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January, 2008

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Neubauer's Nuggets
No problem is too big or too small for our Joan
By  Joan R. Neubauer

Each month, award-winning author Joan R. Neubauer will answer questions from you, her readers. She will answer questions about writing, promotion, publishing, and any other aspect of the publishing industry you can think of. Send your questions to her emailbox at SUBJECT Neubauer Nuggets and maybe yours will be the question she answers next month.

Press Kit Power

Q: Dear Joan,

Hi. Have a question or two.

I wrote a book called Shaking The Rattle: Healing The Trauma Of Colonization and it was published by Theytus Books in 1996. In about 2001-02 I established Shadyhat Books and Arts and put the book back in print with Insta Books Canada, a print-on-demand printer. Theytus had sold out their inventory and had no interest in reprinting.

This book contains short stories, poetry and narrative essay on healing and recovery from addictions and abuses and it includes Native spirituality, but is not a how-to book.

I did have the book for sale on-line with a company that I have since found out is selling it for $20 plus shipping and there is no guarantee how much shipping will cost. The book is not $20, it is $16.95 and I want it sold for that. I didn't write the book to make millions, I wrote the book to help people. And I am not making millions because I do not get the extra money -- the company does.

My question. Do you know if takes books that are print-on-demand? If so, how do I get them the information on that book. (My book was on when it was in print through Theytus.) If that isn't possible, do you know how to get the word out that it is still in print, under a new ISBN and new publisher?

Hope this isn't too confusing.


A: Dear Helen,

To answer your question, yes, Amazon does accept Print on Demand (POD) books. You need only set up an Advantage account, give them the necessary information, and then they will confirm whether or not they received the information. They will then probably order a book or two for their inventory.

However, you seem upset because someone online is selling your $16.95 book for $20. I havenít seen your book, but have you considered that perhaps your book is worth $20? Also, we live in an economy where businesses practice free enterprise. While this one bookseller has the freedom to sell your book for $16.95, Amazon also has the freedom to sell it for $12.95 if they so choose ó and they most often choose to heavily discount books. Would you be upset by the discounted price? Some authors donít like the discounts. Others donít mind.

Iíd advise you to raise the retail price to $20, and this will help you accomplish a couple of different things. First, you will earn a few more dollars on each sale. Second, when Amazon picks up your book and discounts it, it will be closer to the $16.95 price you really want. Third, you can afford to offer the usual 40% discount to booksellers, which will encourage them to stock your book. From your description, it sounds as though Shaking The Rattle is a niche book especially attractive to specialty bookstores. And remember, the more stores that stock it, the more people it can help.

Handling Rejection

Q: Dear Joan,

Iíve been trying to get published but all I get are rejection letters. I realize this is all part of what I have to face as a writer, and Iíve only been trying to get published for about six months, but what do I do with these rejections? Some people say to save them. Others tell me to throw them away. What do I do?

Mary Stevens

A: Dear Mary,

Donít throw them away! Keep them. File them. At the end of the year when you file your tax return, you should have your rejections in a neat little file, ready to show an auditor just in case you get audited. They will prove that you are indeed a working writer and that writing is not a hobby. They will prove that you are actively pursuing publication. You just havenít been able to get published yet.

But donít give up. Hang in there and keep writing and submitting. You know, the only difference between those writers who succeed and those who donít, is that those who succeed never give up. I wrote for three years before I sold my first pieces for real money. Things just sort of snowballed from there. So never give up.


Good luck in the future. Keep writing and keep selling!
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Joan R. Neubauer is an author and works as a publisher at Joan invites you to visit her website at or to drop her an email at You can sign up for WordWright's monthly email newsletter at the site as well.

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