Book Publishing 101

Hello world,

In my previous blog I wrote about a survey scam that someone just told me about. Scams are all over the Internet and in newspapers and in a time when almost one in three families has a member out of work, desperation can set in quickly and before you know it, you are losing the very little you have. You see what is going on in Congress. That means you can’t wait on the government to give you a job. Their paycheck is sure and the truth is, until their paycheck is in jeopardy, don’t expect much from Washington. So what do you do? Look within yourself. You have skills and experience under your belt. What do you do well? Can you write? Do you have a camera and can take pictures? Can you paint? Do you cook? Have you noticed how cooking shows have become popular nowadays? There is something that you can do to make a living. It might not bring in a big paycheck the first week, but keep at it and word will get around.

I have been looking at the publishing industry with fascination. I want to see if you can really make money as an author. Everyone is telling you how to make money writing articles and so on, but much of what they are saying is old stuff. Check the websites to see when last they were updated and that should give you a clue as to how current their stuff is. The point on demand publishing industry is really generating momentum right now. Even traditional publishing houses now have a branch of their company that does print on demand. So, here are two that I am very familiar with. There is lulu.com and there is blurb.com. There is an advantage to using Lulu because they give you an ISBN number (13 digits on back of books with the bar code) and that makes it possible for your book to be sold everywhere. Blurb on the other hand does not give you an ISBN number. If you’ve purchased one you can use it, but they don’t give you. That means without an ISBN you can sell your book yourself on your website or you can sell it in the Blurb bookstore. The great thing about Blurb is that you can create a book show and people can flip through the pages of your book. It is awesome as it is impressive. If you look on my website in bookstore you will see what I’m talking about. Now these are the two I am using, but I know there is Author House, Create a Space (Amazon), iUniverse (Barnes and Noble) and many more. So, if you have pictures put them in a book write a sentence or two and earn some cash for yourself.

In my blog tomorrow, I will talk about EPub versus PDF. You will want to convert but which is better. Subscribe to my blog or check back tomorrow. “Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do” (John Wooten).

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Avoid Survey and Focus Group Scams

Hello world,

So many people are out of work that many will do anything to get some money. Surveys are great ways to make money but it has to be with reputable companies. As a consumer advocate I’m always looking to post informative information on my blog. The Internet is full of seemingly great opportunities but it is also full of scams. I don’t know if this scam is new to you, but someone almost fell for it and told me.

It is about participating in a survey to test the Money Gram service. The company is using the name of a research company in Utah, but the person’s name is fictitious. The Utah company has received many calls so they have reported the matter to the FBI. This group uses Craig’s list to post their phony focus group/survey job opportunity. They say you will get 300 for participating in a sleep survey. When you apply they say that is full, but you can apply for another one with Money Gram. They send you a check and you must cash it and go to Money Gram and test the service. You are to see if staff is courteous etc. They give you an address where to wire the money and you must take out your 300 and send the rest. The catch is if you deposit the check in your account after a week or so, the check will bounce and your bank is going to come after you to pay back the money.

Apparently, they sent the checks out last week using USPS. Please be aware of this scam. As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true it isn’t true. You can go to the Money Gram website and read more about this scam. They are also aware of it and have a warning to consumers. Like they always say, if it seems too good to be true it isn’t true. Sometimes you will get free things, but for the most part, the more extravagant the promise, the more likely it is not to be true. Be alert.