In this Issue:
Letter from the Editor
by Chrispian H. Burks
Article: Earning Pocket Change
by Richard Dani
Article: Publishing with iUniverse
Article: Self Publishing Round Up
Chrispian H. Burks
Letter From the Editor
By Chrispian H. Burks
I know, we are running a bit late this issue. I assure you, it's all my fault!
Though I could bore you with details (I usually do, don't I?) I'll refrain and get to the
point. As I mentioned last time, there are big changes in the works at Lit.Org. The biggest
being a new look. It won't be a drastic change. Those of you who have been with the site
for a long time know I do things in stages. Most of the major changes are done a little piece
at a time. The site evolves rather than suddenly mutating.
Why change things at all? Well, for one, the current design has gotten stale. It needs to
powder it's nose and freshen up. It's not going to be a different site when you see it, but
it'll sure be ready to hang out with you for another year! The visual style will be much improved
along with making it easier to navigate.
Beyond the look of the site are several feature updates. These have been going on all along and will
continue to go on long after the design change is forgotten. The next issue I'll give you more details
on these changes as we'll be very close to releasing them.
For those of you who would like to take a look at the new front page point your browser here:
Feedback is welcome and if you want a little history on the name drop by the forums.
I would also like to give a huge pat on the back to Beckett Grey for getting his first book published! Born
Loser is available from iUniverse.
Make sure you go get your copy!
Chrispian H. Burks
Editor - Lit.Org
Earning Pocket Change
By Richard Dani
Pay-per-click or Pay-per-view sites are springing up around the web offering writers the
opportunity to receive payment for their words. Most of them work by giving the author a
percentage of the banner ad revenues generated from the pages their stories are on. This
sounds good on the surface but when one digs a little deeper the blemishes become harder
Much like those gimmicky ads for high paying summer work, some sites use examples that
show how a writer could "easily" generate $500 month. All they have to do is get 100,000
clicks. Simple right? By comparison, this is what Lit.Org averages with it's hundreds of
members and forums section. So how likely is it that one writer, posting articles in a sea of articles, will ever generate that many views? Not very. At best a writer, who posts a hundred stories and averages 20 clicks per item, may earn a buck or two for their work.
Which brings us to another problem with Pay-Per-View sites, they stress quantity instead
of quality. Since the more stories an author posts, the more money they will earn, many
writers "publish" any group of words they can come up with. As a result, most of the
stories are of such poor quality that over the long haul the credibility of the site
and the stories posted there will suffer.
However, the outlook is not all doom and gloom as there are ways that a writer can
benefit by using them. First, if you have a huge collection of stories posted at
community sites like Lit.Org and ThoughtCafe, it would probably benefit you to
post them at a pay-per-click site. The few pennies you'd earn are better than
nothing. Secondly, if you do writing warm-up exercises, you could post them
as well. If you can earn twenty-five cents to warm-up, where's the harm?
Thirdly, you have a burning urge to say you're a professional so much so
that you're willing to work well below minimum wage-Then go for it.
In the long run, the owners of Pay-Per-Click sites will profit far more
than their writers ever will, but if you'd like to visit a few here are the links:
Terrashare:They claim to pay $.50
per thousand page banner views and they have a referral system.
Epinions: Offers to pay one to
three cents per "qualified" page view. They have standards for what "qualifies"
as a page view.
The Vines Network: This site
pays five percent of the revenue generated from the ads posted with your stories.
Sagebase.com: Offers to pay half of
the revenue generated through banner ads and book sales from your article pages.
Written By Me:Uses a barter system
in which the writer earns "Deweys" that can be exchanged for goods sold online.
Instant Agora: Claims to pay one
cent per click and additionally, authors can earn gift points and prizes.
Publishing with iUniverse
By Beckett Grey
So you finished your manuscript. Congratulations! Take a break, order a pizza, open
a bottle of champagne, do whatever it is you do to celebrate. Relax. The most vital
part of your job is already done, and you've set yourself beyond all those people
who 'want to write' and spend the occasional free minute tinkering with manuscripts
they know they'll never finish. But not you. You've got it down, and you're ready to
move on. So what now?
In the past, prospective writers had only two choices for publication of their works.
These choices, the alpha and omega of the writing world, were traditional publishing
and self-publishing. Traditional publishing- that being the situation in which you
turn over all rights to your work, and a large company tries to sell it, and occasionally
pays you- can lead to avenues of fame and fortune, but only if you're willing to sacrifice
for it. Most publishers take up to six months to read unsolicited novels (if they do at all),
and novels optioned for publication can take over a year to actually meet the presses. On the
other end of the spectrum, self-publishing (also called vanity publishing, usually by those
who look down on it) involves paying a big company money to print your book and send you the
copies for you to distribute. The advantage is that you still own the rights to your work.
The disadvantage is that you're all on your own.
There is, however, a third alternative, which falls somewhere between these two extremes.
It was this that I stumbled across while searching for a publisher online. The company is
called iUniverse, and they specialize in an interesting cross between big-market publishing
The Gist: There are three fees of varying size (depending on the benefits therof) that the
prospective author can pay for publication of a book. The lowest- and most practical, in my
opinion- is right around 160 dollars. In return, you can submit your manuscript to iUniverse
online, and they will publish it as a glossy trade paperback with graphics, cover art,
author blurbs, and all the other bells and whistles that come with published books. The
process is very simple. You submit the manuscript to their service, and pay the fee.
Within a couple of days, you will be e-mailed by iUniverse concerning whether the manuscript
is acceptable (i.e. they will not publish, say, a book made up entirely of the word 'frank'
written over and over again) and who your publishing assistant is. This is the person who
will e-mail you to keep you updated on the progress of your book, as well as the person you
will be able to send questions to, if anything comes up. Shortly thereafter, iUniverse will
send you a PDF file of your manuscript as it will look when published, as well as a graphic
of your cover art. For cover art, you can either submit artwork of your own, submit artwork
you want to use as basis for the cover, or simply write out a concept of what you want to
see- in which case, iUniverse will hire someone to paint/draw it for you at no extra charge.
Once you recieve the PDF file, look over it carefully and check for any errors that may
have escaped you. Once you send it back, what you see is what will be in the book itself,
so be scrupulous. After you've reviewed and okayed the file, iUniverse will begin
publication of the book. This process, usually mind-bogglingly long for standard publishers,
is shortened considerably here. You can expect to see a notice of publication within a couple
weeks' time. Once you recieve the 'Your book is LIVE!' e-mail, your book has been placed in
the iUniverse.com bookstore for purchase, and your free author copies are being sent to you.
A few weeks after this, your book will appear for purchase on barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.
You will also be entered into Books in Print, a listing from which many bookstores update their
catalogues. Where you choose to go from here is up to you. If you're happy to see your book being
sold online, you can leave it alone, and go about the rest of your life. However, if you feel the
need for more exposure for your book, you have free reign to advertise it in any way you can think of.
Flyers, bookmarks, posters, ads, all options are open. The book is both yours to sell and theirs to
advertise, making use of the best aspects of each. So get creative!
On a final note, I would like to say that my experience with iUniverse was VERY favorable.
Their website advertises publication in 90 days or less, but within two weeks of my first
submission, my book was live and on their website. I would highly recommend looking into
their services, if any of this sounds like your cup of tea.
Thank you. You may go now.
Self Publishing Round Up
By Chrispian H. Burks
Self Publishing has always been a way for authors to get their writings into print. It's often called vanity
publishing. So called because you don't have to pass any editorial process or quality control. All you truly
have to have is some money and a few hundred pages of manuscript. Before the Internet, but more importantly, before
computers, even Self Publishing was a costly and limited to people who had the funds to produce their own book.
But computes have leveled that playing field and now anyone with summer job can get their book published.
Vanity publshing has always had a bad reputation. There is a certain pride in having your book publishing
by a traditional publisher, like Random House for example. But things change. More and more people are
opting to publish their own books and they are using computer and the internet to do it. Computers
are allowing printers to use "Print on Demand" technology to drive down cost and improve profit margins
which is very appealing to everyone involved. No storage costs for inventory, no distrobution costs, no
minimum quantity to print. Anyone with a story to tell can afford to get it printed.
But what about quality? There is always going to be chaff to deal with. Even some of today's biggest writers
produce books you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. And in this new technology age, this problem is also
solved. Most printers have an online store with several chapters available to browse before you buy the book.
Places like Amazon.com go a step futher and post reader reviews and recommendations. Good books will sell no
matter who published them.
No one can tell you if publishing your own book is for you or not, but I've taken the time to find you
some of the best in the industry. These publishers all have their own strengths and advantages. Be sure
you do your own research on each one before you pick a printer. Some have an editorial policy, and like
a traditional publisher your book must be approved before it goes to print. Others are just printers and
will take your manuscript and print it, no matter what it is.
In my next article, I'll cover just what Print on Demand is and how it works.
Chrispian H. Burks
Editor - Lit.Org
Help support Lit.Org authors. Visit the Lit.Org store and buy cool swag. The proceeds go to help support he writers of Lit.Org!
You'll look cool in front of all your friends. Go buy something today.
Visit the Lit.Org store
Tell your friends about Lit.Org. Every visitor you send us enters you in the pool for a free T-Shirt and Free book!
You don't have to do anything. Just fill out the form on our site and we'll take care of the rest. We'll announce
the winner in a few weeks!
Tell people about Lit.Org now!
Meet the members and staff of Lit.Org. Chat about everything
under the sun and let everyone get to know you. Visit the