Publishing Particulars for Draft2Digital

Read below for my special offer for authors!

As many of my fellow authors know, Pronoun is closing down.  Pronoun was actually a really great eBook publishing platform, and gave authors a great profit share.  Probably too great – since they are shutting down.  Anyway I’ll miss them.

On a recommendation, I gave Draft2Digital a try.  I found the conversion and formatting easy, the eBook templates varied and nice looking, and the interface was awesome!  Profit share is still good, too, and they distribute to multiple vendors.  They do provide universal links for ease in marketing, and there’s even a neat feature where your readers can sign up for email alerts for you publish a new book.

I had one little issue with one of the vendors, but the Draft2Dgital rep was responsive friendly and corrected it immediately.  So far I’ve had nothing but good to say about them.  I like retaining control over my books, and being able to price them at any rate I wish, without paying up front.  I also like how you can set any payment threshold you want, and they pay you via an assortment of methods.

So that brings me to my special offer, particularly for authors!  If you follow my affiliate link and join, then send me a message or an email, I’ll feature you in an author interview to promote your new book.

Just follow the link here!  My email address is on the About page.

That link, if you want to save it, is:  https://www.draft2digital.com/mindflight

If you want to see what one of their universal book pages looks like, check this out:

https://www.books2read.com/u/mdNP2W

 

Happy creating!

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/particular/

Pronoun’s shutting down and I’m feeling Faint

Pronoun was a great self publishing resource that was run by McMillan, the publishing company.  It offered great terms for authors, a top notch interface, and awesome distribution.  I’m sad to see it closing because it worked so well.

It came as something of a shock.  The other day I logged into my email, and there it was – the notification.  I definitely had a sinking feeling when seeing that.  On the bright side, though, I know a lot more about eBooks than I used to.

Now I’ll have to migrate my books over to Amazon or some other service, and also do the same for my father’s stuff that we published together.  I’ll now be dealing with multiple editions as well, since there will be a Pronoun edition as well as an Amazon edition.  I’m sure I’ll find a way with deal with it but it’s still a big pain in the neck.

If anyone out there wants the scoop on what’s happening, here’s a link to the FAQ.  Pronoun is staying open till after the holidays so authors can finish up any sales they might have going.

http://support.pronoun.com/knowledge_base/topics/pronoun-shutdown-faq

It’s too bad, really, and I’ll miss the service.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/faint/

How to Respectfully Fire a Client

I don’t like to fire clients.

I really don’t.

Especially when I know they are going to have a hard time finding someone else to do what I do, or if it’s going to be a financial hardship for me.  Besides, it’s scary.  I hate being disapproved of or disappointing people.  I have trouble putting myself first.

However, sometimes it needs to happen, for a number of reasons.

Why fire a client anyway?

Each freelancer has their own “hard limits.”  That line they won’t cross.  It’s best if you decide that before you even start work, so when you encounter that situation, you already know how to react.

Here’s an example of what I mean. 

I had been working with a friend of the family for years.  This individual hadn’t been the easiest person to work with, yet I finished several projects.  The content of the books this person wrote had massive inaccuracies and they refused to correct anything.  I continued assisting this person because I figured “well, if they want to do this, it’s on their head” even though I really didn’t feel right about helping spread bad information. However, I knew they were not the richest person in the world and I wanted to help them achieve their dream of being published.  I was on the fence about it but not quite at the firing stage.

A few days ago, they came to me with another book proposal.  Because of past issues I had said I would no longer do any art or editing but would assist with preparing the books for publication.  When I actually read the manuscript I was appalled! Without going into detail, this “children’s book” actually had descriptions of animal abuse and torture and contained mentions of sexually transmitted diseases.  In a children’s book!  It was an odd hybrid of an alphabet book for toddlers and something aimed for sixth grade or older.  This book, by the way, was also wildly inaccurate with many of it’s “facts.”

They had crossed the line.

So, I wrote up a letter.  My spouse helped me make sure it was clear and professional, helped me chop out some clunky verbiage.  I was not rude, but I was direct.  It’s never easy to fire a client, and part of me regrets this because I know the author meant well.  They were trying to help people with learning disabilities.  However, I think their passion for the project overrode their good sense, and since they never were good about taking editing suggestions, the only option I was left with was to fire them.  If they had been better at working with an editor, we probably could have salvaged the book – which is too bad, the illustrations were gorgeous, and the intent was laudable.

Here are some tips I hope are helpful for other freelance authors and artists.

Tips for Firing Clients

Stay professional in all ways.  Never, ever, ever be rude.

Avoid blaming language.  Use “I statements” instead of “you statements.”

Avoid excessive explanation.  You don’t have to defend yourself, and defensiveness will make others think you were in the wrong.  You weren’t if you thought this through properly, so don’t explain too much.

Watch out if your client won’t accept feedback, no mater how gently put.

Don’t run your clients down.  Not then, not ever.  It makes you look bad to other potential clients.

Keep everything simple and clear in your last letter.

Maintain meticulous records and back them up.  Especially, keep records of your final email to the client.  This will help protect you if they decide to sue.

Don’t Panic.  If they decide to sue, or threaten you, keep your cool, seek help if you need it, and keep your towel handy.

Don’t compromise your principles.  Not once, because if you do it once, you will do it again.  Just make sure your principles are fair and reasonable first.

Fire clients only after serious thought, and never over anything minor.

Remember, sometimes firing a client is the wakeup call they need to moderate their behavior.  You could be doing them a favor.  For example, if I had published the book I mentioned above, the author might have encountered angry parents, internet scorn, and even death threats.  If the author went on to publish it elsewhere without considering the points I made in my termination notice, it’s on their head not mine.  I gave them the chance to improve whether they took it or not.

Also keep in mind, no matter how irritated you might be at a client, or no matter how sorry you might feel for them, there are lines that no one can make you cross.  Staying positive and professional in all your communications will help you in both cases.  Then if they are disappointed, angry, or hurt, you know you did the right thing – and you can prove it.

As a footnote, I don’t actually wish anything bad for that client.  I hope they learn from what I said in my final letter, and I hope they also learn to take in constructive criticism and advice.  That will allow them to grow and maximize their potential instead of circling around in a self created prison, shut off from the fresh air of feedback. 

 

“To err is human, to admit your mistakes and fix them is professional.”

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/glaring/

Freelancer tip: Avoid clients who pay… later.

Payment can be a tough subject for many of us who are freelancers.  Yet, it’s important!  After all, why are we working?  Sure, we truly enjoy our craft, whether it be writing, visual art, graphic design, crafts, or whatever the case may be.  But we don’t do it purely for love.  We do it because we need something to pay the bills and put food on the table.

That’s why today’s post is dedicated to that most uplifting of prose, “pay to the order of.”  We’ll talk about pay, getting paid, and things to do to make sure you get paid!  If anyone has questions, feel free to ask and I’ll probably add it on as another question.

Tips for Freelancers:

Set clear expectations.

Have a place on your website that explains when you expect to be paid, how much, and when.  Then you will have a leg to stand on when someone starts to argue.  For an example, check out my commissions page:  http://rohvannynshaw.com/commissions/

Have a contract.

This helps both client and creator understand the terms of the deal, and protects both if something goes wrong.  When is pay expected?  When is the work supposed to be complete?  What is the scope of the work, and how many rounds of editing are allowed before the client needs to pay more?  This prevents clients from adding extra things or deciding to pay… later.  Keep all copies and send the contract in a PDF if you have to email it, that way nothing can be changed.

Price fairly.

This means not pricing too high, but it also means not pricing too low.  Do research in your field, and see what other people doing similar work get paid.  If you price too high, you may not get customers.  If you price too low, you devalue other people’s work and you also may drive customers off.  After all, no one likes to buy at a fire sale.

Keep all records.

I said it above, but it bears repeating.  Don’t just keep the contract.  Also keep all emails (preferably archived in PDF format) related to the project, all materials provided to you, and any other correspondence.  Keep it in a separate folder and if possible archive it on a thumb drive, just so you have it ready to hand in case you need it.  This way, if someone takes legal action against you, or you need to do the same, you’ll have everything and won’t have to go hunting around.

Don’t discount.

Family and friends are famous for asking for “buddy discounts.”  The trouble with this is, they often start offering that same discount to their own friends.  Pretty soon every available client seems to think they should get the family rate.  I didn’t think this would happened to me and it did – so it can happen to anyone.  It can happen to you.  So price fairly and then if they give you static, calmly explain that this is the going rate for professional work.

Don’t “do it for the clicks.”

Doing work for exposure only goes so far.  I write for free on this blog and I feature artists and authors for free.  However, I never do art, editing, or manuscripts for free.  You can’t eat clicks, you can’t pay bills with exposure.  Not only that, but every time someone does something for free it drives down the value of what other freelancers do!

Fire clients if you have to.

It can be scary to fire a client.  You may think “I’ll never find another,” or “how am I supposed to work if I fire my clients?”  So I’m not saying to fire every client, or to do it quickly and easily.  However, some people are just not worth your valuable time or stress level.  If you have a client who keeps trying to get you to lower your rates after you’ve agreed on a price, or if they treat you badly, or if they make it impossible to do a good job, fire them.  Do it simply, do it calmly, and you don’t have to explain why.

Set limits on how much you will do for a certain fee.

If you write, put a clause in your contract saying “includes three rounds of editing.”  You can do something similar for art.  If you build websites, find out up front  how many pages you’ll be designing.  Think similarly for any other project.  Otherwise, you may have a client who creates a seemingly endless project for one low starter fee.

Don’t undersell the competition by too great a margin.

If everyone is designing book covers for $200-$500, don’t say “hey, I’ll do just as good a job for ten bucks!”  You’ll see this all over DeviantArt.  People will do amazing work for five or ten dollars, or even for free.  Now, the artists are just thinking about having fun and not considering the effects of what they are doing.  However, you have a choice.  For every freelancer who offers services at rock bottom prices, other freelancers can’t put food on the table because people are using the ultra-cheap options offered by the irresponsible freelancers.  Sites like Fiverr.com, by offering extremely low prices, are ultimately harming the industry.  Don’t be part of that trend.  Remind your clients and potential clients that they get what they pay for, and can rely on  you to provide professional, responsible service at a fair price.

Be responsive to questions.

When someone asks a question about you or your business, be friendly, informative, and respond quickly.  This is especially true if they contact you via your contact link on your website.  One of the great things about hiring a freelancer is being able to communicate openly with them, so help people see that advantage by being there.

Be punctual and professional.

Similarly, if there is a time expectation set, meet or exceed that expectation.  Use good business style in all your communications.  Be unfailingly polite and cheerful.  Explain things clearly and answer all questions.  If there is a misunderstanding, be as clear as you can and try to help your client understand.  Sometimes misunderstandings can be as simple as a different use of language, and easily solved with a few questions.

Being a freelancer can be a lot of fun and a very rewarding career.  Following these tips will help it be even better!

via Daily Prompt: Later\

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/later/

Legitimate Author Loses Amazon Publishing Account

There’s this indie author I know a little bit from the Kboards.com forum. Her name is Pauline Creeden, and she’s an ordinary midlister, like so many of us. I remember PMing her some time ago and gushing about how particularly beautiful one of her book covers is—the one for Chronicles of Steele: Raven. Here, I’ll include […]

via THINK YOU COULDN’T POSSIBLY LOSE YOUR AMAZON PUBLISHING ACCOUNT? THINK AGAIN. — Adidas Wilson

New eBook: “Self-Publishing Made Easy.”

Within the next few days, my new eBook will be available.  In it is all the material on the “Self Publishing” tab on my main site, plus a lot of additional information, clarification, and suggestions.  I hope everyone likes it and finds it useful.  It’s short, easy to read, and to the point.  Best of all, it’ll be sold for only 99 cents!

Stay tuned, I’ll make another announcement when it’s available for everyone.

 

self-publishing-cover-900