Good Yule, Good Health

Good Yule
(and Happy Holidaze)

Waes Hael — Drinc Hael

larry_janis_12-25-2015_400px      toyon_tecolote_canyon_2016

Wishing you good health and joy in the coming new year.
May you live as long as you want and
never want as long as you live.

♩ ♫ ♩ ♫ ♩ ♫ ♩

                                Larry and Janis

2016 Highlights

•  Book News:

•  In the better-late-than-never department, book trailer (video) for Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss.
Book sales have trailed off but remain at a steady, if modest, pace. I continue to be gratified by the overwhelmingly positive reception it has received, and I am glad to hear from those who say the book has helped them deal with a similar tragedy in their lives.

•  Author Connie Saindon and I are pleased that Murder Survivor’s Handbook and The Journey are helping many people deal with the traumatic grief and related issues that often accompany the violent death of a loved one. The books are highly regarded by therapists and those who provide victim support services, as well as by individuals who directly benefit from them.

•  What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet continues to be well regarded and received a laudatory endorsement from Midwest Book Review:

This first-hand account . . . is an invaluable addition to the growing library of American Civil War memoirs and biographies. A compelling read from beginning to end, . . . [it] is very highly recommended for both community and academic library American Civil War collections.

•  Blog: More in the better-late-than-never department, I revitalized the Polishing Your Prose blog with the series From the Editor’s Eye: The 10 Most Common Errors Made by Writers (And How to Fix Them)

•  More Book News: I edited a number of books over the past year, all of which merit publication, and one was published: Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife by Barbara McNally (Koehler Books). This book offers an intimate look into the chaotic and demanding lives of military spouses, partners, and families as they adjust to living with combat veterans who have been injured, physically and emotionally. Wounded Warrior, Wounded Wife addresses a subject matter critical to our society; I am proud to be included this worthwhile project and highly recommend this book.

•  Music Arena: Janis took a break from her globe-trotting bird trips (Africa, Alaska, Australia, et al.; she’s now a member of the 700 Club) and in July we went cross-country to Winston-Salem, NC, to visit Richard Chance and Christie Anderson. We enjoyed a delightful old-time music jam session, and Richard and I recorded some tunes, including:
•  Moonshiner Stomp
•  Spellbound Waltz

Related Links

Photos: (L) Larry and Janis viewing the sculptures of Ricardo Breceda in Borrego Springs, California; (R) Toyon, also known as the California Christmas tree.

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A Day in the Life: Author, Editor, and Independent Publisher

A Day in the Life Presents: Author, Editor, and Independent Publisher, Larry M. Edwards

Interview with yours truly by Terrie Relf, founder of the Ocean Beach Writers Networking Group.

The group meets most Thursdays at Te Mana Café in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., or until we run out of things to talk about.

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Violent Loss Resources Newsletter, December 2016

Violent Loss Resources Newsletter, December 2016
= Edward Rynearson, MD, keynote speaker, Safe Crossings on Childhood Grief, February 24
= Traumatic Grief after Violent Dying, two-day conference, April 8-9
= Topic of the Month: Remembering and Rituals
= Question of the Month: What do you want us to remember about your loved one?
= Poem: Christmas in Heaven
= Contact us

Survivors of Violent Loss


Edward Rynearson, MD, leading specialist in Violent Death Bereavement, will be the keynote speaker atSafe Crossings on  Childhood Grief in Seattle, Washington, on Friday, February 24. To find out more about this one-day program contact:

Save the Date: April 8 & 9, 2017, for  a Traumatic Grief after Violent Dying  two-day conference featuring both National and Local leaders and survivors. The program will be designed for clinicians and advocates who work with violent death.  Virginia Mason Medical Centers Separation and Loss Services leader Edward Rynearson, MD, and UCSD Medical School Residency Program Director,  Sid Zisook, come together to put this workshop on, with funding support from the Caldera/Saindon Grant.  Details to follow.  Email to make sure your name is on the list for notification.

Topic of the Month

Remembering and Rituals

Lives are like rivers, they go where they must…

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CreateSpace Or IngramSpark? POD Pros & Cons + Cost Comparison

I hear a lot of chatter (often uninformed or misinformed) about POD (print on demand) services being offered to self-publishing/independent authors by a growing number of service providers.





Ultimately, the author contemplating self-/indie publishing wants to know:

  • Which one is best?
  • Which one is the best fit for me?
  • Which one will give me the best ROI (return on investment); i.e., make me the most money?

This blog provides a quick overview in response to these questions.

Why am I an authority? I have been a POD publishing consultant since 2007, back when Lightning Source (a division of Ingram Book Company) was the go-to outfit for savvy indie authors. (Even the Big Five in New York use Lightning Source when they need a quick turnaround for printing a hot seller.)

I later formed Wigeon Publishing and continued to use LSI because it offered the best pricing, options, and ROI. Even when Amazon’s CreateSpace (formerly On Demand Publishing) muscled into this arena, I continued to recommend Lightning Source to the authors I worked with (due to the quality of printing and lower pricing) over any other service.

However, things have changed, Lightning Source-parent Ingram created IngramSpark (reduced the set-up fee but increased the printing cost) to go head-to-head with CreateSpace. After a close examination of the options, I have been recommending CreateSpace as the first and best choice for self-published/independent authors using POD, followed by IngramSpark as the second option. In some cases, using a combination of both services offers a broader range of trim sizes, formats, and distribution options for authors.

I know some authors want it simple: a one-stop-shop. That’s fine. But just remember, there is no free lunch, the hyperbole notwithstanding. I do NOT recommend any of the other publishing services (except one, see below under Bottom Line), primarily because they offer abysmal ROI and hidden costs, and they use hard-sell tactics to convince naïve authors to purchase expensive packages while making unrealistic promises with regard to distribution, marketing, and so-called “royalties.” Horror stories abound.

Below I detail the pros & cons of CreateSpace and IngramSpark, and I compare the costs involved and the financial return (publisher compensation) for the  self-pub author.

Note: The prices quoted below are subject to change in 2017, but the relative differences between CS and IS are likely to remain about the same. The figures cited below do not include handling or shipping fees, or sales tax. Printer layouts require the page count to be a multiple of 2; remember to include pages for title, copyright, acknowledgments, dedication, author profile, etc.



  • You can be the publisher, or you can designate CS as the publisher (not recommended).
  • Author can provide own ISBN and imprint (recommended).
  • No set-up fee, if author supplies interior and cover layouts (2 PDF files).
  • No annual fee.
  • Author may buy copies of book for the cost of printing.
  • Sell directly to Amazon (40 percent discount), eliminating the distributor/middleman; (i.e., you make more money).
  • Expanded distribution (beyond Amazon) through Lightning Source.
  • Reasonable shipping costs — CreateSpace shipping costs are markedly lower than IngramSpark
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Pays author/publisher 60 days after sale (IngramSpark pays after 90 days).


  • Format limited to paperback books; does not offer hardback options.
  • Book must have at least 128 pages to have title printed on the spine.
  • Expanded distribution through Lightning Source/Ingram, resulting in price discounted by 60% (standard industry wholesale discount is 55%), making margins thin, at best; i.e., if your retail price is not high enough to generate even a tiny profit, CS will not let you use this option.
  • Does not allow returns (one of the reasons bookstores refuse to stock books printed/published through CreateSpace).
  • No discounts for bulk purchases.
  • Charges sales tax whether author/publisher has a resale certificate or not.

Fixed Charges (base price, no quantity discounts)

  • Paperback book (6×9), 110-828 pages   $0.85 per book, plus $0.012 per page
    Total, 250-page book               $3.85

Sales revenue (it is NOT a royalty if you are the publisher):

  • Trade paperback, $14.95 retail price
    You get:
    eStore – $8.11
    Amazon – $5.12
    Expanded Distribution – $2.13

Optional services:

  • editing — $0.012/word (75,000 words = $900)
  • cover design
    • support          $  99 (to make file meet submission requirements)
    • custom           $399
    • premier          $599
  • interior design
    • support          $149 (to make file meet submission requirements)
    • simple            $199
    • custom          $349
  • Kindle file conversion
    • basic              $  79
    • complex         $139
    • kids’ book      $149

(Note: prices as of January 2016; Price Calculator.)


ingramspark_logo2xIngramSpark (Lightning Source lite)

 With IngramSpark, you are the publisher. You own all the rights, you keep 100% of the profit. IngramSpark (spinoff of Lightning Source) is owned by Ingram Book Company, the powerhouse book wholesaler/distributor, and the book is immediately available to retailers worldwide. (Lightning Source also offers offset printing for large orders, which can reduce printing costs.) Compared to CreateSpace, IngramSpark offers much less hand-holding and customer service has longer response times.


  • You are the publisher (IS is a book printing service, not a book publisher).
  • Offers two hardback options: case laminate and cloth with dust jacket.
  • Will print title on the spine of books with as few as 80 pages.
  • Wide range of trim sizes and format options.
  • Author may buy copies of book for the cost of printing.
  • Distribution through industry powerhouse Ingram to retailers and libraries.
  • Discounts for bulk purchases.
  • Does not charge sales tax if author/publisher has a resale certificate.
  • Author may include book in Ingram catalog ($60 fee).
  • Allows returns (one of the requirements of bookstores to stock a book), but will assess a hefty penalty/fee for returned books. The author/publisher has the option of accepting returns and have the book destroyed, in which case the return fee will not be assessed, but the author/publisher still pays for the cost of printing the book.


  • Set-up fees (and revision fees).
  • Annual fee.
  • Author must provide print-ready cover and interior layouts (PDF files).
  • Author must provide ISBN.
  • Does not offer editing or design services, although it does have “Friends” that it will refer authors to upon request.
  • Distribution through Ingram, inserting a middleman that takes an additional 15% off the top (standard industry discount of 55%; you can choose a smaller discount, but bookstores are unlikely to stock it because it reduces the profit margin).
  • Shipping costs are markedly higher than CreateSpace.
  • Customer service lackluster at best, and can be frustrating.
  • Pays author/publisher 90 days after sale (CreateSpace pays after 60 days).

 Fees and printing charges:

  • Setup:             $49 (for each edition, softcover/hardcover;
    revisions $25 per interior or cover file)
  • Annual:         $12

 Fixed Charges (base price, quantity discounts available)

  • Paperback book (6×9)             $0.99 per book, plus ~$0.0144/page
    Total, 250 pages                       $4.60 per book (discount for large orders)
  • Casebound  (6×9)                     $6.60 per book, plus ~$0.0122 per page
    Total, 250 pages                       $9.65 per book (discount for bulk purchases)
  • Cloth bound w/dust jacket (6×9) $8.31 per book, plus ~$0.0115 per page
    Total, 250 pages                       $11.19 per book (discount for large orders)

Sales revenue (publisher compensation) = 100% of net receipts (55% wholesale discount to distributor):

  • Trade paperback (6×9), $14.95 retail price
    You get:                             $2.13
  • Casebound (6×9), $24.95 retail price
    You get:                             $1.58
  • Cloth cover w/dust jacket (6×9), $28.95 retail price
    You get:                             $1.84

IngramSpark periodically has a special offer: free setup w/order of 50 or more books.

Optional services:     Ebook conversion        contact for pricing

(Note: prices as of February 2016; Publisher Compensation Calculator quotes a slightly lower printing cost than the published Products & Services Pricing.)

ROI comparison, Create Space versus IngramSpark

This comparison assumes the project is DIY (do it yourself) for a 250-page trade paperback book, trim size 6×9, retail price: $14.95:

Books sold by Amazon (likely to be 90% or more of your retail sales)

Setup Fee      Annual Fee    Cost/Bk         You get (profit)

Create Space     $00                $00              $3.85              $5.12
IngramSpark     $49               $12               $4.60              $2.13 (minus % of fees)

Books sold on the open market (bookstores)

Setup Fee      Annual Fee    Cost/Bk         You get (profit)

Create Space    $0.00             $0.00            $3.85             $2.13
IngramSpark     $49                $12                $4.60             $2.13  (minus % of fees)

Advantages of CreateSpace

  • Distribution directly to Amazon at 40% off list price.
  • No set-up fee (if you provide your own interior and cover layouts).
  • No annual fee.
  • Printing and shipping costs lower than IngramSpark.
  • Significantly higher sales revenue for books sold through Amazon.
  • Customer service markedly better than IngramSpark.

Advantages of IngramSpark

  • Distribution through Ingram; opens market to virtually all bookstores and libraries.
  • Printing quality may be better than Amazon (subjective judgment).
  • Offers hardcover books (CS does not).
  • Offers more trim (physical size) options than CS.
  • Direct access to Espresso Book Machine (being installed by Barnes & Noble).

Bottom Line

For the newbie book publisher, begin with CreateSpace and use the Extended Distribution option. If you want a hardback edition or better broad-market distribution, add IngramSpark. You can use both of them simultaneously, same ISBN for paperback, separate ISBN for hardback. I do not recommend any other POD publishing service, other than Mill City Press.

Additional Resources

To learn more, or for a cost estimate on preparing/managing your book for publication, contact:

Larry Edwards

Posted in Publishing | 2 Comments

Veterans: You Were Making History…We Thank You

Excerpts from a speech at the dedication of the 20th Maine Monuments at Gettysburg, October 3, 1889.

Emerging Civil War

veterans day 2016

Emerging Civil War extends a sincere “thank you” to military veterans for their service.

You have or are currently defending freedom and justice. You keep America safe. We honor your commitment to keeping the Stars and Stripes flying. Thank you!

“A quarter of a century ago…you were doing what you deemed your duty. Today you come with modest main, with care more for truth than for praise, to retrace and record the simple facts…

“You were making history. The world has recorded for you more than you have written. The centuries to come will share and recognize…with growing gratitude…

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Violent Loss Resources Newsletter, November 2016

Reblogging this important newsletter related to violent loss . . .

Survivors of Violent Loss

Topic of the Month
Long-Term Consequences

It ain’t over when it’s over!

Survivor families look forward to getting their lives back to normal when sentencing has taken place or the case is on hold or solved in different way.  When time becomes more of their own design and not controlled by steps in the justice process many realize their normal world has changed.   They  may experience: continued involvement with  criminal justice, health problems that demand notice, intense imagery  that seems to come from nowhere,  angry outbursts surprise them, increased fear of crime and safety issues for themselves,  family  and friends, relationship changes,  career changes, loss of faith, social isolation, family dysfunction and more.  The time to pay attention to the emotional toll is now front and center.

Bravoharrier-1. It’s a topic that needs to be discussed more, because the conventional attitude has always been “get over it.” But mental…

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Violent Loss Resources Newsletter, October 1, 2016

Reblogging this important newsletter related to violent loss . . .

Survivors of Violent Loss

Violent Loss Resources Newsletter, October 1, 2016

  • Topic of the Month:  Victim Impact, Justice & Unsolved Cases
  • Question of the Month: What mistake do you want to help others avoid?
  • News:  Hotline/Chatline crime victim centered and trauma informed
  •  Resource of the Month: Crime Stoppers
  • Inspiration: Kaila Quote

Topic of the Month:
Victim Impact, Justice & Unsolved Cases

One thing we are certain of … anyone who has lost a loved-one, and then goes through  a criminal trial, whether it is a death-penalty case or not, knows that, in the end, there are no winners, no closure, no “happy endings.” What was done can never be undone … (Valeria)


Today, judges  are compelled by law to give co-victims an opportunity to address the court. All states guarantee the right for those who have been most affected by a crime to present a written or oral statement in…

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