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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Don't be embarrassed by a bad author video. Don't waste money, either.

I previously provided more than 40 tips for authors who want to make their own book videos ("trailers") and showed an example of a pretty good one. Now it's time to learn from some bad ones.

Many videos from self-publishing companies are overloaded with gimmicks that may impress newbie authors, but probably won't help sell books. There's often lots of zooming and spinning, terrible typography, juvenile clip art, music found in low-budget porn flicks and the videos are either too short to sell the book or too long to hold a viewer's interest. 


The video below, from sloppy/sleazy Outskirts Press, is typical. It suffers a from a bad case of the zoomy/spinnies and has bad grammar and weird typography. 



Outskirts produced one of the world's worst book videos (below). 



There is only one good thing I can say about this video: it's short, so the pain is over quickly (except for the lingering nausea). The script, the photography, the typography and the "slow dancing" music are all AWFUL. Outskirts charges an outrageous $799 for a pile of shit like this and claims it's "A $1,800 value!" (Actually, the proper word is "an," not "a," but don't expect good grammar from Outskirts.)

The company says, "Are you ready to take your book marketing efforts into the 21st Century? Be among the first authors anywhere to use online video marketing. The Book Video Trailer is like a movie trailer for your book. It's cool, it's hip, it's NOW!"


This video is NOT cool, NOT hip, and NOT NOW.

Outskirts also brags that "Our book videos are unlike any other book videos available, featuring Hollywood-style production values and a cutting-edge look and feel." 


It would be nice if there were no other book videos like Outskirts Press's book videos. However, the 'producer' of this crap seems to have studied at the Nelson DeMille Academy of Shitty Video (coming up next).

Even 'real' publishers can be involved with stinky, sloppy, sleep-inducing videos. The loser below is from Grand Central Books, part of Big Five company Hachette. Despite Hachette's backing the book, the video seems to have been homemade by author Nelson DeMille, or by a no-talent buddy. Someone at the publisher should have said, "Sorry, Nelson, NO WAY." 


It's over-zoomed, over-rotated, over-ellipsised, has mind-numbing music, blah clip art, terrible typography, asks questions of the viewer, yells "Read the book!" and has silly captions (e.g., "that was an explosion" and "the end" TWICE). The copyright warning and credits might seem funny in fourth grade -- or maybe not. There's even misspelling:



The all-text narrative goes on and on for three and a half interminable minutes that provide almost a condensation of the book, and then we have two more minutes of juvenile legalese (below). The last half-minute of the video is devoted to a warning that the FBI investigates copyright violation and that the potential penalty is a $250,000 fine and five years in the clink. Anyone who is stupid enough to copy anything from this abysmal waste of electrons is too stupid to know how to copy.



(below) Because of poor lighting on her face and a soft voice, heterosexual men like me may focus on Print On Demand Publishing Queen Heather Covington's cleavage instead of on her message.



In addition to being a "queen," Heather claims to be a "YouTube marketing expert." An expert should make much better videos.

Some viewers' comments:
  1. "Your video is very poor technical quality (grainy, frame rate is low and the visuals are lagging the audio. There is also buzz on the camera you are using from its motor)"
  2. "Thanks for the mammories!"
  3. "boooobieeees!"
  4. "Give me a hug!"
  5. "Nice tits babes n I love the blowjob lips"
Heather is not merely a queen and an expert. She wants us to know that she is also an entertainment journalist, publisher, author, motivational speaker, awards official, promoter and editor-in-chief; and that "HER WORK IS BOLD, PROLIFIC AND QUICKLY RISING IN THE LITERARY COMMUNITY!"

Heather's "first debut book," (can you have a second or 45th debut book?) Tekila Nika: The Forbidden Bronx Video Diary Tales has an Amazon sales rank below 14 million and the book attracted only one review in about eight years. So much for "quickly rising."

Heather says, "I plan to get this book into as many hands as possible who are willing to listen . . . ." I didn't realize that hands can listen.

She also calls herself  "Literary Diva," "The Literary Heat," "Babe Charisse Worthington" and "The Queen of Murderotica Suspense."


Amazing -- Heather is queen of both POD publishing and murderotica. SALVE REGINA.

An editor-in-chief and publisher should not write a book with unnecessary hyphens and uppercase letters, numerals that should be spelled out, "that" instead of "who" and ugh-lee justification. The book begins with a stupid sentence: "Babe was born in the poorest and most rundown ghettoS of the Bronx." You can't be born in more than one ghetto. 

An editor-in-chief and publisher should not write a book description for Amazon that confuses "pact" and "pack," includes sloppiness like "deadly murder," "covering a span of 6 years with cover design and art direction by Def Jam's Robert Sims," "WILL LEAVE YOUR MOUTH AGAPE and as told by Babe Charisse Worthington," and puts five dots in an ellipsis.


OOPS -- she did it again, displaying a leg as well as her chest. The video shown below has badly synced audio and video, mentions an empty website, and foolishly announces Heather's phone number. Is she trying to attract readers -- or dates?



It's easy to make a bad video.

Lull 
Mengesha (below) unintentionally produced a left-right reversal of his video. You can read the book’s title more easily if you view the video in a mirror. Sadly, the bad advice in the video won’t be improved with a mirror.


(below) This video is a collection of free clip art and has waaaay too many transition effects from Windows Movie Maker.



The author's voice in the video below is so low that I have no idea what he said or what the book is about -- and I certainly have no reason to buy it. Computer "mesh" animations and wave sounds are silly and intrusive.


I am not convinced that book trailers are important. I invested five bucks in one from FIVERR.com. I got my money's worth, but I think it should be shorter.



I've long been a fan of evangelical doomsayers and bible thumpers. My first enthrallment occurred in San Francisco in 1961. The preacher sung-shouted, "If the good Lawd tells you not to wash your fee-it, you had bettah keep your fee-it dur-tee, my brothers!"

My hired preacher says he usually reads the Bible but has discovered another "good book" -- MINE. He says it might even save your life. (Watch the video to learn how.)

If you like the video, you'll probably like 
the book. It's available as a hardcover, paperback and ebook. Tell one. Tell all. Praise the Lord, and please praise the book. Amen.
This is the second "take" of the video and corrects two errors from the first one. Unfortunately, this time the preacher forgot to mention my name -- which is in the first version. It's annoying, but not a sin.

Keep in mind that in videos -- as in books, voicemail announcements and wedding invitations -- any time you try to correct an error you may make another one. 


Marilyn and I got engaged back in 1971, slightly after brontosauruses stopped stomping on the Earth. Her cousin Manny was a printer, and he offered us free invitations as a present. Unfortunately, they were printed with my father’s given name -- that few people would recognize -- instead of his well-known nickname. When Manny reprinted them, he got Pop’s name right, but he printed the wrong year.

We didn’t want to ask Manny for a third freebie or insult him by taking our business elsewhere. (He kept a gun strapped to his ankle and I used to refer to him as Mafia Manny although I had no real knowledge that he was in the mob.) The wedding date was rapidly approaching, so my future mother-in-law used a pen to correct the year on each invitation  It wasn’t elegant -- in fact, it looked like shit -- but it was definitely a rare collector’s item.

The imperfect video is neither rare nor a collector's item, and I don't think it looks like shit. Despite being a bit too long, previewers said it's funny, and that's what I wanted it to be. Maybe someday I'll get another one. Or maybe not.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A negative review for a book I have not read in the more than six years I've owned it




Back in February 2010 I bought a copy of Wingnuts: how the lunatic fringe is hijacking America. Written by John Avlon, it deals with the wackos on the far-right and far-left wings of politics, such as the 9/11 "truthers," the "birthers" who insist that President Obama was born in Kenya, and those who accept MooseMama Palin's "death panel" paranoid fantasy.
  • This is the debut publication from Beast Books, a joint venture between the Perseus Book Group and The Daily Beast, a website dealing with politics and pop culture.
Tina Brown is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Beast. She's an author, talk show host, and an award-winning editor. She edited Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, created Talk magazine and is in the Magazine Editors Hall of Fame.

Although she is apparently not a trained designer, she is credited with redesigning The New Yorker and hiring Richard Avedon as staff photographer. So, Tina should know something about publishing production values. She cares enough about her own work to have claimed a copyright for the foreword she wrote for Avlon's book -- an extremely uncommon practice.

So why am I pissed-off about a book I have not read yet?

It looks like crap, feels like sandpaper, and costs too much.
  • The designer, Jane Raese, chose a compressed, bold sans serif typeface for the chapter titles, headers and other spots. The words are both ugly and hard to read. With the huge selection of available typefaces, both sins are unforgivable.
  • The pages are rough, pulpy semi-sandpaper, of a low grade I have not had the misfortune to touch since I bought 35-cent Signet paperbacks more than a half-century ago. I almost felt the need to wear thick work gloves to protect my fingers from splinters. This book has a cover price of $15.95 -- not 35 cents -- so the budget could certainly have covered a nicer, smoother grade of paper. I'm just an amateur publisher, but my own $15.95 books have paper that's as smooth as a baby's ass. I would not insult my readers by using  cheap paper that might be found in a hotel room john in a third-world country that just made the transition from wiping with tree leaves.
  • The book has 284 pages and measures just 5 by 7-3/4 inches. That size is commonly used for the "mass market paperbacks" which sell for less than $10 and are displayed near the cash register at supermarkets and Walmart. Wingnuts is not vital for college or business. It's basically entertainment, and not important enough to warrant an inflated price. Other entertaining books often sell for $2.99 or less.
According to The New York Times, "Perseus is paying The Daily Beast a five-figure management advance to cover the costs of editing and designing the books."

Based on what I've seen and felt, Perseus grossly overpaid.

An author's words are important, but so is the package that contains them. Be aware and be careful.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Three missing ingredients in poorly selling books: PASSION, PROFESSIONALISM and PROMOTION




The Internet is filled with advice on creating bestselling books. Most of it involves finding the most popular online search topics.



According to many of the 'experts' (most of whom want to sell you something), if millions of people are interested in Oprah, Wells Fargo or Obama, you can easily sell millions of books about Oprah, Wells Fargo or Obama and make millions of dollars.
  • The authoritative ignoramuses say that it doesn't matter if you're a shitty writer, know nothing about the subject and don't think professional editing and design are necessary.
Some 'experts' tell you that instead of actually writing a book you can just copy words from the web and paste them together, use any available software to create a cover and soon untold riches and fame will be yours.



(above) Sadly, many of the ugliest and least-useful books are intended to help others publish books.

There is no certainty about selling anything. There are many things a writer -- even a very good writer -- cannot control.  
  • Research, testing and advance publicity might be useful, but trying to tailor a book to perceived reader interest can lead to yet another redundant barbecue cookbook, stop-smoking guide or celebrity confession.
Market research is no substitute for PASSION for the subject of the book, PROFESSIONAL quality in production, and strong PROMOTION for the book.
  • Without passion, writers are factory laborers, banging sentences together.
  • Without professional editing and design, books look and read like crap.
  • Without effective promotion, potential readers won't know the book exists.
Also, if you delay publication so you can engage in extensive research and test marketing, interest in the subject may pass by the time your book goes on sale, or competitive books may beat you to the marketplace.
  • If an author is aiming at traditional publishing, a year of advance research before a search for an agent and publisher can be an eternity.
  • Self-publishing greatly reduces the time-to-market compared to traditional publishing. A book can be published in a few weeks or months.
Over a dozen of my books have been bestsellers with ZERO market research. Steve Jobs developed amazing Apple products based on his own passion, not on market research.

My recent book, Do As I Say, Not As I Did quickly became a bestseller without my checking to find out what people were searching for on Google or Bing. I wrote about what I know about and have passion for.


 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Readers often want authors to provide autographs or inscriptions. Provide them.


I personally have never been an autograph collector, but I do have a few autographed books on my shelves which I got by accident. Lots of people like autographs, apparently to prove or imply that they were once in the same place as a famous person. If readers put you in the same category as Mickey Mantle, Marilyn Monroe or John Lennon, play along with it—no matter how much your wrist hurts.

If you are selling your books from your own website, competing with other booksellers that underprice you, you may be able to justify your price by including your signature and maybe an inscription.

Autographs (just your name) and inscriptions (a comment plus your name) can go on the flyleaf (a thicker-than-normal blank right page just inside the front cover in a hardcover book) or on the half title ("bastard title") or title page; so always leave adequate “white space” up front.

I've never done a formal signing, but I do sell (and sometimes give away) books with inscriptions. I try to write something that relates to the book and/or the recipient.
  • For my books on telecommunications, I often write "I hope you never get a wrong number." 
  • When a humorous book goes to a doctor, I write "Laughter is the best medicine."
  • When my memoir Stories I'd Tell My Children (but maybe not until they're adults)  goes to people I know nothing about, I often write "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." 
  • For Do As I Say, Not As I Did, I often write "Please be careful. Don't do what I did!"
  • For my new Internet Hell, I sometimes say "Be very cautious. Computers can be dangerous!" 
  • When a person or business is mentioned in my books, I can say something like "Congratulations! You're on page 147."
  • If your inscription is more than about six words, practice it first on plain paper so you know how big your letters should be and if you should use more than one line for the text.
  • I always include a date with an autograph or inscription. Some other authors don't. Make your own rule.
Long inscriptions are probably wrong if you have 200 people lined up in a bookstore, but are fine if you are sending out one or two copies with no time pressure.

Here's some good advice about book signings from publishing expert Dick Margulis:
  1. Find a black-ink pen that you really like to write with. It should not be such a fine point that you risk snagging on the surface of the paper and ripping it. It should not be an ink that bleeds through the page. It should allow for a smooth, fluid, comfortable motion with little pressure. Buy a box of them. (Note from Michael: I like Sarasa 0.7 and Pilot Precise V7 pens.)
  2. You do not need to use your real, legal signature. Devise a brief, casual signature (just your first name is usually fine, and legibility is not necessary) that you can turn out consistently and quickly while looking at the person for whom you are signing (rather than at the page). Bigger is better than smaller. Practice until it's comfortable.
  3. Keep your wrist straight (to prevent injury). Move your arm from your shoulder, not from your elbow (larger muscles in your upper arm than in your forearm).
  4. Warm up beforehand. Stand up. Do whatever stretches and rotations you would normally do to relax your neck and shoulders. Let your arms hang loosely for your shoulders and wiggle them, paying particular attention to keeping your hands loose.
  5. Take breaks. Stand up and shake out your arms again.
  6. After the session, go to your hotel room and ice your elbow and shoulder for twenty minutes before you agree to meet anyone for dinner.
  7. If only five people show up, ignore everything above, because it's overkill in that situation.


(Back to Michael:) any time you sign or send a book, stick in three to six business cards that show the book cover and maybe "at Amazon and B&N" or your website address if you prefer to sell directly. Make it easy for happy customers to recommend the book to others. While some of the cards may be used as bookmarks, crumb sweepers or be thrown away, I assume that some will be passed on to potential purchasers.

In addition to cards promoting the books they're inserted in, I also insert cards for some of my other books.

I get my cards from VistaPrint, a major maker of business cards and other printed products for businesses which I've been buying from for many years. For the cards shown here, I uploaded a TIF image copied from the PDF of my cover. The paperback books measure 6 x 9 inches, and fit fine on the business card with a little white space above and below the cover image for promotional copy.

The price was just $25 for 1500 cardsless than two cents each with rush shipping. If you spend a little more, you can have VistaPrint use the space on the back to print some blurbs from readers or reviewers who like the book.

My wife and I carry the cards around to give to possible "customers." Marilyn has turned out to be an excellent salesperson. She motivated our dentist to order a copy from Amazon and I signed it for him when I had my teeth cleaned. My podiatrist, however, asked for a freebie. I gave it to him and he displays it in his office. So does my urologist. Nice.

(Gingrich photo from WashingtonPost.com. Thanks.)

Friday, June 24, 2016

How do you become a freelance writer?


I am the administrator of a Facebook group for writers. One member recently asked, "How do I become a free lance writer?" Here's my reply (slightly edited):

First of all, "freelance" is one word.

The term comes from medieval times, when a mercenary warrior would provide himself and his lance to a lord who would pay for his services, rather than to a lord he had a long-term relationship with.


I freelanced for dozens of magazines, newspapers and advertising agencies back in the 1970s. I had majored in journalism in college and then moved to NYC and got a job as ass't editor of a magazine. I used my contacts gained at that magazine, plus samples of what I had written, to sell work to other publications as well as ad agencies.

The specific paths may vary, but three vital ingredients are 

(1) experience that generates published writing samples,
(2) knowledge of potential media clients,
(3) story ideas. (In journalism, an article is called a "story" or a "piece.")

It will probably be tough to sell your first article if you have no experience. Many writers start writing for low-paying (or even no-paying) community newspapers. If you can write very well about even dull news events, such as school board meetings, Little League or high school sports, or community bake sales, your published samples should help you to move up to more interesting assignments at better-paying media.

It's important to become familiar with publications,

broadcast stations and online media that might publish your work. My first job was assistant editor at High Fidelity Trade News, a "trade" magazine that went to hi-fi dealers. My knowledge of hi-fi equipment got me work writing for Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy and Country Music magazines. My experience there helped me make the transition to more mainstream magazines such as Esquire as well as newspapers, ad agencies and PR agencies.
  • It's much easier to get freelance work if you have a specialty, or multiple specialties, hopefully with little competition.
If you are one of just three people in the world who know all about left-handed nuclear reactors, and an editor needs a story about that subject, it will be easier to get the assignment than if you are one of a million people who like to write about cars, decorating kids' rooms or cooking turkey.
  • You should constantly be sending out "pitch letters" (which can be emails), suggesting stories to appropriate media. Even if you don't sell the pieces you suggest, once you become known to editors, they'll probably contact you when they need a story in a field you are qualified to write about.
You have to learn the appropriate contacts at the media you are interested in. That info can be gleaned by reading the staff listings in the publications, and through directories. In general, publishers are concerned with finance, not writing, so don't contact them. At a small publication, contact the editor. If there are multiple editors, contact those who are in charge of departments that are appropriate for your work.

Don't pitch an article about do-it-yourself bicycle repair to a cooking magazine or a website for funeral directors.

  • While specialization makes it easier to get work, it's important to be able to write about anything. Even if you normally write about fashions or funerals, if you are first-on-scene at a train crash, particularly if it is not covered by others, try to sell the news report.
One other path to publication is blogging. With a blog you just have to make readers happy, not impress an editor. Over the years I've written blogs that specialized in multiple subjects, and some of them led to freelance writing gigs.
  • Be aware that there are probably as many writers looking for work as there are unemployed actors and singers. The oversupply reduces the money that publications will pay, except for the top tier of writers.
Freelancers can be paid by the word, by the "column inch" (in newspapers) by the number of pages published (in a magazine), or by other systems. In the early 70s I was paid from a dime to a dollar per word. Business writing generally pays much better than magazines or newspapers. I was shocked to discover that some current publications pay as little as two cents per word.

Writers Market is an excellent directory of possible buyers of your words and should be on your shelf. In addition to its directory function, it has lots of helpful advice on the business of writing.






Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Don't order your pizza with tombolo and onions





Words can be fun, and even funny.

I've previously written about flongs, dingbats, pilcrows and other strange publishing terms. Today, I'd like to introduce you to the TOMBOLO.

Although the word came to English from Italian, it's definitely not something you'd enjoy on top of your pizza or inside a calzone.

A tombolo is like a sandbar, but it is perpendicular to the shore, not parallel to it.


Here in Milford CT, we have a famous tombolo (but everyone calls it a sandbar).

At low tide, it connects Silver Sands Beach with Charles Island -- which may contain buried pirate treasure. I named my publishing company after the beach (which is also a state park). 

Charles Island was allegedly cursed three times.

(1) The first curse was brought in the 17th century by an Indian chief, whose tribe fought for the island which they felt was sacred ground. After settlers defeated the Indians, the chief said, "Any shelter will crumble to the Earth." No building on the island has lasted more than a few years.

(2) The second curse was supposedly brought by Captain Kidd in 1699 when he buried his treasure there. Captain Kidd cursed with death anyone who attempted to dig it up.

(3) The third curse was supposedly brought in 1721 by five sailors who stole Mexican emperor Guatmozin's treasure. Guatmozin put a curse on the stolen treasure. After four of the five sailors suffered tragic deaths, the last sailor hid the treasure in the basement of a Milford tavern. When it was discovered by a drunk searching for beer, the fifth sailor transported it to Charles Island, moving the third curse with it.

Legend says treasure hunters discovered an iron chest in 1850. As they attempted to open it, a "screeching, flaming skeleton descended from the sky. It lurched into the pit where the chest was, sending forth a shower of blue flames." The treasure hunters dropped their tools and fled from Charles Island. They returned the next day and their tools were gone and the digging site had been smoothed over, as if they'd never been there.

Spooky!


- - - - -

Pepe's pizza photo from OurBridgeport.com

Tombolo photo by Randal Ferret

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book promo postcards usually make no sense, except for companies that sell cards


As I've pointed out many times, since self-publishing companies sell few books to readers, the companies must make their money by selling services and paraphernalia to writers. 

As shown below from the Outskirts Press website, the promotional postcard is a common piece of paraphernalia that writers can buy.



The frequently inept and dishonest Outskirts says: "Postcards are the most effective direct mail piece" and sells them for the equivalent of 50 cents each.

(below) AuthorHouse offers an even worse deal, selling twice the quantity -- 1,000 -- for $535 (53.5 cents each)



The self-pub websites are generally vague about where the cards should be sent. However, "Christian" self-pubco Xulon press says, "Now you can mail a full-color postcard about your book to family, friends, bookstores, and more!" -- but doesn't provide pricing online without a user name and password.

Sending postcards to bookstores is probably a waste of money, as is sending them to your friends, former landladies and distant cousins, or ordering postcards to push a novel or poetry book.

However, if you publish a useful and interesting nonfiction book, and can get a good mailing list, then the campaign might work.

If you’ve written a book about Shelby Mustangs and can get a mailing list of Mustang fans, your postcards could sell some books. Make sure the card tells where books can be ordered. Consider making a special offer such as free shipping or an autograph or 10% off for orders placed within ten days.

I’ve use VistaPrint for cards (not for cards touting books, however). VistaPrint will sell you very nice color cards for as little as a 20 cents each, even in quantities as small as 50.

Keep in mind that the response rate to direct mail pieces is usually less than 5%, often much less. And, starting today, you'll have to pay 33 cents to mail each card -- even the 98% that don't sell books.

If you do the math, there's a good chance that you'll find that it makes little or no sense to spend money on a postcard campaign. Would you spend $535 for 1,000 cards plus $333 for postage and $1,300 for a mailing list rental (total $2168) to sell 25 books on which you'll make maybe four bucks each? You can send out more cards if you want to lose more money, or buy the cards direct from the printer to lose a bit less money.

If you are convinced that cards can be useful, they must be part of a multifaceted marketing campaign, and ideally should arrive while other strong publicity is going on. 









Monday, June 20, 2016

Some old books deserve to die. Some deserve to be updated.

Most authors focus on their current books, or on their next book.

It can be equally productive to take a look back


You may find that a book you published several years ago can be updated, reinvigorated and become a moneymaker once again.

As your publishing empire grows, you'll find that you have more old books that are potential big assets. Look them over and pick some winners. Maybe an ebook should also be a pbook, or vice versa. Maybe a title or subtitle could be better. Maybe the cover or interior formatting needs work. Maybe you now know more than you did previously. Maybe errors need to be corrected.

If your book is nonfiction, you may have to verify and possibly change scores of pieces of information. For fiction, maybe a visual enhancement is all that's needed.

Since each of your books should contain a list of your other books, if you publish frequently, your old book lists need to be updated. Ditto for lists of blogs and websites. Hyperlinks inside ebooks should be checked and changed if necessary.


Maybe you have some new blurbs to include. Maybe your bio is out of date.


If you are a long-time reader of this blog you probably know that horrid publishing-services provider Outskirts Press is a frequent target for my scorn.

Back in 2010 I published Stupid, Sloppy, Sleazy: The Strange Story of Vanity Publisher Outskirts Press. How Do They Stay in Business?

I wanted to warn the company's potential customers to stay away because it produces shitty books and provides shitty services. It also overcharges.

Last week I received an email from someone who wanted to buy a copy but found it was available only used, for more than $1,000! (The new price is $10.95.)


I checked and found that the book had inexplicably gone out-of-print. I quickly tapped a few buttons and made it alive again.

I looked through the manuscript file and realized
that a lot had changed since 2010. 

Despite all odds, the horrid company is still in business—and still disappointing customers. Since Outskirts still exists, I thought it’s appropriate to update the book.

It's getting a new cover as well as new text. I'll even lower the price by a buck.

So, how does Outskirts Press stay in business? It attracts ignorant writers who know even less about publishing than the employees and management of Outskirts Press know.