Adair-Hoy was a television reporter in The Woodlands, Texas prior to joining the publishing industry as president of Deep South Syndicate. She and her husband recently purchased http://www.booklocker, the most author- friendly e-book publisher on the Internet, paying generous royalties of 70% while only asking for non- exclusive rights.
She also publishes http://www.writersweekly.com/ one of the highest-traffic writing websites in the world, as well as The Write Markets Report, a monthly e-mag featuring new and updated markets for freelance writers and journalists. Adair-Hoy has and continues to author and publish a variety of how-to books for authors, all of which focus on helping writers make a living doing what they love. WritersWeekly.com offers a free, weekly e-mag full of freelance job listings and paying markets. Subscribe by visiting the website.
A.A.H.: I was originally contacted by journalist, Susan Kuchinskas about being interviewed for Time's business edition. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be able to get my word out to hundreds of thousands of business readers across the globe. The Time article has led to an upcoming appearance on a National Italian television show. They will be sending a crew here next week for the interview. I was then contacted by BBC radio and will be interviewed on a popular current events radio show with (gulp) 100 million listeners!
A.A.H.: Booklocker already had its name when we purchased the company in June, 1997. The name was already widely known in the publishing industry and online world, so we didn't even think about changing it. Booklocker means locked books...books that can't be duplicated or retransmitted. The name was an attraction for authors. However, the readers tend to think the name implies cozy books stored in a chest. We get dozens of emails every week from people who call us Footlocker. Those always give us a chuckle.
A.A.H.: My personal mission as a publisher is to give authors all rights to their works and give them the opportunity to earn much more than they ever would through traditional publishing. While I understand that publishers have enormous expenses to contend with, their terms for authors have historically been unfair. Many wonderful books never see the light of day because an author may not have the right contacts or the right agent. Similarly, many wonderful books are not promoted as they should be and taken out of print. In most cases, the author can't get the rights back to their work and their book is dead. An author can spend years on a manuscript that deserves worldwide attention...and the manuscript will never, ever be seen. Now, every author has the opportunity to offer their books to a global audience, and to keep 70% of the royalties. And, Booklocker does not take any rights away from the authors. They are free to list and sell their books anywhere else they choose to broaden their exposure. We encourage it!
A.A.H.: I started writing professionally in 1997. About six months after launching my website in June of that year, I realized that there were many holes on the bookshelves. There were hundreds of books that taught how to write, but very few that taught writers how to make a living at it. So, I sent out calls for manuscripts. In early 1998, we launched one book after another from authors who had financial success in specific genres. The books have been a huge success.
A.A.H.: Always read the contracts! Most epublishing contracts demand all rights. Some even request a percentage of any future publishing contracts, including movie rights. Only sign on with non-exclusive e- publishers who do not have time constraints. At Booklocker, we can remove a book at a moment's notice if an author gets a call from Random House. Most epublishers want a cut, but we don't. The author wrote the book, the author landed the contract, and the author deserves to keep every bit of that advance they're offered! I ran a comparison of epublishers in a past issue and it can be found online at: http://www.writersweekly.com/wm120299.htm
A.A.H.: The number one drawback in epublishing is security. However, Adobe is about to release an upgrade to Acrobat 4.0. In Adobe's words, "The only way for someone to get an ebook off their machine will be to remove the hard drive." This means consumers won't be able to upload the ebooks they've purchased to servers, and they won't be able to email them to all their friends and family. However, my advice on security is to not worry about it. Put ads for your other books and products in the back of your book. That way, if someone receives an illegal copy of your book, perhaps they'll like your work enough to come back and buy something directly from you. If I had not epublished for fear of security, I'd already be out of business.
A.A.H.: People scoff at my predictions, but I feel confident that I am quite close in them. I predict that ebooks will dominate the publishing industry. Consumers will be able to find any book they want in electronic format, yet will have a hard time finding print editions. Printed material will always be available. However, eventually, more ebooks will be purchased than print. If you consider the environmental impact this will have on trees (I can't even fathom how many trees are killed for books that never sell), the instant gratification consumers receive in not even having to stand up to get what they want, and the droves of authors who are abandoning traditional publishing and going it alone, the future is quite clear.