Tuesday, October 15, 2013


What happens when an isolated peaceful community is confronted with a murderer? KILLRAVEN is a fictional Chesapeake Bay island, an isolated place rich in the traditions of its independent people. Now a murderer walks among them.

Question from the e-mail: I have Paypal already, Arline, so why do you keep touting it all the time on your blog and in your payment letters and e-mails? Couldn't you give it a rest?

Answer: Well I could give it a rest, but as most of you know by now I am trying to keep this firm solvent through the present sales slump and also to learn what other publishers are doing to increase circulation and in response to yet another postage rise.

Some already pay once a year, they claim:

1. It makes it easier for authors to file taxes.

2. Authors usually receive a sum that is worth driving to the bank, no small thing with today's gas prices.

AND of course it saves three times as much in postage as paying four times a year, which we currently do. Paying twice a year would cut postage costs in half.

Many authors do little self promotion and consequently sell few copies. Many sell ONE copy, especially if I promote their book on this blog and that one copy may earn them as little as 0.80 cents if it is bought through a site's book club.

Consequently, it can cost us  $0.59 to send them a check for $0.80. We have more than 275 authors under contract. In this quarter, three quarters of the payees sold one book.

With Paypal, because we have a business account, it costs us NOTHING to send .80 to an author. Hence my "touting Paypal" on this blog. AND the author does not have to drive to the bank, but can move it into a bank account while sitting at the computer, wearing bedroom slippers.

When we assumed this site from the former owner on Jan. 1, 2000, it was losing money and had a bad business reputation due to authors who complained they had not been paid. I was an author. I, too, had expected more earnings, but soon found that sales increased after I did an online radio talk show. I did a few more and in the five years I was with the former ebooksonthe.net owner, I was always paid in full and on time, so I can't address the truth of any of those complaints from the last century, except to say that it never happened to me. We did find records of money owing to some authors at the time and Sandy List and I paid them all.

Since then, we have paid every cent due, every quarter. We lost money for several years before we broke even and eventually did quite well. Nobody was getting rich -- the business makes about the same thing as the authors make. Now the wolf is hanging around our gate again. In those early years we only published 10 or 12 books a year, we sold only from our own sales site, and we didn't do paper. Sandy and I almost made a pet of him.

Last year we published 67 paper books and 75 e-books.  We have weathered slumps before and certainly expect to be around in the future. That means looking at every expense and cutting costs wherever we can just now.

We appologize if our constant reminder to get a Paypal account is aggravating, especially when you already have one. It costs nothing but your own vigilance for anyone to have a safe PayPal account. Anyone with an e-mail address can get one. So chances are you will  hear this message at least one more time.

Not in the current slump, but in the past, authors have earned up to $3,000 in sales per quarter. Not me, of course -- I'm too busy publishing to do the kind of promotion that kind of sales require. But if it were me, I'd surely HATE to wait nine more months to be paid.

Our CPA advises us to stay as is and "wouldn't recommend" our paying less than twice a year. We'd like to know what you think. Now that I don't have Sandy around to tell me what to do anymore, I'm asking your advice. Comment here, or send me an e-mail at: arline@mail.com


  1. About Paypal accounts and payment schedules:

    I have had a Paypal account for many years prior to signing on with Write Words. I use it to buy on Ebay (Ebay requires a Paypal accnt) and numerous other retailers such as Zappos, Drug Store.com and Etsy, to name a few. Granted, I live in a very rural area and the cost of gasoline in California is among the highest in the nation, so having products delivered to my USPS post office is a huge advantge because I do not have to drive down the mountain to make 50 to 60 mile round trips on gas-guzzling mountain roads, (especially from an elevation of 6,000 ft-plus down into the valley are costly).

    After Arline pays into my Paypal account, I can leave the money there to shop Online or transfer the money in part, or in whole, to my own checking account, via Paypal. And thus, avoid a trip down the mountain to my bank.
    And the quarterly royalty payments are a godsend... so much easier to budget and work out a promo plan for. I like knowing which venues are the better sellers at various 'seasons'. As an author, I would not want it any other way. Sincerely, Elizabeth Eagan-Cox

    1. This is one opinion that certainly counts with US as Elizabeth is, again this quarter, our best-selling author!

      What about the rest of you?

  2. I would prefer electronic payments. It has nothing to do with gas prices for me. I have 3 bank branches within a 3 mile radius. It's a time issue for me. I can't get there during banking hours.