Browse Categories
Information

Reference
Articles and other information on these subjects:
Merriam Press Author Information
 
"Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light."
—Joseph Pulitzer, (1847-1911) American journalist

Merriam Press is no longer accepting manuscripts for publication.

A fall in the bathroom on Christmas morning of 2018, resulted in four broken ribs in my left back. I then spent more than two months of being unable to sit at my desk and do nothing more than answer the day's emails. Even as I write this, almost 13 months after my fall, the ribs are still not completely healed. In all honesty, I could have died that morning.

As a result of this fall, my wife, Mary, wondered what would happen to the business if I was incapacitated, or worse. Truth is, I don't know what would happen. There is no one to take over the business. No one in my family is interested. I am an only child and have no children of my own. My wife's two sons have no interest, and when I am gone they will be left to deal with closing down the business.

I had already reduced the amount of time I spent on the business after getting married in August 2016, having found my soul mate in Mary. Sadly, in October 2019, Mary passed away suddenly without warning from a heart attack. I am heartbroken. Thankfully, I had reduced the time I spent on the business and was able to pack a lot of memories in a little over three years.

After my fall in the bathroom and the broken ribs, I had plenty of time to think about what happens to the business when I am gone. I had already begun to make some changes before Mary died. After her death, more changes were necessary. I will continue to live in and operate the business from the same house.

I will turn 69 in April 2020 and it is time to slow down and just enjoy my remaining years. I had hoped to enjoy those with Mary, but such is not to be. I have grown tired of the amount of effort I have had to put into the business since I started it in 1968. It has been almost non-stop all those years, working every day, all year every year.

And for the first nine years I was also working other jobs and even businesses I started. I almost gopt burned out in the mid-70s when I had a job as a supervisor in a factory and worked up to 70 hours a week during their busy season (May through November)—and then had to come home and work on the business.

The business became a full-time job in 1977 when I just couldn't handle the business and a full-time job. The business had its ups and downs and gradually improved and changed through the years. The change from publishing a magazine and switching to books started in the early 80s and evolved gradually but by 1995 I was doing full-size books.

The business will continue. The books already published will continue to be available through distribution and Lulu, where you will be able to purchase them at a discount that should make most of them less costly than any bookseller can do, including Amazon. That's possible because buying direct from the printer cuts out the middlemen, the distributor and the bookseller.

I will produce material of my own going forward, which will keep me plenty busyh for the rest of my life. I will enjoy doing that, not having to meet deadlines and deal with authors who haven't a clue about writing a book, let alone publishing one. I have met a good number of authors in this business, some of whom have been terrific, and others who have been okay, and then the few that just tried my patience no end. The stress those few authors provided was not healthy for me, even had I not had a heart attack in 2010, but that made any stress even more serious. I will not name names, but some of you will know whol you are, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

God bless to all of the people I have met over these many years, even the difficult ones. I know in some cases I have also been difficult, but I had a vision of how things should be and I also had the knowledge and experience that most authors don't have.

Information for Authors Already Published by Merriam Press

I am gradually moving the books from Amazon's print-on-demand division, now known as Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), formerly CreateSpace (CS). I had grown disenchanted with KDP after Amazon merged CS with KDP in August 2018. Too many changes which made it more difficult for me to contuinue to use KDP for the books I publish.

The biggest issue was KDP no longer provided the kind of detailed data I required for the books they sold. I could not provide accurate sales figures nor make accurate royalty payments to authors.

Lulu, who was the first company I used, in 2006, to print the books on demand for me, had everything I needed and more.

Royalties to authors will be paid directly by Lulu, the printer I am using for most of the books. The percentage will now be 50% on all editions of an author's book(s).

The contract has been completely overhauled and due to the change in roytalty payment method and the percentage, a new contract has to be signed by every author. For complete details on the changes, including changes to the contracts, contact me by email.

Author Assistance

I am leaving this material here as it is still useful to any author.
 
Okay, so you've got a story and some materials for a good book—but maybe you'd like to have someone else polish it up. Here are some people that have contacted me and offer such services, usually for a fee. Unless otherwise stated, the inclusion of a person or company in this section is not an endorsement of their work.
 
Terrific Reference Tools

OWL, the Online Writing Lab, gives you a way to look up the whys and wherefores of grammar.


Also check out this blog which has a list of writing resoruces and 32 other sites and tools authors might find helpful.

The Phrase Finder is a handy thesaurus for phrases.

Need a fact checker? Refdesk.com has all the facts--or links to them--you'll ever need.


Visiting LibrarySpot is like walking in to the local library and walking into the reference room.


Let's say you've got 15 barrels of oil and need to know how many gallons that is. Digital Dutch Unit Converter can tell you it's 630. The site covers just about everything anyone could need to convert... you've just got to see for yourself.


One thing that Digital Dutch doesn't handle, though, is money. You'll need to go to XE for your currency conversions.

Ghostwriters/Editors/Proofreaders

Brooke C. Stoddard
, former Editor of Military Heritage Magazine, former writer/editor of Time-Life Books World War II Series, and editor of the memoirs of Col. James W. Callahan, Jr. Will ghostwrite or edit military memoirs for a fee. 815 King Street, Suite 204, Alexandria, VA 22314.


Tom Houlihan is also an editor, in addition to his map creation skills (see below). Tom has edited several titles published by Merriam Press.


Rodelinde Albrecht
is a professional proofreader and copy editor with many years of experience in a wide variety of subjects. Box 444, Lenox Dale MA 01242.

Raven Eckman
, is a freelance editor and beta-reader. Raven has worked with a range of authors, both self-published and traditionally published, on short stories and novels from horror to contemporary in young adult and adult fiction. You can see current testimonies on Raven's website from previous clients.

Christy Phillippe
, is a freelance writer and editor with over twenty years’ experience in the book publishing industry. Christy has been a managing editor, a senior editor, and an editorial director for various publishing houses, as well as having owned and managed her own editorial business, The Versatile Pen, since 2001. Christy has ghostwritten for such authors as Deborah Norville, Newt Gingrich, Mariel Hemingway, and Michael Gerson, former president George W. Bush’s speechwriter. She is committed to the production of works of the highest quality and excellence, and writes and edits for several academic publishing companies on a wide variety of topics. She possesses strong English and grammar skills, solid proficiency in CMS and other styles of writing, typesetting and design skills, as well as the ability to craft compelling marketing copy, research and write content on short notice, manage multiple projects, and meet tight deadlines.

Maps

If you need maps for a book or article you are writing, then look no further than Tom Houlihan’s web site, Maps at War, here.

Everything you need to know about what Tom needs to do maps for your project are on that page. Tom is looking to turn this into a profitable part-time (maybe eventually full-time) business. He has done some maps for four other published books from the Aberjona Press. His pricing is based on an estimate of time, effort, and cost for the project. But if you want some quality maps for your project, then contact Tom. Superb quality, very professional, and highly recommended.

Tom has also done maps for several books published by the Merriam Press.

Photo Retouching/Restoration

Don Drew originally started photo retouching while working as a photographer back in the 1970s and 80s when retouching/restoration could entail long hours over a magnifier with a tiny brush. He never considered making a separate business of it simply because very few people were willing to pay enough to make it worth his while. Now, with technology, full restoration service is possible at a much more affordable price. For more detaiils visit his web site here.

Foreign Language Translations
 
One customer wanted to know if one of the books Merriam Press publishes (in this particular case a reprint) was available in Dutch. None of the books that were first published by the Merriam Press have been translated into any foreign language (and if they are, they have been done illegally).

As far as is known none of the reprints published by the Merriam Press of older books are available in any foreign language.

Authors are free to approach foreign publishers to produce an edition in that publisher’s language.
 
Indexers

Lawrence H. Feldman, 14401 Traville Garden Circle, Apt #103, Rockville MD 20850; 301-279-5453; Lawrenc846@aol.com. Rate of $3.50 per page (as of September 2005), negotiable.


Thomas Fish, PO Box 571, Greenfield MA 01302; 413-221-8865; tom@tomfish.biz.


Cindy Coan, PO Box 12513, Tucson, AZ  85732-2513; indextran@cox.net; http://www.indexingbythebook.com

Information and Resources for Authors and Publishers
 
Some of the following items are taken from an email newsletter, Dan Poynter's "Publishing Poynter's Newsletter." And some of the information will surprise you. A subscription is free, you can unsubscribe anytime, and he doesn't market his subscription list to anyone nor bombard you with additional unwanted emails. Go to Dan's web site here.

All authors should heed the advice given here as much as possible. No one can sell your book the way you can, because you know it better than anyone else.

Military Writers Society of America (MWSA)

They are an association of more than eight hundred authors, poets, and artists, drawn together by the common bond of military service. Most of their members are active duty military, retirees, or military veterans. A few are lifelong civilians who have chosen to honor the military through their writings or their art. Their only core principle is a love of the men and women who defend this nation, and a deeply personal understanding of their sacrifice and dedication. Go to their home page here. They have many useful features for member authors available on their web site, including a book store where you can list your book (or movie or CD), and they also will review books. They also have their own resources for writers.
 
Word of Mouth is Top Seller of Books
 
According to The Independent, "Publishers can spend a fortune promoting their hottest literary discoveries. Bookshops can deploy all their marketing ingenuity to produce imaginative displays. But when the book-buying public comes to choose a new read, it is word of mouth that counts." Next comes author loyalty.
 
If You Haven't Heard About PRWEB...
 
you should check it out on the net. You can write a publicity release and have it sent out without charge, or you can increase the distribution by making small donations. It is a great service and very effective. See:
 
Reading Groups
 
With their growing popularity, Reading Groups (or Book Groups) are a great tool for building word of mouth—possibly the most powerful and influential marketing tool around. Reading groups range from casual get-togethers in a member's home to virtual reading groups via internet chat rooms. Whatever the venue, the readers are avid and hungry for new titles to read and discuss. Many publishers have established their own reading group source websites highlighting featured selections and offering excerpts, author interviews, and suggested discussion points. Check out www.bookmovement.com, a site devoted to fostering the growth of book clubs.
 
List Your Book on the Para Publishing Web Site...
 
along with your URL here. There is no charge.
 
Writing, Publishing and the Law
 
 
Marketing, Promoting and Distributing Your Books

Magazines, newsletters and other places to send review copies and news releases and more can be found here.
 
Recommended Book Writing and Publishing Suppliers
 
See Dan Poynter's Supplier List. Find editors, proofreaders, ghostwriters, book promoters and much more here.
 
What Not to Say to An Agent or Publisher
  • Never say that your book is unique, that there is no other book like yours.
  • Never say "I am writing a memoir."
  • Never say "Everyone should read my book."
  • Never say "Everyone tells me it would make a great movie."