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What is Thomas Nelson up to?

iStock_000008393401XSmall[1]I have just noticed something odd on Amazon: hundreds of books released by Thomas Nelson lists the publisher as the author. You might expect that on their releases that are collective works like Bible translations, but why stuff from well-known Christian authors? Books by Charles Stanley, John C. Maxwell, and Sarah Young have the author’s name scrubbed. Is this an attempt to improve their brand name at the expense of their authors? Or is this just sloppy uploading of the books’ data by someone in their offices? I’m not certain, but I find it weird. We aren’t talking just a handful of titles here, but dozens upon dozens.

See for yourself at Amazon. My first thought was that maybe it was a glitch with that retailer, but when I checked Barnes and Noble online, the same thing came up. (Here’s the Barnes and Noble search results link). However, I didn’t find the same issue at Family Christian’s online store.

I don’t think this is some grand conspiracy to steal the spotlight from deserving authors, but it does make me question how professional their team is. Thomas Nelson isn’t some small outfit- they are a division of HarperCollins, one of the Big 5 Publishers here in the USA. (By they way, I checked the parent’s company works and didn’t find this happening- HarperCollins only claimed authorship to some media tie-in books and some collaborative works like dictionaries.)

Did they do this on purpose? So why are they claiming to be the “author” of books where they have only been the publisher? If done purposefully, then they are hurting their authors’ works, for most readers would search by the author’s name, not the publisher’s. Most have no clue who the publisher is and really don’t care about that. So why is the publisher now claiming to be the author of the work? Well, at least they didn’t purge their names from the actual cover images.

Is this just an oft-repeated error? More likely, this is a mistake from someone in Thomas Nelson’s office. Maybe this is just a data-entry error that keeps getting repeated with every new upload. But if that is the case, you need to wonder about their quality control. Has no one higher up in the company ever bothered to check their products at Amazon or Barnes and Noble to make sure everything is correct?

Frankly, if I were one of their authors I would feel rather insulted by their actions. What are your thoughts on this odd claim to authorship? Is it purposeful or just bumbling?

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Help for Christian Authors

iStock_000018076345SmallAre you a Christian writer who wants to see your manuscript get into print? We at Public Author can help. We are an author publishing services company that specializes in helping writers get their manuscript ready for publication.

Public Author helps Christian authors to self-publish or to get their manuscript ready for submission to an established publisher. Our services include e-book formatting, print book formatting, cover designing, editing, uploading to distributors, and much more.

At Public Author we do NOT charge a percentage of your royalties. We do NOT charge outrageous prices for expensive “packages” like a vanity press. Instead, at Public Author we charge one-time, reasonable fees for our services. We do offer bundled services as packages, but those are discounted deals to save you money.

Our authors have had their books sold through many popular booksellers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Family Christian Stores, Apple, Scribd, and more.

Planning to self-publish? We specialize in helping Christian authors self publish, helping to format a manuscript and getting it uploaded to the most popular book selling sites. We also help Christian authors create print versions of their book.

Wondering about prices? Here is a simple chart that shows the package deals we offer.

Package Pricing Chart

For more details on what we charge for various services, see our Pricing Page.

Ready to get started? Contact Public Author by filling out our Contact Form. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Learn More

We provide editing services.

We design book covers. View our Book Cover Portfolio.

See our Pricing List for details on costs.

Find answers to common questions on our FAQ page.

We design Author Websites. View our Website Portfolio.

We format books, both print and e-book.

Contact us for a free consultation on what services would best fit your needs.

Thank you for your interest in Public Author.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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Help Publishing Books

iStock_000013018311XSmallWe help authors get their books published. Public Author helps writers get their manuscripts ready to publish by offering help with e-book formatting, print book formatting, cover design, uploading to book distributors, and much more.

Need help self publishing? We are here to empower authors to self-publish. We also help authors prepare their manuscript for submission to an established publisher.

Authors who use Public Author’s services have published books through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Createspace, Kobo, Apple, Scribd, and Draft 2 Digital. So can you. Contact us and learn how we can help you get your book published.

Public Author charges only one-time fees for their professional services. We never charge a percentage of your royalties. We never charge outrageous fees for “package deals” that vanity presses charge. Instead, we charge fair rates for the professional author services that you need, and only for those services you need.

Ready to get started? Contact Public Author today by using our Contact Page. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Tracking Your Book Sales

One of the authors that we work with, Eric Lorenzen, recently posted some excellent advice on tracking your book sales. He included a simple Excel spreadsheet so that other authors could upload it and use it. Here is his article:


This post is meant for my fellow writers.  Because I self-publish through my own company (Reader Hill), I am responsible for tracking my book sales from quite a few different distribution channels. To do so, I’ve created spreadsheet with a page for each book. I thought I would share it online in case any other authors might want it.

I use a simple Excel spreadsheet with auto-sum formulas for each column. Here’s a screen shot of the form for those who are curious:

Book Sales Spreadsheet Photo

For each month, I track quantity sold, money earned, and quantity given away. I do this for each book that I’ve published. Using simple auto-sum formulas, the form then gives my a monthly total for all the data in each column.

Lower down on the spreadsheet, I add up the yearly Quantity Totals and yearly Income Totals.

At the bottom of the spreadsheet you will see that there are tabs for each book. I write in the book’s name there and in the top left box.

If you are interested in using the form, it is attached below:

Book Sales Template 2015

I hope this helps some of my fellow writers.

Thanks for reading, Eric

(copyright Eric Lorenzen, used with permission. From


We hope that some of you find this a useful resource for tracking your book sales.

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References in your Writing

Sometimes an author, especially writing for younger audiences, can be hesitant to use harder words, historical references, or complex ideas out of fear that it might turn of the reader. But here is a video that takes the other side of the argument. Watch this video by David Mitchell and consider:


Message from the Queen

Here’s a humorous clip from the UK about our American habit of butchering certain words. Watch, laugh, and learn.

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WestBow Press is just another mask for Author Solutions

iStock_000004259865SmallMany Christian authors have unfortunately been caught in a popular scheme: paying huge amounts money to see their book get into print.  They get caught in a vanity press, where even the simplest services cost thousands of dollars. Most of these vanity presses are now owned by large publishing houses. The largest publisher, Penguin Random House, owns the largest vanity press, Author Solutions, which goes by a myriad of names, including WestBow Publishing.

WestBow, a division of Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, is actually run by Author Solutions. Authors be warned: these vanity presses make their money by selling “publishing packages” to naive, gullible writers who hunger to see their book in print. A vanity press doesn’t make the bulk of its money by selling books; their profits come from marketing to the writer and charging hefty rates for everything from editing to websites, from formatting to distribution.  They even charge for some services that anyone can get for free. Frankly, they will keep coming up with more ways to spend your money until you either run-out or wise-up.

Some may doubt that WestBow is just another mask for Author Solutions, but you need only read WestBow’s own website to learn the truth. Zondervan/Nelson farm-out this business to Author Solutions. A brief quote from their about/ history page:

“Thomas Nelson, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh-largest trade book publishing company in the U.S., has partnered with Author Solutions LLC, world leader in supported self-publishing, the fastest-growing segment of book publishing, to create WestBow Press.”  (quoted from WestBow’s website About/History page. Read in full by following this link.)


 What other options are there for a writer wanting to get published? Thankfully, there are many options available, from traditional publishing to independent publishing.  Do your research and find out what route will work best for you. However, you should NEVER have to pay thousands of dollars to see your book get into print.

What can Public Author offer to help me get published? We provide publishing services at a fixed rate, everything from book formatting to cover designing, from author websites to distribution assistance. Look around our website and see if any of our services will meet your needs. If not, then do more research to find someone who better fits to your desired route. But, whatever you do, be very cautious around any vanity press, even one that calls itself  “Christian” like WestBow. Become educated to avoid buying services you have no need for.

We hope that we can earn some of your business here at Public Author, but even if we don’t we hope that you avoid going to any vanity press. This is just our opinion, but we hate hearing about authors who have lost thousands of dollars on over-priced “publishing packages.”

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Inexpensive Author Websites

GenuineHR websiteAt Public Author, we design inexpensive websites for writers. Although reasonable in cost, the websites are still professional quality and beautiful. We specialize in WordPress-based websites, which offer robust SEO and the ability for detailed site analysis.

We charge a one-time fee, not a monthly rate. You take over after we are done, so there are no hidden monthly fees or maintenance costs. The annual renewal for WordPress is reasonable and your own responsibility.  However, we don’t abandon you. If you ever need extra support (maybe to update your site or expand it), we can help. And we do so at a reasonable cost.

Take a moment to look over the details of our Author Websites or take a look at some of our past projects in our Website Portfolio. You will learn a bit more about what we can do for you.

Contact us today and we will get started on your new Author Website.

Thank You.

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Help for Winepress Authors

Are you one of the many authors left stranded by the sudden closing of Winepress Publishing?
If so, you might want to look at the services offered by Public Author. We can help you get your manuscripts turned into e-books and print books. We can assist you in setting up accounts with the major online booksellers and uploading your books to those sites. We can also design a new author website for you.

Is your book suffering because of the Winepress closure? There is no reason for your Winepress books or novels to suffer any longer. Let us help you bring them back to the market. And we will do it in a way where you will remain in control of your books, website, and e-books.  We will help you to put the Winepress troubles behind you.

We do all these services for reasonable prices. Public Author never takes a percentage of your future sales. Please look around our website and see the many services we offer. We are glad to help the many authors left hanging by the closing of Winepress Publishing. We are sorry for the stress or confusion you are facing and we hope we can alleviate them for you.

Winepress Authors, please see us to get your books and novels back in print and available to the big bookstores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. We are Public Author, a service of New Wind Business Solutions.

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Publishing Services

Thank you for considering us. We want to help get your book or novel back out there for the public to find.

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