Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big Name Pay-for-Publishing VS True Self-Publishing

A special post as part of the Blog Party for the Four Hundred Days release.

Both Lor Mandela Destruction From Twins and Lor Mandela 400 Days were self published by author L. Carroll. Many writers are working to publish in the YA fantasy genre so I offer this article to help authors make a more informed decision about publishing.

I wish I had known more about the Self Publishing-Print On Demand Industry before I chose to self publish my first book with a big name vanity publisher back in 2008. Many authors are now choosing to publish with do-it-yourself publishers like CreateSpace and Lulu. I went for a full service POD publisher for my first book. This was a mistake and here is why.

The big pay-for-publishing companies (iUniverse, Xlibris, AuthorHouse etc.) don't make their money selling their author's books. Their income stems from selling expensive publishing packages and marketing/publicity campaigns to their authors.

The suggested retail price for many books published by these companies is preset by the publisher with no author control. It is often way above market standards. Imagine $19.99-$24.99 for a 250 page trade paperback book and $9.99 for a Kindle ebook. Compare this to the 10 bucks for best sellers by world famous authors. A 250 page book POD published should retail for $15.00 or less and the ebook for no more than half the print retail.

On average, these overpriced books sell 5 copies or less (not including to family or friends) One big name admits to many titles not selling a single copy at on-line stores like (In some rare instances some authors have sold hundreds even thousands of copies from these companies) Learn as much about self promotion as you can online and be prepared to work hard to build your reputation.

Books from these companies often have a terrible reputation. The books themselves are believed to be of poor quality and the writing is thought to be weak and in need of professional editing. (Printing quality has improved greatly over the years but the stigma remains) Hire a professional editor to make sure your manuscript is at its best. Also, don’t cheap out on cover design as readers do judge books by their covers.

Some interested readers might shy away from your book when they realize it is published by one of these companies because of the industry reputation. My recommendation: Mail a print copy of your book to reviewers and run contest giveaways at your website or blog to get your book out to the reading public.

by William R. Potter

1 comment:

lormandela said...

Great post, William & thanks for supporting the "Four Hundred Hours to Four Hundred Days" blog tour!

Your advice to research publishing companies is absolutely invaluable! It's also a good idea to talk to other fantastic authors (like, say, YOU), who've self-pubbed already, and get their feedback :)

Thanks again!!!

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