At BookLocker.com, we’ve lost some business over the years because we refuse to rip off authors. Yes, you read that right. We could have raked in millions selling services like press release distribution, Hollywood script services, displaying books at book fairs, shopping manuscripts to producers, and so much more. But, we flat refuse to earn a profit from a hopeful author’s vanity. There are other reasons as well. We believe in Karma. We want to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror each night. We want our families to be proud of us. We want to lie on my deathbeds free of guilt about how we ran our business. And, we’d really like to be let into the pearly gates someday! These are just some of the reasons why we run an ethical, affordable publishing house. We don’t scalp authors like most of the “other guys” but we also go to sleep each night with a clean conscience.
And, besides, we teach authors how to promote their books effectively – for free! More on that below.
But, back to the topic at hand –
Some authors think investing tens of thousands in these types of marketing products and services will guarantee their book best seller status. Nothing could be further from the truth. And, sadly, some of these folks have bypassed BookLocker because of our policy. They think using a publisher that up-sells authors on these wasteful items will guarantee future book sales and, thus, higher profits. But, that’s not what happens. In most cases, the author ends up spending thousands of dollars, with few to no resulting book sales at all. We’ve heard from several authors over the years who paid $20,000 or more to a publisher, and then saw royalties of $20 or less. No, that’s not a typo.
Here’s why these types of products and services almost always cost more money than any resulting book sales they might bring in:
PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION: $1749!
There are two types of press releases – junk mail and spam. Yes, that’s right. Most press releases are trashed by recipients now. Many journalists never even see them because they have set their spam filters to instantly chew up and swallow press releases. When a journalist gets one in the mail or, worse, via fax, it almost always goes immediately to File 13. There is far too much tasty, real news available for journalists to write about.
More than a million books are published each year now. A new book is no longer considered “news.” Why bore readers with a template press release that very closely resembles the other hundreds or thousands of press releases sent out by that exact same publisher? Yawwwwwwn. And, if those press releases are written like press releases, and not like news, that’s even worse! Press releases are overused, and have been for years now. They are no longer a valuable asset for journalists. “For immediate release” now means “for immediate disposal.” Seriously. Many journalists won’t even read past those three words!
PAID BOOK REVIEWS: $6,000!
One greedy POD publisher is charging authors $6K to have their book reviewed by a firm, an ad in that firm’s catalog, an ad in that firm’s magazine, and an online banner ad on that firm’s website. Since that firm started charging authors for book reviews, I have stopped reading their reviews. I simply can’t trust a book review that was purchased by the author. I would be willing to bet that none of the authors who have paid that ridiculous amount have earned back their $6K in resulting book sales! And, paying for book reviews is always a very bad idea. Read why HERE.
PAY YOUR PUBLISHER TO “DISPLAY” YOUR BOOK AT BOOK FAIRS: $4,000!
Another greedy POD publisher is charging authors $4,000 for a “one-hour” book signing at a specific book fair that is located outside of the U.S. But, they’ll also display one copy of your book (just one!)…surrounded by their other authors’ books at that event.
Your book will be featured in the event catalog (which isn’t likely to sell any copies, either). The ridiculous package also includes “promotional materials,” which simply means some bookmarks, fliers, etc. They’ll also throw in 75 copies of your book (which you’ll probably have to lug home in your suitcase because it’s highly doubtful you’ll sell them…in fact, you may sell none at all!). Oh, and you can NOT bring copies you already have on hand to the signing…copies you previously purchased from your publisher. You MUST buy 75 more copies from the publisher, which are included in the jaw-dropping $4K fee above. And, in case you’re wondering (we were!), NO, that price does NOT include airfare and lodging.
If you just want them to display one copy of your book, surrounded by thousands of other books at that event, that’ll cost you an absurd $399. Just one book. Yes, you’re paying your publisher to print a copy of your book (which literally costs them just a few bucks), and take it with them to the event (along with numerous books by their other authors so your book will only take up a fraction of space in the box they’re shipping). But, don’t worry! They’ll make sure it’s displayed with the front cover “facing the crowds.” (Forehead slap…)
MAGAZINE ADVERTISEMENTS: $9600 – for just one small ad!
One greedy POD publisher is selling ads in Reader’s Digest for a jaw-dropping $9,600!! That’s not a one-page ad for your book only. Oh, no-siree. Your book will appear on a small page with five other books by the same publisher. And, at the bottom of the “ad” is an advertisement for, you guessed it, the publisher’s services! So, everyone who bothers to read that ad will know you paid to have your book published, which can harm book sales. What they’re doing is convincing authors to help foot the bill for the publisher’s own advertising. They’re doing the same thing for other print media, too. Despicable!
A 3-4 MINUTE YOUTUBE VIDEO: $5499!
Again, I bet none of the authors paying that fee have sold enough books through that video to pay for that video. Do yourself a favor and record your OWN video. And, uploading to YouTube is absolutely FREE!
HOLLYWOOD BOOK TO SCREEN: $16,000!
In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than publishers who feed on an author’s vanity (or ignorance) by charging thousands while making the author think they’re going to be a Hollywood superstar…if only they’d shell out (ahem…throw away) tens of thousands of dollars. One greedy POD publisher touts the names of books that have been made into movies…except the publisher didn’t publish any of those books! What do you get for $16K? A scriptwriter will turn your took into a screenplay. And, they tell you, if Hollywood then isn’t interested, you can always produce the film yourself. Seriously! The site really says that!!
AUDIOBOOK EDITION: $2,599!
If your print book hasn’t brought in $2,599 in royalties yet, why in the world would you pay someone that amount to create an audiobook, which is NOT going to sell as well as the print edition?!
Includes 100 bookstubs, 200 bookmarks, 200 postcards and 200 business cards. Do yourself a favor and use a local firm to print these inexpensive items for a LOT less!
COST OF ALL THE ITEMS ABOVE? A whopping $46,146.00!!!
And, that’s just a tiny snippet of the types of outrageously expensive items for “sale” on many publishing service websites now.
Greedy publishers have entire teams of marketing people whose jobs are to upsell you on these preposterous products and services, and more! They’ll email you and they’ll call you. DON’T FALL FOR THEIR SALES SPIELS! You think authors are too smart to fall for these sleazy marketing tactics? There are numerous stories online about authors who have fallen for these types of sales pitches, and who have thrown away tens of thousands of dollars, all the while thinking these items would eventually make their book a best seller.
At BookLocker.com, we don’t have a marketing department. We have no sales people, and never have. We don’t collect list of email addresses. We don’t hound authors with emails. We never, ever make sales phone calls, and never have. We don’t, nor will we ever, upsell authors on incredibly expensive, GARBAGE services, which, in our opinion, is what these types of things are.
AND, THE GREED CONTINUES TO MOUNT!
Most publishers who upsell authors on marketing products and services are simply finding more and more ways to separate authors from their money. And, their lists of ridiculous products and services continue to grow, year after year! If these products and services really resulted in enough book sales to pay for these items, and since the publisher profits from each book sale, shouldn’t they be offering these items for free? They don’t because they know most (if not all) of the authors falling for these pitches will never get their money back through resulting book sales.
WHAT *DOES* WORK?!
At BookLocker.com, we give a free copy of 90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE to all of our authors. If they then want to hire a firm to provide additional services, we are happy to give them referrals to professionals who provide those services at a reasonable price. And, we earn NOTHING whatsoever for doing so. No referral fees. No kickbacks. Zilch. Nothing at all. But, we also warn them that the expense involved is almost certain to cost more than any resulting book sales will bring in. If an author wants to take that chance, at least they’re armed with the correct information so they won’t be surprised later when the marketing activity fails to deliver enough book sales to pay for their marketing investment.
If an author wants something really ridiculous, like an introduction to Hollywood producers, we know they’re probably going to get scammed so we don’t recommend anyone at all. Sure, we could get kickbacks (I mean “referral fees”) from these types of firms but we don’t do business that way. When an author inquires about these services, we strongly warn him or her about the shark-infested waters in that industry. That’s all we can do. Sadly, some authors insist on learning the hard way.
What we absolutely do NOT do, and will NEVER do, is upsell authors on the types of products and services listed above. Not only is it unethical, but these types of practices have led to lawsuits being filed against publishers, to say nothing of the thousands of complaints posted about those publishers online by their victims.
There are numerous FREE and EASY ways to promote your book in 90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE. If BookLocker publishes your book, you’ll get a free copy. If you purchase a copy from BookLocker today, the ebook is half price right now (only $9.95) AND you can receive an additional 10% off using this discount code:
The print edition is currently $14.95 and you can use that discount code to get 10% off the print edition as well.
You can read a free excerpt HERE.
If you use the advice in that book, you WILL sell more books – enough to pay for the cost of the book and more. No other publisher can say that about the products and services listed above.
Disclaimer: At BookLocker, we’re choosy about what we publish. You would not BELIEVE some of the manuscripts that come across the e-transom on a daily basis. If your book really, really sucks, or is priced far beyond what the market will bear ($117 for a paperback book is WAY too much!), or if your book’s topic is something nobody will want to buy, no amount of marketing is going to help. And that, too, is something the “other guys” don’t tell their authors. They’re far more interested in emptying their authors’ wallets than they are in selling quality books.
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90…and beyond!
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE