Kevin J Moriarity

Books. I Read a Lot of Books. I Design Books Too. I'm Pretty Good At It. I Like Trains Too, But Who Doesn't?

Category: Publishing (page 2 of 3)

Writers Digest Self-Published Book Contest

For more information:

Online Indie Author Fringe Fest – March 18th

The Alliance of Independent Authors is hosting the Online Indie Author Fringe Event of 2017, which kicks off at 10 AM on Saturday March 18th (London Time – 4 AM Chicago time).  They have 24 hours of speaker sessions planned, and more speaker bios are being added all the time.

Some of the speakers and their topics:


For more information…

Open Sky Poets Call For Submissions!

Open Sky Poets will publish a print book of poems, short fiction, and essays. Recently we have seen the tide threaten to turn on time-honored values (freedom of the press, immigration, public education, etc.). The book, currently untitled, will provide a venue for civil discourse on American values. No rants or hate speech.

Open Sky Poets panel of editors will determine what will be published. Submissions, if accepted, may be edited by our panel. You will be contacted for permission regarding any changes. No payment will be made for poems, short fiction, or essays used in the book, but we will provide one free copy each to contributors. We request the first right of publication.

The book will be released in early fall.

Submission requirements:

  • Poems: 1 page in length, maximum
  • Short fiction: 1000 words, maximum
  • Essays: 1000 words, maximum
  • Open Sky Poets will accept only three submissions per author
  • Submissions must be in Microsoft Word or Word compatible (.doc, .docx, .rtf, or .txt file types) Do not send a PDF file.

Please email submissions to Lynne Handy at by July 31, 2017.

Writers: BBC Interview Worth a Listen

On the short interview:

  • Neil Gaiman on his new book: Norse Myths and writing
  • Mark Dawson (UK author), Alex Clark (literary critic at the Guardian) and Neil Gaiman on self-publishing

Listen to the interview.

Book Piracy

One of my clients enrolled his eBook in KDP Select. One of the requirements is that you agree to keep your eBook on Amazon exclusively while you are in KDP Select. Shortly after he received an email from Amazon claiming he had violated the exclusivity agreement. They found his book on some website based in Mexico. They probably have some software program that searches for these sites. I went to the site and, indeed, there it was. It was all in Spanish, but the Chrome browser offered to translate it for me. They were offering his book, but the format was not stated. It was for sale for $308 pesos, which at the current exchange rate was $15.15. That seemed quite steep for an eBook! Also, it said it would ship within 10 – 12 days, which also did not make sense.

I did some research online and found that book piracy, like music and DVD piracy, is rampant. Many books, especially ones that become popular, are offered for free download in PDF format. Others are for sale, but the articles I read said that many of the sites asking for money are credit card phishing scams (good thing I didn’t buy my client’s book – I was curious what they would send me).

How do the bad guys get the books? One article said they get them from the free giveaways that seem so popular lately! My client’s eBook has been around a while, and is pretty popular, so it could have been on the Mexican site before his giveaway, but the theory does make sense.

My client sent the following note to Amazon:

This work, XXXX is my first book. I wanted to get into KDP for the help it provides in getting attention to the book. I didn’t expect to see it hacked and in the hands of a Mexican Cartel.

You message advises me of actions that can be taken against me if I engage in activities that undermine Amazon’s conditions to have sole usage of the book for a period of 90 days. I have not engaged in any such activity.

I did not ask or authorize any site other than KDP to offer my book.

I will, if I can figure out how to send a a cease and desist letter to a piracy site, demand that they cease and desist.

I have, since receiving your message, learned that “book piracy” is rampant and doubt that any such letter if written and received by the gangsters running the site would result in their obeying my request.

Your group, Amazon, probably has the wherewithal to identify and locate the pirates. If you have information about the group doing the piracy, send it to me and I will turn it over to the Illinois Attorney General.

Best Regards

The next morning he had an email from Amazon saying basically “never mind.”

I agree with my client. It’s a lot to ask us individual indie writer / publishers to take on book piracy. Amazon, with all its legal and technical expertise, is far more capable to squish these scumbags like bugs.

I was able to find out a little about the site – I got a name connected to the domain, but no address or email. My client’s son is a lawyer, and he speaks fluent Spanish. So, maybe there will be a karma-filled follow-up to this story at some point!

However, as the following articles say, all is not doom and gloom. The people that troll for free PDF downloads were never going to buy your book anyway. Perhaps they will read it and leave a review. There’s not much we can do about it, as musicians and moviemakers have also found out.

Read more:

Advice From Romance Authors: The Value of Collaboration & Marketing Tips

We can learn a lot from successful indie authors in many genres!

It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that a successful indie romance author in possession of a good brand, must be incredibly marketing savvy. Thus is certainly the case with Alexa Riley, author of the recent New York Times bestseller Everything for Her (Carina Press), who first starting self-publishing with KDP and has amassed 159,000 ratings on Goodreads and nearly 20,000 reviews in just a few years.

Alexa Riley published about 30 books last year, and plans to deliver around 2 per month going forward. (Wow! Do I feel like a slacker!)

Read the entire article…

Book Marketing Advice

This came in the recent Goodreads newsletter. If you are not on Goodreads, or not getting their newsletter, you should be!

Last week, more than 650 publishing professionals and authors gathered in New York to learn about the latest trends in publishing and book marketing at Digital Book World. The Goodreads team was there typing furiously to capture as many interesting notes as possible.

Read the entire article…

Still Think Traditional Publishing is Better?

CJ Daugherty, who writes thrillers for young adults, claimed ghostwritten children’s books risked undermining readers’ trust. “We can tell ourselves that readers must know a C-List celebrity, famous for opening makeup boxes on YouTube, isn’t capable of writing an 80,000-word novel,” she told the Bookseller. “But the whole system seems designed to fool people into thinking they are.”

Authors’ incomes have fallen dramatically over the past 15 years, with many forced to give up writing full-time and find alternative employment to prop up earnings. According to data published by Queen Mary University for the Authors Licensing and Collecting Agency in 2014, only 10% of professional authors make £60,000 or more a year from writing, while the bottom 50% of authors earn less than £10,500. The bottom 50% of authors account for only 7% of the income earned by all writers put together.

Read the entire article…

Ebooks are Waning; Print Books Increasing? Not So Fast.

There have been reports, somewhat gleeful in tone, that claim that print book sales are rising, while ebook sales are declining.  Why some writers seem to think this is a good thing mystifies me. I understand the allure of printed books (the vast majority of books I read are print, though I love my Kindle when I travel). But, I still believe ebooks are the future and print will continue to decline. Are the reports correct? Well, it turns out a closer examination of the numbers tells a different story. First, what is being measured? The Nielsen numbers being reported don’t include books without an ISBN number, which would mean the vast majority of ebooks would not be counted!

From Fortune:

“In particular, sales of books that don’t even have industry standard ISBN numbers have increased…whatever the short-term market fluctuations might show, the overall trend in book publishing remains clear: Digital sales are going to increase, and print is likely to become a niche market over time, just as it is becoming in the newspaper and magazine industries.” Read the whole article.

And, print book increases are largely attributed to adult coloring books and YouTube star books (I don’t even know what those are). This is hardly a reason for writers to celebrate.

Also from Fortune:

Print Book Sales Are Up, But Don’t Start Celebrating Just Yet

“It would be nice if printed book sales were growing because people were buying the kind of intellectually challenging, literary works that book lovers tend to think of when they are dreaming about a return to print. But as it turns out, that’s not really the case.

So what was the biggest factor in sending print numbers higher? Booming sales of adult coloring books, and books published by YouTube stars such as PewDiePie, the Swedish-born celebrity who makes about $12 million a year playing video games for a living.” Read the whole article.

Finally, some other reporting from Digital Book World (admittedly a somewhat biased source):

  • The U.K’s biggest publisher, Penguin Random House, is closing its largest distribution center and is citing the reason as ‘an increase in the people reading ebooks.’ In the last sentence of the article, it states that print sales were down 5 percent while ebook sales were up 11 percent.
  • According to the New York Times, Ron Boire, the new CEO of Barnes & Noble, is leading a push to rebrand the company as a “lifestyle brand,” which includes removing more print books and expanding its offerings in games, toys and other gadgets. Sales are down 4.5 percent for the same quarter year-over-year, and the Barnes & Noble stock is down 20 percent. The company plans to close an additional 10 stores next year.
  • Wal-Mart has announced that it is committing $2 billion to expanding its digital footprint in 2016. The company is exploring new digital channels and opportunities in an effort to innovate at a speed similar to Amazon’s. This will most certainly affect all forms of media, including physical books and ebooks.
  • In 2015, readers borrowed more than 169 million ebooks from libraries, a 24-percent increase over 2014. This is a record number and a significant increase.  Read the entire article.

As authors we should not care what platform people choose to read our work and do whatever we can to promote literacy – regardless of the technology.

My New Book: Guns, Bourbon, and Kitten Videos: A Collection of Flash Fiction – Now Available on Kindle

GBKVCover-600x315I put together a collection of my flash fiction stories. Some have been published online elsewhere; some have never seen the light of day until now. Give them a try, after all the little book is only a buck – the same price as a small coffee at McDonald’s. Let me know what you think too. I’d appreciate hearing from you. You can get it from the Kindle bookstore or via Amazon.

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