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Tuesday, December 14, 2004
 
Author Selling Rights to Her Books on Ebay

There's an author trying to auction off the rights to her books on Ebay. You can view the auction at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=377&item=4511768382&r.

There have been 1179 views on that page in just a few days, but not a single bid. OK, that could be because she is asking a minimum of $250,000 for those rights, and she is an unknown author. As far as I can tell, her only publication credits (for novels, anyway) are with Buy Books on the Web.com. Not exactly a well known outfit. On the other hand, her Ebay feedback is really good. So if you decide to make that bid, she'll get back to you right away...

Here is an excerpt from one of the books mentioned in the ad. It needs some editing. Yes, I know some will think it cruel of me to say that. But sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. (If I were going to be cruel, I would have mentioned the overuse of sentence fragments, the incorrect punctuation, and then some. All things this author could have cured by attending writing workshops or joining a critique group.)

Look, writers. There are better ways to make a splash. Write books people want to read -- and yes, this involves editing your little heart out until the writing is up to par. Then, either get an agent (one that doesn't charge a fee!) or submit those books to publishers who pay you instead of the other way around. It's a lot harder than writing a check or putting up an Ebay ad, so I guess that's why writers sometimes try this sort of thing instead.

To be fair, I don't know what I would have done if all these "new" publishing options had been available when I was younger. When I was first trying to publish a novel, the only option for writers who got frustrated with rejections was Vantage Press and similar companies. I knew there was no way I was going to spend thousands of dollars, only to end up with boxes of books in my parents' basement. If vanity POD had been an option then, maybe I would have taken the plunge because of the lower prices. At the very least, I know a cousin or two who would have paid for a copy of the original version of my "Maddox and Leona" novel. But I must say, the rewritten version, once I get back to it, is going to be so much better. Why? Because I became a better writer through hard work, not to mention reading the work of other writers and realizing what worked and what didn't.

Interestingly, on her auction page, she lists her condition as "used." :-)
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