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*** New Flat Rate Boxes from USPS *** Great for shipping five to ten books at a time: the new "Flat Rate" Priority Mail boxes from the US Postal Service. $7.70 for any weight, any zip code. Delivery in 2-4 days. Add .45 for delivery confirmation, well worth the extra postage. The box is free! ================================================================ *** USA Today: 2004 Books Sales Rise Slightly from 2003 *** Sales were up 1 percent for the first 50 weeks of 2004, compared to the same period in 2003, according to a report in USA Today. The small rise in book sales was attributed to deep discounts on some of the year's bestsellers and sales of gift books. ================================================================ *** Self-Published e-Book Reaches OEB Top 20 *** Scott Adams, the creator of the popular Dilbert cartoon strip, says "e-Books have been a substantial portion of my total book sales. I've reached a lot of readers who don't like the higher cost of hardcover books." Mr. Adams' self-published e-Book "God's Debris" is #19 on the OEB Forum bestseller list: http://www.openebook.org/bestseller/year04.htm. ================================================================ *** Poynter to Start World Tour *** Co-author Dan Poynter will be traveling to Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Canada and South Africa over the next few months. If you are located in one of these nations, please contact Dan to let him know about writing, publishing, speaking and aviation groups in your area: E-Mail: DanPoynter@ParaPublishing.com Web: http://ParaPub.com Phone: 800-PARAPUB ================================================================ *** Update on Ingram POD Book Stocking *** In late summer 2004, the Ingram Book Company, founder of leading POD printer LightningSource, announced it would no longer stock POD books in its warehouses. We speculate that this was caused by a glut of unsold vanity press books, clogging its facilities. In theory, this was a natural extention of a pure "on-demand" philosophy: printing books one at a time, only after they are ordered. However, in actual practice, it created a huge obstacle for more popular POD books. Retailers reacted immediately, downgrading their listings for many POD titles to reflect long delays in shipping, surcharges, and in some cases (hardbacks in particular) no longer offering them for sale at all. LightningSource reacted by offering to stock at least copy of each title, in an effort to ease the problems created by IBC going into the crucial holiday season. LSI also offered to work with retailers to streamline orders, with a goal of making POD titles competitive by April of 2005. During late 2004, retail orders for many POD books dropped because retailers often found POD titles out-of-stock and were reluctant to back-order. The impact was especially hard on the best POD titles; those that sell dependably, month after month. IBC simply did not keep up with demand, in its zeal to reduce inventories. Early in 2005, it appears that LSI and IBC have made modest progress convincing retailers to list POD books competitively. For example, hardbacks are no longer excluded, but typically show shipping in 1 to 3 weeks, rather than days. Paperbacks fare better in terms of shipping times, but many still appear as out-of-stock when retailers inquire. In summary, retailers remain reticent to place back-orders, regardless of how quickly they are filled. To make POD books competitive, IBC must address this issue. Until then, POD books remain at a disadvantage in mainstream book trade channels... especially those POD books that enjoy more than token public demand. Stay tuned for another update in April 2005. ================================================================ *** Write-In U-Publish.com *** If you benefit from our newsletter and Web site, please consider casting a write-in vote for U-Publish.com in the following poll: http://www.critters.org/predpoll/writerinfo.shtml ================================================================ *** 2005 Bookfests *** Series of Bookfests starting March 26, 11 am to 6 pm, Koko's Coffeehouse, 113 S. Broadway, New Philadlephia, Ohio 44663. Table space for this event is filled, but contact Dale Pierce for other events with open space to be announced soon: E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ================================================================ Please feel free to forward copies of this bulletin to your fellow authors and publishers. This is a free service that is available to anyone in the book world upon request. We don't endorse specific products or services, and we do not accept advertising. You may subscribe or un-subscribe at any time. ================================================================ *** Call for Essays *** "My name is Jillian Bullock and I am writing a book, 'Heart of a Champion,' which will feature females who have overcome a devastating disease or accident. Females who are interested can send me an e-mail, including an essay, under 500 words." E-Mail: email@example.com ================================================================ *** Networking Opportunity for Subscribers *** If you are a writer who needs essays or interviews like the item above, feel free to send your request to Poynter and Snow for possible inclusion in our newsletters, which reach many thousands of readers. Many of our subscribers are gifted writers, who can respond with quality material. Those who provide essays and interviews can benefit from added exposure. Getting your name more widely in print is always a plus. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ================================================================ *** Black Authors Directory is Now Online *** Preview: http://www.bapwd.com/BAPWDirectory.htm First of its kind, updated daily. ================================================================ *** eBrary and BookSurge to Target Int'l Library Market *** BookSurge and ebrary have announced a joint venture to offer print-on-demand books to libraries. With printing facilities in nine countries, this could enable libraries throughout the world to purchase POD books without prohibitive shipping costs or lengthy waits for delivery: http://www.ebrary.com ================================================================ Please feel free to forward copies of this bulletin to your fellow authors and publishers. This is a free service that is available to anyone in the book world upon request. We don't endorse specific products or services, and we do not accept advertising. You may subscribe or un-subscribe at any time. ================================================================ *** Reminder: Welcome Back to "The Book Connection" *** One of our favorite (and free!) newsletters will be returning in January: "The Book Connection" by Rita Mills, Executive Director of the American Book Cooperative. Contests, scam alerts, book events and more topics of interest to authors and independent publishers are covered. FMI: Rita Mills, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org ================================================================ *** Writing Competitions *** Gemini Mojo Press "Spill the Details" Dreamscape contest (due Jan. 31, no entry fee, win prizes): http://www.geminimojopress.com/contest.html 8th Annual Willa Literary Awards Competition (due February 1, 2005; $50 entry fee; win $100 and trophy): http://www.womenwritingthewest.org/ Iota Poetry Competition (due April 15, 2005; no fee for subscribers, £2 per poem for nonsubscribers; win £100): http://www.iotapoetry.co.uk/competition.htm Telluride IndieFest 2005 (August 31 - September 4, 2005) First Call for Entries (due January 31, 2005; save up to $15 on early entry): http://tellurideindiefest.com/ -- Tips courtesy of Janna Glatzer, AbsoluteWrite.com ================================================================