5 Sneaky Things Every Author Should Know

To start off week #2 of Write Nonfiction in November, I’m going to change the topic a bit. Actually, I’m going to let publishing consultant Randy Peyser of Author One Stop pose five different topics that she says most authors need to know about but don’t. (We’ll get back to platform building a bit later, don’t worry; it’s too big a topic to give up on yet.)


Randy’s a friend of mine, and if you go to her website you’ll find that I’m listed there as one of her editors. She knows a lot about a lot when it comes to publishing. Plus, she’s been the editor of a magazine, written many articles, authored several books, edited numerous manuscripts, and helped a variety of clients make their book ideas realities by helping them find agents and publishers, get their manuscripts edited, turn manuscripts into published books, and publicize those books on the Internet and with press releases. And when it comes to the tricks of the trade, she knows them.


So, if Randy says authors should know these five “sneaky” things, then listen up!


5 Sneaky Little Things Every Author Should Know About

(But  Probably Doesn’t)


By Randy Peyser

Publishing Consultant

Author One Stop


As a publishing pro, I have learned a lot of information that most authors don’t know about but should. Here are 10 sneaky little things to file away in the back of your mind as you pursue your publishing path.


Sneaky Thing #1: Who owns your ISBN? If a Print on Demand (POD) company or a traditional publisher publishes your book, they own the ISBN. Whenever you change companies (for example, you sell your self-published book to a traditional publisher), the ISBN will change to reflect your new publisher’s ISBN for your book. The sneaky thing you need to know: Whenever you change ISBNs, you LOSE your current Amazon ranking.


Sneaky Thing #2: Repurpose your material. You can make more money with an Info Product than you can with just your book alone – so do both! Sneaky tip: In addition to publishing your book, spin some segment of your information into a Special Report or Info Product and sell it online as an eBook, or as a  DVD or CD.


Sneaky Thing #3: One of the best ways to get exposure for your book on the Internet is to write keyword-enhanced press releases and distribute them through electronic distribution services, such as www.PRWebDirect.com. PRWEB kicks out press releases to the Google and Yahoo Newswires, as well as to RSS feeds. Now, here are the sneaky details you need to know: For best results, run your release at their $300 level and upgrade it by $10. This tiny addition will bump your release up above everyone else at the $300 level. When you select “upgrade” on their screen, you will see a $40 amount automatically appear. Most people believe that amount is fixed, but it’s not! Delete it and add your $10 amount. Run your release on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, which are the best days for exposure. PRWEB has superb customer service. I recommend them for reaching a national audience. For regional audiences, try www.Send2Press.com or www.MarketWire.com. Send2Press is lacking in the warm and fuzzy department, but they do provide a solid service, as does MarketWire.


Sneaky Thing #4: Amazon recently declared that they would no longer carry books published through POD companies, except through their own company, BookSurge. Their decision has raised a lawsuit. Anyone who is publishing through a POD company outside of BookSurge, may be facing a problem in the near future.   


Sneaky Thing #5: Many graphic designers in California (and perhaps in other places, but predominantly in California) are downright sneaky in claiming ownership of the designs they create for book covers. That means if you self-publish your book and want to use your cover image or a portion of it for any other purpose, you will be stuck paying licensing fees for each additional use to that graphic designer. To avoid this scenario, make sure the designer you intend to hire puts in writing that they are performing a “work for hire,” and that you own whatever they are creating for you.



About Randy Peyser

Randy Peyser is the owner of Author One Stop, a national publishing consulting firm. She and her award winning staff edit books, ghostwrite, help people find literary agents and publishers or self-publish. Randy is the author of The Power of Miracle Thinking, http://thepowerofmiraclethinking.blogspot.com, and Crappy to Happy. She is featured in Confessions of Shameless Self-Promoters, Book Marketing from A-Z, Dojo Wisdom for Writers, Visionary Women Inspiring the World, and other books. Randy specializes in writing Internet press releases and gets up to 156,000 impressions per press release that she writes and distributes online.


To contact Randy, go to: http://www.AuthorOneStop.com


Note from Nina: To find out more about the Amazon/BookSurge issue mentioned in Sneaky Thing #4, check out my archived blogs in April and June 2008. The first post I wrote about this has the nitty gritty details. Also, you can find all the most and the latest information on this topic at www.writersweekly.com. You DO want to know all about this. As I said in that first post: This is HUGE for anyone interested in self-publishing.



  1. Fantastic information!
    I have first-hand experience with #2.
    My intention is to honor writers who do not necessarily learn best through reading alone. Many of us learn better through demonstration. For the international writers on my list who may never have a chance to attend one of my plot intensives, I developed the line of Blockbuster Plot Writers’ Workshop DVDs.
    The result? Feedback from grateful writers. Nothing better!!
    Thanks for the post….

  2. You are welcome, and thanks for your comments. It seems writers need to put on many hats these days. Maybe next year you can teach us how to make DVDs from our books and workshops!

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