Writer's Fortune Cookie Predictions

If I accept your book to publish, I'll send you one of these (free) to ensure you finish your book.

Imagine breaking open a fortune cookie with a
prophecy of writing success. This little package contains 42 messages from a bossy oracle that push you to think bigger and get writing. Even though we don't supply the actual cookies, you can pluck out one message a day for 6 weeks when you need inspiration.



Writer's Fortune Cookie Prediction #41: You will turn that rejected article into a tip sheet and sell it directly to your target reader for an irresistible price. Profits will surpass your original expectation. Copyright Andrea Reynolds 1996-2015.

Writer's Fortune Cookie Prediction #9: You will be asked to teach an unusual writing course. Say yes. Your students will teach you. Copyright Andrea Reynolds 1996-2015.

Writer's Fortune Cookie Predictions are perfect as...
1. A secret weapon against "writer's block."

2. Membership premiums for writers groups.

3. A fund raising item for writer's groups.

4. Souvenir items at book fairs and book festivals.

5. Motivators for writing classes.

6. Holiday stocking stuffers for writers.

7. Inserts in real fortune cookies for the writers in your life.

8. A thoughtful gift or clever fund raiser for your writer's conference, book fair, or literacy project.

You don't have to be one of our authors to have your own Writer's Fortune Cookie Predictions,
click to order.

One Manuscript

This is one manuscript. With multiple revisions. All typewritten. That's right… not on computer. It will all have to be scanned, page by page, before it's edited.


Letters Home From World War II

Letters home from the Pacific in WW II. Maybe it's a book; maybe it isn't. Family and friends saved all these letters for the writer. While the letters represent our history dating back to 1941 (60 years!), two factors make these letters not so interesting. The writer was not so chatty, and censorship was strong during the war… in case the letters were to fall into enemy hands.


One good suggestion we received is to copy/scan the letters as is, rather than retype them all, and add comments and photos between them.

Do You Understand Crowdfunding?

For the third time we have successfully crowd-funded a book, The Kindness Test, one of three books in our publishing queue. (The other two books we crowd-funded with private investors were The 1982 Executive Guide to Professional Image Consultants in Canada, and The Halo Factor.)


When people saw the white letters of our book title on the sides of our big red van, they wanted to know more about the future book. They seemed to be quite fascinated that they were in conversation with a real author.


What we found "interesting" is that most people who were excited about the book did NOT want to be a patron even though their investment was fully refundable at any time prior to publication. They didn't want to share in the profits by paying a lower price for the book nor share in the publishing process excitement. Most people we talked to on both sides of the Canadian/US border said, "I'll buy a copy at full price when it's ready." Perhaps most people still don't understand the concept of crowd-funding even though many of these people do enjoy gambling at the casinos.

Of the 1500 units of The Kindness Test available to the reading public, all but 1/2 a unit are now spoken for. These people who took a small financial risk are our patrons. They will share in the net profits of the book and any spinoffs, like paid speaking events that result - about 37.5% - when it is published and selling. The author-publisher of the book holds the other 2500 units. These backers will also be acknowledged by name and/or company inside the book. (Most of the patrons hold multiple units, from 2 to 200.)

The prepublication price is currently $9.95 for the e-book edition and the post-publication price will be $19.95. Readers can pre-order any time prior to publication.

Seven Ways to Kill a Publishing Deal

As you know, I’ve recently launched the second book publishing company in my career: Bitango Books. After both parents passed away in 2011, my mother’s copyrights to her two successful books passed to me, as did her unpublished manuscript for a “racy” novel, as well as my father’s letters home from the Pacific in World War II. So it made sense for me to create a new publishing vehicle for their works, my own future books, and works of other nonfiction authors.

I bring to the table 4 critical skills:
1) the ability to successfully fund publishing projects from angel investors before the book is written (3 times),
2) my 33 years’ experience marketing authors and their books in the national/international press and media,
3) my 12 years of editing books for other authors, and
4) my 21 years’ experience representing and negotiating better contracts for speakers (fees, amenities and terms).
I self-published my first book in 1982 so I think my qualifications speak for themselves.

My new publishing company is somewhat unconventional. (Bitango means rogue or gypsy.) We offer a small advance against bigger royalties than most traditional publishers and offer contracts that are fair to authors. (I’m a member of the National Writers Union myself.) Not only do we advocate for you as a paid speaker, but we also create a free-standing web site for you on which to promote your book.

In return I like to see authors make an effort. So when they do some of the following, I have to think they are standing in their own way and may be difficult to work with or “high maintenance.” Here are some behaviors I’ve seen that will turn a publisher off:

  • Don’t have a body of written work that can be accessed. Publishers need to see that you can write well consistently.

  • Don’t send a copy of the manuscript when a publisher has invited you to send it for consideration. How else can we evaluate your book and offer a contract?

  • Don’t tell us your web site address, Twitter name, or Facebook link. Keep them secret so we can’t follow and friend you.

  • Don't tell us the size of your manuscript so we know how big or small it is in words or pages.

  • Say, “No thanks, I want to secure an agent first” when we say we’d like to see your manuscript. The point of having an agent is to get publishers to ask to see your manuscript. You got us to do that, why reject the invitation?

  • Don’t have a written marketing plan for your book. If you don’t have an inkling as to how to get your book into reader’s hands how will a publisher know you have written a book that is marketable to your audience?

  • Don’t trust the publisher’s expertise and experience. Some authors have submitted manuscripts for which they have paid dearly for bad editing, ugly cover design, and a messy layout and insist we not change anything prior to publication. And, if a manuscript gets the message across in 50,000 words, why insist on publishing 90,000 words?

These seven behaviors and others seem to be prevalent among new authors. This tells me I should seriously think of teaching seminars and offering one-on-one consultations (paid) for new authors to stop them from getting in the way of their book publishing success.