Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: publishing

Two Publishing Options ~ Two Editing Options . . .


This is the 35th post on this blog that will mention FastPencil publishing-aid company.

editing and publishing

Image Courtesy of Ivan Soares Ferrer ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/ivanferrer-35808

In the past post, FastPencil ~ Funny Name, Dynamite Publishing-Aid Company. I shared this info:

I’ve summarized the FastPencil experience this way:

*Write a book on their site,
while inviting BetaReaders or editors to work with you
—> Free

*Revise, edit, check multiple proofs,
upload a cover, work-out front and back matter, etc.
—> Free

*Publish and have the book distributed to
Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Ingram

(Print & E-book editions)
—> $300

As a matter of fact, if you want to sell your book only on the FastPencil Site (with a very cool sales widget you can use on your own WebSite or Blog) it costs just $9.99.

I’ve used FastPencil and I’m very happy with their services; speaking of which, if you don’t have an editor and can’t self-edit, you can pay them more money for that and other services

Or, you could consider other editing options (always making sure you receive samples of the editing anyone does...).

One option is the editing and publishing consultancy, Prosevue Edición.

You can check out their Terms, Conditions, and Policies.

They have Editing Services for Self-Published Books and Articles, Academic and Professional Documents, and International University Applications.

Just to give you an idea of their fees, Fiction Manuscripts of 50,000 words cost $500; but, 100,000 words are only $600

And, if you want another option for publishing, you can consider submitting to  Coffee House Press.

From their Site:

“The mission of Coffee House Press is to publish exciting, vital, and enduring authors of our time; to delight and inspire readers; to contribute to the cultural life of our community; and to enrich our literary heritage. By building on the best traditions of publishing and the book arts, we produce books that celebrate imagination, innovation in the craft of writing, and the many authentic voices of the American experience.”

Coffee House Press is also a good place to look for books that “celebrate imagination, innovation in the craft of writing, and the many authentic voices of the American experience.”; and, if you feel you’ve written such a book, you can contact them:

For general inquiries, you can reach us by email at info@coffeehousepress.org, by phone at (612) 338-0125, or by mail at the following address:

Coffee House Press
79 Thirteenth Avenue NE, Suite 110
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Naturally, there are a huge number of options for editing and publishing (I just thought my readers might find these three interesting…); and, you can begin exploring other options right here

Edit after publication:

Received this tweet from Prosevue Edición:

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Book Fair Bonus Post ~ with Free Downloads :-)


Do you know about the Frankfurt Book FairFrankfurt Book Fair

It was held from 19 to 23 October this year (2016) and will be from 11 to 15 October next year.

It’s a pretty big deal…

Plus, you can Download All 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair Show Daily Magazines !

As they say:

“Our show daily magazines include coverage of the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair discussions on copyright, freedom to publish, cross-media, rights and more.”

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#Publishing ~ Good and Bad


I’m going to report on three articles today—three views into the workings of today’s Publishing Industry… 

First, David Gaughran‘s piece, How The London Book Fair Helps Vanity Presses Exploit Newbie Authors.

An excerpt:

“The most prestigious event in the UK publishing calendar, the London Book Fair, welcomes predatory operators with open arms, deliberately positions them opposite author events for extra cash, and then helps to whitewash their reputation – even running misleading interviews and puff pieces on its own website to help them get more leads.”

David’s talking about what are called “Vanity Presses”.

They pretend to be regular trade publishers; but, they lure a writer in then attempt to trick them into paying exorbitant fees to publish their book.

This is extremely different from a writer who chooses to pay certain fees for services to help them Self-Publish.

It’s also very different from Traditional Publishing, where the writer (if providentially accepted) pays no fees; in fact, is given a cash advance

Two more excerpts:

“I’m sure many of you are angry about this – and you have every right to be. This is the leading event of the UK publishing industry, and one of the most prestigious in the world. And the London Book Fair is not just allowing these guys to appear, but it’s actively generating leads for exploitative services, and directly engaging in PR efforts on their behalf to make them seem like legitimate publishers.”

“The deeper I dig – five years of this, let me remind you – proves that these guys are central to the industry, and that whole swathes of the publishing establishment is geared towards separating inexperienced writers from their money in incredibly dishonest ways. And we never even talk about it, let alone take action.”

That’s the Dark Side

Now, for Jane Friedman and her article, The Publishing Industry in 2016: A Status Update.

“According to Nielsen Bookscan, for print book sales (primarily traditional publishing sales):

  • During the first quarter of 2016, frontlist adult fiction sales were down by 17% compared to 2015
  • During the second quarter, they were down by 4%
  • First quarter backlist sales were up by 4% compared to the prior year
  • Second quarter backlist sales were up by 9%”

Then, this:

“…the picture became more clear when the biggest New York publishers released their financial results for the first half of 2016—compared to the prior year:

  • Penguin Random House (PRH): sales down 10.7 percent
  • Hachette Book Group USA: sales down 6.6 percent
  • HarperCollins: sales down 2.5 percent
  • Simon & Schuster: sales down 3.5 percent”

One more excerpt:

“For Penguin Random House, the CEO said the shortfall was related to ‘the absence of newly published megasellers’, as well as the  poor performance of ebooks in the United States and UK. Helping make up for the losses: steady print book sales and audiobook sales.”

There’s a lot more in Jane’s article (especially about Amazon…); but, I’ll leave it to the folks who Need To Know to go read both Jane’s and David’s full articles

Finally, there’s an interview between Jane and Joanna PennPublishing Trends In 2016 With Jane Friedman—where Jane talks about “empowerment”; which, to me, clearly means Self-Publishing:

“There is a class of author who I think is more empowered. But I don’t think the emerging writer, the person without any credits to their name, are they more empowered? Not necessarily. But there are lots more options and paths for them if they educate themselves.

“But in that first book contract, if they choose traditional, it’s hard. It’s as hard as it’s ever been.”

So, three articles, lots of opinion, some facts—just like Life-in-General—Some Good, Some Bad, Educate Yourself………
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#Crowdfunding for #Writers


I have two sources for my report today—I could call this a post or an article; but, because of the way I work here, I can’t help but feel like a reporter, out on my Beat, hunting down stories… 

Crowdfunding for Writers

Image Courtesy of Dominic Morel ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/cx_ed-46386

First, a definition:Crowdfunding (a form of crowdsourcing) is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, today often performed via Internet-mediated registries, but the concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events, and other methods.”

For writers, crowdfunding can also be one of the first methods they use to establish a core group of supporters for their books

The first source for this Report is Crowdfund Insider and their article, Kickstarter Reports: $100M Has Been Pledged to Publishing Projects.

Kickstarter is a well-known facilitator of crowdfunding but there are others (as a link in a post I did in May reveals)

I think the information on Crowdfund Insider about Kickstarter is a great source of encouragement for writers who just can’t find any other way to fund the things they need to do—pay editors; cover designers; possibly, book designers; purchase copies of a book for personal distribution

Of course, the numbers for Kickstarter could be seen as somewhat “representative” of other crowdfunding services

Here are Kickstarter’s Stats for Publishing Projects from April 28, 2009, to August 10, 2016:

* Amount pledged: $100,000,000 
* Projects launched: 33,009 
* Projects successfully funded: 9,660 
* Creators who have launched more than one successfully funded Publishing project: 608 
* Successfully funded creators who have backed at least one other project: 6,414 
* Number of backers: 1,226,438 
* Number of countries those backers have come from: 211 
* Number of times they have pledged to a project: 1,673,631 
* Number of publishing projects supported by the backer who has pledged to more publishing projects than anyone else: 364

Here are the various categories of publishing represented in those numbers:

* Academic: 660 projects launched 
* Anthologies: 231 projects launched 
* Art Books: 2,103 projects launched 
* Calendars: 198 projects launched 
* Children’s Books: 5,349 projects launched 
* Fiction: 8,009 projects launched 
* Literary Journals: 195 projects launched 
* Nonfiction: 7,170 projects launched 
* Periodicals: 1,129 projects launched 
* Poetry: 1,189 projects launched 
* Publishing: 5,020 projects launched 
* Radio & Podcasts: 778 projects launched 
* Translations: 116 projects launched 
* Young Adult: 607 projects launched 
* Zines: 255 projects launched

O.K., now that you have some idea of the breadth and depth of crowdfunding for writers, let’s look at the perspectives in source two—author Ben Galley in his article, Top Tips on Crowdfunding for Authors.

And, as I usually do in my reportorial blogging, I encourage you (since you’ve actually read this far...) to go read Ben’s full article

Here are the bullet points for his top four tips:

Confirm: Is your project worth it?

Compel: Make it irresistible

Prepare: Don’t assume your project will fund itself

Reward: Make it worthwhile for your backers 

And, I must finish this post with a fascinating quote from Ben:

“Using the crowd isn’t a new concept – the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was heavily ‘crowdsourced’…”

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Crawling Up The Hill, Hoping to See More of The Light…


My regular readers have heard me relate some of my trials and tribulations here—the stress I (and far too many others) suffer in this grossly materialistic age… 

Crawling Up The Hill, Hoping to See More of The Light...

Image Courtesy of Angstrom Angstrom ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/angstro1-36701

And, I suppose I should mention that in spite of what I’ll say in introduction to the main subject of this post, it does fall within the purview of this blog’s “mission” to Explore Reading, Writing, and Publishing

First because I’m a writer—hoping my current travails can be “research” for future writing.

Second because I’m reading some extremely important books to prepare myself for a nearly complete change of lifestyle.

Let me back up, briefly, to a time, roughly 8 years ago, when I was just finishing up 11 months of Hepatitis C treatment—what I used to call Sledgehammer Medicine

I moved from a friend’s place (the VA insisted I have folks nearby during the treatment) to my own apartment which was near a very “European” Cafe—I began to prepare for the writing of the most important book of my life

The Crash of 2007 happened; the Cafe had to close its doors; and, I entered a time of extreme aloneness—working on the book, starting this blog, keeping the blog going, promoting the book—only going out to shop for necessities or for a “vacation” at a local eatery

I must mention meeting and getting to know my Best Friend—I live in the USA—she lives in Australia—we meet in the virtual world Kitely—she’s been my Mortal Savior—held me up as I’ve continually slid down that so familiar Hill

I am getting close to the main subject of this post; but, it does need a proper introduction.……..

So, since about 2008, I’ve not done a lot of “normal” “collective living”—socializing—being around other people.

Yes, Kitely is a really close simulation of all that; but, even though my emotions can be deeply engaged in a virtual world, it is still “virtual

Currently, I’ve been dealing with the tribulations of preparing for a move across town to a place near another “European” Cafe—back to regular “collective life”—out and about—on a mission

NOW, comes the main point—the current culture, worldwide, is sick—ailing—dangerous (things explored in that most important book I mentioned…)—and, this main point has been a challenge (read that as torture) for my whole life—but, there is a way in which moving back into more social engagement could help me “justify” my existence again—live out the remaining short years of Earthly existence headed in the Right Direction………

Concerning the “current culture” and its dangers, there’s an article on The Baffler—Life-Hacks of the Poor and Aimless—that I’ll quote extensively (while keeping within Fair Use…)

“The more frightening the economic outlook and the more floodwaters rise, the more the public conversation is turning toward individual fulfillment as if in a desperate attempt to make us feel like we still have some control over our lives.”

“There is an obvious political dimension to the claim that wellbeing, with the right attitude, can be produced spontaneously. Months after being elected leader of the most right-wing government in recent British history…David Cameron launched an ill-fated ‘happiness agenda’….As part of Cameron’s changes to the welfare system, unemployment was rebranded as a psychological disorder.”

“This mode of coercion has been adopted by employers, too…Zero-hour-contract laborers in an Amazon warehouse, ‘although they are in a precarious situation . . . are required to hide these feelings and project a confident, upbeat, employable self.’ All of which begs the question: Who exactly are we being well for?”

“The wellbeing ideology is a symptom of a broader political disease. The rigors of both work and worklessness, the colonization of every public space by private money, the precarity of daily living, and the growing impossibility of building any sort of community maroon each of us in our lonely struggle to survive.”

I underlined the words in that last quote—as I will in a few of the following quotes

“The isolating ideology of wellness works against this sort of social change in two important ways. First, it persuades all of us that if we are sick, sad, and exhausted, the problem isn’t one of economics. There is no structural imbalance, according to this view—there is only individual maladaption, requiring an individual response. The lexis of abuse and gas-lighting is appropriate here: if you are miserable or angry because your life is a constant struggle against privation or prejudice, the problem is always and only with you. Society is not mad, or messed up: you are.”

“With the language of self-care and wellbeing almost entirely colonized by the political right, it is not surprising that progressives, liberals, and left-wing groups have begun to fetishize a species of abject hopelessness. Positive thinking has become deeply unfashionable. The American punk kids I know describe it, disparagingly, as ‘posi’. The British ones, of course, describe it as ‘American’. Whatever you call it, it feels a lot like giving in.”

If you’re still reading, I’m happy that you just might care as much about our sick, dangerous culture as I do

And, in case you read the full article I’m quoting from, while I can agree with much of it, there are points where I strongly disagree

“…the young people I know who are, in general, the very worst at taking basic care of themselves as individuals—the people whose problem is not that they don’t drink enough asparagus water, but that they don’t drink enough of anything that isn’t day-old wine from a foil bag—are those who went through the student and Occupy uprisings of 2010–2012 and experienced, briefly, what it meant to live a different sort of life. What it meant to be part of a community with common goals of which mutual aid and support were not the least. What it meant to experience that sudden, brief respite from individual striving and build a prefigurative society together. The lonely work of taking basic care of yourself as you wait for the world to change is a poor substitute. When you’re washed up and burned out from putting your body on the line to fight the state, it’s especially galling to be told to share a smile and eat more whole grains.”

“Anxious millennials now seem to have a choice between desperate narcissism and crushing misery. Which is better? The question is not rhetorical. On the one hand, Instagram happiness gurus make me want to drown myself in a kale smoothie. On the other, I’m sick and tired of seeing the most brilliant people I know, the fighters and artists and mad radical thinkers whose lives’ work might actually improve the world, treat themselves and each other in ludicrously awful ways with the excuse, implicit or explicit, that any other approach to life is counterrevolutionary.”

“The problem with self-love as we currently understand it is in our view of love itself, defined, too simply and too often, as an extraordinary feeling that we respond to with hearts and flowers and fantasy, ritual consumption and affectless passion. Modernity would have us mooning after ourselves like heartsick, slightly creepy teenagers, taking selfies and telling ourselves how special and perfect we are. This is not real self-love, no more than a catcaller loves the woman whose backside he’s loudly admiring in the street.”

The next quote is, to me, quite powerful and resonant with my current situation:

“The harder, duller work of self-care is about the everyday, impossible effort of getting up and getting through your life in a world that would prefer you cowed and compliant. A world whose abusive logic wants you to see no structural problems, but only problems with yourself, or with those more marginalized and vulnerable than you are. Real love, the kind that soothes and lasts, is not a feeling, but a verb, an action. It’s about what you do for another person over the course of days and weeks and years, the work put in to care and cathexis. That’s the kind of love we’re terribly bad at giving ourselves…”

One final excerpt:

“The ideology of wellbeing may be exploitative, and the tendency of the left to fetishize despair is understandable, but it is not acceptable—and if we waste energy hating ourselves, nothing’s ever going to change. If hope is too hard to manage, the least we can do is take basic care of ourselves. On my greyest days, I remind myself of the words of the poet and activist Audre Lorde, who knew a thing or two about survival in an inhuman world, and wrote that self care ‘is not self-indulgence—it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’”

This is one of the longest posts I’ve done because I’m facing one of the greatest challenges of my life—giving up the “hiding away” I’ve been doing for years and entering the Fray—reaching out to a Community (at a Cafe) and attempting to share what I’ve learned about what “Works” (increases the Light) and what makes you keep sliding down that ol’ Hill……………….

With no apologies this time, I will say, Pray for me.

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And, for those who can sympathize with the plight of being too alone and not know where to find a rational escape, there is a Program that helps build sane and satisfying Communities.
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Grab A Free Novel…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com