Friday, January 30, 2009

If you write books for children... Part 2

Per my Jan. 14, 2009 post, here is a helpful update from SPAN (Small Publishers Assn. of North America) regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, and its decision to include children's books in the list of products requiring testing for lead.

First the date has been bumped from February to August:
"The most important issue that was clarified for the book
word was that the deadline for third party testing of
books is August 10, 2009 not February 10, as repeated
in the press (including information from SPAN).

After February 10 the printers need to provide "only" a
"general conformity certificate" (GCC) with every shipment
of a book title. The GCC can be either a paper copy or
available on a Web page. These certificates are provided
by the book manufacturer/printer.

And about books already on store shelves?

There have been questions about books on shelves and in
storage that were manufactured. General conformity
certificates are not required for these books, but retailers
are liable and could get fines and or imprisonment under
the Act if any of these products show illegal levels of lead.
This paradoxical situation is driving many retailers to require
certificates on books already produced. Again, check with
your distributors and retailers to find out what they need.

The SPAN website at has more information.
And here's a link to a Publisher's Weekly article on the topic:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Purchase "Release Your Writing"

Sometimes the obvious is right in front of us, but impossible to see.

I had a nice note from a fellow who said he enjoyed "the depth" of my blog, but just went there to buy my book. He asked for a direct link to purchase. so ...

Release Your Writing at

Release Your Writing direct from the publisher

Release Your Writing autographed copies - Email

Thank you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Presidential advice to writers

Doesn't this Pres. Obama quote resonate with us as writers, and with those desiring publication?

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some
other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the
change that we seek."

If your time and your writing are not taking you where you want to go, change something.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Books as Video

Think new media can ever replace books? I sure don't. Here is a two-minute video composed entirely of book images!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If you write books for children, you need to know this...

The Consumer Protection Safety Information Act of 2008 (CPSIA) requires items sold
for children, manufactured after February 10, 2009 be tested and certified for lead levels by an independent lab.

It seems unbelievable, but that includes children's books!

A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)letter, dated December 23, 2008, affirmed children's books are included in category of products that need to be tested for lead.

Products in inventory (in storage and on bookstore shelves) do not need to be tested, but retailers can be fined if the products are found to have excessive
levels of lead.

Testing and certification takes place at the book printer level. Publishers of children's books need to check with their printer if they have books in the
printing process.

You can contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission here:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Author House * IUniverse * and now Xlibris

I guess we should be glad, in a tough economy, that print-on-demand (POD) firms are doing well. The three largest POD firms are now one.

Under its new name, Author Solutions, the conglomerate now boasts 100,000 titles.

Publishers Weekly reports that Keith Ogorek, Authors Solution spokesperson, said
"even with the recession, business remains strong, noting that November and December were the best months ever for the Author House, iUniverse and Xlibris brands."

If you're a POD author, our side of the publishing industry never looked better. If you currently have a book in the works with Xlibris, watch your contract for any change in terms, or move to a smaller POD firm if you don't want to get lost in the shuffle.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Selling your books on Amazon Kindle

If you want your books available on the Kindle ebook reader platform, you need to:
upload a PDF of your book on Amazon, and set the Kindle selling price. Ask your publisher for a PDF of the final book if you don't already have it.

Here's the hard-to-find link to the digital text platform upload area: