Wrap-up of fall meetings

September — Our meeting about book award contests provided a lot of information about choosing which ones to enter. More will be written about book awards on our new website but when determining which ones to enter research the organization to understand which ones are legitimate and which ones are more about taking your money. Questions to consider include:

  • Do they provide feedback about your book?
  • Do they list the names of judges?
  • Do they publicize the finalists and winners to help with your marketing?

There are many more considerations and not all have easy answers but it’s important to know what you’re getting for your money.

October — Our Amazon discussion proved how complicated the topic of publishing/printing/selling with Amazon is. The discussion will continue because the complications and questions continue. Again, a more detailed report will be on our new website.

November — Plagiarism isn’t a huge problem but is happening (and is easier) with ebooks. An article in The Atlantic, “Stealing Books in the Age of Self-Publishing” (http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/06/plagiarism-in-the-age-of-self-publishing/485525/), explains the issue and follows one court case.

Piracy, of course is a much bigger issue. Most of it is generated overseas, out of reach of U.S. authorities. We’ll continue to research and report but it seems that many of the sites don’t really have the books. They make money from advertisers you must click through to get to the “books.” In other words, they’re often a form of fake news.

BookMobile’s Amy Dvorak and Arna Wilkinson presented a program explaining the in’s and out’s of ebooks and why they aren’t as easy to produce as it may appear. They talked about the different platforms and what each can and cannot do. A recording of the meeting will be on our new website.

December — Thanks to all who braved the zero-degree weather to join us for our holiday party. Laughter, discussions, wine, and fantastic cookies made for a great party to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and share publishing information and experiences.