While self-published books don’t carry the same stigma they did even as recently as a few years ago, they still aren’t considered on the same tier as traditionally published books. So, most self-published authors don’t want to make a big deal out of the fact that their book is “self-published.”
There seems to be no shortage of ways that POD publishers can concoct to separate authors from their money. Here are a few DOOZIES that we bet cost far more than most (if not all) authors will ever earn back in resulting book sales.
Ah, the large POD publishers will say just about anything to get your money, including offering ridiculous sales that look like good deals…until you do the math.
It’s no secret that that there are just a handful of major players in the Print on Demand (POD) industry (with a few thousand smaller ones) and that there are numerous complaints about the largest ones online. Oddly, under those complaints you rarely see the company in question defending itself. Why?
It seems it’s not enough that some POD publishers charge new authors thousands of dollars to publish a book. Some have taken the low road by attempting to trick their competitors’ authors into thinking they need more than one publisher…
POD Publishers that use Ingram’s printing division to print their books incur a $12 annual fee for each title/ISBN. They call this their “Catalog Fee.” Ingram’s catalog fee provides: “Access to our worldwide distribution channels (the largest portfolio of wholesalers, distributors and booksellers worldwide).” Basically, this means they send out an automated feed to bookstores that includes all the available titles and it costs $12 per year to keep a book in their feed.
Most POD publishers pass this fee onto their authors but under a variety of names. While it’s common to mark up a fee a small bit for a variety of reasons (administrative costs, their own file hosting expenses, etc.), some POD publishers take “marking up” to a whole new level.
As I wrote last week, “Some companies will say or write just about anything to get your business…”
At BookLocker, we are frequently contacted by authors who say they are surprised by our candor. We never tell authors their book might become a best seller…because it probably won’t (most traditionally published books never become best sellers, either). We don’t twist our words around to make it appear an author’s book will be stocked by “25,000” bookstores. It won’t. And we don’t publish verbiage that makes an author think we do something we don’t. We just don’t do business that way.
Authors appreciate our honestly because they have read so much confusing blurbage on other POD publishers’ websites.
Here are a few examples of what we believe is “hot air” on some POD publishers’ websites. Of course, this is our opinion. You can form your own…
It’s disgusting but it’s true. Some POD publishers will do anything to make it financially and logistically impossible for you to switch to another POD publisher if you are unhappy with their services in the future. We call this a “forced marriage.” One way they might do this is to include verbiage, buried in the middle of their contract (or multiple contracts as some POD publishers offer different contracts for each service), that states they own all rights to the materials you have paid them to create…
Last week, we discussed how most POD publishers’ websites not only do almost nothing to promote their authors’ books, but also tell everyone their authors paid to have their books published. This week, we’ll look at those ridiculous “free book!” offers.