Sunday, March 22, 2009

Foreign Rights Sales

My work has been published in several languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Greek and others. A few months back, Blogging Heroes sold to publisher AcornLoft in Korea, where it was published in Korean. An image of the Korean edition cover appears here.

What's does a foreign rights sale mean for the author? Normally, half the money--which is okay because it is normally the English-language publisher's foreign rights department that does all the work.

The amount of money and how it's paid varies. Sometimes you get a flat rate payment for the translation rights. In 1990, for example, a Spanish-language publisher paid $5,000 for the right to publish a book in Spanish. I got $2,500, and several copies of the book. In other deals, the foreign publisher paid a few thousand dollars as an advance against anticipated royalties that the book would earn.

An agent who works directly with foreign publishers or agents may get you a better split.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Online Transaction Safety -- NOT!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could pay for an online transaction without fear that someone would reach into your bank account or credit card and rip you off?

There is a way. However, greedy online "entrepreneurs" will not allow it to be used.

How can you pay online without risk? Use rechargeable Visa cards or Visa Gift Cards. If there's a $29.95 deal for membership at a Web site, buy a card with just a bit more money on it, and spend the balance at Wal-Mart or wherever. End of story. Unless you put more money on the card, there's no way anyone is going to use the card's number to rip you off.

Of course, it costs $3.95 or five bucks or whatever to buy such a card, but the fee's nothing when weighed against losing hundreds or thousands of dollars, and having to cancel and reopen cards and worry about identify theft.

But as implied, some greedy bastards are blocking this legitimate, legal, and safe means of doing online transactions, by refusing to accept Visa cards that aren't tied to your credit or your bank account. Why? Because they sign you up to open-ended agreements where they can "conveniently" renew your membership or whatever you bought online by taking money out of your account without asking.

Yes, it is a crime--it's an ethical crime. These companies know that a large number of people will forget about the commitment and the charges will go on for months, or years. And still others will sign up and not get it--missing the tiny print that says they are signing up until the heat death of the universe. (There is NO way that ANY online seller running this scam will EVER state in clear language that they're pulling this scam.)

It's more than a little ironic to think that we are prevented from utilizing a safe and secure means of conducting online transactions to enable these clowns to rip us off.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Speech Patterns

I recently had occasion to give close attention to exactly and literally what several participants in a conference were saying over several hours' time. It's fascinating how much verbiage is wasted in speech. For example, one of the participants prefaced nearly every statement with "No. Yes. I agree." Over and over and over. It finally came to me that this was his way of making sure he got into the conversation, by blurting out something--anything--to take the floor.

The same guy was heavily into making very lengthy sentences, ramming conjunctions into place with rapidfire enunciation before anyone else could get a word in or even think about saying something and often saying nothing of consequence or just repeating himself to hold the floor while he was thinking about what to say next and actually that was what he was doing when he opened sentences with "No. Yes. I agree," more or less talking without thinking which is something that you'll probably notice people doing now that you've read this but in the end he came off as very foolish and even uneducated despite the fact that he was trying to sound educated and urbane by using phrases like "from the perspective of."

Semi-stuttering was another floor-holding tactic. At one point, the guy slowly said, "Well, the da-da-da-da-da-data," before forming and launching into, "is indicative of a profound shift in para-dij-em from the perspective of the financial sphere..." blah, blah, blah. It all makes me glad that writing dialogue in literal imitation of reality isn't in vogue.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Upcoming Signings for the Ruth Lyons Biography

This URL tells where I'll be signing Before Oprah: Ruth Lyons, the Woman Who Created Talk TV:

There will be more. Note that at four of the signings an actress portraying Miss Lyons will be present, complete with authentic 1960s dress and pearls! The signings begin on April 29, and the book itself ships on April 18.