Monday Mentions: Amazing Cat Agility & Writer-icity CAUTION!


Maurice-the-Dragon breathes FIRE when writers get dissssssed!

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Check out the SQUEEE! cute pet-astic videos at the bottom, too. If you’ve ever wondered whether cats can be trained…just get a load of 8-month-old Suki in the video. For new followers to the blog, welcome! and you can expect more cat and dog specific schtuff later in the week on Wednesday and Friday.


Visit me THIS WEEKEND at the OWFI Writers Conference, I’ll be speaking on The Reinvented Writer and signing books. Gots my sparkle-icity all lined up.

Argo Navis & Lazy Literary Agents?  Wow David, tell us what you REALLY think! LOL!

What the Hell Is A Hybrid Author? an irreverent (and spot-on) discussion from Chuck Wendig *warning language…and warning, you’ll snort beverage. Just sayin’

Harper Collins Enhanced E-books now this is way kewl!

 How To Break Into Magazine Writing

Publisher Jailed for Defrauding Authors Scam publisher Peter Campbell-Copp, of Historical Pages Publishing

Leaf Books In Trouble according to Writer Beware there’s been no update since last August and publications/payments still delayed.

In Defense of Emoticons, Asterisks, Etc  BOL!!!!!!!!

Dramatic -$$ for Authors, Yikes! from my colleague Patricia Fry, a major Authors Beware fee-paying moment.

DIP Press Beware: Spam Emailing Authors I got a note a week or ago as did several of my colleagues, as follows:

“Hi there, I am an independent literary agent contracted by my client; DIP Press, to target potential Authors for publishing.  This is not an offer for self publishing; there are no fees of any sort required from chosen Authors. Manuscript submissions are currently being accepted for a limited number of slots.  If you are interested please email myself or the editor at one of the addresses below: Editor:  Ron (me): “

The note came to me via a writers BBS that I had not visited in over two years, so I asked Ronnie Pherson why I received the note and he answered:

“Hi Amy, Thank you for your message on this side! Concerning the message I sent to you, DIP is looking for authors for summer and fall schedules. This year’s budget was set for the purpose of growth and expansion, giving DIP the ability to bring on more authors and produce and promote them effectively.  My job is to bring authors to the table, however, decisions to publish are made by the lead editor, Jason Fisher. If you have specific questions please ask and I will be glad to answer them for you or find the answer as soon as I can. Thanks, Ron 

So I asked for details, as follows:

  • Since you are the “agent” contact would you be the author’s agent/advocate or are you advocating for the publisher?
  • What are the DIP Press terms? (royalty rates, duration of contract, etc)
  • Who have you published? (titles/authors)
  • Where are books distributed? (amazon, iTunes, Kobo, B&N, Diesel, etc)
  • Detail what “marketing” is included?

Ronnie answered (somewhat incompletely):
“Great questions! In response to your questions; I would be considered the Author’s Advocate.” (This is odd–since he’s been hired by DIP and one assumes is paid by them, how can he then negotiate with them to the benefit of a client? Does he get a flat fee for bringing authors to the table? And on top of that, an agent percentage? Or a cut of books sold? or what?…and when I google the editor James Fisher, there’s not a lot of info. Yes, I’m a weee bit suspicious).

“Terms vary from Author to Author, however, an agreement will be sent with that information in the event you are selected. (So DIP declines to share details until/unless you’re picked). I know that the rates are very good, among the best in the industry among traditional publishers. (Sorry, but that’s not saying much…if it’s for Ebooks, when I can make 70% royalty on my own why would I go with DIP at a 26% royalty…which is just a tick above the “traditional publisher” standard). I have seen contracts for as short as a year and as long as 5 years. This, like many things in the agreement, can be negotiated. (Okay, that’s a positive that terms should be open to negotiation–again, with a strong advocate agent intent on rep’ing the author without potential conflicts of interest).

“You can see more titles here:  -DIP is also known for its high profile/celebrity Authors. (Really? What celebrities? Folks, please look for some DIP authors and point me to the celebs, because I didn’t find any or I’m clueless and didn’t recognize ’em as famous). In terms of Marketing, DIP has a sophisticated system to promote books and get sales. Activities consist of interviews, press, ads, and a host of other avenues. (Again, please point me to some books from DIP doing well in terms of sales/ranking). I hope this helps! Ron 

I’ll give big props to Ron and DIP for responding and offering some answers. The website lists a good-size list of author names, although most of the links do not yet have live info. After a search of my go-to resource Writer Beware I found one 2011 list of similar spam-mail messages soliciting authors. That situation offered a innovative publishing program that required $$ to participate, but wasn’t necessarily seeking to rip-off anyone. If interested in DIP I’d urge y’all to do further investigation. There are LOTS of opportunities these days to publish–and there be sharks in them-thar waters.


 A Different Kind of Smart — fascinating look at tool use and cognition in animals (crows, elephants, chimps, etc).

Laser Treatment for Dogs from the perspective of one super-special pooch!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!


Monday Mentions: Amazing Cat Agility & Writer-icity CAUTION! — 10 Comments

  1. I always get the warm fuzzies when Fidose of Reality is mentioned in your column. Thanks and see you soon! We have more laser treatment updates this week, as we are going for a knee brace custom orthotic.

    • You’re very welcome! I’ve become very suspicious over the years–have been burned a couple of times myself so am a weeeee bit sensitive. My bullscheister meter alarm went off when I got that out-of-the-blue email. Hey, might be a good choice for some folks, just as long as they go into it with their eyes open.

  2. Great articles this week. Writers go through so much – sometimes I don’t see how they keep those creative juices flowing! Amy please say a little kitty prayer for my sweet Macy – once on Fri., Sat. and Sun. she vocalized she was in some sort of pain. Tried to figure it out – thought it was possibly a hairball. Took her to vet and had to leave her so they could do labs, xray, exam, antibiotic injection, etc. NO hairball but bladder infection. He also did a therapeutic laser (MLS Laser Therapy) tx on her to relax her bladder. We have to give her liquid drops of medicine each day. Every cat I’ve had the past 30 years has been on distilled water because of a prior cat having a kidney infection. He also wants me to get something called a DAP plugin that has phermones released to help her relax and any anxiety so her bladder will relax. I would be so grateful for your opinion on the bladder infection or a book you may have that addresses this. Also, what do you think about the laser therapy and that plugin? Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge, experience, opinions, etc. with all of us.

    • Oh no! Poor Macy…and poor you. The plugin is Feliway for cats, and Comfort Zone with DAP (dog appeasing phermone) for dogs. So if it’s for a kitty I suspect he meant the Feliway.

      Both are species-specific pheromone analogues that help cats feel “safe” in the environment, and for dogs reduce fear. I often recommend these products for my consult clients. When fear or stress influences the health issue, the products that relieve stress certainly could help.

      Laser therapies have such a wide range of applications these days. I’m not familiar with its use for bladder relaxation but new things come out every day! The ComPETability: Cats book covers some tips for dealing with stress and fear, so that might help. Please keep me posted.

  3. I am so embarrassed that I haven’t taught Mewdy Blue more tricks after watching that video! I’m sure he would do them but he’d never do agility as quickly as that cat. He’s more of a slowly and surely type 🙂

    • Andrea, I was amazed at the kitty agility video, too. In her younger days, Seren would have been a natural–but a video audience would be the only way anyone would see it, LOL! I noticed this is a kitten, too. I think the “slowly/surely” comes with maturity.

Leave a Reply