marketting tools here for anyone to access. It would be such a shame if, after all of the hard work that so many people have put into their books, they do not get a decent readership through lack of marketing.

Thanks for your encouragement pennyb22, I look forward to hearing from more of you,


  • It’s good to have received so many early responses to my latest blog. It would be good to hear from more of the 5000, and from anyone who has got any good marketing ideas.
  • jellyjones said:
    October 31, 2008 at 12:51 am eI think it will be a damp squib.Anyone who expects anything more than being able to sell a few copies to family and friends is most likely to be disappointed.Maybe one or two people will go on to greater things. But I doubt it.
  • Jane Smith said:
    October 31, 2008 at 7:57 am e  Like you, I do hope that writers do well out of the YWO scheme: although I doubt there’ll be anyone who makes the same sort of sales that would be achieved through commercial/mainstream publication. I’d be very interested to hear from anyone who makes a decent number of sales as a result, though, because In cases like these it’s always good to be proved wrong!And yes, you’re right: a lot of the blogs I’ve read about this scheme have proved one-sided; but mostly because the people arguing for it weren’t terribly well-informed about publishing, and were quickly out-reasoned by the people who were. I’ve yet to see a substantial argument in favour of the scheme which sets out why it’s better than self-publishing: perhaps you could provide me with one?(And no, that’s not intended to be snarky: it’s difficult to ask certain questions online without seeming so, but I would genuinely be interested in such an argument.)

    Paul Ekert | |

    I submitted a PDF copy of my book “Ordinary Monsters” to YWO yesterday.

    The book was written two years ago and has bounced back from many a publisher. Twice it was short-listed in competitions, one with an agency, and the other with an arts council. Both times, it failed the final hurdle.

    A number of agents have written to say the liked it a lot, but didn’t love it enough to risk time and money. Two publishers that said they were interested, found themselves under pressure from an early version of the credit crunch and bailed out on my book before we got to the contract stage.

    I’ve gone through a lot of edits with this book. I’ve spent a whole load of money on stamps and envelopes, but I never lost faith in the story, in the characters and in my own writing style.

    I just couldn’t get it noticed.

    I’m a published author with Pearson’s Education. I write non-fiction books and articles on computers, most of which are published in the US. Non-fiction is where I make my money, but fiction is where my heart lives.

    When the YWO “offer” arrived in my mailbox, I was on the brink of giving up and tossing the MS into a darkened drawer never to be seen again. I had considered Self Publishing, but the process appeared complex and full of traps, reading a few blogs and hearing of their bad experiences was enough to put me off. And as Jane says, no one makes money from self publishing fiction, apart from the golden few, but if you are going to bet on those odds, you may as well buy a few more lottery tickets this weekend.

    So why did I bother? Because I believe in the book. I think it deserves to be published and because I don’t want to get personally involved with self-publishing directly, I prefer it to be handled by someone else. Yes I know there are others out there, but the advantages as I see it are wafer thin. The thickness of a fag paper, as my dad used to say, isn’t really that much help!

    Once the book is published, I intend buying a copy, then looking to see if there are any good blogs on marketing.

    As I say, my main income is non-fiction, but this will be an interesting sideline. I hope other people are viewing it in the same light, as making money, getting rich, becoming famous through his scheme is NOT going to happen for 99.9% of all 5,000 books (someone tell me how many books 0.1% is).

    Good luck to all and to any “well meaning” individuals that reply to this telling me I am a fool and I should do this that or the other instead, please don’t bother. My freedom of expression as an individual living in a democracy is to be apart of YWO initiative. If that is a con, then big boy that I am, I will take it on the chin.

    That’s all folks.


    I am obviously in Paul’s camp on this one. I believe in what I have written. People have read it and I know that they are not just being polite when they say that they enjoyed it, laughed out loud and cried, and one of them not only read it in the space of a weekend but went back and reread it. I won’t be so vain as to claim that it is a great work of literature, but a major problem as I perceive it is that I have written a thriller in which the ‘hero’ is a ‘lad novel’ character, not a square jawed athletic professor- and publishers do not like mixed genre.

    And like Paul I don’t have the ability (or the money) to self publish, neither do I have Jane Smith’s compendious knowledge of publishing (Do visit her blog, it is very informative.) I agree with Jane that it would be good to hear from someone from the industry who can put a more solid argument forward. Unless the truth is that there is no such person, in which case it would be good to hear from Ted Smith of YouWriteOn.

    Although I suspect that he is rather busy at the moment.

    So the debate rages on about YouWriteOn and its publishing 5000 books by Christmas venture.

    Admittedly, I have been concerned that this could lead to 4999 turkeys being available just in time for christmas (or after, if the cynics are correct.) I obviously don’t include my novel in that number because it is high quality writing and has been crafted and edited over several years. Hopefully, the amount of publicity generated by the critics of YouWriteOn will create more interest and lead the curious to test for themselves whether it is statistically possible for 5000 writers all to be bad.

    What I don’t like is the often patronising references to the 5000 and their motives. No, we are not all people who simply want to see our names in print. Some of us have been through the process of submitting to publishers and agents works which we believe in and have worked damned hard on. For us the choice to submit to YouWriteOn comes from the blinkered view of a publishing industry which will not consider anything which cannot be pigeonholed.

    Whether or not any of the 5000 will gain any level of success will have to be seen. But if there is only one, then doesn’t  that make the odds of success rather better than those of an unconventional novel attempting a conventional route?

    For a statement of the arguments against the YouWriteOn scheme see


    Every Christmas the facts and figures are bandied about over how one little old man can possibly find the time to issue presents to all of the children in the world. This year the debate will be overshadowed by how one man (Edward Smith) will manage to make 5000 novels available between the Halloween closing date and the Yuletide target.
    Try googling ‘You Write On’ or keywords such as ‘publish, 5000, authors’ and nine times out of ten you will come up with a literary web page or blog which is getting its knickers in a twist. The subject is the offer by You Write on and Legend Press to publish 5000 new authors by Christmas.

    The concerns range from motive through anxiety about thousands of poor quality  novels being stored electronically, to good novels being lost to larger publishers and doubt about the ability of the operation to put so many books on POD in such a short time.
    I have a confession. OK, unfashionable as it would seem to be, I am one of the 5000. And I don’t mean lepers, despite the fact that many sites see us as ‘literary wanabees’ or deluded objects of pity. I am going to publish my novel ‘Tasting the Wind’ through You Write on, and I am going in with my eyes open.

    Firstly, although the word ‘scam’ has been used, I have tested a few of these (notably the Writers book agency) and this does not have the same flavour. There is no need to part with any money- unless you wish to buy an ISBN number- whereas you don’t have to look too far into the real scams before you are asked to show your commitment to your work by getting out your cheque book.

    And yes, of course Legend Press will make money from this- why shouldn’t they? It has been pointed out that if the author is the only person to buy their novel (which in some cases may be true) then only Legend Press stands to gain. Look up the number 5000 on sites about publishing, and it comes up as the number required for a successful print run for a small publishing company.
    And yes, the novels are not chosen on merit- it’s the first 5000 to email. So why is this any different to self publishing?
    Critics have also questioned the charge for an ISBN number of £39.99. Several POD and self-publishing sites charge more than this. Yes, You Write On will get them far cheaper through buying in bulk, but I only want one number, and I don’t have the money to self-publish on my own.

    Is it me, or do the criticisms seem strange when we accept the dictates of a publishing industry which sees books as ‘units’ to be moved and is guided by what will sell rather than what is good?

    Yes, there will be a number of people who are deluded about their abilities, but there willo also be a number in which I would like to count myself, who have created a book of which they are proud, but which current profit orientated publishing trends will prevent from ever seeing the light of day.

    The trend is for genre, and if you might have written a work of genius, but if it cannot be easily pigeonholed the big publishers will not touch it. Earlier this year I wrote to Dean Koontz and asked for advice. His letter recommended that new wrtiters go for the ‘high concept novel.’ My second novel will be, but my first is from the heart, revised over ten years and I believe in it. But when you send it to agents you get the standard letter which gives no idea about how far it is from what is required.
    You Write On do not appear to be a tin pot organisation. They have Arts Council Funding and affiliations to the literary and publishing world which include Random House. Some of their authors have gone on to clinch deals with the bigger companies.
    Let’s put it another way. I once received a rejection letter from an agent which said that they received three hundred manuscripts per week but only took on three writers per year. So for every 15,600 submissions only three are accepted. Chances are at least one of the 5000 You Write On authors will get noticed, so the odds are better than going through an agent. And is £39.99 to get onto Amazon so much when you add up all of those postage stamps to send your manuscript to agents with return postage?
    So yes, I’m going ahead with it, and when my novel is published I will be adding a link to all of my networking sites. I will also be talking to my local children’s hospice who will receive 50% of my royalties.  So if you are reading this please buy ‘Tasting the Wind’ when it is available.Not only can I guarantee you a good read- some of your money will be going to a good cause and not to a big publisher. How good will that feel?

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