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Questions Answered for Readers and Authors
Administrator Note: There are two sections here – one for readers and everyone, and one mostly for authors and would be authors. We hope that you will read this because it answers many of the questions that people have raised with us.
Our second objective is to recruit, educate, organize, train and finance an army of citizen-democrats in order to reform and reshape our elections and ethics in the democracies to cure the underlying real causes of our current crisis. Simply put -- we are asking you to join us in this effort.
12. If you are successful, where do you think you will find your support? Frankly, we realize that the perfection of democracies have always been accomplished by small, highly organized groups of dedicated citizens. During the American Revolution, only about one in three citizens had any real commitment to the cause, and the entire effort was pushed forward by less than 1000 serious leaders committed to the cause. Most Americans, even when they agree with our goals, are too busy, lazy, preoccupied with their personal problems, or otherwise engaged even to read about the problem – much less do anything about it. We are looking for readers who do not fit this description, but who are willing to sign on for a long term effort to reform our institutions. We hope that we can attract serious, long-term oriented citizens of all ages who are willing to do the persistent work required to build an army of citizen-democrats, and who will provide a political leadership dedicated to these changes. Such people know who they are, and they only ask – what can I do to help? We would rather find 100 of these kinds of people rather than thousands who want to distract us with issues and debate that goes nowhere! Those who feel the same ways we do will know instantly that they belong with us after reading what we are all about.
Part II: For Authors: Writers Beware Check List - With Answers
1. Background: There is an entire industry out in the marketplace designed to provide services to authors, and many of these are scams, ineffective and unfair to authors. The following is the lists of things on writer beware, and how it relates to our very legitimate enterprise.
2. Fee charging: Do you charge upfront fees? We charge authors no fees at all at the present time! However, we expect you to submit only samples of work that are already accepted for publications on other eBook sites – Amazon.com, Nook, iTunes, etc., and we will only accept samples at the moment that are in doc, docx, and pdf.. Your sample must have an embed Web address where readers can purchase your full book if they wish. Finally, you have to provide us with an unlimited right to allow our readers to download your samples.
3. Eventual Commission Selling: Do you charge commissions on the sale of my books? Not at the moment! As soon as we develop a bank-end accounting system for authors, we will come to all of our authors and ask to have the right to sell their books and works directly to our readers – with a 30 percent sales commission kept by the site. All of the commissions will be reinvested to grow this site into a place for readers, worldwide, in the millions – readers who share with us a commitment to democratic reform of our political institutions.
4. Paid editing or publishing referrals: Do you recommend editors or publishers, from whom you receive a commission? We are not editors and we do not want to be editors, and we will not recommend editors or publishers. We assume that our author's take responsibility for the preparation of a clean, thoroughly proofed manuscript, in a standard format that is ready for listing on our site. We insure this condition by only accepting samples that are currently for sale elsewhere. If you do not have a proof reading agency (and most of us need professional proofreading), we have arranged a special, fifteen percent discount with www.Scribendi.com in Canada, whose services we ourselves have used, and you are free to use them or any proofing service you choose. We do not receive any fees for recommending them! We are creating a new page, called Resources, which will list resources for authors with which we have ourselves had some experience.
5. Conflicts of interest: Do you have conflicts of interests with agents or publishers? NO! We are not agents. We do not represent authors. We are not publishers of traditional hard or soft copy books, and we do not recommend publishers. We do not recommend editors. You are free to select any agent of your choice, and you own the copyright to your work. We do market unpublished new eBooks of fiction, nonfiction and memoirs for our authors. We will market our site to agents and to interested publishers, who are just as free as any reader to sample your work and to purchase a copy if they like, wherever you have it for sale.
6. No track record: Do you have an established track record? We are at this point a startup enterprise, specifically designed to provide a very large number of extremely frustrated authors an opportunity to find readers and buyers of their works. Your sales on other sites will be determined by the quality of the manuscript, the enthusiasm of the readers, and the growth of those who want to experience new voices in literature, politics and political reform. We depend heavily on our authors to market their manuscripts on our site to their contacts, friends and family, and on the social networks. In this manner, we all benefit from the efforts of each other. This is precisely what makes this an author’s cooperative. We will provide you with a copy of every blog written, embedded in an email or as an attachment, which you can forward to your friends and family members for their consideration. The logic for authors is ridiculously simple – the more readers you bring to the site, the more every author will benefit, including you!
7. How will you market our eBooks? First, once your manuscript is uploaded and available, an email will be sent to all readers registered on the site along with your description of the manuscript and one of our reader’s reviews. Second, we will market continuously to build up the number of registered readers and writers. Third, we will expect our authors to market the site by marketing the blog by Dr. Black, and others among our bloggers, to people whom they believe are interested in this genre and the problems of our modern democracies. Third, we will attempt to promote the site on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and the other social media. Finally, we will conduct a marketing effort with a dedicated list of approximately a half million people with email addresses.
8. Nonstandard author-agent contract terms: Do you expect authors to sign a contract? No contracts at all! You are free to remove your samples at any time. Your marketing is an honor agreement with the rest of us – if we promote you, you are expected to promote the rest of us, and together we will build an audience for what we have to say. When we reach the point that we can sell your work with proper accounting and reporting, we will sell it with a commission of 30 percent to the site, with the remaining revenues passing directly to you or to an agent that you might have representing you. At that point, just will with any of the retailers, we will ask you to sign an online contract that gives us permission to sell your work and describes royalitis.
9. Ownership of your Manuscript: Who will own my manuscript if I list with your site? We have the right to download a sample of your manuscript to our readers free of charge. You own the manuscript. You are free to sign a contract of representation with anyone, with no fees to us. If and when you secure an agent and publisher, we will agree to remove your manuscript sample from our site until the time when the book is finally published. However, you are required to allow us to promote your success story on our site as a way to encourage others. Finally, when we have the reporting system in place, we will sell you book to our readership under whatever terms you have with an agent.
10. Misrepresentations of skill or experience: Are you making claims of experience or skill of which authors should be aware? Dr. Black spent a lifetime as an academic political scientist, well-known pollster and owner of the Harris Poll, and he created Harris Interactive, which under his leadership became the fastest growing and most most profitable market research firm in the world. He has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis and a Doctorate in Political Science from Stanford University. He is, at the moment, solely responsible for the content of this site, and he will adhere to the highest standards of intellectual vigor, analysis, quality, and candor. He is a political independent, a supporter of Ross Perot in the 1993-96 period, and he is supporting no candidate in 2012, He will determine the content that is posted here. He has no affiliation, formal or informal, with any political party or movement. He does have a growing number of advisers to the site who he relies on for input into everything. He describes his political views of that of a free market/civil liberitarian, which makes him a fiscal concervative on fiscal issues and a social liberal on the social issues. However, he believes that all of this is irrelevant to the pursuit of political and election reform.
11. A mutual pledge of fairness and equity: What should authors expect in our business dealings with your site? Our relationship with each author is important to us. We pledge to attempt to sell your manuscript to our readers to the best of our ability. We pledge to enhance the collective quality of all of the manuscripts on our site, and to remove work that is found by our readers not to be acceptable. Finally, we will do nothing to injure your opportunities to publish your manuscript through a traditional agency representation or with a traditional publisher. We ask you to pledge to write to the best of your ability, to help us with the marketing of your manuscript, to agree to remove your manuscript if our readers object, and to remove your manuscript if you acquire traditional representation. Remember, we are mutually marketing your manuscript, but you are selling it through other eBook sites.
12. Listing with multiple sites: Can I post my manuscript for sale with multiple sites? Absolutely! Your objective is to maximize the sales of your manuscript, and we are part, but not all, of that process. We expect you to list your manuscript with other on line publishers and retailers. All online publishers and retailers will attempt to increase the number of people who buy though their site, and there will be a number of companies that sell successfully online. Some of these will be traditional publishers who have their own online sites, but others will be independent organizations such as us. It is in your interest to get as wide an exposure as possible, by listing your work for publication on multiple sites. Anyone who tells you differently is not being honest with you.
13. The Effects of self-publishing: Will I injure myself with online posting of my books for sale? You are going to have to use your common sense when evaluating claims by people who say they know the answer to this question! We have been asking traditional agents this question now for months, and not one of them has come back to assert that online independent self-publishing injures your chances at representation or traditional publishing. Several agents have told us that successful sales on line will interest agents and publishers alike. The people who claim that self-publishing or eBook publishing will injure your chances at traditional publishing have no evidence to support that claim – other than their own, generally unstated, self-interest.
14. The Growth of eBook Sales: What is the future of eBooks? The world of publishing is changing very rapidly, and eBook sales are exploding, with triple digit growth, while traditional hard and soft cover book sales contracting rather sharplyy, at 6 to 10 percent per year. We believe that many new authors, who cannot succeed easily in this contracting traditional market, will find audiences on line, over time. That is the reason we are listing our own manuscripts on this site and for sale on Amazon.com, and others. Personally, we think that it is just plain foolish not to take advantage of the possibilities of online sales. The returns to the authors are vastly higher on each book sold, so that an author can make a decent income with fewer sales.
15. What do I have to lose if I list and mark with IndieLitWorld.com? Nothing, absolutely nothing! The benefits are real and immediate. We provide you with real feedback, from readers, before we will list your book. We require you to proof read the manuscript completely. We help you to get a cover if you feel the need for a cover. We will promote your book to readers in the genres in which it is located. We will create a community of interest for your book, with reviews from people who liked it, and you can use that information with agents and publishers. All of this will happen without waiting months and sometimes years for publication. If you book is outstanding, the audience will grow for it through word of mouth, because we intend to encourage our readers to recommend books that they really enjoy. If your book has problems, you will find out about them so that you can correct them – objective comments from people who are anonymous to you. The founder of IndieLitWorld.com, Dr. Gordon Black, is putting his money where his mouth is, and he is posting three finished novels, a memoir and three short stories, on this site, and he will pour all of his royalties from sales back into the marketing effort to expand the reader base.
16. Will you help with publishing my manuscript as an eBook on one of the eBook sales site? The answer is no – we simply do not have the time or the personnel. We are only interested in marketing works that have already gone through this process and gotten posted for sale on their own. In this manner, you will be already properly formatted for downloading, you will have a cover, and you will be ready for sale through the links within your sample.
17. Start uploading your manuscript today: Please join us. The site is still under development, and while it is getting easier, it is not perfect. The specifications for the covers are on the site, but we will help you convert the covers if they will not upload. Your samples can be either: DOC, DOCX (the latest version) or PDF – up to 50 pages, including cover pages. You should remember to embed your chosen retail sale site both at the beginning and at the end of your sample so that readers, who want to buy your book, can go directly to a retailer of your choice to do so.