Friday, June 29, 2018

Writing Contests in Canada, USA, UK, and NZ


No entry fees!  Attractive prizes and glory for the lucky winners in these contests, plus lots of writing motivation.  Up to $60,000 prize money!  But hurry: contest deadlines will vary from July to September 2018.  And as always, carefully read the submission guidelines. 

Frieze Writers' Prize
Prize: GBP£2,000
Essay: Art Criticism.  Aspiring art critics are invited to submit one unpublished review of a recent contemporary art exhibition, which should be 700 words in length.  The winner will be commissioned to write a review for frieze magazine and will be awarded GBP£2,000.
Deadline: July 16, 2018.
Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
Prize: $25,000
Fiction. Restrictions: Titles must be published in Canada and written by Canadians. No self-published works. $25,000 will be awarded to a novel or short-story collection published between May 16, 2018, and September 30, 2018.  Prizes of $2,500 will be awarded to each of the finalists.
Deadline: July 18, 2018.
Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction 
Prize: $60,000; Finalists: $5,000.
Restrictions: Books must be English-language, first-edition trade books published by a Canadian press, written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Titles must be published between May 16, 2018, and September 30, 2018.  Genre: Literary nonfiction including, among other forms, works of personal or journalistic essays, memoirs, commentary, criticism both social and political, history, and biography.  Prize for the Winner: $60,000; Finalists: $5,000.
Deadline: July 18, 2018.
The Margaret and Reg Turnill Competition
Prize: £1,000
Restrictions: Writers must be 21 or under on July 23. (Those over 21 can enter for a fee.) Short story on the theme of "Peace." Length: 1,500 to 5,000 words. Prize: £1,000 and publication in the annual HG Wells Short Story Competition Anthology. 
Deadline: July 23, 2018.
Story of the Year Contest
Prizes vary by genre from $2,000 to $5,000
Short stories/nonfiction/novellas between 1000-15,000 words.  There are three prize categories and three grand prizes: Diversity Award ($3,000), Texas Award ($5,000 limited to Texans), and Character Award ($2,000).
Deadline: July 27, 2018.
Landfall Essay Competition
Prize NZ$3,000
Open to New Zealand writers.  An essay about New Zealand.  The winner will receive $3,000 and a year’s subscription to Landfall.
Deadline: July 31, 2018.

Prize: $50,000
The Writers’ Trust Fellowship annually awards one writer $50,000 for demonstrating exceptional creative ability and outstanding promise in their publications to date.  The Fellowship intends to free writers substantially from financial concerns and provide a window in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible.  Canadian citizens or permanent residents writing in English are eligible.
Deadline: early March of each year.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Foreign Rights & Translations for Your Book

Foreign Rights, as well as translations into other languages, can be a great way to leverage the value of your manuscript – but do not expect large book sales numbers right away. 

Revenue in royalties will be an advance and approximately 6 - 10% royalty of the retail price, minus a percentage for the agent. It's also a long-term project as it takes around 18 months until the book is translated and finally available online and in bookstores.
Foreign rights belong to your book's subsidiary rights.  Like other sub-rights, such as audio, movies, book clubs, paperback reprints, electronic rights, foreign rights can be sold and separated from your book’s primary rights - which you totally own anyway as an independent author-publisher.
Before you sign the contract
Always first contact your national writers’ association for further information and get legal advice from a lawyer who is specialized in copyright. This could save you several thousand dollars - if not more.
Let's Start With the Revenue You Get from Your Book’s Retail Price:Just the facts about earning possibilities for your book.
If you sell your book on your own website ca. 90 - 95%
Selling through Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple or other online retailers: up to 70%
Selling your manuscripts to a trade publisher, earns a (small) advance and ca. 8 - 10% royalties – but this will be subtracted from the advance and only if you “earn out” your advance, which means the book is really selling well, you receive royalties.
For most authors, the advance is all they really earn.
If You Want to Let Your Book Translate in World LanguagesYou can certainly just translate your book and sell it through online retailers worldwide. Most spoken languages besides English (albeit not necessarily e-book readers) are Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, German, Russian, Russian, Portuguese, Bengali, Japanese according to Wikipedia.
Start With Maximizing Your Foreign Presence - For FREETo maximize your presence in overseas Amazon Kindle stores, just set up an Author Central account in each of those country-specific sites where your book is available.

As Amazon divided the world in single countries, announce your Countdown Deals, new book launches or Free Kindle KDP Days in several languages: Order at a short translation of 10 tweets in Spanish, French, German etc. for $5 / 200 words. The countries with the most usage of eReaders, according to a survey of Bookboon are USA, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark etc.
A good idea would also be to join ALLI   
New rights services are growing up online to help authors meet rights buyers directly without having to travel to a book fair and using technology to extend reach. ALLi now has an arrangement with one of these, Pubmatch. Members have access to Putmatch's premium service through ALLI at a deeply discounted rate.  Pubmatch will facilitate communication, data warehousing and the simplification of rights marketing for publishers, agents, authors, and others, making it the go-to place for the international publishing community to find new titles and new talent.

International Book Fairs:
Do not just turn up at an international book fair, hoping to sell your book.  Meetings are arranged well in advance (4-6 months!) with acquisitions editors at international publishing houses. 

Top Publisher for French Foreign Rights
If you want to talk about foreign rights with a French publisher one of the biggest in the world, Hachette who is also partnering with Phoenix Publishing & Media Group in China, holds a 25% share of Atticus in Russia.
Top Publisher for Spanish Foreign Rights - Good for book sales in the USA too!
Planeta leads the world's Spanish-language publishing markets in Spain and Latin America.  The company has further strongholds in Portugal and France, where it owns Editis, the country’s second-largest group.  Grupo Planeta is present in 25 countries, with more than 100 imprints and a catalog of 15,000 titles.
Major agencies, specialized in Foreign Rights:
Choose your foreign rights agent carefully!Most agents charge 20% (or sometimes even 25%) on foreign sales. This 20% rate is justified because normally two agents are involved (the 2nd one is in the foreign country), and they end up splitting the commission.  If you are not represented already, why not try to find agents or even publishers yourself in other countries, especially if you speak more than one language?
There are things to watch when negotiating foreign rights deals – hopefully, an agent will keep an eye on these, but it’s worth knowing about it:
The term of the deal:
Five years is most common, anything longer then you should be expecting a premium from the publisher.
Country / Territory for the contract:
You might sign away Portuguese language rights without realizing that it will include publication in Brazil and Mozambique, Angola, Macau, Cape Verde etc.  Also, giving worldwide Spanish language rights could cause friction with any United States publishing deal, as there is a large Spanish reading audience in the US.
Tax situation in your and the potential publishers country: While there are now many treaties which allow for the uninhibited flow of money between countries, you could lose some of your advances to a foreign government’s tax.
Before Signing a Contract with an Agent or a Publisher 
How can an author tell if the company is good with foreign rights?  Ask about their previous sales!  Contact authors who work with that publisher or agent and ask them about their experience.  It’s also possible to find out the name of foreign publishers and go to their websites and see what books they have recently published.
Find out what authors the agency represents overseas, then ask those authors about their own experiences.

Again, foreign rights are only a portion of an author’s income, so that’s something to bear in mind.

Check your agreement with a translations rights agent carefully. Never, ever! give world rights away as standard, and you should also insist on a large upfront payment.

Read more:
In Gwen Ellery’s article are tips from foreign agents about the cultural difference - something very important!
John Penberthy, a successful writer, who searched the internet, found contact addresses of agents in other countries and contacted them directly.
Morris Rosenthal gives also great, detailed tips in his article about book contracts.
How You Can Sell your Rights or Split Your Book into Single Articles:
John Kremer sells helpful lists and reports for authors and an e-book with an extensive list of foreign rights agents

German Publishers Who Are Buying Foreign Rights:

Verlagsgruppe Droemer Knaur GmbH & Co. KGHoltzbrinck Verlagsgruppe
Hilblestraße 54 
D-80636 München


Bertelsmann VerlagVerlagsgruppe Random House
Rights Department/Lizenzabteilung 

Neumarkter Str. 28 
 D-81673 München

Verlag Klaus Wagenbach Emser Straße 40/41 10719 Berlin-Wilmersdorf Vertrieb Nina Wagenbach

Langen Müller Verlag + Herbig VerlagPfizerstr. 5-7  70184 Stuttgart

Belletristik, Biografien, Zeitgeschichte, Ratgeber, Populäres
Sachbuch, Musik, Theater, Bildbände, Reiseliteratur, Kochbuch
Foreign Rights - Elke Kienzle, Foreign Rights Managere.kienzle(at) 

Verlag Antje KunstmannMunich, Germany
Independent publishing house founded in 1976 publishing international fiction and non-fiction as well as audio-books, illustrated and gift-books.



Monday, June 18, 2018

9+ Tips on How to Promote Blog Posts

Content marketing of your books, e.g. blog articles, is not only done by writing it, but you need to spread the word.  The more visibility a blog article receives the more opportunities to sell the book or whatever you have for sale.  There isn’t a one-size-fits-all offline marketing strategy.  Explore your options.  Try a variety of strategies out.  Here are several ways to promote your book with a blog post and how to let it go viral:

1. Most important: Keyword-optimize your post and headline.  First things first, install sharing buttons on your blog to encourage readers to share your blog post with their friends and followers.

2. Post the permalink to your article on social media.  Take short snippets from your blog post and use those as tweets.  Make sure to use hashtags to gain more traction.

3. Rather than simply writing content for your blog, you will have more success by posting a bit of the content elsewhere in order to lead readers back to your blog postings.  Send the first few paragraphs to your subscriber list with a “read full article” with the permalink leading back to the blog post.

4. Post on Social Network groups, for example on Goodreads, LinkedIn, or GooglePlus you belong to that permit you to do so. Not all groups allow you to self-promote, so be sure to adhere to the group rules.

5. Post the blog post to "Slide Share". It’s amazing how quickly you can get hundreds of views for your posts on Slide Share. Invite readers to go to your blog to read more posts you’ve written.

6. Post the full article on 3 – 6 top article directories. In the resource box you can direct readers back to your blog with something like, “For more articles by __________ go to __________.”

7. Add your post to blog communities.  There are plenty of locations that allow you to promote your blog post.  An image of the book cover is a must.

8. Stay on top of comments posted about the post and respond in a timely manner. The more interaction you have with your readers, the better.

9. Add video to your blog posts. Video plays an important role in gaining interest and traction for your efforts. A short 30-second video can do wonders to generate excitement.

Ask readers to take some type of action at the end of the post.  This could be to leave a comment, opt-in for something, buy your book or simply hit one of the social media sharing buttons. The more you can get readers to take an action, the better.

Find more tips here:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Myth and Truth About Taxes Paid by Immigrants

One of the biggest misconceptions about undocumented immigrants is that they don’t pay any taxes - which is absolutely not true...

The Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington, DC, think tank, suggests that about half of undocumented workers in the United States file income tax returns. The most recent IRS data, from 2015, shows that the agency received 4.4 million income tax returns from workers who don’t have Social Security numbers, which includes a large number of undocumented immigrants. That year, they paid $23.6 billion in income taxes.

Dashed Hopes...
Filing taxes helps immigrants create a paper trail to show when they entered the country and how long they’ve been contributing tax dollars. Many are hoping it will help them get legal status one day. That has happened in past reform efforts, and one of the first requirements is usually to prove that a person has been paying taxes. With the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, however, their chance of getting papers seems remote for now. Comprehensive immigration reform failed in Congress, but Immigrants are still paying their taxes every year.

Unauthorized immigrants boost funding for the Social Security system.
A portion of the payroll tax withheld from undocumented immigrants — like all workers — goes to the retirement trust fund at the Social Security Administration. In 2013, the agency reviewed how much money undocumented workers contributed to the retirement trust fund. The number was astonishing: $13 billion in one year.

Read all the details in this story:


Monday, June 4, 2018

Your Amazon Bestsellers Rank Explained

Please bear in mind that Amazon does not explicitly state how the "Bestsellers Rank" is calculated. The information below is based on research, deduction, and on the processes of elimination.

What is the Amazon Bestsellers Rank?
In all book categories (including Kindle paid and free books), as well as most product categories on Amazon, you will see it says Amazon "Bestsellers Rank".  It requires to scroll down the page to the "Product Details" section.  This number is calculated hourly (as stated by Amazon).  And it is linked to the number of recent sales of the product - while also taking into account historical sales data - relative to the other products in your specific category.

Your Rank is Based on SALES, not Reviews or Ratings
A common misconception about the Bestsellers Rank is that it takes into account more than simple sales, but it seems this idea is completely untrue.  This rank takes into account only sales - recent and historical, more on this later.  This means that a rank is not representative of cumulative sales (or overall sales volume), but more on how a product has been selling very recently compared to others in its category.

According to Amazon, the Bestsellers Rank is calculated hourly, but sometimes there is a lag between an increase in sales and an improvement in a ranking.  An article on WebProNews, mentions that, in the books category, only the top 10,000 books are calculated hourly, whereas books with a ranking of 10,000+ are calculated once per day with current projections as well as historic sales information play a key role in calculations.
Books are weighted the same, whether free or paid.

As the Amazon Bestsellers Rank is relative to other products in a category, an increase in sales alone isn't enough to increase rankings. To increase the Bestsellers Rank, your product must sell more units than other products in your category.

Along similar lines, if your book is selling a steady one unit per day, but some of your competitors start to sell more than you, then your rank will fall (i.e. the number will get higher), even if your sales remain steady.  Predictive features are also built into the algorithm.

Recent sales alone are not all thatís taken into account.  Amazon also has predictive features built into the Bestsellers Rank, which are likely to be based on historical data of a product.  This is how a newly released book can have a higher ranking than a book released three years ago, even when the latter has more cumulative sales.  Amazon can predict that the new release will overtake that book in a given period of time.

When it comes to ranking highly on the Amazon Bestsellers lists, as the ranks are based hourly (or daily if the above information is correct), then a quick spike in sales due to a successful marketing campaign, followed by a lull in sales a couple of days later will only serve to see the productís rankings quickly plummet.

It is far better to stretch out a product launch over a period of weeks - so Amazon can collect consistent historical data to make predictions on future sales.  It will make it easier for you to break into higher spots on the ranking table in future.

Amazon Best Seller Rank 50,000 to 100,000 - selling close to 1 book a day.

Amazon Best Seller Rank 1,500 to 3,000 - selling 70 to 100 books a day.

Amazon Best Seller Rank 350 to 500 - selling 175 to 250 books a day.

Amazon Best Seller Rank of 1 to 5 - selling 4,000+ books a day.

There are plenty of other bestseller lists and rankings which you can base your book buying decision on, but Amazon’s "Bestsellers Rank" is by far one of the most cited.

Read the full article here:


Books by Doris-Maria Heilmann:

111 Tips to Create Impressive Videos:
How to Plan, Create, Upload and Market Videos

111 Tips To Make Money With Writing

The Art of Making a Living Full-time Writing
An Essential Guide for More Income as Freelancer

111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free:

Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book’s Success   

111 Tips to Get Free Book Reviews:
Best Strategies for Getting Lots of Great Reviews 

1,200+ reviewer contact links

111 Tips to Create Your Book Trailer

How to Create, Where to Upload and How to Market Your Videos

Book Marketing on a Shoestring: 

How Authors Can Promote their Books Without Spending a Lot of Money