Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Used Car Buying Ode

Consumer Tips: How To Buy A Used Car Privately

Many people buy cars privately rather than through dealers. You can often save money going this route, however, keep in mind that if you have problems with the vehicle it may be difficult, if not impossible, to get any assistance or compensation from the vendor. Here are some more tips on how to get the best deal when buying a used car:

It's "buyer-beware" when purchasing a used car, so, be sure to take it to your mechanic for an inspection before handing over any money. If he (or she) finds the vehicle unsafe and/or in need of repairs, determine who will pay for them beforehand and include this in your written purchase agreement.

Check for liens against the vehicle. A lien means that money is owed on the vehicle and although the vendor is in possession of the vehicle, its legal claim belongs to someone else, such as a bank. If you buy a vehicle with a lien against it, you might be held responsible for future payment. Legislation differs across jurisdictions on the consequences of buying a vehicle with a lien. It is possible that the new owner may be required to pay the money owed or alternately you may risk having the vehicle seized. Contact your provincial or territorial office of consumer affairs for information specific to your jurisdiction or to find the organization in your jurisdiction responsible for conducting lien checks.

Ensure that the person you buy the car from is its registered owner. Remember to ask for repair bills and maintenance records.

If you decide to buy a vehicle from a private seller understand that he or she could be in the business of reselling poor-quality, stolen and/or rebuilt vehicles. Some of these people, frequently referred to as "curbers" or "curbsiders," may be involved with any number of other scams, such as tampering with the odometer or selling vehicles with liens against them.

The risk of curbsider scams makes it especially important that you get the used vehicle checked by a mechanic. You may want to question a mechanic you know and trust to see if the odometer has been rolled back. They can often tell by comparing wear and tear with the odometer reading.

Remember that you don't have the right to change your mind after a sale such as this. If you have problems with the vehicle it will most likely be impossible to get any assistance or compensation from the vendor. Litigation may be your only option.

As with any large ticket purchase, there's a lot to know in order to get the deal that's right for you. The sources of information about buying cars are limitless. It can be quite frustrating, and time consuming to get what you need. Until now that is. Thanks to a new Web site ( created by federal, provincial, territorial governments and their partners, Canadians now have easy access to hundreds of objective, reliable, current consumer information sources.

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

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Car Insurance Poem

Consumer Tips: What About Car Insurance?

All owners are required by law to insure vehicles driven on public roads. Some provinces and territories offer public insurance while others have insurance sold privately. Here are some basic items to consider when buying vehicle insurance:

* Liability insurance is mandatory, and is used as financial protection against loss or injury caused to others while operating your vehicle. The minimum amount of insurance required differs across jurisdictions but keep in mind that skimping on liability insurance may cost you in the long run. Minimum liability will not cover the cost of an accident resulting in the injury of several people, for example, particularly in circumstances where litigation is an option.

* Vehicle damage insurance, unlike liability insurance, may be optional. Damage insurance, however, is still recommended for the simple reason that damages to a vehicle will quickly add up in the event of an accident where you are at fault. Not being able to recover any money will have serious ramifications on your bank account.

* Some dealers or credit grantors may require that you take out other insurance such as life and/or disability insurance prior to agreeing to do business with you. Make sure that you fully read and understand any agreements that you are asked to sign and that you get a copy of the completed and signed agreement. Do not sign an agreement unless it is completed in full.

You should also do some comparison shopping on insurance prices and coverage prior to signing any agreement. Here are some items to consider in keeping your insurance rates to a minimum:

* Accidents can increase your insurance costs, especially when you are at fault. Though it's easier said than done, staying out of accidents will save you money in more ways than one.

* Statistics show that some vehicles are more likely than others to be involved in an accident. Insurance companies are aware of this and therefore charge more to insure high-risk vehicles. The make and model of the vehicle, its colour, and whether it's a two-door or four-door are all factors considered by your insurance company. Some cars are also more expensive to repair or are frequently pursued by thieves. Consider how important owning a high-profile vehicle is to you. Contact the Vehicle Information Centre of Canada ( to find out which vehicles will cost you more to insure.

* Where you live may affect what you pay for automobile insurance. Driving to work everyday, especially if it's a long commute, does not only mean extra gas and wear and tear on your vehicle but also the possibility of a higher insurance premium. Urban residents may have higher premiums than those living in rural areas.

* Insurance companies reward those who are of low risk to them. Discounts might be offered for driver education, multiple vehicles, high academic achievement, anti-theft devices or abstinence from alcohol, among others. Have your insurance broker inquire about any of these types of discounts.

Sometimes it doesn't pay to be carrying collision or comprehensive insurance on an older vehicle if the total amount you are paying for the deductible plus the monthly premium is more then the entire worth of your vehicle.

For more information regarding auto insurance and other topics on cars and transportation, visit the Canadian Consumer Information Gateway The Gateway is a new Web site created by federal, provincial, territorial governments and their partners that brings consumers, objective, reliable and current information.

News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.

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Website Designing Serenade

Custom Web Design

Related Themes: Web Design Company, Learn Web Design, Houston Web Design, Florida Web Design, Web Design Quote, Web Hosting, Web Design Tip, Domain Name Registration, Internet Marketing, Domain Names

Questions to Ask when Designing a Website for clients

Questions to ask when designing a Web Site for your client(s).
"Excerpt from the book: Graphic Artists Guild, Handbook Pricing & Ethical guidelines" Written by: Brent Parker

These questions are a great tool to use when trying to develop your clients website. It gets down to the roots of web design, so there is a clear and precise understanding of what needs to be done. You can either make yourself a check list on paper for face to face talks or you can put it into Adobe PDF form, and have them download it from your website and fill it out later. It may seem odd at first, but in the long run it works out perfectly.


* What is the client’s business and how will the client’s Web site advance it? What message is the Web site supposed to convey?

* Who is the primary audience for the Web site? The primary age group of the audience? Their professions, disciplines, and interests? (Designers should warn clients that if the target is a broad-based, international audience, with potentially slow modems, old browsers, or expensive service, this might limit the design options.)

* What are the secondary goals of the Web site? Is this an informational site or an avenue for internet-based marketing or revenue?

* What subjects, in order of priority, does the client want to cover on the Web site? Have the client define at least five separate area of subject matter and state what’s unique about their business.


* Does the client understand the difference between the Web and an online email service such as America Online? The answer to this question is an indicator of the clients overall Web knowledge. If the client does not understand the difference, the designer may want to factor in time for basic Internet education

* Does the client require a Web hosting account and/or dial up access? How many users? What user privileges would the client like?

* Is the account only for email or does the price quoted allow for server space to host a Web site? How many megabytes of server space?

* If the client already has an Internet account, is it with a true ISP or with an online service such as America Online? If the account is with an online service rather than a true ISP, extra costs or special arrangements may be needed to host the Web site.


* Who will give final approval of the project? If someone other than the clients’ team will have final approval, then the designer needs to make sure that person has Internet access and understands the Web.

* What domain name would the client like? (.com, org. net etc…) What are two to three alternative domain names in case the first choice is already taken/

* Are the client’s source materials in electronic form, and if so, does the designer need to handle file conversions? The designer may need to educate the client about how to submit materials in as consistent and compatible formats as possible. If necessary, the designer should provide the client with a variety of options and be prepared to do conversion’s

* Does the site required advanced functionality, such as database functionality (Access, Filemaker Pro, Microsoft SQL, Oracle Server)? Does the site need to be coded in a special language such as Microsoft ASP or Allaires Cold Fusion?

* Are there requirements for e-commerce, such as the ability to process credit card transactions, development of Shopping Cart strategies, survey forms, advanced configurator sales selectors, online games and interactive demonstrations, online chat and message boards?

* Is the site to be hosted in-house or with another provider? If in-house, the clients information services department should be included in the planned meetings.


* Is the website to be designed from scratch, or is it a makeover of an existing site? If a makeover, does the client want any additions?

* What look and feel would the client like for he Web site? The client should show the designer examples of Web sites, magazines, publications, or artistic works they like. Does the client have a specific genre, culture, or style in mind?

* Are there any collateral marketing materials (brochures, publications, corporate identity programs, or posters), preproduction sketches, or media (CD-ROM’s, video games, records, or tapes) that the Web site should be consistent with?

* Does the client desire graphics interactivity and/or multimedia (also involving content development and site mapping)? These typically include JavaScript rollovers and effects, animated GIF’s QuickTime or AVI movies, sound files, PDF downloads, Macromedia Flash animations, and interactivity.

* Does the client need a new logo or new collateral marketing materials and media to be consistent with the new Web site? If so, these design services should be quoted in addition to and not as part of the Web site proposal.

* Does the designer wish to negotiate a credit link that targets his or her home URL or email?


* Does the client have the staff to respond to email? If not, the designer may need to explain that the client may develop a bad reputation in the online world if people don’t receive immediate responses.

* Does the client plan to have in-house site maintenance, or does the client want the designer to do it? Designers considering site maintenance arrangements should look carefully at the ability of their own organization to do at least biweekly of monthly changes

Written by Brent Parker, the creator and Webmaster of Spry Web Solutions is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. We specialize in web design, corporate identity, business documents and other great design tools. If you are a business start-up or thinking about starting one, we have a Corporate Identity pkg complete with 10-12 pg Website, 1000 Business cards, Letterheads and Envelopes all custom for one great “low” price.

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Beware Web (Eyes) Designing Opus

Custom Web Design

Related Themes: Web Design Company, Learn Web Design, Houston Web Design, Florida Web Design, Web Design Quote, Web Hosting, Web Design Tip, Domain Name Registration, Internet Marketing, Domain Names

Tapping Into The Visual Stimulus Of Your Web Site Visitors

"Oh, my eyes, my eyes! What an eye sore. Quick, click away! Click away!"

Suddenly I wake up in a cold sweat. What happened. Oh, then I realize: it was just a nightmare.

O.k., I'm not crazy, and no I haven't had this dream before. But think about this: what would you do if you came to a site littered with either tons of different colors, loud pinks, purples, greens and reds mixed incoherently, or more animations and graphics than the rods and cones of your inner eye can possibly absorb? If your like me I simply go "click, bye-bye".

Our visual stimulus is ever more so important on the web than almost anywhere else. Most definitely the internet is about information. But, that information is shown graphically. So, if you want to keep people at your site, first appeal to their visual stimulus.

There are a few guidelines that you should adhere to when designing your site, following known research results on colors that elicit certain psychological responses people. The bottom line is that it is hard enough to market on the internet today, why make it harder by bugging your visitors.

(1) Colors and Their Effect: I prefer blue and white. In general blue seems to elicit a sense of trust and white a sense of purity. Gold, on the other hand is the color of wealth and prosperity, something we are all working towards. So, with respect to general internet marketing, these colors tend to work the best. They are easy on the eyes and don't strike up a sense of danger, such as with the color red. Of course, the colors also depend on purpose of your site. If selling baby items, pink, which represents femininity, and baby blue, representing weakness may work quite well. It depends in part on site content. A high tech site selling electronic components may do better with greys, silvers, and black.

(2) Animations and Banners: Animations are nice, but can take time to load and be distracting. Use them to focus the attention of a visitor. Place them at a single page location, at the center or all at the left side for instance. If you use more than one and they are scattered all over the page, where can you expect your eyes to focus. Yep, you heard right - click, bye, bye.

Banners can also give you problems if there are two many and not well organized. Pay attention to the color design to ensure that it matches your site. Remember, no eye sores here. Overall, banner are known not to have the highest clickthrough rates.

(3) Flash Media: Flash media animations are steadily gaining popularity and many sites are tailoring their start-up page to include large flash animations. Beware. In online home businesses, your primary purpose is content. Only fit in flash where it is strictly meant to guide the visual stimulus to a part of your site. I know, I know, it does look cool. But cool doesn't and never will build sales out of potential prospects.

A few further resources that are of particular interest here are

As a good rule of thumb, if it hurts your eyes, it probably hurts others as well. Keep it simple, professional, easy to look at with color used just in the right place to highlight your content. Content is what will build your home based business. Elicit a visual response from your visitors to drive them to your content.

Written by Dan J. Fry, an independent researcher and owner of, a site devoted to providing resources for small budget home businesses. He has a PhD in Physics, two daughters and two cats.

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Woman Health Selfmaking Verse

Homemade Beauty Recipes

Do you want to look stunning with out wasting too much money? If your answer is yes, then you should read this tips. They have past on from generations to generations. The best part of it, is that you may already have the ingredients at home!

Get rid of blemishes
Apply toothpaste to the required area, Leave on overnight.

Dried or chapped skin
Apply petroleum jelly (vaseline) affected area.

Falling hair
Pour cinnamon in to 12 or more ounces of water, let it boil for 5-10 minutes. After it cools down, apply to hair scalp for 10 -15 minutes. Then shampoo and rinse as usual.

Hot oil treatment
Heat any vegetable oil (do not over heat). Apply to hair cover with shower cap and leave on for 10-20 minutes.

Mix oatmeal and honey, apply to skin. Massage skin for 5-7 minutes then rinse off with warm water.

Author, Kenia Morales, is the owner and publisher of online magazine " For Every Aspect Of Today's Woman". To find more beauty tips and other women related issues and topics visit her site at

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Women Working Poem

Tips For A Working Woman

With a more liberated society, it is no longer uncommon for women to hold full-time jobs. The glass ceiling that has been a barrier for women in the area of wages are showing clear cracks. Even in the area of management strategy, some of the best thinkers are women academics.

However, working women still have to grapple with the multi-roles that they play – these are traditional expectations of society. An example is in the area of looking after the welfare of their young children and domestic upkeep.

This article will provide tips for working women with a young family and without a full-time domestic help:

Communicate With Your Husband:

It is important that you communicate with your husband about sharing household and domestic chores. This should not be a difficult process as your income also helps pay the bills and your husband must be a team player. A high priority should be the area of the children’s well-being and study supervision.

Time Management:

Time management is an under-rated virtue. You should draw up a weekly chart to manage your time. This weekly chart must be realistic and take into account your children’s tests, extra-curricular activities, household shopping needs. Remember to get the active involvement of your husband.

Getting External Help:

If you and your husband have busy schedules, it is also good to source out for part-time external help to assist in the cleaning and cooking. Alternatively, you can seek the help of your parents to supervise the welfare of the children or register your children to a nearby student care centre. However, it must be remembered that no amount of external help can substitute for quality time with your children. Try to set aside at least the weekends to spend undisturbed time with your family.

Concentrating At Work:

Since you are working for a company, you must ensure that your full concentration should be on your work. Do not use company time to handle domestic administration unless it is of utmost importance. You are also entitled to take emergency time-off if needed so it is crucial that you keep your superiors informed.

Working Long Hours:

It is not uncommon to work long hours, as workers are sometimes required to multi-task. It is important for you to strike a balance and important to inform your husband about your late hours so that your children are not neglected after their normal school hours. You can also request to finish some of your work at home if it requires computer processing. Most families have at least a computer desktop at home.

Interaction with Male Colleagues:

If the nature of your job requires constant interaction with male colleagues after working hours, it is good practice to inform your husband. You can easily send an SMS to him to inform your whereabouts and he can arrange to fetch you home.

Attendance of Official Functions:

Inform your husband in advance if you are required to attend an official function – Office D & D etc. This will allow your husband to get to know your working colleagues and fully appreciate your job responsibilities. Your husband will also be more cooperative if you are required to work beyond the normal hours.

Further Studies – The Dilemma:

Being a workingwoman, you have to consider about upgrading your skills. This may require pursuing further studies after working hours. Yet again, you should express your decision to study with your husband and loved ones so that logistical/financial arrangements can be arranged in advance.

Author, Colin Ong TS, is the Founder of 12n Online Community and and MR=MC Consulting at

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Recruiters' Ode

Cover Letters

Cover Letters - Are you telling them what they want to know?

Let's face it. Recruiters (or employers) are smarter than we think. Bigger organizations pay a hefty salary to their HR department to filter out and sieve through hundreds and thousands of resumes. The idea is to build an organization with people of the right mental aptitude. Most of the top organizations believe strongly in a motto - "People are their greatest assets". Your cover letter goes a long way in capturing and retaining the attention of these people whose main job is to recruit people and coordinate with the workforce.

A well-written cover letter engages the recruiter and pushes him to spend more time reading your detailed resume. Before you start off writing your cover letter, write down what you want to convey on a paper. Read it once, twice, thrice and then set off for a good start. Pack in as much power as you can, because it is these 400 or 500 words that can make the difference.

Have these things on your mind before you start off writing:

Keep your sentences short and avoid using really long sentences because you don't want the recruiter to read it twice to understand what you're trying to convey. Got the point.? Keep your sentences s-h-o-r-t.

Keep your language simple. "I take immense pleasure in applying for this esteemed position in this esteemed organization." Hell.! Your employer knows more about his organization than you do. So you can as well cut the "false" praise. Maybe a subtle mention can do wonders. "I look forward to work with JK Industries".

Organize the content of your cover letter into small paragraphs or bulleted points, not exceeding three paragraphs. Typically each paragraph can contain 3 or 4 sentences.

Do NOT use slang or spoken words like "Lookin' fo a kewl break into yo IT world".

Make sure your cover letter (and resume) is free from spelling or grammatical errors.

And most important: Deliver what the employer is looking for.

So, what should you put in your cover letter?

Ask yourself two questions. One, why should the employer choose you over others? And two, what can you give to the company that others cant? Skills, yes. Proven experience, better.

A good way to start writing is with the correct greeting phrase. If you know the name of the person you are addressing then you can start with 'Dear Ms. Stevenson' or 'Dear Mr. Washington'. Do not use their first names. A bad greeting would be 'Hi Jane' or 'Hello George'.

The first paragraph is to contain a reference. If this is a response to an advertisement or a vacancy listing, this is where you refer to get their attention. Alternatively you can put in a separate line mentioning your reference. (Ref: Your advertisement on - Ref # 12345).

If you're mentioning your reference in the first paragraph, you can continue on to include why you applied for that position. A good way of connecting the reference to your application is "my skills and your requirement are a good match." Put that in your own words.

In the next paragraph, you justify your statement about why you think that your skills and the skills required for the position are a good match. Make a single line reference to a particular achievement in your current (or previous) job that is along similar lines so that the employer will know exactly what he's looking for. A good example would be "Set up a fully operational network of franchisees in Southern France for retailing ABC Coffee".

Avoid mentioning skills you don't have or projects you have never worked on. Because sooner or later, you're going to face it; when the interviewer looks into your cover letter (or resume) and says "OK, Mr. Stephens, can you give me an instance of how you can use XML to port data from a backend system into a Middleware application"? And that's when you mind starts racing, "XML?? Middleware?? Port..?? Is that my resume he's got..???". God bless you if it's not your resume.

If there are more achievements you want to include, write them down in bulleted points. It's easier for the employer to read, comprehend and get a good picture of your capabilities. Do not reproduce your entire resume here. 2 or 3 such points will do perfectly fine. Of course, do not include irrelevant achievements like "Won a Silver Medal in 200 x 4 Men's Relay Race conducted by Louisville Young Adults Club in 1991". Not unless you're applying for the post of a Physical Trainer or Coach.

You have made your point here. You know why you're applying. And recruiters like that. You know your responsibilities, the risks involved and the tasks you'll be handling. You're just the person they're looking for. At least, you're one of the persons they'd like to talk to before handing over the employment contract.

An ending note can make quite an impression. Tell them your resume is attached and that you're "looking forward to explore this opportunity further". Include an address and telephone number for them to contact you.

Sign off with a "Yours Truly" or "Best Regards" and put your complete name under it.

Get into form and write out your winning cover letter.

Author, Amit Pujar, is a copywriter/technical writer currently heading the content department of an online publication. Amit writes on a variety of subjects and is currently working on his first non-fiction. He can be reached at

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Asking Publisher Serenade

"Manuscripts Wanted" - Questions You Should Ask The Publisher Before You Sign

There are days when I feel as if everyone I know is a writer, and that they are all looking for the same thing, to be heard. The pursuit of finding someone to accept a manuscript for publication is at best disheartening. Many begin to feel that continued rejection is about as miserable as a writer will ever feel – it is not. Signing with the wrong publisher not only brings misery in a new and clever package, but it can also quite possibly destroy the inclination to write.

Greed and deception are as prevalent in publishing as anywhere else. There are many companies willing to take an authors money and hard work. The irony is that it is given just for the asking. Choosing a good company to work with is equally important as the words chosen in the manuscript.

In an author beware world it pays to be informed. This guideline is designed to help you make decisions based on information, rather than emotion.

The Company

Like it or not, you and your publisher enter into a kind of marriage, the kind of marriage where their name attaches itself to you. Think about that. An important facet of the relationship is the reputation your new partner has in the industry. If their stature is questionable, it may be difficult to find reviewers, distributors and even readers. It’s called guilt by association. Therefore, your first order of business is to do research.

One way to establish a publisher’s reputation is to visit your local bookstore and ask the owner if they are known. If so, what are they like to do business with? Using the Internet to investigate the company’s name and their officers is also an advisable avenue. Still another approach is to post questions within various writing groups. By far, writing groups can be your best source of information.

Be direct and ask the publisher how many books they put into print last year. How many to date? Are they are willing to provide you with a list of their authors for references? A useful gauge in picking a publisher is knowing how well the company treats its authors. Find out how many books the average author has with this house – you want to know if authors stay for more than one book.

The Product

Something else to consider is the book itself. Just what is it this company is going to produce for you? A hardback? Trade paperback? Paperback? E-book? Ask them what the size is going to be, along with an estimated page count. What is the proposed list price?

What you need to establish is how well your book is going to stand up to the competition – other books sitting on the shelf in your genre. If similar titles are selling in the $13 -$15 range, and the publisher wants to list yours at $22, your book may be tough to sell. Price does matter.

Find out what services the publisher provides. Editing? Copy Editing? Format? Cover Design? Copyrights? How about help with the permissions for songs or quotes? Are there any fees attached? Will the publisher help you locate a well-known author or celebrity to write a forward? What about that all-important back cover blurb – any help there?

Is the editing accomplished electronically or is it sent snail mail? How many edits should you expect? How long does the process usually take? Will the product have an ISBN? How about a bar code? Will they provide the author with any free copies? How many? Is this publisher willing to send you a sample of their current work? The sample should ultimately be a reflection of something you would be proud to put into public view.

The Contract

Read it, read it again and then have somebody else read it – like an attorney. The last thing you want to do is to sign away the rights to your manuscript without understanding every single detail.

What are you getting out of the deal? Royalties? Movie rights? International rights? Anything? You need to know exactly how much you are going to get paid and when. Watch out for percentage contracts with variable rates. Does this publisher pay their authors? What is the average pay for an author? Are they willing to give you verification?

When was the last time this company was audited? Is the company in good fiscal health? How long is the contract for? Six months? A year? Your next two books? Is the publisher asking for any money from you? Why? A reputable publisher pays you – not the other way around. How long do they plan on keeping your title in print?

The Marketing

While many will produce, few will promote. Even an outstanding book will not sell unless it is correctly marketed. The major expense in publication lies not in book production, rather book promotion. Some publishers would like you to believe that once your book is in print, it will sell – but that isn’t the truth. A successful author will tell you that it takes a lot of hard work to get a new book into the public’s eye. If your publisher is unwilling to show to you a proven marketing strategy, look for another company.

What you need to find out is how the publishers marketing system works – in other words, who is going to distribute your book? Ingrams? Baker & Taylor? A regional distributor? Will sales be restricted to giants like Amazon or Barnes & Noble? Does the publisher have adequate contacts with independents like BookSense? Grocery stores? Chain stores? Warehouse Stores? Are they willing to service the local stores in your area?

What are the sales percentages for each distributor? This is extremely important. Some publishers will claim to list your book with many different distributors, but just how many are actually being sold? Listing isn’t selling. You may want to ask yourself how this company stays in business if it doesn’t actively promote and sell books.

Ask what the terms of payment are for a given distributor. Most retailers are accustomed to an open account with books being taken on a returnable basis. Check to make sure that your publisher allows returns and doesn’t demand orders to be paid in advance. This type of business practice will get few, if any orders.

How many books does the publisher plan on initially distributing? Don’t get tricked with some type of “Print on Demand” language – you need to know if your publisher will commit to running a thousand books or more at their expense, because “demand” is only created after a number of reputable people have read your work and then communicate to others in a positive manner.

Your book should be circulated to reviewers, newspapers, bookstore owners, retailers, radio stations – even to your friends and family who will give you a tremendous boost through their contacts – months before it is ever “released.” This gives potential retailers a chance to preview the product and opt-in. So, another piece of valuable information is the number of copies the publisher plans on printing for advance review copies.

Ask if the ARC’s are going to be distributed in the form of a book or professional galley. If it is a galley, ask for a sample – again, it has to be something you’d be proud of. Who will be paying for these copies and the mailings? Will the publisher furnish a professional media kit? This is a regularly updated promotional tool used to highlight your interviews, signings, reviews, awards and appearances. If so, ask to see a sample.

Do they provide posters? Shelf talkers? Bookmarks? What about a web site? Will the publisher provide you with this service or are you expected to furnish your own?

Are authors given an in-house publicist? Who is it? What is their experience level? How many authors does the publicist work with at one time? Will your publicist set up a book tour? Are they going to pay for it? If so, ask where, when and how long you will be expected to be away from your family. How about the scheduling of radio and newspaper interviews? Will your book be introduced at tradeshows?


Granted, if you are a first time author, you may not get everything that you want, but the company should still offer you fair compensation and a reasonable chance for success.

The best advice that I can give to you is to keep your checkbook closed, be patient and do the homework. Don’t take the word of the publisher or agent at face value, instead, confirm their responses with others who have had past business dealings and then make sure everything is in writing. Keep in mind that web sites and promo literature are often clouded enough to the point of being untruthful. Protect your work, protect your dreams and keep trying.

Where to Get Started:

Preditors and Editors
A guide to publishers and publishing services for serious writers

Print on Demand Database

Types of Publishers
An ongoing discussion courtesy of Writers Net

Writer Beware
Fraudulent Literary Agents/Publishers in the News

WritersWeekly Warning Reports
The highest-circulation freelance writing ezine in the world

The Writer’s Center
"The easy path to publication is paved with your dollars."

Written by Vic Peters, author who specializes in spiritual fiction, author of "Mary’s Field". You can learn more about him and his book by visiting

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