Monday, May 17, 2010

What is a Self-Publishing Company?

The greatest realization I had in my entire process was realizing what Authorhouse and other 'self-publishing' companies were. This came to me when I was pretty set and determiend to get things rolling and noticed that there were percentages and cuts the company made for each sale. This seemed out of place. Here is a company that you are paying to make your book. Then, after thousands of dollars of paying them, they will take a large percentage of all sales. ALL SALES OF YOUR BOOK. If you want to sell the book yourself, let's say, as a door to door salesman, you would need to pay TOP DOLLAR to buy your own book. Something was very wrong here.

To add to this, my rep at Authorhouse was replaced. Maybe she retired, or maybe its common practice that any non-sale changes rep after a year. She was great and always helpful. My new rep was a young guy who seemed less interested in knowing what my wants and needs were. But after the third time I asked him for something simple and him not getting back to me (when specifically he said he would) I was done. Why should I work my ass off for a company I am paying? And then, when the book is done, only make $2-$5 a sale per book? How many thousands of books would I need to individually sell just to break even? I lost all interest and knew I had to start my own company and do this myself.

The main argument for not going with a [real] publisher is that you have to share profits with them, but this argument is balanced out when you realize any publisher worth doing business with has the power to get your book out there. But why share profits with a company that you pay to begin with and then does NOTHING to help to market? Start your own company and reap 100% of the profits.

Knowing what I do now, I am glad I ditched this idea and it's scary to think I almost went down this road. I wish I realized it earlier but nonetheless, I did it on my own and it was an admirable discovery. Now, just because these 'self-publishing' companies (which should NEVER call themselves such) are not for me, I don't want to discredit them completely. They have many beneficial aspects and to some degree, should always be included for consideration. First of all, it's cheap. Second of all, it's a one-stop book making process. Most people don't have the time to make a book themeselves, let alone write one. If you happen tow rite one, you may have exhausted all free time you have for the next few years. When you publish a book with your own company, you are doing everything youself. EVERYTHING. So these companies can be a real time saver without the fuss and mess of worrying. It's just a crock that they kill you in the long run with profit sharing.

I think what began my skepticism to these companies was Xilibris, who called me every 2 weeks with the most monotone, unethusiastic sales person. Seriously, and actor COULDN'T act and be more uninterested like this company. "Hi, I'm calling from Xilibris and I am calling to see if you are ready to publish your book yet," says a zombie sales rep. "Not yet," I replied. "When will you be ready?" the sales rep asks. My God. All they want is your money. While it may seem easier to go with one of these companies, I would strongly recommend you avoid them at all costs.

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