DEATH OR ILLNESS OF PUBLISHER? Yet Another Reason to Avoid Publishing Your Book with A Very Small or New Company

DEATH OR ILLNESS OF PUBLISHER? Yet Another Reason to Avoid Publishing Your Book with A Very Small or New Company

I was contacted by another author last week who was in a big bind. His published book was no longer available because:

1. His first publisher got sick and closed up shop.
2. His second publisher died.

At BookLocker, there is no single point of failure in the company. For every task that needs to be done, from the super technical stuff, to interior formatting, to original cover design, to accounting and royalties, and much more, there is more than one person who knows how to do the job.

Example: Ali does our interior book formatting and conversions, and handles author royalties. She is going to have a baby around June 1st. When she goes into labor, our other employees will take on some of her tasks while she’s taking advantage of our generous family leave benefit (which is so very important for mom, dad, and baby). 🙂

Brian (the Managing Editor at WritersWeekly and the Operations Manager at BookLocker) will step in to help with interior file formatting and conversions. Justin will be setting up books in the printer’s system, processing incoming covers, and processing author orders. I will be handling the author royalties and misc. author print book correspondence that comes in each day. Brian and Justin say they are excited about the extra overtime and I’m excited because I actually miss processing retailer and distributor payments, and author royalties. Richard (who recently retired) will be available on a part-time basis to help with some of Justin’s technical tasks during that time and Rosana, our ebook guru, will be taking on additional ebook correspondence. Our computer geek son (he considers that a compliment), Max (almost 18), has agreed to come on part-time to assist with registering new books with R.R. Bowker, the U.S. ISBN agency, and to also help with copyright registrations.

While we are small, we have always ensured that, should I bang my head when (once again) falling on or off our boat, there are dedicated, devoted, hard-working folks who will keep the company running just fine.

Unfortunately, it seems some people think that just having a laptop and an Internet connection is enough to open a publishing company. It takes a LOT more than that. It also requires a contingency plan in case something goes wrong. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I knew our thousands of authors would be just plain out of luck if something happened to me.

The author who contacted me said that the first publisher developed health problems, terminated her authors’ contracts, and went to work for another company. I’m not sure how working for someone else is much easier than working for yourself but I find the story suspicious. Perhaps she just realized she was in over her head.

The second publisher became ill, and had another publishing services firm handle his business until he passed. After he passed, that company terminated all of the original publisher’s authors and they’re all now out on the street.

While it’s noble to give a new company a chance, it can be very, very risky. The biggest risk is that they simply can’t handle running a publishing company, and will go out of business. The second biggest risk is fraud, or just plain stupidity. Some will spend too much, and end up stealing their authors’ royalties in an attempt to pay their bills. The third biggest risk is the illness or death of the company’s owner.

While I certainly don’t recommend using one of the author meat markets, I definitely do recommend publishing your book with an established, stable company that has an excellent reputation – and one that has multiple redundancies in the event something terrible does occur.


Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - 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. - "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.


BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!



Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

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